Palin's Quest

A Fortunate Beginning
Sam's Introduction

The Guild Master regarded his visitor sceptically. He’d heard the young man’s arguments before, but he couldn’t just turn him away without a polite hearing. Young Palin was a paladin, and apparently descended from the ancient house of Balladur to boot. But that wasn’t enough to get the Master to send one of his wizards on some foolish, hopeless quest.

Just then there was a clattering noise in the corridor. The Master looked up to see one of the apprentices picking up his staff from the floor. He sighed; there was clearly only one way to get rid of the pesky paladin. “You!” he called out, “Sandor is it?”

Samtaz, sir. Sorry to disturb you.” The young apprentice straightened up nervously.

“Have you passed your apprentice examination yet?”

“It’s next week, sir. I… well, I’m pretty sure I’ll pass.”

“Good. When you do, I have a special assignment for you.” At least he wouldn’t be losing one of his best wizards.

When Sam left the Master’s office, he was grinning from ear to ear. By next week, not only would he be a proper wizard, he’d be leaving on an adventure; a quest, just like in the stories he used to read. A royal quest, to regain a kingdom! He could hardly believe his luck.

What Happens Next
Sam's story

“Quiet there, or I’ll give you a beating.”

That would be a change. Usually, the cruel-eyed dwarf just supervised while the bugbears beat us. The beatings had been pretty regular for the past three days, apparently to prevent us from preparing our spells. I tried to point out that there was no need to include me in the beatings, since they’d taken my spellbook, but our jailor paid no heed. The idiot probably thought I was a sorcerer. Anyway, none of us had any spells left except for some cantrips.

Palin and Rogar were imprisoned with me,. Chuck and Galadan had been killed in the fight with Tomas and his henchmen. When I surrendered I’d thought the other two were goners too, but fortunately Palin was only mostly dead and he was able to revive Rogar.

Rogar’s sister Ingra was in the cell too. For once my luck had let me down – if we’d gone right instead of left, we could have rescued Ingra and gotten away safely. Korak wasn’t there, but Ingra was able to give us some more information about him. Apparently, the abductions he’d been investigating were linked to the Church of Moradin. That sounded wrong to me, but Rogar seemed to accept it. Church politics, I guess.

I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to us. Tomas was planning to blackmail the Prelate of Moradin, maybe he thought we had something to do with all that. But on the third day, fate intervened.

First we heard an angry bellowing sound in the distance. Then we heard sounds of commotion and running feet, and most of the lights in the prison went out. Our jailor crept out into the corridor carrying his axe. A couple of minutes later, he burst back into the room, followed by a sinuous pink tentacle that wrapped around his neck and dragged him back out again. That was startling, but the low, rasping chuckle and slavering sounds that followed were truly horrifying. A shadowy form appeared at the threshold and we held our collective breath until it moved away.

After that, there was nothing but silence, a faint flicker of torchlight, and the jailor’s key ring lying on the floor where he’d dropped it. Unfortunately, there was no way we could reach the keys from inside our cell.

… except for some cantrips.

Yes, Samtaz did prepare mage hand before the tragic encounter.

This log entry is based on the DM’s disaster adventure epilogue.

Ulgar's Barrow

A Report on the Magical Barrow of the Witch-King Ulgar

And the Events, Objects and Creatures Witnessed Therein By Samtaz Deepgranite of Iron Forge

Prepared at the Request of Lord Greystone of Iron Forge

Samtaz Resolves

People call me “Lucky Sam”. I’ve always had good luck, and I am indeed fortunate to have survived so long in Palin’s company. Several of our companions haven’t been so lucky – Rogar, Dwelf, Galadan and Chuck have all fallen in battle.

I should have been able to do more to help my comrades. Since Dwelf fell to a horde of grimlocks, I can’t help feeling that I could have saved him. If only I’d been a bit luckier, a bit quicker, I could probably have taken down several of the grimlocks with a fireball and Dwelf would most likely have survived.

Things cannot continue like this. I can’t watch more of my friends die. There are ways for me to harness my good fortune, to use it to help others in need. I have come to realize that luck and fate are two ends of the same drift, and that a person can directly affect the fate of others. I think that I am beginning to understand the arcane mechanisms governing fortune and fate.

I am resolved that before any more of us are killed, I will learn how to use my magical talents to channel my luck and use it to save lives.

(But first we have to get out of this frozen academy building.)


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