The Argent Springs Explorers

5th expedition debrief of The Apparently Nameless
Written (and performed) by Ashe Goldwind, bardic attaché of the company

Rona’s acting as our scout, Zephyr a trail must blaze
With our rangers looking all about, we’ll be there in less than three days
Tuckwin handles all the food and does his job well too
With how he divvies it all out, rations won’t be too few

Keep an eye on the wizard, friends, he is not what he seems
His clothes change shape, he’s out of place, and blurry at the seams. 
Our scout sees a group of tents sitting distant in the sand
She points out the figures lying in wait before things get out of hand
Their number was only four, you see, which is two less than our six
We caught the scoundrels unawares, and they got their asses kicked.

We work quite well in tandem here, Rona’s arrows and my song
Zephyr shoots Rona’s back, and things start going wrong. 
Thrognar prays to his axe in vain, a paladin attacks
Some magic from the cleric, though, and the paladin backtracks

The paladin screams in fear of Thrognar without a second thought
The wizard flings… energy fish?… at the cleric Rona shot. 
I try to tend to Rona’s wound caused by Zephyr’s aim
I didn’t know that it was barbed and cause Rona much pain (sorry)

Thrognar bellows out a charge and invokes his god’s good name
I can’t remember what it was called, curse you stupid brain! 
He shouts at a one-armed bard and that bard turns tail and runs
Their paladin stands defiant still, prepared for what’s to come

Ashe rushes up to try and puncture armor
She hits back, I am the harmed one
Tuckwin comes to try and help me
Their thief runs up gets quite lucky
Running off with rations

Dra’alde takes aim at the bandit
The magic catches him red-handed
He’s limping now, but still runs
Rona’s shot makes sure he’s done

Zephyr charges the holy knight
With a sword attempts to end the fight
Thrognar kicks with all his might
But wait, something here’s not right

She sees what is coming, though
She rolls her body to deflect the blows
A tangle of bodies fall to the floor
The paladin is not moving anymore

The wizard goes to pickpocket corpses
Finds amulets made from sharks, not horses
He hands one to Rona to protect from sandshark attack
While the helpful Paladin sneezes into the wound on her baaaaaaack

Sand sharks appear to slake their hunger
We drive them out and they pull the corpses under
Tracks lead out to the distant tents
We follow the bard to where he went
Things are tense, the bard’s not happy
Having one arm and looking scrappy
In an effort to mend fences
Ashe offers a job writing about adven-tures

He says “I’m Corbin. Come back in few days to come get me”
He and his friends are the last of their comp’ny
They failed their quest and for that were banished
From the memory of the town they vanished

They can join us on our fledgling venture
Freeing up Ashe to go on more ad-ventures
She leaves them with some rations from her own stash
Paladin gives Throg a small shield with which to bash

Early the second morning of our outing
We awake to Lang barking and Rona shouting
Something’s begun in our camp encroaching
Looks like we have sand sharks approaching!

Those with the necklaces make a barrier
Ashe leaps out to strike a scaly harrier
This isn’t the best way to start fighting, 
Forgetting that sharks are made for biting

Thrognar prays, his axe does glow
The sharks pay as he rains down blows. 
Tuckwin tosses Ashe a necklace
She jams it in the shark’s soft weak place

Zephyr tries to slice with his rapier
No! It’s for poking, not cutting paper!
The shark sends him sprawling and he lands on his ass
Rona calms it down with an arrow; good shot, lass!

Zephyr always seems to act on a lark
Look, like now, he’s roped a sand shark?
It’s charging to the wizard, he may be soon dead
Nope, it just tail whipped him in the head

Thrognar finishes the shark chewing Ashe
She lays on the sand till the shock has gone past
Zephyr has better control on the wild beast
We get it to pull us up north and not east

We pull up to the magic school now
There’s an oasis and wizards and spells all a-round
We get a map that shows where the books be
This doesn’t make any sense to me

We train with the wizards and learn some new things
Dra’Alde whisks us home on his mind’s wings
Teleporting seems fun, but we advise you to refrain
It involves transmuting your body into pure pain

We have the tools now we need for this quest
Should go back soon, but for now we should rest
Please go get Corbin and the holy lady knight
No one should have to live in the deserts of fright

So ends the tale, if you need more info ask Ashe
She has more detailed notes on what passed
Just remember that requests may take time
It’s sometimes hard to find words that do rhyme

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4th expedition debrief, company sans nomine
Transcribed from notes presented to Holkins the scribe.

We enter and go up. In the room with paint Rona goes to the west wall and investigates where the wizard marked the map. Nothing. It seems the wizard was mistaken.

Thrognar’s divine quest, says our target is northeast.

Zephyr sees that one of the paths in the statue room is red. Code red! Ergo, the group heads south. Killian mumbles and follows.

In the room all the way south, there’s an abandoned campfire.

Room top the east of that there is a portrait of a tiny lion. We did not investigate it further.

In the room to east of that we encountered statues made of thin metal with clay on them. We fought the 8 statues and emerged victorious.

Father Killian heads north and Thrognar goes east. The rangers follow Thronar, and the druid follows Killian.

Thrognar and friends find a room with statues not too dissimilar to to the last, but these statues are better made and show no malicious intent. We designate this a Safe room.

In the room to the east of that we encountered a statue with thee spots in front of it. Zephyr discovers a lever but doesn’t tell anyone, for some reason?

Killian, Aytac, and Lang find a mysterious fire, then head back to the group.

Thrognar pulls a lever, and opens a pathway in the previous safe room.

We descend into the caves through the secret passage. In the large cave to right we find a pair of dead adventurers. Killian searches them and takes a MAGIC WAND from their pack.

We head to another room with a dead woman in a dress. Thrognar takes the STONE BOOK the corpse is clutching. The book has a gear on it…

We journey further into the caves, and find a path with rushing water. So much water here! It looks difficult to cross safely.

Before anyone else can do something, Aytac turns into crocodile and jumps into the river, a snatches a MAGIC BOTTLE before it’s carried away.

Killian realizes this is the solution to the statue and we return to that room and place the staff and the bottle in the statue’s hands. We get a very small key.

Returning to the large room we go east. Find a room with many boxes with the Hyrda logo on them. Behind them is a shrine with a lady holding a stone bow. Zephyr quickly takes the bow as his own. Scoundrel.

In the next room we found a hole in the ceiling with light coming through. Also there are a bunch of skeletons with boxes where their hearts should be. Thrognar charged in the center of the room an bellowed a challenge. A cockatrice with METAL LEGS fell from the sky onto Atayc as the skeltons sprung to life and the battle began.

POINTS OF INTEREST?
* The vines into the Clockatrice room, seem to be more than what they appear. Someone BRAVE and STRONG should totally let those vines sting them and see what happens. Bring a cleric.
* Can we climb up out of that hole in the ceiling? The Clockatrice leapt from there, so maybe there’s something up there.
* Beyond the rushing river. Where does it come from? Where does it go?
* The portrait of the tiny lion.

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3rd expedition debrief, company still without name
Transcribed once again for posterity by Angus the traveling journaler, unaffiliated with the company

Journaler's note: I endeavoured to keep the orc's speech mostly intact while improving the flow of the words somewhat.

Forrest was a good friend. He was kind, he was smart, and he was strong. He showed his courage in the field of battle today and died like a warrior and no one can dispute this fact. Forrest will be deeply missed, especially by myself and Felix. He died a hero
I DIDN’T THOUGHDEATH WAS ALL LIKE “ARM WRESTLE ME TO LIVE” 
AND I WAS LIKE “F- YEAH I’M NOT GONNA DIE TODAY!”

Back to what happened though we decided right off that we were going to go on a quest to go kill the giant spider that plagues the caves. On our way there we argued and tried to pull out that light orb but to no avail. Our wizard Dralandalis or something like that says there’s some magic stuff on the west wall of the orb room but that was not important because we had a job to do and a worthy opponent to face.

We saw some free meat in a cage on the way there. Some of them may be sentient, and some may be poisoned but hey free food. (Don’t take the momadin they may try to friend it)

So I’m disappointed to say that the giant spider was

A- Not mechanical
and B- Not Halacian (still calling dibs by the way)

She was just some cult god for some strange acid blood cultists. Whatever, it died like any other foe to my axe. We fought hard against it, especially Forrest, I’m sad to report our healers were not helpful and we lost the wonderful Forrest who died doing what he loved, pretending to be a god to scare the crap out of some cultists.

Speaking of cultists we captured one because the Paladin and the Cleric thought it was important to spare the spider cultist for “questioning”. (I wouldn’t mind Axe-ing him some questions myself). I think we should have just killed him and it appeared that Felix agreed with me but we were outvoted by the Paladin and the party killing Cleric.

SPEAKING OF THAT! While sure I did prove victorious against death I wouldn’t have HAD to if the cleric didn’t decide to steal my health for himself.

Tuckwin should NOT be trusted to heal… He was useful in the fight but again DO NOT LET HIM HEAL YOU IT WILL ENDPOORLY.

In short 
* Forrest is dead, which is sad
* Felix and Dan-alla are pretty cool dudes and can be trusted
* Renne cares more for her enemies than her friends
* Tuckwin had one job… and he did it to the food and not his allies

Journaler's note: I believe that the fighting death segment is a metaphor, but I cannot exactly pin down the purpose of said metaphor. Could warrant further investigation

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2nd expedition debrief, still unnamed company
Transcribed for posterity by Angus the traveling journaler, unaffiliated with the company

Journaler's note: Misspellings apparently intentional

I am told to make sure that you see this summary:
* “Where once were Gnolls, now there are gnot.
* We got meat for the Oasis.
* Quinn brokered the company a contract.”

Found scrawled on the walls beyond the Gnolls.
*
I spoke with the dead
* I disturbed their rest
* I answered their questions 
* and passed their test
* They told me of a fire within a flame
* To be found on the ground
* Use your boots to find what you seek.

The following section was dramatically reenacted and has been transcribed to the best of my ability as an accurate recapture

…Jarl and Felix both leap the barricade at the same time. Taut bows are no match for swole (el)bows, as bare-knuckle brawlers rain blows upon foes. Proving jumping is for losers, Aytac shifts into a boar and charges through the barricade with no regard for their own safety.

A horizontal slash, a diagonal slash, and another lower horizontal slash. Zephyr is now sheathing his blade as his cape billows in the wind and the gnoll falls to pieces behind him. A blade of blood, comes down at the ranger courtesy of the giant gnoll choking out father Killian. Zephyr manages to just barely get stuck with the blade, turning a killing blow into a glancing one. He follows up his deft sidestep, by blowing smoke in the gnoll’s face. Did I mention he was smoking the halfling pipeleaf earlier? He was totally doing that.

For the giant gnoll, the smoke doesn’t fall away, the room does. An unlight is blinding and the many whispers are deafening. The cleric advances while chanting. The sight and sound of the TRUTH that Utja wields proves just too much and the void touched gnoll falls to its knees in existential terror.

Deft dwarven digits pluck yellowed canine eyes from the head gnoll’s head. Darkiron tosses them into the air and hunger on dark wings snatch their treat from the air. Gnoll is down before Father Killian, blood streaming down the face like tears. Killian delivers the Mercy of the Menanki™ to the half dead creature. Blood, brain, and viscera cover Jarl like so much overripe fruit.

Before the party can collect the meat…Aytac the severely wounded anaconda unhinges their jaw and devours the swole gnolls whole. As the remaining one trembles in terror, they are convinced to give the hidden location of the Gnoll’s farm. The party takes as much of the livestock as they can carry to <u>The Glittering Oasis</u>. The meat is SO good Nedron immediately fights to get the team on contract and secure their services for the future.

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1st expedition debrief, company yet unnamed
Transcribed for posterity by apprentice scrivner Bartleby, unaffiliated with the company

Observations of the Menanki, first excursion by The Unnamed.

Upon descending into the entry room, we were presented a choice. Rona, our Ranger, discovered tracks that indicated a heavier amount of foot traffic going down the hallway to the left. Since our mission was to hunt down a creature that attacked and killed several members of the Greencloaks this was a good indication as to the direction they had been investigating. This path led into a large room with some sort of light source in the center.

Note: As we progressed through the ruins we were mostly led forward by the more impulsive members of our group, and so any side-passages not explored are not due to any noted danger or obstruction except where otherwise noted. Those on a less urgent mission I would encourage to take the time to fill out the gaps our initial investigation left.

Since the tracks led on through the southeastern doorway we headed in that direction. It was here that our investigation of the room was interrupted by Rona’s dog detecting movement from the eastern passage. Thrognar rushed forward to intercept the creatures but was unable to avoid the bear trap set just inside the next room. We fought many of these small, spear-wielding creatures as well as one that was capable of using magic. The magic-user was killed as well as several of the other creatures but quite a few escaped into the southern passageways. Keep alert on further excursions to this section of the ruins as they may reclaim these rooms and/or set up more traps. There is also a lack of lighting within these areas, so torches or other sources would be recommended.

We then progressed through the eastern door of the dark room and into a large room that stretched from north to south with multiple exits along each of the walls. The contraption in the center of this room invites further investigation, as we were unable to discern its purpose. The northeastern wall was blocked by rubble, but we were able to clear it and within found a strange statue of some sort, on which was a set of very fine looking leather armor. It was decided that Rona would gain the most benefit from this armor, but for some reason our headstrong warrior took a dislike to the set.

The barred gate to the north became the focus of several of our party members. The druid eventually used his powers to transform into a mouse a squeeze through the gap, then a few minutes later the gate opened. It seemed he had discovered a lever on the other side, past a bridge over an underground river, that opens the door. This lever only keeps the door open as long as it is held, however. Some way to jam the door open or lock the lever in place might be a good priority just to facilitate travel through this section without the use of transformative magics.

A narrow passageway to the west led to a large room covered with spider webs. Dangling from the ceiling were many humanoid figures, some of which were quite still and some of which were moving and making noises. We cut down those we determined were still alive, and once this was done Rona and myself continued on down the western passageway as her dog had become quite agitated from something in this direction. Going south at the intersection led us to a room with a pile of skeletons to one side, the other side blocked off by some bars several feet high. Behind these bars were about a dozen injured and mangled creatures. It seems as if these spiders have some sort of intelligence, keeping living beings down here and crippling them so they are unable to escape while then feeding upon their blood for nourishment. According to a halfling we healed back to some sort of stability the leader of these spiders is further to the north. Those who were back in the earlier room hanging from the ceiling are used as hosts for her young, and in fact a few of those we cut down were already badly infested and so some of our party took it upon themselves to dispose of them rather than attempting to help the situation medically.

It was at this point that we decided to return to the exit. We had several injured that we needed to return to the surface for proper medical care, and most of us were ourselves injured in some capacity. On our way out the remaining bodies as well as the webs were burned. Any later excursions should investigate to make sure that all of them were destroyed.

Even though many of the creatures trapped in the pen where we found the halfling were gnolls and other such races, they still deserve our assistance. No one should have to go through what these people have endured. I highly recommend the next excursion be centered around saving these people in addition to scouting out the rest of this first area. If this giant spider is indeed the Hyperion we took the job to defeat then I have taken a holy vow to see it destroyed. If it is not the Hyperion then it still cannot be allowed to linger down there. The number of bodies was unsettling to think about, and having some form of malevolent intelligence using us as a farm for its own sustience and reproduction cannot be allowed to continue. I should greatly like to be there when it is destroyed, but even if I am not I will be relieved that it occurred regardless.

Hopefully my sickness will pass soon and I will be able to join in another excursion. Best of luck to you all.

-Renne Dukom, Observer for Our Lady The Light’s Steward Kel-Fa, God of Order

**Scribe's Note: I am writing a note about 'the ranger's armor' and the fact that 'it eats all the light.' The orc refused to leave the room unless I took specific note about this. 

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Logbook: First entry
We need a name!

Well, it looks like we're being told to log our adventures. Our numbers are getting to the point where not everyone will be on every outing. This will help us all stay on the same page, or something. Heh. Same page. Book. 

Look anyway when you get back, figure out what you want to report and then let the scribe know. He'll note everything down and you'll be set. Glory! Or something. Forever! (Or as long as this book isn't burned or stolen I guess)

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