Shining Shadows

Irvyn's Log 4
Clerical errors

Kalton manor was a hoot! I can’t wait to go into other deserted ruined buildings filled with all manner of monsters just to heroically chase a lone dwarf. But I get ahead of myself.

Anabeth had brought us a new friend when she showed up, a cleric half elf named Dara. Dara isn’t one of those clerics out to “spread the light” which is interesting being a cleric of Pelor. Instead she seems to care about taking care of our health and surviving. This is, of course, to mean that she is sensible (that won’t last long with this bunch).

So into another room of this ruined tower we go only to find a large conflict with all manner of undead. Public Service Announcement: if there are undead around, there’s bound to be a necromancer somewhere. We looked to our cleric to turn the undead. Isn’t that half of what clerics do? Sure it is and we all smile, waiting for the moment for her to say… “I’m sorry, I don’t turn undead.” If not for the scraping of skeleton bones across the floor (getting closer by the second), you could have heard a feather fall to the ground.

So we went to work and were left with a pile of bones, several sarcophagi and a magic ward that we needed to pass. It didn’t take long to realize that this was going to require a special key to break. We began searching the areas that we could reach and found the key had been divided into four parts. To avoid a complete retelling, suffice it to say that much blood was spilled (some of it ours) and much effort was expended (almost none of it mine) and heroic steps taken (almost all of them mine) to obtain the parts of the key.

Conveniently, just as we found the last part of the key, our quarry shows up acting very chummy, or as chummy as one can with Jagged holding him and Anabeth threatening with her sword. He was quite chatty in this position and we learned a bit about his inability to let go of his grief over the loss of a family member. I personally haven’t lost a close family member (I remember exactly where I put them), but I hope that should the day come where I have to face that, I won’t live the rest of my life for revenge. Never can tell though.

In any case, Traevus tells us of his former evil necromancy teacher, who he killed, who is apparently not ready to give up this plane. He urges us to go confront this undead mage. Well, we’ve come this far and it seems silly to simply kill Traevus and leave, so through the ward we go.

I don’t remember parts of this fight. Apparently, Anarus, the necromancer, is quite good with charm spells and I was his unwilling pawn during part of the encounter.

The group, however, was faced with two threats, Traevus (who simply decided that he’d be better off facing Anarus alone after backstabbing all of us) and the aforementioned necromancer. I don’t really understand Traveus’ reasoning here, without us, he’d simply have no chance against the undead array in the room, he should have turned against us after we were heavily wounded. Since I’m writing this (and he’s not), it’s obvious that his plan didn’t work.

We came away with some treasure, some new stories to tell, and a decision to keep our new cleric friend, Dara, around, especially since Lydia, our bard had become very quiet and inactive.

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Irvyn's Log 3
Slice and Dice

Following Traevus turned out to be pretty simple, just make a beeline for the swamp. If we weren’t sure about whether he was to be trusted, all we have to do is look at where his “personal business” is. Unless he’s out relieving himself and really needed privacy, there’s simply no reason for him to be going into the Witchlight Fens, let alone at night. Our group (without the Rogue, Anabeth, who was chatting with her friend Jerry), set off on our new horses to follow.

Along the way we learned:

  1. We don’t like going into the Witchlight Fens at night.
  2. Gall can’t help trying to pet stray dogs, even if they are wolves.
  3. Putting your teammate to sleep, even accidentally, when she is fighting a wolf is a bad idea, especially if you miss the wolf.

So we got past a wolf (Gall now has a wolf skin cloak) and entered an old ruined tower that history tells us used to be Kalton Manor. We figured that Traevus had to have come this way, so in we went only to come face to face with zombies.

Funny things, zombies, they’d have been no problem at all if we only had a cleric along. As it was, we had a fight on our hands. They kept grabbing at us, but I was able to used mind control to move them away (I’m really surprised that zombies have enough of a brain to be hypnotized, but I’m not about to argue the point with them). In the end, the zombies were dealt with and we were faced with a closed door. No problem, just ask Anabeth to check it for traps and unlock it… Oh yeah! that’s right! She wasn’t around! Well that won’t stop the Shining Shadows! Did I mention that our team is crazy?

We opened a door into an empty large room with grooves in the floor. Empty rooms typically mean no problem, right? Not so. Huge blades swung through the room on a regular basis. A trap, hmm…, let’s just have Anabeth see if she can disable it. Oh yeah! That’s right! She still wasn’t around! So Jagged, big brave musclebound brute that he is, ran heroically across the room to try to disable the trap. It was a thing of beauty watching him run across the room, open the panel and then get knocked flat by one of the blades. Pretty soon, we had Lydia and Lithan’ael helping him while Gall was breaking the blades one at a time with her axe.

Let me tell you something, there simply isn’t much an illusion can do against a mechanical trap. No matter how grumpy your teammates get or how much you want to help, there simply isn’t anything that will make a swinging blade think that an illusion is something to be feared and make it change course. Of course I wasn’t completely idle. I did adjust the lighting in the room to create a nice mirrored ball effect. As long as we were being chopped up by a trap that our absent thief should have handled with ease, at least we could do it with nice atmosphere. Oh yes, and I did zap a roach with a magic missile (have to keep the place clean of vermin). Of course at one point I did prudently state that we should simply get out of the room and wait for Anabeth to show up, but the least said about the team’s response to that, the better.

Jagged did eventually do enough damage to the mechanism to prevent it from working, and we all took a nice rest. Of course who should show up just after that rest, Anabeth dragging a Cleric in tow. How timely! How wonderful! Now if we could just re-live the prior day…

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Irvyn's Log 2

These people are crazy. I’m not sure what I’ve gotten myself into.

They tell me they were hired by a dwarf named Traevus. No big deal, dwarves are a bit dull for my taste, but their gold is good, so it’s fine working for them. Then we meet with this Traevus and the group goes ballistic on him. He’s just as bad jumping down their throats and rounding on me with suspicion. I was just trying to be friendly. I thought there would be bloodshed, right there in the tavern, no concept of diplomacy in this group.

The group is a varied menagerie.

A Shifter — big hairy ball of aggression named Jagged. He’s an ok sort, but all adrenaline and force. He keeps trying to grab me, probably to show off for the girls (compensating for something), but he hasn’t managed yet. I’m keeping an eye out anyway because you can never tell… Every time he tries, I manage to use my magic to modify his appearance in some way, picture a big hairy shifter with pink fur and purple spots fighting goblins.

There’s an Eladrin male Lithan’ael, Leethainel, Lithanal, something like that. Those Eladrin gents always choosing odd spellings for their names that sound like nothing more than fluff on a stick. Arrogant (or is that redundant for an Eladrin?), but still a fair arcanist. Not as knowledgable as me, and he’s certainly been at it much longer (they can be taught, but it takes forever) but he certainly hits with a punch. For all his preening and posing, he’s a fair companion.

The other Eladrin is Anabeth. She’s violence wrapped in a cloth of beauty. She’d just as soon kill you and take your gold as shake hands with you (unless the handshake produced a better profit). She’s quick and dirty in a fight, preferring violence to a well thought strategy. She does have a soft spot though for a lad named Jerry. I guess it’s just a good thing that she’s on our side.

Lydia is a bard from over 1,000 years ago. She’s a Gnome, and thus a more stable traveling companion than the others, but she’s been out of touch for so long that she knows nothing of the world. She might as well be a newborn. She does play pretty music though.

Finally, the group picked up a Goliath somewhere (or did she pick them up, literally?). Gall is a big blue woman who has a heart of gold (hope Anabeth doesn’t find out or she’ll try to cut it out for the profit). She cares for this group and makes sure they are healthy and ready to go (it’s just like having mom along, if mom was nearly three times as big).

So now we’re following Traevus as he goes off on personal business because another dwarf, Grundlemar says we should. He’s probably right, Traevus was just as nuts as the rest of the group and shouldn’t be allowed to run loose…

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Irvyn's Log 1
Meetings

I was pursuing the library of a wizard in search of information on a newer, more powerful, Magic Missile. Information that I had gathered led me to a series of caves inhabited by goblins. No problem, I can sneak past goblins using my illusions and natural stealth abilities. I came in through an unguarded entrance and found a few goblin sentries in a hallway. Goblins aren’t the best at sentry duty, so slipping past them was easy. The caves themselves apparently hid an underground warren of rooms with flagstone flooring and solid construction. Clearly this was the place.

After navigating a few more rooms, and avoiding a few more goblin sentries, not to mention dire rats and other foul beasts, I came to a large room with towering chess pieces inside. Perhaps towering isn’t the best word, after all I’m under 4 feet tall, but they were bigger than me, easily as large as an Eladrin.

I was considering the room suspiciously, because it was the first room that I had seen in the complex empty of guards, when a door at the other end of the room opened. Through it came a large man carrying a polearm. I was exposed in this room, but it was only one opponent, so I began to ready an attack when the man spoke. He entreated me to let him past. He didn’t want trouble. “Fine by me,” I figured. Better not to engage against a soldier when I can help it. He proceeded across the room using a curious path and out the door next to me.

His path made it clear that the room was trapped and as I began to consider this, the other door burst open and a group came into view. They were a Shifter, a brace of Eladrin and a Goliath. This could be a problem, I thought, but they weren’t hostile, yet.

One of them asked if I had seen a man come this way, and I said that he had passed by. They started to move across, and I had a decision to make. It may have been funny watching them spring the trap and clearly I would learn from that, but instead I shouted to them that the room was trapped and began to help them cross the room.

Why is it that some people just won’t listen to help? Sure enough, one of them, an Eladrin I think (probably thinking they were too superior to accept the advice of a Gnome), stepped off of the safe path. Suddenly the chess pieces were animated.

“Just great,” I thought. Now I had to pull them out of it. The two who had crossed the room, the Shifter and one of the Eladrin were already pressing me into a corner and they were fumbling around the room striking these chess constructs. Pretty soon I figured out the trick to the room and began shouting instructions to them to help them move around without worsening the situation. Even at that, the chess pieces were doing some heavy damage until I managed a trick to shut down the encounter …

In the aftermath, I learned that they called themselves the Shining Shadows and I decided to tag along since they obviously had enough muscle to allow me to pursue even more difficult areas to gain more magical knowledge. So now I’m a Shining Shadow, father will laugh himself silly about that one, but no big deal, he’s not here making it on his own.

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