To The Council-
We were just finding our bearings again when I heard a horrible whinny; before I had a chance to think the sound through, Brundle (the odd little gnome) ran off towards the noise like a swooping falcon. As it turns out it was Artax, I understand why he ran off so quickly now. I grew to like him more with that, had it been Kree crying out in pain nothing could have gotten in my way. It seems an ability to bond with another creature is something we have in common with Whisper Gnomes. He found Artax surrounded by wolves; it was odd, they almost seemed organized. Myself and the rest of the group quickly followed Brundle to help him dispatch the wolves and help Artax. Thankfully, we did arrive before too much damage was stricken upon Artax and were able to slay the beasts.
Unfortunately one of the wolves was able to get away, he ran towards a howl in the nearby woods; at the time all I was able to see was a large shape in the shadows; it seemed to be watching us. We chose to head to one of the small homes we had just rid of gnolls to bandage our wounds and rest. I do not understand why the other species find comfort in being surrounded by walls; do they truly believe they are safer? Walls only get you trapped in a corner and restrict everything. I took a position on the roof of the structure they retreated to, it was not very high but was at least a better vantage point than on the ground.
Merrilyn joined me on the roof to keep watch; he is an intriguing man who seems to understand how to make a fight work to his advantage. I hope to pick up some of those skills from him; he seems a scrappy fighter. I’d never say it but I rather enjoy that he calls me “feathers”; I feel a bit less like an outsider. One wolf did approach during the night to examine the dead bodies we had stacked up away from the structure but did little else. It was of great use, I was able to track it the next morning after everyone had broken their fast.
Curiously, he had come from the manor house we had been sent to investigate. We scouted the area around the house, I was able to get to the second floor and found there the large wolf from the shadows in a small room. We devised to go in from the second floor to try and pin the wolf in a confined space, he too believed walls would help him which only helped us corner him and bottle-neck the smaller wolves coming up the stairs. It mostly worked. It took Brundle going into a rage and half dead to finally fell the beast.
After we cleared the house of wolves we began to search for the book we were sent to find but have thus far been unsuccessful in finding it. However while myself and Kaneda were searching the library he fell through the floor to discover another level. I do wonder what the experience of being in a ransacked library is like for Kanada? I have a great reverence for libraries from my father, but I cannot imagine it is on nearly the same level as it is for him. I hope it was not a terribly traumatizing experience.
Despite not wanting to, I followed him into the lower levels. We found a dilapidated conservatory wildly overgrown with tangles and bushes with a set of double doors at the back. Brundle and Merry searched another path that seemed to lead to the doors from the other side but they were locked. I went into the conservatory towards the doors, I should have listened to Kanada about being slow and careful traversing the vines. I was too rash in going into the room. As I reached the middle of the room I was attacked- by a plant. Once I looked more closely at my attacker I recognized it as a Blood Thorn, which was very peculiar as they are not native to this region.
Once we were able to destroy the Blood Thorn we discovered an archway behind it, and Brundle was able to find a hidden door leading down. Down, down, always down, I do not understand this illusion of safety underground. We found two deep pits in the first room we came to, what they were used for I do not know. As we were searching the area, four earth elementals appeared and attacked us. Brundle once again went crazy and after we dealt with the elementals he sprinted down the hallway that was rigged with blots, he was riddled with holes by the time he reached the end of the hall. The trap, thankfully for the rest of us, did not reset and Thistle was able to heal Brundle’s wounds. Their’s is an odd relationship, I’m still unsure how that came about.
We found a cavernous room beyond the doors with an underground lake and island in the center. Upon the island we found four pillars and a chest in the center, and at last the book we were seeking. There is something very satisfying about finding one’s quarry, I am beginning to greatly enjoy the feeling of completing a quest. Unfortunately it was not the end. The water was uneasily still, and Merry saw that the book and one of the pillars was emanating magic. When Kanada picked up the book the column revealed itself to be some sort of guardian which took on the form of a woman with a large sword. We attempted to talk to her to try and understand more about the book but she would not respond.
As Kanada began to walk with the book she charged him. I was very wary about fighting this construct, I know nothing about this book, were we doing a good thing taking it? I do not trust that we were. but I do trust Kanada; thus far he has shown his quality. The guardian destroyed Brundle’s sword, so Kanada left his for him and ran with the book to make sure we completed our goal. We were able to destroy her, but my heart is still uneasy about that.
We are currently camped for the evening between Shale Creek and Outwall. I will report additional findings when I can. And to my great joy I have taken my first flight on my own from the ground! I am progressing in my abilities, and am confident I will be able to return home when the time comes.