Nice job with those ogres, Vanya! You had much better luck than the boys and I did with the three on the other side. We’re missing that paladin’s armor – now, it seems like each fight consists of Sozen and I getting the snot beaten out of us while Xikandar repeatedly heals us back from near death. One of the ogres laid open my thigh, another one crushed my left arm, but anyway everything seems to be back in working order now. They also took down two horses – you maybe heard the screaming – but Xikandar healed those back up as well.
So, let me tell you about Brinewall! Oh, did those giant lobsters we sent back on Sozen’s horse show up? Great, we’ve been working up an appetite. That is an impressive horse.
The town is trashed. It’s infested with some sort of crow-men. We killed a bunch of them – for once, I managed to get a Color Spray off while the foes were clustered within the area of effect and knocked them all out, but then I think Sozen or somebody cut their throats while I was scouting ahead, because they certainly weren’t dead like that when I left them. Brinewall castle is lousy with them too.
And! There’s a Skald longship there, recently arrived but sunk in the dock! It looks like the work of a sea drake. Well, because we found a dead sea drake too. Apparently – this is what this strange little butterfly fae said – Xikandar and the fae say she, that is the fae, is actually a messenger of Desna – the Skalds were attacked by the sea drake; it killed all of them but one warrior, and sank their ship, and then the warrior chased it through the town and slew it. And then she went to the castle and was promptly captured by crow-men. Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense to me either.
That was where we found the lobsters. Big fellows, come right out of the water at you too. Back in Qadira I’d had dried lobster but I never realized they were so aggressive. Templeton claims their claws are poisonous, but I managed to get nipped seven or eight times and I’m fine, so I think he was mistaken about that one. So I conked them all on the head and we sent them back on Sozen’s horse for dinner. Interesting tactical note there – if Sozen is on horseback using his lance and I’m on foot, he can’t close with whatever we’re fighting and still hit it, which means I end up being the pincushion. That’s how the lobsters managed to pinch me so much. Luckily they don’t pinch very hard.
So then there was a big argument over whether to open Valthus’ scroll there, in the ruined town and NEAR the foot of the castle, or actually AT the foot of the castle like Valthus had said. You know I honestly don’t remember what we did there, maybe we opened it halfway to the castle. Anyhow it showed us where a secret entrance was, which we took. I don’t know why Valthus couldn’t have just TOLD us where it was, next time he gives me a scroll I’ll ask him right there “and what is on this scroll?”
The secret entrance let us into some troglodyte caves in the basement, or anyway you’d think it was the basement but the arena and kitchen are buried deep inside it. Probably a mad wizard; this sort of thing is usually the fault of a mad wizard. I mean, owlbears, right? So we thrashed the trogolodytes, killed their king, and the rest are going back into the Darklands. Then we found the dungeon, which is what you would THINK would be in the basement, and it was occupied – there was an ogre guarding that Skald warrior I told you about earlier! Sozen used a subterfuge to trick the ogre into releasing its prisoner, but then he and Templeton slew it before it could do so. I guess he wanted to prove he could rescue her with clever trickery, but also that he could best the ogre in combat, so he did both.