11th of Flamerule, 1491

Tegan woke us all this morning, manically springing and striding with seemingly magical ability: it’s gotta be the boots. We advanced northward into a large cavern with steep escarpments, stone stairs, wooden tables, metal braziers, and skeletal dead, Gunx and Jorad leading the way. Ascending the eastern stairs, we entered a large room with a blast furnace, bellows, and waterwheel in a dry channel, guarded by shambling zombies and a blazing skull. Scorched by a fireball, I Turned two zombies and the flaming skull, but more zombies kept coming. Still, the Fellowship of Cunts could not be outmatched, and soon all the zombies were dead again.

Then, Tegan and Gunx lead us through the dry channel to a churning body of water, the source of the echoing waves we’ve been hearing throughout the cave complex. Suddenly, the flaming skull returned! We attacked with thunderbolts and lightning… very, very frightening! With the full force of the fellowship fiercely focused on the flaming skull, we finally defeated the fiery foe.

Continuing through a cramped tunnel, we came to a cavern bisected by a rushing stream, and on the other side, three working-class bugbears who did not hesitate to attack. Tegan leapt too heroically across the wide chasm, straight into the swing of an attacker. Eventually we all reached the other side, dispatching our enemies one by one: the last, unceremoniously kicked into the chasm to his death by Gunx… Such victory is sweet; nevertheless, I can’t help but think these brutish bugbears may all just be unwitting pawns in a much larger game.

Nimble Tolarin scampered through the rubble looking for booty, and found exactly that: a boot, sticking out from the stones, on the foot of a long-dead dwarf. The boots were poor, but the corpse was wearing a fine pair of protective leather gauntlets, well-suited to the little ninja’s meaty hands, so Tolarin took those.

The Fellowship decided to continue up the stairs to the northwest, with Gunx the Guileless leading the way by blazing torchlight, and like magic missiles, we had suddenly and unerringly found our targets: Iarno “Glasstaff” Albreck, and his spider-staffed drow lord Nez’nar, AKA the notorious “Black Spider”. With them were more bugbear thralls, and a short fellow who had the Rockseeker look.

My eyes were drawn to the staff in the elvish Tieflingkin’s hands! An ominous thing of dark power and beauty! So macabre! This Nez’nar has good taste, I’ll give him that… still, he messed with the wrong cunts. The room was darkly impressive too: large columns, dim lanterns, a wooden table, and a gem-eyed statue of Doomathowinn, my favourite dwarven deity!

While I was distracted by the magnificent spider-staff, a huge living spider descended from the ceiling, and the man and drow were both enchanting the fuck out of our party. Gunx was mesmerized into retreat, and Brick was spellbound!

Mighty Tolarin smote the large spider, while Tegan mocked our foes viciously about their “Deadbrand” minions, but it seemed we cunts were about to lose this fight. Another charm was being cast, this time upon Tegan… but, the half elf shrugged it off! Suddenly, Brick too had shaken off his holding spell. And Gunx, though compelled to stay outside the room, overcame his bias against ranged attacks to throw a dagger into the fray!

Another spider dropped upon us, but Jorad and I managed to quickly defeat the beast. Still taking fire from the spellcasters, Brick dropped one bugbear while Tegan skewered another through the leg, setting it up for Tolarin’s killing flurry. My spells were useless against Glasstaff, so I fired on Spiderstaff instead, and as Brick joined the attack, the Black Spider vanished. I suspect he literally turned invisible. Then, Tegan gained control of the attacking dwarf. The odds had shifted to our favour, blessed be Beshaba!

Glasstaff, broken, surrendered. I confiscated his fine ermine cloak, and his eponymous staff: an elegant weapon, for a more civilized age. Smooth, seemingly fragile, yet remarkably resilient… it reminded me of Jorad, so I handed it to him, hoping this was an omen that he particularly might become attuned to its arcane mysteries.

Glasstaff begged for his life with every bit of bullshit he had in his Lords’ Alliance brain, while the monks tied him up. No wonder he and Sildar are such good friends. Now at our ease, I went to investigate the statue, joined by Tolarin, while the others bickered with Jorad about something, so it seemed...

The gem eyes were indeed enticing. Tolarin scampered up to get them out; unfortunately, the paste jewels were worthless bait. Tolarin triggered a trap, and the ceiling fell down upon us all, reminding me once again of my own parents’ death by falling masonry.

Wounded, we cunts pulled ourselves from the rubble. Glasstaff was now dead, as the Fates would have it. The dwarf, who the others claim had transformed into another Jorad, lay dead by Gunx’ and Brick’s hands, a puddle of doppelganger goo. 190 ep, 130 gp, 15 pp, and 90 gp in gems, plus a cool dwarvish mug worth 100 gp were found, and on Glasstaff’s body: 50 gp, and a potion of invisibility and a potion of healing.

In the next room, we found the real Nundro, alive. We holed up in his prison with him for a long rest. Blessings be to Beshaba, by her guidance we evidently have skipped straight to the climax of this quest, without all the usual polite foreplay, klaatu barada nikto amen!

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