‘Don’t kill him, we need more fodder.’ – Milgos upon meeting the half elf Osric.
Jana peered at the blank parchment in the feeble lantern light. Her companions slumbered about her. She cast a nervous glance at the half-orc. She was sure he feigned sleep. The brute that she had once called friend was now ever alert and always watching her. She cast another glance at the far corner of the room where the half orc’s handy work was on display. Butchered stirges lay in a bloody mound in a far corner of the cavern. Raising her quill Jana made a start on her note.
‘Patriarch, I trust this missive finds you in good health. It is my desire to deliver my account in person but I have entrusted it to another who always seems to avoid the worst.
The hobgoblins were misguided spiritually by a human renegade priest of some dark and bestial god. We had earlier slain the priest and now rested in his chamber. Our rest was interrupted by the arrival of a half elf Osric. He appeared desperate for he had been imprisoned by the hobgoblins and recently escaped during the confusion caused by our assault. Unsurprisingly Ugh threatened to kill Osric despite the half elf doing nothing that would draw ire. I mediated things best I could before Ugh did the unthinkable. He reached into his pack and produced some crispy skinned goblin, the remains of a torture victim he had killed hours earlier. Biting off several fingers he then offered the arm to our new half-elven companion. It was here that I resolved to suffer the half orc’s company only till we found our way out of the dungeon.
|A handful of the dozens of hobgoblins soon to be killed.|
Fortunately this revolting spectacle, of what must surely be considered cannibalism, was interrupted by hobgoblins seeking the deceased priest's counsel. While the cursed artefact that adorned Ugh’s head has taken the warriors pride and dignity it had not taken his wits for he attempted a bluff by impersonating the priest. This is a trick he had seen Milgos perform admirably on a number of occasions. Ugh however was not successful. We fought a horde of the enemy. During the combat Milgos sat meditating, trying his best to ignore the melee. He was most annoyed at being awakened before he had replenished his spells. Many goblinoids fell before their morale broke. The dark elf tracked the survivors back to their leader, the Khan, and drove the crestfallen leader back towards us as a hound drives a fox. Osric put two arrows in the Khan before Ugh finished the job. The horde was broken and the Khan slain before landing a blow.
We looted the dead. The Khan had a chest warded with poisonous traps that were easily overcome by the deft hands of Milgos. He is a talented one, skilled with mage craft and legerdemain. Deeming the rewards sufficient we headed back the way we had came hoping to leave the dungeon. In the pursuit of the Khan we had ventured deep underground and become lost. Stumbling around we were surprised as the corridor opened up beneath us and we plummeted deeper beneath the ground. All save Milgos and Osric who, upon being abandoned, decided to follow us down into the treacherous sloping pit.
We found little respite at the base of the pit for frothing berserkers swiftly set upon us. Ugh yawned and sliced them in twain with barely an effort. I gazed upon their dead faces and considered these men’s predicament. I imagined them falling into the same trap we had, being confined to the natural caverns and tunnels and going mad. Ultimately they became the frothing berserkers we had dispatched like rabid dogs. An argument broke out amongst the group over who would wear the leather armour they had stripped from one of the corpses. Once the bickering subsided Osric was now the proud owner of some bloodied scraps of leather that Milgos assured us was magical.
|A flock of stirges.|
We explored the myriad of tunnels about us. Milgos and Osric each have a knack for detecting secret doors and today we were fortunate for we discovered an ancient stash of treasure feebly guarded by stirges. Having encountered these creatures on a number of occasions we were aware of their sneaky tricks and butchered them in short order. More bickering broke out over the division of treasure but I was past the point of caring. The sooner we see the surface the better. We camped the night in the stirge's chamber, safe behind a secret door. I shall keep you informed.
Your loyal servant Jana.'