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September 8, 2005


Deitricha's Journal

Packed and ready, we set out down the Black Road of the Zhents. We knew there were plains, mountains, and more plains to cover before we reached the Anauroch Desert, and began to settle down for a long journey. I thought it best to ride with Ebin and Tyan, at least at first, so Theona and Areon could have some time alone together.

Of course, we weren’t half a mile along the road when Areon and Theona’s wagon stopped ahead of us. We peered around the side and saw - a small cart and donkey in the ditch. Their owner was an elderly man, almost blind, who was muttering about being pushed off the road by the caravan ahead of us. Theona seemed to think this was typical Zhent behavior.

Of course, we all pitched in to help, with the usual results - the donkey and cart eventually made it back onto the road, while the rest of us ended up covered with mud and looking like we’d done battle with half the Zhent caravan. The old man was thankful, at least, and offered to sell us anything he had for a good price. Theona bought fishooks and twine, while Ebin was pleased to get some holy water. We put him in the right direction and told him he was almost to town, then moved on.

That evening as we made camp, Theona and Ebin had a surprise waiting for them! Their small purchases had turned into items of much greater value: twine into troll-gut rope, fishooks into glowing crossbolts, holy water into eight vials of cure serious wounds which Ebin was happy to share out to us all. I thought things like that were travelers’ tales! I wonder who that old man really is? Pleasantly surprised, we settled down to a quiet night.

The second day was quiet, too. We reached the foothills of the mountains and began our trek toward the pass. That evening, I asked Theona about how meeting Areon’s parents went. She said she’d been too stressed and sober(!) to pay much attention. How odd. The next day was quiet, except for the sight of a large red dragon sillouhetted against the distant mountaintops. We camped that night along the trail, finding signs of the bigger caravan. We seem to be using well-established stops, but no one seems too worried about being predictable. The fifth night, Areon heard stones sliding and caught sight of small humanoids riding wolves and fanning out to attack us...

I woke up to Areon shooting and shouting, and a wolf chewing on me! Goblins rode other wolves, and the scene quickly became one of confusion. I remember stabbing at the wolf with my dagger, seeing Tyan being attacked in his bedroll as well, and Theona shooting her crossbow from under her tent flap. As we killed the various wolves and goblins, it became clear that the wolf attacking Ebin was a hybrid of something else. A lot of our attacks passed right through it! And then, Ebin suddenly stopped fighting and told the rest of us that the thing needed to be protected, not destroyed!

Next thing I knew, we were attacking the creature, and Ebin was shouting and trying to attack us. Theona pulled out her wand of enfeeblement and began using it on Ebin while he tried to charge her. By the time we hit the thing enough to make it leave - we didn’t kill it, it just disappeared - Ebin was lying on the ground with Theona holding a sword over his throat, still trying to attack her. Tyan had to cast some spell that made him drool and flop about helplessly before we could relax! I’m ashamed to say that we simply tied him to a wagon wheel and went back to bed rather than wait for the spells to wear off. Next day, we passed over the crest of the mountain range and descended toward the plains.

Posted by Kate at 19:16 | Deitricha’s Journal

The desert or bust

Deitricha's Journal

We travelled all day, stopped to camp, and I finished healing Areon from the battle the night before. The next morning, we saw a large caravan on the road, headed our way. We discussed moving off the road to let them pass, but it seemed wide enough at this point to accomodate. We carefully ignored the large Z painted on each wagon, and the wagoneers ignored us right back, thank Tymora! Tyan, I fear, was unable to resist taunting “Theona the great Zhent hunter” - I mean, she knows where he sleeps! At least we are still in separate wagons.

The fourth day out, the road passed between a rocky plateau and a moorland. As we set up camp that evening, we could hear wolves howling on the moor. The fifth night out, we were awoken by the sound of Theona screaming as something burst out of the ground in the middle of the camp! I rolled out of my bedroll and grabbed my staff, as the thing leaped upon Ebin and Tyan cast a scintillating sphere upon them both. I hit it but found it to be both huge and covered with armor plates - and then it bit me. Tyan was casting spells at it while Areon entangled it and Theona actually got in front of me while trying to enfeeble it with her wand - I must have looked pretty bad!

Theona hit it with an enfeeblement spell, then was bitten, but Tyan cast lightning bolts and I got off a couple of searing light spells, which seemed to stagger the beast. Ebin charged in and bounced his sword off its armor while Theona and I took turns pulling each other out of harm’s way, and Areon finally finished it off with his bow. He skinned those armor plates off for our own use later, while I healed everyone and we all collapsed back to sleep. Whew!

The next day we finally reached the desert. Theona warned us to watch out for a floating city or castle in the region (sounds like a mirage of some kind, but I’ve heard of stranger things, I suppose). We changed to the desert gear we’d bought, and decided to wait the day out in order to change our travel schedule; sleep during the hottest hours and travel at night. I prayed for many water spells to carry us through. Evening came, and we set out side-by-side across the desert, chatting quietly and watching for trouble. Tyan was sprinkling salt on me and I was pretending it burned and Ebin was laughing when - the elves caught sight of humanoid forms approaching from the darkness!

I cast light, then Tyan cast acid at them. Grey-skinned humanoids came out of the gloom and we were being charged by ghouls! As we whipped the camels into a run I climbed to the back of our wagon and held up my holy symbol... called to my goddess and dusted the lot. ALL of our attackers. I was so shocked that I fell out of the back of the wagon for laughing! Theona seemed to think that implied I didn’t have faith in my goddess - but that’s not true, it’s simply never worked so well and I am deeply grateful. We waited a little while for Areon and Theona to backtrack the ghouls, searching for treasure or trouble, I’m not sure which. They returned empty-handed, so we traveled on through the night.

Posted by Kate at 19:31 | Deitricha’s Journal


Deitricha's Journal

We continued down the Black Road, chatting about whatever came to mind - Theona’s urge to have water enough for baths, even in the desert, whether or not it would be useful for me to fly above the party to see if anything’s about, but I don’t see too well in the dark, things like that. It probably didn’t help that we were drinking our ale supply at a steady rate, too. The first night in, Tyan woke me up when Theona and Areon heard movement in the desert. Ebin spotted something and pointed, at which time several red-furred hounds charged at us! Ebin charged them in return, and all four jumped on him.

Between slingshots from me, Theona and Areon shooting arrows, Tyan casting spells and Ebin swinging his sword, all four were soon dead. That’s when we spotted something else watching us - with the lower body of a lion, upper body of a woman, and apparently not interested in a fight since it left as soon as we saw it. We debated moving on, but Tyan had already gone back to bed. I did a little healing and started to crash, when Ebin insisted I stay awake to help Areon watch. I stayed up until Ebin crashed, then went back to bed. I did ask Areon if he really needed help, first!

I was praying the next evening when I heard Ebin laughing. I’m glad he didn’t mind me arranging all his weaponry around him as he slept, points inward. We set off on our night’s travels, turning off the Road and north across the desert at Areon’s direction. Everything was quiet when I went to sleep, even with Ebin staying up to help Theona watch. Of course, we were rudely awakened by something casting magic missiles from a lanternlike light in the distance! Ebin and Tyan were hit, Tyan sent a scintillating sphere in return - and then there were two “lanterns”! Tyan retreated into a cloud of darkness while I cast searing light, and missed.

The lights flew up into the air over Ebin and hit him with more magic missiles, Theona cast dancing lights to try and distract the things, and I decided to fly up myself and see the things from a closer view, but still - I could only make out two lantern-sized lights. I tried creating water over one, but it passed right through and drenched Ebin instead. So did all the arrows shot at it and my staff. Finally, the things seemed to get bored - one disappeared, while the other shot off into the night. We moved camp a little bit, healed up, and slept.

The next seven days passed quietly, thank Tymora! Areon even finished work on a fine new bow. Finally, as we travelled, Theona’s sharp ears caught a new sound. We stopped the wagons, and Theona and Areon snuck off toward the noise. Tyan followed, while Ebin and I turned the wagons around in case we needed to make a quick getaway. Maybe we’ve learned a little!

Finally, everyone returned to tell of an encampment full of gnolls and slaves, slowly unearthing a ruined building. There’s one tent covered with magical symbols, and a kitchen tent where everyone gathers. We’re above the whole place on a cliff, so we’re going to find a hiding place to settle in and discuss the best way to attack the place and free the slaves. And then, find whatever treasure is hidden inside!

Posted by Kate at 19:33 | Deitricha’s Journal