Monday, 21 May 2012

Betrayed by shrews and battling owlbears

‘I would be cross if I had the head of an owl.’ - Berserker king to subjects.

Jana tried to get comfortable in the cramped tunnel in which the band had chosen to rest. Freedom was close and the morning promised a fight to remember. She reached for her writing kit and set about penning a missive.

‘I write to you again Patriarch so that you might know how I fared and so that you may know what you may one day need to guard against. My companions are not without ambition and it is my fervent prayer that they not set themselves against you. It is best that they channel their aggression upon the denizens of the underworld and spend as little time in the company of normal men. Milgos posses a sinister cunning, malicious intelligence and covetous heart, traits no doubt of his dark ancestry. He is however a loyal soul with a genuine concern for his friend’s welfare. Osric I have not known long enough to judge though from what I have seen he is a jovial fellow, quick with a joke and happy to be alive. My thoughts on Ugh should already be clear to you, little more need be documented.

We had found shelter in a secret treasure stash where spells were recouped. My rest was interrupted by the sounds of raised voices. It seemed my companions had found something new to quarrel about as they argued over who should wear a cloak of elven make which we had earlier looted. Once that had been resolved and with tensions still simmering they began arguing about who should posses which potion. 
At one stage Ugh pointed at me and said ‘Here little one drink this potion. It shall make you smaller. Hah! You would become so small you would disappear.
He then laughed riotously at his own humor. I stood there wishing that the murdering cannibal would disappear.

Speaking of disappearing that is Milgos and now Osric’s modus operandi. Osric donned his elven cloak and Milgos his ring and the pair scouted ahead of the main group. Their scouting revealed a bugbear ambush that we easily countered. Then our scouts alerted us to the presence of ghouls that Milgos lured from their lair with an elaborate attention seeking coughing fit. At one point in the melee Osric, who had lead the undead a merry chase peppering them with arrows, was almost pulled down as the terrors caught him with an unexpected burst of speed. Milgos and Ugh came to his rescue hewing into the horde with their blades and I myself channeled our deity to put the creatures to flight.
One of the giant shrews young. 
Further exploration found some giant shrews with a death wish. Osric adopted their young that he hung about him in harnesses made from the leather scraps that had formed the shrews’ original nest. Our invisible scouts wandered the many twisting tunnels till they stumbled on more berserkers like those I mentioned in my prior correspondence. Like the others these berserkers were mad. Their leader had made himself out to be some sort of king and wore a decaying threadbare purple carpet as a robe. He ranted about a disloyal subject nearby who had not paid his taxes and was fomenting rebellion. A bear with the head of the owl. Having heard enough of his crazed ramblings Milgos threw his voice with magic. He had one of the 'King's' minions speak in an insulting tone. Thus provoked the king ordered his subject be executed for his insolent tongue. With one berserker down and figuring enough was enough the rest of the group sprung into action and put the 'King' and his court to the sword.
Owlbears are always mad. I wonder why? 
More invisible scouting revealed the lair of the owl bear, a grizzled old brute. It was then that the shrew young Osric had adopted betrayed the half elf. While he pressed himself tightly against the tunnel wall to allow the owl bear to pass the young shrews began crying with hunger. The owl bear reacted, lashing out at the noise, for it was a beast full of spite. Its anger was justified I think for I would be angry if I had the head of an owl. Osric was badly mauled and as he fled from the creatures grasp he received a sound swipe. Ugh and his ferocious hyena stepped in and the battle ended swiftly enough.

Further searching revealed a gelatinous cube that was dispatched with magic and blade. Milgos coaxed a few missiles from his wand. The wand glowed dangerously as it blasted the cube. Its prodigious power was on the wane. During the battle with the cube one of Milgos companions, Betty, had become paralyzed. 
We must wait for her to recover.’ Milgos insisted. 
Ugh waits for no one.’ Insisted the half orc as he grabbed the paralyzed warrior by the hair and began dragging her down the closest tunnel. The dark elf ordered the half orc to stop before assigning his henchmen Burke and Burne to aide their fallen companion. Tensions were high.

We followed an underground river stream praying that it would lead us to an exit. Milgos had grown impatient insisting that he was ready to train and that we must leave immediately. 
Cease your mewling dark elf.’ Ugh said. ‘I am simply content to kill things, that should be enough for you.’ 
The rest of the journey was made in silence. The scouts slipped ahead and found the river ended in more caverns. They dispatched a number of kobold guards through trickery and stealth which allowed us to bypass the miserable creatures woeful defences.

While traipsing through the kobold's lair the group thought it an opportune time to begin bickering again. This attracted the kobold leader's attention and he and a small horde came to meet us. Fortunately for the kobold chief he saw the might arrayed against him and opted for placation. He seemed most upset that his guards hadn’t told him of our arrival. We did not tell him that they had been butchered in their sleep by a pair of merciless elves. The kobold chief spoke the dog tongue which Ugh speaks to his hyena and so the two got along famously sharing a meal of spoiled fish.

Desperate for escape Milgos played an elaborate trick attempting to convince the kobold chief that he was in the presence of a god of death called Iliach. The god was represented by Milgos disembodied voice cast from the anonymity of invisibility. The chief went along with this, possibly because he was eager to see us leave his domain. He pointed out the only exit, through some narrow tunnels but warned that a fierce red dragon guarded the exit. And so we prepare. I find it highly likely that many of us will perish during the coming conflict and so I entrust this missive to one more fortunate than I. I trust it finds you swiftly. 

Yours faithfully Jana.'

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