Aramis Entry 24
[21 March, 103 CY continued]
We’ve returned to Blasingdell, to rest at the Griffon’s Nest. I hope to awaken in better health and spirits. I must reclaim my holy healer’s staff, as well; my companions didn’t grab it on our way out of Khundrukar. Even if it’s been lost, it is a small price to pay for survival – for another chance to find the apple and save Talgen.
22 March, 103 CY
Slept poorly. I dreamed of the spring thaw coming to the ranch, and found myself sad to see winter come to a close. No farmer is a friend to winter, but I am not a farmer any more… I believe that the Raven Queen has marked me with the power of winter itself. Perhaps I have served her dominion over fate and death well enough, and she has chosen to remind me of her third domain?
Azal woke up early and collected a reward from Sir Miles Berrick, having had the foresight to procure proof of the Great Ulfe’s death. While she and Bhavik broke fast, I returned to the Scholar’s Nook to see Iva, who’s finally found the local child with symptoms like Henri’s. She and Ashrem Dewitt will be off to Brindinford soon to continue their research.
At first, I thought it was odd for Ashrem to take such an interest in my brother’s wife, but his fascination with little Henri’s mystery is genuine, and the man seems trustworthy. And Iva can use someone like him watching her back in the city… one less thing for me to worry about.
We returned to the depths beneath the Stone Tooth, and I recovered my staff, right where I’d dropped it, praise the Queen. The young lizardfolk and their mounts have fled, hopefully to a place where they’ll be safe. We completed our search of their lair, collecting some treasure, and struck out for the unexplored dungeon, still seeking some sign of the duergar or the golden apple.
Back in the great hall, a pair of creatures Bhavik identified as ‘gricks’ attacked us. After dealing with them, we searched their lair; among the remains of their victims, we found an enchanted brooch that boosts my healing powers. Praise the Queen! I can use all the help I can get down here.
We came to a locked stone door which Azal couldn’t open, then headed down a long, crude stairway into another, deeper system of caves. After much wandering, we ran afoul of chokers, but defeated them in short order.
One cell in an old prison contained the remains of a long-dead dwarf who wore a magic cloak, which Bhavik has claimed. Again, I didn’t argue, simply speaking a brief prayer. Perhaps, when our task is done, I can make time to lay this place’s victims to more fitting rests.
The final area down here (other than a half-flooded storeroom, which we’ve all decided to avoid) was a disused larder, where we were beset by a gray ooze and a gelatinous cube. The cube managed to envelop Bhavik before we slew it – a moment that reminded me what true fear felt like – but we still managed to overcome it.
Bhavik has found a key in the many pockets of his cloak. It’s time to see if it’ll open the stone door above.
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