I am back in Autumn Grove with my new adventuring companions. We did not find the goblins, for they circled around us and attacked the village again. The giant we killed had much treasure, but I will need to spend most of my share to replace my broken armor.
I have spent a week with these seven adventurers. Ethan is a trustworthy human and the dragon man is undisciplined, but good in a fight. The elf is a coward, typical of his kind, as he hides from anything dangerous. Worst of all is that thrice-cursed oaf who copies me. I have been sorely tempted to do something about him.
It has been some time since I last wrote. We have been busy decimating kobolds and freeing prisoners they abducted from Autumn Grove. The goblins turned out to be kobolds; the villagers just didn't know better. Sir Ethan once said he thought kobolds, goblins, and orcs are all related. I said they weren't -- I hope we aren't. Anyway, Sir Ethan is dead now, killed by spider-like monsters that nearly killed me.
It has been 3 weeks. Lucutus just got eaten by a troll. Varoosh the dragonman seems amazingly powerful, but hangs back in battle. I too have learned to hang back in battle, relying on my bow as well as my sword. I have had trouble with losing many battles. Blood loss seems to make me dizzy or unconscious more often than the others. I have asked Varoosh about this and he said to drink more ale. I don't know if it's worked. He is a healer.
Grogenor and I did not get along at first, but he saved me from demons who charmed me. We had encountered them by the kobold lair, but I don't know if there was any connection. We fled for our lives and barely escaped.
We are on a quest for the keys to a tower. Lucutus, before he died, gave us a name -- The Guardians of the Gate. We believe, or at least some of us do, that the tower holds great treasure. From the kobolds we wrested one of the keys, and we know how to find at least one of the others.
It has been a month (thereabouts) since I last wrote. While others were training in that boring village of Autumn Grove, I left to spend time in Holm. The women of Holm are...entertaining. I have heard of no other adventurers in this whole region. How did I wind up in such a dull corner of the world?
Diary, we are finally in the tower. I long thought we would find much treasure in here, but all we have found are hordes of undead and a few new items. I'm wearing a new kind of armor -- bronze plate. I hope to have better luck in it. I have won many battles, but also lost many. Varoosh and Grugenor have saved me several times from horrible creatures.
With what little strength I have remaining, I put these words on paper. It has been a day since we left the tower FOREVER. My body has been torn to shreds and reformed by magic, but my will is shattered. Every level of the tower had monsters worse than the one before. A giant black monster and undead skeletons had wiped out half of our company. Steggor is dead, and perhaps I feel some loss now that our rivalry is ended.
The others are fools. They want to go back. Myself and the others have returned to the dwarven ruins. Grugenor has found a cache of magic items we had missed before. Coincidence, or a gift from his dwarven god? I am impressed by the powers my surviving companions command. Perhaps, with this new magic, we may yet best the tower...?
Black Cat by Steve Rude
8 hours ago