Red Hand

Variel's Journal

July, 22 2013
Variel’s Journal

Well, I guess I better start using this thing. Keeping ledgers and accounts of my actions feels so…. Odd. Totally not what I was used to back home. I guess we all change when we move away from the comfort of our homes, huh? Heh, look at me, writing in this journal like it is actually going to respond to my questions. I have quite a lot to update since I’ve met my new…. Acquaintances? Friends? I don’t know what to call them, yet. So, here goes.

I’ve done a few jobs for Lord Taggart before, he told me it was going to be a simple escort. Show these people how to get to his vineyard, wait for them to finish their work, then lead then home. Was going to be the easiest 500 gold I’ve ever made. That price, for something a simple map could have done, should have been my first clue about the mission’s true nature.

It wasn’t until I arrived and already pledged my aid to him that he told me I would be helping take out whatever was in the vineyard, killing the farmers. I’m not one to go back on my word, but I really wish I would have heard him out before accepting, especially after meeting the group I was being sent with.
At first, they seemed alright. A little under-seasoned, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t compensate for. That was, until I met their gnome and half-orc.

I put my natural disdain for the gnome aside, nothing good ever comes from traveling with gnomes, and traveling with a half-orc didn’t bother me. I think people judge half-orcs a bit too harshly. So I take them out to the farm, finding out the gnome had a very…. Unusual attachment to a goat they had following them. After leaving the animal at the edge of the vineyard, we started off towards the farm.

It was a decent walk, after about two hours we finally found a clue to what was causing the disappearances. We came across a ground of skeletons and a few ghouls. I was amazed at how much the half-orc can put behind a swing of that greatsword. After he was made giant with the use of a wand, he did a decent job clearing them away, thanks in part to my expert usage of healing items. The ranger got taken out in the first few moments of combat, he did not die though, thankfully. It would have been a pain to explain how I let one of the people I was escorting died.

After defeating the undead minions, we went back to town. Mostly to let the ranger rest and recuperate from being so easily trounced by a few skeletons. On our second trip, we made it to the farm, this time we brought the goat, for some reason. The cabin was filled with some kind of magical darkness, which none of us were able to pierce. They made the half-orc larger again, at which point the brute threw the poor goat through the window and into the darkness.

We heard the poor creature bleat it’s last, followed by an eerie silence. I threw some spells through the now open window, hoping to trap whatever was in there. Our half-orc entered the door, only to be caught by my webbing, like a fool. I entered beside him, attempting to discern what could be creating this darkness.

That’s when the blasted thing attacked, two quick strikes and the barbarian was almost drained away. We made, yet another, hasty retreat to the town. I knew what it was, now. The only thing that could drain the strength of a person so easily had to be a wraith. Evil things. We went back, prepared this time.

We exposed half of the cabin room to morning sunlight, a wraiths natural enemy. While the wraith was distracted, I let forth a blast from a scroll I had purchased just for this spirit. It didn’t stand a chance against the blast, and was instantly vaporized. With another spell cast, we had the ability to see again, only to find a tunnel leading underground. Following it, we reached a Shadow Demon. This day kept getting better and better. I gave the beast a few good shots, while our barbarian and the gnome ran away like children. Fools. The ranger and I took on the Demon, till it summoned another of it’s ilk, and teleported away. Lucky beast, his hide would have made a nice set of boots. While we fought the newly summoned demon, the ranger vanished, and ran out of the tunnel, leaving me to fend it off by myself. By this time, our only source of light, and the way to dispel the magical darkness, had fled with the half-orc. Blinded, wounded, out of magical reserves, I dodged and backed my way out of the tunnel, lasting long enough for the foolish gnome and half-orc to return and finally slay the beast.

After heading back, we informed Lord Taggart of our half success, of which he only paid us a fraction of the gold promised. I don’t believe I should be penalized, I stayed the whole time, and the orc and Gnome ran. I should have gotten a bonus for my valor! Alas, the Lord will not see it that way.

This group asked me if I would help them retrieve a book, telling me that it would help divert some form of danger that was to befall Tikal. Now, I’m not saying I believe them, but so far, the travels have been pretty lucrative. I agreed. For now, at least.



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