Noredenwald in Hesgran

Dursmet's Journal - March 28, 913

This afternoon, after fits, starts, and doubling back on our own course, we finally found the lair of the bugbears. It seems they’ve been living in some sort of abandoned Drow outpost. Just inside the door, we found an illusory wall, and behind it, four bugbear guards were waiting to attack us from behind after we passed. The joke was on them, though. Several of our company saw through the illusion. It was a short and ugly fight.

As we journeyed through the complex, we found our way to a drow altar. The demon queen Lolth briefly appeared, and we found Inwe knocked unconscious and Neff slain outright. Boromir was able to resurrect Neff and, after allowing Inwe to regain consciousness, we journeyed on. We fought some drow, but they seemed to be visitors, not actual inhabitants of this strange complex. We found bugbears starving to death. And we found some that had starved and had become food for their brethren. Typical stinking goblinoid behavior. Vile bastards!

At length, we descended into the lower level, where we found the chief of the bugbears in some sort of negotiation with a drow priestess and her followers. We may have disrupted those negitiations somewhat. You know, since it is difficult to negotiate when you’ve a battle axe embedded in your spleen. The drow priestess disappeared, but the rest of the drow and the bugbears fell before our onslaught. In a cage in the corner of the great chamber, we found Rodvik. Abused and weak, he is nonetheless alive. We never found any more trace of the drow priestess. Whether she hides somewhere in these halls or has devised some means of escape, I can’t say. All I can say is that we intend to rest here tonight and begin our journey back to Gardr tomorrow, to restore Rodvik to the rule of his town. I only hope we arrive ahead of the Buurten army.

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Dursmet's Journal - March 27, 913

Today, we stumbled on a Buurten war patrol. Their leader demanded that we halt, yada, yada, yada. Apparently, Neff was tired of talking, because he shot the bastard right in the head. I like his style; not too bad for a pointy-ear (must come from his human half). Downright hasty, really.

Well, none of us was expecting him to take such direct action, so a lot of us just kind of stood there in shock for a few seconds. Bedlam ensued. We killed 9 and drove off 2 more. I guess those particular Buurtens are probably wishing they had stayed home.

It is a little disturbing to see a Buurten platrol this far to the south and east, though. It can only be a matter of time before the Lendmann lays seige to Gardr. If he can take Gardr, he’ll control Akri and Gardr on the Eastern frontier and his supply lines through the Pass of Spirits will be secure. From there, he can pick off the outlying Holds at his leisure, then mop up Torkellr and Therlene at his leisure, once they’re isolated. I sure hope Rodstaff has something up his sleeve, or we’re going to end up backing the wrong cave lizard.

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Dursmet's Journal - March 26, 913

That was a damned big animal.

As we descended from the mountains into the basin, we found ourselves face to face with a huge creature with wooly hair, a long trunk and enormous tusks. I think I heard Carella call it a masto-something. Anyway, the damn thing was hard to kill. With difficulty, we finally managed to put the beast down.

Gods, I hope I never have to face the like of that thing ever again!

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Dursmet's Journal - March 25, 913

Why do I get the feeling we’re just floundering around, with no idea where we need to go? Oh, I know. It’s because we’re just floundering around with no idea of where we need to go.

Yesterday we climbed up into the mountains, but we still have seen no sign of our quarry. There’s a lot of discussion among us as to what is the best next step. Most of the group feels that we’ve travelled to far to the East. We are debating descending to the North into the basin there.

I hope we can figure out what in the name of Carellan Larethian’s twinkly little toes we need to do soon.

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Dursmet's Journal - March 22

We’ve been travelling generally to the southeast, due to a sighting reported to us in a village two days ago. This afternoon, we got into the hills. I miss the rocky, rugged hills of Gorzakkanek. Except for the stars being completely different and there being no stronghold within an hundred or more miles (I actually don’t even know where the closest stronghold lies!), these hills remind me of my childhood home. I know it is lost forever; part of an alternate reality to which we can never return. I know I would likely never return to it even if there were opportunity. Nonetheless, these hills make me nostalgic for Gorzakkanek’s basalt galleries and forges.

Hmm. I’m starting to sound as maudlin as an elf. I’d better get to sleep.

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Dursmet's Journal - March 19, 913

Today, we arrived at Gardr. Our company was ushered into the hall of Rodvik, where we were brought to the commander of Rodvik’s forces, a human named Smurrik Weeping-Eye.

Smurrik informed us that the creatures that took Rodvik were bugbears. I reckon we’ll find his gnawed bones somewhere along the way; bugbears are known to eat their captives. Any way, Smurrik indicated that the bugbears left Gardr headed in a generally eastward direction. Tomorrow, we’ll set out against them.

As a lad in Gorzakkanek, I remember some of the grizzled warriors talking in the halls about bugbear raiders in the underdark. They’re fearsome beasts seven feet in height, and quite strong. They’re related to goblins and hobgoblins, but much larger with much less order and cohesion in their society. We may well be in for a fight.

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Dursmet's Journal - March 17, 913

Moradin’s iron testacles! I had forgotten how utterly evil watercraft are. We’ve been sailing down the Essn River. I’m pretty sure my damned liver is turned inside out with the bile I’ve been spewing over the rail.

Anyway, all evil eventually ends. We beeched the longboat today and tomorrow, we set out to the Northeast and should be in Gardr day after tomorrow.

Some of my company, the ones who weren’t busily retching up every scrap of food they’ve eaten since their infancy, reported seeing devil dogs on the shoreline earlier this morning. I hope we can avoid that kind of unpleasantness on our way to Gardr. We’re certain to face combat sooner or later, but I see no need to start fighting before we’ve even picked up the kidnappers’ trail.

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Dursmet's Journal - March 16, 913

Looks like we’re going to be getting back to it.

This evening, while we were enjoying our evening feast, one of Rodstaff’s men – Eddval Fjorlvarssen – arrived at our hall. He informed us that the lord of Gardr, Rodvik the Good, was abducted right from his bedroom. Guess who’s been elected to go find the man and bail his bohunks out of the fire? You guessed it, “Call the Companions.”

Anyway, the long and the short of it was that the Lendmann of Buurte has begun moving troops down out of the Pass of Spirits to the Northeast and has taken control of the town of Akri. That being the case, Rodstaff can’t spare a ti of his warriors to rescue Rodvik.

Apparently, that wasn’t enough weirdness and excitement, because the soothsaying witch Freydis was with Eddval, and she stepped forward and spoke the following riddle:

“Mind many men’s meager measure
Thought through, though thinkly.
An adversary advances apace
Even the elves eschew.

“Beneath brown dust deceiving
Statecraft struggle seeming
Your enemy seeks to misdirect.”

With that complete jibberish, we settled down for the night. It seems that tomorrow morning we are off to Gardr to try and pick up the trail of Rodvik’s abductors.

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Dursmet's Journal - February 10, 913

Eh, that was strange.

Last thing I remember was charging up the stairs to kill the bastard who cut off Thork’s head. Next thing I know, I’m waking up in a circular chamber with 36 doors. Apparently the pirate got my head, too. Figures. Anyway, a little flying elephant thingy starts talking inside my head (and I guess Thork’s, too – he was there) telling me that I should be in the land of the dead, but that Carella wouldn’t let me “cross over” whatever in the name of Moradin’s iron left gonad that means. So then, we have to do some kind of mission. I don’t really understand what happened. We died a few more times, and eventually woke to find Boromir standing over us with that hammer of his.

All I have to say is I’d just as soon not ever do that again!

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Boromir's Journal - February 9, 913

My lord Thor has returned my sweet Hera and me to our adopted home. We are pleased to see that our new home is complete! We are even more pleased to see our friends, but our hearts are heavy to learn of the deaths of Dursmet and Thork.

Carella has asked me to bring back Dursmet and Neff has asked me to bring back Thork. Of course I will do these things for my beloved companions.

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