(There is a series of pen marks here, as if someone was attempting to get a quill to work; this is confirmed by the first legible, albeit striked-out line of the journal.)
Couldn’t get the damnable pen to work. There we go, that should do.
The Drunken Scarecrow Mob is at it once again. With the return of Lobo from his adventures on the seas, and apparently his last-minute rescue from the gallows, he sought us out; thankfully for him, we were easily found at our usual haunt in Firelight.
Lobo came to us with stories of an assault on New Cyre; an apparent undead upheaval, lead by some manner of necromancer, in a plot to kill the prince. How Lobo escaped from being waylayed in the process, is still unclear, however, I’ll simply chalk it up, once again, to the Flame’s will. Perhaps there will be salvation for him, yet.
After explaining to us about this newfound situation, and of course peppering us with vague threats on our lives, we talked amongst ourselves about our current financial situation.Dorin of course, immediately began thinking we could find ourselves with gold in the hundreds of thousands, however, he’s never quite had the solid grasp on economics that most dwarves have.
We came to the conclusion, fairly quickly, that we were all flat broke; and that while we are loathe to take advantage of any individual in distress, this potential opportunity for work did prove for potential income. We set out immediately, skipping out on our bar tab. We arrived soon in New Cyre, looking as if it had recently been under siege. A quick polling of the locals confirmed that this, in fact, had been exactly the case.
The courthouse, where Lobo had originally been assaulted was our first destination; however, we were quickly turned away to the local tavern. I did manage a glance within the confines of the house of law, before we went, however, and saw the remains of the unfortunate individuals that had taken the brunt of the attack in defense of the prince. It’s a shame. They looked as if they had potential. But that is not our path. May the Flame keep them.
Upon reaching the tavern, we found ourselves in a queue; given a number, made to wait. Impatience (and the potential for us to lose a job) got the better of me, and I pressed upon the doorkeeper to let us to the front of the line. I will admit to throwing my proverbial weight around about, flashing my dragonmark. Still, it has given me good fortune this far, and I have no reason to believe that any of the ruffians amongst the crowd in the line were any more qualified to accomplish whatever task they were asking, than us.
To the magistrate, we were led; and informed of the unfortunate kidnapping of the Princess of New Cyre. Upon listing our qualifications, the concerns of the Prince (whom was overseeing this meeting with the Magistrate) seemed ever so slightly abated. We were offered no set price in the recovery of the Princess; however, the promise of “all the riches of New Cyre” as I believe I put it, will certainly put us in the right place, no matter how small the nation. We were given a map. We were pointed in the right direction. We set out.
Night set before too long; it was then, along a muddy trail that we encountered the true dangers that seem to be set in our path. Having followed an ill-hidden trail, we were making good time in pursuing those that absconded with the royalty. However, we were set upon by a horrific being; a giant amalgamation of a fiend, an undead creature seemingly constructed of sinew and sick. It expectorated a glob of slick filth upon us, scattering us upon the road and into the surrounding wilderness. Still, even with the horrors it belched forth, the Drunken Scarecrow Mob acted without fear. We set upon it.
Dorin was the first to strike, charging and screaming at the creature, burying his axe deep into the blackened nightmare that had set upon us. He was rewarded for this act by being snatched up by the creature, smashed up against a nearby tree, and subsequently hurled back into the goo-slick that he had escaped from. We all eventually made our way out of the slick, Rainclaw being the fastest to do so. I attempted to seal its essence away with a sign of the flame, but the creature resisted the sigils, Lobo and Diesa had much better luck in striking at the creature. And with an almost sick glee, having not been in a real fight in so long, Dorin charged once again from the slick.
His charge set the tone for the rest of the battle – abject brutality; if this thing had not been an unliving thing, it surely would have exploded into a fine pink mist from the blow that the crazed dwarf delivered. However, it instead issued forth a sloughing black ooze from its wound. It was hurt, to be certain – however, not hurt quite enough. It returned the punishment it took in kind, crushing the dwarf into the packed earth below. He was out cold, and there was little time to revive him.
I summoned forth a shield bearing spirit, to help protect me as I tended to the new necrotic wounds that our berserker had aquired, while Diesa, Rainclaw and Lobo set upon the foul thing with increased ferocity. If you are to strike down a member of the DSMs, it is wise to strike at us all at once. It was Diesa who struck the blow that caused the creature to explode into a thousand pieces, only to reform into four, smaller mockeries of itself. I roused Dorin in time to wake to this sight, to which he immediately got upon his feet again, and with effort, waded back into the fray – it took him some time to find his feet again after being pummeled by the monstrosity, but his presence was enough.
There were some injuries during the ensuing tussle with the amalgamated simulacrums, however, none nearly as potentially deadly as when it was as a whole. However, let it be said that I did expend all of my efforts to keep the Scarecrows on their feet – I do not wish to play down the dangers in this case.
After the beast was felled, and we cleaned as much of the sickly goo off of our armor as we could (I thought I saw Diesa bottle some, for whatever dire purpose that dwarf might have…) we sat to recollect our thoughts. But not for long – the road waits ahead; we shall rise to meet it.
May the Flame Protect Us
(Below are some rough sketches of the events recounted above)