Adventurers – Biblios (Barbarian), Ellywick (Monk), Glim (Wizard), Tim (Warlock)
The Diary of Glim
—June 15, 3375
Followed a rumor and did some snooping around the university. Someone with sticky fingers has been getting a little greedy. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary upon initial inspection. On my way out of the gate I noticed a glint in my eye. A cobblestone held a faint glow. Magical writing had been inscribed. “Meet here later.” Was this a signal from one Thief to another? What arcane trickster was doing this? Was it a team? Was someone within the university involved?
I met up with the group on the way to the stables. They had just returned from a mission of their own. No sign of Silver though. No doubt he was probably casing some joint, probably with the aid of a stemmed glass of the finest red. The brought along another member. Finley is her name. A fellow Rock Gnome and what appears to be some sort of arcanist. She doesn’t look very book-learned though. Maybe she gets her magic from some foul entity like Tim. Will have to keep a close eye on this one.
We learned about some mysterious happenings to the Southeast of us in the Kryptgarden forest. Apparently a strange beast is killing all who enter. Intrigued, we decided to venture forth and investigate.
Because we had the brilliant insight to leave Archibald and the caravan back in Phandalin, I am without transportation. Silver’s horse should do fine. He won’t mind.
During watch that evening, our good friend Tim appeared. Deviously late to the party. Was he following us the whole time? Still unsure about his motives.
—June 16, 3375
The morning found us in to Leilon. An interesting city. Somewhat split between the coastal commerce section and the bustling inland population. We were hoping to find some more information here.
Note: The taverns in Leilon are horrible. The ale selection is extremely brief. As in, one ale, on tap. Even warmed up, it tasted like lamp oil. Biblios didn’t’ seem bothered by it however. In fact, he rather liked it. Speaks volumes to his intellect.
Despite the disappointment in my mug, the barkeep was rather helpful. He informed us of a hunting camp just outside of the forest. This camp experienced the most recent losses to the beast. Also learned that the beast i called, “Hell Bear.”I don’t mind bears, but, I don’t like Hell. Maybe Tim can befriend it.
Speaking of Tim, apparently someone he had met on a previous journey was in the local jail. Fitting. We visited the jail and his friend was ecstatic to see him. Uncomfortably ecstatic. He begged and pleaded to be released so he could follow Tim. Somewhat disturbing, the friends he keeps. Was it wise to give him the Spider staff? Not sure.
On to the camp!
We are now at the hunter’s camp. It is about midday I would guess. The camp is primitively built up. Several structures surrounded by sharpened stockade walls. After asking around we were pointed to the main lodge to speak to “Burrs.”
Entering the main room of the lodge, several hunters were found eating meals and relaxing. Among them, a rather large half-orc appeared who seemed to dominate the conversation. This was Burrs.
Burrs gave us his personal account of meeting the Hell Bear and the story of his escape. He warned us that this was like no other bear we had ever seen before. Interesting. Of personal note are the slashing scars across his face. No doubt a parting gift from Mr. Hell Bear. Burr continued on to give us some direction to the last known sighting along with advice while travelling. We enjoyed a steak lunch and then left along a path headed in to the forest.
The forest is terrifyingly silent. I scanned the area but didn’t pick up any sources of magic. Maybe the surplus of death was causing the unnatural silence? The flora seemed unchanged.
After several hours of travel, we found a clearing and bed down for the night.
—June 17, 3375
This was a long day.
I had last shift of watch this morning. Just how I like it. Normally at least. While getting the stock pot and fire ready for breakfast I noticed a movement from the corner of my eye. I peered out in to the dense forest. Nothing. I placed the pot over the fire and there it was again. This time I could see the form a little more clearly. A black panther of sorts was slowly slinking its way towards our camp. Its outline seemed to shift a it walked. Also of note, it had six legs and two strange tentacles that stretched from its chest.
I took a few steps back, our eyes were locked. I then cast invisibility on myself and backed away to the opposite side of the clearing. Now feeling safe, I yelled to wake up the group. As they arose, the beast entered the clearing. The beast lunged at the party who was now up and ready to fight. Being a clever Rock Gnome, I observed from a distance. As the fight went on I noticed a crack and pop behind me. I turned around and a second beast was entering the camp from the rear. The party did not notice. A coordinated hunting pair!
I unleashed a bolt of flame at the new intruder missing wildly and exposing myself in the process. At this same time, Biblios had tackled the first beast and had it on the ground. What a savage. Finley spun around and blasted the new enemy with a magical bolt of her own. Tim also stepped up to aid in the new attack. As attention focused to the rear of the camp, Biblios was seen cutting off the head of our first attacker. Quite brutal and lacking proper finesse I say, but effective, none-the-less. After some continued fighting, Tim froze the second cat in its tracks. With the enemy now incapacitated, Biblios strolled over and skewered it like a mutton kabob.
What on Toril were these things? I kept a pelt for future examination and experimentation.
We took an hour or so to bandage up wounds and eat a meal. Once we were packed up, we continued on our mission.
Note: Tentacled, six-legged, phase-shifting panthers hurt badly.
The morning stretched on turning in to early afternoon.
I sent Hoot forward to scout ahead. We did not want to be sneak-attacked again by these deadly cats. My faithful friend picked up a distant, high-pitched sound. A screaming of sorts. I stopped to take a peek through its eyes. There, near a rocky cairn, half a dozen pixies were fighting off not one, not two, but four of these shifty cats!
The attack on the fey beings sent Ellywick in to a rage and she bounded towards the panthers. Not wise, but hey, she is a Forest Gnome. They are the wild ones of our lineage. Her bravado caught the attention of two of the cats who turned and charged the group. Upon killing a few of the pixies the remaining two turned and charged as well. We were now outmatched. Thank you Forest Gnome.
Finley quickly worked up a spell that created three duplicates of herself. Very fascinating. School of Illusion? It seemed to work. The cats were as confused as Biblios holding children’s blocks. I yelled to the pixies to come help. They flitted and fluttered over to us with their tiny bows and arrows doing nothing but agitating the sleek felines. Thank you pixies.
Finley cast some other spell that opened up a magical portal. Out stepped a small metal man with wings. Did my eyes deceive me? An automaton? How does she harness this magic? It seems almost, accidental. I will need to ask her about this immediately. I was transfixed by the small metal man.
Once I snapped out of it, I noticed Tim on the ground, bleeding profusely. I guess this is the payback you get from making wicked deals with questionable deities. The cats were now controlling the fight. Tim was down, Ellywick and Finley were near exhaustion, and Biblios and I were rather hurt. All of the sudden a loud roar shook the forest. Could it be?
A young eleven boy rode in to the area upon a great elk and with him a giant bipedal bear carrying a large axe. Hell Bear! The two newcomers began their own attack on our enemies. The bear person shredded cats left and right. One cat severely mauled the elven boy. I immediately stepped up and cast a healing spell, closing his wounds. Another beast lunged at Biblios and at that moment, Tim awoke, sat up, and blasted it with a greenish eldritch energy that sent the cat to the ground. At long last, the six-legged panthers now lay dead on the ground.
We spoke briefly with the boy and what turned out to be his cursed father. They are druids and are attempting to cleanse the forest of a dark hex conjured up by a coven of hags. The cleansing includes outsiders like us. Ibor (Hell Bear) told us a rather morose story of a hunting party, led by Burrs, killing his wife whose remains lie within the rocky cairn. After much convincing on our part, we were presented with one option to leave the forest alive. We were to lure Burrs back in to the forest to face Ibor. We were in no position to challenge Ibor at his request, so we agreed on one condition. We needed his axe to prove to the hunters that we had killed him. Reluctantly, Ibor agreed and sent the elven boy to accompany us to the camp and beyond to Neverwinter.
We are now on the way towards the camp. The elven boy doesn’t seem very conversational. Somewhat rude where I come from, but hey, this is his land, not mine.
Upon reaching the camp, Burrs stood in waiting. Presenting the axe as justification of the dead bear was satisfactory and our reward was given. We instructed Burrs to look for the body near the cairn.
As Burrs’ hunting party left out in to the dark forest, we could see Biblios entering the edge of the wood, and planting the axe in to a tree for Ibor’s retrieval.
Note: Forest Gnomes are as unpredictable as old Farbis once taught me and pixies are worthless creatures and make good panther snacks.
—June 18, 3375
This morning we head back to Leilon and eventually, Neverwinter, having met two new friends, Finley and the strange elven elk boy. Hopefully, the tavern in Leilon has some fresh ale on tap that tastes less like pesticide.
I still hate pixies.