Age of Worms - Deree's Diary

Hall of Harsh Reflections Pt 1

The changing face of evil

Sunday 9th Flocktime 595

Went to the cowardly wizard’s to collect the items he wanted us to show Legless. These consisted of a load of artefacts from the Whispering Cairn, some worms and the talisman. He also gave us a note of introduction so that he wouldn’t kick us out (at least not until Muffin opened his mouth anyway).

I decided that this would be an ideal time to give Lavender some exercise. He’s gotten a bit fat over the past couple of months what with just sitting outside the Feral Dog eating scraps all day long. I can tell he wasn’t happy about it ‘cause as I was harnessing him up to the cart he let out a fart that even Grim would have been proud of.

Anyway, we set off and had a pleasant day’s travel with myself, Grim, Salty and Muffin on the cart, Curly riding some horse which he said he’d summoned (next time I nick something I’m gonna use that one!) and Sneeze jogging along side (he does have some good stamina that lad).

We set up camp at the side of the road expecting as peaceful a night as we’d had a day. Sadly not so! Whilst myself and Muffin were taking our watch I heard a growling, At first I just thought it was Grim’s stomach pining as it hadn’t received food for over an hour but a repeat of the noise clarified it’s position, and it wasn’t inside the camp.

Before we could wake anyone up, five large dark coloured wolves (Muffin shouted “Worgs!”. At the time I thought he was mispronouncing due to extreme terror but apparently that’s what these creatures are called) bounded into the camp and set upon us. As I unsheathed my weapons one of the Worgs latched onto my legs with it’s jaw and knocked me to the ground. I flipped myself back up and slashed at the creature only for it to knock me down again. One more flip and the wolf died, although not before Grim had summoned two evil looking spiders to help us. Once everyone was awake (and as is the custom, Grim was the last to rouse himself) we vanquished (two times) the Worgs quickly. Grim was back asleep almost before the last one had finished its death throws.

Moonday 10th Flocktime – Waterday 12th Flocktime 595

A pleasant time was had by all (apart from poor Lavender who had to pull the cart with myself, Salty, Muffin and more weightedly, Grim) travelling along the road to the Free City.

Earthday 13th Flocktime 595

We were just in the middle of yet another (what Grim called boring) pleasant day of travelling along the road to the Free City through a particularly dense area of forest when out from the trees sprang two really big and extremely ugly creatures that had long arms that ended in really sharp claws.

“Trolls!” Grim exclaimed as Curly manoeuvred his mount to attack and Sneeze flying kicked one. Apparently Dwarves don’t particularly like Trolls and Grim was keen to see these creatures dead. He set about one with his axe as Muffin (who even I have to admit is killing more enemies than friends at the moment) illuminated the two creatures with a huge sphere of flame. This confused me for a bit ‘cause normally all his spells come out looking like lightning (he would tell me afterwards that trolls could regenerate (“heal” Curly) all of their wounds except those caused by fire).

Anyway, we dropped one of them with ease and the other, obviously seeing my killing blow coming, surrendered. Now this is where the fun began. As I tied them up, Curly and Grim got into an argument over what to do with them. Curly, being the law abiding citizen that he is, wanted to take the captives (I use plural as the other one had started to regenerate so we tied him up as well) to the Free City. Grim, naturally, wanted to kill them here and now and save us all the bother.

It was then that one of the Trolls piped up that they were a peaceful gang and had only attacked us ‘cause they needed the money. When we enquired as to why they needed the money they said that it was to pay the Hill Giants to get revenge on the three people who’d attacked their cave and killed their three brothers. The answer to the question who’d attacked them came as a bit of a surprise. He said that there was a female elf who used a bow, a human male in robes who summoned fire like Muffin had and a large human male who had been wearing a stupid silver belt. It was at the mention of the stupid silver belt that the pieces fell together. It had been Tira and her crew who’d attacked them (that arrogant piece of Orc dropping Auric doesn’t go anywhere without his so called ‘Champion of the Free City’ belt).

Anyway, their plea of innocence fell on deaf Dwarf ears but Curly remained sympathetic to them (despite the fact that all he was really doing was delaying the inevitable – kill them now or take them to the Free City to be killed?). To try to get this sorted out I let Curly and Grim take one of the Trolls back to their lair to see if they could find evidence one way or the other although I don’t know why they bothered ‘cause when they got back and said they’d found human remains in the cave, Curly still wanted to take them to the Free City to be tried.

Unsure as to whether the Trolls were scared for their lives or just because they were as board with the conversation as I was, but the next thing you know one of them has broken his bonds and started to lay into Grim (and boy did he) Grim, never one to take getting nearly mauled to death lying down, struck back, as did we all (including Curly) as the other Troll also managed to break his bonds (they must have given me some inferior rope).

The fight ended in a pool of Troll and Dwarf blood. As the battle ended Grim turned to Curly with a look of pure fury. At first I thought he was just going to say something along the lines of:

“Yes, who’d have thought that members of an innately evil race would try to escape from being tried, convicted and put to death by breaking their bonds and trying to kill their captors whilst focussing in on one of their ancestral enemies who’d been trying to get them executed straight away?”

Sadly what he did do was much less scathing – he punched him. As punches go it was a good’n and did end up giving Curly a right old shiner, but I tend to think that a sarcastic comment goes a lot further to, not only humiliating the person, but also putting your point across. Saying that, both the point and the sarcasm might well have been lost on Curly, so perhaps Grim made the right choice. Curly, give him his due, stood there and took it like a man (or at least as close to a man as he can get). Seems he did understand what Grim meant after all.

Trying my hardest not to snigger at the whole thing, we carried on our journey.

Freeday 14th Flocktime 595

I am sooooooooooooooooooooooo angry you would not believe it!!!!! If I tear a hole in the page whilst writing then I apologise but those gate guards, especially that sergeant, want hanging (or at the very least firing). I can only pray for Yondalla’s patience whilst I tell you the full story.

We got to the so called Free City (more like bloody “Fee City”) and had to queue up as normal to get in. Once we got to the front I expected to just walk in as normal, but no! The guards on the gates made some sarcastic comment about us looking minted and said that we’d have to be searched in a holding room. They then proceeded to empty our haversacks and turn out our pockets and said that they’d have to hold some items that could possibly be contraband.

It was obvious to all there that all they wanted was a bribe but there was no way that I, Deree Silentfoot, inspirational leader of Deree’s Daring Dynamos was going to pay some arrogant little twerp with an over inflated sense of his self worth anything! Everyone else felt the same… everyone but Grim that was.

Grim asked to speak to the guard alone and was duly taken outside. During this time, in which I can only assume that Grim was bartering for our release, Muffin decided that the best way to help relations between us was to cast a spell. The guards left in the room didn’t take too kindly to this (have to be honest neither did I. What, trapped in a room with one of those swarm things? No thank you!).

Anyway, Muffin wisely stopped casting his spell and a few minutes later we were all let out. But this was not the end of it. Nope, not for Deree Silentfoot. No one treats me (or any Halfling) like that and gets away with it. Handing my gear over to Grim I decided to hang around for the Sergeant. Once his shift finished I followed him as he made his way back home. With this piece of knowledge now stored, I made my way to meet the others and the Green Dragon Inn. Whilst I’d been gone the others had gone to the counsel chambers with our letter from Marzipan and request from the Lizardmen and had been given an appointment for the 16th.

We had a few in there (mainly to calm me down) before we decided to head off to Legless’ place. Now his was the type of house that I want to get once I retire. It made Shrub-beard’s look like the run down shack he’d fobbed off on us.

As we approached the doors opened by themselves and before us stood an old looking Elven male. Very politely he invited us in and led us to a very ornate room in which sat a middle aged man with a really dodgy hooped ear-ring in only one ear, who introduced himself as Legless (well he actually said “Elogos” but you know these humans, no sense of humour)

We handed him over the letter from Shrub-beard and he seemed to almost sneer (“I didn’t think I’d ever hear from him again” were his exact words I think). Turns out he and Shrub-beard had worked together under the same master at one stage. Legless said he had nothing against Shrub-beard but the look in his eyes told a different story.

Anyway, we handed him over the stuff that Shrub-beard had given us and he said that it’d take him a while to find stuff out. He recommended that we stay at an inn called the Crooked House that belonged to one of his friends and that he’d contact us there.

We left and decided that as we’d already paid for rooms in the Green Dragon Inn that we’d stay there tonight.

Starday 15th Flocktime 595

In a much better mood today as I’m writing this on my new, beautifully crafted, Rosewood, travelling writing desk that was bought for me by Grim along with a new leather-bound book. He said that he’d spotted me scribbling into a book and that I’d nearly run out of pages so he thought that I’d appreciate this. He was right! It’s great! No more trying to balance the book on my knees. No more reaching down to re-ink my stylus! It’s brilliant!!!

Anyway today there was a parade in the city for the start of the annual games (probably where Orc-dropping won his belt last year) which was ok but did slightly interfere with our shopping trip. Especially when one of the attractions burst free of its cage.

This monster had huge wings and three heads: one of a lion, one of a blue dragon and one of a goat. A goat? I can understand the other two heads. A lion and a dragon are fearsome creatures that could kill a man viciously and mercilessly without a second thought, but a goat? I’ve seen goats before and all they do is sit on hills eating grass, hardly the scariest of animals. Had the shop run out of decent heads? “No Worg heads left? Ah well, I suppose I’ll go for the goat head then.” “Bleat”

Seriously! A goat head?

Anyway, the creature (that Muffin identified as a Chimera) had gotten out and was causing havoc. People were panicking and running around everywhere. Fortunately this wasn’t a problem for myself as I nimbly picked my way through them and out into the centre of the street to confront the beast. Salty and Sneeze followed my lead but Curly and Grim used a slightly different method to get through. I think the technique is known in the trade as barging.

As we got close to the beast we could see that its wings had been damaged so that it was unable to fly. However when clipping its wings they had neglected to clip its claws and teeth with which (along with breathing lightning) it started to rake into us (and by us I really mean Curly – for some reason it had taken offence to him). With all of us working as one cohesive unit and with Muffin pitching in as well, we vanquished (number three) the beast.

It was at this point that the city guard decided to show up (personally I think they were waiting for us to finish the beast off so that they wouldn’t have to get their pretty armour dirty). They hardly thanked us at all before starting their inquiry into how the beast had escaped from the circus people.

Grim healed everyone up (although he did have a bit of a strop with Muffin. Something about him trying to cast a spell that had cost him more money – which reminds me: must perform that errand later)

Feeling under appreciated we left to carry on our shopping. I managed to buy myself a nice set of magical gauntlets which makes me even more (I know that’s hard to believe) agile and a potion of invisibility (for the errand). I also paid for Muffin to learn the invisibility spell, also for the errand.

As we were making our way back to the inn to get our stuff so we could move into the Crooked House we spotted a man standing on an upturned barrel who was proclaiming the end of the world. At first I thought he was just another crazy doomsayer and carried on past him, but then he shouted about how “the age of worms is upon us!” This piqued my interest so I went over to ask him about it. I think he may be deaf (which would explain the volume of his voice) as he just stood there and stared at me blankly. After a few moments of this he simply looked away and started his whole rant once again. At this point I made a swift exit, collected Lavender and am now sitting in my room at the Crooked House (which is owned by a Gnome called Tarquin Shortstone 24th who, when we told him we’d been sent by Legless, said that we could have everything for free. I’ve never seen Grim’s eyes so bright) listening to the songs that the bards had already written about the exploits of myself and the rest of Deree’s Daring Dynamos and their bravery in slaying the Chimera filter through the floorboards (will have to tell them all about our other exploits as well. Maybe then I’ll get the recognition I deserve).

Anyway, I’m off now to perform that errand. Will tell you how it goes later.

Earthday 20th Flocktime 595

You may be wondering why there’s a gap of several days between entries. Well I’ll tell you. I was returning to the Crooked House from that errand I was telling you about (which went well by the way. That guard will need whatever his cut was of that payoff that Grim gave him and more to repair the damage I did to his house) when I spotted the others along the street coming towards me. I asked them what was going on and why Grim was sober (that should have clued me up that something was terribly amiss) but all they said was that they had been given a lead by Legless and were going to follow it up.

They were pretty vague about the details but I was still feeling smug about gaining my revenge on that scumbag of a guard that I didn’t think to query anything. They started heading for the docks and the next thing I know I’m tied up in a chair in a black octagonal shaped room with a banging headache.

At first I thought that they’d somehow managed to translate my diary and couldn’t handle some home truths about them but this was soon quenched by the realisation that I’d just been kidnapped. I first suspected that it wasn’t the others when Muffin walked into the room and smiled at me before cracking me across the head with a sap so hard it knocked me out (we all know Muffin hasn’t got the ability to either smile or knock anyone out). My next clue came when I spotted Grim drinking water and my suspicions were finally confirmed when I saw some thing that was even more amazing than the first two.

Curly had just left the room having battered me around for a bit and as the door was closing I caught sight of him morphing into something else. Just before the door closed, the pretend Curly finished his change and the sight was about as pretty as Grim in the morning.

The creature was around five foot tall with grey skin that looked like it was designed to only cover a creature half its size. Its eyes were huge and milky but the strangest thing about it was that, other than those almost lifeless eyes, it had no facial features what-so-ever.

I’d heard tale of creatures like these that could change their shape into anything or anyone they pleased: Doppelgangers!

The only question left was why did they want me and why hadn’t the others come to get their brave and illustrious leader out! The only conclusion I could make was that one of these shape-changers had taken my place in the group and was busy trying to bring it down from within (although I think Muffin’s been trying to do that ever since we first got together).

A number of hours past during which time I tried to escape my bonds but all I succeeded in doing was tilting my chair over, the result of which was for the pretend Muffin to come in and whack me round the head again.

When I woke up this time I was strapped to a table surrounded by five Doppelgangers in their natural form. Suddenly I felt a searing burst of pain shoot through my head (almost as bad as that time I heard Salty sing). This lasted what seemed like an eternity before the soothing release of unconsciousness enveloped me.

I drifted in and out of consciousness for I don’t know how long and it was during these blackouts that I had a series of dreams so vivid that I swear they must have been actually happened.

My eyes opened and I was in a field full of dead plants. I turned my gaze around and spotted the most beautiful Halfling woman approaching me. As she did, she spread her hands and suddenly the plants around her started to come back to life. The wave of energy swelled from her until the entire field was vibrant and alive.

The woman approached me and I sank to my knees in the presence of what could only be Yondalla.

“Nurturing Matriarch, Protector of the Halflings, hear my prayer” I begged. “Save me from my captives and grant me my revenge!”

“My precious son” the Blessed One smiled “before I can release you, you must forgive those that have wronged you.”

“That is something I cannot do!” I said bowing my head.

“Then I cannot release you from this torment.” Yondalla smiled once more before she disappeared.

The vision blackened before I once again opened my eyes to find myself in that octagonal room bound to a chair. Around me was the entire group; Grim, Muffin, Salty, Sneeze and Curly who sneered at me just as I fell back under.

This time I awoke to find myself in the counsel chambers. In front of me stood a man in a shining suit of armour, a lightning blot grasped in one hand, a longsword in the other.

“Invincible one” I spoke the start of every prayer I’d heard Curly offer to Heironeous “Save me from my captives and grant me my revenge!” I repeated my prayer.

“It is not vengeance you should seek little one,” his booming voice in complete contrast to Yondalla’s melodic words “it is justice! These creatures should be held accountable under the law of the Free City and their punishment meted by the authorities, not by any individual.”

“I cannot allow any punishment other than that that I give to them.” I replied as defiantly as I dared.

“Then I cannot grant your wish.” Heironeous glowed once more before I was once again thrust into blackness.

I opened my eyes to see the thin, grey dead face of a Doppelganger at the door to the octagonal room. As I watched the face changed, as did the body, and grew shorter and broader before finally becoming the exact image of Grim. The impostor tugged on his beard as I drifted back into unconsciousness.

This time I awoke in familiar surroundings: the bar room of the Feral Dog. The entire place was heaving with joy and merriment. People were singing and laughing and drinking. As I stared at the sight a chair was kicked out in front of me. I turned to the table next to me to see a very stocky looking dwarf with a huge tankard in his hands slouching in the chair opposite. He nodded for me to sit down to which I complied.

“So ye be wanting revenge on yer enemies laddie?” Hanseath queried before downing his drink which was swiftly filled by a passing serving girl. “Ye wish to slay them in battle and celebrate yer victory?”

All I could do was nod.

“Well then laddie” he continued as he lent forward tankard in had “drink this down and I’ll grant ye yer boon.” Hesitantly I reached for the tankard he offered but he kept hold of it as he spoke once more “but remember who granted it to ye. Remember who to offer thanks to as ye celebrate yer victory.”

With that he let go of the tankard which I grasped in both hands. Hesitating no more I lifted the mug to my lips and swallowed the liquid it contained.

As the last of the liquor burned my throat I shot awake to find myself once again manacled to a chair in the octagonal room. This time however the black walls were being sprayed with blood. I turned my head to see Grim, or more precisely two Grims battling each other. One swung his axe which buried itself deep into the chest of the other. Time seemed to stop as the body fell to the floor before it swiftly changed into its true form; that of a thin, grey skinned Doppelganger.

Looking around the room I could see two of everyone and also one other of me. One by one each of the impostors fell and reverted back to their true shape.

It was only then that Grim swung his axe and broke the manacles that had bound me for so long. I instinctively rubbed my wrists to get the blood flowing again that I realised I didn’t need it. In fact, all of my injuries were gone.

My head swirling with thoughts of gods and Doppelgangers the others naturally rushed around me to make sure I was ok. Having reassured them I was fine (Salty in particular seemed concerned) I politely enquired as to what day it was and why it had taken four and a half days for them to get round to finding me (I mean I’d have eventually gotten out but sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of help from ones supposed friends – or are they my friends? What if these are just another load of Doppelgangers and the others were just patsies to make me think that these are the real deal? Better keep my eye out – not sure I can trust any of them – except Grim – I know it’s the real Grim; no one else would ever want to smell that bad even as a disguise).

They told me of how they’d never even missed me (the cheek!) as I had been replaced by a Doppelganger who’d done a good job impersonating me. They said that they’d spent the first day in the counsel chambers drafting up the treaty for the Lizardmen (at least I didn’t have to endure that) and that that night Muffin (I think people are still a bit unsure whether it was the real Muffin or a Doppelganger pretending to be Muffin) had stabbed Tarpaulin in the chest with a dagger and nearly killed him. There was then a fight in which one of the instigators turned out to be more than just a regular. The group chased him down and had him arrested. They then found a strange key in the shape of a ship that was being attacked by some sort of giant squid which seemed to be capsizing it. They said that one of the locals had told them it belonged to a warehouse called Sodden Hold which was down by the waterfront.

So they trotted straight off in the middle of the night to the warehouse, opened it up and were immediately attacked by what they called Mimics which they basically described as boxes with arms. They said that they were so injured after that battle (with the boxes? Wimps!) that they had to rest before continuing. The next day they said that they had fallen prey to a pit trap by a false door (can’t they do anything right without me there to guide them?) before discovering the way into some prison cells where they had found an Elven woman called Ilya Starmane, a madman called Gattan and two supposed city guard called Martel and Rygim whom they let out. The two sane men then turned on the party and people were forced to put them down. However they didn’t finish them off but simply tied them up and put them in a cell. This mistake came to bite them in the bum when, as they were escorting the Elf out, the two men escaped.

Unperturbed by this they continued on only to find themselves faced with an obstacle only I’d have been able to overcome – a series of balance beams over some water that had spears and poles and all manner of spiky things sticking out of it. Instead of risking life and limb by actually trying to traverse the beams they simply bashed their way through a side wall only to find themselves in a room that had a hole in it at the bottom of which was a barrel. At this point they were attacked by two invisible creatures (Muffin thought they were either Air Elementals or creatures called Invisible Stalkers) which they also struggled to overcome. They then decided that it would be a good time to go shopping!!! That’s right, shopping!!! I’m busy being kidnapped and tortured and they go shopping!!!

They then decided, after an obviously heavy day’s trawling through the high street that they would rest… again! During this rest was the first time they encountered some of the Doppelgangers who had been disguised as some of the counsel members, although I’m a bit worried that they attacked counsel members on sight without knowing they were Doppelgangers as they only found out after they died what they really were (that meeting must have been really, really boring).

Eventually they decided to head down into the floating barrel and spotted a tunnel under the water leading off. They then swam like the stones they are and walked along until they came to another room (in which they killed an octopus) that had a pillar in its middle rising out of the water. They climbed out and head into a corridor in which Muffin, Curly, Sneeze and the fake me fell down another trap. Whilst they were escaping from this, Grim and Salty were attacked by Martel and Rygim during which skirmish Salty died (although she is the best looking corpse I’ve seen in a while). Not sure how I feel about Salty dying. I mean I suppose it would have been sad had I known about it before the party got her raised by the priests of Heironeous but I didn’t so to me she hasn’t ever really been dead. It’s a weird feeling.

Anyway my brave band of followers left once again straight after that fight to not only get Salty brought back to life but also to have yet another day out shopping!!! The bloody swines!!! The only consolation was that people were able to pick up their magicafied weapons.

Anyway, this finally done, they headed back in and into a room full of maps of the city before discovering a maze of mirrors. The carefully made their way through this (killing a few Doppelgangers on the way) before discovering this room and finding me and the fake them.

Having listened patiently to their story two things crossed my mind:

  1. Whether they were all lying to me and had in fact spent all of the days since my kidnapping shopping
  2. I had missed my chance for the vengeance that Hanseath had promised

I’m still not sure about the first, but my second thought was incorrect.

The group led me into the maze of mirrors and followed the wall to the left (as they said they had done all the way round thus far) until we came across a door. With a deep breath Curly opened it up and we found ourselves in a room the ceiling of which I recognised. The room was full of vats and jars containing all manner of liquids. Near where we entered lay a stone slab that had chains loosely hanging from its sides.

My thoughts were brought back from the past when laughter from the far end of the room echoed through the hall. I turned to see Legless sitting on a throne, a large axe lying next to him and standing in between us were three Doppelgangers.

“So kind of you to join me. it is time for me to show you the truth of things. Come and learn what lies beyond!”

With that he cast a spell and suddenly I became confused as to why I was there. That confusion was suddenly removed as Salty struck me with one of her swords. Now I don’t mind it rough but if that’s her idea of fun, I am definitely not getting involved. Anyway, never one to take that kind of thing lying down I struck back before I heard Grim’s voice issuing soothing words.

Immediately myself and Salty stopped our madness and looked around. Whilst I had been distracted by her antics the fight had progressed somewhat. Sneeze was now up by Legless, Muffin was rolling around the floor, laughing uncontrollably (we’re all happy when one of his spells doesn’t nearly kill us but that seemed a bit extreme to me) and a pit trap in the middle of the floor had been tripped (by Sneeze who had apparently avoided it and it wasn’t the last thing he tripped in this fight). The other thing of note was that the heroic holy warrior of Heironeous had fled the room (he came back later but only when a few of the threats had been neutralised).

Anyway, seeing the three Doppelgangers heading up to the throne to get Sneeze I sprung into action. I ran up behind them and tumbled onto the throne to flank Legless with Sneeze whom the Doppelgangers quickly surrounded. Salty and Grim followed me up and started to lay into Legless’ minions whilst myself and Sneeze went to work on the man himself. I have to say we made a pretty good team with Sneeze sweeping the guy off his feet and me whirling my blades into him as he tried to stand.

Suddenly just as Sneeze once again sent Legless tumbling to the ground he started to change. The transformation was swift and where once lay a human wizard now lay a very large, very angry looking orc. With a roar he snatched up his axe and started to rise. With a roar to match his I plunged both of my blades into his chest as he did. The orc fell back to the ground, this time for good. I had gained my revenge as promised to me.

As I let the feeling of victory wash over me the creature changed once more, back into its original form, only this Doppelganger was slightly different from the others. This one had a tattoo on it’s forehead of a tentacle spiralling upwards.

Unsure of what to make of this we decided to take the body with us, but not before searching this room. Next to the throne we found a secret door that led into a very austere bedroom. Muffin (who had just about recovered from his fit of laughter) cast his spell to detect magic and we discovered that the axe, a ring, a wand and a scroll (all of which we found on the head Doppelganger) along with a rug, mirror and a spell book which we found in the bedroom were all magical.

Using the wand they’d bought they ascertained what all of them did and we pretty much decided to sell everything (even the book after Muffin had robbed everything he could from it) apart from the ring and the mirror which we thought would come in quite useful: it shows the true form of anyone who stands in front of it.

We also found a chest that contained (what we assume are) forged documents regarding almost every facet of city life. In amongst these was a personal note:

“I have a task for you, thrall. Meet me at the sewer junction beneath the cold forge and I will give you the details. There are some troublesome small minds the must be removed.”

So that’s why they took me; he wanted the other “small minds” killed but needed me, the leader and of course most intelligent, alive. Probably thought I would have been an asset to his grand scheme of taking over the Free City… and of course he’d have been right although I’m pretty sure I could have come up with a more persuasive method than kidnapping to procure my talents (that tends to breed a certain amount of animosity and a great lust for vengeance). Maybe that’s what he wanted me for; my people skills.

Anyway, the letter was signed with the same spiralling tentacle symbol that the doppelganger Legless had on his forehead.

It was at this point I realised that my vengeance was not yet completed. This Doppelganger had a boss.

In this room (and the rest of the bedrooms we searched on the way out) we also found a variety of clothing of all types all the way from farmers work clothes to ones that wouldn’t look out of place in the palace. We took the best of these and started to head out.

We got to the room they described with the pillar in the middle but they had omitted to say that the pillar had a lever on it. I decided that it was time to see what the lever did so I got Curly to pull it. Slowly the water level started to lower and as it did, so did the pillar. As we neared the bottom we spotted a passageway. The others swore it wasn’t there before so we armed ourselves for whatever had opened it.

Just before the pillar reached the floor we spotted two what looked like elves with really dark skin and really white hair (some legendary Drow Elves) flanking what looked like a robed human with an octopus for a head.

“Mind Flayer!” Salty shouted. Just as I was wondering what the significance of this was I felt a blast of energy shoot through my mind. When I came around the Drow were dead and the Mind Flayer was nowhere to be seen. Grim said that he’d run down the passage. The others were reluctant to follow (don’t know why I’m surprised; they’d have probably preferred to have gone shopping) but I wasn’t having any of their cowardice, not when my promised payback might lie a mere few feet away.

I led the group down the tunnel but unfortunately it led out into the maze of sewers that ran under the entire city.

Feeling slightly miffed that this Mind Flayer had gotten away we headed back to the pillar room. We grabbed one of the Drow and made our way back up to the Sodden Hold warehouse and out into the city itself.

We headed straight for the temple of Heironeous to drop off the evidence we had (and by evidence I pretty much mean the bodies) before we made a beeline to Legless’ house; for some reason some people thought that he might have been taken over by the Doppelganger we’d killed (pity no one cared enough about me to think that). We arrived and the snotty elf servant answered and almost refused to let us see his master. I think I must be getting tired ‘cause I lost my usual diplomatic demeanour and just came straight out with our suspicions. I might try that approach more often as he immediately trotted off.

Now call me paranoid if you like but I didn’t fully trust that elf so I gulped down a potion of invisibility and followed him up to make sure he was on the level. He was. Moments after I returned to the others Legless came down the stairs. Curly asked if he would be willing to come to the temple of Heironeous and stand in front of the mirror to prove he was who he said he was. He agreed to come along later that evening.

Legless has just left the temple and he was who he said he was.

Before he came I spoke to Grim about my dreams and asked him if he could tell me more about Hanseath and his teachings. He was more than happy to oblige (he’s been trying to convert everyone ever since he met us anyway) and we spent a good few hours talking and drinking. I think I like Hanseath; we’ve got a similar outlook on life.

Anyway that wasn’t the last talk I had with a mentor tonight. Remember way back when I started this diary I said I’d been given a task to perform in Diamond Lake? Well the people who gave me that mission came to see me. They told me that I’d done a good job thus far (although they did say I was in too many songs for their liking. Can i help it if people think I’m a hero?) and that they would induct me fully into the organisation. We spent a few more hours practicing the basic secret techniques that were a hallmark of this organisation before they left with the promise that they would return to see me someday when I needed more training. Before they left they gave me a tiny silver knife with the promise that if I showed this to any Halfling I would receive any shelter or aid I needed.

With that they left and I snuck back to the temple where the rest of my party slept.



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