Nearfrost 10, 276 RE:
Entry in the journal of Teller Mathias Murdoch.
I have had my doubts as to the power of the Gods before, but not until today have I ever witnessed first hand the true might of Asator. As a “spell singer,” as the mages are content to brand me, magic comes naturally to me. I have always assumed it to be some arcane spark in the bloodline, and naturally assumed that divine casters shared the same spark, although with a different justification. I am content to leave that line of questioning to someone else, because I am currently left in awe of my companion Bjorn Storson. I shall set the scene:
My companions and I were commissioned by Magistrate Lee to investigate the sewers beneath the Market District after the attack by the purple worm. In our investigation we explored a labyrinthine maze of abandoned sewer tunnels, complete with valuable treasure deemed by Bjorn and Vladimir to be evil to be sold. I questioned their judgement and was rebutted harshly by Vladimir, who threatened to leave my company were the items not sundered then and there. I wish it had not come to that, but the events which followed have strengthened my trust in Bjorn’s judgement. As his opinion is frequently shared by Vladimir, this trust extends to him as well… mostly. I digress; We discovered the tunnel bored by the purple worm which descended further underground. It was protected by a gang of fearsome, amphibious, humanoids who caught us by suprise. After the battle I recognized them to be Skum, a cruel species commonly held as thralls by creatures known as Aboleths. I also found a small token engraved with the three eyes of the Aboleth and eleven notches which I can only assume correlate with Slomesh of the Eleven. I dread that our paths may be intertwined with this fearsome power, but in the face of such a monster I will not back down so long as I have legs to stand on and a voice to be heard.
The following evening saw our descent down this tunnel. Vladimir’s divinations found the bottom of the tunnel to be clear of assailants, so we hung a rope and made our descent. Nobody fell, not even Jensen. The tunnel was long, dark, and strangely absent of any opposition. Eventually it opened into a large, cavernous chamber. Inside we were assailed by the sound of rushing water, although none was to be seen. Upon setting foot in the chamber a strange, irridescent fungus lit the vaulted ceiling and we were set upon by archers from on high! Skum were entrenched in small caverns high along the walls, peppering us with wicked, iron arrows. I escaped injury but Vladimir insists they hurt much more than normal arrows after he discovered a certain spell, which he believed protected him from all arrow fire, did not have the desired effect. I am content to take his word for it. Rising from the ground were several large stalagmites, roughly five total, obstructing our view of the back of the cavern where I assumed the Aboleth would be hiding. It was at this point I noticed the absence of a source of water, despite the rushing sound we all heard. This moment became a tale I will forever tell in regards to learning a lesson the hard way. Aboleths, as Bjorn would soon discover, are masters of illusion. As he approached one of the stalagmites, a wicked, slimy, tentacle appeared from the bare rock and wrapped, by my count, four times around Bjorn’s legs. After a futile struggle, it dragged him into the stalagmite with a dreadful splash. Fearing we had seen the last of our companion, Vladimir dismissed the illusion and discovered that all the stalagmites were illusions covering holes in the cavern floor filled with a brackish, still water. To our dismay, two of the stalagmites concealed enlarged Ogres. Skorn has quite a scar now. After dealing with the Aboleth’s thralls, my companions and I were set to brave the brackish water and rescue Bjorn. Having researched the methods used by Aboleths to enthrall their victims, I feared some of us might not make it back out of the water.
I inhaled deeply, savoring what may be my last free breath, when Bjorn arose from the water, his mighty hammer held aloft, gasping and sputtering! After tossing his helmet aside and shaking the water from his eyes, he let out a thunderous cry as though the mighty Asator spoke through him directly, “BLOOD AND THUNDER! VICTORY AT SEA!” My deep breath released as a joyous shout as my companions and I pulled Bjorn from the water. Bjorn’s abjurations against evil-doers shielded his mind from the Aboleth’s depraved will, and from what he told us through gasping breaths from the cavern floor, he defeated the Aboleth in single combat! Vladimir changed forms to retrieve its corpse and was nearly filleted by Jensen upon surfacing in the form of a shark. (I had no idea he could do that.) As promised, we carved the eyes from the dead Aboleth, a frightful creature, burned its insidious corpse, and returned to the surface.
It seems the members of our party continue to find themselves in rather intimate _ situations with large, hungry, _(and slimy, and evil, and depraved, and scaly, and carnivorous, and determined) creatures. I fear I am next, luckily I have obtained an item which I hope will save me from digestion of any sort.