It’s clear we cannot go back to the dwarven ruins. They are infested by dark gnomes who will not hesitate to kill us on site. The large complex of ruins west of the sprites is another possibility, but my little friend Oz tells us he’s heard stories they’re home to a linnorm, a great ancient best that we should not mess with. That leaves only one option: we move north and stick to my original plan.
Although our new friend Valdic seems to be fitting in well nicely, I still think it’s prudent to keep an eye on him. He hasn’t proven himself like Syb has.
Based on information from our native friends, we decide to make our way towards a river that could help us speed up our travel. We just have to be careful to stick to the west side because the est is drow territory and Syb does not recommend entering it.
After a couple of days, or is it weeks… I don’t know anymore, I’ve stopped counting! Where was I? Oh yes, we found the river. We made camp! Under my guidance, we took the rest of the day and built a couple of rafts.
The following morning, we took the rafts to the river and made huge progress. I must say it was nice to put up our feet and not have to walk for a while.
Our travels on the river was going smoothly and more time passed… That is until we encountered that boat. On the Est side of the bank, we saw an empty barque. It was just sitting there in the middle of the river; not moving. I immediately suspected an ambush; maybe drows! I sent in Oz to investigate. He turned invisible and reported back that the barque was indeed empty, but it looked like it was caught on something, but he could not see. There was nothing near it and the coast looked clear. I made the decision to keep going! No need to look for trouble here.
More time past on the river… Things are going smoothly! I can’t notice that is usually when things start going horribly wrong. And with that though, up in the distance, we see on the river another boat occupied by a woman, with long blond hair. She sees us and waves to us. I didn’t catch all the words she spoke, but it was evident she wanted to meet with us. She seemed nice enough so I direct her to move towards the bank so we can meet up.
That’s when everything started going horribly wrong… again! We saw something in the water quickly moving towards her. Then a tentacle or something came out of the water, grabbed the women and dragged her under. My immediate reaction was to go help her and judging by the rest of the group’s reaction, it was clear we had to do something.
Syb casted “walk on water” on the group. My brother valiantly charged in and I tried to follow, but he was faster than me. Our whole was not far behind. We faced a huge creature that was half fish, half octopus. I could not see the woman anymore! I saw my brother’s face fill with rage, and looked like he was about to direct his anger towards me. Then I was overcome with a feeling to attack and kill my friends. Lady luck was on our side; our strong will prevailed and we shrugged off the compulsion.
One of the huge creature’s tentacle hit my brother … Then I noticed Syb was also near by Bro.
I realized the woman we were trying to save was a gone and that our group was in a very bad situation. I gave the order to retreat.
I tried to divert the beast’s attention by casting a fireball. The spell exploded and boiled the river into hot steam which bought a little time. Half the group was making their way towards the bank… The creature then hit me and I was affected by some sort of affliction. My skin started to change I didn’t feel good. My brother seemed to be affected also.
I don’t know if my brother heard me or not, but it’s clear he wasn’t retreating. I saw Syb cast another spell on my brother and dispel the water walk. Eodum wasn’t retreating either. Our new gnome friend wasn’t backing down either. <sigh> So we had to fight on! It took a while, but finally brought the beast down. Rognar finally realized that the beautiful blond he wanted to rescue was only an illusion. We picked ourselves up and made our way to the bank. We decided to spend the night. Rognar, Syb and I were affected by some sort of decease. I felt weak. Our flesh had changed to the consistency of a fish and we were compelled to stay in the water. I don’t know what Oz was thinking, but he kept looking at me funny and licking his lips. The night was not pleasant one!
The following morning, Urbir and his god helped the team recover. I was glad to be myself again.
Oz told me he recognized the place, and to the west, there was a tribe of creatures that had taken a precious stone from him. It seemed very important to him. I kept arguing with Oz that it’s just a stone and I’m sure he could find another pet rock somewhere else. Oz kept insisting so I made a deal with him. I would present his case to the group and we would decide together.
I explained that a group of creatures had stolen a valuable gem like rock from Oz, and that they were not far from here, and that Oz wanted his valuable stone back. I told the group that since it’s not very far and it’s about righting a wrong, we could maybe help the little one. This was a group decision! Some of the group were willing to help; others seem indifferent, and others stayed silent. Group majority did not seem to object, so we decided to help Oz.
Oz explained there was about 7 or 8 creatures and he felt we could take them on. They were ogre like creatures and cannibals. Valdic knew the creatures well and considered them abominations and they should be destroyed. According to Oz, their camp was only a day or so way from here.
It took a little longer than expected, but we finally reached our destination. Unfortunately, the creatures were not found anywere. Oz said he knew another place and if we camped here for the night, we could go check it out in the morning. I wasn’t pleased with the idea, but we’ve already travelled this far. Decision was made to make camp and rest up.
During the night, we were ambushed. Attacked by about ten creatures. One of them was riding a hippogriff or something. I was pleasantly surprised how the group finally worked together and fight the assailants. My brother Rognar and Urbir took down many of the creatures. Eodum’s pistols were true to their mark. Syb, Valdic, Urbir and I were efficiently casting spells. Dieb did what he did best, and quickly went after one of them that tried to escape and dispatched it. Even my little buddy Oz had his impressive moment when greased the saddle of the creature on the hippogriff. It was a thing of beauty to see the ridder drop from 25-30 feet and land directly on top of one of his companions.
After killing the bunch, Oz went over to one of the creatures and quickly prompted that he had found his valuable stone. He was very anxious to show it me. Oz flew up close, in his tiny hands, I could see the stone: “See Boss… Didn’t I tel you is was the nicest stone you have ever seen!”… Just as I was reaching out to pick it up and take a look at it, Oz swallowed the stone in a quick gulp. Flabbergasted… No words! All I could do is let out a long breath of sorrow. I can’t believe after all this that the little imp swallowed the stone.
No point in making a huge case of this… May as well head back to the river and continue our trek towards the drow refugees and towards the coast.