22nd July, 3222
Good grief. Just as one pointless expedition into the backside of civilisation finishes, another begins.
I always knew that cursed Provost Tredore was jealous o’ my studies and the success of my experiments. Why else would he send me, Derion Livingstone, on these Gods-forsaken errands, and not one of the seemingly endless supply of novices that he foolishly admits to our dear Academy of Arcane Sciences?
Jealousy, simple jealously. We’ll see who it is that has the last laugh when I return. I have plans for our Provost.
23rd July, 3222
It seems that we’re destined for the Feerrott, if there were a more dingy and unsanitary place, then I am not quite certain that I’ve not heard of it.
Between the stench of Oggok, the Gypsy-infested Mountains of Rathe and Innothule Swamp, I cannot imagine a place I’d rather be less. Even the blasted druids threw cabbage at us as we passed the Old Rings.
Provos: Tredore claims that the filthy Tae Ew lizards are stirring up trouble, something to do with a breach into an alter plane. I don’t believe in for a moment.
24th July, 3222
Curiouser and curiouser. We reached the outskirts of the Tae Ew temple this morning; it certainly appears… different.
There is a distinct tain in the balance of the planar forces here, emanating from the temple itself. Could that fool Tredor have been correct?
My faithful servant, Kinopio is setting up the tents. The juniors assigned to me – Scrapsnatcher, Aluram, Morkul and Felwah – have asked leave for the evening.
I am not a cruel man, we shall begin earnest tomorrow. Besides, Kinopio has some rather decent pipeweed.
25th July, 3222
Felwar seems to have a touch of madness this morning, blathering about monsters in her dreams.
Arcane Sciences cannot depend on the ramblings of the weak-willed.
I have ordered the doors to the temple to be forced open – let us see what these scienceless heathens are up to! Onwards!
Gods help us, we’re trapped. Trapped in some small chamber deep within the temple – we ran. Gods know we ran. My magics of concealment should hide Kinopio and myself from the searches of the cursed lizards for awhile.
I get ahead of myself, it is unlike me to be irrational. I shall recount the events.
The main temple door led to a deserted courtyard, absent of all sound except the incessant chirp of crickets in the plants that sprouted from most of the temple’s oddly regular sandstone buildings.
As our party stood in the centre of this courtyard, the huge wooden doors through which we came slammed shut.
I don’t know how, but they were on us instantly – jumping out of windows and bushes, pouring from doors and alcoves, even dropping out of the trees. I’ve never seen such an attack, I pray that I never do again.
It was all that I could do to protect Kinopio and myself with my enchantments – many of the lizards fell to us but their numbers were.. overwhelming, without end. They have been breeding in incredible quantity.
We found ourselves separated from the juniors – fleeing for a door that led along countless corridors into the temple depths. Here we remain – for how long I cannot say.
Our tiny room appears to have been used as a storage area, there are many materials here. Perhaps some will come in useful in our escape.
My wards of protection are about the room, it should remain soundproof for some time. The door looks strong. We both need rest.
Within the mounds of jumble, I found a strange ore. It seems local to this area’s geology – and has fascinating properties.
Using my firestaff as a makeshift forge, I found that two lumps of this ore could be enchanted with a vial of distilled mana – interesting.
Kinopio is keeping me awake with his nightmares.
Thankfully, we appear to be undiscovered. I hear female screams after dark.
The enchanted ore seems to bond well with certain jewels that I have with me: diamonds, blue diamonds, sapphires, black sapphires and rubies.
I shall remember to note these for further investigation on our return to the Academy.
Our rations are low. Kinopion, bless his brave Gnomish soul, dared to step outside the room today. He was gone for some time, and came back with – well, with a dead Tae Ew runtling.
The door is secured again. I wonder if we dare cook this lizard?
Hunger is a cruel thing. Kinopio went to work on cooking the runtling this morning.
It tastes so good! Cooked on a skewer, with a little spice and some sauce, this lizard meat is most pleasing. Kinopio ate meat rolled in batwing – such an odd gnome.
Gods, a week has passed. Kinopio’s nightmares are worse, they are affecting his judgement.
My day was spend curing the hide of the runtling – a long process, using a vial of the poor creature’s blood. The result is a hard leather – perhaps I can put it to use.
Kinopio is restless, so I put him to work with the cured hide. He has hidden talents: from one section of hide he created a tough belt for himself, and from another section of hide he produced a gorget. Amazing.
Today’s meal consisted of raw lizard sandwich. Revolting.
Kinopio discovered a barrel, suitable for brewing, in one of the piles that line the walls. Using two vials of the runtlings blood and a simple vial of distilled mana, I managed to distill the substance into a thick viscous fluid.
I shall investigate tomorrow.
Kinopio’s skills know no bound. Using the distilled blood and two sections of the hardened hide, he created a backpack the likes of which I have never seen before.
From two portions of the distilled blood, a section of hide and a whip pattern of his own he even made a rudimentary weapon.
Our meal today consisted of a soup – lizard meat in water from the drain, with a little sauce, in Kinopio’s pot. Ugh.
The day went slowly. Kinopio and I discussed possible uses for this cured hide. He seems to think that one could fashion an entire suit of armour from it, simply using sections of the cured hide in various quantity with an appropriate pattern.
I slept most of the day.
Woke in the middle of the night to Kinopio screaming. I must admit that my dreams have not been too pleasant lately either.
In a fit of creativity, Kinopio created us a crude pie made from the now-festering lizard meat and a little dough, in his pie tin.
Kinopio tells me that he used to be a smith of some reknown in his youth. I find it easy to believe.
He spent all afternoon laying out plans for a set of chain-mail: a mold, a vial of the distilled blood, and several sheets of metal. If only we had sheets of metal!
What a day. It started so well – from a scale temper and a vial of the lizard’s blood (thankfully still in good condition after all this time due to my preservations), I created a lizard blood temper.
Then Kinopio passed out. He shows no signs of conciousness.
We have survived two weeks. The runtling was rotting so severely that I had to vapourise it – hopefully my magics kept the sound contained.
Kinopio still lies comatose, as if in a state of near-death. I wish that Felwah were here to cure him.
Kinopio awakened! His eyes are bloodshot, he does not look well even to my limited medical knowledge.
The stirrings outside the door have become more pronounced over the last days, since Kinopio was unconscious, as if hundreds of rats were out there.
Though ill, Kinopio has gone to work with a will. Using my lizard-blood temper, he hammered two pristine lizard scales together to form a larger plate – it looks exceptionally tough, perhaps we can use it to escape.
I cooked lizard in a little frosting, with spice – superb.
The noises outside are more evident than ever. Kinopio keeps wanting to open the door.
My Gnomish companion has become obssessed with opening the door – I turn my bakc to find him edging towards it with a distant look in his eyes.
My sleep has been restless. Sometimes it sounds as if the very walls of the temple itself are whispering to me.
Kinopio showed me plans for a suit of full plate armor, based on the lizard plating that he constructed several days ago.
With a smithing hammer, flask of water, leather padding, mold and several of the lizard platings, he claims to be able to make anything.
Kinopio woke before me and ran out of the door. He was gone all morning,and appeared soaked in blood and sweat in the afternoon.
Locking the door behind him, he sat in a corner, staring into space, clutching a strange silk substance in his hand.
Kinopio sleeps, fitfully.
From two of the strands of the silk, smeared in some form of unidentifiable ichor, I was able to make a crude swatch of silk. From whatever creature this originates, I would rather not know – it is strong, and yet flexible. Inordinately so.
I fear for Kinopio’s mental state, he appears to have gone quite insane. Whilst constantly gibbering about some kind of sacrifice, his skilled hands crafted something from the silk swatch and a pattern of his own making – imagine my surprise when the poor soul presented me with a hand-sewn cap!
A transformation has occurred in my companion. His former state of incoherence and madness has been replaced by a firm determinism. He seems resolved, though in what I cannot say.
The cap fits well – it seems logical that the silk can be used to make other garments.
I awoke to find Kinopio gone. Where he is I cannot guess, though the door remains locked.
The scurrying sounds outside the door become almost unbearable in the silence of the room. I must stay, I must wait… help could be on its way…
I can stand it no longer.
I will find Kinopio, and together we shall escape.
The door opens?