Rocksy's Quest

World's Largest Dungeon Log of Adventures from the perspective of the rogue.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

An Epic Battle and much spitting

I went to update my journal and noticed that several pages were gone. I hate to speak badly of the dead, Mama always told me they would come and eat me if I did, but I think Garnak may have swiped them to wipe his bum. So since last I wrote many things have occurred and my notes are now beyond me so I will recall as best I can.

We wandered around the labyrinthine passageways for days. We fought more ceiling monsters and rats. We ran into a bunch of Garnak's old tribe and he mightily slew them, with some help from his friends. And then he spit on every corpse. I am amazed at the amount of loogies that guy could produce. Then we fought a really big fiendish creature. I think Grizzly called it an Owlbear which is appropriate as it looked like a giant bear covered with feathers and it had a beak. It almost killed us all, except for Flint who wisely stayed in the back casting spells. So after the fight we holed up in an old grain storehouse. Grizzly made the moldering bags of grain into a mostly potable gruel-like substance and we rested.

During this time I updated my journal, Flint and Bob played mumbledypeg, Garnak discovered what in the room was breakable, and then when that amusement was exhausted sparred with Vimik, Grizzly spent most of his time cleaning the grain with magic but occasionally stopped to mutter dire predictions of earthquakes and live burials in rubble.

It took four tortuous days for us to heal. I don't believe I have ever been so bored in my life. Not even one of the regimental poetry readings back under the mountain was this boring.

Once again upon the track of Redtail we sallied forth only to find that we had been camped out in the middle of his domain. He was merely a few hundred yards away as the badger digs.

We entered a weird room filled with pillars. A swirling vortex of red and gold energy spun against one wall. While the rest of us looked around Flint studied the vortex. After several moments of concentration, he is so cute when he chews on his beard, he declared it a portal to the planes of Hell. Since he was pretty sure he could close it we thought that might be a good idea because from what I've heard Hell ain't so neat.

So here we are lolling about on pseudo watch while Flint sits crosslegged in front of the portal "concentrating." It started to work and the portal shrank a bit then the ruckus began. First off something invisible attacked Flint. A little winged red thing with a stinger appeared and started to tee off on the poor sorcerer. At about the same time Redtail entered from an adjoining room and proceeded to spell blast Flint as well. Maybe he thought he could escape from this dungeon into Hell or something but he certainly didn't like Flint closing his portal. A contest of wills between the two spellcasters began with Flint being harried by the imp which he later told me must've been Redtail's familiar and with us trying to smack Redtail.

The battle seemed to last forever although I'm sure it was only a minute or two. Redtail was wily and hard to hit and the imp kept turning invisible. But the tides of the battle turned when Vimik nabbed the imp by the scruff. He then proceeded over to Redtail and taunted him with his captive familiar while Garnak and Grizzly poked great oozing wounds into him (Redtail I mean not Vimik.) Soon it was over and Redtail was dead. Vimik beat the familiar against the floor until he also was gone. Flint finally closed the portal with an audible bloop.

After some healing and a celebratory beer we headed back to entrance to head home our mission accomplished. It only took a few hours for all the time it took us to get in. Upon reaching the entrance we found the orc "sentries" dead and then there was more spitting. Grizzly, Vimik, Garnak and I started bashing at the black energy. Nothing happened. Grizzly started to freak out and dig at the rock face. He even managed to dislodge a couple of stones. Behind the stones more blackness. Flint studied it a bit and said maybe in a dozen years or so when he's mastered more of his spellcasting he might be able to breach the darkness but he doubted it.

At this point I am wishing that I had been stricter in rationing the beer.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Day 1: Going to see the Big Man

Vimak thinks the "Big Man" might have heard about Long-tail and even perhaps know where he and his band are holed up so we ventured forth into the deep mountains. The Big Man was right where Vimak said but he had keeled over. Grizzly pronounced him well and truly dead after feeling his tree-trunk sized neck for signs of life. I had thought that the Big Man might be a friendly giant or an extra-big Goliath but this guy was as big as our great room in Mountain Home. i know of nothing this large except the mountains themselves.

Garnak sniffed about and discovered a veritable trail of foot prints leading into a fissure in the mountainside. Some of the prints were shod but some looked like they might belong to a rat-man so we decided to investigate.

Carefully we trundled into the mountain. Vimak held his magical torch aloft casting weird shadows around the eerily silent room. Although not Dwarven made the room had some fairly sturdy construction. Two iron bound doors of great stature flanked the room. When carefully pushed open they revealed a slate of inky darkness impenetrable by even magical light. Flint decided to investigate a little more personlly and touched the darkness before anyone could mention what a bad idea that would be. His finger tip stuck fast. Garnak pulled his sword and was about to relieve Flint of his right hand at the wrist. Flint protested so much that Garnak, quick thinker that he is, decided to push him through instead. I followed quickly because as handsome and magically talented that Flint is he is definitely a pushover in a fight. Bob "Short-straw" followed me through as well.

On the other side Flint, Garnak and I waited for a good long time until Vimak and Grizzly finally came through. The darkness was hard as diamond from this side. We heard coughing coming from the deeper in the room. We hailed the cougher but got no response. Around the corner, huddled together for warmth or in terror were three of the sickliest looking orcs I've ever seen. Garnak seemed surprised to see them and was pretty hostile. Apparently they belonged to his old clan. He grilled them for a few moments gleaning that the clan had linked up with Long-tail and that these three peons were left to guard the entrance.

I went off to examine the doors in the direction that the orcs said Long-tail had gone. They were all free of traps and unlocked. Orcs aren't very creative with traps so if we follow them most of the mundane traps should be sprung. I'll just have to keep an eye open for the type that reset.

We explored several psuedo-empty rooms, some were strewn with garbage, one with stinky dried grass that might have been used for bedding, and then one that just seemed empty. Unfortunately the torch must've been in my eyes because I missed the ceiling beast that promptly dropped on my head. Luckily its grasp was weak. I threw it off my head and Vimak came in and splattered it into a paste with his "quarterstaff." Flint examined the body and proclaimed it a fiendish varient of a common underground monster.

The next room was also empty. I was standing in the open doorway beyond when a swarm of tiny rats numbering in the thousands poured into the room from the hallway. They surged around me heading for the larger and presumably tastier meal behind. Garnak, Vimak and Flint disappeared under a pile of wriggling bodies. Knee-capper came in handy clearing swaths of the scuttling beasts. Several of our party were injured with tiny but numerous bites by the time we scattered the rodents.

Grizzly healed the wounded amongst us and decided it was time to hole up for the day. When pressed he admitted that he found the dark closeness of underground unsettling. In fact he kept complaining that the rooms seemed to be shrinking. Me and my fellow dwarves reassured him that the galleries were perfectly safe and that unless there were some sort of cataclysm like an earthquake that we were as safe as houses. After assuaging Grizzly's fears we pressed on.

We explored a variety of hallways. The orcs have also apparently explored, leaving all the doors behind them wide open. Short-straw would guard any open doorways while I did a cursory search of each room we came to. Bob, Flint and Grizzly show a proper level of respect for my superior knowledge of traps, pitfalls and ambushes but Vimak and Garnak seem intent on getting themselves killed. Garnak is headstrong and stupid by birth but Vimak should know better. I was searching a rubble strewn room where a couple of big rats tried to surprise us when Garnak and Vimak wandered off into another room where a pair of the ceiling beasts dropped on them. Only their inherant sturdiness and a bit of luck kept them from being killed straight out. After a well deserved lecture from me on the benifits of staying together we pushed on. I think Vimak took my advice to heart but Garnak scratched himself through the whole thing so I don't think he'll be changing soon.

Towards what we think might be sunset we found a room with signs of recent habitation. It had intact furnishings. It also had a scuffed pile of dirt that might have been used to sketch a crude map. I had Short-straw guard the other exit from the room while I exhaustively explored. I was hoping for a clue as to the plans or route that Long-tail and the orcs might have taken. My search was interupted by voices coming down the hall. Bob poised to ambush them and I frantically gestured to get the attention of the rest of the group. Garnak charged in taking up a postion directly in front of the open door. Stealth is also not high on his list of skills. The orcs, for indeed it was some of them, saw Garnak and called him by name. Garnak in return bellowed something about stone-throwers and charged into the doorway effectively keeping the rest of us from assisting him in battling the four orcs in the hall. After he slayed two of them outright the rest fled with Garnak in hot pursuit. We tried to keep up but the long legged ones out paced us Dwarves. I returned to the room with the dirt pile but could find no sign of plans. I did, however, find seven fine specimens of raw jade hidden in a hollowed out leg of the bed.

After Garnak's fury abated, apparently spent against the unbeatable foe of a closed door, we regrouped and decided to call it a day. We secured the entrances to our abode for the night and bedded down. Since nagging, lecturing and pleading don't seem to work with Garnak I've decided to try positive reinforcement. If he behaves as wisely as he is capable of I shall give him a fine Dwarven ale with his dinner tomorrow. Although his comment that "ale is ale isn't it?" makes me unsure he will appreciate my sacrifice.

Our little group has proved quite efficient so far. Vimak, Bob and Garnak have raw strength and martial training. Grizzly is no slouch in a fight either and his healing abiliteis are much appreciated by the more fool-hardy and fragile in our party. Flint's magic is quite effective in some situations, especially against those mosquito like things we met. They almsot all succumbed to his sleep spell. Of all the things we faced today those were the least of our enemies. I also felt useful, finding the jade and a curative potion amongst the litter in what I can only call a dungeon at this point.

When we were setting up camp a tremor shook the area knocking several of our number from their feet. After that I'm not sure we could have gotten Grizzly to travel further unless we knocked him unconcious and carried him.

I am confident we will find Long-tail soon and then we can solve the riddle of the dark-sealed doors and return to Mountain Home.

A Ragtag Troupe

Flint has been venturing from Mountain Home out into the wide world. And although at first I found the big sky daunting the prospect of having some alone time with my Dwarven sorceror was irressitable. Flint is such an anomaly. First off he thinks its okay that I have a vocation rather than squirting out dwarflings like the rest of the Dwarf girls my age. Secondly he has that luxurious blond beard. And thirdly he does magic. I have no aptitude for the arcane arts but I find them extremely intriguing. Daddy says I shouldn't tag along so much but I think he's just worried I won't marry a respectable sort like a stone mason or a armorer. His worries may be justified.

Flint and I have been exploring the mountainous area around Mountain Home and have met up with some strange characters. One afternoon while hiking in the woods below the peaks we found a strange human man and his mostly human companion. Grizzly Redtooth is a slight human; I guess you could call him short for a human although he towers over both Flint and me. His hair and beard are as wild as his bright blue eyes. At first I thought his companion had suffered a brain injury but Grizzly tells me he was always this slow. His name is Garnak. For a half-breed orc he is rather okay. He cannot read and has a hard time forming words with more than two syllables but he can swing a sword with brutal efficiency. Grizzly found him wandering hurt and starving in the woods a couple of months ago and nursed him back to health. Apparently the orc clan didn't like his polished ways and drove him out by stoning him. I think he hates orcs even more than I do.

A strange giant-like man has been visiting Grizzly quite often as well. His name is Vimak. He carries a tree around that he calls a quarterstaff but is quite personable once you get past his gruff exterior. He calls his people Goliaths. They live on the mountain tops and have all sorts of odd practices. He was telling me the other day of their peak jumping contests. First off you find a crevasse so deep you can't see the bottom of it. Then you dare some other moron to try and jump across the point which has the slimmest possiblity of success. Repeat until someone falls to their doom. Not surprisingly the Goliaths are not a populous race.

I find myself feeling more at home with this strange mix of foreigners than amongst my own kind. Even Garnak, who at first I mistrusted so strongly it verged on paranoia, has proved himself a stout, if somewhat dimwitted, companion.

We've had some adventures in the woods around Grizzly's home and I've developped a taste for the camaraderie amongst our little ragtag troupe. It takes some getting used to. Especially the good-hearted joking that goes on. Flint ran from one silly badger and is now labelled for life. He can't yell "The monster is coming, prepare yourself!" anymore without the whole group bursting into hystyerical laughter.

Yesterday Vimak came to Grizzly's cabin and told a strange tale. It seems an odd rat-man wizard named Long-tail has been stealing Goliath babies and selling them to flesh eaters. Vimak wanted to enlist our help to track down the evil so and so, and of course, we all agreed. As he was last seen heading at high speed into the deep mountains we decided it would be good to go back to Mountain Home and prepare.

Daddy got wind that this was more than a regular outing. Perhaps the keg of ale strapped to the outside of my pack clued him in that I would be gone for longer than an overnight jaunt. So, he petitioned the elders and asked for an "escort" for me and Flint. Bob Deepdelver drew the short straw and has to babysit us. I'm a tad insulted but Bob is a good sort and follows orders well so it shouldn't be too bad.

I've packed all the necessities. In addition to rations (both liquid and solid) I have a few curative potions just in case, my handy dandy crowbar for the outside chance that my locksmithing abilities aren't up for the task, my trap making kit to practise, my trusty morningstar Knee-capper, Mom's old armor from her adventuring days and few other goodies. I could probably carry another couple of stones of gear but my pack is full so I called it good.

We meet up with the others in the morning.