Kanelyth's Journal
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Kanelyth’s Bio

Kanelyth is the name I shall use for my Walk of the Four Winds. Eagle’s Child - does it mean anything, or did I just like the sound? Certainly, it represents a goal; I plan to fly like my namesake, and the sooner the better!

The elders told me - Walk! And walk I did, although a hop, skip, and jump for joy had some winged assistance now and then. My glides grow longer every day, and more controlled (some of my first leaps had rather embarrassing endings). I used to console myself with the thought that no one else could see me, and perhaps that was the reason for the Walk.

Why do we send our young folk into the unknown to learn to fly? When a full quarter never return, why not find some other manner of testing, of teaching? I suppose we each find our own answer to that... but I know that I would not have it any other way for myself. I have already seen so much, yet so little of the whole!

I will not tell you where my home is - somewhere in the Spine of the World, as others call it. I suppose I could have stayed nearby, practicing flying to the exclusion of all else, and gone home in triumph within a short time - but why not do more? I’d listened to many discussions about the rest of Faerun - time to see for myself.

And, of course, the best place to do that is the city of Waterdeep. Truly, everyone has heard of the place. To see my first sunset over the ocean - how I envied the gulls! I spent several days walking the city, watching and learning, before I began to wish for some company. When I overheard talk of a contest at the Inn up the street, I turned in for a look...

Kanelyth, image (c) Kristin Johnson

Character sheet: Kanelyth [Raptoran Fighter]

Cause of death: killed by Sanura’s doppelganger after seeing her kill Eleioni.

Posted by Kate on May 12, 2006, 14:36

Autonomous Collective

The Inn actually has a hole in the floor, leading beneath the city.
Somewhere down there is an idol, and the first group to find and retrieve it gets to split ten thousand gold pieces, and perhaps go on to further adventures. Interesting! But I am part of no group. Watching and waiting paid off, however, as other curious but unattached folk made themselves known. I don’t know what made the person in charge round us up (taking up too much space?), but suddenly I found myself agreeing to enter the contest with a group of total strangers.

It was Sanura, the vaguely feline, tarted-up female cleric, who named us the Autonomous Collective, and Eleioni, the silver-eyed-and-haired aasimar fighter, who was tapped as party leader. This did not stop him from allowing the quiet, sneaky man in black to lead the way. Also with us was a dark-skinned elf mage, Flic, and his companion, Owl. Joining a party that had a snowy owl in it seemed to augur well...

The subterranean maze was truly immense! For a while, we could see where other parties had passed, but soon we were on our own. Our first trial involved a room full of pillars, one gold coin on the floor, and an aura that nullified all magic once we were inside. This made it hard for some folk to see, when the magical torch went out! Eleioni quickly moved to the other end of the room and stuck the torch in another passage, so that we could decipher some writing on the far wall.

Actually, I was more curious about the coin on the floor. Was it dropped by mistake, a child’s prank (ie. glued to the floor for laughs), or the source of the anti-magic field? The others kept warning me away from actually touching it, so I looked and listened. Apparently, the message on the wall wasn’t in a modern language, and there was a big snake’s skeleton further down one passage which the man in black and Flic wanted to smash “just in case,” and then the owl found a rat, and then the goblins found us!!

I was laughing at the man in black hiding above the entrance to the passage the goblins entered from, but he had a purpose - scattering caltrops in front of the creatures and stopping their charge. They threw several javelins at us, hitting Eleioni, and I threw the coin in return. Sadly, I missed - but nothing else happened, either. While Sanura chased the coin, the rest of us attacked the goblins. My arrows were deadly when they hit - these creatures are weak! But there were a lot of them. When Flic shouted that more were coming from behind us, I knew we should make our escape and headed for an unoccupied hallway. Unfortunately, the gods had other plans for us...

Everyone at least began to follow me, but the goblins swarmed into the room and piled onto Flic, who could not defend himself magically (despite Sanura finding the coin and throwing it from the room, magic still failed to work). I tried to startle the creatures off by shouting and rattling my wings at them, but they only laughed. They laughed at Sanura when she shouted, as well. Sanura went after the goblin attacking me, so that I could pull out my bow and shoot the goblins attacking Flic and Eleioni. The man in black was also dispatching goblins right and left, but Flic was on the floor, and at that point a giant floating eyeball drifted down yet another passage and scanned the room!

Throwing a quick prayer to Tuilviel that the newest arrival would not attack unless provoked, I waded into the fight to reach Flic’s body. Eleioni was really hitting a goblin-killing stride, so I was able to grab the elf and head for the door unharmed (even by the floating eyeball, which merely watched me watching it). As Eleioni killed the last goblin in the room, the eyeball floated back up its hall. I offered Flic’s limp form to the cleric, but Sanura was casting something at the wall. She then announced that the words and arrow warned of certain death if we followed that path!

While she then attended to Flic, getting him back on his feet, we all discussed which passage to take. I was all for following the floating eyeball, which at least hadn’t attacked, and wasn’t in the Certain Death hall, but the others mentioned seeing a single wounded goblin run away back the way we’d come, and feared another attack if it brought back more friends. This made sense, so I conceded the point, and we followed the man in black as he traced the goblin’s bloody trail to a secret door. I wonder how many other groups they’ve ambushed this way?

The secret door led to many more passages and rooms, with little but dust for our efforts. We found the goblin’s body, and a privy, and the owl nearly flew into a clear ooze that filled the hallway. Owl kept Flic informed of the ooze’s movements, while we searched several paths, rooms, and doors. Finally, we all reached a big, arched chamber, one I could stretch my wings in! Halfway down it, there was a smaller arch, and as we got closer, we could see something peer around the edge of the door.
Eleioni said hello, but the manticore called us dinner and promptly slashed and chewed him into unconsciousness!

It got Sanura pretty badly, too, as she ran in and pulled Eleioni to safety. The man in black and I shot arrows into the thing as fast as we could, while the owl circled overhead and a restored Eleioni dove back into the fight. The owl touched the manticore and somehow transmitted a painful shock to it, but was smashed into the floor for its trouble - poor owl, poor Flic! Flic was swearing up a storm and casting magic missiles into the monster from behind a pillar, while our arrows weakened the thing and Sanuora threw daggers. I found out how painful its tail spikes were, and the man in black disappeared - only to reappear behind the monster and stab it in the back! Eventually, we managed to kill it, and much healing ensued.
Thankfully, even Owl survived - barely!

The monster’s lair was full of bones and not much else, but I did find enough arrows to replace the ones I’ve used, and some healing potions to save for future emergencies. What a contest this is turning out to be!

Posted by Kate on May 13, 2006, 15:02

Journal Found in the Triboar Marketplace

Under Waterdeep

Finally, I overheard that the man in black’s name is Shoshiro. I also found out that he rather disapproves of Sanura’s “profession” ... ie. her “clerical duties”. I wrapped my wings about me, and listened to the strange folk. Eventually, we decided to stay in the manticore’s lair for a full day to heal ourselves. First Eleioni, then Flic, then I took watch. My watch was the most eventful. Almost before I could warn the others, a huge hulking humanoid came out of the darkness and smashed into me with a club!

I backed away along an inside wall, drinking a healing potion as fast as I dared. The undead ogre ignored hoshiro’s caltrops scattered before it, and took another swing, thankfully missing me. I shot it, and so did Shoshiro and Eleioni, while Sanura waved her holy symbol before its face. Nothing affected it except Flic’s magic missiles. Shoshiro turned invisible and attacked from behind, nearly getting clubbed for his efforts, but still did no real damage. Sanura was very frustrated that her turnings had no effect!

Someone suggested using oil and flame against the undead thing. Smashing oil flasks all over it was relatively easy (thanks, Shoshiro!), but the flame? We’d been using magical light sources, and had no time to pull out a flint and steel to start a proper fire. Lucky for us, the creature itself did the trick: smashing its club into the floor after narrowly missing Flic, it hit a discarded dagger, and the sparks from the blow set it alight. It still managed to lay out Eleioni and hurt Sanura pretty badly before collapsing in a smoky heap.

As we talked over making a trip to another room to “rest”, the floating eyeball passed the doorway! Yet again, it simply looked in on us and continued. I wonder what that thing sees, every day... at least it helped us choose a direction - away from it! Upon finding a chamber with stone doors, Flic sent his owl to check the place out; finding only bat skeletons, we wedged the doors shut and finally settled down to rest and heal.

Eleioni had been hurt the worst, so he stayed in the “safe” room while the rest of us did a little exploring. We quickly found a hallway full of stone statues, and Sanura could see that they were magical. This didn’t stop Flic from shoving one over to see what might be underneath. I was horrified by the noise, even though he found a hole in the base that held some gold coins. I refused to help as he and Shoshiro smashed a second, and headed for a third. Sure enough, Flic’s owl caught the sound of many someones approaching!

We raced for the “safe” room, richer by a few gold coins and a moonstone, and found ourselves listening to the clumping of many many booted feet right outside our door. In fact, Flic and Sanura had to hold onto the door handle to keep it shut when someone(thing?) on the other side gave it a rattle!

There were a lot of bows drawn at that door, I can tell you! We waited for a very long time... or, whatever Flic seemed to think was a long time. He and Eleioni, our only members with full dark vision, stared into the blackness and declared that all was safe. Off we went!

Many halls were explored, many doors were opened. We found a throne room, with snakes carved all around the throne, and a glowing ball of light on the ceiling. It also held a dead - and purple - orc. Another door had a trap on it and gave Shoshiro a small cut, but he ignored it. Yet another room had a big lever installed in the center, and an open shaft above that ended in a ceiling some twenty feet up. Shoshiro tied a rope to the lever and gave it a yank - then another - then a third. The lever moved, nothing happened. We argued about what it meant, and tried shoving it the other way. Still - nothing. (I wonder what we were setting off elsewhere?)

After a while, Shoshiro went off to explore in one direction, and Flic in another, using his owl’s sharp hearing to warn us of strangers. Flic found a room with a circle of glowing runes that he said were for summoning and binding - at least no one experimented with them! And the double doors at the far end of the lever room were opened by Shoshiro to reveal a large chamber, full of goblins at their cooking fires and a big figure with an axe at the far end of the room! Shoshiro had the doors shut, caltrops strewn, and a rope woven through the handles in the time it took Sanura to cast something behind us as we ran!

Down one hallway, up another, all around we went, listening for the sounds of pursuit and looking for another room we could shut ourselves into for a time. When we found one... it had two sarcophagi inside. Sanura could sense that one of them contained undead, so I took myself to the other end of the room... where Flic was shoving the lid off the top of the other coffin. The skeletal remains of a human were inside, and a set of plate mail and great sword. Eleoni wanted it - Eleioni got it.

Sanura showed us all how quickly she can remove armor by demonstrating on Eleioni’s old gear *blink* - and, while he got dressed in the new stuff, the rest of them made it clear that they intended to attack whatever was in the other coffin. They’re brave enough! Eleioni shoved the top off of the sarcophagus, Flic cast a spell on himself, and I readied an arrow at the dessicated female form, holding a stick, rising up before us. Shoshiro attacked from behind, then Sanura turned her, and Flic and I shot her.

Eleioni charged into battle - and suddenly slowed waaaay down. Oh, no - cursed armor!

Luckily, we were able to kill the undead by shooting arrows from a distance, for Eleioni was not able to help. When we were able to focus on his new problem, we also found that we couldn’t remove the armor! Flic got the wand - a wand of magic missiles - and we set off down the halls again with Eleioni lumbering along behind. Naturally, we got within earshot of the goblins again. The only route away from their voices turned out to have a big crevice across the floor and a twenty-five foot drop to the bottom; easy for me to cross, but the others?

Worse yet, when we got to the edge, we were attacked by monsters from below. They looked like hands, and they hurt! I saw a skeleton at the bottom of the crevice as I leapt across, but the hands distracted us all - arrows and magic missiles and simply stomping the things did little; more and more swarmed us. Somehow, we began to destroy the things - my short sword helped - but not before Eleioni fell to the bottom of the chasm. At the sound of goblins approaching, we were forced to leave him there to play dead while we headed for the door a few feet away...

Around the maze

The party, minus one, ran through the door and shut it on the goblins behind us before looking around. There was soot everywhere, a door with “death lies here” written over it, torn-up stones in the middle of the room, and other exits - but the big black dragon in the far corner arrested our attention! Shoshiro instantly turned invisible and grabbed Sanura, spiriting her away through another door to our left. I stood behind Flic as he said “Hi” to the beast, explaining that goblins were chasing us. Staring at the dragon, I found it hard to believe that such a creature would live in these catacombs... at which point Sanura popped the door open and yanked me through!

As she did so, the dragon reared back and spat acid at Flic and the owl, felling them both. But even as Sanura screamed at the gory sight, I realized - they were unharmed, but unconscious, and the dragon was a translucent illusion of some kind. I pulled the door further ajar and dragged their bodies inside (which disturbed the poor cleric something terrible), and caught sight of a multitude of rats, dire rats, and a ratlike person entering the dragon’s room from yet another door. Shoshiro had left, taking our only light source, but I shoved the door anyway, trying to keep our new visitors out.

No time - no luck. I was hit by a crossbolt as I slammed the door, and ended up with a dire rat on our side of the barrier - and no light to see it by! I was trying to explain to Sanura that Flic and his owl were NOT dead, and that there was a dire rat in with us, and that the door had no lock and a swarm on the other side - all at once. I did my best to jam a dagger into the door to hold it, and pulled out my sword to find the dire rat in the dark. I heard it fighting with Sanura, then saw the door burst open with the rat-man leading his swarm. Down I went under them all, and the last thing I saw was the goblins opening the door to the dragon’s room...

...I woke up in a strange room, with everyone except Shoshiro - still running? - and Eleioni, plus the rat-man. Sanura had cast a spell on him which made him want to help her, and us by extension. His rats had driven off the goblins that the dragon hadn’t terrified, and Amos had led and carried us here. He collects interesting things to sell above in Waterdeep - we were lucky! Sanura bartered some of her jewelry for healing potions, Flic asked about the statue we’d originally come down here to find (no luck), and how to get back to Waterdeep, ourselves!

Finally, Amos left to do his own thing, and we headed back to get Eleioni, explaining to Sanura and Flic that the dragon wasn’t real. As we walked, Flic showed me a silver circlet and asked me to put it on. I was suspicious, especially after Eleioni’s armor disaster - so, when Flic insisted I try it, I took the thing and quickly shoved it onto his own brow. Suddenly, Flic had a whole new presence, regal and commanding. I was impressed, but Sanura was downright smitten!

Eleioni was right where we’d left him in the crevice. Flic chucked a rock at him and asked him if he was dead yet, and he stopped playing dead to tell us, “No!” I lowered a rope, Flic tied it to the door handle, and Eleioni finally made it to the surface. Behind us, we heard a door open in the dragon’s room - before we had a chance to get nervous, we heard the “dragon” spit acid and the sound of screams and running! I must admit that I found it funny, after we saw there were no “victims” this time.

Before we moved on, Flic climbed down (followed by Sanura) to check the skeleton for himself. They found a three-foot-long stick in its severed left hand, and brought it up with them. As we set off down the hallway that Shoshiro had taken long before, Eleioni asked if we had any healing magic among us. Sanura told him that she was out - I drew her aside and asked why, knowing she’d gotten some potions from the rat-man. It turned out that she was saving all of them for Flic, just in case! I tried hard not to laugh, and managed to cajole one potion from her for Eleioni.

She also wanted us to walk in the dark, so she had an excuse to hang onto Flic. She was not happy when Eleioni cast a light spell for those who could not see! We walked the strange halls, looking into rooms again - found one with rubble on the floor and a glowing ball of light that moved towards Flic when he walked in, so we walked right back out! We ended up back at the dragon’s room, and tried a door behind its image, entering a large chamber.
I tried leaping off of Eleioni’s shoulders, but still only managed a glide.

The owl mocked me mildly, and then - we heard Shoshiro shouting! Flic was first down the hall, heading for the noise, and the rest of us followed, poor Eleioni bringing up the rear.

Helpful finds and finding help

We reached the source of the shouting only to find Shoshiro standing in a doorway and staring down the hall. When I asked him what was going on, he rudely told me to stay out of his way. Sanura walked past him and through the door, at which point Shoshiro turned and dashed behind a throne - the same snake throne as before, and the same dead purple orc beside it. As the sound of goblins advancing became clear, I headed toward one of the two doorways behind the throne, telling Sanura to follow me. Whatever Shoshiro had planned, I didn’t want to be between his victims and himself!

Sanura, of course, wondered what had happened to Flic; frankly, I had no idea. Hopefully he was out of sight of the goblins, because we could hear many of their voices on the other side of the door! We also looked at the three-foot-long stick that Sanura had been carrying since finding it with the skeleton, and found the word “Erethog” written on the side. Curious, she said it out loud - but nothing happened, that we could tell! Of course, it had been pointed at the wall, not a living thing, so... I cautiously opened the door a crack, Sanura stuck the point of the stick through it at the goblins, and repeated, “Erethog!”

We were immediately soaked by a drenching rainfall.

I shut the door, wondering what, exactly, this wand was supposed to do.
Sanura, of course, let curiosity get the better of her again, and opened the door a sliver to repeat the experiment. This time, dancing rainbow colors filled the room! I put my hand on the wand and said “Erethog” for myself - more dancing rainbow colors!

One wonders what the goblins were thinking. Or Shoshiro, for that matter.

Sanura gave the wand another “Erethog” and this time caused a sphere of darkness to envelop the goblins milling about in the throne room. Shrill screaming erupted as the goblins panicked outright. I’d have almost felt bad for them, except that we were laughing too hard. Sanura even added some scary noises to keep them agitated, while I shot a couple of arrows into the blackness. Finally, goblins began to run out of the sphere, and caught sight of our open door. I shot one, while Sanura erethogged another. His armor became translucent, and was left hanging in midair while he and his companions fled the room!

A loud hissing filled the air, but the source was within the sphere of darkness. Realizing that Shoshiro hadn’t been seen or heard from in a while, I called out to ask if he was all right - back came the answer, he wasn’t well at all. Sanura kept the Erethog rod trained on the door, while Shoshiro crawled toward the sound of our voices. He’d been poisoned, somehow - I quickly used another of Sanura’s healing potions on him, although it didn’t cure him, he was strengthened by it. And, naturally, the next thing through the door to feel the wrath of Erethog was Eleioni.

Eleioni promptly turned as purple as the dead orc. He was understandably perturbed by this! They argued, but all Sanura wanted to know was what had happened to Flic. Eleioni spotted the floating armor and begged us to do the same to his cursed set - so we tried. We managed to hit him with a lightning bolt, and cause leaves to sprout all over him, and blind him with shimmering colors and a giant butterfly swarm before he got us to quit (and Shoshiro grabbed the rod from us for a moment. Shoshiro was not pleased with how things went - we’d messed up his own plans).

We did agree that we needed to go back to the surface, prize or no prize.
After a while, the sphere of darkness dissipated, and we headed back, watching for Flic. Sadly, we found him in the hall of statues, next to yet another broken one, but turned into a statue, himself! I was barely able to drag him along, but it kept us from outpacing Eleioni. We were hearing goblins again before we found the way back to the entrance, but they didn’t turn our way. Sadly, the antimagic room failed to fix either Flic or Eleioni’s predicament, but we did eventually emerge back at the bar, to the great amusement of the patrons!

At least they were kind enough to point us in the way of the temple district, and aboveground, the effects of Shoshiro’s poisoning seemed to be wearing off. We talked over methods of payment (and how much fixing our party members might cost!), and argued Sanura’s claim that Flic was her “boyfriend”. While the temple folk appraised our treasure and weighed it against our predicaments, we also questioned Shoshiro as to why he was sticking around despite claiming that he didn’t give a d**m about any of us. He’s a curious one... I don’t even know what he looks like, under that mask... nor Sanura, I’ll bet!

Unfortunately, fixing Eleioni and Flic was well outside of our power to pay. We were still absorbing the impact of that (unsurprising) fact when a well-dressed stranger approached us. He sounded sympathetic to our predicament, introducing himself as Quentin Morden of a merchants’ consortium of guilds in Waterdeep, and one who had witnessed our efforts to bring our friends to safety. He offered us dinner, and a job!

Better yet, he was willing to pay for Eleioni and Flic’s restoration to their usual selves in return for us escorting him north on a visit to the Uthgart tribes. He wanted us to get him there for trade negotiations, and get him back to Waterdeep. I know the journey is dangerous, but it seemed worth it for our friends’ sakes. Naturally, Shoshiro refused to be part of the bargain, and, when Flic was reanimated he was quite offended by the deal made without him. He even tried to blame our new Erethog rod on being turned into a statue!

I laughed at them and went off to get a bath and a bed, and woke up looking forward to a new adventure. Flic and Shoshiro, too, showed up in the morning, although they swear they’re not part of any agreement with Quentin. I am glad they came along...

Out of Town

Quentin arrived with saddle horses for each of us. I suppose it makes sense to travel faster, but I was some time to find one that didn’t shy away from my wings! This isn’t helping me practice my flying...

We traveled a few days, settling into a routine. We had tents, while Quentin had a magical cottage to sleep in. We often used its roof when on watch for a better view of the surroundings. Sanura quit eyeing Flic and began flirting with Quentin, with an eye to sleeping in the cottage if nothing else, I suspect! I can’t tease her too much, however, as my curiosity about what Shoshiro looks like and why he’s travelling with us finally inspired me to crawl into his tent one night...

Shoshiro is very entertaining in his own way...

A few nights in, we were awakened on Flic’s watch by shouting that wolves with riders were attacking the camp. In the near-darkness I might have been the only one to catch that Sanura leaped from her tent and ...flashed the attackers... in response. It didn’t stop her from being attacked... There was a lot of confusion and running around, but I did my best to make sense from chaos.

Shoshiro was already on the roof of the cottage, shooting at wolves and riders alike while calling out (to me?) to get up there as well. Flic was running for the cottage with a wolf and rider close behind, Sanura was being attacked right in front of her tent, and Eleioni and I were pulling bows and arrows out of our tents as fast as we could. Unfortunately for Eleioni, his armor and all his gear were in the tent, but more on that later. A flaming sphere appeared near Flic, controlled by him, which also helped the rest of us see better.

I stood still and shot arrow after arrow at Sanura’s attackers, while she crawled back into her tent, looking badly hurt. Next thing I knew, “Erethog!” was uttered, and hundreds of butterflies erupted from her tent!
Another “erethog” and grass grew all around us, to a height of four feet (except near Flic’s flaming sphere, naturally). A third “erethog” even as the warg and goblin tore through the wall of Sanura’s tent, and a giant rhinocerous appeared in the midst of the camp, rage in its eyes. I stood still in shock as it stomped the warg and goblin to death!

The surviving wargs and goblins fled without looking back, leaving a rampaging rhino behind. It swung its head around, staring at Flic, Eleioni, and myself, who were all standing as still as we could so as not to set it off further. Even Sanura stayed quiet in the remains of her tent. As it looked away from me, I tried to back away slowly, but crunched something in the grass and thought - this is it! At the same instant, Shoshiro made an astonishing leap from the roof of the cottage, screaming curses at the beast, and dashing away from the camp with the rhino in hot pursuit!

Unfortunately for Eleioni, the shortest route was over his tent, which was trampled into the dirt and everything inside smashed to useless bits. At that, I was relieved that it wasn’t Sanura’s! I was crouching in the deep grass, hoping that the rhino didn’t turn back in our direction after Shoshiro went invisible (I was sure that must be his plan), when something very unexpected happened. Flic’s owl swept down at the charging rhino, and grabbed it with a talon, delivering a spell of some kind from Flic but also causing the rhino to sweep it out of the air with its horn and gore it to death. Poor owl - and worse, poor Flic! He screamed like a madman and dashed after the rhino, despite an “erethog” from Sanura that only caused another sphere of darkness to hide it from us.

We couldn’t see what was happening, so I jumped to the roof and called to Eleioni and Sanura to join me. Eleioni, especially, needed another healing potion, and safety without his armor. All we could hear was screaming, bellowing, charging, and suddenly - the sight of the rhino charging blindly through camp one more time before disappearing into the darkness of the night. Quiet settled over the plain, the flames began to die down, and Shoshiro alone appeared from the other side of the sphere of darkness.

Apparently, he’d been trying to lure the rhino away a second time, when Flic hit it with his flaming sphere spell, and was trampled by the beast. He never had a chance, and quickly joined his owl! Poor Sanura!

Loss and Gain

We waited for daybreak, Sanura praying, Eleioni making a cairn over the spot where Flic died. Shoshiro and I wandered off and celebrated life and surviving in our own way... when Quentin awoke, he was sorry to hear of Flic’s death, but we had to move on. We were lucky to find all of the horses, and continued north.

During the day, we crossed paths with a dwarven caravan headed south and followed, oddly enough, by an orc. We chatted among ourselves about what they meant by that, and turned off the road to let the group pass. When it halted, we asked - what news? Large beasts in the night, was the answer, an embarrassing reminder of Sanura’s erethog and its productions. She then asked them about the orc, and the dwarves kind of smiled and said they’d found him to be harmless. I just had to go ask him who he was and where he was going, after that...

Kor’tac was friendly enough, and told me confidently that he was going “home” to the north. I was surprised, to be sure, and pointed out that he was going in the opposite direction! As I headed back to my party, I saw him shrug and turn around, walking back the way he’d come. Sanura and Eleioni were already deep into discussing Eleioni’s view of life as our group passed the orc by (Eleioni’s a bit naive, and who am I to talk?), but I saw Quentin look twice at a seven-foot-tall fighter carrying a bunch of weapons, and he soon turned back to chat while we waited.

Kor’tac seems even more naive than Eleioni, but was happy to hire on with Quentin to come with us and provide some extra protection. We distributed his gear among our horses, he jumped onto Flic’s former mount (poor horse!), and we rode off to the north. It was a quiet day, and we made camp as usual, except being short a few tents. Shoshiro was kind enough to share with me, but Sanura refused to share with Eleioni, and Quentin went to bed without her, so Kor’tac ended up rolled up in a blanket against the cottage. The night’s watches were uneventful (outside our tent, that is. Sanura looked rather nettled when I told her that “ladies never tell!” while we were breaking camp in the morning!).

We began to come out of the plains the next day, seeing trees and scattered farms and even a ruined tower on a low hill, when Shoshiro spotted movement to our left and quickly dashed off for a closer look. We stopped, and Kor’tac dismounted to stand by Quentin’s horse, while I drew my bow and nocked an arrow. Shoshiro’s shout soon rang out - skeletons were coming through the trees toward us! I dismounted, putting my bow aside to get out my sling, when Sanura pulled out her holy symbol and cast a turn on the things that changed them all to dust on the spot!

Before we had a chance to relax, however, a large stony winged creature swept down from the ruined tower and attacked Sanura, and a volley of magic missiles from the same direction struck Quentin. I shot the gargoyle, to no effect, and Sanura cast something at it to no avail - only a loud noise that frightened her horse into bolting. I ran up to the gargoyle and stabbed it with my short sword and it didn’t even scratch the thing’s hide. I got out of the way, shouting “Erethog!” at Sanura, who quickly pulled out the rod.

Unfortunately, the gargoyle decided to continue its attack on her, and swiped and bit her hard. I ran to her and grabbed the rod away, pointed and shouted “Erethog” for all I was worth. Another angry rhinocerous appeared and I thought we were done for. It took a step toward the gargoyle, which immediately took off flying to get out of reach, and left Sanura and myself frozen next to it yet again. I think I heard her praying. Shoshiro and Kor’tac were long gone, searching the ruined tower for the source of the magic missiles, Quentin was trying to calm his horse, and Eleioni was trying to hold the rest of the horses still. When they broke free from him it was sufficent distraction for the rhino, which charged after them - bad for the horses, but good for us!

As Sanura healed herself, I looked out for the gargoyle - sure enough, it was watching us from the trees. I erethog’d it, and only sent a stream of gems its way. Sanura pulled out her crossbow and shot it - actually did some damage - and got a screech of rage and another attack for her efforts!
When I erethog’d it again, I covered it with green fire. Sanura cast a ray of burning light at it, which did more damage and earned another attack, so I erethog’d yet again. An elephant arrived. This time, the gargoyle didn’t get a chance to take off, and the elephant finished it off while we got out of the way. When it looked around for more victims, Sanura cast some kind of calming spell at it, which thankfully worked. As it wandered away, I ran up the hill to the tower, cursing my landbound status all the way.

At the top of the hill was a strange little creature - I can hardly describe it. Of course, when it came after me, I erethog’d it; the ray I shot it with didn’t do anything, but as I looked around for Shoshiro and Kor’tac, it collapsed anyway. And on the other side of the hill, I spotted Shoshiro standing over a wizard’s body and gave him a wave. We spent some time searching the bodies for anything interesting, and collected some weapons for Eleioni. Sadly, we were now short of horses, but a forced march saw us safe in a village for the night.

The long haul

Morning dawned, and Quentin bought a wagon for our last two horses to pull.
We crowded in and set off to the north, with Shoshiro scouting ahead and Sanura up front flirting outrageously with Quentin. Kor’tac didn’t last long after she started, either, and was out walking next to the wagon while I wrapped my wings around me and tried not to giggle too loudly. What a way to distract herself from Flic’s death! Eleioni leaned out of the wagon and warned Kor’tac to beware the Erethog wand, which made me giggle even more.
As far as I know, that wand was more useful than harmful to us, but Eleioni can’t forgive the purple leaves.

We camped quietly, and were some hours into our second day’s travel when a mounted patrol passed us. They gave the orc the eye, but let him be (especially after he asked them which way was still north). Sanura, of course, flirted with them, probably hoping for some sign of jealousy from Quentin. The rest of the day was quiet, and we made camp; Sanura found herself sulking in her tent again, not in Quentin’s house. I was on watch on top of the cottage, myself, when out of nowhere something bit me!

As I let out a screech of warning, I spotted a bunch of zombies that had somehow snuck into camp under my very nose. Curses! I was being slashed at a second time by my attacker when suddenly Shoshiro landed on the roof beside me. I shook of a momentary stiffness, and we stabbed the zombie on the roof while Sanura did her clerical goodness and dusted several.
Unfortunately, I spotted another dragging Eleioni away, and we had to chase it down for Sanura to kill. We then built a fire and waited for daybreak, and for Eleioni’s paralysis to wear off.

The next day was quiet, passing occasional farms and listening to Sanura tell Quentin many brave stories. I wondered quietly to myself about what being bitten by the creature the night before might mean... especially as Eleioni began to look rather sick the next day. He didn’t say anything, either, and we drove on. Around noon, we stopped at the sight of a man limping along the road. He looked like a farmer who’d been beaten bloody, but Sanura cast a spell at him and told us that he was actually evil... and so was Shoshiro!

Shoshiro is a quick thinker, and took off some bracers he’d gotten from one of our opponents. When he handed them to me - Sanura saw me as evil, instead. Interesting! In the meantime, Kor’tac had gotten out of the wagon and gone to speak to the farmer at a distance from our employer. The farmer called to us that “something” had bitten him the night before, while keeping a distance from the orc. Sanura quickly climbed down from the wagon and went to heal the man, despite her earlier reservations. He thanked her, and told her that his attacker appeared to be a deformed badger. He also warned us of bandits on the road ahead.

We continued without trouble, although Eleioni just had to try on the “evil” bracers. The night was quiet, but he looked (and admitted to feeling) even worse the next day. We were all glad to reach a larger town and some proper rest, healing, and supplies - maybe even horses to speed our way!


Sanura went into town with the various items we’d collected, and returned with over three hundred gold for each off us. She then disappeared into Quentin’s room. Shoshiro and I were unable to restrain our curiosity and climbed the outside of the building to see if Sanura had finally succeeded in her designs. We were well rewarded! I got some new ideas, anyway... but we had to leave when we could no longer control our giggling. Back to our own room for some rest before our watch!

We didn’t get much rest, and not for the usual reasons. Screams from next door woke Shoshiro, and I woke to see him dashing out the door wearing only his mask and pants and dragon tattoo. Kor’tac was standing in the hallway, so we told him to bash it open, and quick! I could hear Sanura scream as Kor’tac made his first attempt, and Eleioni arrived. Shoshiro’s kick failed to open the door (and I checked the handle to make sure it was locked. It was!). Finally, Kor’tac broke down the door.

We found a bloody Sanura trying to shield Quentin’s body on the bed, while a shadowy figure stabbed at them both. Shoshiro disappeared, then stabbed the figure in the back! I followed with a second hit, and Eleioni dropped him.
He then cut the man’s throat to be certain. Sanura was healing Quentin, ignoring her own wounds, while Eleioni actually went back to bed, still feeling sick. Shoshiro went to find the innkeeper, and met him in the hall. He was already calling for the town guard!

I got dressed and brought Shoshiro a shirt while we checked the body and waited for the guard. Luckily, Sanura had saved Quentin’s life and healed his wounds, but he didn’t know the attacker. Neither did the guards, when they arrived - and it took some talking to keep from being arrested ourselves, at first! Eventually, we moved Quentin to a new room and set up watches for the rest of the night. Sanura ended up outside and complained until dumped in the bath. Hope she forgave me...

By morning, she must have, as she healed everyone’s wounds - even Eleoni looked better! She then went to the temple the would-be assassin had been taken to, to see if someone had cast speak with dead on it. Not yet, and Quentin did not want to wait. He went off with Eleioni and Kor’tac for guards, while Shoshiro slept in and I stayed with Sanura. Eventually, the spell was cast - but we learned little. The man was a member of the order of Kraken, paid by the “Hand of Moander” to kill Quentin, no reason given.
We headed back to the inn, where Sanura did more healing, especially on Eleioni.

Quentin returned with more riding horses and no wagon, and we set off.
Camping proved that there was trouble in paradise already - Sanura did not get to sleep in Quentin’s cottage! The next day was quiet, although Eleioni was looking sicker again, and that night, Sanura managed to talk her way into the house, after all. We settled down to our usual watches... and halfway through second watch, Kor’tac kicked the side of the tent and told Shoshiro and me to wake up but be quiet - in his usual orcish bellow.

Once out of the tent, I could see one large figure, and six smaller ones. I told Shoshiro what I could see, while Kor’tac yelled at them to stop and tell us who they were. None answered, so I pulled my bow and shot the largest one. For some reason, this earned me a glare from Kor’tac before he went back to yelling at them to stop. Next thing, Eleioni was standing in front of me, Shoshiro had disappeared, and javelins were raining down on us all. Shoshiro appeared behind a goblin and stabbed it to death, while I stepped to one side of Eleioni and shot the now-recognizeable ogre a second time.

The remaining goblins charged at us. Kor’tac promptly killed two, Eleoni nearly beheaded one with a single blow, and Shoshiro was swarmed and hit by the ogre! I shot and missed, then ran toward him. Kor’tac reached the ogre before me, killing the two goblins beside it and then beating the ogre to a pulp. I quickly poured healing potions down Shoshiro’s throat while thanking Kor’tac! There was nothing useful on the bodies, so the rest went back to bed, and I spent my watch arranging the bodies in unusual positions for Sanura’s amusement. She found Kor’tac’s ogre head on a stick the funniest and regretted missing the fight!

After a few more days, we reached the hamlet of Longsaddle and a last chance to rest before reaching our destination. Eleioni went looking for armor, Sanura looked for a temple, and Kor’tac checked out weapons for sale.
Eleioni finally found out what disease he’s been suffering from - but the only cleric that could heal it is back in the previous city. We’ll have to hope that Sanura can keep him on his feet until our return. Once at the inn for the evening, we found that Sanura had gotten into Quentin’s bed again.
Shoshiro and I giggled outside the window a second time, then went to bed.

Next morning, we were off to the Uthgart tribes.

Tribal dealings

Our quiet ride didn’t last long before a white dragon came over the eastern hills and targeted our party. Blasts of cold caused most of our horses, plus Eleioni, to slump to the ground. Sanura was able to heal her horse, while Shoshiro and I poured healing potions down our horses’ throats. My next healing potion went down Eleioni’s horse’s throat, so I could throw him over his own saddle and lead his horse to safety!

Kor’tac and Shoshiro shot arrows at the dragon as it swept by on another attack, while Sanura used the erethog rod on it - but only caused a green cloud to appear, which the dragon ignored. It then bit Shoshiro, who collapsed! I raced toward him, but Sanura was there first, and he was weak but alive, to my great relief. I’d been cursing that thought that I’d used my last healing potions on a horse!

I spurred my horse and led Eleioni’s horse in a race after Quentin, while an “erethog” from behind made many dancing colors to blind the white dragon.
One more “erethog” and a grassy field grew up behind us. Kor’tac was off his horse and crouching behind his shield for the next attack, but the dragon went after his horse, instead. We ended up with Kor’tac on Shoshiro’s horse, Sanura on Eleioni’s horse with him (and healing him), and Shoshiro jogging alongside us all. I was very glad he survived!

The rest of the day was quiet, and Sanura did a lot of healing when we camped. Shoshiro gave me a healing potion that turned out to be ale, which made me laugh! The night was quiet, but the morning dawned on a sick-looking Eleioni again. Sanura did her best with him, and we went on.
We were getting close to the forest that was our destination, when we spotted nine humanoid figures coming our way. Orcs! Shoshiro quickly disappeared, and Kor’tac walked ahead to parley.

Well, that did not end well. Whatever was said, it ended with the orcs attacking Kor’tac. We joined the fight! The erethog rod, unfortunately, made the orc leader grow to twice his original size. We were shooting and swinging, casting spells and “erethog” zapped a lightning bolt through the orcs, killing several. I saw Shoshiro get hit hard by one, and disappear.
Sanura aimed the erethog wand at the largest orc and caused a huge fireball to explode in the middle of the battle!

After that, we were down to one regular orc and the big one, against Sanura, Eleioni, and myself. Kor’tac and Shoshiro had been hit by the fireball, as well. I kept shooting at the smaller orc, while Sanura swiped repeatedly at the larger. She was able to kill the big one, and I finally shot the little one to death. At that point, Eleioni sadly told us that Shoshiro was no more. I dragged Sanura over to him as fast as we could run, but it was too late.

The others left me alone with him for a little while. He’d burned to death, but I was able to take his mask, and his shortbow, and some of the other things he kept hidden but told me about. Did he ever think I’d have to make use of that knowledge? I smeared ashes through my feathers and walked over to where Sanura was healing Kor’tac. How dare he survive when Shoshiro did not? As soon as he woke up, I stabbed him!

The dagger bounced off his armor, and he took a swing at me but missed.
Glaring at him, I stalked away from the group and waited while they searched the orcs’ corpses, and Eleioni covered Shoshiro’s body. Finally, we rode on to the forest.

I refused to “take a night off” from watch; I couldn’t sleep, anyway.

The next day, we rode through the forest, finally reaching Quentin’s destination: an encampment of the Great Wyrm tribe. They did not like seeing Kor’tac among us, but they didn’t attack, so we sat back and let Quentin do the talking. Soon, he was led off to a tent to speak with the tribal leaders, and we were taken to another tent to rest. Eleioni kept worrying about me, but I told him I was fine. Leaving ashes on my feathers is grief, not madness!

Night fell, and Sanura wandered off to Quentin’s tent. We stood watch but the camp was quiet. In the morning, Quentin was ready to leave. I asked how the negotiations went, and he shook his head - not so well as he’d hoped, apparently. We bought some new healing potions and salves from the tribe, and rode out of camp to the south.

We were an hour or so away from the camp when a dozen tribe members appeared out of the underbrush and ordered us to stop. They accused us of stealing the Wyrm’s Heart, some tribal artifact! I looked to see Quentin’s reaction, only to hear him tell them that perhaps one of his servants may have taken it, but when we asked him for a translation, he said it was a “misunderstanding” and we had to be searched.

Eleioni volunteered, and they found nothing. I did, next, wondering what trick Quentin may have pulled - but they found nothing on me, either.
Kor’tac and Sanura did not have the Wyrm’s Heart, nor did Quentin, and I bit my tongue rather than ask about his magical shelter. He was our employer, after all...

Finally, the tribe members told us that we had to return with them and wait until the artifact was found. Quentin agreed, told us we were heading back, and actually started north... but quietly threw a small orb over his shoulder at the group of tribesmen behind us, which detonated in a large fireball and killed them all! He then turned to us and told us to “deal with this”, and disappeared.

So, we’re standing alone in hostile territory with a bunch of charred remains to hide. I guess we’d better find a low spot to drag them to and cover with leaves...

Wait, Sanura’s killing Eleioni! What does she think she’s doing? I have to stop her —

Posted by Kate on July 20, 2006, 14:49