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August 1, 2004

Rather Uneventful

Beowulf's Journal

The last few days have been rather uneventful. We had one incident as we were trying to sleep our first night after leaving the illithid’s lair, but nothing we couldn’t handle. It did start to rain the following day, hard enough for us to seek shelter. It continued to rain for about four days or so, I did some flying around in bird form just to keep an eye on our surroundings. The only thing of interest was a polar bear apparently attempting to find its way home. When the rain did finally pass Areon scouted on the ground with Shadow guarding him; I took to the air to see if I could help watch I did notice three orcs, I think they were orcs, ahead of us. Being as everyone was back far enough to go unnoticed by these creatures I decided to wait and see what happens. The orcs, or whatever they were, eventually turned off the path into a settled area. I immediately landed and, having returned to my human form, informed Areon of the situation and we lead the group far enough around the settlement to avoid any confrontation without the rest of the party being any wiser. A couple of days later Areon did have to fight an ogre but the battle was finished before it began. The following evening we came to the city gates, and now we’re going to sleep indoors for a bit. This is going to be interesting.

Posted by Fred at 04:23 | Beowulf’s Journal

August 6, 2004


Theona's Journal

Flamerule 23, 1373, south of the Night Trees

We followed a caravan right into the little town of Beorunna’s Well. The sky had already darkened, so we headed straight for the closest inn— the Lion’s Den— which had four rooms available. Areon paid for our room (I’ve yet to pay for room or board since we left Silverymoon), and I am just assuming everyone else took a single room. Deitricha’s room was furthest from ours for a change, so I have no clear idea of what transpired there, if anything.

Once the sun was up, I figured our companions had probably slept long enough, so I went around and grabbed them all before we headed down for breakfast, so we could divvy up our loot. Beowulf cast a spell to see if we had any magical items— I was surprised to discover my lock picks had a magical aura— I guess I’ve not had need of them for some time and never discovered their hidden properties. I decided to find a mage that could tell me what the exact magical enhancement was, and wanted to get that mermaid ring identified too. We all headed off to the marketplace a while later, first to get some items identified, then resupply. Turned out my lock picks can cast a spell called “Knock” which will actually be very handy if I want to open something I can’t (or shouldn’t) touch. The mermaid ring, unsurprisingly, makes the wearer a better swimmer. I took one look at Rosorc, trading in his heavy spiked armor for what looked like heavier spiked armor, and just handed it to him. I felt a little bad that the waraxe he risked life and limb to gain in Barransar turned out to be a fake with an illusion cast on it. I traded in my beat up old leather armor for a nice mithral chain shirt, as did Deitricha and Areon. While Deitricha and Beowulf wandered off to purchase some wands (and Shadow was greeting some of the other wolves freely roaming through the barbarian town), I saw Rosorc striding purposefully over to a goldsmith. I was pretty sure he wasn’t buying a courting gift for anyone, but felt a lot better when I saw that he’d acquired a gold holy symbol to Clangeddin.

In the midst of all this, we managed to find a caravan going to Silverymoon that needed guards— 25 gold per day per person for a 15-day trek, and we get horses to ride. My only disappointment is that at that speed we won’t make it to Silverymoon by Midsummer’s Eve— holidays like that are perfect for picking up odd bits of information.

Areon and I continued to meander around the marketplace, getting equipment for the travel home. I got myself a magically enhanced cloak so that Areon doesn’t have to keep casting spells on me in camp to keep me from freezing to death. Of course, now it’s fairly warm out. Since we had plenty of time, I suggested we look around just on the off chance that the marketplace had a silver Uthgardt tiger. Imagine our surprise when we found one a short while later.

Of course, it wasn’t the one he was looking for, that would have been too easy! It was an obvious fake, but just as obvious to him, made to look exactly like the stolen one he’s searching for. We were able to talk the merchant down to 75 gold for it; Areon wasn’t going to bother getting it, but I was already thinking ahead— what if we find the one we are looking for and need to make a quick switch? We also found a smith’s mark on it, a half circle “C” with a diagonal line “\” though it.

I did not recognize the mark. We talked further to the merchant (who had no idea that this statue was a copy of a stolen item) who thought the smith that made it was from Silverymoon. I suggested to Areon that we let our companions in on the situation— or at least Deitricha, since she’s from Silverymoon. Unfortunately, she didn’t recognize the mark either. I feel like we made a bit of progress though!

After another night’s rest at the Lion’s Den, we met up with the caravan heading to Silverymoon. There were a total of 25 of us guarding and driving 12 wagons, and we were warned to watch out for the Sky Pony barbarians, who have been ambushing caravans midway between Silverymoon and Beorunna’s Well.

We headed out, with Areon, often accompanied by Shadow, and Beowulf (again in bird form) scouting ahead. Other than a few deer, we saw no other creatures of any sort. By the second day we were between the Night Trees. We did see some strange lights at the end of the forest while we camped, but they didn’t move and we didn’t get closer to see what they were. An owl glided through our camp during one of the early watches, but nothing else happened that night.

We continued on south of the Night Trees for a few more days without meeting a soul. It’s now our fifth day out, and the scouts just came back with news of at least six barbarians on the road ahead. It seems they know we are coming and are hiding in the trees beside the road. Areon and I are going to go check, by walking through the trees behind them, as we can move quietly enough without our ambushers hearing us, but I don’t have a good feeling about this….

Posted by Kristin at 18:24 | Theona’s Journal

August 8, 2004

No Roses for Rosorc

Deitricha's Journal

Once free of the ilithid’s cave, we buried Areon’s blue cat, and moved on into the wilderness. Areon and Beowulf led us toward the settlement of Beorunna’s Well, as Theona thought it was both the closest town, and the most likely to provide us with a safer trip to Silverymoon. There are regular caravan runs and we need safety in numbers! We’ve all given up on the idea of getting our horses back; they’ve surely been sold off long ago.

We travelled all day, and settled into a niche, a depression in the ground, for the night. I had everyone pile their food and water, and blessed the lot for Theona’s peace of mind. We have collected some of it from questionable sources! Areon actually admitted he wasn’t feeling well. The elf has refused to complain when seriously injured, so I was quick to give him a once-over. Sure enough, he’d been bitten by a rat during the underground battles. I cleaned out the wound and used spells to restore him to health as best I could, but promised to pray for the ability to cure disease outright in the morning.

It seemed like I had barely closed my eyes when Beowulf was shaking me awake. It wasn’t second watch yet, though - it was that something had just overflown our camp! Gathered around the fire, we all pulled out whatever we could shoot or throw at the thing which was swooping back toward us. When I saw the wingspan, I feared a white dragon; I caught a glimpse of a horn on its head and no arms just as Beowulf shouted, “Yrthak!” and we all fired. I hit Theona with my shuriken instead, and suddenly the ground in the middle of our party exploded!

As the yrthak flew around for another pass, Areon shouted at us to spread out. Everyone ran for cover away from the fire, toward the rim of the depression. I stayed by the fire, thinking perhaps to give it a target while the others could take a shot. Or maybe I was just guided by Tymora, for the yrthak used the rocks that Rosorc and Theona were using as cover as weapons instead, causing them to explode and doing a lot of shrapnel damage! Rosorc did it some damage, but Theona was barely on her feet. I raced up the hill to heal her as the creature flapped off into the night.

The rest of the night passed uneventfully. Theona took second watch with me to quiz me about “interspecies relationships” again. I pointed out to her that my own attempt had failed badly, but then she implied something about Rosorc and me. I looked at her, I looked at Rosorc... what? I was glad that he stopped mooning after her, but now that I think of it, he does seem kind of sad. Poor Rosorc doesn’t need any more complications in his life, but maybe I can cheer him up without his knowing?

In the morning, I prayed to Tymora and cured Areon’s rat bite fever. We packed up and set out, but it was a wet and windy day. As we struggled along, it got colder. Finally, our scouts found a cave and we settled in around a fire for a few days. Beowulf went out every day to fly around and watch for trouble, Areon made some arrows, and I found some sling stones. Theona talked to me about Rosorc, using elven, which he apparently doesn’t understand. Or else he’s gotten very good at ignoring us! He polished his armor to a fine shine before the weather changed and we all set out again.

The next few days were uneventful, which I thanked Tymora for every night! Beowulf in the sky and Areon on the ground were a good team, apparently leading us around various trouble spots. The only fight they got into, they didn’t even need any help except for looting the body and burying the skull of its last victim. I was passing a little stream the first day when I saw some wildflowers by the bank. I don’t know what came over me, but I picked one quickly and hid it. That night, I managed to tuck it into Rosorc’s beard without either waking him or being seen by Theona, a creditable feat! I suspect Areon thinks I’m nuts, but I hope it makes Rosorc smile. If he gets too worried, I suppose I’ll tell him it was just a joke on my part.

I managed to find a flower or two every day for the rest of the trip. If nothing else, it seemed to get Rosorc wondering about the group he was a part of instead of walking along deep in his own thoughts. By the time we were in sight of Beorunna’s Well, he was sharing out the last of his ale and singing some utterly reprehensible tavern songs with Theona. The two of them had a lot of “the last of the ale” stored away!

As evening fell, we saw the wooden palisade of Beorunna’s Well across the plain. A caravan was just entering the gates. We were soon there, too, and asking for the nearest inn! A good night’s sleep and a proper wash sounded like just the thing! Lucky for us, there were four rooms left. Beowulf and wolf, Theona and Areon, Rosorc, and I each got one. Sleeping out for days makes you really appreciate a mattress and blankets! I did get up in the middle of the night for a trip to Rosorc’s locked door, however. There may not be many wildflowers in the rocky foothills, but that walk across the plain found me quite a few. I hope he notices that none are roses; I don’t want him to think it’s Theona being a tease.

The next morning, we all met at the elves’ room to divide up our treasure. Beowulf used detect magic to separate out anything special, and mentioned that my new staff definitely glowed. This is a rough frontier town, but it has several shops, so we set out to find someone to identify our magical items. With over 2500 gold apiece, we also kept an eye out for anything else that looked useful! The trip to the magic-users’ shop went very well; not only did I get a wand of cure light wounds, but the mage gave me the command word to my staff - of shocking! When he told me there was no limit on the staff’s charges, he got a tip!

Areon found the armory, and we really made some inroads on their stock of mithril. Even Rosorc got new armor, had more spikes added, and headed right back to the mage’s to get it enchanted. I stocked up on shuriken and asked about the local shrines, but there were none for Tymora, so I saved my donation for when we get back to Silverymoon. For that matter, how do we plan to get back? I decided to ask the innkeeper about any caravans back to the city, and found out that the one we’d seen earlier was going that way soon. Beowulf, Rosorc and I went to speak to him while Theona and Areon went searching through the pawnshops for something.

Rosorc, being our best advertisement, did the bargaining. Lukeon, the caravan master, was quite glad to have more folk travelling with him, and even hired us as guards. At 25 gold a day and a 15-day trip, it’s a bonus! I’m just happy to be travelling in a bigger group. We’ll be passing through an area of Uthgardt raiders, the Sky Pony tribe. They’re focusing on dwarven caravans but will attack anyone. Beowulf told us that he expected clear weather for the next several days, and soon we were on the road.

The elves, by the way, did find something in their search of the shops. It’s a silver tiger statue, vaguely familiar. Areon hopes to find another one like it, or even the maker of this one. I guess both of our elves are searching for mysterious artifacts!

The next morning, we headed out. Beowulf handed me a wand to carry for him, while he and Areon continued their scouting pattern. The first day went uneventfully, and the night passed quietly except for Theona suddenly realizing that Midsummer was nearly upon us. She’s wondering what Beowulf and I, the two religious folk, plan to do to celebrate. I’m starting to think she’s obsessed with the human body!

The second day, we passed through the region called the Night Trees; strange lights floated in the woods, and could be seen even from our campsite in the fields outside. We wisely let them alone. The third and fourth days went well, but the weather began to change for the worse. The druid thinks it will be warm and windy like this for the next few days. At least it’s not raining! The fifth day was quiet, except for Rosorc’s growing boredom. He bought all that new gear and hasn’t had a chance to use it on anything! Day six, and that changed. Beowulf flew back to tell us that there is an Uthgardt ambush ahead, maybe six riders. After a little discussion, we decided to keep going, hands on weapons. There’s going to be a fight!

Posted by Kate at 08:22 | Deitricha’s Journal

A trip to town and flowers to boot!

Rosorc's Journal

After regrouping, we decided to head south east to Beorunna’s Well, a small Barbarian town. Everyone was relieved and excited to have a relatively close destination for the moment. Ale! was low along with all of our other provisions. We would have to spend time foraging and hunting along the way just to meet our base needs.

Walking along, I whistled a long forgotten drinking song from my youth back in the halls of Citadel Adbar. It was a rousing little ditty about a fine young ale conniseur and a wayward princess..... Snapping out of my inner musings, I stopped my whistling and fetched my ale skin. All of these ale thoughts had peaked my thirst.

Pulling a small draught, I rinsed it through my mouth, savouring the flavor. It was not the Realms’ finest ale but it was enough to raise this Dwarf’s spirit. Placing my flask back in my pack, I grabbed a small hunk of dried meat and slowly ate it as we walked along.

The strangest thing was going on around me. Every time I looked at Theona and Deitricha they were always speaking back and forth in Elven. They’d stare at me, and then there was a scary following round of giggling.

Feeling very self conscious, I tried to check my armour and gear to make sure everything was intact. After reassuring myself I was completely covered and decent, I mumbled to myself, “Clangeddin forgive me. But I will never understand females.”

Several more hours of travel had passed and it was now growing dark. Beau and Areon found us a nice little grove to camp in for the night. Setting up camp, we decided to set our usual round of watches.

Seems Areon had developed some sort of infection in his leg. Deitricha laid her hands on his leg where the original wound was, and prayed very loudly to her deity. Her hands glowed in the dark for a brief moment and then she said, “You should be fine, Areon,” and walked over near me and sat down.

Pulling out her bed roll, she laid it out by the fire and laid down to rest. The Elves had already settled into their meditative state, I’ll never understand how someone just doesn’t sleep, and Beau and Shadow were snoring in unison on the other side of the fire.

Climbing onto a comfortable rock, I started my watch. Being as it takes way too much effort to get my armour on in the middle of the night, I had volunteered to always take first or last watch.

It was a nice night. A very clear sky. The stars shone like an underground cavern of gems in the flickering light of a torch. Trying to forget the seeming betrayal of our comrade Tassar, I looked out into the night. Still, thoughts of our (what seemed to me anyways) short friendship rolled through my head.

I had never been betrayed before by a close companion. Sure, I had been robbed, lied to, and definitely badly beaten but never by someone who I had considered a friend.... What in the nine hells was that?

Quietly I started to call for the others to awake as I scrambled up the hill into a defensive postion. Something very large just flew overhead and it was definitely coming back. I pulled my crossbow and hunched down behind my tower shield, crossbow drawn and ready to fire.

I heard the others scurring around below me to take cover. Right then our now-be assailant flew over head. I launched a crossbow bolt in his direction. Whether I hit or not I was not able to tell in the night sky.

Though I did hear the explosion of rocks below me and the grunting of several of my companions as they were hit by the debris as it flew into the night sky. Seeing everyone but Deitricha had scrambled to some sort of cover, I set about reloading my crossbow at a feverish pace. Heck, that thing was huge. It had to have at least a twenty-plus foot wing span. Not to mention it was ugly as an orc bride on her wedding night!

The beast flew around again to make another pass. I heard Beau and Shadow make several grunts and whimpers of pain as the boulders they hid in exploded around them. I heard the hum of the elves’ bow and crossbow as I left loose myself into the night sky.

Several more passes from the creature went about the same way. Each of us being randomly attacked by its strange sonic attack. Finally, after being hit by more than its fair share of bolts and arrows, it winged off into the night.

Gathering together we found that everyone only had minor wounds. Dietricha had fared the best. She hadn’t even been attacked. After several more minutes of watching the sky in vain I removed my armour, as my watch was over.

Laying myself on a soft, mossy expanse of ground, I closed my eyes to sleep. When morning arrived, I found myself covered with my blanket again and a small flower tucked in my beard. Absolutely freaked, I quickly hid it from the others. My head started to swim. I knew Clangeddin had saved me from things like this. Who? What? Why? Not knowing, or sure I wanted to find out, I quickly slammed almost an entire wineskin of wine in a single gulp.

Then realized what it was and had to rinse it down with the last of my ale. Trying to forget what I had found I started putting my armour on and talking to myself out loud about the strange creature we had seen the night before.

As I ducked out behind a group of trees to take care of some business, I swear I heard a couple of laughing female voices off in the distance.....

We headed out shortly after. The day was relatively nice and the traveling was uneventful. Evening came and went. The only thing out of the ordinary over the next three days’ travels was the more and more ornate flower growths that were appearing in my beard during my sleep. Heck I had even tried staying awake to catch the culprit or culprits. Though to no avail.

We were all glad to see the town ahead on the fourth night. Ale!!!!!! Cooked potaoes and hard bread. What the heck am I saying, Ale!!!!!!!!

Ariving at the gate, we quickly explained to the guard we were here for trading purposes. They welcomed us and let us enter. They even were so nice to suggest a nice inn up the street.

As much of a hurry as we were in for warm food, clean bedding, and lots of ale we still took the time to check the place out a little. It was definitely a barbarian town. Beau’s wolf was not only accepted, heck, it had playmates running through the street.

Interest sated, we went to the Inn. It was a nice place called The Lion’s Den. After acquiring a room, I quickly scarfed down some delicious meat and potatoes and drowned it with a large amount of ale.

Head a little funny, I staggered up to my room. I checked the windows. Then pulled my bed over to block entrance through the doorway as I slept. No flower fairies were going to weave anything in my my beard tonight.

Morning came early. As I staggered to the mirror I was relieved to see the flower mischief had stopped. Dawning my best traveling clothes, I headed for the door. As I opened the door I nearly fell to the floor. A large weave of flowers hung in the doorway. More than a little freaked/scared, I went down to breakfast.

Everyone enjoyed a quick meal. I looked about the group as we ate. Was one of my companions the freaky flower fairie? This is a riddle I must solve and soon!

Breakfast done, we went about the task of splitting up the loot. A large chunk of gold apiece and a large amount of stuff we needed to have identified, so we headed out to town. Deitricha followed along with me, prattling the whole way about some summer feastival thing that had her all excited. I really didn’t understand it, but nodded along sympathetically as she spoke. At some point she seemed very pleased with herself and started to walk in an eerie silence.

Luckily for me, we were at the mage’s. He identified all of the stuff I had been lugging along. As I had figured, the waraxe I had picked up in the dwarven keep was a worthless axe with an illusion on it. Though my throwing axe was a little nicer than I had thought.

As we left we caught Areon and Theona leaving the chamber of another mage. She laughed and tossed me a silver ring. She said, “Its yours. It’ll make you swim like a fish. Even with that heavy armour.” With a grateful smile I gave her thanks.

Stuff identified, I left for the local shop. I sold both of my hand held crossbows I had gotten from the Drow. My beloved spiked armour and spiked shield, the wareaxe and my old throwing hatchet. I picked up all of my base necessities. Much ale. All of the wine had already been dumped on the ground out of my flasks, long before we arrived.

I also bought new very high quality black spiked half plate, a black spiked shield, and a matching set of black chained gauntlets. I tried bickering with the shop keep but he was very adamant on the price.

Being armoured again, I headed for the jewelers. I knew what I had to do.
Clangeddin was to be praised. I bought a large golden holy symbol and placed it on my mithril chain.

Wearing out, not to mention broke, shaking my now light coin bag I headed back to the Inn. With a happily humming Deitricha in tow.

Along the way, we heard that a caravan was leaving for Silverymoon in the morning and that they were looking for guards. Interested, we asked the Inn Keep if he knew where we could find out some information.

Glumly he pointed down to the other end of the bar. The Caravan Master was having a drink. To our luck he was still out some guards. After a couple of drinks’ worth of negotiating we came to a deal.

Twenty five gold goins a day, mounts, and supplies. We agreed to meet him in the morning. Afterwards we went and told the others of our good fortunes.

Tired after a long day I headed to my room. Not bothering to pull the bed over to the door, I just collapsed on it and fell asleep. Soundly, I might add. And in the morning there was a whopper of a flower garden encompassing my entire head. Braided in my beard and my hair. Enough is enough, I thought! I will catch the responsible party and they will definitely pay.

Flowers removed and gear stowed, I headed down and out to take my place in the caravan. Quickly I was given a large war pony to ride. He was not my Cadderly but he would do for the job at hand.

The day passed without event and we made good time. The next five days did the same, with the exception of my new nightly terror. But on the seventh day we encountered something up ahead. The scouts were all a buzz. Excited, I pulled my crossbow and made myself ready.

Someone called back, “Barbarians ahead”. An ambush of sorts, I thought. A wry smile crossed my face. Seems life is funny in its own way. I had been a guard for years to buy my first set of spiked plate. Now I was a guard again because I had just bought my second set of spiked plate.

Though now it would earn its weight in gold. “Clangeddin give me strength,” I yelled, as I pulled my visor down and spurred my mount forward. Now a large smile was on my face as a raunchy battle song burst from my lips......

Posted by Erik at 08:28 | Rosorc’s Journal

Not Much to Tell

Beowulf's Journal

Well, again not much to tell. We did some shopping picking up a few necessities and other odds and ends then joined a caravan to Silverymoon as guards. Up till now the only thing of interest was an owl that flew past us while we were resting. I say till now because we are knowingly walking into an ambush. They say forewarned is forearmed, but I don’t think they were referring to this situation. Oh well here we go.

Posted by Fred at 08:37 | Beowulf’s Journal

August 11, 2004

Seeing Red

Theona's Journal

Flamerule 26, 1373, East of the Moonwood near Quaervarr

Well, no wonder they didn’t hear us— they’d already detoured far around us, so that by the time Areon and I had carefully picked our way through the wooded area beside the trail, the barbarians were seen from the caravan, heading north behind us— in the other direction.

We walked back to the caravan and soon were ready to call it a day. We made camp beside the road, and asked Beowulf to shift into a bird so he could fly back to see if the barbarians were following us. Sure enough, they were camped (without a fire) a quarter mile behind us.

It was a rather tense night, but our camp was never attacked, so Beowulf flew back again in the morning, only to find the barbarians were keeping their distance, but most definitely following us south. Deciding we needed to have someone follow them as they followed us, Areon hid in the brush beside the trail to wait for them to pass, while the rest of us set out as if all was normal.

A short while later, a rather large hawk with a piece of parchment tied to its leg appeared and attempted, rather ungracefully, to hover in front of me. I untied the note and the hawk, no longer needing to play the messenger, flew off without a sound.

I quickly read the note: Areon was following the barbarians and noticed a symbol they all wore, which he drew in the note for me to identify. He said he’d catch up to us by nightfall. I recognized the symbol of the Grey Wolf tribe— a group of Uthgardt afflicted with lycanthropy! I didn’t like the thought of him out there alone when twilight fell, but I also knew he’d already made up his mind. Thankfully, Beowulf was willing to fly back a note of warning about the nature of the barbarians, and he even took 20 silver-tipped arrows for Areon on the off chance he came into contact with the lycanthropes. Beowulf reappeared at my side soon afterwards, with the message that Areon would return at dusk, which he did.

Again, the night passed uneventfully. Beowulf headed out again to take in an aerial view of our proximity to the Grey Wolf tribesmen— they were still about the same distance behind us. Had we not been protecting a caravan, we may have gone back to introduce ourselves, as it was obvious to our druid that they were as aware of us as we were of them, but we didn’t risk the attempt.

Assuming barbarians were the worst of our trouble, it was quite unnerving to see the outline of a large red dragon swoop overhead, then turn around and land in our camp. The beast bellowed that he was “Marxithial the Mighty” and that we had encroached upon his land, which was, apparently, a large stretch of the only road between Beorunna’s Well and Silverymoon. He actually started to riffle through one of the wagons, looking for “tribute”— in the end, he decided 2000 gold pieces would do, and though I would have rather fought him, Lukan the caravan master handed him a ring, which the dragon decided was a fair offering. I had suggested that the barbarians following us were probably worth more than the ring, and Rosorc bellowed that information back to the dragon before it flew off. We hoped the barbarians would be able to make quick work of the dragon, but we were nervous to stay put, so we gathered up our gear and headed onward towards Silverymoon.

We were making pretty good time (at this rate, we’d get to Silverymoon in time for the Midsummer festivities) as the sun came up. Soon though, the form of Marxithial appeared above us, but this time, instead of landing, he breathed fire on our last wagon, and then swung around to hit the second wagon of the caravan. His sides were covered in gashes and wounds; he’d obviously taken interest in the barbarians and met his match. The enraged dragon was aiming for the third wagon now, when he noticed that Rosorc was near it and spat fire at him instead. We let the caravan continue on as fast as it could go while my friends and I peppered the dragon with bolts and arrows. At one point Marxithial decided to attack Areon; I am told I said a few unladylike things to get the dragon’s attention away from him. It was an arrow from Beowulf’s bow that finally drove the creature off, though I’m sure I at least hurt that red menace’s feelings.

In all we lost four horses, four men and two wagons.

Posted by Kristin at 21:24 | Theona’s Journal

August 15, 2004

A Pony Named Marxithial the Mighty

Rosorc's Journal

Riding forth from the caravan and out to the left, I found myself quickly disappointed. Seems the Barbarian ambushers were an elusive bunch and had already disappeared, long before we arrived.

Taking a swig of ale to console myself, I wheeled my pony around back to the caravan. Seemed funny that I had ridden this beast for almost a week and I didn’t even have a name for him. Oh, well, I guess that would have to change. Patting him on the neck, I started to think of a name.

Several long hours later, evening had drawn near and we were wheeling the wagons in for camp. At this point no name had yet come to me. Dismounting, I fed and rubbed down my pony. Securing him with the other animals, I headed over to the closest campfire.

A few of the guards were gathered around it. Something definitely smelled good. I could see the makeshift spit already had a few rabbits spinning nicely. Sajin, a rather burly and rough spoken guard, offered me a swig from the aleskin they were passing around. Not wanting to offend them, I pulled a long draught and then produced one of my own.

Hunching down, I handed my flask around the fire. Seemed everyone was very thirsty indeed. When it returned to me, there was hardly a good swallow left. Seeing my plight, another guard named Timoth passed me a fresh hunk of rabbit from the fire. More than happy for the trade, I bid everyone a good night and headed off to pull my shift of guard duty.

My position for my watch was on the south side of the camp. Being as the camp was so large, I would have to keep moving to cover my territory. Looking up at the night sky, I began to pace.

Seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t keep quiet in my endeavors. My armour and weapons clanked through the night like an orcish horde on parade.

The hours of my watch passed quickly. Soon Beau was there with Shadow to replace me. Bidding them a peaceful watch, I retired to the campfire which our group was around. Theona and Areon were in their meditative state and Deitricha was passed out in her bedroll.

Removing my armour I lay down on the ground. As it was a little damp with dew, I decided on the comforts of my bedroll. Pulling the blankets up tight, I closed my eyes.

Laying there I tried to wait out the flower weaving culprit that I knew would come. Shortly after, I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew it was morning. I heard the others milling about. Guards were hooking up the wagon teams. Others were eating, cleaning their weapons, or donning their armour.

Fearing the worst, I slowly opened my eyes. As expected, the flower demon had arrived. My beard looked like a mountain field in midsummer. What was worse, my hair had violets and dandelions braided into it, giving me a hellish purple and orange mane.

Somewhere off in the distance, I could hear snickers and guffaws. Not even bothering to give the offenders the benefit of a death stare, I pulled each of the flowers from my person.

Being done with what seemed to be my new daily ritual, I stowed my gear in a wagon and mounted up on my pony. Still perplexed on what to call him, I headed out for the day’s travels.

Rumors still swirled about the caravan of the Barbarian pursuers we had. Some said they were a scouting party for a large army. Others were saying they were a band of werewolves. In any case, I was itching for some action.

Just as I feared boredom would be the death of me there was a stir from one end of the caravan to the other. The unmistakable shape of a large red dragon winged across the afternoon sky, on a direct path towards us.

Lukan, the head of the caravan, called for an all “Stop”. As we waited, the dragon winged in and landed. It declared in a booming voice, “I am Marxithial the Mighty and you have dared to trespass in my territory. For this I demand tribute.”

Lukan at this point was hiding in the wagon in which he rode. The same with most of the other guards. Theona and I quickly stepped forward, Areon and Beau right behind.

I asked, “What would be a fair tribute to one such as yourself?” Looking into one of the closer wagons, the dragon muttered, “Two thousand gold or the equivalent in magical items.”

Theona and I looked at each other. We knew we didn’t have that kind of gold. We had blown our loot back in Beorunna’s Well. Pulling Lukan from his hiding place I quickly asked him, “Do you have any gold or magical items to exchange for this caravan’s safety?” Nodding his head sadly he moaned, “I have no gold as I have spent all of my money on the merchandise within these wagons, though I do have this magical ring.”

Pulling the ring from his hand, I walked it up and handed it to the dragon, keeping a wary eye on his every action. After several moments of the dragon eyeing his new bauble he declared, “This is a fitting tribute. You shall be allowed to pass.”

You could hear the concerted sigh of relief across the caravan. As Marxithial the Mighty went to take wing, it seems Theona and I had the same idea at once. We quickly pointed out the other trespassers following us through the dragon’s territory. We said that we were pretty sure they would be an easy target to collect tribute from. You could almost see the “gold gleam” in his eyes as the dragon leapt into the air.

Once he had taken off, Lukan hollered for us to move out. Seems that neither he nor no one else wanted to see the dragon again. Several hours of quick travel passed. Then, in the distance behind us, a familiar sight appeared.

Coming up on us fast was a red dragon. He wheeled towards us, though this time he didn’t stop. He just incinerated the rear wagon with his firey breath. As he passed over, you could see his undersides were badly damaged. He had been in a doozy of a battle. Kind of made me glad the Dragon met the Barbarians in battle and not our little caravan.

Seeing he was returning at an incredibly fast pace, I pulled down my visor and dismounted. Raising my shield and my crossbow, I took a shot at the fire breathing wurm. As my bolt hit him, a second wagon was incinerated before my eyes.

Several of my companions at this point were also firing their bows at him. So were the guards that weren’t driving the wagons away at breakneck speed.

As the dragon approached again my next bolt found a very tender spot in his wounded belly. Seems this caught his attention. As he flew over this time I was the new target of his firey breath weapon.

It sounded as if the world was exploding within my head. I sucked for air as the earth around me burst into flames. I could feel my beard and hair singe under helm. I felt the heat of my shield and armour as it protected my body. Then as quickly as it started it was over.

Seeing I was still standing seemed to piss the dragon off. He quickly wheeled around for another pass. As he approached I grabbed my axe and beat my chest defiantly. I hollered, “You daughter of an adulterous wyvern! Come down here and fight me! I will kick your scaly ass from here to Silverymoon!”

As much as my comments pissed him off, I couldn’t trick him into landing and fighting us on the ground where we had the upper hand. Instead, he wheeled in and blasted Areon with his firey breath weapon, leaving him much worse for the wear. Though still smoking, he managed to fire off a couple of arrows at the dragon.

Several more passes from the dragon came and passed. Each time we pelted him with arrows and bolts. Beau had summoned a giant owl to help with the battle, though it was very short lived as the dragon shredded it with it’s powerful claws.

Beau and Deitricha healed us as we suffered heavy wounds from the dragon. Deitricha herself was blasted once from the dragon as she flew around it trying to hit it with her quarterstaff. Surprisingly, she survived. Her lithe form flew out of the fire and immediately started praying to her god for healing.

We sent a final barrage of bolts and arrows the dragon’s way. More than a couple hit true. The other guards had returned with us and were also firing now. The dragon’s underside ran slick with blood as it wheeled off to the north. This time, it did not return.

Regrouping the caravan we then buried our dead. Deitricha said a solemn prayer for them. Then we decided to head out and place some (more) distance between us and the dragon.

Walking over to my pony I went to mount up when his new name came to my mind. “You, my friend, will be Marxithial the Mighty.” I said as I stroked his side.

“Come, Marxithial, we have a caravan to guard,” I mumbled to myself as we headed out. Then I sang a song for our fallen companions. Sajin was driving the last wagon and he wouldn’t be sharing any ale with us this evening around the fire. Nor would a young man named Seth.

“A Warrior’s soul shall come and pass...His heart and strength will never last................”

Posted by Erik at 00:57 | Rosorc’s Journal


Beowulf's Journal

You must forgive the shaky handwriting today. It’s difficult to calm ones nerves after seeing the same dragon 2 days in a row. The barbarians were unnerving to begin with. Instead of ambushing us as we thought they slid past us in the opposite direction. It was later that I noticed they were following us from a distance. For a couple of days I would watch from the air and see the 6 of them following at a steady pace. Once Areon hid to let them pass and sent Theona a message and drew a symbol of one of their tattoos. She recognized it as a tribe afflicted with lycanthropy. As if ordinary barbarians weren’t unnerving enough. Then to make our situation worse this large red dragon swooped out of the sky and demanded tribute because we apparently were trespassing on his territory. Rosorc handled it nicely and the caravan leader handed over a nice ring. Had it been left at that we probably wouldn’t have seen him again, but Rosorc decided to use this opportunity to deal with our werewolf followers. Telling the dragon of them and the opportunity for more wealth the dragon left us and we traveled through the night. In the light of the morning sun we saw a red shape coming towards us from the north and sure enough it was the dragon from yesterday evening. Instead of talking this time it just incinerated our rear wagon. It swung around and got the next in line when we started to defend ourselves. Rosorc and Areon took the worst of it. We all tried to get it to fight us on the ground, but to no avail. Finally an arrow hit it in a fairly sensitive spot and it flew off. I’m positive it will came back for us in a day or two when it has healed up, I only hope we’re ready.

Posted by Fred at 03:28 | Beowulf’s Journal

Ouch! Fire Hot!

Deitricha's Journal

Cautiously, the caravan moved ahead. Beowulf gave me his wand to hold again, and told Shadow to stay with Areon. The elves scouted off ahead of us to watch for trouble. Before Beowulf transformed into a bird for the day, he caught sight of a troop of barbarians heading through the woods. They passed us by! Unsure of what that meant, we set out. The rest of the day was quiet, leaving us wondering; did the barbarians decide to avoid us, or did they go for reinforcements?

We got something of an answer as we circled the wagons and made camp that evening. Beowulf circled the area as an owl, and returned to tell us that the barbarians were watching us from about a quarter mile off in the grass. This got everyone talking! Beowulf himself wanted to either go talk to them or attack them, while I leaned toward setting extra watches and expecting trouble. The caravan leader decided we should avoid contact, set watches, and hope for the best. Perhaps all travelers in this area get an ‘escort’.

The night passed quietly, thank Tymora! I did so during morning prayers! While the rest of the caravan preprared to set out, we helped Areon hide himself; he wanted to see if he could learn more about our followers. Rosorc was especially grumpy; apparently, the trip so far was boring for one who wanted to test his new armor and weapons. I guess the flowers aren’t helping his mood, but it’s gotten to be a habit. I bet he’d be disappointed if they weren’t there when he woke up!

My musings were interrupted by the sight of a wild hawk flying up to Theona with a message attached to its leg. She read it and got very worried! Apparently, Areon was now following our followers, but he got close enough to see that they’re from the Grey Wolf tribe, and that means trouble. That tribe is infested with lycanthropy, and Midsummer moon not far off! Beowulf flew off with a quiver of silver arrows for Areon, after giving me a handful of silver sling bullets.

It was a long day. Areon made it safely into camp by nightfall, and this turned into the routine for the next couple of days; we traveled, they followed, we all kept a wary eye on each other. They figured out that Beowulf-the-bird was part of the party pretty quickly, but still didn’t disturb him or us. By the eighth day out, I was starting to hope that we’d be OK if we didn’t provoke trouble. Instead, trouble of a different kind came to provoke us.

Out of nowhere, a red dragon swooped in on our party as we made camp! He was small enough to land inside the ring of wagons - barely. Panic quickly ensued; animals and humans were in chaos! I found myself plastered up against the outside of one of the wagons, knowing that the dragon would see me if I made a dash for safety. The dragon looked around complacently, announced that we had encroached upon his lands, then demanded tribute! I looked for the caravan master, only to see him hiding under a wagon...

Rosorc, on the other hand, bravely walked up to the dragon to parley! His bravery inspired others; the panic slowly subsided Rosorc and the dragon began to talk instead of trash the place. And I thought the dwarf was just itching for an excuse to fight! The dragon, knowing his own strength, casually checked out the contents of the traders’ wagons while asking for either two thousand gold pieces, or magical items. We certainly didn’t have the gold, but the caravan master came up with a ring that satisfied the dragon’s greed.

Apparently thinking to solve our other problem, Rosorc and Theona told the dragon about our barbarian trackers, who would also be “trespassing” on his lands. The dragon looked off, smiled, and flew away. We packed the camp back up and headed out, determined to put as much distance between us and the dragon as possible! It was a long night, but no one complained.

The next morning, however, showed us the sight of the dragon in the distance and closing in on us fast. As one, the caravan armed itself; we knew that if the first tribute hadn’t been enough, this beast would harry us all the way back to Silverymoon. The dragon, instead of landing, swooped over the last wagon and breathed fire, leaving behind a charred hulk as the rest of the drivers whipped their teams into a run! This was when I realized that the dragon was covered with burns and cuts - apparently, the barbarians put up a strong resistance. Dragons aren’t stupid; this one was going to make us pay for getting him hurt.

Our arrows were bouncing off the dragon’s hide even as it came around for a second run, strafing Rosorc as he crouched behind his shield, shouting insults. A few arrows hit their mark as it passed, and then both Beowulf and I ran to the dwarf to heal him. He shooed us away, however, as our armor wasn’t going to withstand dragonfire like his could. Areon hit it with a well-placed shot and earned the next strafe; I broke my new bowstring and decided to heal Areon instead. Rosorc’s warning came back to haunt me, as the dragon engulfed us both in flame!

As the dragon circled around for his next run, I healed myself, then cast Fly. Although it was fast in the air, I was hoping to be able to dart around it and hit it with my staff of shocking, perhaps knocking it out of the sky if I caught it just right. Of course, having a target at eye-level meant the dragon was heading right for me! At least it kept him from seeing the giant owl the Beowulf called up, until it grappled with him! Arrows kept finding their mark even as the dragon and owl fought, and I got close enough to hit it, myself. I don’t know if it was Beowulf’s last well-placed arrow shot, or the electrical shock I landed on the dragon’s rear end, but the beast suddenly flew off, and did not come back for another attack.

I quickly flew to a higher altitude, watching the dragon until he was lost to sight, and never saw him turn. I also looked for the barbarian lycanthropes, but saw no sign of them, either. Praying that our troubles were over for the moment, I then descended to help the party. I could see two wagons were gone; destroyed by dragonfire, and their guards with them. Sadly, I buried the bodies and prayed over them. Then, we turned our faces toward Silverymoon. This has been a long and difficult journey; I want to be home for a while!

I wonder what Rosorc will think of the city?

Posted by Kate at 08:04 | Deitricha’s Journal

In the city of Silverymoon

Beowulf's Journal

We came in sight of the city Silverymoon. Crossing our path was some very large track with numerous smaller ones. It was suggested that I attempt to follow them and see what made these tracks and so off I go with directions for Shadow to guard the caravan. I flew for a long time and eventually came across and encampment of two hill giants and 30 or so orcs. I did notice a symbol on their shields that I later described to my companions. No one seemed to recognize it but I still made a point of telling the guards at the gate of Silverymoon in case they needed to know of such things. It was evening and after we were paid Deitricha mentioned that we could stay at the temple. In the morning I followed her to visit the place Tassar paid rent being as I’ve never been here and really didn’t have a clue as to what to do. Apparently Tassar had stopped by about four days earlier. He left a note for Deitricha asking her to meet him alone and wrote down an address. At this point we went to an “Inn” called The Bright Blade Brandished. Rosorc was already there and, after Deitricha had a drink, she explained about the note then started to cry. After several hours and more drinks she started dancing on the table. It was about that time Areon and Theona entered the inn. I immediately told them of the note and what I think it implies, Rosorc thinks differently and mentioned so. To be honest he does have a point. Shortly afterwards Theona and Areon left and Deitricha continued to drink. When she finally passed out Rosorc took her to bed. Figuring she’d be safe, I decided to watch how the city dwellers interact during the festival. There was a lot of dancing and drinking and harmless foolishness about but nothing all that different of other smaller celebrations I’d seen. The biggest difference I noticed was a lot more people. At one point Theona and Areon returned to the inn and see it was only me; they left shortly after. I watched for a little while longer then walked back to the temple to get some rest. The temple was alive with worshipers celebrating. I retired to the same room I had the previous night to think about our situation with this Tassar and found myself wondering if I would have to pay rent also being as I am currently residing in the city. In the morning I will go to the inn again and see what we are planning on doing.

Posted by Fred at 14:02 | Beowulf’s Journal

August 16, 2004

A Midsummer Night's Scheme

Theona's Journal

Midsummer’s Eve, Silverymoon

The rest of that day was unspectacular— other than a herd of Branta grazing off in the distance, we didn’t see much of anything, except rain. We finally did stop and camp, with thankfully no surprises during the night.

The following day was again uneventful. It gave Areon and I more time to ponder this silver tiger statue and the smith’s mark on it; we got the idea to quiz our caravan master, who, we had determined, was also the merchant for the goods carried between Beorunna’s Well and Silverymoon (and back again). Lukan did actually recognize the tiger— in fact, it had been on his last caravan trip to Beorunna’s Well to be sold there. He identified the mark as that of Prantos the artist, a good but new (therefore not well known) craftsman making his home in the newer area of Silverymoon. He was genuinely helpful and I suspect we got all the info he had on the item.

This night, too, was uneventful.

The camp woke up to another warm but rainy day. We were starting to pass farms and small settlements— surely we’d make it home in time for Midsummer! Still, our caravan was much too large to be accommodated on a farmstead, so we again camped by the roadside. Areon and Rosorc’s watch was quiet; as was the part of a watch I shared with Deitricha. I stayed up with Beowulf for the last watch, and after so many trouble-free watches I was starting to ponder why we were being paid so well when I heard an “oof!” in front me. Through the darkness I could see that a guard was already falling over and a shadowy form appeared to be tearing into him. I shouted “Ambush!” and shot a bolt at the marauding creature, then ran toward the campfire to make sure Areon was aware. Beowulf was already running over to help Rosorc get some fortification with spells as there was no way the dwarf could properly pull on his armor while the camp was being attacked.

Areon was on his feet with his bow nocked as a second creature appeared (and killed) another guard near us. We noticed the wild hair, dried leathery skin tight on the bones, and malevolent eyes. We both thought “ghouls!” at the same time, and I yelled “undead!” for Deitricha who effortlessly made a gesture at the closest visible monster— it took off in fear from her. We couldn’t find the first assailant, and Areon and I split up to try and catch the creatures, thinking them harmless to elves. As I got near the first downed guard Rosorc yelled to me that it would rise as undead— he was right! And worse, it was not in fact, a ghoul, but a wight! The dwarf jumped in between me and the now-risen guard (who did look quite awful with the gaping claw marks on his torso and the evil glint in his lifeless eyes). I aimed over Rosorc’s head and shot the thing in the chest. He finished the thing off, but not before it clawed him, visibly draining him. Areon appeared to have dispatched the remaining undead that hadn’t escaped. Many of our camp wanted to get up and move now, but Deitricha and I both convinced them that it was better, while it was still so dark, to have the defensible position and the firelight to see what was out there.

We were not attacked again for what was left of the night. When it was time to move, we did so quickly, and were able to see Silverymoon way off in the distance. We also crossed a multitude of footprints in the mud— giant and normal sized, heading west. Judging by the depth of prints, they were heavily armed. Beowulf agreed to fly off and see what was going on, with plans to meet us before we got to the city. He returned several hours later to tell us that he’d seen a gathering of two hill giants and at least 30 orcs in an encampment. Most bore shields emblazoned with a fang dripping blood. It sounds familiar, but I couldn’t recall where I’d seen that symbol before. At any rate, it was worth mentioning to the guards at the gates of Silverymoon, which we were just a few hours shy of reaching.

We arrived shortly before nightfall, and Lukas paid us 300 gold each and we departed from his service. The night was beautiful (of course, since we were inside the mythal now), and Deitricha took Rosorc (who she was still tending to from the wight attack) and Beowulf with her to Tymora’s temple. Areon and I went to my house.

I’d been gone for nearly four weeks, but everything was pretty much as I’d left it. Except one thing— a wand for curing wounds was left on my table, with a nice thank you note from Dante. I’d felt bad that we’d left town without seeing him after we had him restored to his human form, but the wand and message more than restored my faith in that one human.

Thankfully Areon doesn’t seem to mind spending the night “indoors” as much as I was afraid he would.

Areon did have me up and ready to travel bright and early though! We went to the north wall of the city and soon found the house/shop of Prantos in an alley. The thin, wiry human came to the door after our knock and ushered us into a shambles of paints, half-done portraits and other art paraphernalia. At first, he wanted to deny that the silver tiger we had with us was anything other than a unique statue of his own design. When we told him that Areon had knowledge of the theft of the original from an Uthgardt tribe, and I quickly assured him that we didn’t believe him to be the thief, he visibly relaxed and admitted he’d been commissioned to make a dozen such statues, but that he no longer had the original (or any of the twelve forgeries) in his possession. He went on to be quite helpful, telling us that the last place the original had been seen was Alwin’s Auction House in the old part of the city. I gave him a moonstone for his troubles, telling him to leave a message at the Bright Blade Brandished for me if he heard more about it.

It was still early, so we headed to the auction house. Two burly humans flanked the doors; after greeting them, they took us to the office where we met a fat, balding human writing with quill and parchment. He shoved aside the work to enquire why we were there.

I told him we were interested in unique items, and that I was particularly fond of silver. He assured us that he would have silver items such as statues at the auction in five days’ time. I used what few bits of believable explanation I had as to why I wanted to make a purchase today— being Midsummer’s Eve, it wasn’t unlikely I’d need to purchase a wedding present. Of course, he had to ask who the lucky couple was to be, so I said the gift was for Areon (who of course, was standing right there, likely wondering how I’d survived in this town full of humans with such amazing bartering skills). The greedy little human’s eyes lit up when I said I’d be willing to pay extra to get an item before the festivities started. He opened a safe and pulled out the ugliest silver statue I’ve ever seen— a squid-headed idol, possibly significant to mind flayers. I told him it was lovely though and wanted to know more about it. He informed us that all sales are confidential— for both buyer and seller. I asked if he had anything with a feline motif? He pulled out the most horrific item— a gold tressym. Not that a gold tressym statue would not be beautiful, but this one looked like it had been a real flying cat, dipped in gold, poor thing. Thankfully it was out of my price range. As he was opening the safe again, Areon spotted two silver tigers inside! Asking to see them, Alwin pulled out the silver “bookends” and assured us they were unique— both of them. Sadly, these were also the work of Prantos, not the original. The man was obviously hiding something from us, but I felt we’d reached an impasse, so thanked him and said we may be back for the auction after all, but we going to go to the open market to shop now.

Of course, that’s not where we went— Areon soon had us perched high where the treetops met the rooftops of nearby buildings. I watched people preparing for the Midsummer festivities that I so looked forward to, while Areon kept watch on the auction house door. It was dark by the time the fat man and his two guards locked up and left. Still we sat. I finally told Areon that we needed to go to the Bright Blade Brandished to listen to drunk revelers— perhaps we’d learn more of the silver tiger that way! I’m not sure if he agreed with that idea, but I think he finally realized that I wanted to celebrate the holiday for at least a while and acquiesced.

Our friends had already started to celebrate, though I was sorry to hear that Beowulf was just sitting in the bar, not atop a unicorn steed for the evening. Deitricha’s goddess apparently requires her clerics to drink large amounts of dwarven ale, dance on the top of a table, and then pass out, so we got to see one ritual of the holiday at least. It could also be that she was drinking because of the news she’d received. Upon checking on Tassar’s landlady, the old woman had told Deitricha that the halfling had been to her house not four days earlier and left a note with her:

Deitricha— We have much to discuss and explain. Meet me at 29 Dark Alley Way. Come alone. Tassar xxoox

Our male companions were of the opinion that it was a bad move, and Deitricha was horribly torn on what to do; she was probably drinking a bit heavier than any ritual requirements for that reason.

That bit of festivities over with, and Areon obviously antsy from the crowd (and the belief he was missing something important while not sitting high above the auction house), I suggested I just fill a flask and we headed back.

It’s good that we did, actually. We could see that a light in Alwin’s storehouse was on. Soon a dark-cloaked humanoid figure, about 5’ tall, slipped in through the front door of the building. I caught a glimpse of her face, which was familiar— the scribe of the Red Wizard we encountered in Barannsar! Forty-five minutes later, we saw her leave with a small wrapped bundle. Areon and I briefly discussed having me sneak up behind her and knock her out, but we weren’t really armed and armored properly, so decided it was not a good option. After thirty minutes more, the fat man and his two guards left the building, locked with lights out.

I suggested to Areon we might as well tell our companions about the importance of the silver tiger, and he actually agreed with me. It’s after midnight, and knowing our friends need more rest than we do, we slid down from our vantage point to head back to my house, with plans to explain everything to our friends over breakfast.

I am, I guess, amused that Areon apparently has no notion of what the Midsummer festivities were all about. He didn’t blink once when I was telling the auctioneer about “wedding plans” and the time-sensitive nature of such things. Perhaps the Uthgardt he grew up around do not celebrate this holiday. Or perhaps they celebrate differently and I’m in for a surpri....

Posted by Kristin at 17:02 | Theona’s Journal

August 21, 2004

Drowning sorrow in dwarven ale

Deitricha's Journal

Our much-reduced caravan finally quit running at nightfall. We were almost too exhausted to make camp! Thankfully, the only thing to fall from the sky that night was rain. I was getting tired of rain. At least it was warm. I prayed in the morning, and asked Areon to repair my bowstring. I can only hope to be of more use with it next time!

The day and next evening passed quietly, if wet. Areon realized that if we kept our pace, we’d make it to Silverymoon in time for Midsummer. This caused me to practice my dance steps, while Theona and Areon showed the caravan master their silver tiger statue. He did recognize the maker’s mark, who lives in the city. Beowulf chose this time to ask for his wand back, so I pulled him into the dance. We even got Rosorc to try!

The next day we continued; the area was becoming more settled every mile. Everyone seemed to be looking forward to the holiday! I asked a few locals if there was any news, and was glad to hear that there was not. The third night from the dragon, we set up camp in the rain, and went to bed. I woke in the middle of third watch to the sound of Theona shouting, “Ambush!” and shooting into the dark.

Quickly getting up, I pulled out my torch and looked toward her target. I could see a humanoid figure worrying at one of the guards’ bodies. As it ran off into the night, we heard screams from the other end of camp! Shouting, “Undead!”, Theona let loose another volley of arrows and Rosorc charged at a pasty-skinned thing that did not bleed when struck. At this point, Beowulf got a good look at the thing and shouted that it was a wight. I turned the creature, which disappeared into the night.

I quickly got up on a wagon box, knowing the attack was not over and wanting to reach as many as possible with my next turning. I was barely there when one attacked Areon. Then the first dead guard got to his feet with an evil gleam in his eyes! The new wight attacked Rosorc, who hadn’t had a chance to get his heavy armor on and was only holding his shield and axe. Although he hacked it to pieces, it weakened him considerably.

The other guards began to join us at this point in the firelight. I cast another turning, just in case; sure enough, the dead guard that Beowulf was standing over got up and attacked. Theona shot it, Rosorc charged in, and Areon finished it off with his bow. Finally, we had a chance to check around the campsite, finding no more wights. Hoping there were no more, we set a careful watch for the rest of the (thankfully quiet) night.

I buried the guards’ bodies in the morning, and we set off. Soon, we could see our destination - Silverymoon in the distance! Most of us were enjoying the view, but Areon was quick-sighted, noticing giant tracks crossing the track and headed west. We were determined to honor our caravan contract, but decided to ask Beowulf to check out where the tracks led. We have a committment to protect our city, too, and I am grateful to the druid for helping us. He was able to tell us about a large pack of orcs and hill giants, geared for battle, wearing a bloody fang insignia, and far too close to the city!

We warned the gate guards of our findings when we reached the city at dusk. The rain let up immediately, which surprised Rosorc and Beowulf, and I quickly explained the magical phenomena. Meanwhile, we followed the caravan master to his lodgings, to be paid 300 gold apiece. As it was well into night, we next split up to go to bed. The elves retired to Theona’s treehouse, while I invited the dwarf and druid to my temple, knowing that Tymora’s chosen welcome adventurers. The beds, baths, and fresh clothing seemed to do the trick; we all looked better in the morning, especially Rosorc! I was glad to see the wight’s attack hadn’t harmed him more seriously.

I tithed my 300 gp to the temple, and decided to visit Lady Brennan, Tassar’s landlady. Beowulf tagged along, while Rosorc walked off to see the sights of the city alone. I could see Theona’s house standing empty across the street (checking out their artist?) as I knocked on the Lady’s door. I explained his disappearance and note, but not his later reappearance in an evil role, and asked if she’d seen him. I must admit I was not expecting her to smile and nod!

He’d returned some four days before, paid up, and left again. He did leave me another note, however.

“Deitricha, we have much to discuss and explain. Meet me at 29 Dark Alley Way. Come alone. Tassar XXOOX”

I was stunned. How did he get back - how did he know I’d be back, too? What could he possibly want to say? I thanked Lady Brennan, and made my way to the Bright Blade Brandished, a rather confused Beowulf in tow. I’m afraid I was a little rude to him, but all I could think of was getting a drink. Or two. He did make the point that he wasn’t letting me go anywhere alone after what he’d seen of Tassar lately!

Eventually, Rosorc appeared at the bar, easily guessing that we’d congregate at the one place we all wished for while on the road! I bought him a round, and he bought me dwarven spirits. The dwarven spirits were very nice, so I told him and Beowulf about Tassar and me and his note. They seemed to think I’m the easiest target of the party for him to get to. They’re likely right. I cried on Rosorc’s shoulder and drank some more, while the Midsummer celebrations went on around us.

By sundown, I was dancing on the tables while Beowulf checked out the celebrants in the bar, Rosorc giving me odd looks. The elves finally wandered in; I offered Theona a drink, while Beowulf and Rosorc updated them both on the Tassar problem. Theona refused my offer of dwarven spirits, saying they caused her to end up in strange places. I told her that I intended to do exactly that! In fact, it suddenly seemed that the best time to go would be right now, as I certainly wasn’t in a state to tell Tassar anything useful.

I made it halfway to the door before I found myself walking back to the table with the dwarf. He offered me one more drink, and I found myself drifting gently to the floor...

Posted by Kate at 18:25 | Deitricha’s Journal