Day 27 of the Harvest Moon, Year 441

    I guess those darn Skeletons can sense when I am about and stay hidden wishing to hold tight to their skulls!

    When I can be bothered I trick them... I take a walk to the south, maybe as far as the Volcano, then return on tiptoe. Sometimes the surprise works well, other times I am the one to get a surprise, like today. Two Lava Spiders, fighting each other... what prompted them to leave their den at the Volcano? The area around them was busy - a little army of ants, a Rust Beast, a Sludge Beast. I patiently fought them one by one, then returned to the spiders and watched them for a while. Should I? Shouldn't I? I should, I should! Out came my precious bow and I carefully aimed at the injured creature. It quickly died and, as a result, his opponent turned his attention to me. A game of biting and punching followed, then swift arrows hissed through the air, relentless. I gathered the ash, took the fangs and moved on. Another fight - Fire Elementals and Hell Hounds. The dogs were too busy to pay any attention to me, so I went for the Fire Elementals. I was really curious now - it was obvious to me that this was the work of some druid, but what caused these creatures to venture far from the Volcano?

    I marched on, trying to be as quiet as I could while I scouted the area but, apart from the surroundings of the Volcano being a little livelier with red tornadoes, nothing else seemed to have been disturbed. When I returned to the village, I searched the library in case some traveller had reported trouble on the continent but could not find any recent entries. 

    Tired after the long walk and all the fighting, I went to rest at my guild hall but once again, my sleep was troubled. There was a body in the hall, then it multiplied - I looked again and, one by one, the bodies vanished. Only one was left now, but the blood had disappeared. Then the forge got really angry at me - I am not sure why - big flames leapt out and lashed dangerously close to me. Tarquin was acting as if everything was normal, even the dead body squashed under a chair!

    What is causing all this? Did I breathe in some spores from those strange mushrooms growing below Hermit Lake? Portals that appear and vanish again... unknown dimensions... too much for a poor cleric's head!


  • The Minstrel

    Day 144 of the Dancing Moon, Year 442

    My mind went back to the days spent studying in Brigobaen last night, and to one episode in particular. It had been a relatively quiet day, the fathers were away gathering herbs in the woods.

    A minstrel appeared at the gate and announced he had tales to tell, if we would care to listen. A small army of young clerics gathered around him - any excuse to get away from tomes was good! He softly struck the strings of his instrument and thus sang:

    I have not rested for three nights
    I was listening to a sound:
    It's the viper that hisses,
    hisses by the water.

    I have composed a new song
    do come and hear
    about the bride that never returned
    to the banquet.

    There was an unexpected guest
    who kept gazing at her in admiration:
    "I would like to show your bridal attire
    to my people".
    She innocently followed him,
    certain of her return.
    People waited until nightfall,
    but come back she did not.

    A minstrel walked alone
    in the middle of the night.

    but in front of him stood the unknown lord:
    "Maybe you seek the bride
    that was lost.
    if you have the heart to follow me,
    I shall lead thee to her".

    And a boat carried him across the dark water,
    he found the bride
    and she was dressed in gold.
    "I shall give thee my ring
    take it to my man,
    here I no longer suffer
    evil or desire".
    The minstrel turned around
    took just one step
    then he heard her cry
    in the water that was choking her.
    She shone like light
    when she became a bride,

    where might the lord that stole the damsel
    have taken her I wonder.

    Indignant, some of the more belligerent clerics made angry comments

    "I would have punched his face until it had turned blue!"
    "And I would have cast turn undead as if there was no tomorrow!", chimed in another

    "Shhhhh. shush!", said the apprentice librarian. His eyes were far too shiny - he must have got really moved by the ballad!

    I have not rested for three nights
    I was listening to a sound:
    It's the viper that hisses,
    hisses by the water.

    The minstrel thus concluded his tale, and was offered food, ale and gold pieces. The lesson had been easy enough to learn - never trust strangers!