The World According to Coran
This loose collection of papers and scrolls is a journal, of sorts, written by Coran Thifir Stonesman.
The first adventure is written as a work essay for his Literary tutor, and as such has little resemblence to real language. Later additions have somewhat better spelling.
The wold akodin to Coran 1.
Ona urler aventur we fond a hol in the tunel wal were a sqad of Ionbeads had disaperd. This led to a larj coplx were Oken kind livd. We kiled them al, findn a colapsd tunel.
A few weks latr we wer told that the tunel had ben opend agan and mor Ionbeads ataked. The cwncil hird us to help map the tunels that had ben reveld beond.
Bein a god aventrin paty we agred and set owt. Aftr metin the leedr of the gads ther we wer intruduicd to our catografer.
We inversigatd the fust brantch of tunel, findn a lage caven ful of musroms. Fuly twelv creturs ataked us, urtin me qit sevly. Lukly we fond a cash of potons, wich Opal deducd wer helin potons. I had a gud swalow of un and felt a lot betr.
Latr on we kiled a lot of Oks that wur gadin slav qatrz, and then kild a uge Idra fur god mesur. We finisd of by kilin anodr groop of Oks, frein the slavz they had wokin for them.
By now we wur al urtin somit badley, so tuk the egs slavz wid us bak to the gads, eald up and traynd in a few skilz.
The World According to Coran: 2
A week later, all healed up and raring to go, we desended once again into the deep. This second tunnel seemed to go on for ages, so we camped out ‘overnight’ in the tunnel system.
During the night a Zombie attacked us. Luckily for us it was our cleric, Yosive, that was on watch. I was the first of the sleepers to awaken, and by the time I had roused Dorn the Zombie had been defeeted.
We followed the tunnel on, following the Zombie tracks on the way. Eventually this opened out into a large cavern with what appeared to be a subterainian keep. At this point we were ambused by giant moskitoes, that first latched onto Yosive, and when I helped prise them off they turned on me instead. Thankfully due to a lot of skill and not a little luck we managed to kill them before they had supped too much of our blood.
Upon investigation it turned out that the keep was actually a temple of the Mule, god of knowlege (and, as it turned out, Opal’s god). After carefully disarming a trap we investigated further and first defeeted a lot of plague-carrying Rats, then a large flock of Fire Beetles.
It was at this point we discovered a secret door, leading through stairs down to a totally different subterainian complex. After handily dispatching a Zombie we found a different type of alter room. This led to the revelashon that the temple of the Mule was actually a cover – the true temple was one to Vengance, a god of assassins.
What turned out to be most ironic about this was that we only realised the true nature of the church after I had been attacked by a Ghoul that surprised me by ambushing me from a ceiling alcove. Almost assassinated by a ghoul in a temple for assassins. Irony indeed.
We returned to the main room and entered the main temple hall, wereupon the large scorpion statue animated and attacked us. I managed to get around the back for a couple of quick stabs before the creature was forever stilled by my companions.
Most of the party were looking rather ragged by this point, but as Dauntless as our name we decided to press on. I again led the way into an anteroom that led down some stairs to a more roughly-carved tunnel system, so ceded the lead to my better-armed companions.
We came across several Skeletons in a nearby widenin in the tunnel, and although we were victorious it was obvious to us all that we could not proceed further without rest. We spent a day and a half marching back to base camp and two days of healing before declaring ourselves ready once again to face the foes that awaited us.
As if to mock us, after a mere few hours on our journey back into the deep, a camoflajed lizard attacked us from the ceiling, dealing me a nearly mortal blow. Though my participanse in the fight was more one of victim than agressor, I apparently struggled enough that the Gouger could not whisk me away as it’s next meal. Dorn dealt it a mighty blow, stunning it long enough to save me. It can truely be said that I was lucky to survive that day.
After one look at my nasty wound, Yosive suggested it would be best to return to base (again) to heal me up (again).
That done, we then trekked the day and a half needed to get back into the temple of Vengance. I checked that the Skeketon room was still quiet before we took a different route, this time meeting a giant lizard. Things looked grim for us until Dorn managed to knock it back into the room, making space for us to surround it. Within seconds, my blade had stilled it’s heart.
We continued on into a massive subteranian throne room. Here there was an armour-clad Skeleton king, his robed and bedeked Skeletal advisor, and a number of vassal worshiper Skeletons. Ignoring their ethereal jibes we attacked. Dorn charged in, as is his want, and Yosive called upon the power of his god to repel the horrors.
Everythin worked better than expected, with Dorn tying up their magic user (Dorn was so efficient we never found out whether it was a mage or a cleric) whilst Yosive forced all but one of the Skeletons to flee, including the ‘king’. Opal and I stepped up to engage this lone foe, leaving Yosive the opportunity to take on the king in an honour duel.
By the time we had mopped up the remaining dangers Yosive and the king were going at it toe-to-toe. It was truely a mighty sight to behold, but in the end it turned out that Yosive was not a match for the self-styled ‘king’. Indeed, it then took the combined efforts of the whole of the rest of the party to defeat him. We collected the gold and treasure that were stored in this room before hunting down and destroying the lone Skeleton that had fled down a nearby corridor.
The only other thing of note was a small room containing two giant scorpions, that the party dispatched before I could even enter the affray.
Loaded down with tales and loot we traipsed back to our home base, took stock and decided which of the two remaining corridors would be next.
The World According to Coran: 3
We had reason to believe that this tunnel would lead to the remaining slave area, so gave it priority over the other tunnel. Indeed, a mere few days after we set out we came across our first signs of resistance: a room full of Orks that were beating up on some gnomes.
As usual, Dorn charged in and felled his first opponent, leaving me with the task of making sure he never rose again. We then proceeded to begin wiping the floor with our foes, but were interrupted when the floor caved in under us. Dusting ourselves down, we finished off our foes and took stock of the situation.
We were down at the bottom of a very deep hole. The unsafe walls and formidable distance made the prospekt of climbing back out a fearsome task even for someone of my abilites, let alone my combat-oriented companions, so we decided to try to find an alternate route back up first.
Bidding a temporary farewell to the gnomish slaves we had just saved from the orks, we followed a slime trail right back to its sluggish owner. The combat was too cramped for me to lend assistanse, but my friends eventually managed to prevail anyway. Pulling the body out of the way we discovered its lair, and recovered a potion of some kind.
Travelling further, we worked our way out of the slime. Continuing on, we came across the scene of a running battle between a Wyrm and some Lizardmen. Unfortunately for us we did not know of the wyrm’s involvement until we were wailing mightily upon the lizardmen, whereupon the wyrm took exception to us as well. We decided to find a position more favourable to face the wyrm, and laid chase to the fleeing lizardmen. I did well in the following battles, dropping many foes in order to make progress.
When we eventually paused to take stock Opal parleyed with the wyrm, and the party agreed to return its purloined egg in exchange for safe passage. At first I was puzzled by this approach. Surely it was our job to kill such monsters as this. It was only upon reflection that I realised the group’s wisdom: The Wyrm was far too big to fit down the tunnel that we spent a day traversing to get here. So if we left it alive, it would work as a deterrent to stop anything coming up from this way. Such cunning seems at odds with our nature, but as it’s hide was probably thicker than my dagger’s blade, I was prepared to accept the logic used.
After a short delay to bind wounds we carried on our pursuit of the egg-stealers, following the tunnel until it opened out into a large swampy cavern. Spying a group of lizardmen in the distanse, we leaped to the affray. This group turned out to be harder to beat than the previous one, but eventually they all lay dead at our feet.
We started to clear the network of raised paths and caverns, slaying a lizardman shaman in the process. Unfortunately his ‘spellbook’ was the entire inside surface of his cave, so Opal was unable to delve his spells for himself.
Another cave led to an underground tunnel system where we killed a large number of skinks, with an exit onto another islet, festouned with bones.
The final cave led us to a tunnel that was very well defended, complete with a killing ground for skink archers and a wooden palisade. Which I managed to open so that Dorn could do his busines on the defenders. This tunnel eventually emerged onto another islet with another cave at it’s opposite end. It was here that we were ambushed, and nearly lost Yosive to a huge Crocodile that had been hiding in the nearby swampy water. Still, they don’t call us Dauntless for nothing, and we soon put an end to it.
Sensing our ultimait victory was near, we descended into the next cave, and right into an ambush. Luckily for me the ambush was set up away from the ladder we climbed down, so I was not in the lead when it was launched. Dorn took the brunt of their assault, beating one back into a side room and allowing others to join in. Unfortunately there wasn’t room for all of us, and I had no option other than to watch our backs as everyone else had fun killing the lizardmen.
It turns out we had found the hachery, where all the baby lizardmen were born, and took great pleasure in destroying all their eggs. This led to another ladder, and the last stretch of land before the palisaide.
Not fancying my chances of climbing the 15-foot high walls we poked a few holes in the wall, took stock of our next opponent, and hacked out way through the gates.
We were met with a lizardman dressed in crystaline armour and carrying a big crystal morningstar, riding another huge lizard. We knocked him off his mount, then proceeded to wail upon him most mightily. Yosive took a rather nasty bite from the lizard, losing conciousness in the bargain, but by then Gundrig, Opal and I had the measure of our crystal-bedeked foe and fell him, allowing us to help Dorn finish off the lizard mount. It turns out this lizard has a taste for copper, as it attacked me and (luckily for me) hit one of the bags of coins I kept to hand in my tunic. The git swallowed five whole coppers!
When we finally killed the lizard, Dorn bound Yosive’s wounds and stabilised him while I got back as many of my coins as I could. We set up camp, intending to have two days rest so Opal could look at the shaman’s cave. Luckily for us Yosive woke up after a day, and so could then heal himself.
On the morning of the third day we felt rested enough to brave the great wyrm. Luckily for us all she kept to her side of the bargain and led us out of the cave system in exchange for the safe return of her egg. It turned out we came up from the last tunnel we were going to explore, so reported back to base camp.
It turns out that the Orcs have barricaded the tunnel leading away from the collapsed room, and our dwarves have done likewise to our side of the tunnel, leaving us in a standoff. Undeterred, we finalised our report and returned to Kaz Dorn to rest and train.
< Several pages appear to be missing >
walking arm-in-arm". Dorn might appear to be as dour as his name suggests, but he sure knows how to tell a joke.
He was cut short in his telling when the tunnel we were in opend up into a large room. Seeing Orcs to each side, we fell back and readied missile wepons. Dorn and I took the left flank, Yosive and Opal took the right flank, leaving our two gnomish allies to make sure no-one came out of the doorway opposite. Imagine, if you will, a large circular room. Now dig out a large cirular ring, about half the sizze of the room so far, and then dig out another cirular ring in the middle of that hole. Like a large upside-down and inside-out tiered cake. Then hang a large dome in the middle of the room, joined to the rest of the room by three rope bridges, that are mored at the edge by a small room each.
Well we came up from a tunnel near one of these small rooms, and as I said, Dorn and I took the left flank. Our shots rang true, killing one of the orcs they had garding there, and as I took another shot Dorn charged in for the kill. My shot did little damage, seeming to catch in the fowl armour the Orc wore, so I stored my bow and went to Dorn’s asistance.
By the time I got there, he had defeated his foe, and so we set to receve the reinforcements. I occupied one until Dorn could finish his off and render aid, whereupon we went and cleaned out another room. As a side note, we were told that some kind of renegade Orc killed the guards at one of the three rooms, and our gnomish allies took care of the first room whilst the rest of our party wiped out all resistance on the right flank.
By the time Dorn and I had queld the room there was a fight occuring on one of the rope bridges. We snuck up one of the other rope bridges, intending to take the defenders by surprise, and Dorn saw off one fo the two remaining Orcs, leaving the other to beat a hasty retreat.
Dorn took off up the stairs in pursuit, but soon backed down when it turned out that there were lots of heavily armed orcs waiting to ambush him. Instead, he took them on one by one on the stairs. First to fall was a dual-armed fellow, somewhat barbaric in nature. The second seemed to be a seasoned fighter, but his shield was no match for Dorn’s skill. Next came a shaman, who seemed to last far longer than his cohorts, but eventually Dorn managed to land the killing blow on him as well. By this time he was spent, so I willingly went in to combat the sole remaining opponent – some kind of goblin theif. Immediately realising that I was far outmatched, I resolved to hold him as long as possible to allow my companions to arrive and help me. Luckily for me on his second blow I managed to catch his sword arm in my off-hand dagger and gave him a really nasty gash on the abdomen, knocking him back in the process. This seemed to take a lot of the wind out of his sails, and allowed me the grace to stall him until Opal could get him from behind.
As we ascended into the last room we saw a dark dwarf, completely black apart from his white hair. This dwarf uttered a sentence in that weird slave-speak language before walking into a rune-ensorcelled wall. We kept a wary eye on the portal until we had looted the room (including a rather nasty lock that I managed to open). I suggested we destroy the runes on the portal, but (as usual) was outvoted by the rest of the party. We instead left the Ironbeards to guard it.
The World According to Coran: 5
The return to Kaz Dorn and consecuential downtime was uneventful, but soon (as it is wont to do) we got a message from the Ironbeards we had left guarding the portal. We made all haste to meet with them, only to be stopped by Targin and Zarquinn, the Gnomelins we met previously. It seemed Hrothgar had decided to add them to the Dauntless’ payroll. We took the matter up with him, and it got clarified that they were in the company on a trail basis. And we had seniority.
I decided to take these things with a pinch of salt, and see if they had what it took to be a team player. As they still refused to tell us what they were good at, and carried weapons, shield and wore armour, we put them in a ‘soldier’ category and had them take point.
Their assesments got off to a bad start when they walked into a wall of living ooze. Admittedly this monster was almost invisible in the poorly-lit tunnel, but if it werent for Dorn’s good right arm their trail basis would have been short, indeed.
After we defeeted the gelatinus terror we met up with the Ironbeards who told us that the strange Ork we saw butchering his comrades a few weeks ago wanted to talk to us. Bemused that they hadn’t managed to kill him, we agreed to the meeting.
The meeting was conducted in slave-speak, which meant what I got was second-hand from one of the gnomes. It seems he is the result of an experiment gone wrong, escaped from captivity, and is trying to free his species from their dark-dwarf oppressors. He has offered info on a nearby stronghold that we should destroy, and has asked us to not kill the females and pups. Opal has apparently agreed, but I think this to be a very bad idea. Orcs are our enemies for a good reason – they cannot be trusted. The last thing we want is to allow a new breed of very intelligent and stronger orcs to run free in our lands. I just hope Opal hasn’t let his greed for knowlege override his dwarven sense of what’s right and wrong.
Cha’ga led us for several miles until he stopped by a blank section of tunnel wall and unlached a secret door. He informed us he would wait here, and after ensewering we could open and close the secret door from our side, we left him. I decided that this could be a massive trap, desined by Cha’ga to kill us, and behaved acordingly. I found and disarmed a trap on the first door we came to, and took on the four orcs behind it. This room had three exits, and I found and disarmed the one on the left door. We then ignored this exit and went strait ahead, into the core of the complex.
I let the others take the lead in the next room, killing the orcish inhabytants therein, and continued on to a tee junction. Upon investigating the left spur, we found a door with a lock that was too well engineired for me to bypass, so we set about looking for a pair of pentagnal keys.
Upon investgating the right spur, we came across a bunch of orcs hiding behind a ‘kill zone’, a wall of bars and a gate set up to stop our advance. I traded a few shots with one of the orcs before we realised we needed to storm them. Dorn took on the left defender, Yosive took on the right one, and I attempted to force the gate open. Unfortunatly Yosive fell from a nasty blow, which required Opal to step up into his place. Luckily Opal’s fire spell took one ork out and severly weakened another, allowing me the time to bypass the gate. Once that was breeched, Dorn made short work of the remaining defenders.
It was about this time that I sudenly realised how much stuff I was carrying. Realising that I will never have a resonable need for the mage’s staff I had ‘liberated’ oh so long ago, I dropped it, and then reoganised my food into carrying sacks I could sling over my shoulder.
Happy with this new arranjement I checked out the next corridor, and when I gave the all-clear we repositoned ourselves for the inevitable combat that the next room was going to provide. Indeed, there were defenders. A magic user, a bodyguard and several grunts.
As usual, Yosive went down to a cruel blow at the start of the combat, but with Dorn bloking the doorway I tried a new tactic, that of carefuly shooting arrows at the enemy. Targin (or was it Zarquinn – I can never tell them apart) threw daggers, achieving an ‘A’ for effort, even if his aim was somewhat lacking.
At some point the enemy mage cast a spell turning the ground under my feet as slipery as ice. Undeterd I stood my ground and carried on shooting. Things started to get a little cloas to the edge of my comfort zone, but thankfuly Opal enraged the enemy mage, who failed to reach him. The sole remaining grunt seemed to be providin Dorn with some dificulty, so I went in, daggers in hand, and distracted it long enough for Dorn to end the matter.
The next few rooms were much of the same, the only notable things being that we found one of the two pentagonal keys, found a laboratree where they cook up the recepee to make black orcs, and found the armoury where they arm and armour them.
We did come across a nice selection of traps, though: one set with spears that shot out of the walls, another cunningly hidden trap on a door, and a third involving blocking us with a caged room – the latter not slowing Dorn down one bit.
The last room prooved to be a containment area for orcs before being transformed. We took down the orcish jailers, letting our gnomish members deal with the non-combatants. Though it saddens me to have to kill women and children, it has to be done: If they were allowed to grow up, they would be just as much a problem as their sires.