Serafine’s Journal, 14 Eleint, 1375 DR
As I stood on top the cliff side, I stared down at the gulls far below swooping in and out of the crashing waves, calling to one another noisily and I inhaled deeply, tasting the salt in the air, trying to absorb the eerie calmness of this place into me.
The tranquillity of the scene was all too quickly broken however as my dwarven companions begin their bickering once more, speaking in a tongue foreign to me I can surmise from the few words I recognise that it has something to do with our destination and from what I know of dwarven priorities no doubt the promise of mountains of golden treasures.
The dreams are what brought us together and by the dreams guidance we find ourselves travelling along the sword coast to the city of Waterdeep.
A rag-tag band of wraiths and straits, A holy Cleric with an unusual penchant for burning everything in his way, a brutal but strong armed warrior who’s temper is almost as short as his legs, myself (A travelling bard who has been wandering the lands for 5 years now, ever since my father was framed for a murder he didn’t commit and executed in front of my very eyes), and a rather sullen and sarcastic young man of somewhat dubious mortals.
Within less than 3 days of meeting each another we find ourselves at the gates of Waterdeep. The dreams continue to guide us like the needle of a compass, always pointing to our destination but never revealing their purpose. Our cleric believes them to be divine guidance.
I wish I could share his faith in the gods… but I cant help but think this could be the undoing of us all.
We soon find ourself in the Yawning Portal Inn, a rowdy place packed to the rafters with adventurers, peddlers and rubberneckers all here for one thing … Undermountain. This is where our dreams have guided us and we have to trust that, whatever Undermountain holds for us, we have the strength of will and arm to survive it and come out victorious.
The party atmosphere is sullen and serious as we hand over our gold piece for the descent down in the depths below the tavern, even with so many well wishers seeing us off we cant but help feel maybe we are not truly ready for such an undertaking.
We all have our reasons for risking so much based on little more than dreams, its not a topic of conversation that sits well with the party but I know each of us is here on more than just a whim.
My reason is simple, revenge, my father was framed for a murder he didn’t commit, brutally beating into confessing and executed in front of me. The day my father died was not just the day I lost my last surviving family member, but also the day I lost a part of myself. After that day I vowed revenge on whoever framed him, but in order to get the information I needed I would have to elevate my status in Ahm society, and for that I needed two things, Money and notoriety, both of which this undertaking can bring me.
The lifting mechanism jostled us gently as we descended and it woke me from my daydream, casting a glance around the cavern I see we are descending into a large room covered with the scratchings of a foreign guttural tongue. I take a deep breath to steel myself, its time for our adventure to begin.
The first few rooms of the dungeon were uneventful, but we soon stumbled upon a vast room lined with towering columns, reaching high into darkness of the cavern roof. Stood amongst the columns was a stunning beauty flanked on either side by a pair of vicious, heavy-set creatures that seemed to consist of nothing more than muscle and hair! Our dwarven companions were quick to ascertain that they were in fact bugbears, and it was only thanks to a heroic effort from myself and our quiet friend that we were able to stop the dwarves from launching themselves at the bugbears. Apparently both races have shared an ancient hatred for one another for as long as either can recall. With little trust between the two parties we decide to decline the beauty’s offer of assistance and go on our way.
Shortly afterward, we stumbled across our first real test of arms, as we were engaged by a small squad of vile goblinoids. They came at us expecting an easy fight, no doubt hoping to overwhelm us with their superior numbers. They seriously underestimated our willingness to stand and fight, and within a few short minutes we had cut-down all but the leader of the green skinned group.
Shouting insults in his raw brutal language he lunges at the group, only to feign and make a desperate dash for the corridors we have only recently arrived from. He quickly slips from sight as we are forced to take a few moments to tend to our wounds.
Using what passes as tracking skills among us, we follow the goblin leader back through the corridors until we find an unexplored tunnel with obvious signs of greenskin activity. Stalking down the tunnel, we were oblivious to the danger awaiting us, and as soon as we had all gathered in the tunnel the trap was sprung!
Sweeping down from tunnel came a huge pivoted log, catching us all unaware! the party was soon left sprawled out and groaning in agony in the filth encrusted floor. Taunting goblinoid laughter echoed around the walls as we gathered ourselves up and prepared for our second assault on the greenskin lair. Our second and third attempt ended as badly as the first, with half of the party on the verge of falling unconscious… it was decided to cut our losses and head back to the tavern to tend our wounds.
Tymora is a fickle mistress however, and even as both I and our silent friend began to strap ourselves in for the ascent to the tavern… we found ourselves under attack again! Suspecting this could be the end of our short but action packed adventuring careers the dwarves heroically decided to sell their lives dearly, hoping to allow us time to escape… But it was not to be, for emerging from a secret door previously unknown to us came a true creature of nightmares!
Looking like a monstrously huge slug, the creature dripped a viscous slime, and as it opened its great maw, it revealed row upon row of rasping teeth, each a long as a man’s finger. Its black, heaving body was encased in a mishmash of metallic items adhering to its great pulsating mass by an unseen force.
Cajoled forward by the prodding spears of a group of jabbering goblins, the great beast squared off against our noble dwarven defenders, and a vicious battle ensued as the creature threw everything it had at our heroic protectors. Even with the strong arm of our fighter and the powerul magics of our cleric the tide of battle was quickly turning against us.
Myself and the rogue had begun our ascent when we learned the true power of our foe… Not only was it a vicious melee combatant, but also a master of magnetic forces, preventing our escape on the metallic stirrups of the lifting mechanism!
As the battle progress it looked like all was lost, our silent friend had suffered a terrible blow, rendering him unconscious and out of action, I was trapped hoisted aloft on the lifting mechanism unable to provide much more than moral support (and the odd poorly aimed crossbow bolt), our fighter continued on, ignoring his grievous wounds that would have felled a lesser man, and even our unflappable cleric began to waver…
Then, in an act of divine inspiration, our stalwart cleric launched a brilliant bolt of blazing light at the creature, taking advantage of its heretofore unknown light-phobia! The creature was spooked into turning on its handlers, shredding them with the metal shrapnel encasing its body!
As the slime encrusted creature limped away, the secret door closed up, protecting us from any goblinoid counter-attacks and we were able to quickly make our way to safety.
So now we find ourselves back in the tavern, having rested for a few days I can feel the itching desire to descend into the depths of that dungeon again, to throw myself into battle once more and stand shoulder to shoulder with my companions no matter what Undermountain might ask of us us …
But one thing is bugging me … I’ve not seen that rogue for awhile ….
Aye, while ye’ll never find a more overwrought piece of prose from any pen save that bumbling buffoon Volo, the young bard has the right of what occurred, from all I’ve seen and heard… although she leaves some rather important and embarassing details out!!!