Mysteries & Myths

Death Follows - Part II (Episode 39)

Benus’ Journal
Entry #1
When we return to the shaft containing the voice from below all was quiet. All of us are enchanted by Moonglum and we floated to the bottom of the shaft. All except Badger that is, as he stayed above and dropped down a rope. Strange nobody is down there, nothing but shattered boards and splinters of wood? Creepy yet harmless it seems…

Entry #2
Poisonous clouds of green fog discovered sifting down tunnels! All too familiar – RUN!!!

Entry #3
We barely reach safety, nearly loosing our Wizard in the process as he disappeared in the green mist. Once revived Moonglum tells us that he saw an individual with his cowl pulled over his head, he thinks it may have been Tyrus the Lich! The evidence seems to point to the fact that he may be right as Moonglum’s body seems sapped of life as it was once before, his flesh is wrinkled and old. But if the Lich is truly here why??? Things continue to become stranger by the minute it seems…

Entry #4
Finally not knowing where to turn to next we decide to return to the massive cavern we discovered several days ago when we first arrived. Thousands of bats filled the cavern along with nearly a dozen giant crickets. But we immediately focus on the large black object hanging from the cavern ceiling high above. We soon discover it’s a massive bat with over a 15 foot wing span! Thankfully we dropped the thing from the air rather quickly. A bit unnerved by the whole event.

Entry #5
We continued through the massive cavern and once again came to the giant boulder blocking further passage. No one in our group is small enough to fit through the narrow crack leading to a chamber beyond so we attempt to spy through the gap to see what lay beyond. We spot a passage at the far side of the chamber, perhaps an entrance? But if so how do we get there? But thats not all we spot, we also see what looks to be a massive iron golem smashing crystal or stone with its massive fists. Now to figure out how to reach this chamber, I need to think…

Entry#6
We’ve now returned to the hallway with the fake door with the spear trap, and we begin searching the alcove with the shattered gargoyle. We are unable to discover any secret doors or passages, frustrating! We must be missing something?…

Entry #7
Wow! We’ve found a magnificently crafter door that blends amazingly with the tunnels walls, and its directly across from the gargoyles alcove, who knew?! The door just won’t open so Moonglum begins a ten minute ritual called knock to hopefully open the door. Three thundering knocks soon shake the tunnels and the door finally gave up its secrets. Beyond is a ten-foot wide hall that turns up ahead before opening into a thirty-foot square chamber. At the rooms center is some sort of bloodstained alter or table. On the top of the table a warrior dressed in armor lays still, a ceremonial dagger protruding from his chest. A closer look reveals that the man has deteriorated, and is now little more than a skeleton. Jacare pulls the dagger from his chest and the faint sound of a door closing can be heard by us all. I think the secret door in which we recently entered just closed, and I confirm such soon after.

Entry #8
Most of the walls of this chamber are covered with ghastly murals depicting piles of dead adventurers, exept the middle ten-foot section of the chambers northern wall. Instead it is a floor-to-ceilng slab of polished black obsidian. Jacare, apparently always the curious one, approaches the black wall, and soon notices his twisted reflection in its slick mirror-like surface. Then he suddenly looks back at the group putting his finger to his lips, and then whispers for silence. He believes he hears voices. Could it be? Then a frightful look befalls him and he utters just a short yet eerie phrase, “one must die”…

Entry #9
We spend the next short while trying to find a way out, but to no avail. Then Jacare pushes the skeletal corse upon the alter to the floor and cuts his foot. It’s an attempt to spill blood upon the alter so that it seeps down into the small hole at the end of the alter’s numerous channels carved into the stone. Nothing happens.

Entry #10
Many are beginning to worry as there appears to be no way out.

Entry #11
My heart still races from the very thought of what just happened… Moonglum seemed removed as though deep in thought one minute, and then suddenly threw himself down upon the alter before slitting his own throat! Blood spurted everywhere as he gasped for air, and the blood began pouring from the grisly gash and into the channels carved into the alter. Seconds later he lost all consciousness, and he was obviously fading fast. We were all shocked and unnerved, I could watch no longer. Quickly I leapt forward and called upon my god for the powers to heal. Suddenly the ghastly wound upon Moonglum’s neck began to mend, and the blood ceased to spurt about. Then Moonglum suddenly opened his eyes, apparently shocked to still be alive!

Entry #12
Morale is low, there still seems to be no way out…

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Death Follows (Episode #38)

Alacry’s Journal
Entry #1
Found a simple stone door with dwarven bas-relief of a grinning dwarf engraved in the header above. Attempt to pass beyond but soon discovered the door seemed to emit a nasty shock as one passes through. Not amused!
Beyond door a large circular chamber is discovered with a skeletal corpse lying in the middle of the floor, a short sword and shield lay nearby, and its skeletal hand seems to be reaching for a large red gem. We soon discover its a trap as gem appears to be an illusion, and the room suddenly lost its gravitational pull as we fell to the ceiling?! What in the nine hells??? Red crystal spike then appeared upon the ceiling and Moonglum didn’t fare well. Luckily Benus and Badger avoided the spikes. Then just as suddenly as it began the gravity returned. We are battered and bruised.

Entry #2
Discover several other mine shafts going up. Most likely connect to those going down that we discovered in the passages above us.

Entry #3
We are delving deeper into the lower mining tunnel now, and just discovered an old backpack. It looks as though it was left here long ago, but there is no deceased owner any where nearby. Badger opened it and discovered many vials of various liquids, and a piece of rolled up parchment. The parchment was passed to Moonglum who recognized it quickly as a knock spell scroll, a nice find indeed. The vials however will remain a mystery, as Badger attempted to pick up the backpack where upon the contents soon shattered on the floor as the rotted bottom of the pack gave way – SHIT!

Entry #4
Just a little further down the tunnel in which we discovered the rotted backpack we discover numerous wooden shafts of wood which had been sanded down to a smooth surface. Handles? Handles to what?? It was soon after that several large insect like creatures came from our left their large antennae apparently attempting to feel for us in the flickering torchlight. We killed the creep insect-like creatures quickly, and luckily no one was badly injured in the fray. Nothing but dead end tunnels ahead so we turn back.

Entry #5
We are now tired and hunker down for a much needed rest, but no rest can be had. It is a sleepless night for us all as strange nightmares fill our dreams. We must make our way back to the surface. We are exhausted.

Entry #6
After resting we re-enter the strange mines only to discover the dwarven ruins once again glowing near the entrance. We are smart enough avoid this trap on our return trip. We soon find ourselves once again deep inside the tunnel system of the mines when we discover yet another shaft with several boards spanning the ten-foot wide opening. Then when we crossed a voice suddenly pierced the silence from below!? A simple voice calling out, “Help I’ve fallen and can’t get up”, then shortly after, “I’ve found gold down here”. We are hesitant and nervous, and none are willing to check out the strange and mysterious shaft. We make our way across and leave the area.

Entry #7
Further into the tunnels we discover a door carved in the likeness of a dwarven face. We attempt to peer through the keyhole, and even attempt to shine our light through in an attempt to discern the nature of the strange door. Then Jacare works up the courage to open the unique door as we prepare to depart. It seems to lead away into some sort of stairwell.

Entry #8
We decide to return to another branch of the tunnels before taking the newly discovered stairwell. One of the tunnels leads to a wooden door at the end of the hall. We soon discover the door is fake, but not before a spear suddenly shot through the thin wood and nearly impaled Moonglum. Thank the silent gods it was a glancing blow. We then began searching a nearby alcove with a creepy gargoyle standing guard. It’s then that we notice the eyes are watching us, then it suddenly attacks! Yet we survive once again, and it is becoming apparent that we can never let our guard down in this mysterious place.

Entry #9
We return to the door carved in the likeness of a dwarven face. Beyond we discover a landing in the midst of the staircase with a small alcove set into the wall and covered with glass. Inside a hammer sits, and etched above the glass in a message in dwarves script, it reads “in case of berserk golem break glass”. Seem ominous to say the least – we break glass now!

Entry #10
We follow spiral stairwell to a door above. beyond is a long hall with two skeletons at its center. We move in to inspect carefully but nothing seems amiss. Skeletons ppear to be a dwarf and elf. We find an adventurers kit and a journal. The journal is in elven script and its last entry is an ominous one. It speaks of a Forever Stone and his dwarven friend Helmut, and some sort of vile magic. It appears the two of them were trapped and turned upon one another in desperation. The vile magic then soon becomes all too real for us as well when we discover our inability to approach either door at the end of the hall. When we walk toward either door the hall appears to magically lengthen! After a short time of panic I decide to close my eyes and walk forward and merely feel for a door at the end of the strange hall. Thank the gods the plan worked and we escaped, unlike the two poor bastards (skeletons) still trapped in the center of the hall.

Entry #11
The trapped hall leads us back to the mines filled with skeletal workers that we discovered several days before. Thankfully the skeletons have not reanimated since we left. We decide to pull the spike from the floor pinning one of the three doorways we discovered here open. We try one of the other doors and it teleports us deep below into a tunnel we explored yesterday. We begin expiring once again. Soon we discover a gelatinous cube in one of the shafts we crossed earlier and we quickly disposed of it before anyone could be enveloped by its slimy form.

Entry #12
We decide to return to the mine shaft containing the mysterious voice…

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Trapped! (Episode 37)

Alacrys’ Journal
Entry #1
I volunteered to stand watch at this four way corner while the rest of the party ventured ahead to scout out this ancient dwarven mine. I just didn’t anticipate how long the group would be gone. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the little bit of light that came in from the entrance would not be enough for me to see anything, even with my elven sight. I quickly lit a torch and found a place to set it so that I could hide in the shadows and still keep watch over this intersection. How long will they be?

Entry #2
I do not like these mines. After I keep hearing noises of in the distance. It is hard to tell where they are coming from though. First I think it’s coming from a passage to the south, then maybe from the west. I’m just not sure. Damned, I miss the sun and the cool breeze.

Entry #3
Manke nae llie? That’s what I asked my companions when they finally came sauntering down a corridor back to this intersection. It seemed like I had been standing watch for at least an entire day, but they assured me it had only been a few hours. They said that as far as resistance goes they had found a chamber with some undead creatures in it, acting as if they were still mining. The worst thing they found was a deadly trap that utilized a large obsidian boulder that would roll down a twisting hallway, crushing everything and everyone in its path. Worse yet, it somehow magically would reset itself at the top of the hallway effectively cutting off any chance of advancing without running the risk of being crushed again. After much trial, and some magical help from an ancient scroll that Moonglum had kept tucked away for emergencies, they overcame the trap only to discover that after following many twisting and turning tunnels they could have gotten around the entire thing.

Entry #4
The group said that they didn’t think there was much left to explore of this level before the only option was to descend deeper into some mine shafts. With that being the case I was left to guard the entrance yet again. I hope they are not gone as long this time, I am beginning to get a bad feeling about these mines.

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Krimsonite (Episode 36)

Varis’ Journal

Entry #1
We were exhausted upon waking, our dreams filled with strange images and nightmares. It didn’t take long for us all to realize we had all suffered from the same restlessness. These mines seem to wear upon our psyche like nothing I have experienced before.

Entry #2
The group searched the three small chambers hidden within the walls of this square chambered throne room. A substantial amount of treasure lay in one small alcove, its riches spilling over the edges of three wooden chests. Amongst the notable items was a very old and dented horn that looks of little value, yet Moonglum seems to believe there is more than meets the eye. Nine unique cat statuettes were also discovered at the bottom of one of the chests. Moonglum believes these will ward off death for whoever carries one. Numerous potion vials and a scroll tube were included with many copper, silver, and gold coins – all struck with an ancient seal of a time long forgotten.

Entry #3
Meanwhile Jacare investigated the thirty-foot long hidden chamber-hall in which Benus had suddenly appeared behind the throne. Here lay a blood stained bowl nearly three-feet in diameter held by two stone hands protruding from the floor. A bas relief of a mouth was also upon the far wall, right behind the bowl. Jacare soon informed us that there was a small hole in the ceiling right above the bowl, undoubtedly stained by blood as well around its perimeter.

Entry #4
With so many questions yet unanswered Moonglum decides to attempt to speak with the dead. The skull of the room’s protector surprisingly began to speak, even though its skull has been detached from its body compliments of Jacare’s vicious flail, Orc’s Bane. The spell quickly fizzles but not before we discover our only hope of reaching the other areas of the mine is to dig out the upper entrance that collapsed upon Badger.

Entry #5
After hours of digging we finally excavate the entrance to the mine, only to discover glowing dwarven ruins hidden under the dust on a wooden support beam above. Jacare quickly read the dwarven word “PAX”, or “GREAT” in common, and the ruins suddenly faded from sight. Amazingly this allowed us to pass safely into the mine’s tunnels. You can see a look of distrust upon Badger’s face as he continually looks up at the every beam spaced at ten-foot intervals. Can’t blame the guy I wouldn’t trust the beams either after being buried the first time.

Entry #6
At the first intersection I hear faint scraping sounds to the east, but no one else is certain. Alacry agrees to stand guard at the intersection to keep an eye out for trouble, as well as watching the mine’s entrance. The rest of us advanced to the east where we found the ten-foot wide tunnel began to wind downward in a spiral pattern, while another ten-foot passage branched off into a small cavern with a three-foot diameter hole in the far wall. Empty chicken coops were scattered upon the floor. A quick investigation of the hole revealed a chute going down at nearly a 45 degree angle, and dwarven ruins above the hole read “SLIDE” in dwarven. After a lengthy discussion it is decided that we will lower Badger down carefully tied to a rope. It took us three fifty-foot ropes before Badger finally confirmed that he had reached the bottom, as the slide apparently corkscrewed it way far below. Upon pulling him back up he tells us there seems to be a massive pit of a yellow powdery substance which he dare not disturb. Badger suggests finding another path to follow. We agree.

Entry #7
We continued down the mine’s main tunnel and wind our way to yet another cavern where we discover a ledge ten-feet above. Upon that small plateau we discover a nest containing three speckled eggs and a few feathers. Cockatrice nest? Makes me nervous…

Entry #8
Now everyone hears what I heard earlier – something rolling on stone?… Quickly I move toward the south exit of the chamber and wind my way to a larger chamber while the others wait back for a report on what lies ahead. It is there that I spot a large chamber full of dwarven miners, with a dwarven foreman standing upon a large barrel. But these are no ordinary miners – they’re all dead! Nothing but skeletons, probably a dozen or so, just shuffling about and pulling carts filled with rocks. I also spot a pit full of the powdery substance Badger had mentioned a short time ago. I returned to the group to inform them of my unsettling discovery. This is proving to be a strange mine indeed.

Entry #9
We decided to enter the chamber and found ourselves quickly under attack. It was the welcome we expected of course, so we were well prepared, and the battle was quickly brought to a close but not before three skeletal lizards made their way up from beneath the powdery substance nearby. It was also during the battle that the skeletal foreman seemed very excitable, as he began shouting “finders keepers, finders keepers!”, all the while waving a piece of parchment about in his boney hand. We soon discovered that this old and brittle parchment was in fact the deed to the mines, but not before we scattered his dwarven bones across the chamber floor.

Entry #10
The party has become split!! Two of us have managed to avoid a ten-foot diameter boulder of black obsidian rolling through the mine’s tunnels, narrowly avoiding being crushed, but the others have been forced to retreat. This isn’t good… I must push ahead with Badger in the hopes of finding some sort of lever to disarm this deadly trap. Must hurry!

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A Mysterious Mine - Part 2 (Episode 35)

Badger’s Journal
Entry #1
Having dealt with the strange giant worm that attacked us we regrouped and checked out the entrance to the mine. It didn’t take long to realize that the mine entrance had been recently excavated again. What surprised me was whatever type of trap someone had set so that when we had entered no more than 15 feet into the shaft a flash of light burst out and the roof collapsed upon me. I knew that all I needed to do was lay still and conserve my strength, I just hoped my companions knew they needed to dig me out. Lucky for me they did, but now our way was blocked, so we quickly made our way down the wormhole instead, and to what we were assuming was a lower portion of the mines.

Entry#2
After setting pitons and rope into the walls of the descending tunnels so that we could escape later if needed, we quickly checked out the first chamber. Not much to it. It looked mostly like the worm had carved out this large chamber. There were only two things of note, a ledge about 30 feet high to the west and a hallway leading to the south. I was pretty sure that the ledge to the west would lead us closer to the main entrance above so we began our ascent of that. Unfortunately along the way we discovered that while we ascended this section of naturally occurring terraces we had to contend with what I believe were Piercers. I had heard stories of this strange creatures from old miners, but never truly believed them. Who could think that some creature could look so much like a stalactite and cling to the cavern ceilings, dropping themselves upon hapless victims below. Well, there are creatures like that, and I despise the damned things. The worst part was to find out that when we finally got past the area of piercer infestation we discovered that the next giant cavern was infested with albino crickets the size of sheep, as well as thousands bats. Lots of bats. Worse than the bats was the guano that covered the floor. It was at least a foot thick and deeper in other places. Finding nothing of interest we also noticed a large ten-foot long leathery sack hanging from the ceiling. We had significant doubts about this chamber, and Jacare decided that we should skirt along the edge of the massive chamber in order to check out the hallway to the south, but we soon discovered the passage was blocked by an old cave-in. We had to return to the bottom of the thirty-foot cliff we has ascended earlier.

Entry #3
I’ve seen a lot of interesting mines and different doors and locks to keep their treasures within, but the dwarven door that barred our entrance in the next hallway stumped even me. The name of dwarven kings were engraved on the door, and it seemed you could depress any combination of 1 letter from each of the names of 6 different kings. After several of our members bantered about as to what words to try they started pressing buttons and trying to get it open. They just kept pressing buttons and trying words. Words, buttons, buttons, words, aarghgh, just let me smash the damned thing!

Entry #4
UNLOCK”, why didn’t I think of that. Finally we gained entrance into a small room, no more than 30 foot by 30 foot. Within the room was a carved throne with an old dusty skeleton sitting upon it. It’s when the skeleton turned to us and asked, “Why have you come?”, that I shook my head and began to unsheathe my sword. But no one attacked. Jacare began to parley with the creature. They bantered for a while, I must admit I lost interest in the conversation and began inspecting the stone work of the doorway again. When I looked back I saw Benus kneeling before the skeleton and a beam of some sort of energy shoot out from the skeletons hand, hitting Benus squarely in the chest. And then Benus simply vanished, a pile of dust settling to the floor where he once stood. Jacare was enraged and he charged in to attack the skeleton. Before I could join him the skeleton said something else about a griffin and a hippopotamus on fire, and just as quickly a large secret door opened up on the south side of the room and a green dragon appeared, stuffed into the small area. Then it burst out and charged us!

Entry #5
I don’t like dragons breathing acid on me, and I really don’t like dragons spitting gas clouds into small rooms and mine shafts that I am in. Apparently neither does anyone else because I have not seen my companions charge in and take down enemies as quickly as we just did. Perhaps the sudden loss of Benus had enraged them all. But it didn’t take long and we stood victorious over a large dead dragon, and skeletal pile of bones. There was also a pile of treasure that we could now see to the east, behind a now open secret panel. And shockingly enough, Benus. He came out of a passage that was hidden behind the stone throne, intact and unhurt. What an odd mine this was proving to be. Regardless, we decided this was a good place to get a good amount of rest, so we set up watch and I went to sleep.

Entry #6
What a terrible night. Nothing happened. It was actually quite eerily quiet. It was the feeling of unease that started to creep into my bones throughout the night. And then the nightmares. I haven’t had nightmares since I was a kid. Worse yet I felt horrible. It’s as if I hadn’t even slept, worse it’s as if I had marched for 3 days, eaten maggoty bread and then got stuck on latrine duty for the rest of the night. By the looks of my companions, they felt the same. What in the world is going on in this mysterious mine?…

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A Mysterious Mine (Episode 34)

Alacrys’ Journal
Entry #1
When the chaos of the attack of the Lich had finally settled we took an accounting of the fallen. There were many dead. We busied ourselves with attending the dead, set up watch and tried to rest for the night. It was a long night. In the morning a human appeared, which set us all a bit ill at ease. He said he had come from the mine nearby and that something was amiss there. We were at a bit of a loss as to what to do next so we decided we would investigate the mine. We prepared ourselves for the journey and headed out.

Entry #2
The closer we came to the location of the mine the more unsettling the landscape became. It was like a blight had been cast upon the surrounding forest, the trees withered, the underbrush curled up upon itself and the very air itself was stifling. We did not take comfort in the fact that we would have to camp in this dreary forest for the night. The mine location was proving difficult to find again.

Entry #3
Damned this forest and the blight upon it. During our rest at night it seemed that the very forest itself would rise up against us. While Varis was on watch he thought he heard something, but soon dismissed it as normal noises of the forest. It wasn’t until a huge branch of a blackened oak tree came crashing down upon Jacare that we suddenly realized something was amiss. The large branch didn’t just fall either, it was still attached to a large blackened and withered oak tree that somehow was lumbering towards Jacare and flailing it’s massive branches at him, tearing his flesh and battering him like a rag doll. Although this aberration was brutal, we moved in concert to stop its savage attack of Jacare. And then to try and rest again. Another long night.

Entry #4
I do not know when I will stop being surprised in my travels with these fellows, but I was shocked at the events of the next day. We approached the mine and soon slowed as we all noticed a large crater in the open area just before the entrance of the mine. There was also a small shack. Jacare and Moonglum went to investigate the shack. It was no sooner that they yelled back it was simply an outhouse that all hell broke loose. It was if the little shack exploded in a million pieces, a cloud of dust and debris filling the air. After but a moment, the dust settling, there stood a massive worm-like creature with thick scales and a gaping maw. Jacare and Moonglum dashed away from the beast and the crater that it was extruding from, but not quickly enough. Before I had loosed more than a single arrow the maw of the beast enveloped Jacare and he was gone. Moonglum back peddled, loosing huge balls of fire that exploded around the head of the great worm. I loosed arrow after arrow, Benus unleashed magical attacks that were similar to those that I have seen Moonglum produce, and Varis and Badger charged the beast. Just as quickly as Badger had reached the creature, it twisted around and opened its great maw again. Badger was gone! As quickly as the creature had swallowed Jacare and Badger it contorted itself and disappeared back into the crater that it had produced. I stood in shock.

Entry #5
I’m not sure what overtook me, fear, disbelief, anguish? I simply couldn’t seem to react to the situation. Benus and Moonglum moved quickly though. Before I knew what was happening they told Varis and I to stay above and stand watch, and then they disappeared down one of the craters. I stood there for what seemed like hours, tense, uneasy. After a time, and much to my surprise, Benus and Moonglum returned. It was when they pulled both Jacare and Badger up out of the crater with them, alive, that I was surprised again. Not only were they both alive the four of them had managed to find another entrance into a back chamber of the mines. We decided that we would save that entrance for later and focus our efforts on the main entrance. I checked my quiver and steadied myself, we would be entering yet another underground lair, and I needed my wits about me.

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The Return (Episode 33)

Jacare’s Journal
Entry #1
After entering the dark mausoleum for a second time we once again came face to face with the Lich, Tyrus. Once again we quickly found ourselves engulfed in a poisonous cloud of gas and seperated from the three of our companions as the door to the chamber suddenly slammed shut. Thankfully we were able to force it open however, and soon the gas seeped into the hall beyond. The group was unable to reconnect for what seemed an eternity as no one seemed willing to risk its toxic effects. In desperation I charged up the short stairway to Tyrus’ chamber when something caught my attention in a nearby corner. It was a crystal ball of some sort? Mist hovered inside the strange globe, and a sudden feeling of danger flooded over me. The next thing I knew my flail could be heard smashing the vile object in to a million litte shards. I felt better that it was gone.

Entry #2
Then suddenly the Lich somehow managed to appear in the hall beyond, fire and lightning emanting from its boney fingers time and again. We fought back with all we had but once again nearly half of us were on death’s doorstep. Amazingly shortly thereafter all fell mysteriously quiet, and our undead nemesis seemed to have vanished!?

Entry #3
In the chamber we discovered another tome with a desicated tongue nailed to the cover. Benus seems to want to know what shattered. I have little to say, but finally I inform his of my recent destruction of the strange globe. He seems a little shocked, and informs me that Moonglum won’t be happy. Who the hell cares? It was a danger to us all.

Entry #4
After exiting the mausoleum we head back to the resistance headquarters when we spot two grey cloaked men stalking about, one upon a nearby roof and another around a nearby corner. We shout out for them to identify themselves when a third mysterious figure suddenly bolts from a nearby hiding spot. Varis takes chase instantly and runs the fleeing man down before tackling him. The man seemed in a panic, and began telling us in fearful tones about a mysterious mine discovered to the eastern foothills.

Entry #5
The two men stalking about turn out to be part of the resistance. They were apparently tracking the mysterious man we had just run down. Neither of us knew who he was or where he was from. Thankfully he proved to be little threat, and had entered the city of Drakonheim with no knowledge of recent events, or of the towns recent evacuation. He was merely looking to report the discovery of this mysterious mine and the bodies that were littered near its entrance.

Entry #6
The man agrees to spend the night with the resistance and tells Captain Vlak what he knows, which quite honestly was very little. Apparently the man lives somewhere in the foothills to the east with his family. Later that night we suddenly found ourselves enveloped in poisonous gas as we slept, then seconds later a fireball exploded amongst us. What in the nine hells!

Entry #7
Somehow we survived the night attack, barely. Serious injuries abound and many in the resistance our no more. Its a sad day. Shortly after we also discover that we’ve been robbed, the newly discovered tome with the desicated tongue on its cover is missing…

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Awaiting Evil (Episode 31)

Benus’ Journal
Entry #1
Found myself exhausted when I awoke this morning. Thoughts about the gods have weighed heavily upon me as of late. Guilt floods through me as I question what I am involved in, and whether the gods have truly returned, or perhaps there is only one true god? Signs of Bahamut seem to appear all around and cause me to question myself and my beliefs.

Entry #2
We managed to enter the dark mausoleum as the skies above continue to darken. Just inside the antechamber we discovered three sarcophagi standing against the wall to the left. The wall opposite of our entrance point shows signs of another seam in the stone work, an obvious tell tale sign of another hidden door. After much effort we finally managed to gain entry, it was no small task.

Entry #3
Beyond the second door we discovered a ten-foot wide passage that quickly veered to the left after a mere ten feet. Stone sarcophagi are set into a nook in the stone wall directly ahead of us. I quickly ignited my lantern before moving ahead. For such an old mausoleum it seems surprisingly clean inside with little dust on the floor, yet cobwebs hang from the walls and ceilings above.

Entry #4
As we made the first turn the scraping of stone upon stone was suddenly noticed before Jacare sounded the alarm. Three skeletal looking warriors could be seen inside the antechamber to our rear, yet these were no ordinary skeletons, instead they appeared skeletal but with a thin layer of flesh pulled across their bones with nearly no muscle tone to speak of. Quickly a number of us moved to the rear to assist Jacare, and soon the threat was removed as we managed to avoid any significant injuries.

Entry #5
Yet as one threat was extinguished another seems to always present itself as a ghoulish-looking creature suddenly sprung from behind one of the sarcophagi niches down a dark passage ahead. Before it was all said and done four ghouls in all made themselves known. Yet once again any significant injuries were avoided by us all. Our skills upon the battlefield have grown and I can’t help but feel impressed as we work together as one, yet caution myself as overconfidence has often proven to be the enemy of more than one group of companions in the long annals of history.
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Entry #6
Nearly sixty feet into the mysterious tomb we realize that we may have moved too quickly. We decide to back track a bit to further investigate many of the niches and sarcophagi that we had so carelessly passed by before. We want to avoid becoming surrounded at all costs, as we have learned over the past several months how sound tactics often lead to victory on the battlefield.

Entry #7
Alacry enchanted an unexplored section of hall up ahead to ensure we are not taken by surprise while we retrace our previous steps, while Moonglum inspected the three niches along the nearby wall. It was there that he discovered the outline of what looked to be another door in the middle niche behind one of the sarcophagi. Badger then stepped forward and helped muscle the door open using handholds hidden near the floor. Slowly the door raised up vertically into the wall above revealing a secret chamber!

Entry #8
It was during this raising of the heavy stone door that a sudden bolt of dark energy shot forth striking Moonglum in the chest! We were under attack before we even knew what lay beyond. Two arrows followed in quick succession, one grazing Moonglum in the left shoulder. Moonglum reacted as quickly as one might expect under such dire circumstance and released a massive fireball into the entire chamber. Soon Badger had stormed inside in an attempt to get at the gaunt warriors firing their bows, but not until the gaunt-spellcaster wearing tattered dark robes had fallen in the fiery holocaust of Moonglum’s spell. Then two more heavily armored and gaunt warrior with longswords stepped out from their previously unrecognized corner positions.
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Badger was now in deep with no passage of escape. Moonglum, realizing his desperate state, released a poisonous gas into the room but it seemed to have no effect upon the enemy. I raced in to help shortly thereafter, and then began to rethink my tactical positioning when we began to notice the stone column near the entrance beginning to change color to a deep blood red. Then the column began to bubble, each bubble morphing into a mysterious face before melting back into the column, many of the faces reappearing and vanishing time and again, their crying voices filling the air around us. At that point Alacry had arrived and released several arrows into the chamber before taking a direct hit. She was badly injured and Varis quickly recognized the situation, and pulled her off the stone sarcophagi and back into the hall to safety. It was then that the seriously injured female elf sounded the alarm, the enchanted hall had apparently been breached by something! I raced to the other end of the dark hall to inspect what might be lurking ahead with Jacare by my side, but there was nothing to be seen? Perhaps a false alarm, or something invisible?? Unsure, we both took up a defensive position at the turn while the battle for the secret chamber continued to rage behind us. Inside the secret chamber things continued to grow worse by the second, as a strange mist began to form around the blood red column of faces before taking the misty-shape of many disturbing faces itself, then spectral hands began reaching out toward those of us inside the room! Then seconds later a poisonous greenish-yellow gas began to fill the chamber entrance and the hall outside the room. We all began to choke as we gasped for fresh air, and many of us began to retreat as visibility fell to almost nothing in the thick gas. Some unknown force had suddenly made itself known inside the secret chamber as a mysterious cackle could be heard emanating from beyond the poisonous cloud. It was within this cloud of deadly gas that we all scrambled in our own direction in a desperate attempt to find some form of breathable air, and one by one each of our voices could be heard declaring themselves free of the poisonous cloud as they gasped for air. That is all voices save for one. No one had heard Badger’s gruff tone through the chaos, and he had last been seen fighting the insubstantial spectral faces near the mysterious column. Where was he? What had happened to him in the sudden confusion as the poisonous cloud obscured everyones view? It was then, amongst the chaos and confusion, that we finally heard that familiar gruff voice, just one simple word – SHIT!

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Dark Skies (Episode 30)

Varis’ Journal
Entry #1
Rest did not come easy after yesterdays events, even for us elves. We were all tense and the slightest noise would put us on alert. After a while we heard noises above the bunker we were sheltering in. Luckily for everyone it turned out it was survivors, and Arrow was among them. As it turned out Captain Vlak had been leading a resistance since the invasion of the undead. They had fallen on rough times though, and he was gravely injured. After we were all convinced that we were on the same side we decided to make our way to the good captain and join forces. Lets hope the streets prove safer than yesterday.

Entry #2
Captain Vlak was more grievously injured than Arrow had let on. If not for Benus’ strange powers of healing I think he would have met the afterlife. There were other survivors besides Arrow and Captain Vlak. Dorha, Salty Pyte, and Dorg were there, as were the young brothers from VharentFen and Alec. But many of the others I did not know. We discussed our plans and eventually it was decided that we had to do something about the damned Dracolich before we could make any progress on ending this madness. I’m not sure who had eventually come up with the plan, but the next thing I knew half the group was going with Dorg to his smithy for chains and nets and the rest of us were making up costumes to disguise ourselves as if we had been captured. I thought it was insane, who was going to capture us, a zombie, a ghoul? And why would the undead dragon care if someone had us captured? Then I was shocked again, a feeling I am growing accustomed to. From a back room, mingling through the survivors, heading towards us as if he belonged amongst us came none other than Tyrus. Jacare looked him over, even folding back a corner of his cape to better inspect his clothing. When he finished his inspection he looked at Tyrus again and simply said “That should fool the damned beast”. I soon came to learn that while I was busy talking with survivors Moonglum had fashioned a plan of sorts. He magically disguised himself as Tyrus and he was going to parade us through the streets, hopefully to a narrow street between two tall buildings. The resistance would be waiting at the buildings with the chains and nets, and if we could lure the Dracolich within we would spring our trap. It seemed to me like a bunch of mice trying to capture a cat, but what else were we to do.

Entry #3
One would think that having faced this horrible undead dragon as often as we have that the feeling of death wouldn’t form in the pit of your stomach every time it shows itself. We had made our way to a perfect street, I could see the survivors hiding amongst the windows and roof of the buildings on either side of the street. Jacare and Moonglum, or should I say Tyrus, started making a commotion, as if arguing. That’s when I felt the dread building within my bones. I turned my head and saw the Dracolich slowly walking around the corner, it’s soulless, twisted face lurching at us, and then the acid. I am not proud to say it, but I ran. Before I knew it I was more than a block away, and finally regained my senses. I could hear a battle raging, and saw several of the survivors fleeing. I gathered myself and what fear I had been feeling I forged into hatred and anger. We need to kill this beast!

Entry #4
I’m not sure you will believe what I describe next. When I rounded the corner I found my companions swarming about the Dracolich. There were thick webs, as if a giant spider had spun a web from building to building surrounding the beast. Chains and nets dangled crossed its bones. Jacare was actually sitting astride the beast, as if riding it like an unbroken horse. Badger was hovering above it, flying again and attacking it whenever he could. Zombies were filling the streets, Moonglum was trying to not get killed, Alacry was shooting off arrows as quickly as she could and Benus was charging into the fray chanting unfamiliar words. It seemed that the Dracolich was about to free itself from its bonds, when more webs wrapped around its wings and it dropped back to the ground. I mustered every ounce of energy I had and channeled it into my fists. I charged the beast, heading straight for its terrible maw and I slammed it with all of my might. And with that we were victorious. The beast fell to pieces at our feet. We quickly killed a few zombies that were left and picked through the bones of the great undead dragon. Aside from that we wasted little time. We quickly made our way to the Mausoleum, in hopes that we would find Tyrus and perhaps put an end to this madness.

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Desperation (Episode 29)

Alacry’s Jounal
Entry #1
I am still unsure of what to make of this group I have found myself suddenly attached. Yes it is true they saved me from the throngs of undead in the woods outside of town, and I am quickly learning to trust them. One particular individual seems to wield the legendary powers of the gods! I know not what to make of this, or if it is even real? I often watch in stunned silence as I witness the unexplainable – true healing!! Could this truly be the returning of the ancient gods?

Entry 2
I accompanied my new companions to an old temple on the outskirts of Drakonheim, and it was there that many of us nearly perished at the undead hands of two figures cloaked in dark shadow. Even the Cleric of the Stormcaller, Benus, nearly met his end. We are badly wounded and in desperate need of rest.

Entry 3
After resting for nearly eight hours we have decided to make our way across town in order to investigate the residence of a man named Tyrus, who the group seems to think has something to do with the dark cloud that now hangs over the region, and the rising undead.

Entry 4
Came under attack from Black Death on wing, a Dracolich, as we attempted to cross town. Then as we set our defenses in an attempt to fight back, we were nearly surrounded by throngs of undead zombies. The streets are proving to be very dangerous, and a small skirmish with the unintelligent undead can often turn into something more if one is not careful. The undead have proven able to detect the living, and can suddenly arrive in overwhelming numbers. We proceed with caution.

Entry 5
We have scrambled part way across town and have decided to take refuge upon a nearby roof to rest. Dracolich has flown over several times but seems to have failed to notice us, very lucky! You can see wonderfully from our elevated view, we now plan our course hoping to avoid the shambling undead, we believe we have located the neighborhood where this man named Tyrus lives. We prepare to press onward.

Entry 6
Desperation seemed to fill the air, this is all I can really say. My account of the time passed is a little sketchy, as I nearly fell into eternal darkness. It all began when Varis and I discovered a tower with a flat roof not much more than ten-foot tall. A strange looking building in a neighborhood of peaked roof-lines, no windows to be noted either, just a simple door. As we approached, curiosity ran through our heads, wondering if this was indeed the proper residents? The others took to the roofs above in order to inspect the top of this strange squat tower. Strange stone gargoyles peer down at us from the four corners of the building making me uncomfortable. Just then we received a report from above that a trap door on the roof might provide us with entrance. The dracolich was also reported to be quit a distance away flying over the horizon. All seemed to going as planned, but then Jacare jumped over to the short tower’s roof, and began hunkering down behind one of the stone statues for some added protection. It was then that the stone suddenly came to life! Jacare was in trouble as we all scrambled to come to his aid. Then the next thing we knew we were surrounded by the other three animated gargoyles. Things were getting tense, and quickly out of control.

Entry 7
After bringing our full force and weapons to bear we finally rid ourselves of the gargoyles, but things only got progressively worse from there… The last of the gargoyles had just shattered upon the ground below when someone suddenly yelled to take cover. I quickly turned toward the trap door in the ceiling when I noticed Jacare desperately trying to open the trap door and the dracolich swooping in fast and only about twenty feet away! It was then that Moonglum stepped forward and began chanting in his mysteriously strange tongue. Darts of acid shot forth a split second later, and the acid began eating away at the metal lock. The lock now compromised we smashed our way through, and Varis wasted little time peering below before jumping down hurriedly. The rest of the group followed just as quickly, slamming the trap door shut just as the dracolich landed with a sudden thud on the roof-top above. A close call indeed, and a fight none of us wanted after the intense battle with the stone gargoyles, for that battle had left a number of us battered and torn.

Entry 8
One might think we were now somewhat safe inside that squat tower, but things only continued to grow worse. Inside the small room two chicken-like creatures hunted and pecked at the wooden planks that made up the rooms floor, yet these chickens were quite large, standing nearly three-foot tall and seemingly possessing some qualities of lizard-like flesh? Needless to say the unassuming creatures panicked at our sudden arrival, suddenly taking wing and trying to peck us in the face. Damn birds, we killed them quickly.

Entry 9
The strange birds weren’t the real problem needless to say. The real problem stood just above us. Silt from the ceiling was now slowly descending from the dracolich’s immense weight. Then what we feared most began to transpire as the sizzle of acid could be heard from above, eating away at the wooden planks that protected us from the undead beast. We scrambled about looking for an unexpected escape rout, the front door not being an option but instead most likely a death wish.
Finally we found a secret lever inside the bookshelf. The lever pivoted the bookshelf like a simple door, and another hidden room was discovered beyond. Wasting little time we all piled inside before closing the bookshelf. Then we waited amongst this simple room, a bed along one wall with a small chest nearby, and the opposite wall a desk containing a book with candles flanking both sides, an apparent continual flame cast upon each. A pile of scrolls also lay nearby on the floor. We tried to remain silent, hoping the undead behemoth would just go away, but we seemed unlucky on this day. We could hear the ceiling collapse on the other side of the wall and my heart leapt into my throat with the realization that it now knew we were not there. This left only one other place to look, and all of our eyes rose to the ceiling above. Soon the sizzling sound followed, and acid began to drip from between the seams of the wooden planks above. We were now in desperate straights. Someone whispered to grab the scrolls and book, and we prepared to make a run for it, our very lives hanging in the balance.

Entry 10
Finally ready to make our move we opened the bookcase. The room beyond was covered in shattered wood and debris. It looked treacherous, but there was no other option, it was our only way out. We bolted for the front door in a desperate attempt to escape! I quickly made my way through the twisted mess of the collapsed ceiling only to hear the other half of the roof collapsing behind me. I could only hope that all the others had made it out alive. It was then that I made the fateful decision to take cover next to a nearby building outside, and turned to fire upon my hated opponent, the undead dragon. The beast responded in kind as the fifteen-foot tall beast came crashing down right between Jacare and I. Some of the others had successful made their way into the building, and the cover of safety, but Jacare seemed to be struggling to make his way through the broken window, and now found himself cornered by the dracolich. The dragon seemed unaware, or perhaps uncaring about Jacare’s presence however, as it soon brought all of its fury down upon me. It was the last thing I remember before darkness overtook me.
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Entry 11
When I awoke Benus stood over me whispering. I could hardly believe that I was still alive! Quickly the cleric of Talos the Stormcaller beckoned me to come inside the building that I once stood next to. Once inside I discovered there were only two others, Moonglum and Benus. But where were the others? Were they okay?? They were questions none could answer. Apparently the group had become separated during their race to escape the collapsing tower’s roof and the dragon’s fury from above. Benus and Moonglum had been trapped by the second ceiling collapse, had narrowly escaped to this building across the street, and then taken to hiding inside while the dragon remained perched on the squat tower walls that still remained outside. Only after waiting an hour did they finally note that the dragon had left, yet they had no idea whether it might be watching closely nearby, so Benus had carefully stuck his head out a nearby window when he noticed my elven boots sticking out from around one of the corners of the building outside. He then quietly, or as quietly as one can in full armor, came out a nearby door and kneeled over my torn and unconscious body, before whispering a small prayer to Talos. I feel more than fortunate this day, and have much to be thankful for, but what of the others? What had become of them??

Entry 12
Shortly thereafter we decided to venture into the streets, and it was there that we discovered a grate in the city street had been moved from its place. It was most likely one of the escape routs the others had used so we decided to check it out. Down below the sewers smelled just as awful as one might expect, and the putrid yellow-green water flowed through its channels lazily in all directions, but otherwise the tunnels seemed to be safe. It didn’t take long before I picked up the trail of our fellow companions,their boot marks making an obvious impression on the muck filled pathways of the sewers. At times the trail seemed to grow cold but I quickly found their path a short time later and we continued to follow for nearly an hour when we finally came to an iron rung ladder leading upward. We soon found ourselves in the White Keep, and there stood all three of our relieved companions who had been waiting several hours for our hopeful arrival. Needless to say it was a joyous reunion, and somehow, some way, we had all managed to survive!

Entry 13
Finally reunited, we prepared for a long and much needed rest. Moonglum, Badger, and Varis began pouring over the book and scrolls we had taken possession of from Tyrus’ residents. It was during this long rest that we learned of Tyrus’ master plan. In his writings it had become apparent that he was behind the negotiations for the goblin attack on Drakonheim. It also became clear that these attacks were nothing more than a diversion for a much bigger event that he referred to as “The Great Awakening”. He seemed to care little for the success of the goblin invasion. Another page of the journal spoke of the Dwarves of Durgeddin’s clan, and their fleeing of their homeland and apparent creation of a new home called Khundrukar. It is there that he speaks of the legendary forges of the dwarves, and the amazing works created from those forges, but he seems to have little interest in these. It is instead the legend of a black dragon named Nightscale that apparently laired there that seemed to be his true interest. Moonglum has uncovered a disturbing scroll that seems to indicate Tyrus’ intention to turn the beast into a dracolich! The only problem is that such a beast would never willingly accept such a fate, and Tyrus seemed aware of his inability to defeat such a powerful creature alone. He apparently realized he needed help, and we unknowingly provided it. It was now obvious to us all that the undead dragon that was now terrorizing us all was none other than the undead Nightscale in all his resurrected and unholy glory. We all seemed to be entangled in Tyrus’ plot to create what he refers to as his “Kingdom of Undead”. Unfortunately this was not the last of our discoveries however, one stilled remained, and it was perhaps the most shocking of all. It was while reading one of the final scrolls that Moonglum poured over during our long rest that his face suddenly went ashen. He then looked up and said only one word quietly under his breath, Lichdom!

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