It’s been 8 days since we set out from Neverwinter. For me, our contract with Gundren was yet another contract for me to fulfill. In retrospect, this contract may be the shortest yet; the longest being my two-year stint deep in the Neverwinter Wood hunting goblin-kind. I almost would prefer that job to this, because the machinations of my foes were easier to predict. Gundren’s job has been different, and if I’m not careful, it may be my last.
The last 24 hours have been a grave challenge. Funny I should consider it such, being that the stench of death and decay surround me as I stand on a pile of bones, with my companions by me. How could Carrick, Sir Edward and Balth the Bear be battling this pile of animated bones and not succumb to the miasma of death around us? It is almost too much for me, and I feel my life leaving me every second that I stand on these bones. A glance behind me, and I see undead have risen and are attacking Zoronium and Synn. I fear the end is near. My potion of healing in my belt pocket might be enough to sustain me; I must use it and battle one. My friends need me.
To my left is Carrack, the Paladin of Kelemvor, who may be saying a prayer for me before too long. I’m not big on offering praise to others, but yesterday he was leading us through the halls of these mines. He was up front and personal with an ooze, and he stayed his course as we defeated thing. For our trouble the ooze was nice enough to leave us a gift – a magic ring that is resistant to acid. It was also engraved with a symbol of the Earth Cult. These symbols have been popping up, and I don’t think it’s a good sign.
After the ooze, we explored more of the mine, at one point we were using my fishing gear to test the water current. I was not sure of the purpose, but those smarter than I thought it was the right course. I kept thinking, we weren’t going to find Gundren underwater, and it turned out we didn’t.
In our next stroke of luck, if you want to call it that, we circled back around to the Forge of Spells. Synn and Voronium wanted to find out more, but the forge had other ideas. We entered the room and were greeted by a magic skull engulfed in flame that demanded that we “Speak the Phrase.” Spooked by this demand, Edward and Carrack did not want to stick around to find out what happened to anyone who didn’t know the phrase. Balth decided to answer by toughening his skin using his druidic magic and then transforming into a bear. What transpired next helped us come together as a group.
The flaming skull hurled a ball of fire that burst around us, then it darted through the air and into the large statue in the middle of the room, what I found out later to be of the dwarf god Dutheon. The statue came to life, with stone grinding on stone and debris and dust falling to the ground. This thing was immense and stood nearly three times the size of an average man. Bear Balth roared and charged the statue, looking like he was trying to push it into the river. The statue didn’t move. At one point, Synn figured out that we needed to attack the furnace within the statue, through the openings where we could see the flame. I told him it was a brilliant idea and encouraged him to blast the fucking thing. The cold spells from Synn and Voronium proved effective, causing cracks and small fissures that the rest of us exploited. Synn’s wild magic continued to produce strange effects, with Balth and I caught in the weavings. I laughed with I saw Balth start to levitate off the ground, but it wasn’t too funny when I found myself several feet off the ground. I quickly found my balance, marked the statue, then I fired on it with no effect. We simply were not equipped for all of us to be effective against the construct. However, the tide of battle turned when Synn’s magic created a magic portal that summoned a unicorn. Our luck was with us, and we were able to fell the statue.
I could use some of that luck now.
My life wouldn’t be waning away if it wasn’t for what happened after the Spell Forge. We encountered a curious battle where Fire Cultists battled a crazed cultist dressed in yellow. The last standing person dressed in yellow threw a potion on the ground that exploded and caused the ground below us to collapse. We all fell about 50 feet, landing in the middle of a large cavern, that even more strangely, was recently traversed by humans. The tracks disappeared into a stone wall, by some trick of magic that allowed them to pass through stone. We found a pile of bones that we avoided, because something about that sight told us something was not truly dead. Shortly after that we had some luck, as we found a tunnel that led outside of the mines. We were on the other side of the mountain range. We camped and discussed our next course – a return to the mine. I thought of Bandit, hoping that my steed and gear were both intact. The night air during this autumnal season was refreshing, one of the last good thoughts that I’ll likely have.
With resolve we made it back into the mine, with stupidity we made our way back to the pile of bones. I suppose it had to be done. We were right about the bones, because they gathered together into a vaguely humanoid shape and began to lash out at us. I ran up to attack the thing, but I was met with an aura of death and decay that began to drain my life force.
There I was, wilting away like a dying flower.