Hollow's Last Hope
This entry is a bit delayed due to recent events. It’s been a very busy two days and I’ve had little time to rest since we arrived at the ruins and set Jeva free again – with a promise to bring her food and clothes and work to help her. I know little of the particulars of lycanthropy but I do know the condition is curable – if difficult. Perhaps this is an area I can look into and it will likely be needed if my hunch is correct and there is a gathering number of them in this area.
I digress. The ruins are as my companions described them from their last visit. They seem to have a depressing and sad air about them. As if prestige and pride once lived here before it sank into disuse and neglect. It is a good lesson for all of humanity – the cycles of nature are not to be escaped. All great things will have their autumn, and eventually, their winter. But from these materials others are given life and sustenance. While some of the scaly kind are likely good and capable of good works the current crop of kobolds in these ruins seems to more closely resemble the fungi and rot that feeds on decaying bodies. It seems I’ve stretched my nature analogy but it is still fitting.
While an exact blow-by-blow of each encounter now escapes my memory, like all seeming battles time compresses and the mind enters and altered state, I do recall the outlines of the encounters and the amazing treasures we’ve recovered from the ruins so far. While the pursuit of treasure itself is not an objective of mine, I can see where the value of these items will allow me to improve a number of my skills and, perhaps, one day soon craft my own magical might. What follows is an abridged version of the events of the day:- Within minutes of entering we investigated the forge area and fought some sort of terrible, impervious lizard creature. Zandu’s ability to fight with his bare hands, combined with quick thinking on the part of Kieyanna, saved us from what might have been a short investigation into the whereabouts of the children. Between the two they forced the beast over the edge and into the forge fires where it wails as it burns. - Up the hall from forge we saw three enormous rats feasting on a recent corpse. Unsure of the nature of the remains we attempted to shoo them along – to no avail. I attempted to calm them and avoid an issue but that also failed. While the battle was short, I was bitten twice. I am concerned now that I may contract something and will need to watch my state closely. The poor victim did have a pair of magical boots however. They imbue the wearer with increased agility and Zandu is now making good use of them.
- In a separate hallway we encountered the floating armor of Glintaxe. It was a terrible sight – burning the sides of the hall and moving with an eerie glow. I enchanted my shortstaff with the power of nature and charged – hoping to send the spirit to it’s resting place. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the ghost of Glintaxe, but rather an enormous, clear cube of terrible jelly that engulfed me. I was knocked unconscious, and I suspect, slowly suffocating till my friends slayed the beast and freed me. Thankfully, I’d prepared my create water magicks this morning and was able to wash myself of it’s slime and the armor and weapon of Glintaxe. His full plate, fashioned from mithral no less!, now serves Kieyanna well. I’ve not heard of an archer in heavy armor before – but I am glad she is able to make use of the suit. I think it’s protection was key (and likely will be) in other encounters. As no one else was interested, I took his magical, mighty axe. I have many thoughts on this, and will likely elaborate on them later.
- Next, we investigated a room with a fountain and two shocker lizards. We retreated up the hallway and fired on them, with Kieyanna taking the first shot, followed by Zandu. I readied my spear and threw, slaying one of them. Zandu killed the final one with his sword. The lizard did get off a shock attack however and it damaged Zandu badly.- Next, we found a group of stirges, 5, and they attacked us. Two attached to Zandu and one attached to me. Kieyanna, with her amazing new armor was able to withstand them and none could penetrate its thick shell. We made quick work of these beasts however. It will be sometime before we regain full strength due to the loss of blood we suffered.
What happened next was something of a joy and a concern. I do not claim to get join from the destruction of life but the ending of those that harm and twist others, including the most innocent of creatures, is something one feel good about. About this time we heard the screams of children from down the hall. We rushed into combat, charging ahead, seeing the children, at least two of them in the room as well as a halfing and 6 kobolds. I couldn’t help the rage I felt at the sight of the menaced children. My rage bubbled to the surface and I simply let it run free. I threw my spear into the room, killing the first one. In the ensuing chaos I swung my new axe at the next in line, cleaving its head from its shoulders. My enraged shouts pointed Rumble at another – the bear charged into the room mauling the kobold to the left. Kieynna shot another; spearing in it’s middle and drawing a groan. I shouted again to rally the children but likely only succeeded in causing them fear. The kobolds decided to rout at this point and one went tearing by me; attempting to escape through the far side of the room. I spun, swinging my axe in a bloody arc and slamming the blade into its chest. It erupted in gore and blood and I bellowed out my anger. Zandu slipped into the room like a viper and struck the one that Kieyanna shot with his scarf. It tore a ragged hole in the creature, dropping it. The remaining kobold continued its flight and I sprung into flight after it. I cleared the corner and reached shoulder-to-shoulder with the small brute. Its eyes bulged in fear; the whites glowing in the light of my ioun torch. As it threw yet more fat on its running fire, and pulled ahead of me, I swung down the axe. It sank into the beasts shoulder and killed it instantly. Meanwhile, Rumble finished mauling the one in his jaws and tossed aside the body. Some of the children were safe at least.
It was some time before my fury was quelled; when it ended I crashed, as I always seem to do. Thankfully, the mess-hall-style room we just cleared had a table suitable to sit upon and I collapsed on it in a wilting mess. Rumble ambled over, blood covering his face, and I helped by creating water over him to clean him off. Blood was everywhere from our slaughter of the kobolds but thankfully the children, and as I then saw, a Halfling were taking it in good stride.
It appeared only Kimi and Mikra were found, however. Edgrin was the name of the halfing and he spun the story of his failed adventuring group, The Gray Eagles. While I should have paid more attention to what was being said, I was in too tired a state to make much sense of things and before I knew it we were off again, this time trying to find Savram. Kimi had been quite insist with Kieyanna that we save him straightaway.