Day 1: The Grotto
She woke on a beach wondering just exactly where she was. She heard a voice asking if she was alive and not undead. Of course she was alive, she was walking toward him wasn't she? (Undead? What is he talking about, undead? Just what nightmare have I landed in, anyway? And where the hell am I?)
The little man at the other end of the voice introduced himself as Jeets Shimis, and he had a roguish look about him. She searched her memory. (What *is* my name?) She wasn't really sure, but said the first thing that came into her head that sounded like a familiar name.
"Talyn. Talyn Wulfgar," she said. (I think. It sounds good, anyway.)
She followed Jeets to a make-shift camp a few hundred yards above the beach where he actually offered to put a weapon in her hands if she would help him and someone named Cellimas. Talyn took him up on his offer of a long sword. (I seriously doubt I can take anyone on, especially that automaton-looking thing that's blocking the only other path off this freaking beach.) She checked the balance on the sword and found it acceptable. It wasn't great, but it would do. She asked Jeets where to find this Cellimas and started up the path. The automaton-looking thing introduced himself as Talbron. (At least I think it's a 'he', the voice is deep enough.) At her questioning look, he told her he was Warforged. (Whatever *that* is.)
Talbron led her to the grotto and waited at the entrance for Jeets. Inside the grotto, Talyn introduced herself to Cellimas and helped the cleric open a gate that lead deeper into the grotto. Talyn's tree climbing skills were sure helpful, even in a dungeon she thought as she scaled the rock wall before her. Yeah, she didn't think the cleric would have been able to make the climb. The rogue maybe, but not the cleric and certainly not the Warforged.
Talyn quietly dropped to the other side of the gate through a small crevice and heard the wheeze of something breathing in he passageway ahead. She tiptoed to the far wall, moving in a slow crouch toward the sound. As she peeked around the corner, she saw the ugliest creature she had ever seen in her life. It looked like it was half fish and half man. (What the hell? One of the Sahuagin that Cellimas mentioned?) It took her a minute to get over the shock, but when she did, she again moved quietly forward. She did her best to sneak up on the thing, but it must have sensed her just before she struck because it spat a curse and turned to attack. Somehow she managed to land a hit, but thought it lacked the power to do much harm. She must have hit it harder than she thought, because two swings later, it was down and not moving. (And I knew how to fight like that, how exactly?) Talyn pulled the handle that the fish-thing was guarding and in a few moments heard the others move up the passageway to meet her.
She followed the rest of the party through the cave until they came to another gate and another lever. Talyn pulled the lever when Cellimas gave her the signal. They rushed into the room and it was empty! (What the?!?) Suddenly, the door rolled shut behind them and several Sahuagin dropped from a ledge that circled the cavern. The creatures attacked as soon as they landed on the floor. The battle, while fierce, ended with a victory for the companions. Jeets checked both doors leading out of the cavern, but found the mechanisms beyond his capable skills.
As the party searched the cavern for a way out, Talbron stumbled on a latch that exposed a deep well. At the bottom of the well, they could see a faint glint of metal. Talyn looked around at the others. They all looked at her -- expectantly. Jeets mumbled something about hydrophobia, Celllimas groused about not being able to swim in her armor, and Talbron said nothing. (Great. It's a good thing I like to swim. At least *I'll* be less stinky. That dead fish smell is making my stomach turn!) She dove to the bottom of the well and grabbed the key. Back on the surface, she took some time to wipe at her arms and legs, trying to get some of the ichor off of her skin before she got out of the water. She felt better, but was a bit self-conscious in the few -- now wet -- rags that still managed to cover her body -- and which were somewhat more tattered after the battle she had just fought.
She unlocked the door opposite the one they had entered. Before the group moved on, Cellimas called a rest. She and Talbron rested and recovered their spells while Jeets and Talyn scouted the passages ahead. As the group moved through the cavern, they triggered a knife trap that barred their way. Jeets disabled the trap and the group moved deeper into the caverns. After a while, they came to another door with a lever. The spellcasters readied their spells while the rest readied weapons. Cellimas gave the signal, Talbron opened the gate, and the party charged the Sahuagin priestess and her two guards. A few minutes later, the fish creatures lay dead on the floor and Cellimas was cleansing the grotto of the Sahuagin's evil magic.
At the back of the grotto, Jeets found a locked chest. He picked the lock and found nothing inside that he could use. He did, however, find a battleworn chainmail shirt that fit Talyn perfectly, and a bow, some arrows, and a pretty ring with blue stones that fit her index finger. After putting on the armor, she explored the grotto. Toward the back, she noticed how the dirt near a certain portion of the floor looked different. She stepped closer to the wall and felt the air stir in a way that it hadn't in other parts of the grotto. As she searched the area, she found a hidden passage that lead into a basement.
As they left the grotto and stepped into the basement, Cellimas offered Talyn a beautiful long sword for helping clear the Sahuagin out of the caverns. When Talyn left the building, she stepped out into -- snow.
How odd. The island should have been more tropical, judging by the vegetation she had seen so far. Then she remembered Talbron had said something about a dragon but couldn't remember exactly what he had said. As she stepped into an alleyway in the village of Korthos, she met a local named Randall who told her the sad story of Korthos and the dragon, and gave her directions to the local inn -- The Wavecrest Tavern. With the few coins that she had found on the beach before she reached the grotto, she was able to get a hot bath, a hotter meal, and rent a room for a couple of nights, but she knew she would have to find work soon.
Talyn decided to wait until morning to tackle the issue of coin and work and dragons. She had a place to sleep for the night. But that night she was exhausted and confused. (Where am I? Who am I? Why can't I remember?)