Noredenwald in Hesgran

A dream

Carella has a bad dream in the bugbear lair.

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Peril's Journal - January 1, 913

I have had an epiphany.

I’m no longer a good little person.

For all the terror of dying and the aftermath of that, the truth is that a settled life is not for me. Home, hearth, pipe-weed, ale, good food – all of these I still love; but, the lure of the open road and unimaginable danger is too great for me. What would my family think of me now? I cannot imagine!

I shall remain with the companions. I’ll dig a small hole outside of Thigmulf to be my home when we’re not adventuring, but I will remain their burglar. They are honorable and a tight knit group who value honor and loyalty more that one’s past or origins. I can make them my surrogate family.

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Peril's Journal - November 13, 912

I died.

In a warren below the city of Horelkholm in the Jarldom of Estragg, we fought the Kuo-Toa. The dark foreigner priest Ninu was Held. We were in danger of death, so I pushed forward and tried to slay their leader. It was a foolish move. Not only did I not succeed, but I was surrounded by foes and struck down in short order.

After the battle, which my companions found a way to win, Ninu found a way to raise me from death, but I was truly dead. A very profound experience.

I question whether this life of adventuring is the right path for me.

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Carella's Journal- November 13, 912

I believe that for the rest of my life I will look back on yesterday as one of the most pivotal days of my existence. For the first time I was placed in a scenario I hope to never again face. We were not faring well in battle. Peril and Ninu were both unconscious,and Astrid was injured. My choice was to use a fireball to end the fight, knowing Peril would be subject to its effects or to hope for the best while we continued on in our usual way. I chose the Fireball. I killed Peril. Mentally I understand that he was moments from death due to his injuries but emotionally I can’t help but feel responsible. It was my spell, not his injuries that took his life. By the grace of all that is good we found a cleric scroll with a spell Ninu was able to use to resurrect him. I am overjoyed to of not lost another of our party but my soul and spirit remain crushed. I find it hard to be around others now without feeling ashamed.

I’ve become quite fond of Peril. Perhaps that has something to do with the way I am feeling now. I’ve liked him from the moment he joined our party. He’s bright, funny, and his stories live up to the reputation of Halfling stories. He has proven to be a valuable member of our team as well. I do hope he will decide to stay with us on a permanent basis.

Astrid has been full of surprises. I am unsure as of yet if she will remain with her father or come back to the Holds with us. She has not been with us for long but from what I see in her I do not think she could ever be happy settling here and sitting still. Either way, she will always be welcome with us.

Ninu is a good man and a good friend. He has changed drastically since his first days with us. Then again It could be me that has changed. Or circumstances. When we first met hi, Hera and Booromir had only just set out on their own journey and shortly after Ninu’s arrival we lost Thork and Dursmet. Perhaps I let grief color my views of the then newcomer. It saddens me to think that his days with us may soon be coming to an end. If he does decide to leave us, I hope fate will allow our journys to share the same path again.

I do look forward to our journey home. I loved traveling through the snow to get here and look forward to its invigoratingly cool bite again.

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Ninu's Journal - November 28, 912

As translated by the sage bin-Alardin

We have returned to Thigmulf. Neff and Agrat report that there is no word of Hera and Boromir. I confess that I am anxious to meet these people of whom I have heard so much. I also harbor a professional interest in discussing theology with Boromir.

Carella has said that she intends to spend a great deal of time in her laboratory doing spell research, and has asked that she only be disturbed if Hera and Boromir return.

Peril has suggested that he may seek permission to build a “proper, modest hole” – which I understand to mean a house, in the fashion of his kind – from the lord of this place, one Finnbogi the Freakish.

I confess that I am unsure of my path from here. Should I remain with these companions? Should I return to Alash? Should I set out on journeys of my own? I am not wise enough yet to say. Perhaps as events unfold, I shall find clarity.

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Ninu's Journal - November 19. 912

As translated by the sage bin-Alardin

We have spent the last week resting at Grovann’s Hall. It is clear to me that Astrid and her father love each other very, very much. It is also clear, that Carella was somehow offended by Grovann, though whatever the slight, it must have occured while I was unconscious. She hasn’t been rude or ungracious in any way, there is just a certain set to her spine when Grovann is in the room.

I have learned about the Staff of the Olvenwald, as it is called. It turns out that several generations ago, Astrid’s ancestor was a wizard who helped seal an interdimensional portal in the Olvenwald, thus protecting the very, very shy elves who live there – the Grugach. The Staff, it turns out, it the key to the portal. As long as it is the possession of the eldest male in Astrid’s family, the portal will remain locked. It seems the goddess of the fish-creatures (who are called Kuo-Toa) is insane and bent on revenge against the Elves, so she sent her minions to try to open an interdimensional portal to the outer planes, just to bring misery and suffering to one small tribe of reclusive Elves. . . .

Tomorrow, we set out for Thigmulf. I confess that I will be glad to leave this town and return to the Holds of the Free Lords. I cannot speak for the rest of this realm, of course, but judging from Horelkholm, the plight of the average subject of the Jarl is desperate, indeed. The Holds are far from wealthy, but at least the people are free.

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Ninu's Journal - November 13, 912

As translated by the sage bin-Alardin

I am forever in the debt of the two women of this group, most especially Carella.

Yesterday morning, before the time of the sunrise, which comes very late in these lands at this time of year, we reached the Hall of Astrid’s father. We knew right away that something was amiss, for no torches burned, no guards stood at the gate, and the doors were broken and sagging. Venturing inside, we found the hall ransacked and several corpses lying among the wreckage. One of the bodies turned out to still be alive, barely. He was one of Grovann’s men. He told us that foul creatures had raided Grovann’s Hall and taken him and a staff that he owned. Astrid seemed surprised that they had taken the staff, for she deemed that it was only an otherwise worthless family keepsake. We also found ha elecheyyim ruchar (the ravening dead), which these Northern folk know as wights. Her father’s retainer was able to tell us where he believed these mindless cratures had taken her father, then he died.

We set out, determined to rescue her father. We entered a subterranean complex along the shore of the nameless bay that separates Horelkholm and Varedulf. The very first creatures that we encountered were two more of the ha elecheyyim ruchar, and they were nearly our undoing. One of them struck me and robbed my of some of my life energy. At the same time, Astrid lost her footing and broke her ankle. With great difficulty, we won that fight and I healed Astrid, but not before destroying both my mace and my flail. Astrid loaned me one of her flails so that I would not be defenseless. I had two charges remaining on the Ring of Restoration I had been given years ago, when the ha elecheyyim ruchar attacked the Temple of Thunder and Sun in Ramman, so I used one of those charges on myself. I would not done so, but the drain of the elecheyyim ruchar had robbed me of the ability to summon enough manna to heal Astrid, and without her, we would all have died. I depleted much of my store of manna curing Astrid’s broken ankle, so Carella gave me some healing potions she had been saving, which helped restore me.

We journeyed on, and destroyed a few more of the ha elecheyyim ruchar. At length we found a cell where one of Grovann’s men was still held captive. He indicated that some sort of fish-men had taken Grovann elsewhere, so we journeyed on, and descended into a level below the one we had just cleared.

Below, we encountered the fish-men. Some were relatively weak, but others were mighty. Eventually, we found their leader, flanked by two guards and two more elecheyyim ruchar. I lost consciousness in the fight. When I came to, the fight was over, Grovann had been rescued and we were back in Grovann’s Hall, though the little half-man, Peril, was slain. They told me that I had damaged Astrid’s flail and fallen to my knees, while three of the fish-men attacked me. They struck me down, but not quite unto death. Carella cast one of her magical webs on the creatures, which trapped them, then Astrid dragged me out of the room. Peril was trapped behind the webs. Carella cast a Fireball spell which ended the battle, but killed Peril. Fortunately, among the booty that the fish creatures had accumulated was a scroll with the incantation required to Raise Dead. I was able, in spite of my own weakness, to raise Peril from his death.

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Ninu's Journal - November 6, 912

As translated by the sage bin-Alardin

Ice and snow. That’s what they call this miserable, bone-achingly cold stuff that falls from the sky and accumulates on the ground in place of rain in these bitterly frigid months after summer has died. I hate this foul weather!

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Ninu's Journal - November 5, 912

As translated by the sage bin-Alardin

One day. That’s all the rest we seem to be willing to accept. Astrid has been anxious since Varedulf, and has indicated that she is going to return to her father’s hall in Horelkholm to be reconciled to him, for she had run away to escape an arranged marriage. (That is a wonder in itself! In my lands, such a daughter would be caught and killed for her dishonor to the family and tribe, but in these northern lands independence is prized, and willfulness, even from a daughter, is taken in stride – even admired.)

Carella and Peril have agreed to accompany her, as have I. Agrat and Neff, an unlikely duo (a half-elf and half-orc!), seem to be becoming friends. They have elected to remain in Thigmulf and await any tidings of Boromir and Hera.

So today, we set out back toward Varedulf and beyond, to Grovann’s Hall in Horelkholm.

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Ninu's Journal - October 22, 912

As translated by the sage bin-Alardin

We left Varedulf this morning and are journeying to the home of my companions in Thigmulf. They have been granted the right to build a house in that city, which should be complete by the time we arrive. The only actual owners of the house who are with us at this point are Carella and Neff, as Boromir and Hera are travelling in the North, and Dursmet and Thork are dead.

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