The Gauntlet

The Journals of Kreana Slauan

    The day started out as any other day in the town of Red Bridge a crossroads between the Trade of Waterdeep and the Savage North. I was appearing in the tavern playing my instrument when these two groups of travelers entered the tavern. A burly fighter type and his traveling companion whom appeared to be a user of magic entered and the fighter sat down at the bar and joined a Dwarven drinking party while the Magic user headed over to the fireplace and began studying his books. 

    The Dwarven chap at the bar had entered earlier with another roughish fellow who appeared to dabble in magic himself but to this I could not be sure. The roughish one seemed to be the sneaky type not unlike my self but this is for another story. The evening went well and I earned more than my usual take for the evenings entertainment. I decided to take in early for a good nights rest. My evening was quiet and restful as it always is in this town. The constable of this town always seems to have an eye for me when I visit this area. I do not mind this much as he has never insisted on any form of privet entertainment "shall I say", as do so many other constables I have meet in my travels and the fact that I always get the best room in the royal inn on the east side of town is not unattractive but again I drift from the subject. Well tis a long story that I shall soon add to my journals in the future. 

    The night was a restful one as I stated but in the morning things became concerning. The hose boy of this delightful in knocked on my door early the next morning about 7:00am which is a bit earlier than I a muse to arising after a nights entertainment in the tavern. The boy known as Josugh informed me that I had a visitor in the inn's foyer though I was not expecting anyone. Josugh informed me it was one of the travelers that entered the tavern last night whilst I play. The boy told me the gentlemen in the foyer requested an audience of me. Now I may travel the realms entertaining audiences abound but I am not the type of lady who takes the the whims of a stranger so I continued my breakfast and prepared for another day at the tavern. Though I entertain at night I do wait tables during the day to earn my take rather then live of the generosity of others, Though I must ad that I would not be a lady to refuse the gifts of certain influential individuals such as constable Roshard.

    After I dressed and prepared for the days work I peered down stairs for a peek at the gentlemen awaiting my presence upon first inspection I decided that I should not be so forward as to confront them on a whim so I made use of the privet exit from the inn and returned to the tavern. I did noticed the Rougish fellow whom was with the Dwarven traveler last night sitting on constable Roshard's front stoop. I swear these travelers have no consideration for the duties those of us in small towns are burdened with. Pore Constable Roshard works nearly 10 hours a day and hold normal office hours in his abode these travelers pass through our town daily and steal from of small shops and disturb the good citizens of Red larch at all hours of the night. But alas I must return to my journal.

    I returned to work and the day was not to busy though  I did here rumors of another theft from the Graslords herbal shop once again. I realize this is a small town but with travelers passing through the town for all around the realms they really should lock there doors in the evenings and possibly move there home to a different location then above there small shop. There were also rumors of the town's guardian Goregolden the Golden Dragon that has a home not for into the mountains. The pore creature has helped man with her Gauntlet in the mountains for many a decade as per the stories go but she has not been seen in months now and Constable Roshard has sent travelers to search her cave and non have returned I would one day like to travel to the peak and introduce myself to this majestic creature but the gauntlet is designed for adventures and me a lone bard would not stand much of a chance transversing the caverns Goregolden makes her home. I hope some one can find Goregolden  and make sure she is safe.

    As I tended tables Constable Roshard and his bodyguards entered the tavern for breakfast as they do most every day.  I was busy waiting my tables and trying to keep the patrons entertained with a simple number I composed many travels ago. Constable Roshard  invited me to his table as my customers were happy I visited him for a few minuets. His guard Patral Lancington noticed that the two travelers that were asking about me earlier this morning just entered the tavern and they seemed to be eyeing me. I blushed for a moment and just looked away.  Constable Roshard asked Patral Lancington about the two travelers and he informed Roshard that they were two of the for travelers that were going to search for Goregolden  today. The constable asked  Patral if he had seen the other two travelers today and  Patral stated that the other two left almost immediately after the 4 spoke with him this morning. I though this to be rather interesting as I was just concerning my self about Goregolden  not an hour ago today. Constable Roshard asked his assistant to speak with the gentlemen of there quest and find out if there was a problem.  Patral  approached the two and spoke of the quest and asked if there was a problem. The two seemed to be fine though they didn't know the other two travelers had already began there travel to the mountains. The two travelers ask if they could have an audience with myself and Patral said he would ask. then he returned to our table and informed me of the invitation.  I reluctantly accepted and got up to head over to there table when Constable Roshard slapped my bottom end this was kind of a surprise though not entirely unexpected I informed him that is not the noblest of actions on his part and he apologized and through me a Platinum piece.  I graciously accepted his apology and the platinum piece and advance to the adjacent table where the travelers were sitting. They informed me of the quest to investigate the caverns and requested my assistance in avoiding the traps they may encounter while in the cavern. They offered to compensate me at a fee of 50 gold pieces and since this is the slow part of the week here in the tavern  I agreed to go but informed that party I would need a few supplies. They agreed to purchase the supplies and add the items to me as an incentive. I informed Lethander the bar keep and though he was a bit gruff on the subject he agreed to give me the time off for this small adventure. Being as the travelers were generous enough to offer to purchase supplies for me I felt that maybe I had underestimated them earlier n the in foyer when I decided not to take there meeting I soon found out I was right to dismiss there intent as they were just after the usage of my service and not very personally inclined to be social.

    Well we gathered our belongings and paid a visit to the Equipment shop in town where I purchased a new set of lock picks. I was surprised to see that the party had no interest in visiting the Graslordís herbal shop for healing supplies as neither of the two seem inclined to the healing arts I am just glad I happen to have several potions of healing to use on myself should injury arise. With that we debated how to get there fast as it seem two others were ahead of them to explore the caverns. At the time this seemed more of a competition then a quest and soon after I realized the two I was with were not of the best personas either.  I was beginning to question the decision to join the party in the first place. We went to the stables and the two spent a good quarter hour bickering about the expense related to this quest. At first they wanted to purchase horses then asked about renting horses then bickered about the deposit on the horsed then asked about a guide and bickered because Mr. Sainpaul still wished to charge a deposit even though the escort would return the horses once the party arrived at the cave. This deposit is totally warranted as Mr. Sainpaul makes his livelihood dealing in horses and hors services. Next the party bickered about it being cheaper to rent a carriage to the mountains that would just leave us behind to explore the cavern. At this point a bit of fear settled in as I have heard of adventures going to investigate the disappearance of Goregolden and the adventurers have not returned to town to collect the reward nor even just to inform Constable Roshard of the caverns and any occurrences that may have occurred there. And now we would be stuck a half a days track back to town because the two travelers wish to save a few gold pieces. It is god I have other means of transport at my disposal as if this quest turns sour I will be able to return to town on my own with out the aid of these two pompous travelers. I though it was a sign from the gods when the travelers ask my company on this quest not an hour after I had said I would like to try to help Goregolden  if she is in trouble but now I am wondering if this quest was a mistake.

    Well the journey was quiet and safe once we arrived we could see that others had been here before us.  The entrance to Goregolden home and what I know as the Gauntlet is on the side of a cliff 40' down and 40' above a deep lake. We had to climb down the side of a cliff to get to the entrance of her layer. It seems the one known as Nihilist knew a bit of mountain climbing as he managed to shinny down the cliff face first and with out any problems. Then the one known as Armil used magic to ferry us down to the cliffs face and we entered un harmed. The cavern was dark and quiet. I immediately inspected the area we were in for traps but could find none. We traveled approximately 40 feet through a cavern with a rough flours, rocky walls and a flat roof approximately 10 feet high and 10 feet wide. The cavern expanded into a larger cavern of 40 feet wide and 40 feet ling with the same 10' roof though this roof seamed to have a huge spider web on the sealing. and at that moment I say what at first appeared to be a huge spider descending from the ceiling on top of me. I quickly stepped aside and let it hit the ground be for anyone could react Nihilist had stabbed the figure with his huge two handed sward at that moment the room was filled with dust and we were all chocking and gagging for a good 10 minuets. This is when I noticed the ropes attached to each side a spiders Husk. It seems this was a manually controlled trap but we did not get a chance to investigate further as the dust was gagging us and we began to itch. The two urged me to advance on rather then allowing me the proper time to disable or for that matter discover more detail about this trap.

            With that we traveled further through the caverns of this Gauntlet as some refer to this quest. We found a ridiculous blatantly obvious trap or well that is what some one must have wanted us to believe. As the cavern forced us back into single file we came upon a rope that is of the home made type though upon closer observation the strands of rope seem to not be of the normal variety. The rope is made of was I can only describe as human hair. This rope was laid on the flour in our path with the words put foot here scribed on the stone floor of the cavern and the rope is laid out to resemble a snare trap. I inspected this thoroughly and could find no trigger, to mechanism to draw the rope up and force the trap to hold ones leg as you might expect fro ma snare trap. The one known as Nihilists, being the typical elven warier type grew impatient with my examination of this distraction of a trap and decided to push his way by and intentionally place his huge boot is the center of the trap as though to taunt the designer of this contraption resembling a snare trap of some sort. As he placed his oversized foot in the middle of the noose nothing happened then he removed his foot and once more nothing happened then the bulky barbarian type jumped with both feet in the center of the loop and again nothing happened. With his lofty self the Barbarian began to make a crude comment in regards to my examination of this inactive trap but as soon as he turned to proceed on towards the next chamber the floor opened up beneath him. The Barbarian was able to ketch himself on the walls side to side and was able to avoid the pit fall that could have been his doom. I had to laugh I almost wanted to the arrogant traveler fall in the pit and need to ask another to help him out. Though it would not be lady like of me to wish such a tragedy to happen to another I must admit it would have been funny to have to help this cocky one back to the cavern surface, though I held my comments it was still funny some what to think of such an event occurring.

 

            Well after that Nihilists decided it would still be wise to allow me to lead us through this mace of corridors and traps that may lay ahead of us. We took turns jumping over the pit though it was not a difficult task it still offered chances for others in our group to become injured. We all were agile enough to cross the pit with out harm coming to any of us. As we traveled some 20 feet more into the cavern we came upon an inspection once more to the corridor. This time there was a small surprise awaiting us and  I must laugh as  I say small. It seems there were 4 pigmy type creatures but only about one foot in height that through small to our standards but probably Javelin sized to them at us. All missed less one that minimally injured the cocky one Nihilists. Then the creatures ran to what appeared top be a small Chasm that blocked our path. It seems the little creatures wished not to kill but to surprise us in an attempt to drive us into a rampage and in did to an extent as Nihilists began charged after the little beings and found out that the creatures had not leaped to there deaths as he may have thought but instead the devious little creatures had ran fine string across the caver at a height if 2 feet and 6 feet and the creatures had hung what could only be described as fish hooks across the cavern in a form of close line trap. Myself and the one wise with magic Armil stood back but the brave but maybe some what dimwitted one proceeded on and got some minor lashes by the hoots as the scraped against his legs. He was basically un harmed though his wits may have been warring thin. The barbarian type once more using his brute strength and nit his wits hacked and slashed until every line the creatures had strung through this cavern was severed and cut. As we ventured further we saw that the creatures seem to be rather inelegant as they had created a line running across the Chasm and water some 14 feet below and used those strings as an express route into small one foot my one foot tunnels into the side of the chasm. Armil used his floating ability to travel across the Chasm and carried a rope with him, which he anchored to a far wall and used as a guideline to ferry myself and Nihilists across the chasm. The Chasm itself was not much to speak of though is was 10 feet across and some 14 feet down to water. We did not wish to go swimming this day so we just traveled across the chasm to continue on. It seems the small creatures did not appreciate the destruction of there guide wires as they proceeded to toss there spears across the chasm and Nihilists, whilst Armil and I traveled across the chasm. Once on the opposite side and standing firmly on the ground Armil traveled to pick up his friend Nihilists and as the two returned to the opposite side of the chasm we just crossed. With that the small creatures seemed to skidded back into there holes to await the next unlikely sole whom may travel the gauntlet behind us.