Winter sets in. The road is lonely and dark. The gold from my last job thins. My only comfort is reading the book I managed to take during … I probably shouldn’t talk about that. ‘Runes of the Lost Forge’, written by Taren Dragonmountain, the Master himself. The priest back at Forge Home would turn green with jealousy if they knew I had this tome in my hands. Even Darkrune himself would drool if he could even get a look inside it. Unfortunately, although I memorise the runes and trace them again and again, their mystery is beyond my talent. My head hurts. Where is that bottle?
Snow has fallen. I can’t even make it into the village. Going outside for wood and food is painful. The walls of these old ruins barely protect me from the wind and do nothing against the cold. The Rune I work on day and night still evades me like a shy deer. But I’m sure it is a travel rune. I will head into town and look for another job as soon as it rains and the snow melts enough to be able to pass.
Moradin’s black hairy crack! I’ve lost the tome! And I’ve lost myself! I don’t know what happened but as I worked upon the rune I was sucked into it and appeared in the middle of a conversation gone wrong between a rampant demon and its conjurer. The conjurer was a woman, a shifter. It seems she summoned me to fight a battle she had lost the taste for. Others had been called by whatever powerful magic she used. A drow, an elf and a brother of the cloth. I guess the fact Im even writing about it shows that we managed to destroy the demon. But when the town marshall came and saw the scene, which included the body of a young boy whose heart had been torn from his chest, and no shifter in sight, we were placed in this prison. Damn it to hell!
The village mayor has charged us with resolving the mystery of their river that has dried up. There is something about him I don’t like. But its good to be out from behind bars. It seems that I have been brought to some strange part of the world that has been isolated behind some kind of magical wall. The bad news is that instead of keeping things out, this wall keeps demons in. Demons! I need to find out more. I need to speak to that woman that brought us here. We are headed towards the falls, some days north of Dovecott. According to the mayor, slimey prick that he is, a group of adventurers already went up this way to do the same job. Nothing has been heard of them since. As for my new companions, a bit of a strange bunch. The Elf, he seems to hate me. The Drow, she doesn’t talk to anyone, and I think she’s more likely to stab one of us than any enemies we come across. The cleric, he seems alright. He’s a bit green though. It seems like it’s the first time he’s ever been outside of a city. Fuck, I can’t believe I lost that book!
We found the adventurer’s camp. Swarming with goblins. They were having a barbecue with the bodies of their victims. We caught them by surprise. There was only one prisoner, a dwarf. I almost felt homesick to hear his gruff grumpy voice. He told us that goblins have built a dam a days ride from here. Bad luck for those poor adventurers. Good luck for me! One of them was the owner of a magnificent suit of armour, dwarvenmake! And since he doesn’t need it where he has gone …
We managed to take the goblins fort. It feels good to swing the hammer again. Even though the elf is a miserable creature and the drow a borderline psycho I am enjoying being in company again. Exploding balls found up on the dam soon finished the job. The river flows again. And with that out of the way we are on our way back to Dovecott.
Our name has been cleared and we were allowed access to the shifter’s family mansion. The mayor tried to cheat us out of our reward, but he saw the light in the reflection of my hammer. It seems she descends from an illustrious line of magic users. She seemed to leave the place in a rush. The clues we found lead us to a hidden doorway where her familiar was keeping guard. The cleric, who is innocent to say the least gave the game away and we had to kill the imp before we could get any information of worth from it. The place looks like a laboratory of sorts. After searching the place from top to bottom all we have to go on is two place names where the Shifter seems to be heading. The Barrowlands and the Krystmines. The Barrowlands are closer. We leave tomorrow. I should go and see if there is any where to buy some supplies with this gold. A few potions might come in handy down the road.
What a crap place these Barrowlands. Nothing more than a shanty town built up around some kind of crypt that treasure hunters come to mine for lost treasures. And it seems my companions have had enough of me. I wonder what they meant by ‘annoying bald headed big mouth’ and ‘stick my boot so far up your arse when you fart you whistle’. Raising the middle finger and agitating it towards me seemed to have some significance for them as well. I wonder if it’s the same as when a dwarf bites his thumb. Anyway, not a big loss. I’ve found much more agreeable company at the bottom of a barrel. A bard, whose name I can’t remember, Rigo, a Halfling that loves his ale even more than me, Mikal, a paladin who hunts Eliza in order to bring her to justice and Mask,a mage who hides her face behind a Mask. The wizard, who seems to know well the art of bribery, joined us on the condition that afterwards we kill some aquaintences of hers. She seems skilled, so a little spilt blood is probably worth it. Tomorrow we head into the mines.
I think it might be me. The bard has left us as well. Although it could have something to do with the horde of undead that Eliza seems to have unleashed in the mines. We awoke something down there in the darkness, but fortunately the mine collapsed, so hopefully the evil will be contained for long enough for us to complete the mission given to us by the undead guardians, locked in eternal battle with the evil hordes of death. Eliza has stolen some artifact, some kind of crystal if I understood that dead women correctly. Until it returns the dead will be restless. So off we go towards the Krystmines. Lucky Rigo is good at finding horses that people leave lying around the place.
Well that was an unnerving journey. Something had destroyed the bridge over a huge river. The fisherman sent us in the direction of another bridge less travelled. A bridge that took us through the strangest of villages being farmed by people who looked more dead than alive. Even the hairs of my crack stood on end until we got over that bridge. And as for this place, Krystmines, it’s the strangest dwarven fortress I’ve seen in my life. The leaders of this place would have been strung up by their sacks and beaten with a pointy stick back at Forge Home. They look like man loving men who wear sheets and talk like women. They send their soldiers to die in battle with a horde of demons unleashed by Eliza herself while they lie around and eat grapes on beds of velvet. I spit in their black eyes! May Moridan spit them like ash! They even let Eliza walk right into the place, believing her forked tongued lies, and giving her free reign to wreak chaos. Apparantly her father was an ally. We rest tonight, tomorrow we descend into the heart of the fortress to face the demons that infest the lower levels.
Moradin’s hairy sack! This woman is slippery as a fish! She has escaped us again! The damage she has inflicted upon these people is terrible. The general, a true dwarf, sent us down a back shaft to bypass the demons front lines. Those few demons we crossed were weak and badly organized. Mask burnt them like toast. We found Eliza deep down in the mines where she has been farming the dwarven crystals. The magic she possesses is beyond belief. She could have killed us with the snap of her fingers, but she merely froze us in place and left us to face her creation, a crystal golem the size of a tower. She left through a portal. To say the least, her creation was no match for my hammer. Whatever her plan is she needs to keep working on it! But the destruction of the golem triggered the collapse of the portal. We didn’t even get the chance to search the golem to see if t contained the artifact stolen from the Barrowlands. And on the other side of the portal, nothing but an empty warehouse. We followed her through the city we have been transported to, but this is a big city. We lost her. I sit here in the warehouse, alone, hoping someone comes back for these crystal she left behind. Rigo and Mask are asking around in the tavern. Mikal said something about ‘incompetant fools tainted with darkness hindering his vision of light’. And then that middle finger again as he headed off down the street. So there are only 3 of us left now. We’re going to have to recruit some strong allies if we are to have any chance with this witch. I was able to speak to her momentarily before she left us there. She claimed that she has no idea how to get through the Wall. If that is true, this whole chase is rather pointless. It looks like I’m going to have to find my own way through the wall. But not before me and my hammer exchange a few words with her.
Not even Moradin himself would believe where Im staying tonight! In the royal palace of a capital city! In the guests suite! I have a mountain of gold stashed beneath the mattress and a princess that blushes when she says my name! Damn my mothers’s black eyes! Those dwarves never taught me anything about women! But, it doesn’t matter, I’ve been knighted! We’ve all been knighted! While we were searching for word of the shifter a herald announced that the king was looking for adventurers to hunt down his kidnapped son. Luck was on our side, and now a giant barbarian has joined our ranks and a battle leader … an elemental creature of water. He has a keen eye this creature, and just being near him sharpens the senses! Mask was furious! But we are strong now, stronger than ever. We found the trail of the prince’s kidnappers, a clan of were-creatures. They could not stand against our awesome fury. Their leader was spared and Mask cut his tongue loose. He told us what we needed to know. The prince had been passed onto a group of trained soldiers, the kings own men no less. Following the were-creatures directions we tracked them to a temple a days ride from town. I have never seen someone fight with greater fury than that barbarian. The guards were well trained though, and death has never been closer. But what a nest of vipers we have unearthed! It was the prince’s own sister who had played out this strange theatre, preparing a demon summoning to call forth the Lifestealer to devour her brother from all living memory. We stopped her but she proved to be troublesome. Mask claims we were forced to sacrifice one of the guards to the demon to save our own lives. I sometime wonder about her sanity. Mask told me her story. To say the least it is terrible. She has suffered deeply. But I like the grumpy ol’ bitch! When we have time, we will have to go and take care of those responsible for her death. The princess, it seems, a selfish, cold hearted bitch to say the least, fell in with Eliza, who gave her access to the demon summoning ritual and intended to contact her after she seized control of the realm, was a problem. I was forced to use the love potions I bought back at Dovecott on her. I thought they might come in handy one day, although I doubted their authenticity! But boy were they the real thing! I gave her both and she seems to have fallen head over heels in love with me! The king himself has given me permission to court her! Imagine that, a Wolf marrying into royalty! Even father would enjoy that story. Anyway, it’s something to pass the time until the king’s secret service finds some trace of Eliza and we set off on the hunt again. In the mean time Alex, the barbarian has challenged us to a drinking competition tonight. Us, being me and a tree hugging dwarf we met on our way back from the temple! Haha, a dwarf that loves trees! Who ever heard of such a thing! This adventure gets stranger and stranger! We’ll see if he is a true dwarf or not tonight in the bar! Poor Alex! He doesn’t know what he has got himself into challenging me and a dwarf to a drinking competition! I don’t care how big he is! Tonight we are going to teach that living mountain a lesson!