From the Journal of Mikhail Horndagger
DM's note: These are the notes from our campaign started some years ago. Mikhail is a paladin of Torm. He is also quite sparse with his narrative.
I, Mikhail Andreiev Horndagger, sworn disciple of Torm, arrived in Shadowdale from Hamington, to seek my fate and fortune.
I located my friend the elf, Swift Ferret. We were hired by Thurbal, master at Arms for Lord Mourngrym, to explore the caves beneath the Twisted Tower of Ashaba for 100 GP each plus 20% of loot.
Swift went fishing, I went shopping. I ordered a battle ax from the local blacksmith.
I tried to meet the great wizard, Elminster, but was turned back by his houseman, Lheao. I met Janna and Joel Darkwood and invited them to join the party. They are Turmish. She is a mage and he is a fighter.
Swift was not feeling very well. Janna, Joel and I rescued a Frost. We were given crystals and gold as reward.
We went under the tower. We fought and killed two quaggoths. Swift was injured by a huge spider. We killed the spider and found 16 coppers, 19 silvers, one electrum, four gold pieces and one ruby. We returned to the surface.
We had to chimney up holes in a cave ceiling. Joel and I were hit by a luminescent liquid. We ran into a half-orc and his party of boogins. We killed two boogins, and injured the half-orc. Swift, Joel and I were injured. Janna hid, She led us back to surface after the half-orc and boogins departed.
Janna recruited Jereth from the Temple of Lathandar to join party. Swift renegotiated terms with Thurbal, 150 GP each and 40% of loot. Brion Talltales joined party on instructions from Elminster. He is a dwarf fighter looking for members of his village who have disappeared.
We returned to the caves. Brion located a secret door hidden by illusion. We killed three Boogins and a half-orc, found 14 gold pieces and an unmarked vial. We destroyed a Giant Spider egg. We met a dwarf, Simon Stonebreaker. Swift was attacked by a piercer. We killed it. I was attacked by an Aballin. I survived the attack.
Stonebreaker took off during attack. We returned to the half-orc lair to camp.
We returned to the Aballin cave, then climbed through a "chimney". We met rats and a badger in wide space in the tunnel. We came out in a windy cave, and heard voices. We then rested and ate. We crawled through an exit tunnel to an extremely large cavern with several exits. We filled in a pit trap in the tunnel.
We found an injured dwarf, Terrendale Talltales (Brion's brother). He is a priest but was seriously injured so he can barely talk.
We explored a tunnel beyond a secret door and killed two mongrelmen. Several of us were severely injured. We retreated to the main cavern to treat our injuries.
We found a cave with hot springs, and a mud cave. Then, we explored the third entrance, crossed a chasm and found the illusion cave. We retrieved Ring of Illusion. We passed through an area of continual darkness.
We located a Drider lair, killed the Drider, retrieved a very good long sword, 9 platinum pieces, two rubies.
We turned right and climbed up to room that had an obsidian table and retrieved an ancient scroll. Followed exit around and down to the main cavern. We went back to the hot spring, retrieved the silver dagger, a steel buckler and Ring of Swimming.
We encamped along the wall in the large cavern. Swift took first watch. At midnight, a horde of gibberlings ran out of a secret door to passage on the far side of room.
We followed the gibberlings path. Then we were harassed by unseen tormentors. We entered a cave with bats, and followed the path to opening in the Old Skull. We saw evidence that gibberlings jumped from cliff entrance. On returning back along the path to the main cave, we ran into four mongrelmen, and killed them all.
We encountered a gelatinous cube and killed it.
We explored the final exit from the large cavern, discovered a razor trap in the wall, disabled it, and found another bat cave. We located a Giant Spider cave, burned the web, and killed the spiders with fire arrows. Loot included 2463 coppers, 1187 silvers, 421 gold, 37 platinum, a vial marked: potion of water breathing.
We dropped down to a room with a still pool from the Spider's lair, climbed up the clay slope to what must have been a Drow burial cave, back to the main cave.
We attempted the secret door again, killed six mongrelmen, and retrieved loot, including a continual light rock.
We followed the passage to an underground lake. Swift used the ring of swimming to cross lake to retrieve two boats while the rest of us distracted and killed the four skum guarding the lake. An aboleth mentally attacked and took control of Jereth and Janna.
We managed to bring Jereth and Janna along the broad passageway into the next room, where we surprised a Drow patrol. Three of the four Drow were killed. Swift appropriated a suit of Drow chain, disguising himself as Drow.
In the next room, we located the sliding secret doors and the trap above. Swift and Brion successfully disarmed the trap, letting us the next area.
We managed to figure out the code to order the drawbridge lowered. Once across, Swift, still disguised as Drow, convinced the mongrelmen guards to let the group pass. Inside the fortress, four quaggoths, commanded by five Drow, attacked. The quaggoths were killed as well as the five Drow, three warriors, a cleric and a mage.
In the next room, we found 40 dwarf slaves. We killed the two guards, freeing the slaves.
In the Drow barracks, Jereth recovered his senses. He was not affected by the illusion spell set on the back wall and he managed to convince the rest of us to follow him safely across the chasm to the Drow over-mage's workshop.
Beyond the workshop, we discovered a magically locked door and broke it down to enter the over-mage's throne room. Joel sighted a Drow on the trophy ledge and using a short bow with Swift's poisoned arrows, he shot the Drow. The dwarves tore the Drow to pieces since the murals on the walls showed that Drow helping turn the helpless dwarves into gibberlings.
We gave the dwarves the treasure found in the treasure room and led the survivors back through the caves to the Tower of Ashaba. While we crossed the lake, Brion and I were attacked and overcome by the aboleth. Swift used his Drow poison to knock us both out long enough for everyone to make it across the lake in the little boats.
All of us, including the rescued dwarves, made it back to the Tower of Ashaba.
We met with Lord Mourngrym. We were paid triple the agreed amount plus the booty.
Outside, Silas Standard greeted us and awarded us 20 silver pieces for helping find out who had been driving away their cattle.
We went to Old Skull Inn for lunch. Lhaeo met us there and offered us a job to locate Randal Morn and rescue him and the Sword of the Dales. Lhaeo offered us mounts, supplies and a map to where the Sword of the Dales was supposed to be.
Swift, Joel, Janna, Jereth, Brion, and I headed out along the Northride Road. We met a merchant caravan, and heard about the kobold attack.
We reached the junction of the Northride and Tethyamar Trail at nightfall. We spent a night at Shrine to Torm.
It was an uneventful day. We were attacked by Kobolds near nightfall. We killed four of the Kobolds. The weather changed for the worse as we encamped for the night.
We came across a dead half-elf and a dead horse. I developed a severe head ache. We departed hurriedly. We ran across some bandits. They were also helping the Freedom Fighters. When we told them our mission, they let us pass
We reached Serpentsbridge and crossed safely. Then we were attacked by stirges. We killed the stirges. We retrieved 427 EP, a sculpture of a green dragon, a potion of vitality, a potion of extra-healing, a Ring of Fire Resistance, Bracers of Defense.
Our camp was visited by strange lights that affected our camp fire.
We reached tomb area. We were attacked by a Zhent patrol. We killed the patrol. We retrieved good chain mail, a good long sword, Ring of Protection, a Dagger of Venom, iron rations and 200 GP from them.
We spent an uneventful night.
We entered the tomb. We were attacked by a Dust devil, a fire snake and a sandling. Brion was severely injured. I was severely injured. We killed the dust devil, the fire, and the sand demon. We got through the door. Then we turned left down a t-shaped intersection. I got the Sword of the Dales as well as a note that was tied to it. I was very happy to get the sword!
Then, we were attacked by four giant skeletons, zombies, and two veerberg giant skeletons. Swift chickened out. Jereth turned the skeletons and zombies. Then two bonebats came. The elf fainted. We killed them without the elf's help. We explored the rest of the tomb. The room at the end of the right-hand passage was all torn up, like someone had been searching it.
We decided to head back to Shadowdale for more training before heading to Spiderhaunt Woods, assuming the information on the note on the sword was correct.
When we arrived at Shadowdale, we had a great winter feast party at the Old Skull Inn. It turns out only Jereth can be trained in Shadowdale! So Joel, Janna, Swift, Brion and I went on to Hamington.
On the way we stopped at a little inn I never knew about. The innkeeper was a retired fighter. He had trophies everywhere. One of his other guests came in and started to flirt with Janna. Joel and I were upset about this. It turned out the innkeeper and his wife were were-jackals and their friend was a werewolf and they attacked us. After we killed them, we searched the inn. We found some treasure. Outback, we also found the remains of their last victims. Joel, Brion and I gave them a decent funeral pyre.
We arrived in Hamington. My dad was right there to greet us. All of us are getting training except Janna. The old mage was out of town that day. We've decided to stay a week before heading back to Shadowdale.
My father's old deputy, Clancy Kildragon, was familiar with the inn and its builders, the Muldoons. He and his wife were very upset to hear what happened to them and agreed to take over the running of the inn as the owners had no relatives within the Dales.
We got to Shadowdale safely. We spent a night at the Old Skull Inn. I had a weird dream about Spiderhaunt I don't remember much of the dream now but a tower was in it.
We left for Spiderhaunt.
By mid day we entered the woods. We bumped into those Zhent mages that escaped us at the tomb. We, of course, killed them. Later we bumped into a gnome named Mardarn. He put a spider in a cage. Then he talked to us a little and led us to the village of Stumpenhouder.
We talked to the Gnome cleric of the town. He told us he knew where the tower we were looking for was and he would show us the way there in the morning.
That night, the village was attacked by skeletons and bonebats. They seemed to be after the gnome cleric, Telimas. We managed to beat them off and went back to bed. We all had a dream about a voice and the strange tower again.
Mardarn agreed to lead us to the strange tower. It was a hard hike to a lake he told us was called Melishar after an elf ranger that lived here a long time ago. We spent the night in a small cabin by the side of the lake. At the end of the first watch, we were awaked by a couple of half-ogres. Mardarn insisted we attack them since they had attacked his village before. We killed them.
A leopard followed us for a while but we frightened it off. Near nightfall, we came on the tower we all saw in our dreams. Mardarn suggested we camp outside for the night and we did so. We all had another dream about the destruction of the tower and a man being tortured inside an energy globe.
Mardarn gave us some leaves to chew to counteract a sleep spell around the tower. Mardarn refused to come inside with us but stayed outside to guard our equipment.
We were attacked by a giant skeleton. It threw a fire ball at some Zhents who had come out of the woods. They ran away and the skeleton disappeared. We located Randal Morn, inside an energy globe. But when we tried to rescue him, a Zhent wizard grabbed him and disappeared through a magic portal.
We spent the night by the lake.
We spent the night with the gnomes.
We headed off to Dagger Falls. On the way out of the woods we ran across a tracker called Elias Trollsblood who said he'd been set upon by orcs. We invited him to accompany us on our way to Dagger Falls.
We made good time today. We met Father Rillian, a druid who was training his initiates on the proper care of trees along the trail.
We were attacked by Kobolds and killed four. After dark, we saw a crimson blotch over Dagger Falls. Jereth said it was the Great Red Ghost of Dagger Falls.
We were attacked by Zhents and we killed most of them. The wizard, the same one who took Randal Morn, escaped.
We saw a fireball hit the ground and an efreet escaped from a shattered bottle. We begged for it to leave us alone and it finally left us alone. We got to the Serpentsbridge and were attacked by hobgoblins. We killed about 12 of them.
We ran across Captain Durmark and were invited to spend the night at her camp. Elias Trollsblood disappeared in their camp. We sold the Freedom Riders the horses we captured from the Zhents. One of the Freedom Riders was found dead. It looked like the work of a doppelganger.
Next morning, we met Ariton Delmis, who leads the Freedom Riders. He asked us to scout out the defenses of Dagger Falls so his people can retake the town and rescue Randal Morn.
We went to Dagger Falls and scouted out the defenses, reporting them, as instructed, to Dulwar the leather-worker. As we left, we entered the market square and found a man in the stocks. Jereth insisted we help the man. He turned out to be one of the people who tried earlier to rescue Randal Morn from the Zhents.
Then, we were ambushed by Zhents and knocked out. We woke up in the Zhent interrogation room in the garrison. Mardarn wasn't with us. The constable, Guthbert Golthammer, came in to interrogate us. He was holding the Sword of the Dales. We tricked him into saying the magic word (merrydale) that parted locks. Then the wizard that took Randal Morn popped into the room holding the skulls he took from the ruins. A spirit came out of the sword and killed the wizard as we grabbed our weapons and fought our way out of the interrogation room.
We managed to take care of the Zhent guards and found Golthammer's office. We found some very interesting papers there and Janna took them for safekeeping.
We finally found our equipment, except our gold, which is gone. As we heard the sounds of fighting outside, we finished off the rest of the guards and found our way into the jail area proper. As we got there, we discovered the guards taking Randal Morn away through a secret door, which took us a while to open.
As we got through the secret door, we saw Randall Morn being taken away in a cart. We chased it through the streets, even though we were under attack by archers on the roofs and the cart was guarded by Zhent soldiers. Just as we thought we were going to lose him, the wagon lost a wheel, Randal was thrown into a haystack and the Zhent guards ran away.
When I offered to give Randal the Sword of the Dales, he refused, saying it had already gotten him to too many messes.
Randal took us through the town to the Freedom Rider headquarters. There, we got healed, rested and fed.
After a little bit, Randal asked if we wouldn't help him out with a couple of situations. We chose to try the matter of the Zhent soldiers holed up in a warehouse in the southernmost part of the city. When we got there, we found Mestin already there. Her forces surrounded the building. A few minutes later, the Zhent leader sent out a white flag and asked to talk truce. We found his demands reasonable and convinced Mestin to agree and escort the Zhents out of the city where they could make their way home.
Back at the headquarters, we were given a quiet room to rest. After a few hours, we were awakened to the sound of drums. Randal called us in with his troops to deal with the orcs preparing to attack the town. He asked us to go to the orc camp undetected and take out the orc chief. He gave us a guide, Kiksa, to help us get to the camp.
As we got out of the city, the orcs attacked and we saw they had a catapult set up, firing fireballs into the city. Since the catapult was a greater danger to the town, we decided to deal with it first.
When we handled the orc guards and disabled the catapult, we headed into the orc camp. Swift located the traps set around the camp. We were able to deal with the orc chieftain's body guards and the chieftain himself.
By the time we made it back to town, reinforcements from Shadowdale arrived, routing the orcs.
The victory party lasted all night. About noon, we tried to see Randal Morn but were told he was busy with Khelben Blackstaff and Elminster. We decided to check out the city. Ariton insisted we have an armed guard. We found Kessla, proprietor of the Red Rock, searching through the rubble of her place. We gave her some gold to help her rebuild.
In the evening, we went to a grand banquet. When it was over, Elminster himself asked us to stay. Randal Morn presented us with land grants and citizen rights in Dagger Falls as well as a gold brooch with Randal Morn's personal coat of arms. He also gave us gold. Elminster gave us a land grant in Shadowdale and agreed to take Janna as a pupil for two months. Since Randal Morn wouldn't take the Sword of the Dales, we gave it to Elminster for safe keeping. He says he thinks here is an arch-shadow attached to the sword and may handle the matter when he has time.
Headed back to Shadowdale with some of the Shadowdale troops.
We arrived in Shadowdale. Janna went to begin her studies with Elminster for two months. Jereth went back to his temple to report to his superiors. The rest of us spent the night and planned to head off to Hamington.
We arrived in Hamington. Mother was very pleased to see us back so soon. Had word that while I was gone, there had been some grisly murders and strange goings on in the town cemetery. Swift, Brion, Joel and I agreed to investigate. Golin, the caretaker has gone mad. Swift, Brion, Joel and I went to the cemetery in the daylight and found nothing, so we went back at night. We found a monster in the cemetery and killed it. Brion and Joel were injured. Swift fainted in the crypt. Thordyn, from the Shrine to Torm, agreed to care for Gorin and help find a cure for his madness. We gave Thordyn 100 gold pieces to help out.
We rested for a couple days and practiced some new weapon techniques.
At the Tavern, We met Elexa Justheart, niece to Harkon Justheart, who owns a small castle about ten miles out of town. She said the castle had been taken by bandits and asked for our help.
We arrived near the castle. It has a protection spell on it and Elexa suggested we locate the wizard Jarrow. We went to his tower, managed to break in and found him dead. We managed to kill the feywing that killed him. We found some magical items we hope will help us break through the spell that protects the castle. Swift managed to set off a spell and vanished. We found him outside, later.
The magic items we found worked. We got to the roof of the castle, broke the spell and got in. We killed several of the bandits. One, obviously a wizard, got away. We found Elexa's uncle and rescued him from his own dungeon. He offered us a reward and full armor. Naturally, we agreed to stay and help defend the castle against the bandits' friends in trade for some plate mail.
The bandits' friends arrived but we were ready and drove them off.
We left Castle Justheart with plate mail and sad hearts. Harkon Justheart is a great story teller and had lots to tell us about far away places he's been.
Back in Hamington.
Feast of Greengrass
Headed back to Shadowdale to pick up Janna. Hopefully Jereth will be able to join us again.
Shadowdale, got into a brawl with Swift at the tavern. I spent the night in a holding cell in the tower of Ashaba. I paid a 500 gold piece fine.
Joel and Brion got Janna and then came to get me and Swift out of jail. We have to wait till tomorrow morning to see Jereth. We met Marta from Tragidore. She was hiring help to investigate some trouble in her town.
Janna and Joel saw Jereth and he wants to come with us again. We left for Tragidore.
On the road to Tragidore, we met Borse Kordona, from Hamington. He and his brothers were well-known fighters. He told us he and his brothers and gone to find out what was going on in Tragidore. His brothers disappeared without a trace five days ago. Borse was obviously drunk and we let him go on.
As the sun was setting and we were looking for a place to camp, fog rolled in and we ran into three vampires and some bandits who seemed to be with them. They demanded we turn over our magical items and weapons. We refused, attacked and killed several of the bandits. The rest ran away after the vampires disappeared.
We came across a wagon with three women and five small children. The women warned us to stay away from Tragidore. They told us the men of the town had disappeared and the town was running out of food and money. We offered them 50 gold pieces for their information and let them go on.
A few hours later, we saw some men on the road. When they saw us, they hid. We found two of them quickly and the other two came out when they saw we meant them no harm. They were dressed in leather, but were obviously frightened and tired. They begged us for water, which we gave them. Then they told us they had gone to help in Tragidore but had been told by the women in charge of the town that they we not strong or skilled enough to help out. The atmosphere of the town scared them and they left. They did manage to overhear that the kidnapings had to do with a band of criminals deep in the forest.
Near dark, Swift spotted some men hiding in the brush beside the road. They said they were fighters who were just passing through. They said they'd heard the men were being carried off by a swamp monster.
Janna noticed the men matched the description the women gave of the men that attacked and robbed them. When she said that, they ran like rabbits. We didn't bother to follow them. Swift searched the side of the road and found their cache. (250 GP in silver and copper coin, a silver and ruby ring, a jade headband, a gold and diamond necklace and a sack with dried meat.)
We headed on into town. The town was very quiet. Many of the shops were closed and some were even boarded up. We saw no children. On the outskirts of town, we were warned off. In town, it was more confusing. A couple women came up and were very glad to see us. Others were just as kind but didn't think we could help.
As we approached the inn where everyone said Marta was, we saw four tough-looking types burst out of the doors, mount their horses and head out of town.
As we started up the steps to the inn, we were stopped by a female guard who let us through when we told her why we were there. Inside, Marta made all of us place one hand on an orb that looked like glowing crystal ball. The orb got lighter in color as we touched it. That seemed to please Marta. She told what she knew of what was going on and we agreed to head out in the morning to see what was going on. She let us spend the night in the inn.
On our way out, we talked to a few townspeople. I'm not sure any of what we were told will be of any help.
We entered the forest. The underbrush is very thick. The going was very hard for the horses. We were attacked by two manticores and managed to kill them. We decided the forest was too thick for the horses and headed back to town. We had to assure Marta we weren't giving up and asked her to board our animals for us until we got back. We walked back into the forest. A few hours into the deep woods, we ran into some wild boars. We managed to kill them. We made camp for the night and had wild boar for supper.
We ran across a Mantrap. It caught Joel and Swift. The rest of us managed to kill it. Swift suffered minor injuries.
We kept heading east. We came across the well-kept clearing with a pair of nymphs. They told us to close our eyes but I was the only one who did that so everyone else was struck blind. I managed to convince them we meant them no harm and we were there to help find out why bad things were happing in the forest. The nymphs broke the blindness spell for the rest of the party and told us their last visitor had been a small, dark-skinned woman who said she lived in the dense woods northwest of their glade.
We thanked them for their kindness and information and headed northwest, to where the woman lived. We tried to keep very quiet as we moved through the brush. At one point we heard rustling the brush. We stayed very quiet and managed to surprise a lamia. We were able to surround her and she told us she'd been kidnaped and forced to abduct the local men by a dark elf who lived in a tower in the deep forest.
The lamia escaped and we headed for the building she told us about. It was in a clearing. Swift picked two locks to the double doors into the building. Inside, we pulled out the rock of continual light. Joel lit a torch. We were attacked by two Drow guards. We killed them. We started to search the rooms and came on the kitchen. There was a Drow female and three orcs. They attacked us and we killed them. We searched the kitchen and the pantries. Swift wanted to take the dishes (They were inlaid with gold and platinum.) We managed to talk him out of it. In another locked room, we found two adventurers who'd been captured when they broke in a couple days ago. They told us about a stairway behind a secret door that led to a mine where all the men were. They were too weak to come with us.
The room with the secret door was the dining room. Swift found an ornate jar on the head table filled with some type of buds. Joel tried one. There was no effect. Swift kept the jar.
We found and opened the secret door and discovered the staircase. Swift noted that only the even-numbered stair treads had any wear. To test his theory about a trap, he dropped his dagger on an odd tread. The door slammed shut behind us and we were attacked by magic spears. We were both hurt. Swift managed to unlock the door and let the others in. We all went down the stairs without triggering another trap.
Downstairs, we found a store room and several other rooms arranged around a shaft leading to the mine below. We explored the rooms. In one room, we came across a crystal ball, but Joel got a nasty shock when he touched it.
In another room, we found a Drow mage. She blinded Swift and me. The others fought and killed her. In the last room, we found another Drow mage, but she escaped.
We climbed down into the mine and found the men who'd been taken from Tragidore. They were being guarded by a bunch of orcs and some Drow guards. We managed to attack and kill most of the guards and some of the orcs. The prisoners who were able, helped finish off the rest.
We all managed to get back to Tragidore by sunset. Marta gave us 500 gold pieces and let us keep the booty from the Drow outpost. The town clerics helped break the blindness spell on Swift and me and helped the men the Drow had spellbound.
We rested at the inn.
Marta asked us to deal with the vampire bandits we ran into on the way into town because they were robbing the people coming back to their homes. We agreed.
Toward's nightfall, we ran into the vampire bandits once again. We killed six of the bandits and the rest ran into the forest. We couldn't follow in the dark, so we made camp for the night.
In the daylight, we found a track into the forest. We followed it into a swampy area. In the bog, we attacked by giant frogs. The mules panicked and ran away as did Swift's horse. The rest of us managed to kill all six giant frogs. We then headed onto the building we sighted in the swamp. It was a moathouse that had obviously been besieged at some time. The drawbridge was broken and so were the gates. Joel, Brion and I went in to investigate. We were attacked by two bandits, fought and killed them. We went to explore more of the fortress. A giant spider was lurking in the tower. I was bit before we managed to kill it.
We found evidence the ruins were being used, most likely by the vampire bandits, but we saw no other sign of them. We did manage to find some of their loot, however.
In exploring the rest of the building, we found and killed a giant tick, a giant lizard and about a dozen giant rats. I retrieved a shield +1 from the belly of the giant lizard. Joel, Brion and I were all bit by giant rats.
We also found a stairway leading to a lower level. After much discussion, we have decided to explore that tomorrow.
Wolves howled all night and animals rustled in the underbrush. Still, no sign of Swift. Since the mules panicked and ran away, much of our equipment went with them except for what we were wearing - our armor and weapons. We lost almost all of our camping equipment, except for Jereth, who hadn't packed a mule, and Janna, who had much of her equipment on her horse.
We tried to get the horses over the draw bridge. Sumpter's leg was hurt when the boards broke beneath him. Janna and Brion agreed to stay with the animals and try to help Sumpter.
Joel, Jereth and I went to explore the lower levels.
We located and destroyed two green slimes. One attacked Joel, but we got it off him in time. We were attacked by twelve zombies. Joel hacked them to pieces while Jereth and I turned them. Finally, we managed to destroy them all. We found an old torture chamber that seemed to have been used recently. There was a secret door hidden in one of the columns, leading to an even deeper level. We have chosen to come back to it later.
We explored more of the area around the staircase. We were attacked by an ogre, who we killed. We found two merchants and a gnome locked in a room adjoining the ogre's lair. We released them and they promised to send a reward to us when they get home. The gnome gave me a ring of friendship with the gnomes.
We found a secret door in the ogre's lair that led to more stairs going to a lower level. We went down. Off to one side was another secret door, behind which was a heavy winch, too big for Joel or me to budge.
We chose to explore the right-hand corridor. We came to a chamber with three doors. We tried the doors. One led to a closet, one to a stone wall and the last to another corridor. As we opened the doors, we heard a distant clangor, like something dropping. Then, we were attacked by gnolls. Jereth cast a hold person spell and caught three of them. The other six, Joel and I managed to kill before the last three recovered. The three of us managed to kill them as well, although all this fighting is getting very tiring and Joel and I have both been wounded.
We decided to head back to the surface and discovered the way we had come in was now blocked by a great iron grate. We went back to the gnoll lair to rest.
After exploring a bit more, we found our way to a burial crypt where we found and killed four ghouls. We explored a little ways into the caves beyond the crypt and found some of the ghouls treasure - 800 silver pieces, 7 vials of Holy Water, a scroll and a Potion labeled 'Control Undead'. Some gold coins lead further into the caves. We followed it a little ways then gave up.
We explored a some more of the dungeon and found a way out.
We found Brion and Janna and were told Brion had killed two more bandits in the night. Brion wasn't feeling well, so I laid hands on him and he felt much better.
We decided to try again to get the horses into the moat house. Instead of the draw bridge, we took them through one of the fallen walls into the courtyard. After much discussion, Brion agreed to stay with the horses so Janna could go with us exploring. When we left him, he was taking the horses into the spider's lair since he considered it a defensible position.
We explored the areas we missed before and found a giant snake. We fought and killed it, but not before it bit me. It made me feel quite ill and weak.
We went back to the stairway and were forced to kill eight more rats.
We made our way down into the dungeon again without mishap. Since the main corridor was blocked by the grate, we chose to explore the secret passage in the column. It led into the crypt. From there we were able to go to the oak door we chose not to investigate yesterday.
We found human guards behind the door, wearing the symbol of Cyric.
Janna charmed the first guard and he let us pass. We ran across the sergeant and Janna charmed him as well. He led us to the New Master's chambers. The New Master was being guarded but Janna and Joel convinced the sergeant they were all doppelgangers and Joel managed to slit the Master's guard's throat. We surprised and killed the New Master, a Zhent priest of Cyric.
The sergeant told us that the Master had told everyone that an assassin would come after anyone who stole from him, so we only took the Phylactery of action he was wearing and gave it to Jereth.
Janna cast a spell that scared away the rest of the guards. Joel and I found two warhorses in the corner. They hadn't been very well cared for. One took a liking to me. I have named him Stereo. He seems to like it.
We left the tunnels and made our way back to where Brion was still keeping the horses. Brion reported there was some activity in the corner room where we found the treasure. The sergeant told us those were the bandits and the New Master's assistants.
Joel and I went around to the outside, to the breach in the wall as Brion, Jereth and Janna attacked the bandits though the broken door. Janna and Jereth set a fire in the doorway to flush the bandits our way. After a battle, we managed to kill two of the bandits. The other three simply disappeared. The sergeant told Janna they had potions of gaseous being on them.
We left the charmed sergeant at the moathouse with instructions to take care of the rest of the monsters.
I healed Sumpter's leg so he could walk. There was still no sign of Swift and no trail to follow. I hope he made it back to Tragidore.
We had little trouble leaving the moathouse. We camped near the road.
We made it back to Tragidore. Marta paid us for taking care of the matter and recommended we stay at the Welcome Wench since the Cawing Crow was still being put back in order. She also told us of rumors concerning an evil enclave at Nulb. We promised to investigate.
At the Welcome Wench, we met a bard named Eduard Greymartin. Stereo likes him and so do I, even though Janna and Brion do not trust him. I agreed to take him along anyway and promised them to see that he behaved properly.
Stereo doesn't like me to leave him. I think he may have bonded to me. He very smart for a horse. He is also very big and hungry.
We headed out of Tragidore to go to Nulb, on the river. The weather is very bad and the road is very muddy. The going was been very slow. We camped by the road.
The weather is even worse, if possible. Janna is coming down with a cold. We stopped at an inn for the night, the Traveler's Boon in the Town of Haggash.
Eduard bought dinner. The innkeeper, Tal, told us of some strange goings on the past few days, about some strange monks who'd come into town. Another guest told us she's heard digging sounds coming from the local abbey.
It is still raining. We decided to check out the local store. We found the store had been broken into and the store owner, Dreab, beaten. Jereth helped him. Dreab told us some ugly men in brown robes surprised him and took all his digging tools.
We searched the rest of the store, but all we found where some large brown feathers. Dreab had no idea where they came from.
Since we had reason to believe something has happening at the abbey, we decided to check it out.
Father Dosol of the abbey tried to keep us out. We went in anyway (he seemed frightened of something). We were attacked by birdmen. We ended up killing six of them. One escaped down the stairs to the basement. Jereth stayed with Father Dosol. The rest of us chased after the birdman. In the basement we found five more birdmen. One cast a web spell that caught Joel and me. Brion fired his crossbow and killed one of the birdmen, then he fought his way through the web and managed to free Joel and me. We killed all but one of them, who escaped. We found what they had been digging for, a golden orb with magical powers. When we touched it, all our wounds were healed.
We offered the item to Father Dosol, but he declined to take it, muttering about how much trouble it had caused him.
Jereth will take care of it until we reach a larger temple, either Lathander or Torm. The Mayor of Haggash paid us 5 gold pieces apiece for helping. Tal gave us a night room and board.
We arrived in Nulb, a poor, dirty little village by Imryd's Run. We visited a few of the local people. Janna and Jereth stopped in at the herb shop and spoke to the two old women who run it. Eduard seems to trust them. They are very interested in any information we might come across concerning the old Temple to Bane outside of town.
We stopped in at the local tavern-market. The smithy, Otis Wilfram, was there. I remember him from Hamington. His brother Rufus still lives there. They are both friends of my father. Otis told us Nulb was a favorite safe haven for river pirates and one of the pirate ships was docked nearby and Otis thought maybe the pirates might be a threat to the merchantman that had just come up the river from Mistledale.
Later, after dark, we went to look at the pirate ship. Eduard borrowed my Helm of Underwater action and went aboard the ship while Janna charmed one of the guards and put most of the others to sleep. We killed the rest. Eduard and I looked through the ship. Eduard suggested we sell the contents of the hold to the merchant. Janna and Jereth managed to get us 500 g.p. for the lot and the merchant was very quiet in getting the stuff on his ship. Luckily, they'd just finished when the pirate chief returned. Janna, Eduard and I were in his cabin, looking for his logs when he came in. Janna tried to charm him but that didn't work so Eduard and I had to kill him. We left the ship via the window before the pirates could break in. We managed to float down river a bit before coming ashore.
Otis let us spend the night in his stable and offered to come along with us to explore the Temple. He wants an equal share in what we find, chain mail and a long sword. We all agreed and gave him the mail and long sword we took from one of the pirates. However, I remember my father telling me about his adventures with Otis and that Otis had very good chain mail and a very good sword.
We headed over to the old Temple of Bane. It is a very large, ugly place. We checked out the broken tower in the corner first and found it was full of bandits. Jereth threw a light spell inside the tower. We killed 25 bandits. (Otis is a very formidable fighter.) The leader escaped through a secret tunnel.
We decided to make it our temporary stronghold. We put the dead bodies in one of the rooms and locked it while Brion and Janna brought the horses into the tower for safety.
When the horses were safe, we followed the tunnel, found some of the bandits= loot and a secret passage that lead into an underground area with a basilisk. Luckily, it turned out the basilisk was an illusion but it nearly frightened Brion to death.
We investigated the adjoining rooms and found a half-orc disguised as an elf. (Brion can smell orcs.) She attacked us and we had to kill her.
In the opposite room, there must have been a mage because we had spells cast at us. Brion was hit by a hold spell and Jereth had to cast the light spell to break the darkness spell in the room. When we got in there, the mage had vanished. Janna went to investigate a map on the wall and it exploded, seriously injuring her and Eduard. Jereth and I tended to them and we went on. Brion found a secret passage and another room. There was a box there with such a stench of evil neither Jereth or I could even touch it. Eduard investigated another box and it turned out to be a shrine to Lolth. Jereth and I both lost our heads and destroyed it before anyone else could say anything. Janna's curiosity got the better of her and she opened a book that looked like the previous owner had never touched. She got a very stupid expression on her face for a moment and doesn't seem to be quite as bright as she was before. Jereth thinks she may have been hit with some sort of intelligence draining spell.
We left the place in a hurry and headed back into the secret tunnel. The horses were fine.
This time we took the other way and came out by a barn and an abandoned house. There were five horses in the barn and signs of a sixth. Obviously, the bandit that got away took the other horse.
We headed back to the temple. It is even bigger and uglier close up. Jereth, Eduard, Brion and I cannot even bear to look at the runes on the front door. We broke through one of the side doors instead. We explored some of the upper temple and went down a side stair to a lower level. Brion said the corridor we came out in slopes down even more.
We explored a couple side corridors and found two rooms that must have been armories. The weapons were all shattered and there were skeletons all over the place.
We had Eduard and Brion leading the group since they both can see in the dark. They found one large room that smelled like a cess pool. However, a moment after they stepped inside, a heavy grate came down, trapping them inside. Then we heard singing. Eduard sang a song to counter the harpies' song. Jereth cast a light spell inside so we could all see. With our bows and arrows, we managed to kill the two harpies, even though Brion was hurt. Then, six ghouls came out. Jereth and I managed to turn them long enough for Joel, Otis and Brion to lift the grate enough for Eduard and Brion to escape. It was a very close call.
We went back to the old weapons room to rest for the night and get bandaged. In the night, we were awakened by four gnolls. Janna cast a sleep spell on them and Otis killed them. (Otis really doesn't like gnolls.)
We explored more of the tunnels. We killed a gelatinous cube, some bugbears, escaped four evil earth elementals and rescued two orcs, a gnome and three humans from being tortured. Joel agreed to let Janna make him invisible while we attacked and killed the torturer and his assistant. The gnome, Wonillon, wants to join up with us. We have agreed. The orcs led us out of the dungeon to the temple in exchange for the copper pieces we've picked up so far.
While we were on the surface, we decided to explore the ruins north of the temple. Brion and Otis were badly bitten by giant rats. We managed to kill all the rats and burned out the cellar they were living in. Brion found a hidden door to a wine cellar. We found 68 bottles of good wine a cask of old brandy and a keg of vinegary wine. Brion has laid claim to the brandy.
We checked on the horses. The bandits' bodies were starting to stink. Jereth suggested we bury them in the wine cellar. It took over an hour, but we did it. Brion collapsed the ceiling in on them. He complained it was too easy. The workmanship on the cellar wasn't very good.
Brion and Otis are not feeling well. I laid hands on Otis and he said he felt better. Janna and Jereth tried to help Brion with their herbs and healing. He is still feverish.
Janna, Eduard and Joel took the secret tunnel back to the rooms with the books. Joel came running back, scared out of his wits. Janna and Eduard came back a bit later with the books. (Janna didn't open any this time.) Eduard told us he and Janna managed to kill some sort of imp that cast a spell at Joel, making him run.
We spent the night with the horses.
Went back to the temple. Found robes we can use to disguise ourselves.
We went back down into the lower level and found an area guarded by gnolls. We killed 11 gnolls, 2 hobgoblins and 2 ogres.
We explored an area full of skeletons. Obviously a great battle took place here. Jereth and I managed to turn the undead skeletons that came after us.
Brion found a secret door that led into a great air shaft. There was a narrow staircase inside. Janna, Brion, Edward and Wonillon decided to go down inside. The stairs were too narrow for Otis, Joel and I. Jereth chose to stay with us on this level.
We did some more exploring. Jereth was attacked by a giant snake. Joel and Otis and I managed to kill it. Luckily, Jereth didn't die of the poison.
We found a great room with more pieces or armor in it. We also found some prisoners in a locked room. We freed them, gave them our blankets and cloaks to cover themselves, and led them out of the dungeon. One of the men is a sailor, thrown down here for making a pass at a girl in town. Four of the other men are men-at-arms and are willing to work for us for fair pay and weapons.
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