Medievia Mudslinger

February 27, 2000

Journal of a Failed Adventurer - As discovered by Lothas

1st Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

At last, I have arrived in grand Medievia, city of honor, capital of our realm. The city is vast, but for the moment I am unimpressed. The buildings are grey and dirty, and the streets are plain. Beggars ask for my money wherever I go; I am forced to hurry along past them. Occasionally I pass beautiful temples or palaces, but they are always surrounded by high walls and fences and patrolled by guardsmen. Already I yearn for my old village, so I have decided to keep this journal of my travels. But first, my dear reader, I shall tell you a little about me and my past.

My name is Dailin. I was born in a remote village, many miles to the east of Medievia. My life was fairly simple; I worked on my parents' farm by day, and studied by night. I loved my books, and the range of possibilities that opened up through them. Eventually I learned a little of magic - Just a little, mind - and so my lust for knowledge came about. After many years of study the day of my seventeenth birthday came about. My father thrust a handful of robes into my arms, gave me a bag of gold, and ordered me to travel to the city of Medievia and seek out the New Adventurer's Guild.

... and so here I am in Medievia. Before I left, my father told me, "Seek out your place in the world" - I am not quite sure what he meant, but looking around it seems there aren't many 'places' left for me. Still, I know a little of magical self-defense, and I'm not too bad with a dagger even if I say so myself. I pray I will not need to use my skills, but if I am forced to I will be prepared. For now though, friend, I must seek lodging for the night.

2nd Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

The prices here are ridiculous! I spent almost half of my gold on simple lodging in 'Hotel Medievia'. It seems I shall need to find a source of money soon, lest I end up like one of the many beggars who wander the streets of this huge city.

I stand now on the steps of Castle Medievia. Colossal Dragons circle above me, while groups of adventurers with covered wagons hurry past me - The northern part of this city truly is something magnificent. I reported to the New Adventurer's Guild, where a friendly Elven Ranger informed me that I could ' purchase' a range of brochures catering for the new adventurer. My purse still aches even now. Nevertheless, I now know that I must head to the Mages Guild, on Guild Row, if I am to continue my quest for knowledge.

The issue of money is solved - at least for now, after a disagreement with a strange-looking scarred man, quite obviously a mercenary of some sort. He seemed to think that he could threaten me, possibly due to my young age and negligible build. Needless to say, I reinforced my magical shielding, and channeled a bolt of magical energy at my assailant, tearing away his life force. The man was carrying a significant sum of money, and I now own a mystical opal ring. Lodging will be no problem for another month at least.

It seems the spell I used is known as a 'magic missile', and is only of minor significance in the magical disciplines! I have much to learn. My guildmaster has informed me of the dangers of wandering the city, and she has instructed me in several new spells. I am now able to detect anybody who feels the need to travel the town while invisible. I am also able to create minor items, and create bolts of magical ice, amongst other things. My guildmaster may look old and weak, but she clearly possesses vast amounts of knowledge!

5th Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

I have spent the past few days exploring the city. Having had several more ' encounters', I can feel myself becoming more experienced in the arts. My guildmaster has now bestowed upon me the title of 'Seer'. I now possess a range of spells, yet still I am informed that this is minor knowledge. The only way I can learn more, now, is to venture out from the city.

6th Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

A stranger recommended I help out with the battles in the graveyard. I was informed that "The Zombies and Ghouls there need to be kept under control, else they may overrun the city!". I shall depart in the next hour.

The creatures here are truly terrifying! Rotten flesh clings to the bones of what was once human; watery eyes beg me to take these poor creatures out of their misery. I have weaved a minor spell of invisibility over myself - let us hope none of these creatures have the ability to detect my presence.

I have joined up with a group of fellow adventurers - The meeting was of strange circumstance. I arrived at a gravestone only to see several people under attack by a robed creature. It appeared to have no form, except for the glimmer of its eyes, and the adventurers did not seem to be able to harm the creature. The creature looked surprised as my form materialized; I quickly channeled my magical energy into one of my newer spells, Chilling Touch. My hands sweltered as I absorbed the creature's body heat, freezing it's arm in place, and leaving him unable to save himself from the fatal blow dealt to him by my dagger.

As the agonizing screams of the creature died down, I introduced myself to my future companions. They seemed thankful for my assistance, and invited me to join their group.

The day's battling is over. My body aches all over, and I have a slash along the right side of my face. The priest in the group - a man going by the name of 'Talrian' - cured me as best he could, but informed me that a scar would remain. So this is the life of an adventurer; while not what I expected it to be, I do feel a slight sense of exhilaration.

My companions scoffed at me when I informed them that I was headed back to ' Hotel Medievia'. I was shown how to prepare a fire and camp. This newfound knowledge will allow me to stay in Medievia for months - perhaps years - without a permanent source of income.

7th Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

I awoke with a headache, as the groaning of my joints reminded me of my excessive mana expenditure. I fear that I may be forced to return to 'Hotel Medievia' if I have to wake up each morning in this manner. My companions stirred beside me. "You'll get used to it," I was told, "Its always uncomfortable the first couple of times.". As we cooked a rabbit roast over the fire, my companions inquired about my history. There seemed to be much amusement over my past, yet I was shown obviously respect for my feat in the graveyard.

8th Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

Today was fairly routine, although I did learn several new spells at my guild. I now have the title of 'abjurer'. My guildmaster informs me that I am progressing well, and am on my way to becoming a 'great master'. This fills me with confidence, and I hope to venture into the graveyard again tommorow.

The dragons which frequent the sky over the city certainly do look incredible - it seems as though I can see people riding on them sometimes. Surely a trick of the eyes.

23rd Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

Our battles in the graveyard no longer seem to be a challenge. I am beginning to tire of dispatching Zombies and Ghouls. Even the dreaded Wraiths pose no threat to us. Aside from a minor skirmish with a graverobber which left some of us in need of healing, we end the day unhurt.

I informed my companions of my doubts about the graveyard during our meal. To my surprise, most of my companions were in agreement. "What do you suggest then, Dailin? That we pay a visit to the Temple of Bloodstone?" laughed the rogue of our group. He was quickly silenced by the glares of my companions, however. There was a heated discussion on what the group should do - there were even suggestions of us disbanding, and going our own ways. Eventually an agreement was reached. Tommorow we journey to Labyrinth.

I cannot sleep due to fear of tommorow. The tales I heard of the Labyrinth as a boy were terrible; an old castle situated deep in the center of a desolate forest, filled vast systems of interconnected tunnels populated by terrifying creatures - I had even heard rumours of a strange castle situated within. I dread to think what we may find there.

24th Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

I do not remember falling asleep, nor do I remember much of the last night except what I noted in this journal. I have a vague memory of a dream where I was pursued by a group of small, twisted creatures through a a never-ending hallway. A fearsome dream indeed.

My companions awoke a couple of hours after me. No sooner had we finished our breakfast, we were ordered to make preperations and disperse. I made as if to move, but paused and questioned my friends on what I should purchase. Talrian chuckled and told me he would show me around.

This city truly does hold some strange sights. Talrian took me to places which I never knew existed - just as I was beginning to think I knew the layout of this vast city! We headed to the bank first, where Talrian ordered me to deposit most of my money. We travelled to a number of other places, but truly the strangest place was a small store at the back of Castle Medievia. A wizened old man greeted us as we entered, and Talrian advised me to buy a number of magenta and orange potions. He waved his hand when I was about to ask why.

After purchasing the potions which Talrian recommended, the man behind the counter who I now know to be a wizard told me, "Make good use of your purchase, lad" before turning away. I attempted to focus my magical shields, but the room appeared to have a magical field surrounding it which absorbed my magical energy. Most strange indeed.

After arriving back at the meeting point in Castle Square, the leader of our group - a bulky warrior by the name of 'Tagar' - informed us that there was not enough time left to depart today. He advised us to return to the camp once our business was done.

We have finished discussing our plans for tommorow. I have been told that I am to ride a dragon to the Labyrinth since it is many miles away. A dragon! I never would have dreamed I would be riding a dragon a month ago, yet now it seems insignificant. I cannot write more for now, as I can feel sleep creeping up on me.

25th Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

I have just 'called' a dragon - very different to how I envisaged. Tagar used his 'powers' to plea for a dragon's aid, and a small firelizard appeared in the room with a flash of light. All of the group shuddered, and the firelizard disappeared. (I later realised that the creature had somehow taken some gold from me) I saw a group of dragons come flying over the horizon, responding to our plea. The creatures crashed into the room, ready for mounting.

I am riding a dragon. The creature flies with such speed and power, it is truly a sight to behold. I can see the scenery passing below me. I never thought the world was this vast! After several hours of flight, the dragon crashed into an ominous forest. I could make out the towers of an old castle situated in a series of outer stone walls.

The group dismounted and we headed for the entrance to the Labyrinth. Tagar informed us that we would need to camp, as the tunnels are dangerous at night. We made camp, and ate in silence. My companions did not seem to be in the mood for talking.

26th Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

Today we headed into the Labyrinth. My companions laughed and joked over breakfast, and I have been strengthened with renewed vigor. I still fear what awaits us, yet it seems we will be able to tackle any evil in the tunnels with our strength of will.

No sooner had we entered the tunnels, then we were set upon by giant, brown- furred rats. My friends dispatched them with relative ease, and we headed further into the structure.

This is truly a dreadful place. The endless tunnels seem to twist crazily, going off in all directions. An eerie silence exists throughout the area, broken only by the grunts and screams of some unknown creatures off in the distance. We have decided to stop for a moment above a strange-looking pit. Talrian says he can make out fangs in the darkness, off in the far end of the pit. The rest of the party ignore him, however - perhaps due to fear?

It seems the fangs did belong to a creature after all. We slipped through the pit, only to be confronted by a creature of some kind. While unidentifiable in the darkness, I noted the ferociousness with which it fought. Eventually we managed to knock the creature down. Many of us were unwilling to take the creatures' life while it was unable to fight back, so we simply took a strange twisted-metal rod which it seemed to have been trying to protect.

After several hours of thought, we worked out that the rod was the key to the trapdoor below us. A simple puzzle - I am surprised I did not realise this earlier. It would have saved the party some time.

27th Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

After travelling through a dank, subterranean passageway, we came across a rickety, wooden ladder. Daylight shone through the exit, and the party were certain they had found the exit to this place. After climbing the ladder, however, we discovered a huge set of gates, leading into a courtyard. Still, most agree that this place has to be better than the tunnels below. We have decided to rest for the night.

Disaster! The party was set upon by a group of fearful, twisted creatures - The creatures from my dreams, in fact. These monsters fight with incredible speed and power, attacking in small groups from all sides. We were forced to flee, and Talrian was lost in the commotion of our retreat.

28th Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

We somehow managed to find shelter from the creatures in the center of a desolate garden. I fear the worst for Talrian - Grunts and screams filled the night, and I could barely sleep. We took turns taking watch. At one point a group of the creatures moved past us, but Tagar pushed us into a large building of some sort. Luckily, the remainder of the group survived intact and remained unnoticed.

Tagar has informed us that the tunnels we came in through are cut off by the creatures. There is no choice except to go forward into the bowels of the castle. We can only fear the worst for Talrian. We have decided to assume the worst, and focus on our own safety.

30th Day: Month of Grand Struggle, 536

It seems as though we have been wandering in the recesses of this castle for weeks on end... and yet the entries in my journal prove to me that it has only been two days. The halls and corridors seem to have no end. We have lost all sense of direction, and have been left to wander, hoping for an exit. The grunts and howls still pierce the silence of the nights, and I fear that some of my companions are beginning to lose their grip on sanity.

Only Tagars' confidence drives us on now. We came across a disembodied leg at one point and, although it was unidentifiable, most agreed that it was probably Talrian. There is no time for us to mourn for him, though.

It seems the leg did not belong to Talrian after all! Noble Talrian used the last remnants of his strength in an attempt to save us... We were set upon by the creatures - now nameed Goblins, by Tagar - they were accompanied by a larger variant of the species who fought more viciously (if that is possible) than the regular creatures. Many of us were injured, when suddenly swirling pillars of flame appeared from out of the ground. The Goblins had been reduced to ashen bone, the ground to blackened carbon. In the center of the ring of destruction lay the body of Talrian. I sobbed, and we decided to bury what was left of his body in the gardens.

Unknown Date

I lie here, leaning on a chest of rotted wood, in a throne room of sorts. My arm hangs limply at my side, and pangs of agony dull my senses as it sways in the angry winds coming from outside of this desolate castle. Yet I am forced to recount our last battle to whoever may find this journal, in the hopes of urging them to go back if they can.

A day after Talrian's tragic death, we were moving along an apathetically decorated hallway, trying to find an exit. Tagar held up his left hand and ordered us to stop and draw our weapons. He explained that 'something was not right'. Indeed, many of us had the same feelings. The grunts had stopped, and the silence seemed worse than ever. Even the wails and screams of the Goblin slaves could not be heard. I reinforced my shields in preparation.

We paused for what seemed like hours, when suddenly hordes of Goblins appeared with deafening howls. They were accompanied by a grotesque creature; the Goblin King of my fathers' tales. He appeared to be human, yet he emanated a powerful aura of evil. Jumping quickly towards the first group, Tagar angled his blade and lunged forward, plunging his blade into the soft body of the first Goblin.

The other two spellcasters of our group strengthened their shields and leapt towards the King. Their shields met with the King's mystical weaponry, and I saw their eyes widen as the collision hit them. The last I saw of them was an explosion of mage light, throwing the King to the ground. Tagar was besought by hundreds of Goblins. I released the lightning bolt I had been preparing and the monsters were hurled bodily across the hall. There seemed to be no end to the creatures, and Tagar was swarmed again.

I had always considered myself a worldly man, but the sheer magnitude of the firefight I had witnessed was scaring me nearly witless. As the Goblins stormed through the hall from all sides, no sounds preceded them as their feet trampled across the ground. Brandishing a large battle axe, Tagar leapt to his feet. He swung it at a Goblins' midsection and with one powerful swipe in passing, loosing the axe, cut through the torso like butter. Six of the creatures surrounded our remaining fighters, hacking them to pieces and sustaining no losses. The Goblins turned their attentions to Tagar and, weaponless, he was toppled quickly by the largest of the creatures. I channeled the last of my power into a huge bolt of lightning. The creatures tried to move away, but too late; the blast caught them, tearing them apart. Our spirits were opposed, and I felt the power flood into my veins.

The King turned to me. I looked into the Goblin's large eyes and asked, "Why? ". He replied, "It is not of importance to you, human. It is, however, to your misfortune that you came across us.". We both stood for a moment, regarding each other. We were badly shaken, and on the verge of exhaustion.

Tagar stood, as if to fight, when the King turned to him. I watched as Tagar's body went flying by, striking the wall with a sickening crunch. I saw the creature smile with satisfaction, and I had a brief moment to experience hatred to a depth I never thought possible. I managed to loose my remaining mana, and I watched as the bolt sliced gracefully through the air, leaving an indelible trail. Before the King could recover from the massive arm swing required to throw Tagar into the wall, my energy bolt buried itself in the creatures' neck. Its eyes widened in shock, and the beast gurgled horridly as it hit the ground, trying vainly to regain its feet as blood spilled from the wound.

I remember nothing beyond this point. I awoke, leaning on this chest and barely able to move. It seems I am to be left to die. Regretfully, I could never become the master mage that I intended. I will leave this journal here in the hope that it will be found, and I will make my way back into the tunnels - most likely to my death. To whoever finds this journal: I wish you luck, and urge you to go back.