Upon waking Grill uses his magic to give me the darkvision again. Without this magic I doubt I would be able to make it here. He tells me he had a dream/vision from the Raven Queen. He describes seeing a Giant Slime creature being worshipped. I am immediately worried that Jubilex is the creature he saw. I tell him all I know about the Demon Lord from D&D Lore and while he doesn’t seem to believe everything I say since it’s such a strange tale. I’m unsure about the timeline and if my “friends” from D&D are here such as Squigg and Bitterfang who was played by Mike in the Homebrew Review Episode. He does take it into consideration and suggests we try to find his friend as soon as we can.
Before leaving to find Zelgi we decided to stock up and I was yearning for some familiarity from home. Grill’s cooking over a fire on sticks was edible but not exactly great. I loved to cook at home and to help get me through this current situation I felt picking up some cooking supplies would help. I also missed relaxing with my pipe and watching the world around me as I go through what all happened during the day. Now that I can write down my experiences the pipe is next on my list of wants. I have what I need to survive but if I’m going to make it back home with my sanity intact, I need to have some comfort items. We approach this Yurt like structure make of some fantastic looking scaled hide. The shop is called the Nutty Giant and a pleasant looking Goliath greets us. His jovial manner is refreshing as this own place is dower and miserable. His teeth seem to be made of gems and it is very odd to me, but Grill don’t say anything about it. As we try to purchase our items, some rough looking thieves dragging two emaciated looking horses enter. Without so much as a hello, they attempt to rob us and the store.
I am very hesitant to attack them with lethal force and it shows as they draw first blood from us. Even the mention of the Goddess of the Hearth doesn’t deter them. Both Grill and I take damage from them, but we try out best to watch each other’s backs. Between their blades and the kicks, I received from their horses, things looked bad for us. I sweep a shelf clear of caltrops which the first urchin steps on. With his movement slowed I use my machete like a bat and hit him hard across the face. My hands sting from the blow but he falls amid the pointy metal caltrops completely coconscious. We scare away one of the horses and the two other potential thieves drag their companion away. Grills magic once again saves me from what could have been a permanent sleep. Leaping on the horse I’m eventually able to calm it and let the thieves know this poor abused animal is now mine to care for.
The shop keeper refuses my coin to help pay for repairs and allows us to take whatever we want from his shop. Feeling bad for him I only take the Cooking Utensils and a pipe and some of what passes for tobacco here. I take the poor horse to a stable nearby and tell them to take care of the animal as we will be setting out on a journey soon and I don’t know if or when we will return. I pay them way more than what was needed but I have to make sure this horse gets the care he needs and extra feed to boot. Since Grill expended his magic in the last battle, we spend 1 more night here before departing in the morning.
Before sleeping for the night, I enjoy the first smoke I’ve had since coming here and write in this journal. The “tobacco” while not what I’m used to, isn’t bad. I have a feeling it’s made from the stalks of the giant mushrooms in this area as the taste is very earthy and nutty.
The Journey to find a friend
My nervousness must show as we leave the safety of Dragon’s Price for the Darkness Hiding. I know enough about it, having written it myself, to know we could very well end up lost forever here. The beginning of the trip is rather uneventful as we navigate the caverns and tunnels until we spot what I can only describe as Giant Rat poop and within the poop is a potion vial. Grill believes it is Oil of Slipperiness and I pocket it be we try to stay alert and Giant Rat poop mean Giant Rats are near.
The most comical fight I have ever experienced, read about, seen on tv, or played in video games occurs. A Kobold who pours random potions down these 3 giant rat’s throats attacks. The Kobold begins by throwing a basket filled with a swarm of centipedes which explodes next to me. Grill & I attack the four of them desperately as random effects keep happening around us. Fireballs from rat butts, goats appearing out of entrails, slick ice that trails behind the rats, skunks that spray people in the face, and a “Lady of the Night” all grace us as this battle takes place. Grill uses the power of the Raven Queen to explode one of these rats with a magically infused blade. Using my desperation to fuel me I strike down the Kobold. We eventually finish off the battle with Grill “Rick-Rolling” all of us. This battle and its random magical effects are something I will always remember…
We continue in search of Zelgi. Grill is at one point pulled to go down a path that I am worried is unsafe. After telling him to stop and think about it again he decides to keep going down our original path instead. We spend the night in the tunnels and during the night I have a terrifying dream of Jubilex and a Raven passes before my eyes and I awake. The next day we eventually find a house of human construction that must be Zelgi’s. When we attempt to get in to the basement a trap springs and we find ourselves face to face with a Gelatinous Cube.
The cube in the first round engulfs me and nearly dissolves me as it did Zelgi but my will to survive and Grill’s magic keep me alive. Grill and I attack it ruthlessly trying to keep our distance the best we can. Just as we thought the fight was over, Zelgi’s corpse erupts out of the cube and an effigy of the Raven Queen stands before us. She thanks us for coming to find Zelgi and rewards us by returning us to Dragon’s Price and granting me a pact with her. I feel a familiar connection there but it’s not one I understand right now. It is only in hind sight the I realize the bag Zelgi was carrying still lies in the basement of that house. I will return one day to retrieve it.
After calling upon some power I don’t quite understand I complete a ritual that causes the Raven feather from Grill hat to turn into a Raven itself. The raven and I seem as though we are almost one being and this feeling a beyond anything I could otherwise describe. I continue to practice with my new found magical ability and while I do I swing my machete and green flames ignite along the blade. I exhaust myself of spells very quickly. Grill using his contacts was able to get me a place on a ship headed for Port City and after recovering my horse and traveling to Niska, I wish my first friend in this new world goodbye the next morning.
My journey though intense and overwhelming at times is starting to make progress. I set out for Port City to find a way home.