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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 5:59 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #16 V for Victory Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

I leapt forward, prepared to physically prevent Khellek from slaughtering yet another helpless foe, when he noticed my intention to put words into action and desisted from further atrocities. In any case the female human cleric, whom we later discovered was named Kendra, was beyond saving.

On her body we recovered a masterwork heavy flail, a dagger, 2 steel earrings with the sigil of Hextor, a divine spell scroll, a wand, 20 gp and a key.

On the still living but unconscious half-orc, named Garras, we also recovered a masterwork heavy flail, dagger, four potions and 27 gp. Both Garras and Kendra - apparently husband and wife - wore half-plate armour.

I was only able to identify one potion of Bull's Strength, however Corvan diplomatically asked Khellek to lend his opinion. Khellek identified the other potions as Barkskin and two Cure Light Wounds. Corvan then made a crack about how handy it was having two mages in the party. I expressed pleasure that we had in attendance a prettier paladin than him.

The other cultists had 7 daggers, longspears and keys to the front door amongst them. After distributing keys around the party, we locked the front door. Someone asked the remaining standing cultist some questions, but I don't recall what they were and the answers. The cultist was one of Osgood's apprentices.

We recovered the little statue of Hextor as further proof of the shrine, and identified various weapons in the remaining rooms.

We entered the shrine proper, moving faster as we knew the layout.

The side passage door had been locked, but with the key left half-turned, preventing an easy pick from Sheridan. I cast Knock from my scroll and we were in.

While I searched the married couples chamber with the two elves, Corvan, Mélinde, Jolan and Ragnor found and interrogated a tiefling guard that had been asleep in his bed.

I liberated 200 gp, a wand, and a bejewelled bracer. The tiefling revealed that we had missed Theldrick, the tyrant of this cult of Hextor, by only a short period of time. Where the tyrant had gone to we were not able to determine.

The tiefling did not want to be taken prisoner: he demanded trial by combat with the paladin of Heironeous, Mélinde. They squared off with longswords in the small room. Mélinde initiated combat first, and struck a mighty blow, felling the tiefling instantly. The strength of her faith almost made me want to convert on the spot! I saved the tiefling's life, so we had three prisoners to present to the garrison.

From the tiefling's room we recovered 27 gp, a javelin, two longswords, as well as some armour, bows and arrows. Ragnor was particularly attracted to the bear skin rug on the floor.

Off the bedchamber there was a small Hextor chapel, decorated with tapestries bearing the Hextor sigil of clenched black gauntlet around barbed arrows. Two stone statues of human males, in leather masks, chainmail and greatswords, guarded the altar to the Scourge of Battle. They did not react when Mélinde poured holy water on the altar and blessed it in the name of Heironeous.

From the chapel there was a small room, showing the spartan lifestyle of presumably Theldrick. We liberated ink, some possibly blank scrolls, a leather-bound book which turned out to be very valuable, a velvet cushion, mace, two flails, light crossbow, an empty wooden chest and a stone key with the sigil of Erythnul. Underneath the bed I believe we found a flat chest, picked by Sheridan, which yielded 70 gp and a fist size gold bust of a dwarf wearing a gold crown. Weird.

While exploring further in the direction of the arena chamber, we were surprised by the other tiefling guard, who ran away rather than face our might: although I gave good chase he was very quick through that locked front door! I was momentarily distracted by the guard running through the door into the Vecna shrine, but my attention was mostly on the black pool, from which a ghastly pale horrific creature was rising, with many distorted melted heads and nothing much to say for itself. I ran back to report this event to my companions, but by the time reinforcements arrived in the front chamber, the thing had gone.

We tipped over the 15' high statue of Hextor and liberated the red gem in the forehead. We gathered up whatever we could carry, especially the weapons, knowing they would be used against us again if we left them here, and returned to the top of the elevator shaft in three well-chosen groups. I made certain Khellek was not first, and ensured our three prisoners remained alive and breathing. The last group started some fires to render the shrine uninhabitable for a while, and closed the front door. Before we left, the awful creature from the Black Pool showed itself again, though what it wanted we did not wait around long enough to ask!

We then left the mine enmass, using two wheelbarrows to cart two unconscious prisoners out - the half-orc and the tiefling. Unfortunately the combined bluster of a paladin of Heironeous and a paladin of Pelor did little to convince the mine guards to let us out with further incident, and we were forced to burn our way through. Khellek took out the guard tower with Scorching Ray while I Burned Hands on two nearby guards. I took little pleasure in casting that spell.

We reported immediately to the garrison: this time our story was believed, with the physical proof we presented in the form of three prisoners, statues, tapestries, and the book from Theldrick's bedchambers: a diary of evil goings-on in Diamond Lake. In particular, it seems the Ebon Triad is in league with the awful creature from the Black Pool, and together they hope to usher in the Age of Worms.

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 5:59 pm    Post subject: D&D: Letter to beloved Mentor #17 V for Vecna Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

We agreed to re-enter the mine the next day, in order to purge the remaining two cults. We stayed overnight at the garrison, and in the morning Detect Magic suggested to me that the wand from Kendra was a Wand of Cure Light Wounds, confirmed by one of the clerics of Heironeous. I Identified the wand found in Kendra's chambers as a Wand of Enlarge Person with 42 charges. I cast Identify on the blank scrolls, showing a weak aura of universal magic, but nothing was identified. I suspect there may be magically hidden text on the scrolls.

We returned to Dourstone Mine in broad daylight, accompanied by a garrison patrol. Apparently the mine had been closed, and all the miners thrown out of work, so there was a bit of ill feeling towards those identified as the culprits. I think we are known as those responsible. In any case, the thrown fruit did not hurt.

Corvan and Jolan had to break down the gate with Corvan's battering ram, which attracted the attention of Gerrald and a few others. Corvan told him where to go and showed him the paperwork. Despite much sputtering and complaining Gerrald backed down.

We smashed our way through the crude barricade to the elevator room, and descended without incident in three waves.

We first checked out the dark pool. Ragnor tried his old trick of lighting oil on the water, and succeeded on his second throw. Nothing happened. I looked around for a small stone to cast Light on. Corvan noticed what I wanted to do and insisted I use a silver piece of his! I was mortified by the waste of money this represented but Corvan insisted, going so far as to throw the silver piece into the water and hand me another! To avoid tears coming to my eyes I dutifully cast Light on the silver coin and threw it in. It was like watching the sun go behind your hand as the coin descended into the darkness, it's light quenched against the great darkness.

Nothing else happened, so we checked out the door on the Vecna cultists. The elves checked for traps, and opened the door onto a labyrinth!

We had only just started to split up into four groups, not going more than 20-30' from each other, in order to make good progress, when Ragnor was suddenly attacked from behind by bird-like humanoids throwing liquid fire! Then they vanished! While the elves and I investigated and discovered two secret doors (Ragnor was busy extinguishing himself and trying out the new Wand of Cure Light Wounds) we came under attack from Dire Weasels!

Ragnor uttered some words and gestured strangely, and made one Dire Weasel a friend. The other made friends with Ragnor's arm. He beat it off his arm, and once during the fighting in the narrow passages the way cleared and I was able to hit the Dire Weasel with an Acid Splash.

A coordinated attack was impossible in the narrow corridors, and while dealing with the sole remaining hostile Dire Weasel, we were attacked once again by bird-like humanoids, throwing fire and brandishing clubs. Corvan was smoked, while the elves and I dealt with our attacker coming through the secret doors. Ragnor turned his back on the Dire Weasel and struck down a bird-like humanoid, while Jolan protected his back by eliminating the Dire Weasel. Another bird-like humanoid fled rather than face my brother's wrath. Jolan chased after him in hot pursuit.

Corvan, Auric, Khellek and Mélinde frightened their bird-man so much he ran back towards the secret door that I had just stepped through, and the bird-man tried to club me. I politely asked him to surrender, vouching for his safety, however I had my hands firmly clasped around my staff in case the bird-man chose another course of action.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:00 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #18 evil makes it's nest Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

The bird-man chose to attack me with his club, and was a wily opponent: avoiding my staff and Mélinde's sword. We heard noise of further counterattacks in the labyrinth - Corvan viciously attacked from behind, Ragnor and his dogs hit by fire again, and attacks on Jolan.

I accidently dropped my favourite staff, but just drew my dagger and stabbed the bird-man in the chest. He dropped like an egg.

Auric, Khellek and Mélinde and myself caught up with the elves counting coin in a room, while Corvan, in the company of my brothers and other, less articulate animals, explored the other side of the labyrinth.

I insisted we join up with my brothers so led the way out of our section. Immediately upon entering a long corridor I was grievously wounded with a crossbow bolt through the arm by another bird-man waiting in ambush. Angry with the pain, I Magic Missiled the assassin into the other world. I heard heavy crossbow fire ahead, so ran forward to assist, but was ambushed by yet /another /bird-man. I felt the thud of a bolt in my side and darkness claimed me.

The bird-men are called Kenku. Are you familiar with the race?

I regained consciousness with Mélinde pouring my Potion of Cure Light Wounds down my throat. Fortunately there are angels on this world as well as the next.

The party reunited in some sort of Kenku guard room. Auric was looking particularly satisfied with himself: apparently he had chopped the last Kenku in half. What a mess! I believe Corvan had brought down my attacker, and it was still alive, albeit unconscious.

Jolan got wind that my attacker was still alive and I glimpsed the expression on his face. I feared for the Kenku's life. To my deepest shame and horror, Jolan deliberately thrust his trident into the chest of the unconscious Kenku with my hands around the shaft, begging him to cease and desist. I just wasn't strong enough to prevent my brother from staining his soul with such an atrocity. And the paladins of Heironeous and Pelor stood by and did nothing.

Our kill and loot tally stands at 12 Kenku, 84 gp, 24 sunrods, 800 gp in three sacks, a small lock box with 2 white diamonds 100 gp each, and a pair of goggles which Ragnor tried on. But the slaughter of helpless foes makes me question what we are doing here, and if we are truly better than the evil cultists we are trying to defeat.

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 6:01 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #19 death of a hero Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

Three secret doors led from the labyrinth, and we chose the furthest door in the expectation this would lead us quickly to the heart of the Vecna cult.

We entered a storeroom packed full of valuable supplies and items. Jolan and I snacked on some Dourstone mine rations as the others went forward.

We burst into a small bedroom, where a robed figure was reading a book. Since he looked like a magic user I Blinded him for later questioning. The bedroom led directly into a large columned temple chamber with green and purple decor and weird light effects. A black basalt altar and strange columns of grasping, moving hands completed the evil temple look. There was another Vecna mage here, as well as an incorporeal black cloud looking sinister.

The black cloud started to babble and whisper as it attacked Corvan, seemingly draining something valuable from his mind. Corvan's weapon seemed totally ineffective, and most of the party stared fascinated at the creature. Corvan shouted that he needed magic to defeat the creature, so I ran back to Jolan to grab his magic short sword that he doesn't use. I noticed Tirra and Sheridan attacking my blinded mage, so I told them he was no longer a threat and to do something more useful.

Then the great Ragnor strode forward and smote the black cloud twice with his weapon. Its foul essences dissolved in the air. When did he get a magic weapon?

The Vecna mage picked up the slack by Burning Hands on Corvan, Mélinde and Ragnor's dire weasel. Corvan pushed him into a pillar, which seemed to like the Vecna mage, whereupon he drank a potion from his belt pouch and dissolved into mist. Jolan, who had liberated a similar belt from my blinded mage, made a lucky guess and followed the mage in gaseous pursuit.

Suddenly four Kenku appeared in the entranceway of the temple firing their crossbows. Ragnor bashed one down, then a Kenku pulled a gem from a necklace and threw it into the room.

The explosion took down Corvan, Khellek, Mélinde and myself.

I understand that Tirra or Sheridan got Khellek back on his feet with a cure potion - Auric proceeded to lead him away. Ragnor felled another opponent, while his dire weasel chomped on a second.

But the necklaced Kenku retreated back down the corridor, and threw another bead, immolating his erstwhile companion, killing the dire weasel attached to this companion, and scorching Ragnor. Ragnor saw two more mages entering the top part of the entranceway corridor to the temple, while the Kenku had moved to the bottom part of the entranceway corridor. So Ragnor cast Obscuring Mist and sallied forth to take down the remaining Kenku!

I was revived by Corvan pouring a strong cure potion down my throat, but we were in serious trouble. We were still facing one or two Vecna mages, and the masked High Priest of Vecna had arrived - probably the Faceless One referred to in Theldrick's Journal. A 15' fiendish giant centipede appeared suddenly in front of us: I was badly hurt and Corvan was on his last legs. We only had the elves as back-up - and I might add at this point that their arrow fire had been particularly piss-poor and ineffective - and no-one else could be seen, except the unconscious form of Mélinde.

So I cast Burning Hands and annoyed one Vecna mage and the fiendish giant centipede. Then the fiendish giant centipede lunged for me with its huge jaws: Corvan tried heroically to get in its way, but I felt the bite and then nothing.

(then the Faceless One cast Web and entrapped the returning Auric, the near-dead Corvan, the unconscious Mélinde, the elves and hopefully my still intact body. Only my half-orc brothers remain relatively unharmed and active, although Jolan is already misty-eyed)
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject: Letter to most beloved Mentor #20 rebirth of a hero Reply with quote

Dearest, dearest, most beloved Allustan

My brothers saw the Druids and had me reincarnated the night before.

I have so much to discuss with you: this letter is totally inadequate for my thoughts. I am no longer half-orc. My human half has blossomed forth in its full magnificence. Today I stood in the sunshine revelling in the light. And remembering the joy and satisfaction of the Blessed Fields of Elysium. I have much work to do to bring the blessings of the Shining One to Diamond Lake. After we purge the last temple of the Triad, I will travel to Greyhawk and ask to be formally ordained as a Cleric at the Temple of Pelor. I intend to found a temple to Pelor here and do such good works so that evil has no chance to take root.

To summarise what has happened so far:

Sheridan and Tirra left with Khellek's body for Greyhawk

Auric, myself, Corvan, Jolan and Ragnor descended into the temple pool area once more. We found bits of Kenku spread all around, and the door leading to the Cult of Erthynul had been destroyed. Auric and Ragnor had some trivial argument about dogs and swimming, but I wasn't listening to them particularly.

I was carrying Auric's lantern, and I am finding it very difficult not being able to see in the dark. How do you natural-born humans do it? I can't carry any of the sunrods, but I have your gift Wand of Light close at hand in case something happens to the lantern.

Jolan entered first, and emerged into a small cavern. He was immediately attacked by two ugly large humanoids with blank, eyeless eye sockets. Do you remember the old stories of Grimlocks? Well, the stories were accurate about how ugly they look, but neglected to mention the tremendous stench.

The Grimlocks hurled javelins at Jolan and wounded him. I zapped the one I could see with a Magic Missile and this one was quickly dispatched by Ragnor. Jolan hurt the other, but Ragnor outdid himself and felled the second one as well. Disturbingly, Ragnor then indulged in some gratuitous mutilation of the corpse. I think he was still raging at the time.

Corvan heard someone running away from the cavern. Deprived of his target, Jolan raced up the corridor in pursuit. Auric and I had to run to catch up.

We entered a larger cavern with a sheer cliff, embedded with metal spikes as some sort of crude hand/foot holds. There was no sign of our quarry and we milled around while deciding what to do.

At this point an incredibly ugly dog, much uglier than Ragnor's canines, emerged from a crude kennel from the wall nearest us. Jolan dispatched it immediately, whereupon he was bashed from behind by a battleaxe wielding Grimlock who was clearly upset at the killing. A second Krenshar emerged from another kennel but was killed by Auric. Ragnor hit the Grimlock and Jolan finished him off.

After searching the body, Corvan dropped a sunrod down the cliff, which revealed a flat safe area at the bottom. Thank you, Corvan! Auric descended down the cliff face while Jolan simply stepped off and enjoyed his Ring of Feather Fall activating. I was less confident in my ability to descend unaided so I asked Corvan to tie his rope around one of the stone pillars and descended with that climbing aid.

Half-way down I was attacked by two Grimlocks in a hidden cave directly opposite my precarious location on the cliff face. I was sorely wounded by an arrow and suffered the indignity of a tanglefoot bag. Fortunately I was able to avoid most of the sticky gunk and pull out and consume my Potion of Protection from Arrows. There followed a lengthy exchange of ranged weapon fire. I added to the excitement by zapping the Grimlocks with my Wand of Magic Missile. The Grimlocks seemed to have healing potions themselves, but one fell despite throwing a potion back and I felled the second one with a well-placed shot from the wand.

Your devoted student always and forever

Anlan Evant

Loot list
Grimlock animal trainer:
Battleaxe
Javelin x 2
Studded leather armour, filthy
5 gp

(have not searched the bodies of the first two Grimlocks or the Krenshar kennels)
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject: Letter #21 same animal excrement different cult Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

We descended down the cliff face without further incident. There was a passageway at ground level, but Corvan and Ragnor scaled the wall above it to investigate the alcove where the two Grimlocks had hid. As they were doing so, they discovered yet another passageway immediately below leading through the rock. Ragnor couldn't get into the passageway proper, but Corvan was small enough to do so.

Jolan wandered off into the darkened ground-level passageway, with Auric following him. I hissed a caution that we were splitting up again for no good reason, but no-one paid any attention.

Above me, Corvan yelled loudly and dropped like a feather from the passageway above - he must have borrowed Jolan's Ring of Feather Falling. He was pursued by a female Grimlock who stabbed Ragnor on the way out of the passageway and dropped with Ragnor to the ground in a bone-crunching manner. I zapped the foul creature with four Magic Missiles while Auric appeared from behind and killed it.

While I was checking the body for valuables, I heard Jolan shout a battle cry. Running with the sunrod and light crossbow in hand down the ground-floor passageway, I entered a larger chamber with a pile of rubble opposite. Twenty feet above, a crude rope bridge spanned across, clearly leading from the uppermost passageway Corvan and Ragnor had attempted to explore before.

Jolan was confronted by some strange creature with long reach and odd tentacles for fingers. Jolan, Ragnor and Auric together killed it, but not before Corvan was also confronted by another which he managed to hit with an arrow. The creature ran past me into the darkness, and I missed it with my light crossbow.

We ascended to the passageway in the cliff room and made our way to the rope bridge. Suddenly three Grimlocks appeared and threw javelins at Corvan as he tried to cross the bridge. Jolan and I returned fire with crossbow and Magic Missile respectively. Corvan retreated, then Auric rushed across heroically, killing one, while Ragnor appeared from below and nailed another between the eye sockets with an arrow. The third turned and ran, although Jolan and I scored hits it got away. Auric immediately began to loot the bodies. So much for the miniscule advantage of surprise.

Drums started beating, and a voice boomed from above.

"Who dares intrude upon the Temple of Erthynul?"

Corvan shouted back. "Emissaries of Pelor!"

We recognised the voice as that of Theldrick, the High Priest of Hextor.

Theldrick challenged us to a one-on-one fight, and we foolishly accepted the word of the Scourge of Battle lover without question. We walked along a 5' passageway and entered a chamber 20' high with veins of iron ore crisscrossing the ceiling. There was drumming from various unseen points, and we clambered up a 10' embankment to see Theldrick, two tiefling guards and about two dozen Grimlocks emerge from three exit points of the chamber.

"May Pelor have mercy on your soul, for my blade will not" opined the paladin.

Then the fight between Corvan and Theldrick began.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant

Loot list
Rope bridge Grimlocks
Javelin x2
Morningstars x2
Shield, wooden x2 (heavy, light?)

Female Grimlock
Sling + sling bullets
Daggers x2
Studded leather possibly mwk
21 gp
Potionsx4 (already distributed)

Hidden Grimlocks
Longbows x2
Grappling hook
Tanglefoot bags x5
42 gp
Potions of Cure Light Wounds x3 (already distributed)

Grimlock animal trainer
Battleaxe
Javelin x 2
Studded leather armour, filthy
5 gp

(have not searched the bodies of the first two Grimlocks or the Krenshar kennels)
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glen



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Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:03 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #22 retreat and counterattack Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

Theldrick and Corvan traded blows, and Corvan got the worst of it. Theldrick even felt the need to heal Corvan to provide himself with more of a challenge. I retreated down the 10' embankment to ensure our exit was guarded.

Theldrick and Corvan stopped hitting one another - I mean, Theldrick stopped hitting Corvan - and they traded cheery banter instead. Theldrick mistakenly believed I was running away, but I corrected that misconception.

I think Jolan may have struck Theldrick to which Theldrick objected strongly to, and he tried to cast a spell on Jolan, which had no effect.

At the back of the Grimlocks a large Grimlock with a great axe grunted "Challenge" which Jolan gleefully accepted.

Thus inspired, Ragnor started bashing his shield and saying "Challenge" to the Grimlocks facing him. A Grimlock with a morning star stepped forward. But Ragnor jumped down the embankment.

In their opening blows the Grimlock Champion missed but Jolan hit him hard. After more powerful blows, Jolan felled the Grimlock champion.

Corvan said "Rumplestiltskin" and we covered our eyes from his Shield of Blinding. Theldrick staggered back and one of the tieflings was affected too.

Then the Grimlocks attacked enmass! Corvan was paralysed by whom we later identified as the Grimlock priest. Corvan was hit a few times until Jolan knocked him down the embankment to protect him. Jolan and Auric felled foes left and right, while I singed some with Burning Hands, it took me at least three Magic Missiles to take one down.

Ragnor summoned a Dire Bat to attack the Grimlock spell caster.

We slowly retreated back and down the 5' entranceway, in reasonably good order. Theldrick could not see us through the Grimlock crowd but that didn't stop him from summoning a Fiendish Dire Ape (again!) which sorely damaged Jolan. Ragnor summoned wolves to protect our tactical position and I webbed the entranceway, then ran like mad.

Everyone got across the rope bridge fine except for Ragnor - the Grimlocks, Grimlock priest and Theldrick with his tieflings turned up rather fast on the other side. My Web must have been dispelled. We killed the first one to start crossing rope bridge with crossbow bolts, then cut two of the support ropes and retreated further back down the central passageway. We saw the Grimlocks cutting the third rope to give themselves abseiling ropes down to the pile of scree and rubble.

We scrambled up the cliff face, Auric shuttered his lantern and I tossed my sunrod down below while Ragnor cast Obscuring Mist in the same area. We waited quietly in ambush, hoping that the Grimlocks thought we were in full retreat out of their cave system.

We heard sounds of creatures climbing the cliff face, then the Obscuring Mist vanished, revealing climbing Grimlocks, the Grimlock priest and Theldrick with his tieflings armed with bow and arrow. The others rained fire and acid down upon them while I waited for the Grimlock priest to cast a spell. Unfortunately he vanished in front of my eyes before I could Magic Missile him: I zapped Theldrick instead, then I Blinded him.

The climbing Grimlocks died horribly in flames and acid: Theldrick was going the same way, rolling on the ground trying to put out the flames. The tieflings were effective again with their arrows, despite my Magic Missiles. The last remaining Grimlock retreated down the passageway, only to return a few moments later, looking behind him, whereupon he slit the throat of Theldrick. The two tieflings quickly dispatched him with arrows, then one surrendered while the other fled down the passageway.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:03 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #23 death of a hero again! Reply with quote

Dearest Allustan

Leaving Auric to guard the top of the cliff with his crossbow, we tied up the tiefling and I quickly scanned the bodies with an Extended Detect Magic. Theldrick's Armour and Ring were magical, he had a Pearl of Power in his pocket plus a potion and a couple of scrolls. Taking the Ring and Pearl I followed my brothers and Corvan back into the cave system. As we were approaching the main cavern arrows hit us, then Jolan and Ragnor ran forward and killed the lone tiefling. Curses, my weak eyesight makes us vulnerable to those with darkvision.

We heard giggling in the third chamber off the main cavern, but past experience taught us to check our backs so we investigated the first two chambers. One was clearly a barracks with no magic items immediately visible, the other was a room of skulls and a pile of hides concealing a Bag, that was always the same weight, and a Wand. Taking both we entered the third chamber.

In this chamber we found the High Priest of Erthynul giggling to himself and tossing things on a fire. He seemed to be saying that the deaths of all the cultists was a good thing. After clambering up the 10' high embankment in the room we made short work of him, although I got hurt, and discovered Color Spray does not function when the eyes are merely a fashion statement. I did ask my brothers and Corvan to take the High Priest alive, which they barely achieved, but I managed to stabilise the creature and prevent him from dying.

The High Priest's Armour was magical, as well as a potion and a little brooch.

After bringing Auric through, we all made a thorough search of the premises, disgusting though it was. We found a lot of treasure, which we looked forward to dividing in the clear bright light of the sun.

Amongst the treasure we also found a scroll with child-like script on it, saying "At last, the Will of the Ebon Triad be done. With the return of the Great K'yuss, the Age of Worms is finally upon us!"

With some difficulty we got the tiefling prisoner and the unconscious High Priest back into the central chamber with the Dark Pool. Auric, Ragnor, the dogs and the prisoners went up the elevator first.

While we were waiting for Ragnor to return, a terrible beast rose from the Dark Pool and stomped towards Jolan, Corvan and me. The Ebon Aspect, as it was named later, had six arms, with a gaunt skeletal humanoid face, and seemed to represent the most terrible aspects of Hextor, Vecna and Erthynul. Two of the left arms and one of the right were missing hands.

I only had Knock left as a memorised spell: I was also badly wounded. I knew I had to somehow stop the creature so my brother and my friend and myself could escape from the Dourstone Mine. So I cast Disguise Self from one of my scribed scrolls, and took on the aspect of the High Priest of Erthynul. I stepped forward, and bowed, and bluffed: "Praise be to K'yuss, may the Will of the Ebon Triad be done".

Unfortunately the Ebon Aspect was not impressed by my supplication and tore me apart with its fangs. I felt the bite and then nothing.

(then Ragnor returned in the elevator, and rescued my torn body. After their blows bounced off the creature, and it sorely wounded Jolan, Corvan and Jolan beat a hasty retreat to the elevator. Ragnor put on a heroic show of strength to lift the elevator out of immediate reach. My understanding is the Ebon Aspect went amok in Diamond Lake, destroying much property and lives before the combined efforts of the garrison, Allustan and the clerics of Heironeous and St Cuthbert brought it down

The next day, my brothers saw the Druids again and had me reincarnated. This time, I returned as an Orc)
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Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:04 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #24 on the road Reply with quote

1st Day of Growfest
Blackwell Keep, 2 days horse travel from Diamond Lake

Dearest Allustan

It seems a little odd writing a letter to you while you are accompanying us on our travels to Blackwell Keep. I write this letter out of habit, and perhaps for posterity.

I must confess my reincarnation as an orc suits me better than as a human. I have my darkvision back, which I missed terribly while human, and I am much stronger and can carry more without asking my brothers for help. I now understand why humans fear the darkness of the night, but looking back it would have be nicer to have spent a little more time as a full-blooded human.

On the down side my salami sticks don't taste as spicy as they used to, and the bright sun hurts my eyes, so much so they water if I am caught outdoors at noon, and gives me whopping great headaches if I am out too long. I now understand why orcs like the darkness! It pains me that I can no longer enjoy the blessing of the sun as much as I once did, but I am grateful at returning from the dead for the second time in a week. I owe my brothers and Corvan a great deal, but don't tell my brothers that as I am still the eldest and still the boss.

I have offered my magical services to the Druids if they should ever require arcane assistance.

Speaking of magical services, my brothers keep badgering me about enchanting their armour, their weapons, their clothing and even their toothbrushes (I'm sure Jolan doesn't use his ). They seem to think any wizard can mumble a few words and pull a vorpal blade out of his hat! I have tried explaining to them that crafting magic items requires dedicated work and expertise, and frankly while I can scribe scrolls and hope to do wands eventually, I'm not really interested in the creation of other magic items. I'd rather experiment and explore with spells. Do you know anyone in Greyhawk who does this kind of contract work, and with whom we could enter into discussions with? Despite what I just said, I wouldn't mind equipping myself with one of those Handy Haversacks I heard about at the Greyhawk Academy of Magic, and if we could duplicate a few copies of Ragnor's new bedroll I would sleep easier!

Thank you so much for teaching me Dispel Magic and Fly. They are great spells. Thank you also for the quiet time in your library. Over the last week or so I've come into the possession of three spellbooks, and I was wondering if you wanted to copy any of the spells from them into your own. Ignoring the cantrips, which I'm sure you already have, they are:

Spellbook 2 (Filge's spellbook) contains 0-2nd level spells (5+7+10 = 22 pages used, 78 pages remaining):
2-level: Command Undead, Magic Mouth, Scare, Spectral Hand, Touch of Idiocy (10 pages)
1-level: Cause Fear, Chill Touch, Disguise Self, Identify, Mage Armor, Magic Missile, Ray of Enfeeblement (7 pages)

Spellbook 3 (Vecna Cult spellbook) contains 0-1st level spells (19+8 = 27 pages used, 73 pages remaining):
1-level: Burning Hands, Cause Fear, Color Spray, Disguise Self, Expeditious Retreat, Mage Armor,
Shocking Grasp, Ventriloquism (8 pages)

Spellbook 4 (Spellbook of the Faceless One) contains 0-3rd level spells (19+8+8+12 = 47 pages used, 53 pages remaining):

3-level: Fireball, Halt Undead, Lightning Bolt, Summon Monster III (12 pages)
2-level: False Life, Flaming Sphere, Touch of Idiocy, Web (8 pages)
1-level: Chill Touch, Expeditious Retreat, Hold Portal, Identify, Mage Armor, Magic Missile, Ray of Enfeeblement,
Shield (8 pages)

I'm going to sell the third spellbook on behalf of the party in Greyhawk after I've copied Shocking Grasp and Ventriloquism into my own spellbook. This should only take 4 days and 200 gp when we get back to Diamond Lake. Filge's spellbook has Cause Fear and all the 2nd level spells are spells that I don't have, but it is uneconomic to copy those into my own spellbook so I might as well keep it as a spare. I sometimes find it difficult to memorise spells from these spellbooks, but I persevere.

Thank you for collecting my scroll writing material from Benazel the Alchemist: it saved me a trip through town. I seem to be attracting a great deal of negative attention, and I don't want to use Disguise Self as that will only make worse the "shapeshifting" rumours.

We discovered that Osgood the Smith has fled Diamond Lake, owing me, Corvan, Sheridan and my brothers money. For the record, Osgood owes us 600 gp, split between:

Anlan 199 gp
Corvan 67 gp
Jolan 67 gp
Ragnor 67
Sheridan 200 gp

as Corvan, Jolan and Ragnor got an interim payout, and Sheridan wasn't there at the time. Lucky for us Sheridan is in Greyhawk or he would become excited in his elvish way. He's probably forgotten about the money anyway.

We divided up the treasure from the Cult of Erthynul and received 256 gp cash each. I think after this trip we must have a heart-to-heart with everyone and determine an equitable split of all treasure, with gold compensating those with less than optimal equipment. We lack in particular magic weapons of any sort.

Before we departed Diamond Lake we met with Smenk to discuss our payment regarding our investigations into the Dourstone Mine. Smenk was annoyingly vague about compensation but I asked for something protective and received a Wand of Shield with 10 charges by courier. The others seemed to be happy with their presents so I guess when dealing with Smenk it is a case of "Adventurer Beware".

I really enjoyed showing you around the Whispering Cairn the day before we left. It was an interesting place and I enjoyed returning to it with you.

As you know we departed Diamond Lake by horse enroute to Blackwell Keep and its spellcasting officer, Mazena. She had reported to you a week or so ago about strange green worms, similar to the one we gave to you from Filge. We stayed overnight at Shank's Rest and today, while approaching the outskirts of the Keep, we discover it is under attack by lizard men.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



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Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:05 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #25 brave adventurers to the rescue Reply with quote

1st Day of Growfest
Blackwell Keep, 2 days horse travel from Diamond Lake

Dearest Allustan

After much discussion about our plan of attack, we first used your suggestion, and your casting, of Fly and Invisibility on Jolan to determine explicitly whether the lizardmen were hostile to Blackwell Keep. Jolan successfully achieved this goal, asking the Greyhawk garrison to gesture with both arms raised to give us the signal to attack.

You fireballed a lizardman patrol, then teleported back to Diamond Lake to raise the alarm. Ragnor cast a druidic entrapment spell on another patrol, and we launched our physical attack on the patrol nearest to us and along the road to the Keep. There was a momentary delay while I cast Enlarge Person from a wand on Ragnor's bison and then on Ragnor himself: the wand fizzed and sparked strangely when I enlarged the bison, but I used the other end for Ragnor and it worked without the minor pyrotechnics. Wands are such touchy items.

I couldn't see very much behind the Huge bison, but when I could, I zapped one lizardman with two salvoes of Magic Missiles (I have recently began to generate three Magic Missiles with each casting, a result of my growing familiarity and greater experience with the spell). The Enlarged Ragnor and bison seemed very effective against the lizardmen, while I spotted Jolan taking some hits from many additional lizardmen who had popped out of nowhere.

Then suddenly, Ragnor's bison sank into muddy turf, and Corvan avoided the same fate by jumping out of the area of effect. I determined the cause as a magic spell, but I couldn't see who was casting it.

Fortunately, the lizardmen decided to retreat, and we captured one of them alive. Jolan and Ragnor were unusually slow when I asked them to tie up the lizardman, but I solved that problem by subduing the reptile with Burning Hands - I can now cast fire spells that render enemies unconscious rather than dead. I believe it to be a useful expression of Pelor's mercy and compassion.

I interrogated the lizardman, who called himself Shek, in Draconic, and he revealed little except that the lizardmen were ordered to attack the Keep by their War Chieftain. One of their tribe can cast spells, but I must ask Shek again the name of this lizardman.

We entered the Keep in triumph, and from the front of the Keep it was clear that a great battle had been fought - the main gates were asunder, and of the 44 souls in the keep, half had been killed, including all the officers, and 4 captured, including Marzena.

While Corvan and Ragnor provided some limited healing to the unconscious wounded, I asked for permission to examine Marzena's quarters, in the hope that some clue or information may have been readily available. Alas, there was nothing.

We now intend to pursue the lizardmen kidnappers into the swamp. Time is of the essence, as lizardmen eat their prisoners. Thanks to my foresight, we have a guide.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:05 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #26 reptilian politics Reply with quote

1st & 2nd Day of Growfest
Blackwell Keep, 2 days horse travel from Diamond Lake, into the swamp

Dearest Allustan

We set off from the Blackwell Keep with our lizardman guide, Shek. The garrison agreed to look after our horses and bison mounts, since the swamp was an unsuitable place for riding animals. Apparently the swamp harbours not only crocodiles and lizardmen but also undead - the latter we might take the pleasure in investigating after we recover the prisoners.

I ordered Shek to take us to his tribe. Thanks to a map obtained by Ragnor from the garrison, we knew when Shek was leading us astray, so I was able to bluff Shek into thinking when I knew he was lying early on, and we had no difficulties with our guide thereafter.

Travelling through swamp is not an enjoyable pastime, but our path was made easier through the tireless efforts of my youngest brother Ragnor. Truly his skill as a druid is admirable.

In the early afternoon we came across a large lake, which we circled around, and Ragnor spotted a lizardman hiding in the trees ahead of us. The lizardman could not have failed to see us straight away, so we pretended nonchalance as we moved closer for a quick rush and attack before ambush.

As we were approaching the lizardman, two crocodiles rushed out of the water and chomped on Ragnor's dogs! The dogs ran away, sorely wounded, and Ragnor cleaved into the nearest with his axe. I zapped Ragnor's crocodile with the Wand of Magic Missile, while Jolan fired an arrow into it. This crocodile slipped back into the dark waters, running away, and so did Shrek, pulling his tether out of my grip.

Ragnor ran forward - completely unimpeded by the difficult swampy terrain - and cleaved Shek into two, while Corvan, Jolan and I finished off the second crocodile!

I expressed, in a loving, brotherly fashion, my great annoyance with Ragnor offing our runaway prisoner but Ragnor seemed quite unrepentant, pointing out that the prisoner was escaping, and it would have been too dangerous to run the risk of letting him alert his tribe of our presence. I took out my frustration on the remaining crocodile corpse, not finding any valuables in it's gut but obtaining sufficient crocodile steaks for our dinner. I was cheered by the thought of hot, roasted fresh meat that night.

Ragnor disposed of the crocodile remains and Shek into the pool of water - at least he is wise enough to cover his tracks - and we investigated the hiding lizardman. It was a petrified statue of a lizardman looking in terror at the base of a nearby tree. I poked a long branch into the hole, but found nothing. Ragnor thought the statue would look nice in our garden back home, but we can pick it up on the return journey.

We overnighted in a good secure location selected by Ragnor, and while I bemoaned the lack of a Rope Trick spell, our watches were wisely chosen, and nothing happened during the night to disturb us. However, Corvan and Ragnor didn't look like they rested well, maybe the mosquitoes like them more than the rest of us.

The next day started off with drizzle, and I was sufficiently distracted by this to prevent me from memorising Fireball from the Faceless One's spellbook. I gave up and chose Lightning Bolt instead. I also made sure I had a Rope Trick for the night.

During the morning we followed what appeared to be a lizardman's path. Ragnor soon ran off brandishing his axe again and was caught in a snare trap by his foot. I ran forward, and my Extended Mage Armor deflected three javelins hurled at me by ambushing lizardmen, but a fourth wounded me lightly on the shoulder.

Four lizardmen had stood up from their hiding places in the bushes. I zapped one with a salvo of Magic Missiles, and Jolan ran forward and skewered him.

Then suddenly, Corvan and I were up to our waists in muddy turf as the ground beneath us softened and no longer held our weight. Jolan moved forward and attacked another lizardman, while Corvan and I tried to get out of the mud.

Ragnor had released himself from the snare and having found the lizardman spellcaster, tried a similar Soften Earth & Stone spell under it and another. The lizardman spellcaster responded with a fire ray which missed Ragnor and hit a tree. Jolan ran from his sorely wounded lizardman and jumped across the mud patch to tackle the lizardmen on the other side before they could flank us all.

Ragnor ran forward and smote sorely the lizardman spellcaster, who said something in a language I didn't understand. It must have been profound, before Ragnor suddenly shouted "Stop the attack!"

I ran over to him, and while my hands were itching to cast Lightning Bolt, I gave my agreement to this truce in Draconic. However, the lizardman spellcaster, called Shesht, declined to respond in the same language and conversed only with Ragnor in what I assume was the Druid language.

The story of Shesht (as relayed by Ragnor and as Anlan understands it):

"I am but a follower of Hishka, the Great Shaman. The King has ordered the prisoners to be sacrificed for a feast tonight. Hishka wishes no war with the humans of Greyhawk, but the King was once enslaved and turned into a gladiator by the humans of Greyhawk. The King challenged the old chief, slew him, and has ruled ever since. By challenging the King to combat you may rescue the prisoners"

The lizardfolk have some alliance with a dragon, as dragonfolk now oversee their egg hatchery. More details in my next letter.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



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Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #27 the King has left the building! Reply with quote

2nd Day of Growfest
Lizardman Territory, somewhere in the swamp

Dearest Allustan

Shesht took us to speak to Hishka, and after much Druid was spoken we decided that challenging the King was the best way to recover the prisoners.

Shesht sketched a rough map of the lizardfolk camp. After much lengthy discussion, including bemoaning the lack of my invisibility spells, we decided on the following plan to avoid combat with most of the tribe and issue a challenge to the Lizard King himself:

Corvan would hide inside the Bag of Holding, I would Disguise Self from my scroll as a lizardman, and lead two half-orc prisoners Jolan and Ragnor into the camp, to "gift to the King". We left Ragnor's dogs hidden in the swamp to guard the miscellaneous junk emptied out of the Bag, and most of Jolan's weapons.

Once in his chambers, we would challenge the King and his minions for the lives of the hostages, kill the King in honourable combat, and save the day.

Half of this plan worked. After a less than convincing first contact with lizardmen along the way, I managed to get everyone to the antechamber outside the King's throne room. I dumped Corvan out of the Bag and Ragnor blocked off the entranceways with Entangle, which was fortunate because we had half the tribe following immediately behind me, not convinced I was, who I said I was, who I wasn't.

We then laid into the Lizard King, one of his Lieutenants and three ordinary lizardmen. The Lizard King had a returning trident which he used with deadly effect, sorely wounding Jolan and myself. With victory at hand I thought, I sat down on his throne and offered the King favourable terms for parley. However he responded with his trident, nearly killing me, but my brother Ragnor healed me whole again. Unfortunately this did leave an escape route for the Lizard King and he fled from his throne room into a stream of running water from the antechamber.

We are now in the situation where the King is still alive, and no doubt off to gather his forces, we don't have the hostages nor know where to find them, and the spells blocking the rest of the tribe from adding us to the night's feast will run out in a few minutes.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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glen



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Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Letter #28 no omelets without breaking some eggs Reply with quote

2nd Day of Growfest
Lizardman Territory, somewhere in the swamp

Dearest Allustan

I spoke to the lizardfolk tribe in Draconic: "The King was challenged and fled from combat. He abdicates his position. Your Shaman should choose a new King.
Get the Shaman, give us the prisoners and we will leave with no further bloodshed."

There was a moment of silence while the lizardfolk digested my profound statement. Then there came a scream of a human female to the south, in what we assumed was Hishka's chambers. A shout came from the chamber, and was echoed by the many lizardfolk hissing around us: "Surrender or the hostages die!"

I Lightning Bolted down the southern corridor: my first lightning bolt was very powerful and killed all the lizardfolk there except one (Jolan finished the task). Ragnor dismissed his Entangle spell and Jolan and Corvan ran down the corridor. I then Lightning Bolted down the other corridor with more screams from the lizardfolk there.

I followed the others into the next chamber, and discovered a horrific scene. One of the hostages had been murdered, and the second lieutenant, Kotabas, was holding a knife to a human female's throat. This human female was your acquaintance Marzena!

Even more shocking, Jolan had dropped his trident, and Hishka was negotiating our surrender! I objected strongly to this, exclaiming there was no honour in negotiating with the backstabbing lizards, and had drawn out my Wand of Enlarge Person, intending to cast it on Marzena to rescue her from the clammy clutches of Kotabas.

Hishka talked calmly to the lieutenant, while Jolan made us all back up the corridor. I tried to conceal my wand behind Jolan but Kotabas gave me a nictating eyeball so I sheathed my wand. Corvan looked perceptively at Kotabas and whispered, "he's just playing for time, he has no intention of releasing the hostages, or us if we surrender." Really? No, that thought had never occurred to me in the short time we have been negotiating with the scaly ones.

So I Quick Drew my Shatter wand and destroyed Kotabas' dagger! Ragnor was quickest off the mark, and ran forward to bash the lieutenant. Kotabas threw Marzena roughly to the ground and clawed at Ragnor.

Hishka tried to do something to Kotabas with a snake but it didn't seem to work. Kotabas hissed "Traitor" at Hishka. I Magic Missiled Kotobas, then followed up with a Magic Missile from my wand. Hishka healed Marzena of some damage, and Ragnor bashed Kotabas down, while Jolan knocked the killer of the other hostage out.

Ragnor cured Marzena of more damage, and she started to look a bit more coherent, though not exactly grateful, as over the next few minutes she proceeded to reclaim her magic cloak, Wand of Burning Hands, and ring. In the immediate aftermath of the battle, Hishka told us that the King was under the sway of the Great Dragon, and had gone off to destroy the tribe's eggs, and that we should hurry to save them, through the water.

"Damn it! I'm an orc not an orca!" I exclaimed, and I really didn't want to get wet. Hishka cast a spell on Corvan that would allow him to Water Breathe. I made several suggestions regarding covering up the events in his chambers, but Hishka ignored me, and said "Begone, time is of the essence!", casting Obscuring Mist. I forgot at that point about negotiating the release of the other two hostages - it would have been a particularly good negotiating position.

After a brief, cold swim that I enjoyed not at all, we entered a dark chamber with row upon row of eggs, eight kobolds in some sort of armour, and the Lizard King in a raised area toward the back.

Corvan sprinted forward and dropped one of the kobolds with his mighty weapon. The kobolds responded with crossbow fire, and the King with his returning magic trident. Marzena cast Mirror Image on herself and entered the fray with a Flaming Sphere centered on the King, while we proceeded to knock off half the remaining kobolds with arrow fire and magic.

Ragnor swallowed his Protection from Arrows potion, and moved cautiously though the eggs to smite a kobold. Encouraged by Marzena's Flaming Sphere, the Lizard King left his dias and moved into the eggs towards us (the fact that his trident was particularly ineffective at such a long range may also have been a factor). He did seem to be taking some care not to step on any eggs - odd behaviour for someone who was accused of wanting to destroy all of them.

I Lightning Bolted the King once, then a second time and he fell! Jolan had drunk his Potion of Gaseous Form and drifted over to reform with the much prized trident in his hand! The kobolds then started to retreat, not caring much about the lizardfolk eggs. I took out my slightly damp light crossbow to give my Wand of Magic Missiles a much needed rest. However, I was not a very good shot. Marzena finished off the kobolds with the Flaming Sphere aided by Ragnor with his axe.

Corvan ended up staring intently at a rather large, black egg in the chamber that was clearly the work of a Black Dragon than a lizardfolk. He said it was emanating great evil. Jolan came up, lifted his trident, and smashed the large black egg. Dozens, hundreds even, of little green worms burst out onto Jolan and the surrounding lizard eggs. I tried Scorching Ray to cleanse the shattered egg but missed badly [DM says, don't roll a 1, and jinxed the d20], vapourising a large swathe of eggs nearby. Corvan and Jolan bombarded the area with alchemist's fire, and Marzena dropped her Flaming Sphere into the area.

I ran over to her and asked to use her Wand of Burning Hands, but she declined. I ran back to the conflagration, and was horrified to see the little green worms penetrating into the vulnerable lizard eggs, and transforming the lizard spawn into awful undead creatures! While Corvan, Jolan and Ragnor dealt with these new threats, I pulled out the magic Dagger from the King's chamber to stab at some of the worms. Marzena caught sight of the dagger and screeched "that's my dagger!"

I took the opportunity to run back to her, and swap it for a loan of the Wand of Burning Hands: she agreed but exhorted me not to use many charges! After two bursts from the Wand, Corvan squished the last lizard spawn abortion with his weapon.

We have recovered a large amount of silver and gold from underneath the remains of the Black Egg, and the dias had several chests, some empty, others containing potions of some description. The Lizard King was wearing a necklace, and some bracers, and a ring.

I fear that Hishka will not regard damaging or destroying nearly half the egg hatchery a successful rescue and recovery operation, and I am concerned that we may not be able to negotiate the release of the two remaining hostages.

But for now, we need to know the name of the Black Dragon which brought this great evil to the lizardfolk.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant

PS Did you know that Marzena is a sorceress? I was rather hoping for the chance to swap spells from our spellbooks.
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glen



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:07 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #29 the Age of Worms is upon us... Reply with quote

2nd-4th Day of Growfest
Lizardman Territory, Mistmarsh -> Blackwell Keep

Dearest Allustan

We left the badly damaged lizardfolk egg nursery - it was sad that so much damage had been done, and next time we encounter one of these eggs, we will have to do better. At least with the Spawn of Kyuss egg destroyed, some of the new generation of lizardfolk will survive.

We returned to the lizardfolk lair, getting wet again. It was deserted. We went to other chambers we hadn't been before, trying to find the other two hostages. No luck. We didn't want to explore the birdfolk chamber, so we followed our original entry path into the lair. We discovered our way out was blocked by the lizardfolk's rubbish man - an otyugh. We tried to bribe it with food scraps, but it thought we looked tastier. After being chased through the lair by two of them, we realised we couldn't outrun the lead creature, so we turned, made a stand in a chamber, and killed it.

We made it to the entrance of the lizardfolk lair without encountering further otyughs, and found the lizardfolk all encamped outside, with many fires burning. Corvan entered into negotiations with Hishka, to secure the release of the remaining two hostages, and our departure without further bloodshed. We told Hishka the truth of the egg and that the Great Lizard had lied to them. After checking our story, they released us into the swamp, albeit with only one of the remaining hostages. So two hostages were killed by their lizardfolk kidnappers.

During our return to the Keep, Ragnor and I briefly considered collecting the petrified statue of the lizardman for our garden. It seemed though that the cockatrices had returned, and we decided the risk was not worth it.

We found the Keep dark and deserted, and nine of the soldiers encamped some distance away. They told us that a scout had returned from the Mistmarsh ill, and that soon afterwards, rotting zombies of the garrison's complement had taken over. The zombies exuded green worms. The soldiers had barely managed to escape with their lives, and had fortunately sealed the front doors and barricaded the creatures within. We estimated that there were at least 4 of the things inside.

At last - some undead to destroy with the light of Pelor's wrath! We immediately removed the barricades and entered the Keep. Marzena came with us as she wanted access to her room. Corvan brought the light of the sun to the ground level and I followed with my Wand of Shield. Jolan and Ragnor charged up the stairs and immediately engaged in combat with a Kyuss zombie. The slower moving Corvan guarded the stairs from the basement, and was rewarded in his caution by another Kyuss zombie.

I followed my brothers up the stairs, and found them engaged in mortal combat with a Kyuss zombie - Jolan had green worms crawling on his arms, and Ragnor kept missing the deadly shuffling corpse. I let loose a salvo of Magic Missiles, then inexplicably I was overcome by fear and to my eternal shame, I ran screaming back downstairs and out of the Keep.

I managed to come to my senses and returned just as quickly to support my brothers and friend. Marzena was roasting the basement Kyuss zombie with a Flaming Sphere, while upstairs Jolan had killed his worm infestation and had his Kyuss zombie burning merrily in a Flaming Sphere from Ragnor. Ragnor had returned below and it was clear that Corvan was in trouble. He had destroyed his zombie with a powerful touch burst of positive healing energy but now a worm was tunnelling its way through his body! I ripped out my Scroll of Disrupt Undead spells and quickly cast one at the worm's track on his shoulder, but it missed!

Then Ragnor plunged Corvan's dagger into the paladin's arm and pricked out the evil green worm!

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:12 pm    Post subject: Letter to beloved Mentor #30 purify the Keep! Reply with quote

4th-5th Day of Growfest
Blackwell Keep

Dearest Allustan

I shudder to think what would have happened to Corvan if Ragnor had not destroyed the Kyuss worm travelling up his arm. I hope I never find out.

I Webbed the front entrance to prevent egress from the Keep. In the quiet of the immediate aftermath of the battle, we heard thumping from down below. Since the only way to the upper levels was up a ladder, we concluded that we were more likely to find the remaining zombies in the basement.

We descended below into the darkness, and Corvan brought forth the light of the Shining One, obviously for the benefit of Marzena, as no-one else needed it. At the base of the stairs there were two ways to go, Corvan and Jolan went one way, Ragnor and I went the other.

Corvan encountered a Kyuss zombie banging on a closed door, and swiftly engaged it in combat with Jolan's assistance. Ragnor and I were set upon by two Kyuss zombies nearby: we were fighting in a barracks and could see each other across the room.

We managed to destroy all three zombies, but at some cost. I suffered a fearful blow and didn't feel quite right afterwards. Jolan suffered a similar outcome. Those infernal worms that the Kyuss zombies spread with a mere touch have one frantically slapping at the minute things before they succeed in burrowing into the flesh. Fortunately, all of us were successful in this regard. Again, Burning Spheres from Marzena and Ragnor helped save the day. It is no use spreading one's attacks against multiple zombies, as the things simply keep coming. We concentrate attacks on one Kyuss zombie at a time, destroy it, and burn the remains. But I fear the tactical situation if we ever encounter equal or greater numbers of the things.

We had cleared the Keep, and rescued the lone soldier slowing going mad from fear behind the door. Marzena and I took what samples we could of the creatures, and we stayed the night in the relative safety of Blackwell Keep.

The following morning Jolan and I took deathly ill. Our flesh started rotting, we didn't know who we were or what we were doing, but the whole terrible time I was acutely aware of the progress of our horrific affliction. I doubted if I would have survived another day in it's decomposing clutches, but Corvan, our noble paladin, said prayers to Pelor and cured us both. Praise be to Pelor!

Later that morning reinforcements arrived from Diamond Lake. We departed soon after, with Marzena accompanying us. Both Marzena and I were eager to return to Diamond Lake and share our discoveries with you.

Your devoted student

Anlan Evant
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