I wish we’d never ventured onto the island. Not only is it completely in the wrong direction from the plains and our village, but we have lost one of our companions.
It is no secret there was no love lost between the paladin and me, but despite his incessant blathering about his god, he was a valiant companion and I did not wish him dead. He fell victim to giant crabs while trying to rescue our packs from the river bank. The rest of us were caught on the island, a raging torrent between us and him, and although I tried — desperately, I tried — I failed to swim the distance.
The creatures in this part of the world are fierce and strange. In the past few days we’ve also been attacked by packs of wolves, giant sharp-toothed lizards, a howling wind of stones which (in the words of the DM) ‘flew apart … in a faint roar like a remembered wave’…
When we arrived at this mysterious island we left our packs and armour on the river bank and swam across. The island is small, with a circle of standing stones amid thorny scrub, and a rocky escarpment. Those of our party who went first — poor Intan, Calwyn and Alix — encountered a shabby cleric whose magical defence of the island almost defeated them. By the time Saffir and I joined them on the island, our friends had neutralised the threat.
It was then Calwyn shrieked at Saffir and me about leaving his precious pack on the far shore, and we resolved to retrieve them. And, as I have said already, I failed the river crossing, leaving a weakened Intan to his unfortunate fate.
In the end we retrieved Calwyn’s pack, provisions, some gear and Intan’s corpse onto the island, hoping we may find some means of restoring the breath of life into his body. The rest of our gear remains on the bank. I fear we will rue abandoning it.
Now we are mired in the bowels of the world beneath the island. Calwyn questioned the cleric — his name is Flowing Mane and he is truly out of his wits — and extracted the password to a secret passage found in his lair. Tired of his witless yammering, I clubbed him on the head and my penance is to carry his stinking body down into the caverns below the island. We have brought Intan too in the hope he is not truly lost — although he will not thank us if he wakens entombed so far from his beloved sun.
These caverns are not without their horrors: we have met skeletal snakes, sucking mosquito-bird creatures that deplete our constitution, giant centipedes like the ones they tell me killed their former companion… So far we have defeated them, but I fear the new terrors that undoubtedly await us further on this path.
I yearn for the open sky, the sun, the plains. I yearn for my village. And I suddenly fear we have left our village’s sacred vessel with the rest of our gear beside the river… If this is so, we cannot return to our village until we have retrieved it.
My heart grows heavy with weariness.
Will Ash have to return for the sacred vessel from her village, or did one of her companions grab it without her knowing? [See – this is what happens when too much wine is consumed during play…] Alternatively, will she continue down the tunnel in the hope it leads off the island and she can circle around to get her stuff (bearing in mind it may be sighted by a bunch of humanoids who turned up with supplies in the dead of night and miraculously didn’t see it the first time)?
To find out what happens, stay tuned for more D&D Chronicles in a few weeks time…