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August 1, 2006

Who is the larger fool, the fool who does something stupid or the person who follows him

Rowind's Journal

Well, lets we were performing in some city up in the north. It was an okay gig and in comes a mountain orc. Apparently up in the north they let them into pubs. And I continued as best I could with that distraction and in comes a Halfling, who was attacked by what everyone thinks is a were-wolf. Now it’s been my experience that those of us who are small often mistake wolves for were-wolves. Anyway it seems every freak and weirdo in that bar decides to go hunt for the “were-wolf”. And of course we got stuck going along with them. Of course I was more interested in the treasure map that the Halfling said he had but what choice do I have. She leads I follow. So we left with the orc, what I am guessing is a Tiefling, and I guess a semi-retarded chaos gnome. We set off into the woods and surprise surprise we were attacked by REGULAR wolves. So now that we got our “were-wolf”, we were going to head back right, WRONG. We continued into the woods and were then attack by some wild horde of goblins. The orc seemed to dispatch them with absolutely no problem. However the rest of us had a lot more trouble. I saved each of the lives of each of the gnomes at least once. The way I figure it the semi-retarded chaos is a sorcerer so I could use him to help keep us alive latter and should be easy enough to control. So finally we are heading back to the inn and maybe that Halfling will still be there so I can get him to give me that map.

Posted by Bryon at 19:24 | Rowind’s Journal

August 2, 2006

Night Stalking

Seren's Journal

I’d spent the better part of a month quietly watching the people who live here, and the travelers who stop by. I admit that I was a little more cautious than usual, simply because it all was new to me. I found myself drawn to the Frost Touched Frog tavern the most, however, being crowded with folk around my own size.

The one exception was an orc lurking in the corner. He was watching all the people eating, drinking, talking to each other, but he seemed a little sad. I’d seen him before, selling all kinds of stuff that wasn’t orc-sized, and wondered what his story might be.

Speaking of stories, I was also listening to two bards performing on the stage, but I was distracted by shouts from below me (with the barkeep’s kind permission, I was perched on a rafter well above the crowd). A gnome was shouting at me about my wings... and offering me something to eat. Well, I don’t mind a free meal, so I dropped down for a bite. I also had to explain that he’d need wings to fly like I did...

The red-haired gnome was also curious about the orc in the corner. We decided that we’d break the ice by offering him a meal as well. I don’t think he minded the free dinner, but the gnome peppered him with so many questions (especially about all his weapons, most of which looked like they weighed more than me!) that the poor orc had no chance to eat. Next thing we knew - he’d gotten up and walked off. Ah, well.

The red-haired gnome now decided to make friends with the bards on stage by tossing them some silver coins - right into the food they’d stopped to eat, unfortunately. As the male bard flicked the coins back at the red-haired gnome, I flew up to the safety of my rafter. The orc watched me closely, and I watched him right back, knowing that he was about the only one in the bar who could reach my perch! (He later told me that he’d been thinking of hiding from the red-haired gnome up there, too. Hee!)

The male bard, after watching the red-headed gnome’s progress around the room, looked at the orc and mentioned something about fifty gold pieces... and the female bard said she’d chip in another fifty, herself! I guess gnomes who act like mosquitos are not the norm! The orc refrained from assassinating the poor guy, and asked instead for a dwarven tale.

The tale was very good. I applauded from the rafters, the orc gave gold coins, and the bards moved into a juggling exhibition. I could hear the other gnome chattering away but then - the door opened, and an injured halfling limped inside. He made his way to the bar and ordered a drink. Poor guy was then attacked by the chattering gnome - what happened, when where and why? I flew overhead to listen.

When the halfling said he’d been attacked by a wolf, the orc focused on him as well. He wanted to know where the wolf was to be found, and seemed really determined to go after it. I dropped onto his shoulder (ignoring the chattergnome who was doing a let’s-kill-the-wolf chant below), and asked him why he was so interested in one wolf. Apparently, this wolf heals up when injured, and had attacked a friend of his with bad results. He warned the halfling to go to a cleric for healing - but the halfling explained that he had no money.

In fact, he’d been looking for some treasure in those very woods, despite the stories that the place had become infested with evil, especially goblins. I muttered that drow were worse, which got the attention of the bards, who asked me if the chattergnome was with me. I admitted that I had thought he was with them! Meanwhile, the halfling was trying to sell the secret of the treasure to us for a thousand gold, and the orc was threatening him to tell it for free (I whispered in his ear that the poor guy needed the money for healing). The male bard flattered the orc on his obvious fighting skills, while upping the price on the chattergnome’s head every few minutes. And, somehow, I found myself in the street with the bards, the chattergnome, and the orc, headed west to hunt a wolf.

I finally discovered that the orc’s name is Kor’tac. Roywyn is the female gnome bard, Rowind is the male gnome bard, and Rookinoniak is the chattergnome. I might call him Rook, eventually. Rowind was of the opinion that if we killed the wolf, all of its victims would be spared the curse of lycanthropy - without expensive healing at a temple. As the party walked (and I rode on Kor’tac’s shoulder, very kind of him!), evening began to fall, and it was Roywyn who first noticed that I glow.

As darkness gathered, we walked into the woods. Chattergnome went on and on about fighting wolves until he noticed me glowing brighter to help light our way and then he wanted to do that too and then the bards were telling him to shut up already so they could ask some of the forest creatures about wolves or goblins and then - a wolf howled long and loud, and we all realized that it was an almost full moon that night. Rook got very very quiet.

Roywyn began to sing quietly to boost our spirits, and I asked the others to tell me if they wanted me to turn down my glow - less of a target? Kor’tac was calling, “Here, wolfie wolfie!” and gripping a huge axe in his fists. The wolf howled again, closely followed by a second, and Rowind heard the sound of many creatures surrounding us. I pulled my bow and got ready to fire - and Kor’tac pointed out that perhaps his shoulder wasn’t the most stable spot, so I flew up to a tree branch overhead with a good view of the party.

Out of the underbrush darted eight wolves, two for each of those on the ground. The chattergnome fell beneath his attackers, so I shot twice at them, hitting one. Rook had a wand out and shot one of them with a magic missile, as well. Rowind pulled out a wand with a handle and POW shot a wolf with something! Kor’tac was happily swinging his axe with great effect. I killed one, then Roywyn did, too. Rowind was pulled down, but Rook killed one of his attackers. Roywyn cast something that knocked several wolves over - and before they could run, Kor’tac pulled out a glaive and killed the last three with mighty blows!

Roywyn quickly checked the wolves and reported that all were normal - no werewolves or dire wolves among them. So, our main target is still out there. The bards still wanted to talk to some of the local fauna, but I pointed out that there wouldn’t be anything staying near the battle, so I returned to Kor’tac’s shoulder and we headed west until Roywyn found a porcupine to talk to. It didn’t seem to know much, but we kept going west...

...until someone spotted movement up in the trees. I was just making out small humanoid shapes when the chattergnome shouted out loud and - the trees all around us erupted in screams! There were many many shapes in the darkness, small fuzzy humanoids that looked kind of goblinish, which seemed to really upset the bards. Rowind began to tell a story - to boost our fighting spirit, again - and Roywyn killed one with her crossbow as they advanced.

Most of the creatures carried nets, which they threw at us; one had on armor, and carried an axe. Kor’tac was smashing his way through the crowd, but I got tangled in a net before I could take off this time. Rook was down, too, and fighting to free himself. I pulled out a dagger and set to work, but the axe-wielding goblin hit me. Ow! Then, POW from one side; Rowind was at it with his strange weapon, while Rook was hit next by the axe (and Roywyn cast something at him that healed him from across the fray. Interesting..!). Kor’tac was mowing the little creatures down, but he barely got to my attackers in time. I owe him and the others big time. I do NOT like being stuck on the ground!

Time for healing - and deciding what to do with the rest of the night!

Posted by Kate at 00:21 | Seren’s Journal

August 6, 2006

Me and My Four New Friends

Rookinoniak's Journal

I made some new friends today. The last group I was with vanished on me. I don’t know where they went. We stopped at this town yesterday, and today they were gone. That’s okay these people are much more fun to be around. Seren can fly. I got to get her to teach me to do that. She said I need wings, I wonder how one gets wings. And she can glow. A neat trick when it’s dark and you can’t see. Rowind & Roywyn seam to be traveling together. They are very entertaining. One sings and the other tells stories, and they juggle, and one has this strange wand that makes loud noises and hurts bad things. The most amazing thing is the good orc, Kor’tac. I know he’s a good orc because a bad orc would have tried to kill me. I like good orcs. I also meet this Halfling, don’t remember his name. The Halfling said something about evil in the woods to the west, so I figured, “Hey let’s go kill the evil.’ Because evil is bad and evil must die. So off we went, me and my four new friends. The Halfling decided not to come with. We got attacked by wolves, not evil, but they wanted to eat us, I don’t want to be eaten. I don’t think my new friends want to be eaten either. So we had to kill the wolves. Then these goblin creatures were watching us, so I said, “I see you.” I was hoping they’d come down and talk, but instead they attacked us. So we had to kill them too. We weren’t doing anything wrong, just trying to go kill some evil in the woods. Unless they were evil they had no reason to attack us. I don’t know what everyone wants to do now, but we seem to be going back for tonight. Oh well, maybe well go kill some evil tomorrow.

Posted by Fred at 08:15 | Rookinoniak’s Journal

August 7, 2006

Aren't elves good?

Rowind's Journal

So we finally made our way back to town today and I decided to teach our little group a lesson that I am guessing was not received very well. I turned the chaos gnome into a werewolf to try and drive home the idea that maybe hunting werewolves wasn’t the most effective use of our time. We made it back to town and were able to find the Halfling and convince him to give us the treasure map for basically a quarter of his original asking price. Rather than taking a day to get ready we started off right away. The first part of our trip was uneventful until we ran into a party of elves. Now it’s been my experience that elves usually make good allies, but for some reason the gloaming just started attacking the elves without provocation. They must have had several magic users. They cast a tangle spell on us and we were entangled. I turned invisible and began to work my way out. The orc couldn’t seem to get out and roy was hidden safely behind him. To limit the number of elves that could attack them I cast silent image to create a wall on one side. I lost track of the other gnome and watched the gloaming rain arrows down on the elves. I could see she was hurt so a whispered to her to come down and I would heal her. She did and I healed her, by then the battle was over. I learned later that unfortunately the chaos gnome was dead. What can I say, but he is dead.

Posted by Bryon at 17:02 | Rowind’s Journal

August 9, 2006

One should not speak ill of the dead

Seren's Journal

After the battle, we took stock of our situation and decided to head back to town for the night. This wasn’t a problem until we left the woods and could see each other clearly in the moonlight - I looked around at my companions and saw: two gnomes, an orc, and a wolf walking upright on its hind legs! It was also talking with the chattergnome’s voice, but I took a shot at it just in case. I seemed to miss - but realized that it was an illusion of a wolf around Rook.

Kor’tac and Rowind also seemed unfazed by the spell, but Roywyn got very upset. We could not convince her that Rook was not a werewolf, and Rook himself wasn’t helping the situation by going on and on about how to kill a werewolf when we met one. I shot another arrow at him and told him, “That’s how!”, while Kor’tac quietly walked him away from ‘Wyn and ‘Wind. Next thing we knew, he’d pulled out his axe and whomped Rook in the head with the flat side!

It took a couple of shots before Rook went out cold, at which point Kor’tac slung him over one shoulder and walked off to the tavern. When we found that the bar was closed, Kor’tac went looking for the temple to find the injured halfling. We argued with ‘Wyn the whole way - she couldn’t understand why we were not upset by Rook’s “transformation”, unconscious or not! At the temple, Kor’tac knocked politely, but the poor acolyte on night watch took one look at the orc and his burden and slammed the door in his face.

We did finally get the acolyte to speak to us through a crack in the door. It turned out that the halfling hadn’t come to them for healing, anyway, so we walked back to the tavern to rest for the night. We went to the gnomes’ room, wrapped Rook in some of the nets we’d taken from the goblins, and Kor’tac hung him from a rafter in the ceiling. ‘Wyn decided to “test” him and pressed a silver coin onto his forehead, and the strangest thing happened - he stopped seeming like an illusion, and became a real lycanthrope. The sight of the coin actually burning his flesh did it for me, and I was flying at him with silvered dagger drawn!

*Poof* and Rook was just Rook again, thank Shaundakul! I couldn’t even be angry when I saw ‘Wyn giving ‘Wind a dirty look and figured out he’d been playing tricks. I just hooked my feet through the mesh of the nets, and went to sleep! Just in case, you know...

The next morning we were woken by shouts from the net - one angry chattergnome, of course! Still being cautious, Kor’tac gagged him and brought him downstairs still bound up. This time he was hung from a rafter in the barroom. We then went back upstairs to talk to the injured halfling, who was in room 3. At least this time the door didn’t get slammed in our faces! (He must not have noticed Kor’tac had his axe out and hidden behind his back).

The halfling and ‘Wind got into a long drawn-out discussion of the “treasure map” he’d talked about the night before. Instead of just paying a thousand gold, ‘Wind suggested a down payment of two-hundred fifty, plus healing in full, plus ten percent of whatever we find. And, just like that, they were talking about having breakfast and going to get a contract drawn up!

I was only half-listening by then, but while we waited for the halfling to get dressed I realized the others were talking about Rook, and thumping on him some more before releasing him from the nets. Now, a little fun is one thing, but my conscience smote me - this was going too far. I quietly flew off downstairs and set to work cutting Rook free and lowering him to the floor. I had barely begun when a loud shout right behind me - in midair - caused me to drop the poor guy instead!

I quickly healed him up, and he started in talking about werewolves again. ‘Wyn gave us both a look of disgust, so I shrugged my shoulders and walked off to order breakfast. Whatever Rook got himself into this time, at least his feet were free to run from it! As we all settled in the corner, ‘Wind reminded us that we had to give 250 gold before we got the map. I handed over a moonstone worth fifty, and the others made contributions, then went back to eating. Except Rook was trying to make up for the hours of being gagged; he ignored me when I put my bow on the table and glared at him, but he settled down when Kor’tac did the same with his axe. In the meantime, ‘Wyn and ‘Wind had left the table, muttering about silence spells.

By the time the halfling was downstairs eating breakfast, they returned - with saps for each of us, and about 400 gold each as well! Dalabrac Merrymar joined us for a walk to the notary, who wrote up a whole contract for the gnomes to check out. They got into an argument about the definition of a “full healing”, but the contract was finally signed and notarized and copied for us all. ‘Wind and I healed the halfling, and he handed us the map. Back to the bar we went to check it out!

The map had strange handwriting on it, which thankfully Kor’tac could read. Apparently, the path to find the treasure is only to be found when the moon is full. Tonight, then - we needed to hurry, and hoped not to be attacked by any real werewolves! Leaving Dalabrac to wait at the inn, and disappointing ‘Wyn’s wish for some horses to ride through the woods, we headed back to the forest. I was sitting on Kor’tac’s shoulder, reading the map and pointing the way, when we heard the sound of many folk coming through the wood.

I put the map away, and Roywyn began to sing for us. We stood in a group and waited... only to see a whole group of drow appear from the trees ahead! I can’t describe my feelings about drow, but my actions did - without hesitation I screamed, drew back, and shot the lead drow dead!! ‘Wyn was next, casting an illusionary portal in between our parties, and Rook shot off some magic missiles at the drow who was obviously beginning to cast a spell on us.

A mass of webbing fell from the sky, entangling us in its sticky strands. I was able to get free, thanks to Shaundakul’s blessings, yet not before several drow arrows hit me. I was badly hurt, but managed to get away and hide myself among the leaves and branches overhead. I drank down a healing potion while watching a ball of fire from Rook burn a swath through the webs. It didn’t reach Kor’tac, unfortunately - he was struggling like mad to get free. He looked like he felt the same way as myself about drow!

Rowind had disappeared from view, although we could hear him screaming at us to run. Kor’tac and Roywyn were still stuck, (Kor’tac swearing volubly) while the drow archers next took aim at Rook. Down he went! ‘Wyn shot another drow, singing all the while, and then a wall appeared between some of the drow and the rest of the party. I aimed my next shots at the two drow spellcasters, and killed them both outright - go, me! Unfortunately, this made me a target for the next volley. Several of the drow aimed at ‘Wyn, too, offended by her song.

Kor’tac was finally breaking free from his bonds, and I had killed another drow or two, when I saw Rook was still bleeding out - but I was unable to help! I’d already been hit by more arrows, almost negating the healing potion’s effects, and the others were fighting for their lives as well. A new spellcaster appeared from nowhere as I hid in the leaves and drank my last healing potion, and then I heard Rowind’s voice, telling me where he was hiding so I could fly down and be healed by him. I was determined to kill the new spellcaster, first, but he drank something and disappeared from view.

Kor’tac went on the rampage, mowing down several drow in front of him. I shot one more archer to death, then flew to ‘Wind, who healed me completely. The wall disappeared, and I saw that Rook had stopped bleeding and lay dead before us. Oh, no... but, first, we had to finish off our enemies. Kor’tac killed two more, Roywyn got one, and the last drow ran as fast as he could off into the woods. The last spellcaster, thankfully, failed to reappear, and we were left with the bodies of the enemy and the body of our friend.

I hope Rook doesn’t mind that I’m now using his amulet of protection.

I hope we desecrated the bodies of his killers in a fashion that will bring peace to his soul! He is well avenged!

Posted by Kate at 01:18 | Seren’s Journal

Mishklo' Bio

Mishklo's Journal XPCs

All my life I’ve lived free in these woods. There are a lot of dangers, but none more so then the visitors we get from the local city. They enter looking for wealth and other things that they really don’t need. Don’t misunderstand, I do visit the city from time to time, in an attempt to understand why these people can’t live in harmony with the world around them. I’ve spoken with elder Druids, and they have explained some of it, but I get the feeling there is more to it then just a lack of understanding of nature. Some don’t even care how their actions affect the natural order of the forest I live in.

My closest friend is Moonlight, an albino wolf. I found him as pup almost two years ago. I believe he was orphaned after some adventures come through. But that’s a story for another time. One of our pasttimes is watching adventuring parties travel through. Sometimes I help them out, other times I let them go their own way undisturbed. It really depends on my mood.

Today was a strange day. I was sitting in a tree as this orc came crashing through my woods. He had the strangest bird on his shoulder. I was curious so I decided to follow. I turned into a bird and kept watch as he and several gnomes appeared to be following some map. After about and hour or so they walked into some drow. The strange bird screamed so loud I thought I was going to go deaf. It then shot two arrows and killed one of the drow. I watched the battle curious to see what was going to happen.

When it was over the orc and his traveling companions appeared sad, and did some very strange things with the bodies of the drow. Apparently one of the orcs friends didn’t survive the encounter. Curiously enough they stripped him of his belongings and started to decide who got what. “Mementos.” I believe that’s what they call it when you take something from a deceased friend. I think I’ll follow them till my wild shape wears off, then I’ll decide if I’ll help them or not.

I can see Moonlight from where I am hiding some distance off. He’ll stay just close enough so I can see him, but he won’t do anything unless I tell him to, so I’m not worried about him. He’ll warn me if anything big is coming.

Mishklo and Moonlight, image (c) Kristin Johnson

Character sheet: Mishklo [Human Druid]
Companion sheet: Moonlight [Wolf Companion of Mishklo]

Cause of death: really big explosion.

Posted by Fred at 02:46 | Mishklo’s Journal | XPCs

Stinking Drow

Kor'tac's Journal

Where did me leave off..... ok back to town. We started back to town when I realized that Ro was up to no good, and to keep the chatty one safe, I knocked him out. Felt good. Anyway, we found that Halfling trying to sell a map since my friends seem not up to the task of hunting werewolves. It took some time to get them moving again, and yet they still don’t seem prepared. I have tried to talk to Ro and Ro about fighting, they just smile at me like I am talking jibberish. Ro says she is fine with her bow, and Ro says his loud stick will do him fine.

The chatty one seemed to take interest in learning, then I realized it was just an excuse to talk. The little one with wings seemed to like to talk about using her bow. Seems I will be the one in front no matter what happens, at least I know where I stand. And they will all be standing behind me, silly little guys anyway. I like them.

We went to find the treasure, with one funny twist. These little people sometimes look at me like I am the stupidest creature in the realms, but today they had to hand me the map to read it. I told them what it said and now we are going north to find the treasure.

On the way we ran into a Drow patrol. Before I could move I was trapped in a magical web. Some of my friends managed to get loose and actually kill most of the Drow before I finally got free. I thank Tempus for the strength to get loose and kill two of those mangy beasts. Me and the little flying one seem to have the same hatred for the Drow. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember much of the fight, I was blinded by hatred. What I do remember is the two of us placing the pieces of the Drow in their proper places, once we marked them proper to let all other Drow know they are not welcome in the north. If they look carefully, they should be able to find all of the heads. The state they are in is of their own doing. Stinking Drow.

It took a while to figure out what was different, me and the little flying one where so busy that we didn’t notice the quiet, seems the chatty one didn’t make it. I kinda feel bad, he should have stayed behind me. My only knowledge of this battle was from what my friends have told me, as I said, I lost focus when I saw the enemey. I will have to work on that, I cannot let that happen again.

Well, Ro Ro seem to be ready to move on again. The group seems to have been hurt a little, me I have to clean the gunk off my armour again. I will have to start teaching them how to duck at least, if they don’t want fighting lessons. This place is not suitable for camping, we will have to move on....

Posted by Jim at 12:34 | Kor’tac’s Journal


Roywyn's Journal

Mirtul 29, Kryptgarden Forest

I think we thwarted some evil drow followers of Vhaeraun on their way to cause problems for Eilistraee’s worshipers. Well, I don’t really know that for sure, but it is the night of a full moon, and I recall seeing those drow dance under a full moon, and even learned a song from them once, years ago.

But, I am getting ahead of myself! Let me go back to last night. We were returning from Kryptgarden Forest, having not found the werewolf we thought we were looking for. Suddenly, I noticed that Rookinoniak looked very much like an upright wolf, though he was still talking surprisingly fast and in his normal gnomish voice. No one was willing to draw his blood to make sure, but Kor’tac did knock him out with his axe at least. The gnome stayed in his wolf-shape, though the quiet was blissful.

We could not get him into the local temple to be “fixed” and the Frost Touched Frog was darkened for the night— we went in to the room Windy and I had acquired earlier, putting the wolf-gnome in a net attached to the ceiling. I wanted to see if he would react badly to silver, so borrowed some coins and placed them on his exposed skin. At that point, I realized Windy’s illusion spells are much better than I thought, and though I know realized he’d cast an illusion of a wolf over the talkative gnome, Seren was now convinced that the silver coins were burning Rookinoniak and wanted to stab him a few times with a silver dagger. Perhaps the warning look I gave Windy tipped her off, or caused him to break his concentration, but the wolf-gnome now just looked like a gnome to everyone. At least he was still quiet.

Now that I think on it, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a male gnome that I was just getting to know turn into a hideous monster— hmmm... I wonder. Oh well.

In the morning, we found the halfling’s room (he was staying in the same inn). Windy and I found out that he had tried to sell a treasure map to our three traveling companions, who had chosen to go looking for a werewolf rather than fortune. It also turns out that the halfling, one Dalabrac Merrymar, was only bitten by a regular wolf, and hadn’t actually said anything about werewolves— Kor’tac is looking for one and made a leap of logic on that one. However, the wounded halfling wanted 1000 gp for the map— we didn’t have that kind of gold handy. Windy offered him 250 gp, healing, and 10% of whatever we found at the destination of the map. Dalabrac agreed and went to get a contract written up. While he did that, Windy and I went to the market and sold 15 of the nets from the night before. We got a tidy sum— 2400 gp for them. We kept half and split the other half with our three companions. We also bought four of us saps, in case Rookinoniak woke up talking. I tried to buy a few silence spells at first, but the saps were much cheaper and probably more effective anyway.

We met back at the inn, handed out shares of the gold, signed the contract, and paid and healed the halfling. He gave us the map, and we went to find a table to spread it out on. The map showed five circles, four around a larger one, in the northern part of Kryptgarden Forest. Oddly, Kor’tac was the only one that could read the words written at the bottom— something to the effect of: “By the light of the moon at its fullest, the path shall be opened.” Tonight was a full moon! We figured it would take us about ten hours to get to the part of the forest the map depicted, so we departed immediately.

We made pretty good time, and had almost reached our destination, when a dozen dark-skinned elves appeared in front of us. Before we could determine if the drow were friend or foe, Seren went into a fury and started shooting her bow at them, killing one outright.

I tried to slow down the eventual clash of the two parties by creating an illusion of a portal opening between the groups. It caused the drow to walk around it, dividing them into two smaller groups, but they were still bent on attacking us. As my comrades attacked with ranged weapons, I had tentacles come out of the portal, causing some of the drow to act as if they were entangled. Unfortunately, they had magic users among them, one of which cast a web spell that entangled Kor’tac and the talkative gnome. I was in the middle of the spell myself, but managed to keep from getting caught in the stickiness.

I still didn’t know who these drow were, and since we attacked first, had no way of knowing if they were a group of good drow out to perform a moonlight ritual for Eilistraee, or something more sinister. To find out (and provide some encouragement to my friends), I chose to sing that song I overheard during a ritual to the good drow goddess. Wow, did that make these drow angry! Six arrows whizzed past me, but none hit. I decided I’d better start shooting back. Seren and Windy were out of my view, but the orc was providing me with a lot of cover on one side as he struggled to get out of the webbing. I then realized that Rookinoniak had ceased talking. It took me a moment or two to realize that meant that he was unconscious. I turned to see his prone form bleeding a few feet from me, but he was entangled in web and I could not break through it to get to him! I saw him breathe his last, and then I had to turn back to the battle, lest someone else be mortally wounded as well. I was able to kill a few of the drow myself, and once Kor’tac got out of the web, he finished off what we smaller folk had not. All in all, we slew ten of the nasty creatures.

I am not sure what we are to do with the dead gnome. Our only consolation is that at least he didn’t die alone, but we could have been kinder to him (well, we could have tried to listen to his constant prattle, at least). We took some of the weaponry and protective gear he carried, and then set about piling the drow up in what I can only assume would be an embarrassing fashion to them. Perhaps anyone that passes by this place will think the little red-haired gnome finished them off.

Posted by Kristin at 22:24 | Roywyn’s Journal

August 14, 2006

Thorn in My Side

Roywyn's Journal

Mirtul 29, Kryptgarden Forest, continued

We wandered in the general direction the map indicated for another hour or so, and actually succeeding in finding a clearing that looked very portal-like: four stone rune and carving-covered columns, positioned about 20’ apart, stood in a clearing. Vines and moss covered them, and they radiated strong conjuration magic— teleportation, by our best guess. I wanted to read the runes, but we suddenly all had the feeling we were being watched. “Drow!” I yelled as a humanoid figure separated from the shadow of the tree line behind us; in a blink Kor’tac was there, his glaive at the interloper’s throat.

The being turned out to be human, not drow, though he had a very wild look about him, as if he’d been “roughing it” for quite some time. As Windy took the weapons off of him, he told us he was a druid called Mishklo, and that he wasn’t alone. Even more alarmed now, we told him to call his companion out of the woods. He hollered “Moonlight, come out here!” a few times, but nothing happened. He grumbled about stubborn animals as Seren glided back into the trees to see who this companion was. She saw a huge white wolf sitting back in the trees, apparently grooming itself. After a few more tense minutes, the creature broke into the clearing. Windy had already sensed that it had magical protection, and indeed, it appeared to be wearing bracers on its forelimbs. I shot it with a magic missile from the dead gnome’s wand to be sure it wasn’t the werewolf we’d been looking for— thankfully it didn’t attack me, but trotted over to Mishklo, who apparently was able to heal it.

I’m sure we’d have spent more time getting to know the human before the next leg of our adventure, when suddenly the light of the full moon crossed the area between the four pillars, opening a portal. The human jumped in, followed by Kor’tac! Seren took off after them, so Windy and I really had no choice but to follow, though I confess he looked more resigned than enthused.

We found ourselves in an overgrown garden courtyard. White rose bushes alternated with other shrubs around the edges of a 150’ by 150’ area; a fountain containing a statue of a satyr wielding a bow stood nearby, and a mansion that was at least four stories high stood beyond. Steps led up the structures double-doors, and some of the many leaded glass windows had visible lights inside.

The statue seemed to be looking at me. Suddenly, Kor’tac was attacked by thorns shot from one of the rose bushes. I was sure the satyr was responsible, so I ran forward to attempt to talk to it as more thorns flew at the orc. I noticed the ground was littered with skeletons and what looked like glints of metal, but before I could explore further, I heard the human shouting orders of some sort, Windy began to orate, and Kor’tac decided to “save” me from the statue (I think); I was scooped up and hauled back towards the group, though I did manage to get hit by a thorn. Seren was pouring oil on the bushes that had attacked (and she happened to notice snow-capped mountains beyond the mansion during her flight), and the druid was casting fire on them (I didn’t even know druids used fire for anything!). I created a lit candle and helped a bit with the fire-starting, and soon much of the courtyard was ablaze.

Shortly after Kor’tac sat me down, I saw that he was being pulled towards some of the blazing bushes by a vine of some sort! He looked sleepy and didn’t seem to be really fighting it off. Seren had a huge sword that she could use to slice through the vines (all the while the druid was yelling not to harm any plants growing nuts and berries— I should very much like to see a nut and berry plant!). As the vine released the orc, it let out some sort of sound that seemed to really unnerve Seren, I began to sing a song to counter fear as she had to fight off her own clinging vine.

We decided to get away from the courtyard, and as four of us ran towards the mansion, the druid told us to burn the area between the mansion and the place where the portal deposited us. I am unsure why he did this, as he was standing pretty close to the portal with the wolf (who was more smoky than white at this point, and had spent several minutes rolling in something as well). The smaller three of us tried to prevent Kor’tac from running back for the human, sure he’d not survive, but he managed to haul all three of us with him as he went to retrieve Mishklo and the wolf. We are lucky we were only singed in the process! Kor’tac is very brave, and Seren is possibly as clever as a gnome; I am unsure what to think of the human just yet— I do not trust him.

Posted by Kristin at 22:51 | Roywyn’s Journal

August 16, 2006

New friends, new places

Seren's Journal

We settled down from our battle and re-arrangements, and returned to walking through the forest. The sun set, the moon began to rise, and we reached a clearing in the woods. At the center, four stone columns stood some twenty feet apart, making a square. They were carved with strange runes and overgrown with moss. We’d walked out to take a closer look when Roywyn admitted to having heard a “flapping noise” behind us a few minutes before...

Kor’tac was quickly on the lookout for more drow, come to avenge their friends, while I listened as hard as I could toward the treeline. After a few minutes, we relaxed a little and went back to looking at the runes. ‘Wyn cast something, while I realized that the runes were for teleporting and travel spells. I realized this after Kor’tac had walked through the middle of the square to look at the opposite columns - thank Shaundakul for not activating anything before we were prepared to travel, as I was still standing on his shoulder!

Rowind had been keeping alert, unlike the rest of us, and quietly sent us all a whispered message that he could see someone behind us inside the treeline. Kor’tac flipped me into the air and was charging across the clearing in a heartbeat! By the time I righted myself in midair, he was holding his glaive’s blade to the throat of a humanoid figure, who was being surprisingly calm about it. In fact, he was holding his hands in the air and saying things like, “It’s OK! Relax!”

Well, Kor’tac guided him out into the open and we all got a look at a human druid, who seemed to think we were in “his” forest and deserved following. He didn’t look like he was part of the drow we’d fought earlier, but neither Kor’tac nor ‘Wyn were ruling out his being the werewolf we’d heard of. It didn’t help that ‘Wind took another look around and whispered to us all that, “He’s not alone!” while ‘Wyn was borrowing my silvered dagger to scratch the possible werewolf with.

Well, we finally decided that Mishklo was not a werewolf (although a bit off; humans get strange(r) when they’re by themselves a lot, I think), and he swore that “Moonlight” was a friend, so we let him call for his friend. He got no answer, so I flew into the woods for a look. I saw nothing, and came back to hear the others quizzing Mishklo about the werewolf - although these are his woods, he’s not interested in bothering such a creature. He also claimed ignorance as to where the portal in the pillars goes, although he’s seen others disappear through it. ‘Wind took his scimitar away, and pointed out to me where he saw a “glow” of magic in the woods.

This time I discovered a white wolf, resting in the underbrush. It watched me as I stood on a branch overhead and shouted to the others just who/what Moonlight really was. I tried to get it to follow me, but it just stared, while I heard Mishklo telling the others that his companion is sometimes stubborn. ‘Wyn was arguing with ‘Wind that perhaps the white wolf was the real werewolf! Finally, the wolf decided to answer Mishklo’s calling and came out into the clearing - at which point ‘Wyn shot it with a magic missile from a wand.


Well, it did establish that the white wolf did not “heal up like a werewolf would”, but it also ensured that the wolf was growling and getting ready to attack ‘Wyn! Luckily, the wolf did decide to obey Mishklo’s command to “stay” and not go for the gnome’s throat. Kor’tac was now satisfied that the druid wasn’t an enemy, and let him go heal his wolf from the magic missile test. This was when we all noticed that the wolf was wearing bracers on its front legs - the source of the protective magic that ‘Wind spotted, before. Whatever works, I guess!

Kor’tac next asked Mishklo if he was interested in the portal and where it led. Mishklo seemed surprised by the offer, but admitted he was curious. As the moon rose higher, we all saw the portal form in the middle of the square... and Kor’tac waved the druid and the wolf through first, exposing his ulterior motive of letting the new guy test the thing out. That orc is devious... but Kor’tac did follow through next, leaving the gnomes having a quiet talk, and myself. Well, it looked like they wanted some privacy, so I flew through the portal.

I found myself in a large courtyard, full of an overgrown garden. We were standing at one end, with four columns behind us, there was a large satyr statue in a fountain at the center, and steps up to double doors at the base of a four-story tower at the far end. I could see lights behind some of the windows in the tower, overgrown vines and rosebushes all across the courtyard, and bright sunlight pouring down from overhead. Interesting! At that point, the gnomes arrived, and Mishklo began to ask for his scimitar back. ‘Wind seeemed to enjoy telling him “No” repeatedly, but finally gave in.

This turned out to be a good thing. Kor’tac was walking slowly up to the fountain, holding his shield up, when several large thorns embedded themselves in him and his shield! Kor’tac shouted to us to burn the bushes, while crouching down behind his shield. I shot into the bushes with my bow a couple of times, while ‘Wyn used her magic missile wand, and Mishklo created a burning sphere in the same direction. The gnomes began to sing and tell tales, while Kor’tac and shield were peppered with more thorns.

The next thing that happened was ‘Wyn decided to shoot at the satyr statue in the fountain; she seemed to think that it was the cause of the trouble. While I took off and began sprinkling flasks of oil over the bushes, she tried to talk to the statue, asking it to stop. I don’t know if it was the statue or her walking up a little, but the next round of thorns were aimed at her. Kor’tac grabbed her and headed back behind the cover of his shield, while an opaque dome appeared over the statue from... somewhere! I finished sprinkling the left side and headed over to the right, while Mishklo’s ball of flame quickly lit the primed foliage.

I took a quick flight straight up and was able to tell the rest that this place was surrounded entirely by snowcapped mountain ranges. I then settled down back at the columns, and Kor’tac left ‘Wyn next to me while the rest of them set about burning everything growing in the courtyard. He was walking back to the carnage when a vine crawled over and wrapped itself around his ankle, tripping him up. He didn’t get up or fight, however, and I noticed that the white roses were turning pink. I flew down and chopped at the vine with my greatsword, and listened to the orc describe the pretty cloud shapes that he was watching overhead. At this point, Mishklo reached us and severed the vine with one blow of his scimitar.

The rosebush shrieked! Vines were waving, blood was flying everywhere - I was struck with fear and stood as if turned to stone. Although Kor’tac was getting back up, looking angry, and thorns were flying from all directions, I stood where I was until another vine wrapped itself around me and began to drain my blood, too. It smelled wonderful, but I shook off the urge to just lie down, and began slashing at it with my sword even as it made me sick and weak. ‘Wind was trying to calm me down and Mishklo was swinging his scimitar wildly at the vine (I think).

Kor’tac came back with a blazing torch and beat at the vine with it, but it kept draining me. One of the gnomes hit me by mistake with a very sharp whip, but I was finally able to slice the vine apart with my sword - and ignored the shrieking this time with the gnomes’ song and stories to help. I made my way back to the column and pulled out my bow, trying to stay out of the way until the burning was done. Unfortunately, there was a lot of garden to burn. Mishklo was able to help heal me of the weakness, and I decided to fly around the mysterious statue. It really did turn to watch me!

Mishklo was hollering that the statue was an illusion, but I was able to land on it with no trouble. In fact, I poked at its eyes, too. That’s when I figured out that it was a real statue but had an illusion on it - so it seemed to look at everyone who looked at it. First mystery solved, we went back to making the courtyard safe to walk through. This meant sprinking more oil and starting more fire, plus another battle between Kor’tac and a bloodthirsty vine. Eventually, it meant that we had to move away from the fire’s progress with the prevailing breeze. Somehow, everyone ended up on the steps at the double doors - except for Mishklo and Moonlight, standing in the smoke by the stone columns.

I sat on Kor’tac’s shoulder, watching across the courtyard but pretty sure that the flames wouldn’t reach the columns. Kor’tac thought that the smoke would smother human and wolf, however, and decided to go rescue them. I guess he felt responsible for putting them in the situation, but he ended up carrying me and the gnomes back through the fire as they hung onto his knees and begged him not to go! ‘Wind even made a wall appear in front of him, but he just dodged around it and kept going (while I had to create a shower of water over us all to put out stray flames).

Mishklo and Moonlight were dodging the advances of some moving thorn bushes, so Kor’tac’s help came in handy. Roywyn and Rowind dashed back through the fireline, while I flew over the flames; killing done, the others followed. We all ended up safely on the steps, and I healed Kor’tac while we sat glaring at each other while nursing our scorches and watching the fire burn. That was not a well-planned or executed event. Hopefully, our teamwork improves - fast!

Posted by Kate at 00:34 | Seren’s Journal

Through the Portal

Mishklo's Journal

I followed this group of adventurers to a portal that would open in a few hours. I’ve always wondered where it went, but never actually journey into it myself. I’ve seen other go in, however, I’ve yet to see anyone come out, so I decided it was best not to, at the time anyway. Watching this group I figured I’d ask if I could go along, but before I could make my presence known the orc came charging at me. I side stepped, came into the clearing. The first thing I said was that I mean them no harm. We talked for a bit and it was then that I realized just how much I have yet to learn about the world in general. I know enough about my home to stay safe, and live rather comfortably, but the rest of the world is so strange to me. After I convinced them that neither I nor Moonlight were werewolves, I was asked if I was going to go through the portal. It was a now or never thing, so I figured I’d go if they thought I’d be of some use to them.

The first thing I noticed after stepping through the portal was daylight. The entire area was boxed in by large walls, and flora almost waist high was everywhere. There was also a statue in the center that appeared to be staring at me. I was taking my time to observe the area when the Orc, Kor’tac is his name, walked up to the statue, and was hit with several thorns. A battle between us and the carnivorous plants of this area began. It was rough to start, but a little fire and some determination to live saw us trough. In the end it was decided that we should clear all the foliage of this “Garden” before exploring the tower. There was some confusion as to how I would fare where I stood to watch and make sure all of it burned, but everything turned out okay, I just need to prepare a few lesser restores tomorrow. The strange bird, Seren is her name, said something about snow capped mountain peaks surrounding the place, so I’m not sure if I’ll even be able to get my spells, but I’ll try anyway, and see what happens. I just want to go through the area quickly before we enter this tower, see if anything useful survived.

Posted by Fred at 03:39 | Mishklo’s Journal