The Chronicles of Etinerra

Eastern Borders - Braving the Ruins

Being a report of Darius, Cleric of Enonia

By the Light, things are looking up, despite this damned and ill-omened rain. I had thought my first journey from Enonia a failure, but the information we brought back—that the ancient mines are now filled with a monstrous horde—was worth something to Marshall Roen. With these funds I was able to prepare myself for a second trip into the wild, this time at the orders of the Marshall himself. Our party—a hardy ranger, a fierce littleling, a rogueish looking man (whom I didn’t quite trust) and two newly joined adventurers—journeyed to the East, seeking a ruined inn which Roen had asked us to win free from monsters. Along the way, we were beset by giant spiders, and the littleling proved true the stories about his race by destroying one of the foul beasts without breaking stride. After skirting a bridge the ranger explained was guarded by a dangerous beast, we reached the inn at last and descended into the cellars below. We explored a small part of the cellars, and killed a number of goblins in a running battle. We also discovered a store of treasure in a locked box which the shifty-looking one was able to open with ease. With our supplies running low, we retreated from the cellars, only to encounter a band of kobold fighters engaged in their own invasion of the inn. I believe the kobolds mistook us for goblins, and our battle was fought in such a way that they couldn’t have seen our faces clearly. If so, good. Perhaps when we return to the inn, the kobolds and goblins will have finished each other off. I pray that this will come to pass.

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Eastern Borders - Tangling with a Bearowl

Aah! Adventurers! Last night was a great victory for the forces of Light and the power of the Elves! The heroic adventurers Dul and Douzane (a fearsome duo), traveled with their hirelings Azoq and Chex (the brother of Chin) east along the road until we came to the great bridge. Upon hearing something moving under the bridge, and remembering the fearsome tales of danger, our party turned south into the forest. After camping for a night and traveling further south, we came again to our Lost Mines.

Upon coming up to the hill which hides the mines, we saw sign of a recent battle. Kobold bodies were strewn like matchsticks upon the fresh snow, blood everywhere. A trail of blood lead to a natural cave on the south side of the hill, a cave that hid a great foe. Douzane climbed up the hill above the entrance to gain a surprise advantage against the foe, while Dul, Azoq, and Chex lured the beast into the holy light of day. What sight beheld our eyes but a giant 7 foot grizzly bear with the head of an owl. A BEAROWL!

It caused a panic in the less than stalwart hirelings, and they broke their line. Chex ran up on the hill drawing the Bearowl’s attention to the hiding Elf, forcing him to lose the chance for a backstab. With a claw, claw, and a fearsome bite, Chex met his end, his skull crushed. Dul fled into the woods, and Azoq, perused by the Bearowl ran up onto the hill and around it, all the while chased by the monster.

Dropping his sword, and drawing his bow, Douzane took aim. The Bearowl caught poor Azoq in his hug, but with a cry of “all power to the Elves” the first arrow from the Elven bow took the beast in the face, driving straight through its skull, stunning but not killing the beast. Azoq escaped, and the next two arrows drove into the beast’s shoulder and jaw, driving the creature to the ground and to death.

A single handed victory for Douzane the Elf, against a foe five times stronger than he! Yet he couldn’t have done it without his team mates running around in a panic, generally distracting the beast. After that the team proceeded into the cave finding a series of caves and a host of treasure!! Thousands of copper and silver coins, gems and other arcane devices. Since the caves are clear now (for the time being), it might make an excellent place to camp and rest. Cheers all around for the heroic adventurers!

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Eastern Borders - A Deeper Delve
Dul's account of the trip into the Dwarven Mines

Once more, I decided to venture past the gates of this town with Kjeld the Cleric, and Duzain, the Elf who knows a little of everything. We acquired the services of two hired hands; Azok and Chin. Azok is an able-enough man, and Chin is a handsome beast of a woman who has obvious affections for our own Duzain. I guess they don’t call them “the fine-folk” for nothing.

After our recent enlightening but not exactly purse-filling trip out into the woods, all of our pockets were a bit lighter, so we decided to hit the mines this time around. If nothing else, we hoped to find something shiny to sell back in town.

On our trip down to the mines, we ran in to a bit of a kobold issue, so we had to take the long way, but eventually we made it without incident.

Navigating using Kjeld’s map we found ourselves deeper in the mines than I had been before, although Kjeld seemed to recall some of it from one of his previous adventures.

The first notable experience we had once we were deep in the mines, was a run in with a giant frog. Our group dispatched the frog with ease, and something compelled me to gather up it’s remains, as you never know when a very large and very dead amphibian may come in handy.

We wandered around for a bit and came across an opening. Everything about this opening was screaming “Ancient” to all of our senses. So of course, we dove in. Well, quickly we found traces that we were not the first group of adventurers to explore this ancient place. We came across a massive room with carved pillars, and three doors on the opposite end. The pillars had some terrifying carvings of Dwarven faces in agony. On one wall of this corridor we spotted an opening, that at first looked like it could have been caused by an explosion from a nearby room. We decided to take a look, and we found something none of us expected. After crawling through a small passage, we came into a somewhat spherical area with what appeared to be a cowering statue in the center. After a bit of investigation (I poked it with a stick, to the terror of my companions), I decided it didn’t pose a threat, but to make sure, I attempted to decapitate the statue as the rest of my party backed it’s way toward the entrance (to get a better position to help me in case of a fight I am sure). I fumbled a bit with my sword, touched the statue to brace myself, and a great stone creature reared up in front of my eyes. Duzain attempted to communicate, but his attempts proved futile for even he does not speak the language of giant rock monsters. We found the creature neither a threat or a source of information, so we moved along.

We headed back to the main corridor, to investigate the three doors. Kjeld recalled that one of these doors may have been successfully opened on a previous trip of his, so we first decided to focus on the other two. While attempting to open doors, we were confronted by a few shambling undead Dwarves led by what appeared to be a spherical automaton, possibly crafted by these dwarves when blood still ran through their veins. After the scuffle, Duzain’s best attempts at picking locks were met with failure, so we pushed through the previously unlocked door.

We came through a room slightly illuminated by glowing runes. We recognized them as being Dwarven, but the shapes meant nothing to any of us (my life as a ranger has never compelled me to study the old dead languages, but at times like these I would seriously consider trading my tree-climbing abilities for a bit of old knowledge). We moved along, dealt with a few more undead Dwarves and another of their spheres and eventually came to the climax of this little adventure. We came upon a statue (and this time around we were fairly certain it was just a statue). This statue seemed to beckon us, like it was asking for something. I can’t reveal all of my secrets here, dear reader, but let’s just say the statue and I made a fair trade, and I found my something shiny to leave these mines with.

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Eastern Borders - Three Days in the Wilderness, and Living to Tell the Tale

After several days of rest, I joined up with Dul the ranger and my faithful comrade Izil to explore the Dalewoods a bit further. We intentionally planned a wilderness journey, and consequently we had to pay more for our hirelings. Anya joined on as a full party member, but her two swordsmen demanded 2 gold pieces per day to accompany us. This fee is rapidly becoming untenable, and in the future we may have to curtail our adventuring if and when we cannot muster a large party.

In any case, we set off traveling in a roughly southeastern direction, slicing through the Dalewoods at an angle (judging, at least, by the crudely carved map in the Mug & Pot Inn. We traveled for most of a day, encountering no threat but stumbling across a queer area of burnt trees and grass, almost perfectly square. My priestly powers could find no trace of evil, but the place disturbed us nonetheless. We stopped to camp near dusk. The weather was foul, but we were able to find shelter in a burrow—only after we slaughtered the giant rats that occupied it.

Thus provisioned, we camped in relative comfort. During the night we heard a party of horsemen moving along the wayfarers’ road to the north, and only then did we realize how close we were to the wilderness road. Dul the ranger shadowed the travelers for a time, and was able to determine that they hailed from Enonia. We wisely decided to let the horsemen pass, and we heard them later that night as they returned from their mysterious errand. They were no doubt accomplished adventurers, able to navigate the Dalewoods in the dead of night and return unmolested.

The next day we explored the burnt wasteland in more detail. It was roughly 100 yards across, but we found no obvious clue to its origin. We decided to head due south, pushing deeper into the Dalewoods in search of a mysterious lake we’d heard of in rumors.

That day’s exploration was hampered again by snow and wet weather, and we camped overnight without kindling a fire. Two of our party were affected by odd dreams, but I myself was mercifully safe, owing perhaps to the blessing of Vanir which accompanies me at all times.

On day 3 of our wilderness journey, we stumbled—quite literally—across the Abandoned Mines that have figured into our recent explorations. We decided on the spot to delve into the stone tunnels in search of some as-yet-unlooked-for loot. This was not to be, but we did encounter and lay waste to 16 kobold skeletons—animated by some foul magic that could not stand against the might and fury of Vanir.

We found no treasure, but we survived three days in the unforgiving wilderness before returning to Enonia.

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Eastern Borders - Kjeld's Foray into the Abandoned Mines

Somehow this damnable wilderness continues to attract outsiders from across the realm, despite its horrific mortality rate. I joined a new adventuring troupe this week in an attempt to plumb the depths of the Dwarven mines. Prior to the expedition’s departure, we hashed over the recent news about the marshal’s parlay with the goblin king out by the abandoned monastery. It held little significance for us, as we were all fairly new to the eastern wilderness, so we made plans to head out to the mines at first light.

During our preparations, we found a companion in Anya, a fighting-woman of considerable renown in Enonia. She hinted obliquely at some previous expeditions she’d been part of that had only marginal success in the mines; we were determined to secure even greater wealth for our fledgling party.

Alas, it was not to be. We found the mines without incident, following a route that was by now familiar to both me and Anya. But a party of kobolds harried us as we plunged into a new, as-yet-unexplored entrance.

Once inside the cool stone dungeon, we set to work exploring the ruins. We fought several different types of dungeon vermin, and our littleling druid surprised everyone by charming a huge carnivorous black beetle, eventually taming the beast to serve as his gallant steed. The layout of this portion of the tunnels indicated that we were close to the mines themselves; we found a room full of digging tools and assorted equipment.

We encountered several traps, and these bled the party of its much-needed resources. The time we spent dealing with them no doubt alerted the dungeon’s denizens to our presence, and our progress was further retarded with subsequent encounters. I myself took a bad spill in a pit trap, injuring my holy person mightily. At that point, running low on critical supplies, we decided to head back to town.

Our return trip brought us into the clutches of the same kobolds that had stalked us earlier in the day. This time, confrontation was inevitable, and we clashed with them in a flurry of sword blows, hammer falls and sling shots. We triumphed and continued our journey home to Enonia, having secured the equivalent of 1.02 gold pieces in assorted copper coins—hardly enough to pay for our two hirelings, who had demanded 10 gold pieces each before accompanying us into the wilderness.

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Eastern Borders - Mazlor's Adventure Log for Year 55, 15th Day of Winter

After rousing a terribly hungover Ragnar, and engaging in a short debate, we chose to return to the Inn, in hopes of being able to finish our explorations there. In the end, however, our only progress towards that goal was to traverse 2/3 of the day-and-a-half’s journey.

During our night’s rest, we were beset by a band of goblins of the Green Iron Fist. Though our watches had time to wake everyone whilst they surrounded our camp, once we made to act, we discovered the true measure of our adversaries and found ourselves greatly outnumbered.

While some of our group (this scribe in particular) were prepared to concede the inevitable and parley with our foes, others were unwilling to give way without a fight. In the erupting hostilities, both of our wizards were felled and similar for twice that number in goblins. Nonetheless, their 4 to 1 advantage ground us down and the goblins ultimately prevailed. Our only consolation was that we were able to hold Death from overtaking Parabellum and Ethal.

The victorious goblins were unusually disciplined and peopled with leaders. The main of these spoke to us and – rather than ordering the robbery, slavery, or beheadings we envisioned – merely demanded we deliver a message. Grimthack, chieftain of the Green Iron Fist, required a meeting with the leader of the humans, one fortnight from now.

We promptly returned home and delivered Grimthack’s message to Yinivax and Marshall Roen. These entrusted us with the advance scouting of the meeting site (being the abandoned monastery of St. Eggix), which we commenced, after a suitable recovery period for our pair of wounded comrades.

There we found an unpleasant fog clinging low to the ground and signs of great battle – a battle of goblin against goblin. Half of the slain were of the more typical strain of goblin and festooned with the insignia of the Green Iron Fist. The other half were quite unusual – reddish in skin and feral of feature, armed with crude weapons and wearing the 3-fingered medallions.

We returned to Enonia again to report this development and were tasked with the recovery of bodies for study. This was accomplished with no difficulty and we returned yet again, well compensated for all of our recent efforts on Enonia’s behalf. (2nd in command at the temple) found the proto-goblins most peculiar and beyond her usual powers of divination. We were also visited by Asgrim, a local bookseller and hedge wizard, unknown to me, but not to certain of my comrades. Parabellum negotiated some dealings with him, involving a tome of St Eggix and other sundry items.

Our final trip to the monastery was a half-day in advance of the Meeting. We encountered some advance guard of Grimthack and found all to be in order. Roen and Grimthack arrived, with their respective retinues, and then conversed, with Aramin providing translation. The thrust of Grimthack’s concerns were that he wished humans to know that he controlled not the feral goblins, and wanted not to be blamed for their depredations. This was readily acknowledged, and our side further verified that Grimthack would have no complaints with us reclaiming the monastery for humanity.

As both sides returned to their own lands, we remained behind, augmented by a handful of the Marshall’s foot soldiers, ready to enter the monastery once more. Our destination was the former living quarters Melkrit, beheaded, evil ex-priest of the Light. Finding a slight error in our drawings, we inadvertently entered a collapsed and empty room, where I sensed a good and familiar energy drawing me near. I followed and passed through to a beautiful devotional room of St Eggix, with frescoes and a glowing bowl. Touching and making offerings to the bowl produced no discernable outcome, but examining an old skeleton yielded an iron key. When we did reach the room we sought, the key was indeed a match for the warded and locked door. The merits and risks of opening the door were contemplated. Eggix had used the monastery to seal up a great evil and we feared we might release it. Yet, it would also seem that an evil force was already awake and operating – that of the 3 figured symbol and its devil-goblins. We ultimately declined to act at this time.

We explored a bit elsewhere, resulting chiefly in the deaths of some spiders, the acquisition of a few potions, and the knowledge that our makeshift barrier over the floor crevasse appeared undisturbed. A foully inhabited chapel sent us retreating home for nonce, vowing soon to return and right that wrong (and mayhap fulfill my vision of reclaiming the fountain as well!).

Mazlor, beacon of the Light

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Eastern Borders - Mazlor's Adventure Log for Year 55, 39th Day of Fall

On this day began my second foray into the unknown, since I had been assigned by the church to Enonia from my home in the civilized lands to the West. I attempt to recollect and record here those events, to the best of my ability, however degraded and disjointed my memories may be at this later date.

We had a robust company roughly half-score strong and we decided the subject of our attention should be the long-abandoned Dalewoods Inn. As humanity had not ventured there in quite some time, an understandable preponderance of contradictory rumors existed in the fanciful imaginations of locals, ignorant of any true knowledge of its state – dragons, bandits, ruins, rebuilding, and other such. A perfect opportunity to extend humanity’s reach and knowledge!

On our journey, we encountered fleeting impressions of observation and laughter from small creatures we presumed of a fey nature. Fortune had them leave us be, though such would not be the case with the next creatures we met. During the night, we were attacked by large spiders, under whose lair we had unwisely camped. We prevailed against them, although some of our number were bitten and became quite ill.

The following day we reached the Inn, and found it in a state of collapse. Finding cellar-stairs, we were able to access some of its underground, which I will briefly summarize the exploration thereof:

Territorial glow-beetles attacked and were vanquished.

A butcher’s room contained haunches of meat, which sprang to life and combusted into goo upon death.

Some starving goblins were found, and we provided them sustenance whilst siphoning information about the Green Iron Fist from them. They claimed to have fallen in and become trapped below. We sent them out the way we had come.

A secret room with bags of precious metal was found.

An alcove-riddled corridor hid away viscous traps and a secret passage to another treasure room – this one containing iron chests and a glowing sword.

Large spiders blocked our way back out the stairs, so we barricaded ourselves in for the night, and departed unhindered, but most heavily laden, in the morn.

On our return trip, we discovered our previous assumptions about the tiny laughers were quite in error. In actuality, they were the juvenile offspring of the Bridge Troll. Our discourse with them was initially cool, but eventually thawed, and we left them on good terms and gifted them with tin whistles. For their part, they informed us that their father was quite angry and that we had best continue to give the bridge wide berth, as we had on the outwards portion of our sojurn.

The town guards were suitably impressed when we shared knowledge of the Inn with them. Additionally, we are no longer being taxed upon the fruits of our labors.

Mazlor, beacon of the Light

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Aramin's Travelogue for Year 55 28th day of Fall

Today we finally got a reply from the town council as to our request to rent, buy or otherwise habitate an un-occupied building in the city. We had been given a slight runaround by the city council for some few weeks.

It seems they finally decided to reply and gave us the following information. We can rent the place we have been living in for the price of 6 Silver pieces per person living there. In the interest of giving ourselves a chance to get it organized, we agreed to the deal for those of us present and for those who were not available to be consulted.

At this time, the city is under the assumption that we have 9 people living at our premises.

After getting title to the house we will be using, we went out and hired a number of persons to come in to repair the facilities. Part of the building is roofless and other things that need to be repaired. We went out and hired a general contractor who will be bringing in a large crew that he has available. There will be roofers, thatchers, carpenters, plasterers and other types to make the house winter-worthy. I found out while wandering around town that hiring these people to come in and work on our house has created some very good will between the general population of Enonia and us. Evidently, it has been quite some time since anyone has hired some much labor. At this rate we may revitalized the economy of the entire city. (Maybe). In order to get this work done, we need to come up with 139 Gold and 2 Silver to cover the work. Again we took charge for those who weren’t around and made commitments in their name for the group.

On top of everything else, we finally got notice from Seralnue the Jeweler that there was a buyer for the Dwarven items we had found!

Not only did we find a buyer but we found a very powerful one at that. The jeweler showed up at the Inn one morning with a guard on tow carrying a large strong box. Evidently, the buyer sent the box along with their own guards. Seralnue claims that he does not know who the buyer is and will not tell us about it. With a nervous as he is about the subject, I would just as soon not know either. Nonetheless, the payment we got for it was no less than 105 Gold for the inlaid helm, 35 Gold each for the 8 short swords, and one 300GP diamond for each of the sets of chain mail. I was able to make payments out to those of us who were present, but we have to find someone to convert some of the gems to pay off the other members who weren’t around when we got paid.

We had a new person who joined the group this morning. Maxlor, is a young priest from the temple, who evidently came from further west into the kingdom. Alana was familiar with him and was able to vouch for him.

Evidently, both of our temple priests have heard rumors, that there is new trouble near the monastery. We have not been there since we came back with Melkrit’s (one time young temple acolyte, later powerful priest of the dark) head earlier in the summer. This has not stopped others from going there however.

Supposedly other groups had been up in the area and run into a lot of trouble with Goblins. Well, in the interest of keeping the vermin down, we went up to check out the ruins of The Monastery of St Eggix. When we got within approximately half a mile of the site we noticed two fires burning at the site. I moved in much more closely by myself and crept to less than 100 yards from the site, and spotted half a dozen or so Goblins tending their fire. I was nearly spotted by the Goblins when I loudly stepped on a branch. But was able to keep out of sight when they swept the ground around me. I evidently did even better than I thought, because I had snuck passed a couple of their own guards and didn’t get spotted (of course I didn’t see them either until they shouted out and gave the all clear). I snuck in just a little farther then got out while I still could to report the situation to the rest of the party.

We didn’t really have a good plan but closed in quietly on the camp and managed to reach nearly the edge of the temple ruins before we were spotted. The fight was brisk but fairly short leaving ten goblins laying about on the ground.

A search of the area indicated there were a lot more than just ten goblins present and that they were moving in and out of the underground in large numbers.

At this point we decided to go down and re-search the catacombs. While searching we came across a number of things in the areas we had already been in previously: 6 zomblins (Goblin-Zombies), 8 giant rats, another dozen goblins and the rather badly chewed upon and decomposed bodies of three militiamen and three more citadel guards.

It is very interesting that we were told to stay out of this temple complex, yet the city is sending guards down into this thing.

Also of note is the fact that all the living goblins were found wearing amulets of a crude three clawed hand shaped like an inverted Y. They acted woodenly, moved stiffly, fought tenaciously, not one running or attempting to surrender. They all acted as if they were operating in a form not of their own volition. About the time we had swept 70% of the area we had been in previously, all the clerics were nearly out of spells for the day, much of the party was sporting wounds and everyone was exhausted. We packed out what gear and treasure we found (18 GP), brought up the guards that we had found down below and got out of the catacombs.

The clerics did rites for the dead guards and we burned their bodies in the approved fashion and then headed back to town.

Being heavily loaded with plunder we had found, forced us to take a long time to reach the east gate. When we arrived a party of peasants were approaching from the south while we approached from the north. As normal, the guards ordered both groups to halt which we did. The other group did not, and actually acted as if they were orientating their movement on the activity at the gates. It seemed obvious that something was wrong so I dropped my excess plunder I was carrying and urged the others to do the same.

Quite suddenly the peasants charged a position that the guards crossbowmen were using swamping the two in that foxhole and tearing them apart. It was obvious now that what we were dealing with were more of the Damned (think the not-zombies from 28 days later and you have the picture). The guards covering us ran for the gate urging us to join them. We ran for the gate while the guards tried to lay down covering fire and got in amongst the other gate defenders.

The battle that followed lasted easily a quarter hour maybe more and was a nightmare on so many levels. Every time, someone was dragged down by the Damned, they would jump back up within 2-3 minutes and start attacking their friends. Of the original 8 peasants we were attacked by, we ended up killing all of them as well as nine of the guards that were turned during the fight. Only two guards ran from the fight in fear. One just ran, but the other screamed about being on fire or some such as he left. Luckily, Alana our one female cleric had the presence of mind to realize that he might be infected and managed to follow him until they found some people who could grab him and drag him off to the priests to be healed. During the fight I hit many times and was also infected. As soon as the last Damned was laid low, I turned and rushed for the temple myself. I lost consciousness myself somewhere but was carried to the temple. Evidently, I was in the middle of turning myself and had to be restrained by many hands.

That is all I remember until this morning. According to Alana, they had to vouch for me several times, that I was intimately involved in the defense in order to get myself cured. The way she explained it, they were more than happy to put me out of my misery until they found they actually owed me some help.

Have I ever mentioned that the management of this city make me very nervous?

Anyway, I sit here in bed trying to recover, but it feels as if I will never be quite the same again (I permanently lost 1 point of Constitution with the hit points that were part of it). Once I get out of this hospital bed, I intend to look into the defenses of this city very closely. I intend to suggest numerous changes to the defenses. The defenses presently in use are worse than useless. All they do is drain large amounts of treasure from the city while defending nothing. If we had not arrived at the time that we did, we would have walked back into a dead city, and found ourselves surrounded by hundreds of the damned.

This cannot be allowed to happen again, a second time and we will all die in a most horrible and swift fashion.

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Overview about Aramin's Travelogues

I have now been writing this travelogue all summer about my activities and those of my compatriots as we discover the hidden world around here. So it seems to be time to do an explanation of my reasoning for anyone who may find this after I die (which the way things go may not be all that far in future).

This travelogue I am writing in a diary for my own personal benefit, and I will use it as a history, a source of opinions and comments to myself, as well as to make notes of things that happen or I would like to see happen. I have seemed to find this a particularly appropriate place to mention my fears worries and opinions about the things going on around us especially the seemingly new activities surrounding the Marshal, the high priest and the gate guards. This seems to be something that we would need to investigate much more closely…

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Aramin's Travelogue for Y55FA18

Aramin’s Travelogue Y55FA18 [DM note – that’s Year 55 Fall 18) (17 May 09)

We set out again for the mine, but first stopped to buy some gear from our usual sources.

A new problem has emerged.The normal sources for war equipment have dried up.It seems that production of war gear is way up, Smolosue the smith was unbelievably busy when Red stopped in to buy extra arrows, but little was for sale.She picked up a last dozen or so, and we have not been able to buy anything else since.All production is now going directly into the Marshal’s armory.

What is going on is not known, but I see yet another sign things are ramping up around here.

Luckily we have a largish amount of excess gear of our own stashed away right now.All this equipment is left from the gear of all the people that have died as part of our party.That means that we can still keep up our operations for now but we will find ourselves short on things in the near future.Luckily, I have some skill as both a bowyer and fletcher

Once we were done shopping, we again set off for the mine.The trip there was uneventful and we entered by the northern entrance that I am most used to.Evidently there is a central entrance that used to be quite common use for earlier incarnations of our group, but none of us newer people have ever used it.We traveled our normal route to the barricade and took the stairs down.

This time in the trip, I was half watching for evidence of others in the dungeon, but not paying particularly close attention.This is something I need to spend more time in the future on this subject.I want to watch for activity by the other ‘party’ that is supposed to be running around in this mine as well.I haven’t heard any new rumors about these people in recent history, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t around somewhere.

Legally there is no reason for other people not to be here as well, but I personally call it poaching.If we ever meet in this mine, I won’t guarantee that they will be leaving here alive.Not that I promote murder or anything, but this IS our site, and if they run afoul of us, that is their problem, not ours.

Maybe we should send them out after the troll bridge.I think that would be fitting.It’s not like we are excluding them or anything but if they came and asked to join our group on our trips, I am almost certain the answer would have been yes.We have accepted anyone so far who could carry their weight.

Back to the mine -

We are nearly the bottom of the mine and Kee discovers a secret door at the turn of the stairs.There seems to be an advantage to coming and going to these mines.If we came and camped down here until we were done, we would pass this way just once or so and would never notice these secret ways.Passing through here constantly gives everyone many chances to notice everything, and find things that were not noticed before.The down side is that any traps we miss the first time through, we get many more chances to set them off as well.

It took only a few minutes and a crowbar to get the stone door open.Immediately inside was a room where several more of the Dwarven skeletons and spirits (Whights/Wraiths?).the fight against them should have been fairly uneventful, but the fear effects of the spirits sent me and a couple of other people running.This included Ogdin who ran up the stairs and slipped off the ladder we placed to help facilitate crossing the gap in the stairs.He fell from there and died from the fall.Whether he broke his neck, head, or back I don’t know, but whatever happened, he was badly broken up when we finally found his body.

Once we destroyed these beings, we moved out into a small labyrinth of interconnected halls and rooms.This is where we came across one of the stranger things I have ever seen or heard of.We were in a room holding some mechanical gear and were attacked bysome sort of constructs.They seem to be built around a large steel ball with several that had two arms that bent down from the top.At least 5 of them attacked us, but seemed to be fairly easy to destroy.They also seem to be suffering from corrosion and suffered several minor breakdowns while trying to attack us.

Further into this area only lead us to more of the dwarven undead we have dealt with before.In one the last room we found in this section, there was an old bronze table heavily covered with dust that seemed to have some sort of map inlayed on it in gold.I moved by the table to watch down the hall at the other end and was only 15 feet or so away with my back turned when it happened.Red went to brush away the dust and disturbed a large and mature pack of yellow mold bodies.She was immediately engulfed and infected by the spores. It took nearly an hour for her to die.We neither had time to get her out of the mine, nor any kind of equipment to save her.There was nothing we could do.

At this point, we decided to leave and return to the village.

The gate guard acted in normal form and robbed us of about 20% of all the treasure we acquired while in the mine. I can not tell how much money that we lost to the city so far.What I do know, is that the funds we have been forced to surrender to the city now far exceeds the 25 Gold pieces that the original members of this group were paid for giving information to the Marshal.The next day we buried Red and rested while our clerics did whatever they said they needed to do.

Three days later we returned to the mine.This time, we came across another party of Kobolds patrolling the area.According to a member of the party who new their language, they were trying to find out if they could get back into the mine.Evidently, someone other than us has been working on the kobolds and helped us force them out.

We managed to pull off a decent ambush with bows and managed to knock off most of the patrol without having to melee them.

Since we took them out with casualties to us we moved off into the mine down to the lower level and into the new area we were exploring.While we wandering around near the room where Red died from yellow mold spores, we set off a new trap that brought down three portcullises.These gates fell over all the entrees to the room, trapping Kee and myself inside.I could have jumped when the gates came down but I pushed Kee and myself forward instead, placing us both in the room (safely I might add, but trapped nonetheless).It was possible that the room full of mechanical controls operated these gates so those of us not trapped went back to mess with them.While they were getting us out, (the mechanical room was responsible for the gates) five more of the annoying little dwarven skeletons showed up.Luckily, a new cleric that joined us named Alana had the power to turn the Skeletons and force them into the room with the table covered with yellow mold.We promptly dropped the gates again and trapped them in there.

The final piece of excitement we Had that day, was when we entered a cavernous area and Ragnar was attacked with a wet sloshing noise.We did not see what made the attack, but I convinced everyone to fall back.

Not that much convincing was necessary.Invisible squishy things do not lend themselves to large amounts of bravery.When we moved into regular tunnels again, I immediately saw the shiny surface and recognized a Gelatinous Cube.They are large single celled… things that wander around underground areas (they don’t like light much) and clear the areas of carcasses vermin and anything else that can’t get away.

I know these things because my father was a mine manager and these were a problem that cropped up from time to time.They normally only became a problem, when large cavernous areas get opened up.Cubes and molds and other vermin area constant problem in mining situations anywhere access to larger cavernous areas are available.This is a sign that a healthy biological population of underground beasties is around somewhere.This has both good and bad points.

Anyway, the instant I saw it, I ran back the way we had come, not in fear but to get time to work.I filled my helm with oil and threw it on the cube when it caught up with us.A bucket full of coal oil actually works better, but neither a bucket nor coal oil was available at the time.Burning these things out is the easiest way to deal with them, and it worked, except that before it died, it managed to slam first Ragnar then Parabellum into unconsciousness.I grabbed Ragnar, threw him over my shoulder and ran for the exit.At the point that I got Ragnar and turned, Parabellum went down as well.I am a strong man, not to brag, but carrying two adult males is a bit much even for me.Luckily, the Cube expired at that point and he was saved.Cubes collect their food by paralyzing it and rolling over the victim and dissolving the creatures once they are inside its body.The mere fact that it expired saved our wizard from certain death.If it had moved over his body and engulfed him, he would have had a minute very possibly two before he took so much abuse as to die.

This shows a problem I see with my fellow party members.Not to be too rude or anything, but no one moved to grab Parabellum and drag him out.Someone SHOULD have grabbed him, but no one did.Now this is the second time Kee let other people lie there and did nothing.

The first time was when we hit by the Cone of Cold by the troll we ran into.There may have been some other survivors, I did after all pull her body out of the area and brought her back too consciousness, but I wasn’t tracking entirely straight myself.After all, we had just left the meeting with the princess and I was still suffering from a certain amount of dazzle from her beauty, but Kee never so much as checked anyone else to see if they were alive.It seems to be the same when Parabellum went down.I kept expecting somebody to grab him and at least drag him away, but nobody so much as moved in his direction.

If Parabellum had died, there would have been severe consequences.We loose enough people to things we can’t stop to have still more people die from general sloppiness is unconscionable. The fact that Parabellum attacked the cube with nothing but his dagger has no bearing on the fact.While you do not expect wizardsto be terribly powerful melee types and stay away from fights as much as possible his actions shows a very high level of personal bravery (or foolishness) any warrior can’t help but be impressed by.

All this brings me to find very disturbing that some people (not to be named here) seem to be pushing for more of the “democratic and orderly” garbage that I had thought died when most of the party left to join the princesses retinue.Anything that strikes of more organization and rules for how our party operate can’t do anything but cause me to break out in hives. {out of game note:Aramin is CHAOTIC good} A few simple points are only required here.

More effort is needed by various party members to cover those in the party who are in trouble (unconscious, trapped, under severe attack, etc.).Basically, what I would like to see is every effort to save the lives of anyone in trouble.

Also, there was something of an argument by several members of the party that there are several places where we are expecting to find treasure, and they think that they should get a share of anything we find.

Personally, I think they are asking a bit too much.If they want to get a share, they need to come with.A number of people in the party only go with us on every second or third trip we take.This whole line of argument was brought about by a map that I found that indicates a large treasure is very close by the area we were forced to stop because it was getting late in the evening and we had to get back to the village before dark.The area where the treasure was supposed to be seemed to be right near by on the map I found.It is important to note though that despite making two trips to mine since then, we have still not found the so called treasure…

I am in the interest of fairness, holding money for both Harold and E’thal.I however have decided to refuse to release the money to them until they accompany us out on another expedition {out of game note:That they show up for a game}.This money is proceeds from the gold statue and some gems we had found when they were last with us.Although, if they don’t come with us soon, I MIGHT decide to just share it with those members who actually go with on adventures (and have already received their cuts).

I am, right now, the party mapper and accountant.I am mapper by virtue of the fact that I am present for most of our excursions and am literate in several languages including Goblin.I have also developed a relationship with the Jeweler that seems to be workinh to both of our benefits.By acting as our agent, he helps us get rid of some of the larger and/or more esoteric items we find without the officials of Enonia getting involved.He is not our Fence but seems to find our relationship as useful to himself as we find it.We have actually gotten several very useful services from him.Right now we are still awaiting word from further in the kingdom from people who may be interested in buying some of the ‘Dwarven artifacts’ we have found to date.Right now the items have very little value to anyone in Enonia, but we find researches, collectors or similar persons that will pay use a decent price for them.

Now I have ranted over long on many subjects but this is the only source for many of my opinions and ideas and will continue in this vane as long as I can

Aramin

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