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Alunys’ Journal

Nymm 13, 998 YK
Towering Wood in the Eldeen Reaches

We arrived in a field about two miles from town to find a horrific scene. The broken bodies of the Lyrandar ship’s crew and passengers were scattered in a wide swath, among fragments of the broken and smoldering Silver Star. The fire elemental that powered the ship was gone, and it seemed no one could have survived. Knowing I’d find evil, I attempted to search the field for it, and was rewarded with a faint aura near the edge of the wreckage. I went to find Defender for help clearing away debris, and found that he had found the only survivor of the crash, a gnome with horribly crushed legs. He got the gnome out and Alayi provided some stabilizing healing for him. While she did that, I turned back to where I’d sensed the evil, and found a huge stone arm. A farmer told me that he’d seen a one-armed stone man walking towards the northwest, away from the crash site. The gnome, Roland Bramble of Morgrave University (Sharn), was going in and out of consciousness, but said he knew stone man; it was supposed to be his protector on his journey. Something had caused it to go berserk and smash up the ship, causing the crash, but it had not been “evil” as far as he knew. He handed me a ring that would prevent it from harming the bearer, and asked that we find it. The gnome passed out again and was being carried back to Mossmantle to rest; we agreed to leave immediately, as there was nothing we could do for the dead other than bring their killer to justice, if possible. Defender decided to bring the stone arm along, though I doubted we’d have any trouble recognizing an evil, one-armed stone man!

The aura of evil was easy enough to track, as was the trail the construct left through the fields and forest. Our only real problem was that it was outpacing us, and did not need to stop for rest. If only we’d had some horses! We attempted to pay to borrow some from a local farm as we passed, but they needed their animals to bring in their crops. Still, we covered at least two dozen miles before I noticed that Tomas looked like he was going to pass out from exhaustion, so we made camp. While Defender took watch, I found some berries and asked Alayi to use her druid magic to fortify them; they’d have to last us if the journey took more than another day.

We did the same thing the next day, and the next, thought that night our camp was attacked by a wraith. I smote poor Defender again in the ensuing combat, but he just shrugged it off and went back to watching over us.

After another day of travel, we found ourselves deeper in the Towering Wood. Soon we heard the sound of stone hitting stone, and followed a trail to some overgrown ruins.

We entered the clearing and found the one-armed man pushing rocks away from a stone well cover. Whatever its reason, I felt that we shouldn’t let it finish the task. I ordered it to stop and help up the ring, and it hesitated. I attempted to detect for evil again; the results provided me with such a sensory overload that I actually had the wind knocked out of me— I don’t recall ever sensing such evil in my life! Perhaps noticing my distress, the construct decided to attack and hit me so hard I thought its fist had gone through my torso. I dropped the ring in Tomas’ hands as I staggered back to heal myself; he attempted to get its attention while Alayi tried to pull the well cover back over; Defender waded in and just started pummeling the other construct. When I felt I could stand, I attempted to smite the thing (and didn’t hit Defender this time!), and then cast fire at it. This helped wear it down, but I think Defender’s strength is what really did the evil thing in. After it crumbled to the ground, a disc of adamantine was found in the debris; it had a ruby placed in the center, and a map of what looked like this clearing engraved on it.

With the demise of the golem, the evil aura was gone— and I didn’t sense any in the well. Alayi thought it should be closed while we rest anyway, and I agreed— I didn’t want to deal with any surprises for a few hours at least! Defender helped put the heavy stone cover on and then began repairs on himself while Alayi foraged for us. Tomas identified the ring we had attempted to use on the golem as a “Shield of Faith.” Too bad it hadn’t worked!

After a blissfully uneventful night, we pushed the stone cover off the well and Alayi put a rope down the opening, a magical torch suspended from the end. It revealed a floor about 40’ down. We all climbed down (with the exception of Fang) and found ourselves in a 30’ by 30’ chamber with three exits….

Posted by Kristin on February 28, 2007, 16:56 | Alunys’ Journal