Adventure Journal of Dorben Wainfoster
5th Eleasis, The Year of the Haunting
---Once again my companions and I find ourselves at the Vaasan Gate at the inn called The Wall. Meg was hale and hearty this morn after a full night’s rest and it was a matter of only a few minutes conversation for us to all decide to carry on with the scouting mission into Vaasa. The possibility that the Blizzard Army might be refugees or an expeditionary force from Kho’s frozen world does seem a real possibility to my thinking.
During our ride toward the Gate we discussed what should be done with the hides that we seem to be accumulating. Illandria really has done quite a good job of curing and tanning the hides into useable leather, despite their fiendish origins. Although it seems a bit frivolous, we did finally decide that the hides of the two hellhounds and the Nessian war hound will be used for rugs when we finally have a sitting room with a nice large fireplace. They are already impervious to fire so having them as fireplace rugs seems useful. We are still discussing whether or not the heads will be kept intact. As for the fiendish dire bat hides, their leather will be put to some more practical uses. Namely gloves and the like to be made from the wing leather and several fireproof bags of various sizes from the rest. One never knows when something like that might come in handy after all.
Our ride to the Gate was not all pleasant conversation. We were making good time along the road with Aedron making the snow clear itself away in front of us. We had traveled perhaps half the distance between Keep and Gate when Aedron’s excavations uncovered some half dozen or so bodies lying in the road. They all showed signs of having died from exposure during the storm. An inkling of movement had us thinking there might be some slim chance of survivors but that was not the case. The frozen corpses arose from the road surface and moved to attack us.
The animated corpses did not attack quite the same as other zombies and the like that we have encountered thus far. There was something different and it was not long until that difference was exposed. We were holding our own fairly well when Aedron heard the faint sound of laughter off to one side, away from the fight. He used his powers over snow to uncover an ice mephit that was making use of magic to animate the corpses, not as undead but more as animated objects. I believe that power came from the staff the creature was holding tight to and that we recovered from its body. I shall cast Identify in the morning to verify.
After dealing with the mephit, we set to work giving its poor unfortunate puppets a more peaceful rest. I have made sketches of each person as best I could in hopes that the authorities here or back in Bloodstone might be able to identify the fallen and notify their families. We prepared a funerary pyre and I said prayers for those passed so that they might go on toward the next step in their path in more peace than they left this one. There was no need for us to apply normal flame as it turned out since Onyx descended upon the pyre, instantly setting it into full blaze. The bodies were reduced to naught but ash in no more than half a minute and then Onyx returned to her roost near her mistress. I asked Illandria to pass along thanks to her avian companion since a normal bonfire would have taken hours to do the same work.
When we arrived at the Vaasan Gate we found the town full near to bursting, the whole place packed virtually cheek to jowl with army troops. What with all the troopers and the caravans of their needed goods, it was looking as if we might have a hard time finding boarding room for the horses. But all was well for Nia was able to “negotiate” a friendly stable master into submission to find us stall and paddock space and Meg and I were able to haggle his prices down so that we were only paying the normal going rate rather than one and a half times the norm. It isn’t as though we couldn’t have afforded the inflated rate after all; it’s the principle of the thing. It is just fortunate that Nia is so well known and liked amongst the city guards and merchants. If not for her we might never have been all day about simply finding a stall here and there to accommodate our steeds.
As it is, we have rooms at The Wall once again and will set about making final purchases for the expedition over the next day or so. Aedron has made contact and arranged an appointment with the dwarf mithral smith tomorrow and we will be disposing of some extra equipment and the like that we have accumulated over the last little while. I must off to rest I suppose. No Nia for me this night. I believe she said she was going to spend some time with some soldier friends and see if she couldn’t get the “lay” of the land, so to speak. Ah well, all good soldiers should have such a friend. By my Lady’s grace, I shall write again soon.
Adventure Journal of Dorben Wainfoster
6th Eleasis, The Year of the Haunting
---It was as if today were market day with all the coin and goods changing hands all hither and thither all around us. I began the day by casting Identify several times to examine some things we had come by recently, mainly the weapons from the dismembered ghost, and my castings verified a few assumptions. The items all carried the Ghost Touch enchantment of course. It was decided that Meg should have the longsword and I was fairly easily convinced to make use of the shield. I had been contemplating a nicely enhanced buckler to lighten my load but I must admit that this new shield’s usefulness against the incorporeal undead made quite a strong point. I was completely won over when thoughts of the use of translucent paint upon the slightly glassy and semi-transparent steel led my mind down very interesting paths of artistic endeavor.
Meg achieved top dollar from the sales of our accumulated loot and then made out to fill the supply list we had all put together for the expedition. Meanwhile, Aedron and I made our way down to his acquaintance, Gilbert the mithral smith. Aedron did not exaggerate. Gilbert is perhaps one of the strongest looking dwarves I have ever seen. Aedron picked up the bucklers we had commissioned some time ago and we asked Master Gilbert if he might give us any advice on the armor taken from the fiendish orcs. Despite the fact we had cleaned all the items as best we could, Master Gilbert still said he could detect the “orc stink” upon them and quickly grew fairly perturbed about that. He identified the strange metal as something called Hizagkur, which it turns out, is something of a dwarven alloying secret. He said that he doesn’t deal in this metal but he could direct us to a dwarf who does. He handed us several bottles of a strong smelling oil and said to apply this to all the items before we went to see this other dwarf. He said the oil would remove the orc stink and advised us to be sure NOT to mention the orcs at all to this other smith.
Our dealings with the second dwarf went quite successfully. He seemed glad to take in what amounted to a fairly large deposit of this somewhat rare material and we were able to chivvy a bit of information from him about the material as well. I shan’t go into all the details here since I am not writing some discourse on metallurgy. Our impromptu tutorial did convince us that we would accept several daggers made of this material in lieu of part of our payment. He said that more than enough material could be scavenged from the one breastplate to make fully ten daggers of this fascinating alloy. He assured us that they would be of fitting quality to receive enchantment if we so chose but just as they were they would carry a special quality to them. He explained that any strike with such a weapon would also carry just a bit of fire and electricity to the wound as well, without any enchantments. It is some naturally occurring quality of the metal itself. Our fine weapon smith estimated that his crafting should take him no more than a tenday and he assured us that we would be well pleased with our purchase. I believe that will be so. I look forward to seeing what artistry he will bestow upon us.
I believe that is all for now. I caught a fleeting glimpse of Nia perhaps once or twice during the course of the day. She seemed tired but happy. I hate to cut her fun short, but I think we will be ready to set out either tomorrow or the next day at the latest. By my Lady’s grace, I shall write again soon.