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Dungeon23 campaign - player journals
With the halfling Brog no longer with us, and player turnover, there’s only one of the original PCs still delving the depths of the Black Maw. New
convicts, er… adventurers have been abandoned, er… transported to the island to brave the mysteries.
One of those is an interesting character named Scale who’s made quite the introduction of themselves into the mix. They’ve also written two journal entries of their forays, which I’m sharing with you here! Enjoy!
Scale Entry Section #1
For my past infatuation with hope I find myself down in these depths facing unknown horrors. At first I had a morbid curiousity with the abberations of this place, that I as a pretender to the art of magic could interpt as the actions of a fellow. There was a heart in a wall earlier. The rest of the group insisted on cutting at it. At first I thought there was no sense in it, when they were covered in its black ichor I thought they were idiots. I will say that there are aspects of this dungeon that seem to be cafted with deliberate intent, and others that seem a biproduct of some accident. The golums **<Skribbled in "guards" in Kobold after the fact>**, serve a clear purpose and are intelligently designed. The shimering distortions seemed to be unintentional until it became apparent that inanimite materials can pass through while living beings do not. They may shunt travel away from protected areas.
We havent been here that long but I cant see right, a fog descends upon my vision. I cant hear right also, my companions voices sound distant and far off. Sometimes I cant even hear them at all. Sometimes my voice feels stuck in my chest. I look frantically to my companions, but they are stuck in conversation as my lamp burns. I feel increasigly claustraphobic as we loop around. We have a map, entropy remains constant. Two of our group found themselves victems of an attack by bone white centepides. The longer we wait the more misery we are poisoned with.
This day has dragged on for an for what seems like an eternity. Cold sweat slicks the back of my neck as I hold this quill. This contrasts with the blur of days on this accursed prison island, where despair reigns supreme and hope flickers like a dying ember. I had reservations, but today they became no more. Where once I had other motivations fear has got me in her icy embrace.
The Maw, they call it - a foreboding dungeon that holds the key to my liberation. Supposedly the only way off this forsaken rock. The authoities in that shithole of a town dangle the possibility of getting a ship with enough gold. I know in my heart that is a lie, they would sooner slit our throats.
The first sophonts we saw in this dank place were a pair of Kobolds gambling over fighting rats. I hate myself but when I saw them my first thought was of killing them and taking their coins. Yet, some part of me remained and saw any interactions with them as operating under the detente of reasoning beings. I, as the only Kobold speaker, cheerily offered them wine and partook of their swill. I tried, I really did, to talk to them cordially, ask them about the Maw and to offer employment as a guide, but they just laughed and pissed away my time. The fuckers didnt understand what fear does to a man.
In one swift motion, I unsheathed my dagger and stabbed the less compliant Kobold in the throat. Id like to say my heart weighed as heavy, but this was cold calculated decision. They both admitted they were cowards, afraid of the strong who would subject them to violence. They have something I wanted, knowledge of what comes before and how to get out. As the blade found its mark, a red mist descended on me. Knowing that *I* had spilled his blood gave me an odd feeling of comfort. As I counted the silver and slipped the rope around the other Kobold's neck, I knew that I had done what I needed to in order to safeguard my slim chances of escaping this hellish island. The paradox of survival in this forsaken place, where every step toward freedom seems laden with the burden of consequence.
My some of companions look at me with distrust, for who could trust a man who broke bread and then spilled blood. Let them judge me, my die is cast.
May the gods show mercy upon my soul, and may the arcane powers that course through my veins be my guiding light through the darkest depths of The Maw.
Scale Entry #2
Beside a crackling fire, we found respite while the maddening Kobold, whose throat I'd plunged my blade into, met its demise in a pool of its own life's essence. Amidst the stillness, I glared while attending to my blade's edge, a mirror to the quiet agony of the other Kobold whose throat was bound with rope, reminiscent of a hanging noose. The cowardly thing told us of a concealed door leading downward to the village of the Orcs. For that I was quite thankful and fully intended on setting it free with a fee for being our guide. We descended down, avoiding distractions on the third floor, until we reached a chamber full of stinking Orcs. All around I could see thier grim handiwork in the demihuman bones strewn around. They rushed at us with murderous intent in their eyes. As I unleashed the spell in my mind to put them to sleep, the Kobold ran and was cut down. Fortunately one of my compatriots, Fenric, stepped up to fill the front rank, heroically fending off three of the Orcs. As an aside, he is a preist of the god of greed, and the god of greed surely is also the god of self preservation, Id like to think he acted selflessly but perhaps he weighed the odds of surviving the encounter with a mage or without one.
The Orcish horde succumbed to our blades as they dreamt. I did not take any grisly trophies or notch kills, but I cannot help but to note that I am responsible to 9 deaths on this day. The initial stain—impatience and rage birthed the demise of a Kobold. Then, a Kobold guide fell in the service of our cause. Lastly, the Orcs met their end. In the glow of the setting sun, free from the influence of the maw, I wrestled with regret for the Kobold's fate, for their dim-witted cowardice sculpted their destiny. In stark contrast, the Orcs warranted their fate, not merely for the bountiful silver that lined our pockets, but for the necessity of their destruction. Like ravenous beasts, they were. Possessing intellect, yet impervious to reason, they mirrored wolves of legend—feral, merciless, bereft of diplomacy.
Lugging the chests of silver out we backtracked so surely. It almost seemed like the group has gained some confidence after taking our first victory over the Maw. All that confidence was lost when we were set upon by some fey at the room of the whispering wind. I threw my net and captured one of the lepercauns, but one of our party's bright minds, Guy decided to squash the creature. The creature's twin inficted some wrath upon the bloodied chest causing it to explode and the party to flee, save myself and Fenric. We risked our lives to scrounge for the coins on the cobbled floor. In that moment I chose to spirit away the corpse of the fey for my own purposes. It was able to turn invisible and showed some power to conjure illusions. Its essence might imbue fine ink, and with it, perhaps a scroll of invisibility could be empowered. After I finish this entry I will talk with the strange store keeper to enquire about materials to conduct this research.