The journal of Luciana Silterphan
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Journal of Luciana Silterphan

I start this journal to record my journeys on the new continent. My colleagues, Arnold and Lorien, and myself decided to travel here for the easy riches rumoured to be available following the re-discovery of Cyls Lendir.

We arrived in a country called Menrifatania after a six week voyage. The country appeared to have a druidic religion though we did find a church run by armoured priests in the capital Menrif.

Discussions with these priests revealed two possible opportunities, as Skelgon to the north and Cyls Lendir to the north west are at war. Skelgon is a nation of borgs. From what I can gather, they are dwarves, but have less affinity to living underground than those back home. The people of Cyls Lendir are elves on the other hand, and as our consensus was that we would rather work with elves than dwarves, we would travel to Cyls Lendir.

On the journey there we stopped at a guard fort at a fork a river. Apparently there is a chain of these on the local trade route and were set up during the reclamation of Cyls Lendir. The present government is family based, and those who built this fort were part of that family. Apparently there is also such guard posts throughout Cyls Lendir, which appears to be a mainly forest nation.

As our clothing made us stand out as being from far afield, some of us bought new clothes on our arrival in Cyls Lendir (The town not the country). We booked into an inn for the evening before exploring the town. A strange ring of trees in the centre of the town attracted our interest and when we slipped through the trees we found a church in their centre.

As the door was ajar I crept forward to investigate. I heard two people talking inside. They were concerned about someone who is missing, believed kidnapped. I hid in the shadows when they finished, but only one person left the church, locking the door when he left. As the windows were high, I gave myself the ability to fly so I could look through them. Inside the church it was dark, but I could see normal church adornments, an alter and pews, as well as stairs going downwards. There was no sign of the second individual and the windows were barred so I felt it inappropriate to investigate further at this time.

Shortly after we returned to the inn, a man entered and pointed to a dozen people, including ourselves. We were led to a guard house where we were informed that volunteers were being sought to rescue a local commander who had been kidnapped while on a mission to the southern borders of a land apparently involving a people or place called the pirates of Penzance. We learned that we would be able to make the journey by magical means, with the assistance of men from the red isle. We were also informed that our new employers name was Darvo. I negotiated a pay of 200gp/day and was told it would be a two day mission.

We met the following day at the church in the centre of the town. Darvo had a companion and there was another ten individuals he had employed. When everyone had assembled we were asked to step into a circle engraved in the floor. A moment later we found ourselves standing in open countryside and a few minutes later our horses arrived too.

We headed north west towards a camp Darvo knew about, and arrive there shortly afterwards. I was able to determine from Junstar (Darvos companion) that it would take three to four weeks on foot to travel here from the church.

The camp was encircled by a hastily built wooden stockade approximately 100 feet across, a testament to the area being in a state of war. I suggested the company should be fitted out in more appropriate clothing for the locality and Darvo promised to make suitable arraignments.

In the inn Darvo met with a half elven individual named Dilic. They spoke and Darvo said that ‘the council’ had discussed the situation and were concerned that if they conceded to the demands similar situations may occur. Dilic said that the war here was progressing badly, as the enemy appeared to have very good intelligence, perhaps even a spy.

We also found more details relevant to the task we were being employed to do. The person who was kidnapped was called Crylan, and he was a member of the same family as Darvo. He was a commander of the army here but had been unlucky over the past six months. He was captured in an ambush which had all the hallmarks of the enemy having been expecting him there. A ransom demand had been received from someone called Diwr Nach.

War map
War map

We headed towards the border, which appeared only lightly defended. During discussions over the scouting arrangements, Junster suggested that he could make someone invisible, and another member of the group called Shubat suggested transforming himself into a bird. Eventually it was decided that Lorien and myself would scout ahead but that any special powers the group has should be kept until really needed.

It was dark by the time we reached the area of the enemy fort, but the consensus of opinion was that we should at least investigate what lay before us. Junster made Lorien invisible, and I made myself invisible as well as giving myself the ability to fly.

While Lorien attempted to creep in through one of the gateways I scouted from above. The fort consisted of an outer stockade 300 yards across with an inner stockade 100 yards across. There was a large number of tents in the outer area.

Enemy camp
Enemy camp

The inner area contained several buildings, mostly of wood. There was a long building which seemed to be used as an eating area, a tavern as well as storage and accommodation buildings. There was also a large stone building in the centre. It had a hide roof, but no windows. It could be seen through the doorway that there was a large fire inside but a cloth drape obscured the view inside. T obtain a view inside the building I cut a small hole in the roof. Inside could be seen four chairs, all occupied by warriors. There was also female entertainment taking place. As it was obvious that there was another area behind another curtain I made a further cut in another area of the roof. From there it was obvious that a stone wall had been hidden behind the curtain in the large room. In the new area I could see, there was a bed and chest, as well as a caged area. I returned to the others to report on what I had found.

Hall
Hall

Several plans were discussed and it was decided that Darvo, Junstar and the druid Shubat would return with some potions which qould allow the prisoners to take the form of birds and escape. They returned shortly with the prisoners but alerted the enemy while doing so. Aparently Shubat left the woman behind when she started screaming and she had to be rescued to the others. I later learned her name was Salasia and the man was indeed Crylan. Darvo seemed upset because he had left some family broach in the cell.

As there was signs that their entire camp wad been aroused, Junster used his arts to give us supernatural speed, and while we made our escape himself and Darvo stayed to create a diversion. There has hunting horns and torches everywhere and we had a near miss with a patrol but the others caught us up and we finally made it back to the fort without incident.

When we entered the fort, the individual Dilic seemed surprised that we had returned with Crylan. He queried as to whether further patrols would be needed as The war is over due to our impressive victory. Darvo suggested that this was not actually the case. I left them arguing and took some long needed rest.

The discussion continued the following morning. Dilic believed that Crylon deliberately got himself captured and has been a spy. He also claimed to have evidence. Crylon responded by stating it was Dilic who arranged his capture. Darvos solution was to lock them all up, Arnold suggested letting them fight and watching their actions. My suggestion was to use magical means to determine their stories, and Shubat said he may be able to do this.

It was decided that my suggestion was the most sensible, and after asking them both several questions, Shubat declared Dilic the liar. Dilic denied this but agreed to be locked up so he may prove himself innocent later. Arnold took his sword and escorted him to a cell. When he returned I queried Arnold about the possibility of obtaining the evidence Dilic spoke about. Arnold had been told that somone else had it and Dilic wished to protect his identity. He also said that he also believed Dilics life was in danger and that there was those in the camp who would not wait for an official trial.

Shortly afterwards Junstar approached myself, Arnold and Lorien, stating that he believed Shubat himself had lied about his ability to determine the truth of the others words. It was his opinion that Shubat had been relying purely on body language. It was Junstars opinion that they should both be locked up until the truth could really be determined.

With the continuing threat against the life of Dilic, Junstar turned me invisible while Arnold obtained the key to his cell. When Arnold returned I turned Dilic invisible and we both hid in the rafters of the cell where apparently Arnold had already hid Dilics sword.

A group let by Shubat arrived to take Dilic away somewhere. Upon finding the cell empty but locked Shubat threw dust in then entered and started swinging a sword around. He obviously believed it possible that Dilic was invisible but failed to check above his head.

The group then discussed how he may have escaped. From what they said, it sounded like the enemy was expecting him to be given to them. Apparently Dwir Nach, king of Lleyn parleyed with Bal Binque and Shubat, who had agreed to turn him over if Dwir did not attack the fort.

When they eventually left, Junster stayed behind and we re-established contact. I suggested that he should teleport Dilic back to Cils Landir for safety and eventually to receive a fair trial. He agreed and they both left.

Remaining invisible, I left the cell to keep an eye on Crylin. The fort was attacked and when the fighting became hectic, I took to the skies to avoid the chaos.

Darvo approached the enemy on his own and started making demands on them, and was attacked for his efforts. Magic was also used against our army, and a swarm of lack tentacles appeared in our lines, trapping many, including Crylan and Junstar.

Junstar escaped the tentacles only to become the centre of several exploding balls of fire. Arnold finally freed Crylan, and as he seemed now to be observing him I started scouting the area for a safe line of retreat from the obviously pending disaster.

I heard strange noises from a nearby clump of trees and upon investigation saw approximately fifty enemy troops waiting to ambush anyone who retreated from the fight.

I found and warned the others of our original group to the danger, and after observing Lorien flee to safety I released our horses from their stable and after finding Shubat with the unconscious body of Crylan, I led them and the horses to safety.

It took ten days to return to Cils Landir, where I found that Junstar had returned to get Dilic and turn him over to Dwir Nach after the battle had been lost. It seemed rather odd to me as it saved the lives of only ten men, although Arnold and Darvo were among them.

I negotiated a payment of 100gp worth of gems and tutoring in the abilities of some offensive magic in lieu of a full cash payment. I was also able to obtain a map detailing the area of the continent we are on.

Continent map
Continent map

Arnold, Lorien, Shubat, Bal Binque and myself were then employed to return to the area to scout out the situation. Not surprisingly we found it to be totally overrun by troops from Lleyn and when we returned to report the consensus appeared to be in favour of hiring mercenaries to plug the gap.

Shubat left on his own to negotiate with Dwir Nach concerning some bizarre deal he had from peace, and has yet to return.

After resting for several days we were approached with an offer of a job from the leader of Cyls Lendir. Some arrows needed to be recovered. They were almost certainly of an arcane nature and believed to be somewhere in a place called Arabica. We were told this was some form of underground location connected with drow.

One of the arrows was described as being a bright flaming red and the other being of a divine nature. We were also told that drow warbands number between 30 and 40 individuals, and that only once was two different locations raided on the same night. We also found out that the borg were surface dwellers because they were chased from their ancestral home. Although the drow are not specifically blamed, their involvement was at least implied.

Valarea, a member of the ruling family of Cyls Lendir told us that drow raids had occurred in Karama-touche, Skelgon, Menrifatania and Cyls Lendir, though mainly in Skelgon.Valarea is aware of an entrance to the underground in Skelgon which may lead to Arabica.

Valerea offered to show us this entrance, and we were given a feather on a string which would point towards the arrows we are to be looking for, though it would not indicate height. We were warned however that ‘others’ may know when it is being used. Along with myself, Arnold, Lorien, Darvo and Junstar set out towards Skelgon.

The journey was without incident, and we arrived at the entrance. Valerea travelled with us into the underground for a short distance before leaving us to return to Cyls Lendir.

The journey was uneventful until the passage suddenly expanded to a width of 40 feet. Scattered throughout the sand was strange dried black seed pods. Perhaps evidence that this area was not so dry a few years ago. There was areas with a heavy concentration of these seeds and closer inspection showed them to be attached to strands going into the ground. I flew up to the ceiling to investigate further and found more of the pods and strands hanging down from the ceiling.

Satisfied there was no danger we continued onwards. After half an hour we arrived at the edge of a chasm. Further investigation showed it to be the site of a dried up waterfall. I flew to the bottom to scout around while the others descended using rope.

The area below showed obvious signs of being a dried up river bed, and a tunnel at the base of the cliff suggested this was the joining of two waterways. We continued onwards along the riverbed until we found a crack in the floor. Inside the crack was an unnaturally round hole going downwards. Perhaps an explanation as to why the area here is now dry.

As we continued further, the tunnel began to slope down noticeably, until we finally found another chasm. Unlike previous chasms however, this one had water in its centre. Darvo tasted it and found it to be salty. When he poked his sword in the water appeared to have the consistency of thin soup. This may have been due to high concentrations of salt. Darvo then waded in before suddenly rushing back out saying he had felt something brush against his leg. He thought it would be a good idea to try fishing, but only succeeded in losing his hook.

Continuing onwards we eventually found another cave, this one huge. It was decided that we should use the feather to confirm our route at this point. As the feather pointed into the chasm we headed in that direction.

The floor was rough and we had to climb over many obstacles. In the centre of the chasm there was a huge sand depression which we started to cross. While scouting ahead Lorien slipped on an area of loose sand and fell face first. We threw him a rope and after securing himself he explored further and found the area to be small.

Using the feather again we found ourselves to be heading slightly off course. Moving round the soft area we continued on in the new direction.

Shortly later we came across Lorien lying face down on the ground again. As he began to crawl towards us he suddenly seemed to pitch forward and disappear head first into the sand.

I secured myself to some rope and started digging downwards. It soon became apparent however that I was getting nowhere, so I retreated to safety before tying some iron spikes on the rope as weight and throwing it into the sand.

Unfortunately however this did not prove successful as they were not heavy enough to sink. As a last attempt to save Lorien I tied the rope back to myself and taking an empty wineskin as a source of further air I leapt in. I sank straight into the sand for quite a distance before hitting the bottom. On doing so I felt around until I found something soft, then grabbed it and signalled to be pulled back to the surface.

Lorien was still alive and had apparently been able to breathe because he had ended up in an air pocket beneath the sand.

After brushing myself off we again continued through the cave. Further on we discovered another strange feature, this time a hole in the ground with what appeared to be stone ribs every four feet.

Junstar climbed down the hole first, followed by Lorien. As we were waiting, we heard a loud noise, and shortly later could see some strange creatures heading towards us. Arnold immediately jumped into the hole and Darvo ran off back into the cave leaving me on my own.

The creatures had large eyes and ears, long hair and stood five to six feet tall. They appeared to walk on four legs but could sit up on their hind legs. Occasionally they would emit a high pitched wail. They appeared to be more curious than outright aggressive although they did seem to have canine teeth. After a while they appeared to lose interest and wandered off.

I shouted down the hole at the others and began to suspect something was amiss when their replies appeared to indicate that they wished to remain down the hole for reasons like “It is great down here”. As it appeared that they were not going to return I decided to descend into the hole to find out what was amiss.

The others appeared unharmed, but they still insisted that they wished to remain down the hole so I began to look around. The passage forked into several others in a cross shape and as I began to investigate down one I felt a strange sensation for a moment, like something was trying to control my mind.

I immediately drew my sword and began searching for whatever creature was obviously lurking down the hole. Fairly quickly I came across a strange fish like creature which was walking on two legs. I fought and injured it, but when it seriously wounded me I had to back away and shield myself with invisibility. After quickly drinking of a potion I kept for such occasions, I crept up behind the foul creature and slew it with a stroke of my sword.

I then searched the area and found a pile of weapons and armour. Further investigation showed one of the long swords to have an enchantment so I decided to keep it for further investigation. The party began to feel better once the creature was dead, but as after investigation this seemed a fairly defensible location we decided to rest here for a while. While we were resting Darvo returned but said nothing.

After a nights rest we climbed out of the hole and used the feather to re-establish our direction before continuing. We found another area of the soft sand and Lorien caved it in so we could safely continue. Eventually we found the edge of the cavern and searched for a tunnel which would take us in the direction we wished.

Eventually we found one and explored down it. Several hundred yards down we came across a dried riverbed crossing the tunnel. As the tunnel appeared to be going in the direction we wished however, we continued down it.

Suddenly our magical light sources were extinguished and as I tried to step sideways I felt a sting in my shoulder and was almost immediately overcome with a feeling of extreme tiredness. When I came round there seemed to be a fight in progress and a bolt of lightning flew over my head. I threw a bolt of magical energy at one of the targets but it appeared to have no effect.

The enemy were speaking in some form of elven dialect but I was unable to understand what they were saying. As Arnold appeared to have been hit by the lightning I crawled towards him with the intention of administering first aid. Having done that I kept low in case another lightning bolt was thrown.

Eventually we won the fight although both Arnold and Lorien were badly injured. We gathered anything of value from the bodies, which appeared to be Drow, and backtracked to the dry riverbed to rest. Junstar identified the items then teleported back to Cyls Lendir to get some assistance.

There was a cloak which he identified as being from a lower priestess cloak of Lloth. It would provide protection against physical attacks as well as granting a friendship towards spiders. He discovered that the long sword I had found was moderately charged with few bonuses and that the Drow weapons had few bonuses, as did their armour.

He returned eventually with some scrolls and potions, as well as a human called Drathalen. He said that something had come up back at Cyls Lendir and that he was going to have to leave the party, but that Drathalen had agreed to take his place. He also told us that the Drow weapons were likely to disintegrate if exposed to sunlight and that a wearer of the cloak of Lloth stood a fifty percent chance of being poisoned.

Drathalen turned out to be a priest and he used some of the scrolls in conjunction with his own abilities to heal the party. Arnold put on some of the Drow armour and Lorien hit him several times to determine its effectiveness, although he did pull his blows. Arnold decided that the armour was better than his splint mail and kept it on.

Lorien also put on a set of the armour and took a sword. I lent the long sword I had found to Arnold as I felt it would be of a greater benefit in his hands. Finally I tried on the cloak, and as I put it on my skin became covered with a sticky black substance. Whenever I tried to scrape it off the substance evaporated, but my skin always seemed to be covered.

When I took the cloak off again I immediately felt great pain as whatever was covering my skin poisoned me. Drathalen cured me of my wounds again and I decided that I would not risk wearing the cloak again unless it was absolutely necessary. As he was now better protected by his new armour, Lorien offered to lend me his enchanted ring which would give me greater protection.

When we were ready to continue Junstar said his goodbyes and teleported back to Cyls Lendir. We ventured back down the tunnel only to find a mass of webs across the tunnel where the fight had taken place. I tried to set fire to the webs, and when they caught we retreated back to wait.

Lorien then scouted forward before returning to say the fire had not taken and that he had heard some peculiar noises from that direction. Deciding that avoiding whatever lay ahead would be most sensible we decided to backtrack and take one of the many side tunnels we had passed.

After a while it became obvious that the tunnel we had taken was going the wrong was and so we backtracked again and chose another side tunnel on the opposite side. This second tunnel meandered for a while before settling down approximately parallel to the original tunnel we had been taking.

After a while we began passing through caverns with plants (some type of mushroom) growing on their floor. Our route started to tend back towards the original tunnel we had been taking until eventually we arrived at a cross-roads. We turned left to continue on our original course and shortly arrived in a large cavern in the centre of which there appeared to be a large hill.

We tried the feather again only to find that it now pointed back behind us at an angle. We returned to the cross-roads and turned left. The tunnel was narrow and was a squeeze for people to pass each other. Eventually the passage began to widen, but some strange sounds rather like a rock fall could be heard ahead.

Lorien scouted ahead and reported back that the passage ended on a ledge high above the floor of another cavern. I then turned myself invisible and flew out into the cavern. The floor of the cavern appeared to be moving so I turned right towards the strange sound and discovered a continuous fall of rock and earth.

There were also three Drow standing on a ledge approximately forty feet from the floor of the cavern, and a further three on the floor to the far side of the rock fall by the entrance to a tunnel. A closer investigation of the rock fall showed it to be coming from a narrowing funnel in the roof. The feather when used pointed straight at the rock fall. A closer investigation of the ledge did not reveal any way behind the rock fall.

I returned to the tunnel and we rested for a while before deciding to backtrack to the cross-roads and try the tunnel we had yet to explore. I scouted ahead and the tunnel appeared to meander around for a while before turning towards the vibrations and noise we could hear from the distant rock fall.

Caves
Caves

Eventually the tunnel stopped and at its end was a shaft going directly upwards. I waited for the others to catch me up then flew up into the shaft. About sixty feet up I suddenly came across an area of magical darkness. Turning myself invisible I began to ascend again slowly.

Upon hearing a twang noise, I stopped and raised my sword. I then heard another noise and felt something hit my sword then drop. I descended to advise the group of what I had found then ascended again to expose the darkness to my magical light coin.

With a pop they cancelled each other out, and after my sight returned I was able to see some holes in the wall of the shaft. Investigation revealed that whenever my sword was waved in front of a hole a dart fired out. I slowly ascended setting off each of the darts in turn until a larger than usual hole expelled some form of acidic gas at me.

I continued with my task until the final hole which also appeared to be larger than usual. I threw several coins at the hole until I was able to trigger what also turned out to be a gas type trap. I ascended to the top of the shaft and found another tunnel leading off. There appeared to be some form of ward around the tunnel however, and upon looking for magical pretences I was able to confirm it was indeed of a magical nature.

I flew back to the bottom then returned carrying Drathalen who said he could remove the ward. When he declared that he had neutralised it he clambered off my back and into the tunnel. I descended again and fetched the others in turn, though Lorien did not hold on tightly enough and nearly fell.

When Lorien entered the tunnel, he reported his Drow armour had suddenly become much heavier, a clear indication that Drathalen had been unsuccessful. The feather was tried in the tunnel but seemed unable to make a decision. It was handed back to me in the shaft and immediately pointed straight back into the tunnel.

As it was now obvious that we would have to continue down this tunnel I carefully pulled myself into it, knowing I was about to loose the ability to fly.

We continued down the corridor, and slowly began to notice a strange smell. The sound of the rock fall was also getting louder. The tunnel suddenly opened out into a large cave. The cave had an island in its centre surrounded by a dark liquid. We appeared to be on a ledge just above its surface.

The island appeared to have three glass tubes on it, two with a dark content and one clear. I lowered some weighted rope into the liquid which appeared to be six inches deep at the edge but getting deeper as it went out.

Darvo took a running jump and made it to the centre of the island, though only just. Drathalen preyed to his god who granted him and myself the ability to walk on the surface of the liquid. We then walked over to the island.

The tubes there were about five feet tall. We examined them, then Darvo tried pushing one into the ground. Drathalen started pushing on a second so I climbed onto the third and used my weight to start pushing it down. All three tubes slowly went into the ground until only a few inches remained.

The black liquid then started to bubble and warm up. Deciding that this island was now a bad place to be I ran back across the liquid to the relative safety of the tunnel. Fumes from the warming liquid started making me feel unwell so I retreated down the tunnel in search of fresher air.

I learned later that Darvo had then decided to smash all the glass tubes which caused fountains of the black liquid and boiling water to erupt. Somehow Darvo and Drathalen managed to get back from the island and everyone joined me back down the tunnel.

Shortly later the black liquid started washing down the tunnel towards us. Everyone started climbing the walls to escape the liquid except Darvo who started climbing down the Shaft. Drathalen and Arnold began frantically to knock spikes into the walls to get more grip when a crash was heard from the cave, followed shortly by a surge of the liquid which washed Drathalen away.

Finally the flow of liquid subsided and I was able to return to the cave. It became apparent that the ceiling of the cave had collapsed from the force of the jets of liquid. The collapse of the ceiling had uncovered some form of transparent ledge in the ceiling. I carefully climbed up to it and found two long cases on it.

I climbed back down and returned to the shaft. The others had already found their way down somehow so I jumped off and drifted slowly to the bottom where I found the body of Drathalen. He was obviously dead from the great fall so I left the body and returned down the passage to the cross roads where I met the others.

I then finally took the opportunity to open the cases and discovered they contained a red arrow and a transparent arrow. We continued back the way we had come, through the caves full of mushrooms. In the second cave there was half a dozen huge mushrooms which appeared to be animated.

Darvo immediately turned and ran back away from them. The rest of us tried to run past the mushroom creatures but only I was successful in getting past, and both Arnold and Lorien were forced to draw swords and fight the creatures.

I through a blast of energy at the one blocking Lorien and blew it to pieces, allowing him to pass to safety. Arnold was able to slay the other and also escape to safety.

As he did so however, Darvo returned carrying the body of Drathalen. He threw the body at the mushrooms, probably in an unsuccessful attempt to distract them. He then attacked the mushrooms. He was forced to kill all three remaining creatures to escape them, and while he was doing so I watched with some fascination as a strange black puddle seemed to flow over Drathalens body and slowly dissolve it.

The creature almost made it to Darvo before he could escape and was successful in dissolving his right boot. This displeased Darvo immensely as apparently he had to change into his spare set of boots after stepping on the creature while running for the body of Drathalen.

The rest of our return journey was uneventful and finally we returned to the open air. We then travelled back to Cyls Lendir and arranged to visit the leader there to receive our payment. The silly old codger seemed to think that adequate payment involved being given some badge of Cyls Lendir which would make us free citizens of the country.

I was finally able to convince him that I should be given further knowledge in exchange for my hard work, and he sent me to someone who was known simply as the academician.

This person turned out to be an elf, but one with skin as dark as a Drows. He also proved to be as hard work as Cyls Lendirs leader. He seemed to be trying to give the impression that he knew everything about everything, but was simply filling the gaps in his knowledge with guesses or outright lies.

I was finally able to learn how Junstar had identified the nature of the magical items found on the Drow previously, but it was becoming obvious that a reasonable payment was not going to be forthcoming. However as I still had some of the potions which Junstar had collected I decided to cut my losses and find further employment.

Last updated: February 28, 2014