ASW-LMoP

To my beloved Talse
A letter from the Wave Echo Cave dungeon

Dear Talse,

my love, I humbly appologize for not writing to you regularly in the last weeks, but so many quests were to be completed and so many souls to be saved. And my fellow adventures need quite a lot of soul-saving these days.

Now, however, it might be the right time to write to you from inside the Wave Echo Cave, since I don’t know if there is a tomorrow. If I am not able to read this letter to you myself, I pray whoever finds it will do so in my stead.

We have followed the trail of the Black Spider to the Wave Echo Cave. We were fighting our way through half of the dungeon already withstanding the onslaught of hoards of Zombies, Ghouls, Ghasts, Skeletons and even an unholy skull that was weaving a dark kind of magic. In a combined effort and under Ilmaters protection we were able to smite all evil that was coming for us, but the strain is draining on everyone.

We are taking a rest in one of the chambers we cleared. I can see the fatigue on everyones face. Villy fought ferociously, but seems quite exhausted. Dench went down for the briefest moment during the last fight. He seems to have lost some focus when some slime-creature almost killed his pet dragon. We used a couple of potions already and Prismas also burned through some of the scrolls that were so precious to him. Sybille, though always in a cheeful mood, seems troubled by all the experiences. Even though she is making progress on the lighting-the-sky magic, I worry about her too.
I feel the strain on powers granted to me by Ilmater too, though I must not show. I go forward be a good example for them, a beacon of hope, a bright light against the surrounding darkness. Ilmater urges us to keep on going. Our suffering is not over. Yet.

Rest in peace, my love! I promised you, death can only seperate us for the shortest time. Take care of Eknum and Belda. But don’t tell them. I don’t want them to worry too much.

Your loving husband,
Girolamo

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Gentlemen Agreement
And how to crush a great opportunity

After our great victory, we turned our attention to the Doppelgaenger. Should I refer to him as “he”? Or is he a “she”? Or just “it”?
And what was Isabell, then? “She”, “he”, “it”? Yes, this is confusing but still one of my most remarkable memory :)

Anyways, I will keep refering our captive as “he”. So, I tried to find out about his intentions and perhaps what he plan to do next and if he could be some kind of threat to us.
After some talk, I decided that he is just concerned about staying alive and he is much more interested in us eliminating the Black Spider than the other way round.
So, no threat to us and I anyway promised Isabell not to harm her “brother”. See this genderless creatures playing with our mind, even if we just want to talk about them :)

Letting him go, would have been an easy task. But of course, Lamo was making it very complicating by talking about justice, punishment and adoning for sins. Whenever I cut the “Fesseln” of the Doppelgaenger, Gerolamo tied him again.
Getting even more enthusiastic with his lectures.
At some point in time, I just gave up because you can not talk sense into this man. So, I rather helped Prismas with searching the King Grol’s chamber.
When we came back, the Doppelgaenger had his way with mending Gerolamo’s mind. He got upset about some argument and untied the Doppelgaenger, who immediately run away.
This was not what I intended to happen but at least Isabell’s brother was free and probably on his way back to her. So, I kept my promise.

During this time the remaining goblin forces found their courage again and started gathering. But it seemed that they were not so eager to fight, after their leader was slain and several of their comrades were just some bloody marks within the castle.
So we were able to start negotiate with them and I have to say … they were very reasonable.

The deal we made was that we got back all of our stuff, all of King Grol’s stuff and what we can find within the castle. The gold they kept and that was fine, because they will need it to run the castle.
And keeping the castle in good condition is essential for another part of the deal.
For saving their lives they promised not make any more troubles but secure the area around Castle Cragmaw. And that they will deal with everybody who wants to start making trouble.
They agreed that we can visit them from time to time.
And the best part was that they told us that Kekz and Droop will get to settle down at the Castle, too.

Talking about best part. Gerolamo had some spicy discussion with the Castle’s goblin priest about which god is the true one. Muglibed or Ilmater. And like those religious discussions go, it is just throwing arguments to each other.
But not listening to the other one and definitely not even considering for a brink of a second that the other god might be ok, too.
And at some point Lamo gave a book with stories about Ilmater’s saints to the goblin priest, fully convinced that he was able to change the goblin’s perspective.
But Prismas, who were searching the castle with the goblin, told me that the little one burned the book as an sacrifice to Muglibed :)

Oh, almost forgot to tell. Within the castle was a prisoner. A creature big and strong as a bear. With the face of an owl. Yes, an owlbear. King Grol kept it for whatever reason. The goblins said that he wanted to get the beast’s strength.
Prismas suspected that the beast was their to protect some very valuable items.
This was the chance to kill two birds with one stone or like they would say in the Underdark “To catch two flies with one spider”. We could free the poor creature and we could enter the room.
The plan was a bit shaky … I mean, solid as rock as all of our plans. But it worked, finally. And nobody got hurt … of course.

Within the now empty room we found a very powerfull scroll only Gerolamo was able to decipher and use. Now, listen what happened.

There was once a holy man, a cleric of Ilmater
He was disgusted by all evil magic and opposed foulness to cleanse the world.
For his divine goal he was willing to give up everything.
Even risking his life and that of his beloved ones aswell as that of his friends.
But one day he was tempted with the great power to bring back a single life from death.
And where every mere man would have failed, this holy man withstood the attempt to spoil his soul.
So he refused to accept and even more destroyed the source of this evil.
Thus, no other man could be tempted anymore.
And gladly he has taken the fiery punishment from a grudging, horned sorcerer.
He rather got himself injured before letting him or any other man got corrupted by such an evil power.
From such a caliber this great man was made. Call him a holy man. Call him a fanatic. Call him a crazy man.
But he kept true to himself and succeeded where everyone else would have failed.

Of course I am thinking that he should not have done this and desroying such opportunity was crazy. But I am also proud about brother Gerolamo’s faithfulness, which seems to have no parallel in this world.
I really hope Primass’ anger will extinguish like his flames, over time.

Now, that we had settled the situation at Cragmaw Castle we heard about that our good old friend Glasstaff could be nearby, already on his way to the Lost Mines. And to settle a dispute with the Black Spider.
And Glasstaff was said to bring an army with him.
Would we be able to use his army? Would we be able to get Glasstaff and the Black Spider into a fight. So, that we afterwards just need to swipe the floor from what was left over? You know how the saying goes: “When two people quarrel, a third one rejoices”.
Let’s find out…

Prismass wrote an invitation on the sky and it did not take long after Glasstaff appeared. We were talking a long time and at the end I have the feeling that he played us well. And there is a dilemma at hand.
We promised Gundren that we will try to save his brothers, clean the Mine and give it back to him and his kin. And we will get a big reward and a share of the mine’s profit. And we can use the magic bound to the forge within the mine to an uncertain amount.
But to get Glasstaff support, in particular his Glasstaff, we had to promise to leave the mine to him. And we agreed on a share … 16% of the treasure for him and 84% for us. And concerning using the magic forge the share was vice-versa.

But if I have to choose with whom I would like to make a deal, I will choose Gundren all the time. And Glasstaff did something to Prismass. He insisted to touch Prismass belt which previously belonged to Glasstaff. And he insisted even if it does not have any effect on the power of the staff.
And on the next day, Prismass did not look like usual. He looked like he is sick. Very strange.

So, if you ask me we will dump Glasstaff after we will have finished our business with the Black Spider.

But before the hard work, we went back to Phendalin to gather with our friends, get some equipment and have some relaxing time. Oh, by the way talking about equipment. I got my mailshirt back and it does not squeak anyore. Now it perfectly fits, thanks to a goblin armorer.

Back in the village, I visited Lady Halia (no, not the mule this time) because I remembered about our last encounter, where I did not find her that boring. We went to the Sleeping Giant, had a short negotiation about our reward – this cheap lady really just wanted to pay half of the reward – and a small compliment and two bottles of blood wine later, we had a great talk.
But not more. Nice, but a little disappointing. Ha, there will always be a next time :)

And talking about disappointment … the Doppelgaenger was coming back to meet Isabell, but now both are gone. No sign and no notice where they headed to. I hope our paths will not cross in the mines and they will find themselves on the opposite side of my blade … would be a pitty.

However, time in the Sleeping Giant was not wasted and I had to chance to get introduced to another fine lady. Her name is Amas and her appearance is like milk and honey. And that’s exactly she tastes like. And she was moving like a cat of prey, quick and flexible.
She was so sweet … but no comparison to Imrodel. For sure not.

Oh yes, I’ve almost forgotten. We visited Magpies and I got something very awesome, a … No, not yet. I will tell you next time.

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Credit to our Dungeon Master

Today, I am talking out of character. Because this is something I need to get off my heart and share with all of you.

I remember when we decided to start playing Dungeon & Dragons with some people at the company.
And there was one guy – Davor, of course – who volunteered to take over as Dungeon Master.
And since then he was creating an engaging, thrilling and motivating environment.
He was there to help everyone to start with creating our characters. Should we use prebuild ones or completely start from scratch? What does each stat mean?
Does it make sense to choose this or that, given the chosen class? What are the general trades of this or that class?
But with all his advice he was always encouraging us to do with our character what we want to do. Go and try. Don’t be afraid of making experiments.

At every session he is creating the world our characters are living in. He helps our imagination to get into the skin of our character and living in this marvelous, mystical and adventureous world of the forgotten realms.
He is giving us challenges which can be deadly but which are still possible to overcome.
Whenever someone of the group comes up with some idea during the game, which looked crazy at first glance, he is willing to give it a try. As long as it sticks to the general rules, of course.

He is not just pushing his story line but listening to what we are doing, even letting us crush his plans and schedule for a particular session. He is patient with some of our silly behaviour even if it means that almost all of his preparations will be in vain.
He is walking this thin line between let loose and keep in charge, perfectly balanced.

Whenever one of us encounters a situation where it is not clear how to do something, he got us. There is nearly no rule he does not know about. And what he does not know, he is quick to find the required information. And in the rare cases that even this does not work, he is open to go with some interpretation for a short time, means the current session.

The group is a great one. But our Dungeon Master is the glue keeping us going back to every new session. And not just getting back, but getting back with this feeling of excitment and curiosity.
What will I experience today? Will my character be able to stay alive? Will we have a deadly encounter? Will we discover some new places? Will we meet new other people? Will there be treasures?

If you will ask me for some evidence why I think that our Dungeon Master is a great one, I would say the following.
That he is able to be present during the whole game, but still letting me forget about that he is telling the story and controlling the whole environment. I am able to immerse in the game.
This is my evidence about his skills, amongst others.

So, I lift my cap and make a deep flamboyent bow. Thank you for all the great moments you’ve given us or letting them happen.

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Heroes fall and Heroes rise again
Though shall learn his lessions and do not repeat his failures

Heroes fell and Heroes raise again

As a group and as individuals we fail but we learn from our failures, so that we will do better next time. This is called experience and a behaviour showing intelligence.
So we recapitulated our last encounter with the Owlbears and know that we should not rush our actions, stay calm and organize and plan our movements first and as good as possible.

As unpleasant the last encounter was, as pleasant was the appearance of Sybille. Her short legs brought her to our group, finally. In this case it was lucky that we got stopped by the Owlbears and their blood sucking friends.
We gave her a short summary of what happened and the only thing she got from was that the mule is wearing dipers and I am the supposed bad guy. I mean we nearly got wiped and ‘Ch wrestled an Owlbear, but a Mule’s diper was the important point for her. Unbelievable!
Still, she is quite nice and cute.

To get over with this attitude I thought it will ease my mind to take the rest of Isabell’s special provision. Ahh, what a relief and pleasure!

Anyways, we were still heading to Cragmaw Castle to do some “business” with Goblins. It did not take long and we found the place. Even partly crumbeld it was a solid fortress and it did not look like it was easy to walk into.
So, our smallest and probably less easy to be recongnized member – of course I am talking about the Tiefling girl, don’t look at me – was sent to check out the Goblin’s hideout.

After a long, long time she came back with some news. She really did a great job, because she discovered three entrances. A side entrance to the South, unfortunately locked. The main entrance at the West, which would be able to be used because the door was not fully intact.
And a secret passage at the North which leads into a storage room (with rotten provisions, just to get you some details).
Oh did I mention that meanwhile ‘Ch and I was killing some time with some tasty booze. An awesome combination … booze and Isabell’s marvellous pouder.

And again, my brain was on fire. Of course the secret entrance sounds the most reasonable. But this is a trap, very obviously. I mean, why do you keep a secret entrance if not luring somebody. The main entrance then.
No, because … it is the Main entrance. Where else would you be expected to enter if not at the Main entrance. Hello-o!

Luckily ’Ch had the brilliant idea to use the locked door. It is locked and thus the most unexpected way to enter the castle. So, I bet on that it will be unguarded and probably unprotected. Hmmm, thinking about betting … probably I could start some kind of service and get rich beyond any imagination?
Buying a whole village to start my enterprise there? I could use some magic to turn the odds to my favor? It is new and it involves magic … I could call it Novomagic!

Sorry, my mind got sidetracked … back to our story again.

So, we had some discussion which way we should go in. With stupid arguments by all the others, except ’Ch. What a brilliant mind! And than another glamorous idea occured from some unexpeted head … Gerolamo suggested to let Lady Halia decide (no, not the Lady Halia of Phendalia, of course).
Lady got three carrots. One carrot for each entrance. And Lady got the carrot which was representing the entrance with the locked door. What a majecstic creature. Of course, it also ate the remaining carrots. I mean, it is still a mule.

It was decided and so we got to the locked entrance, as silent as possible which was an easy task for our skilled group. At the door I took a peek through the keyhole and I saw the Goblins getting ready for some fight.
I don’t know how but something must have alarmed them. Curious!

So, we stood at the door. The Goblins seemed to be aware of some strangers. Thus it seemed to be the appropriate way to knock at the door and introduce ourselves, right? Kind of but not at the particular moment, as it turned out.
Before we knew we got shot with arrows and as quick I can move usually, I was somehow trapped at the stairs and got seriously hit at my shoulder. Everyone else would have got unconscious or would have given away the last breakfast.
But I took it with bravery and like the battle hardened bard I am. But still, I took some cover from furhter projectiles.

Gerolamo created some fog and I do not want to know from where he got that out. But it worked in general and we were not able to be seen within the foggy cloud. It worked as long as Sybille started to run outside the fog’s perimeter right into a big group of Goblins and Hobgoblins.
And they did not hastle along but shot at her and wounded her, deadly. After that the Goblins wanted us to surrender and explain our incitement.
This was the moment when we remembered about Drop, the Goblin we rescued and whom we treaded kindly. So we used him as an excuse why we were there. To visit him and get to know about his well-being.

So, we got into some conversation which ended up into me losing my rapier, mail-shirt and my noble dress. And Gerolamo lost his gems. And the whole group lost a lot of gold. Greedy, bloody bastards.
But what counts was that we were able to get away with seriously wounded Sybille and we got back to our camp.

Hmm… Does this situation remind me to some other? Probably to some recently happened? Ah, no .. what? Of course it does.
Here we were again. We almost got killed, had to flight with the tails between our legs, lost many value items and gold, got humiliated beyond imagination. Broken Heroes.
But Heroes, we still were. At the core our spirits were unbroken.

Back at camp I ate and got to sleep. So, I completely missed Gerolamo’s story about the monkey, the banana and a crane. The next morning I thought that I was fortune to miss Gerolamos speech, just to find out that he started to lecture and patronize me about some Though who got drunk which he should not have been.
Or was he talking about dough … I have no idea.

Anyways, we developed a new plan including to enter at the secret entrance this time. Eager to seek revenge for getting humiliated before we went back to the castle. On the way back I saw a few simple and fast created traps. So, those bastards were awaiting us.
This did not change anything. We will go in their and beat them. But this time one by one and not all of them at once.

To start with ’Ch summoned an invisible creature … at least he explained that to us. Really! All the time an occasions he could have done this and this guy have waited until now! Curse you ’Ch. I really like that you usually behave that strange but this ability would have been extremely handy before.
So, he sent his servant forward and through a curtain, which enabled us to see a small group of Goblins. This should be easy play. Just need to lure them out.
And so … wait. What! No, not again. ’Ch entered the storage room alone and started openening the door to the left by force.
I knew that some mess will start again, put on a scale armored shirt and were yelling some words to my comrades to raise their spirit so that they believe in their abilities.

Again, things were going fast and what I can tell you is that on one side where some hoGoblins and on the other side Goblins. But a cloud of daggers made a quick end with most of the Goblins … stupid bastards.
And Sybille was able to take care of the remaining Goblins. Good girl. I guess know she got into some rythm with her casting.

Gerolamo, Prismas and ’Ch were keeping the hoGoblins at bay until. And then … big drumroll … and now the main antagonist enters the stage. It was King Groll with his wolf. A Bugbear calling himself King. Lousy asshole.
One after the other Hobgoblin fell and one of them were dropping my mail-shirt. Ah, these bastard filthed my trusted piece of protection. I will spit on his corpse later on.

Recongnizing that Sybille was doing fine I decided to join the other fight, jumping toward the last remaining Hobgoblin, swinging Talon at him and … getting out of balance and miscalculating the distance to the creature causing me missing him.
I am so much used to my rapier that the first hit with the longsword always takes my by surprise.

But suddenly this Hobgoblin were of not interest by watching King Groll trying to escape. And even more surprising seeing a Drow. What in the Spider Queen’s name does a Drow have to do with filthy Goblins or a Bugbear?
So I asked him with sign-language and Undercommon but no response. He was looking at me puzzled and thus I want to get him out of his misery. Using Talon the second time, I got used to it’s weight, it’s reach and to wield it with both hands.
I hit the creature hard and immediatle he backed up and surrendered himself. Evenmore it turned out that he was not a Drow but Doppelganger. And even more it turned out that he was Isabell’s brother.
And yes this meant that Isabell is a Doppelganger, too. Awesome! I spent a night with a Doppelganger. This is another line in my book, which will be get underscored and exclamation marks.

But back to business. There was a seriously injured dwarf who got to be treated by Gerolamo. I hope this poor guy did not have to suffer by getting told some boring storie with some shady morale put on.
And we could see King Groll trying to climb down some rumple and running away. But ’Ch shove him from the wall. A great idea to help this bastard break his neck. A stupid idea helping him to get down there even faster.

Anyways, we tried to give our best to catch him or make an end to his miserable life. Prismas and Sybille put out their mightiest spells but he was still able to gain ground. Finally I thought it was time to end playing cat and mouse.
I focused used my muscles in my throat, got my vocal cords to vibrate and producing the most unpleasant, disonant chord I could master. One quick inhale through my nose and I let that sound fly towards King Groll like a cannonball.
Of course he was not able to survive this crushing sound. I can imagine that it must feel like your nerves most explode inside you.

So, here we are. We survived, we got revenge, we had an awesome victory, we will get back our items and more, we finally found and rescued Gundren, did a great favor to wonderful Isabell and cleaned the castle from those nasty Goblins.
Applaudable Heroes we are, again!

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A terrible mess
Wrestling, diapers and lost manhood

After a splendid night with the lovely Isabell and her specialities, I started the day with some small talk to find out that Isabell was willing to trade some of her motivating goodies for a small favor.
She is worrying about her brother and she would like to send him a message that she is caring for him and that she would like to know about his well-faring.

Fully awoken I dressed up and headed to the Inn where I could find good old Prismas and plain Gerolamo. Our other friends were still sleeping after their exhausting encounter with alcohol and some ghouls.
I am sure that the alcohol did the most damage. Those younglings, strong on celebrating but weak on recovering.

After some discussion we decided to go north to look for some troubles. And that we need two horses to carry the treasures which we will gather, definitely.
So we went to Lady Halia to request one horse to carry the expected stuff. After our negotiation we finally agreed on a price for our requested mule.
If there are some people consistent with their plans, then it must be us :)

By the way consistent … It turned out that Lady Halia probably is less boring than expected. She made some indications that she is enjoying the environment of the Sleeping Giant. Sounds like some interesting path to follow.

Finally it were the three of us – the cleric, the sorcerer and me – who started the journey for new adventures. Drat. I was expecting a very, very dull and boring journey. A bookworm and a holy man does not sound fun, does it?
But luckily, I had some of Isabell’s good stuff and a small sniff should do wonders. And it did … but not so much for our mule, I am afraid.

You have to know that it had no name. And it need to have a name, just to call it. And because it is a kind of tradition to give your pet a name.
So we thought that “Lady Halia” would fit, perfectly. You know … stubborn, a bit boring and grey.

Unfortunately it was a male mule and thus Lady would not befit it. So, because my mind was fired with Isabell’s “enhancer”, I was coming up with an easy and fast solution.
Yes, it was the most obvious solution to the naming problem.

I draw my rapier and cut of the trunk and the junk to make it a non-male. I guess I was a little bit too enthusiastic and I cut a bit too deep. So, it ended up as a job for a healer.
I have to admit that Gerolamo did a great job and it is quite a view to look at a mule with diapers. Strangely, the mule did not appreciate his transformation and do not want to go near to me, anymore. Can you guess?

We were able to continue our way. But just before, we were accompanied by ’Ch who was able to catch up with us. What a relief, because I knew that now it will stop of getting a boring journey.
Even if I still do not know what to think about this guy, I find him very interesting and entertaining.

So, after a while we stumbled over some giant bones. And by giant bones, I really mean the bones of a giant. There were two complete skeletons of some giants. And some of the bones were crushed and cracked. Like something big and heavy had stomped on it.
Time for some reckoning. So, we turned to Mistah … and now, I can hear you saying “Wait. That is not possible, because he did not join. Because he was sleeping at the inn.”
And let me tell you, you are wrong … partially.
Yes, he did not join the party. No, he was not sleeping at the Inn but sneaked out of his room. Probably to ease somebody of carrying heavy jewelry or a hefty purse. Or to stab someone from behind. Who knows.

So, there is no one with the ability to move around, unseen. Why not send the bard with the squeaky mailshirt? Yes, why not! Thus I moved in front and through an area where trees were standing close to each other.
And what did I find? Birdies! How cute. And a nest with humongous eggs inside. On the ground, not on the trees. They were too big that any tree to could hold such a nest.
But there were these birdies and I want to lure them down to me. So, I started to whistle and instead of the birdies, Prismas was coming to me. Never guessed that wistling would work on him.

Luckily he arrived to tell me that the birdies were no birdies at all. They were some blood sucking creatures which we should avoid to attract, at any cost. And you, my dear reader, know me good enough to understand that I am always listening to the advice of my subordi … aehm, fellow group members.
So, I stopped whistling and I pointed Prismass to the huge eggs. As we wanted to get close to the nest, the mess started. Suddenly two owlbears appeared. Owlbears! Two!

Everything happened so fast, that I am not able to recall everything what happened. A lot of stepping back and getting hurt from owlbears and trying to shy away the bloodsuckers. But one spectactular view is burned into my mind, forever.
At one time I saw ‘Ch starting to wrestle with an owlbear. A female owlbear to be precise. Yes, you heard it right. This guy was wrestling with a bloody, huge and terrible angry owlbear.
And what shall I tell you … this big guy was able to get a hold on the creature and for a moment it was a standstill.
I’ve never seen any man (or half-orc in this case) wrestling with an owlbear. I mean, the whole idea is somehow out of the mind. But didn’t I tell you that ’Ch is an interesting and entertaining guy.

Full of courage and the will to fight to the death we decided to backup because of pure strategic reason. I mean, there even was an injured mule to take care for. So we were responsible for the poor creature and we could not leave it there alone. Probably ending up as food for the owlbears.
Next time we will get the mule to a save place and then start any fight.
Should we go and pick a bone with the owlbears? I don’t think so. They were defending their eggs and thus it was fully understandable that they were very aggressiv and started attacking us.

What will be next? We will go around their territory and still heading north to see what will happen.

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Payment and rewards
Picked a bone, gained and spent some gold

You remember that I told you that we were victorious at our encounter with those Orcs and the Oger. And that we had two captives to hand over at Phandalin.
But there was a bone to pick with one of those stinkers. But how to do and not to disappoint our Cleric. Not that I care much, but I rather look at him when he is happy.

So, I asked Mistah to somehow distract GiroLamo, but what did I expect? Of course, he failed. But in his failure, his very dramatically failure, he did me a favour though.
This silly, simple-minded man really thought that he saw a Beholder and he was able to convince Geronimo that there really is a Beholder within the Orc camp.
And this was my chance. I knocked one Orc out and gave my full attention to the other one. That one who thought to threaten me. Can you believe that. This lousy creature really thought that he is able to scare me.
My dear reader, you know me. And thus you expected it allready that I will not allow anybody to threaten me. Thus I got close to him and whispered in his ear: “You should know the name of your death. It is Vilhalyth.” And with this words I sliced his throat with Talon.
Again, I could feel the tingling from the sword as it poured the Orc’s blood. Ohhhh, I like that feeling and I hope to get some more Orcs to mow down in future.

When the group wanted to pick up our captives they recognized that one is dead. But it was so easy for me to blame the Beholder for (what a laugh) and to push them to leave before the Beholder will come and make our lives a tragedy.

So, ’Ch picked up the unconscious Orc and we headed to Phandalin. There we turned the beast over to the authorities and got some reward. Nothing special except … our path crossed with a cute Tiefling lady who looked a bit lost and unsecure (but generous and with a pocket foll of gold, as it turned out later on).
If I remember right, her name is Sybille. She has some sad and strange story with her non-tiefling family and most interestingly she was sent to from Captain Jack. I am not quite sure about the agenda but I am not interested into it at the moment, anyway.

And I discovered a new side at our serious brother GiroLamo … even if it is unvoluntarely. He would do great as a court-jester or comedian. It was so hillarious when he told the story about Herjakulator :) But I have to give him this, that it was very convincing. So there he is … the great protagonist, Herjakulator.

After that I have to admit that my memories started to fade the closer we got to evening and midnight. I can remember that brother GiroLamo found his sould match, Daran Edermath. Whenever you think that you found the most serious and boring man in Neverwinter, Daran can beat him single-handedly. Dear reader, this man is so boring that even a corpse will die again from boredom.

What else happened … We had a blast of a time at Stonehill Inn. Mostly because of this great bloodwine and the table-dance of Mistah. You have to admit that he has some awesome moves. After a while I left and went to the Sleeping Giant to check if there is a note from Maledos, which was the case.
She (and I am quite sure, not only she) is satisfied that we took out the slave trade (rest assured, it is not because of huminatrian reasons). But she is still looking for that important piece which would lead my tracks to Thundertree, I guess.
But before that I needed some recreation time and there is no better place for as the Sleeping Giant, in this region. With Imrodel gone, I was looking for another beauty. But none can replace Imrodel. Should I try to find her? I have the strange feeling that she is in trouble and to go and save her would make a great story, wouldn’t it.

Anyways, it was the time to have some fun and I was able to get my share.

The other fellas had some fun … not. Of course they got in trouble and interestingly it somehow was because of GiroLamo’s strange behaviour to stick his nose into business which does not belong to him. It turned out that they were following ’Ch to the cemetery (you know, whatever floats your boat). And what do you expect to find at a cemetery in dark night. Definitely not a jolly party.
Thus they had an encounter with some undead creatures. Usually it would have been a simple task to wipe them out, but they were lacking a fierce, unfrightened bard with all his wits ready.
So, they fought with strength, focus, great skill and abilities. Worth to create songs of their deeds. Hitting each creature after the other with precious. Destroying them with spells of tremedous power and devastation.

Or so would I like to tell you. But it was a mess of stumbling over their own feets, drunken. Getting paralyzed and prone. And shooting magic into the night sky to lighten up the darkness (which I was watching from my room at the Sleeping Giant and where I thought that this was a great spectacle). Luckily they could avoid getting killed and were able to survive the fight.
At least those failed magical shots helped our Cleric to see in the darkness :)

You see, such things happen when those poor adventures get into trouble without their most skilled fighter and trusted supporter … me.

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Furry encounter
Puns, luring and the big beating

After our glorious victory over the Necromancer and his foul, rotten entourage and overcoming those deadly traps, GiroLamo, PrismAss and I got us some break.
I helped cleansing the well and stuck my nose into some historical books and scripts. It was such a great and recreational time.

Of course we got disturbed by the nerdy and creepy new acquaintances of our group, together with ‘Ch (it seems that trouble follows this guy like his shadow … hmm, wait … did I ever see any shadow of him?)
You see, your beloved bard is never able to get some long lasting peaceful moment. But that’s the way I like it, anyway. As patient as I am and as you know me, still I can get bored easily over time.

Yes, they returned back. ‘Ch, Mista and … a horse, pulling a carriage. As it turned out the horse was or is Nafirith. This wicked woman transformed herself into a horse but she had to wait for some time to transform her back.
If this is the general way of transformation or just lack of experience, I can not tell you. But if I have to guess, I would say it’s the second one.

They did not only brought a carriage but a furry creature, too. Her name was Magpis … I vaguely remember some language from some traveler in the Underdark. And this name would have a very funny meaning, in that particular language. Anyway, because of her appearance the field opened for a lot of puns, most of them prefurrably concerning … I guess you get the rest of it, now. And many of furrther time spent was very childish play with words.
You know me and therefore you know that I am too serious for such trivialities.

Important about the guest was … furrst she was wounded. More on this later on. Second she was very attractive and would she not be weakened by her wounds, I would have prefurred to find out about her agility. But after GiroLamo tended to her wounds, we were focused on another of her abilities.
She was adapt with herbs and with brewing potions, even poisons. I guess I know somebody else who would be interested into her, too. Hmmm … two of them … could be very exciting and exhausting at the same time. Ah, stop that day-dreaming!

Luckily we could ask her to sell some of her potions and prepare some drink to let you fly … no, not those kind of drinks. I mean such one which makes you literally fly. And we got it for a great discount. If you would have been on her best vital state, I guess I could have had her granting us an even greater discount.

Oh, yes … I promised to get back to the fact that this smoking hot cat-lady was wounded. I learned that she got stabbed by Mista because he shat his pants after looking into her eyes. Interestingly he stabbed her from behind. Interestingly but not surprisingly. I don’t know if this guy is stupid or dangerous. But because I can not tell, I am considering him as dangerous. And I will not turn my back to him at any time. Better keeping an eye or both on him.

Fortunately we had a pleasant and undisturbed night (even if I would have loved to have some kind of disturbance … perhaps next time). And in the mornign Magpis had her potion ready and we decided that PrismAss and the horse will bring Magpis back to Phandalin, safely. Meanwhile the four of us will take care about some Orks, harassing nearby miners – not to forget about an involved magical forge.

So the merry band walked to the direction where those Orcs have seen last time. And it took not so long when we discovered a mass of rocks … the educated readers amongst you would have recognized them as Wyvern Tor. And there was a single Orc patrolling. Obviously he was not alone, but there was smoke coming out amidst from the rocks.
As you might know our usual strategy you would think that we would start running towards this Orc guard and yelling at him from the top of our lungs. But not this time. This time we were playing smart. I mean I am smart and the others were playing like so. Thus we came up with a plan to lure the Orc towards our position to capture and tor…ahm…interrogate him.

Thanks to my brilliant mastering my voice and a short introduction into a few orcish words, I was able to call to the Orc pretending to be an orcish lady … no, there is not such thing … so, pretending to be an orcish cooch. Of course this dump creature got the bait and moved towards us.
The plan was working until he stood in front of ’Ch and us. And I have to say, for an Orc he got a good grasp of what was going on, pretty fast. Faster than ’Ch because the Orc hit him with a nasty axe at the chest. But we put a fast end to this and knocked the stinker unconscious.

After GiroLamo woke him up very gently we started to ask him about the camp. So ‘Ch started to ask him because he is the only one in our group able to speak this harsh, nasty language (no style, definitely). And it looked like he could establish some connection … probably because he is an half-orc.
Later we found out that the Orc can speak Common and that he despite ’Ch … you see, it is very difficult to interpret the mood of a foreign culture.
So, it was not such a surprise that our captive did not want to tell us anything. And our suspicious Mista wanted to kill the creature immediately, of course. Thus there was some fast growing tension within our group. But I kept a cool head and everybody was calming down, finally. And we had to promise to our priest that we will not kill the Orc.
The next attempt of interrogation was not going any way better and this stinking, dumb fuck of a piece of shit started to take it to a personal level. Oh yes, and he was still lying like hell.
Playing nice was done. I threatend him to cut his Achilles’ tendon if he won’t start telling the truth. First he refused. After the first cut into his heel, he started talking. After the second cut he starting talking the truth. But I am not that cruel. I did not cut his tendon only through the skin, perhaps scratching the tendon. And in worst case he has a second leg, doesn’t he.

Some when in between this interrogation somebody told the Orc that we are called Confurrence of fools … completely and utterly nonsense, completely.

Now we got the information that there is a second entrance at the back side and that there are six Orcs and a massive, brutal Ogre. After a good whack at his head, the Orc was send to Sehanine Moonbow’s realm (not that she would except such a creature). And believe me, I do not forget about the thing he started with me and there will be some bone to pick with him.

But right after the talk, it was time for Mista to get into the cave to confirm what this stinker has said. The time we were waiting for Mista’s report was used to cure ’Ch’s wound. Mista was able to partly confirm what we heard, previously. Even spicing the information up with something about an Elite-Orc (whatever this might be).
So some planning was required … again, we would disappoint all of you thinking that we would like to run into a narrow, cavelike environment and fight some unpre… I mean battle-hardened foes. Unfortunately those creatures got inpatient about their missing comrade and started yelling after him.
Luckily we had one able to speak orcish and I knew how dumb folded this creatures are. So, what worked the first time will work a second time … right. But this time we started to make them interested into … a pile of turd. Yes, you got it. A pile of turd.

But again, we were not thinking the whole thing through and we ended up with three angry Orcs yelling alert and soon after we were facing three more battle-ready Orcs and soon after that a monstrous (what else) Ogre was showing up.
They might have been battle-ready but we are an extremely skilled group of adventurers. The Orcs fell like flies and the Ogre was dumb like bread and almost missing most of his hits. Even dumb enough to play chasing with ‘Ch.
But there was one important moment during our fight. You know that I do not pay much appreciation to the longsword I posses. Don’t get me wrong. It is very beautiful and I know it is magical sword. But usually I do much better with a rapier. And therefore the rapier is my first choice. But this time a voice in my head was asking me to use the talon, instead.
And what shall I tell you … it was a brilliant advice. This sword and Orcs are going great together. In a way that it cuts into those bodies and splits bones like they were thin branches. And it starts tingling and almost singing while it is doing it’s lethal and bloody work. It was such a sensation that I can not wait for the next time fighting Orcs again. You could say that I am addicted to cut down Orcs by wielding this piece of metal death.

And, I have to admit that I can see that there is more within Mista than just being a coward. He earned some of my respect by taking the risk of reconnaissance. And he also fought very well and he took a very hard hit from the Ogre … and survived.

Again, victory was ours. And we have one, I mean, two Orcs still alive to get them to the miners. And there the miners can do with them whatever they want to do. And we can get our reward. Perhaps there will be some more, because we brought them some living stock.
But first, we will check out their camp and see what kind of goodies we will find.

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Puzzles and traps
Between getting killed by tedium and machinery

After a tough fight with the Necromancer, who could still be alive if it was not for some “delighted” cleric … thinking about, the whole fight would not be necessary if it was not for some “delighted” cleric …
Anyways, so after that tough fight I was ready for food and a good nap.

But first we need to have a talk with ‘Ch. Our blinder-wearing cleric wanted to accuse him for being some kind of a demon loving guy, because we heared him chanting to Orkus. Admittedly, that’s probably not a good sign.
But who am I to judge somebody because of cheering to any kind of god. Or demon. All those things are the same if it comes to me.
No, more important was to let ’Ch know that we act and especially fight as team. And just him having some time in the tent while we were facing a horde of undead, was not something we like to approve. Thus we asked him to coordinate his moves and thoughts during battle.
You know … Conversation, conversation, conversation.

After getting this elephant out of the room, I was still ready for food and a good nap. Even more so, I would like to say.

But no, there were still plenty of paper to read within the tent. The mixture of magic wielding and basically curious people brought us to read them. And what shall I tell you. What a gibberish. Why can’t those wizards, sorcerers and so called intellectual people not just directly say what the mean.
I mean real, straight forward instructions.
So now it was time of puzzling and word deciphering, instead of eating and sleeping.

At first, I was not so much interested into this puzzle solving. But lucky for my subordinates … √§hm, comrades … I meant, lucky for us … I paid attention for a short moment. And so I was able to give the essential hint to solve the whole mumble-jumble.
Yes, your beloved bard is not only the skilled, live saving sword-wielder but also the very cunning and intelligent thought-wielder. So, I am a thourd-wielder.

And by the way, I was served with some food. Not the best but not the worst either. By whom? Frankly, I have no idea. It just was there and I was hungry.

Ok, let’s continue. The puzzle was solved and the result was … an instruction (you see my point from before about just putting things simple). Solving the puzzle also gave me a possibility to show my fellow comrades about my tremendous knowledge of history. Telling them about an ancient civilization. The empire of Netheril. And after killing thousands of owlbears that place was becoming an outpost for the Terraseer.
But I’m drifting again … so back to what happened.

We followed the instruction and we made a door in the ground make to appear. And what is a door good for if not to open (yes, you are right it is also good to lock somebody out or in, for good reason). Nevertheless we opened the door and climbed down the ladder. At first glance nothing was down there. Just a small room and … a hallway leading into darkness.
Interesstingly there were torches at the wall, but they were not lit. By the way talking about darkness … wait, I still need to lough thinking about how hillarious it was. Our enlighted cleric is afraid of darkness because he can see nothing in the dark. He really wanted to start some light in an unknown dark environment. Can you imagine such foolness? Sometimes he is just such a child :)

So, to make him a bit more comfortable I thought it would be great to light the torches. Great idea, indeed. If there would not have been an asshole mounting some traps in the hallway. But not just traps but deadly traps. A set of some rotating blades, moving faster and faster every time they were coming back. Let me tell you, it was nerve-wrecking. I mean, fighting against an enemy is something I can do without breaking sweat. But those things?
How to kill some machinery, right.
But we kept on hitting them and finally we broke them. Oh, did I forget to mention that all that time we were beating those blades and nearly got killed at the attempt, there was a thumping noise. Like something extremely heavy was dropping at the ground. Several times in short sequence. And about half way down the hallway we could even see what it was – sorry, not really we. Because our mole of a cleric is still blind in the darkness :)
There were pillars of stone smashing from above and making mash out of whatever was unlucky to went under them. But with fast movement, quick reflexes and great courage we managed to get to end of this deadly trap and we were safe. So we thought.

Not enough that there were mechanical traps. No, there had to be a magical one, too. What the hell was going on?
But you how the saying is going … consistency and perseverance counts. Finally we destroyed the magical item which tried to push us back to the stone pillars, over and over again.

After our close fight with the Necromancer and his rotten friends we had another almost deadly encounter. Seems that we can not cath a break, can we.
At least I got some great treasure. A pair of gauntlet which will become handy in future and a tremendous ring which will help me to lift the spirit of my comrads in time of despair. I think it is just the proper kind of payment for your outrageous and eloquent bard (Master of sound and voice)

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Strange meat, strange creatures and a strange teammate
An olfactory story

Hello, my dear reader!
You know that you should listen to the advice of your family and friends. But sometimes you have to do whatever is able to satisfy your curiosity.
So I had to get a taste of roasted, fiendish Deathdog meat. Of course it could have given me a bad stomach or perhaps much worse things.
But I can tell you, it is tasty. You can’t compare it to anything you are used to. And yes, it does not help you in case you want to sneak up to somebody. At least, you have to be careful about the wind direction ;)

But let me tell you, the body odor given by Deathdog meat is nothing compared against the stink from our newest encounter. The Underdark is a place of many scents. Even very uncomfortable ones. So, I am used to a lot of bad smells.
But there is not much, stinking worse than Undead do. Their smell is even worse than their look.
And when we got closer to the old ruins of that tower, I could feel a sharp sting starting within my nose going into my brain.
And I immediately knew what this means. There are Undead. A LOT of Undead.
Furthermore, as we found out, they were not alone but were accompanied by their master. A Necromancer.
I mean, how crazy do you have to be to decide to become a wizard or mage. Playing around with all that devastating power. But then, becoming a Necromancer. A whole new level of madness.

But you know how the common human people say. You have to fight fire with fire. So, luckily we had our own fire with us :) We have a wizard of our own. A fire wizard!
And Prismass made a fast end to the leader of that rotten pack.

Oh, and previously speaking of body odor and unpleasant olfaction. What stench Gerolamo must have had, that even the Undead backed away from him :D
I fully trust within the fighting capabilities of my teammates and especially within my own. But I will admit that the Undead fleeing Gerolamo saved our asses for this time.

I like how everyone in our grandiose group fought at his best level and with great bravery.
Hmmm … did I say everyone?

No, not everyone. Because one of us’ch thought that it might be an awesome idea’ch, to enter a cozy tent’ch and start reading. I hope that our fighting noise, chanting and spellcasting did not disturbe him that much. I would be very sorry to know that we might have ruined his recreation time.
This was strange. As strange as the whole person. Half orc and half elf. Can you imagine that? Usually my gut feeling would tell me to stay away from him.
But I am afraid, my curiosity will have the upper the hand … again. And, there is something in his eyes. Some pain, some sadness. I am sure there is an interesting story to tell.

The end? Ah, the outcome of the fight. Didn’t I told you, already? No. I am sorry.
As mentioned our wizard did not only smoked the robes of the Necromancer but he burned him to death. And I mean permanent death. Gerolamo did, whatever he thinks that this imaginary entity wants him to do. So, he beat as many Undead to the ground as he could.
And Mastah finished them whenever they were not finally done. Yes, he was sneaking around but that’s they way he does and it perfectly works for him. And finally for us all.

Me? Oh, I was staying calm and relaxed. The way I am always behave. I was making a few jokes, inspiring my friends, cursing and mocking my enemies and time by time striking some deadly blows.
You already know me, my dear reader. The humbled man I am, I don’t want to take all the glory and honor for myself. Thus, I am not single-handedly crushing the enemy but step back and let some of them and the associanted fame to my comrades.

Yes, we prevailed over the Necromancer and his dull, unworthy servants. Of course!

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I have the Power!
Still, I am stupid

So many years I’ve traveled, sung, played instruments, fought, trunk and f…ound cozy time with … ladies. But only recently, I recognized what it really means to be me.
I’ve always thought that I am more of a lone wolf, not willing to take care for others. Or being more interested as for where I could get my next intoxication.

But it happened that I found a group of funny fellows. Randomly mixed together, as life is doing such things, usually. And believe me, I could not have been more less concerned about each of them. I mean, there has even a priest joined in, recently.
Someone who believes that some invisible entity grants him some kind of strength or power. Or that it is guiding him in some way. Come on, not even when I am completely wasted I could come up with such crazy sh…tory.

But at our last and still lasting adventure, something happened. Suddenly, I felt connected to them. And during our lethal encounter with some extremely nasty and dangerous Deathdogs – where it luckily turned out that the encounter was lethal for the dogs, finally – I recognized that I do care about them.
And while caring about them I felt that my songs become more powerful. I am able to encourage my teammates and grant them power to attack more fierce or defend themselves more effective.

As said, now I know what it means to be me. What defines a good bard.
And now I know, that I will become one of the greatest bards in the Forgotten Realms, if not the greatest. In future other bards will tell and sing stories about me. I will inspire other young men to follow my paths and even leave their own marks.
And thus the bardic torch will be handed over from generation to generation, still.

But saying this, I also know that I am currently just at the beginning of my potential. Now I’m recognizing how much I have to learn, still. But I will never tell this to my comrades, of course. To them I will always show the cocky and confident face, they are used to.
Perhaps somewhen, I will let them know how much I really care about them. And how much they helped me to become the great bard, I will be.

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