Dear Diary…enemy of my enemy is worse enemy?

Alert: May contain spoilers for the adventure “Descent Into the Depths of the Earth”

I always say the adventuring life is days of soft boredom punctuated by moments of sheer panic. Today made up for our couple days of toiling along ledges beside blackness.

First off, we heard a group of rats running somewhere. Unfortunately, the echoes of this underground space made it so we couldn’t tell where they were coming from. We thought if they were running from something (unusual for so many to travel together, after all) we wouldn’t like the something, either.

I was assessing our rear to make sure nothing was sneaking up on us when It happened. “It” being that I had a feeling that the ghostly elf lady from the Temple of Elemental Evil was standing right behind me – so I whipped around, but it was just Clatrial, so then I felt better. But almost at the same moment, Ezekiel started yelling the most vile things and ran off into the darkness ahead of us. Raven also ran off, while Agnar and Heiron stood still, shaking their heads a little – clearly shocked at what Ezekiel was saying. That was “It.”

Then the two-legged, hairy rat-men charged us. Master Oaklock and I fired at them while the paladins held the line, but the arrows didn’t seem to do anything. Lydia took out most of them, then Tressarian and I helped Clatrial finish them off. But rat-men can’t mess with people’s minds like that…and Ezekiel and Raven were still missing, somewhere up ahead (we saw Ez’s light flashing here and there. Good thing there weren’t any pits in this cavern).

Aliana advanced to find Ezekiel, and when the rest of us came up to them, she and Raven were holding him down while he screamed things that I’m not even sure what all of them meant. Also there was a drow in a cage. Sometimes Ezekiel yelled about the drow, but mostly about Raven’s mother (who I don’t think he’s ever met).

We searched the rat-men while they were busy. Each had a ring with a moonstone, so it seems they were an organized group. Crates and packing materials stood in one corner…mostly metal ingots, some funguses that I think they eat down here.

We also found the bodies of two squid-faced humanoids like we fought before. It seems they can mess with people’s minds. We are certainly not endearing ourselves to their race, but the feeling is mutual.

Once Ezekiel felt better, he apologized for all the things he called people…and he and Aliana questioned the drow prisoner, with Mikael listening in.

The drow (calls himself Dripzt) was a member of a merchant caravan that was captured by the squid-men. He called them…something in drow/elvish that I can’t spell. Apparently the were-rats were working for them, too. They ate the brains of everyone else in his party, so he is formally polite to us (for saving his life and all). He seems much struck by Aliana, as usual.

Once we knew what to look for, we found his broach of allegiance in the effects of the squid-men. He says our map leads to the great city of the drow – Erelhei-Cinlu – and it’s possible he will lead us the next checkpoint. I think Ezekiel will have trouble containing himself…he has a thing about slavers.

I think he’s still having issues, since when he looked over the loot we found, he was much struck by a particular cloak. It wasn’t magical or anything, but he kept looking at it through the gem of seeing, re-looking, and gagging. Aliana says nothing was there, but Ezekiel is rattled.

As I understand it, the drow can introduce us at the next outpost. If we make “friends” with the drow there, maybe kill some things that are Evil anyway, they can direct us toward House Alserv, which is who we’re really after anyway. This is outside the experience of all of us (except maybe Agnar), and Clatrial is very free with her reservations about the whole thing (hopefully Mr. Dripzy doesn’t speak Common)…but the black sphere over Istivin isn’t getting smaller.

If this is the shortest distance between us and Alserv, this might be what we have to do.

Find the previous entry here.

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  1. Pingback: Dear Diary...a brush with undeath - Kimia Wood

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