The Journal of Edmond Crawsly entry 181:
Once we set out from Karnok the journey to the Crossroads Tavern was fairly uneventful, and despite the difficulty of getting used to sleeping on the ground I was enjoying being in the wild with Merrick. We arrived at the Tavern around dusk, and after eating our meal we sat drinking and talking. As I enjoyed sitting in a chair instead of on a rock the door slammed open as every head in the tavern turned to see who was there, and much to my surprise walked in Prince Algor of the Slime Kingdom with this constant companion Toron. The Prince slammed a sack down on the bar and had a short chat with the Innkeeper. As the two slimes sat down… well, Algor sat, Toron did not have a body per se so he just plopped on top of the table… to eat Merrick made his way over to talk to them. He returned a short time later and explained that we would be traveling with the Slimes back to Karnok. So two days into my journey and I was headed right back to where I came from again, and while that was frustrating I was pretty excited to be adventuring with one of the most celebrated heroes on Jalldoon. Prince Algor rented some rooms at the Tavern for us and promised us quick travel to Karnok in the morning. As I lay in bed writing the day’s adventures here I wonder what kind of excitement adventuring with a Prince would bring?
The Journal of Edmond Crawsly entry 182:
The next morning we awoke to three Kandanian land Slugs awaiting us in Tavern’s stables. The Prince set up the Slugs Merrick and I would be riding with heavy saddles to keep us from getting the sticky goo covering the Slugs on our clothes. I was rather nervous as I had never ridden a horse before, much less a giant Slug, but Algor assured me that the other two Slugs would follow the lead of his personal mount. We set out to Karnok at a slow pace, and I thought to myself that it would take weeks to get there at this speed, but once we were on the road Prince Algor muttered something I didn’t understand to his mount Ziggy, and suddenly the Slugs were coasting across the ground at very high speeds. I felt the wind blow my hair around as the landscape blurred by. It only took us half a day to get to Karnok on the slugs…the journey had taken us near two days on foot. Up until this point I still didn’t know what we were doing here, but as we left the Slugs at the Karnok stables and made our way back to the Faulty Compass Algor explained that Toron and he had discovered a map in the Field of Tears that they think lead to the fabled Lost Reliquary of Karnok. My mind reeled that we may actually be about to solve a riddle that had vexed adventurers on Jalldoon for centuries. We entered the Compass, and Algor’s entrance was greeted far better than my own was the first time I was here. After a long time of handshakes and praise they finally let Algor sit down with Thaddeus Crumblepot, and after a short conversation ,and many stunned looks from Thaddeus at the situation Algor was loaded up with torches and several leather packs. We made our way to the entrance to the Karnok Sewers, and as the rusted gate was pried open…what exactly are the Karnok sanitation people doing that this gate can’t be opened easily?…we lit our torches and made our way into the stink. Sludge covered every surface, and the smell haunts me to this day, but as we made our way through the tunnels mile after mile we came to a small alcove marked on Algor’s map. Algor whispered some kind of password from the map, and as the wall slowly slid open revealing a clean passage with steps going down into blackness we descended into the unknown. We went down for what seemed like hours listening to stories from Algor and Toron until the stairs finally gave way to a passage which was where the map ended, and Algor searched the wall until he found a small handle which he turned several times. As Algor finished turning it a slight hiss escaped as what Toron said was some kind of gas pumped into torches lining the walls causing them all to cast a comforting glow in the underground tunnel. As we made our way down the passage I marveled at the construction of the tunnel. Most buildings in Karnok except the oldest of the old showed signs of amateur contractor work, but this tunnel appeared to be built by the hands of a master with intricate carvings of strange creatures lining the walls. Suddenly we came to the end of the tunnel with doored off passages on the left and right, Algor and Toron took the left and Merrick and I took the right with the plan of returning back to the other party if we got in trouble. We walked for a bit before coming to three doors in front of us with one door continuing ahead while the other two split off to the left and right. All three doors were locked, but next to each door was a crank. I wanted to go back and get Algor, but Merrick was convinced he could parse out this puzzle and started turning cranks. The next thing I knew the floor had disappeared underneath us and we were falling through blackness. After landing hard on a stone floor and slowly standing my bruised body up, I cast a simple light spell to look around, and immediately regretted it. The trapdoor we had fallen into dumped us into a natural cave which appeared to host thousands of Dungeon Demons, and my light spell had woken them up! Thinking quickly I cast an even brighter light spell hoping it would blind them long enough for us to make our escape, as I ran I grabbed Merrick and pulled him to his feet. We ran through the natural tunnels in the caves until we came to an old decrepit ladder leading up, but the Demons were hot on our tail so we’d never make it. Merrick spotted a small hole under the rock wall that blocked our path which we quickly decided to scramble under while sending the light floating up the ladder. I only hoped it would fool the Dungeon Demons and make them move on. As we crammed into the tiny hole we heard the rush of the Demons screaming up the ladder, and we listened until we could no longer hear them before we left the alcove. Our options here were limited, we could either follow the Demons up the ladder or go back the way we came and levitate up the hole we fell in… this was an easy choice. We headed back with the faintest of light spells guiding us as we kept our eyes open for any Dungeon Demons left behind, and as we stood under the hole we fell through I began the incantation for the levitation spell. After floating up we both agreed going forward was a fool’s errand so it was back to Algor and Toron, but once we made our way back to their passage we soon found the way blocked by a solid stone wall. Not wanting to abandon them to this place, Merrick and I thought it best to return to Karnok and return with a detachment of the Imperial Guard before any harm came to us. After the journey back to the city we found the Imperial Carriage outside the Faulty Compass, and were both surprised to find Emperor Pullo himself inside the Tavern. Thaddeus Crumblepot had summoned the Emperor soon after we’d left based on what Algor thought he’d found so he was rather worried for the Prince’s safety when we told them about all that had happened. A group of the Emperor’s personal bodyguards was sent with us to return and find Algor and Toron, and we made our way back to the Sewer entrance followed by them. As we approached the grate we heard noise coming from the tunnel, and we were greeted by the sight of Algor and Toron walking towards us. They told us they had in fact found the reliquary, but so had associates of Baron Dracktholme and Master Boshak which lead to a fight. Algor said they had driven the evil ones away, but the vault should be cleared of artifacts before they returned. As the Emperor sent for more guards to clear the Reliquary he called Merrick and I over to him, and he paid us each handsomely for our silence on what was found. We said our goodbyes to Algor and Toron and headed back to the Faulty Compass for a meal and a soft bed before we would depart the city again the next morning. I hadn’t gone far yet, but I already felt very different from the person I was before leaving Syndicate College. I lay here in bed reflecting on my own growth, and how quickly it had come.