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February 1, 2006


Morwenna's Journal

Growfest 2, 593 CY, unknown island

We decided to go find some rocks for a funeral pyre, intending to burn the bodies found in the lighthouse. We walked along the beach and found a lot of edible things, praise Yondalla! Triaa led us to a stretch of shoreline where we could see a ship’s mast sticking out of the water, and a cave entrance off in the distance. Before anyone could say anything though, the mad elf jumped into the water and swam out to the ship. He was back, moments later, with twelve pirate zombies in pursuit!

Now, I’m not entirely clear on how other gods provide their clerics with the ability to fight undead, but it seems to be pretty hit or miss with Boccob (Alexander’s) and Olidammara (Dora’s), as the zombies would back off from their wrath briefly and then come right back! I threw some rocks at a few, and we managed to destroy two of them, but the rest kept wandering back to us. Triaa actually wrested a scimitar out of the hands of one before we had to head back to the lighthouse.

Alexander and I burned the bodies found in the lighthouse on a pyre we built on the beach; we said as many of the proper prayers as we could think of between us. It was getting late so we headed into the lighthouse and locked it up. I had to grab a mattress from Triaa to sleep on— he wanted to use it for “fire.” In spite of his earlier mishap, he seems drawn to it like, well, a moth to flame! He offered to take first watch and I fell asleep wondering what would remain in the tower when his watch was over. There was one brief disturbance during the night when some humanoid-lizard creatures came up on the beach to inspect the pyre— I hope that they were only there to say a prayer and not to look for food! Eventually, we heard the sounds of drums drift down from caves on the mountains.

After the sun came up, we were determined to finish off the evil undead on the beach, and once again, fire seemed to be the answer, though I brought a makeshift spear with me. Anyway, we built a bonfire on the beach and Triaa went and antagonized the pirates in their watery grave again. This time though, he brought fourteen up; I have a bad feeling that there are hundreds down there! The turning of the undead didn’t seem to go so well this time, though Triaa struck down what was apparently the captain of the lot. I am worried about Dora, because, in typical dwarf fashion, she wades into the center of a battle, but in her case, she is unarmored and barely armed! I gave her my spear when another scimitar-toting zombie was destroyed, but eventually we had to retreat— Triaa was staggering and Dora was unconscious. Alexander took her from me after I pulled her out from between some aggressive undead, and Triaa stayed more or less on his feet but wouldn’t have survived another attack. We ran back to the lighthouse.

Posted by Kristin at 15:27 | Morwenna’s Journal

February 14, 2006

In the Dark

Morwenna's Journal

Growfest 3, 593 CY, unknown island

May Yondalla forgive me for not understanding Her plans! I know it is not my place to question, but I find it difficult to guide this new group of friends She has blessed me with.

As we struggled back up the beach to the lighthouse, I wondered again why Yondalla chose these people for our quest. I mean, I grew up in a city that had lots of other races in it, but I spent much time in the temple, among halflings. (In spite of our six-foot-high cathedral ceilings, most other races considered our beautiful shrine to be claustrophobic and rarely visited.) I fear I didn’t take much time to visit other temples or learn about other religions. So, I guess I understand why Dora and Alexander are here; I’m not sure what to make of Triaa.

Though, it seems, the two clerics and I had the same idea about Triaa. Alexander restored consciousness to Dora, and they healed themselves fully, leaving me to tend to battered elf. Alas, I had done as much as I could for him earlier in the day, and we all felt that providing him with minor healing would just give him incentive to run outside of the lighthouse to get killed, as he seems to have a death wish. So, we plunked him in one of the beds and I sat on him for the majority of the day (leaving only long enough to prepare some seafood we’d found along the beach), knowing he’d pass out from the exertion if he tried to get up.

Triaa was still prone when I returned with lunch, and Dora was reading from a small leather journal she’d found tucked into the mattress. While we ate, I got a bit of a recap of what had been read:

The journal had belonged to Mirval Kojar, with the last entry being six months ago. The final entry said, “A ship is pulling into the south part of the island. Pirates are returning and will hopefully ignore us again.”

Older entries detailed how he and his wife Sterna, and children Colin and Mirval Jr. had come to this island from the City of Greyhawk to study the ruins at the top of distant the mountain. His most exciting find was an underground chamber with a pedestal in the center. Examination of the pedestal revealed several “sockets” of different shapes. He also found a diamond-shaped piece of mithral with strange markings on it; inserting it into the pedestal did nothing.

Throughout the journal Mirval also mentioned the dangers of the island. The trees were the habitat of some large spiders and their two-legged counterparts, there were troglodytes (with whom the Kojar family traded), and of course the pirates’ cove in the southwest part of the island.

While Dora and Alexander continued to read and explore (and make many inappropriate jokes, I might add), I regaled Triaa with the wonders of Yondalla and fashioned a shell necklace out of the leftovers from lunch, hoping to see if “trade” might be possible with the troglodytes that had visited the lighthouse the night before. I also set another bonfire on the beach just before dusk, and left the necklace outside. Alexander thought his knowledge of the draconic language might help further our goal of trade.

Sure enough, the lizard-like men returned during the night, this time coming to the door and banging on it as if to open it. Dora and Alexander had been asleep, and I was once again keeping an eye on Triaa, though by now he was able to stand up and watch the beach from the top of our watchtower. As I ran past a lower window in the tower on my way to wake Alexander, I couldn’t help but try and sense if there was any evil intent in the troglodytes; a sensation of evil flooded my senses. I yelled, “Evil!” as the creatures continued to bash at the door. Mere moments later, I saw something fall from the top of the tower; Triaa had dropped a knife, and, with amazing aim, managed to injure one of the lizard creatures. With a yelp and an angry hiss, the evil beings ran away from the lighthouse and back into the trees. Alexander didn’t need to translate that!

The rest of the night passed uneventfully. Triaa felt considerably better thanks to his forced bed rest. After a quick breakfast we decided to head to the cave we’d seen in the pirates’ cove.

When we got there, I recommended we start getting materials together to build a raft, as the cave opening was out a few hundred feet into the bay. Triaa decided to just dive in and start swimming, so I suggested we may as well do the same and dove in myself. It was only at this point, after inhaling a lungful of seawater, that I remembered I wasn’t a terrific swimmer. Fortunately for me, my friends on shore got the elf’s attention and he came back and pulled me out. Embarrassingly enough, I could actually keep my own head just above water if I stood up. Worse, this rush to the cave was my fault. I had told Triaa that the Protector and Provider would lead us to the sword he had lost upon our arrival here; he was just truly desperate to find it! He began to swim out again, and I attempted to keep up, this time trying to swim on the surface of the water. Dora and Alexander, for some reason, decided to hang back, possibly watching for more pirate zombies.

I swam right into the cave, which thankfully had some light in it. There were two rowboats pulled up on a small sandy beach. Four large crabs (by large, I mean I could have ridden one!) were near the boats; two others were pulling at something in the back of the cave, and worse, whatever it was must have been in pain as it was groaning pitifully! I attempted to get closer to help, and discovered that the two crabs were playing tug-o-war with a huge sword— and the sword was making the sounds!

Triaa did not seem as concerned about those crabs, but quickly flipped a boat over one pair, then stood on top of it, flipped the other boat onto another crab, and skewered the remaining one, all while I was still climbing out of the water. I yelled, “Crabs!” out the cave opening, thinking to hurry Dora and Alexander. They did swim in eventually, but by that time Triaa had dispatched the remaining “loose” crabs and retrieved the sword— his sword. At least I don’t sense any evil from it, but it sure sounds unwholesome. We explored the rest of the cave and I found a crevice in the back wall that a human-sized creature could squeeze through. Dora has much better vision than I, so she took the lead here and ventured through. I followed her as long as I could see, but had to rely on her descriptions. Triaa came in after a few moment as well, leaving Alexander (who couldn’t see any better than I) to provide light for us. Dora said there was a chamber ahead of her containing many crates and barrels, and four shambling creatures— more zombies! Triaa went in to fight them, but even his keener elven vision didn’t afford him any advantage in the pitch black cavern; Dora did her best to direct his attacks in a manner not unlike the game “pin the tail on the brixashulty,” while I went to see why Alexander hadn’t made any light yet.

I returned to the first cavern to find him rubbing two oars together. As I tried to find some rocks that would produce a spark (unsuccessfully I might add), I encouraged him to use a light spell. He claimed he could not; for some reason, his deity only provides him with healing energy. Not to disparage his beliefs, but I find it hard to believe that his god wants him to be a walking bandage, and I told him so. He admitted he would have to pray on the matter, but would not at this time. I left him playing with the moisture-laden oars and returned to the others.

Dora and Triaa had some success with their fight; two of the undead were already dispatched. I went in to aid the elf, but he destroyed the other two before I could even strike one. I don’t know what all was in the room, but there was definitely oil in there, and somehow Triaa had become covered in it. He sopped it up with a rag as we hurried back to find Alexander. When we got to the beach, Triaa took an oar away from the human cleric, wrapped the end in the oil-soaked cloth and made a spark with his sword— he seems to have a real affinity to fire! We now had a torch to go investigate whatever it was the pirate zombies had been guarding.

Posted by Kristin at 13:59 | Morwenna’s Journal

February 24, 2006

Taking Stock

Morwenna's Journal

Growfest 3, 593 CY, unknown island

Yondalla has answered my prayers— we can now have proper meals during out stay on this island. The pirates’ treasure had the prerequisite gold and silver, plus a few gems and some silk, but more importantly, we found oil and lanterns, pots and pans, silverware, water, rum, food rations and spices!

The coins and gems were in a little locked iron box that Dora was able to open. Shortly after that, we found a key that fit the lock on one of the zombie’s bodies. Triaa also found a concealed passage, which of course we explored. We found a locked door at the end of it— I’m not sure if Dora could have opened it or not, as Triaa chose to smash the door down.

We quickly entered a chamber with a table and benches, and one occupant which was long dead (and not the animated kind of dead). There were two ways out of the room other than the way we entered. While deciding which way to go, we heard a “shlooping” sound from one corridor (the other corridor turned out to be a dead end anyway). Dora can see a lot better than the rest of us, but I’m guessing she’d never seen a carrion crawler before, as she got too close to it and it paralyzed her. Worse, she met up with it in the doorway, so we couldn’t get around her to fight it— luckily Triaa’s sword could fit past the dwarf so the elf could slay the monster. Dora soon shook off the paralysis and we continued on, through a room full of bunk beds that looked like they’d not been used in a long time. These were extremely uninteresting, so we continued past.

Things got momentarily more interesting when we realized we could see daylight and trees ahead of us; we came out of the caves right by a tree line. This became slightly alarming as we realized that there were webs festooned throughout all the visible trees, which were soon moving as though creatures were coming through them, and then, inevitably, we were in a pit that had been cleverly covered by (you guessed it!) webs.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement, we were soon joined by three huge spiders and two of their humanoid companions. All were intent on biting us, and were doing an admirable job of it. Triaa and Dora passed our torch around and got us all free from the webs that were hampering our defense, and we slew the horrid creatures. I feel weak from my spider bites, and poor Triaa can hardly move— he’s about as useful as boots to a beholder at the moment. We dragged him back to the cave, grabbed as many supplies as we could fit in the little row boats, and headed back to the lighthouse. I think we will be okay if we can get through the night, as Alexander assures me that his god will provide him with a means of restoring our strength and health.

My own prayers to Yondalla have been answered though. In addition to finding food, shelter, and companionship, she has now blessed me with the ability to cast minor spells and turn back the undead, though I hope I don’t have need of the later for now.

Posted by Kristin at 15:11 | Morwenna’s Journal