From the journal of Grimlock
We haven’t been on the road that long, but after scouting ahead we’re already at the foothills. We had to leave the wagon, unhitch the horses, and travel up into the mountains themselves single file. I’m surprised that these “ancient and forgotten” lands are so close to Watchgate, but at the same time, they’re remote, and no one’s going to just stumble upon them.
Elric is a smart one, I don’t even know what race he is born of, I asked him last night at camp and he just motioned to the fire and said he was born of the same elements as the flame. Suits me, I was just curious, I can’t deny his skill with both sword and magic though. Helkonde has kept pace with us well, I was skeptical since he’s just a human, but I like his sense of humor and determination. He’s a holy man, and reveres his God, but doesn’t push his views on anyone. I’ve traveled alongside Theidifoe the longest, and I respect the Dragonborn’s might most of all. He’s practical and loyal, I see us standing side by side through many a fight. Last is the Dark Elf, he doesn’t sleep, he doesn’t eat, he barely speaks, eh. He’s good in a fight, I’ll give him that, quick and deadly, that’s him. Tomorrow I estimate we’ll come upon the stone gatehouse visible off in the distance.
Finally, a fight, but against vermin. I’ve heard tale of fire beetles, the size of large dogs spitting fire from their gullet. I’ve seen dire creatures before, I did not doubt the size in the stories, but I was skeptical about the fire. I was wrong. Their carapaces were strong but we overcame them easily enough, but they bathed us in their flame again and again before they fell. I found my second wind in the battle and my axe and sword hit home again and again. Mourngrym, the elf, almost fell in battle, his agility unable to keep him from flame’s harm. We prevailed and have stopped to rest and dress our wounds.
The little elf made up for squealing in battle. He crawled under building where the beetles had a burrow and came up with loot. Some, no make that a lot of coins had collected under there, fallen off the bodies of victims gone past. The real treasure was a brilliant battle axe that put my own to shame. Helkonde and Elric talked about magic and arcane weapons and tried to figure out this axe. They did, well, kind of, they knew it was well-made, and knew it was magical, but warned me against using it because it might be cursed. Bah!
In the gatehouse, we found four Dwarf statues with hollow heads. The flow of air through their mouths made an eerie, but entrancing sound. I was about to clear out the debris to hear the chanting better then Helkonde starting smashing the statues, claiming they were evil. They obviously weren’t. Mourngrym showed his skills once again, finding a hidden chamber in the room and a long dead Dwarf. In it was a cask of star metal ore the corpse apparently couldn’t open.