Damnit, I knew I was forgetting something. They gave me this book and told me to write down everything I saw as we traveled. Why the hell I’m the record keeper, I don’t know. I guess it’s because the dwarf’s too stupid to write and the goblin would waste pages writing about the plants he collected and body parts he scraped out of our dead enemies. (Ew.) So I guess it’s up to me.
It all started a few weeks ago when I got nabbed for taking some jewels from Lady Rhianna’s tower. Got some bad intel that said she’d be traveling to Rablesk for a few months. Turns out she was, but the intel didn’t specify that she was going alone. She left her consort to mind the tower. I stepped right on the bloke’s face as I was coming in the window. If I ever get back to Lemele I’m going to rip that bastard Rattail a new one for not mentioning Rhianna had left her plaything behind.
Anyway, they threw me in the castle dungeons again. I was gonna bribe Bartholomew to get me out like last time, but apparently he got canned for accepting bribes. Bastard wasn’t smart enough to keep a secret. I was just starting to get the new guy to come around when a pair of royal guards came in, grabbed me, and hauled me in front of the king himself. They tossed me at a dwarf, a goblin, and an orc and told me I was supposed to go with them and find some sort of runes that were supposed to save the world, or some shit like that. Whatever. It got me out of the dungeons.
So we start heading south from Lemele, pretty much wandering aimlessly, waiting for that magic map the king gave us to give some clue as to where the runes were.
The dwarf, Rakust, looked like somebody threw his face into a meat grinder, cooked it for a bit, then took the pieces and molded them back into place. Luckily he wears this helmet with a mask all the time so I don’t have to look at the thing. He’s gotta be one of the most bigoted, self centered blokes I’ve ever met. The guy doesn’t like anything unless it’s burnt to a crisp, and I’m not just talking about food. He’s a priest of the goddess Joramy, and sometimes he talks like he wants to set the whole damn world on fire. Scary shit.
The goblin, Billy, is blue, and I don’t mean sad. He’s blue. Like he fell into a jar of paint. He’s wicked smart, in his books all the time, chopping up plant and animal bits to make potions and magic stuff, but oblivious as hell. He doesn’t seem to realize he’s a frickin’ goblin. People stare at him, mothers grab up their kids and take them indoors when he walks by, and he’s just whistling and looking at the pretty flowers. If you told him his picture was next to “gullible” in the dictionary he’d believe you. I think he actually thinks the dwarf likes him. I mean, this guy told a village that we were going to single-handedly kill some mountain-tall sea lizards. (I’m getting ahead of myself, though, that didn’t happen until Rablesk.) He’s a good kid, just needs to wake up and smell the campfire before it sets his robes ablaze. Or maybe that’s not the campfire, maybe that’s just Rakust.
Gragos, the orc, big as a horse, apparently had his tongue cut out and turned out to be some sort of runelord trying to stop our mission. F-ing bastard transformed into a demon and tried to eat our souls. I’m jumping ahead again, but the f-ing king told him to come with us, and he was an f-ing runelord! We hurt him pretty bad and he disappeared into a big hole in the ground, leaving us with his super-evil six-foot-long sword and a desire to decapitate all mute orcs we see from that point on. Well, maybe that was just me. Anyway, yeah, he stayed with us for a little bit and was good at cutting enemies in half with his sword until he turned on us. Bastard.
We went to Rablesk, where they told us some orc bandits had kidnapped all of their kids and took them to the ruins of Aran. We found the place, killed everything there, including this massive red dragon. Hehe, that was a good story. See, we apparently burned a bunch of her eggs and got her pretty pissed at us. Billy managed to turn himself into a dragon hatchling and got the mama to come through the door after him, at which point I shot a sling bullet at a portcullis trap I’d found earlier, basically cutting her neck in two. It was awesome!
We also found this elf and a little friendly dragon, who decided to come with us and help our quest. The elf’s name is Aris, and the dragon is Sira. They’re pretty decent in a fight, but they don’t talk much (not sure if the dragon can talk at all, actually). Billy managed to convince Aris to actually let him ride the dragon. I’m jealous as hell. Should’a tried to save one of the red dragon eggs to hatch it as my own. Yeah, right, like that would go well.
So, long story short, we rescue the kids and kill most of the bad guys in Aran. We were heroes in Rablesk for all of a day, then Billy starts waggling his tongue and makes them think we’re going to kill the sea monsters in the bay, and when Rakust and I tell them all, “absolutely not,” they get all pissy at us. We left shortly after that. Good riddance.
Oh, I nearly forgot, somewhere between Rablesk and Aran we picked up another elf. I think he called himself “Lord Alatar” and acted like he owned the fricken’ forest. He wasn’t just acting like an ass, he actually said, “this is my forest.” Wanted us to pay him some sort of tax if we didn’t tell him what we were up to. He managed to figure out that we were after runes, asked why the king didn’t send for him, and insisted on going with us. Whatever.
Back to the quest, before the people of Rablesk decided they didn’t like us anymore, the mayor gave us the key to the Earth Cave, which is apparently the only way to get to the rest of the continent, other than taking a ship down a sea monster’s gullet. Apparently some scary shit is down there, but we realized as we got closer that the map was telling us that there was a rune in the Earth Cave. So, no going around the thing, even if we did managed to become gods and kill all the monsters in the sea.
On our way to the Earth Cave, I decided to try to impress the dwarf with a little trick one of the kids back in Grinder’s posse showed me. You get some sorta hard drink, something that’ll make a dwarf pass out, get a mouthful, and blow it into a torch. The whole thing will flame up like a dragon’s breath. (Appropriately enough, the drink I found for this trick was called “Dragon’s Breath”.) Dunno why I even tried. The dwarven bastard wasn’t impressed, and I ended up swallowing some of the stuff and getting a little tipsy. That was some powerful shit.
When we got to the Earth Cave, some trolls were hanging around in the swamp outside. I decided to get fancy and began doing my fire-breathing trick in their faces. I set a couple on fire before some of the drink slipped down my throat. I started getting dizzy, but tried to power through it. I took another mouthful to spit it at a troll and ended up forgetting to spit. I swallowed the stuff and blacked out. I woke up to the elf stepping on my spleen. Apparently I had been wearing my invisibility cloak when I passed out and they almost didn’t find me. I had a hangover for two days. The rest of the Dragon’s Breath washed away in the swamp, so I won’t be trying that again any time soon.
We made our way down the cave and over this 150-ft wide bottomless pit that had some sort of puzzle trap built into it with platforms. (The dwarf insisted it wasn’t bottomless, but it was deep enough to kill me either from splatting the bottom or from starvation on the way down, so whatever.) There were three tunnels on the other side, and we took the middle one. The platform-puzzle could have taken us to the left tunnel if we had wanted, but I didn’t see a way to get to the right tunnel.
The middle tunnel was covered in spiderwebs, which Rakust burned as we went along. We came to a larger cavern with a bunch of spider eggs, which we started to burn when this giant talking spider came down and tried to kill us. Said its name was Hadronax, or Hydronaut, or something like that. We killed a handful of its babies, and it surrendered, then told us we had a drow in the party and we could’ve passed unharmed if we’d just pointed that out. Apparently Alatar is part dark elf. Another reason I don’t like him. He better not turn out to be another runelord or something.