Thursday, May 31, 2012

Journal of Gallivan Stoneshield, Part 1

Fouler things can lurk in dark,
Indeed, than you and I.
So trust not words to make their mark,
When comes your final sigh.

Let all your hopes be stone and steel,
Your dreams all do or die,
And when death comes,
Let all your sons drink one for you and I.

- Callon Silvertongue, “The Adventurer’s Creedo”

(This post brought to you by Tim, recording in detail the events glossed over here.  I believe he provides a more-or-less hourly in-game summary, written during the rest turn taken every six turns. - ed.)

The Dardantine Razors, we call ourselves. It’s a foolish notion, to think we are strong, just because we have a name. We barely know each other, and it takes one traitor to remind us all how fragile we can be.

Of the 16 members of our caravan, only Errgumun, Yolanda, and myself survive. Argos the Mage is gone, without a corpse to mark his passage. The elf and I suspect that our magical stupor was his doing, and Yolanda fears the worst. Our employers and hirelings are dead, the goods we were transporting long gone. All we have is what little we carried with us. It may be enough to get back to civilization, but it will be a long time before we again trust a stranger so easily.

It has been two days since we were set upon, and we’ve managed to make it to the town of Deal. The hour is late, but we have found acceptable lodging for the night. No one in town has seen our missing mage, but I’ve instructed the barkeep to let us know if any news comes of him. On our march, we passed an enormous gate in the side of a canyon wall about 3 hours walk from town. Tomorrow we will return to it. It seemed relatively undisturbed, and lost treasures may lie within.

- Galivan Stoneshield, 23rd day of the 7th moon, 612 A.U.
(612 years after Iana’s Unification of Myrmydia)

I hired a young armorer today, to be my squire and receive instruction in the knightly ways. Tormund Smithson will accompany us on our expedition to the stone gate, to map its depths and assist us in fighting off the creatures of the deep. He’s a strong enough young lad, though he seems ill-at-ease in the company of strong warriors such as we. His parents are dead of plague, and he seeks some direction in his life. Perhaps we can provide it.

- Galivan Stoneshield, 24th day of the 7th moon, 612 A.U.

After replenishing our supplies and equipping young Tormund, we made our way south, to the stone gate. The march was long, given the heat and oppressive conditions of the Shieldlands. The gate seems even larger up close, a full 15 feet tall and twice as wide. It is adorned with images of dwarves carving stone and laboring over forges. The gate is flanked by many arrow slits that seem to cover the approach, and the thing itself is made of solid stone. Spires with what appear to be bowls atop them extend from the top of the structure, probably for catching rain. We have decided to dub the ruin the Dwarf Fortress for now.There is no visible way to open the gate, and its stone doors weigh more than even Tormund and I could ever hope to move. We plan to boost Errgumun through one of the arrow slits to scout ahead while the rest of us climb up after him.

- Galivan Stoneshield, 24th day of the 7th moon, 612 A.U.

Yolanda is dying. While we were exploring the ruin, a giant spider came upon Errgumun. In his panic, he called for help, and while Yolanda was able to get to him in time, I found myself harried by an enormous swarm of bats roused by the noise. While I struggled to find my way through the swarm, Yolanda and Errgumun fought and killed the spider, but not before it managed to bite her. She has only a few moments left before the poison takes her. She desires burial with a proper holy symbol of Iana, hers having been stolen by the bandits that ambushed us. We will do what we can to see her wish fulfilled. Tormund, who I instructed to hang back when the fighting began, has helped me to construct a crude litter with which we can carry her back to Deal. We mean to look around this ruin a bit more before we depart, but we will return here after we have had a chance to recuperate from our adventure. May Iana guide our friend’s soul to the Hall Among the Stars, and help us to carry on her works in this world.

- Galivan Stoneshield, 24th day of the 7th moon, 612 A.U.

After burying our brave friend Yolanda--may she rest in peace--Errgumun sold the treasure we recovered from the Dwarven ruin. A priest by the name of Agord wishes to join us on our next trip into the dungeon. He seems well-equipped, and his healing magic could make the difference between life and death in that dark place. He worships the elven sun god, a strange and foreign god to me, but Errgumun assures me that he seems to be a man of character.

After we finished selling our treasures, Errgumun disappeared off to the local tavern to drink and whore. I expect to see him in the morning, but for now, I rest.

- Galivan Stoneshield, 25th day of the 7th moon, 612 A.U.

Errgumun seems to have a acquired a war dog during last night’s adventures. It seems to be trained well enough. At least, it hasn’t bit me yet. After a long hike back to the Dwarf Fortress, Agord, Errgumun, Tormund, and I prepare to enter its depths once more. Errgumun informs me his dog’s name is Monty.

- Galivan Stoneshield, 26th day of the 7th moon, 612 A.U.

Undead! As we were exploring the dungeon, we came upon a pack of skeletal dogs... they would surely have torn us apart, if not for Agord’s timely intervention. He held his holy symbol aloft, and a burst of sunlight forced them back. I have a renewed respect for the elf god he worships.

Additionally, I discovered a powerful magical artifact amid some old boxes in a dwarven store-room. The sword (which I have not yet named), gives off a cool blue light in the dark, and it is elaborately made, with jewels inlaid in the hilt. I expect it shall be a constant companion through my future adventures.

Ah! Errgumun has just discovered a small room full of levers. I shall go investigate.

- Galivan Stoneshield, 26th day of the 7th moon, 612 A.U.

Alas, poor Agord. He saved us, but we could not save him... As we proceeded deeper into the dungeon, we came upon a corridor with a sloped floor. We should have known it was a trap. When he stepped on a pressure plate in the floor, grease shot out and a pit opened in the floor. Before anyone could do anything, he had slipped into the slimy embrace of a gelatinous cube. He was immediately paralyzed. He couldn’t even scream as his legs began to dissolve.

I asked Tormund to hold the end of a rope as I tied the other around my waist. He lowered me into the pit, and I attempted to grab Agord by the head, but the cube rose up to try and smite me. By the time I was finally able to grab him and haul him out of the pit, he was already gone. The paralysis stopped him from using the light of his lord to help himself, and there was naught we could do to bring him back, so Errgumun killed the foul creature with his bow. When it was dead, we fished an ornate runed gladius out of the dormant slime. Now we stand on the other side of the pit. A staircase leads deeper into the ruin. Though it pains me to leave him here, we are determined to see what it is Agord died for before we carry him out of this dark place.

- Galivan Stoneshield, 26th day of the 7th moon, 612 A.U.

Down the stairs were hallways gated with porticulles, a great hall with blind (but friendly) ogres, and a small pack of troglodytes led by their champion, Kirk. We also found a small chapel filled with cave dwellers. We chose not to engage them.

Above the great hall we found some spellbooks and dwarven ledgers and killed some rats. Now we leave this accursed place. We will bury Agord beneath the sand, in the eyes of his shining god.

- Galivan Stoneshield, 26th day of the 7th moon, 612 A.U.

Errgumun has hired a saucy dwarf named Durgrim. He can certainly hold his liquor. Well kind of. The other day Errgumun woke up in a jail cell with another nightblade. He stole her treasure map while she slept. The very same night, Durgrim went to bed with a local merchant’s daughter. Who knows what may come of this...

I also have a vague recollection of confronting the local priestess of Ashtar, and perhaps... fighting her eunuch guard? But... most importantly... it seems Tormund is not a man.

- Galivan Stoneshield, 3rd day of the 8th moon, 612 A.U.

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