Bah! Sometimes being a ruler is more tedious that mastering the enumerations of a complex spell! Guard duty rotations…sick peasants…lost hunters and trappers. I have so many details to occupy my time, and none of them very pleasant. At least the inn is coming along nicely. The interior frame is up. A carpenter named Bailey seems to know his craft quite well, and he has been assigned Master Craftsman to the King…um…Baron. But what to name the place? The Pig and Loaf? No…The Bitter Bullette? …no. I’ll have to think on it.
Today brought an interesting surprise…it seems there is a magus newly arrived from Restov. I’ve talked with the hedge wizard, and he seems a little dull-witted, but does possess some talent. We’ve held off returning to the troll lair in the old watch-post (they seem to have either fled the area or holed up for the winter), and now I have pressing concerns with a herald newly arrived from Issia with a royal ‘invitation’. I’ve no time to gallivant over the frozen countryside for the foreseeable future. Perhaps the magus can be convinced to gain a bit of practical experience in the real world. Yes, I think that will do nicely.
I’ve charged the council with keeping their own journals of their adventures. Here’s to hoping they bother with such. It seems my own magical research will soon bear fruit. I have discovered the secret behind the bending of the visual spectrum. This afternoon, I made a chair disappear from sight. I also have unlocked the secrets of temporary magical growth!A good month so far..the snows have started to recead as the wet spring approaches. I begin to think we have survived our first test as a free kingdom.
By Biligimy’s Bones! Last night was a disaster. A colossal owlbear of legendary proportions laid a swatch of destruction through our community. I’ve never heard of one of those monsters reaching such a size. Poor Mugluk! He was the first to react to the thing’s rampaging, and paid for it with his life. So fast! It was like a whirlwind of nature! I awoke to the sound of our keep under siege. I barely got a glimpse of it, and the beast had already crushed the half-complete inn. Three guards were badly mauled. Two should live. The thing departed as quickly as it arrived, and there is an easy track to follow. Had I some way to send a magic summoning, I’d have alerted my companions. As it is, I’ll have to spend tomorrow and the next week seeing what can be done about the wounded men and the inn. At least we have a name for it when we rebuild; The Angry Owlbear. Of course, we will have to deal with the brute, and more handedly than we did the Wendol threat. It wouldn’t do at all for the peasants to think their lord cares so little for them that he allows such a threat to roam the kingdom freely. I’ll have to put my own hand to this task.
Well, that didn’t go as expected. It was a simple thing to track the creature. We found it’s lair amidst a craggy shelf of hills far to the south. Had we explored this far earlier, we may well have prevented much destruction and loss of life. It seems my companions have developed sense, and were not rash enough to rush in headlong and try and slay the behemoth. We circumnavigated the chain of hills, and found an opening in what we hoped would allow entry to the lair at an advantage. It was a small cave some 30 feet up on a natural shelf. We sent Rake up, as he is the most accomplished climber. Ruza still insists on wearing that noisy crap armor, and we almost paid for it with our lives. We soon learned the cave was the lair of horrid arachnids of large size…an awful enough antagonist by themselves, but they were NOT by themselves. Disgusting man-spiders were commanding the things, and they held some hypnotic influence over the man-sized vermin, directing them to cast their iron-strong webs over the ranger while he held the rope for ME.
Thankfully, our half-orc hellion made the ledge quickly and gave battle to the things, giving the rope-holding Rake respite. It was a frightful mess, with Theidrun left near the bottom of the cliff for much of it, and sticky ebs cast everywhere, hindering my allie’s swings. Ever her heavy plate offered little protection, and the half-orc was envenomed multiple times. So much of the foul liquid coursed through her she could hardly stand up…how the pigger did not expire is beyond me. After slaying the things with multiple fireballs from my newly acquired necklace (found on the troll-king, or so they tell me), we were forced to retreat all the way to the fort, so the wench could recover her equilibrium. It was rather funny watching her vomit half the trip…she kept complaining of ‘spinning skies’ and at one point we had to lash her to her mount.
We have returned to the lair, again taking the back stair. We discovered the bodies of hapless spider victims, and have gained some magical items. A small tunnel was found leading down into what we believe is the owlbears den, far too small for the monster to access. Ruza was ordered down the shaft, and in a few seconds we, holding the line, were almost yanked off our feet when the creature ambushed the noisy warrior. A deadly tug of war ensued, where we bested the creature (apparently it could not obtain a solid enough grip on her, having hooked her with a single massive paw). She noted the presence of another dead owlbear, a live cub and two dead siblings. It appears there were many bandit bodies spread about the place, and stranger more, the living beast was seen wearing fine leather barding!
After much thought, we decided to use the magic I had been studying . We shall lure the leviathan into a ambush which will spell its doom! With luck, I shall write again after.
Ah, truly I grow in power! ‘Twas my final spell that felled the monster after my associates were beaten nearly to death. The old Burning Ray of Oblivion came through yet again. We found a bit of wealth, including a strange ring made of hair that appears to control all manner of unnatural beasts. We delt with more spiders and a shambling moss creature that nearly slew the paladin. It was a good thing I reminded him to use his troll-belt before he rushed in as he did. On another humorous note, Ruza nearly fell down a shaft seven fathoms deep into a cavern filled with horrid green slime. She spotted the unsafe floor mere inches from stepping on it (I should hate to lose her talent with sword and pillow…)
Back to concerns of the kingdom. While I worked on arranging communication YET AGAIN with Issia (I am perplexed why they refused to answer my last communiqué), the ranger decided he would bring back a wolf cub to train for companionship (there are enough frontier women around here resembling that description…why get a real one?), if he could find one, and his tale of woe is one to set the dinner guests into fits of mocking laughter…but I will leave that for him to divulge, should one care to ask him. He DID have to run a horse to death getting to the High Temple of Gorum, and his carnivorous lunar activities will have to be confirmed as permanently arrested… at the next full moon…