Welcome to The Chosen's journals. Each character is invited to keep a journal and write down the thoughts of their characters as they wander through Nyternia. In addition, the DM has a journal which highlights each session. The players are:

Blink - monk Errol - bard
Kestrel - fighter Malif - wizard
Vaugner - rogue Vernon - cleric/sorcerer

Choose a journal:   Select a session:

DM's Journal, session #14
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May 19

After expending most of the resources the previous day, they decided the best action would be move a couple hours away and camp for the night to replenish their spells and rest up.

The night had passed uneventfully, and during breakfast the party discussed their best course of action. Some of the members were in favor of trying to lure more of the ants out; others thought it would be best to go into the caves.

Eventually they decided to use the glass eye Abbey had given them the day their adventures first started. According to Abbey, the eye was activated by crushing it. A modified arcane eye would appear, controllable by the crusher. Though it was similar to the spell arcane eye, there were a couple differences: it would only last for one minute, it could go through up to a foot of wood, and it granted the controller darkvision for the duration of the effect.

After scouting what they could with the eye, they would decide whether they would need to lure more ants out or not. The party finished their breakfast quickly, both because they were anxious to get underway and because Errol was complaining incessantly about the low quality of the food.

The party encountered no drones or other wandering monsters as they travelled to the ant cave. When they arrived, there were a few drones marching the opposite way the party was, but no mutant ants were visible.

Blink broke the eye and mentally moved it down the slope into the ant cave. The cave looked natural, as if the ants had burrowed it out. The cave sloped down and split out into a Y. Blink chose the left fork, but soon noticed that no drones were travelling that way. He doubled back and took the other fork.

He entered a large cavern but still didn't find any mutant ants. Past this cavern, there was another Y fork. Taking a moment, he noticed that most of the ants were travelling to the left. Theorizing that he wanted to follow the higher concentration of ants, he took the left fork.

Eventually this cave opened into another cavern. Several worker drones were in one corner excavating a new tunnel. Blink still hadn't found any opposition. He continued past this cavern and again there was another fork. This time the majority of ants went along the right path, and Blink chose that one.

The next cavern appeared to be a food storage room. Several ants were storing branches and leaves into a pile. A few carcasses were scattered among the piles of vegetables. Blink turned in a circle, looking for signs of a human corpse, but wasn't able to find anything before the eye's effect ended.

Blink had been giving a running commentary during his mental trek. The party decided that if the corpse existed, it would probably be near there. Vernon said, "Well, there's a good chance that the magic items should be next to the corpse and near there. We can walk a bit towards that room above the ground, and I can cast locate object on the longsword to determine where it is."

By doing this Vernon determined the closest longsword to be within a hundred feet or so to the right of the last room Blink had seen. The party lit a couple torches and made a beeline to that room. The drones ingored them, and no mutant ants appeared to challenge them.

The party arrived in the food storage room and looked into the next room where Vernon thought sword was. As they neared it, a foul stench filled their noses. Inside this room were discarded ant larva skins, many small stones, sine old animal and humanoid bones, and ant waste. For some reason, Vaugner thought it would be prudent to search for traps.

"Yeah, you do that. If those ants made traps, you are going to absolutely show them who's smart," Errol said sarcastically.

Vaugner checked for traps every five feet, with the rest of the party following behind him. When he neared the center of the room, a gigantic greyish brown ooze slowly charged towards them.

The ooze was mildly acidic, but not enough to damage the steel weapons. Blink's gloves, however, weren't so lucky, but Blink's reflexes manage to prevent the destruction of his leather gloves. Though the ooze managed to inflict mild damage to the party, it was quickly killed.

The party searched the room, wary for other monsters. Within a couple minutes, Vaugner found a longsword on the ground. The sword was expertly crafted, with a small sapphire set into each side of the hilt as well as the pommel. Though it had spent several days in the room with the ooze, it seemed undamaged. It was perfectly balanced and seemed to be very quick. Partially underneath the sword was a plain gold headband. As Vaugner inspected it more closely, he spotted a few hairs intertwined in the headband still.

"Well, I think we're going to have to be content with the partial body reward. I'm pretty sure a whole body would never have survived this room. Let's get out of here," Vaugner said.

"But what about the rest of the caves? There might be more interesting things in here, and what about the tunnels where the ants didn't go? There might be something interesting there," Blink argued.

But the vote was five to one for leaving the ants behind, so Blink went along with the group and they walked back to Asterin.

The party arrived in Asterin just as the sun set. Kenneth had just finished dinner and was at his inn. The party went up to him and filled him in on their encounters with the ants, and handed him the hairs.

"Well, given that you have the sword and the headband, I'm sure these hairs are the right hairs. Still, before I can authorize the reward to be sent, I'll have to get the temple to verify they are correct. Once that is done, it will take a couple days to get the gold here," Kenneth said.

"That won't be a problem," Malif said. "We'll be back in a couple days. I still wonder about that wand. Can you give us a description of it?"

"The wand is a plain wooden wand, six inches long, and is a wand of magic missles," he replied.

The party bade Kenneth a good night as they went back to their own inn. As they were walking they decided the next day they would go back to the caves and cast locate object to look for the wand.

May 20

This time they rode out on their horses. The drones continued to march towards whatever their destination. Vernon cast locate object and the party made a circle around the cave area, but the wand wasn't found. The party shrugged and headed back to town. After dealing with strange mutant spell-slinging ants the previous day, they had no desire to explore further.

May 21

Blink, Malif, and Vaugner were ready consolidate their skills and gain greater understanding of their classes. Since it was self-guided, this process would take eight days. While they were doing this, Errol spent his time singing songs in the local taverns, and Kestrel and Vernon took a well-sdeserved break.

May 29 (?)

Blink, Malif, and Vaugner had just completed their training the previous evening. In the early morning hours, the entire party again experienced their group dream.

Having spent way too much time already with the first two puzzles, they quickly passed through them. Errol applied his theory to the third puzzle and it was oorrect.

"Glad to know our 250 gold wasn't totally wasted," he muttered as they walked through to the next room.

This room was also pure white, room temperature with no visible ventilation system or dust. The room spanned approximately 40 feet in front of them and 40 feet to each side. The ceiling was about 20 feet up. In the middle of the room was the same type of altar they had seen in the first, second, and third rooms. On the altar was a single button. At the far end of the room was another door, similar to all the rest.

The party tried the door but it wouldn't open. The party moved around the altar, and pushed the button not knowing what to expect. Two golems materialized, one in each corner. They were 10 feet tall and about five feet wide. Slowly, they lumbered towards the party.

Blink rushed to one and struck at it with his fists. He heard a satisfying thunk as he broke off a piece of the stone. It seemed that although they looked like golems, his fists were having no problems doing damage. Meanwhile Vaugner and Malif shot and struck arrows into the other golem. They too seemed to be doing normal damage.

Kestrel set up to attempt to trip the golem if it moved closer to him, and Errol held his action to not make a target of himself. Vernon moved, but not far enough. Simultanously, each golem acted. Their eyes lit up with a magical glow. One golem came after Vernon instead of Kestrel since Vernon was closer, while the other swung at Blink but missed.

Sighing, Kestrel moved up and tried to trip him, but failed to even connect. Errol shouted, "Maybe we have to kill both of them at the same time?"

Blink grunted noncommitally and again struck his golem. As his fist struck, the light in the golems eyes disappeared. Similarly, upon the first damage the other golem took, its eyes went dim.

Though the golems seemed powerful, their attacks were clumsy and slow, and even when they did connect, they didn't seem to do a lot of damage. The party kept dealing damage to both golems, in roughly the same amounts. Each time the golems acted, they acted in unison, their eyes lighting up until they took damage.

This went on for several rounds. Though the golems seemed to be taking damage, they were still up despite having taken massive amounts of damage. Kestrel, having failed to trip the golem, was not hacking away with powerful attacks to the unflinching golem.

The party tried a couple other tactics. They tried pushing the button and opening the door while both lights were on, and while both lights were off.

"Two as one to get to one," Kestrel mumbled. "Maybe we have to move them both together?"

The party tried to manuever the golems towards the center of the room. They were meeting with some success, and not taking a lot of damage as the golems moved slowly. Finally, when they were close together, Malif's arrow flew into one of the golems. Without a sound, both golems shut down.

Again the party tried the door, and this time it opened. They stepped into the next room, if it could be called a room. All around them, as far as they could see was white. The floor was white, the ceiling was white, and it was impossible to tell if there were any walls, let alone tell where a wall met with the floor or ceiling. As the last party membered entered, the door closed and disappeared.

The party pondered the last line of the poem: The final battle! You will win! You will lose!

After about 30 seconds, six figures emerged around them. It appeared to be themselves! The party took quick note to remember which were the real people and which were the clones.

Realizing immediately that the final battle must be a mirror match against themselves, Errol acted first and cast a sound burst at the faux Errol, Vernon, and Kestrel. Only the faux Kestrel was able to shrug off the stunning effects.

Vaugner then shot two arrows into the fake Malif, bringing him to an inch of his life. The fake Kestrel acted next and triped the real Kestrel. The fake Blink attacked the real Blink and stunned him. The fake Malif ran up to Vernon to deliver a shocking grasp, but almost tripped on the way and missed. The fake Vaugner then shot Blink, who was still flatfooted, and downed him.

The real Malif cast Magic Missile, downing his alter ego. Now there were five up on each side.

Kestrel stood up, and his opponents took the opportunity to attack him. Vaugner shot at his alter ego and hit him once. The parties exchanged several melee blows. The fake Errol was able to sound burst two members of the real party, and Errol and Malif used Tasha's Hideous Laughter to neutralize the fake Vaugner and Blink.

This turned out to be the key to victory. With two members of the clones out of commission for several rounds, the party was able to finish off the other three without too much difficulty. By the time the Tasha's had worn off, the alter egos were almost dead and weren't able to put up much of a fight.

Though the party knew it would do no good, they looted the items off their dead counterparts anyways. Blink reappeared, badly wounded but alive, along with a table, several couches and a couple chairs. On the table were the party's missing items (the various expendible items they had), as well as 12 books.

They found that six of the book were labeled "clide's GUIDE TO ADVENTURING" on three lines, with a map of the continent in the background. Though they didn't understand why, this picture would stay with them.

The other 6 books were also clide's guides. The six were for: strength, intelligence, wisdom, dexterity, constitution, charisma.

After some discussion, the party decided to each take one of the guides to adventuring. Kestrel would take the strength to allow him more powerful attacks; Vaugner took the dexterity to help him with his shooting skills; Blink took the wisdom to allow him to understand the martial arts better; Errol took the charisma to allow him to better sway people; Malif took the constitution to be more durable; and Vernon was left with the intelligence, which allowed him to learn more.

As each word of each book was read, the words disappeared off the page. Upon completing the attribute books, each party member seemed to be better at that attribute. Opening the adventuring book, the party discovered that the first 47 pages of the book had already faded away. The 48th page was faint but still readable. As each page was read, the reader felt more experienced.

The party had also found another oddity. No matter how long they stayed in this dream, they did not seem to need to rest or eat. Vernon decided to try and train. Because he didn't need to stop to rest, he and Kestrel both trained in a third of the time it would normally take.

The party wondered how long they could stay in this place, but the other party members had already gotten extremely bored and were ready to leave. With a consensus reached, the party left the dream.