Excerpt from Pint Bloodhorns' journal;
It's been nearly three days since Bay-Wynn and I ran into this rag-tag group of adventurers and there's still no sign of the children we're supposed to be looking for. I'd say I'm starting to doubt their tracking skills, but I did that as soon as I laid eyes on them. Still, they've provided decent meat shields so far and Bay-Wynn's bickering with the gnome Randallo amuses me, so it's unlikely we'll be parting ways any time soon, not at least until we've found my axe. We holed up in the monastery's tower after our harrowing encounter with the creatures in the darkness, tomorrow we'll be searching the rest of the building while making sure to avoid that blasted room.
If I had any shred of decency left I'd probably be embarrassed about not knowing what happened to this temple seeing that it's clearly dwarven in design. Truth is that I never cared much for my theology classes, why pay attention when there was so much fighting to be done outside? If the Gods had wanted us to worship them through prayer, they wouldn't have invented war.
We set out today at first light and Randallo managed to bumble his way into the monastery's armory. Most of the good stuff had been taken already but the gnome did find a couple of magic crossbow bolts. Unfortunately they were too big for the gnome sized crossbow he's lugging around, we had a good laugh about it, or at least I did anyway.
A secret door in the armory took us to some prison cells and here's when things started to get a little dicey. I knew that trouble was brewing the moment I heard the paladin Godric rattling the cells, sure enough next I know is that Rahimira and Randallo are screaming something about skeletons attacking them. I was covering the rear flank when that mess happened, but fortunately for everyone we dwarves are not slow when it comes to matters of war. I shoved my way through Bay-Wynn and Otho to quickly join the fray.
I remember the vets back at home explaining that when encountering undead it's best to use a sturdy hammer or mace. Made sense to me, skeletons don't have any flesh to tear or innards to puncture. However, Mira, Godric and I managed to dispatch them just fine with our bladed weapons. The vets back home simply must not have been hitting their undead hard enough. I always knew they were just a bunch of pencil necks, what a load of wankers.
The skeletons clearly used to be dwarves. Something dark befell this monastery and the sooner we split it's head open, the better.
I'm starting to think that it's not such a great idea to let Randallo do the looting for us. I'm pretty sure I saw him slide a ring in his pocket without telling us. Ah well, I just can't be arsed to go down on my knees sniffing for treasure, that's just not me. Besides, it clearly annoys Bay-Wynn and that's always a good thing.
At some point we lost track of Godric again and we overheard him tumbling into another room stirring up some beasties. The orc woman really ought to start keeping him in a leash or something.
I'll say this about Godric, he can take blows like a champ thanks to his girth, but sometimes being big and bulky can have its downsides. We rushed to help him and found him fighting some wolves, problem was we couldn't assist him since he was barring the way inside the room. The rest of the party took off through a corridor while I stood with Godric to ensure he'd live through the encounter. I have no idea why we keep splitting up.
Those wolves put up some kind of fight. They took a few good bites out of me when I stepped through and they were dodging nearly all our blows. Rahimira even had to come back and tell us to hurry up, I can't blame her for being impatient about the clear lack of killing. Inspired by her words, Godric and I took the wolves down finally, with the human slicing through one while I lobbed the other one's head with the axe end of my urgrosh.
Foolishly, I thought we could have a moment to gather our bearings after that, thinking for a moment that I was in the company of reasonably competent people. No sooner had the wolves been dispatched, I started hearing Randallo screaming for the cleric. I thought it best to drag Godric back with the party not wanting to leave him by himself.
Randallo's been poisoned by some fungi and to some extent Bay-Wynn too, though she seems to have avoided the worst of it. Otho neutralized the poison but unfortunately even his prodigious healing skills could not cure Bay-Wynn of her recklessness. The bard was overtaken by a fey mood and she insisted to go back to the room where she was nearly poisoned. Since Godric was adamant to go the other way, I told Rahimira to look after the human and the other two while I made sure that my bard wasn't getting herself killed again.
I followed Bay-Wynn back to the room where she instructed me to start knocking down some doors. Later on, Randallo would ask me if we were 'having a good time' by ourselves back there since he heard a lot of pounding and grunting. I can't imagine what he could be implying.
When the party rejoined I noticed that we were short one gnome rogue. I asked Rahimira what happened and she told me that Godric had struck a deal with a talking dire wolf named Gray Pelt. We would clear the monastery of the monsters that plague it or Gray Pelt would eat Randallo whom we left back as a prisoner. I can't deny that it's probably the best plan Godric has ever come up with, though judging by Rahimira's exasperated expression it must have been entirely accidental. I suggested that maybe Bay-Wynn could go talk to this Gray Pelt to arrange for Randallo's release, but the elf naturally refused because that would have been useful and we just can't have that here.
I much rather prefer to do my talking with steel anyway, so we set off to slaughter these creatures as Gray Pelt bids us. We were going to do it anyway so might as well. Turns out that those creatures in the darkness that attacked us the other day are called Mantles and they cast magical darkness whenever they sense danger. Eager to take my revenge on those fiends we headed there first with the intent of finishing them off once and for all.
We crafted numerous plans of setting the room on fire to smoke them out, or post Bay-Wynn on the roof to take pot shots at them with her bow. In the end, we opted for the sensible solution and simply used Godric as bait, who was unnervingly willing to do so. Rahimira tied a rope to his waist and made him enter the room, as soon as the room grew dark and it sounded like he was being attacked, our ranger pulled on the rope bringing Godric, the beast and the darkness towards us. Then we just started wailing at it. I may have hit Godric by accident, though neither of us noticed.
These Mantles aren't so tough when they fight enemies that can see them. The darkness dissipated after they took a couple of hits revealing the monstrous floating tentacle beasts. Godric and Rahimira chopped one to pieces with Otho delivering the killing blow with his mace. I took care of its companion by skewering it with my urgrosh.
Gray Pelt also warned us of a kobold scout that was sniffing about back in the room with the poison fungi. We delivered the Mantles' corpses to the wolf and traded Randallo for Rahimira, promising her that we'd be right back. With Randallo now back in our group, we unlocked the doors that lead to the kobold's lair. We found him under a bed trying to ambush us, but I put an end to his miserable existence by running him through with the spear end. Otho looked uncharacteristically excited about finding a strange looking gem, that's the sort of behavior that I would expect from Randallo, not our priest. As it turns out, the gem we found went inside the monastery's altar and when Otho delivered it to its rightful place we felt instantly restored.
It must have pleased whatever deity still lingers in this forsaken place. Here's to you God of Toil, whatever your name is.
Once we chucked the kobold's corpse at Gray Pelt and got our ranger back, he told us the story of this monastery. The dwarves that once prayed here had turned to a dark faith and had literally worked themselves to death. This is why it pays being a slacker, I thought. Gray Pelt then told us to go deeper into the monastery and clear the kobold nest situated in the catacombs. Bay-Wynn seems to think that the axe we seek may lay within the bowels of this dark temple.
We may just actually manage to finish what we came here to do.