Adventurer Conqueror King or Die!

Suspicion and Exploration

Hi Pop,

Vesper figured that the stories we’d been told about the village problems might not be true. The dragon ate the girls I told you about, so how could they be the ghouls bothering the village? He also thinks the crypt we were exploring was there for a long time before the dragon came around. He talked with the village elder and told them the village curse probably has nothing to do with the dragon. If they get enough money he’ll try to find a priest to remove the curse.

I don’t really understand it. They had a problem with ghouls, we killed ghouls. The problem should be solved.

We went back to the crypt to explore some more. We went through the crypt and into the caves. We find and fought a big metal snake. The bites burned, turns out they were poisoned.

I am really starting to hate poison. We smashed the snake.

We explored some more and found rooms with different kinds of elements. A room full of lava that we didn’t explore because it was really hot and dangerous. We went another way and found a room full of water with a big bridge, where we were attacked by a bunch of mudmen. We were outnumbered, but knew that Goraj wouldn’t want to back down. They weren’t so tough as we thought they might be. Vesper went over the bridge and explored a bit, found a little cave with another of those stone spiders I told you about last time. No big deal.

We followed the cave out into another hall with a room where we found another coffin.

Of course we looked in it. Plugged our noses first this time, though, no way did I want to smell something like that last coffin.

Just some dead guy with some stuff. Took the stuff. Curio said it looked like he was trying to turn into some kind of undead wizard thing, so we threw the body into the lava before we left.

I think we’re off to Blackmarsh soon. Vesper really wants to go talk with the elves, and he might be able to find a priest there to help the villagers.

James

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Captain's Log, Elfdate 2012.0616

I'm through taking on quests given by podunk know-nothing human villagers.  First we are told that the dragon ate the maidens and died.  Then that the ghouls were the girls who were eaten.  Upon further questioning we found out that was impossible.  The corpses were never recovered, nor was the dragon ever seen again, so we have no idea if they are dead.  The age of the corpses and the sarcophagi clued me in to all this. All we have are some apparitions appearing on the side of the road, and some ghouls.  Turns out I was right and all that shit we saw down below was for a wizard trying for lichdom.  Being a weakling human wizard, naturally he failed.  Still, I took notes on what his process was.  You never know what truths he might have accidentally stumbled upon.

Anyhow, we cleared out most of the place, except for an obvious fire elemental trap.  We even found the would-be lich's corpse with some magic on it.  So it wasn't a total waste.

Even better, I managed to convince the village that there was a curse laid upon it and that it would certainly cost them all their gold and silver to lift said curse.  They are gathering up their valuables as I type this.  I have a sneaking suspicion that not much gold or silver will be left by the time we're done with this place.  Some of my companions actually want to try and buy a scroll to remove the curse with the money.  Fools.  We'll see how that goes. 

I may have to sneak back into the town once we leave and kill the head guy and take the gold, if I can't con him into giving it all to us.  A nice clean assassination would feel good anyhow.  All this fighting up front when the enemy has a fair chance to hit you is anathema to me.

Anyhow, tomorrow we are likely to leave for Blackmarsh, assuming we don't have too much to do with this whole curse thing.  I'll be happy to get there and see my brethren again and take a hot bath.  You know what they say—-lay down with humans and expect to get fleas.  Add a lizard man to the mix, and gods only know what I may have picked up.  

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Hallowed Ground

After having some very interesting questions raised by Vesper about the backstory of this maidens-eaten-by-dragon story, we took the town Mayor for a walk and discussed it. He appeared genuinely puzzled by the questions and we convinced him that the real problem is the curse laid upon the town by their old cleric, rather than the spirits of the slain women. We discussed hiring a cleric of a higher level to come here and remove the curse.

After that, we went back into the tomb. The ice elementals appeared to be either dead and gone or they were cowed by our presence, as they did not appear. We moved through the earthen area and encountered a snake made of steel. The guys hacked at it for a long time. Eventually, I got bored and dispatched it with a few quick magic missiles.

We then faced a choice between crossing a room full of lava and going into a muddy room. To no one’s surprise, we took the muddy path. Five mudmen rose from the floor and attacked us. I stood back and let the guys dispatch them. Vesper then crossed the room to inspect an alcove and was attacked by another stone spider. I cast a magic missile to support him from across the room and we killed it.

From there, we proceeded down a hallway and encountered another stone coffin. After much deliberation, we pulled the top aside and found a human male skeleton inside. Inside we found a trove a treasures. Huzzah!

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Ghastly Stuff and Going Deeper

Hey Pop,

Last I told you, we were back in the village. Well, we went back to the catacomb place and searched around some more. Found a room with some crystal statues, and you were right again — mess with things like that, they’ll come alive and try to kill you. We smashed ’em up right quick, and it looks like their eyes were gems of some kind, so we kept ’em.

A bit of searching found a hidden door. I, uh, kind of broke it opening it, seems it was supposed to slide to the side, not get pushed straight in. Ah well, it’ll be easy to find it next time.

Big coffin in there, some gold tracing on the lid. It was locked, but as you told me as a kid, people don’t usually lock up worthless stuff. You were right, there was some valuable stuff in there, a magic ring and this magic spear, good against undead.

I forgot something, though. People also lock up stuff they don’t want getting out. When I pulled the lid open this horrible stench came out and knocked some of us on our asses, puking our guts out. Just as well Curio and Vesper hung back, they managed to kill whatever it was before it got out.

After that we went down some stairs we’d found and were in this big room with a pool of ice across the middle. There was a broken-down bridge, but there were some kind of ice monsters. We killed one of ’em, held the other three off with burning oil, and kept going. That room led into a cave with a couple of big rock spider things. They took some big chunks out of Goraj, but he was okay until we got back to town.

He’s still looking for some magic armor. It’s weird, he’s getting upset that he’s not getting any magic items, but he’s saying there’s no real point in taking any of the ones we’ve found because he won’t use ’em.

Can you ask around Brighton and see if there’s any way to find some magic plate mail or a magic great helmet or a ring or magic gloves or magic fangs or something? He doesn’t use weapons, so everybody else has been ending up with them.

Hope to be home soon, maybe in a week or two.

James.

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Captain's Log, Elfdate 2012.0610

Well, we went back into these caverns again.  Now we encountered ghouls, ice things, and statues and stone spiders.  What the fuck.  The only thing I can think is that this was a dragon's lair.  I will interrogate the entire village harshly if need be to determine what the hell we are into here.  We told the villagers we would help deliver them from their own guilt coming back to haunt them, by virtue of killing off the ghouls of the women they poisoned and gave to the dragon.  Presumably the dragon died by eating them.  When did this happen exactly? Where's the dragon corpse?  Where are the bones?  Not even a dragon tooth on the village inn wall?  Something stinks here, and it ain't the lizard man for once.  Speaking of which, I've heard you can make a powerful suit of plate from the scales of a dragon, and red dragon scales give extra protection against fire.  I don't know if this is true, but I would love to find out.

I will pose to the group in the morn that we ask the villagers a few things, under pain of death, or at leasat horrible torture if need be (note to self, may need to have the lizard man and the countryboy scout out the land around while I do this—-I think the mage may be on board for this form of research, but I will have to feel him out):

1.  Where was the dragon's lair?  When was the dragon killed?  Where did the sacrifice take place exactly?

2.  What happened to his corpse?

3.  What happened to his treasure?

4.  If the dragon ate the women, how are they corporeal now as ghouls?  Red dragons burn shit right? I assume that means he burnt them before eating.  Which would have likely burned out the poison.

5.   Were the women buried?  If so how did they get the corpses from the belly of the beast?

6. What is the history of the area as relates to the burial area we have been exploring?  It went from mausoleum, which seems to old for the ghouls we are killing to be the women sacrificed to the dragon, to a weird ass fucked up lair of some sort.  Likely a series of rooms and traps designed to protect the dragon and his treasure.  Or something else.

7.  How the fuck did a podunk little shit village like this manage to develop a poison that killed off a dragon which is powerful enough to have such guardians as ice things and stone things and spider statues?  If indeed it is his lair.  If its not, we need to learn more on the history of this place before we go in.  Blackmarsh may have more info on it, as I understand the temples there have detailed histories of the lands around, and have a rich resource by way or funded and endorsed adventurers who may have info they relayed to the priests.  

8.   If we get no good answers from the villagers, I am tying as many of the children up as I can find and bringing them with me to the next excursion to act as trap detectors.

9.  If we can't get more info before heading in, I will vote to go to Blackmarsh to determine better what we are in for if we dig further.  I don't want to go in blind.  Killing ghouls is one thing.  But I don't like puzzles, especially ones that may lead to my death.  Especially if I think someone is holding outon me in terms of info that may help to keep me alive.  I could give a fuck about this village and the worthless dogs that dwell within it.  I just want the loot, magic and power that stems from the slaying and explortation.

It's so hard to keep up my mask as a goody-two-shoes with this group.  I must work harder at it, so it doesn't slip off at the wrong time.

Now I must meditate on the many torture techniques I learned under my master, to my great pain and enjoyment, as my companions do that human thing called sleep. 

 

 

 

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Goraj Phones It In

Today Goraj felt like someone else was moving his arms and legs today. He missed a lot of attacks but still did huge damage and protected his allies who once again took all the loot. No plate mail. Goraj is pissed. We walked across a bridge over icy water and me thought Goraj would fall through and get to go for a swim but when me broke through, the ice didn’t break. Too bad. Fought some stone spiders and some crystal warriors and some undead misfits. Nothing tasted good when me bit it. Yucky day.

Oh yeah, and I’ve got 2 HP left. And no plate mail.

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Into the Tomb of Moordath

from the diary of Curio the Mage

Through the Room of Glass Statues:
My companions entered a room of glass statues armed with spears and with glowing red eyes. I waited in the back while they dispatched them all. We found 5 red gemstones, but I couldn’t tell what kind they were. After destroying the statues, the Elf found a secret door on the back wall. The farm boy tried to force the secret door open and he was so strong that it fell inward into the room instead of slide to the side. Inside the room, we found a coffin with a gold inlaid pattern. They tried to open it, but it was locked. So the crowbars came out and they forced it open with iron spikes.

Inside was powerful and noxious undead. It caused all of them except the cleric to throw up violently. I quickly blasted it with two magic missiles while the cleric pounded away at it with his mace. It wounded him, but we took it down. In the coffin, we found a magical dagger +1 and a spear, which I couldn’t identify. On the undead, we found a ring, which I also could not identify. They let me carry the dagger, since it would be the best I could carry.

After healing up wounds, we went down the stairs deeper into the tomb. There was an open room with a pool of water that had frozen over. The temperature dropped. There was a rickety bridge across the ice. Ice elementals appeared on the surface of the ice, but they didn’t do anything. So I threw some flaming oil on the elementals to incite them. One charged us and we pounded him to shards. The others retreated back in the face of the flaming oil. After throwing a bit more fuel on the fire, we crossed the rickety bridge successfully and continued on.

The tomb turned cavelike at this point. Then we ran across some spiders that appeared to be made of stone. My companions smashed them to bits, but they took quite a few hits and I had to drop a magic missile on one of them to win the day. However, we were exhausted so we returned to town and prepared for another day of adventure tomorrow.

Lights out

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The Ethics of Dragon Slaying

Found among the personal papers of Curio the Mage after his unfortunate demise

On the Ethics of Dragon Slaying
When this candle expires, I will be sleeping through the night at an inn in the small town of Moordath. We had intended for the town to be simply a waypoint on our path to Castle Blackmarsh, but it was not to be. Several apparitions appeared during our breakfast and caused quite a stir in town. The town elders pleaded for help, but then provided sparse details. After we made it clear that they either divulged the truth or we would walk, they told us about a most Faustian of bargains.

It appears that several years ago the town was plagued by a vicious dragon. Unable to defeat it, the townspeople were at their wit’s end. However, they cleverly concocted a powerful poison and injected it into a few virginal women, whom they then chained up and offered to the dragon in tribute. They were dreadfully ashamed of their act and at first I thought they had every cause to be. However, upon further rumination I realized that it was not necessarily so.

This ghastly act presents quite the quandary. Which is the greater evil? The threat of the dragon or the act of sacrificing the women? Surely, the dragon would continue to ravage the town were it not stopped, thus causing more deaths. I am forced to conclude that the sacrifice was therefore the most moral act to take, however grisly it may have been.

My only regret about the whole affair is that they killed the alchemist who brewed the potion. To destroy such knowledge is truly vile.

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Decisions Decisions

Personal Log, Efldate 2012.0609

What to do.  On the one hand I want my brethren to rule of the world as we once did.  On the other, the current powers that be in the homeland are too lazy and lethargic to do anything about it.  I know the ancient enemies of all elfdom are the traitorous elves from the House of the Raven.  Or so I've been taught.  I noticed that many of the things I've been taught in my homeland were found to be lies, once I left the homeland and explored the world.  For instance, humans aren't the lesser race as they were described to me.  They are fiercely aggressive, probably due to their shorter lifespans.  In my opinion, we elves could use some of that vigor.

When I get to Blackmarsh I will thoroughly investigate elfdom as it exists in a human city, outside in the "real world" to determine if they have any different opinions.  Depending on how that goes, perhaps I can steer my companions to lands where the House of the Raven are rumored to exist, so I can investigate them. 

I have to think more on this.

 

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