Brian's War Journal

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Vulture Point

May 10

While I was staying at the manor of Randamis Ambleer, a retired half-elven Priest/Wizard of Rudd (God of Luck), I met my new companions. Randamis allowed me to stay at his home for a day before I went home to Helvic and my Commander. The night before I went back, I was polishing my armor, when one his servants beckoned me to come downstairs. This is where I was introduced to Kel, an elven archer; Qaz, a ranger and long time friend of Kel; Avanimorel (Van), a half-elven priestess/wizard of Delleb (God of Scholars); and Frith, a halfling “adventurer” (Thief) from Helvic.

It seemed that a caravan of Randamis’ was missing and the group brought Marlbee, the only living survivor back to him. After Randamis woke his guard up, he asked what happened. Marlbee told Randamis that when they were coming back from Celene with the goods and supplies, they were attacked from the sky by large birds that threw rocks in their claws. They were very accurate and managed to knock out or kill. Also, spears were thrown from caves in the nearby Vulture Point. It sounded like a well planned ambush. Randamis told us that the caravan contained a rare medicine that eases his ailments. He asked us to mount a search and rescue mission to retrieve the supplies and any survivors of the ambush. I gratefully accepted the mission as it would be a chance to prove my worthiness and to slay those who would attack simple travellers by ambush. We planned to set out in the morning.

May 11

In the morning, Randamis allowed us to borrow his horses for the mission and bid us good luck. It took us about half the day to reach the rock. I saw immediately why it was called Vulture Point. It was a very large rock of several hundred feet shaped like a vulture’s head. There seemed to be no normal way up from the south, so we decided to leave our horses and circle the rock so as to not be ambushed ourselves.

When we reached the north face there was a slope heading up to what Qaz said was a crack in the rock. When we almost reached the top we were attacked by a the very same large vultures with rocks, but before they could get close, Kel shot one out of the sky with great accuracy and sent the other one running. I was amazed as his skill! We reached the crack without further problems and discovered a troth path leading along the outside of the rock. At the end of this path was an open area with over a dozen birds nests with vultures (the normal kind) in them. They started to carry on and make a racket, when Qaz simply held his hand out and they quieted up. We then discovered under an overhang, the nests of the giant vultures. The one wounded vulture was there nursing its wound. While Qaz placated it, Van removed the arrow in it and tried to calm it down. It became too agitated and we were forced to knock it out.

We discovered three passages into the rock, so we decided to split our forces to ensure none escaped. One mistake we made was not being very prepared. Some of the group did not have a torch or lantern with which to see. I took the furthest left one, Kel and Frith took the central one and Van and Qaz took the right one. The ceiling was very low so I had to use my warhammer. I took only a few steps around a corner before I was set upon by a den of Kobolds! Four of their warriors sallied forth to attack me while their females and children threw rocks to distract me. I dropped my lantern, hefted my trusty warhammer and laid into them calling out Hieronious’ name in glorious battle! The others did not fair so well and I did not get reinforcements for a few precious minutes.

Frith told me later that he and Kel entered a room and Kel promptly fell into a pit that had a giant spider in it. Van told me that they were going slow and blind down their corridor when they saw Frith’s torchlight. They quickly ran down to that room where the pit was. Frith and Van left to reinforce me (Gads! A thief for rienforcements!) while Qaz lent a hand to Kel after he killed the spider.

Meanwhile I had slain two of the kobold warriors when Frith came in nearly under my legs and gutted a third. The women and children started to flee down a corridor (probably to the outside, for we didn’t find them cowering anywhere). Qaz and Kel (now extricated) were attacked by more kobold warriors. Kel shot one and the rest fled. They then came to reinforce us.

I made my way forward when the Qaz and Kel arrived and began to search for more warriors. Frith followed me and Kel protected the rear, including shooting a kolbold neatly between the eyes. Qaz was having a hard time fighting the remaining kolbold. I saw some more kobolds from Frith’s torch so I quickly followed them. To my dismay, they set a cowardly trap for me and collapsed the roof on me. I fell defeated.

I later learned that everyone surrounded the remaining kobolds in a room further into the caves and confronted their leader. A kobold with wings!! They managed to slay it before it could fly away and the remaining kobolds quickly fell to the renewed onslaught of the group.

They retrieved the supplies and some weapons that certainly came from the caravan. They searched for survivors, but all they found were human bones. I awoke later that day with a huge headache and a dented helmet, but I was alive. It was a glorious day! We returned to Randamis and he was very happy the supplies were retrieved, but saddened at the passing of his men.

He rewarded us with a small sum of gold each and allowed us to keep a magical spear, a potion, some dragons blood, and a cockatrice feather (a powerful and dangerous chicken! HAH!!!) we happened to find. He allowed us to stay a day and my new friends decided to go back to Helvic for supplies and to welcome me, if I wanted, to join their group. I was looking for adventure and a way to give praise to Hieronious. I accepted their offer and we were on our way to greatness! Praise Hieronious!

May 13

We arrived back in Helvic and I went to report to Commander Bluesword. He was pleased with my report and told me that being part of a stalwart band of adventurers was a glorious way to spend my career. We wished me a strong arm, a stout shield and the protection of Hieronious.

I ran into Hurgan later that night in the Lady Luck Tavern. For some reason he likes wine more than ale, but we shared stories nonetheless. I wondered if everyone would be interested in allowing Hurgan to join as well. He was the strongest dwarf I had ever seen and an incredible warrior. I asked Hurgan if he was looking for adventure and after a hardy belch, he readily agreed.

I noticed Van and Frith in another section of the tavern and introduced them to Hurgan. After talking for a while, Van said she would ask the rest of the group, but a friend of mine would be a welcome sight. I couldn’t help smile at that. She is so pretty!

A Talking Owl

May 16

While I was in my temple, cleaning and fixing (albeit poorly) a floor panel (I’m a Priest not a carpenter!) Kel and Qaz came by and asked if I was interested in meeting up with a talking owl (?!?!) for some kind of mission. I was very perplexed, but interested, so I asked them to wait. They told me to get Hurgan and meet them at the River Shining Inn. I prepared, got Hurgan away from sharpening his axe all night and went to the overexpensive inn.

From there we all met at some dark alleyway in the warehouse district. Frith took a different direction to snoop and make sure it was not an ambush. (Smart thinking!) We arrived and sure enough, we met a talking owl! It (He?) told us his boss was inside and to follow him. Kel was so untrusting, he didn’t take his bow off of the bird. We went into the back of the warehouse and met his boss. A BLUE GIANT guarded by a bunch of large spotted cats!?!?!?!?!?!

He introduced himself as Sereen and told us that he had a mission for us that would pay us 500 gp and 20% of all money found there. After negotiating with him, we agreed on that we would get all non-coin items (such as gems, jewelery, etc.). He told us that he was a magical arms dealer and that he learned from another of his kind that an item called a Cube of Force was located in a tomb to the north. He was not a dungeon kind of giant and admitted he would probably not fit in as well, so he was hiring us to do it for him. He also offered each of us the use of a magical weapon as a loan until the mission was over. I have never held a magical axe before. The Commander has a magical weapon, and now I had one (although temporarily). It was lighter and sharper than anything I had used before.

He told us to meet him outside of town and we would travel there together. Those who didn’t have a horse (everyone except Van) would ride on his wagon. We met north of town and headed out.

May 17

We encountered a pack of what Qaz told us were Blink Dogs. He said they were smarter than normal dogs and they urged him not to head north, which we needed to, so he just fed them and we went on. Everyone has to share my rations, because they didn’t bring their own.

May 18

We encounted a stone marker of some kind that had the symbol of Tharzidun. Van said that he was the god of ultimate evil and was imprisoned through force by the good and neutral gods. It is possible that some followers of him still exist. We destroyed it just to make sure.

May 19

We arrived at an abandoned town where Sereen told us the entrance to the tomb is hidden. He gave us a scroll, which had some clues to find the hidden entrance. The scroll told us the person’s name whose tomb we were raiding was Clarshh. We had to:

  1. Find a symbol of the god four paces left of center beneath the Hand
  2. Find an iron key in Cooper’s place
  3. Find what it opens up Hendrake’s chimney
  4. Use only what’s within when the Gem behind the Butcher’s Block is brough near
  5. Spread the contents in the gatehouse the god chooses. The gate will reappear for a time.

In a different hand at the bottom was written: Beware: in the sepulchre a monster magic must defeat. If water was not fouled it would serve well.

A confusing riddle, but Van was up for the challenge. Too much thinking was making Hurgan’s head hurt so he left it up to her.

We went house by house. We left the gatehouses alone and fought a snake in the first, and stirges in the second. Stirges are nasty flying creatures that nearly killed us all. I must put my back to a wall before I fight such creatures again. Where we fought the stirges, was a building that used to be an inn named The Five Fingers. We thought this might be the hand and searched well. After a while we discovered a gold statue that looked like the stone marker we saw before. Piece one found! We decided to rest because we got our butts kicked.

May 20

Kel killed a spider in a bathhouse, while Van broke a pipe and got us all soaked. We uncovered bats in one chimney, but while searching a second one, we fought two Shadows! I was told of these monsters in my studies, but never fought one. We discovered that our magical weapons served us well and smote them. Hurgan discovered their chilling touch which drains strength. I will be sure to destroy them quickly. In that chimney we found the a box that needed a key. We found Clue 3! In the next house we fought a troll! The monster sprang out at us so fast, and only its sloppy attacks and Kel’s masterful shooting brought it down. Hurgan told us the only way to kill it was to burn it, so I used my only vial of Greek Fire to do the trick. I was saving it for underground, but oh well. After we burned it, it just disappeared. Van said it might have been an illusion (magic that makes something there but not there). We kept a look out for a mage and moved on. We found two skeletons in a few bushes that concerned Qaz so much that we hacked them up (bushes and skeletons) to make him happy. They did have some treasure on them (a helmet, and gold belt buckle, and a potion of some sort).

The next building was a barrel storage place, which is another way to say Cooper. We searched and found a key under a barrel. We opened the chest and found a vial of some powder. Clue 2 found and two more to go! The next place was a garbage dump with rats inside. We left it alone. In another place the floor had collapsed and rain had flooded the basement. This place looked like a butcher shop, but no block, it must have been in the area where the floor collapsed. Hurgan volunteered to go get it. When we let him down a giant toad attacked him and only after hauling him up did we finally kill it. Qaz went down and under the water found the block. Behind it he discovered a large gem. Clue 4! The remainder of places were empty except one that had some holy water and firewood set up. Qaz said that Rangers had stayed here recently and left this.

We proceeded to the gatehouses and Van said that the gem glowed stronger near one. She went inside and after sprikling some dust inside a trapdoor appeared. We opened it and headed down...

This musty dungeon was not used in ages, so we tread carefully. In a pool we fought some nastly ooze. We went through a door into an eight sided room with a statue of Tharzidun in one alcove. There were crushed skeletons on the floor so we looked around for traps. Hurgan noticed that there were pressure plates in the floor so we did not touch them. We searched some more and found that the shield of the statue tilted forward. Frith deemed it safe and moved it. There were some ominous clicking sounds and the statue swiveled to reveal a passage beyond.

We entered and found a crypt with fourteen tombs. The passage just suddenly ended, so we began searching again, when suddenly the last tomb burst open and we were assailed with a smell worse than Hurgan’s feet! A Ghast attacked us! It surprised Qaz and paralyzed him before anyone even turned around. Frith threw up and the rest of us attacked it. We managed to destroy it before it could cause anymore problems. We must be careful, there could be more undead about. When Qaz could move again, he hacked up the Ghast until it was no more. Frith was a bit green but was feeling better. Poor guy...

We decided to search the remaining tombs for more undead and any treasure. We found a lot of treasure but no monsters. Going back to the end of the passage Van found a secret door, where the passage continued and another secret door a little further on. This led us into a room used for embalming people? with a slimy pool, summoning circle, table and sarcophagus. While searching zombies attacked us through some arrow slits in the walls. Qaz hacked the arms off of them and they fell over. (This still amazes me) Then Qaz picked up one of the arms to “test” the water in the pool. The sarcophagus was sealed and covered in glyphs, so we decided to look around instead. Van once again (she is really good at this) found a secret door behind the sarcophagus.

It led to a natural cavern with a stream running through it. As we went in, we saw a very large stone throne in the distance with someone in robes sitting on it. As we approach, that person got off and began walking toward us. Hurgan asked who he was and he responded by saying he was the guardian of the tomb. We could see that when we got close it was not human, but a skeleton with red fiery eyes. Hurgan attacked it and its eyes flashed.

The next thing I knew I was standing in the stables of the ruined town. The creatures foul magic must have put me here. I was just stepping out when I heard Kel, Qaz, and Van calling out. They must have been caught by the magic as well. Hurgan and Frith were absent so they must have resisted. (I have heard that dwarves and halflings have strong resistances to magic, it must be true) We met at the gatehouse and began our way back to the cavern. By the time we got there Hurgan and Frith were battling the creature and suffering greatly. Kel let forth one fine shot hitting in the head, causing it to fall back and break into individual bones.

After healing them, we approached the throne and discovered a passage behind it. At the end of the passage was another sarcophagus, exactly the same as the one in the other room and two urns filled with lots of gold and silver. Van assumed that this was the real one and the other must be fake. Frith looked at it and noted the glyphs on this one were real and magical. Van suggested that she would pour holy water on it to remove the glyph. Asking us to leave the room, she said a prayer and poured. Suddenly, she screamed out that she was blind! The foul magic of the glyph robbed her of her sight! Perhaps Commander Bluesword would revive her.

She remained very calm and collected and told us to continue. Frith noted no other traps and we pushed the lid off. There was a wooden coffin inside, which after checking for traps, opened as well. There was a mummified person inside. Frith started cutting and got really nervous and handed the dagger to Qaz who finished the job. He removed a gold breastplate, a jeweled belt and the cube!

We retraced our steps to the pool and decided to check out a door we passed by. This led to a prison with four cells. Qaz checked out on cell and almost fell prey to what Van said was green slime. If it touched him, it would certainly have killed him. We burned it to a crisp and proceeded to another door. This led to an room with a sacrificial altar dedicated to that foul god Tharzidun. Hurgan used our last Holy Water and blessed the altar. This destroyed it and made the room feel less menacing.

We checked one last passage and noticed the floor had collasped leaving a wide gap to the other side. Kel suggested using the ladder we found in the stables to let us cross. We spent time getting it and crossed slowly. On the other side, a cave-in partially blocked the passage which we had to climb over. On the other side, Qaz was leading and promptly fell into a pit. (Frith suggested we use a staff to prod ahead of us to make sure we don’t fall into any more) In the pit Qaz had to fight some skeletons, which he dispatched readily. This made him feel very good. We pulled him out and continued. The way was blocked by a portcullis made of stone. Hurgan used his great strength to bend the bars out, allowing us to continue. (The bars turned out to be rusted iron with only a light stone coating). This lead to a room that housed the zombies. We found the remainder of their bodies here as well as a lot of crossbow bolts.

We left the dungeon and brought everything to Sereen. He kept his word and paid us our fee. After negotiation we traded our magic spear and a magic footmans mace for the Bastard Sword and Battle Axe that Qaz and Hurgan were using. It was going to be a long walk back. I hope Commander Bluesword will heal Van. I pains me to see her like this.

May 21 – June 17

We spent the next month training and spending our well earned wealth. Commander Bluesword was willing to heal Van for a small donation to the church and I was able to use my share to purchase a warhorse and equipment for travelling. Heironious has deemed me worthy of the higher mysteries of his power and has given me the ability to become a greater agent of his will on Oerth. Praise Heironious!!

Lost Temple

June 19

We met at a local tavern to hear an interesting story from Van. Her superior has traveled here to give her a very important task. A forgotten hospital and temple dedicated to Delleb was located about half a day’s travel south of here. Her superior tried to explore himself, but was set upon by bandits. He has tasked Van to liberate the temple. She asked us if we would assist her. All of us gladly agreed. I am looking forward to ridding the local area of thieves and bandits who prey on travelers. We will purchase supplies and head out in the morning.

June 20

We headed down to the temple, following the Old River path. When we arrived, we decided to scout the area. Since the temple was in an cleared out open area, we spent the remainder of the day, sending everyone but myself and Hurgan around the back. Hurgan and I would cause a distraction in the front while the everyone else assaulted from the rear. The temple complex was four buildings. The main temple was flanked by the hospital to the north, and a stables and some other building to the south. We waited until dawn for our raid.

June 21

The day of our raid was set. Hurgan set out using the hospital to cover his advance. When we was halfway there I shouted a glorious charge. The remainder of the group made their assault. The bandits dug a pit in front of the entrance, and only my excellent riding training kept me from having a spill. Rearing my horse, I smashed the front doors open and entered the temple. The bandits were slimy, smelly foul Orcs!

They had lookout archers at strategic points around the perimeter of the building using holes in the wall as arrow slits. I engaged two that were grouped together in the foyer, but there was another behind me who started turning me into a pincushion. In the main temple proper, there was at least another fifteen Orcs who were in disarray. They were getting up from sleep and hastily gathering arms to fight the rear assault. I was really shocked when one of the Orcs actually attacked me with magic! They had a sorcerer among them, but I learned that he was a coward and tried to flee after using his one spell. Frith and Van dispatched him outside. After dispatching the perimeter guards, I held my ground and used Hieronious’ magic to Hold the largest Orc who was laying into Hurgan and Qaz. Hurgan buried his axe in that one.

When the battle was over, we had killed all but one who we planned to question. This Orc was extremely fearful of us, and we couldn’t get anything from her. We let her go (without weapons of course) and told her to flee. We collected the weapons and burned the Orcs out in the back. By the gods do they stink!

We checked out one room in the temple, which held a blocked stairway down into some catacombs or dungeon complex. While we were figuring out what to do, we were attacked by some sort of demonic coin! If it wasn’t dangerous (by Hieronious, look at me, a dangerous coin) I would have found it amusing. We killed? it and from then on, Frith would not pick up a coin without stabbing it first. I hope paranoia is not setting in.

We checked out the hospital and discovered it was infested with stirges. We were better off this time and managed to kill them out without too much trouble, although Qaz had to be healed. In another room in the hospital we were attacked by many strange bird with a long web coming out of its’ backside! Things are getting stranger every moment! Those webs wrapped everything up, until Van discovered that fire burned the webs quickly and killed the birds as well.

We fared better in the other buildings. The unknown building turned out to be a barracks (probably for the temple guards). There were scorch marks everywhere. I think the guards were caught unawares and burned inside their own building. At one end of the barracks, was (according to Van) some dangerous plants. She told us they shot out dangerous pollen and then ate you. We made them discharge their pollen and then we proceeded to cut them up. Before that happened we were attacked by a tree stump! I am beginning to wonder about this temple... After killing?!? that we plucked the flowers.

The stables had some giant rats and three malnourished and stolen horses from someone (they had a brand mark). We will find out who they belong to and return them. We decided to rest for the night before going downstairs.

June 22

We moved an armoire blocking the stairs and proceeded down. The complex was large, so we though it was not a catacomb, but a living area. We moved through an old bath area and then suddenly the air got very cold. Moments later the most frightening apparition appeared in front of us. Everyone but Hurgan and I fled in utter terror. I have never seen a ghost before, but I held my ground as best I could. The ghost didn’t attack us, but asked us what we were doing here. Hurgan and I explained we were told to clear this temple of bandits by our companions’ Delleb superior. The spirit seemed to believe us and disappeared. Hurgan and I felt much better. We spent the next few hours chasing after and relaxing everyone else.

Van thinks that this ghost is a guardian of this temple and it is allowing us to be here at least for now. I hope we don’t run into it again. After lunch we went back down. We went a different way and continued to run into the most interesting creatures. In one room, there was some sort of electrical web. In another were some bouncing tentacle things, and still in another was a giant weasel. I didn’t give it much thought before, but Qaz seemed to expect this because he said there some very large weasel tracks where they were hiding. We went back up to rest.

June 23

We continued our exploration. After discovering a secret lock in one room, Van, Kel and Hurgan thought there was a secret passage on every wall, floor and corner. I felt we could have finished this sooner, had we just done our searching later. In one area of acolyte rooms, some sort of skin looking creature landed on me and only the quick thinking of Van got it off of me. She is amazing. Her range of knowledge is far reaching and exacting!

We found the kitchen and we set upon by a host of giant centipedes. Qaz broke into another room to give him room to swing his sword and ran into what Hurgan called Fire Beetles. They are underground large beetles that see due to a glowing gland behind their eyes. After death, this gland glows for several more days making them valuable as a lighting source. After dispatching these, in another room we encountered a chest that could run and fly. After talking to my superior about this, he told me of a spell called Frisky Chest that is used by priests to protect their valuables. It allows an object protected by this spell to evade capture unless it is caught and held for a few minutes breaking the spell.

We were coming back to the area where we saw the ghost and prepared ourselves by asking for fear resisting spells and blocking areas for fleeing. Hurgan volunteered to go forward alone and quickly discovered the ghost was not there. We continued exploring and ran into a flying bunch of rags and cloaks. What kind of place is this?????

We finally found the library and Qaz thought about lifting up the rugs to look for missing keys since Frith was having trouble with a few of the locks. Lifting up the rug here, we discovered a trap door in the floor. Kel volunteered to go down, learned that the ladder was rotten and fell the remaining distance to the ground. She was immediately beset upon by large spiders, so we dropped a rope and quickly pulled her up. The spiders crawled up the wall to get to us, but we made quick work of them. We then sent Hurgan down to check out the passage.

He told us that the passage was unsafe and we should be careful. We decided to split the group up and only have Frith, Hurgan and Van down there to do recon while everyone else be ready with the rope. I overheard Frith grumble about breaking a pick in a lock down there, and then Hurgan trying to break down the door. He busts it down and moments later, the ghost shows up again. Everyone down there kept their wits, and ghost addressed Van. It said it was tired of guarding the temple, and asked for them to bury her remains. They were somewhere near the barracks, and when they finish to come back and receive the key to the treasury.

We left the dungeon and looked for her remains. It took us a few hours but after we chopped up the barracks floor using the Orc axes, Qaz discovered the area where she was quickly buried. We collected her bones, and prepared a proper grave for her outside the temple area.

June 24

Early the next morning, Van held a quiet burial for her (I learned her name was Tralisa). She blessed the gravesite and gave a benediction. We then proceeded down to the place where we met her to say goodbye. She was not down there, but the treasury key was there. We opened the only other door there and discovered a chest with some gemstones and a room with some potions, a scroll and a set of Bracers (possibly all magical).

We searched the last part of the area and discovered another small hospital. In the bedroom of another priest, we were attacked by some tentacle creature that seemed to inhabit the entire room. A tentacle came out of each wall and the ceiling. We fought very bravely and finally defeating it only after nearly tiring ourselves out and even Kel ran out of arrows. We found a short sword and a wand under the bed and some art objects around the room. This monster had to be some sort of spell, because the room was not a shambles after the fight. Whoever protected this room must have been a powerful priest or mage. Commander Bluesword has no idea and has passed the inquiry to his superiors. Perhaps I will find out in the near future.

The last room we found was the chapel, which was the only room still consecrated to Delleb. It was magically silenced and it felt very peaceful. Van found a spell scroll in the prayer book on the altar. We left the temple and headed back to Helvic. Van’s superior invited us to dinner at the River Shining Tavern as a small reward for our bravery and briefly asked us what happened. Van gave a small report and we had a wonderful meal. He asked her to write a full report by the morning for him to bring back to his superiors, and until he heard news otherwise, Van was promoted to Senior Librarian and put in charge of the reconstruction of the temple.

June 25 – August 29

We went our separate ways for a time to travel back home, and train. Qaz and Kel were summoned to the Lord’s Manor to speak with some of his retainers. They told me that they were being sponsored by local high ranking officials for training. Kelson Darktreader, the Lord’s Master of the Hunt was sponsoring Qaz and Sir Elorfindar Floshin of the House of Long Silences was sponsoring Kel. This is a great honor for them, because of the solid influence of their instruction will help them in their careers.

I gave a full report to my superior and was told to train. Commander Bluesword told me that there were rumors of a powerful warlord in the Pomarj. It was said that he was able to bind the warring clans together into a great army and was going to march on Ulek. Commander Bluesword also told me that I was growing beyond his training and that I was to seek further knowledge in the war. By participating in the war, I would give glory to Heironious and allow me to transcend my limited instruction here in Helvic. He wished me strength in my endeavors.

The Cursed Monestary

August 30 – September 2

We have finally prepared for our trip down to the Principality to assist in the war against the Pomarj. I learned from various people heading down that a great warrior named Turrosh Mak has gathered the warring clans of the Pomarj together into a massive army. He has begun marching toward the Principality of Ulek, and the Prince has put a call out to people who are willing to help.

Prior to our leaving Van encountered a woman named Makiko from a far away land called Wa. She was lithe but muscular carrying simple weapons. She claimed that she was a specialist in fighting unarmed. I never thought boxing or wrestling was an effective manner of fighting, but I will reserve my thoughts until I see her in battle. Van suggested that she follow us to make some money and help out the people of the south. We decided to take our wagon as it has a lot of gear and the river boats are ferrying needed supplies down to the Principality. We were ferried across the river and headed on the road south. Needless to say, the good weather didn't last long and we were forced to stop at a local monestary.

The monestary was surrounded by a high wall but the main doors were wide open. Certainly a bad idea for defense. Before we arrived, we encountered a lone gravestone on the side of the road. Buried was a brother of the monestary named ????. We all found it odd that a monk would be buried out here and not inside the temple walls. Qaz wanted to dig it up saying that a vampire or undead monster laid within. We dismissed his rants as silly ravings and paranoia, but little did we know that evil things would happen later.

Upon entering the monestary we confirmed the strangness since we noticed a graveyard right next to a church. We were met by a portly monk named Horatio who welcomed us to the monastery dedicated to Rao at Montelegro. He was willing to let us speak to the abbot to see if we could stay for the night. We were led into a building and spoke to the abbot, ???? and his chief scribe, Bernadino. He gladly let us stay, and told us we could sleep in the layman's quarters as they were mostly empty as long as we left our weapons there. He told us about brother ???? who we learned jumped to his death from the roof a monestary building for no reason. Since he took his own life, he was not allowed to be buried with the others of the order. After we rested we were to come to dinner at the bell. Things felt a little fishy as Rao is a peaceful god and it was awful strange that one of his monks would kill himself.

We went to our sparse cells but prior to dinner we checked out the wall brother ???? jumped from. The dinner bell rung before we could find out much so we decided to look into it later. It was a quiet affair with one monk chanting which nearly drove Qaz and Frith insane. We went to a short sermon afterwards and when we returned to our rooms, a hunchbacked man was rifling through our things. We quickly noticed he was addle-brained and slow and began crying and whining as soon as Qaz got angry at him. Another monk named Edmund quickly came and yelled at him. We learned the hunchback was named Gugliemo. Edmund apologized and had him return all our stuff. Van was cross as he had played with her herbs and bandages. Kel decided to check the wagon and Qaz and Makiko decided to quietly follow Edmund and Gugliemo. I thought this was too strange because I could see that these monks were just simple people.

I spent some time in our rooms relaxing and studying and shortly afterwards went to bed.

September 3

Shortly after midnight, I was awoken by the church bell ringing. Thinking the monestary was under attack, I quickly grabbed by Holy Symbol, Shield, and Battle Axe. We rushed to the church and discovered that Gugliemo was strung up to the bell tongue and was bashed to death inside the bell. A gruesome way to die... Written in what looked like blood (we later discovered it to be anointing oil) was the phrase "????????" I thought it would take several strong men to lift him into that position under the bell so we might be dealing with several murderers bent on some sort of revenge. I couldn't think of someone in the monastary doing this so there must be an assassin stalking the area. Kel and Qaz were suspicious of Edmund and went to question him. It seemed that they distrusted the monks so much that they dressed in armor and slept outside the monastary walls. I felt that was quite disrespectful of the monks regardless of what happened.

I stayed with Van in the bell tower to look at the body and area and Van wanted to look at brother ??????'s room. Kel went to tell the abbot that Edmund might be next because he worked with Gugliemo and Makiko volunteered to guard over his room. We went to the grave outside and noticed that it was opened from the INSIDE!!! I never thought that Qaz' intuition would be right. However, he was now convinced that vampires and undead roamed the monastary and wanted to destroy them. I agree that we need to finish off any undead before it/they slay the entire monastary. We rushed back to the compound and I stayed with Van while she decided to go to the infirmary. She concluded with the mortitian that he was strangled before he died by excessive head pounding. I know of no undead that strangles so I was confused, but I let Van do the research while I kept an eye out for trouble.

Things quieted down while Van was researching and we learned from a brother ???? that brother ???? was a happy young man and nothing would make him jump to his death. We felt that he must have been pushed, but by who? We searched his room and discovered that he went out without his shoes as two pairs were found in his room, one in his chest and another under the bed. Strange. Was he dragged outside? Before we could make anymore headway we heard a ear-splitting scream from nearby. We ran to the kitchen where we discovered the body of Edmund stuffed in the stewpot (with the stew still simmering in it!!) It seems that he must have slipped by Makiko while she was patrolling and was caught by the monster. Two monks who found him said that they saw brother ???? do it!! We must find him.

We were told about his office and we told all the monks to bar themselves in their church until we were sure they would be safe. We looked in his office and found his diary. It told of a vision he saw where he needed to build a well in a lonely spot outside the temple which would bring health and happiness back to the area. However, he was rebuked by brother Bernadino and told to stop spewing heresy! This may be the clue we looked for! We rushed back to the church to confront Bernadino.

Once there we brought Bernadino into the chapel to quietly talk to him. There he at first denied it, but when brother ???? walked out of the shadows and accused him, he said "You're dead! We killed you!" AHA!!! Before I could anything though, the creature lunged for Bernadino. Faster than I could blink, Makiko stepped forward and pushed brother Bernadino so fast he went flying into the wall. The best I could do was put myself in between the brother and the monster. The monster stepped forward and swung its arm at Makiko and she blocked it with her own arm. We then began fighting it and it punched me so hard that it sent me reeling into the wall out of breath. By the time I got up the others hurt it so much that I was able to put my axe into it's head, dropping it to the floor. We tried to tie it up but it seemed to revive itself and sent Van flying across the room trying to get up. We hit it several more times and they told me to get my Greek Oil to burn it. I ran and got both vials. I poured them on it and we burned it to destruction.

Brother Bernadino confessed to his crimes and the abbot quickly absolved him. I thought he should pay for his deeds, but he is not of my religion. Qaz on the other hand wanted to put him to death, and showed little care or respect for the monks at this time. I am growing deeply concerned for his attitude and callousness. The abbot thanked us for our help and asked us for the whole story. Later that day we helped the monks dig a well and they discovered the water that came out healed all wounds, diseases, and curses. They let us take a bottle each for our hard work. In addition, they gave us several potions and spell scrolls. We will continue our trip down to Gryrax later today or tomorrow.