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A Tiefling's Journal 1
A new adventure begins!

The Traveling Tiefling
Fire’s Child
A Tiefling’s Tale
An analysis of the psychosis of biases, and sapiens role therein, through the firsthand accounts of a witness and bearer of such discrimination

Well, the title is a work in progress but I think you get the point. This is my journal, and it is for whoever finds it in the future. Hopefully, you are lifting it gingerly off of a podium in a museum, but I don’t hold it against you if you are merely reading the new kindling you found on my corpse. I suppose it really depends on how amazing I am in life.

First, let me introduce myself, I am a Tiefling and I’m seventeen years old. I would be more specific and give you my name, but I never really had one. Names are boring! You are stuck with ONE for the rest of your life! I, on the other hand, keep it interesting by switching it up every so often. My current name is Embiir and I rather enjoy it, so I think I’ll be keeping it for a little longer. It’s especially fun to watch people’s faces when I write it out; they expect Emb(e)r but I hit them with two (i)’s instead. I’ve also been known by Fire-Fly Sharp-Tooth, Hell-spawn (my rebellious phase), and The-kid-who-lit-the-camp-on-fire-again (It’s a long story). There are many more, but these are my favorites. Now that you know me, we can get to my ventures.

I could start at the beginning of my life, but I wrote about all of that in my previous journal. It was sadly destroyed when one of my dragon cultist captors came down with sudden food poisoning… I don’t want to go into detail, but they were running low on toiletries. It was irrecoverable.

Now, you might be wondering, “Embiir, how did you survive capture by unsanitary, uncivilized, and all together good-for-nothing cultists who probably consort with goats?”

Well, figment-of-my-imagination-that-I-use-in-place-of-real-conversation, I was saved by the bravest, strongest, and boldest gladiator in the world… The Hammer! (YES! THE The Hammer!)

Beaten, hopeless, starving, dehydrated, I was not in best of predicaments. Then, out of nowhere, The Hammer walked casually into the encampment. At first I thought I was hallucinating due to my condition, but then he dauntlessly turned toward the carcass of a boar that weighed upwards of 700 pounds and hefted it above his head like it was nothing. Upon this feat he gathered the eyes of the entire encampment, convincing me it wasn’t another dehydration induced dream.

Now, you might be thinking that The Hammer was tactless for attracting the attention of the entire camp, but you would be wrong, The Hammer always has a plan. As eyes turned away from me and another poor captured soul, The Hammer sent a companion of his –a Halfling by the name of Kheg- to slip me a knife. Quickly, I cut the bonds, as an elf by the name of Myrrdin, who was also a friend of The Hammer, freed the man who was a captive alongside me. The Halfling then sprinted over and lit a tent on fire to serve as a distraction (or so he insists. I think he was just trying to scoop up as much treasure as he could but dropped a lantern accidentally). The Hammer, ever the performer, assumed his new routine as a dragon cultist with gusto; He began directing people toward the fire and making his way toward the camp entrance. This was an opportunity I couldn’t miss, I followed behind him and repeated orders. Our dual performance would have gotten us all the way out if not for that empty-headed Halfling.

Just as freedom and a cool drink of water was within site, The Hammer pulled a few feet ahead while a Kobolt pestered me about a were the fire was. He didn’t seem to recognize me, but then Kheg came charging into the conversation and shouted, “I need to find the prisoners!”

The Kobolt must have been a genius amongst his kind because his two brain cells sparked as he motioned to me and replied, “You mean him… Found him…”

Instantly, the six other nearby Kobolts turned toward me with recognition in their beady little eyes. The rest of the day was actually a bit of a blur, I was a little loopy from the blood-loss, starvation, and dehydration. Also, with my focus on the best way to burn an annoying Halfling I can’t remember exactly what happened next, but I think it went something like this.

The Hammer’s incredible senses detected the danger I was in; he turned and cried out to the Kobalts, “Hark and kneel, for I am The Hammer! I don’t wish to bloody the boots on my feet, but will if you do not part for those I call friend!”

The Kobalts continued to berate us, and the Hammer raised his weapon Lightbringer toward the heavens and it shone as magnificently as a star, incinerating the stubborn Kobalts in place.

At this point my body was running completely on auto pilot and things got even weirder. The Elf Myrrdin rode a dolphin on a wave of whinnying Kobalts, and the group made our escape into a forest that wiggled and waved. At some point Myrrdin cast a spell that closed my wounds then shoved a berry into my mouth. This seemed to help because the forest wasn’t dancing anymore and Kheg stopped being purple. All I remember is being extremely tired but being kept awake by conversation.

Anyway, all’s well now, we’re currently sharing a wayshrine with some overly sensitive, metal clad men. The Hammer and I are working on an act called ‘Taming the Dragon’. Also, I don’t think I’ll lite Kheg on fire after all; he gave my horse feed when I didn’t have the funds to purchase any of my own and I wasn’t exactly seeing clearly after being nearly beaten to death. Myrrdin’s pretty cool too, he knows a lot of things that he might be able to teach me and he gave me an awesome magic staff made out of glass. Anyway, I’m about out of ink, I’ll wrap it up here for now. My next entry should be from Tyr Nag, I’ve passed through, but the people there don’t seem to like a “Demonic Pyromaniac” (another name of mine).

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Kheg's Secret Diary7
Day 83

Day 83 – Godsday
Noon in Tyr Nag

Today has been very productive. The day wasn’t even half way over by the time we had found found Reed and Embiir took care of business as sorcerers do. Unfortunately Embiir can’t raise the dead yet ‘cause I never got the chance to torture Reed, but with Dak still on the loose, I may get my half my wish. Although we never got to interrogate Reed, we did however manage to get a good lead on the whereabouts of Carp from one of Reed’s new associates before turning him into a corps too. It took a lot of convicing, but The Hammer’s leg breaking skills really had an effect on the poor bloke. There were six corpses in total this morning not counting the one little Carp laid out earlier in another part of the city. He’s becoming a real chip off the old block and very handy with a dagger from what I hear.

The 5 other stiffs were killed with the help of yet another new team member who only joined us this morning. His name is Altair. Originally from Robinnia, he’s Wood elf cleric; who came to Tyr Nag to help look for Carp after speaking with Aunt Qelline about the kidnapping, robbery and beating that took place a little over 40 days ago. Altair brings some experience fighting a wide range of creatures that include bandits, pirates, skeletons, sea hags, a ghast and a Red Wizard of Tay. He’s even stood in front of Venomfang, albeit rather nervous and unsure of his future.

A 6th man, a Le Grand Sabre mercenary named Krugr also helped in tracking down Carp and slaying some of the kidnappers. He’s a half-orc who was assigned to assist us in everyway possible by his superior named Markaysha. Markaysha is a member of the Skein and was giving me associated courtesey considering the situation. Skein membership has really come in handy over the past few days.

The 5 of us made our way through the streets of the Heel under the escort of our companion/city official Krugr. Everywhere we went things just either flowed or snapped into place with ease. We sensed a rythym to things and were able to keep a good pace. I’m just not sure if it’s Krugr’s crimson Le Grand Sabre uniform that brings order naturally or the fact that he is a half-orc with a halberd. Eitherway, having Krugr at our disposal made things much easier.

As we walked through Old Gate into Down Harbor I was shocked at the squaller. The difference between Down Harbor and the other half of the heel was like being in the outhouse as opposed to the actual shit hole. The place reeked and the people lived like cockroaches.

Once we reached the monastary, we could hear voices and had the opportunity to listen for quite a while as we all huddled in an alley. After hearing the names Reed and Carp mentioned we knew we had found the right people. It was at this point we split into two groups with one setting up to enter through the double front doors and the other group set to enter from the alley. A non-forceful, friendly entrance attempt wasn’t working so Krugr resorted to a forced entry approach and broke down the doors. Beign stealthy while in the alley, from my vantage point I could see Krugr enter and immediately take a flame spell. The Hammer and I then moved in with me beelining it toward the one I saw mention Reed and Carp’s names thinking it might be Dak. I wanted to make sure he didn’t escape and with him positioned high on a balconey, it looked easy enough to trap him.

It turns out that Reed was hiding behind a door armed with a crossbow. I always thought he was a good shot and he only strengthened that thought this morning as he struck me in the back upon my mad dash towards the balcony. The melee of 6 versus 6 took about 35 seconds. In the end, 5 enemies were killed in the actual fighting. The 6th one was killed as well, but only after being interrogated and tortured.

Cousin Reed’s carcass was searched and a letter was found on it. It was written a year ago by his father but was hardly an enlightening read because Reed Jr. already knew he was a major schmuck. Uncle Reed Sr. wasn’t telling junior anything he hadn’t heard before. What was shocking was that it came from Uncle Reed who is no winner himself and out of all the Tealeafs, he’s the most arrogant of them all. Uncle Reed made his point very clear though; he cut his only son from his will. What ticked me off is that Uncle Reed is blaming me for my cousin’s behavior all these years. If that clueless shithead was as perceptive as he thinks he is, he’d realize that Reed Jr. was the one pulling me into trouble most of the time. Infact it was only upon Reed and Dak’s urging that I joined the Redbrands. I’m no saint, but how dare Uncle Reed blame me for his bad parenting.

What we learned about Carp is that he was in the city earlier this morning while stabing a 16 y.o, mutant, human, female to death in a carpentry shop, located in the low class Burned Quarters section commonly called “Little Tanneen”. Apparently his victim who was known as “The Cyclops” was a leech who ran a protection racket and by all evidence, she wasn’t very good at it. With dagger wounds in the front and back, it looks like the Tealeaf mean streak turned the hunted into the hunter. Little cousin Carp Alderleaf is really starting to blossom.

After turning the tables, Carp exited the shop in the Burned Quaters into a neighboring soup kitchen; putting blood on the door in the process. A short time later he was in an old stone monastery in the Scared Alley section of Down Harbor and from there he was taken through a portal located in the well, inside the monastery. The portal leads to a forest in what sounds like a the far south since it is “some place warm.”

It’s interesting that the carpentry shop where Carp diced up the girl is located in “Little Tanneen”. Tanneen is a region far to the south in what is likely a warm climate, and we were told that Carp was taken “some place warm”. If my guess that the portal will take us to Tanneen is wrong, mayby I can manipultate things enough to make it look like Hammer was the one who came up with such a stupid conclusion.

It is 2:00 pm; we’re calling it a day, and plan to enter the portal tomorrow. With Embiir ending Reed’s life in what was his first kill, I hope to be the one to take Dak’s.

Day 83 – 2:00 pm, Godsday
Iron Stone Inn, Heel
Tyr Nag

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Kheg Secret Diary6
Days 71-82

Day 71
Phandalin
Sword Coast

Day 71: It’s been a full month since we last swung our swords. The whole time has been spent helping Gundrin, Charlatan and Miz’ry in getting the mine operational. Hearing that it will be 6 months at minimum (Spring) before the mine reopens, this whole project has become a bigger chore than any of us had expected, but with the team Gundrin was able to assemble, help from the Winterstorm Troopers is no longer needed.

A lot has developed since we chased Drozz out of the mine 19 days ago and it seems the presence of Venomfang is now becoming well known. At least one sighting near Conyberry has been reported with Venomfang making a demand for dragonborn sacrifices before he flew off. Additionally there is a spike in the number of raids on merchants throughout the southern part of the Sword Coast. as well as a lot of looting in the same area. Cultist are implementing a heavy tax; and the Brothers of the Northern Sun are mobilizing in the southern part of the Sword Coast.

However, the most intriguing bit of news is that our old friend Iarno Albrect is back in Neverwinter. It seems that the Triboar city government is corrupt. They sent notice to the lords of Neverwinter that he is being held in their prison and would be released if a ransom was paid. It just goes to show how wonderful the judicial system of a modern society really is. should have finished glasstaff off as he lay dying in Conyberry when I had the chance. I’d go to Neverwinter and finish him for good, but with Carp Alderleaf missing, I have more important things to take care of.

The trip to Tyr Nag to find Carp Alderleaf is about 120 miles or 5 days of travel by foot. Guntor, Hammer, Myrrdin and I plan to go east from Phandalin to take the High Rd. in hopes of finding a caravan to travel with. Traveling with a caravan is going to slow us down, but with the sudden spike in raids on caravans along the High Rd., our services could provide us some income as we make our way south towards Tyr Nag. It won’t be the same traveling without the Jones twins, but I think we’ll manage without them. Myrrdin is confident enough to want to tangle with a certain dragon in Thundertree, but it has been said “be careful what you wish for”.

Day 72: The 4 of us start our trek to Tyr Nag heading west from Phandalin towards the High Rd.

Day 73: Between Tribore Trail and Truth Valley we spot what we think may have been a dragon as it disappeared into the clouds underneath the setting sun. For a moment our thoughts turn to Venomfang with the desire to rid the Sword Coast of his wrath, but we press on towards Myr Leilon knowing we’ll likely return to Thundertree in the near future.

Day 76: It is morning in the city of Myr Leilon and we morn the death of Guntor Thunderseeker late last night. As we approached Myr Leilon mid evening we could see that the city was under siee by hundreds of kobalds under leadership of dragon cultist. We asked the town’s mayor how we could be of assistance and we were dispatched to a mill that was about to be put on fire. The mill had great importance because if it was destroyed, many town folk would surely starve throughout the winter months. However, Instead of heading to the mill we allowed ourselves to get side tracked into capturing a high level cultist for the purpose of interrogation by the mayor. The incident happened about 10:00 pm on the riverbanks as we conducted a rash sneak attack on 4 human cultist and about 9 or 10 kobalds. All did not go to plan because quite frankly we had no plan. Instead of following half a plan of using deception to parade up to the cultist and only need to fight our way out, in haste we opted to fight our way in and out; and do it without a plan. The other details are sketchy as I was incapacitated early on, but the leader that Guntor was grappling managed to get the best of Guntor before Hammer and Myrrdin could subdue him.

Worse was that we hadn’t quite learned the fighting tactics of the kobalds and therefore put up a weak defense. Make no mistake, the enemy didn’t out fight us; they simply exploited our ignorance, lazyness and over confidence. These kobalds aren’t goblin stupid. They fight like a swarm and surround their opponent at melee range. Instead of fighting spread out as we have the past 76 days, were are now going to have to adopt a different fighting strategy. We now need to stand next to each other and use structures as cover and limit our vulnerability. Maybe phalanx tactics would work best?

If all this wasn’t enough a dragon attacked the keep of the city. Worse is that it wasn’t even Venomfang. This new dragon was a young blue one that shot bolts of electricity. As we stood on the roof of the keep, Myrrdin and I were able to hit it with arrows, but it managed to incapacitate hammer and kill a couple of soldiers before it broke off its attack and flew away.

At 3:00 am this morning a bold blue, semi draconic like creature standing about 7’ tall commanded Hammer to dual with him for the purpose of sport. His assurance of a death match was threatening the lives of 3 hostages including 2 children. In a ring formed by kobalds, in stepped our champion to take the challenge. With The Hammer standing at only 4’8 inches to the challenger’s 7’ stature, things didn’t look good, but that didn’t break Hammer’s champion like focus. Things started out good as he avoided the challenger Cyanwrath’s initial strike of a thrown spear, but a bolt of lighting from Cyanwrath’s mouth changed our impression. Cyanwrath exited the ring to return to his camp as Myrrdin had just seconds to rush to Hammer’s aid with my healing kit. As responsive as Myrrdin was, the gods were quicker and stepped in to stabilize our champion anyhow.

The prisoner that killed Guntor last night identified himself as a member of the Melchori Dragon Cult that operates out of Thundertree (The same cult that watches over Venomfang). He admitted that his cult is responsible for the recent raids on merchants and looting of homes in the past 60 days, but wasn’t cooperative in telling us the reason why.

The mayor pleaded with us to track down the whereabouts of the cultist and the kobalds, but anymore delay in getting to Tyr Nag was becoming way too much. I however gave in since we were talking only a couple more days delay despite the fact that it’s been over 32 days since Carp Alderleaf was kidnapped. Gundrin’s mine and vengence on Drozz has really widdled away precious time. Not wanting to waste anymore Myrrdin haggles with the mayor over horses for each of us and is successful. We even got 15 days of horse food too which should be enough to get us to Try Nag too. The mayor also asks that we be on the look out for a monk by the name of Teosing Erlanthar of the Brothers of the Winding Road. It noon by the time Myrrdin, Hammer and I ride east/northeast into the hills from Myr Leilon.

Day 77: We locate the cultist camp and for the purpose of better intel we decide to put on the two dragon masks and walk into the camp to take a quick look around. It was a cinch and it was good that we did for we found the half-elf monk that we were told was missing. Also tied up was a young male tiefling with rather fancy attire. Both had clearly been tortured and were marked for death by consumption. What was going to devour them was anyone’s guess, but needless to say, however low they felt there escape odds may have been, being killed while running to the hills with us was more dignified than being eaten alive.

How to get these captive out without being caught was a problem. Myrrdin’s idea of putting the “treasure tent” on fire in order to create a diversion was the best that we could come up with. So there it was, going up in smoke and had the gods had a bit more compassion, things would have gone smoothly, but the sparks from my flint wasn’t catching the oil saturated tent as easily as I was hoping. I drew suspicion, which only drew more as Myrrdin and Hammer were questioned too, but with their ability to bullshit, we managed to make it out of the camp with both captives.

Our foolhardy waltz into the camp paid off big due to all of the intel the monk provided us. The mayor asked that we continued to help and I’m sure Hammer and Myrrdin would have liked to, but I really need to get to Try Nag.

Day 78: It is mid afternoon and we have returned to Myr Leilon. Tomorrow we will restart our journey to Tyr Nag to look for Carp Alderleaf. The city is about 240 miles away and would take about 10 days to walk, but with our horses we suspect that it may only take 4 days. Even with the 2 days we spent tracking the cultists and returning to Myr Leilon, these horses will allow us to get to Tyr Nag 4 days earlier than we would if we walked as originally planned.

It is Day 79: As we were preparing to leave Myr Leilon, star struck Ember asked to tag along and follow his idol, the Hammer. This is fine by me if he keeps his 5’ tail out of my way, but Myrrdin, The Hammer and I do need his magical talents. However inferior they are now, they should still come in handy. Ember was able to secure himself a horse at the last moment and accompanied us on what will be a 3 day trip east to Tyr Nag. As brazen and daring our infiltration and prisoner extraction operation at the cultist camp was, Ember can’t say he didn’t get the memo. It’s either keep up or shut up.

Day 81: We reach a wayshrine of Tymora. Both Hammer and I drop a gold coin into the bowl before us. As we were trying to attract good fortune Ember was offending strangers. In his attempt to get a free evening meal, we learned some travel etiquette that had escaped me during my hundreds if not over a thousand miles of travel: Giving travel information upon greeting other travelers before conducting any other business is a sign of good will. Failing to do so will get you nothing, but the middle finger as Embiir proved.

Day 82: The city of Tyr Nag looks magnificent from a distance, but it smells as bad as Neverwinter…the same, but different. Here the Fey Water River that passes through the center of the city is known as the “Foul Water River”. A the gate of Tyr Nag we were greeted with a bourgieosie attitude full force. With all of the arrogance and greed, it took a lot of self restraint to walk through the city and not pull a dagger on some asshole. No wonder Reed and Dak came here; they fit right in. I’d imagine that two career criminals wouldn’t stray far from the action no matter how much money they had so networking with pimps, whores and thugs, should help uncover their whereabouts. I also imagine they’d spend a great deal of time gambling away our aunt’s money while they burn through what is left staying in high class places. At least these are the things I would do if I were a criminal with someone else’s money. With all this in mind I checked into an upscale inn and bought a gnome whore. Like everything else around here she was expensive, but worth every coin. Despite any disease she may have gave me, I got a lead out of her that sounds promising. She said she saw a halfling that matched my description of Dak in Downs Harbor so Downs Harbor is where I plan to be tomorrow.

Day 82:
Tyr Nag
Sword Coast

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Namárië
Farewell from the Joneses

Wave Echo Cave felt more hospitable without the threat of undead or psychopathic Drow lurking around every corner, and the party was relaxing comfortably at their guard position at the cave entrance. The clamor of Gundrin’s team of miners echoed through the cave, punctuated by the rhythmic boom of the giant wave. Miz’ry scowled every time the wave crashed, though she hid her expression behind her massive book of spells. She hated any reminder of Drozz, because it made her reflect on her failure in letting him escape. The rest of the party seemed content, however, as the mine was now fully in their control.

“And now, to slay the dragon!” Guntor exclaimed. Owly hooted in agreement.

Miz’ry raised an eyebrow at Charlatan, and they exchanged an exasperated look.

Hammer grunted. “Uh, what dragon?”

Kaeg was resting against a rock with his legs propped up on one of the broken crates. He exhaled a stream of masterful smoke rings and waved his pipe vaguely. “There’s this dragon that Guntor is all excited about fighting for some reason. Probably because it killed his family and destroyed his whole town.” Miz’ry couldn’t help smirking at Kaeg. His dry bluntness was a perfect antithesis to Guntor’s enthusiasm.

Guntor frowned. “Well, technically, that was a volcan-”

“Regardless,” Miz’ry interrupted, rolling her eyes. She wasn’t about to let Guntor start on another tangent and bore them all with his ridiculousness. “It’s a massive beast with an entire army of cultists assisting it, and the town itself is a worthless wreck infested with ash zombies. Unless the beast starts threatening the other towns in the area, it’s clearly wisest to leave it be. We couldn’t even take care of a single moronic, weak, unintelligent Drow. In my opinion, it’s utterly imbecilic to risk our lives fighting a beast with strength unlike anything we have encountered thus far. Even if we do have an owl on our side.”

Guntor look wounded as he covered Owly’s ears. “She didn’t mean it like that,” he whispered to the creature.

Mizry stared at him for a moment, then sighed and shook her head. “Regardless, the point still stands.” She turned back to the transcription she was making in her spell tome, ignoring the rest of the party once more.

Myrrdin raised a finger. “Technically, we don’t have kill the dragon. The Emerald Enclave is content as long as the threat to civilization is managed to acceptable levels.”

“While the idea of scaring a dragon away from its hoard does sound lovely and lucrative it’s hard for dead men to spend gold,” Charlatan pointed out as he lay on his back, tossing Flitterswitch into the air and attempting to catch it.

“You’ll cut your fingers off doing that,” Miz’ry said without looking up from her book.

Her comment made Charlatan miss the next catch, and the dagger clattered to the ground next to his head before he quickly summoned it back to his had. The tips of his ears turned a darker purple. He looked at his sister, and flicked his fingers towards her. “Rude,” he said, and the letters appeared in mid-air between them, glittering lavender for a moment before fading away.

“Charlie, what’s ‘rudd-ee’ mean?” asked the Hammer, brow wrinkled in confusion as he stared at the spot the words had been.

“It means reddish, why?” replied Charlatan, now equally confused. He sat up and stared at Hammer.

“I still don’t know what we’re going to do about the dragon!” said Guntor, and the party turned to look at him, focusing on their task again.

Myrrdin nodded sagely. “Yes, the dragon is not a threat now but it is only a matter of time before its proximity becomes a problem.”

“I still think the Joneses are right, that it’s not worth the risk of fighting,” said Kaeg. “I’m the only one that’s seen it, remember? And believe me, it’s not worth it. Besides, I have more important things to worry about. A deserted town is one thing,” he nodded at Guntor, “but my nephew has been kidnapped and my aunt robbed and beaten. I’m going after the bastards who did it.” Kaeg’s tone brooked no argument.

A moment of silence fell over the party as they all reflected on the tiny halfling woman who had assisted them and sacrificed for them, for so little in return.

“Agreed. Quelline has been a dear aunt to us all, and I certainly feel a debt,” said Charlatan. The rest of the party nodded.

“I guess that’s a good point,” Guntor said, “but there’s a lot of good we could be doing out there in the world! Like, uh, finding lost artefacts! Or defeating evil lords! Or maybe killing a dragon! Hey- I bet I could even tame it!” His face radiated youthful exuberance.

Charlatan and Miz’ry glanced at each other again. The idea was preposterous. Guntor’s excitement could have been endearing, but Miz’ry wouldn’t condone his passion for heroic nonsense, especially when it was completely illogical.

“I’m fairly sure I’m allergic to fighting dragons,” said Charlatan.

“Deathly allergic, in fact. We both are. It’s a half-Drow thing. You wouldn’t understand,” said Miz’ry.

“Curse these brittle bones,” Charlatan wailed dramatically.

“I wonder if I have that allergy too,” said Hammer, and proceeded to sniff at his chainmail.

“You don’t,” said Miz’ry quickly, rolling her eyes at Hammer, “You are correct in one thing, Guntor. There is a lot of good you could be doing out in the wide world. I believe Kaeg’s quest is a noble one, and you would be well served in assisting him with it.”

“I notice you didn’t say ‘we’,” mused Myrrdin, gazing at the Jones twins with an obnoxiously Elvish sense of superiority. “You two have better plans for yourselves, then?”

“Well….” began Charlatan, looking a little abashed, “I did speak briefly to Gundrin- having a mine open is all well and good, but we’re going to need somebody to help deliver the trading goods that come out of here. And as you all know, the Pendragon Trading Company is uniquely equipped to assist Mr Rockseeker with the goings on of the mine. It’s a business opportunity the likes of which I am unlikely to find traipsing about the wilderness on a noble and necessary, but ultimately financially fruitless rescue mission.”

“And additionally, of course,” added Miz’ry, “the full extent of the powers of the Forge of Spells must be examined by a qualified and invested individual, such as myself. I am afraid that the intricacies of such an enchantment would be lost on the lot of you, and of course, not to slander the owner of this mine, him as well.”

“And truly, we must be checking up on that awful brother of ours. If only to see how awful he’s become in our absence,” said Charlatan.

“And whatever his shortcomings may be, Charles and I have discussed the possibility of requesting his assistance in the propagation of the general knowledge of this mine, and of course, the deeds of the noble heros- that’s all of us, naturally- who risked their lives and their wealth to bring about the most notable recovery of a magical artefact for the last age. I think you will all agree that we could use a bit of fame and glory,” said Miz’ry, speaking far too quickly for most of the party to follow her logic.

“And the little bastard is a bit of an advertisement specialist. Bards can be useful, I guess, especially when you include their friends and family discount,” finished Charlatan, sighing deeply.

The party stared at the Jones twins.

“Does that mean you’re staying here?” asked the Hammer, who looked a bit dazed from trying to follow the twin’s diatribe. His skill in juggling hammers did not translate well to juggling conversation.

“Of course not!” Charlatan said quickly. “While our corporeal forms may remain here, we’ll be with you! In spirit!”

“It’s nothing against the lot of you, naturally,” added Miz’ry. “It’s just that our desires lie in the more material aspect of adventuring.”

“Cash, she means,” clarified Charlatan.

“Not necessarily,” argued Miz’ry, “but the examination of the lucrative properties of our newest find is a life calling that I find myself unable to ignore.”

“Truly, it grieves us to see all of you go so very far from us ,” lamented Charlatan. “But rest assured, my sister and I will strive endlessly to maximize the profits generated by the mine. Upon your return, I am certain you will find that your shares have increased exponentially. Just imagine, Guntor, the fine furs and trappings you could purchase for you dear mother. Kaeg, think of dear Aunt Quelline, sitting happily by her roaring fire, the talk of the town with her new farmhouse and fine gowns.”

Kaeg puffed on his pipe, then shook his head. “That all sounds nice, but I think what Quelline really wants is her son returned to her.”

“And when he is, she’ll have plenty of gold to shower him with presents,” assured Charlatan. “Gentlemen, you must therefore see why my sister and I must stay and tend to some of the business administration of this fine establishment.”

“And don’t worry about the rough start of the Pendragon Trading Company,” drawled Miz’ry. “I believe that Charlatan has realized that at least one of the persons with whom he surrounds himself has a decent head for numbers. Honestly, dear brother, you’re a fool for not bringing me into this ridiculous endeavor earlier. Peabody. Honestly.”

“Guntor gets a pet, why can’t I have one?” said Charlatan. “Don’t be jealous just because yours ran away.”

Miz’ry glared at Charlatan, her eyes flashing redder for a moment. Charlatan knew exactly where to direct his barbed comments, and she summoned a look of utter contempt to hide the embarrassment and frustration she felt at his words. “At least Guntor has enough sense not to entrust his idiotic owl with significant financial decisions. How much gold was it that you lost, again? I’m sure father would be so proud.”

Charlatan looked hurt, but quickly hid his expression with a roguish grin.“Touche.” He tipped his feathered hat at Miz’ry.

“But what about the glory?” asked Guntor, “Aren’t we supposed to be heros? Heroes don’t sit in a mine all day worrying about gold!”

“No, we sit outside worrying about it,” snapped Charlatan. “Half the time, without tents! Forgive me for enjoying some of life’s small comforts.”

“Be calm, Guntor,” soothed Miz’ry, “this is merely a temporary solution. Once the mine is operating smoothly and churning out profit and magical knowledge and items, I am certain Charlatan and I will be on the road again, being… heroic and all that.”

“Without us, then,” said Kaeg. It wasn’t a question, and he sat up a bit straighter to frown at Charlatan and Miz’ry.

“It’s just a matter of unfortunate timing, my friend. Think of this as an opportunity to start a secondary branch of the Winterstorm Troopers. Just think! Tales of the Trooper’s deeds can only spread further! Imagine them singing tales of our heroism and lauding our bravery in the exotic taverns of Rubinia!” said Charlatan. His words were accompanied by a flurry of hand motions and whirling colors. The effect was quite flashy, but Kaeg seemed unconvinced.

“If you don’t want to come, that’s fine,” Kaeg said. “But there’s no point in pretending we’ll become folk heroes overnight. I don’t care about the glory, only about getting my nephew returned in one piece and… dealing with my cousins.”

“I, of course, fully support your desire for vengeance,” said Miz’ry, “but as a scholar, I feel I cannot leave such an important font of magic without a full academic study. If Charles and I felt your quest would be impossible without us, we would surely be accompanying you. However, as it is, I feel that all of you are perfectly capable of bringing the rogues to justice and finding your poor young cousin. Our presence,” she indicated Charlatan with a wave of her hand, “is unnecessary, and therefore we will remain here. I’m sure you understand.”

Kaeg nodded, shrugging. Guntor still looked upset, but before he could interrupt, Gunrin Rockseeker heaved himself over the ledge and into the entrance.

“You. Drow. We have business to discuss.”

Charlatan heaved a sigh, and sprang to his feet. “Come, sister. We must be off to assist our dear friend.” He held out a hand, and Miz’ry grabbed it to jump to her feet as well. “Don’t worry about waiting around for us,” he told the gathered companions as the twins started after Gundrin. “This surely isn’t a permanent farewell. Friends such as we cannot be separated by mere distance.”

Miz’ry rolled her eyes again at Charlatan’s sentimentalism, but she secretly agreed with his statement. She raised a hand in salute, then turned away from the rest of the party and jumped down over the ledge and into the depths of Wave Echo Cave.

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Grok's Jurnal Entree 3: Da last one
With annotations by The Hammer

Hammer’s Note: After all the craziness in the mine I hadn’t had a chance to relax. I was cleaning out my pack when I came across this foul looking journal. It smelled real bad and the pages look like they were smeared with blood and shit. Then I remembered that Orc we killed a while back. The only reason I remember him was because he pulled out a book and with his dying blood gargled mouth he said for us to take this. Frankly I had forgotten all about it until now…

Grok at Wivurn Tor today. Dey said need re..re-inf. .bhsjvg mor help. Talk of stoopid hoomans com to reskew haff breed scum dat prisonr in cave. Dey not kill us! We stronk! KILL stoopid hoomans!

In mean time Grok go with Shin’ra n Zerg. Othar scout groop go in othar direcshun too find mor to kill. We gone long time but kill beast n get meat. We thot we com bak to gloreus victoree with many stoopid hooman bones to naw. What we com bak too…

Grok nevar so MAD IN ALL LIFE! ALL ORC DEAD! Dead in canyun, dead on cliff, even mitey orge Ok’tar dead! Cheef look like he burnt to crisp. Grok nevar see so many dead orc befor. It very upsetting.

Da stress frum all dis tragidee make Shin’ra go into labur. Grok n Zerg help delivur new orc into wurld. Grok happy for secund, den angry and sad agan.

Grok heer orc run to them. He say he saw hole battl frum top of wivern tor. Grok smash him in face for not help more with fite. After he get up he explane wut happen. Not just stoopid hooman, but stoopid elfs, hafflin, n DWARF! Grok hate dwarfs.

Well The Hammer hates orcs.

He also say 2 elf look purpl. Grok nevar hurd of purpl elf befor. Maybe taste good. He sed dey go eest to tribor.

Othar scout groop return to find carnaj of dead orc. Grok explane what happen n dey deeside to join us in hunt and KILL STOOPID HOOMAN N OTHARS. Shin’ra carry child on back. Grok say maybe Shin’ra not fite n help child grow stronk like Grok. Shin’ra punch Grok. She say Grok soft n to stop riting in stoopid book. Grok not soft! Grok smurt orc! Grok b best ritar orc in north!

Grok not stop Shin’ra from come. She want blood. We want blood. We hunt. WE KILL!

Clearly you didn’t kill us.

Grok stop rite in jurnal for now. We trail orc killers. Dey sound dangerus so we ambush dem. Hope find when dey sleep. Make eezy kill.

If Grok die in gloreus revenj battl Grok want jurnal to pass. Some one need to read about Grok. Grok live forever in book!

Man, I thought I was dumb but this whole journal makes me appreciate just how not dumb I am. I still feel kind of bad about the orc baby. Despite Grok’s dumb orc brain he did seem like he had some soft side he was hiding. Maybe I should show this to Myrrdin. He would be interested to see how “smurt” orcs can be.

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Table 2 trip to neverwinter

As the newfound crew finds its way through the seas from the ports of Rubinia they come across some pirates. As the pirates draw near the team looks to Captain Vancient for guidance who is struck in fear and cant move. The team them decides to ready up and take on the ship under Yoshi’s command.

Now officially in combat with the pirate ship the two ships (the Fatal Fury and the Pirate Ship)
…..

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Party in Phandelver
Always invite The Hammer to parties

Smoke unfurled from the small fire and lazily wafted up to rest around the stalactites; eventually slithering toward the hole that lead outside of Wave Echo Cave. Yesterday the party had faced down Drozz and the slippery drow got away, again. Guntor heaved a sigh, just a few hours ago the party had finished clearing out the cave, and now they were enjoying the unexpectedly peaceful mine. Not a second after the fire had been lit, The Hammer pulled three flasks of strong dwarvish ale out of his pack. By now Guntor expected almost anything from the dwarf and didn’t think he could be surprised, but he was immediately proven wrong when The Hammer moved around a few things and pulled a small keg of even stronger stuff from his bag. All tension immediately evaporated from the room.

About an hour later, The Hammer was taking swigs out of his new electrum cup to the tune of a dwarvish drinking song, of which there are many. Kheg was singing along with the deep-throated melody while trying to chug a flask that was probably half his body weight. Myrrdin, Mizry, Charlatan, and Guntor soaked up the warmth of the fire as The Hammer began a dance that jolted the ground.

“So… Mizry and I are departing.” Said Charlatan, matter-of-factly, as his eyes swept over Myrrdin’s inquisitive and Guntor’s owl-eyed expressions.

“Well,” expanded Mizry, “we might stay here for a few days, to study the Forge and hold down the fort until Gundrin arrives.”

“But you’re not going to join us at Tyr Nog when you finish here.” Stated-more-than-asked Guntor with some disappointed resignation.

Charlatan sighed a, “No.” and explained, “We’ll probably take a ship over to Robinnia, before the ice land-locks the ships at Neverwinter.”

“Charlie has a few ties with the merchants there,” supplied Mizry, “and I’ve always wanted to visit. I hear that it’s more… um,”

“Civilized?” admitted Guntor.

“I was going to say ‘rooted,’ but yes.”

Guntor could easily see the two half-drow embroiled in the politically charged air of Robinnia. This side of the Iron Sea, however, remained frontier land. Here, it wasn’t too odd to find a politician with a weasel in his chest every once in a while.

“Ah, Robinnia…” spontaneously muttered Myrrdin, who was filling up a second cup with the lip-loosening liquor, “when I was young its cities were much like Phandalin is now, but it’s people knew how to show gratitude…” A devious smile crawled onto his face as he added, “Especially the women…” then downed his drink and began casually humming The Hammer’s slurred song.

Charlatan chuckled and Mizry offered Guntor one of the flasks, but he passed, stating that he would keep watch tonight.

Mizry shrugged, “More for me.” As she stood and sauntered off to watch The Hammer try to drunkenly balance a glowing hammer on his lump while he held a keg under one arm and a Kheg under the other.

Guntor stood and brushed off some dirt and offered a hand to Charlatan, who took it and hoisted himself to his feet.

“You’re a good friend Charlatan, don’t forget that you and your sister always have a place with us.”

“I’ll drink you for that ring!” Interjected Mizry.

“DONE!” roared The Hammer, not even thinking to ask for something if, well, when he won.

“Now this we have to see.” Reacted Guntor

Mizry began chugging a flask, and The Hammer, not to be out done by a half-drow, plopped a snoring Halfling onto the floor and lifted the entire keg to his lips while still balancing the hammer on his lump. He kept the ring, but lost his lunch.

The Jones Twins will never be forgotten.

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Kheg's Secret Diary6
Days 47-52

Day 47 – Late Evening
Phandalin

With little food, and zero comfort we wasted no time in trying to get to Phandalin from the frost biting hills outside the mine. Though the gods of the seasons are showing no mercy this winter, at least the gods of luck have felt pity for us; we didn’t run into any danger the entire way.

As destitute and demoralized as we had been since we surrendered to Drozz, even run down Phandalin became like a warm bosom as we reached it’s entrance earlier this evening. Since the provisions store was on the way to Aunt Qelline’s those of us who had lost most everything at Drozz’ command immediately ducked into the store with Hammer to get replacements (or at least as much as Hammer could afford us). Vola went on to visit Sister Garaele. To make things easier on Hammer’s coin pouch, Miz’ry came up with an idea. She had cast the spell of invisibility on me while I perused the establisment. She’s a thoughtful warlock and if I were a cleric I’d bless her devious heart. I drew a lot of blood with my shortbow and expect draw even more with its replacement.

By chance, we ran across Gundrin at the store. I tell him that Drozz is aware of his presence in Phandalin and that he should watch his back as Drozz may have ordered his assasination.

Upon Vola’s return from her visit with Sister Garaele, she told us that she would be devoting 100% of her time to Phandalin. After 42 days of very faithful service to the Winterstorm Troopers, Vola felt it was time to depart from the group indefinately and become the protector of the people of Phandalin and assist Sister Garaele in her care for the village. She could have officially taken the same roll working under the town master, but she doesn’t seem to trust him any more than I do.

Aunt Qelline was kind enough to cook for us as we hung out in Phadalin and considered all of our options. Unfortunately Aunt Qelline still has her mouth wired shut, but Hammer’s kindness of leaving her 2 gp will go a long way.

It’s day 49 as I sit in front of a fire on Aunt Qelline’s farm. Yesteday we spent the time weighing our options which turned into long debates that went into the evening. It’s been quite a while since we had last argued about our next step, but in the end Myrrdin, Miz’ry, Charlatan, Guntor and I agreed on a search and destroy mission — search for our equipment and destroy Drozz. The plan sounds simple enough, but I’m not as optimistic as the others. I have a feeling that not all of us will be returning from the mines. Although it’s obvious that Drozz’ power network is a now a bridge about to collapse due to his need to rely on stupid goblins to carry out his dirty work, the down side is that we had become such a disturbance to Drozz’s goal to control the mine that he isn’t going to have the mercy he showed after the first two encounters. Having the rights to the mine gives me the most motivation to exterminate Drozz and his goblins, but I’m hesitant about doing it now on such a low budget and with team of only 6.

As I sat in the the Sleeping Giant tavern last night Halia Thornton happened to walk in. It was good to get things out in the open, but I still don’t trust her nor the organization she recruited me to join, but feeling I have nothing to lose I accepted membership as a Needle in the Skein. At the very least, I’ll be able to figure out the significance if any that the 5 blue quarts and granit bolders between Phandalin and the Phandelver Pact Mines has to Halia.

As Halia and I talked inside of the Sleeping Giant, outside the The Hammer was putting on a hammer throwing perfomance. He’s really getting good at it, but the town’s people only gave him 14 silver coins. Either they don’t know talent when they see it or maybe they were thinking that The Hammer would believe all that silver was instead platinum pieces?

It is Day 50 and we are now camped about 1 mile from the mine and will be without a fire in order to keep from being spotted. We have a strategic view of the Phandelver Pact Wall from our camp within the trees. It is much warmer today than in the past week. The sun is bright and the birds are chirping; we can even see the tip of Wyvern Tor from this peaceful settign. It’s a pleasant day outside the mine, but it’s hard to enjoy as we make our final preparations before we venture back into the mine tomorrow. If all goes well, we’ll come out with our equipment and the head of the Black Spider.

In the early morning hours of Day 51 our sleep was interrupted by wolves and due to no light — not even moon light — there wasn’t anything Guntor and I could do, but climb trees as Charlatan and Miz’ry did. Charlatan, who had been leading the party since the death of Amon handed tactical decisions over to Guntor for this operation and Guntor’s orders are to climb the face and enter the mine just before sunset today.

It is now Day 52 and Drozz is officially homeless. He had a couple of well placed suprises like a Faze Spider at the mine entrance that Charlatan was bitten by at the start of the assault, but those wouldn’t be the last of our injuries. Not all of us had finished climbing the stone face when the spider attacked leaving some of us unable to counter. The Hammer was able to pound on its head and with this injury the spider disapeared as it started to crawl away. As Miz’ry and I reached the precipice unharmed the spider then appeared again while Guntor was in mid climb 90’ below. With the release of an arrow from my new shortbow, the spider fell 130’ to it’s death. Guntor ordered a short rest before climbing down the ropes into the mine and as we sat on the precipice we could see the sun start to touch the horizon. It was peaceful to watch as a flock of geese flew in formation. Upon sight of the geese, Hammer pointed to them and shouted “Ducks!”

When Guntor gave the order to start to repel the rope I inadvertenly took a different approach. Upon my haste to decend 65’ as fast a possible I fucked up and started to fall the last 35’. For the a 3rd time Guntor saved me with the Feather Fall spell. I landed so gently that I was able to ready my shortbow.

As Myrrdin decended, above him he could see a goblin hand grasping a dagger cut at the rope. Myrrdin however wasn’t as lucky as I for Guntor was unable to cast the Feather Fall spell again, but impact from 55’ wasn’t enough to keep Myrrdin from being able to heal himself to some degree.

The Hammer pulled of a feat that the people of Phandalin would have given him gold for. He threw a hammer 65’ upwards to that goblin on the precipice and struck him in the head. The blow caused the goblin to fall to his death.

Not to be completely out done, Miz’ry hit a goblin in the throat with Eldritch Blast as she clung to the cavern ceiling like a spider.

Of the 4 gobblins we saw as we were in this cavern, it became apparent to Myrrdin that all but the one who cut the rope was an illusion.

As we maneuvered through the somewhat familiar corridors Myrrdin spots one we hadn’t seen before. Still needing to find our equipment, we take a familiar route and end up at the room with the electrified door that Miz’ry and Gundrin had been held captive in. Charlatan cast Mage Hand as he did previoiusly to remove any electrical charge. In the room were some very familiar backpacks that had all been routed through with the most usable items missing, but that didn’t deter us from going forward with Part II of our plan.

With our focus set entirely on Drozz we went to the nearby temple where we had the displeasure of initially meeting Drozz. We didn’t find him there, but we did find 150 gp, with some platinum and a bunch of copper pieces. Guntor shared my interest in taking the eyes from the statue. They were just too much for us to pass up and with Guntor in charge who was I to say no? As I scaled the 10’ statue to pry the eyes out with my dagger, Charlatan ran out of the room and just in time too, because as the second rock was pryed from the eye socket, the room started to implode. Needless to say there were a lot of injuries and it was hardly and optimal time or any, but it wasn’t a show stopper.

At Guntor’s command we backtracked to the cooridor that was new to us. As we stepped into this unfinished cooridoor, the mysterous booming sound that we had been hearing every 4.5 minutes was now louder than it had ever been. As we continued down this corridore we started start to hear water then suddenly a massive wave surged through the cave and as it crashed against the rocks to create the booming sound that had become all too familiar. Hammer blurted out “Wave Echo Cave.” He was indeed right for once as the water level of the cavern raised 10’.

Before us was a “catwalk” with a pecular wide groove cut into it and we needed to get to the other side, but knowing that we only had 4.5 mintues to do it and not knowing how far the “other side” was, this caused us to delay our passage until after the next wave cycle. This delay allowed the opposition to set up an ambush. As we got on the catwalk and moved across it, a goblin pushed a well crafted boulder that rolled all too well in that pecular groove. Suddenly we were faced with two choices and one seemed no better than the other. With Myrrdin last in our procession he was therefore the first to have to make a very quick life threatening decsion. Jump into the water and possibly drownd, or suck in his gut at stand with his back to the wall of the passage and hope the rolling rock doesn’t roll into him. Myrrdin chose the water and as he jumped so did every person after him except for the last two, Hammer and Charlatan.

Wearing armor in water with spider webs clung to us made a challenging climb out and 25’ up the rocks onto the overpass. Those spiderwebs, however annoying were actually keeping us from drownding since they anchored us to the rocks as we were wearing armor. We all managed to get back onto the ledge, but the speed at which we did it played into an advantage for the opposition giving the rest of the ambushers time to get into an even better tactical position. What happend to Hammer and Charlatan? The boulder passed through them; it was just another illusion created by Drozz.

As we struggled to get out of the water, on the other side of the pool about 45’ away appeared Drozz and a peon 2nd goblin. As a battle ensued and wounds were exchanged, at the far end of the catwalk appeared a 4rd goblin and with the 1st goblin still behind us we were now surrounded as we moved forward to the other end of the ledge along the water.

Using another of the many tricks he had up his sleeve, Drozz cast the Spear of Darkness spell which made him unseeable. This put our attention on the 4th goblin blocking out path about 65’ ahead, because we needed to get to the other side before the next wave cycle came through. After an exchange of a few arrows, the bloody goblin ahead fell as a second arrow entered his chest. With him out of the way, we left the melee. At Guntor’s command we marched back to the mine’s entrance and took another one hour rest.

It was dead quiet at the entrance, when suddenly Charlatan yells “He’s here!” With this warning we all scatter in different directions for a better defensive position. Miz’ry’s defense was an offensive, foul mouthed barage of insults aimed at Drozz through the use of a bard cantrip spell. Her attempt to draw Drozz out didn’t work, but as a bit of stone fell from the ceiling capturing Miz’ry’s attention, she yelled “There he is!” as she pointed at a spot on the ceiling. At Guntor’s suggestion, I shot my flaming arrow to the ceiling where Miz’ry was pointing In hopes that the arrow would stick, but a bad pull on the shortbow string put the arrow on a useless path.

Drozz finally appears and climbs out the opening onto the precipice and into the night with Miz’ry in pursuit. In a last ditch effort to rid himself of Miz’ry as she stood on the precipice 220’ up, Drozz suggested that she could fly. Miz’ry was able to keep her wits as the rest of us joined her on the precipice, but as I brought light up onto the precipice with the flamming arrow, it ruined the darkvision of the others and Drozz was able to escape unseen.

With that cockroach gone we made a thorough search of the mines. In addition to a secret door in the Spell Forge, we did find some more of our equipment, but the glass staff that was once was held by Iarno Albrecht seems to have been taken by his former colleague, the Black Spider.

With nothing to stop Gundrin Rockseeker from getting the smelter running, the Winterstorm Troopers’ went above and beyond the initial task of providing escort to a supply wagon. The campaign cost the life of Amon, but that is the risk in mercenary work.

What comes next is up in the air, but what ever it is The Hammer, Guntor, Myrrdin and I are going to have to do it without the Jones Twins. Only 5 days after Vola departed, so did Charlatan and Miz’ry. We were given notice that it was going to happen soon, but their departure was quick enough that we never really got a complete understanding of what they were up to. With only their impulsivenes being predictable, we have found them to be like cats in that they always land on their feet. I wouldn’t doubt Miz’ry wanted to venture into the underdark, but whatever they are up to we know that once the dust they stir up has settled, they’ll come out on top. Of course Charlatan would have probably missed all the action due to being incapacitated fo rthe 50th time, but all is well that ends well.

Hopefully my next entry will be from Tyr Nog as I hope to find the where-abouts of Cousin Carp Aldeleaf.

Day 52 – Morning
Spell Forge
Phandelver Pact Mines

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Kheg's Secret Diary5
Session 12 - Day 46

Day 46
Late Evening
Outside Echo Wave Cave

We are in despriate need of help. As the temperatures dropped over the past several days, our egos had spiked so much that we made the foolish decision to avoid a rest and instead venture further into the mines, knowing full well that Drozz was around the next corner. Our blind vengence to unseat Drozz from his rule of the mines has clouded our judgement.

We often make fun of Hammer for his IQ, but today we have turned our own table and without him and Vola here we probably wouldn’t be able to survive the winter temperatures since we no longer have bedrolls, blankets, tents, or even a tinderbox to start a fire. We might even have to forge for food for the next day or two as we make our way to Phandalin but with winter now here, forging and hunting may only yield so much. We are no doubt in dire straits as we adjust to our situation; our bleak future is fully dependent on our survival skills.

This nightmare started as Myrrdin, Mizry, Charlatan, Guntor, and I had just finished off 5 ghouls, a flaming skull and at least 4 zombies in two different melee’s within the mines. Meanwhile Vola and Hammer guarded the entrance to the mine by stationing themselves upon that foresaken precipice in the miserable winter wind. Things were going find until the shock and awe provided by a flaming skull put both Mizry and I in such a state that combat was either impossible or needed to be ultra limited, and although Myrrdin provided much healing, he could only do so much at the time. Miz’ry got her revenge though; after enough team work on the flaming skull, Miz’ry was able to remove the threat.

In the neighboring room we could hear Drozz taunt us as if he could read our minds. We moved in the direction of Drozz’s voice for a moment and then finally reached our senses and backed off, but when Drozz started to mention the names of family members, he stired up the emotions he was targeting and hit the bulls eye with the both the Jones twins and with Guntor. With his bait set (bait that was too difficult for our ego’s too resist) Drozz beckoned and we followed his voice like a well worn trail despite Mizry and I being far from optimal condition for combat. Adding to this was the fact that Myrrdin was out of spells. We should have continued to retreat and join Vola and Hammer on the precipice for the night, but instead we let ourselves get manipulated into marching forward like scripted puppets.

So there we were, at the entrance to a massive cavern and on a large stone platform, on the other side of the cavern stood Drozz — or so we believed it was. As Drozz continued to try and reel us in he got a bite from our brash, young fighter. Guntor drew his bow to the shock of Mizry and Charlatan who wanted to continue to try and bargain with the Black Spider, but what they were trying to bargain for were only figments created by Drozz’s ability to dig deep into his opponents psyche and as they continued to speak with Drozz they were only becoming more suseptable to his bullshit.

Drozz gave a short list of demands:
Drop all weapons
Rid ourselves of any magical powers
Swear not to return to the mines

Whatever it was, something was starting to light a fire underneath the Jones’s about as hot as the fire underneath Guntor. Drozz’s work was now done; it was now just a matter of us understanding this and standing down, or let a frenzy consume the group as a whole. Our choice become apparent to not just Drozz, but also to the rest of the Winterstorm Troopers as an arrow struck the Black Spider from Guntor’s cherished longbow.

It was pretty much helter skelter from here on out as Charlatan and myself followed Guntor’s mad dash towards the Black Spider and sent more arrows in his direction. As we beelined it towards Drozz, 6 goblins suddenly came into view and started sending even more arrows in our direction. Miz’ry and Myrrdin had stayed back in the corridor only to get blocked off as Drozz cast a spell making a large spider web prohibit their involvement. As arrows continued to fly in all directions, Guntor, Charlatan and I had made it up on to the staging that Drozz stood.

What started out as an “oh shit” moment when Guntor released an arrow was turning into a relativley smooth sailing melee. Even though we were out numberd by 2 and Myrrdin was out of spells, we manged to take little damage. With Charlatan in proximity, Guntor was going toe to toe with Drozz using all sorts of techniques including grappeling, but eventually settled on his trident. I climbed up the other side and butcherd a goblin and with it out of the way, I too went to work on Drozz only to find out that all he needed was just one more slice from a swordsword. It was upon this swing that we realized Drozz wasn’t Drozz.

The being that Guntor and Charlatan had been attacking was another doppleganger and it was on this realization that the real Drozz made his appearance at the top of a very tall rock. Unreachable as he towered over the cavern floor, we again found ourselves numbered and this time were were not only limited in spells, but probably didn’t have enough arrows or enough life to finish off not only Drozz, but 5 gobblins too. What was going well, suddenly become an impossible task. Charlatan negotiated for our lives and the terms Drozz gave were the same ones he started with. The situation was understood; “comply now or die”. Once Charlatan started to disarm himself, the rest of us followed suit. At least Myrrdin was able to smuggle his own wand out and coincidentally, it’s the same wand Drozz had me go fishing for in “Kheg Lake”.

As we sit here next to a fire on another bitter, cold night we wonder what future our gods have in store for us. Will we all make it back to Phandalin? I suspect we will. Myrrdin has his Magic Missiles wand and the The Hammer has enough light hammers to pass out for protection. Provided that we don’t get lost again, I don’t think food will be a big problem and there is enough snow on the ground to provide us with water all winter. The only major issue right now seems to be the severe cold.

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Like Shooting Orcs in a Valley
The Tale of Myrrdin's Giant F***ing Moon Beam of Death

The party skulked in the brush as it made its way to the northern lip of the canyon. The valley feed into the dark maw of the caverns beneath the spire of stone known as Wyvern Tor. Orcs had taken up residence there. Guntor gulped down his nervousness. He couldn’t stop himself thinking of the three Orcs that had ambushed him and Peabody at Connieberry; the ferocity of their pursuit had defiantly given Guntor a healthy fear of the brutish humanoids. As a way of distracting himself, Guntor glanced over the rest of his companions. Myrrdin was exercising his familiarity with the terrain to great effect; The Hammer was doing his best at being sneaky, which meant he wasn’t whacking things with his hammer; Mizry was taking full advantage of her complexion by staying in the shadows of bushes; Charlatan, on the other hand, was clunking along in his newly crafted chainmail; and Kheg, like always, might as well have been one of the bushes as he scurried here and there. Guntor was fascinated by the capable Halfling; he would have to find out how Kheg could be so quiet.

“RRAAAAAA!!” came a roar that jerked the party into action. They had been spotted. Guntor saw the source of the warning cry standing near the top of the oddly mountain. Guntor gauged the Orc to be about six hundred feet away. Not an immediate threat. The band of adventurers took up positions at the top of the steep wall of the gorge. A series of cacophonous roars and guttural shouts projected from the caves. Then, orcs began to bubble up out of the murky black, as if spat out by the roots of the mountain itself. There were already three orcs on the ground below and one climbing his way up to the invaders.

Guntor seated an arrow onto the sting of his bow, but before he could even draw the sting Myrrdin was by his side and muttering something. The ground below erupted into a thorny mess, each vine shooting up and writhing around like a snake. When the vines settled Guntor was surprised that the spell seemed to be invisible to the orcs it had ensnared. One of the orcs took a step and immediately he straitened in a howl of pain, but the simpleminded creature stomped forward. Futilely trying to push his way through the brush. Guntor could see that this thorny thicket was anything but normal. It was more alive. Tendrils grasped at the orc, he stumbled and fell. Even from Guntor distance he could see the creature squirm and struggle in pain, but he was trapped. With a blood-curdling pathetic moan the vines became the orc’s grave.

In a mixture of amazement, shock, and a little fear Guntor glanced over at Myrrdin’s casual, focused determination. Guntor heard more than saw the death of two more orcs and turned his attention back to the one climbing up towards them. He loosed an arrow that caught it in the side, but it continued as if it was merely a hard poke. Guntor was drawing another arrow when the ground began to shake. A foreboding tremor from the black pit drew the group’s attention. Guntor expected a booming war cry from the gigantic ogre that had just emerged, but it didn’t grant him one. Instead it stomped out and gazed up at the assaulting group. It was too quiet in its approach, which was almost worse to Guntor, all that could be heard was its weight trembling the ground. The Ogre began making its way forward and to Guntor’s dismay was not fooled by the invisible thorns. It simply grunted a sneer and went around them.

“Reek!!” Guntor’s eyes shot down in time to see Owly get swatted out of the sky by an orc and dissolve out of this plain of existence. This refocused his attention as he loosed another arrow into an orc. Guntor began repositioning as two orcs reached the top and assaulted The Hammer. He felt a whoosh of air from the arrow Myrrdin had just found a new home for in the ogre’s gut, this evoked the roar Guntor had anticipated. The Hammer put up a valiant defense, but was clobbered by the two orcs, who either through luck or skill had managed to land heavy blows on the proficient warrior. The dwarf worked his way to his left in an attempt at relocating to a more defensible position. Guntor put an arrow into one of the attackers and was about to charge to The Hammers aid. Before he could take a step, the smell of ozone crackled into existence around Charlatan as he channeled an undulating stream of lightning into the two orcs. One took the bolt to the stomach and froze as his muscles spasmed and involuntarily tensed. The other wasn’t so lucky and took the bolt to the chest. He was dead the instant the lightning had coursed into him, but his corpse remained on its feet and shook and spasmed, its face twitched as skin began sizzling and popping. Guntor was suddenly afraid that the now sack of meat might explode, but Charlatan cut off the arc of death to it and the creature fell to the floor where an eerie, “tsssttsssstststsss” emanated from the thoroughly cooked orc. After the macabre display of his companion, the remaining orc charged Charlatan. Guntor once again readied himself to protect a friend, but was stopped by the confident sneer Charlatan gave the charging beast.

He cut off the spell and quipped, “On guard!”

The orc made a desperate swipe at the spell caster, but to Guntor’s continued surprise Charlatan dexterously redirected the powerful strike by crouching and angling his shield. Guntor’s jaw didn’t even have enough time to drop before Charlatan had, with impeccable form, lunged forward and skewered the dumbfounded orc. Charlatan straightened and slid his rapier out of the orc’s chest with a twirl. For added measure, he snickered at Guntor’s equally dumbfounded expression.

While Guntor was busy gapping at Charlatan as he dispatched with the orcs, Kheg was peppering the ogre with arrows and Mizry joined in with a bolt of arcane energy. After once again snapping out of a stupor, Guntor attempted to dislodge the now climbing ogre with his arrows, and Carlatan moved to intercept the orc leader who was charging into a flanking position.

The battle looked as good as won. Until, the ogre planted two gargantuan feet on the ground at the top of the valley wall with two loud thuds and a growl of rolling thunder. An orc then sprouted up next to Kheg and more threw than shoved the miniscule man off the precipice. Guntor pushed out his energy and enshrined him in the power of an owl in flight. Things began to look grim. Kheg was safe, but out of the fight; Charlatan was embroiled in a battle with the orc leader, who had fought his way to his subordinates; The Hammer was badly injured and flanked by the ogre and both orcs; Mizry was trying to prepare a spell; and Guntor was maneuvering to get a clear shot. The tide had turned.

Then, Myrrdin turned the tide right back by reminding the moon who was in control. A thin beam of soft light appeared on the ogre’s raised fist, and the brute stopped to give it a quizzical look as it lazily expanded. Its ugly face immediately contorted to horrified pain as the silvery blue light grew to twenty feet in diameter and seared off the ogre’s entire right arm. The Hammer isn’t the sharpest arrow in the quiver, but he has unparalleled instincts and knew it was time to tactically maneuver away from the giant death ray. The ogre’s mouth opened in a silent shriek and it fell to its knees as the rest of its side slowly sizzled away. It was dead. The orc in the center of the moons power would have had his life flash before his eyes, if he still had eyes, and if he hadn’t died so quickly. The orc leader managed to escape the beam with a few limbs left and decided it was time for a career change. He began hopping away, but the hammer ended whatever employment opportunities he had with a swift swipe to the head.

Myrrdin turned and flashed them all with the first genuine smile they had ever seen him produce.

“Oh, dear…” mumbled Charlatan.

The Hammer incongruously chuckled and said, “Anyone up for some orc!?” As he kicked a steaming hunk of meat.

A flinching Mizry held her sleve up to her nose and proclaimed, “Oh gods… the smell…”

Guntor retched and thought he was going to throw up as something sizzled and popped

“Hey!” echoed up Kheg’s voice, “Don’t destroy the heads! They’re worth gold!”

“Let’s just go find Vola.” Spouted Guntor through a tightly closed mouth. He was regretting the extra ration he had eaten earlier.

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