I searched around town for the three henchmen that abandoned us in the tomb. No one had seen them. Met up with Feverborne. He at least agrees with me that the absconding henchmen need to be dealt with. He got the name of the mother of one. I went with him and he talked to the mother, and learned that the absconder liked to go to another town for carousing. We agreed to be caravan guards to travel to the other town. First night, during my watch, I heard clicking. Clicking is never a good sound. I snuck between wagons and saw huge worms with feet dragging another worm. Ran back and woke Feverborne up, because giant worms are not something I can handle alone. We watched, and luckily the worms passed us by.
We got to the other town without incident. Found the bastard in the tavern, half drunk and gambling. We paid for a room, and Feverborne paid for a round of alcohol to get the bastard more drunk. I kept watch on him, and Feverborne waited in the room. The bastard stumbled off to his room, dog at his side. Feverborne had bought sausages to feed to the dog. I picked the lock on the door, and Feverborne led the dog out. I killed the bastard with a dagger under the chin into his brain. He wasn’t worth waking up and pissing his pants as he saw his death coming. It wasn’t a contract after all, just a personal grudge. Two more to go. We dragged his body into a bit of trees and left.
I found the grotto where I’d been with Bern, so I went in to see how he was doing with his exploring. Found him and a prismatist and the others battling giant frogs. What is it with the bugs and reptiles and amphibians around here. Bern went down during the battle. Landon skewered a frog, getting guts all over me. I killed the final frog with my daggers. Bern got up, but wasn’t looking too hot. It’s good that he didn’t die, because we still need to figure out what magic the second chalice has. He wanted to check the river below, and hooked up a rope. I went down the rope and got frog guts cleaned off me. While there, I saw little glowing crystals on the ceiling and walls of the other side of the river. The river seemed too deep to get across. To the west, was a passage that glowed purple and orange. Those colors make me think that’s not a great place to go. We decided to go around the long way so we could check out the crystals.
We were met by two men in plate mail and prisms on their helmets. When they spotted the prismatist, they ordered her to surrender in the name of the empire. None of us had any idea what empire they were talking about. The prismatist seemed scared. I don’t have any attachment to her, and no reason to get in the way of the armed men who wanted her, but Bern wanted to keep her safe so she could answer some riddle after she finds where her missing guard Meg went. So, he hatched a plan to lead the men to the skeleton room, stash the prismatist in the secret room, and tell the men she ran into one of the doors the skeletons guard, so the skeletons would kill them. So we led them in that direction.
In the room, Bern opened the secret door, and the remains of the eaten henchman tumbled through. Bern slammed the door shut, but we could hear the dirt creature muttering. I may have forgotten to mention that it was at this secret door, not the one further in. Oops. I was unaffected, and Bern managed not to fall under the dirt creature’s spell this time. Everyone else was affected. I’m going to put candle wax in my ears, since I bought candles for just this purpose. I thought Bern would just shove the prismatist through the center door to hide, and keep to the original plan, but it looks like he is going with her. So, I won’t offer him any candle wax, if he’s just going to bail.
Was just kicking back in Eastdale when Stria walked in saying she had a line on where Grieg might have gone. Grieg is the shit Merc who ran out on us earlier, after we paid him and bought him gear. Turns out Stria got bored and wanted to hunt him down as am example. I figured that was a good idea; it’s one thing to die in battle, another to take our coin and flee the field.
He hadn’t been back to the Gray Company, but they had his next of kin listed. Mom was quite helpful when I mentioned how worried I was after he went missing on mission, and dropped a few coins. She said he went to Kirkliston sometimes to get away from it all when the Yggfolk got to be too much. So we hopped a caravan headed that way.
The place has just the one tavern, and Grieg was in it. He didn’t see me, and atria put on some sort of disguise. I got a room, had the bartender send some doubles to Grieg’s table. And bought a couple sausages, because a good dog deserves a better human.
Grieg stumbled up the stairs and went to bed. We waited till about 2am before picking the lock (Stria needs practice, she must have bent half the picks, but got it open in the end). I lured Snausages the dog out with my sausages and played with him in the common room while Stria took care of matters in the bedroom all quiet like.
I took Snausages back to Eastdale. Stria got bored again and went looking for humanoids to kill in the Grotto, since Been and Landon were out that way.
The frogs killed me. I shit you not. I had a sword and a torch, and there were four of them. Landon at my side with his goddamn SLOW pike or halberd or whatever the fuck kind of polearm it is, Stria and Grief and the mystery woman Prismatist firing completely useless missile weapons at the great big fucking frogs. I killed the first one with my sword in one blow, but not before the thing fucking bit me. Smacked the other with my torch, ineffectually, while his buddy hopped up to take the place of the one I killed. Killed that one next, but he got a piece of me too. I wasn’t feeling well, but my best bet was to kill the third before it killed me, so I stayed on the line. It was the wrong move. Fucking frog bit me. That’s gonna fucking scar.
I’ll tell folks it was a bear. A great big fucking bear. He was hibernating in a cave I wanted to spend the night in, so I wrestled him for it and won. He was so pissed he bit me. Great big grizzly bear. That’s what I’m telling em. Not a word about a goddamn frog.
Anyways I woke up with someone bandaging the frog bite. The rest of the frog’s were down. I didn’t see who got the rest but Stria was covered in frog guts and Landon was trying to kick one of them off the end of his polearm. Grief and the Prismatist looked pristine.
One of the frogs had a severed hand in it’s belly. The hand had a platinum ring on it. It didn’t belong to Meg, the bodyguard that the Prismatist is looking for.
We took a look at the stream about 20 feet down, where the frogs had come from. We could follow it north or south. South probably leads back to the underground passage at the grotto. No idea where north goes. We decided to walk around through the caves to get to the other side so as not to risk any of our walking wounded (me, god-damned frog) taking a fall. But on the way out we met two assholes with plate mail and prisms for helmets. They claimed to be from the “empire” and wanted to arrest our Prismatist. She didn’t want to be arrested. Can’t say I blame her.
Cooked up a plan real quick. We would lead them back to the skellies. Our Prismatist would go through the first secret door and hide there, while the rest of us convinced the weirdos in colorful hats that she had taken one of the doors the skellies were guarding, thus hopefully killing guards and skellies both.
Plan worked out like a dream right up to the point that Stria neglected to mention she had shut the dirt-mouth creature behind the last door rather than the first one, so when I opened the secret door from the skellies room expecting to find a nice safe 5' cubical to stash the Prismatist, the corpse of our hiring fell out at my feet and the dirt monster started gurgling.
It got me for a moment, but I shook it off with an effort of will. I think Stria did too. Everyone else looked a little nuts, even the Prismatist and the skellies. I was so fucking ready to check out of this dungeon, but the guards were between us and the exit and the secret door led to the dirt monster.
Realistically, there are three doors out. Two guarded by skellies, one in the middle they claim is free passage. But the skellies look like the dirt monster got em, so… Maybe this is our chance to slip through one of their doors? Just pick one at random and run. No way I’m facing that thing again when I am already hurt.
I feel like I learned a lot today. Mostly that there is a time to fucking run. If I live, running away becomes an important life skill.