Volume #3, Issue #1. (Nov 4, 1994)

Delivery Man/Publisher:agl1@le.ac.uk
Genesis Man/Founder:digdug@iastate.edu
Hack and Slash Man/Editor:msphil@birds.wm.edu

World Index

  1. Forgotten Realms
  2. SpellJammer
  3. Mystara
  4. Ærth

    Other Interesting Stuff

    1. Campaign Journals

    Reporters this issue:
        Andy Merritt (amerritt@armltd.co.uk)
        Leonard Scott (lenscott@aol.com)
        Mike Phillips (msphil@birds.wm.edu)
        Gabriel A. Valentin (valentig@ios.com)
        Richard J. Pugh (rjpugh@aol.com)
        Jeremy Pemberton (jpembert@bribri.ci.ucr.ac.cr)
        Daniel Luis Rui (dlr@vision.inesc.pt)

    Forgotten Realms

    Six adventurers who entered the Grey Forest seeking for giant "crab-people" spotted by pilgrims three weeks ago did indeed encounter one of them. Their experienced eyes noted that the single creature was between 18 and 23 feet tall with huge claws and a hunched over posture. It had a single eye positioned in its midportion and had no head or neck. It appeared to have two large "barrel-like" organs perched upon either shoulder that were flexible and shot lightning or fire. With one swipe of its claw, it ripped a huge tear through one warrior's chainmail. A surviving member who had been hit by the lightning described it as "an intense burning that made me want to die." The leader of the band, Stannik Adir, noted that the creature did not bother them until they attacked first. After maiming most of the group, the creature lumbered off into the forest, and did not fly as had been previously noted by the pilgrims. A hunting party is being organized in Lyrabar with the expressed purpose of ridding the forest of the monsters.

    The remains of a vampire was discovered near the Bowels of the Earth tavern on Snail street. Locals recognize the remains as belonging to a noble, lord Montreause Highfield, who often spent his nights in the Bowels passing stories with locals and strangers alike. Many were surprised to learn that lord Highfield was undead: "He was always polite to everyone, and drank his ale with the best of us," said Masina the Rock, who says she was proud to call him friend. He was last seen in the early morning two nights ago at the Bowels. He left shortly after receiving a note from a messenger, and hadn't been seen since. Watchmen, who checked lord Highfield's rooms on Mhalsymber's Way, report that the rooms have been cleared of everything, perhaps by the unknown assailant who finally put lord Montreause Highfield to eternal rest.

    The traveling performing band, the "Troop of Many Loves," will perform an inspired tragedy called Makbett all this week at the Cadablana club. Named after a mystical noble of Tethyr, Makbett, who followed the advice of witches and overthrew the rulers of Tethyr, and was then brought low by one who he called friend. Bring your hand- cloths, this is a real tearjerker! It includes original songs by master bard, Sindleton the Polite, and special effects including a walking forest! Not recommended for children under the age of thirteen, nor for followers of Azuth (He gets a bad rap in this show).

    The Vilhon Reach: City of Surkh: DAYTIME RAID ON INN, 12 DEAD, 23 WOUNDED!
    In the city of Surkh at the Deepwater lake, a lightning-fast raid took place on the Solemn Sword Inn near the main gates. Six humanoids in outlandishly decorated clothing entered the inn shortly before noon and within minutes an astonishing 12 people were killed, including the innkeeper and her family. Twenty-three other people were wounded in the fight between the six and a party of esteemed adventurers which were staying at the inn. Surviving eye-witnesses agree that the humanoids were after a hooded stranger who checked into the inn the night before. The stranger has not been located or accounted for. None of the humanoids were apprehended, and their skill in coordinating the raid has lead some to conclude that they may have been Githyanki, a warlike species that has not often been encountered in this area of the realms.
    Funeral services for the four murdered adventurers will be held tomorrow, pending resurrection attempts, and the remaining three vow revenge against the aliens.

    The bullywug hordes have attacked the outlaying farms and harassed the multitudes of visiting festival-goers and adventurers that have come to the Mushroom and Fungus Festival. Town leaders are still hopeful that the uprising can be contained without interfering with the festival. The rebel leader of the bullywug horde, Glib the Noxious, has been seen in the outskirts of the town Tavilar in the northern Vast. He is reported to be between 9 and 11 feet tall and hugely muscular. "He is too massive to be any kind of bullywug. He is more of a giant amphibian than anything else. I saw him grab another bullywug who had gotten too close; Glib killed the other by pulling off its arms!" Says witness, Xigtsib the Unusual, a fairly well-known mage of no little power, "After I saw what Glib did, I left as quietly as possible. No sense causing trouble."
    A militia called by the town, fought the horde in several battles, and reports that the bullywugs are lead by captains rather than Glib himself.

    The Vast: Town of Lankao: NEW TOWN: FREE TILLAGE AND TOWN LOTS
    A new town in eastern Vast has just been created by renowned warrior, Lankao. The town lies next to Lankao's keep and includes a sanitation system, plenty of wells, good defensive walls, and best of all: 10 free acres to every farmer or a free 100' x 100' lot in town! Lankao says, "The town is fairly new (the walls are only half up), but has a sewer system, a temple, a shopping square, and no taxes for 5 years! My courageous band of men will see to it that everyone will be treated fairly and protected against any bandits or monsters that may come. The soil is good for farming or ranching, and the town itself is on a small ridge for ease of defense with good bedrock for foundations. I will organize a militia system for guarding the town, and a council to oversee law and order. All master craftmen (or craftwomen) are invited to start a guild of your own. Come, it is only two weeks journey on foot east from Dead Tree Hollow. I have retainers there to direct you. Come, and start a new life for yourself and your family!"

    Western Heartlands: Beregost: GROUP TELLS OF STAY IN GHOSTLY INN
    Late last week, a group of seven ragged strangers entered Beregost telling tales of an inn along the Coast Way about two days ride south of Beregost. Although no one else has seen such an inn, the strangeetween the six and a party of esteemed adventurers which were staying at the inn. Surviving eye-witnesses agree that the humanoids were after a hooded stranger who checked into the inn the night before. The stranger has not been located or accounted for. None of the humanoids were apprehended, and their skill in coordinating the raid has lead some to conclude that they may have been Githyanki, a warlike species that has not often been encountered in this area of the realms.
    Funeral services for the four murdered adventurers will be held tomorrow, pending resurrection attempts, and the remaining three vow revenge against the aliens.

    Northern Damara: Dragonsbane Gate:

    Since the end of the Vaasa-Damara War, Gareth Dragonsbane has been the ruler of Northern Damara, a small third of the original Damara. He consolidated the regions overrun by Vaasan forces into a strong monarchy, while the southern two thirds congregated around independent city-states which ultimately united into a federation: the League of Southern Damara. Relations between the two states have been less than cordial due to the presence of Dragonsbane, who is unpopular in the South.
    Recently in the last two weeks, severe storms have settled over the Northern Damaran capital of Dragonsbane Gate, a citadel built after the War along with its sibling, Bloodfeathers Gate. Sages attributed the storms to evil influences coming from the Vaasan side of the East Galena Mountains. At one point, lightening from the storms wrecked a tower of the Temple of Tyr. The next day, Dragonsbane appeared with his band of lieutenants and in his speech to the people of Dragonsbane Gate, told them of a mysterious force which will wreak destruction over the entire land unless he tries to ward it off. He departed for places unknown, leaving the nephew of the Last King Virdin Bloodfeathers in command of Northern Damara.
    There has been no statement from the Southern Damaran government, but it is hoped that the disappearance of Gareth Dragonsbane will enable the reconciliation of two countries broken by War and Troubles.


    BOWELS OF THE EARTH. Wanted: full time security guard and bouncer to work nights. Easy work, good pay. Starting at 1 gold Dragon per month plus room and board. [Waterdeep]

    REWARD. 600 gold pieces for the capture of the six humanoids responsible for the attack on the Solemn Sword which left twelve families in mourning. Town officials have given permission to bring the outlaws in either DEAD OR ALIVE. For purposes of the reward, only the heads of the murderers are necessary. [Surkh, Vilhon Reach]

    WANTED. The Eastern Sea Delivery Coster is looking for independent traders with experience in the Cormyr-Sembia-Western Heartlands region to staff a new department of the ESDC and assist in developing a sales strategy and line of merchandise specifically tailored for the West. Nearly unlimited advancement with opportunities for travel, wealth, and excitement! Benefits include a retirement plan, and health care. For more details speak to Myrois the head of procurement for the ESDC in the town of Selgaunt. [Sembia]

    Leonard Scott: lenscott@aol.com

    Silverymoon: ADVENTURERS BANNED!
    A group of adventurers claiming to seek only "Rest and Relaxation" caused the destruction of property and the deaths of 15 tavern-goers. This group consisted of 2 dwarves and 1 elf as well as a half-elf and a halfling. While they dined at The Flaming Drake, a battle ensued between the group and several men wearing motley.
    The six men in motley are reportedly members of a criminal organization known as The Orphans, though that is all speculation at this time. There is no information on the band now infamously known as The Silverymoon Five as they are not a registered adventuring or mercenary party.
    The Orphans had spent the better portion of the day in the tavern drinking. As The Silverymoon Five entered the tavern, the mood of The Orphans darkened considerably (The Silverymoon Six were the only other adventurers in the tavern at the time) and rose to leave shortly after The Silverymoon Five began to eat. While exiting a member of The Orphans began to feel sick and proceeded to disengorge most of the ale he drank in the day, directly into the face of a dwarven Six.
    The Orphans apologized profusely (although reports say that there was quite a bit of chuckling involved). The dwarf was at this point very upset and proceeded to throttle the drunken Orphan. The remainder of The Orphans joined the battle as well as the rest of The Silverymoon Five.
    Most of the patrons knew what to do since they have had drills through most of their lives. Tables were turned on their side and they scampered behind them. Unfortunately, that didn't help Cyrus Folsy who was burned to cinders was well as the table he hid behind. It also didn't help the Oxpull brothers, (Derval and Humphrey) who were frozen to death as they watched the battle. Nor the others, 2 of whom were butchered by knives whirling about as they tried to leave the tavern, 1 by electrocution, 1 by magical energy, and 2 by stray weapons. Nine men did not make it home that evening. All told, when the battle was over, there were 15 dead, including the 6 bodies of The Orphans.
    When the militia entered, there was not much for them to do. The Silverymoon Five submitted to the authority of the militia. After reviewing the circumstances of events the Town Marshall, Crispin One- eye found The Silverymoon Five innocent of charges.
    The Town Marshall was quoted as saying, "There's evidence that these Orphan fellows were intending something nasty and used their sick pal as a means to get rid of a potential threat. The tavern keeper says though they drank quite a bit, there wasn't one instance of drunken display that evening until them adventurers walked in.
    "I have a feeling that them Orphans aren't gonna let these fellers get away with this, if you know what I mean. So for the good of the people, I have to banish this group for now. They are not to set foot in Silverymoon for the length of 1 year, or suffer the penalty of prison.
    "It won't bring back those friends we lost but it will keep them from adding to the body count."

    Gabriel A. Valentin: valentig@ios.com

    Go back to index.


    New Glorin:

    Official Press Release of the Spelljammer's Aid Society

    The crystal sphere of Omnispace has been confirmed as being destroyed. Details are incomplete, but evidence suggests that a rapidly expanding portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire was responsible for the destruction of the sphere.
    Before the destruction of the sphere, it is known that Lord Tanenbaum Colicor was installing a system of planer gates to connect the planets of the system. The Grand Arcane Trading House provided the materials for this project, and there is reason to believe that the arcane were somehow responsible for opening a gate that caused a chain reaction. This ultimately resulted in the destruction of the sphere.
    Monitor, the Baron of New Glorin and former Lord of Omnispace, has been conducting an investigation of the incident. Preliminiary findings have confirmed the theory that the arcane destroyed the sphere. Representatives of the Grand Arcane Trading House have been unavailable for any comment. Monitor has promised further information as it becomes available.
    As a result of this incident, all beings doing business with the Grand Arcane Trading House are encouraged to either complete or terminate their business dealings as soon as possible.
    The Spelljammer's Aid Society broke all relations with the Grand Arcane Trading House earlier this year, after they were proven to be responsible for multiple counts of vandalism, sabotage, and murder against spelljamming individuals and agencies.

    Solaris, Beacon:

    Official Press Release of the Imperial Muldravian Council and the United Federation of Olvenholt.

    Using information recently aquired by a neogi defector, the Muldravian Empire and the Federation of Olvenholt were able to destroy the Solaris Neogi fleet at their base, about three days travel from Beacon.
    The Neogi were using a dwarven-made pyramid base star, similar to the one they use in Clusterspace (known as Ironport), as their base of operations in Solaris. Using information provided by the defector, the attacking fleet was able to penetrate the neogi defences and battle them on the base itself.
    One group of commandos was able to free a Witchlight Maurauder that was being heald by the neogi. With the Maurauder free on the base star, the fleet was able to concentrate on the neogi ships that were attempting to escape.
    A few neogi did escape, but the majority of them were trapped on or around the base star. It is assumed that they were trapped with the Maurauder.
    A follow-up mission is planned for later this month.

    Solaris, Cartania:

    Official Press Release of the Imperial Muldravian Council

    The Imperial Elven Navy, which was recently found to be responsible for the assassination of the Muldravian Emperor, has been of late engaged in acts of war against the Muldravians and the other independent nations of Cartania. The first major conflict was centered around the second planet in Solaris, the water world of Hydralax.
    The battle at Hydralax involved an uncounted number of ships from both the elven navy at the Muldravian empire. Few details are available at the time, but the Muldravians are known to have driven the elves back, but at great cost. The Muldravians, being unable to pursue the elves after the battle because of damage to several of their ships, are currently re-grouping at Cartania, as preparation for a systematic sweep of the sphere in search of the elven bases.
    The Muldravian Empire is known to have suffered the loss of High Admiral Beraman Camerek during the battle. By order of the emperor- elect, the position was granted to Commodore Deliliah Ferrengal.
    Conflicts since the exchange at Hydralax have been restricted to isolated battles involving small numbers of ships, but a second major battle is expected.

    Richard J. Pugh: rjpugh@aol.com

    Greyspace, Greela:

    Press statement from Post-master Julius G.

    For the last eight months there have been various reports from the two planets second nearest to the crystal shell in both Realmspace and Greyspace, the few establishments on Garden and the small towns on the cluster world Greela respectively. The reports speak of a battle- enhanced Nautiloid bearing a blue flag with a pair of forest green spears which cross at the middle of the flag. This strange emblem has not been identified as any known pirate organization, not even by the people on Garden who have an excess of pirate visitors. In fact, it is believed that the so called Ransacking Nautiloid is unique.
    It is even uncertain that the crew of the ship be illithid, as only one witness lived long enough. He said the figures who attacked were of humanoid form, yet they all wore dark brown hooded cloaks, and furthermore they wielded large serrated swords. No more about the attackers appearance was learned, as the interviewing party was more concerned in knowing about the ship.
    The fact that all the people that have been killed have been cut with razor sharp blades and not freed of their brains is enough to indicate that the attackers are not ilithid, but then we come to a most difficult question: who in the multiverse rather than an illithid would be in a Nautiloid?
    To this day, they have landed in over a score of places, most of which were small but wealthy towns. The ransacking has been a very complete one in those terms, as all witnesses are slain and freed of any valuables, the houses are also cleaned up, rumours from Garden say the team of the Ransacking Nautiloid found the hide-out of some wealthy pirates, dispatched them and stole all their gold. For sure they won't be in friendly terms with any pirate ships they encounter.
    Just recently, there was a report directly from Admiral Galft of the trader ship Bobcat on Toril. Apparently he encountered the Ransacking Nautiloid on his way to Toril, as he was inquiring in the port about a blue flag with green spears. He said he saw the ship travelling at high speed, the Nautiloid closed in as if to examine the Bobcat, went past it and at the last moment fired the jettison at the trader ship. Luckily the damage was minimum.

    Jeremy Pemberton: jpembert@bribri.ci.ucr.ac.cr

    Go back to index.


    Kingdom of Karameikos: Threshold:

    Some merchant travelers that just arrived to the town reported a strange sighting: while they were crossing the mountains NW of Threshold, coming from Darokin, they noticed some movement in a small valley while crossing it. Carefully, they approached and, remaining hidden, witnessed a strange ritual. A mage, in travel clothing, was preparing a magic ritual, helped by some of his frients, no doubt another adventuring party. A lot of gold was used, placed on a large area of the ground, along with other precious materials and substances that could not be identified from a distance. Then, the mage started to cast a spell. It took a lot of time, but, when it completed, among lightning, the sky above the prepared area on the ground seemed to rip apart and a tower appeared where before stood nothing.
    Shortly after, the mage and his friends entered the tower and didn't leave for as long as the merchants remained in the area. The identity and intentions of this mage remain to be seen.

    Republic of Darokin: UNDEAD ATTACKS ON THE RISE!
    All over the nation, but especially in the south, undead attacks have increased to such point that some small villages have been attacked four or five nights a week. These attacks have already taken some victims, and most people are afraid to come out at night. The attacks are usually made by zombies, ghouls and other 'weaker' undead, but sometimes even a vampire was said to be seen leading the attack. The authorities have no clue as to what is the cause of this sudden increase in undead activity.

    Kingdom of Karameikos: KARAMEIKOS BESEIGED BY UNDEAD!
    As in Darokin, undead attacks have become very common, having the same dreaded effects. So far, no one has been able to put an end to the attacks, that are undoubtedly linked to those in Darokin (for instance, the attacks allways occur in the same nights in both nations). Troops have been deployed to the most unprotected areas of the Kingdom, and meetings of the ambassadors and diplomats of both nations have been made, in order to come up with some coordinated effort on both sides to erradicate this problem.

    The shadow elves have been having some problems in driving away the rats that have plagued the once green forests of Aengmor. Their numbers have increased dramatically with the war, and some of them are still around. They are dangerous not only because of their attacks (mainly on small children and other animals), but also because of the diseases they transmit (the memory of the plague is still fresh in the memory of most people of the Known World).

    Daniel Luis Rui: dlr@vision.inesc.pt

    Go back to index.


    Keshu: Eastern Plains: ÆGYPT INVADES KESHU!
    After news of the Keshi raids into Ægyptian territories and an aborted investigation by the remnants of an Ægyptian force, four regiments of infantry and a group of chariots invaded Keshu to bring home the lesson that incursions will not be tolerated.
    The Keshi leader has protested loudly against this treatment by the 'overbearing Pharaoh's Armies and their Imperialistic tendencies'. He has disavowed any knowledge of such raids, pointing out that the nomadic inhabitants of Eastern Keshu only bend their knee to him when it is convenient.
    Several villages and at least two tribes in Eastern Keshu have been obliterated, although Ægypt has indicated that only conventional force has been used. If they dared bring in any of their extremely powerful magickal items of destruction, it is suspected that other nations would take exception.
    However, several mages and priests (and perhaps even a mage- priest) have been reported to be accompanying the invasion, and their magick has been used to supplement the fighting force's power.

    Mike Phillips: msphil@birds.wm.edu

    Go back to index.

    Campaign Journals


    At this point, I and my three companions had traveled through the Chondalwood Forest at no small risk to life and limb and stopped at the end of a trail leading from the woods. We were in a small valley with a mountain East of us. It was a pleasant day, and we decided to fill up with water at a small brook that came out of the forest, and get some sun. We left a wooden signpost dubbing the brook, "Forest- End." Big Jander, our woman warrior, and Nygellis, our Elven companion, went out and captured several small woodchucks, while I and Phan, the gnome, caught some fish from the brook. The next day we set out due East, quickly reaching the mountains.

    Day 1- By midmorning we started up a mountain trail that headed roughly the direction we wished to go. Along the trail, we made 6 miles per day.

    Day 2- While stopped for our noonfeast, we heard the sounds of rocks falling on rocks further along the trail, but upon investigating we found nothing.

    Day 3- An hour before dusk, we came upon a small cave and decided to check out its suitability for shelter. It was very small and safe, and so we left a marker of "Safe Haven" near the entrance.

    Day 5- This morning we awoke under a small ledge, and after morningfeast, we set out. The path we were following went underground into a cavern, and we decided to follow it into the earth. Nygellis and Phan went first since they could see underground, while Jander and I followed with a small glow-stone.

    Day 6- It was very cold in the cavern system, and very quiet...that is until we started hearing a sound like jingling chains. We could not locate the source of the noise other than that it was far away, and that we were heading towards it.

    Day 7- The small caverns we had been traveling through opened up to a large cavern complex lit by torches along the rim and the center. The center of the cavern was a building complex filled with chanting, hooded monsters that shook metallic rattles. While trying to sneak past them, Phan decided to steal a small statue of a two-headed dog, but instead caused the whole group of them to attack us! We ran into a tunnel but soon came to a dead end. We noticed a small humanoid who appeared out of a secret opening, and followed him up to the surface.

    Day 9- It turns out to have been two days since our underground journey began, and that we had been rescued by a short goblin, named Fig. He said he was a follower of Ilmater, and bade us follow him to an outpost further up the mountain.

    Day 11- We reached the dwelling place of an outpost of clerics of Ilmater near the top of the pass. The clerics had been there for over 45 years but deaths left only 9 remaining. Since no one had come to replace them, they patiently waited as directed by their ethos. They had some success in teaching a local goblin tribe, and Fig was in fact a new priest of Ilmater. They had some contact with a human village on the eastern side of the mountain range (the Markiirs, we were told it was called), from which they got their supplies.

    Day 13- After staying a day, we had Fig lead us to the village, called Ilmater's Patience by the clerics. The path down was fairly well made, with little obstruction.

    Day 15- Shortly after midday, it started raining: a cold heavy rain. Fig directed us to a small cave that he knew of and we spent the entire afternoon there. During Phan's watch, a large bear entered the cave. It attacked us and grabbed little Fig. He yelled for us to leave, just as the bear squeezed the life out of him. We killed the bear, but it was too late for Fig. We left a sign noting the fall of a brave friend and carried his body with us.

    Day 16- It was still raining and the trail was very slippery, but we managed to get down to the bottom of the mountain. We got to the village of 'Patience before evening, and the village leader put us up in his home.

    Day 17- The next morning we said our final fairwells to Fig and buried him in the village plots. We traded stories of our adventures for meals and found out about a trail that lead North towards Hlath on the Chandathan coast. Two days later we set out to Hlath, glad to get back to civilization.

    I wrote up reports to my superiors and found out my next assignment: to confer with the Ilmater hierarchy in Westgate about getting assistance sent to their forgotten outpost in the Markiirs, and official recognition for Fig's actions in saving our lives.

    Leonard Scott: lenscott@aol.com

    And more and more from Andy Merritt's campaign book


    24th Dec
    In the morning the witch gave directions, which the party followed, into the High Moor, roughly ESE of Greenmoor for about 12 miles. Eventually a small track was found and the witch indicated they should follow it until a cairn was found to one side. Finding this, she then explained that a secret way could be found through the bushes and treeson the other side of the path, leading into a gulley, which in turn lead to a "Secret Valley", in which they would find Melinda. Suspecting an ambush, the witch was questioned as to who knew of the gulley and valley, and who lived in the vicinity - she answered that noone lived around here or knew of the valley.
    The party found that the gulley was absolutely ideal for an ambush - high steep walls with excellent hiding places some 20ft above the gulley floor - the gulley twisted and turned so that it was impossible to see for more than 20 yards before the next bend. Extremely suspicious Eddie and Paddy took a side each and inspected each possible hiding place. Paddy preferred climbing in the rocks above the path to surprise anyone hiding, whereas Eddie preferred sneaking up the winding paths from below. However, neither found anything, and after about 2 hours the party came to the valley entrance.
    The valley was less than half a mile long, and about half that wide. The sides were all steep and scree strewn, thus the only feasible way in and out was the gulley - quite an amazing place. Within the valley were two buildings, the nearest very delapidated, and made mainly of wood - the roof having fallen in a long time ago, it looked uninhabited. The second building was far grander, a stone built building high enough for two storeys, but built with only a single level, and grand enough in its day (no long gone) to be either a great hall or even a temple. Behind these buildings were two rows of three mounds, and a single larger mound at the far end of the valley.
    After a quick lunch the witch was questioned: Melinda was inside one of the mounds, which had an opening broken into it. Rushing off to inspect it, Paddy looked in using infravision, but could see nothing, and even with a torch there was no sign of Melinda from the opening. Everyone else inspected the first two buildings briefly. There were signs of a fire in the hearth of the stone building, but it looked some months old. Entering the mound some time before dusk, all that could be found was now useless possessions of those long dead who were placed in the mound. The witch explained that Melinda could be found under the mound, and pointed out a section of rubble under which a narrow crawlhole was found - too small for a human in armour.
    Being small Eddie went down and found a roughly hewn passage, significantly larger than the entry tunnel. The witch gave directions which would lead through several chambers to one in which Melinda could be found. Going carefully Eddie estimated it would take Paddy and himself less than half an hour to get there and back, so they entered and followed the route which the witch gave them, but once there, there was no sign of Melinda, so they returned empty handed, but unmolested.
    Meanwhile the others (Caljuin, Mairenne, Finbar and Mob) waited for Eddie and Paddy to return, and were suddenly caught off guard by a spell which held Mairenne. Mob searched for the source of the spell and spotted an unusually dark patch at the opening into the other burial chamber. Cal and Finbar rushed to join Mob as he called an alarm and then moved towards the darkness. Suddenly the four were hit by a sudden attack of fear emanating from the darkness. Panicing, Mob, Caljuin and Finbar rushed out of the mound and headed for their horses ... Mairenne, being held could not flee, and just had to watch as the darkness moved towards her and the witch. Without the others' torches she could see an 8' tall humanoid shape within the darkness using her infravision. This creature ignored her and picked up the still tied and gagged witch and left the mound. The ball of darkness lifted off the ground and flew straight out of the valley over the gulley!
    Calming down Mob, Finbar and Caljuin returned to find a furious Mairenne beating her head against a wall ranting about how the now escaped witch would return and kill her, intermingled with curses at Mob for not having eliminated the witch the moment trouble had shown itself. Yelling down the tunnel to Eddie she got no response, although they did turn up after a little while, annoyed with Mairenne for making such a din. After much discussion, it was decided the buildings should be searched more thoroughly. The wooden one was stables, and proved uininteresting except for a silver bridle bit which Mairenne found. Searching the fireplace in the stone building a concealed panel was found which revealed another entry tunnel - again not big enough for armoured humans.
    Since it was now dark, and the thought of going back thru the gulley did not appeal it was decided that everyone would enter the tunnels, after the horses were put in the stables, and the network of passages explored in case Melinda was in there somewhere.


    Eddie hid his backpack under some rocks by the stone building before everyone entered the tunnel beneath the fireplace. Many passages were explored. Eddie nipped down side passages, and both he and Paddy climbed several narrow tunnels up to the surface, only to find a boulder over the entrance. Eddie managed to move one boulder, and it lead into a mound, but the party left the mound alone to explore later.
    After exploring many more passages and two chambers, while various party members were looking down different exits from a chamber, three creatures attacked. They were grey humanoids with tattered clothing, armed only with their claws. Eddie on his own took several swipes, but found his blows seemed to pass thru the creatures harmlessly. Caljuin commanded his sword to flame with Tempus' fire, and fared better, his sword seemed to do some damage. Mob attempted to turn his creature, but it did not flee, however his magic mace managed to hurt it badly. The blows which the creatures inflicted seemed to make the victim suddenly weak, and after a few rounds Mob fell unconscious in a side passage. Now rather worried, the party fought with renewed vigour, but Caljuin also fell unconscious in a side passage. Paddy hurled his last two magic darts, after taking a pill, and one hit, finishing off one creature. The other fell on the floor undamaged, so he picked it up and tried again, but it missed.
    Mairenne was passed the magic hammer by Paddy, who took Mob's magic mace for himself. Eddie tried various tactics, and eventually resorted to his broken magic dagger. Mairenne fell unconscious around the same time as Finbar, leaving only Paddy and Eddie upright. Eddie took a white pill and scarpered for the nearest tunnel to the outside. Paddy reacted quickly, and still under the influence of the pill picked up Mob and ean away - cutting off Mob's armour to get him out of the hole quickly. Paddy and Eddie met up and taking an extra mule rode out thru the gulley rapidly, and continued across the moor for a couple of miles before resting for the night.
    Back in the tunnels, Mairenne, Caljuin and Finbar came around feeling very weak, and unable to see anything in the darkness. They were still wearing their backpacks, but found their limbs would not move - they seemed to be paralysed from the neck down. Sonn one of the creatures returned, and somehow commanded the three to rise and follow. Unable to stop their bodies from obeying they got up, but both Finbar and Mairenne collapsed - their bodies too weak. The creature dug a shallow trench and put the three of them in it and commanded their bodies to rest. After some time of sleep the three roused to find themselves feeling a bit stronger, but their flesh felt a little colder than normal. Caljuin suggested that a bless spell might free their bodies from this "possession" for a short time, and plands were made to escape in the brief time this would allow. Caljuin summoned the strength to cast the bless spell, and it did indeed work. Caljuin took a white pill. Pushing as fast as they could along the tunnel, Mairenne found an upward tunnel. Cal ripped off his armour and and climbed up the tunnel, dragging his stuff with him. At the top the bless stopped, but not before he started a chant spell allowing the others to climb thru the tunnel with their stuff. Before Caljuin stopped chanting Mairenne took a look around - they were in a mound with no way out. Finbar and Mairenne ate some food and drink, and they both drank some holy water. When Caljuin stopped his chant their bodies once again became unresponsive.

    Andy Merritt: amerritt@armltd.co.uk

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