Property of Hunter Zaun, modest reward offered if found.
The caverns continue to produce surprises I simply am not equipped to deal with. I find myself with strange new companions. Supposedly we are meant to rescue a nobleman’s daughter but in light of concerns raised by my erstwhile confederates. While I cannot claim to experience the same oddities in my memories I am at something of a disadvantage. Supposedly we engaged in a bar brawl and destroyed a slummy dive. Presumably I was quite inebriated during this turn of events, however all I can recall are snippets of fighting. The memories feel disjointed, the smell of smoke somewhat distant.
This is not terribly unusual all things considered, after all drunken brawls are hardly the most coherent of events in the first place. Yet my companions complain of distorted memories, almost as if someone used magic to edit their perception of events. Could someone have done the same to me? And if so for what purpose? Thankfully my Master remains well enough and left me with instructions to meet him at a safe crossroads once this venture is completed and I have Alpha to aid me in the coming days.
Where was I? Ah yes, the Fortress, supposedly we are to invade a fortress and rescue a nobleman’s daughter from its inhabitants. We have decided to take a ‘secret passage’ whose location was shown to us by a woman who claimed to escape from the fortress in question. She was odd and at some point wandered off on her own. Just the same we continued onwards. As of writing this my companions are a human brawler, female, named Usaki. A human cleric, named Tulia, and Human(?) Mage named Morgana. Both the mage and the brawler display mutations.
So far our expedition into the fort’s underworks has yielded pay dirt. Mushrooms whose spores have hallucinogenic qualities, what appears to be a population of firebeetles using a small cave as a breeding ground, giant spiders. There’s a wealth of unusual life here and the caves seem ideal for building laboratories. If we can clear the fort of the alleged bandit presence or recruit them then we’ll have an ideal place to call home in between journeys for loot and arcane knowledge.
Indeed I’ve already acquired a Star Metal Spear if what Morgana says can be trusted. Supposedly it will banish any outside it strikes.
We continued forward, pushing into a strange crypt via a hole in the wall. It was being repaired by a wood golem, attempts were made to capture it but it knocked me unconscious and despite managing to tie it up it was later released by a stone golem. We also encountered an undead tentively named ‘Zombie.’ Man, dead for many years, dressed in rusted armor and using rusted weapons. He stated the above area was infested with undead but we found it full of bandits. More on that later.
The stone golem appeared to be a statue at first, it was pointing at a wall. It turned out to be a secret passage. We looted it, removed a corpse and laid it to rest as best we could in a stone crypt with no vacancies. Then I smashed open the drawers. Morganna recieved a couple books and scrolls, Zombie a golden candlestick, myself a treasure map.
We would later attempt, and fail to damage it during a brawl. It untied the wood golem and the construct in question went back to repairing the damaged wall we’d used to enter the crypts. The golems left us alone if left alone. Two magical objects stood out besides the golems, a statue with a broken arm and spilled offering bowl containing fifty golden coins and a small room enchanted to be utterly silent.
We continued upwards, two thugs were rutting with an elven woman, a boy was sobbing, and a woman waited in a cell in quiet terror. Morgana removed one thug from the fight with a banishing spell and while Zombie and Myself were not capable of killing the remaining thug quickly Alpha’s venom and jaw strength made short work of him. When the thug returned I interrogated him until he passed out from terror. There are apparently 2 dozen cultists in the fort give or take. Once he was passed out I tied him up and deposited him in the silent chamber along with his friend’s corpse. (though not before feeding a prime cut of meat to Alpha)
The Elven woman was some manner of mage and despite her enjoyment of the thug’s attentions proved cool to Morgana’s advances. The boy was a count of some sort apparently and while terrified of me was enamored of Morgana, the last woman, a noble’s daughter found me charming apparently. Regardless we decided to leave and put our spoils to use in the nearby city. (Though the Elf left on her own…but not before she could teach Morgana some golemancy by proxy as she reprogrammed the wood golem with what I can only assume to be her own blood as ink for runes.)
Before we left I recalled the story of the Criminal and how he inadvertently created Adahn, the lying god. In choosing to go by that name and blaming his deeds on a phantom who did not exist he left behind a mask…one that was picked up by an unknown person who would become Adahn, liar, thief, murderer, stealer of deeds.
Thus inspired I executed the remaining live cultist as he slept, butchered him and his friend and used their entrails and blood and body parts to create a mystical sigil. I made certain that it was a mishmash of various unrelated rituals, I don’t have the memory for recalling the Shaperates various mystical accomplishments anyway. The main point was making it look real, once done with the various runes I wrote “The Stone God Hungers” on the wall in blood and proceeded to use a severed wrist to bloody the stone golem until it looked like it had torn two men apart and feasted on blood and flesh. I left both their heads at its feet.
With that done we left for Raknar.
What followed was pleasant enough, the guards while standoffish allowed us entry and the nobles proved surprisingly grateful for having their problems solved. (Not to mention his daughter.) Sexual escapades were engaged in. Though that could only come after speaking with the noblewoman’s father and seeing that the beetles were delivered to Shaper Serevan. As per usual the wizard absorbed them…though he seems to have developed one of the mutations his kind are known for. (In this case a series of luminescent growths on his left arm.) As usual he is unperturbed by this.
We spent time in the city selling loot from our first foray into the ruined fort, in my case I managed to sell a map for seventeen gold coins which I then used to purchase equipment until 26 silver coins were all that remained. Food was not among the purchases, though I did have some bronze armor fitted to my frame. Our benefactor, the noble whose daughter was kidnapped, was kind enough to provide us with simple rations.
We also acquired a new companion to aid us in our claim to the fort; a Dragonborn woman named Kelxora with odd elemental powers. When we set out on the next sojourn we found that Morgana had gone ahead. Entrance to the fort was easy enough, though we found the wizard being raped by bandits and unconscious. Unsurprisingly we killed them, save for their leader who was wearing platemail. Attacks from myself, Zombie, and Usaki proved pointless and it was only when I tackled him to the wall that Kelxora was able to bind him with Stone. Usaki punched him unconscious.
We took him back to our camp and spent time intimidating him with notions of a mad cult that worshiped a stone god. We managed to get him to offer to abandon the fort which lost us much useful salvage but gained us the real estate without risking life and limb facing his remaining horde. I carved ‘withering sigil’ into his forehead and told him the mark would kill him with a wasting disease if he broke his word. Then Usaki punched him unconscious. He awoke in the silent room, I’d added the dead bandits from the raid that captured the chief to the display, as a finisher I covered him in cheap vodka.
We rested that night and when we returned the place was deserted save for the mad wizard and his slime. It took significant effort but we managed to slay the slime (save for a small portion I captured for the shaper’s research with Kelxora’s aid) then the wizard joined the fray. I cannot recall much of that fight as the dastard clouded my mind, and that of Zombie with supernatural fear. Thankfully Usaki punched him to death.
With that done we checked the ground level of the fort and found an enormous slug which had claimed a discarded shell. It requested we steal a necklace from the high priest of Dawn in Raknar. Normally I’d have paid it little mind but A: it was the size of a small house and B: it knew Morgana’s spells and things it had no business knowing. We gave it the necklace we found on the wizard and agreed to do its dirty work. Afterwards I summoned the Shaper via Alpha and we worked on erecting crude stone walls and cleaning up the fort.
The slug had left us with a complex escape route and a plane involving a tossed stone and myself fleeing with the captured priest down back alleys and ill used roads. We followed it to the letter (save kelxora who languished in the sewers for some reason) and found it easy to part the old man from his necklace. And his watch. And his robes. I did not approve.
Kelxora kept the watch, Usaki tried to use the robes as a flag and Kelxora burned them. (a waste perhaps but where would we fence such an item anyways?) That would come later. We asked the Slug questions, as he had offered answers to any one question from each of us. I asked what had ruined the trade route, apparently a time bubble is to blame and I intend to solve that issue.
Kelxora learned how to make familiars and Morgana how to find the name of one of the banished gods. I cannot recall what Usaki asked for.