It was a dark and stormy night when I met the group I am now with. I have learned that my thaumaturge spell of protection from rain is worthless, my feet are cold to the bone from the muddy roads that I am traveling on. Those around me splash mud as they tromp on past me so I still find myself miserable. I have found myself walking with a group of travelers consisting of a mouthy cheetah, rare for these lands, a friend of his and equally annoying, a monkey. I have also seen the largest bear I have ever seen in my life, a warrior of some sort. A mercenary most likely as that is mostly what he talks about. I am in the back of this group keeping to myself, but in the darkness of the road I can make out a lion easily enough as he rides a destrier. I would guess that he has a good amount of wealth as he isn't all covered with sh, mud from the road. He also speaks with a well educated tongue. I am surprised that no one has robbed him from this group as most of them look like they could be desperate folk. The Wolverine or weasel has shifty eyes enough for that looking at everyone on the road. I could be wrong but not likely. There is one more who will likely be the death of me on this road, Brother Duncan.
The travel is slow as one would expect it to be. It is Brother Duncan who calls out. He found an Undead wandering the road. I can't make out everything as I am in the rear of this group and he is the front. Just as well I suppose. He calls out something typical you would expect to hear from his kind of profession. "Death to the evil spawn" or words to that effect and attacks it. Never mind trying to see what is there to do. Maybe he did and I missed it. Infernal rain storm. I move forward pass the destrier, now with out his rider, nasty creatures them. I can see the brother getting ready to fight it. This is where I get to see two of these travelers at their finest. The Monkey and the Cheetah ran forward to greet the undead. I don't know what they intended to do to it. But the Monkey fainted dead away and the cheetah ran passed me in a blur leaving his spots to fall front of the advancing dead mouse.
I have seen these others on the road for some time now. I wonder why they travel in the same path as myself. I can believe that after seeing the reactions of the two "brave" ones. For the past week or so I feel I am being drawn in this direction for some purpose. I recall my father speaking to me of my duty to seek out "things" is this what he meant? I don't want to call upon those powers but I may fine myself doing so sooner than I expect.
I digress. The brother whacks at the creature. I decide to assist with one of the spells from "the book" I am to find this out later to be a mistake. I wrack the soul of this mouse. He falls and the Brother pretty much finishes him but not before yelling out that there is black arts in the vicinity. By the Gods, such a lonely empty road with no one of sane mind upon it at this late hour and I find a Witch hunter upon it with in feet of me!
The downpour continues as the Brother introduces himself to the others. Brother Duncan, a wolf Ardentine ( I believe that was correct ) who is dedicated to fighting the black arts etc, etc. I think the others introduced themselves one by one I just kept to myself again. These are migrants, who I will likely never see again so who cares who I am and who they are. The brother decides to bury and bless the dead-again mouse so I assist just to take his mind off my not introducing himself. He accepts it and soon they are moving down the road. Finally something good from this horrible weather. It covers me hanging behind to talk to the mouse. I am fortunate it is a shallow grave and the Brother's Blessing on the dead doesn't keep me from talking to the mouse.
The mouse reveals much.
I head down the road in hopes of catching up with the group and just mingling in again unnoticed. I get held up from a bat that calls to me. It is an undead one at that. You would think that in this weather I would be safe from such a creature. It taunts me as I moved off the road and into the edge of the woods. I have no patience for this as I fear he will attack me at his convince. I wrack him also and he falls from the sky and into the woods with a satisfactory crash. I blame my feline nature for what I do next. Instead of traveling down the road and catching up to the group I decided to investigate the bat and talk to his remains. I travel into the woods looking for the bat. He shouldn't be that far off the road. Simply put I don't find the bat but I do find many undead and they are active. I take to the trees and decide to travel up there in the safety of the limbs. I thank my father for neglecting my physical improvement as I grew up isolated from my brothers and sisters. I jump from the first tree to the second and find myself upon the forest floor. As for cats landing on their feet I think that is a myth. I get up on my feet and travel in the direction of some lights I saw in the distance while I was in the tree. Undead are everywhere. A rabbit asks me to return what has been taken. I want to stop and learn more of this but there are too many and I am just too afraid.
I break through the woods and find the town. I make my way to the tavern with the help of the town watch. This is a village of vermin so it seems. All mice in the town including the tavern. I get set down and it would seem the group finally noticed me missing as I would expect. I can see they have mugs of ale in front of them and food. I know I must have looked horrible after crashing through the woods all that time. They immediately want to ask me a bunch of questions. I manage to get some food (paid for by the lion) in front of me and the stupid mice bring me water to drink. I groan a complaint and the lion (He dresses like a noble) steps in and sees that I get something warm to drink. Yes, the lion has money thank goodness. I gather the travelers have talked to the locals here and I carefully give them some of the information I have learned but not too much. These rubes would likely just go and attack the ruins with out learning as much of the truth as possible beforehand.
They did learn that there are ruins outside of the village of some old castle and that a great sorceress was buried there long ago with a curse. That if anyone disturbs her rest the village will suffer. Well it would seem that three mice ventured into her tomb and decided to steal from there. It is my guess if the items are returned then all of this will stop. The good Brother prefers just to go and destroy the Sorceress' remains. Such a narrow view of things. I am also guessing that the rabbit who spoke to me in the woods was looking for something that these stupid mice took.
The monkey is some sort of entertainer. A rather poor one at that as I don't think he really earned any funds for showing off his skills. The Cheetah seems to have found another of his kind in the inn in the possession of a hedgehog. He is bothered by this female cheetah being in custody of the hedgehog but I don't think he can do much about it. Is she family? A love? I don't know and my interest in this quickly passes.
I finally have some warm food in my stomach I would love to get a good nights rest and investigate this in the morning. I think "they" want to go off and get started on this. Well the undead come to us. They attack the inn. I believe the ones in the woods were heading here as I saw the Rabbit again. Now I have learned some things from this I believe. I also learned about this group of travelers I am with and some of the habits of the undead. First the Undead. They are given instructions and will do their best to follow those instructions to the letter. The reason I say this is the Undead only caused harm to the mice of this town. No one in our group was ever harmed at any time during the battle at the inn from the undead. I tried to reason with the undead which worked. I told them to stop and we would return the missing items. I think the farmer may not have lost his life if the group had tried to use the knowledge I had gained. I caused the rabbit to stop his entrance into the inn and reflect on what I had said. This is where I learned about the travelers. This is a bunch of louts who would rather swing sword and kill something then to use the brain the maker had given them. The Bear after seeing that I stopped the rabbit precedes to smash him to bloody mass. I yelled out what to try to the travelers and I don't think any of them put it to the test.
I finally had to put myself in peril standing directly in front of the rampaging bear and Brother Duncan to "talk" to the undead. The first on I tried this on didn't understand but the next did. By that time the battle was pretty much over. I did this with out any spells also I should add.
The group comes together and decides to help out the village. Each for their own reason I am sure. It is found out there is a house or a building where the three mice might be found out at in the woods. I do mention that I am in need of rest but they are headstrong and ignore (as I expect) my needs. We find ourselves at the building. Some worn out structure surrounded by 10 to 15 undead. The Brother allows me to put forth my idea about the undead. I, though very afraid do this and I am able to walk among these living dead. The mice are not in the building so the others of the group venture in also to investigate. The Wolverine finds some rusty old sword hidden in the wall. The undead swarm and take the sword from him and march off with it. We realize they are returning to the castle ruins to return it to their master. We manage to get to the ruins and see even a larger number of undead there. The cheetah who I might add is a larger feline then myself or at least a healthier one, recalls seeing the hedgehog with a book that is very unusual. He believes this book might be worth looking at and runs off to village at a high speed.
The battle of the castle ruins.
I don't think we were planning on fighting anything but the Brother changed all that by being in front along with the bear. Some of the undead we met changed form and grew larger in size. I think this battle could have been avoided if I had been in front and tried to work this out. But the group heavies were in charge so we have to do what their lead is. A large battle insures. The Monkey, of course runs off. It would seem that each one of us has a foe or foes attacking them. I for some reason am left alone so I assisted the Wolverine with a protection spell. I then tried to do this again with the Brother as he was wading into the thick of the undead but the spell failed. It could be my magic does not work upon him. I will have to do further research on that. I was attacked by some sort of reptilian undead and it bit me good. I managed to keep my feet though barely. We all were slowly backing away from this battle except the bull headed bear. This Bear is as bright as a dray I think. He took a good hit and down he went. I had already shot and destroyed an undead with a shot from my crossbow as I was out of my magics. But when the Bear went down I was forced to enter the battle and use my only weapon, the crossbow, as a club. I would have to say if was a larger creature and a bit stronger I could formidable as I struck the undead with the crossbow I was able to destroy that one also. The others help defeat the undead on the bear with some effort but we were able to drag the bear to safety. I will note in this entry that the Lion, the Wolverine and the Wolf all fought very well. With out them the bear would have been doomed. If the bear were a bit brighter he would be dangerous.
Back to the Inn.
The Cheetah and the Monkey, these two, I can not put into words on how they get into the problems that they do. We come to the Inn and the Monkey is stuck in the window of an upper floor. How he managed this feat is beyond me. The Inn is surrounded by undead again. The Wolverine manages to work his way up to where the Monkey is and frees him. I don't know what happened up there but the cheetah comes sailing through this same window and tries to catch hold of the roofing with his claws but with no success. Cheetahs are made for running not climbing but no one ever told him that. So out the window he sails and onto the muddy ground below. He too did not land on his feet either it should be noted. He had the book and the undead grab it from his inert form.
What happens next is almost humorous. I would go into more detail but the cost of paper isn't worth doing all that detailed writing. To make it short, it is about getting then losing the book from the undead several times till we ended up in final possession of it. We rested for what was left of the night and then some of us including myself examined the book. The sorceress has some sort of code to her writing. None of us have a clue as to what this code is unless someone like Brother Duncan does and he is just not letting on to his knowledge. A high point in this was an undead that I had left behind to assist us was discovered which gave me enough time to copy a spell that I will learn later on I hope. To control the dead. This would have really come in handy later that day.
The group entered the tomb to find one of the mice impaled upon some sort of trap. Once again the group shows it's impulsiveness and does not take notice that the mouse was killed facing outwards of the tomb meaning that he was already inside. Once again this is a good chance to learn from the dead. But this time the Brother wants to hang around. He won't let me hang in back. I say some soothing words to him and he leaves Tremaine behind to protect me. Something, something happened. I am not sure what but a wind erupted from the insides of the tomb and swept outwards. The others who had ventured inside came running out. The Good Brother showed some of his true nature and yelled what had I done. I told him I was not the cause of what had happened. At the time, I believed that too. Perhaps I wasn't, perhaps the goofy two had set off a trap. Not that they would admit it. The only reason I think I might have somehow caused this was the mouse began to speak but he spoke out loud to everyone that was there. Well the Brother didn't slay me right then and there so that is good. But the mouse offered some good info and off we went into the interior.
The opened some inner door with brute strength, no surprise there. I could have used a spell and opened it with much more stealth. That would have been a shock I am sure. I don't think they found anything in that room. If they did they are holding back. The next room was a library I only found about this late into this as once again no one said nothing. I believe the group found the proper room and returned the items. They mentioned that they spoke with the great Sorceress but, the Brother didn't attack her. So I know he has his limits at least. I might be able to work with him,... or not. I will keep this secret as long as possible. The Lion knows something but not everything. I will be extra careful around him also. I managed to get a few scrolls at least that will assist me in spell casting. The ruins collapsed in on itself though I believe that her chamber is untouched. I may return one day and see if I can learn from her book and learn more about her. I believe she wasn't an evil Necromancer like many are portrayed to be. Time will tell. I have a few items that will allow me to fine her again in the future.
We left this area and returned to the Inn. The Cheetah was dismayed that the Hedgehog had left with the female Cheetress (?) He gave me a better Thaumaturge book that he had found. I gave him my copy. I am willing to teach him to read and maybe cast a spell in the future also. If he give s me more details about his problems with the Cheetress or the Hedgehog I will likely assist him with that also. I guess he wants to buy her. As for the others I don't see anything as far as any problems with them except Brother Duncan who is going his own way. I am hoping I never see him again and that S'Allumer protects him. I suspect he or the group is going to go after the mice who started all this. They have a head start heading to the town just down the river some distance from here. I don't know if that is what the group wants to do or not. Perhaps I can steer the group to any direction other then the way Brother Duncan is going. With my luck they will want to travel with him.
Ironclaw and Jadeclaw are copyright 1999, 2002 Sanguine Productions, Limited. Used with permission; all rights reserved. Sparks are a trademark of Cumberland Games and Diversions. Images and artwork on this page are copyright by T. Jordan "Greywolf" Peacock. Beauhaugen Dane and this "journal entry" are (c) 2002 by Draconis. This site is not official, and should not be considered representative of the quality of products of Sanguine Productions, Ltd.