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November 29, 1997

Defenders Log Entry #13: The Next Level of Paranoia

Felix, 2nd level fighter, 24 hp, played by Alex
Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric of Nevron, 12 hp, played by Joel
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Perry, 1st level thief, 6 hp, played by Sean

Watch as the party attempts to keel over from high stress!

When we last left our immobile party, it was in the room at the inn with Father Filner from the Nevronian Church. We had just found a supposedly non-magical but clearly intelligent dagger. We put it back.

Our next and last idea was to discreetly drill a hole in the ceiling and look through it for several nights.

Several interesting things were noted:

At fairly random times during the night every couple of days, the chest, tub, and wardrobe would all glow green. This, we concluded was the appearance of them activating.

A couple of nights into our observations, our "ghost" entered the room from the wardrobe immediately following a green glow from it. He moved around the room for a few moments, then sprinted back to the wardrobe, and we believe that it had begun to close and he reopened it, then clambered in and left.

That was neat.

About a half hour later, something even weirder happened. The washbasin went flying across the room, crashing noisily on the other side. The stick we had left lying against a wall was knocked over, along with the nightstand, we discovered the next morning.

We told the Nevronian priest everything, but we have withheld the existence of the map and dagger from the innkeeper.

We were then strongly suspicious that there was both a real and fake ghost. The dual personality theory had been blossoming anyway, and it was just getting better. Before that night we had left a message hidden in a drawer that had three questions:

1. Who is Brinea? (As in, kill Brinea from Nbod's previous message)
2. Where is Brinea?
3. How do we kill Brinea?

Although the intruder definitely did not open the drawer, an answer was given to the last two questions:

2. Mo... (We think this was Moon Isle)
3. With my dagger. (there was also some insult that slips my mind right now)

We decided that the ghost was indeed Captain Nbod, but that it was invisible, and someone else was entering through the portal disguised as a ghostly Captain Nbod to scare everyone off. It would also explain the sounds of a fight we had heard a few weeks back.

We also tried one other thing. Drew, with a _Bless_ spell on him courtesy of Tyveris, asked the dagger a question: Who is Brinea?

The response-- "I have been questioned. Brinea is the witch of the sea, the caretaker. Do not dare to question me again soon."

Disturbingly cryptic. We decided not to ask anymore questions for now.

So in the tradition of the Molehill encounter, we plotted an ambush.

Tyveris would look through the hole in the ceiling. When the glow occurred he would tug on a twine that would reach Quentin and the others outside the door. Quentin would begin casting _Trip_ on the rope we had laid out-- and it stretched under the door so Quentin could activate it from out of sight.

In addition, Perry set up a snare to further mess him up if the _Trip_ failed. In addition, we set up a ratchet on the doors, so that they would lock when they closed behind him, buying us some time. Tyveris would throw _Command_ spells until he either dropped or we simply had to kill him.

Of course, if we were wrong and it was really a powerful undead, the plan to run. And hope someone made it out alive.

A few nights later, the glow began, and Tyveris signaled. Quentin began casting, but was unable to finish the spell before the figure entered the room and checked it out for a few moments.

Tyveris waited until he stumbled on the way out, then hit him with a Command. Felix and Morgan burst in, with Drew following closely behind with a lit hooded lantern to blind the intruder.

As it turned out, the intruder toppled over with the Command. The party then began a series of botched attempts to knock him unconscious with saps before he woke up. He got off a moan through his gag and must have alerted someone. Quentin got to the wardrobe first and put a chair in front of it. Moments later there was a loud impact, then nothing. Whatever it was unable to return.

The intruder was indeed a man, as we expected. He was disguised as Captain Nbod, but when we pulled off the glowfungus, fake beard, and hair, he resembled the Captain's final first mate, Zune. We weren't sure what to do next. Where should we take him? We decided that the Nevronian church was the safest spot for the moment. Unfortunately there were two guards on the bridge who would certainly have questioned us if we went by with an unconscious guy in tow.

Perry had a great idea though. He ran up to the guards claiming he had seen a beating at the docks. He said he was there watching in case the ghost returned. It worked perfectly; the guards abandoned their post and we slipped unnoticed to the church.

Unfortunately for Perry, he blew his cover story and the two guards are currently amusing themselves hitting him in a chair. We hope he'll return by morning... thanks for the sacrifice, Perry! "Did you kill the Archbishop? For every lie, we will pull off... a toe hair!"

Meanwhile, we spoke with the prisoner. He was indeed the first mate. He was quite willing to answer any questions as long as it didn't involve giving away the number and location of his friends.

This may or may not be true, but this is what we got from him:

Zune is a priest of the neutral evil sea goddess, Queen of the Grotto.

He has a large group he leads in fact, if not in name. He has been searching the room of Captain Nbod for the dagger and longsword for years, minutes at a time, going through the portal. He had defeated the ghost on several occasions with spells and magic items, but it just returned a few days later.

Brinea is supposed to be a spirit Captain Nbod killed years ago but was unable to destroy.

Zune claims that he found the dagger first and Nbod stole it from him. It was found on Moon Isle, which is basically far north of here.

He claims that he has contacts who will know if we have the dagger and exact revenge. He also says that if we release him and don't have the dagger, we will be left alone.

When asked about its powers, he claims that it allows waterbreathing.

We stepped outside for a conference, with Father Filner.

It was patently obvious that the dagger was an artifact. The first mate couldn't even begin to list its powers. It clearly is evil and something has to be done-- but it is indestructible. The safest thing for it would be to turn it over to the Archbishop in Barnacus.

However, it would be rather unhealthy for us, based on Zune's final threat.

We will cast a _Detect Lie_ off of scroll and talk with him again to see if there really is a cult, or if it is just him and some other guy or something. If there is really a cult, it may be in our survival instincts to free him. Our hope is that he won't find the dagger-- if he hasn't found it by now, the portal will soon go down and he will be unable to try further, we hope.

He claims that he will then know whether it is in the room or not. I'm not sure what method that is.

By the way, he was carrying a magical hammer, bracer, unholy symbol, and wand.

Presumably, since Zune has no qualms about angering the ghost, it is likely safe to grab the treasure we found in the room. By the way, Drew was able to determine that the "Magic 8-Ball" thing we found was indeed the fabled compass. This we might be able to sell discreetly to the Petethalian navy for more than enough money to cover our training expenses. And we still net a Bag of Holding.

We might also consider sending a letter to the Archbishop and having him come down here on the pretense of removing the ghost, and then secretly slip him the artifact.

Will we live out the year? I don't know, but if we pull this off we are really going to be well off.
Log Supplement VI: Additional Information for the Careful Reader

I forgot one or two things:

1. During one of our observation evenings, we noticed the tub filling up.
2. Nbod had fired the first mate, Zune, when they entered town on the ship for the last time.

Suggestion: We should ask whether Zune and his friends were responsible for the disappearance of previous occupants of the room, and the other party.

November 22, 1997

Defenders Log Entry #12: Things to Do in Benct When You're Dead, Part II

Felix, 2nd level fighter, 24 hp, played by Alex
Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric of Nevron, 12 hp, played by Joel
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Perry, 1st level thief, 6 hp, played by Sean


I'll hit the general highlights:

The party continued its exploration of possibilities. Finding no response forthcoming from the room for several days. Eventually we decided to get a little more adventurous and tried to prop open the chest. It stayed that way for two nights, until the second night when something happened.

Four armed men, yelling about how they would kill those adventurers, entered the bar. They threatened us with 250 gp damages. Tyveris stood up and said something to the effect that they should be worried about the ghost as a permanent problem rather than blaming us. They tried to drag him away-- but then he pointed out that he was a deputy of Restenford.

The man punched him with a brass knuckle, hard enough to stun him. Then he left. Tyveris felt a vague sense of satisfaction through the dizziness, though.

It turns out that the ghost had appeared on the docks and chased three men unloading something into the water. By some accounts he threw them in, others he just pushed. It was definitely the same ghost in appearance.

The next day Quentin went down to the docks to speak with rats. It turns out they are quite intelligent, greedy, and all serve someone known as "the Commandant." We SUSPECT, though there isn't much proof, that he is a wererat. He is definitely the head of the underworld in Benct.

The Commandant in fact sent a note back the next day warning Quentin not to ask delicate questions. Quentin wrote back explaining we were just curious about the ghost on the docks. The Commandant wrote back saying that for 1000 gp he would tell us about the glowing thing on the docks. We politely refused.

There was, during this time, a new note in the room. It read, "She has my bones." (under our question of who is Brinea)

The next night, the innkeeper heard a loud crash and screams. They stopped after about two minutes. We kept watch the rest of that night.

In the morning, we found the desk trashed. Drawers were lying everywhere, though we noticed that NOTHING was missing. There was a small spot of fresh blood on the tub, and a grimy residue on the desk.

One theory is that this was a reenactment of the death of Captain Nbod. This works except for the damage done to our note. It was found with 2/3 of it burned away and the candle partially burned. This hurts our theory that the ghost thing doesn't like light, if it used the candle to light something on fire. Of course, it didn't have to be the ghost.

Possibly a thief may have entered the room and searched it, then been caught (killed?) by the undead that actually is in the room. There are a number of theories currently bouncing around.

It gets better. We took the residue to the biologist, who quickly identified it as "glowfungus." This grows in moist areas, though not particularly quickly. It glows bluish-white in the dark, JUST LIKE THE ZOMBIE/ GHOST THING WE SAW.

Certainly everything we've seen could have been reproduced by a low- mid level cleric (or even perhaps a mage)-- the Command spell, the Faerie Fire like spell, the glowing, the inexpensive magic powder...

Our suspicions heightened, we visited the pawn shop owner, who was willing to throw a Detect Magic (magic-user) spell on the three items for 100 gp plus some credit on the treasure, if we find it.

Interesting results: the three objects were all detected as VERY POWERFUL magic, conjuration. Furthermore, they were all the same magic. They had all been made at roughly the same time and had decayed to roughly the same rate of inconsistent flickering that occurs at the end of a semi-permanent magic item's lifespan.

The purpose of all of these objects appears to be a teleport, or more likely a gate. It doesn't remain open constantly, but activates by something unknown. Furthermore, the painting, which originally we detected as non-magical, detected as VERY FAINT magic.

We flipped it over, and found that the back was low magic. Furthermore, the pawn-shop owner indicated it was alteration magic. Finally, we called upon the carpenter who constructed some of the furniture in the room.

For a tidy sum, he showed us the secret panel in the bed, and we pulled out... a map! Of an isle called, Moon Isle (interesting considering our moon phase theories). It was in Captain Nbod's handwriting, and listed things like, "The lurker in the Shallows" a small picture of something very much like the tentacle thing in the painting, the "wreck of the Solaris" with a sinking ship, and the "Singing Cliffs."

We opened the cloth in the back of the painting, to discover it was a Bag of Holding! It contained:

* 2 torches
* shovel
* box with earmuffs
* pouch with 50 Petethalian pp
* brass sphere thingy
* pick

The brass sphere thingy was the only thing that detected as magical. Our first suspicion is that it is this fabled compass that was mentioned to us earlier. Furthermore, the carpenter checked out the desk for us, and found an ultra-well hidden secret panel. We opened it and found... the funky dagger in the painting of Nbod. It was a truly bizarre looking dagger.

It did not detect as either Trapped (from the 2nd level cleric spell Find Traps, cast by a Nevronian priest with us), nor did it detect as magical. Nevertheless, when Perry the thief attempted to hold it by the handle to check its balance (it has a really sharp blade), his eyes suddenly went vacant.

He handed the dagger back to Felix after about thirty seconds and explained that he had sensed the presence of something very sinister in the dagger. He had also sensed that he could perhaps control it. He sensed it was slumbering deeply, and didn't actually feel compelled to hold the dagger.

The Nevronian priest cast _Detect Evil_, and the dagger detected as VERY EVIL. (Hideous, sleeping, maybe even trapped?) In true SS tradition, we found a nice evil thing in a room at an inn.

The priest was shocked that though the dagger was clearly powerfully evil, it didn't detect as magical. It should definitely be taken the Church in Barnacus.

Our choices: should we take it out of here now, with the ghost still roaming around? Is it really a ghost? Will anyone else steal it if we leave it there?

Other things: apparently the three magic things have less than year's lifespan left. The pressure is on to go through them (if that is indeed what they do) and use the map to recover some massive treasure. We're thinking about it-- there has to be some reason why the other party can't get back though.

In terms of the ghost, we're still not sure whether it's corporeal, mortal (playing jokes) or what. Perhaps its a combination of both.
Interestingly, the room has never changed during the nights we stand in front of the door. Perhaps it is a connection.

Other thoughts are to drill a hole in the ceiling from the attic and observe events from above. If its really a ghost it might be bad, if its really a mortal this could be the perfect way to trap him.

November 15, 1997

Defenders Log Entry #11: The Impossible Happens-- Nobody Dies!

Felix, 2nd level fighter, 24 hp, played by Alex
Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric of Nevron, 12 hp, played by Joel
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Perry, 1st level thief, 6 hp, played by Sean

The party has decided to give the room our best shot. We tried a number of the suggested plans. There were no secret doors, but in fact there IS a secret panel in the chest, which opens with a normal lockpicking skill. In the secret panel, oddly enough, is a 35' rope ladder, attached at one end to the top of the chest! There are many theories about why that would possibly be in the chest, ranging from an escape out the window of the room to a rope ladder leading down through a dimensional portal in the bottom of the chest. We still have no idea which is correct.

The first night we left rocks in various places on the room to see if anything changed during the night. The results were dramatic: the stones were found in an X shape in the center of the room the next morning. Furthermore, when Sean's new halfling thief, Perry, put his head on the stones to detect noise, a bolt of lightning shot out of the floor (like a ward). Fortunately, Tyveris quickly threw a Cure Light Wounds in time to bring him back to full health, and prevent instant death.

We left a note to the "ghost" and asked what it was, and what we could do to help. That night we observed the room through the light of a candle we left there, perched on a rented ladder outside. Nothing happened.

Then we got rid of the candle, thinking that perhaps the light discouraged the ghost from appearing. We were right. That evening the ghost appeared in full glory. Drew made a fantastically good Monster assessment and recognized it as a zombie-like being, except for the glowing aura. The thing, which had a scraggly beard and seaman's coat closing resembling that of Captain Nbod, yelled "Dive to your doom!" Drew resisted and simply slid down the ladder.

Tyveris bravely climbed up, when suddenly the staff we had left in the room was prodding the ladder over. Felix leaped to the ladder and attempted to steady it. Tyveris tried to turn the being, but it was clearly beyond his power. It laughed and said something like, "Your pathetic power does not affect me!"

Tyveris got down the ladder, and the stick hit Felix in the head. Finally, some speckled dust was flung out and it settled firmly on Tyveris. Although we were really nervous and had priests examine him, nothing appears to have happened-- Quentin has theorized that it was sort of a variant of Faerie Fire.

We have continued over the past two weeks to attempt a number of experiments. We have left messages and rocks in different places, and they have often been shifted around and occasionally responded to. The responses have been quite interesting.

The original note we left was left unanswered, but we found in the treasure chest a piece of paper we had left with "Help." written in reddish-brown fat writing (blood, we think). After that we left ink, and the responses have since then been in ink.

When asked, Who are you? The response: You're stupid.

When asked, "How can we help you?", the response was: kill Brinea.

The most recent message we sent, "Who is Brinea?" was trapped with a fire glyph thing, which incinerated the message.

Who is Brinea, you might ask? Well, we think that Brinea is a sea monster, perhaps the specific one Nbod is fighting the painting of the Maybelle. Or perhaps not-- this was suggested to us by a sailor.

Nbod has had in his position three different ships, the Maybelle, then the Conundrum, and finally the Grindstaff, which is a full sized warship.

Nbod, although a nefarious pirate and privateer, was well liked by most of Benct for his great storytelling abilities and nearly unlimited cash output. He was the kind of guy who would pay salvage tax on stolen goods. I love Benct.

The kelp at the bottom of the copper washbasin was analyzed and matched with the tropical fish to limit the search of the other end of the teleport to a large area of ocean either far to the east or far to the west of Port Elizabeth. It requires both open ocean and shallows, perhaps like an underground mountain rising just a little bit above the surface.

All this leads me to believe that the copper washbasin is a two-way teleport to an obscure tropical island, which perhaps may contain Nbod's treasure. And it is probably not very related to what's been happening with the chest.

The dual personality of the responses leads us to believe that the ghost has two different warring sides-- one vicious, the other trying to escape-- and they foil each other's attempts to help or hinder us.

The wardrobe, by the way, has done nothing.

Interestingly, five days before the full moon, the washbasin was suddenly filled with water and some kelp.

We believe that the ghost operates on some sort of cycle, tied perhaps to the lunar phases. We hope to check more into the inn's logs to see if we can determine these phases. Also, we checked, there is no one named Brinea in the inn's registry for 10 years back.

Lots of stuff to think about. We're definitely making progress-- when the ghost phases back in (he hasn't responded since the water appeared the day of the incinerated message), we may get more info.

There are countless more details, and I'll try to add those, with help from everyone else, as the weekend begins!
Log Supplement V:Things to do in Benct when you're dead

1. Insult low level Nevronian priests.
2. Push over ladders.
3. Swap rock and paper positions, while writing insulting notes instead of productive answers.
4. Glow.
5. Make lots of people disappear.
6. Set glyphs on the notes you want people to read.

November 08, 1997

Defenders Log Entry #10: Stupidity and Weird, Gooey Things

Felix, 2nd level fighter, 24 hp, played by Alex
Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric of Nevron, 12 hp, played by Joel
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Colin, 1st level thief/mage, 5 hp, played by Sean

A bit of indecisiveness and total lack of concentration-- what does that leave you with? A disturbingly unproductive game session (at least until the last part).

The party has been having difficulty figuring out what to do to bridge the gap until we can tackle the gnolls, which isn't too far off, but just slightly out of easy reach.

We decided that perhaps bandits had moved back into the fortress up in the wilderness, and headed out there.

The trip up was uneventful. The fortress itself was still trashed-- having no floor and a basement filled with rainwater. So we decided to camp that night on the hill. Our luck then shot downward rapidly.

That evening, we saw some weird light, almost like a flickering torch, and heard some muttering but unintelligible voices.

Thinking that perhaps it was a bandit group, we sent our new scout ahead. (This is Sean's new character, the elven mage/thief named Colin-- Gaston is in semiretirement, working at training dogs for the Baron) Colin moved after them, and there was nothing for awhile. So we put on our armor and looked over the ridge to see if we could spot anything.

Suddenly, there was the sound of a blown whistle. We raced down the embankment and saw that apparently someone was wielding a glowing weapon in the distance. We headed that way, and at about 100 feet, the glow vanished. There we found Colin lying on the ground, poisoned and burned. He was still alive, but due to his frail constitution he was not able to recover fully on the field. So we took him back to camp and decided to wait out the night.

Colin described what had happened to him: He had followed the light only a short distance, when suddenly he fell into a poorly concealed pit trap, managing to get himself poisoned. He then ran, after blowing the whistle. When he could run no more, he stopped exhausted. Then a glowing blue whip/tentacle hit him on the side of the face, burning with its touch. He fell over.

We attempted to sleep, but only about an hour later the light reappeared. This time we sent Morgan to investigate. Morgan was hit by a rockslide, and pinned. Then he was burned just like Colin. Unfortunately, the party wasn't sure what had happened and arrived nearly too late to save him. In addition, while going up to retrieve Morgan, the thing got another lash on the sleeping Colin.

Flustered, we gathered ourselves and attempted to sleep in our armor in camp. An hour later, the light appeared, and drew nearer. Suddenly, it was apparent that the thing was only about 30 feet away. Lacking no obvious light source, Quentin cast a Flame Blade, lighting up the area.

In that instant blue tentacles appeared lightning-fast, smashing Quentin and attacking Felix when he tried to bash the tentacles. Drew fired an arrow into the woods, and there was a burst of light, blinding everyone except Tyveris. All Tyveris could see was that the tentacles withdrew and sped away at unbelievable speed.

Confused and afraid, we decided to leave the area as quickly as possible. Interestingly, the hits seemed to have an additional effect of draining some of the victim's energy, making them sleepy.

We pressed on for about 2 hours (a mile away) and set up camp, taking catnaps in armor. The rest of the night passed without event.

We slept until about noon, then began the long trek home. On the second day, we had pressed into the evening, which we regretted later. Drew was in the lead, having been with Tyveris as the only unaffected people left. Suddenly, Drew was yanked from view.

Quentin quickly assessed the attacker as a trapdoor spider. Thinking quickly he cast a Speak with Animals, and convinced the spider to give Drew back for about 30 shiny gold pieces, though Drew was badly damaged, but still able to stand without assistance.

Tyveris started wondering when something lousy would happen to him. So far he hadn't even been scratched.

Of course, that day, it began to rain. A lot. Thunderstorms. Aren't we lucky?

Dragging the semi-conscious party members along, we stumbled into Restenford after about 6 days of travel and started recuperating. What was the worst thing was that we gained nothing material from this.

However, Peltar, the Baron's wizard friend, had some illuminating ideas. He suspects that the creature was a will o' the wisp. It certainly acted like popular lore says one would. The question is, is it guarding a big treasure like legend says?

Of course, Peltar has no idea how to kill one. If we did find out, though, he would certainly be interested in helping us.

We decided to hold that in reserve, mainly because of the costs of hiring a sage to help us. But certainly in the future it might be a good possibility.

There was some grim news upon returning to Restenford. Morgan had suffered greatly and has lost 3 hp and the burn mark has not healed well (comeliness -2). Worse off was Colin, who became incredibly weak (lost 3 of his 5 hp), and his once great hearing was ruined. He has retired to seek help from his old master.

We are still looking for a new scout, though we haven't yet picked one up. We decided that perhaps we could find things to do in Benct, so we traveled there uneventfully.

We restocked up on supplies, then went job hunting. We remembered the weird information about the haunted room in the inn, but we held that in reserve to see if perhaps the Nevronian church wanted something done.

There were 3 things:

1. Root out devil-worshippers in a little inland farming town to the north
2. Clear ghouls from the sewers of Benct
3. Figure out that haunted room.

#2 seems way out of our league. #1 is certainly an interesting possibility, and we are definitely considering it. But since two different people have suggested the haunted inn room, we decided we at least do some conservative information gathering about it.

We talked to the barkeep who originally mentioned it to us, and he took us up to the room. Interestingly, there was a tropical fish called Esmerelda that they just found in the washbasin of the room one day, which made very little sense. Some even suspected that the fish was the old captain polymorphed. Seizing on anything, we cast Detect Magic, and got nothing magical about the fish.

However, Quentin spoke with it. It seems that the fish somehow swam from the ocean to the "shiny orange thing" (copper washbasin). But that seems impossible, given that the washbasin is on the 2nd story of an inn, and that type of fish doesn't live in the local waters. Something to ponder anyway.

We did a decently detailed search of the haunted room. Apparently it is quite safe to go in during the day, and it's only at night that parties "disappear." Wonderful.

There was quite a bit of furniture, all of it bolted down, oddly enough. This would be normal for a ship, but not for a stationary building. This leads us to conclude a few things. Perhaps the captain was just insecure without the feel of a ship. Or perhaps this room somehow represents his cabin on ship.

Other things in the room: a locked chest, closed wardrobe, colored soap, and a painting. The desk contains tons of books on navigation and scroll tubes of cartographer maps. The painting is of the captain himself, on board a ship called the Maybelle in the picture, fighting a black tentacled thing. The painting is signed, "Yertin."

Finally, Tyveris cast Detect Magic and Detect Evil. Surprisingly, the locked chest, wardrobe (but not the doors of the wardrobe), and the copper basin all detected as STRONGLY MAGICAL. Furthermore, though nothing specifically detected as evil, the entire room detected as faint Lawful Evil.


So far, we've brainstormed a few things:

1. Check down at the docks for records of the Maybelle. It's interesting that the window from the room looks out on one particular collection of docks.
2. Set up a few ladders outside and observe the room through the window at night.
3. Put something inanimate inside and see if it's still there in the morning.

Log Supplement IV: Damage and Death Toll
Ok, for everyone's interest our total permanent damage has been:

* 10 hit points
* 1 strength point
* 4 constitution points
* 2 comeliness points
* 1 frailty

Permanent damage has been taken by Quentin, Morgan, Gaston, and Colin.

In other fun:

Party members have been dropped below zero in these encounters:

* Bandits-- 2
* Stirges-- 1
* Beetle-- 2
* Bandits-- 2
* Bandits-- 3
* Bandits-- 5
* Ogres-- 4
* Skeletons-- 4
* Skeletons-- 2
* Skeletons-- 1
* Spiny thing-- 3
* Skeletons-- 1
* Will o'wisp-- 2

Total: Party members have fallen unconscious 32 times! That's an average of 3.56 collapses per game session!

November 01, 1997

Defenders Log Entry #9: A Plan is Implemented, For Once

Felix, 2nd level fighter, 24 hp, played by Alex
Drew, 2nd level ranger, 19 hp, played by committee
Morgan, 2nd level fighter, 12 hp, played by Alan
Tyveris, 2nd level cleric of Nevron, 12 hp, played by Joel
Quentin, 2nd level druid, 10 hp, played by Jeremy
Gaston, 1st level fighter, 6 hp, played by Sean

We discussed many plans, and eventually settled on the conservative plan:

1. Take down a sentry
2. Take down the search party, hopefully dramatically reducing the number of people remaining
3. Storm the area in the middle of the night.

Part 3) was certainly a desperate option. Hopefully, instead of holing up they would attack us, which would allow us to meet them on our terms outside.

As planned, we landed at 2 AM with eight marines and the major in tow, though Quentin was still at Carse for the duration of the isle adventure.

We marched up the beach and into the copse of trees a few hundred feet up the hill. We set up camp and waited until morning.

When morning arrived, Morgan took up a forward scouting post. He warned us when the first sentry came... and we sprinted out of the bushes at the scout!

Seeing three crazed lunatics, one beginning a spell, the cleric/scout surrendered. We bound and gagged him, and hauled him off to camp. A few hours later, another cleric scout emerged, who fell similarly quickly (none of this even involved a spell!).

Then Morgan got bopped on the head by a seashell from his hidden location. He discovered a scroll tube in the bushes. Upon opening it, it made a decently loud bang, easily heard within a hundred feet. Inside was a message:

Bayleaf was offering to leave the island for 500 gp. Yes!

Morgan took our response back, and Bayleaf (who has unbelievable stealth abilities, probably a combination of being a wizard and an elf) agreed to meet us on the beach when the boat arrived.

Bayleaf must have encouraged another foray with false information, because the next morning, three warriors in banded mail came tromping down the hill. We failed to surprise them, and one shot Drew badly, though he still stood. Crossbow shots came from the marines, lightly damaging two of them. The third, a huge fighter with sword and shield, who we correctly identified as Ogmund, fell to a _Command_. Upon attempting to tie him up, Tyveris screwed up the knot and Ogmund reared up and quick-drew his weapon... only to get knocked down by another _Command_. Tyveris also botched this knot really badly, but fortunately Gaston was able to secure it before Ogmund awoke. Ogmund started beating his head on the ground and crying out about not being taken alive... until the major bonked him on the head.

We shipped the five prisoners out on the ship that morning. There were no further forays that day, and we settled down to wait.

Unfortunately, that evening things took an ugly turn. A beaten up sailor stumbled into camp, saying that Ozymandius and the remaining three men had given a false signal, lured the longboat to shore, and boarded it, _Holding_ several men and dropping them into the water.

We arrived in time to save one more, so three of the original six were still alive. What had happened to the longboat was anyone's guess.

In the morning, the truth was revealed. The drowned bodies of Ozymandius and his men were found on the beach. They had crashed the longboat trying to cruise past the reefs at night.

Bayleaf appeared from thin air. We then made a complex series of deals, but managed to get our magic shield back. In addition, though we traded away the scroll of Dimension Door, we were able to get Leather Armor +1, and a healing potion. We retrieved our equipment from the ruins, and actually salvaged quite a bit of stuff, little of it directly valuable to us. In addition to the 1000 gp reward, we still got about 1200 gp worth of salvage back after taxes. Furthermore, we obtained a scroll of Light, a scroll of Bless x2, and two Continual Light orb things. Our home is going to look really spiffy now, with Continual light orbs lighting it up (they're really not combat things, but pretty house items), plus some weird lawn statues-- we're still undecided on which ones. Tyveris is absolutely disgusted with the statues of the Grim Reaper and Medusa-- bad taste for a cleric of Nevron, he thinks.

Felix, however, may have other ideas. This remains undecided (we'll deal with it later!).

In addition, the Petethalian navy recently became much more flush with funds after Sark decided to fund their navy rather than create a new one. So we got a bonus 500 gp.

Also, in true Stone Soules tradition, we found 5 devil-worshipping books (non-magical). We burned 'em. We also found some general religious manuals for Hindus, which we gave to the Navy for 200 gp credit.

Finally, upon returning home, we settled some accounts. We identified the leather armor as +1. We purchased higher quality weapons.

Tyveris and Felix trained to 2nd level!

Tyveris gained 2 hp and is at 12 hp max. Felix, has just become the party tank. He gained 14 hp! Now his maximum is 24 hp, passing even the durable Darellon's total!

Overall, a very successful adventure. While we could have done more, it's not clear it could have turned out much less violently than it did.