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Week Twenty Two

April 9th, 1997
Avg. Rating: 3.9

Watercarn, Manayar 13th, Year of the Shield, Early Morning

After a night of quiet rest in Hrothgar's cavern home, the party was awoken early by the sound of someone opening the outside door. Perda put his ear up to the bedroom door while Kelly woke up the rest of the party; something slammed into the door, sending Perda flying backwards, unconscious. After two more hits the door burst in, revealing a reanimated Hrothgar! The PCs leapt to the attack.

Kelly and Erik ran out of the room to attack the undead giant from behind, only to discover that he was not the only thing reanimated- two undead stirges grabbed onto them, searching for blood. Erik easily impaled one, while Kelly shattered the other with her natural spellcasting abilities. The rest of the party soon defeated Hrothgar as well, though they did sustain some wounds of their own.

Once the battle was over Erik and Kelly looked around the main chamber, to ensure they were alone. Erik spotted two yellow eyes in the shadows near the entrance...the creature quickly flew out, with Erik (and Kelly, and the rest of the party) in pursuit.

Erik and Kelly stopped in the stirge chamber, but it was too dark to see much of anything. Kelly walked around the walls of the cavern and stumbled upon the creature hiding in the darkness- she tried to hit it with Heartseeker, but was instead stung in the chest by the creature's tail. As Kelly fell unconscious and struggled to resist the poison coursing through her blood, Erik ran after the creature as it once again flew away (Gregory arrived in the room just in time to catch Kelly as she fell).

Erik took a few swings at the undead beast...he also recognized it as the same beast he had seen in Waterdeep, the one that had killed the Guardsmen on the roof with a single wound. Just before the creature flew out of range Erik managed to hack off its right forearm. The undead pseudo-dragon then flew off into the morning sky.

The party regrouped back in Hrothgar's main chamber. Tristan tended to Kelly's wounds, as well as to Rakmor's. Texter then laid hands upon Kelly, bringing her back to consciousness and ridding her body of the evil beast's poison. Erik gathered up all the dead stirges and made a bonfire out of them; he then burned Hrothgar's body, as Texter said a few words of consecration over the remains. Willow, Kelly, and Gregory spent a bit more time attempting to activate the gate in Hrothgar's bedroom, to no avail. The party soon supplied themselves with bread and wine from Hrothgar's stocks and made their way outside. Though there had been some talk of perhaps "going for help", beyond the reach of whatever evil gripped Waterdeep, it was decided it would be wiser to return to the city.

From their vantage point on Mt. Sar the party could see riders approaching from the direction of the city. They quickly made their way down and hid among the rocky outcroppings at the base of the mountain. Eight Shieldbreakers arrived, on horseback; four dismounted and climbed up to Hrothgar's cavern, the other four remained on their steeds. Two of these men began whispering, then one dismounted and started up the mountain; the PCs sprang from ambush and attacked.

The four Shieldbreakers were defeated quickly, despite the arrival of an allied harpy to the fray...while the warriors dealt with the warriors, Kelly engulfed the harpy's wing with magic fire and Willow caused the creature to feel terror. Right after that, however, Willow was struck deep in the chest by an arrow fired from the mouth of Hrothgar's cavern. She fell unconscious.

Gregory made his way secretly up the hillside, with Erik and Texter charging behind him. Gregory jumped onto the plateau where the other four Shieldbreakers were, taking them all completely by surprise. Before they could even react Gregory disarmed the two with swords; one of the bowmen fired at him but the arrow ricocheted harmlessly off his armor. They both then dropped their bows.

The four men knelt down, as Gregory instructed, just as Erik and Texter arrived at the top. It seemed to Gregory that only one of the swordsman appeared to have his wits about him; the other three looked a bit addled, and their eyes seemed distant. Erik began interrogating the alert one for information...

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Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.