Leaves not trodden black

To Delve the Dungeon Deep

Episode Two



Mission Two – To Delve the Dungeon Deep
Grand Lodge, Absalom

Gravos’s Log

In the Light of Holy Taldor, Most Beloved Land of our Emperor Supreme, Abadar, your humble servant submits the following chronicle of events transpired:

I find myself in the wake of my initial mission, to infiltrate the Pathfinder Society. The Society seems rife with subsurface conflict. Varying members continue to play the never ending game of deceit and subterfuge. I could not find a more suitable place to lay the seeds of growth for our most holy empire.

My most immediate company seems as diverse as the commanding officers, and as much deserving of our watchful eye as well. Chronicled below is my three fellow initiates:

The most obvious source of potential comes from a one Kritt Krios, an Elven magister. His lithe frame betrays a blending of arcane and martial mastery, though it is his ambition that seems to be his true source of power. This is standard for those who devote themselves to the arcane. He musth be monitored, and of necessary, face the unwavering and unparalleled might of our Supreme Emperor’s most Holy Inquisition.

Second, Irm Kyto, a half Elven martial artist. A man who’s demeanor is as blunt and forceful as the fists he uses in battle. His lack of tact more than made up for by his usefulness in combat. I know not if this brusque demeanor is a front for more sinister motives, as he has yet to claim any political or theological stance in our travels. The monk will continued to be monitored.

Last, and suitably least, we have Logen Darry. Our Emperor Supreme gift of civilization is vast and plentiful, unfortunately as we have all come to discover, some seek to abuse our societies advances and programs to their own ends. I feel that Logen would do this if he could think further than his pipe, either the one in his mouth or the one that leads him to the slums most seedy of establishments. Due to his penchant for opening doors, and ability for accomplishing discreet tasks, I have taken it upon myself to show him the the true path of our most divine and benevolent ruler.

Your most humble servant, Gravos Millichek, submits a status report of our expedition into the dungeon deep:

We now find ourselves preparing for the Snapdragon Festival, hosted by Venture Captain Amara Li. This is my first opportunity to meet a member of the Lantern Lodge face to face, so I attempt to dress appropriately. Unfortunately these dregs and sycophants seem to enjoy their squalor and do not appreciate the majestic attire befitting of a Holy Inquisitor. Have the forgotten that it is our Emperor Supreme that allows them to live their lives of privilege?

I digress, our meeting with Amara Li was as cordial as it was brief. She tasked us to find a ceremonial jade katana that belonged to her family within a dungeon of a fallen warlord. We agree to this, as the favor of a Venture Captain is not a trivial boon.

In our departure, we encounter a Major Colson, from the most delusional Andoran faction. He babbles on loudly about it being our duty to free the undead from their bonds of servitude, as freedom apparently applies to them as well. We agree to his paltry arrangement. His corner speech seemed to effect some of the guests, I fear his message of chaos disguised as freedom might have registered with the patrons. They, along with Major Colson, must be monitored. To talk of freedom for all defies the divine law of our Glorious Emperor Supreme, and to defy the Emperor Supreme is heresy.

Finally, a rather direct merchant prince by the name of Aaqir ’al Hakim who asked us to retrieve legal documents of trade from within the dungeon. I accepted the deal personally. Legal writs are what allows our glorious society to thrive, for without it, the free market would fall to ruin. Such is heresy.

Our evening passed uneventfully, and in the morrow we set out and reached the ruins of Asad’s keep. Before even entering the dungeon before us, we were beset by a most tragic foe in the form of a recently turned ghoul. Her name was Maurit Zergo, and she was formerly a Pathfinder such as ourselves.

Maurit had knowledge of the dungeon within, and we used that to have her create us a rudimentary map of the keep. Unfortunately her use to us was at an end at that point. That radical Colson did have a point, she must be freed from undeath. Not for any silly ideological reason such as freedom, but for the fact that she can not return and pollute our great society of Absalom. The empire shall never falter as long as I live and breathe, so I struck at her with impunity.

Sensing her imminent destruction, the ghoul abomination ducked under my strike. Fortunately the magos ever the perceptive one, launched a bolt of light that seemed to dissolve the very essence of the creature. My orcish bloodlust got the best of me as I tried to charge past the ghoul recklessly to get into a flank position, and I regret to say it paralyzed me with its necrotic claws.

Helpless in body, but never in spirit, I watched on as my team battled with the fallen adventurer. Logen deftly weaving in and out, attempting to land a strike to dissect the foul thing. Kritt continued to volley disruptive burst from outside the fray, but it was the monk Irm who finally destroyed the creature. Shrugging off the paralysis that afflicted me, a feat worthy of praise in itself, he dislodged the jaw of the creature with a brutal one-two punch combination, killing it before it even hit the ground. With that, and my paralysis cured, we entered the keep.

We first encountered a stone statue of what appeared to be a bearded man blowing air into the wind. A strangely written word, most likely in a savage dialect long forgotten save for our most intellectual of chroniclers, lay above it. Unable to do anything further, we pressed north.

The room was littered with webs and corpses. I did not take a devoted monster hunter such as myself to know what lurked beyond. A creature with numerous eyes and legs, and no soul. Logen noticed my apprehension, and proceeded to joke about it. Calling me a coward! I am a duly appointed Inquisitor of the Emperor Supreme! Surely if I hesitate, it is for good reason.

His mockery would not last as the creature eventually emerged and bit him with its deadly fangs. I can only assume whatever drug of the day that he was smoking out of his beloved dirty pipe made him resistant to the spider’s toxins. The same could not be said of the magos, as the poison seemed to wither his body slightly. Eventually Irm once again stepped up and demolished the creature with a furious martial flurry.

We then began to head south after the battle. Eventually coming upon a room with a foul sentient ichor. I recalled a dark night staying up late, reading an old text written by Dalin Oakenshield, a Druid of legend. He talked of his journey into a dungeon not unlike this one. He talked of how these oozes were susceptible to fire and whatnot. Then I noticed the ichor was trying to kill my friends so I decided to the Nine Hells with the Druid and his fire and destroyed the thing with my axe.

What happened next, I can only hope you will believe. The magos, in what I can only assume was a feeling of knowledge envy of some kind, cast an arcane magic of some kind to allow him to read the strange language written above the next statue we encountered. With a word, the statue itself came to life! While the power of our Emperor Supreme is unparalleled, the primal energies of this world still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Those tricks need to be monitored.

Our new earthen servant listened to the magos’s command of “kill”, and rushed into the next room without hesitation, and we behind it. Within the next room the golem inquires whether it should kill all 5 creatures, to which the magos acknowledges.

Within the room we only find four kobolds, a statue styled into the form of a bi-pedal lizard, and a well. We make short work of three of them, with the final kobold offering a desperate plea to his false fire god. From within the well, a soft voice whispers in the same elemental tone, and the room engulfed into flames.

Which, ironically, killed only the kobold itself. We began to make our way out when Irm was assailed by a throwing dagger seemingly out of nowhere. Kritt, with an act of quick thinking, commands the elemental to bash our unseen attacker, which he does.

The false god turned out to be (after several hours in the Absalom library) a skulk who fancied himself a magician. We made short work of the hedge wizard, and began to interrogate him. Unfortunately he had another trick up his sleeve.

What happened next required eight hours of solid prayers for forgiveness from the Emperor Supreme. My senses were overwhelmed by chaotic arcane magics, and I lost consciousness. When I came to I found the magos had survived the blast, using his own foul trickery no doubt. In this circumstance though, I cannot hide the fact that it was the very same magic that kept us alive. The magos’s elemental companion had bludgeoned the skulk when it attempted to flee, stealing it’s pack it was carrying as it was doing so.

Within the pack we found the ceremonial jade katana that Amara was seeking. We then heard a small voice asking if it was okay to come out. The voice belonged to another small kobold by the name of Recently Displaced Chief Tarka.

I am pleased to note that civilization continues to attempt to grow even in as savage place as a dungeon. We conversed, with the magos translating, with this elected official. The magos explained to the kobold that since the false fire god was slain, he was subsequently reinstated to his former title. He then showered the elf with praise and with gifts of his people, and warned of the danger et to come, the “Well of Killing Yourself”.

This cursed well apparently compelled you to do exactly what it’s namesake stated. This Recently Reinstated Chief Tarka seemed like a knowledgable sort, and advised us to stay away. Logen, in his usual insultingly defiant way, made his way into the well room with Irm.

True to its title, this…suicide well compelled our dirty thief to do just that. Logen then proceeded to swan dive into the well without hestation. To this day, I can only assume our Emperor Supreme looked down on this stupid man and protected him with civilized grace. Our rogue had survived the Well of Killing Yourself.

The final room kept within it a hideous magical beast that instantaneously blinded me with savage fire. Sounds of battle came from everywhere, and eventually I could hear the death rattle of the beast. The creature had within its lair the trade agreements ’al Hakim had asked us to procure.

Our quest completed, we carried on home. Our first stop was to our venture captain, who was very grateful to us for returning her family’s katana. We then visited the deluded major, who thanked us in the cause of freedom. I lost my temper slightly on him, Emperor Supreme forgive me. With a final stop to the gracious trade prince ’al Hakim, our journey had come to an end.

I can only hope this treatise will be added to the Taldorian library, dungeoneering section, between “Alashion’s Maze” and “Azrael’s Gauntlet”, if I am not mistaken. May the Emperor Supreme guide our great nation onward.

Your humble servant,
Brother Gravos Millichek

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