I met some new adventurers today. Seems one of St Ygg’s bunch had a vision or something and realized they were stuck in the wilderness, needing help, or maybe just an infusion of courage. I’m a fighting man and got no lack of that, so off I went.
Turns out they were all alive, just half dead from poison. Some sort of snake creature called an amphi… Something. Two heads, no ass, poisonous obviously. How does the thing shit? Anyways, they met two, killed one, drove off the other, but practically everyone there damn near died from the thing’s poison. Two of them just went straight home, calling it quits on the adventuring life. “For now”, they said. “We’ll be back”, they said. When hell freezes over, I didn’t say. Tact, I has it. Two of their henchmen didn’t make it at all. I hear the one fellow, Oscar, has a 0/3 record now. He brought back a dog alive once.
Anyways, u-Heury fed us a bunch of steaks. I thought they were funny tasting myself and held off after just a few bites. Turns out everybody else got the running shits the next morning. Turns out, u-Heury’s steaks were snake stakes. I thought they were fucking salmon.
We buggered off back to town and decided over a bowl of Bogswine Sausage Gumbo to look into reports of bandits in the nearby forest to the northwest of Eastdale. (Too many damn directions in that sentence!). I dragged the crowd over to the Gray Company’s base of operations to ask this Sir Jiles fellow where they were, how many, and so on.
Sir Jiles said 8-10, so I figured reinforcements were in order. We posted a notice and went to Garrick’s to ask about guarding a caravan (basically using it as bait). He said no. Apparently “The Butchers of Helix” as the name of our group doesn’t inspire much confidence in our ability to protect a caravan. Well, it’s better than “Customer Service Department”. These fools let Oscar hire mercenaries unsupervised and he named the group because no one else was there. What did they think that stuffed shirt would do, let them vote?
I had to make up some line of bull about the butcher’s guild of Helix, who had to leave because the town was being overrun by undead, and took up adventuring. Didn’t work. That dwarf doesn’t let nothing get over his head. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.
They aren’t all idiots though. Someone brought back a fang from the dead snake. Garrick didn’t want it, but he sent us to Retep who offered a hundred gold coin for it! I told them I would get Oscar’s share to him. And I will – someday. It’s in my will.
I bought a bow with the cash and we headed back to the Gray Company to see who showed up. Turns out we got two solid fighting men – one even had gear already, a sword, board, and chain to match mine – plus a girl and the village idiot. We hired them all, save the girl. The village idiot must be seven feet tall and he can carry whatever we loot from the bandits. If anyone ever complains that Eastdale is missing their idiot, this is why: we took him.
The best plan we could come up with was to travel in two groups. Village idiot would lead, along with the melee fighters, carrying some sort of box they found earlier. Missile fire and mages farther back from stealth. The idea to draw the bandits out to attack the first group and then the second group would surprise the bandits and turn the tables.
The plan sucked, I know. But we couldn’t afford a cart and horse to make it more realistic, and it’s hard to sneak up on people when you don’t know where they are because they are sneaking up on you.
We had a stroke of luck though. The bandits were in the middle of looting a caravan when we came upon them! The chase was on…. well, we told the idiot to gather all the coin from the caravan first. And soon enough lost the bandits in the forest, as armor is slow. We settled down to a cold camp near a stream that fed into a small glade, forming a secluded sinkhole. It seemed as likely a place as any for bandits to hold camp, with fresh water supplies available, so we laid in an ambush. It was fruitless.
In the morning, however, we stumbled upon a staircase leading down into the sinkhole. Simultaneously, Baldin the village idiot stumbled upon us with a chest full of coin he had collected. We promptly fed him and paid him from that very coin. Then handed him a torch (hmm….this may not turn out well) so we could explore the sinkhole.
Yeah. I know. That’s what she said I should do, with my big flaming torch too. But I digress. Down we went.
Below was a pool of water with a small beach and… Water breathing monkeys? They eat a kind of moss that allows them to breath water. It allows us to breath water too, as we determined by experimentation. I told Baldin he didn’t have to be the guinea pig – looking hard at the other men at arms as I did so, knowing they would get the message. But he volunteered. Because village idiot. Anyways, he was lucky, it worked on him too.
So, with the lichen or moss or whatever, we had two exits. One underwater, one to the east, lined with strange crystals. I sent Ahnjela, our light fingered type, to check for traps. She listened first, and heard low voices coming from a grate further down the corridor. Then she looked for traps.. and found one the hard way. Ended up staring into one of the crystals, entranced, for at least 10 minutes. I tried slapping her and feeding her lichen. Neither helped. (Evidently she does not swallow; good to know).
I had better stop writing now; we’re setting up an ambush in case anyone tries to leave while we try to wake her up.