The Family

Marroc's Journal #2

My friend is gone.

Daern Steelaxe and I have been traveling together for years. My older sister married his brother and we became part of the Kaden-Hammer family. Soon thereafter we became friends and started doing jobs together. His axe and my daggers worked well, ya know?

I hope he’s alive.

How did this come to pass? We ventured back to the Duegar fortress. The parts we had cleaned out were still empty. Going over one of the bridges we encountered stiff resistance at the other side. The gatehouse appeared well manned and Daern couldn’t get through the door.

It’s my fault.

I had no patience, I couldn’t wait. Duergar were shooting arrows at me from behind the doors and I couldn’t do anything against him. It was very frustrating. I went up the wall and found another way in by jumping back down to a lower side platform. I didn’t hit my tumble quite right and tweaked my ankle upon landing. No big deal. I guestimated the best way back to the front door. Pretty soon I could hear Daern banging against the door. I spotted two guards, but the barred door was within reach! I ran towards the door.

I should have been more cautious.

I hadn’t noticed the other Duergar around the corner. They had no trouble picking me out and lighting me up. My vision dimmed and I spun around, groping for anything. Enemies were all around. Finding a wall I climbed up as far as I could, hoping for the relative safely.

It should have been me.

At that point, Daern finally breached the door. That big doof, Illikan had been no help whatsoever. Kutok healed me up just before the duergar spell barrage cut lose again. I dropped like a rock, stunned and prone on the ground.Daern quickly strode forward to stand beside me, like he had done so many times before. I couldn’t get my bearings, continually under mental assault.Daern was being hit as well. Illikan couldn’t do much. Kutok kept pegging folks with his spiritual hammer, but it was too little. We reached agreement about retreating. I moved first, out onto the bridge, next to Kutok. The Duergar then closed ranks, before Daern and Illikan could get out!

I had to try.

Reversing course I went back in and killed the Duergar blocking the exit. I then jumped back out. Illikan then ran faster than my brother Hairy when my mother would ring the bell for second breakfast! He was back across the bridge before I could act.

I was distracted.

When I turned back, the door was barred again and Kutok told me that Daern had been dropped. He and I tried using our ranged weaponry to pester the Duergar. This annoyed them greatly and they dragged Daern’s body back deeper into their fortress.

They were too strong.

Kutok and I had to rest, slap on a few bandages and then get right back in there to rescue Daern. Illikan, henceforth known as the coward, was gone though. I guess once he starts running, he doesn’t give a lick about anything except his own skin. I’m highly excited to continue adventuring with him. I found out later that he hadn’t stopped running until he got back to his room at the inn and had his bedsheets over his eyes!

My beer didn’t taste that good tonight.

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