Morwenna's Journal
» Greyhawk Calendar / Campaign Timeline     » Amassed Loot     » Monster Roster     » Current Party Stats    

Mysterious Island

Growfest 1, 593 CY, unknown island

Yondalla knows I don’t mean to complain, but I’m stranded on an island during Growfest— and not only am I not at a celebration of the Provider’s bounty, but there seems to be a distinct lack of food of any sort! In fact, all of my belongings, other than my precious silver holy symbol, have been swept away by the sea, hence my starting of this new journal, as a testimony for future paladins of our Nurturing Matriarch.

I am appreciative that Yondalla left me hale and whole to continue questing in Her name, and that she provided me with three of the taller folk to aid in my quest, wherever that shall take us. Strangely, at least two of them claim to be clerics of other deities, but who am I to question Her will?

The ship that was to take me to Ulek was lost at sea during a fierce storm, or at least, that’s what I’m assuming from the fact that I’m on some strange beach surrounded by waterlogged timbers. Three shipmates, Dora (a dwarf), Alexander (a human) and Triaa (a wood elf) are the only other survivors to wash up on this particular stretch of sand. Off in the distance is a jungle, and beyond that, a mountain. To our west we noticed a lighthouse; Dora and Alexander agreed to check it out with me while Triaa chose to remain on the beach rummaging around in the remains of our ship.

The lighthouse appeared to be deserted; we found some table lamps near the entrance, and then proceeded to peek in each room on the first floor. Then we found some steps and headed upward. As we passed a window, I looked out along the beach to where Triaa was still collecting wood from our ship, and saw movement in the jungle tree line! He couldn’t hear our yells through the glass window, so I ran down to the beach while Dora ran upward. I screamed and waved my arms, and heard Dora above me yelling as well (she also noticed that the light on top of the lighthouse is not in working condition). We never got Triaa’s attention, but at least the movement in the trees ceased. We ran down the beach and let the elf know what we’d seen. Taking some driftwood he’d collected, we headed back to the lighthouse, figuring we’d be safer indoors.

I’m not sure about this place. I can take care of myself, Yondalla willing, but I have three big people to watch after too!

First off, we are not completely alone in this building. Upon opening a door somewhere in the middle of the tower, the tall people were attacked by stirges! They tried to pull the big bug things off as they began to attach to the tall folks’ necks; I grabbed a wooden mallet off of a nearby table and smashed the things off of them; the ones that have fed exploded! Though we are without food, no one was keen to feast on something that was so recently trying to do the same to them.

The previous caretakers of this lighthouse had attempted to make a happy home, as evidenced by the various comforts found throughout the rooms of the lighthouse. Unfortunately, we also found three of the four previous occupants, a human woman, and presumably, her young son and daughter, had been gruesomely killed sometime well before our arrival. The murderer had slit their throats. I was particularly affected by the children, who I had at first mistaken for halflings. We will tend to their remains, either by burial, or, if the sand does not permit that, by fire. We also found one other creature in the tower— an animated cloak, or “raiment” that was bent on strangling Triaa! I smote it once, and then attempted to stab at it with some found knitting needles. Triaa had other plans, and endeavored to burn the creature as it wrapped itself around his head. Alexander cast a spell to put out the fire with water, as it appeared that Triaa would be killed along with the undead creature! The four of us eventually rendered the thing motionless. Poor Triaa’s long red hair is now just burnt stubble, but we were able to heal him otherwise.

We found many interesting items— many astronomy books and a telescope, wood, glass and metalworking tools, clothing, kitchen knives— just no food. Now, I need only deal with the minor annoyance of not having a way to pay proper homage to Yondalla during this Growfest season!

Posted by Kristin on January 24, 2006, 21:57


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 on February 1, 2006, 15:27

In the Dark

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 on February 14, 2006, 13:59

Taking Stock

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 on February 24, 2006, 15:11


Growfest 6, 593 CY, highest point on the unknown island

Eww. Yondalla. Kendit hilto pintith ento nitli. I fear my last prayer for my companions to get along better was answered by Dallah Thaun. Or Olidammara or Boccob was answering one of my companions’ prayers. Or, there was something really wrong with the rum.

We took one more trip outside, during which we were immediately assaulted by six very stinky troglodytes. After we pulled a few spears out of Triaa, we traveled the perimeter of the entire island.

Since my companions were pretty tired when we got back to the tower, I set about preparing a meal while Dora and Triaa apparently had a drinking contest on top of the lighthouse— I had assumed from our prior conversations that they were going up to keep a lookout and try to determine how to fix the light. By the time Alexander and I joined them, they were both in the process of passing out from rum consumption. I wanted to teach them a lesson about drinking and responsibility, and Alexander had just the idea.

Looking back on it, stripping down an elf and a dwarf and leaving them to wake up in the master bedroom were not the best ideas. Neither was making lots of allusions to how they got there. Unfortunately, neither wanted to admit they had passed out (there had been betting involved in the rum-drinking contest) and played along. Too well.

Things got a bit more problematic when, after a day of resting, and recovering from a hangover for some, Dora and Triaa appeared to be retiring back to that same room together. Alexander and I tried to tell them we had just been joking around with them the night before, but they refused to believe us! While I’m sure things can and will get more awkward, I’ve yet to imagine how.

With morning, we were finally rested and fairly restored, and decided to head to the top of the highest peak in the center of the island, where Mirval’s journal described some ruins. We found a well-traveled path leading right up through the trees, and managed to make it up to a cave entrance below the peak without encountering any of the indigenous life (or unlife, for that matter).

Dora, with her excellent vision and ability to move silently, opted to go in and scout to see if there was a way to the top via the inside. She carried a potion of invisibility on the off chance she bumped into anything she couldn’t handle alone. Once again, our “lesson” came back to bite us in our collective back ends. Triaa decided that Dora was obviously in trouble as she’d been gone for more than a minute. He headed in to find her, with Alexander bearing a lit lantern behind him. I followed them, of course; though I was pretty sure Dora was fine.

She was fine, and pretty upset with Triaa for following her in; she’d found an interesting troglodyte temple replete with totems. There was no time to argue though, as at that moment we heard the local tribe’s war drums begin to reverberate through the mountain.

We ran outside, and, assuming the troglodytes would think they were following us back down the mountain, decided to continue upward. It was slow going, but luckily we made it to a ledge overlooking the cave just moments before twenty or so of the stinky creatures exited from it. They headed down the path, as expected.

We had to climb at least 100’ higher to reach the plateau; but it was well worth it! In addition to an impressive view of the island, we found some low-standing ruined stone walls covered in vines. These are most certainly Mirval’s ruins.

Posted by Kristin on March 14, 2006, 13:50

Lover’s Leap

Growfest 7, 593 CY, temple ruins on unknown island

Strangely, we decided to wait until morning to explore the ruins, or even look at them close up— they are the home of many of the island’s spiders. Worse, the group decided we could not risk a fire, so it was cold rations for dinner.

So, after a rather uncomfortable night in the open, we gathered our gear and headed in to fight the spiders with some daylight at our backs. A half dozen big spiders and many more swarms of small spiders ran out to greet us. They did not heed my offer to let them surrender (hey, I had to try!), so we slew them with swords and fire. I got bit by the largest spider; it took a good number of stabs before it finally collapsed dead. All in all the battle took about one minute. I wish we had done that the night before, as once we were in the ruins, it was as dark as night anyway.

We found a rope leading down into a shaft, plus some coins, simple weapons, a tarnished lantern (still filled with oil), a rusty pick and an equally rusty shovel. I thought these would all be useful, and as we climbed down, I dropped the shovel and pick down before climbing down the rope myself. More on this later.

We were able to find some footprints (both humanoid and spider) that lead off in several directions in a 30’ by 30’ chamber. Dora said “go left” so we headed in that general direction. It may have been a good choice (hard to know since we haven’t tried going “right” yet), as we discovered a wall filled with symbols, runes, and pictures depicting six-armed, bug-eyed people in what appeared to be a beam of light coming down from the sky. No one knew the language of the runes, or the meaning of the pictures.

We also found another rope leading down through a shaft.

Remember how I mentioned Dora and Triaa seem to have a “relationship” of some sort? It is not at all helpful. It is hard enough to care for three of these larger, cumbersome humanoids, but having two of them practically attached makes it that much more difficult.

We decided to go down this rope, which turned out to be 60’ or so in length. Dora and Triaa started down first (together); I was left holding the lantern (which I handed off to Alexander), pick and shovel. I dropped the pick down past my companions and was about to drop the shovel when I heard the elf and dwaft exclaim something about a big spider as they began to scramble back up the rope.

It was a big, big spider! I decided to drop the shovel on it, hoping to knock it back a few yards and give Dora and Triaa a few additional seconds to get back up the rope. I dropped the shovel, and it would have hit the big spider, had Triaa not managed to get on top of the spider at that exact moment. The shovel hit the elf. To make matters worse, it caused him to let go of the rope, and he ended up dropping the remaining forty or so feet to the chamber below. This interested the spider, which turned itself around to head back down the shaft.

I stepped up my own attack by leaping down onto the spider’s back and stabbing it repeatedly with a scimitar. I could hear Triaa cursing way down below me; Dora was just a few feet from me, when she inexplicably just let go of the rope, plummeting the last, well, forty or so feet to the ground, landing with a resounding *thud* on the floor below. She seemed to survive the fall, so I continued to stab at the spider while Alexander began to make his way down the rope himself, with the intention of healing our comrades.

By the time the spider and I got to the bottom of the shaft, it became clear that my friends were in real trouble— they’d been bitten by the spider and were all succumbing to the poison (or just the additional wounds). Triaa and Dora were both unconscious, and by the time I killed the spider, Alexander was too. I managed to survive the encounter without as much as a scratch.

I am sure there is a lesson to be learned here about having the wisdom to follow Yondalla’s guidance; I will have to impart this lesson on each of these larger folk as they regain consciousness.

Posted by Kristin on March 29, 2006, 16:28

Smooth Moves

Planting 1, 593 CY

It took many, many boring hours before my companions started to finally regain consciousness. Dora was first, but was barely strong enough to cast some healing on herself. Since she was propped up against a wall, she offered to watch for a while so I could rest. A few hours later, Alexander was awake and provided them all with some more healing, and soon Triaa was awake as well. All were still weak from the spider attack, so we stayed put for a few more hours. We pretty much sat in the same spot for an entire day, eating dry rations and staring into the dark.

Finally, everyone felt strong enough to stand and carry our meager equipment. I was even able to restore some strength to Triaa; Yondalla must think there is hope for him! Other than the rope and shaft we’d climbed and fallen down, there was a halfling-sized hole in one wall, with a pick and shovel beside it. Alexander decided to dig the spot bigger even though it was already big enough to walk through without needing to crawl. Dora stepped through the opening to check it out— Triaa and I followed her in. Alexander soon gave up on digging and joined us.

We found ourselves in a huge chamber which contained a platform and pedestal. The pedestal had three indentations on it: a star, a diamond, and a circle. It also had an adult human male corpse on top of it— the corpse had a black-fletched arrow protruding from it.

Checking against our list of missing humans though to be on the island, we were able to determine by process of elimination that this was the body of Mirval Kojar, whose journal had led us to this very place. A quick check of his pockets revealed 12 silver pieces and 8 coppers (I can’t imagine there is anyplace around here to spend it), a dagger, flint and steel, and the adamantine diamond that apparently fits in the otherwise-defunct pedestal.

We looked around the room, and discovered engravings telling a story on the walls. We weren’t able to tell what direction the pictures were meant to be read. They were all variations on a theme: the first showed the six-armed, bug-eyed people with floating cities, under which were humanoid constructs, under which were humans. The next scenes showed humans tearing down the cities, constructs and humans fighting, and a bug-eyed creature in the center of the battle, holding a glowing orb that was blowing away the figures around it.

Having no idea what to do with this information, we departed through the shaft to the floor above. There had been one passage we hadn’t tried yet, but of course it turned out to be a collapsed tunnel. We recalled another spider hole near the ruins, so we clambered out onto the surface and then down into a well-traveled shaft just past the tree line.

We traveled downward, eventually coming to a small cavern. The only exit other than the one we’d entered through had totem poles on either side of it made of wood, skulls and blue and red feathers. A little way beyond that we found a locked grate blocking the tunnel— Dora easily opened that and we continued on.

We soon heard some hissing and arguing ahead— in the draconian language. Suddenly, a troglodyte rounded the corner and spotted us! Alexander tried to talk to it, but we could tell it wasn’t working by the noxious smell it began producing. Not wanting it to call for reinforcements, I hit it with a rock— and it went unconscious (luckily I hit it before Triaa had a shot, or we’d have had no troglodyte to take with us). Dora snuck further into the troglodyte lair, and determined there would be more trouble ahead, so we took the lizard creature with us back to the surface.

We provided enough healing for it to regain consciousness, and Alexander bound it long enough to warn it not to call out or try to run. Alexander acted as a translator for us as we asked questions about the island, the ruins and the inhabitants, and also suggested making a truce between our small group and the troglodytes. The lizard told us the “smooth ones in the stone pillar were killed by the smooth ones from the water.” We think that means the family in the lighthouse was killed by the undead pirates. It is going to take us to its leader. Though I sense evil in it, I did not detect any deceitfulness at least. I will attempt to befriend it with food (it apparently doesn’t get as much to eat as many of its fellow troglodytes); Alexander is of the opinion that it would be better to try and redeem these creatures than slaughter them.

Posted by Kristin on April 5, 2006, 18:47