Today proved to be a bit more exciting than I may have anticipated. As I weakly patted some still smoldering patches on my scorched robes and applied a poultice to some rather large mosquito bites, I read over my entry from yesterday and reminded myself to always be thankful for the quiet times.
It all started off quietly enough today. Early on we reached the imposing Sword Mountains and found a hidden but heavily trafficked path indicated on our map. We were wary, but fortunately encountered no other creatures on the path this day. The path emerged from the mountains into a completely sheltered valley. In the middle of the valley is what I can only assume is the Stone Tooth; the tall peak which we think holds the dwarven stronghold of Glitterhame. We scout the area and manage to find three separate entrances.
The first is obvious: the front door. We are still on guard, as we assume this is the source of the increased goblin raids in the area, and decide that walking up to the front entrance might be a bad idea. There is also an entrance across a dark, mirrored lake. Unfortunately, we would have to swim or wade. I’m not the best swimmer, and we decide we don’t particularly like the look of the lake itself. I actually spotted a thin wisp of smoke from what looked like a chimney on a fairly easy to reach portion of the peak. We made our way over to the chimney and saw that we could probably lower ourselves down on a rope and sneak into the stronghold without attracting too much attention. All went as planned, save for a small mishap when Magda fell near the end of her climb. Fortunately she only ended up a little sooty and embarrassed, and not seriously injured. We thought that the clatter of her falling armor would likely wake the dead, but it seemed, at the time, that we were fortunate in this as well.
Almost immediately we had success and managed to rescue to prisoners from Blasingdell: Geradil and Lourana. We sent them up the rope with some help and had them head back to where our horses waited. They were instructed to wait a while, but then head back without us if too much time passed.
As we explored the area, we encountered some hobgoblins which we dispatched. There is a considerable amount of storage and basic supplies here. It is not hard to make the connection to this being the staging ground for some raiding forces. There seems to be something much more sinister at work than simple goblins, however, as we also encountered and dispatched a group of drow. Nothing good can come of their involvement.
As we reached a large hall with a rift leading down, we were set upon by some large, almost mosquito looking creatures. One of them bit me and sapped my strength, but after getting rid of them we chose to continue at least exploring this level of the stronghold to ensure that no enemies were behind us. Almost immediately upon deciding to continue, I was lit on fire by a trap. It would be nice if I could learn to stay behind Dask and just let Fox do his disarming work, but the mechanisms are almost always laced with magic and it is tempting to see how they work.
We headed back to the rear of the front door of this place and our strategy paid off. Hobgoblins, more hobgoblins, a bugbear, and even an ogre fell to us as we surprised them from the rear. They were all anticipating an assault from the front. Two wolves which were with the ogre ran away, but they seemed running in fear rather than anything else. We found what wealth we could, and then returned to the way down. Almost immediately more of the mosquito creatures emerged and bit me again. After consultation, we believe they are called stirges. I am now weak enough that I had to ask the others to hold back from pressing on and rest here on the level we have cleared. The only thing remaining here was a sad looking bear in a holding pen that I believe the hobgoblins were using for sport. We carefully freed it and it went on its way out of the stronghold. We found a defensible spot for a rest and have hunkered down to allow me to regain some strength. I should put this book away and actually take advantage of this time.