Drefus Marendithas Maldoraan III

Fledgeling mage

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral Class: Mage Specialization: Evocation
Sex: Male Age: 21 Height: 5’9" Weight: 175lbs Eyes: Blue Hair: Light Brown
Str: 16+1(Root) Sta: 15 Aim: 15 Bal: 15
Fit: 17+1(Root) Hlt: 16 Kno: 16 Rsn: 16
Wil: 17 Int: 15 Ldr: 13 App: 15

Notable Equipment:

  • Magical Dagger SetTruth’s Fang & Truth’s Fury
    • Truth’s Fang: Straight-back dagger with a Gem of True Seeing (which I call Truth’s Eye) as the pommel. Owner can summon back into his hands at will after mentally bonding with dagger (one-time check).
    • Truth’s Fury: Straight-back dagger with a blue gem that magnifies damage as the pommel. Owner can summon back into his hands at will after mentally bonding with dagger (one-time check).
  • Magical Throwing Daggers: Two daggers, one a +2 to hit/dmg the other +1 to hit/dmg.
  • Pouch of Holding: creates an extra-dimensional space that holds an unproportional amount of items relative to 3rd dimension space. In other words, it holds more loot than it realistically should.
  • Drinking Jack of Persuasion: a magical drinking jack (canteen) made of polished black bone adorned with pure silver trim and runes. Sharing a drink of mead or ale will make the person more open to your suggestions.
  • Red Gold Ring: the band is fashioned into a coiling snake whose open mouth holds a ruby. Properties unknown at this time (97%).
  • Chimera’s Golden Goblet: Golden goblet, rim is adorned with 12 emeralds. Properties unknown (82%).
  • Box of Strange Ovaloids: Wooden box containing strange stone ovals of varying color. Properties are unknown.
  • +Faceless Metal Mask: Gunmetal grey face mask, smooth metal with no engravings or details aside from eye slits. Properties unknown (84%).

Most people would describe Drefus as antagonistic, bitter, cynical, antisocial, misanthropic, and sardonic. Because he never was taught how to interact with people, Drefus is often sarcastic when confronted with conversation. Another characteristic that puts people off is that he is highly unenthusiastic or indifferent toward most endeavors, the study magic being excluded of course, and will often let out an audible sigh or mumble something along the lines of “what a pain” when effort on his part is needed. Much of this behavior is due to the fact that he spent many lonely hours pouring over accounting books and never really learned how to properly deal with people. However, when duty calls, Drefus has a strong moral compass and sense of commitment to his comrades. Even though by his own testimony he lacks bravery, he will sacrifice himself and face almost certain death for the sake of his friends.

When Drefus originally joined the group, he was basically useless, and would go about the battlefield and drop rocks on any enemies that his friends didn’t have time to kill. As the group progressed and their skills increased, the young mage felt as if he was constantly playing catch-up to his companions, constantly unable to pull his own weight. A few events in short order remedied this outlook, and in no time Drefus found the confidence he needed. Instead of feeling like a dead weight, he began to get into the fights, using his intellect to compensate for his lack of toughness and would outmaneuver or exploit an enemy’s weakness, and often would come away without a scratch.

Character Journal

Day 1-2
The dragon armies have come to Shorespoint. No time to write. Must flee…by the time this ink dries, I will be long gone.

Day 3
I don’t know if anyone will ever get a chance to read this, but our story must be written so it won’t be lost to the sands of time. Our town of Shorespoint, in which I am an accountant of some skill, was attacked by the Dragon Armies. We fled the city, led by a group of adventurers. We were hiding in one of the many caves that dot the nearby mountain sides, when I saw them heading out on a mission. I don’t know why I call it a mission, that was just the first word to pop into my mind and it seemed to suit the situation. Anyway, I followed the self appointed leader Dreval, a fighter of some talent, he prefers to use blunt weapons (undoubtedly to match his blunt demeanor), an elven Wildrunner (whatever those are) with a stereotypical unpronounceable elven name of Aelmonmathalas Starlye, and Borse (he only needs a first name, really), a human fighter suited to the front lines. Regarding Dreval, I shouldn’t make decisions about people before I get to know them (he DOES make that hard, however), so I will hold back on my formal opinion.

As we traveled down the damp, dank tunnel, we came upon a long, ancient wooden bridge. Before I go on, I have something to say. What kind of idiot builds a wooden bridge underground? I mean, really? Ok, ok, it was most likely dwarves (Dreval says so), but still. Aren’t dwarves stonemasons? Be that as it may, I will get back on subject… We crossed the bridge one at a time, the two fighters, elf (and accountant) went first. On the other side, we encountered a few Hobbs. Disgusting creatures, Hobbs. Not accustomed to the combat scene, I decided to skulk around and do what I could from the shadows. As it turns out, I was a big help to the group. I was able to sneak up behind an archer that was taking pot shots at my three companions and sink my short sword into his spine. My second kill of the encounter was slicing open the jugular of a Hobb fighter. I then collected the loot from my two corpses. I was disappointed to have only come away with a pair of socks and some Hobb perfume (how female Hobbs find that repugnant odor attractive is beyond me).

We traversed the rough floor of the tunnel for a time more, and then rested for a short while. During this time, I observed the various mannerisms of the group members. The elf seems to be uncomfortable with these depths, and appears anxious to get out of these dank tunnels back into his natural habitat. As to the humans of the group (excluding me), I am unable to discern their attitude toward our environment. The dwarf, of course, is completely at home.

Our rest completed, we moved on. Traveling for a short a while we were ambushed by a large number of those disgusting creates called Hobbs. The battle was a long one, and just as it looked as if we had won the day, enemy reinforcements arrived. We were pushed back as the stem and flow of weary Hobbs was replaced by the fresh troops. As I was fighting, I was able to catch a glimpse of Aelmon shoot searing flames out from his hands. I have heard of powers such as this. Magic. I have always been interested in such an art, and must inquire as how to learn to cast spells. As I watched, enthralled, the elf was badly hurt. Dreval came to his aid, and ended up healing him with a divine energy.

Day 4
This is my second day traveling with the group, and I woke up with a dreary feeling, most likely from being in these dark depths for too long. Being rather bored waiting for the other members of the adventuring troop, I decided to check if there was a hidden cache behind the waterfall. To my surprise, there was a passage way cut out, and small deposits of treasure along the rough walls. I was able to grab a golden anklet adorned with multiple gems and a polished black bone drinking jack with silver trim. Some fancy women’s hairpins also caught my eye, so I pocketed them as well, along with quite a bit of money as well. Upon returning to the group, I had Aelmon use a spell called detect magic. The anklet was not magical, but the drinking jack was. For the remainder of our stay next to the waterfall, I went about practicing magic under the tutoring of the elven Wildrunner, and made much progress. Aelmon says that if I keep practicing as he instructed, I will be able to focus my magical essence into spells in a short manner of time. A little later we emerged from the caves to the outdoors, with plains lying before us.

I went out exploring with Aelmon while he searched for herbs. I decided to start a book full of sketches of the herbs and their properties because if I am going to become a magic user, knowledge of these plants would be invaluable. While I went about my task, a large flying lizard passed above us, and I can remember nothing after that. I awoke in back in the cave.

Day 5
Not much happened today. The leadership decided to move all 500 people out of the cave. I suggested to some of the people to make camouflage suits after I successfully crafted mine using netting and putting local foliage in it. 15% of the populace took my advice, helping to hide 75 people from possible prying eyes.

Day 6
More travelling, of which I am getting sick off. The dwarf was our guide as we traversed up the side of a mountain path, and we ended up stumbling on a Fire Giant’s abode. We waited for the giant to leave, then we snuck closer to the entrance. The elf remained outside as a watch while we moved in to examine the home. We discovered that this giant was betrothed, and his mate was soundly sleeping. We moved quietly around the house and eventually found a barred door, behind which some treasure lay. I suggested sliding the bar instead of wasting energy trying to pick up the massive board. We got into the room, and I immediately began to deposit steel pieces into my pouches. I then had the idea to get the elf and have him use his Detect Magic ability on the treasure trove while I stood watch for the returning male. A bit of time went by, when all of a sudden all of the guys came rushing out of the cave like bats outta the abyss. We were pursued by the fugly female for a short distance, but we were able to scatter and thwart her, escaping with the booty.

A short time later we returned to the mass of people. Ate dinner and grabbed a quick 40 winks before moving out 30 minutes later.

Day 7
Travelled through the night to a small grove of trees. At this point in our journey, we discovered that we were being followed. Decided that we would set up an ambush. Not knowing the number of troops behind us, I suggested putting some of our fighters in the trees and waiting for the enemy to pass beneath us and surprise them.

Up in my tree with a guard, I prepared to attack. The guard leaped and obliterated a nearby Baaz, cleaving it from forehead to navel, then swung around and owned another Baaz I had gotten a shot off on (with an 18), driving his spear through his stomach and severing the spine. I kept laying down coving fire around the guard, scoring hits on multiple goblins and dracs.

The battle was over quickly, and I took a goblin as a prisoner. I will attempt to befriend the creature, as there is much I can do with his companionship. He was hurt in the fight, so I gave him ¼ of an Anserc as well as some jerky. He was perplexed by this kindness, and seems to have bonded to me for this. The higher-ups didn’t like the idea of keeping Snog, the goblin, with us. I was not happy with their decision, so I privately talked to Snog to tell him that he would always be welcome at my side, and that he didn’t need to return to the dragon army. With this I left him his weapons and some traveling food, as well as ½ dose of Anserc.

Our herd of people moved out as darkness fell, hoping that the shadows would conceal our flight. We moved in near silence, the only sound that was made was the tall grass brushing against pant legs or crunching under foot falls. Here and there a child let out a whimper in their sleep, quickly quieted by an attentive mother. We continued as such all the way through dawn.

Day 8
When the sun finally broke over the horizon, we rushed the last mile to the relative safety of some trees set against a mountainside. Looking to rest with our people, I saw Dreval and the others being lead away by the dwarf. They didn’t invite me to come along with them, but I frankly could care less. I got up off of the stump I was sitting on and trudged along after them.

I finally caught up to them as they approached the entrance to a cave, one of several in the vicinity. Dreval stated that these might make a suitable hiding place for the refugees of Shorespoint. With this we strode in. Unfortunately, we strode directly into the abode of a creature called a chimera (a creature with three heads all of different animals), which greeted us with a breath of fire from its dragon head. I didn’t do too much in this fight, but I studied how long it would take for the monster to breathe again as this could aid us in the future, should we live through this. My companions (I say the word lightly, as I feel I am just an unwanted deadweight to them) were able to slay the chimera, from which I took the dragon’s two large fangs. For what purpose I don’t yet know, I’ll think of something later. The dwarf decided to join me in this endeavor, although he wanted a little of everything. Leaving Brimir (for that is his name) to mutilate the corpse further, I went deeper into the cave after the others. I found them shortly examining a pile of coins. Aelmon, as the others call him, approached the pile and began making some hand signs over the loot. Guessing it was some sort of magic, I memorized the signs and will try to reproduce them at a later date. The elf simply shrugged, which I take to mean that there is nothing there. Dreval, Borse, and Aelmon ignored the pile, which I dove into with much pleasure. I found a beautifully crafted cup with 12 emeralds encircling the rim. I was able to get a good haul before we had to leave the cave to search the others.

You think we would have learned to knock after the chimera cave. Apparently not, because as soon as we entered the cave we were set upon by a land shark. Now for those of you who don’t know what a land shark (a.k.a. bulette) is, let me describe it to you. Take a shark, a cold blooded killing machine with a big mouth full of teeth, and give it four legs. On its back place naturally-occuring armor plating and you have a land shark. These things are driven purely by hunger, and will eat even if they are full. This is what the elf told us in the quick second we had before it came at us. Not wanting to become lunch, I climbed up where I hope it wouldn’t be able to reach me. The others decided to engage the creature head on. Brimir went berserk, jumping on its back and pulling what looks like a hardened dorsal fin up and stabbing underneath. The creature went down with no major injuries on our side. The dwarf was a little sore, however. We all came to the decision that these caves would do to house the survivors, so we returned to where we left them.

Upon our arrival, Yerald had Dreval tied up because of some misunderstanding that happened at the fight in the grove of trees the other night. Something about seeing Dreval’s corpse lying on the ground next to the unconscious Dreval, who was now being tied up. The whole situation is confusing, but I know that this is our Dreval, the one I originally began to follow those 7 days ago, so I will stand by him. Brimir felt the same way, so when some draconians attacked the refugees fled and left Dreval tied up to die. We stuck with him.

After I cut the ropes binding him, I told Dreval my plan to ambush the draconians. I would pretend to hate the refugees and approach a draconian archer, asking to borrow his weapon. During this exchange, Dreval would come up behind them and clock them with his mace. This strategy worked surprisingly well for its simplicity, and we were able to tag-team quite a few before they caught on to us. Unfortunately for them, it was too late.

As the battle ensued, the tide turned to our favor. Our troops rallied and held the line, forcing some of the dragon men to flee. I chased after one such drac, a brass skinned one, and smashed the back of his head in with a rock. The next thing I know, he’s exploding into acid. Luckily I was far enough away so that it only hit me below the knees, but it made for treacherous ground to stand on. I slipped in the stuff trying to get out, falling on my back. The pain was immense, and I nearly blacked out. I was able to pull though the pain through sheer will, dragging myself out of the caustic liquid.

I flopped to the ground, exhausted and in pain. I rolled over and stared up at the sky. The sounds of battle crashed in crescendos of mind-splitting pain. Distantly I can hear Yerald calling for the creation of a 2nd perimeter to let the people escape. Knowing that I did what I could to help, I can slip into death’s embrace with no regrets. With a smile on my face, I watch the clouds and wait for Chemosh to come for me.

“No!” I told myself, punching the illusionary god of death in the face, “Back off bitch, I’m not done here!” I hauled myself to my knees and pull out my canteen to wash the acid from by body. Never again will I give in to death so easily, from here on out I will fight all the way to the Abyss’ gates! After I had washed the acid off, I used an herb called culkas to some of my burns. As I sat doing this, I found what looked like a good spear. I’ll see if I can trade this for a staff or turn it into a staff. Not much happened after that. The battle drew to a close, our troops being victorious. I went to the officer in charge of weapons and was able to trade the spear I found for a very stout staff, which I would like to put to good use beating the crap out of Yerald. The dwarf exchanged some heated words with that ass, and I told him the next time he pulls something like that he’s on his own. I think he got the message not to mess with us, so I left him to stew over his actions.

We moved out to the caves for the night, and it appears as though these caves will be the make shift home to the people of Shorespoint. Not wanting to sleep in a cave, I went outside and slept in a tree.

Day 9-16
Didn’t go out exploring for quite some time, so we just went about doing stuff. I asked Aelmon to give me some pointers on how to fight with a staff, and we sparred every morning during the duration of our stay here. I was also cajoled into searching for herbs with the others. The majority of my time was spent focusing on my magic studies.

Day 17
Today we finally left the refugees behind, and set out on some adventure of some sort (nobody tells me anything). On our journey we ran into a wild wolf that seemed anxious for some reason. The elf communicated with him, and said that the wolf wanted us to follow him so we could kill some marauders that had taken over the pack’s den. I think the elf is losing it, talking with animals. Regardless, we followed the creature back to its den, which had been overrun by ogres. We quickly cleared them out, and were on our way again.

We were ambushed by two large beasts called Earthen Claws. Things didn’t go very well, in my opinion. I hooked one of the creatures with some rope then attached the other end to the second Earthen Claw. Their immense strength worked against one another, and they fell to the ground, where my allies were able to easily dispatch them. With that interruption out of the way, I was able to get back to my studies as we traveled.

After being lead around by the dwarf (who insisted we weren’t going in circles) we arrived at the cave we were looking for. Upon entering, we saw that the way was blocked by a group of ogres who were standing guard. I suggested that Aelmon use his Alarm spell or something similar to pull some of the enemies away as we slipped by to take out the ones in the back out. He decided to throw a rock down the passage and use the Pyrotechnics spell on the torch that the guard carried when he went to investigate, which startled him. The other ogres left to see what was going on, leaving us with only two with which to dispatch. The fighters Borse and Dreval incapacitated the first one and then teamed up on the second.

I moved in to finish the incapped ogre, and figuring I had to say something cool, I opted for “Nighty night” as I slit his throat open. Then, for some dramatic flair, I used his blood to write ‘Drefus was here’ on the stone wall. I couldn’t get as artsy as I wanted as my companions bid me further down the tunnel after they removed the corpses somewhere. As I followed them, I used a jar of local phosphorescent mold I collected as a low-level light source. Again we ran into guard ogres, but this time we weren’t able to distract any.

A battle ensued, during which I saved Borse from the ogre officer by smashing my staff into the back of his knee, which effectively dropped him. Dreval and the others finished the fight, as is the custom, while I skulked back off into the shadows and waited for another victim. These were exceptionally well armed and armored for ogres I learned after the battle. Borse was having trouble using the hand that the ogre had hit. Upon some examination, it was determined that the hand was broken. While we discussed how to heal the hand in the most effective way, I offered up the solution of directly inserting the medicine into the hand by making a small incision.

We retreated to a cave that was set off from the tunnel while Aelmon and Brimir went ahead to scout out the next obstacle that was on the dwarf’s map. When they returned, we learned that there was a fortification up ahead that was manned by some minotaur, and that Brimir had overheard a conversation between two of them that they had a prisoner locked up somewhere within the confines of the keep. Luckily, the dwarf’s map indicated there was a secret passage through the keep.

We set out with the highest hopes, but things were about to go awry. First Aelmon exploded as he accidentally fired a beam of force at the keep. Next, Brimir went berserk again and got really engrossed in a fight with the commanding officer of the keep. Then Borse started climbing up the keep to look in a window for who knows what reason.

While everyone was doing this, Dreval and I managed to stay on task. Dreval went and got the unconscious elf while I found and opened the hidden door. After we had regrouped (save Borse, who was still upstairs, somewhere) we started down the tunnel. The dwarf found a trap, which I marked with the glowing moss for the rest of the group. Then we heard the sounds of battle above us. We all raced up some narrow spiral stairs and burst into a room to find Borse and a minotaur fighting off some minotaur. We joined in, and quickly had their corpses lying at our feet.

Borse introduced us to his new friend Khan. Pleasantries were exchanged, although I could tell that Khan detested me. I tried to smooth things over by giving him an anserc to heal the wounds he got in battle, and I think that helped his perception of me a little. After this, we simply set up camp in the keep, figuring nothing would approach us during the night, and if something did, we could just have Khan go out and act as if everything was normal.

Day 18
This morning, when I woke up and did my morning magic practice (in solitude, per usual), I actually felt the arcane energy moving about, traveling where I want it to go. I can’t manifest anything yet, but the tingling sensation that follows the energy around within me is a sign of progress. I will double my efforts, and hopefully be able to harness some sort of power by the end of the week, that way when that exasperating cleric calls for me to cast a spell, I can send a bolt flying right past his ear. I returned to the group and we set off down some more tunnels today, each one looking just like the last.

Ran into some beetles that shot acid out of a pore in the top of their carapace. We flipped the “Acid Spitters” onto their backs, which made it relatively easy to dispatch them. Brimir wanted to stay and get the carapace and acid gland, but we told him that we needed to be on our way. Begrudgingly he led us further. A short time later, we encountered a creature called a Rust Monster. We learned of its name as Borse and Dreval lost their weapons to the creature’s digestive fluids. I felt bad for Borse. Dreval, on the other hand, not so much. At least Borse was exasperated quietly. After listening to the cleric gripe on and on about how unfair the loss of his mace was, I whispered a silent prayer to Lunitari to quiet his grumblings. Praise above, it worked! Finally I can practice in silence.

Deeper we went. The next obstacle we encountered was some old dwarven scaffolding. And guess what it was made of. Wood. Bloody…forsaken…wood. When will dwarves learn…wood deteriorates? Which makes it hard on us adventurers to get any adventuring done. So we had to cross the scaffolding. Khan was having a harder time than us though, mostly because of his hooves. It was at this point I came up with the idea to throw a second rope over the first to increase security as people crossed. I made it across without a problem, as did the others.

On the second piece of scaffolding, things didn’t go nearly as smoothly. On this one, we had to climb out about half way, and then descend a rope to solid ground. I managed to climb out just fine; it was the rope part that was the problem. You see, I’ve gone down ropes before, so it wasn’t that I was completely inexperienced. Things just went wrong. Out of the whole group, my technique was the most sound. I had the rope put through some carabineers so that the farther I moved one end of the rope away from me, the faster I would go. This is called fast roping. Well, I had the fast part down, no sweat. My technique to slow down, however, needs some work.

While I was tending to the serious rope burns on my hands (away from Dreval, I didn’t want to catch any of his crap), the rest of our team descended the rope. By the time I was done, everyone was ready to go. So off we went. And guess what we found? Another piece of scaffolding, which the dwarf identified as an old elevator shaft. Now there is a set of words I don’t want to hear right now. “Old” and “elevator”. To make matters worse, it was made of wood. The other difference between this scaffolding and the two previous ones is that we could see the bottom on those two. Not so much on this one.

Luckily for us, Aelmon had a spell called Featherfall. Only problem is that if you touch the ground or a cliff or the like, the spell ends and you fall. To prevent this, I came up with another idea. Loop a piece of rope around the central rope that ran down to the elevator, then just use it like a safety line to keep from touching the wall. Worked for everyone else. Something went wrong while I was going down, and my spell canceled out while I was 100 feet from the ground. These rope burns better not interfere with my magical studies.

I rested on the elevator platform and, again, I healed my bloody hands as the rest of our group made their way down the rope. We rested a while on the elevator before the dwarf decided we would use the contraption to reach the cave floor. Never mind that it would make an awful racket on our trip down, which would indoubtedly attract any hungry creatures that happen to hear it. Sometimes I think that dwarf is a few copper short of a steel piece, if you catch my drift. Anyway, down we go, squeaking and screeching all the way. All the way, that is, until the elevator breaks and we plummet toward the stone floor. As we careened toward the hard rocks below, the dwarf leapt up and grabbed the rope, stopping the elevator’s freefall long enough for Khan to assist. I must remember to have a word with him about the foolish construction of devices with impropper materials (aka wood) underground what with the abundance of molds and mildews that eagerly eat away at said structures.

We climbed out of the now broken elevator and had to carry the dwarf as we were ambushed by a group of zombie-looking creatures called Disir. It was at this point that I used my first cantrip (which I had acquired shortly before the whole scaffolding deal) to distract one of the creatures so Borse could get a better hit. We dispatched the first group and heard a second approaching, so we hightailed it out of there, the dwarf thrown rather unceremoniously over Khan’s shoulder (although the ruckus he is sure to make should we bring this up in the future is amusing to think of). We had to climb up a steep rock face to get away from our pursuers. When we reached a flat area, we were greeted with a familiar sight. More scaffolding. I mean, come on! What the heck is with dwarves and scaffolding?!? Although instead of descending, we had to climb this one. Turned out not to be that big of a deal, but Brimir almost deficated his pants when I pointed out a vein of minerals (he identified it as mithril) about ½ way up the scaffolding, just out of reach. We were forced to leave it behind, to which the dwarf was rather sullen. I marked it on his map for him so he wouldn’t throw a hissy fit, although I’ll be taking 40% of the market value of anything mined as a finders fee, should he come back for it.

We travelled a short distance further and set up camp in a secluded tunnel, and all plopped down for some much needed rest. While I slept, some goblins stumbled into our camp, right past whoever was posted as a sentry. The others quickly caught them, and began striking up a deal with them to lead us through the upcoming enemy encampment. While they did this, I was wisely making breakfast. My scheme worked. The goblins seemed uneasy, so I leaned over and held some food out to both of them (it was Dreval’s share anyway). They warily took it, and looked as though they didn’t know what to do with it. I took a bite of some of the food I had prepared to show that it wasn’t poisoned or anything, after which both tore into it. It was after this gesture of kindness that they began to stick closer to me than any of the others in the party, so I might have a trio of goblin companions, should Snog ever turn up again (here’s hoping).

Day 19-20
We ended up resting for most of the day, letting the dwarf heal his torn muscles. I spent the day practicing magic and casting cantrips to amuse and earn the friendship of the goblins, whose names are Zot (the fighter) and Noog (the thinker).

Day 21
We headed out after our goblin guides to what they call “Gob Shanty Town.” They lead us through a small throng of hostile goblins, pretending that Khan and the goblins had caught us and made us their prisoners. Zot and Noog lead us into a large building of dwarven make which the rest of the goblins wouldn’t enter for some reason. This gave us the time to explore. We found a secret compartment using Dreval’s Holy Symbol, which Khan easily broke open. We had just enough time to pull the item inside out before being interrupted by a group of mutated humanoids called the Fangs of Fury.

The battle that ensued was a long one. We started without our weapons, which put us at a big disadvantage. Lucky for us, Drefus was on the ball (what else is new). I used my Dancing Lights cantrip to create a glowing outline of a ghostly dwarf, and then coupled it with Ghost Sound to produce a rather believable ghost. This bought enough time for most of the group to get their weapons. I say most because Aelmon, being the farthest away from the pile of weapons that lay on the floor, only had time to grab his non-magic sword. No worries, I just used Mage Hand to toss it to him as he fought off an opponent. I should get some sort of style points or something, must look into minting such a currency.

I made myself even more useful by once again saving Borse. A large bear humanoid was going to finish him off after a blow that left Borse stunned. I jumped in and deftly turned the blade aside, after which I landed a strong hit to the creature’s temple, which gave Borse the time to recover and re-engage with the bearman. The other Fangs fell quickly, the bear being the last. As he retreated, blinded by Dreval’s Light spell, I created the sound of a person drawing steel behind him (again using Ghost Sound), which caused the bearman to wheel about. Khan instantly used this opening to slay him. The battle was finally over. I went about searching the bodies of the two leaders (the bearman and one that was a boarman). I found, much to my delight, a pouch of holding with 3 doses of Brynellin. I gave the sense-improving herb to the cleric. He could use it.

After all was said and done we continued down the direction the Fangs had come in. As we were walking down a long corridor, we failed to find the trigger for a trap. As the walls closed in around me and Aelmon, I rolled forward as he leapt over me like some flawless cirus performance. We both made it out ok, but there was a fatality. Aelmon lost his boot to the insidious trap, and would have had to continue on with only one shoe had he not gone back and looted one from our previous battle. He returned with no incident, as the wall trap was not self-rearming.

And so we continued on. The further we went, the more I noticed that Zot and Noog were cringing back from the group. I approached them and inquired as to why, and they told me that a “big eyed goblin eater” was known to be about this vicinity. Right after I learned this, we were ambushed by two Umber Hulks, the “big eyed goblin eaters.” It was tight quarters, so there wasn’t much space for me to maneuver and get into the fight, so I stuck by the goblins and motivated them by saying something along the lines of “individual ants are weak and frail, but in a group they can take down creatures much larger and formidable then them.” I went on to explain how we could fight; I would block incoming attacks as they hacked away at the legs. Khan and Brimir handled the Umber Hulks, so we moved on right after the fight. We continued to travel uneventfully though the night.

Day 22
Found an abandoned dwarven settlement, which we decided to search for anything that might be of use, despite the fact that it was painfully obvious that this place had been combed through before. I found a hidden compartment which was full of goodies, but none of them were or me, they were for Stubs (the dwarf). Skulking off that I didn’t get anything from the treasure trove, I went into another room and began brushing the thick layer of dust around on the floor. I noticed that in a certain spot, the dust fell through a crack in the floor. What I had discovered was another hidden compartment. I opened it up and found some elven silk (which I’ll use to make a cloak) and a high quality elven sickle. As I was examining my new treasures, the dwarf again walked in and “acquired” the sickle from me. This habit of his is getting rather old.

We came upon the ruins of another dwarven fortification which was guarded by a group of trolls. Borse was tasked with guarding our rear, but something happened and he left his post. Shortly after he did this, a sneaky ogre tried to catch us by surprise. Noog spotted him as he came around the corner, and warned Zot and I. Doing as I instructed them, the goblins and I formed a line and walked backwards, holding our torches before us to halt the ogre’s advance. In the end, this ogre lept past us and went after Aelmon, as Elves are hated by ogres. I was able to deliver a stunning blow to the enemy, which allowed Aelmon to easily dispatch the ogre. After this, the gobs (a term I’ll be using to save on ink) and I ran about burning corpses, which was rather amusing although rather unpleasant for our nostrils. We reached the ruins and stumbled upon a treasure room. Turns out this place used to be a dwarven temple of some kind. Regardless, I grabbed as much treasure as I could and stuffed it in my pouch of holding. I found a gold ring buried under the mound of coin I was securing. The band of the ring was worked to be a coiling snake whose open mouth held an exquisite ruby. The elf used detect magic on it, and it had a very strong aura. I made sure that Brimir didn’t try to acquire this ring, but my caution was unneeded, as the dwarf did not seem too interested (for once).

Next we came upon a set of stairs that led to a long hallway. While the dwarf went ahead to investigate, I sneakily reacquired the elven sickle from his pack, putting it in my magical pouch for safe keeping. Why is it safe there? Because dwarves hate magic, that’s why. When the dwarf returned, he told us that there was a beast called a hydra at the end of the passage waiting in a large room.

And so that’s how we arrived at a rock out cropping where Aelmon found the secret entrance we were searching for. Brimir was able to open the passage using the hidden switch, after which we came upon a collapsed tunnel. A small space was open which I was able to squeeze through, only after a few of the battle hardened members went through ahead of me, of course. The way was guarded by a large furry beast with the face of a sad koala with horns. Pointy Ears was able to communicate with the creature, which halted its attack on us. During this communication, I drew out my herb book to sketch an image of this creature should this information be valuable at a later date.

The dwarf and the elf went into the doorway after being motioned in by the large creature. When they emerged, they carried with them ice shields that exuded an aura of bone chilling cold. We brought the creature with us, and as he cleared the blockage that I squeezed through, the rocks from above came down on top of him. He was able to stop the fall for us to get through, but we felt bad about just leaving him here to his fate. The group all began praying, and because of the help we provided, the beast escaped with only a broken leg. We set the leg, and I donated my rope so the splint could be tied. I put some of the hair we had shaved away from the wound into my sketch book, in case it proves useful or relevant in the future.

Day 23
We left the creature in the passage to heal, and moved back to the stairway with the ice shields. A fight ensued with the Hydra, and despite my best efforts, the beast seemed immune to any of my spells. Realizing this, I mustered my goblin companions Zot and Noog and we charged past the creature. What I discovered on the other side was startling.

Spanning an underground river was a worn stone bridge. Under the bridge lay a giant creature that would best fit the description of a kraken. As I stood, mouth agape, the monster looked at me. No, it didn’t look at me. It GLARED at me. We locked eyes for a minute, and then it sunk back under the water. I returned to my companions and told them of this.

We hatched a few plans on how to cross the bridge, but the dwarf carelessly just barreled across with the remaining ice shield on his back. A few moments and the kraken had a grip on the shield, but the dwarf was able to wrench free from its grasp. Just as he was about to descend the stairs on the other side, the kraken knocked Brimir to his knees, this time his grip wouldn’t be broken. Up went the shield. Up went the dwarf. Both pitched over the side to the waiting beast, but the dwarf was luckier than the shield. He was able to grab hold of the narrow ledge that ran parallel to the river, right next to where Aelmon was. I am unsure as to what happened next, I was busy making my way across the bridge. I ended up just running across the bridge after the cleric using his footfalls to hide the vibrations caused by myself and the goblins. All four of us made it across with no incident.

The elf displayed his mastery with the bow, lodging a rockbiter into the creature’s eye. With this, he tossed the rope to Borse and Khan, who with a mighty tug, tore out the eye. The kraken screamed and disappeared under the water, its tentacles still waving in pain at us in a sick sort of farewell.

With the beast gone, the dwarf stubbornly decided that he wanted the ice shield, mumbling something about cereal or serum, some dwarven god. Despite our protest, he jumped over the side onto some rocks that were protruding up from the foul water, and began to fish for his ice shield using his grappling hook. He had quite some trouble, and WE ended up fishing him out of his predicament with our share of rope. Pulling him back over the side of the bridge, he collapsed with hypothermia no doubt caused by his extended contact with the water and ice shield. He stank to high heaven, and not wanting any of the foul water or any of the tiny critters that would certainly be living in said foul water to cause an infection, I used my Clean cantrip to sanitize him, and I also replaced his repugnant body odor with a much more…feminine one. The scent of freshly picked flowers will serve as his punishment for acting foolishly.

That done, we rested for the remainder of the day a safe distance from the bridge. I continued my nightly sparring with Zot and Noog, which is paying off well for all of the participants. After doing this for two hours, I continued to instruct them on how to exploit the natural instinct of opponents to underestimate them to their best advantage before doing my nightly arcane focusing. I then went to bed, getting a few hours of well deserved sleep.

Day 24
Woke up in the same state of mind as all the past days: sick of being underground. It’s not the darkness or the gloom that I mind. It’s the stale air, it’s the fact that every passage looks about the same. Every color is a shade of grey. How dwarves can adore being in this dank environment I’ll never understand. Anyway, we woke up and ate a light breakfast before continuing our journey down more rock strew, dank, moist, depressing tunnels. Came to a bridge when there was a commotion up at the front of our traveling line. Saw Aelmon fire an arrow and a short time later an exasperated groan from Khan. Turns out the elf had picked off a troll that had run into us (quite by accident, I’m sure) while we were crossing a bridge that spanned a deep chasm (no river or kraken at the bottom of this one, thankfully). The cowman had apparently wanted to kill the creature, only to have the elf steal his thunder by putting an arrow through the back of its head, so he continued to grumble for some time. It’s bad enough I have to listen to this up-&-coming cleric spout on and on about my “slow learning rate” when it comes to spell acquisition. I sorry, I’m not given power like some spoiled fat kid begging his parents for a confection whenever they pass the sweets shop, I have to practice manipulating the arcane energy…which I could be doing if it wasn’t for the racket that continuously spews forth from his maw. The bitching and moaning came to a stop as we approached another bridge. On the opposite side of this one, however, were two Baaz dracs guarding what looks like an entrance to a fortress. As I sat secluded on a nearby rock, contemplating and harnessing the arcane energies within me, practicing bending and manipulating them to my will, apparently the rest of the group came up with a plan. A plan that directly involved me in a pivital role. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

This plan involved a few things I did not approve of. First I was forcefully volunteered to be used as a prisoner. Second I was bound and gagged before Khan and Brimir, who were posing as mercenaries, led me to the gate (and none too gently). They kept telling me I was to a powerful mage who had been captured by Khan and Brimir under the direct orders of whoever was in charge of this facility. If I was as powerful as they were saying (and I plan on being just that if not more, I might add), I would have seared the flesh from their bones layer by layer before being taken prisoner. I was relieved to see that my faithful companions Zot and Noog were holding the other ends of the rope that were attached to my arms. I know I could trust them not to rip my arm out of the socket while trying to play their character in this elaborate facade (that minotaur would later blame such an injury on my “frailty as a human” no doubt).

I was led to the central building in the fort, which was really just a glorified two story building. As I waited downstairs, a large silver draconian descended the stairs to meet us. I believe these are called Sivaks (although I am unfamiliar on pronounciation) and are adept at fighting with large swords. I patiently stood there as the dwarf and the draconian leader talked back and forth about this and that. Something about a magic using draconian that was out on a mission doing something or other. Finally finished talking with this creature, I was again led off by Khan, Brimir and the two goblins. Then another thing I didn’t like about this plan came to be. I was stuck in a cell. A rather dirty cell, to be exact. With nothing better to do, I began to tidy up my new abode, for I knew not how long I would be there, even if this outlandish plan should work. You know what? I bet this is that conniving cleric’s doing. I bet he’s just sitting back there, drinking whatever it is that clerics drink and having a good laugh at my expense.

I sat in my cell for quite some time before anyone bothered to tell me the next step of this scheme (no one tells me anything). Apparently that Circlet of Intellectual Drain (as I have come to call it) will be used to dupe the Sivak into leaving the fortress or something, the details weren’t that clear, especially when I am told by a dwarf who can’t decide who he is from second to second. No matter, I was getting bored sitting in my cell playing my ocarina, and I was going to be damned if Dreval had the amusement of “freeing” me from this prison and singing of the heroic rescue when we got back to the refugees. ONWARD FOR GREAT JUSTICE!

I began to pull a few draconian sentries in one by one, and they fell in short order. My first plan was to pull them toward the prison entrance, then have the minotaur and dwarf pretend like I had paralyzed the with a spell, and as the dracs past them, my companions would hit them from behind. I played my part flawlessly (as I always do), but both of them missed on their attacks. After this setback, I just walked out, basked in the fear of the sentries before darting back into the cell area. More followed, and this time I decided to take a more aggressive role, jumping on a hapless Baaz’s back and digging my dagger into his throat. He tried to get me off, but all that thrashing just made the wound bigger. He quickly went down, and I was able to wrench my blade out before he turned into a stone statue. I should get a pair of the stone statues for my mansion. When I have a mansion, which I undoubtedly will.

The others decided they had had enough of my cell action, and strode out to do battle in other places. I, on the other hand, decided to go look around the leader’s quarters for anything of interest. I rooted around in the Bozak’s desk, and bearing in mind that magic things tend to accumulate around magic people, or creatures, in this case, I began checking for locked drawers, as anything of value a smart being would lock up. In my greater wisdom, I also checked the drawers for traps, Bozaks being magical and all, they would probably want their stuff protected by more than a simple lock. Only one drawer was trapped, so I went around to the other compartments and saved that one for last.

The first thing I found was a strange potion in an ornate container. What it does I do not know, for its color is rather remarkable, as is the container it is in. I put this in my magical pouch, careful not to drop such a valuable treasure. I figured that this was the best the desk would have to offer. I found a few gems in the other compartments, nothing really remarkable (although I’ll never complain). I turned my attention to the locked drawer, expecting to find nothing more than important communications that the draconian had secured. I decided to cut a hole in the side of the desk to bypass the trap, mostly because I assumed that whoever installed this trap never expected anyone to just make another hole. And there lies the differnce between being “smart” and being “intelligent”. Now, normally my take on assuming anything is that “it’ll make an ass of u and me” (that’s called wit, ladies and gentlemen), but under the circumstances that the battle outside could sway in the favor of the enemy, I risked it.

What I found was far more intriguing than notes. I found a matching pair of daggers set in a walnut burl carrying box. The daggers were remarkable. The hilts were the perfect size, and the pommel of each had a large gem set within them. One, completely clear. The other, translucent blue. Each high quality blade was honed to a razor’s edge along the entire length, all the way out to the tip. I tentatively reached out to touch these twin wonders, when my mind came screaming back to me. These could be cursed, drawing in unsuspecting people and ensnaring them when the alluring metal grip touched their flesh. So I put some gloves on. I almost dropped the one with the blue gem when I could feel the magic course through my leather gloves. But the magic that I felt was not one of deceit, but of raw power. I like power. I picked up the second, and began moving them about in circles, measuring their heft and balance. Parry, stab, slash, reverse, riposte. Ooh, now that felt good. I was torn from by daydream of slashing and gutting an endless number of draconians while Dreval oohed and aahed in the background at my sheer awesomeness when my companions came through the door into the Sivak’s & Bozak’s shared living quarters, Borse looking to loot a new 2-handed sword as Dreval and the dwarf just went about looking for plunder.

A short time later, we disembarked from the empty fortress down a long corridor. I was tasked with dragging the ice shield. Lets have the least burly person drag it, great idea fellas. Anyway, the goblins (with their infravision) guided me about so that I wasn’t bumbling around making a bunch of noise. We came to a break in the wall where a draconian met up with Khan and Brimir. After a short exchange, the minotaur and the dwarf charged ahead, with Aelmon trucking right behind them. We followed behind them as best we could, but he had to resort to using the goblin’s reduced sight range, so when we caught up, the battle had already started.

The dwarf was nowhere to be seen as I climbed up some rough stone stairs. The minotaur, however, was grappling with a creature that looked like a big cat with a human-ish face. I immediately engaged the creature with my new daggers, but I was rather ineffective, not scoring any major hits. The goblins however started to cut him to ribbons. The creature finally died, after which I turned my attention to an experienced draconian fighter who was fighting Borse. During this fight I was able to score some solid strikes, so Borse and I were able to quickly cut him down.

I turned around to see a Kapak grabbing a hold of Zot. I leapt off of the carcass of the cat creature and struck the drac on the wrist, breaking his hold on my goblin friend. Dreval and I danced around our enemy, attempting to fake him out. He ended up using his wings to fly out of our reach. At this point, I heard a cry for a healer. With this the goblins and I took up defensive positions around the exit, cutting off the escape route of two draconians. I told Dreval that I could handle them and go see what he is needed for. One of the draconians tried to fly by, but Noog and Zot leapt from their perches and landed directly on his back, forcing him to the ground. Their mass was of no contest, so they were thrown off quickly. The draconian made a last ditch effort to escape by spreading his wings and gliding away. It was of no avail, for I did a double back flip with a half twist (possibly an exaggeration), sinking both magical daggers deep into his back (not an exaggeration). His death magic consumed by blades, but I was surprised when the daggers both easily slid from the stone corpse. The other draconian, the Kapak that eluded Dreval and myself earlier, exploded into acid right above Aelmon. Fortunately, Zot and Noog were able to pull him of the area of effect, and they even remembered to wash the acid off of him. Our work done here, the goblins and I came through the narrow passage, and were confronted with the sight of Brimir lying bloodied, along with many draconian corpses. Apparently, my dismissal of Dreval allowed him to arrive just in time to save the dwarf’s life (I’ll bill him for my foresight). Later on, I was asked if I could read the scroll that Brimir had found a few days ago. I couldn’t at first, and then I had the idea to look through the clear gem in my dagger. It instantly became clear, as it turns out it is a Gem of True-Seeing. I will call this dagger Truth’s Fang. Until I learn what the blue gem does, I will hold back on naming it. We were lead to the dwarven refugee camp, where Brimir and some dwarves conversed. By what I could tell, things didn’t go as well as they could. I am weary and can feel the untrusting eyes of the dwarves burning holes in my back, so I retired for the day.

Day 25
More conversations with dwarves, these went a little better than those of last night. They were interested on how we recovered from our wounds so quickly. Most of our group was perplexed by this question, overcomplicating its meaning. I stepped in and simplified it for them, alleviating the growing tension. When I told them we used an herb called Anserc, they gasped and seemed very intrigued. I told them of the Herb Info book I was compiling, and offered to copy it for them. They were distrusting, mainly because they can’t read, although the fact that I am garbed as a mage couldn’t have helped. I used Truth’s Fang to see if it could translate my writing into dwarven for them, but they withdrew, complaining about their eyes or something. One young dwarf was able to look through the gem, but with some discomfort. More conversations. Brimir wanted me to check the orb that we found with the dagger’s gem. I gazed upon it, and found that the top would open compliments of hidden joints running around the equator with more dividing the upper section into quarters. I will tell them of this later. We continued to rest for the day, preparing for what I can tell will be a trying time. Some female dwarves approached us, and one seems infatuated with our dwarf. One, however, stared at him with pure hatred. Dymilia was her name. I like her.

Day 26
The dwarves were nice enough to give us some herbs from their stock. I asked for a Brynellin and an Olvar, which they gladly gave me. A short time later, we left with a few dwarf followers in tow. We came upon a large room with a troop of draconians guarding it. I used Truth’s Fang to look about the room for invisible enemies, but I saw none. Some dwarves volunteered to pull aggro (draw away) some of the creatures by running into the room and running out a different exit. This worked rather well.

The fight ensued, starting with Dreval pulling off an amazing casting of Hold Person on a flying Sivak. Not breaking the attack, I dispatched the helpless sod as he flew/fell by, burying the blue dagger deep into his back and driving him to the floor. I was hoping to observe some sort of reaction from the gem, but I was unable to. I pulled it out and was rewarded with a stream of blood that spurt from the open would. I must remember that this enemy’s death magic will cause his corpse to turn into an exact replica of me, so that I will not be surprised. I continued to hack away at the silver creature, finally noticing that the blue gem dagger does extra damage. I will call this dagger Truth’s Fury. I saw a large Baaz before me, so I tried using the throwing daggers that I bartered from the dwarves. One of them stuck in him, the other flew off past him, which I easily found using the gem in Truth’s Fang.

It appeared as though the minotaur was having trouble with a Kapak, so I came up behind it and stuck Truth’s Fury between the ribs. He immediately turned into acid, and despite my earlier experience regarding this fluid, I was unable to react fast enough. I as removed myself from the dissolving vicinity, Khan laughed at me. I told him to screw off in minotaur, which I believe is “Moo” in their tongue. Well, if we ever get stranded anywhere we have a walking beef buffet to live off of. As we moved forward down the passage, the Sivak that I killed exploded. Apparently, if the Sivak’s death magic doesn’t know who killed them (i.e. bleeding to death), they explode.

The fight finished, we began to move down a long tunnel toward a dark opening. As we approached the exit to this tunnel, a stone block began to decend that would cut me off from the rest of the party. I did a running slide, but something must have caught and slowed my slide, as I was unable to make it through unassisted. When I rose to a crouched position, I found that we were in complete darkness, most likely a reverse of the Light spell. Just as I came to this realization, the darkness disappeared, and we were greeted by the sight of several large opponents, who immediately engaged us in combat. I snuck around the battle field and oriented myself to attack one of my foes from behind. Despite my attempts at fighting, I was unable to score any hits of consequence during the early stages of battle. Finally I buried my daggers into the blue enemy’s heel, severing his Achilles tendon and dropping his head within striking distance for the dwarves that were distracting him. I continued to shank him, and finally my foe fell before my brutal onslaught. Thrim gave me looting rights, and I ended up finding a magical (as detected by the elf) metal mask, which quickly went into my pouch of holding.

After all of us had gone about the pleasure of collecting the spoils of war, we grouped up and set off down the path that the four evil guardians had been in front of. We came to a large archway, which Borse had a hard time going through due to an invisible barrier without Dreval’s assistance. After this whole incident had been resolved, we all moved inside the large room. Another barrier stood before us, and inside this one was a bunch of loot. I found a book with a red cover and inset with a ruby. Within the book, there were spells of varying complexity already written (10-1st, 8-2nd, 6-3rd, 5-4th, 4-5th, 3-6th, 2-7th, 1-8th). The dwarf had found a dusty old scroll, and was having a hard time reading it. Not wanting to damage the aged parchment, I used my Clean cantrip to remove any further filth. I held Truth’s Fang so the magic-wary Brimir would be able to read from the scroll, which turned out to be an inventory type list of the items that were held within the barrier, as well as a brief history of each. Turns out my new spell book belonged to a powerful red robe mage who was working with the dwarves to extract some exotic metal, which the pages of the book seem to be made from. I believe this and the magical ruby offer the book extra protection against damage. I would like to pray to Lunitari to thank him for placing this book within my path, as well as to ask him to tell the mage that I will treat his spell book with respect, and add as many spells to it as I can in honor of him.

We finished reading from the ancient scroll and returned to the dwarven outpost. Upon our arrival, we were ushered to the strange gangly dwarf, who I assume to be their spiritual leader, to give a report of the battle with the evil guardians. Thrim told of our actions, with the dwarves stomping their feet (the dwarven equivalent to applause) whenever they heard of a successful feat against the enemy. However, when Thrim was asked who killed the blue skin, he said my name and identified me as “the one who slinks around behind the group.” Slink? I don’t slink. Sure, I tend to attack the enemy from behind, but the word “slink” sounds so…overshadowed with thievery. I prefer terminology like skulk or sneak or other such words, and I would describe my actions as more “stealthy”, “covert”, or maybe “clandestine." I mean, really?!? Slink? I think all of these dwarves hate me…

Day 27
I followed Brimir as he was led to the dwarven practice grounds so he could try out different attack methods with the HAMMER I FOUND FOR HIM AFTER EVERYONE ELSE MISSED THE SECRET COMPARTMENT IT WAS HIDDEN IN. I mean, everyone was ready to leave the ruins, and I saw something amiss with the wall and easily popped open the secret compartment. And what did I get as thanks?

  • Brimir: Yoink! A magical hammer and bracers? Hip hoorah! It’s my lucky day! Hey Drefus, go slink around in the shadows like a good little mage until we need to you bail us out of whatever we trouble we get in to.
  • Me: audible sigh

Anyway, I was following Brimir to the practice grounds so I could see if I could use one of the spells from the spell book in combination with Mage Hand. I tried out Shocking Grasp, a spell that usually requires the caster to touch the target, and cast it through Mage Hand. To my surprise, when I motioned for the Hand to touch the practice dummy, the spell worked as though I had personally touched the target. “Excellent,” I said, drumming my fingers together and emitting an evil “mwahhahaha!”. I can now use Shocking Grasp at a distance, something that will grant me a distinctive advantage on the battle field. Reading the other descriptions in the book, the only other spells I believe will work like this is Color Spray and Burning Hands. Also, it feels as if this combination uses more of my physical energy than it would if I had just used Shocking Grasp, so I must be wary of my condition before employing this strategy. While our crazy dwarf went about showboating “his” hammer’s magical properties, I started hitting on the female dwarf Dymilia, the one that hates Brimir, using my irresistible pick up line “That’s good lookin’ armor. It would look even better on my bedroom floor in the morning” then gave her a wink and a smile. She looked at me with a blank stare, then gave out a short chuckle. If she liked that one, wait till she hears the other smokin’ lines I got up my sleeve. The life of an accountant is ever so lonely…

Day 28
Dreval created a Heroes’ Feast. Rather than being invited, I was given the cold shoulder and was not given any food (well, what else is new?). I went and ate by myself. Actually, I wasn’t alone, as my faithful goblin friends came with me. We talked about nothing in particular while we ate, and when we had finished I played the ocarina while Zot and Noog danced, so we all had a good time. When my small group returned to the dwarven camp, we immediately set off to attack some draconians that were dug in at some dwarven ruins.

As usual, Brimir led his merry band of dwarves. I went behind said band, moving from shadow to shadow as part of my grand plan. Let me lay it out for you. I plan to sneak around, all stealth-like, and use Truth’s Fang to search for anything unusual, like an Aurak, which are said to be able to become invisible. If I should spot one, I will cast Grease, as it will serve to visibly mark them as well as provide fuel for the fire from my Burning Hands.

We assaulted the draconian stronghold, Brimir, the dwarves, and I attacked the barracks to cut off reinforcements to the rest of the battlefield. As I previously stated, I waited for an opening to get past the barracks and begin stealthing around. Dymilia, another female dwarf, and the goblins accompanied me while I moved around one of the four pillars that encircled (ensquared? terminology can be confusing) the center of the draconian fort. As I was approaching one, we were instantly surrounded by a wall of fog. I attempted to use Truth’s Fang to pierce the swirling mists, but to no avail. I whispered to my group to move to the wall and use it as a guide out of this miasma, and succeeded in doing so. When I emerged, I saw a Bozak perched up on top of the pillar I had attempted to navigate around. Fortunately for me, he was deeply focused on Dreval’s group, who were tearing up some Drac soldiers. It was at this point that I saw Brimir swing wildly at thin air, then some gaseous cloud billow forth right in front of him. Then I saw the Aurak become visible.

Brimir and the Aurak rolled around for a bit, exchanging blows and blasts. I watched and readied my memorized Grease spell to coat the arcane drac with a sticky, flammable layer of goo. All of a sudden, the Aurak just disappeared, right out of Brimir’s grasp. Some other common dracs rushed in on Brimir and Khan, who joined the dwarf just before the Aurak took his exit. I spent a few moments using Truth’s Eye to seek for this foe, and found him lurking behind a column on the opposite side of the battlefield to myself. I also noted an invisible Bozak perched up on the column furthest from my position, but he seemed to just be observing the battle’s proceedings, so I concentrated on the immediate threat: the Aurak. I used my new spell book to hurl a Magic Missile at him, scoring a direct hit. Knowing that he probably can deduce where it came from, I used my Shield spell to increase my defenses and provide immunity to arcane missile attacks. I spotted a Bozak about to cast something at Aelmon, so I cast my Smoke Cloud cantrip and colored it bright green to make it look like the Cloudkill spell. I duped him, so he quickly vacated the smoked area and did not return to the battlefield.

Teaming up with Aelmon, we successfully made a turned Bozak drop his spell book and fall from atop the column from which he was casting. He exploded when he hit the ground, preserving the spell book that I will retrieve later. Just as this happened, a blast of energy dissipated on the shimmering shield that I had cast, blocking all of the damage I would have taken. I laughed at the Aurak’s pitiful attempt and overconfidence, for I am fast becoming one not to trifle with, despite my outward appearance. I saw a massive Sivak trying to do a fly-by attack on Aelmon with a hammer. Feeling rather mischievous (and slightly evil, I guess), I decided to use Grease on the hammer handle, which went soaring out of the Sivak’s grasp as he wound up to obliterate the elf. Right after this happened, I heard a faint Pop behind me.

Acting faster than lightning, I placed a Smoke Cloud of the same color as my cloak at my feet and rolled off to the right. Figuring it was the Aurak, I back pedaled toward Dreval and Borse and kept Shield between me and my magical-endowed foe, for I wasn’t going to underestimate him. Lucky for me, the Aurak didn’t see which way I went after I threw down my smoke cover, and the first thing he saw when the smoke cleared was Khan bearing down on him. Probably leaving skid marks on his draconian panties at the sight of a charging minotaur, the Aurak carelessly fired off two blasts of energy, one missing and the other scoring a minor hit on the warrior. Not wanting to leave Khan to the mercy of a devious Aurak, I covered the draconian in Grease, blinding him and allowing Khan to score some vicious hits. The draconian tried to back pedal away from his assailant, but slipped in the Grease, again opening up for Khan’s assault. Just as I cast Burning Hands through the Mage Hand I had readied, igniting the Grease, the Aurak’s death magic activated. As the death magic continued, my Grease spell did ongoing damage, and on top of this I stacked the damage of two more Burning Hands, finally forcing the Aurak to his true demise. Khan was badly burned by the death magic, and required Dreval’s healing.

The battle finally finished, our foes fleeing the battlefield in disarray. As the others went about doing the post-battle clean up, I used Mage Hand to retrieve the spell book the Bozak so kindly left for me on top of the pillar. As I went through it, I found quite a few new spells to transcribe into my tome of spells.

Drefus Marendithas Maldoraan III

Transcending Darkness Ferrinflame