“I can’t believe we’re actually doing it,” I said, for somewhere around the thirtieth time that day. I found it best to talk while we walked, and we’d been walking for several days now and I’d long ago run out of things to talk about.
“Well,” Sarrah replied, “here we are.” The ‘here’ Sarrah referred to in this case was the wilderness around us. The open forest. The Great Outdoors. And there could be no doubt that we were indeed in it, for there was nothing but trees, pine needles, the occasional brush, and the gods only know what manner of beasts around for miles in any direction.
Back in Kleine, I’d made arrangements to sell my few tools and other craft related belongings in exchange for some arms and armor, enough to, I’d hoped, see me safely to the beginning of many adventures. Sarrah, being a hunter, was pretty much ready to go from the start. Taking some direction from my little black book, I adorned my shield with the image of a black raven.
We’d agreed to head south, and starting in Kleine that was an easy decision as pretty much everything is south of Kleine. Before leaving, we spoke with some travelers and merchants in Kleine, gathering news and information about things going on in the land and possible adventures to be hand. It was here we learned that not too far to the south was an area stuck in a magical winter. We decided that such a place would provide many opportunities for adventurers to get started.
Arriving in town, it was absurdly easy to get information on the unnatural weather, everyone we met was happy to tell us it was the local wizard’s fault, and, now that he’s dead, they expected it would continue forever. When we suggested maybe it was a spell that could be stopped or a machine that could be turned off locals would point us at the former home of the wizard and and say, “Feel free to give it a shot.” Which struck me as a particularly defeatists attitude if you ask me but I guess it had been going on for a while and people had given up hope. Sarrah and I talked it over and decided that we would indeed give it a shot, at the very worst case maybe there’d be some magical items in there we could use somewhere else, and who knows, maybe we’d save the town and they’d throw us a parade or something.
We snuck in at night, Sarrah using her fancy skills to get us in the door and down into the basement where we figured magical sanctums and the like were likely to be. From what we’d gathered the son or nephew or somesuch of the wizard in question would be arriving in town soon to look after the estate, our plan was to be in and out before he arrived.
We didn’t make it far before falling victim to one of the basement’s many traps. I must admit I was not expecting a basement to have quite so many traps. I was thinking wine racks, and perhaps potatoes, but instead what we found was an insane collection of traps and automations that confused the mind. We were rendered helpless, waiting at the bottom of a pit for unlikely rescue or a perhaps more likely arrival of someone who’d arrest us for trespassing. That’s why I at least was so surprised when, in the middle of a dream about someone bringing me fresh snacks, someone fell on me from above. With the opening of the trap door above us, the sounds of battle were all around. I quickly grabbed my gear and lept out of the pit to access the situation. It appeared that another group of adventurers had entered the basement and was engaged in combat with the same defenses that defeated Sarrah and I upon our arrival.
Seeing our opportunity to revenge ourselves upon these strange constructs as well as possibly join up with a group more equipped to deal with the obstacles of this adventure, Sarrah and I immediately set to the task of aiding our newfound comrades. Fortunately, they appeared much beset by their opponents and welcomed our aid as much as we welcomed theirs. Together our combined might proved no match for the assortment of creatures, automatons, pests, and even zombies that we came across while exploring the basement. However, search as we might, we found little but rugs and tapestries, books and baubles. There was very little proper treasure to be had. We did finally come to a hidden room behind the armory where some valuable items lay hidden, but they turned out to be an annoying crossbow and armor fit only for use by a dwarf. Battle weary and disappointed, we stacked what meager loot we’d collected on top of an old tapestry and took to some of the beds in this bizarre place to get some rest.
While I’m happy to be out of the pit, I can only hope that tomorrow brings us better fortune than today.