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Diamond Lake: Letter to beloved mentor
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Diamond Lake: Letter to beloved mentor Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

It was joyful to see you once again upon my return to Diamond Lake. Thank you for seeing my friend Corvan Zirzadin and I at such short notice - my letter to you announcing my return must have gone astray.

Special thanks also for my graduation gifts. I'm sure the Quaal's Feather Token of a Bird will be helpful to deliver a small written message to someone, and the Wand of Light has already proved its worth (read on!)

Now that I've returned to Diamond Lake, I intend to stay here a while. I hope to share with you some ideas, and if I can be of assistance to you in any of your magical endeavours, I would be glad to help. It would make up for the time you spent getting me enrolled at the Greyhawk Academy of Magic all those years ago. I know you had a bit of trouble, with me being half-orc, and all that, but I hope I've made you proud of me.

I encountered my brothers in the middle of town, and we went to The Feral Dog together. I'm sad to report that my brothers haven't changed much in the last seven years, aside from getting bigger and stronger which makes me quite jealous. Jolan calls himself "Frank" now, another of his joke human names, and Telan insists on being referred to as "Ragnor". "Frank" works at one of the mines as a guard, and "Ragnor" does some hunting and trapping around the wilderness, as far as I can tell.

They have teamed up with some elven dandy called Sheridan who I am sure has a heart of gold but his mind is very much made of something less durable, and he has the attention span of a fiendish gnat. However, I am sure he will not be a bad influence on my brothers, but I am concerned that they might be a negative influence on him. I have arrived home just in time.

We headed off to the Whispering Cairn the same day I saw you. I was quite pleased I had picked my combat spells that morning rather than my day-to-day travelling spells, as I felt the need to demonstrate to my brothers the power of magic and the benefit of devotion to study. As things turned out, I was lacking in divination spells today. Do you have any advice on ways an adventuring wizard might properly anticipate the magical tasks ahead of him?

On the way to the Cairn we passed by an abandoned mine overseer's building. It was a hovel but my brothers took a liking to it immediately, and there was serious suggestion we could use it for accommodation. While my initial reaction was one of amazement, now that I have time to think about it, it might be a good idea rather than spending money in town and being stared at all the time. However, we will have to clear it legally or we will be just squatters.

We entered the Whispering Cairn and there were indeed whispers. I was quite surprised to find that my paladin friend Corvan was just as comfortable in pitch blackness as my brothers and I, but we did eventually need to light a lantern for the benefit of the elf. I hold the lantern as I only need one hand to cast magic and I don't carry a shield.

In the first chamber I picked up some black shards from a broken magical item, which may have been a scrying mirror or some teleportation device. I have included a rough copy of the symbol etched on the base. If you have seen this symbol before, I would appreciate knowing your thoughts on the matter.

While I was collecting souvenirs, my brother Ragnor and Sheridan made friends with a wolf pack that was lairing inside the second chamber. Sheridan investigated their lair, and fell quiet so suddenly that I felt obliged to use your gift Wand of Light to ensure he had not come to grief. No, he was sitting cross-legged amongst the bones and debris of the wolves lair, just "breathing in the atmosphere". I think he has been drinking water direct from Diamond Lake for too long.

Sheridan did find a backpack in the lair, and it contained a valuable armband with an elven repeating leaf motif, and an indigo-coloured light shade which can fit a lantern or torch. I placed our lantern inside it and the indigo light makes an agreeable change. We agreed that Sheridan could wear the armband.

The third chamber was the most impressive, containing an arrow-shaped sarcophagus with a bas-relief carving of a figure on top, missing its left index finger, and seven off-chambers, each with it's own lantern of the rainbow although only the green light shade was lit with a continual flame torch. The red and indigo lantern were missing. It seems obvious we need to find the red light shade.

The bas-relief carving is wearing a scarab motif with another strange design on it, again I include a rough tracing of the symbol for your edification.

We have attempted some experiments and tested some actions but nothing bad or good has happened. We are taking a brief rest here in the third chamber before deciding further what to do. The blue lantern alcove has a higher ceiling than the others. I am considering a comprehensive experimental design such as that covered in-depth at the Academy.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant


Last edited by glen on Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:26 pm; edited 2 times in total
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:28 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved mentor #2 bug attack! Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

We got attacked!

After contemplating the bas-relief sarcophagus, I asked Corvan and Jolan to push it clockwise. After some pushing and shoving, the sarcophagus shifted with an audible clunk to point to the yellow lantern chamber.

There was a grinding noise and what we eventually discovered to be a personal elevator arose out of the floor. After carefully checking for traps we all arrived at the chamber below, where the elevator was controlled with innovative use of a push button.

The chamber contained similar beings to that in bas-relief, apparently worshipping those that exited the elevator into a small room. The way out of the room was blocked by a large block of stone. Examination of the stone and surrounds revealed that moving the stone would set off a trap. Since we had no equipment to either move the stone nor prevent the trap from activating we returned to the main chamber.

Examination of the green lantern chamber revealed subtle traces of a similar elevator. We pushed the bas-relief sarcophagus again to point to the green lantern chamber. We were rewarded with a terrible grinding noise and loud crash. The expected elevator did not arise but a hole where it should have did appear.

Shortly afterwards a mass of acid-spewing insects swarmed out of the hole and attacked us! An aberration that I identified as a Mad Slasher made an appearance as well. A well-timed Magic Missile and Flare spell failed to halt its attack on us but Corvan and Jolan gave it a good beating with their weapons. The Mad Slasher attracted the attention of the insect swarm and while both our opponents were distracted we made good our escape, since we had no attack or defence against the swarm.

We returned to Diamond Lake by nightfall and wasted some further time in The Feral Dog - the novelty of the place is wearing off already - but I discovered that my youngest brother Ragnor has some facility with basic Daze spells. Jolan and Ragnor foolishly gambled away some of their money on a dagger-throwing contest.

In the morning I determined that none of the items we had recovered so far were magical. We frequented Taggin's store and purchased plenty of oil and torches. I visited Dietrik Cicaeda at the garrison and purchased the land rights to the old mine overseer's residence (Ulga Flant?) for the princely sum of 1 gold piece! The papers are made out to all five of us.

I forgot to mention this when I did my flying visit to your home, to deliver my first letter and ask you to look after the black shards I had collected until my return. Once we have secured our festung I won't have to impose upon you like that again.

Equipped with bug-hunting gear and some basic repair items, like a ladder, we dropped the latter off at our new real estate possession, and returned to the Whispering Cairn.

The bug swarm was quickly dispatched in an oily trap thanks to a clever idea from Ragnor. We descended by rope down the green lantern hole, and entered a familiar chamber with bas-relief figures, this time with looks of disapproval on their faces.

No stone block prevented our egress from the chamber, leading to a crossroad junction. The left passageway led to a chamber containing raised slabs, a statue, and a large insect, quickly dispatched by my brothers, the middle passageway to stairs leading down, and the right passageway to what appears to be the acid-spewing bug's nest. We protected our backs with a strip of oil.

The raised slabs contain a body, which we will examine momentarily, however, the chamber itself seems to have some sort of compulsion associated with it, and we must deal with that first.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:33 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #3 magic is mighty Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

Burning Hands is great for enclosed spaces and Magic Missile is fantastic for precision damage!

The corpse on the raised slab in the statue room was humanoid, mummified and had a crushed skull. It was wearing a silver ring and good quality leather armour. The armour had an embossed circle with eight arrows pointing outwards equally spaced around its circumference. I attach a brief sketch. I recall this symbol belonging to a group called the Seekers, that cult of unscrupulous grave-robbers/archaeologists/historians.

I felt fine in the room, but Jolan, then Ragnor as well as Sheridan, felt very sleepy and expressed desire to lie down on the raised slabs. I ushered my brothers out as quickly as possible, and Sheridan followed immediately thereafter.

Corvan never entered the room, but ran back to our oil barrier, and ignited it to destroy bugs climbing up the walls to avoid it.

Ragnor ran back into the room, grabbed the corpse and ran out with it. He proceeded to inflict further indiginities on the corpse by removing the armour, and not being particularly concerned about whether the poor body retained connection with any of its limbs.

I examined the silver ring but found nothing special about it.

Sheridan also re-entered the room, and proceeded to examine the statue. It was a tall, imposing figure with a great club possessing a cylindrical head. Sheridan didn't find anything.

At the crosspassage we decided our interests were best served by cleansing the insect vermin out of the remaining chamber. At that moment Sheridan decided to investigate the middle passageway, to stairs leading down, which was totally flooded. Yes, he decided to go for a swim on his own.

There was some resistance from the bug swarms and the larger bugs, two of each, which we cleansed with burning oil, Burning Hands, axe and trident. I personally delivered a kill shot to a bug with a Magic Missile. Corvan was overcome from the start from their noxious acid smell and had to retreat, while some damage was inflicted on my brothers.

In the bug's nest I used Detect Magic to search. We found three humanoid skeletons with rotted red leather armour possessing the same Seeker mark as the unfortunate mentioned above. We recovered three small flasks, a necklace with a large pearl, and a brass ring.

One of the flasks I identified as a Potion of Healing, which Jolan drank immediately, having suffered from the bug's attention. This was convenient as it meant I had a flask to store some of the orange goop of the nest, which you now have in your possession for examination at your leisure.

Sheridan made some preliminary exploration of the flooded chamber beyond the stairs, but was unfortunately attacked by something in the water - or the water itself - Sheridan's description is not very clear, but then, most of what he says is filled with flights of fancy and vague wishes of what might be. I believe that the flooded chamber might be protected by a water elemental, but I will need to examine my College notes on the matter.

In any case Sheridan was badly hurt, and lost the ever-burning torch in the attack. Having no other means of safely exploring the flooded chamber, we left the green lantern chamber and returned to our new home. You must come and visit us once we have made it more cosy and comfortable. And I do mean WE.

Before we left, I examined the statue room with Detect Magic from the entranceway. The whole room was magical: the statue indicated Transformation school, while the rest of the room glowed with Enchantment. I believe that once someone lay down on one of the slabs, the statue would animate and inflict a lethal goodnight. I know the College always emphasised experimentation rather than deduction, but I am unwilling to risk anyone's life to confirm my extrapolation of available data.

The following day some of us spent resting and recuperating, while I visited you to ask the special favour of identifying the brass ring and the remaining potions. I hope the orange goop proves useful in some arcane experiment or research. Unfortunately I forgot to get the necklace with the pearl on it from Jolan, but I will wait until we have other magical items before imposing upon you again. Perhaps there is some service or favour we could do for you as recompense for your valuable time?

I spent the afternoon negotiating with Tidwoad for the sale of the elven-wrought gold armband and silver ring. After some expert haggling, we agreed on the princely sum of 150 gp! The others were very pleased at their share of the treasure. I told Tidwoad I would be back for a gem for my own Identify focus, but he seemed eager for me to leave.

I spent the evening by myself in our new home with only three Unseen Servants for company, and Mending spells to keep me occupied. I knew the others were wasting time and money gambling in The Feral Dog. I shall definitely have to organise a working bee for the house.

As I write this, it is the next morning in Diamond Lake, and you have just identified the remaining potions as Potions of Healing, which I think Sheridan and I will keep for the party. The brass Ring of Feather Fall I will wear unless it is more prudent for someone else to possess.

We're about to return to the Whispering Cairn to try to activate the blue lantern elevator - I need to buy some more oil, food and flasks for samples in town.

Thanks very much for the small history book. I will enjoy reading up on the symbols it contains, and I'm particularly looking forward to reading the story of Duke Aaqa vs the Queen of Chaos and The Wolf Spider. If it's scary enough, I will read it as a bedtime story to my brothers just like old times. Hopefully they're old enough now not to wet their beds though.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:34 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #4 a bedtime story Reply with quote

The Wind Dukes of Aaqa and the Tombs of the Cairn Hills: A History by Enizagam Noegud (Greyhawk University CY 522)

Summary:

Millenia ago, in the prehistory of the world, two ancient powers struggled against each other on Greyhawk and beyond.

One one side were the hordes of Chaos, led by the Queen of Chaos, a many tentacled eldritch horror from an age before time. Against her stood the forces of Law, led by the rigid legions of the Wind Dukes of Aaqa, the most cultured of the elemental lords who ruled before the birth of the living races, and who ruled an empire that legend says spanned many worlds.

Centuries of stalemate in the struggle collapsed when the Queen of Chaos recruited her most potent ally, the ruthless Miska the Wolf-Spider, Prince of Demons.

With his demonic legions, Miska laid siege to the realm of the Wind Dukes, routing the elemental armies and snuffing out the culture of the Aaqa one world at a time. When all seemed lost, seven great Wind Duke warriors withdrew from the conflict and developed a plan to defeat the Queen by destroying Miska the Wolf-Spider, breaking the back of the armies of Chaos.

These 'Wandering Dukes' led an epic quest, scouring the Great Wheel for a weapon or secret that would undo their hated foe. Drawing upon the lore of many cultures, they constructed one of the most potent artifacts in history - the fabled Rod of Law.

Amidst the pivotal battle on the volcanic field of Pesh, the Wandering Dukes returned to the war, where the greatest of the Dukes plunged the Rod into Miska the Wolf-Spider. When the absolute law of the Rod mixed with the chaos of the blood of the Wolf-spider, a great rift amidst the planes erupted, shattering the Rod into seven pieces, and casting the Prince of Demons and the Wandering Duke into that rift. The seven pieces of the Rod were scattered across the land, entering into legend as the Rod of Seven Parts.

In the aftermath of the battle, hundreds of Wind Dukes lay dead and dying from wounds sustained in the final battle. By their ancient traditions, the Wind Dukes buried their soldiers on the world where they died, their elaborate tombs forever serving to recall their brave sacrifice and serving as a testament to the reach of their moribound empire. The Wind Dukes scoured the land south of Pesh until they came upon a craggy region south of an immense lake.

These were the first tombs built in the Cairn Hills. Some have been found. Others no doubt await to be yet discovered and explored.

The book then discusses some of the known tombs, noting how the tombs were often filled with ingenious traps, but yielded priceless baubles and assorted items.

Dearest Allustan

Everyone was enthralled by the story of the Wind Dukes of Aaqa! There wasn't a dry eye in the party after my magnificent oral reading of the heroics of the Wind Dukes, but fortunately the bedrolls did not receive any moisture!

We returned to the Whispering Cairn and investigated the blue lantern chamber. After clambering up the 40' chain we entered a 70' passageway ending in an angry face with an open mouth.

Ragnor thought this looked like a trap and it was fairly obvious how the damage was going to be delivered. I suggested to Jolan that we set up some sort of piton and rope system to avoid being pushed off the ledge, but before Jolan could lay a second piton a certain elf who shall remain nameless activated the trap.

A rising fury of wind ensured the safest place to be was back in the central chamber. Some found reaching this location more painful than others due to gravity, but I believe justice was served on those who deserved it.

So we activated the indigo elevator, which contained much crushed debris, organic and otherwise, in the bottom. Ragnor, with a fine eye for traps again - better than some elves even - was immediately suspicious. I scraped some of the rubbish out and was rewarded with a small red gem. After trial and error, a head-sized boulder we placed inside the elevator returned to us crushed to gravel.

So we returned to the yellow elevator and the block of stone preventing our progress. While the strongest of us wrestled with crowbar, block and tackle to tip the stone edfice, I examined the walls closely.

Immediately after the block fell forward green gas hissed from the walls! I inhaled some by surprise and felt weakened. Since there was only room in the elevator for one individual I heroically fled into the chamber beyond the stone block so someone else could save themselves.

Despite my self-sacrifice, the gas only left me faint and slightly dizzy for the rest of the day. The chamber beyond was filled with alcoves and statues of similar humanoids seen throughout the Cairn.

In the area beyond, we found a chamber with a large bas-relief carving on the wall, where the bed emitted moderate enchantment, and seemed to have the same effect as the raised slabs encountered before.

Our way forward included another pool of orange muck but was blocked by brown mould which seemed to replicate by absorbing heat from the surroundings, and those foolish enough to get close to it. I strongly recommended not throwing lit oil on the mould due to it's obvious thermophilic properties, and theorised that extreme cold might damage it. However, we had no capability in this area, so prepared to leave.

While the others played with the orange goop and brown mould, I investigated a privy and went to great lengths to ensure no nasty monsters dwelt within. While I was making any potential monster regret their current location and wish they were somewhere else, it occurred to me that one of my cantrips was Ray of Frost and might be able to deal with the mould. However, I had not selected this spell today.

So we retired to our hut for the night and returned the next day bristling with Rays of Frost, and for good measure, an Acid Orb. I am pleased to report that the brown mould could not withstand my first Ray of Frost, although to be certain of extermination I frosted the area with a second Ray.

The chamber I had expunged contained statuary and tools to make them - one of them a huge, unfinished bare-chested male with a staff-like rod in one hand, and another small stone boulder on a short red metal pedestal.

Sheridan checked for traps and found none, but his incessant fiddling revealed a switch which he immediately triggered without warning anyone. Fortunately this only opened a secret chamber containing a crushed skeleton wearing shiny silver chainmail, 2 wands, a pair of goggles and an old sack. After some nervous moments none set off any traps, and the sack contained three ornate buildings made with some skill.

To my despair I could not identify the wands nor the goggles so I will be calling upon your services once more back in Diamond Lake.

Back in the chamber Ragnor discovered that the staff-like rod was made of unusual material - wood that had the properties of stone, or the other way around. It was cleverly separated into 7 segments but was still well-weighted and serviceable.

Corvan reported that the small stone boulder with gold glyphs and hash marks - I include a crude drawing - was emitting an evil aura. I was immediately seized by a desire to smite the source and remove the evil from the world. There was an obvious method - bring the boulder up to the central chamber and place it in the indigo elevator. Unfortunately Corvan and I had a philosophical argument about destroying evil and as it got more heated, I must have mistakenly touched the boulder...

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
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Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:38 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #5 souvenirs and treasure Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

The stone boulder with the strange glyph unrolled itself into a bulky humanoid shape consisting entirely of dirt, stone and earth. I know this because after a brief attempt at communication, the thing bashed me in the face, and by Pelor did that hurt.

I stood back and zapped it with Magic Missiles three times in succession, the others cleaved into the earth elemental with their weapons and destroyed it.

Corvan and I dug out the lump of clay with the strange glyph on it from the pile of dirt that was our former opponent. The party collectively decided the 200 lb pedestal was a good source of scrap metal, before leaving the Whispering Cairn once again, although not before placing the pedestal in the indigo elevator to see what would happen. There was a grinding noise and we all ran away to take cover. The elevator was destroyed but the pedestal was untouched. I salvaged some scrap from the doors but it was worthless.

I recall we returned heavily encumbered with the pedestal to town, and visited your home first. I was too busy nursing my bruised face. Do you know where I can get a reliable source of healing potions?

As you remember, you clarified that the wands we obtained were a Wand of Unseen Servant and a Wand of Shatter, while the petrified staff was masterwork quality, although heavy. Thank you very much for identifying the strange glyph as the personal device of Ogrémoch, the legendary elemental prince of evil. For the sake of my face I hope we don't meet any more of his minions.

Thank you also for offering to house the pedestal at your house, as it has turned into something of value.

Naturally, Jolan had slouched off somewhere else before I could get the pearl necklace off him but he was given 5 gp by Vulgan Durtch and Benazel the Alchemist for the pathetic shavings he took from the pedestal!

After a less than pleasing time with Tidwoad trying to pawn the red gem I realised Jolan also had the ornate buildings I wanted to sell at the same time, but tracking him down and getting everything took the best part of the day.

I pawned the gem and buildings off for 520 gp in total at Tidwoad. I purchased a 200 gp yellow topaz for my Identify spell focus with the money, so we can identify items in the field without having to return to town. I gave the other four their 80 gp share of the treasure and told them I owed each of them 24 gp. I had to borrow 70 gp from Jolan to complete the purchase of materials for my Identify focus, as I had saved 30 gp from previous shares. Was this the same for you, when you started out as a wizard? Always lacking cash?

I'm saving up for scroll-writing materials now, and I wonder if I can ask the others for financial assistance.

Bah, when I brought a coin-sized amount of the pedestal metal to Vulgan and Benazel - ten times as much as the poor amount Jolan had - they only offered me 5 gp for it, and refused to have anything to do with me when I asked for 10 gp to confirm their interest. I think I'll leave further negotiations to Jolan.

It costs 2 gp to send a package to Greyhawk with the Able Carter Coaching Company, but I will press on in my investigations into the strange metal of the pedestal. If you could provide name(s) of those metallurgists you know in Greyhawk, I would appreciate it.

While I was working on my Identify focus I understand Corvan, Sheridan and Ragnor returned to the Whispering Cairn to search for more clues on what to do next. They apparently found the missing finger from the bas-relief figure in the central chamber, and returned believing that the red lantern deactivates the wind trap. And the only area left to explore is the area underwater with the water elemental!

Jolan did guard duty and reported that dwarves were going into the mine and taking out lots of material. It seems the fun never ends in Diamond Lake!

Thank you for identifying the Pearl of Power this morning, we all appreciate your aid. Jolan seemed a little down at the news - he insisted I make or find him magical breastplate or something in return for taking the pearl off him - but I've given him the Ring of Feather Fall which has made him happy.

We were followed on the way to the Cairn this morning, someone paid the individuals concerned 1 silver piece to see where we went. I can't help but think this has something to do with our pedestal enquiries so please take whatever precautions you think necessary.

We are now back at the Whispering Cairn, and trying to encourage the water elemental to reveal itself to us. Sheridan has poured Diamond Lake water into the underwater dungeon, and has now dumped oil on top of the water and set it afire. Sheridan does know how to make friends with all creatures.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:40 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #6 swimming lessons Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

I do so love the Magic Missile spell. So accurate and so useful for a mage trying to assist his allies in combat. I shall have to scribe a scroll full of Magic Missiles as soon as possible.

To recap, we are now back at the Whispering Cairn, and trying to encourage the water elemental to reveal itself to us. Sheridan has poured Diamond Lake water into the underwater dungeon, and has now dumped oil on top of the water and set it afire.

Nothing happened for a few seconds, and while we could all see reasonably clearly in the half-dark I took it upon myself to use your wondrous gift and cast Light by touching the water's surface with that magnificient Wand.

The oil burned a little and was then sucked underwater and extinguished. Ragnor made some odd noises for several seconds and one of those strange smooth fish appeared in the water - a porpoise I believe. It seemed to fight the vortex sucking down the oil, so I Magic Missiled the vortex.

Then Ragnor spoke some more magical words on his club, and ran forward thigh deep into the water with his face twisted in an awesome rage, and struck the water. The water rose up and smashed him a grevious blow.

Corvan moved to Ragnor's side and smote it with his flail, while I zapped another Magic Missile into its watery shape. Ragnor was drenched against the wall again and retreated behind Corvan. Sheridan's bow twanged and Jolan ran forward and smacked the creature with his flail. It lost its shape and dropped back into the water. Jolan smashed the water's surface a few times to be sure.

Well, I am most impressed by my younger brother having learned some useful spells rather than little flash tricks to dazzle his older brother. I shall have to write the same spells in my books so we have a mutual topic for conversation and discussion (and spell duels!).

We made preparations to send Sheridan into the water again, tying a rope around him not only for his safety but also to ensure we could recover his body and possessions if something took the bait, so to speak.

Again your gift proved itself useful as I touched a piece of rubble with the Wand of Light to provide Sheridan with a handheld light source.

He returned rather quickly in a state of agitation - but with our missing Continual Flame torch! He came rushing out of the water babbling about a drowned human with red eyes chasing after him. Despite this he was still bravely game enough to return into the murky water, but with Jolan swimming next to him.

I Mage Armoured Jolan, and both he and Sheridan descended into the flooded dungeon. After a short while, there was vigorous rope jerking from Sheridan's lifeline, and Ragnor started to haul him back. For some reason I was holding Jolan's rope and when his rope jerked, I started pulling with all my strength. I had to, because it seemed that Jolan had become twice as heavy.

Sheridan came screaming out of the water that Jolan had the creature in a bear hug! And then all chaos broke out!

I remember zapping the thing with two Magic Missiles, Jolan struggling violently with the creature then freezing so suddenly I thought he had been killed, but Ragnor dragged his paralyzed body away and I think Corvan dealt the death blow.

An examination of the body revealed a gold ring on the finger decorated with an 8-pointed star. Lengthy searches of the flooded underground chamber (nothing else attacked us!) salvaged another corpse with a magic short sword, also belonging to the Seekers. They seemed to have had extremely bad luck in the Whispering Cairn!

The corpse also had a pouch containing antique coins - 2 platinum, 38 gold and 55 silver. I wonder if they will be worth more than the value of their metal.

We also managed to recover the red lantern!

First Ragnor then I spotted something which causes me concern and you should know about. We both spotted two floating eyes observing us from the elevator shaft entrance during our long searches of the flooded dungeon. If this was you we appreciate your concern for our welfare. If this was not you then I would like to discuss this with you in private.

We went up to the central chamber and lit all seven lanterns. It was astonishingly beautiful. We clambered up the blue lantern chain and discovered a gaping hole through the mouth of the face in the wall. I was a little disappointed that I didn't have an opportunity to use my new Wand of Shatter, but it was exhilarating to solve the riddle of the lanterns.

The chamber beyond the face consisted of a narrow 3' wide walkway leading to a door with a 10' drop to a floor filled with dark black spheres. Sheridan and Jolan crossed over cautiously but were hit in the middle by a few of the spheres fired with some force from the walls. There must have been a lot of traffic over this bridge judging by the number of spheres on the floor, which seemed to move occassionally. They soldiered on but exclaimed that the door had no doorknob!

The two paused at the door and after a short time returned to us with an outlandish story that actually proved to be true. The ghost of a young boy - Sheridan did not reveal his name - had possessed him briefly, and would only let us through the door if we recovered his body underneath the iron spheres and returned it for burial at his parent's farm just outside Diamond Lake.

There was a tentacled creature living in the spheres which we had to dispose of first. Flaming oil did the trick and Jolan scored a direct hit down the gullet of the foul thing.

Using multiple applications of our new Wand of Unseen Servant we managed to clear a substantial proportion of the solid iron balls out of the room, throwing them back down into the central chamber. We recovered the body of the poor boy plus 5 platinum, 50 gold, 20 silver, and a rusty nonmagical longsword and morning star. We also got a suit of leather armour and very well-made banded mail, both non-magical.

We removed all the lanterns and took them back with us to Diamond Lake. We had enough room for 10 of the iron balls, and I hope we will get a good price from them at the smithy.

I dropped off this letter to you so you could read it at your leisure while we fulfill our agreement with the boy's ghost. We're heading into Diamond Lake proper to purchase some items. I think we need a proper coffin for the remains of the boy, and a horse and cart to carry it. I do not think his parents will be impressed with us if we just hand them Ragnor's backpack and say "surprise!"

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:41 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #7 who cares? Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

Simple things become so much more complicated when people do not care. I think there are too many selfish people in the world.

I think Manlin Osgood of Osgood Smithy cares about what he does and how he does it. I showed him the iron spheres after we left you, he seemed to like them but needed to test the metal naturally. I left all ten iron spheres with him and he even gave me a receipt when I asked nicely! I left the smithy feeling confident of the disposition of a valuable metal working task that I had asked him to consider.

I think next time I visit I will ask his opinion of the mysterious metal from the pedestal.

While I was at the smithy Corvan organised a representative of Heironeous to attend the funeral of Alastor Land, the boy whose body was stuffed all crumpled up and undignified in Corvan's backpack.

The next day Velias Childraumun accompanied us to the Land farm. The Land farm was in ruins, and we discovered that five graves near the farmhouse, including one named for Alastor, had been desecrated. Sheridan tracked five booted medium-sized human tracks and a wheelbarrow in the direction of Diamond Lake. It appeared the graves had been exhumed within the last fortnight. More people who do not care!

Sheridan reported five tracks entering the house but only four returning. He entered the farmhouse with the others while I went around the side to look through the windows. Velias just stood outside bemoaning the desecration but doing sweet nothing else.

Seeing something large in the main room I stepped back gesturing wildly for everyone to get out, being mindful of not shouting and alerting whatever was inside.

I heard a bow fire and the sound of a small animal squealing. Then a louder roar of a beast when one of Ragnor's dogs come flying through the broken window. It looked in bad condition. Then Ragnor and his other dog jumped through the same window. I fired my crossbow, hoping to hit the large shape in the room beyond the window but I only hit the house.

Then Corvan came flying out the other side window and fell flat on the ground! There was some thumping and Corvan got up and stabbed at the thing through the same window he had so recently passed through. I heard Sheridan squeal, the sound of something large running and another crash from the front of the farmhouse.

I followed the noise with my loaded crossbow and missed a shot at an enraged owlbear that had used the side wall rather than the front porch to exit the farmhouse. Sheridan was nowhere to be seen.

Corvan ran around the house to the porch, shouting and gesturing, obviously trying to get the owlbear's attention. Ragnor made a few gestures, and half the house and lawn erupted into writhing plants and weeds, entangling and slowing Corvan, Sheridan and the owlbear.

Sheridan ran around the back in obvious fear for his life. I zapped the owlbear with a Magic Missile, and Ragnor missed with his arrow. The owlbear charged after Sheridan.

We moved back across the front of the farmhouse and I caught the owlbear about to bear down on Sheridan with a Magic Missile, but there was no stopping the terrifying monster.

Corvan stepped up and told Sheridan to get behind him. The owlbear charged and Corvan hit it with his scimitar, and Sheridan fired an arrow right between the eyes! The owlbear died!

I could still hear high pitched animal squeals from inside the farmhouse so I went into the severely damaged farmhouse after asking Ragnor to calm the plants down.

Inside I found a wounded owlbear cub. Before I could stop him Sheridan fired yet another arrow in the poor helpless creature! I tried very hard to save the creature but it was obviously dying in front of me. Thank Pelor, Ragnor came to my assistance and fed it one of his strange berries.

I told Sheridan what I thought of his attack on the defenceless cub and warned him never to do that again. I don't normally threaten an adventuring companion but I don't think I was in my right mind at the time. What would have happened to me and my brothers if no-one had cared for us when we were young after our mother died?

I assume the others searched the farmhouse - I was too concerned with the difficulties associated with transporting the owlbear cub. The ruins of the farmhouse contained no transport. Ragnor eventually solved the problem with a show of tremendous strength, and lifted the poor creature onto his back.

We returned to Diamond Lake with the cleric of valour and martial prowess, Velias. He showed some use by healing Sheridan, though I was still steaming from Sheridan's attempt to murder the little owlbear cub.

As we trudged into Diamond Lake, we were accosted by Sherriff Cubbin. I'm not sure if he recognised us, maybe he did, because he was reasonably civil and efficiently officious. Sheridan outlined what had happened in his sing-song style, and showed him a severed arm with a tatoo as proof. The Sherriff relieved Sheridan of this gruesome evidence and we were allowed to go after giving assurance that the owlbear cub would not be allowed to eat anybody. As if!

Then we visited you and after discussing the disposition of owlbears I appreciated the suggestion of selling it to Zalamandra’s Emporium. We met Gaspar at the front door. He seemed to know us which was helpful for the price negotiations. Corvan or Sheridan opened the negotiations by revealing the presence of a fresh owlbear corpse at the Land farm ready for the taking. Gaspar immediately dispatched a team. He offered us 40 gp for the owlbear cub but I insisted on 300 gp. He counter offered with 100 gp which Corvan and Sheridan immediately accepted. The morons. They simply did not care one wit about the effort it had taken to bring the owlbear cub into town and even worse were not particularly interested in obtaining the best price.

So I ensured I was given the bag of gold and told Corvan and Sheridan they would get their fair share of sabotaging the price negotiations, which was nothing. I split the 100 gold between me and Ragnor, since he lugged the owlbear cub all the way from the farmhouse and hadn't tried or threaten to kill it.

The noontime I spent trading in the mundane items we had found in the Whispering Cairn. Tidwoad was closed so I could not pawn the nonmagical gold ring we found. I did reasonably well at negotiating prices the rest, which you can see below.

I don't know where the others have got to, and I think Jolan is still at guard duty. As I see it, there are a few options available to us:

1. We need to aggressively follow up the tatoo clue from the arm we found. It is the only thing linking the desecration of the Land family graves back to Diamond Lake;

2. We need to recover the bodies of Alastor Land's family and place them all at rest to continue further into the Whispering Cairn;

3. We need to find out who is following us and why (possibly linked to the mysterious metal from the pedestal);

4. We need to find out who is magically scrying us and why (maybe the Seekers looking for their lost party);

5. We need to salvage the rest of the iron spheres from the Cairn.

I believe there are at least two groups interested in our activities, as why would one risk hiring mundane means to spy on someone when one has access to magical means?

I need to check with Manlin Osgood on his expert opinon of the spheres, and seek his input regarding the pedestal metal.

Now that I have my Identify focus I don't expect to drop in so often unannounced - owlbear cubs excepted - so I will probably put my letters under your door rather than disturb you. I wanted to know if I could arrange a regular time during the week where I could study in your library. Maybe I could tidy up your lab or workshop like I used to as a token of my appreciation for this great boon.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant

2 pp 38 gp 55 sp Corpse in flooded dungeon
5 pp 50 gp 20 sp Treasure in iron sphere room
10 gp Rusty longsword/morning star (new 23 gp)
5 pp 200 gp Leather armour/Masterwork banded mail (new 410 gp)
-- --- --
12 298 75 [425.5 gp] checksum

2 pp, 63 gp, 21 sp each (including Jolan) [85.1 gp x 5 = 425.5]

Anlan pays Corvan the 24 gp he owes
Anlan pays Sheridan the 24 gp he owes
Anlan pays Ragnor the 24 gp he owes
Anlan still owes Jolan 94 gp (sorry bro!)

Gold ring, nonmagical, still to be pawned
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:42 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #8 mage down! Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

Well, one of my plans went well and one of my plans went terribly wrong. Alcohol was involved in the latter plan, and I believe that might be something to avoid in future.

The plan to salvage the rest of the iron spheres went reasonably well. We discovered on our way back to the Whispering Cairn with my cart and pony that someone had entered our ruined house and searched around. We need to prevent this in future! I was wondering, if I could spend some time in your library researching a spell I have heard of? The Alarm spell seems most useful in this regard.

The others seemed much more interested in following cold tracks rather than the salvage plan. It was an effort to convince them to remain concentrated on the goal. It seemed that a group of six had entered the Whispering Cairn in our absence - just as well we have sequestered the lanterns you-know-where! Eventually we returned to the blue lantern chamber and loaded up the cart with iron balls, with the assistance of some Unseen Servants. I counted 300.

We returned to Diamond Lake and my negotiations with Manlin Osgood went really well. In the end he offered me 7 gp per ball, for 310 balls = 2,170 gp! A grand fortune. I arranged a few things with him and he gave me 100 gp in advance and a receipt for the iron salvage. I was in such a good mood I also bade him to examine the pedestal metal, and told him that the mines had paid my brother 5 gp for one-tenth the amount I left with the good smith.

Manlin seemed concerned about the long-term quality of the iron, but indicated that it was useful for many applications. He is the expert, so I leave it in his capable hands.

Leaving the cart at the smithy, I was supposed to return the following day to receive the outstanding monies. Unfortunately my second plan went awry.

"We need to aggressively follow up the tatoo clue from the arm we found". Since we knew the man was a known minion of Kullen, we decided to try and seek him out at The Feral Dog. That night I was buying rounds of drinks for my adventuring friends, and I also bought a round for Kullen's gang when they came in. BIG mistake. Clearly, they were not used to being treated so nicely.

My recall of the night is hazy because of the unaccustomed generosity of myself, but I distinctly recall Sheridan telling his life story to an attractive elven maiden, even though he had lost a lot of silver to her. Maybe she felt sorry for him,or wanted to win more coin from him, I don't know. In the middle of it all Kullen came over and I tried to make friends with him by emphasising our mutual half-orc heritage but he seemed very grumpy. He was not at all amused that we knew about Skutch and what had happened to him.

Some time later we all left The Feral Dog and started walking home. Kullen and a few friends followed us. Somewhere along the way I remember Kullen getting more grumpy with me, wanting me to shut my mouth. I wittily said something about a wizard always using his mouth, and Corvan invited Kullen to have a one-on-one fight with me. Then I ended up on the ground with Kullen standing over me, with a very large axe. My chest really hurt. Then I don't remember anymore.
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:44 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #9 after hours at the Observatory Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

I recovered from my wound rather quickly the next day thanks to Ragnor and Corvan's care, and I appreciate your concern about the matter. My quick recovery was fortunate as we had quite a lot to do in town that day.

I picked up half payment from Osgood for the scrap iron and arranged supply of scroll writing materials from Benazel the Alchemist for the good of the party. Properly equipped I believe we can better overcome the challenges we will face in our efforts to recover the Land family remains.

I also purchased building supplies for the repair and renovation of our hovel.

I then divided up the remaining gold and platinum amongst Corvan, Jolan and Ragnor. Jolan had joined us fresh from guard duty, and Sheridan had disappeared somewhere. Sheridan will have to wait until Osgood makes the final payment to get his share.

Ragnor needed to trade in some armour so we visited Tyrol Ebberly. Ragnor seemed satisfied with his trade, and Tyrol showed me that "Adventuring Wand" you had certified as magical. I arranged to come back the next day in order to Identify whether the 500 gp investment is worth it. Since it will have to be purchased out of party funds further discussion with the others will be required, and it will have to wait
until Osgood's final payment.

Thank you very much for saying I can visit and spend some time in your library on occasion. If there is anything I can do to assist you in any way, please don't hesitate to ask. We are indebted to your assistance so far.

The shopping done we returned to our hovel and proceeded to put some quality time into repairing and renovating. It was a very pleasant afternoon, even after Sheridan joined us in conversation, although not so much actual work.

Someone had heard that Kullen was seen delivering large glass tanks to the old abandoned observatory. We thought a visit late at night would be appropriate.

After appropriate scouting and skulking around, we entered the observatory through the only door.

And came under fire from three animated skeletons with fiery eye sockets and heavy crossbows! These were quickly dispatched by our flailers, and I put a Magic Missile through one of them. I actually had two Magic Missiles, but didn't notice the second until too late.

An examination of the skeletons seemed to indicate the original persons had died of the Red Death. Since these could be the skeletons of the Land family, we gathered the bones of each into separate sacks.

We recovered the heavy crossbows and quarrels, but the latter were poisoned. I destroyed my six quarrels, but Jolan insisted on keeping his. I tried to explain to him the evil of poison, but it went over his
head. I hope my brother doesn't have to learn the hard way of the dangers to body and soul of using poison...

We penetrated further into the observatory, and found in the dining chamber a horrific sight. Nine corpses with a semblance of animation gathered around the dining table. They seemed to be for display not for defence so we skirted the gruesome group and went upstairs quietly, from where we could hear singing.

The next level was a bedroom of some sorts, with statues dedicated to someone called "Filge". A cursory Detect Magic revealed about four potions, a scroll and the eyeglasses on one of the statues as magical. The latter statue was particularly grotesque, with the severed head of a woman with a platinum piece on the tongue. Strangely enough, no-one felt desperate enough to claim the platinum.

There was a book by the bed lectern, and I was about to examine it more closely when Jolan and Ragnor rushed up the stairs towards the source of the singing.

There followed the most exhausting yet exhilirating combat we have had against the forces of evil! In the chamber, clearly a necromantic laboratory of sorts, was the necromancer Filge, his skeletal assistant,
soon joined by his undead zombie creations, bursting from glass tanks where they must have been undergoing some sort of enhancement.

Jolan immediately grappled with Filge, preventing him from casting spells and eventually rendering him unconscious (those armour spikes are nasty!). Not without cost however: Ragnor was laid low in the first few seconds of combat against the lab zombies, despite despatching the skeletal lab assistant, and both Jolan and Corvan were sorely hurt. Sheridan and I, sniping from the edges, were unharmed but it was a close battle.

I think we need to enquire at the various churches in Diamond Lake on the availability of healing scrolls, for if we are ever involved in two epic fights one after the other we will not survive.

Clearly, the presence of such a noisome entity as Filge in Diamond Lake, assisted by such a notorious miscreant as Kullan, will lead to bigger things in the fullness of time!

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:44 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #10 aftermath at the Observatory Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

Immediately after the last zombie fell to the floor, I rushed to the aid of my fallen brother Ragnor. I force-fed him my Cure Light Wounds potion, which had a salutory effect on him, although he was still unconscious. Corvan provided some healing and Ragnor was back amongst us!

The unconscious necromancer Filge possessed a syringe which I later Identified as having the effect of False Life, and two refills, which later turned out to have Healing effects. He also had a dagger and master keys to the conservatory.

A thorough search of his foul laboratory included a green gem from the corpse on the table and masterwork surgical tools, both of which Jolan kept. We also found a cylinder containing a twitching worm that had a faint taint of evil.

The bedroom treasure tally included 1 pp, setting off the severed head on a platter like an alarm, 4 tubes call necroturgons, a Scroll of Animate Dead which will be evidence against Filge, a black metal tray, a nice rug which now resides at our hovel, and magic eyeglasses fit for a goblin. I also kept Filge's spellbook, and I couldn't wait to find out what magical treasures lay within.

Most damning of the greater conspiracy was the following note we found:

"I need you in Diamond Lake, my boy. The cult situation has grown worse. Deep within Dourstone Mine they're studying things brought in from the southern hills. Green worms and unkillable zombies. I nicked one of the worms for you to study.

I'll put you up in the old observatory. Show this letter to the big white half-orc at the Feral Dog. He'll help you get settled. I trust you'll find these coins sufficient to cover your travel from the Free City.

S."

It seems clear that Balabar Smenk was the writer and clearly there is great evil afoot in Diamond Lake.

As you already know, we delivered Filge into the hands of Velias Childraumun and Mélinde at the garrison, and we all agreed to keep his arrest secret. They identified the worm as a Spawn of K'yuss. On their urgings, we woke you up past midnight and left the worm in your tender care.

We spent an uncomfortable night at Jalek’s Flophouse, but awoke reasonably refreshed and enthusiastic. We arranged to have the bones of the Land family blessed, and interred them in their graves on the farm.
I spent some of the time pouring over the new reading material I had obtained from Filge, and Identifying the syringe.

I read that Filge had the following spells:

Spellbook 2 contains 0-2nd level spells (10+7+5 = 22 pages used, 78
pages remaining):
2-level (DC 15): Command Undead, Magic Mouth, Scare, Spectral Hand,
Touch of Idiocy (10 pages)
1-level (DC 14): Cause Fear, Chill Touch, Disguise Self, Identify, Mage
Armor, Magic Missile, Ray of Enfeeblement (7 pages)
0-level (DC 13): Detect Magic, Disrupt Undead, Ray of Frost, Read Magic,
Touch of Fatigue (5 pages)

The Land ghost laid to rest, we departed immediately to the Whispering Cairn, after picking up the lanterns from your place, and dropping off what we didn't need at our hovel on the way.

Past the room of iron spheres, we entered a large chamber with a spinning column of air over the centre of a bottomless pit. Access to the column was via a four-way walkway, but two walkways had collapsed into the abyss below. The roof shone with brilliant sunlight like a summer day. It was quite pleasant.

The walls had some sort of magical panaroma showing the history of the Wind Dukes and their fight against evil. We didn't get much time to look at the murals, because two armoured floating warrior forms bearing two swords each emerged from the tornado in the middle of the room. We tried to talk to them but they approached us separately from two sides, brought their two swords together and sorely hurt us with some sort of sonic attack.

After a tense battle which exhausted my Magic Missiles for the day (and a missed Scorching Ray!) we managed to overcome the Wind Warriors. However, we had to use up the magic syringes we had found on Filge to recover our strength.

There was nothing else in the chamber but the spinning column of air. We approached it cautiously, expecting to examine it closely and determine it's function, but Sheridan cheerfully jumped into it and rose quickly to the top of the chamber. Since we heard no screams or rending of flesh, we all followed.

And entered a small tomb at the top of the tornado. We were bade by a voice in Elven to "speak my name" of the figure portrayed in the tomb.

Thanks to your book, I realised that we were in the tomb of Zosiel. We saw with amazement a very realistic reenactment of his death, disintegrated by a red-horned demon wielding a Talisman of the Sphere loaded with a Sphere of Annihilation! His sarcophagus opened and within were a silver diadem bearing his glyph, 2 long and slightly curved red demon horns, a pewter bowl with alien lettering and a long handle attached to a loop looking exactly like a Talisman of the Sphere.

I believe I might be doing some extensive study and identifying tomorrow.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant


Last edited by glen on Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:52 pm; edited 4 times in total
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:46 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #11 into the Dourstone mine Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

The next day Balabar Smenk left summons for Jolan to meet him at his residence. We went into town as I needed to visit Tidwoad's, but it was closed again. I left a message for Tidwoad:

"Dear Mr Tidwoad:

I have a gold ring and a natural green emerald for appraisal. Please indicate in your window when you might be available for an appointment.

Regards

Anlan Evant"

Jolan returned after his meeting with Smenk with the news that Smenk had "hired" us to investigate his rival's Dourstone mine. According to Smenk, Ragnolin Dourstone had offered Smenk the opportunity to become involved with some find in his mine, as Smenk could supply goods and services easier.

However, some evil cult has taken over, and two weeks ago they had Smenk's right-hand man Fix killed. We're supposed to investigate, with Smenk providing healing potions and any other equipment needed.

Jolan, Ragnor and even Corvan celebrated this news by losing more silver gambling.

The next day Jolan went back to Smenk's residence and was fired for theft with a few other mine guards. Jolan seemed quite pleased by this.

We visited Filge in the garrison gaol and he was quite talkative. He readily confessed to his alliance with Smenk, being an old friend from Greyhawk. He needed some friends and companions, that's why he animated the corpses in the observatory.

I handed over the Scroll of Animate Dead to Velias Childraumun as further evidence against Filge for necromancy.

Filge said the cult in the Dourstone mine called themselves the Ebon Triad, and it celebrated K'yuss, looking forward to ushering in the Age of Worms. Apparently the cultists are a mixture of worshippers of Erythnul, Hextor and Vecna.

Jolan and Ragnor got themselves hired as miners at Dourstone mine, in order to reconnoitre the security set up. They discovered the elevator room which descended deeper into the complex, and an obvious goal for us.

After much discussion of possible plans, we decided on sneaking into the mine in broad daylight with the use of Invisibility spells. I had spent the time productively, writing new spell scrolls. I fear I will never have enough magic spells, and I might have to investigate how to craft wands as well.

I'm pleased to report that when the moment came, my two Invisibility scrolls functioned perfectly, and I followed up with two Invisibility spells memorised that day. Sheridan was piggybacking on Jolan so all five of us could get in unseen.

After some tense moments at the entrance - Corvan is as quiet as a screaming dervish - we entered the mine only to find the entrance way to the elevator boarded up! Ragnor and I proceeded to efficiently dismantle the barrier, and Jolan intimidated the nearby miners who were foolish enough to ask what we were doing.

After replacing the boards from the other side as best we could, we made our way to the elevator. We are now descending into the depths, and I shiver with anticipation as to what we will find in the depths of the Dourstone Mine!

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant

PS I Identified the magic items:

Bird skull on a leather thong from Filge: Amulet of Natural Armour + 1 - it has gone to Jolan as it suits his fashion style more than Corvan
Eyeglasses on statue in Filge's bedroom: some sort of resist daze, but useless to us as they don't resize, of possible interest to Tidwoad, since he has a small pointy head
4 syringe refills - 1 Gentle Repose, 1 False Life and 2 some sort of attack and damage enhancement, as far as I could gather from Filge's confession. I have these as I am getting quite good with injecting via syringe - barbaric method though it is
Silver Diadem in Zosiel's tomb: Circlet of Wisdom + 2 - Ragnor
The suspected Talisman of the Sphere is indeed a Talisman of the Sphere - Anlan
Nothing else was magical

PS My scroll scribing follows, not as much as I wanted to but I had to Identify some magic items:

Day 1

Scroll1 Message x 3 37.5 gp - 2 XP - 18.75 cost
Scroll2 Charm Person 25 gp - 1 XP - 12.5 cost
Scroll3 Invisibility x 2 300 gp - 12 XP - 150 cost


Day 2

Scroll4 Detect Magic x 2
Read Magic x 2 50 gp - 2 XP - 25 gp cost
Scroll5 Colour Spray x 2 50 gp - 2 XP - 25 gp cost
Scroll6 Scorching Ray x 2 300 gp - 12 XP - 150 gp cost

[Note to DM: 31 XP lost]

So I've used up 381.25 gp of my 400 gp scroll fund, only enough left for 3 cantrips. Adventuring is expensive!
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:46 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #12 beating on the Cult of Hextor Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

The elevator descended deep into the mine and emerged into a 50' wide/high chamber with worked columns, but no Phil Collins, which prevented the Genesis of bad jokes for the day.

No-one was visible as we went In Too Deep, so we expected no combatants, which was good as without any invisibility scrolls I had lost my Invisible Touch. There were crimson banners on the walls next to three narrow 5' corridors, with the unholy symbols of Erythnul, Hextor and Vecna. Something Happened On the Way to Heaven, obviously, with cultists clearly showing their True Colours in this Land of Confusion.

Against All Odds, we were approached by two pointy horned individuals from the Hextor corridor. They demanded reasons for our presence. We stumbled over our explanation and the Two Hearts clearly thought something was In the Air Tonight. I wanted to charm one of them, but I was too slow in getting the scroll out before Jolan gave one A Groovy Kind of Love with his spiked armour, with Corvan assisting with his sword. I missed the second with my staff and he ran away to raise the alarm! I should have used Colour Spray on him, as he was No Son of Mine.

I need to invest in an efficient means to deploy scrolls.

I injected Corvan with a False Life necroturgon, while Jolan ran up the corridor to Dance Into the Light with his opponent.

Unfortunately the alarm was raised - Jesus He Knows Me - and we were attacked by full-plate armoured skeletons with bells on. We were able to keep them bottled up in the corridor, but there were robed cultists behind them, chanting "Kill the intruders"! This changed to "Unleash the beast", which gave me a cold Hold on My Heart. I was worried that the cultists were spellcasters so I wanted to get close to them to unleash a Colour Spray but to no avail.

Jolan had just set his trident when a huge slavering dire boar rushed down the corridor and gored him! Jolan inflicted grevious damage but the boar fought it's way out of the corridor, goring Ragnor heinously, where we finally defeated it with a few accurately placed Magic Missiles and weapon blows.

Mama!

Hextor cultists behind the dire boar poked Jolan painfully with a longspear, and tried to poke Corvan. I missed with a Scorching Ray from my scroll - 150 gp gone on covering walls with two helpings of soot. Corvan stepped forward and smote the front cultist, exclaiming loudly "The Beast has has been felled, feel the wrath of Pelor". I felt like Another Day in Paradise in the company of the Shining One.

The remaining cultists broke and ran, whom we declined to pursue in case of traps. Instead, we devoted efforts to clearing the mess so that the other two cults were not alerted to our presence. The dire boar was handily disposed of in a nearby dark, cold pool of liquid. It sank without a trace. The pool is obviously a centrepiece of the complex, with three raised platforms surrounding it.

We have seen the felled cultist around town. It seems he is an ordinary townsperson.

We can hear the remaining Hextor cultists barricading themselves deeper in the shrine. We sally forth for good, for justice, and for friends!

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



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Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:47 pm    Post subject: Letter #13 The Cult of Hextor beating on the brave heroes Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

We penetrated deeper into the shrine, and discovered the cultists had barricaded themselves behind double doors, from where we could hear chanting. While I personally searched the dire boar sty, Corvan declared:

"Townspeople of Diamond Lake! You have one chance to leave now!"

The sty had no exits, secret or otherwise. The narrow passageway opposite ended in a barred door which Sheridan could not unlock. I shall have to research the spell that opens locked doors! Do you have it in your library? Ragnor started to loudly hack at the door with his new great axe.

Corvan and Jolan played paddy-cake with the cultists through the double doors. The room beyond was crowded with cultists, a large sand arena with a statue of Hextor 15' high bearing a large red gem. Corvan saw snipers from the 20' balcony in the chamber, and the presence of a head priest. Corvan shot an arrow through the doorway, and someone tried to poke him with a long spear.

Corvan suddenly leapt for the large chain and padlock hanging loosely around the dire boar sty doors. I assisted as I could, as Corvan chained and padlocked the double doors into the main chamber. I then heard Ragnor exclaim success with his door, and I ran down the narrow corridor to meet him.

We met another tiefling on the other side of Ragnor's door, which I Magic Missiled and Corvan attacked and dispatched. Things got a bit confusing from then on. Sheridan ran up some stairs and yelled out in pain as he was shot by arrows, and he retreated. More arrows hit Jolan as he moved up the stairs as well, but he held his position against the cultists in the main chamber.

I injected Ragnor with the sallow yellow necroturgon, and drank the potion with a green cross, but there was no visible effect of either.

Jolan ran out of sight from the stairway, and was actually engaging the enemy in the main chamber from the balcony. I stepped forward and missed with my last Scorching Ray spell scroll the two snipers across the arena, whom seemed to have some sort of magical deflection.

Jolan seemed to stagger under some fear-based spell, while I was frozen in place by the Hextor high priest. This allowed the two snipers to sorely wound me with arrows. I overcame the paralysis and ducked back into a corner. Then I was attacked by a glowing flail, but I seemed better protected by some sort of magical deflection.

Jolan was holding back the two lizard zombie minions of the cultists, two tiefling guards, and preventing the Hextor priests from reaching us. He was doing reasonably well until a Dire Ape appeared out of nowhere behind him! Corvan and Ragnor did what they could, while I progressively fired Magic Missiles into the summoned creature.

And that was the beginning of the end. On the balcony Jolan was not making any progress with his new great axe, we were being sniped by the tiefling guards across the arena, cultists were throwing daggers at us from below, and the Hextor priests were unloading their spells on us with complete impunity. Jolan went down. Fortunately the Dire Ape vanished soon after. But it was only Ragnor's summoning of a wolf to engage the lizard zombies that allowed me to run from my safe corner and drag my middle brother to relative safety, with Corvan's assistance down the stairs.

We retreated down the narrow corridor, gulping healing potions with the zombies in lumbering pursuit, and the Hextor priests calling us cowards, and managed to slam the door shut in their faces. Jolan spiked the door shut while the chained and padlocked double bronze doors nearby came under assault from the cultists within.

We are fleeing for our lives, and still have to negotiate first the elevator and then the mine guards outside. Our situation is dire, and the remaining challenges facing us seem perilous in the extreme.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Letter #14 Escape, regroup, reequip and ready! Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

We successfully escaped from the mine through a combination of good luck, and discretion. In particular, not going with a plan to burn any part of the mine...

We reached the top of the elevator without incident, and proceeded to implement the non-flammable plan we had discussed on the trip upwards: we would fake a Dire Rat infestation of the mine, insist on immediate medical treatment in town for Sheridan, charm a guard, and exit the mine complex as quickly as half-orcly as possible.

Our Dire Rat infestation was believed by the guards as Ragnor briefly summoned such a creature and made it run in and out. Unfortunately the remaining guard insisted we check in with the mine overseer Gerrald before we left, and my Charm Person failed. Corvan and Jolan were forced to render him unconscious. We hid the guard in a darkened alcove off the main passageway and made our way to the exit.

Luck was with us: we spotted Gerrald and a number of guards and miners approaching the main entrance with lanterns. From the look on his face it was clear he did not believe we had been assigned to cleanse the mine of Dire Rat infestation. We hid down a side-passage, emerged when the group with Gerrald had passed us, and made a beeline for the mine complex gate.

Corvan was able to convince the guards at the gate that Gerrald had given us permission to seek medical assistance in town, and we were out!

We immediately went to the garrison and received healing from Velias and Mélinde. Unfortunately, we could not obtain more official assistance, as we had brought no proof that cultists of Hextor et al were lairing in the Dourstone Mine. But we all agreed should seek more allies and try again in two nights time.

Corvan and I liquidated some items at Tidwoad's for more scroll writing materials, that is to say, Corvan liquidated them for 250 gp as it seems that Tidwoad has instructed his Shield Guardian to close the shop if it sees me approaching. So much for good customer service! I got better reception from Osgood who paid me another 270 gp of the money he owed me. Benazel the Alchemist was most pleased to have me buy up his stock of scroll writing materials with 200 gp up front and agreed to supply an additional 320 gp in two days. I hope he's smart enough to realise there's a new wizard in town with gold, and stocks up a bit on the scroll and spell writing supplies. I seem to go through an awful lot of it.

Jolan arranged more healing supplies with you-know-who and an alternative way into the Dourstone Mine without use of invisibility. Sheridan went off to discuss an alliance and equal treasure splitting with the three other adventurers: Tirra, an elf, Auric, a burly human with studded leather, greatsword and crossbow, and Khallek, a red-robed wizard with Seeker ring, whom I'm sure I'll get along fabulously with.

I hurried wrote out three Disrupt Undead spells onto the remnants of my last scroll material purchase, then spent the next day carefully writing out more spells. I hope it will be enough for us to triumph against the Ebon Triad!

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant

PS If you happen to have any used wands lying around at your place, like a Wand of Magic Missile, such would be gratefully received before tomorrow morning!

PPS How do you make Wands? I'd be interested to know

PPPS My scroll scribing follows, not as much as I wanted to but I only had 200 gp of new scroll writing materials to work with:

Previous Day
Scroll4 Disrupt Undead x 3 37.5 gp - 2 XP - 18.75 cost

(the remainder of the last purchase)

Next Day
Scroll5 Charm Personx2, Disg. Selfx2 100 gp - 4 XP - 50 gp cost
Scroll6 Knock, Web 300 gp - 12 XP - 150 gp cost

[Note to DM: 18 XP lost]
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:58 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #15 The heroes strike back Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

We debated various tactics, spending some time at our mother's grave on the fruitless assumption that the cults may have had a back door in the graveyard. But the boneyard is too well guarded by the Followers of the Stern Lady.

The key was whether a welcoming party was awaiting us at the elevator shaft. That was our most vulnerable point of entry.

Hiding ourselves in supply wagons, we entered the mine complex unseen and successfully infiltrated the mine again. Khellek knocked out two guards on the boarded up entrance to the elevator with a Wand of Colour Spray, and we bound and gagged them inside. I noticed Khellek had something called a "wand quiver" which I must enquire at the General Store about. We quietly winched up the elevator so the shaft was accessible. I then cast an Extended Protection from Evil, and a normal duration Invisibility and Levitate on myself and levitated down the shaft. Jolan even loaned me his Ring of Feather Fall in case my Levitation was dispelled. I had earlier cast an Extended Mage Armour on myself, and I have gotten so good at the spell it lasts the whole night.

With my darkvision I could see that no-one lay in wait for us in the central chamber, although the dark pool was bubbling a bit. There were no guards on the other cults' doors but a solitary peasant cultist was standing guard at the Hextor entrance. As I watched he was occasionally in communication with those inside.

I considered taking out the sole guard myself but decided it was too great a risk, and levitated back up the elevator shaft and reported my findings.

Whispered discussion took place and it was decided that Khellek would make Tirra invisible, and with the Ring of Feather Fall she would descend safely down the shaft, and eliminate the lone guard. We would give her a few minutes to do so, then descend en mass, the fighters in the first wave, and myself, Khellek and Mélinde in the second wave.

We all got down the elevator without raising any alarms, and lined up against the Hextor entrance. Corvan heard someone in heated discussion, something about "They should be the one followed, not Thaldric". Then we burst in.

There were two full-plate skeletons, the half-orc and female human cleric, and half a dozen cultists in the room. Corvan destroyed two skeletons while I zapped the half-orc with a Magic Missile. Ragnor leapt through and smote him: he retreated drinking a potion of healing. The female human cleric summoned zombie lizard reinforcements, while Corvan and Mélinde engaged her in combat.

I felled the half-orc and some cultists with a very satisfying Burning Hands while Mélinde brought down the female human cleric. The remaining cultists fled or gave us some surprising trouble, I was wounded by a dagger, then the lone cultist remaining surrendered. I think Khellek brought a couple of cultists low with his Wand of Colour Spray. Auric, Corvan and Ragnor finished off the zombies.

It was even before the combat had been properly resolved that I noticed out of the corner of my eye something horrifying! Khellek was stabbing to death helpless foes on the ground! He had just dispatched a cultist I had taken down with my stonewood staff when I shouted to him to cease and desist. He muttered some sort of grudging agreement, but then turned his back on me and approached the unconscious female human cleric in the corner of the room with his bloody dagger...

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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