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Diamond Lake: Letter to beloved mentor
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Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:20 pm    Post subject: Letter #46 green light, what's that secret you're keeping? Reply with quote

23rd Day of Planting
Free City of Greyhawk, deep below the Greyhawk Arena

Dearest Allustan

As we fought the monstrous scorpion, a bearded draconic individual with a polearm suddenly appeared behind us all and struck Will a heavy blow! I identified we were being attacked with Summoning spells. After I wasted a Scorching Ray on the bearded creature to no effect whatsoever, I realised we had a devil in our midst - and I shouted a warning to my friends.

Summoned creatures meant a summoner, and I knew the individual had to be in the room with the green glow, and he could see the fight.

Will took out the Kyuss zombie that we had neglected to dismember from the library, and Corvan heard my call and eagerly ran up to challenge the devil.

Jolan assisted in penetrating the room with the green glow, first disposing of the runaway Kyuss zombie - and slapping the resulting worm infestation - then poking some sort of hound-like creature that had just popped into existence with his trident. I was right behind Jolan, looking into the room, and cast See Invisibility to be sure that it was empty of creatures. An exit opposite us with shrouded in darkness, which was odd given the persistent green glow, and I suspected the summoner was hiding there. I was tempted to Fireball the area, but since I only had a scroll left I decided it would be a waste if I guessed wrong.

The hound-like creature growled, and Jolan fled in panic and cowered behind me - I said I would protect my younger brother from the nasty hound.

Then a tiefling stepped from an area of darkness and tried to Blind me with a spell! Fortunately this orc is made of sterner stuff. With a salvo of arrows Will killed the hound-like creature which vanished, leaving the way clear for me to engage the tiefling wizard.

The tiefling wizard said something and the bearded devil teleported in front of me.

I cast Blindness on the tiefling but nothing happened - as if the spell was blocked by some sort of magical resistance. The tiefling wizard said "Leave or die" and stepped back into the darkness.

Jolan rushed forward and bear hugged the devil to death - the body vanishing like all summoned creatures at the end.

Uncertain of the welcome we would receive pursuing the tiefling wizard, we spent some time healing ourselves - the bearded devil's wounds seemed to bleed without magical or mundane healing - and investigating the source of the green light.

Evil magical scrolls on a table in the room emitted a green beam of light that did not reflect - as Jolan's damaged steel mirror will attest. Will summoned a monkey to do the dirty work of testing the defences of the scrolls. All of our attempts to damage or destroy the scrolls were ineffective, so the monkey came to no harm.

To avoid a counterattack from behind we explored the side passage before following the tiefling wizard. The passage led to small room with a machine connected to a broken pipe leading further into the complex. Ragnor, being the helpful sort, offered to turn into a monkey himself and explore down the pipe.

He did and left us for a short while. When he came back he insisted on maintaining his stupid monkey form, and wrote out what he saw on a piece of paper:


Realising that no further delay could be tolerated, we rushed back to the scroll room and entered the area of darkness. Jolan just rushed in, while I cast Light on it. It was only a short passageway to a door.

Beyond the door was clearly the tiefling wizard's bedroom, with tapestries, bed, and burning incense. The tiefling wizard had obviously left in a hurry. I Detected Magic and a large trunk glowed interestingly with magical things inside it. The trunk was trapped with a Kyuss worm, but Corvan footed the bill for not opening the trunk with a long implement. Inside was a spoon and two opaque glass vials. The vials contained some sort of oil that I was not able to identify, and had worms in them as well which I dealt with.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:21 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #47 death of a hero III Reply with quote

23rd Day of Planting
Free City of Greyhawk, deep below the Greyhawk Arena

Dearest Allustan

Beyond the tiefling wizard's bedroom lay a short corridor and another room with a curtain running adjacent to the entry corridor, concealing that part of the room. Suspecting a trap left for us by the tiefling, we approached cautiously.

Jolan sneaked up along the curtain, and pulled it back. He was blasted backwards by a ray of coldness that left icicles on his spiked armour! Ragnor ran up and healed him with the Cure Moderate Wounds wand.

Then suddenly everyone but myself and Jolan were overcome by nausea from the sudden appearance of what I identified as Stinking Cloud. Jolan pulled the curtain aside and fought the creature within valiantly. I tried to help but I was also overcome when entering the area of Stinking Cloud. It smelt worse than Jolan's socks after a day at the mine.

Jolan retreated after being hit by an acidic pseudopod and two jet rays that left him, in his words, "drained". Did I mention Ragnor ran away screaming in terror for some reason? I think he saw the creature. I recovered first from the Stinking Cloud I had to chase after him and drag him back whimpering. Lucky for me he was vomitting as he ran, which slowed him down, and he forgot about the green ray, and ran into it, slowly him down a lot. Otherwise I might not have caught him until the blob chamber!

We had a hurried discussion about tactics as each of us fully recovered from choking, puking and vomiting thanks to the Stinking Cloud. We thought we could use the tiefling wizard's bed as cover, and run past the creature to the far door we could see dimly through a remarkably persistent Stinking Cloud. We were thinking up really good ideas when Jolan mentioned the creature was talking to him in his head.

"Come back, I want to play"
"If you don't come to me, I will come to you"

Jolan was particularly slothful in mentioning the last message, and the creature suddenly appeared in our midst - another damn teleport like the Bearded Devil!

It was a blob of green and black and totally disgusting. I fear dwelling on its appearance will drive me insane with repulsiveness. Will led the way in a strategic retreat. I gave it a Burning Hands before retiring. The Burning Hands seemed to have no effect at all.

We even managed to shut the door to the tiefling wizard's bedroom, and fell back in textbook retreat through the rest of the complex. I must say, we do retreating really well. I guess we have had plenty of practise.

Back at the Titan's Tower we surprised four Arena guards guarding the pool we had emptied in order to go down the plughole. We extracted ourselves from the plughole and greeted them cheerfully like we weren't up to no good. I was going to Charm them but I only had two Charm Person scrolls.

The Arena Guard Captain Okoral was summoned and he castigated us for breaching our Arena Contract. We countered by praising the extracurricula activities available in the Arena without actually mentioning what they were. Fortunately Okoral was not about to disqualify us since we are such great Arena fighters -> translation: lots of money is at stake.

Corvan sent an innocuous message asking for a representative of the Church of Pelor to attend a sick friend in the Caenopy. At the same time I used your second graduation gift, Quaal's Feather Token of a Bird, to send a more direct message to Corvan's contact at the Church, telling them of the great evil below the Arena.

Delin of Pelor arrived later that afternoon and Corvan briefed him on everything. Ragnor did some research on the Pitchblades, and he found out their weapons are Flaming.

I find it hard to believe that such a complex below exists without someone involved with the Arena not knowing about it. We slept the night in shifts, but nothing untoward happened.

24th Day of Planting
Free City of Greyhawk

Another day dawned in my favourite city of Greyhawk. Today, as the orcs say, was a great day to die.

After careful and thoughtful selection of spells - I assumed we would be trying to penetrate further into the dungeon complex underground after dealing with the dwarves - I was a bit annoyed that Ekaym didn't turn up with his promised Cure Moderate Wounds potions. Merchants, promise you the very earth, deliver you thin air.

We figured we'd just do the same things as before, but Will and Ragnor made sure they had Resist Energy [Fire] active. They didn't bring along their animal companions, and Ragnor summoned a bear and a tiger.

I used one of the packets of diamond dust to cast Stone Skin on Jolan. In retrospect maybe I should have cast it on myself. Since we were going dungeoneering later that evening, I neglected my usual False Life and Shield spells. I didn't live to regret it.

The damn dwarves had plenty of magic at their disposal. They used Mirror Image, and charged across the entire arena via Fly. We pounded on them, but most of our attacks were used up on images!

Forced to act last by the vagaries of chance, I sidestepped away from the seething mass of axes, swords, arrows, tridents and various claws and fangs, and Lightning Bolted across the dwarven line of attack. I knocked out nearly all Mirror Images, leaving five targets.

Then one of the dwarves turned and charged me, dealing me a grevious fiery blow that nearly killed me outright. If the dwarf had had the opportunity to attack again, I would have died.

I knelt on the sandy Arena floor, threw up my hands in surrender, and spoke conversationally, "I hope you enjoyed the lightning, maybe when this is all over we can go have a beer together".

Then the dwarf raised his flaming axe again and killed me!

(Jolan raced forward in his spiked armour absolutely furious, and hugged my murderer to death in a grisly embrace, and the others rendered the other dwarf unconscious and bleeding on the Arena floor)
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:27 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #48 third time lucky Reply with quote

24th Day of Planting
Free City of Greyhawk, Greyhawk Arena
2nd round 2-team fight, 5000 gp purse

Dearest Allustan

Death is the ultimate mystery for most ordinary individuals. Having died three times now, some things are becoming clear to me.

In the beginning, when I, Jolan and Telan were growing up in Diamond Lake, I wanted so to reject my orc heritage. I obeyed the law, went out of my way to be nice to people, and made personal sacrifices to help others. Even when I was met with hostility and suspicion. When I enrolled in the Greyhawk Academy of Magic thanks to your help and mentorship, I kept my academic nose to my studies, obeyed the law, went out of my way to be nice to people, and made personal sacrifices to help others. All because I was trying to be a worthy human. I even picked my best friend, as a paladin of Pelor, to help me: just in case I strayed from the true and right path, he would set me back to rights.

But it is easy to be a saint in paradise. Diamond Lake, when I was growing up and the Greyhawk Academy of Magic, where I became a wizard, were paradise compared to adventuring in the real world.

It is easy to die for one's best friend - as I stood against the fiendish giant centipede and burned it so it wouldn't attack Corvan. It is easy to die for one's brothers - as I stood against the Ebon Aspect with only a Knock spell, and a bad disguise to give everyone else a chance to escape.

But it's harder to die for those you don't know. When you're trapped and scared and don't know what to do, surrounded by enemies. When I electrocuted those lizardfolk in their own homes, while they were still entangled by Ragnor's magic, were they innocent or guilty? I panicked there and murdered innocents, and justified it afterwards by blaming them all as hostage takers. How could I assign to all ... the punishment only one should have received? We had to get the hostages out alive, but rescued only half of them. Was the bloodshed necessary? Or can I blame it on my fierce orc blood, burning through my new veins?

I wonder how I might find my way again and return to the side of goodness and light, and make peace with the shades of the lizardfolk.

I feel I cannot do this following the law. I followed the rules again, to the letter. I surrendered according to the requirements of the Arena. And yet I was still killed, murdered in front of thousands, butchered for the pleasure of gamblers and merchants. I understand now how it is to be at the mercy of another, and then be shown no mercy.

I humbly pray to Pelor that he will grant me the wisdom and fortitude to practise the true essentials of life: kindness, mercy and compassion.

Evil corrupts by promising us what we want, and telling us that it is good. It does not threaten. Not at first. It seduces. We should not be fighting in the arena for money. Beneath these blood-soaked sands lies a worm of great evil: why are we battling to the death, individuals who could be our allies? In the final round, we are going to fight against people we have risked our lives for, and they have done the same for us. Have we been seduced by the promise of riches and fame?

25th Day of Planting
Free City of Greyhawk, Greyhawk Arena, the Caenopy
3rd round 1-team vs "Mad Tooth", 10000 gp purse
The Main Evant rank 7

I died. Ragnor reincarnated me again. I am human once more, but last time was only for a week. I hope I last longer in this body this time.

Ragnor is in trouble with Jolan. I look different from before. I have blood red hair, pale skin, and stand 2 inches taller. I could feel something was different about this reincarnation. Something to do with the arena.

I learnt in the aftermath of my murder, Arena Guards surrounded Jolan, trying to keep him from the other dwarf. Which dwarf struck the killing blow? Was it Drusfan or was it Pharbol?

Greyhawk City Guards demanded entry to the arena, seeking to arrest Jolan for murder. Captain Okoral interceded and had the Main Evant leave the arena to the Coenoby, escorted by both Arena and City Guards.

Ekaym caught up with my brothers and friends, passing them our bloody Round Two prizes (ironically, a silver statuette of a dwarf gladiator) and winnings (5,000 gp). In the Coenoby, the Main Evant were placed in a single room under guard. No visitors. A City Guard Captain Mendel conducted individual interviews with my brothers and friends about what happened in the arena. Several thousand upstanding and not-so-upstanding Greyhawk citizens said the orc surrendered before he was murdered by the dwarf, but several hundred dwarves said this was a normal occurrence, and there was no such thing as a surrendering orc.

Jolan assaulted Will in the Coenoby after Will made some nasty comments, saying "raising an orc is immoral". Those of orkish blood and bone slept (or decomposed) in one room, while Corvan and Will slept the night in another room. My brother needs me. During the night guards were overheard speaking about the cage holding the creature. Apparently it was very cold.

My understanding is that Jolan will be arrested for the murder of the dwarf as soon as we win the Championship or lose a round. Clearly, my brothers must have use their superior diplomatic and negotiation skills to achieve this. I'm surprised that Jolan wasn't hauled off in chains immediately. Money talks much more loudly than my brothers.

I was pleased to hear the Arena Guards manage to stabilise the dying dwarf, and he survived.

We face Mad Tooth today. Auric's Warband will face the Draconic Breed first in the arena.

Ragnor tried to hide Goodluck, my loyal familiar, but we share an empathic link. Idiot little brother. Another brother that needs me.

Auric and Khellek defeated the Draconic Brood - it seems they only fight as a pair as well. They seemed quite unharmed after their penultimate battle.

Then it was our turn. There was a substantial delay while we waited for the creature to appear. Some of our spells expired.

Guards dragged an enormous metal cage into the arena, sloshing with water, and were eager to get away.

A gigantic creature emerged: we later learned it was a Froghemoth from the Barrier Peaks far to the Southwest. 15' wide and high, with four long tentacle arms, and a big mouth full of teeth.

Ragnor and I opened up with Flame Strike and Fireballs, but it soon became apparent that the Froghemoth was not quite as vulnerable to fire as we had been led to believe.

Jolan charged up to it and did quite a bit of damage stabbing with his trident. Unfortunately so did the Froghemoth on Jolan. The creature tried to eat him but spat his body out and roared with pain due to his spiky nature. Jolan fell to the ground and did not get up again.

Will sent his dog in but the Froghemoth zapped out its tongue and killed Will's animal companion. Such loyalty these rangers have with their animals!

Then the Froghemoth started on the paladin. Corvan was a tasty snack and he was gobbled straight down. That was a mistake, as Corvan kept hacking and slashing inside the beast. I eventually ended up Magic Missiling it, then Maximising my missiles. Will finally downed it with a salvo of three arrows before I got another salvo off.

Great. We'll never hear the end of that one.

We stabilised Jolan, and helped Corvan cut himself out of the beast. There was nothing we could do for Sunshine, Will's animal companion.

Ekaym delivered our Round Three prizes (a gold statuette of a human gladiator with a sack of gold) and winnings (10,000 gp - that's 2,000 gp each!) and congratulated us on defeating MadTooth.

Will's contact amongst the betting agents delivered our group bets to Will. It seemed that Jolan borrowed my share of the Round 2 winnings (1,000 gp) to bet on Round 3 in Corvan's name while I was decomposing.

I forgave my brother, and handed over the 333 gp winnings to Ragnor to partially compensate him for his foresight in investing in druidic reincarnation materials. Then I paid back Jolan and Ragnor the 661 gp they each loaned me for my twilight armour.

I must send a message to Maldin & Elenderi's Magic Shop, with the other half payment for my magic haversack. I am a weak and puny human now, and need the assistance to carry my spellbooks. Then I must arrange a Raise Dead for a dwarf I know. I must visit soon a stone statue of a lizardfolk. And we need to do something about the worm that broods below us.

Kindness, mercy and compassion.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:33 am    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #49 The Apostle of Kyuss Reply with quote

25th Day of Planting
Free City of Greyhawk, the Caenopy

Dearest Allustan

Following the defeat of Madtooth, we received a number of visitors throughout the rest of the day. I sent a message to Maldin & Elenderi's Magic Shop, with the other half payment for my magic haversack. Ragnor received his haversack, and swanned around showing it off like the little brother that he is.

A well dressed aristocratic male human arrived, wanting only to talk to the Evant brothers: our fame has spread. He had a number of retainers with him, mostly bodyguards, and waited patiently while the others left.

He introduced himself as Olen Thiel, ambassador to the Free City from the Shield Lands, and had a simple question:

"Your success as the 'Main Evant' in the games has caused me to ponder the origin behind your use of the name 'Evant'. Can I query how you came by the name?'

I answered:

"Of course, your Excellency, we use the name Evant because it is the surname of our beloved mother, Jesona Evant.

We were named Anlan, Jolan and Telan after her father, grandfather and great-grandfather respectively. Apparently they were famous adventurers.

Our beloved mother was a refugee from the Shieldlands to the north, across the Nyr Dyv. She ended up in Diamond Lake where we triplets were born.

I've had the misfortune to be reincarnated three times battling evil and bad sports, hence my current appearance."

Olen nodded at these names as if he already knew them. He then wanted to know if we had any items of our mother, apparently as proof of our lineage. That is the nice thing about diplomats. They can make insults appear as reasonable requests.

I still had some of my mother's engraved alchemical tools. She only had a few remaining, a gift from her father, but I still use them. You may remember them, Allustan, when I used them in your laboratory.

Ragnor still wears her ring around his neck on a cord. He got it because he was the big baby of the family. He also had her lucky foot - from a rabbit.

Jolan didn't have anything. Typical Jolan.

Olen examined them and took a few etchings of the marks and symbols on them. I asked why, and he said something vaguely insulting about proving who we claimed we were. I almost thought he was insulting the memory of our mother. But not enough to call him out on it.

I'm not sure why I was so easily offended with all this talk of mother. I was glad when Olen left.

A group of half-orc gladiators came by to visit Jolan. Some of them seemed to know Ragnor, and bared their tusks at him. They got together with Jolan and drank.

But the best visitor of all was Pollard, Eligos's butler, with a parcel for me. There was a short note in an envelope attached to the parcel which read:


In discussing matters with Tenser, I mentioned your name and your
association with Allustan.

Although Allustan and Tenser have not spoken for years, Tenser insisted
on sending you a gift as an apprentice of one of his apprentices. He
hopes the enclosed books might come in useful in your final battle in
the arena.

He has also suggested you might find some identify elixir useful if you
know the Greyhawk method of studying items - I have
enclosed some vials and can teach you the method of preparation if you
some days spare following the championship games.



The books themselves are recent editions and signed copies of the tomes I found in the Academy Library - "Physical Enhancing Enchantments I, II and III" by Tenser himself.

I only had a chance for a quick read, but I noticed there were at least four spells I was familiar with: Enlarge Person, Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength and Cat's Grace.

The first tome had a brief note: "Anlan, as an apprentice of Allustan, I welcome you to the ranks of wizardry, Tenser". This is magical, I can't believe I have signed books with a personal dedication from the great Tenser himself! Perhaps when you next visit Greyhawk, you should visit him?

I will have to think very carefully about my thank you letter to the great wizard. What gift would be suitable for a wizard who has it all? I will have to consult with Eligos.

There were also five small vials of a milky liquid which reeked of alcohol - I recall Eligos swigging from one before he identified the Wand of Cure Moderate Wounds. I drank one myself and identified the two elixirs we recovered from the tiefling wizard as Elixirs of Gentle Repose. The elixir is great, it reduces the casting time immensely.

Lastly, a young cleric from the temple of Pelor wished to conference with Corvan. I think they discussed Corvan's dream, which Corvan described to me only after I'd found out about from Ragnor:

The night after clearing out the Dopplegangers, I had a strange dream.

I found myself flying above the countryside of my childhood, flying over
the free city.

I could sense both areas of light, and darkness, below.
The countryside around the free city was mostly free of the dark, and
full of light of the living. I could sense that these were creatures
living productive and creative lives. The city was another story,
punctuated by small spots of darkness.

My path took me over the free city arena. It seemed dark, very dark.
It seemed to want to reach out and engulf me like some hungry ghoul.
I could see a crowd cheering as two groups fought.

Flying closer, I could see Auric and Khellak fighting alongside two
stiffly moving warriors against a group of elven women. The fight seemed
to be going Auric's way, until something happens - and suddenly
something else is there in the arena, and the feeling of evil that
washing over me is overpowering.

It saps my ability to fly, and as I fall I lose track of
Auric and the others. I fall towards the evil blackness and just as
am about to hit it I awoke in a cold sweat.

I wasn't sure what to make of it but when I heard that the priests had
had a similar dream I knew that something bad was going to happen.

What surprised me greatly was that Tobias was joining us for the final battle in the Arena. I wonder what strings were pulled to allow that in the final round! I wasn't complaining though. In fact, I asked Tobias if he knew anyone at the Temple of Pelor who could Raise Dead. I have someone in mind, and after the final round I should have money to make it so.

The other incident of interest was Ragnor's reaction to Corvan's dream - my little brother seemed to take it very seriously, and tried at one stage to convince Khellek that our ultimate fight would be interrupted and we should join sides against the worm. Khellek ascertained that Ragnor hadn't been drinking but concluded Ragnor may have been partaking of various druid herbs and spices!

26th Day of Planting
Free City of Greyhawk, Greyhawk Arena
Final round 2-team fight, 20,000 gp purse

Another lovely day dawned in Greyhawk. It was all I could do to concentrate on learning my spells this morning. I so wanted to spend the day reading Tenser's books. I memorised Cat's Grace from one of them for Will's sake.

We prepared for the arena much as we have done for other rounds. This time I made sure I had False Life and Shield up. I cast Fly and Stone Skin on Jolan so he could neutralise Khellek no matter where Khellek was in the arena. Then Haste on everyone.

The arena crowd didn't seem overly pleased to see the Main Evant against their favourite champions, but I did note the presence of an unusual number of clerics from the Temple of Pelor in the audience, and possibly from other churches as well.

Loris Raknian, owner of the Free City Arena, gave a brief speech, then the trumpets blew for combat.

I was a bit slow again and most of us got Fireballed by Khellek for our trouble. Khellek didn't seem to be affected by Will's arrows. Khellek flew up out of the arena while Auric charged forward with his greatsword.

Before I forget, Auric's Warband included three Flesh Golems. The things are true abominations and I really don't think they should be legal. They're animated dead remains and should really be banned in civilised cities.

Jolan's Fly worked a treat, as Jolan immediately dropped his trident and successfully grabbed Khellek and held him tight. I Magic Missiled Auric, who shouted at me.

While the Flesh Golems attacked Corvan and the others, Auric ran in and hit me with his greatsword. That hurt! Khellek teleported away from Jolan to be near his Flesh Golems - as you know, that spell only has a verbal component. But something odd happened in the arena. Part of the floor collapsed and broke. There was a great tremor which shook everyone.

I ran away from Auric, suddenly believing Corvan's dream and shouting to Auric that the worm was coming, we needed to join forces. I should have drunk one of my Potions of Healing at this point, but I was too busy trying to be the diplomat. There were more tremors.

Jolan and Khellek grappled again, and one of the Flesh Golems tried to pry Jolan off Khellek. Will seemed to be doing some good with his arrows on the Flesh Golems, and Tobias was using a Spiritual Weapon against the abominations as well, until the cleric fell over from the tremors.

Auric ran after me but decided to hit Ragnor's bison instead. Big mistake. Ragnor thumped Auric several times with his club, and the bison did a bit of damage too. Somehow Ragnor had managed to cast Heat Metal on poor Auric, but it was only a spell from my little brother, and easy to dispel it from Auric, and by doing so I convinced Auric that we were no longer fighting each other for money, but against a great evil that must be destroyed.

Talabir Welik, Champion's Games Referee, floated over the arena, demanding that whomever was causing the floor of the arena to collapse and splinter to immediately cease and desist. He kept on about this until a gigantic 20' long worm dripping slime and goo rose out of the floor, and ate him in midair. I'm pretty sure that would have got Auric's Warband disqualified, if they had been responsible for the worm.

Loris Raknian announced in a booming voice: " The Apostle of Kyuss is amongst us! They are the Champions you seek!"

Obviously overcome by terror and fear, Will missed his next salvo of four arrows against the Apostle, while Ragnor bombarded it with his Divine Fire. Jolan released Khellek and ran around at speed to pick up his trident on the ground. The Apostle quavered under the power of my Lightning Bolt, but was clearly going to be fighting for a while longer still.

The Apostle ate one of the Flesh Golems while Will was less than accurate with his arrows. Tobias let loose a ray of Searing Light on the foul creature while Jolan threw his trident at it. I moved away towards Tobias, but had to stay within 40' of the creature to damage it with Scorching Ray. Corvan ran in and was swallowed by the Apostle.

The Apostle seemed to regret gobbling the paladin. It shot thin sharp tentacles out from its body, which hurt even from 40' away. Then it moved away from us and breathed a foul miasma of green filth and energy on us. While I managed to dodge most of it, enough hit me to realise I was in serious trouble. I felt my body burning and life slipping away...

Then Jolan hurled his trident again and pierced the Apostle with a greviously fatal wound.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:24 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #50 wake up to a nightmare Reply with quote

28th Day of Planting
Free City of Greyhawk, Grand Temple of Pelor

Dearest Allustan

The Apostle of Kyuss killed me, but as I discovered to my horror after returning from the dead, there are worse things than merely dying in Greyhawk.

I awoke in a light-filled chamber within the Grand Temple of Pelor, and it seemed to me that part of the Elysium Fields had come to earth. The feeling soon passed and I was eager to find out what had happened in my absence, and in particular, to make sure my brothers hadn't been making trouble.

I heard various snippets, in no particular order, but which I try to record in chronological order here for posterity:

Talabir Welik emerged from the corpse of the Apostle worm as a Kyuss zombie, whereupon Will destroyed him with three arrow hits to the head.

Loris Raknian was missing.

Jolan Evant was hauled off to prison.

Corvan handed over the corpse of the baby with the slit throat that we found below the arena to Temple authorities.

My companions went to Loris Raknian's mansion, encountered a normal zombie in the kitchen, banging on the door down to the wine cellar. The zombie was female, and it was Ekaym Smallcask's sister, Lehaka. Marks around the neck of her corpse indicated she had been strangled by someone wearing a serpent-style ring. Loris Raknian wears such a ring.

Jolan Evant released from prison, and others rush into Greyhawk proper, when told one of the Evant brothers is causing problems. But it is not Ragnor, but "Jack-in-the-box" me. My corpse had reanimated as a Kyuss zombie: I had transformed those carrying my corpse to the Temple, and together had taken over a city block! The shame of it!

My brothers and friends led the charge into the block, going from room to room defeating many Kyuss zombies. I hear Will was the one who put three arrows into the head of Anlan-zombie, and had to beat a tactical retreat when Jolan chased after him in fury. Will ran out into the street, yelling "there’s a mad orc after me" to the waiting guardsmen but fortunately Jolan regained control and did not incur the wrath of trigger-happy Greyhawk guards.

Loris Raknian's cellar door led through a twisting passageway directly to the curtain room with the blobby devil! Corvan managed to defeat it almost single-handedly, using his good-aligned sword, although Ragnor’s Divine Fire and Sheridan’s holy water was not appreciated either by the foul creature.

The mosiac behind the creature included two 1000 gp emeralds. A reconnoitre through the chambers recovered the evil scrolls without their awesome magical proection. These have been handed over to the Temple of Pelor for destruction. The far door guarded by the telepathic blob was a privy.

There was another secret door in the coffin room, which led to a trap which Sheridan released and suffered through. The passageway beyond led to a wine cellar in the arena understructure.

The Arena bosses decided to award the Final Round prize of 20,000 gp to both teams. The Main Evant received 10,000 gp which Ragnor lugged off to the Temple of Pelor to pay for my resurrection.

Where's my rat familiar?

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 3:29 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #51 can I wake up now? Reply with quote

28th Day of Planting
Free City of Greyhawk, Grand Temple of Pelor

Dearest Allustan

I awoke to song and celebration of the light and love of Pelor. Everyone I loved was there to see me return from the dead, and a few whom I did not love, but I am working on it.

I cried when I heard that Goodluck, my rat familiar, had not survived the Apostle of Kyuss.

I mourned those that had fallen to the Kyuss plague, and felt guilty that my body had been the source of the corruption.

I thanked Will for his services to my former zombie body. He seemed somewhat disappointed in my reaction.

I chewed little brother Ragnor out for missing the obvious signs of Kyuss spawning in Goodluck, and not realising that any dead remains - like the looted corpse of his eldest brother - would suffer the same fate. It made me feel better blaming Ragnor for the whole mess.

The day of my return from the dead was hectic, and I apologise in advance if my letters to you are disjointed and confused.

The evil scrolls liberated by the others yesterday are written in Dark Tongue, and the scholars at the Temple of Pelor are translating them. Apparently they could give us more information about the nature of the worms and the Kyuss zombies. I hope they have some terrible weakness, like garlic for vampires, salt for slugs, or gambling for Corvan.

Ragnor revealed to me that he had been made an offer by Smenk: if he gave Filge's spellbook back, Smenk would ensure Jolan was sentenced to his mine or something. Yeah right. In a fit of clear and logical thinking, Ragnor believed he could not trust Smenk to keep his word, so my second spellbook was saved. I was impressed.

I made efforts to find the remaining Pitchblade dwarf, Pharbol, ably assisted by Will. The Pitchblade manager is Glodreddi Bakkanin Inspector of Taxes, and Oligarch of the City.

On the way I dropped into Maldin & Elenderi's Magic Shop to pick up my new Heward's Handy Haversack. Elbrak claimed not to have received my second payment of 1,100 gp. Ah, does the evil of Loris Raknian know no bounds? Not only does he plot the death of every living creature in Greyhawk, murder a loving girlfriend, but he also finds time to descend to petty theft of a hard-working adventurer's gold! The fiend!

Elbrak then proceeded to gouge me for another 1,200 gp, claiming increased demand had increased the price of the haversacks. I am kicking myself for being suckered so easily, as legally I had already paid 1,100 gp consideration for paying the full price of 2,200 gp. I will have to take my custom elsewhere in future.

Fortunately I kept the receipt from the arena courier. I later visited the main clerk at the Arena who made vague noises about compensation once all of Loris Raknian's finances are sorted out. I told him he would get a certified copy of the receipt.

Thanks to Will we found BOTH Pitchblade dwarves, Drusfan and Pharbol, in the dock area of town, in an inn called the Wooden Fish. Drusfan looked uglier than before with more scars. They didn't recognise me but they recognised the paladin, and certainly didn't want to play cards with him.

Corvan and I had a major disagreement on how to proceed. I wanted to race out and alert a guard patrol, using Sheridan's suggestion that Drusfan had murdered me. Corvan wanted to do it the slow legal way with an official complaint at the local watchtower.

In the end, we agreed to disagree and just do it. I tried to convince some random guards to make an immediate arrest. But their orc prejudices blinded them to justice. They didn't give me their names.

Corvan came back with a guard called Benny, and the promise of arresting the dwarves later that day, or something. On their way home drunk apparently.

Somewhat discouraged by my first attempt to make good what had gone wrong, and a little bit shaken on how quickly my intentions had turned to revenge, I turned my attention to the plight of my beloved middle brother Jolan.

After several attempts to talk to lawyers, we found someone willing to represent Jolan. He is a half-elf called Elgeen Springwell.

Apparently Oliver Palmirian, son of Sir Anton Palmirian, is prosecuting the case against Jolan. Tigran Gellner is likely to be the judge. You are no doubt familiar with their names and background. The outlook does not bode well for Jolan.

Elgeen told us that Jolan has pleaded guilty to murdering Drusfan and being a follower of Grummsh. When I expressed surprise at the latter everyone pointed out Jolan's missing eye. I thought he had just been careless with his spiked armour.

Jolan is looking at either the death penalty, hard labour for life, or permanent exile for his crimes. Jolan's trial is set for next Earthday, the 6th Day of Flocktime.

I went to bed, exhausted from my resurrection. Apparently Tobias visited Jolan in prison, and Jolan confirmed his lack of guile and brutal honesty.

1st Day of Flocktime
Free City of Greyhawk

I picked up my new mauve Haversack from Maldin & Elenderi's Magic Shop. I need it now, really badly. I feel so weak!

Our only friend in Greyhawk now seems to be Eligos. So I went with Ragnor to visit him.

There was no answer at the main gate, so I wrote a note. While writing it Ragnor noticed the front door was open. I was 3 minutes into my Arcane Eye when I attracted the attention of a Greyhawk guard. I said I was having a fit but the guards in area have been trained to recognise spell casting.

We went off to the watchtower, and were interviewed by a Sergeant Mullun. We insisted that they investigate Eligos' place, and the good sergeant did so, bading us to wait. We waited 15 minutes, then we convinced our guard watcher, with dire stories of dopplegangers, to go to the Eligos mansion! There we learned that Eligos and Pollard have been murdered! Sergeant Mullun suggested it was the work of an assassin!

It's those damn dopplegangers and their mysterious boss! We have to get Jolan out on bail or something so we can rid Greyhawk of this menace within immediately! We're going to the sewer junction beneath the Cold Forge!

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #52 have bribe will travel Reply with quote

1st Day of Flocktime
Free City of Greyhawk

Later that day, Corvan, Ragnor & Will received summons to visit the prosecutor, Oliver Palmirian. Foolishly, they met the prosecutor without their own lawyer present, however, they must have done right as they said Oliver was not happy after the meetings.

I visited the Academy of Magic and wrote a letter to Tenser. Unfortunately, no-one knew where I might send it. A few even seemed surprised to hear that Tenser was alive.

In case you know how to get hold of Tenser, here is my letter:

1st Day of Flocktime

Archmage Tenser

Dear Archmage Tenser

I regret to inform you that Eligos has been murdered. The City Watch think it is the work of an assassin.

I believe I know who the perpetrator is: the mastermind behind the dopplegangers still at large in Greyhawk.

Their nest is in the sewers below the Cold Forge in the Artisan Quarter. We will purge it tomorrow.

Best regards

Anlan Evant

PS Sorry I haven't written earlier, but I was dead myself - long story.

PPS Thanks for the signed editions of your magical research! They make great reading!

I purchased some scroll making/spellbook writing supplies and hired a laboratory for 20 gp to create a new Magic Missile Wand. It was late by the time I got back to the inn, but I felt confident we would be ready for dealing with the dopplegangers tomorrow.

2nd Day of Flocktime
Free City of Greyhawk
Sewers below the Cold Forge, Artisan Quarter

Sheridan had apparently already carried out some reconnaissance, and he led us straight to where he thought the dopplegangers had come from. Something about yellow mould traces in clothing: I didn't quite catch how Sheridan knew where to go. Sheridan does prattle incessantly about nothing in particular, which one learns to tune out, but when he does say something important it can be missed amongst Sheridan's verbal chaff.

Sheridan is obviously making the study of fungi and moulds his hobby, as the first chamber contained yellow mould (deadly) and violet mushrooms (shriekers). I asked Tobias whether he had prayed for Silence this morning, and while he had not, he felt he could pray for such enlightenment immediately. We waited for Pelor's blessing and in due course Tobias cast Silence over the entire chamber. We quickly walked through the safest trail and penetrated deeper into the natural caverns from the sewers.

The next chamber contained a large pool of water with green glowing phosphorescent fungi, and the way out was guarded by a serpentine naga. It seemed annoyed at being woken but Corvan was polite and civil, and we were allowed to pass with a bribe of gold and silver. I dumped two pounds of gold on the floor, the others donated similar amounts. I got the feeling that if it had been woken by the shriekers in the first cavern it might have been less amenable to bribes. I glanced into the pool while passing by, it seems to store its treasure in the depths.

The naga didn't believe in speaking quietly, so the next chamber, which included a door, an animal stall with some quadrupeds, and a raised ledge leading into the darkness, was unnaturally quiet. The ledge bought back memories of other fights in caverns. I cast Magic Circle Against Evil on the party, and Corvan moved forward first.

He was immediately ambushed by crossbow firing drow on the ledge, and two more drow entered the chamber via the door, herding mindless zombies in their wake. I cast Light on a stone and threw it into the chamber. Before anybody could do anything, a total inky blackness enveloped us all.

I heard Tobias call upon the strength of Pelor to destroy the zombies, and by the time Corvan had done his magic with a Daylight spell, the undead were dust. Shame no-one saw the turning, it would have been impressive.

I Fireballed the drow on the ledge, and used Wall of Fire to seal off the entire room. I am sick of letting enemies escape to raise the alarm. One of the drow on the ledge was a spellcaster, but she didn't seem to be having much luck against my magical protections and our strength of purpose.

Ragnor summoned a hippogriff which got in the way of my Fireball and Wall of Fire, so it didn't last long, and while I concentrated on the Wall of Fire the others finished off the drow. I should have fired off a magic missile salvo, as the drow spellcaster spidered down the ledge and fled straight through my Wall of Fire.

The drow had the strange tentacle symbol on their forehead that was also tatooed on the dead Telakin. I thought it was a bit odd that two of the drow on the ledge left the safety of the ledge to attack us in melee, and that the spellcaster didn't hesitate to run through a burning wall to escape. Maybe the mastermind exerts a fearsome amount of control over its thralls. I shall have to review my notes of the spell we found on Telakin, Dominate Person.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 4:11 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #53 save the thralls! Reply with quote

2nd Day of Flocktime
Free City of Greyhawk
Sewers below the Cold Forge, Artisan Quarter

Dearest Allustan

Ragnor wanted to chase the escaped drow spellcaster but my tremendous Wall of Fire was still burning, and as you know it continues to burn for some time after one ceases to concentrate on it.

Ragnor was just able to dispel my Wall of Fire: it must have been a lucky casting. Ragnor ran off with Will in tow, but they came back after some monkey business in the next chamber.

The bodies of the drow yielded 5 rapiers, their crossbows having been strangely warped - probably my brother's fault, and charred - definitely evidence of my growing arcane might. We left their chain shirts for salvage at some later time.

The door led to a prison, with five prisoners - 2 merchants, an elven craftsman, and 2 young women barmaids. They gave us terrible stories of other prisoners being taken away by the drow and returning with damage to the head and nonresponsive. They seemed to identify the mastermind behind it all - a horrible creature with tentacles for a mouth but who did not have the strange tentacle symbol on its forehead.

We were going to press on, and insist the prisoners defend themselves as best they could, while we dealt with this nest of traitors, but their piteous cries and the fact that one of the drow had escaped anyway meant there was no rush to press on. In fact, it could be argued that taking the time to ensure the prisoners were taken to a place of safety would make better sense tactically - and it was the right thing to do anyway.

I made sure I got everyone's names - and in the case of two young women barmaids - the names of their respective taverns. They promised to make a report to the City Guard, and I wanted to make sure this happened.

We also rescued the two pigs and the scrawny cow in the animal enclosure. Ragnor seems to have quite a way with animals.

The naga didn't mind us tip-toeing quietly through its chamber, and the fungi chamber was still Silenced. We returned to the streets of Greyhawk with no further incident.

Upon our return the shriekers let loose the alarm so we hurried towards the naga chamber. We were ambushed on the way.

Fortunately Ragnor prevented Corvan running headlong through an oil-soaked section of the passageway, but he couldn't stop the four drow attacking us from above with alchemist's fire and my favourite nemesis, tanglefoot bags.

Will responded with rapid fire arrows, and I released several salvos of deadly Magic Missiles - I can cast five at a time now. Ragnor transformed into an ape - no-one could tell the difference though - and clambered quickly up the walls to reach half the drow on the left hand side. Tobias seemed a bit uncertain about using his crossbow at first, but eventually became quite accurate.

The fight ended when Ragnor pushed the last drow who had tried to tanglefoot me off the ledge. Since the drow had not learned to fly when he was young he didn't know how to fall either.

Aside from chainshirts the drow had nothing of value on them so we left their bodies for later salvage and pressed on.

The naga chamber was unusually empty. I Detected Invisible and spotted the naga skulking on the other side of the pool. The naga was obviously annoyed by the noise so we hurried on.

The chamber beyond the cattle pens, and which had been visited by Ragnor and Will previously, was empty except a big purplish glyph on the floor - the strange tentacle symbol. Ragnor swore that it would be safe to walk through, but didn't seem willing to test this out personally. I opened my spellbook, memorised Dispel Magic after a short while, and used it to dispel the glyph. It vanished without a trace.

Past the glyph we came upon a large chamber with 30' ivory-coloured columns sporting the strange tentacle symbol, between which were two white marble doors with purplish lines through the stone. This mastermind clearly knows the value of a consistent, powerful brand. I am most impressed.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #54 all that boils and bubbles Reply with quote

2nd Day of Flocktime
Free City of Greyhawk
Sewers below the Cold Forge, Artisan Quarter

Dearest Allustan

While we were considering the best way forward, through the white-purplish marble doors, we were again ambushed from the walls. This time it was not drow, but some disgusting aberrations with single eyes on stalks.

The eyes seemed to slow those without the wit and strength of will to break their gaze. I was of course unaffected, although to my surprise Ragnor and Sheridan overcame the effects, but the others cursed slowly as the sluggishness descended upon them.

Despite this we finished off the foul creatures with arrow and crossbow fire. I used up the Wand of Magic Missiles we found in the Dourstone Mine. Fortunately I have already created a new Wand of Magic Missiles.

The creatures have two tentacled claws: when they successfully strike with both claws they make an attempt to pull apart their foe. Ragnor experienced this personally and howled loudly.

Sheridan was much more on form during the battle than I have ever seen him. He even killed one of the creatures as it snuck around behind me on the walls. In the end I was throwing my only dagger and club at the things, to save my Magic Missiles for more worthy opponents.

Through the doors was a circular chamber with stairs leading up. In the middle of the chamber was a marble statue in the shape and form of a brain, while attached to the walls were manacles and chains. Some of the others tried to damage the marble statue but arrows and axes aren't good choices against solid stone. We all seemed to suffer a mild headache while in the room so we left the chamber and moved on.

The next chamber was a pleasant surprise. It was obviously a magical laboratory of some kind, complete with books, desk and a bubbling cauldron of green liquid. The only exits were another stairway opposite our entrance and a closed door along the inner wall.

I examined the desk, which had copious notes of creating the aberrations we had encountered thus far. I started stuffing some of the notes into my backpack. If worse comes to worse I can use the other side as scratch paper.

Will became curious about the books, and seemed to think the library was worth something. He just grabbed a few books as well. Ragnor was also interested, but still being ape-palling he only managed to tip over the bookcase and make a loud noise. For some reason Ragnor had his storm cloud that he uses for calling lightning active.

Will opened the inner door without waiting for anybody - a tactically foolish action on his part, and we will need to impress upon the more recent team members that we don't go opening new doors until the old room is properly looted - I mean secure.

I saw Sheridan approaching the bubbling cauldron and told him over my shoulder to leave it alone. Sheridan exclaimed with delight as he looked into the cauldron - he had also found a long metal pole conveniently placed nearby. I was far enough away from the cauldron so I just rolled my eyes and turned my attention to the lovely research again.

Will said that Sheridan stirred the cauldron "vigorously" and I heard him squeal "oh there is something in there". He jumped back just as two large tentacles emerged and tried to grab him.

Then Ragnor zapped the cauldron with his Call Lightning and all hell broke loose.

A much larger version of the aberrations we had encountered in the entranceway cavern leapt out of the cauldron and landed with a squelch on the stone floor. It struck Ragnor a hard blow, which I was considering doing to my little stupid brother myself. Sheridan and Will fired arrows into the thing.

The thing got hold of Sheridan with both claws and pulled mightily. Sheridan emitted a loud shriek and a whimper and fell on the floor with lots of blood. Tobias ran forward and provided some healing to the nosy unconscious wretch.

While Corvan heroically ran forward and engaged the foul creature in melee, I struck at it with devastating Scorching Rays. After four terrible blasts of fire, the abomination was destroyed.

Will also assisted ably with his Rapid Shot arrows, but fell down clutching his head for some reason during the battle. Perhaps the large aberration did something or maybe it was someone beyond the door he recklessly opened...

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:26 pm    Post subject: Letter #55 score 1 for the not-so-evil guys Reply with quote

2nd Day of Flocktime
Free City of Greyhawk
Sewers below the Cold Forge, Artisan Quarter

Dearest Allustan

I considered devoting future spell research to Feeblemind so I could cast it on Sheridan but then I realised he has been suffering from it since childbirth. Fiddle, fiddle, fiddle is all that stupid elf does. Maybe I should learn Explosive Runes and give Sheridan a book to play with - and warn him not to open it.

We went up the stairs rather than risk the passageway Will had opened up. Through unlocked double swing doors we entered an interesting room with display cases filled with magic items, and a statue of a vulture-headed demon with feathers and talons.

My magnificent mentor, guess what happened?

Honestly, you would never guess what happened. Truly.

The items included such memorabilia as a dragon's head with glowing green eyes, a blue-metal cage of thorns, a dagger on a velvet pillow, and some oddly moving chains. There were books with labels, a tarnished statue of a bronze griffon, 5 jars with eye stalks.

Sheridan lifted a book off the shelf and the statue came to life. I bet you are as completely flabbergasted by this occurrence as we were.

The vulture demon seemed pretty annoyed that Sheridan had taken a book. We ran from the chamber and I Held Portal on the swing doors.

We retreated to the lab room but demons teleport as well as devils and with a sudden pop we had SEVEN of the creatures flying above us. A fine dust drifted down upon our bodies which hurt like the devil (so to speak).

My Fireball was ineffective against the demonic flock and a shriek from the creature stunned me, Sheridan and Tobias.

Arrow fire from Corvan and Will whittled the demonic numbers - I suspect Mirror Images as they vanished without a pop and it seemed too easy to kill them. The creature landed and attacked Sheridan, rightly so, and Sheridan ran screaming from the chamber, dropping the book on the floor.

I zapped it successfully with a salvo of Magic Missiles and it looked annoyed at me. I got the sinking feeling I had back in the fight against the Faceless One and his fiendish giant centipede. It clawed me and bit me so badly I cast Invisibility on myself and retreated back to Tobias.

Corvan was busy oiling his sword and struck the creature a mightly blow from behind. Ragnor ran forward and smote the demon. It grabbed the book and teleported out.

I confess I was happy to let it go, but Corvan did not think so and Ragnor was all stirred up. They ran back up the stairs, bursting through my Hold Portal (note to self - Hold Portal is useless on a door with no lock and which swings open with a touch). Ragnor attacked the creature, and was immediately bitten, but Corvan beheaded the thing with his sword.

The dust was spores and growing on our skin, so Tobias gracefully Cured Disease on us and we healed ourselves with my Wand of Cure Light Wounds, nearly draining it.

After Ragnor helped himself to something on the shelf, we set off down the corridor leading from the display room. We rounded a bend and entered a large 80' chamber, with an octogonal black column towering over a large pond of water. Hovering 20' above the pond was a squid-headed humanoid with a red staff.

"How dare you enter my sanctum fools! I shall devour your brains and eat your fear." The mind flayer also said something about the demon but I didn't catch that.

There followed an epic fight. Two of the eyeball creatures were also present in the chamber to slow us, and I couldn't participate at first because the mind flayer stunned us like he did back in the Sodden Hold. I think I just had a weak moment as no-one else was affected.

Scorching Rays, Lightning Bolts and Fireballs launched from the mind flyer. I nearly perished in the entranceway but Ragnor dragged me back to safety along the corridor. Sheridan suddenly turned and shot Tobias with arrows, then stopped after a particularly powerful Lightning Bolt hurt everyone. Sheridan fell over stunned. Corvan walked up to the pool and started taking off his armour, looking like he was going to have a swim!

While we retreated down the corridor, the two eyeball creatures attempted to slow our escape. I recovered and cast Haste on all of us. Will dispatched the creatures with arrows. I was particularly annoyed they avoided my Burning Hands, but I got a good hit with a salvo of Magic Missiles. I also cast Bear's Endurance on myself, many thanks to Tenser! Will was also mumbling in his rangerish way but he didn't mumble over me so I assume it wasn't anything important he was doing.

Ragnor transformed into a giant bat and flew into the chamber to engage the mind flayer. Shortly thereafter his wings folded up and he plummeted with a splash into the pool.

The mind flayer can stun and obviously exerts some sort of weird mind control over those not enjoying the effects of a Protection from Evil spell, so I cast Dispel Magic on Corvan. Corvan then saved Ragnor from drowning. I cast Protection from Evil on Tobias. A Dispel Magic on the floating mind flayer was immediately counterspelled - if it had not been my Dispel Magic I would have been more impressed. A Lightning Bolt from me was also ineffective.

So I ended up shooting at the mind flayer with my light crossbow, like Corvan with his sling and Sheridan with his bow. I only had 4 bolts, and I will have to improve my back-up weapon. I think I will attempt to get the same enhancement that Will has, as he never seems to run out of arrows and I don't see a quiver on him. I hit the mind flayer with my first and last bolt, and Sheridan took the mind flayer down with three arrows in the chest.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #56 not so lawful plotting Reply with quote

2nd Day of Flocktime
Free City of Greyhawk
Sewers below the Cold Forge, Artisan Quarter

Dearest Allustan

The mindflayer pool and pillar seemed to be some sort of temple, but after Will collected a few of the tadpoles with jars found in the display room, I Lightning Bolted the pool and killed the rest. I think the display jar tadpoles should go too, but they seem harmless enough, and when Sheridan went swimming with them they were friendly and cute. Maybe they are the mind flayer equivalent of a fish pond - maybe they get sick of eating brains all the time and need a midnight snack.

In any case, Corvan and Ragnor stayed behind to guard the evil items and the rest of us trooped out and returned with Pelorian back-up. The guardian naga had vanished along with its treasure.

Will and I had the great idea to sell the mind flayer corpse for arcane research - I'm sure you don't see this type of creature turning up all the time. But the Academy of Magic was not interested. In fact, even the crusty old caretaker recognised the mindflayer on sight and I got the distinct impression mindflayer corpses turned up at the Academy every other day of the week. Very disappointing.

On the way to the Temple of Pelor the City Guard interviewed us and confiscated the ledger and the mind flayer corpse. Bother! The ledger, which I specially used my scroll of Comprehend Languages on, detailed transactions of rare and dangerous goods throughout the Free City, including Loris Raknian's purchase of the Apolistic Scrolls, and his contract to take us out the day after our arrival in Greyhawk. We were worth 5,000 gp to eliminate.

The following is the disposition of the items found in the display room, thanks to the Pelorian scholars who accompanied the back-up team:

* A stuffed doll of Ragnor, pierced with 20 spikes: the spikes are geniune Spike Devil spikes. Ragnor insists on keeping it safe in his backpack. He should keep it in his used underwear pile. No living or undead creature would dare touch it then.
* The preserved black head of a juvenile dragon, whose eyes glow a faint green: not magical, Sheridan has this
* An odd black metal cage, covered in thorns: not magical. Someone has this
* A curved dagger resting on a large velvet pillow: evil, the Temple of Pelor will dispose of it.
* A number of chains that twitch and move on their own: evil, removed somehow from a Chain Devil - just as well Corvan warned everyone not to touch them. Temple disposal.
* 3 books labeled "Unspeakable Tome.": Not magical, but I am suspicious. I have these, they are empty and unsuitable quality for spellbooks. Maybe I will use them for a personal diary
* A tarnished bronze figurine of a griffon: Magical, who has this?
* Four jars, each with a preserved eye on a stalk within: sold off by Will
* A petrified pseudodragon: see below for the happy outcome
* A 4" thick tome wrapped in chains: Will had to pound on this to subdue it, and he seems to enjoy reading it as he says it contains tales of demons and their kin. I think I should read this with Corvan and decide what to do with it
* A battered greatsword with something engraved in Fruz runes upon the blade: magical, the runes mean "Bloodthirst". Ragnor fell in love with this greatsword.
* A yellow sapphire on a golden chain: Magical, who has this?

I took the magic items off the mindflayer and identified them over the next two days (I couldn't wait to identify the staff, so I took one of the Identify potions Eligos gifted me).

* a staff of some bright red metal: Rod of Lesser Empower
* a golden sphere attached to a necklace: Necklace of Fireballs, one fireball 5d6 fire damage
* black, soft low boots: Boots of Elvenkind
* a dark purple and black cloak: Cloak of Resistance + 2
* a simple pewter ring with no noticeable markings: Ring of Counterspells, I think it is empty

The paper and notebooks on the creation of 'octopins' I burned because the creation of such unnatural horrors should remain unknown.

Later that night, Sheridan and I got together over the petrified small dragon. I cast my first Break Enchantment, and it was successful! I was so pleased with myself, and Sheridan was appropriately impressed.

The pseudodragon was called Fryed and came from a forest far to the north. Sheridan was familiar with the location but I was not. From the brief description Fryed gave, it seems he stumbled across a basilisk which resulted in his petrification. I offered to teleport Fryed back home after some time scrying the forest, but Fryed politely declined and bade us farewell. I opened the window and out he flew!

Breaking Fryed's petrification reminded me that there is a lizard statue in the Mistmarsh Swamp which I will have to attend to soon.

3rd Day of Flocktime
Free City of Greyhawk

I spent an enjoyable day at the Academy studying the scroll of Dominate Person that I wanted to write into my spellbook the next day. I did some other research of high-level spells as well.

I made enquiries whilst at the Academy about the status of Eligos and whether he had been raised from the dead. He hadn't and his estate was still under his lawyer's protection. I visited his lawyer, James Borman, who duly informed me that Eligos would be raised from the dead upon arrival of his body at a secret location. James passed to me the note Eligos was apparently writing when he was murdered. It reads:

My dear friend Allustan

What your adventurers - Anlan Evant and his brothers, the paladin Corvan Zirzadin - have stumbled into sickens me to my soul.

Every new leaf I turn reveals an even darker secret.

Here are my notes. You must [double-underlined!] take them to our one-time master - although I fear that even he may be ill-equipped for what writhes in all of our futures.

Until then, I [scrawl of pen]

James didn't seem concerned about his life, being a lawyer has its privileges I guess. He bade me to return on the 10th to collect the notes and return to you at Diamond Lake. I expect I will have to walk rather than teleport - so expect us sometime after the 13th of Flocktime.

Ragnor had received a note "Your brother wants you to visit Balabar Smenk". Ragnor dutifully visited Balabar Smenk. Smenk couldn't understand why Ragnor had visited him without seeing Jolan first, but the misunderstanding was cleared up quickly. For the want of a full stop, the meaning is lost. Smenk's scribe was in for it, I heard.

I mention this because remember my letter #51? Ragnor revealed to me that he had been made an offer by Smenk: if he gave Filge's spellbook back, Smenk would ensure Jolan was sentenced to his mine or something. Yeah right. In a fit of clear and logical thinking, Ragnor believed he could not trust Smenk to keep his word, so my second spellbook was saved. I was impressed.

At least I thought I was. Little brother then proceeded to lie to me about how long he knew about this (as if I had forgotten) and say he still desperately needed Filge's spellbook to make a pact with Smenk. I had written four spells into the spellbook already, my highest level to date. And there were some spells of Filge's that I wanted to keep. Still, I am the eldest brother and I must help my younger brothers when they stray from the straight and narrow. Tomorrow, both of us would go to the Academy of Magic for some help.

4th Day of Flocktime
Free City of Greyhawk

Thank Pelor for the Academy of Magic. They have a spellbook rebinding service that is just magical. I bought a new spellbook, they took Filge's and voila, my new spellbook had my highest level spells in it, and Filge's had new pages. I quickly sat down in the library and copied out Magic Mouth into my own Academy spellbook. Filge's spellbook also had Cause Fear, Command Undead, Scare and Spectral Hand, but it was only the latter I felt particularly wistful about losing. The sacrifices I have to make for my brothers.

5th Day of Flocktime
Free City of Greyhawk

Ragnor and I visited Balabar Smenk to deliver the spellbook. I wanted to make sure Ragnor got this part of the job done properly. I told Balabar to give our regards to Filge: he's obviously not a Kyuss cultist, sorry about the mistaken identity. Smenk gave us some Greyhawk and Diamond Lake gossip - Loris Raknian has a 5,000 gp reward for his head, and the Arena is under repair. The Dourstone Mine has been claimed by another group of dwarves under inheritance laws and Diamond Lake has permitted this to get the miners back to work and off the streets causing trouble.

I think I have enough time to get that scroll copying done today, as long as no-one else interrupts me. I need to review my list of wanted spells. I'm particularly interested in Darkvision now, as I want to Permanence it on me. I am sick of these weak human eyes in the dark.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:10 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #57 give me exile or give me death Reply with quote

6th Day of Flocktime
Free City of Greyhawk
Court House

Dearest Allustan

We turned up to Jolan's trial in all our finest, and listened to the many witnesses ad nausem that the City of Greyhawk required to prove Jolan's guilt.

Jolan was found guilty of manslaughter in the Arena, and guilty of the worship of Gruumsh. The judge in his mercy sentenced Jolan to permanent exile from all environs where the City of Greyhawk holds sway. We couldn't even get special dispensation that Jolan first visit his mother's grave in Diamond Lake, nor information which would allow us to accompany him into exile.

I was in a particularly grumpy moody afterwards, and spent the rest of the day and long into the night working on the yellow sapphire alone, making it suitable as an Identify focus. The sapphire is enchanted with a spell that gives it a magical aura, and it's possible that the facets on one side work as a key for some item or door, but we didn't find anything matching in the mindflayer's lair. I like yellow gems, they match my eyes so nicely.

A weird thing happened: Ph'xeris the Miracle turned up asking for Jolan's armour to enchant it, claiming that Jolan would order what he wanted later. Thank Pelor that Ph'xeris was wearing a robe. Grasping at this opportunity, I enquired with Ph'xeris if he is skilled in making Headbands of Intellect. Unfortunately he is not, and I don't want to order it from those merchants-in-crime, Maldin & Elenderi. I don't have enough money anyway, as I have decided to donate my Arena Championship bet winnings to the Temple of Pelor.

7th Day of Flocktime
Outskirts of the Free City of Greyhawk
Druid's Grove

Ragnor made some attempts to scry on Jolan using a pool of water and some of Jolan's clothes but he seemed to be blocked. Obviously muddy water is insufficient as a focus so it looks like I will have to research the appropriate spells.

We know he is on a ship to the Shield Lands, so it will take some time to reach there. Then the Evant brothers will be together again.

I will be quite busy over the next four days, researching spells at the Academy and writing worthy ones into my spellbooks. I might have to purchase a scroll with Darkvision on it, as my attempts to look for it have been in vain. Do you happen to have that spell? What about Scrying? I think the arcane focus will give me trouble.

Again, expect us on the 13th of Flocktime. I'll send a letter if we are delayed.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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