We begin the story ---This is the beginning of the story, a band of adventurers who have begun a job, given to them by Avery Du Cote, the Grand Diplomat of Tetavon, serving King Lewdorff and his court. Searching in the dungeons of Caer Giddire on a bluff overlooking the valley and the demense it used to rule, a castle that is now in ruins and a lair for creatures dark and dangerous, lurking in the holes and hollows of the caverns, the party searches for a book of General Phallis, a tome of military engineering but somehow desired by Avery for reasons unknown but for which he will reward the group handsomely.
My name is Olo BigToe of the Fallohide clan, known for their drawing and writing, thus the pictures and stories documenting the activities of the party the accompanies this tale.
As I joined into the party at a later stage, most of the beginnings of the group have been related to me around the fire and at breaks or when we have spent time on long walks through the halls of the Under-dark as we pursued the book of General Phallis in the many nooks, crannies and homes of the vile creatures we have encountered, or we have spent time around the meal-time fire as the group savored the rations which I have prepared using my many famous culinary skills to which I am so richly endowed, being a cook of some renown and always eager to please, also being naturally gregarious and friendly.
In the course of this adventure, I have unfortunately suffered the grievous loss just below the knee of my right leg and it is thus somewhat difficult for me to contribute to the many fights that have occurred since I have joined the group. But I am a dead shot with my sling and so I attempt to distract the enemy, limping about on my new wooden leg, with aimed shots while the swordsman and the Dwarven axe-man ... Did I mention that we have a Dwarf in the party? He is a noble if somewhat taciturn fellow, on a quest for a hammer that supposedly has been lost from his family for many generations. I hope to make friends with him eventually as he is a big eater and seems to enjoy my fare, eating many helpings at each sitting, but it is difficult to tell his true feelings because he seldom speaks.
Returning to the current subject of my leg, it was struck off by a disagreeable hobgoblin who, declining my offer to cook up some sausages and leeks with gravy for free passage, smote me several times, striking off my right leg just a a massive barbarian-type human sprung in and dispatched the creature, snicker-snack, and as I passed in unconsciousness, I saw a beautiful young girl accompanied by a young man dressed all in black and dark purples hovering over me.
Cradling my leg, he looked to the woman and said, "Can it be saved?" and she said. "I fear not. but at least the wound can be healed."
When. at last, I regained consciousness, the wound had been healed quite nicely, which would make me very popular to the barmaids and wenches in the inns and taverns, I must say, and someone, perhaps the Dwarf, had fabricated a most noble and impressive stump to replace my lost member. It will take some time getting used to my new leg, being somewhat tender despite the magical healing, but with the help of Big Nate, my mule who carries the cooking implements, tools, knives, spoons, ladles, pots and pans, and fare for morning snacks, breakfast, elevensies, first dinner, second lunch, afternoon snack, second snack, first dinner, twosies, main dinner, desert dinner, evening snack, sevensies, nightcap, and before bedtime snack, and the promises of the mage and the druid to restore my leg to a whole when they achieve the ability, I will be whole again.
I think these fellows are very fine thus far. The young mage is very self-important and always delving into his spell books and studying his magical grimoires. The young, fair druid is especially attractive and she is loved by all, especially Big Nate, who always nuzzles up to her for treats and what-not, despite her having had what I think have bee several talks to him in mule-speak, so spitten is the poor fool with her, and will always sleep next to her if he cannot sleep next to me (for he knows me as a source of sugar lumps, broken of the big cone I carry safe in my pocket, away from the dwarf's prying fingers, who enjoys a tasty morsel now and then).
The dwarf is quiet and contemplative, always sharpening his axe, oft-times mumbling to himself about someone named "Mesyrgin", who I think may be a lost love, because he sometimes looks long into the fire with what appears to be tears in his eyes. I have asked him if I can give him something to eat to make him feel better but he just curses something in Dwarven, I think, drags his forearm across his eyes and stares into the fire again.
The barbarian is just quiet, period, perhaps because of a language challenge. But we all speak Trade, the universal polyglot of language spoken along all the routes, a mumble of signs, sounds, and gestures that can be reasonably understood so we all get along. The Barbarian. called Thrud the Tharkurian, comes from a trading peoplem so he is very fluent in Trade, in addition to his native argot, whatever that might be, because none of can understand him when he gives us commands in combat. It would be funny if it weren't s treacherous sometimes, Thrud hacking and slashing and then turning as a creature falls and yelling back to us. We just look at each other and say "What did he say?" as he launches into the next creature.
I will inscribe more as our adventure progresses. For now it is dark except where the fire casts its glow and awaits the mage-light from the special rocks our young mage has created to light our way. They glow with an unnatural fairie-fire, stopped only by the small sacks in which they are carried. Noises occasionally give us starts and the Dwarf and the barbarian sleep restlessly since it is the young Druid's turn to watch. Me ... I drowse by the fire with some nice conies picked up a few days ago above ground poaching in a covered pot with another pot stewing potatoes and carrots with onions, herbs, a little sea-salt and some rare pepper, and a nice small round of extremely smelly soft cheese awaiting. Big Nate is munching on some hay from his hay-sleeve and a few handfuls of oats from the sack, spread upon the floor. He looks longing at the druid Clarissa, hoping she will part with something special for him shortly. But she just stares away into the darkness, squatting, her staff across her knees and her head tilted slightly ... listening ... watching.