We made it out alive! Yet again I narrowly escaped slaughter. My companion Dax Lugar also made it out alive with me, but of the other’s I only saw them fall. I know not whether they still live down there unaware of their impending doom. I have been shaken dramatically by this experience. We buried Helmon yesterday outside the ruins in an unmarked grave, lost Erg to the depths of the dungeon, and more than half the party has been left down in the dungeon to their fate. The memory of the deaths of my previous party is still all too fresh in my mind and it has happened again.
Dax is insistent that we go back and save them before they succumb to their wounds. I told him I wasn’t ready to face the threat so soon and that to go down there now would only be suicide. So far as I have seen of my new found comrades, they seem rather resilient, and I hold hope that they may yet survive. Dax mentioned that he had seen these undead in a formation that suggested they guarded the doors. I hope that they follow the patterns of some undead that I have read about and go back to their eternal vigil.
After a short rest Dax got tired of waiting and went back in against my advice. “That cocky young human is going to get himself killed.” I thought, and I refused to follow his foolhardy notion of saving our friends this soon after our narrow escape. He went in alone, and even I couldn’t here his foot falls as he landed in the disturbed dust at the bottom of the shaft and slowly and quietly made is way out of my sight.
I didn’t have to wait long before I heard a faint whisper. I peered down into the shaft and saw Dax at the bottom carrying a short stocky form who I could only assume was Wulfgar. I breathed a sigh of relief and waited for Dax to tie the rope around Wulfgar’s waist. It took quite a bit of effort, but I managed to haul the unconscious dwarf out of the hole and drag him toward the cart. I leaned him up against the wheel and went back to the hole. Dax had already gone back into the dungeon by then and, again I waited. It took Dax even less time to return, and I saw him carrying Comiza. He must have had an easier time hauling the smaller one out I figured. Again we used the rope to pull him up to safety and I laid him next to Wulfgar. Both were badly beaten and blood, with severe gashes on their upper body and arms. I could see that they weren’t bleeding that bad for their many wounds and was relieved. I decided they would yet live and so I went back to the shaft.
I noticed Dax at the bottom of the shaft fiddling with something. When I asked what he was doing, he said that he was going back for Forest and that he would need a distraction. I grimaced, remembering where Forest had fallen, and knew this would not be easy. I asked him what sort of distraction and he told me that he was modifying his leg-hold trap with a delay. Still believing that the best shot of reaching Forest was to wait and let me prepare new spells the following day, I stayed behind and tended to the injuries of Wulfgar and Comiza.
After a while of tending the two by the wagon, my keen ears picked up what sounded like a shout coming from the hole and then it ended quite abruptly. Fearing the worst I walked over to the hole and peered in. Dax did not appear in the dim light of the shaft as I had hoped and so I waited. Time slipped by and still nothing. I knew then that Dax had failed at rescuing Forest and had probably succumbed to the same fate.
Realizing that I was now alone in this rescue, I decided to go with my original plan. I moved Comiza and Wulfgar into the wagon, climbed in, and closed the flap. I meditated for approximately 8 hours using the rhythmic breathing of Comiza and Wulfgar as a guide to relaxation. Preparing my spells afterwards took longer than usual because I had to tend the wounds of both my companions, but I eventually finished and spent the rest of that day tending them.
Wulfgar and Comiza awoke this morning as I was preparing to venture back into the dungeon today. Wulfgar insisted on helping and he seemed in good spirits and strength so I agreed. Though I didn’t suspect there was much I was going to do to dissuade him. I found where Dax had fallen while hauling Forest’s body and I could only surmise that one of the skeletons had either seen him or had seen Forest’s body move and had given chase. I easily retrieved them both to the bottom of the shaft with the use of a few tricks of magic and short term invisibility just as a precaution. Wulfgar assisted me in hauling them up the rope and then I climbed out. Wulfgar laid hands as he could muster the strength and we rested another day while we tended their wounds. He is definitely worthy of the title of Paladin, though I am unsure as to why a dwarf would choose to follow Bahamut, a dragon god. I should ask him the next time I have the opportunity.
Awoke this morning to the party well rested and in decent spirits as all who had fallen were now awake and moving around. We decided to leave the death of the dungeon behind for a short while and ventured to a rise nearby. We spotted travelers and went to hail them. We discovered that it was an injured dwarf, human ranger, and another gnome riding a wolf. Although I find gnomes usually rather chatty and annoying, I had never seen the likes of such a gnome and wolf duo as this and was quite intrigued. We conversed for a while, telling the band of our adventure in the dungeon. Without much prompting the Gnome foolishly spoke up and mention he was an agent of Maexon and was quickly hushed by Forest and kicked by the injured dwarf. We explained our position as amiable and the gnome, obviously bored with travel the desert and not wanting to end his adventure, decided that it would be more fun to join us instead of heading on his way, much to my chagrin. “Great! Two gnomes! Now we’ll never get any peace and quiet!” I thought. Though I kept quiet knowing we could probably use his help in the coming events. The dwarf and the ranger moved on and the party and knew companion named Nyelo, headed back to the dungeon to try and finish what we had started. We rested the remainder of the day.
Fully refreshed the party was determined to not be bested again by the skeletons in the dungeon. Forest came up with a brilliant plan to fight the skeletons on our terms, and we all agreed. Curse my luck. As we were making our way into the dungeon the plan was foiled when I stopped Wulfgar from walking into the first room with double doors and I whispered for him to not enter. A skeleton heard [me] and the battle ensued. We were victorious, but at the cost of Nyelo falling unconscious to the continued assault by an enraged skeleton. We found an unusual bonelike rod on the floor in the guarded room and after much examination and Forest’s use of detect magic, we surmised it held resurrection magic; a fortunate occurrence considering the freshly made grave outside. We all left the dungeon and after some debate which I did not understand, I decided we weren’t going to debate whether or not to resurrect a comrade, as unnatural or not as it may be. I used the rod on Helmon’s corpse and the magic took effect almost immediately. The dwarf’s acid burned remains renewed themselves within minutes and he blinked to life. I felt much better having redeemed myself after the near complete failure of three days ago and I slept better that night and the day following as the party regained its strength and spirits.
So ends the log on the evening of the 10th of Rhombidderahn.
[Minor editing and corrections provided by the DM.]