The Thirteenth of Bhalrey, 2120 AE
In the fine musings of Muginn of the Warborne…
“We adventured deep into the decaying and vile willow forest, slogging through mud into a cave system, twisting and winding through the trees’ roots. Pits of acid, bones, and decaying animals were everywhere, the smell burning the eyes and nose. Moving carefully and slowly, taking care for sure footing, we used our climbing gear to traverse the underground root system. Then, out of nowhere, Tethras heard his little girl talking to him. He charged toward the sound, looking for his little girl, sure she would be in the chamber just beyond us.
As Tethras moved into the chamber, two doors blocked our way. Old, wet, and decaying wood was splintered apart by myself on the east side of the room and Garrmon burst the door to the west. Once again, the voice came, but this time to Garrmon, speaking in his brother’s voice, shaking him to his core. In a fit to prove his worth he leapt a pit of acid, grabbed a tree root, and crawled to a safe standing spot. He charged across the root, his foot giving way, sending him down to be wedged between root and the mud wall, suspending him above the acid pool hissing below. Tethras and I, hearing the crash, leapt the gap to aid our brother, not knowing what had happened. The dwarf noble called out and said all was fine; by the time we got there, Garrmon was on his feet, but covered in mud. After a few words of inspiration from myself, Garrmon moved again to yet another door blocking the way. Then, we stood suspended over a pool of water. Once again, the voice called out to us, attacking me, calling me “papa” in the voice of children from my village. Enraged by this insult, I wanted to push toward the goal. Garrmon shattered the door leading to the most vile room yet. We then realized that we had left half of the group in the rush to found out more about who was taunting us.
Norsa, Ellie, and Tenten looked into the other room, a massive room with two giant roots forming an “x” in the middle. They studied the room. A grass and leaf floor seemed odd; with the knowledge of the acid pits already laid out all over the floor, they decided to backtrack to find the group. They found us just past a room with a log trap and acid pit. The log, old and withered, having had many travel over it and now slick with mud, Norsa and Ellie slipped and fell into a pool of stagnate water. The voice yelled again, taunting little Ellie this time, speaking like her parents. She was determined to find out what kind of cruel magic this was, so Norsa placed her back upon the log, in a safe place. In the water, she found a strange black stone that had an arcane magic fading away within it, a spell of unknown origin, now gone. Norsa gave the stone to Ellie and hopped up into the opening.
There, we stood in the door way to the largest room. A dead canopy of leaves and withering vines covered the room, just letting in small trickles of the sun’s rays. The entire room was covered in gore, hunks of flesh, blood covered bones, vile piles of human and animal waste, rotting flesh and animal hides. We saw a great shadow over the back of the room. Quickly, I rushed on tree roots to the back of the room where the shadow was with Garrmon, following. Then, as the wing beats of the beast became deafening, it came crashing through the top of the room. The fight was now. We were ready, blades sharp, spells at the ready, and the newfound power of the druid ready to unleash against the beast.
The great beast burst through the woven canopy, the skin melting and falling off of it. A crazy, starving hunger gripped the creature. Feeding was all it knew, all it cared about, and now it had fresh meat on its table. It landing, slinging bone and blood from its feeding pile up into the air. Gold coins could be seen in the mix, now shimmering in the air, pieces that were hidden in the gore of the lair. It twisted back on its rear legs, slime running out of its mouth. A roar came from deep inside its belly, throwing acid, poison, and filth all over Garrmon and I, but we stood firm against it. I dove from the tree branch, taking a mighty swing at the beast. As it lashed out at me in midair, we made contact in the air, trading blow for blow. Garrmon, seeing me make this leap, put all of his faith into his skill. Knowing this was the moment he would prove he was as much of a warrior as his brother, he set himself ready to launch at the beast, but the mud was thick on his boots. He slipped, falling back into the mud below. Then a deafening sound rang through the room as smoke bellowed from Tethras’ weapon. The shot went clear through the creature’s tongue as it recoiled in pain. A blast of pure arcane might struck the creature in the wing, tearing the folds of skin on its thick leathery wings. Ellie, knowing it would be a long fight, cast a spell of mage armor on herself to better steel herself against this blight. Norsa, her long silent companion, jumped down into the blood and much of the floor, little Ellie riding her shoulder. However, Norsa screamed and twisted, her scream becoming a roar and much louder than before. She took on the form of a great tiger of the woods. She took Ellie to a safe spot and sat her on a tree branch before pouncing on the demon’s hind leg, clawing and tearing at it, though its thick skin could not be pierced there."