Campaign of the Month: March 2016
Ptolus, City by the Spire
Delver Journal Last Page
The last page of a journal found on a delver's corpse
This journal page was found in the backpack of a dead delver. The backpack (and the rest of the journal) were transformed into Ithildin by the chaotic emanations from a nearby Pit of Insanity, and this was the only recoverable page from that journal.
5 Blessing, 720 IA
We were surprised today. After resting in the Giant Citadel waystation, Karkhoff wanted to investigate the old dwarven outpost. He didn’t explain why, though with his lack of brains he probably imagines he once had relatives there. I expected to just find a lot of pickaxes and old beer I suppose, but instead we found a clan of orcs running their own little trading post.
We were ready for a fight, but they welcomed us in like they were expecting us. It was quite unnerving, but they insisted all were welcome as long as they behaved. We kept expecting to be jumped and stayed alert, but even though there were all manner of foul creatures casually walking through the place we weren’t accosted at all.
They called the place “Thromka.” According to Tovan, it translates to “warm greeting” in orc speak. There were probably 30 or more orcs in the place, and they were all playacting as shopkeeps and tavern wenches. I don’t believe their sincerity for a moment, even though I watched a minotaur and a blue-skinned hobgoblin arguing amicably in Goblin over which whiskey tasted better. Karkhoff tasted the mushroom stout, but says it’s not as good as dwarven stuff. I’ll take his word for that.
My companions wandered like tourists for a bit, but I convinced everyone we should leave before those savages started killing us.
We finally left orc territory and got ourselves into the Lost Mines, and none too soon in my opinion.
Brother Carick’s precious map led us straight into an ambush though, and we got into a nasty fight with a bunch of furry heathen beasts on a bridge over a deep, black chasm. I blasted plenty of them with a couple of well-placed bolts of lightning, but they scattered quickly after that. We fought on, but after Carick and I were seriously injured we retreated so the Lothianite could use his healing magics on us. I may not like to listen to his proselytizing, but Carick’s a good healer in a pinch.
I finally convinced these dunces we should make for the next waystation up in Marble Hall. Carick and I are both running low on spells.
Little did I know what we’d face on the way to Marble Hall. Carick is gone, and we’re now in very real peril. We made it up to the Lower Mines, but tried to pass through Venomous Hall to reach the stairs. Carick was taken by the spiders and their black-skinned masters. Curse the dark elves and their foul magics! Carick had the gods-be-damned map!
We had to retreat from the spiders and found the pit of insanity. Despite my misgivings, we risked the stairs and climbed past the spiders, to the Upper Level. That bastard Tovan remembered approximately how to reach Marble Hall, and led us into a great hall where huge statues of bronze minotaurs came to life and attacked. Karkhoff and I tried to hold them off as best we could, but that fool Tovan disappeared into a secret door he’d somehow spotted in a statue’s alcove. Karkhoff and I cursed him for a coward, but I swear the little ratfink smirked at me as the door shut behind him. We had to retreat, and we’ve not seen Tovan since.
8? Blessing? 9?
This accursed dungeon is going to be where I too die. I am now alone. Karkhoff and I were able to get away from the bronze statues and successfully found the great Marble Hall. We knew a waystation was close, but were never even able to search for it. A great, misshapen beast of a giant had claimed Marble Hall as its home, and that short-legged dwarf was unable to outrun a creature that spans ten feet with each footstep. Karkhoff was struck down from behind, but I managed to make it back to the pit of insanity. I had to jump down to escape, and my leg was broken in the fall. I was only barely able to escape even then, for the giant hurled a massive boulder and nearly squashed me too. I had to crawl down the stairs to escape. Thank the gods, the brute didn’t give further chase.
It might be Brightfather’s Day by now. I’ve lost track of how long I’ve been stuck in here. I know I’m still close to the pit of insanity, but I stay as distant from it as I can in these chambers. My leg is worsening, and I have no magics that will help me escape. Let that be a lesson to any who find this journal. Evocations make big bangs, but are little use for anything other than exploding things.
By the gods, I am undone. I am still too close to the pit. I awoke to discover my good leg is grafted to the stone floor. I will not escape.
Out of water. Time to die. Damn you, gods. Damn you all.