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Durgia Ironhair

These are some of the documents that Durgia Ironhair left for Griff's Band.  Zormandy just might beat the hell out of me for writing that, but it would be good to see her again.

If yer reading this only one of two things might have happened. First option is Willaim, Derrick, Simon or one of the other boys reading my stuff, in which case Ill know and youll be in big trouble. Second option is someone broke into my workshop, in which case Im very sad. Well, if Im dead I cant really be sad. Anyway I hope some of your friends are dead back in the tunnels. Its nothing personal, as I probably never met anyone who would break in here (if you knew me, you wouldnt). I just hope my traps did what they were supposed to and killed someone, or that one of the mechanical men got someone.

This is what passes for my journal. Actually its more of a collection of notes about the work Ive done as I dont really write down what happens to me each day or any wishy washy crap like that. I know I wont live forever, and Id like to think some of what Id accomplished would last beyond me.

Well, I guess since you probably dont know me (and if you do put this down now, Ill be back soon and Ill use your intestine for a tripwire) some history is in order. Im from the Ironhair clan of duergar. The story goes we got the name as one of our ancestors made a solution that made the drinkers hair as hard as iron, making a helmet unnecessary. Whatever. Weve been on Arinth since it became an island back in the day. My ancestors were from the Voldari Academy of Elemental Studies, and they were looking for this place called Mount Harakas. From what Grandpa Targis told me Mount Harakas is the strongest metal dorum in the world, and legend says the great Olin Silverbeard worked there. Yeah, so Im into history, big deal. Anyway they found it, and then realized they couldnt get home as Arinth had gone from a province to and island. Were not good sailors.

So they decided to stay (like they had a choice). We began adopting all the duergar we could find, as we all knowing marrying your brother is a bad idea. Makes the horns curve down. Well, this was all fine until we met those damn Ironscars. I guess we should have paid better attention to the name. Now Im not big into hating sorcery like most duergar as some of my good friends are sorcerers, but these Ironscars were family were sorcery made them go bad. They were only around for a few years before Grandpa Targis showed them the door. Bad apples, the lot of them. Casting black magics, digging up bodies. We actually met one of em years later, but she had turned into some metal skinned monster. Unfortunately we couldnt catch her to put her out of her misery.

Anyway so weve been on this island, marrying every non-family duergar we could find, since the Shattering. Six hundred damn years. Still, my Grandpa insisted everyone keep studying all the stuff from their Academy so we could continue their experiments. I was never really much into that as a kid. I took more after Aunt Peria, who had married into the family by being stupid enough to marry Uncle Frey. Anyway, Peria had been a trap builder on the island before she met us, and the whole clockwork science was for more interesting to me than any old magical studies. I was gifted for magic though, or at least Grandpa said so, so I figured Id do it to please him. He was a nice old guy.

Anyway, make a long story short, I grew up doing traps and magic. Then the grim came down. The grim came down from the mountains every twenty years or so, but when I was eighteen it was a particularly bad year for it. We had to move west to keep ahead of the green horde, eventually running into Innismoor. Its there I first met William. Back then he was William Blanet, just some small time bandit trying to make a quick coin. We ended up running into him as we were making a fighting withdrawal (i.e. running like we meant it) from a grim ambush when we ran headlong into William and his gang. They tried to hold us up first, but then saw the grim and decided to lend a hand. That is one thing Ive found on this island, hatred of grim crosses all boundaries on Arinth.

So anyway together we fought off the grim and William learned what it was to reap a reward of thanks rather than coin. My family moved on west, but I stayed with William. Okay, I admit it was because he was a good looking guy at first, but I quickly came to find his little band was a bunch of okay guys. They were mostly misfits from Innismoor, but William said he come from another island somewhere west. I still dont believe him. This inauspicious start was the beginning of the biggest army Arinth had seen to that date.

So William took his band to war against the grim. Rather than try to raid peasants for grain he took his fight to the grim, fighting them at every turn around Innismoor. He and his band actually learned to fight damn well through all this, and even attracted new recruits. Derrick killed twelve grim single handedly at the Battle of Michaels Bridge, and thats only the ones he had time to mark as his kills. Some say that the island would have been overrun by this invasion if William had not stepped to the fore and fought back. While in public I naysay this continually, its mainly because Williams ego doesnt need any boosting.

Well, after the grim left William was kinda confused as to what to do next. He had a band of nearly one hundred people and no enemy to fight. He wasnt particularly up on raiding peasants (matter of fact he hated people who picked on weaker opponents) so he needed something else to do. It appeared in the form of One-Eyed Vasik, a bandit on the western tip of the island. He had a sizeable band of his own and was making noise about conquering the hamlet of Greymist. One of Greymists farmers came to ask William for help, so William packed up his men and marched west.

He arrived in time to stop Vasiks men from taking the town, the battle being fairly one sided. Vasiks men were used to fighting farmers while Williams were used to fighting grim. It went pretty quickly. I stayed with William on most battles, keeping him safe with my moderate magical skills and making sure he had some witty repartee going. That night William, Simon, Derrick and I infiltrated Vasiks camp, or what was left of it, and snuck into Vasiks tent before anyone knew we were there. We extracted the first of many oaths to William that night, forcing Vasik to swear fealty to William in exchange for his life. Also it was the beginning of the Brigands Code because the instructions Vasik was left with would later be called the Brigands Code, even though William has never actually called it that.

Also that night was the beginning of the title William the Black. When it was discovered we had managed to get past all of Vasiks men and into his tent without being seen many thought we were shades and that William was some evil spirit. Peasants began calling him William the Black, saying he could strike a man dead just by looking at him. If only that was true.

Anyway this set up the pattern for the next several years. We hear about someone making trouble, we go make trouble for them. Within five years every bandit, war chief and pissy man with a pointed stick had sworn fealty to William (except the elves, we had an agreement with them. We didnt mess with each other except when we had a big grim killing party).

Well, eventually William realized he was the big man on the island so he declared himself the Bandit King of Arinth. I thought it was pretty egotistical thing to do, but oh well. Since then weve been doing more king like things than bandit like things. Hes started building some roads, training militias, stuff like that. Funny stuff. Ive spent much of the last few years building up our defenses and the like, using my magic and traps to build us some damn fine fortifications. Well, that should be enough history.

Well, maybe not. I bet youre wondering who Simon and Derrick are. Simon Tessers was not really a part of Williams band initially, he just bought stolen goods from them and sold them to someone who didnt know they were stolen. Good racket. He had been living on the island for a long while, mostly staying with the "sailors" in Suicide Cove on the north end of the island. When I first met William, Simon had been visiting to make some purchases. He kinda got swept up in the adventure of it all, eventually becoming a permanent member of Williams band. He handled most of the bookkeeping and trading for William as he had a much better head for such things than William. Youd surprised how difficult it is to keep the books for a bunch of cutthroats.

Derrick on the other had been working with William for awhile when I met them. His last name was Rouge, but most people just called him Derrick. From what he said he taught William how to fight, but William denied that. There was no denying that Derrick was the best fighter any of us had ever seen. He said it ran in his family. He became the second in command of Williams band and was responsible for making sure all the men know how to handle themselves in a fight and to listen to commands. He helped change our people from ambushing bandits to a small army that could beat a superior force through tactics and discipline.

There were a few other regulars in the group, but with all the casualties over the years we changed rosters a lot. The other three main guys who stuck around were Righty, Talker and Yara. Righty was a stone alchemist who was wanted originally in Greymist for stealing a bunch of food from the mayors house. It really wasnt the food stealing but that he locked the Town Guard in their house for three days with stone lock spells so they wouldnt catch him. Well, the mayor didnt take to kindly to that so he ordered the Town Guard to arrest him. Righty figured if he was going to jail he might as well go to jail for something a little more impressive than stealing food so he stole everything out of the Mayors house right before the Mayors eyes (he was stone footed in place). He then moved to greener pastures in Innismoor, joining up with William shortly thereafter.

Talker was a fire alchemist, but thats not what we thought of him as. He couldnt keep his mouth shut, always blabbling on about something. It wasnt that he didnt have entertaining things to say, he just kept saying them all the time. More than one ambushed was ruined by Talker causing bursts of laughter while we all lay in wait. He didnt tell anyone outside the gang anything important, but he still had a way with talking to people. He helped William think up things to say whenever William had to put up the "Brilliant well spoke leader" act. Yeah, Talker was also a fire alchemist, but not a great one. I dont think the fire elementals appreciated his continuous banter much.

Yara wasnt from the island but was marooned her from some far off dragon land. From what she said it was a long long way off and her ship got lost on a exploratory journey. Anyway she was the best archer on the island, using this huge ass bow from her homeland. She won every contest on the island and even earned the name "Long Armed Death" amongst the grim. She was a bit of a prude, especially considering the rest of us. She ended up being an outlaw because apparently in her homeland honor is a really big deal and she killed this guy over some kind of insult or some such. The Town Guard of Greymist still called it murder.

The Big One

Underneath Greymist is the one place we could never break in. Yeah, there are ghouls. We got past them, and theres a whole different structure down there. I was told it was trow, but Im not sure. I dont know enough trow.

But the traps they had! By Grandpas beard it was beautiful. Once you get past the ghouls the stonework gets real nice and clean. Apparently the ghouls set off a bunch of the trap down there before they learned it was bad to go too deep. So we had to get through the rest of them. And they were first class all the way. Pressure plates, crushing floors. One used the power of lightning to shock you while you were standing in ankle deep water. Good thing I brought my stilts.

Okay, sow get down there pretty deep thinking theres treasure or something, as why else do you put all those traps in? But we kept going deeper and deeper with no treasure. And then we run into this guy I call the Gatekeeper. He looked like a trow with big claws, and he was scary. He told us to go home, there was no treasure to be had, only a great evil was contained therein, and then disappeared. Well, being lying bastards ourselves that didnt stop us so we kept going. Then he stepped out of a wall and knocked Simon down with a single swipe before disappearing again. We thought that was weird, and kept going. Then the Gatekeeper did it to Derrick and Simon, and told us going deeper would bring forth great evil, and that he was its last jailer. We decided to believe him that time and went back to the surface.

Weve thought about going back, but that Gatekeeper was too creepy. Kept looking at us like we were lunch. I figure theres easier treasure about.

The Lost Treasure of Jorl

There are these people who occasionally come to Suicide Cove who call themselves Shakir, but they only show up every few years and mainly when theyre blown way off course. Anyway we ran into a bunch of them in the woods near Greymist one day. They were hunting along the coast for caves, and were being really paranoid. So we spied on them for awhile (I find paranoid people have the best secrets).

So it turns out their looking for the lost treasure of some guy named Jorl. Apparently during the Shattering the Shakir were all in boats ready for it, and when the seas rose they were okay. But they carried too much treasure to survive so they threw it overboard, or at least thats what the legend said. These guys had some map that said the treasure had actually been loaded one boat to be hidden by Jorls most trusted lieutenant, Pherrin Hengerson, to be picked up by the Shakir later. But they never came back for it and the map had been lost for centuries, but these guys had it now. We let them wander around for a bit, get discouraged, and decide to go home after a few days of searching. We then offered to buy the map of them for cheap when we caught up to them at Suicide Cove, and they agreed so theyd have something to show for their time.

So we went looking for it. And we found it, its on my map. Look for the rock formation that looks like a sleeping bear. A few problems though. First off it only shows up at low tide during the full moon as otherwise the water blocks the entrance (and with these currents even a murrow wouldnt get in). Secondly you need to get past traps, riddles and small crawly places to get in. Third you need someone of Shakiran blood with you as there are spirits guarding the place (it looks like Hengerson killed himself to become the guardian of the treasure). Unfortunately we didnt have any Shakir with us, so we were out of luck. Oh boy were we looking for one after that, as if the legends are true, thats a lot of treasure in there.

"The Big One" turned out to be the hiding place of the Wendigo's prison.  The trow that Durgia saw was a morlock, or trow ghoul.  Once we left Jarion to his fate, Jarion's allies rebuilt the traps and wards that guarded the place.
The Lost Treasure of Jorl was claimed some years ago by the Cu Ruadh and the Crescent Moon.  I have a full account of that adventure, as written by Justin the Sage, tucked away someplace.  There were several enchanted items there, and I think Airk still has all of them.