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Hello friend... meow.
For most of the day I surveyed the land surrounding our little cave campsite. It was nice to be outside again after the sunless cave.

As dusk approached, I began walking back along the rocky hillside. I stopped. On the slope ahead of me a mountain lion was begining her evening hunt. A small flutter of wind rippled along the rocks. She paused at my scent. As she turned to face me, I began almost instinctively the rites of my early teaching.

It was on offer of friendship. She came down and took the dried meat I offered her and pressed her head against my leg.

As we walked back to the cave, I told her about my other friends, and that she did not need to be afraid of the horse and the mule. Finally I had someone to relate to. I went to sleep that night with a deep calm and sense of completeness.
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Pointer-left Eek_color_thumb

Knock-knock-knocking on Hellions' Door
The quiet clicks and thumps of footsteps accompanied the Pixie Pals (as Eek had taken to calling them in the absence of a formal name) down the featureless corridor. Only the sub-audible din of an underground river provided an indication that the group's second day of travel was getting them anywhere. A few steps ahead, Seped lifted a spread hand over his head and slowed - causing the bored flier to whisper past him, twisting at the last moment to avoid the raised hand, then bouncing off the wall and arriving in an indignant pile of robes on the floor. Eek made a rude gesture and attempted to put his person back in order as the cautious scout and his vile gnomeling accomplice passed him, again, and continued through the tunnel. Having experienced the same maneuver earlier in the day, Eek was beginning to suspect the flight-obstructing aspect of Seped's signals weren't entirely unintentional. As he took to the air once more and resumed his place in the subterranean queue, the pixie gritted his teeth and dug impatiently into a pocket. The next time that happened, Seped might find that a spell-bear had taken up residence in this particular warren.

This time, however, the rogue really had seen something. Several hundred feet down the corridor, an oversized doorframe was barely visible in the torches' twilight. Alerted by the prospect of something other than endless walking, the entire group made their way toward it. As they drew closer, they could make out bronze gilding on the enormous portal, with steel bands reinforcing the doors themselves. Two keyholes, obviously crafted with care, secured the center. The coincidence with the two keys the party had liberated from their enemies was obvious, and they were fished from packs while Seped examined the artifact blocking the Pals' way. Apparently satisfied that nothing too dangerous was rigged into the door's mechanism, the more experienced thief gestured to his companion to approach. Whispered words of advice and gestures toward likely places for traps ensued for a minute or two, until Havoc grew impatient and shouldered his way to the front.

Favoring Seped with a key and furrowed brow, the knight inserted the remaining key in its hole. Seped followed suit, and together the keys were rotated until they ceased to produce metallic grinding and scraping sounds in the portal's innards. With a grunt of effort, Havoc heaved against one side of the door. Its enormous weight swung slowly, and Eek rose toward the ceiling to get a glimpse over his friend's head. In the room beyond, brighter lamplight already flickered over a number of large brownish-green and rather egg-like lumps. One of the eggs twisted suddenly, revealing a pair of eyes that gazed toward Eek and Havoc in dull surprise. Only then did it register to the pixie that the egg-like things were heads, attached to large bodies, which in turn wielded weapons and shields. Havoc growled an oath, provoking several grunts from the orcs on the other side, and then surprise passed and it was time to act.
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Managerial Accounting
Well we spent another day recuperating before heading in to poke around the cave again, and for some reason the druid showed back up with a mountain lion tagging along. I'm not terribly worried, but I think the pixie and the gnomeling might need to sleep lightly.

We finished poking around the larger part of the cave, it was mostly uneventful other then Eek trying to go fishing, and a giant ambush of lobster like creatures who employed tripwires. Luckily they proved more of an annoyance then a threat to trained adventurers such as myself, although it was amusing to watch the gnomeling ping pong around the room.

Finding nothing but a tunnel that seemed to go on endlessly we decided to return to town to regroup and resupply. For some reason my efforts to comfort J's mother went poorly. How is it the person who can carry the least gear wants to buy the most of it? Thank god we've got a packhorse and a cabin. After more time then I'd have liked we managed to equip ourselves for a longer expedition and we returned to explore the tunnel system. We found tracks that looked like they'd been made by slaves, so we figured we were on the right path. We found a locked door which took two keys, which we conveniently had, however it turns out the locked door contained a large number of orcs...
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Pointer-left Eek_color_thumb

Eek sat, cross-legged, in the middle of a cleared cavern. Familiar voices muttered in the background, words turned to gibberish by the myriad echoes and reflections produced by the former mine's haphazard construction. The pixie's wings moved slowly outward and back again, out and back, a hypnotic reminder of mayflies for the companions waiting some ways apart for the caster to ply his trade. Curious runes were scratched with studied carelessness around him, the bare minimum effort to cast an irritatingly-complex spell. An ornate cup sporting similar markings (albeit carved with far more care than the pixie might ever muster) sat just in front of its owner. Eek produced a small vial of red liquid from its robe, removing the cork and gently tipping the substance into the cup. A finger was dipped in and a few words muttered to mix the arcane cocktail. Eek lifted the cup to his lips, drank deeply, then sat a moment to let his potion run its course. As his eyes glazed over, he lifted the first of the unidentified items from the floor.

* * *

Some time later, the fatigued spellcaster lifted the last item from the small pile: a tiny, yet detailed, model of a cabin. The windows flickered in the dim torchlight, seemingly lit from within. As the pixie's fingers explored the surface and his mind explored less-visible realms, a word jumped fully-formed and almost audible into his consciousness. Eek shook his head confusedly, and attempted the divining again. The word almost-sounded again, the same as the first time. Stymied, Eek ended the spell and slowly, stiffly, stood. The party's mutterings grew louder and closer as they saw their Modifier rise and moved in to see what new enchanted baubles the group had discovered. As they approached, Eek strode a ways to the side of the piled items and placed the tiny cabin on a convenient spot. When his companions drew close enough, he backed away from the cabin and indicated for them to stop. "Behold," he intoned, "CaaAAAaaAAAabiiiiiIIiin."

"What kind of egg-sucking fool name is th-", Seped demanded, only to interrupt himself with a surprised yelp.

With a whoosh of air, the intricately-modeled cabin erupted into a full-sized version of itself. Light flickered from inside the windows, and smoke rose gently from the chimney only to curl a few feet above against the cavern's ceiling. All involved stood, and pondered whether the command word or the item itself were more bizarre. The word, it was eventually decided, was the more disturbing feature, and from that day forward any mention of cabins (with or without the addled intonation) was greeted with a panicked scuffle to make room for a possible expansion and subsequent glares of consternation.
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Unnatural forces and power infusion x3
Awakened from the night of rest Kyla goes out in search of berries for breakfast and healing.

What on earth is going on here? Zombies, strange monsters, and water that must have been cursed. I fear a sinister intent may lie in wait for us below.

And what of myself? The earth mother favors me with many spells now. So soon have I progressed through the circles in her eyes. Perhaps Oleanne knew of the opportunities that would arrise with this group. This place should offer plenty of opportunity to advance her cause with this new power if my hunch is correct.

Finally locating a small patch of gooseberries she imbues them with healing power and returns to the cave.

Today while they are resting I shall explore this land. Oleanne gave me a very rough description before hurrying me on my way. Perhaps I will find a suitable companion for my journey.

As she returns and offers her find to the group, her old boots, still a bit damp from the lake, remind her once more of the unnatural forces at work here.

I must discover the source of this corruption. Dead walking, the very water of the cave so subtly altered. I could detect no polution in it, but tomorrow I shall ask for the ability to detect magic. Surely that will uncover the nature of it.

The rogue had insisted on carrying up piles of items from the fight below, and Eek took some time determining what of the magic items to investigate.

Seped's interest in this all seems a bit much, but I am rather happy with my new boots. They should serve me well for avoiding the general melee, my aches tell me this would be a good plan. Seped nearly tripped over his jaw when we found the chest inside the magical house though. I hope that with such funds the group will spare some for an herbalism class or two.

Note to self: remember to speak with Eek about his expertise and the exploding lights spell
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