As I take my turn at the watch, I find time to update my records. We are inside a cellar of sorts, doors barricaded and locked from intrusion. No way to keep out magical entrance, but measures have been taken to prevent physical danger. From the way we came, at least. In blocking others from entering, we have also sealed our retreat. I savor the irony. We have decided to set up camp for a time, tending to our wounds. I suppose I should scribe the story as to how we got here for whomever may read this at a later date.
We entered the temple shortly after sundown. Wishing to remain ahead of any others searching for the place, we decided to forge ahead. I saw the danger in doing so, but said nothing. With the exception of Echelon, and perhaps Ironwood, the others seem to care little for my input or opinion. Open the locks, disable the traps, keep your mouth shut. Rayan, especially, seems to hold a particular disdain for me. I have no particular problem with any one of my companions, but have resigned myself to a position of obedience for the time being. Perhaps at a later date, I can use my talents-
(A sentence is crossed out heavily, but the words ‘abscond’, ‘regret’, and ‘friendship’ are barely legible.)
I digress. Echelon moved into the first room, the two of us working to find any mechanical traps. I stress the phrase mechanical. So intent are we on pressure plates and arrow holes that we completely miss the darkness growing around a statue in the center of the room. It lashed out across Echelon’s eyes, causing him to leap back in alarm and pain, rubbing at his face frantically. Suddenly, across the room, shadows leapt from the walls and charged us. We managed to recover from our surprise quickly enough to save Echelon and dispatch the creatures, thanks in no small part to Ironwood’s bravery and Pepper’s healing abilities. I grudgingly admit that Rayan, also, proved to be a valuable asset. After a short time, we heard footsteps behind us. Kos, our field leader, and one of the few men I dare to call my friend, had arrived. Unfortunately, the emerald claw was close behind him. Bastion promptly charged in the wrong direction, getting thoroughly lost outside the temple. We set up an ambush and quickly sent them running the way they had come. Those that were not dead, at least. We proceeded deeper into the labyrinth and came upon a maze made seemingly of shadow. I felt strangely at home, although the swirling black seemed to unnerve the others. With a combination of arcane knowledge, quick reflexes, and some fireside rumors, we made our way to the centre of the maze. There, we found a prayer book and what I can only guess to be the artifact in question. Also of note were some enchanted gloves, of worth to nobody present. Echelon quickly took them for his studies, seeing no other use for them. As we made our way further down the temple, we came upon a room with strange glyphs on the floor. Two men, surrounded by their dead companions, were screaming in terror as a huge shadow creature tore into them. One was immediately decapitated, and the other leaped into the shadows behind the creature, promptly parting company with his skin. The sound was unpleasant. We dispatched the beast with our customary efficiency and moved on, into the sewers of Sharn.
As we move through the sewers, I immediately recognize the markings of Shifter gangs. My experience with these groups has run the gamut from pleasant to uncomfortably life-threatening, depending on what mood they find themselves in at any given moment. In my childhood, I “ran with the pack” for a time, trying to escape those who -
(Again, a sentence is heavily marked out, this time with obvious anger behind the pen.)
I must stay on topic. We find our way to a refuse pit. Inside is a female shifter, with a gang mark tattooed on her arm. She is sifting through the garbage. She seems familiar, and something in my gut tells me I can trust her. My instincts have kept me alive for 26 years, I have no reason not to trust them now. With some bribery, I manage to acquire her aid in leading us to our next destination, an abandoned tower of the arcane. Supposedly, whoever hid the artifact in the temple found some importance in this tower, and, being the whimsically violent and intrusive bunch that we are, we decided to continue our investigation. With the help of the nameless shifter female, we found ourselves in the cellar of what seems to be the tower we seek. Ironwood charges ahead before anyone can stop him, and shortly thereafter a loud shout and the sound of crashing metal echoes throughout the room. Echelon and Pepper rush to aid him, but I am more cautious. I make my way around the side of the room, only to be leapt upon by a ghoul. I manage to dodge it’s grasping claws, slicing it’s belly open with my rapier before spearing it through the eye. Shouts and cries of alarm around me herald the appearance of more of the creatures. My shifter friend is surrounded, but I cannot make my way to her through the battle. I move to engage a horrid smelling undead, but it vomits on me and I feel the strength sapped from my limbs. I try to dodge to the side, only to be caught in the jaws of some great deathly hound. The next several minutes are nothing but black, until one of Echelon’s vials smashes against me. I sit up and look around just in time to see the rest of the group take care of the remaining undead. The creature that vomited on me is pulling itself off the ground next to me. I stand and smash my heel into it’s face, spitting on it contemptuously as I pierce it’s heart with my blade. So the battle ended, we barricaded the door, and decided to rest.
I believe these to be an accurate description of the events to date. We currently sit in this room, awaiting whatever may come our way. If these were just the gate keepers, then Traveler help us all.