The Mouth's Little Trip to La-La Land
The Mouth's "Why"

What follows is the content of The Mouth’s very vivid hallucination brought on by poisoning.

You lean down to get a better look at what stung you and see a tiny thumbnail-sized shadowy dragon standing in the lock, its snout horn covered in a tiny drop of blood, your blood. Well, it’s surprising that you didn’t see that the first time around… As it grows to its normal size, the drop of your blood has also taken on gigantic proportions. In a dog-like manner, it sticks out its tongue and licks the blood off of its face then turns and grins at you. Turnaround’s fair play, it says. Makes sense to you. You ask if you can ride it and it reaches out to you and takes a saddle out of your pocket. After setting it on its back, it shapes its tail into a stairway and waits patiently for you to climb its back. Once you’re on, it flies through the cave ceiling and into the night sky. Flying between the diamond stars and enjoying the wind in your hair, you can’t help but get a little pensive. Dragon, you ask, do you know what I often wonder. It slowly shakes its head. I wonder why I ended up in that cave.

As the words leave your mouth, the dragon dives. Little motes of flickering amber and topaz speed towards you, the torch and lantern lights of a city, a city on a shore, criss-crossed with canals in which long stalks of grain sway. Without warning, the dragon enters the water and you crash into the bottom of the canal. Thankfully, the water is only waist-high and there are stairs in the stone walls flanking the canal. You climb out. The city is strange and indistinct, its people replaced by anthropomorphic animals and monsters. Wishing to rejoin your dragon, you make your way to the city’s walls, following the maze of bridges over canals. There, at the gatehouse, you are stopped by two purple-hued humanoid dragon knights. They shout at you and one of them reaches inside their post and shoves a piece of paper at you. The paper reflects your face like a mirror over the word “wanted”. They reach for their weapon, but you quickly give them the slip by running into the non-euclidean geometry of the unnamed city. As you begin to despair that you’ll never reach your dragon again, you happen to overhear a person hidden behind a pile of books trying to hire an escort for a trip half-way to the shadow dragon. He’s already got a raven, a shield, a potion and a panther; he just needs one more. You jump above his books, unto his face and form your body into a pair of lips. As he walks out of the city, his books occasionally bump you, but, so hidden, you easily make it past the knights and begin the long trek towards the shadow. Man, won’t this bumping stop…

You wake up on The Guardian‘s shoulder. You are not a pair of lips and you are not being hit by a tall pile of books, but bumping your face on the dwarf’s armour.

2nd journal entry
It's the never ending queeeest ... woahoo woo...oooo!

Why am I writing in this thing again? I’d completely forgotten that this battered old book was lying in the bottom of my bag.

Well, I’ve got nothing better to do while waiting for Autumn, The Guardian and The Historian waste a vast majority of their so short life sleeping. They do say that idle hands are the tools of Fierna … why is that a bad thing again?

Anyways, a lot of pointless things have happened since I last wrote in this book after we awoke in the cold cavern. Rescued some slaves, was almost dragged into the Feywilde by someone who apparently knows my previous incarnation. Discovered a secret cult of the god of lies or some such … apparently I never studied Religion all that much in my previous incarnation.

By the gods, The Guardian started snoring … how we’re expected to dream with that infernal racket going, I’ll never know. And he’s going to attract all kinds of monsters with that racket.

Where was I? Right, pointless heroics leading to near death experiences.

We’ve managed to anger pretty much every major player in whatever city, town, dungeon or lair we’ve gone into and while that not necessarily a bad thing the annoyance is not the ends, we’re doing all this in name of being … urrrgh … noble.

As I write this journal entry, I sit in a crummy cavern surrounded by slaves that we bought … that’s right bought only to set FREE! I mean, if they’re that weak as to get enslaved in the first place then do they really deserve their freedom?

So now we’re going to free these useless sacks of meat at the the seven pillared hall, a den on thieves if I ever a saw and I bet half of them will be slaves or indentured again within a fortnight.

It’s all I can do sometimes not to give in and small my skull open on some rocks to alleviate the headache that I get from being exposed to the ludicrous decisions this group makes.

Let’s take a look at why we’ve ended up surrounded by these useless wastes of space.

-We wake up in a cave with no memories. -We beat up some Orcs … yea! -We make our way to a town, and take a room at the local Inn. -We wake up from a drug induced sleep to find ourselves tied to chairs by the insane innkeep Rashek. -Insane inkeep Rashek, tortures the mouth after we tell him the TRUTH! I mean, what in the nine hells is wrong with that man. -Insane barkeep (Rashek) sends us on a quest. He doesn’t hire us or anything but sends us off after an apparently missing party member. -We go back to the Orcs and beat them up .. the negotiate for the PURCHASE OF SOME SLAVES (watch for a trend here). -A Satyr comes out of a mirror and tries to get me (or rather the old me) to go into the Feywild with him.

I think it’s important to note here that our personalities are VERY different from those of our previous incarnations. So much so that some of us are worshiping DIFFERENT GODS. I think, that discovering who we were before might bring back our previous incarnations. This said, that would technically mean death for me, after all I’m more than just my body. I’m my thoughts and emotions. If those change drastically then I’m no longer me but someone else. Not too sure I want this to happen. I mean honestly, what if I’m some wilting flower or some useless princess always waiting for a knight in shinning armor to come and save her. I feel ill just thinking about it.

Where was I again? Seems I got side tracked again.

Satyr … right!

*We managed to fight off the Satyr and his panthers or whatever they were. *We head back to town and FREE THE SLAVES! *We discover a cult … to a god of lies or some such … and see the Innkeeps daughter get decapitated. Or so says The Mouth. Apparently, that was a lie (surprise, surprise). *I’m all for skipping town and heading for Waterdeep or Silverymoon or … well anywhere that’s not here but I’m outvoted and we do the hero thing … AGAIN! *There’s more fighting, we find a crazy soothsayer covered in his own feces … I liked him, he added a bit of crazy that’s missing in this group. *Next thing I know we’re off to the Seven Pillared Halls to find the crazy Inkkeeps kidnapped daughter. *After a bit of excitement, an ambnush or two, a very short bar fight and threats of dismemberment from what passes as law enforcement in this cesspit of inequity we find Autumn ...

Ah! Autumn. I’m of two minds about Autumn. Well, some could say we’re all of two minds in this group. I DID NOT JUST SNORT IN LAUGHTER! Why am I even writing this? She’s a wild spirit. Untamned by man but she’s SUCH a goodie two-shoes!

“Oh! We must save my 40 years old human fellow slave hag from the horrors of enslavement.”

I might be paraphrasing a little but that’s generally what she was saying … generally.

I personally didn’t even WANT to come to the seven pillard halls to find Autumn and now she wants us to go save someone else? I was very tempted to simply subdue her, tie her up, sling her over the back of a horse and ride back to town but nooo! Outvoted again!

So we lay siege to a Duegar fortress. Right! You read this right whoever you are reading my Diary (by the way, hope you have lots of healing potions because you’ll need them to deal with the little curse I put/will be putting on this book). WE LAID SIEGE TO A DUEGAR FORTRESS! In the end we were almost obliterated but the overseer, or whatever his title is, chickened out before we did!

And guess what, after giving him pretty much all our gold, THE PERSON WE WERE LOOKING FOR WAS NOT EVEN THERE! So instead we’re stuck with a bunch of useless slaves that we’re going to FREE ANYWAYS! And we’re off to attack another subterranean ubergroup!

By all that’s holy … I really need to learn a bit more about the gods and demons if I’m going to make statements like that … if we don’t find her at the next spot we’re looking at, I’m knocking out Autumn, tying her up, tossing her on a horse and dragging her back to her father!

Oh great, the mortals are waking up. Guess it’s time to escort these useless idiots back to the abatoire. I’ll try to write in here again, does some good to vent sometimes … it’s either that or I start cursing people.

Autum's Journal - second entry

Today started better than I hoped for.  The group was still focused on the task at hand and did not propose to abandon the mission.  Once everyone was suited up and ready to go, we headed down the trail towards the duergars keep for our final assault.

Upon our arrival, the keep was entirely devoid of light.  It was so dark…  The duergars are not stupid, and they had a strong suspicion that we’d be back to finish the job.  As such, they intended to use every advantage they had, and one such advantage is their ability to see in the dark.  

As soon as we arrived in the vicinity of the main gates, it was quiet… too quiet.  It was certainly a trap.  Trap or no trap, that was the front door, and unless we spent countless hours searching in the dark for an alternate way in, the front door remained the best option.  However, the duergars were not the only ones with an ace up their sleeves…  Our ace was The Mouth.  He was successful yesterday in unlocking and opening the gate when we assaulted the Orc guards…  So why wouldn’t it work this time?  Besides, it seems that there isn’t any lock in existence that could prevent the Mouth from picking it… He’s just that good.

True to his art, the Mouth quickly vanished in the dark and headed towards the gates to unlock the door for us…  As I suspected, it was a trap, because trouble found us very quickly!!  For those of us who could not see in the dark, the only indicator of trouble came in the form of the sound of a limp body hitting the ground.  The healer confirmed that the sound came for the Mouth’s limp body…  The Mouth was down!  We had to move quickly.

The guardian led the charge and attempted to open the door using his own universal key, brute force that is.  The rest of us, who had momentarily stayed behind to assess the situation, were soon under fire by unidentified assailants located on the roof of the keep.  We quickly reasoned that if we joined the Guardian at the door, whoever was attacking us would no longer be able to see us.  Nevertheless, given we could not see for certain where the shots were coming from; our only option was to take cover with the Guardian.  

Upon my arrival, I noticed the Mouth sprawled on the ground seemingly in a deep slumber.  I immediately thought to myself that he was drugged.  Meanwhile the Guardian was not wasting any time and promptly attempted to bash the door in with all the might he could muster in his hammer.  Surprisingly, the door withstood the fierce blow and was left relatively unscathed.  I could see the desperateness in the Guardian’s face when the door remained standing…  When brute force can’t solve a problem, then perhaps finesse is the answer, so I attempted to pick the lock.  I did not know what I was thinking, because I’ve never picked a lock in my life…  I was simply hoping to emulate the Mouth from his casual conversation I overheard on the matter.  Suffice it to say that I failed, but not because the lock was too complicated for my understanding, but because there simple were no lock to pick.  The duergars were indeed very busy when we were resting…  One of the things they did to prepare for our arrival was to pour molten iron in the lock mechanism, which would ensure the door remain locked… permanently.

I told the Guardian and the others what was going on with the lock.  The Guardian looked at the door – as if he were sizing it up – and up at the roof of the keep…  What happened next was quite odd.  I’ve never seen a dwarf climb a wall so fast!  Before I could even chuckle seeing how fast those stubby legs were moving, the Guardian was already up at the top coaxing the rest of us to follow suit.  I immediately obeyed and started climbing.  I thought I was doing pretty well, until I did the one thing you should never do, and that is to LOOK DOWN!  Every one says DON’T LOOK DOWN, but when you are in the moment, it is like you are compelled to do so, which I did.  The result was that my muscles froze and I could not go further.  The healer also attempted to climb, but he could not even get his initial grip to start the climb.  Discouraged from seeing our lack of athletic prowess, the Guardian helped us out by lowering a rope…  Climbing using a rope is much easier!!!

We could not leave Mouth passed out at the front of the door, so we tied the rope around his feet and hoisted him on to the roof.  We decided that the safest place for the Mouth was where we stood, so after securing him, the group continued the assault on the keep.  Upon reaching the other ledge of the roof, which looked down into a courtyard in the inner complexe, we noticed that a trap was being laid for us on the bridge leading to the main keep.  From what we could tell, a series of barrels were placed in strategic locations and doused in oil, to which we concluded it was meant to destroy the bridge to prevent us from gaining access to the inner keep.  The Healer surveyed the situation, and assured us that the bridge would withstand the damage if the trap was sprung.  Therefore, rather than having the trap spring on us, we decided to activate it while we were at a safe distance.  The Historian casted a scorching burst on the barrels and a large fire ball resulted…  However, the Healer was wrong because the bridge collapsed!  Upon closer inspection, the situation was not as dire as we thought.  We still manage to enter the keep.  

It was not long after we entered the keep that we encountered our first group of duergars posted to repel the invaders.  In fact, we practically came face to face with 3 of them – one of which we had previously encountered and lived to tell the tail – as we opened a large set of double doors.  It was like they were waiting for us.  Our first battle of the day started!  Things were looking really good for us right up to the point a duergar thurge appeared behind the 3 duergars and blinded everyone except me.  To make matters worse, two duergar scouts appeared and began attacking out rear flank.  

Given the trouble we were in, the Healer activated his power which provided us with a resistance to damage.  Combat was fierce.  The guardian was trying to defend us from the three duerguars, while trying to neutralise the Thurge.  The scouts were doing a lot of damage to the Healer, the Historian and the Fey, and I was trying to support the Guardian in his efforts.  The scouts were concentrating their attacks on the Healer, so I switched positions with the historian so that I could protect the Healer.  I was too late, he fell in combat, so did the protective zone he had conjured.  I stabilized the Healer, and then I transformed into my bear form for hand to hand combat with the scouts.  The Guardian and the Historian effectively dealt with the thurge, as well as the three duergars.  The Guardian was as superb as always in keeping the main duergars busy.  As soon as the thurge folded, the others fell one by one.  We stood there covered in blood, panting to catch our breath…  We were victorious, but we had had only embarked in our first skirmish of the day.  We knew full well more were to come, and most certainly, more difficult than the one we had just gone through.  Our resolve was strong!  After rewarding ourselves with a short rest to recharge our powers, we pressed forward.

The second encounter with the duergars was as gruelling as the first one.  We were again confronted with a thurge.  As the Fey always says, they are ‘’SO ANNOYING’‘!  This time, it was the Historian’s turn to shine and use his most powerful spell, causing a harming zone for the duergars.  This battle was as challenging as the first one we had finished just moments before.  We however persisted as we always do, and prevailed.  We could not take much more of this.  Most of our powerful powers were exhausted, but we had too much committed to simply turn back.  We pressed on with the assault.  

I was really getting battle worn, because the next combat is a blur to me.  I know it was as tough as the others.  Suffice it to say that we won them all!  We finally came across a very large room with two large fire places on either side.  Again, the room had some duergar soldiers…  In addition to the soldiers, another Thurge was present, and none other than Mukelmor Grimmerzhul…  This name means nothing to me, but it seems to mean something to the Mouth…  

Like a reflex, both our camps attacked one another.  The Guardian immediately charged the thurge because he had developed such a deep hatred for them.  The remainder of the group concentrated on the duergar soldiers.  The Guardian almost killed the thurge before he even had a chance to do anything, but due to the direct intervention of Grimmerzhul, the Guardian and the thurge were in a sort of game of cat and mouse.  Grimmerzhul continuously manoeuvred the Guardian ever closer to the fire place, while the thurge manoeuvred away from the Guardian.  Despite the duergar’s strategy, the Guardian eventually managed to significantly harm the thurge to a point were he fled the battle in fear for his own life.  Meanwhile, the rest of us had our hands full with the soldiers.  The Fey was looking very woozy.  We were all down to the bare minimum.  

Once the thurge was no longer in the picture, the Guardian repositioned himself in a place where he was at weapons reach of the soldiers as well as as Grimmerzhul.  He was doing serious damage to all of them…  We ultimately killed the soldiers and it was down to us against Grimmerzhul.  He was not doing very well.  Not only all of his support was dead, but he was alone, and seriously hurt from going toe to toe with the Guardian.  Given the situation, he did the only thing that was logical, and that was to flee…

Grimmerzhul ran into the fireplace, to which we soon found out that there was a secret passage.  The coward had actually installed an escape hatch in a fire place!  We pursued using the corridors, because we were in no shape whatsoever to follow through the fire.  We quickly caught up to Grimmerzhul, but to our despair, he was flanked on each side by fiery demons.  However, just behind them, there they were…  The slaves!  ’’At last’’ I thought to myself!  Despite the goal of our mission was just a short distance away from us, we could hear the demons speaking in our minds…  They were pleading with their master to give them the order to attack us…  But attacking was surprisingly the last thing on Grimmerzhul’s mind, since he wanted to parley.

Grimmerzhul had surely underestimated us and thought we were no danger to him.  However, he likely rethought his strategy after narrowly escaping death himself from our hands.  Grimmerzhul, gesturing for parley, a request we accepted…  It’s not like we were in any better shape to fight, but he did not know that.  Grimmerzhul asked us point blank what we wanted.  I immediately replied ‘’the salves’’!  At that moment, I think he realized that a handful of slaves were not worth dying over, let alone the havoc we had caused thus far.  He agreed to relinquishing the slaves to our custody in exchange for the return of the magical grieves we had acquired after slaying his champion, as well as 10 gold pieces for each duergar we had killed, which was a sum that was paid out of my own pocket.  

A deal was struck.  Murkelmor Grimmerzhul told the two guards in the cistern room to hand over the slaves.  One of the humans had to be helped out due to the gangrene that appeared to have eaten half of his leg.  Upon seeing this and realizing the rest of these pathetic people put her in, The Fey sighed loudly.  At least bringing them back to the Seven Pillared Hall will anger the duergar.  The Fey would suggest leaving them here, but a single glance at me, the Historian and the Guardian told her that we’d insist on getting every single one to safety alive.  Discouraged at the sight, the Fey finally yelled ‘’Come ON’’.  

As the group of slaves got closer to us, I was desperately looking for Mika in the group.  My heart sunk when she was nowhere to be found.  I told Grimmerzhul that we wanted ALL the slaves, to which he said that the woman I spoke of was recently sold to a group of Gnolls.  I asked WHERE these Gnolls were, to which he freely gave up the information.

Although we had just accomplished an amazing feat, I felt that I had failed Mika…  I have to go after her, but I don’t know how the others will react to that.  I could just imagine the fit the Fey will make.  She surely feels that she is putting herself at great peril for inconsequential people, and that every delay is also putting her reward from my father at peril…  We have to look at the greater good here, and it is not to collect gold pieces as reward.  

I did not connect the dots at first glance regarding the implication of Gnolls purchasing slaves…  But then I remembered a conversation I overheard the Mouth the other day, and we had said that there was a group of Gnolls, known as the Black Fang, who were making sacrifices to their demon leader Haldrik.  This was too convenient to not be related to the Gnolls who purchased Mika from Grimmerzhul.  I’m sure these monsters bought Mika for a sacrifice to their demon lord.  I can’t stand for this!  I don’t think the Guardian, nor the Historian could let this happen when we have the power to stop them!

One way or another, Mika has to hold on a bit longer.  We are not in any shape to assault a Gnoll camp at present.  Besides, we can’t let these newly freed slaves to fend for themselves.  They’ll just get killed or worst, be recaptured into slavery and all this would have been for nothing.  Some good has to come out of this!  So we are returning to the Seven Pillared Hall with a group of 12 slaves.  They are so overjoyed for being saved, that one of them has indicated to us that his father is a wealthy trader that does business in the Hall and inferred the possibility of a material reward of some kind.  It will be a long trip, and perilous!  I figure that the slaves will slow us down quite significantly, so it should take us at least 8 hours to reach safety.  These caves are dangerous, and behind every corner, danger could be lurking.  

What are we waiting for, let’s get going.  Before we go though, we can’t forget to get the Mouth off the roof.   

Dark Beginnings
The Guardian's Why

The Guardian is dreaming. Despite all appearances, he knows it’s not a good dream. Sure, a dwarf he somehow recognizes as his father, indistinct though he may be, is holding him in his harm and rocking him softly and humming a lullaby, but, any moment now, it’ll begin… His mother will barge in, bloodied and bruised. She’ll yell at his father. The guardian is too young to understand, but he thinks she’s telling him to get away. Hastily, his father will put him down in his crib and he and his mother will try to pack their most precious things, particularly the jewelled skull and sun pendant his she loves so. It’ll already be too late though and the Guardian wonders if his mother knows it. Through their windows, he’ll see the torches approaching. His mother will push what valuables she’ll have gathered into his father’s arms and try to push him out the secret door at the back of their living quarters. Crying, his father will resist. Desperate, she’ll take a step back, touche her pendant and shout imperatively at his father. His father’s eyes will lose focus and like an automaton, he’ll turn, pick the valuables and the Guardian up and make for the back exit. The Guardian will resist, kicking and scratching at his father, reaching for his mother, cursing his tiny hands and cursing the fools about to set her ablaze. As the door closes behind his father and him he’ll just glimpse the torches as they break through the front door and assail his mother. Although the sight will thankfully be quickly blocked, the sounds of his mother fighting back long after their house has fallen down in the conflagration will stay with him until he wakes.

He can hear her coming now, pressing down on the door handle. He screams for the dream to stop, but his tiny mouth can’t even form the words yet. The door opens; it begins. He knows he can’t stop it, but, one day… One day, he’ll make them pay. He’ll make the all pay.

Duergar Stronghold, Round 2

By The Guardian

Hmm where to start?

So hard to think some nights after getting hit in the head so many times… damn duergars…

Seems like it’s going to be another day at the office trying to prevent the rest of the crew alive… Let’s hope they don’t decide to separate like the last time we tried to get Autumn’s friend from the clutches of these poor excuse for a dwarven subrace. I have to admit they are pretty hard to get rid of; you drop one and two more show up… Let’s hope this is not for nothing and that her friend is still alive… Who knows why they needed slaves?

I guess I should get some rest… I’m pretty sure I’ll need it. At least Autumn was able to use her mumbo jumbo to create a camp where we can rest properly. Sure looks like a normal camp to me, but what do I know about these things…

A few well-spent hours later…

Seems like the only way in the place is through the front gate again… Damn! Seems like there waiting for us this time too. Gate was closed… I bet they locked the damn thing again too.

Ah crap that’s what I thought; The Healer just informed us that The Mouth fell down beside the door while trying to open it… Seems like they not only locked it but they also trapped it…

I just knew going for the frontal assault was a bad idea… Damn, now we are getting shot at from the darkness while trying to rescue the Mouth… And from the top of the stronghold… Ah Crap! Damned duergars keep disappearing… Wait till I get my hands on them!

I had to climb the wall to make them flee… At least here the damn hidden crossbowmen can’t get us… Everyone is up now… at least we can go inside and get the fighting to them: no more hiding!

A big flaming dwarf came out and warned us to leave or we would perish… Everyone seems to agree that he’s bluffing when he says he has lots of reinforcements since we attacked last time…

Damn, they put some kind of barrels on the bridge we used last time… The Healer says there’s a duergar with some sort of sphere in his hand hiding at the door on the other side of the bridge… Sounds like a trap to me, so I asked The Historian to use his magic to see if those things will explode in our face if we try to cross… WOAH! After a little wizard’s fire, seems like I was right! The bridge is gone.

Guess we have to go through the forge… Nobody here… Everything is dark… The duergars seem to have vanished…

Ah! That’s where they were hiding… Behind the next door! Damn, that big duergar we killed the other day is back and he seems even more mad then the last time! And not another one of those mystical duegars that keep blinding and making us feel sick… But this time it’s hiding behind a big wooden door. I’ll get him later!

Another bridge… at least this time we have a table to protect us from the crossbowmen… thanks theurge!

Oh damn that’s a big ogre and some nice orc cronnies to squish! Yeah! I love crushing Orcs even more then Duergars!

A few minutes later…

Damn, I didn’t even get to bash in one orc skull the Historian and Autumn blasted them to smithereens…

To be continued…

Autum's personal journal

I honestly thought that by this time, I would be reunited with Mika.  It’s certainly not from the lack of trying!  The group I’m travelling with, and who’ve helped me escape from the clutches of the Bloodreavers, were kind enough to take on my burden of tracking down the slavers who are holding Mika captive…

It’s not like they had a choice in the matter really…  Daddy always taught me that a person had to persevere to achieve a goal…  Well, I did just that!  Daddy would be proud…  I think.  

You see, the others were sent by Daddy to bring me back to him, so when I was finally freed from my jailers, I told them that I was not going back until Mika was safe and sound…  Daddy must have promised them a big reward since they agreed to my terms…

Now that I’ve spent some time with them, I’m beginning to think that I may have been too harsh in giving them such an ultimatum…  It must have been a defence mechanism considering the first group of adventurers, whom I thought were my friends, drugged me and sold me into slavery…  I guess I have trust issues.

That reminds me, I have to catch up with my old ’’friends’’ so that I can rip them a new one and feed them their own hearts.  I shall not spare them any pain.  This is my promise to myself!

Where was I?  Oh yes, the people I’m currently travelling with.  They are quite a talented group.  Stuff legends are made of.  They appear to have a long history together, but something must have happened to them in their travels, since none of them know who they are…  They have all forgotten their past!  Who knows, they may even be mortal enemies and they don’t even know it.  Now that’s a scary thought!

Their ’’Amnesia’’ is probably the reason why they call each other by roles and not by their names, since they don’t even know it themselves.  There’s the Fey, who’s a beautiful Eladrin Warlock capable of devastating anyone who opposes her; the Guardian, a grumpy dwarf that I certainly would not want to be on the other end of the hammer he wields; the Healer, a cleric of Kelemvor who possesses such a kindness in his soul and cares deeply about his companions despite being a very intimidating looking Drow with fiery red eyes; the Historian, who is a powerful human wizard who would be such a compelling leader to follow if it were not for his own self doubts; and the Mouth, who is a very cunning, charismatic and graceful Drow excelling as a rogue and who reminds me of a playful mischievous rascal.  And then there is me… yeh me!

We seem to work well together!  I thought, well actually, we all thought that getting Mika back from the Duergars would be a simple snatch and grab operation…  We were wrong, dead wrong!  We fought our way in without sounding the alarm, but the element of surprise was soon after lost when we failed to ambush the blacksmith and his cronies.  From that point, we tried so very hard to push forward, but the fights were very taxing on all of us.  If it were not for the Historian, I think we would all either be dead, or reunited with Mika, but in adjacent cells!  We realised for any chance of saving Mika, and ourselves, we had to regroup, and so we did!

The good news is that the Duergar have been severely weakened by our assault, and they also have no clue why they were attacked, so chances are good that Mika is safe.  The bad news though is that the survivors will have time to get reinforcements, and they WILL be expecting us!

We are currently hiding out close to the Duergar Keep in a campsite of my magical creation.  The Historian was kind enough to provide the residium…  I know how precious that stuff is, and he volunteered it freely for the benefit of the group without any after thoughts…  This is what I dreamed of all my life… being part of a group, depending on each other and ultimately, being the closest friends ever.  I really like Fey, Guardian, Healer, Historian, and Mouth…  I could see myself be their friend…  I hope they can see me as theirs…  They can count on me, they’ll see!  I just hope that they will still want me around after they return me to daddy and that I wasn’t just a reward for them…

That’s enough reflecting for now.  I need to rest now.  I deserve it…  We all deserve it!  After we’ve all rested and calmed our spirits from the havoc of battle, I hope my companions don’t decide to abort the mission…  I don’t know what I would do if they did that…  I would be torn in two!  Part of me would be furious and would want to go it alone out of loyalty for Mika… even if it meant my death! The other part of me would totally understand their choice and I myself would conclude that it was a hopeless task, return home with them and live the rest of my life with regret…  I hope I don’t have to make that choice!  I’m shaking just thinking of it. I think I’ll be silently crying myself to sleep now…

Saving Rashek's Daughter

By the Mouth

So, after neutralizing the guards, we crept into the Blood Reavers’ lair. We found the main group playing with a new toy that seemed to have gotten free. Some kind of shape-shifting bear woman. Damn, it’s Rashek’s daughter, Autumn. Well, at least she had them distracted. We sneaked in behind and killed them… eventually. It was a little touch and go for a minute as the whole tribe was brought to bear upon us and surround us. Yet, as usual we prevailed. As we explored the various rooms, we found a few holdouts in the kitchen and killed them. After exploring the site, we found Autumn’s gear and a note from Murkelmor Grimmerzhul, duergar chieftain to the master of the Blood Reavers.

We then returned to the Seven Pillared Hall to rest. There we informed Autumn that her father is worried and that we would be returning to Eagle Peak in the morning. She thanked us for our help and said that other slaves had been sold and that she had vowed to save a friend that was traded with the duergar Murkelmor Grimmerzhul and wouldn’t leave without her. Stupid women… Now, thanks to our bleeding heart colleagues, we’re off to save more people. At least they’re not too picky about how we do it.

So I scoped out the duergar trading house.

Then, I joined the others for a meal. After discussing what to do, I returned to the duergar outpost and tried to meet with Murkelmor Grimmerzhul through Khedira, the outpost leader, without givingaway too much, but nothing to do. So I left. Autumn was annoyed by my efforts, so the next morning, I suggested she try.

So, I brought her to the outpost while the others waited around the corner. There, she and I were let in and, after Autumn explained what she wanted, we were attacked by the guards. Nice negotiating there, my dear. Luckily, the others heard the fight and The Guardian plowed through the door to even the odds. Unfortunately, the berserker guards took a strong disliking to me and, unbelievably, they somehow managed to knock me out and close the door with everyone else outside!! Things were looking grim, but the others were really there in this moment of need. They stormed the place and killed the last few guards. I’m going to do something nice for them! Maybe even charge them cost for it, too. We pulled all the bodies inside and closed the door behind us. After searching the enclave, we found a map and a back door that leads to their new secret base.

I returned Gendar sceptre and in exchange he told us about the Slave House Thresk, which is a group of drow males that formed a guild of mercenaries and have a bounty on one of our heads. I’ve asked Gendar to arrange a meet with them so we can sort this out.

I was also intercepted by Orontor, the Mage of Saruun that operates the Seven Pillared Hall. He gave us a discreet mission for him. He wants us to take care of an embarrassing colleague called Paldemar, an arcanist operating somewhere around the halls.

I also found out that there is a group of gnolls known as the Black Fang making sacrifices to their demon leader Haldrik. They can be found at the Well of Demons.

Also there is a portal to the shadow plane somewhere near.

The next day we set off for the secret duergar stronghold.

Good-byes and Baptisms
Further insipid GM ramblings

The party continues its exploration of the Labyrinth:

  • After defeating the witch, the party returns to the Seven Pillared Hall.
    • After the Guardian and the Mouth’s antics Brugg set his thugs to keep a close eye on the party
  • The party visits Phaledra to receive their reward; she thanks them, expressing no pity for the witch’s death
    • Terrlenn explains his situation to her; she confirms that breaking the source of the curse should reverse it and agrees to keep watch over the guide to prevent further attacks.
  • Back at the inn, Rendill tells the party that he’s been telling everyone about them and their heroic rescue. He’s even found a nickname for them: The Forgotten
    • “It’s genius, you see! It’s like a trade mark and people can append whatever suffix they want: The Forgotten Adventurers, The Forgotten Heroes, The Forgotten Warriors! It’s epic and convenient!”
  • Charrak, a particularly pathetic-looking kobold, approaches the mouth with information about the Grimmerzhul Clan and its enclave.
  • The party leaves for the House of Silence to save Terrlenn
    • The artefact’s defences are no match for the party’s capabilities; a little fire, a few pups and a maddeningly annoying revenant are made short work of
    • The party not only destroys the offending item but also makes a tiny profit by pillaging the site
    • Upon returning to Phaledra’s, the party confirms that the curse has been lifted
    • Phaledra, the Seeker and Terrlenn each bear witness to the effect of the disk’s destruction
  • The following day, a visibly happier Terrlenn guides the party to the Chamber of Eyes where the Bloodreavers are known to lair
    • The party enters the narthex of this ancient temple and proceeds to spend 15 minutes inconclusively debating the merits of confrontational vs. negotiating approaches to finally sneak in and assault the guards more or less in their sleep
  • The game ends with this encounter
Prophetic Ramblings
The Guardian's "Who"

This interlude takes place on the evening you spent in the Stonelands after leaving the caves which connected to the temple to Cyric, before returning to Eagle Peak. As indicated at the time, the next morning, the prophet had left your camp, leaving no trace, and each of you had a bit of a short memory blank in the middle of your watch. This particular memory returns to you at dinner following your next return to the The Seven Pillared Hall.

It’s a nice night to be camping outside and the valley cuts off the worse of the weather. Thankfully, what breeze remains is sufficient to drive off the smell of the madman you and your allies picked up in the forgotten thane under Eagle Peak. It’s hard to believe that, only one week ago, you woke up in a cave without a clue as to your identity and that, in such a short time, you were held prisoner, targeted by goblin assassins, guests in an orcish camp and witness to a beheading. Frankly, if this is in anyway related to the type of person you were before the incident, it’s no great surprise that you lost some of your marbles or, as the dwarves say, some of your marble.

As you ponder these thoughts, the mass of tattered blankets that is the elven prophet sits before you and looks deep into your eyes. No, that’s not right. He looks beyond your eyes, appearing to search for something inside your head. As you start lifting your weapon to encourage him to give you a wide berth, a crown of black flames sprouts from his brow and he speaks in the same imperious voice he used before, transfixing you: “Hear me once more, Ebon Spur.” You feel a frenzy in the back of your mind. That small part of you that panicked on that faithful day, launches itself at whatever barrier is keeping you from your memories with renewed vigour. The voice continues: “It is within my power to free you from your mnemonic incarceration, this paltry prison cannot prevent me from reaching into the mind of my champions, but, despite your latest exploit, I choose not to. Certainly, while posing as a servant of that miserable Amaunathor, your actions did me honour, but to be caught in such a feeble trap does not become my flock… Perhaps, if you redeem yourself, I might be tempted to point you in the right direction… A test:

Below quicksilver peak
Rescue the grizzled beast
A single key, two sheep astray
Two failures, one reward
Administer or admit
Carry these words
Orontor doubts

Like others before them, these words will flee your mind, but, fear not, they’ll return at an appropriate time…”

As madness returns to the poor meat puppet so does the familiar refrain: “Forgive the forgotten, forget the forgiven, you forgot and I forgive in the fog…” The previous words forgotten, you swat the annoying man away and return to your watch.

Ceremonies and a Tower
Another boring DM synopsis
  • On its way back to the Seven Pillared Hall, the party encountered a group of Bloodreaver hobgoblins toying with a halfling prisoner.
  • The party saved the halfling, but, in the process, the Healer perished.
  • The halfling is Rendill Halfmoon, a member of the family that owns the only inn in the Hall: The Halfmoon Inn.
    • As a reward for saving him, the party was invited to stay at the inn free of charge for as long as it might need to.
    • Rendill also proved to be a source of valuable information about the Hall, highlighting the major sites and some needed contacts: Phaledra, cleric of Torm (for the raise dead); Gendar, owner of Gendar’s Curios and Relics (main information broker) and Terrlenn Darkseeker, ex-Purple Dragon Knight, best underdark guide in town.
    • Rendill indicated that the Bloodreavers hang out mainly in the Chamber of Eyes, a series of room within the labyrinth.
  • Hearing how the party saved Rendill, Phaledra agreed to raise its fallen members for the standard price (500 gp, also known as all the party’s money), but also offered to take 20% off if it helped her deal with a monster problem plaguing the few honest merchants coming to the Hall. The group agreed and she provided the relevant information.
    • The Seeker offered to help out with the raise dead rituals. Prompting Phaledra to shave another 10% off.
  • Gendar, a drow, knows about the mark the goblins bear, but will only provide that information if the party engages in some treasure hunting for him. He’s looking for non-magical relics hidden in some of the labyrinths more dangerous rooms, particularly the Court of Bones.
    • Gendar also wishes the party to retrieve an item that the Duergar from the Glimmerzhûl Trading Post stole from him in the underdark.
  • Terrlenn, a human, originally agreed to serve as the party’s guide for 10 gp/day, but reduced his price to 8 after the Mouth convinced him that the group is, like him, only trying to do its part in the fight against evil that the Purple Dragons abandoned in the name of petty politics and power plays.
    • Rendill mentioned and Terrlenn confirmed that he has recently lost a few expeditions. However, these disappearances were always accompanied by memory blanks.
  • Unsatisfied with the information available to him at the Halfmoon Inn, the Mouth decided to visit Rothar’s Taproom, a decidedly low-rent and unwelcoming establishment, with the Guardian to watch his back.
    • Unfortunately, after some Duergar (read “evil dwarves”) disrespected him, the Guardian started a bar fight by literally spitting in someone’s face.
    • Worse, when he realized that he had picked a fight with a creature whose natural unarmed fighting capabilities greatly outmatched his own, the Guardian took a swing with his hammer.
    • Regrettably, he did this in front of Brugg, the Mages of Saruun’s captain of the guards, the ogre who had warned the party not to cause any trouble and not to bother him in any way, who was then forced to intervene and throw the troublemakers, the Guardian and the Mouth that is, out.
  • The next morning, the party chose to solve Phaledra’s problem first as it theoretically only involved talking to a witch and convincing her to keep some of her pets in line: quick, painless and profitable enough to pay for Terrlenn’s services on its way to the Chamber of Eyes.
    • Feeling unwell, the Seeker chose to remain with Phaledra and discuss rituals.
    • Terrlenn unfailingly guided the party to the witch’s lair: the Tower of Sunset. The structure sits on a crag jutting out from the Thunderspire and can be reached through the labyrinth.
    • Denoa the witch, a Shadar-Kai, uninterested in conversations, set her minions, 2 homunculi and a shadow mastiff, onto the group as soon as they walked in. A, somewhat long, but captivating fight ensued in which she was revealed to have gargoyle allies, likely the creatures that had been attacking the merchants.
    • The party defeated the monsters and, for its trouble, found treasure, including a +2 wand which was given to the Fey.
  • While returning to the Seven Pillared Hall, the party discovered the source of Terrlenn’s blackouts when he turned into a werewolf and attacked them. The party quickly subdued him, ridiculously quickly in fact.
    • Told of his curse, Terrlenn was able to put two and two together and connect his problems to an artefact he found some days ago in the House of Silence, one of the Labyrinths many mysterious locales: the House of Silence.
  • Finally, the group made its way to the Hall and that’s where we left it.

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