Deuwaindell's Journal

Mom sure knows how to pick `em. Kele, an almost ranger who worships rocks and places of `living' stone; Byron, a bard with pretty much one thing on his mind, and it isn't music; Pierce, a wet behind the ears kid who wields a club, and says his trade is `locksmith'; and Thomas and outland, not to mention outlandish, fighter. an odd group. If not for the fact that Mom had a hand in selecting us, I might take up my search in dusty books....
It would be a safer, but far, far too slow a way to learn what I must.

The group was hired by merchant Kray to escort two clerics of Athena to Cragson Mines, and to return with at least one of them along with a you-don't-want-to know-about-it artifact. Our only aid would be tow re-shirts who would guard the horses when we entered the mines, do cooking and other chores. Well, I needed to know more about our mission, and with a few other party members it was off to the castle library. Thanks in part to a suggestion by Pierce, it was found that a likely artifact was a mace of Set. This was confirmed later, by Kray, who said we would have been told but it was not good to discuss such things in town. He also let slip that Jetero {of the KGB} was the instigator of this mission. Interesting....

On the road it was my luck to be riding near Olaf, an old (for a human) cleric who spent every waking moment mumbling or chanting. After three days on the road, three days of mumbling, I welcomed excitement but we arrived at Cragson Mines with no problem. We saw IUZ once or twice, but no ambushes by orcs. Cragson Mines was the worse for the orc rampage, but not as destroyed as I thought it would be. We entered the mines through the ore elevator shaft. Olaf was lowered on ropes so he wouldn't fall the 100 feet down the shaft. Pierce, Thomas, Olaf, myself, Peter (the young cleric, Byron, and Kele all made it down safely. All Olaf could tell us about the way to the artifact was "Down." But, following grooves in the floor make by ore wagons we were able to find out way to ever lower levels. Only rarely did we need to guess between passages.

Which is not to say the voyage into the mines was easy. We first encountered a two-headed ogre. When Thomas stumbled into it, the monster attacked and we had no choice but kill it. My magic missiles dealt the fatal blow. After that, we took a passage that was a dead end, and very nearly the end for Kele. He was poisoned by a spider, and after also being bitten, he fell unconscious. Byron cast a spook spell, and the spider crawled back to its hiding place. [Afraid Byron would sing at it?] Even with the spider driven off, we would have lost Kele except that Olaf took out a glowing pyramid dingus, and saying some activation word cast a cure on Kele. he came back to consciousness feeling great, rested, and no sign of wounds. Hmmm. There is powerful magic around Olaf.... If he stopped mumbling, it might be interesting to talk to him about it. But he would probably get all mystical and go on and on about Athena, like Rats, that cleric in the last group.

Next, Kele got a call of a different sort from his deity. He wanted to follow a passage to the side. The others could not be convinced to go out of our way, but I went with Kele. Part way, Kele would have turned back but I told him a major heat source was very close and on we went. We found a grotto with a flowing lava river and a stone on the other side of the lava that Kele went all ga-ga over. He said this was a holy place, and began praying.

The others then showed up to hassle Kele abut the mission. One would have thought that they were the lawful ones and Kele the chaotic. What fun. We regroup and continue. On the 4'th level, following a narrow passage, we found what we came for. In a large cavern we saw a bright light about 20 feet height and 70 feet away. Olaf's chanting became very loud. Nearing the light, we found a large pyramid and a ramp leading up. Part way up the ramp we were attacked by 4 orcs. One impaled itself on Thomas's sword, but after that Thomas seemingly lost his fighting skills. At least he did nothing to help kill the orc that attacked me, though he did make a couple of half-hearted swings. It makes one wonder. When the second group of 4 orcs leaped on us Olaf became a fighting whirlwind. He hit with his staff, which then began to attack on its own. I have heard of such, but this is the first I have seen. It makes one envious to see such things in the hands of others, but one day I shall have! better. With blows of my woode

On to the top of the pyramid. There Olaf dispelled a shielding spell surrounding the evil mace. Olaf picked it up, and then began to shimmer. He was in extreme pain, but as it seemed that he was able to endue we slowly began out descent. As we went, we hear orcs shouting. They made not attempt to hide their presence, but were in the dark at our only exit from the caverns. At Kele's suggestion I cast a flame sphere towards them, but something caused my spell to end before it got very close to the enemy. I stopped part way as the others continued down, marching to the sound of Byron's songs of battle.

We were faced with 10 skeletons, 4 large orcs, and at the passageway, a magic user, cleric, and a fighter leader-type. Olaf could not be of any help except that he had an area around him where magic did not function. Peter turned several of the skeletons, but they were sent back against us by their cleric. Then Peter was attacked, and he fell. My first attack was with glitterdust. I was gratified when it blinded their magic user. The next spell was sleep, which ut two orcs out of action. I later remembered skeletons don't sleep. Lastly, it was time for a trick I wanted to try every since learning the spells. I cast spectral hand our of sight behind their cleric and used it to deliver shocking grasp. By careful timing I hit the cleric in the middle of a spell, spoiling the evil he planned. At that point their cleric had enough of me, and trapped me in a hold spell. Just as well, I was out of magic. I had a fine view of the rest of the battle, saw Pierce knock several skeletons ! apart with his club, saw Thomas

Leaving the mine was now our goal. We used what healing potions we had and patched folks up as best we could. Fortunately our only battle on the way out was with two ogres, which Pierce, Kele, and thomas were able to kill fairly quickly. The hardest thing may have been figuring out how to get Olaf up the shafts between levels. We had to rig a platform for Olaf to sit in, and pull him up. He couldn't climb, and ropes would not work with his shimmering between planes. But, we left the mines the night of the same day we went in.

Surprisingly, the red-shirts were not where we left them. But, we were in no shape to search for them that night, so we moved slightly away and made camp. The next morning we began tracking the red-shirts. We had to have the horses to have a chance of making it back to Restenford. But the first thing we encountered was a troll that came from hiding to attack Pierce. Fortunately, it was a small troll and hadn't learned how to fight. It looked like it gave itself the fatal blow, though I did help it along with magic missiles, and Pierce did the honors of burning it. a short time later we came across the new camp the red-shirts had made. They were surprised to see us so soon and told us that they had been told that they should move here by a hermit who was now sleeping by the fire.

When the hermit woke up he had little to say to any of us, but instead went to Olaf and joined him in his chanting. After a while doing that, the hermit then takes another nap, after which he climbs onto Olaf's horse, says "let's go" and begins yammering Olaf's chants again. Deciding that it is best to humor him, we start the trip back, not that were waiting for anything anyway. After being on the road for about an hour we noticed that we were being followed by three riders. We start galloping, and the three tracking riders also gallop. When asked if he has any suggestions the hermit says "I don't care about your, only about Olaf."


Well, after some too long discussions, Byron, Kele, and myself devised a plan. We galloped ahead of the rest and prepared a reception for the riders following us. After a delay, the rest of the part also began galloping. When Byron, Kele, and myself were out of sight, we rigged a rope across the road to trip the trackers horses, which we knew would also gallop after us. When the rest of our party galloped by we set the trap, which worked perfectly. The horses of the evil cleric and the fighter hit the rope and fell. The magic user was able to stop in time, but I then cast summon swarm to bring in a swarm of bats and Byron cast spook on the magic user, and it worked. I was surprised, but figured that the magic user was probably pretty close to spooked already. In any case, since the trackers horses had either been lamed by the fall or drive off by the swarm of bats, we determined that discretion was our best plan, went to our own horses and galloped off.

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful, as we walked and rode at the best sustainable pace. The hermit went his own way when we approached Restenford, and we delivered Peter and Olaf to the temple of Athena, along with the mace. After which we delivered ourselves to a well deserved rest.