And so it comes to my turn to write in this travel journal our intrepid little party has chosen to write. I can’t see why they’d want me to put my words on record here, as it seems unlikely to make for anything other than dull reading composed of nothing but what would appear in a trader’s log. That said, I shall try to keep this moderately interesting.
We spent much of the morning talking idly as we rode southwards and back to High Ridge. I still am unable to quite fathom seeing a Centaur in the flesh. I had understood them to be little more than traveler’s tall tails, or stories told by men who had been unable to distinguish man from horse when looking through the bottom of their cups. While I was pondering this, we came across a strange hedge maze in the forest, which we promptly (if, perhaps, imprudently) decided to explore. It turns out the hedge maze was populated by a strange breed of basilisk and some rather unpleasant little fey. We managed to dispose of the garden’s pests/guards(?) but in the process the half-Elf Adran was turned into a topiary! While I was rather perturbed by this, I found myself unable to stop from quipping that we should dig him up and plant him outside of Paulo’s tavern.
While exploring what was left of the maze in the hopes of finding a cure, we found a group of Elfs who reminded me very much of the one who presented me with my clubs. The leader of these fey was a sorceress of some variety who was apparently suffering from both an extreme case of ennui, and a conundrum about the definition of a quandary, or something of the sort. Eventually, after I brought in Wolf and Sard to talk with her on the more arcane aspects of the process of petrification, she presented us with two flawed sapphires, which we were able to use to jury-rig a ritual to bring Adran back to the land of the bleeding. There was only one minor catch, really.
He came back naked.
As bare and hairless as the day he was born, assuming he was born as bare and hairless as human children are, at any rate. Naturally, I gave him my long coat, and we continued the ride back home to High Ridge.
Sadly, rest of the trip wasn’t as uneventful as we had hoped. We made to within spitting distance of the walls when we came across a party of Blue Flame scavengers. We nearly made it past them diplomatically, but the captain of the “tithe collectors” decided to provoke Adran, who’s attitude was not improved by his newly acquired saddle sores. After much debating, Sard, who like the rest of us had concluded that this would only end violently, ended the dead end conversation with an ice storm placed squarely in the middle of the mass of the Blue Flamers. We wiped them out, and gathered enough of their armor to trade for a new suit of chain for Adran.
(the space between this and the following is filled with a simple sketch of the High Ridge skyline, with the sun setting behind what is presumably the tavern.)
After waiting a day or so for things to come together and our commissions to finish, we decided to set out for the tomb Darkhorn was so eager to avoid. I can understand his hesitation, but I could practically smell the wealth within as soon as we passed the trees ringing it the first time! We managed to get inside fairly easily, with Sard and Wolf going to town on the locks on the door and interior portcullis with the help of a simple ritual. One gets the idea that Wolf has had practice with these sorts of impediments to entry in the past.
Once inside, we came upon a room with a frieze on the walls, with a figure carrying an urn leading 14 other Minotaur heroes and an army against another army lead by a colossal Minotaur with 12 horns and a crude crown upon which many heads were impaled. Upon turning the urn completely upside down (after one or two unimportant mishaps), a door in the back opened. I managed to dodge the first trap that appeared, and was able to spot a few others that remained un-triggered. We avoided all of those, and managed to come across quite a sum of money, as well as a rather large crossbow, a well made throwing axe, two gold vases, and a stone sarcophagus lid that we decided to abscond with. The statue is now sitting against the wall in Paulo’s tavern as a testament to our find, and we have finally started turning a real profit as we supplemented the gold we found with the sale of the vases to Paulo’s mother-in-law.
I still can’t for the life of me figure out why they want me writing in this damn thing. Perhaps they think I’ll lend them use of my rather large ink supply if it’s to assist a group effort. They may be right, but they’re not getting any of the good stuff. I’m saving that for special correspondences, if the chance ever arises in such an isolated land.
~Strickland Moriganis, Trader
[scrawled in hastily in the bottom margins of the page:] There, Sard, I wrote in your damned log. Now, go shove the ‘responsibility’ on to someone else and let me get back to practicing my forms!