Recent events have given me some time to write more of my journal. Looking at my last entry, it’s hard to believe that it has been so long since our visit to Stormhold, but time seems meaningless in these dungeons. It has been a while since the events that I will chronicle, so excuse me if I leave out or misremember some parts.
After leaving the shrine, Rand led us along a ridge to find this man, Cormac, that High Priest Donovan had recommended. Rand explained that Cormac lived in a more isolated area of the same ridge that the shrine was on. As we walked, the others talked, partly I think out of nervousness. However, I was preoccupied with thoughts of my own so only paid scant attention to what was said. I do recall Api mentioning that he is from foreign lands somewhere. Also that Orilia’s father had accepted the quest and come here and now she was seeking him. Rand mentioned some holy spear that he wished to find. My impression of Rand grew as we walked, since we had learned little of him the night before. He struck me as someone who was very bold but maybe a bit reckless in his actions.
It was only a short walk we arrived at the house of Cormac Drake. I was unsurprised to find that it was a small cabin, with only one room containing all the needs of cooking, eating, and sleeping. A small garden grew near the house, proving that Cormac was a very self-sufficient person. Cormac himself is a dark-looking man, very thin. Rand did all the talking, explaining our mission and paying for Cormac’s services. Cormac recommended we travel to the Sacred Stones (which I think was north) and then to the dwarven stronghold, Stormhold (which I think was west). He quickly gathered some gear and then led the way with, to my surprise, a wolf that followed Cormac with little or no commands.
A couple of hours into our trip, Cormac told us all to hug the wall of the canyon we were in. We did so, and he and his wolf went on ahead to investigate (again the wolf follows with no commands!). When they returned, Cormac told us that he had seen six mordheim bandits. He was able to lead us forward so as to avoid them and we soon left them behind us. The rest of our trip that day was uneventful, and we made camp in a cave.
About midday the next day, we had to climb a ridge in order to get where we were going. Orilia cast a magic spell (oh, she’s a wizard!! I thought) on Titania’s rope that allowed it to knot itself when Titania threw it to the top of the ridge. We climbed up, and found ourselves near the Sacred Stones that Cormac had mentioned. He recommended that we avoid them same as the mordheim do, but Orilia wanted to investigate as her father had studied them and had left notes. Titania was the only one who balked at this, rightly so it turned out, but we convinced her to go with us while Cormac went around.
The Sacred Stones are fourteen stones in a triangle with ritual symbols carved in them. I smiled to see young Thorg just stand and stare at them in awe. Therin started drawing pictures of them, while Orilia started copying the symbols down. The rest of us kept watch for trouble, although I believe Api kept checking the ground for something. It was only when we went to leave that we discovered our mistake. Somehow we were all compelled to stay and study the stones, all except Titania. I guess her wariness in the first place made her immune to this compulsion. Finally, after an hour, we regained our senses, none of us remembering what had happened. Titania explained it to us, with plenty of “I told you so” looks and we rejoined Cormac to journey across the plains to Stormhold.
Travel on the plains was both easier and harder than in the hills and canyons. We could see anyone coming from a much farther distance, but we found it much harder to conceal ourselves. This was proved when we spotted a group of goblins on the march and were unable to hide from them. We organized ourselves for combat, our first as a group, and waited for them. I was sure that Titania and Rand, in the front line, would do fine, as would Cormac. As for the rest of us, I was not sure. I was pleased that Thorg followed the same combat preparations
that I did in creating a magic armor for himself. Those with bows began shooting at the goblins, hoping to drop a few before they reached us, but Cormac proved to be the only capable archer amongst us. Then, my dire prediction from when we started out seemed to be coming true when a javelin thrown by one of the goblins pierced Api right through his shoulder, dropping him to the ground.
Only three days on our quest and already one companion dead, I thought, this is a bad sign.
Javelins from the rest of the goblins did manage to hurt some of my companions, although I easily avoided one aimed at me. Therin and Titania then showed their tactical skills in picking up the javelins that were thrown at us and throwing them back at the goblins, dropping two of them!! Thorg found his magical missiles more accurate than his bow and began using them, dropping another goblin. I followed Therin and Titania’s idea, and dropped another goblin with the javelin I had avoided. Then, the goblins made their biggest mistake. They moved up to attack us hand-to-hand. At the time, I did not know how big of a mistake this was. Time has shown me, though, that hand-to-hand combat within striking distance of Titania is very bad for our enemies. She quickly used her big axe to lop the heads off two of the goblins and damaged a third. I saw Rand move up beside her and cast a spell (which I later learned temporarily made her glaive magical) so I moved up beside Rand swinging my quarterstaff and killing another goblin. The goblins apparently did not learn their lesson about hand-to-hand combat and again tried to move up, and again Titania felled two of them.
However, they must have been more enraged because two goblins still in the fight hit Titania, although Rand quickly healed that damage with a spell. Thorg had been using his magical missiles and finally dropped another goblin with them. The goblins finally decided we were not an easy target and began flanking us. However, it did them little good and Titania was still able to cleave two of them down. It didn’t take long to kill the remaining few goblins. Rand went over to Api, who was miraculously still alive, and was able to heal him, although he remained unconscious.
After the battle, Jessidia was searching the bodies for treasure and I saw her pocketing some of the gold for herself. I did not get angry, instead I just mentioned that all the gold should be shared. She made some excuse, which I did not believe, and all the treasure was shared. We made camp a little ways away, and rested for the night. During the night, I had a conversation with Jessedia about companions and friends. I feel that she just made a small error in judgement, and that she is a good person. Events since that night have proved me