7/10/2010 Mialee’s Meditations…
My frustration with this investigation continues. After weeks of seeking out some semblance of a clue as to the root of this necromantic activity in the Cairn Hills, I have gained exactly zero leads. Old farm houses, burial cairns, false hopes along humanoid trials that turned out to be innocent fur trappers and a simple clan of dwarves whose minor mining operations certainly did not seem to be underhanded or even really all that unnatural, since they used pick and hammer rather than magical blasting. I simply cannot stomach giving up the quest to stop the fouling of the land with these undead abominations. I must resign to admit that I simply do not have the resources and ability to investigate, much less combat this plot alone. I must return to ally with the half-orc and his friends. I hope their adventuresome path can still dovetail with this mission, and that I have not alienated them with my aloofness. Why do I always do this? The moment I begin to get close with anyone, I start the process of pushing them away. It’s no wonder my beast form is so much more feline than any other influence. I guess I’m hard wired to be a loner and not a pack member.
The next week, I have finally reunited with the Pelor worshippers. The cleric and half orc, of course were the easiest to find so I sought them out first. I never cease to be amused by the half-orc’s love of women. So predictable to find him seeking out his “birds and bees”. As it turns out they were still in communication with the rest of the party and were simply on a recuperative hiatus, after what sounded like quite the battle over the love interest of the Suel monk. As if my trust in human nature was not shaken enough by this evil woman that seeks to raise the dead, I cannot fathom the depths of depravity necessary for a respected holy warrior such as this uncle Donovan turning to such a foul plan as abduction of the monk’s love interest. I relate to them that my investigation and weeks in the wild have been absolutely fruitless, and to my surprise, it seems they still have been working toward the same goal. Perhaps I am wrong to write off all my fellow man so quickly. This motley crew, though clearly motivated by pride and monetary gain, still does seem to harbor a deeper sense of purpose, perhaps driven toward good by the light of Pelor. I need to learn to appreciate the good in people and use the resources that are given me, rather than always trying to go it alone…
Velish, that smarmy dervish, caught up with the group a few days ago, and I have been continuing to keep company with them here in town instead of my usual wilderness haunts. What a boon to have made such allies with resources such as these. The barbarian and another group of townsfolk have been investigating the family Collinae through society connections. Thank the gods I wasn’t there for that. I can only imagine having to dress up for such a party. Stifling. Though the Collinae family has fallen on hard times in the public realm, a dangeous expedition into a crypt under the town has given us the name Goldforge. The goldforge clan of dwarves apparently was commissioned for the construction of the Collinae castle in the mountains. Unfortunately, the Goldfroage clan themseslves has disappeared 175 years ago, not conicidentally at the time of Leona Collinae’s disappearance. We suspect of course she had them eliminated as soon as the castle project was complete.
Here, at last perhaps I can be of service. While the others continue to hunt down leads from contacts in town, I head back to the Cairn hills to the lone dwarf tribe I met in my travels, to get more information on where the Goldforge clan, or remnants thereof might be found. Another week of interviews and invetigation turned up the name of a small abandoned mine/ cavern that once belonged to the Goldforges. Finding this was no trouble, but after cursorily casing the entrance, I felt it wisest to re-acquire the party before going in any further, lest there in fact be anyone up to no good here.
The cleric and wizard made good use of the time to craft some potions of holy water and something called a gravespawn potion, both of which they deduced would be quite helpful if and when we do encounter any undead presence further in our investigation. I was then able to lead us back to the cave entrance and we carefully proceeded to enter. Externally there was nary a sign of recent use by any but small woodland creatures. A few hundred feet into the cave we found an ornate carved door with dwarven markings that warn us not to enter. The wizard and cleric find an enchanted ward on the door, likely to prevent our opening it without consequence. They proceed to concentrate on disarming it, only to have it explode in their faces. How lucky they were not hurt more severely.
With the element of surprise gone, we then all file into the following room, where some vague movement is heard. The room is quite ornate, replete with carefully crafted dwarven statues in two columns, leading toward a central large statue. There is some concrete rubble lying about but no obvious missing pieces from the statues. We then fan out to search the room when suddenly the large statue comes to life and begins to pummel various members of the party while two of the smaller statues spout deadly flame. Clever disabling of the fire statues allows us to at last focus on bringing down the behemoth. Clearly this barrow has not been successfully violated and should have some interesting finds related to the Goldforges. After a short rest, we delve a bit futher and a voice tells us to leave now. We find an abandoned forge downstairs, and then head up where we are ambusheded on the stairwell by a dwarven raiding party complete with berserkers and crossbowmen. We manage to take a few prisoner for questioning, but only after serious physical punishment to ourselves.