Roywyn's Journal
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Roywyn’s Bio

I don’t know if dear Windy (er, Rowind to anyone else!) realizes, it, but this month marks our 10th anniversary traveling and performing together. While I wouldn’t trade that time for anything, sometimes, listening to the fantastic tales he shares with our audiences, I get to wishing that we could experience some adventures like those firsthand.

There’s more to it, really, something I haven’t ever told anyone. About 11 years ago, I was getting very discouraged with the direction my life was headed. I had only been providing musical performances for gnomes, and, to be honest, there are a lot of gnome musicians. I was eager to venture to distant lands (other than portal-hopping back and forth from Lantan to Waterdeep), but was unsure that I’d be safe on my own.

I guess I wasn’t.

I was playing my lute while walking along a lonely road, not really knowing or caring what direction I was headed in. I had recently left Waterdeep, and I was near Triboar, I think.

And then I wasn’t.

I found myself in a beautiful land, though kind of scary too. It was night, and the stars above were in constellations unfamiliar to me. The air was colder and brisker than it had been moments before. The trees were so much larger than any I had ever seen, impossibly bigger. Even in the darkness, the colors of the vegetation were much more vibrant.

I wasn’t sure what to do, so I cautiously continued to explore, a little scared and a little excited. There wasn’t a sound, not even the crickets that so often sing at night. So, mostly to comfort myself, I sang just to have something to listen to, and to help me stay awake, for though the night air was stimulating, I found myself getting sleepy quite quickly.

I woke up, some unknown amount of time later. I was just outside of Waterdeep, and upon returning to the city, discovered that several months had passed. I bumped into Rowind, who recognized me. I was so relieved to see a friendly face, and as he was heading out on the road to perform in some of the smaller villages north of Waterdeep, I eagerly joined him. We’ve been together ever since, and I’ve felt much safer being with him.

I’ve also since discovered that I can sometimes find crossroads— little “shortcuts” hidden from normal view and protected by fey guardians. Apparently the guardians love music, and sometimes allow us to pass through one of their protected backroads if they are pleased by a performance. But always, we find ourselves somewhere recognizable in Faerūn, and always have been able to return home by a similar means.

Today as we entered Triboar, I thought I may have finally caught a glimpse of... something. Something that made the memories of that time 11 years ago come racing back. I think I’m ready to go look for that vibrant land again.

Roywyn, image (c) Kristin Johnson

Character sheet: Roywyn Rivenstone [Rock Gnome Bard]

Posted by Kristin on July 20, 2006, 15:09

Nothing but Net

Mirtul 28, Kryptgarden Forest

We made it to Triboar and decided to provide some entertainment at the Frost Touched Frog Inn. Usually, the innkeeper will pay us in dinner, though someone threw coins into mine while I was singing (and Windy whipped them back at whoever did so!). In spite of the rather sparse crowd (is that an oxymoron?), I could barely hear myself over some obnoxious person in the room— turns out it was another gnome, or at least, he claims to be a gnome, but has red eyes and acts much more like a halfling. Whatever he was, he couldn’t form two coherent ideas in a row and would not stop sharing his train of thought with everyone around him.

I let Windy tell one of his tales while I played lute softly, hoping that would settle the rowdy fellow down. Another, er, a real halfling entered the inn just then, limping from an obviously recent attack. He talked to a very, very tall orc at the bar, and a gnome-sized female with furry wings that had been flitting around, but the loud gnome went over to chat with them and I never did hear what the wounded halfling said.

He apparently told the orc that there were werewolves in the nearby woods— Windy and I both perked up at that, as he did say we could go “adventuring” if the opportunity found us. We gave up on our performance at that point and wandered over to the small group, and it was decided that we’d go immediately to the Kryptgarden Forest west of town— the fear was that the halfling had been bitten by a wolf and may succumb to lycanthropy at the next full moon, tomorrow night! We were also warned that the forest contained evil “tree goblins” that were prone to attacking.

The halfling did not join us, but the other patrons of the bar did. Four of us are about 3’ tall, and the orc (Kor’tac) is well over 7’ tall— he was willing to let me and the other female (a gloaming called Seren) sit on his shoulders for a better view as we traveled! I already had the start of a good adventuring tale now, and we had barely left the town.

We found the woods quickly, and soon about eight wolves found us. I sang something I hoped was inspiring to the others while fighting wolves with my crossbow. Windy shot at some, and Seren did as well— I think the other gnome (who goes by Rookinoniak) was attempting to talk them to death. Kor’tac was amazing— where I was able to do some damage to a wolf, he took out several with one swing of a huge axe. I was bitten, but none of the wolves looked particularly lycanthropic (they all stayed as dead wolves after the skirmish, and lore tells us that killing your assailant prevents the magical curse from spreading to you), so I think I’ll be okay.

I got to talk to a porcupine briefly, asking him if there were any other wolves in the area. The porcupine pointed his nose in a lot of directions and said the wolves ate his friend, poor thing.

We walked in the direction the porcupine pointed first though, and eventually saw much movement in the trees. The tree goblins! Rookinoniak yelled at them, and the filthy, naked, hairy things all started leaping out of the trees, trying to bite us and throw nets over us. I hate goblins! I was able to kill one with a well-placed bolt right away, but soon the sheer number of creatures was overwhelming. Luckily, Kor’tac could kill several at a time, and he did most of the killing of the things. I had to stab at some from inside a net, but I held my own, at least. The talking gnome was hit so hard once that we thought he was dead, but some quick action on Windy’s part kept him alive (and talking).

Our only loot so far is about sixteen well-made nets, and Windy wants to know if I’ve had enough “adventuring” yet, but my, this is exciting!

Posted by Kristin on July 27, 2006, 14:29


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 on August 9, 2006, 22:24

Thorn in My Side

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 on August 14, 2006, 22:51

Knee-Jerk Reactions

Mirtul 29, Mysterious Tower, continued

Having nothing left to burn in the courtyard, we turned our attention to the tower. It stood four stories high, and some of the windows appeared lit from within. Seren flew past a few windows and determined that there was some sort of burning man walking around in charred rooms— I’m sure it will appreciate our handiwork in the garden! Mishklo seems hesitant to explore; Kor’tac decided he would scale the outside of the tower to see the roof, where Seren had also discovered a trapdoor. Windy and I decided to try the double doors on the front— and— surprise! — They were not locked. They opened into a 40’ by 40’ room with a staircase leading to a balcony that wrapped around the perimeter of the chamber. The floor was littered with humanoid bones and rusty metal, and, more importantly, there was a large iron statue standing in front of the stairs. I think maybe it looked at me. We quickly shut those doors!

Next we decided to climb up the wall and see how Seren and Kor’tac were progressing with the trap door. Mishklo waited on the ground; he did not want to leave his wolf alone, and apparently, the wolf has not mastered rope climbing. We got to the top pretty quickly— in time to see our huge orc friend jumping up and down on emptiness. He’d managed to get the trapdoor open, but some sort of force was preventing him from entering through it. We told him about the iron man, while I tossed a blanket over the side of the building to Mishklo, figuring we might be able to make a wolf harness (because Mishklo refused to even try Seren’s suggestions on how to get the wolf to the roof). Kor’tac descended the rope before Mishklo could get Moonlight to cooperate anyway.

Kor’tac decided to attempt to attack the iron statue, which did move forward to meet him in melee. The orc walked backwards through the doors, hoping to lure the statue out into the open, but as he passed over the threshold, the construct reached out and closed the doors! While he pondered what to do next, Seren and I attempted to smash some windows with blunt weapons, but had absolutely no luck doing so.

Soon the five of us (and the wolf) were back at the front entrance, and seeing as it was the only way in we could find (Seren having determined that the house was on a precipice and would not have a back way in), we opted to go in and face the creature head on.

I must confess that, even though I managed to hit the creature every time I attacked, I never did a bit of damage that I could see. I tried singing to boost Kor’tac’s attacks, as he seemed to be doing some damage, and Windy took over there with a story when I moved to try magic attacks (also apparently ineffective), while Seren attempted to shoot it from above. Mishklo did a good job keeping the orc healed up, as the statue chose to consider him the only real threat. Kor’tac did eventually defeat the iron statue, and though fully healed, decided his arm was a bit tired.

We checked the area for anything useful, as there were so many remains of others that had arrived here before us, and we found some neat things! Windy cast a spell to detect magic, and picked up some magic arrows, potions, a dagger (with the symbol of Tymora on it), and a plain (but magic) steel ring. When I came over to see the ring, he dropped down on one knee and acted like people do when they are proposing— he’s such a joker sometimes! I think I have a scroll to identify the magic, but I doubt I have time right now to cast that kind of spell. I imagine we’ll be heading up the stairs in a moment.

Posted by Kristin on September 11, 2006, 23:48

Fire and Ice

Mirtul 30, Mysterious Tower

I decided to go ahead and wear that magic ring, though I can’t tell if it does anything yet. We all headed up the steps (accept for the wolf, who continued to sit outside the main doors). We found three doors— what fun! I could tell my companions were excited about seeing what lie behind them, as Windy and Kor’tac opened one at nearly the same moment that Seren opened another. Cold blasted out through the one Windy and Kor’tac opened, and Seren caught on fire as she hastily closed her door! I ran over to Seren, who was casting a water spell over herself, but not managing to get the fire put out. I rolled her around in the resulting puddle as Mishklo healed her quickly. She was upset that she’d let out a fire elemental, and I was about to congratulate her on her quick thinking by closing the door, when the door exploded in a shower of burning splinters. The three of us ran across the hall to where Windy and the orc were.

Not much better— they were fighting a bunch of ice mephits in a kitchen area flanked by more doors. The mephits stayed up around the ceiling of this (very cold!) room, blasting us with shards of ice. Windy and I assessed the entire situation— he put up the illusion of a block of ice in the door to keep the fire elemental out, while I made fire appear to crawl across the ceiling toward the mephits. It worked well enough too— the fire elemental was obviously frustrated by the apparent icy barricade, and I was able to herd all the mephits to one corner, where Kor’tac did a great deal of damage to them. It was hard to concentrate; their attacks were bitterly cold, but we were all able to shake that off once the last one was defeated. After that, Windy kept up the wall of ice while the rest of us shot the fire creature though it. It decided it had enough and wandered off towards the stairs down, at which point Mishklo remembered he’d left his wolf unprotected!

The panicked druid ran out of the room and lured the fire elemental back towards us! Windy created another wall of ice, though with the druid running back and forth, it was amazing that the fire elemental didn’t realize it was an illusion. I begged Seren, who has some gift with animals, to call the wolf up the other set of steps, but either it didn’t hear her, or didn’t care.

I did the only thing I could think of to help— I attempted to fascinate the fire creature by juggling balls of “fire” while Mishklo ran past it to retrieve the wolf. The wolf didn’t want to budge, so he had to drag it past the elemental on the return trip. The entire time, the fire elemental just stood there, entranced. That was fun! When the druid was safely out of harm’s way, I dropped the act and made a mad dash for the chilly kitchen. When we were all safe, Windy put an ice illusion in front of the door. The rest of us swarmed through a door leading up to the top floor. We found ourselves in an ornate (but dusty) living room full of neat furniture. I called to Windy to come up and see as I started to poke around. When he thought the fire elemental was no longer bothering with us, he ran up to join us— and then we realized the wolf was still down in the kitchen. We got him back with the group and closed the door to the living room, turning to a door leading to a very nice bedroom, also apparently long unused. As we looked around in this room, we noticed a glow from the living room— the fire elemental decided to bother with us after all! We were trapped in a room with no other exits—if the fire elemental didn’t burn us alive, the resulting smoke from burning furnishings would kill us. I made an illusion of wave of water flow out of the bedroom— it was effective in keeping the elemental out in the other room, but, even though I thought Kor’tac was concentrating on fighting the creature and facing away from me, the wave managed to knock him over. My illusions must be better than I thought! He got up, grumbling, and continued to beat on the fire creature while Mishklo healed any and all return fire. We all shot at the thing, hoping that our bolts weren’t providing it with fuel. Eventually, we defeated the elemental, but it took a lot of effort!

Now, I was going to identify some of these magic items while some of my friends took turns sleeping in this bedroom, but I guess I nodded off right after pulling out the scroll I was going to use. I wonder why Windy didn’t wake me up to take a shift watching? I had a very weird dream: I was me, but I was much smaller, and flying, and I could see myself walking a dozen or so feet below. The “me” below put an arm out, and I was flying towards it when I woke up, slightly disoriented. Now, where did that scroll get to?

Posted by Kristin on September 21, 2006, 16:47


Mirtul 30, Astral Plane

While the story may now be irrelevant, there is not a lot to do here, so I will write it down anyway. As my friends woke up this morning, we looked around the room we’d spent our “night” in, finding little of interest other than a book on roses. The room beside us, previously known as the living room, was ash. We explored the remainder of the hall beyond, coming to what appeared to be a study, complete with a desk lit by two glowing orbs and an unusual-looking sword hanging on the wall above it. Seren went to inspect it closer and was greeted with “Don’t touch that!” for her trouble.

A lot of arguing with the mysterious (and invisible) voice revealed that we were in the study of one Master Illic, and the unseen guardian was simply following instructions left by his master, oblivious to the obvious long-absence of said master. I did not like talking to a disembodied voice, so I threw some of the ever-present ash on the area I suspected the voice to be coming from— this revealed a pair of humanoid legs, at least. Further discussion revealed that the master was in his “workshop” elsewhere in the tower. There was only one little room we had not visited. Kor’tac negated the need to pick the lock, and we soon stood in front of an opening with stairs leading up. I went up to discover (as we suspected) that the trapdoor to the roof had previously occupied the square hole above the steps. Seren began to climb up the steps as well, but stopped halfway up, saying she sensed a portal in the wall beside her. I couldn’t see it, but that made more sense than a rooftop workshop!

We went back to the study and asked for a way to get to the master’s workshop. The unseen voice (ash coating having disappeared while we were gone) said that the key was in the top drawer of the desk. I went to open the drawer and was reminded not to touch the master’s things. So, I asked if I could use a spell to lift the key; the invisible servant had no problem with that, so using mage hand, I obtained the key and moved it back to where Seren indicated. The key lit up briefly and suddenly there was a glowing door in the wall!

We all scrambled through the opening and found ourselves in a large chamber. There was some sort of iron statue or inactive golem in one corner, and alchemist’s equipment on a large table. There was also a throne, upon which was the withered husk of what looked like a human, it’s skeletal hand resting on a glowing blue orb on a pedestal beside it. Its eyes looked dead and its robes were coated in dust.

Things went downhill from here. The figure (at least, we thought it was the figure) told us to begone, and made some vague threats, though its lips never moved, nor did it stir from the throne. All of a sudden, skeletons were simply appearing in groups around Seren! Kor’tac attempted to attack the figure and the orb, but slumped over as his axe hit the blue globe. It briefly flashed a brighter blue. Mishklo, always stepping in to heal, rushed to the orc’s aid; he too fell lifeless as the orb flashed. Even his wolf followed suit! More skeletons were appearing every few seconds. I attempted what I hoped was a song that would frighten them away, as I feared they would completely fill the room; Windy shot the orb. It did not shatter, and Windy slumped over, apparently lifeless— and the orb flashed brighter again. Seren and I were the only two left standing, and the room was so full of skeletons that I could barely make her out 15’ away! She shouted to smash it, which I tried to do with mage hand, but I met with too much resistance. I did the only thing I could think of— I grabbed the druid’s backpack, tumbled through a horde of skeletons, and tossed the bag over the orb.

Well, the backpack was an inter-dimensional space, and the orb did not react as I had anticipated. There was a flash, I think. I may have blacked out, or just lost track of time, but I found myself floating in apparent nothingness moments later. Seren, thank gods, was alive and nearby. I made my way over to her somehow. The skeletons were disappearing one by one. Kor’tac was nearby; sadly, he is dead. Windy and the druid are just... gone. I saw them both fall, and in my heart I know they are dead too.

Kor’tac was always so concerned about our safety, so it’s ironic that we are now using his tower shield as a makeshift raft— it is the most substantial thing we could find other than the orc himself. I’m not sure how long we’ve been drifting (if we’re even moving), but Seren has a knack for seeing portals, so we hope to eventually find someplace with sky and ground. We seem to be moving towards something large— it looks like a ship!

Posted by Kristin on September 27, 2006, 00:33

Error and Trial

Kythorn 4, Skullport

The last few days fairly flew by, but they weren’t fast enough! At first, Seren and I were waving to get the ship’s attention. But, then we got a good look at that ship, and the crew— Githyanki! Evil creatures that hate most other species— I didn’t want to risk that we were part of the list of “other species.” We decided to get out of their way as quickly as possible. Seren, flying creature that she is, had a good idea, and we took advantage of the ability to move in three dimensions and moved our makeshift raft under the ship. We caught another glimpse of the people on board and noticed a halfling, a gnome, and what looked like a very small upright dragon. We decided to risk showing ourselves and were invited on board.

When we boarded, we were greeted by a very exuberant halfling and the more easy-going “dragonborn” (he said he was born an elf and became a dragon by choice!). We also met a 12’ tall blue man— a mercane! He introduced himself (telepathically, that was weird!) as a merchant who had hired the ship Gaath and its crew; and asked if we needed assistance. Upon saying we needed passage to (we hoped) Waterdeep, we were amazed to learn that the mercane, who called himself Jrun, would be headed that way after he picked up a shipment of goods, and would hire us as “guards” for the trip. The only drawback was that we would be stopping in Tu’narath, a githyanki town used as a trading port, before the last leg of the trip back home.

But back to our new companions, all of whom apparently had arrived in the astral plane from our area of Toril by similarly weird means. The dragon-elf, called “Soveliss” is very focused on fighting the spawn of Tiamat and wants to get back to it as soon as possible. The halfling, well, it was hard to say if he was just a bit more eccentric than other halflings I’ve met, or if the strain of being sucked into the astral plane did something to his mind. I heard him call himself “Flin” all of one time; after that, everyone was simply “Bob.” We were using the very patient Soveliss as a means of practicing magic— I assumed. Flin would levitate the dragon-elf, so I added some pretty lights, which seemed to please the halfling. He determined he could levitate himself due to the nature of the plane, and began to spin around and do fancy maneuvers, eventually appearing on my shoulders. All the while, he kept whispering to Seren “They’re trying to kill me!” and “I’m going to wake up soon!” and “Bob.”

I guess the gnome didn’t take too kindly to Flin’s overly-friendly nature— he shot him in the back of the head with an arrow! Seren healed Flin quickly, but the very law-loving githyanki had seen the encounter and took both the attacker and victim away in chains. The mercane whispered that they would get a “fair trial before their execution”! I begged audience with the captain of the ship, but he was unwavering on the matter. I still had hope that we could convince the judge at the “trial” that no real harm had been done.

We arrived in Tu’narath in a day, and were each provided with a green armband to signify our “legal” guest status. It was a horrible town though, and we chose not to wander.

The trial was a brief affair— Flin simply didn’t say anything intelligible (he seemed to be firmly convinced that he was dreaming), and the whisper gnome was characteristically quiet. We had no chance to speak on their behalf, and the last time we saw them, they were being led away in shackles, though Flin was spinning in his chains— for amusement, or to test the strength of them, I was unsure. I can tell that Seren feels the same way I do about the whole affair. Actually, Soveliss probably does too, but he’s unnervingly practical about the matter, and suggested we keep a low profile while in town.

It was difficult to continue ignoring the mounting injustices we saw in this “lawful” city! Jrun took us to a warehouse next, where he was to obtain his cargo for the trip to Waterdeep. We arrived and met with a winged female with red eyes, through which he obtained three crates of wares— as he inspected them, I couldn’t help but notice that the crates contained weapons, all made of a green metal. I had not seen such weapons before, but had heard of the metal: Baatorian Green steel. That gave me a bad feeling! Seeing about twenty chained slaves be escorted in by some githyanki as “payment,” and subsequently be escorted through a portal with the female devil, well, let’s say it’s a good thing that Soveliss had said to keep a low profile, or I probably would have gotten myself killed. Instead, the three of us stood by meekly until the mercane was done with his negotiations, at which point we returned to the Gaath.

The three-day trip was uneventful, for which I was grateful. The few times I slept I had the weird flying dream again, and woke each time feeling like I had forgotten something. Eventually we came to a large gray portal hanging in the astral plane. The ship passed through, and we were home, or at least, in the right neighborhood. We were in an area near Waterdeep called Skullport, part of the seedy underbelly of the city that I’ve never actually spent time in. We followed Jrun to a squalid tavern called the Iron Tankard and were let in through a back door. He delivered his merchandise, and handed us each 100 gold coins— our business with him was, mercifully, complete. We headed out through the bar, gave a few coins to the barkeep, and were provided with information for the safest route back to the City of Splendors. Right before we were about to step through a portal that was to take us to the city, a fruit bat flapped up in front of me and squeaked that was about time I showed up.

Posted by Kristin on October 3, 2006, 00:00

A Little Batty

Kythorn 4, Waterdeep

The little bat barely had time to introduce himself to me as my familiar “Pratt”— I had summoned him while attempting to identify an item using a spell scroll from much further north (so that tower was on this world!) and then promptly got sucked into the astral plane before he could reach me. The poor thing had been flapping around for days, lost. Most gnomes get burrowing creatures for familiars, but then, most gnomes that get familiars are mages. I shall have to determine whether a bat can juggle or sing....

I would have asked right then, but we saw some unusual (though maybe not for Skullport) activity nearby. Four people across the street from us were lugging an unconscious, chained halfling into an alley— and the halfling was Flin! Almost as one, the three of us determined this was our way of redeeming ourselves for our inability to act at his trial. Seren, followed by Pratt, flew down the alley after them, in time to see them duck into a building. She came back with the information as Soveliss and I were already making our way towards the spot. Soveliss did a quick check of the door for traps and we hastily passed through the door ourselves. We were in a dimly-lit, decaying hallway with three doors. One door took us to a room with a collapsed ceiling— no footprints, so obviously not the route taken by Flin’s captors. Another door led us to a room with a table and chairs, but was otherwise empty and lacked any other exits. The remaining door opened into a room filled with crates and barrels, but Soveliss spotted a hidden door. He got it open and we found steps leading down. So far, this was easy! The dragon-elf started down the steps, followed by myself and Seren. Suddenly, there was a “click!” followed by an exclamation of dismay by Soveliss as the stair treads turned into a slide; we all shot downward another twenty feet, landing between and on spikes at the bottom. I quickly cast a healing spell on Seren, who had landed badly, while Soveliss tossed a grappling hook and rope up to the ledge of the pit. Pratt flitted up and helpfully declared it the best hooked-ropey thing he’d ever seen and was sure it was secure; Seren scrambled up that and found footing, so we followed.

We found ourselves at the door to a temple of sorts. There was a rather large room with pillars supporting the ceiling, and an altar at the far end, with the symbol of the evil god Cyric depicted above it. And on the altar— the unconscious halfling! Unfortunately, the four people we followed where there as well, and they weren’t human— at least, not anymore.

I had started to sing a song that would have struck fear into their hearts had they been beating, but dropped it in favor of a weapon. Seren called upon the power of her goddess to turn the zombies, but something about the unholiness of the place was making it difficult. So, she threw oil on the closest creature and I lit that. The undead thing went up in a blaze and was quickly destroyed. She was then able to successfully turn the other three, who went behind the altar to cower.

Getting into the room was difficult— it took several attempts for us to pass over the threshold. When we did, I cast a spell I knew could effect undead, knocking them off their feet long enough for Soveliss to run to the altar and grab Flin, after which we took off like bats out of the nine hells (sorry, Pratt!). We barreled down the alley to the portal and hopped through— arriving in... an alley.

This alley didn’t have the oppressive feel of the one in Skullport, and after a few moments, we were confident that we were, indeed, in Waterdeep. Soveliss felt a little odd carrying what appeared to be a lifeless halfling through the streets; I couldn’t tell what was wrong with Flin, but Seren looked him over and determined he’d been drugged and would sleep it off. So, we found our way to the Dripping Dagger Inn and got a pair of adjoining rooms.

Soveliss went off to find a place to bathe while Seren and I kept an eye on the halfling. We were prepared to see the fun-loving Flin we had met on the githyanki ship, so were surprised when he awoke that he did not remember us, or much of what he’d spoken of on the ship, or how he’d arrived in Waterdeep. Soveliss returned with dinner and also attempted to convince the somber halfling that we meant him no harm whatsoever, but eventually we had to just let him go out into the city on his own, with the suggestion that he come back to these rooms (Soveliss had procured them for a 10-day) when he was done roaming. Seren and I are going to sell some of our (and Kor’tac’s) gear we no longer need in the marketplace— perhaps we’ll find something good to buy, or something else to do. We’ve only been home for a few hours and I’m all ready to find our next adventure.

Posted by Kristin on October 11, 2006, 15:11


Kythorn 5, Waterdeep

I had to talk Seren into buying some things for herself in the market place— I think I convinced her that the items she eventually bought would help anyone traveling with her. We found her a nice holy symbol that is supposed to be scarier to undead and a little silver figurine of a raven— that actually can turn into a raven. We also finally got the items we found identified (since when I tried to identify them, I got a bat familiar instead). I’m wearing a ring with powerful protection magic on it, and she’s carrying a largish dagger that is supposed to provide her with good fortune (I could have told her that much— it has Tymora’s symbol on it!). Seren tried to get the raven to find Flin, but of course, all halflings looked alike to the raven, so no luck there.

We eventually wandered back to the tavern and found Soveliss. A few bards were having a “lute off” but I didn’t feel like joining them (even though I’m sure I’d have won easily). Seren, her raven, and Pratt decided to sit in the rafters after a bit, so I spent my time practicing my listening-to-other-peoples’-conversations skills. I heard a lot:

  • The city’s navy is out on maneuvers for a mock battle.
  • There’s been a rash of “lower-class” human disappearances in the Dock Ward, between Net and Fish streets.
  • There are rumors of an underground war in the Dock Ward.
  • Gang violence is on the rise, and it’s been more organized than it used to be.
  • There was a recent competition in Undermountain. The group that won got a lucrative contract with a caravan. Three other groups (of those that made it out of Undermountain, that is) also got similar caravan contracts, though none of them have ever returned from those duties.
Flin eventually returned from wherever it was that he went, ate quite a bit (Soveliss was buying) and wandered off, presumably to sleep. I found a place to bathe, and then headed off to the room I was sharing with Seren.

After a night without any explosions, planeshifts, or other disasters, I met the group for breakfast and shared what I had overheard the night before. They seemed eager to check out the disappearances in the Dock Ward, even though none of us are human or really know any humans all that well. Soveliss decided he also wanted to look for a shop that catered to Those That Have Become Dragons. Seren has decided to flutter about spreading flower petals; I figured that would be a good time to practice listening to other people again. Flin did something in a shop— I could swear he traded a rock for a key with another halfling, but I was only half paying attention, and as I mentioned, it was with another halfling.

Now we are hiding in the Dock Ward. I think we are planning to either see someone disappear, or prevent it, or possibly try to get abducted. I’m a little unclear on the strategy behind it, but so far nothing bad has happened, at least!

Posted by Kristin on October 19, 2006, 00:09


Kythorn 5, Waterdeep

Something happened pretty quickly! As we all watched from our respective hiding spots, a drunken man stumbled into the alley we’d set up in. Three small shadowy figures detached themselves from the sides of the alley and began to move towards him. He slurred out “Tymora bless the little people!” as they got closer. I didn’t feel good about the situation and had my crossbow ready, so when I saw three blades appear in creatures’ hands, I let a bolt fly towards one. Soveliss apparently had felt the same way, as I saw another shaft hit one at almost the same time as mine did.

The creatures screeched and howled, and as they thrashed at the bolts, their movement revealed long tails and snouts. Wererats? I had never seen one before, and wanted to unnerve them, so when one came close and attempted to harm me with a blade, I acted as if I too were a shapeshifter and altered my form into that of a larger rat person. I had only ever seen rats as familiars actually, so I turned myself into a large, white, bipedal rat. I’m not sure I got the reaction I was expecting— they all ran away. My companions and I went to pursue them, but saw the drunk being hauled off in a different direction after being grabbed by some greenish, foul-smelling creatures.

We pursued, and though Seren gave me some odd looks, it was easy enough to convince her that I had only used a spell, though speaking around those big teeth was momentarily unsettling.

We were catching up to the abductors in another dark alley, and as we did so, Flin and Soveliss became sickened by the stench that wafted off of them. The creatures split up; Flin and Seren chased after one while Soveliss and I dealt with the other. I pulled out a sunrod to aid me in casting a spell from a scroll, and cast a grease spell under the green creature. As I tumbled past it to provide a flanking advantage for Soveliss, I caught a whiff— I managed to keep composure, but I’m quite certain I’ve never smelled anything so bad in my life! We were able to defeat it— I kept pulling it over with my whip (and the aid of the grease) allowing Soveliss to attack it in melee. We could see that it was a ghast, an intelligent undead creature. The thing made a successful attack on Soveliss, knocking him out, so I cast a healing spell on it— that put it out of its misery! I cast what I had left to heal Soveliss and get him moving again.

Poor Pratt! He was doing his best to follow our companions, but when I gasped from the ghast’s stench he apparently opened his mouth— and a moth flew in. He was horrified (he eats fruit, not bugs!) and worse, I swear I could taste the moth too! Needless to say, he lost sight of our companions during his “ordeal.” I am still occasionally getting little mental glimpses from his bug invasion.

We lucked out though. After wandering past a street from which music was emanating, there was an open sewer grate in the direction we thought they’d headed. At this point, Soveliss asked me to go back to looking like a gnome, so I did, and had Pratt settle on my shoulders. We then proceeded down into the sewers ourselves, and found Seren’s “spare” holy symbol wedging a door open. We had to guess when we came to a “T” which way to go, and were about to commit to a direction when we saw Seren’s silver raven fly past (I knew the purchase of the new holy symbol and silver raven would be good investments for her!). We quickly followed it as it made its way back to the gloaming. While we were glad to find her, it turns out that the raven had come back to alert her that Flin was in trouble— so we all ran back in the direction from which the raven came. It brought us to an area that had some caltrops tossed around, and it was clear that someone or something had walked through the area, but the halfling was nowhere in sight.

Posted by Kristin on October 25, 2006, 23:39

Monster Mash

Kythorn 8, Waterdeep

Luckily, Seren is pretty good at tracking, especially when there is a blood trail to follow. Assuming we were on the trail of Flin, we followed droplets of blood, eventually having to go through 3’ high sewer tunnels (Soveliss had to crawl, and Pratt became a makeshift cape for me as he wrapped his little leathery wings around my shoulders). We stopped once to check our bearings and heard some very disturbing sounds— tearing flesh and lip-smacking?

We hurried ahead to find ourselves in a 20’ hexagonal room with a tunnel in each side. In the middle sat a ghoul eating... something. We hastily killed the foul undead and found its victim— a halfling. Flin! I quickly cast a healing spell on him. I think he’d been awake, just paralyzed, during the ordeal.

The four of us would have left the place then, but I heard a scream from one of the tunnels. We decided to investigate and headed down a sloping tunnel, following the sounds of a woman sobbing. Soon we arrived in an octagonal chamber with sixteen tunnels radiating from it. There were four stakes in the middle of the area, with four humans chained to them— one woman and three men. One man was dead, but Soveliss went to pick the locks on the remaining three. Seren and I had gone up to the stakes while Flin kept watch from our access tunnel. Suddenly, the chained corpse began to move! Seren and I fought it, but it managed to hit her, paralyzing her instantly (this was not the first time; poor Seren keeps getting paralyzed by these things— I think they are attracted to her glow, or her holy symbol). I re-killed it with a well-placed bolt and dragged her back to the tunnel entrance as Soveliss unlocked the final live human. We got the woman to stay with us; the two men ran off— one up a tunnel we’d not yet explored, and the other scrambled past Flin. We could hear creatures coming towards our position and began to move as quickly as we could back out. A scream cut short, emanated from the tunnel ahead of us; I had to threaten to put Pratt in the woman’s hair to get her to pull it together enough to keep moving.

The five of us came out in the hexagonal chamber, our other rescuee already slain by the ever-hungry ghouls. We continued through as quickly as we could, and intended to run straight out to the surface, getting the woman to a temple for healing, when we realized that Flin had stayed back in that room to fight the ghouls that had killed the male human. Soveliss agreed to take charge of getting the woman to safety while Seren and I headed back towards the hexagon chamber again. Suddenly, we felt an earth shattering rumble, and saw what looked to be a largish evergreen tree coming straight for us. It ended its “growth spurt” a few feet in front of us, and we could see halfling feet sticking out from the branches. We pulled Flin out of the branches and patched him up a bit, and I admonished him that we would not save his life a fourth time in the same 24-hour time period— I’m starting to think he enjoys that.

We got out of the sewers, and found ourselves in the quiet alley again. This time we followed the faint sound of music we’d all heard, and discovered that it came from a building called “3 Pearls Festhall.” We also found members of the Nightwatch and told them of the activities in the sewers. They escorted us to Helm’s Hall to make sure we’d not brought any ghoul diseases up with us. Seren was livid to be a “hostage” to the temple for two days. I was okay with it, since I wasn’t injured, but the silly clerics didn’t believe me and kept me there with them for two days as well!

Pratt was still very upset about the “bug incident” but he says he talked to a therapist weasel (whether on staff at the temple, or a figment of his imagination, he didn’t say) and is now just satisfied that the moth wasn’t the bigger party. Honestly! I’ve never heard of such problems with a familiar. I have a distant cousin who has a rather bossy rat, but at least the rat doesn’t drive her to distraction.

Miranda (the human woman) turned out to be rather ill from her ordeal, so it was lucky for her at least, that we wound up resting.

During our stay, the Watch came back and took statements from us all, and met us again as we were gathering up our gear to leave. They determined that we were better suited to handle the problem in the sewers than the local law enforcement! They are willing to pay us 2000 gold apiece for the effort and an additional 50 gold for each ghoul head we bring back as proof. We can have some of the money upfront for replenishing our gear. We also decided to take one evening off before going in, so we headed back to that Festhall. There was actually a line to get in, and a half-orc bouncer that eyed each person in line suspiciously before allowing entrance. I made sure to befriend that fellow on the way in!

The inside was huge, with many bards performing, large bouncers milling about, and secluded alcoves for seating. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open while we plan for tomorrow’s delve.

Posted by Kristin on October 31, 2006, 14:29

The Lurking Fihyr

Kythorn 9, Waterdeep

I listened for rumors as I mingled with some of the patrons of the 3 Pearls Festhall. Nothing I heard was terribly useful or even new— unless you count the one about the city guard having hired adventurers to eliminate whatever was causing the disappearances. I also learned that this festhall is where many “famous” bards supposedly got their start. I wanted to put that to the test myself, but I wasn’t sure I could get Pratt to stop fretting and acting nervous. I did get permission from the proprietor of the festhall to sing a few songs, and Seren agreed to keep the fruit bat occupied while I did so.

The crowd seemed to like two of the songs I performed— the two that were more lament than cheerful— they threw about 40 coins at me. Flin must have seen that, as he ran up to where I’d just performed and did some unusual dancing (unusual in part because no one was playing any particular music at the time!) and I saw some coins flung his direction as well.

Now, all of this took place in the span of a few minutes, an hour at most. When I got back to the table that Soveliss had kept for us, I noticed my bat was sulking a bit, and his fur appeared to have some unusual tint to it. I am not sure if the tint was related to the sulking, as Seren didn’t mention anything about it. I have a cousin whose familiar was always changing colors— maybe it’s normal. The sulking is barely a step up from his previous nervousness though.

We eventually decided it would be best to turn in, so we headed back to the Dripping Dagger and to our rooms.

The night was blissfully uneventful. After breakfast, we gathered a few things from the markets (I bought as many scrolls as I could afford), and we were about to head to the sewers when it occurred to me that we could do our job much better if we had a map. A quick detour to visit the Watch provided us with a note, which we, in turn, took to the guild that maintains the sewers, and they were very cooperative, providing us with the most up-to-date map they had. Map in hand, we continued on to the sewers, and once inside, started to make our way to the octagon room where we had found the four humans chained.

As we wended our way through the tunnels, Seren glowing and leading the way, and I marking the walls with chalk, we came upon a six-legged rat-like creature. I had seen one of these “osquips” as a wizard’s familiar once, and assumed it was friendly— I attempted to talk to it while Flin (luckily) did not hit it with an arrow. It did not respond to me, but turned its back on us and scurried away. We followed it right to the octagon room and into a tunnel (all of us that is, except for Soveliss, who took much longer to navigate the small tunnels). We saw the creature scurry into an even smaller tunnel, and went to see where it had gone— but once we got to its nest (for that must have been all a 2’ wide tunnel could be!), we could see the osquip’s eyes glowing in the light shed by Seren, and a warning hiss— followed by similar sounds from small openings all around us! We took that opportunity to leave it, and its many cousins, alone.

Returning back to the octagonal area, we met up with Soveliss. Before we could decide on a direction to go, this abomination— all eyes and teeth and tentacles coming out of what looked like a pulsing brain— appeared from out of a side tunnel. Worse, it was followed by an identical creature, and both were determined to harm us! We all got into positions to attack them, and were doing so, when Seren and Flin dropped their weapons and ran out of the room! I was able to help Soveliss defeat one before I too had the urge to flee, and found myself running (in terror) into Flin moments later. Fortunately, Soveliss seemed immune to the creatures’ (what Seren calls “fihyrs”) fear attacks and was able to slay the second one. We are all back in the octagonal room, and after we catch our collective breath, will attempt to check the tunnel from which the fihyrs emerged.

Posted by Kristin on November 7, 2006, 23:58

Play Dead

Kythorn 9, Waterdeep

We wandered around looking for signs of more fihyr, or evidence of where they came from; perhaps they don’t come from anywhere. We had heard sounds from one of the other tunnels leading away from the octagon room, so we headed in that direction. Seren is very good at finding her way around down here (and is a great light source as well!), though when we’d come to a fork in the tunnels, I’d send Pratt up the opposite one to make sure we weren’t missing anything important.

We found ourselves in another “junction” room with two posts. We continued to hear scrabbling in other tunnels. Seren and Flin went ahead to check one out while I stayed behind, singing a sound to provide courage (and waiting for Soveliss to catch up with us in the smaller tunnels). Pratt came back to tell me that Seren and Flin had slain another, lone ghoul, so I went to help Flin move the body out of a rather small tunnel (and retrieve the head), while Pratt again flew off, this time to keep up with Seren.

Soveliss had just caught up with us when Pratt came screaming back to us— Seren had found another junction room with four posts, and there were bodies slumped again two of them. Flin suspected a trap; Soveliss and I agreed when we heard sounds of combat ahead— we got there quickly and found Seren fighting the two undead that had pretended to be shackled. Worse, Flin found another in a tunnel coming off of that junction room. I handed my everburning torch to Pratt, and then began to sing and shoot bolts into the attacking ghouls. As Soveliss arrived to help us, four more ghouls did as well; I found myself fighting two at a time! I thought we were doing well until one of the smarter, smellier ghasts arrived. I attacked it with a rather potent healing spell, which obviously hurt it, but the sheer number of undead was too much for us. I saw each of my friends either slumped unconscious on the floor, or paralyzed by the touch of the ghouls— and then I was hit myself. Unable to move, we were dragged helplessly away down a tunnel, the undead led by a robed figure...

Posted by Kristin on November 16, 2006, 23:07

Discombobulation and Debigification

Kythorn 9, Waterdeep

...I’m not sure if I passed out or it just got too dark to see. When I became aware and able to move again, I found myself manacled to a wall in a room with a single door, all of my equipment gone. My friends were all in the same room, all chained as well. Flin, not one to sit still, immediately began to work on his manacles with some tool that was overlooked by our captors; once he got his off, he released me (while Pratt had flapped over to the dragon-elf to provide a healing spell) and was unlocking Soveliss, when we heard footsteps outside the door. We quickly arranged ourselves to appear as if still manacled, but the robed figure and two ghoul assistants were interested in the still-really-chained Seren. They grabbed her and as I was debating some sort of suicidal attack on the enemy, Flin, Soveliss and Pratt all said “No!” in my direction at the same time. Instead, I sent Pratt with her, hidden between her wings.

As soon as they were gone we broke out of the cell and were on our way to where we thought Seren was being taken, when we heard sobbing from a room across the hall. We went into find four bedraggled humans and were trying to free them from their manacles when we heard a scream, and I felt Pratt letting me know that he and Seren were on their way back towards us— quickly. Moments later, she came into view, with the original kidnappers and a few additional humans on her tail. We found that fighting them without weapons was not working well, so I grabbed the now-paralyzed Flin and we all ran off in a direction that looked safer than where we were.

We were lucky! As we were barricading ourselves in a room filled with random supplies, Flin found all of our equipment! Seren also found a well-hidden door as our would-be captors began to bang on the barricaded door. We quickly scrambled through, saw another door, and opened it, only to see a room full of tables, chairs, and angry men with weapons.

For some reason, we were able to coordinate our attack this time; I sang a tune designed to strike fear into their hearts, while Flin introduced his dragon, at which point Soveliss struck an intimidating pose, and Seren added some ominous backlighting with a glow from behind the dragon-elf. Half of them ran or looked shaken (and at least one soiled himself from the sound of it). We easily dispatched the few that weren’t smart enough to run.

We left the room the same way the fleeing men had gone. We went up some steps, and found ourselves in a chamber with four arches, and a symbol of a single open eye engraved on the floor. I recognized the symbol as being that of the Agents of the Eye and realized we had just “infiltrated” Zanathar’s Thieves Guild. Oops.

Well, while I did that, Seren had sensed that one of the arches contained a portal; I said I could cast a spell to see where it went, rather than us all just piling through and hoping it would be safe. After I cast the spell, I noticed that each of the other arches also contained a portal. One was apparently malfunctioning and best avoided. Another appeared to be a long hallway of dwarven design. The third would land us in a grove of trees, and the fourth, an alleyway. Before we could discuss our options, Seren hopped through the one to the alley, so we followed.

Thankfully, we were still in Waterdeep, though now we were in the north side of the marketplace in the Castle Ward. We decided we’d need some more help to get the shackled people out of that area of the sewers that was crawling with undead, so we sought out the Watch and got four people willing to go back down with us. I’m also asking for some sort of magic ring or amulet we can use to provide “debigification” for Soveliss, in case we find ourselves in areas where he has to crawl again.

Posted by Kristin on November 26, 2006, 22:39

Look Out

Kythorn 9, Waterdeep

Assuming we’d have time to find a solution to Soveliss’s bigness at a later time, we took four of the Watch with us and headed back down through the portal to the thieves guild (which was now bereft of bodies) and through to the sewers. The creatures so keen to break through our barricaded door were nowhere to be seen, so we made our way to the cell where we had found the ghouls’ hostages. They were not inside, but Flin did find some ghouls instead!

I was having trouble keeping track during the ensuing battle, not only because it came from two fronts (our old cell having been filled with ghouls as well), or the additional tall people to fight around, but also because Pratt seemed to be screaming a lot. I don’t think anyone else could hear him, but the constant squeals of “Look out!” and “There’s another!” was distracting. I actually ended up shooting one of the humans! I quickly made my way over to heal him and apologize. Meanwhile, Pratt was screaming that something big was coming, and sure enough, something big was. Before I caught sight of it, I could see that the hulking undead had a disgusting reaction to Soveliss’s attacks: it was gushing gallons of blood all over the poor dragon-elf.

I made my way behind that battle, as I realized no one was watching down the hall during the chaos. Seren fluttered by, having apparently run out of ghouls to slay, and asked for a light—she was going to drop oil on the bloated, bloody thing. I gave Pratt a lit candle (he seems to do better when he has a task to focus on) and he flapped along behind Seren, dropping the candle at just the right moment. The creature burned for a while, and I think that would have done it in, but Seren decided to hasten things more and stab at it. It exploded, showering gore over her, Soveliss, and a few of the Watch. At least it wasn’t getting back up.

I cast a minor spell to clean them up, and we headed down the hall from which the blood hulk had arrived. We found a room filled with surgical tables and the smell of death and decay—and a pile of human skins. Seren and Pratt recognized the room as the one the necromancer had dragged her off to earlier. He was nowhere to be found, the coward.

The other end of the hall seemed to provide some more activity though. Six ghouls appeared from a doorway. Seren of course could fly over them and into the room, and I could tell something interesting was going on in there, but first we needed to dispatch the ghouls. I keep knocking them down with spells, and once my comrades dispatch the prone creatures, we’ll have a look at whatever Seren found....

Posted by Kristin on December 6, 2006, 23:32

Attacking the Darkness

Kythorn 9, Waterdeep

We thought Seren found a lich. The creature she did find certainly looked and acted like one— it’s skin was stretched and dry, and it cast magic spells and surrounded itself with undead, including another nasty blood hulk. I cast a spell to make the corridor into a nightmare terrain, which entangled the ghouls long enough for us to finish them off while Flin managed to get into the room with the lich-thing. Seren was enjoying catching the blood hulk on fire.

Once the hallway was clear of undead, we made our way into the room where we could hear Flin being attacked by the lich-thing. Except, we couldn’t see the assailant, as it was inside a globe of darkness. Bolts of energy were managing to hit Flin though, despite the fact that he kept moving. I attempted to trip the lich-thing by dragging my whip through the area, but I just didn’t manage to hit it, so I decided to try walking into the darkness and attack from there. After a few tries, I hit! I yanked for all I was worth, and dragged my captive in closer. My opponent was cleverer than I thought, and managed to entangle me in something at the same time, causing us to both go down in a heap. I only realized then that my captive was no taller than I, and (thankfully) no heavier. Damn it.

Now that we knew where each other was, Flin was able to use a grappling hook to catch the lich-thing; I managed to keep hold of Flin as we navigated out of the darkness, pulling the lich along behind us. Except, it turned out not to be a lich at all, but someone who had dressed himself in the skins of his victims. The consensus seems to be that he needs to be taken to jail by the Watch, though I’m of the opinion that we kill the abomination and use a spell to speak with dead if we need further information on his crimes.

Posted by Kristin on December 27, 2006, 14:29