14th day of Temerus, 19th year of the 37th King

I am losing track of time. We press deeper, engaged in constant battle. When we surface to rest, I have no idea whether to expect day or night. On occasion, the sun is blocked out by sandstorm, making the whole idea of daylight irrelevant anyway.

15th day of Temerus, 19th year of the 37th King

It may be the 16th, I have lost track of time. We are coming into contact with the most dangerous creatures I have ever before seen. It might be closer to say they have come in contact with me, multiple times with painful results, and the resulting bouts of unconsciousness are not helping me with keeping the date straight. Phil is not so much a competent medic as he is an efficient system of distribution for Ricki’s boundless vigor. It works out well anyway – Kage and Grim get to take their repeated beatings, and Ricki isn’t so hard to put down for nap time.

?th day of Temerus, 19th year of the 37th King

The tragedy, they say, of my line of work is as follows: “Let your friend go off on his own for a drink of water and you’ll never see him again. But drive your sword into the chest of your worst enemy, and get ready to hear from him every other week.” Fancy Hat, animated by an unknown party, falls to our arms a second time. A demon claiming to be brethren to Eera, a powerful devil re-sealed by my comrades in a pyramid buried in this same desert, was roused by the scent of her demonic power, which Ricki bends to his needs. Who will it be next? I will be checking every darkened room I enter from now on for angry re-animated House Balta goons and their brothers, sisters, nieces, and half-cousins.

We unwittingly rekindle and step amidst a battle between a dragon and an elven vampire. We vaguely know what the vampelves(elfpires?) were up to, but what was the dragon doing down here? Who stopped the fight, sent someone to their coffin without dinner and the other to a stony prison, unlocked by a pair of magic maguffins in this very tomb, and left the two to rest eternally, not 10 yards from each other? These mysteries, being the sort of problem not easily solved by filling something with arrows, will never be solved by me personally. Griselda thinks that my interests are too narrow, but I think that is silly because she is just a giant spider.

In classic form, we run afoul of a Remorhaz. We are all nearly made a meal, except for Ricki, who thinks that we are being overly dramatic about it. For the first time, I am able to add to the Field Guide. I add a footnote about escaping its stomach, a concern my fleet-footed grandfather was apparently able to bypass.

?th day of Temerus, 19th year of the 37th King

It would seem I can go back to saying I have never met a real live elf. The occupant of that magical cage is in fact a demon with a grudge against Artimus. An indeterminate amount of time ago, he killed Kodjif, and it would seem has been running Vindghast in his stead. When he got word from Kodjif’s old friend Artie to take us in and put us to work, he saw an opportunity to bust Artie’s balls by killing us. He even brings in Balasar to help finish the job, but thinking quickly, I fill him with arrows. It would seem the whole grudge situation is taken care of for now, but the bigger forces at play here would appear to be the perhaps millennia-old story of this this tomb.

Here’s what I’ve got so far: the elves and the dwarves once both lived in the area known today as the Thoraeos Desert, but before it was a desert. A group of cultist dwarves tried to unleash the powerful devil Eera upon the material plane, but were foiled. By whom, we’re not sure. The Obsidian Lance could have been dwarfish- or elven-made. Elsewhere, before or after we don’t know, a schism erupted between elves. One side turned itself into vampires, some of which stayed in the tomb. The others went away somewhere. At some point the land was turned into desert by sealing away the water underground and roiling up the wind with four runed pillars. For what it’s worth, we seem to have deactivated the pillars, calmed the winds, and released the water. Time will tell if the desert becomes verdant again.



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