The following is an excerpt of Pint Bloodhorn's adventuring journal. No date given, just words furiously scribbled together with no apparent sense or reason behind them.
Tank, my cousin, is dead. Killed by some blasted bear gorilla buggers. I've mourned enough already and if I keep bashing my head against walls I fear there will be no building standing on our way back to Falcon's Hollow. I'll think of what to do once we're out of danger.
After we had engaged the druids in their stronghold we proceeded to wipe them out since they were clearly militant. Our earlier beliefs that the druids were being framed were hastily forgotten as soon as they charged upon us and called the earth to tangle our feet. Unfortunately for them, their command over nature didn't exceed our command over killing things and we quickly dispatched them, Tank and I covering the flanks while Mira acted as our Vanguard and wedged through their ranks. With Otho, Bay-wynn and Njord offering support from the back, the fight quickly turned on our favor and we laid waste through their ranks.
Once we started examining their corpses we noticed that many of them had some kind of mutation. It was as if they were transforming into beetles, with a hard carapace growing over their skin. I performed some in field autopsies on one of them and found out the carapace had been grafted into their flesh, more than likely voluntarily. These druids have clearly gone mad.
I scalped the lot of them, much to the horror of my companions who suggested I beheaded them instead. Buncha psychopaths, scalps are a lot easy to carry around and just as likely substitutes to prove our deeds to our employers.
Following the trail that the lumberjacks gave us, we came upon the abandoned asylum were we suspected the druids were using as their base of operations. The place was deserted and locked up, no one had been there in years from the looks of it. We didn't want to leave anything to chance though and after peeking through the windows we decided to bash our way through the barricade. There was debate that we probably could have been more stealthy about this but I really didn't want to subject Otho to being pushed through the window slits so he could open the door for us. Besides there's no guarantee our cleric could have somehow opened a barricade from behind. I rather just rely on the good ol' urgrosh, thank you very much /Bay-Wynn/.
After wandering about the deserted asylum, we noticed that there were a fair amount of cracks on the walls, as if someone, or something, of immense strength had been punching at them. We knew were going to run into trouble sooner or later--and we were right!
The first to encounter them was Mira, who had taken the front again. She opened a door to a room that looked to me like some kind of mini coliseum. Two beasties jumped at her and tried to mauled our ranger, but I stepped in to force them to back off. I /was/ planning on bottle neck them on the narrow door, but Tank just -had- to try and circle around them to take the fight to them. I have to say I underestimated the cunning of these monsters, for one of them took notice of Tank's efforts to go around them and instead flanked him, jumping clear over the chasm and attacking his back.
I sent Mira off the longer route since she runs a lot faster than I can, while I took to Tank's right side so we could counter flank the creatures. Assailing them from both sides, Mira and I tried our best to kill those things before they could kill Tank. The rest of the party barreled into the room trying to help too, with Bay-Wynn letting magic and arrows loose, while Otto came to Mira's aid who had taken a few stray swipes from the beasts beforehand. I don't know what was going through Njord's mind at the time, but he tried to jump over the chasm too only to trip and fall into the pit. Poor lad, he's still much too young, at least in comparison to a dwarf.
I cannot say the same for me own cousin Tankard though, as he foolishly decided to stay on the fight for as long as he could instead of backing out when I told him there was an opening. He swung Glintaxe until he could no more and when we finally killed the two beasts, he passed out from his injuries and bleed to death before our healer could get to him. Some in the party say that what actually happened was that Tankard accidentally hit himself in the head with his own axe, but I refuse to believe such slander, Tank was a stalwart dwarven warrior, and I will forever remember his glorious last battle.
My parents are going to kill me...
So, after that happened, I was rather understandably mortified and could not write much until I gathered my senses. I do remember what happened afterwards now though.
We scoured the asylum whilst I secured Tank's corpse and put him in a safe room. Bay-Wynn then found an interesting journal who belongs to none other than this bloke called Vazelog, no idea if I'm spelling that right. Leader of the druids though, which is the important part. There he confesses that he was the one who invented this Ghoul Rot poison that is getting everyone sick around here, even the bloody animals are contaminated with the stuff and it makes hunting or gathering pointless. What madness is all this? Fortunately Ghoul Rot's one antidote is vinegar which is fairly easy to find around these parts. We'll have to tell the townsfolks about this, and expose Vazelog's treachery too. Splitting his skull will be a worthy deed to honor the memory of my cousin.
As our strange fortune would have it, we ran into the blighter right as we stepped out of the asylum. He was being accompanied by his pet wolf and a body guard, or maybe his partner? It was a human woman who was armed as a fighter.
We ran up to catch up to them, not knowing their identities at this point, but figuring that no one that was running away from us could have good intentions, Mira ended up tackling them anyway.
That was another tactical mistake, since I was still out of position due to our massive speed difference. Mira was immediately beset by the human warrior woman who proved to be an even match against our Ranger. Njord tried to convince them to surrender, under pretext that we were ordered by Vazelog to do so, except that the man revealed himself to be Vazelog which gave us no other option than to attack.
Otto rushed in to assist Mira and Bay-Wynn was intercepted by the druid's dire wolf pet. I jumped in after it, not feeling like losing any more of my people that day. Everything got a little foggy after that, all I can remember is feeling searing pain all around my body as my family armor grew to searing hot levels and started burning my flesh off. I fought through the pain as best I could, attacking the wolf who was intent on killing my bard no matter what. Just when it was about to reach for her neck, I yanked the beast back with the curve of my urgrosh's spear and sliced its head off with the axe end.
Then everything went dark as a blizzard fell upon us, blinding us completely. I trashed and started to remove my armor while Mira came back, bloodied but alive, telling us that Vazelog and his companion had escaped.
I'm beginning to understand why everyone seems to hate druids.