The Western Borderlands
Ankhegs and lobsters and eyeballs oh my!
Upon making the journey back from the tunnels neath Barrington, I hesitantly entered the tavern. I needed to find answers as to what was plaguing the creatures in the area. The barkeep pointed to a table where a human was talking to one of my kinsman, saying that one o them had just returned from the village. As I approached, I noticed that the older one was no dwarf, but in fact a human and the human was a half elf. This place is confusing. Oh how I longed to get out o’ this place and feel the dirt beneath my feet again.. but I needed answers. After a short conversation with the men, I learned that Ash, the half elf, was part of an adventuring group that had recently run in to a bit of trouble in the tunnels beneath the village. Now, I’m not one fer pokin’ my nose into the business of adventurers, but it seems that it weren’t just the goblin tribe that they found down there. Ash and his small friend told me of a horrible creature that was clearly an aberration, and must be put down. While we were discussing this, Ahg a half orc and coincidentally enough the brother of one o the half elf’s deceased friends, piped up and offered to lend his blade to avenge his kin. Before long we were on our way back to the tunnels below the village, to lay low this abomination of a creature. On our way we happened on a mated pair of ankheg.. which normally would no be a problem.. but this damned ranger starts peppering the poor beasts with arrows before I can even try to see what was botherin’ em. Most likely we were too close to the nest, an they were protecting their young. But once you go an piss of a pair of ankheg, yer options are kill or be killed. We dropped the male without much problem, and I had jus ripped the forepincer off o’ the female when she ran for cover. Thankfully no one was foolish enough to pursue th’ damn thing. Poor girl went to nurse her wounds an her young no doubt. Ash tried to save a bit o’ the acid from the male.. but just wound up with a hole in his flask. I carefully cleaned out the carapace, I’ve heard they can be made into great suits of armor. The rest of our journey to the tunnels was without incident. Once below the village, we ran into a group of goblins that were tryin quite unsuccessfully to butcher a giant goat. So Ash gets the bright idea to shoot the damn thing in the face with a bit o’ magic…. that didno go so well for him. Bwahahahaha twas one o the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time, the size o’ his eyes as the goat rammed him at full speed. Knocked him right on his arse. Sure he got up and finished killin the thing… but it was definitely the highlight o’ the journey up to that point. After Ahg retrieved an organ from the goat, we headed to where this terrible creature was hiding. When we reached the area outside, we made our preparations. I used the power granted to me by th’ gods to harden my resolve, and to take the form of a brown bear. Ahg took the goat bits an attached em to Ash’s grappling hook. He then went about tyin’ off the rope and proceeded to go fishin fer aberrations. After a couple of passes, this clearly was not working, so he started to splash a bit with his pike at the edge o’ the water. That did the trick, and the ugly thing emerged ready fer a fight…and take the fight to it we did. With Ahg and I keepin the thing busy, Ash, Finder, an…. the dragon (I don’ think he ever told me his name) unloaded round after round of bolts, arrows, and magic into the damned things face. With a mighty roar I clamped down on the misshapen creatures throat and felt the life fade from it. After retrieving the remains and possessions of their unfortunate friends, we set back to see the Goblin king. He was most pleased to hear that the creature had been dealt with, and honored the bargain he had struck with Ash and Finder the week before. He traded them some strange coins for what we had found. When we returned to the keep, Ash immediately set out to find his employer, and we were all rewarded with a healthy sum of platinum pieces. I went to visit the armor smith, in hopes that he could do something with the hide of the unfortunate ankheg. In the tavern, Balek told us of a cave he had once been in that held more of the strange coins, and the misshapen idols that we had seen ‘neath Barrington. We agreed that after a few days o’ rest we would set out toward the swamp in hopes of finding the cave and ridding the lands of its corruption. It took several days of exploring the swampland, but we finally found what we believed to be Balek’s cave. Outside I found obvious sign that it was indeed being occupied, and inside Finder and the not so stealthy dragon-who-has-no-name found some strange humanoid creatures. It was odd, they appeared to have once been human, but now most definitely were not. We managed to take them out without incident. Well, Ash did learn the hard way not to read strange runes. Apparently this place is called New Barrington, and we were supposed to go away. Further into the cavern complex we went, with Finder the stealthy scouting ahead and periodically reporting back what he was seeing. During one o’ his reports he spoke about a foul creature that I had to see with my own eyes. In all of my travelling through these lands I have never seen its like. The creature was no more than a giant floating eye, with long stalks and smaller eyes on the ends. It’s mere existence was an insult against the natural world, and I had no choice but to end it. It possessed powerful magic, but my resolve was stronger. The thing managed to confuse poor Ahg, who started attacking…that one guy with the bow. Young Mr. Finder found himself running in fear, as halflings often do. I landed a mighty swipe of my claws, sending it into a spin and setting up Ash to send it to it’s death. We proceeded into the cave system cautiously, and happened upon another of the water dwelling creatures that had slain Ahg’s brother. It wasn’t long before I had ripped off one of its pincers. I think I may be acquiring a taste fer the things. Ahg found a most unusual ancient greatsword in the rubble of the things lair. I can’t help but get an uneasy feeling round the sword. As we pressed onward we came to a dark tunnel leading down deeper into the earth. It was decided that we would finish exploring up here before descending into the depths. After another encounter with the strange humanoids, we found a small antechamber with 5 small cells. Inside we discovered several strange items. Some rations that were most odd, a magic belt on a petrified corpse, and some strange goggles. With this being a very defensible position, it was decided that we would rest here. Finder is taking the first watch…