And so continues the diary of Anna-Katarina von Randstein ("Katja"). For those of you who are just joining us, I have been posting session logs of a fantasy campaign that produced one of my favorite characters, a character that was responsible for the relaunch of this blog a year ago [see "The Moon Goddess is a Harsh Mistress"]. Professor Pope has been providing a commentary track for these write-ups from the GM's point of view and it's fascinating to see the differences in perspective.
July 3rd, 2000 (First Quarter)
It has been one week since I last wrote. I just haven't been up to it. The loss of Boaz and the departure of Sunny have almost been too much to bare. But I think I'm doing better now. We've had an exciting trip back to Emily's family's cave and the four remaining members of the Outsiders' Aegis are closer than ever.
We left Harcomb on the 27th, after getting an advance from Sir Karshorn for horses. But, as was expected, there were no horses to purchase. Hopefully, we'll be able to purchase some later in our mission. Without them, I fear the trail might grow cold.
The first day of travel was unremarkable but for the extreme heat and humidity. And none of us spoke much, as our hearts were still heavy from grief.
On the 28th, the heat continued. But Kreed and I were feeling up to a little hunting, and between the two of use we brought back enough food to feed us all for several days. We also found goblin tracks, which we decided not to pursue at this time.
On the morning of the 29th, we could feel the weather start to shift. A storm was going to roll in and I found my spirits rising in anticipation. Kreed also transferred his magic boots to Bix over breakfast, and Bix's gleeful jumping antics brought smiles to all of our faces. For the rest of the day, we had a pleasant journey up into the mountains with a refreshing summer rain and distant sounds of thunder.
On the 30th, the terrain grew too severe for me to continue to ride Drachen. So I dismounted and fell back to the rear of the marching order. The rain was starting to wear out its welcome, as it made our path rather slippery. After lunch, Emily returned from an afternoon flight in a state of panic. She was pursued by a "porcupine with wings", or as Bix would later tell us, a manticore.
Immediately, I blessed our group with the favor of the Silver Huntress. Not a moment later, Drachen and I were grazed by flying spikes. I looked in the sky, saw the manticore, and shot it with my crossbow. It didn't even flinch. Drachen then took another spike in his flank. Then I saw Kreed hit it with one of his javelins. After a few more shots, we were able to bring it down with missile fire. But it was still coming at us down the slope of the mountain.
And then it was on us. Bix was raked by its claws and Kreed was bit. But Kreed once again displayed his might by slaying the beast with a single stroke of his sword.
All of us were wounded and tending to those wounds was my first priority. But it was an amazing fight. We had conquered another legendary beast. After our double defeat at the hands of the trolls, our confidence desperately needed this victory. To commemorate our victory, I sacrificed part of the beast to the Silver Huntress in my evening ritual.
But we were not finished with manticores. Almost at dawn, on Orion's watch, our camp was attacked by the slain manticore's mate. A rain of spikes fell on our campsite, miraculously missing all of us. We woke and reached for our weapons. But Ouch! I was hit. And hit again! And Bix got hit hard as well. I rolled over, healed Bix, got hit again, and healed myself. Kreed stepped up and engaged it in melee combat. Even Emily got into it, using her poisoned tail to stab at its feet. After a tremendous blow from Kreed, Bix finished the creature with a stab from his magic sword (now glowing bright white).
So much for sleeping. Since I had exhausted my healing spells, Bix used the whacking wand to tend to my injuries. Kreed and I also foraged for food while Orion prepared his daily spells.
On July 2nd, we were arrived at Dave & Marsha's cave. No one was home and there were huge tracks about. After an initial panic, we discovered a telepathic note saying that the dragonkin had gone off with their full dragon "relative". Now what? We had come to return Emily and now her parents weren't expected back for some time. We had to leave soon to pursue our mission for Sir Karshorn.
After some discussion, we decided to wait one day and then leave a note for Dave and Marsha. Emily would come with us. It was her choice. We had fulfilled our obligation to bring her back and we could not be responsible for Dave and Marsha's absence. However, I still feel responsible for Emily and hope that our subsequent adventures do not bring her to harm.
But now, on July 3rd, I can honestly say that our spirits are bright again. The weather is cool and the view from Dave and Marhsa's cave is spectacular. We are all excited about pursuing this small mission and going on to meet Sunny in Duma Fafne. Perhaps then we reassemble the Outsiders' Aegis in full and make another attempt at the Oghma temple?
The Birds: Bourbon
1 hour ago