We made it through the first level of the dungeon without too much trouble, despite falling victim to a variety of the parasites that surround it. A group of Hobgoblins lead by a half orc warrior (the brother of the honorable captain of the guard back at Falconberg) who shook us down for loot as well as a vampire who demanded tribute in the form of blood. Both these foes were beyond us, so we have bowed to their demands for now-much as it sickens me to fund a criminal raider.
We were also contacted by the impish agent of some hags from one of the islands. It seems there are many eyes upon us as we undertake this venture…
Back at town we were able to rest and re-equip. I used this time to collect my thoughts and make some minor adjustments and repairs to my gear. The Prince was out most the night with the others on some sort of investigation. They have uncovered something unwholesome within the walls of the keep-despite the protection of the old lord and his allies. I never thought anyone could get something past such august and seasoned warriors. It makes me worry and also strive all the harder to excel-that I may repay the favor of guardianship to the old lord and to my home.
Traveling out again we made for the deep woods, hoping to find the Druidess , and perhaps succor closer to the dungeon. Here we met a small band of the hobgoblins that had robbed us before. Although they addressed us with a certain degree of cheek, they were not hostile. I was reluctant to draw steel on a creature that offers no threat, but Triana was adamant that we should attack. Certainly the wisest option but perhaps not the right one. What good is honor if it is simply cast off when it becomes an inconvenience?
No matter-the humanoids fled from us, shouting warnings about a Bugbear tribe. It seems they have no desire to slay the golden goose that brings treasures to them from the dark depths of Rappan Athuk.
That night we camped once more at night and with a fire. This seemed unwise to me, although the Bugbears would no doubt have found us either way. Being un-armoured I could not stand against the onslaught for long, and was soon stricken down by a knot of warriors and the chieftain of this savage band.
Despite hitting hard and discharging lighting into a warrior he did not fall-though I think the wound I had dealt him was a mortal one, which was of some comfort as I fell. My vision grew dark as I lay on my side, with Lucius standing above me, surrounded by enemies, whilst the others also struggled on-all seemed lost, and then I knew no more.
When I awoke it was with the grim face of Alain above me-bringing me back with his healing powers. It seems that the battle had been interrupted by the flight of a great wyrm! A sight I am sorry to have missed (and perhaps a little relieved). We moved camp (fearing that the bugbears might return) and set off again at first light. I am beginning to see that there are many foes outside the dungeon that are just as deadly as whatever horrors await us within.