A word of explanation: at the time these notes were written, fifteen years or more ago, Fnord was being played in AD&D. At the point these diaries begin, Fnord was about 8th or 9th Level I think, and had already been played since 1981.

Because character experience was calculated largely on the total hit-points of monsters slain, many of the critters mentioned here have their hit-point totals included in the course of the entries.

Fnord (and the campaign) has since been converted to the HERO System.

Fnord's Old Diary

as transcribed from fragmentary handwritten notes from several sources covering an indeterminate period


March 7

I've been searching for a Lyre of Building to build a castle with. Went to see a sage in BRACCIA who recommended her colleague in the northern part of the continent in the city of KANAK. Have taken passage in a slave-rowed galley for a ten-day voyage across the gulf to Kanak. Set out on March 7; am hatching a plot to free the slaves, but it looks a bit difficult so far.

March 10

With the aid of a L9 cleric of Anhur, I put my subtle plan into operation: we Silence the captain's cabin, kill most of the crew, and free the slaves. It works.

Unfortunately, we now have one of those blasted moral dilemmas.

The other passengers can now identify me to the authorities as a pirate when we land, which carries quite a hefty (and rather gruesome) penalty. To kill or not to kill, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind etc. etc. Anyway, we maroon the captain and the remains of the crew on the island of DURADAN and let the elves take care of them, and then question the passengers under oath (with the aid of a surreptitious Detect Lie), and they are all OK.

March 30

From Duradan to DERN, a smallish port north of Kanak.


April 19

We arrive in Dern, hire a small-time wizard to forge registration papers etc. for the ship, get the ship repainted, and set off for Kanak.


May 15

Arrive Kanak. Sell ship for 23,000gp — give the slaves 500gp each, leaving a net profit of 18,000gp. Not bad.

Make appointment to see the sage (at last). He knows of two possibilities, one from a report 300 years old and since obscure, the other from down the coast a bit but not definite. Possibly one and the same.

I head off after speaking to an old coot who claims to have seen a castle going up real quick down that way — he's now 78 and senile as hell, so the reliability of his information is open to question. I leave the family 200gp to alleviate their squalor — I'm so noble!

May 17

Ambushed in my sleep by 6 OGRES — does them no good, I kill the lot in an epic moonlight battle and come out almost as good as new thanks to my Acme� Ring of Vampiric Regeneration.

hp 13 11 18 16 19 12

May 20

Subdue a feisty young BLACK BEAR, hp24

May 21

A SKUNK doesn't quite get me, thank goodness.

May 22

Another SKUNK, and an extremely wimpy WEREWOLF of hp8 which I kill.

May 26

Find the amazing Insta-Castle, which is owned by an ancient and doddery paladin. Sure enough, he has a Lyre of Building and will give it to me if I rescue his destrier which has been stolen by an evil wizard for some nefarious purpose. He has given me the horse's name, and I am to call it before attempting rescue, as it is wearing a magical bridle, the bells of which cast a Sleep spell which will affect anyone below L10. The name of the kidnapped horse is PHIL.

What am I getting myself into? I sure do wish Anya was here to give me a hand. Oh well, the old boy hasn't got long to live, so I guess I'd do the job even without the incentive of the Lyre, I'm so big-hearted.

May 27

I've been lent the services of MORAG, a L4 fighter who is extremely dumb (INT 6), but should prove useful enough in a fight I hope. She's one of the ugliest women I've ever seen (CHAR 5), and no personality to speak of (unless a threshing machine can be said to have a personality). The paladin has also given us two bottles of get-fixed-quick stuff, Acme® Potions of Extra-Healing. Nice guy, though getting a little creaky in the joints. We set out after a briefing.

May 30

Now getting out of Morag's range of knowledge — the horses are upset about something. We're travelling through forest and occasional patches of scrub. All of a sudden a very foolish LION leaped out at Beltran! Tsk tsk, after a couple of kicks from Beltran and one mighty blow from moi, one dead lion of hp24. I clean out Beltran's wounds, nothing else bothers us for quite a while.


June 2

We come upon a carved stone tomb with an effigy of an eastern knight — I go to investigate with drawn sword, but Beltran refuses to go any closer than 20 feet. All of a sudden an arrow hits me right in the middle of the back! OW!

To cut a long story short, I am attacked by both Morag (Grrrr!) and a LAMIA (hp49), one of whom I kill after losing a point of WIS. Morag comes right after the lamia is dead and seems to be as penitent as hell — I attempt to convince her that she is not a disgusting heap of crap who should be flogged.

In the creature's lair we find about 1,000gp and a pair of (possibly) magical boots of some sort.

The first fight with Morag in it — it does not bode well for the future.

June 8

Early in the morning, just pre-dawn, we are attacked by a GIANT SCORPION (hp 29) which we kill — a couple of arrows from Morag, then I chopped its head off.

Morag is becoming embarrassingly friendly towards me, although I can hardly blame her, I really am magnificent.

In the scorpion's lair, we find a whole swag of baby scorpions (which I burn to death), a gold and jet signet ring with a large ruby carved with a coat of arms (I don't recognise it), a (semi-melted) gold armlet, and a jewelled eastern-style helm of mysteriously untarnished silver. All go into the swag bag.

Later that day, Morag is atacked by a huge CONSTRICTOR (hp29) which I kill.

June 9

Surprised by a HIERARCHOSPHINX (hp28) which dive-bombs me, the bastard! We kill it, but not before it damages me severely.

That evening, as we come over a ridge, we see The Castle, and jolly nasty it looks too, with lots of bats, howling wolves, and other atmospheric Evil Castle stuff. We bed down under a rocky overhang so as not to be seen, and are Fireballed! Ow! Morag is Held, and I fuck off into the undergrowth and watch a nasty 'orrible SPIRIT NAGA come slithering out. I attack it as it goes to bite Morag and manage to kill it (hp49) after an epic battle in which I am sorely hurt.

June 10

I spot a SHEDU flying overhead — it doesn't stop, but it comes back later on. We learn from him:

and he lends me a sword (+2 vs. Spell-users, and 50% magic resistance). Wahoo!

The shedu then pissed off, though he said that he'd come back and see how we're going, and he wants the sword back later (chiz!)

We also ally ourselves with some AAROCOCKRA (bird-men) who might come in handy at some stage.

June 11

That night we are attacked by a DISENCHANTER which I beat to death with my bare (gauntletted) fists. HA! No labyrinth entrance to be found, unfortunately. We decide to carry on the search tomorrow.

June 12

We find the entrance to the labyrinth. OH SHIT, AN UMBER HULK!!!

Fnord had, previously to this, had his head ripped right off by Umber Hulks on two separate occasions, on one of which Phonographix had said those immortal words, "Just hold it off for a round while I get my sword out".

Revenge is sweet — I jump on it from behind and stab it through the heart, dead with one blow! (hp45). We loot its lair of

We then run into a bunch of REGENERATING ORCS! Stupidly, we let two of them get away to raise the alarm, and so we retire outside for a few days to let things calm down, whereupon we are immediately attacked by STONE GIANTS. We kill one (hp44), the rest get away. Alas, no loot to be had from the pauperish swine.

June 15

We hear a mysterious tromping from above us; it turns out to be about 40 horsemen leaving the castle. We re-enter the labyrinth, surprise two ORCS, and overbear them. One of them decides to cooperate with us (after some subtle persuasion from moi), the other I magnanimously allow to fight for his life and freedom. He lost. (The bloody paladin wouldn't let me kill it otherwise)

NOTE: What paladin? There's a marginal hp tally for someone called ENSHAR, I assume that's the paladin, but where the hell did he come from?

Anyway, the blasted thing (the orc, I mean) screeched in the process of dying and attracted more of the buggers. We kill 19 of them and the rest run away. We find a secret door and get through it, to find 10 armoured men. We kill 7, the remainder surrender. We then snare(?) the new(?) guards and glean 35gp loot and a crossbow.

NOTE: "Epic fight"? What kind of story-telling is that? Pshaw!

Epic fight, kill the boss, take over the castle.

June 16

Decide to clear out orc's nest. We get some info from our converted Orcish buddy, but not too much — he gives us a rough map, and tells us there are about 20 Uruks and some kind of skeleton-thingy down there.

Well, we found the skeleton-thingy alright, and it popped us through a dimensional portal to some horrible dim barren world ("Us" being moi and a friendly werebear by the name of ERIC).

NOTE: OK, so this is the appearance of Eric the Werebear. So where the hell did he come from? Methinks Sir Fnord is being just a little lax in his diary-keeping here.

We appeared in mid-air and drop into a pit infested with a GIANT SLUG, which we kill. Waited a while for the portal to reopen, which it does not, and we are attacked by a bunch of WOLF-THINGS which we kill some of. One of the sodding things infected me with some sort of horrible disease, but Eric was able to cure me (sort of).

Sights and Scenes:

We are attacked by three WYVERNS, which we kill.

Anyway, after an adventurous sort of time we made it to the glowing pyramid, where we are now, and a very interesting place it is too. I can't help wishing I was at home though; Beltran will be pining and my lovely new castle is probably being infested with horrible bloody orcs.

We stick around for about 2� weeks (they keep track of the portal opening schedule) and then head back. We are attacked on the way by two FIRE ELEMENTALS. I kill one, the other scarpers, but we are both pretty badly burned.

It never rains but it pours — more of those bloody wolf-things! We kill 9, one escapes. Phew! I'm back on full hp thanks to my Ring, Eric is a bit crook though on only about 1/3 hp. Onwards!

We get back to the pit, and have to wait for a bit, but eventually the portal opens and we jump through just in time to be attacked by a BULETTE, which I kill, and then a BLACK DRAGON which bloody nearly kills ME! (My ring isn't working for some reason). I criticalled it, and killed it just in time to be saved by a rather nice COPPER DRAGON who is allowing us to hole up in her lair until we get better.

Three days later:

We are disturbed by a commotion from next door — 3 Black dragons ganging up on our Copper hostess. She's killed, and the Blacks drag her away... discretion is the better part of valour on our part, and we refrain from interfering. Anyway, waste not, want not — when the baddies leave, we search the cave. Not much treasure and no magic, but I accidentally Impress a baby dragon, Trûk by name. Charming creature, and terribly pretty.

We leave, and head over the hills looking for a safe place away from dragon retribution, but not before scattering the hoard through the long grass — the Black dragons return, and are most pissed off at this!

We make an uneventful journey through the mountains, down to another forest-dotted palin, where we plan to hole up for a while until we get a bit more healthy.

8 HD, 34 hp
AC 1, Move 9"/24"
3 attacks: 1-4 claw / 1-4 claw / 5-20 bite
Breath weapons: acid, cloud of SLOW gas
Can't talk, but has empathic link with Fnord (no distance factor).


Made it back to Dragon Plain Portal & through without incident, back "home": garrison mostly dead, but one brave lad saved Beltran. Badly wounded and fatigued — I must reward him well. Loyalty is rare amongst men-at-arms (unless you're a bloody paladin!) Anyway, off we go to the elves for some help to retake my castle.

SNYDE the Soldier:
STR 14, INT 9, WIS 14, DEX 12, CON 15, CHAR 8


November 11

Attacked in the night by two DISPLACER BEASTS: we kill one and drive off the other, but poor old Beltran is out for the count. Oh shit! Something else straight away! 4 OWLBEARS! We manage to kill them, but by crikey it's been an eventful night.

November 12

We find a hill with aeolian harps made with trees all over it. Pretty noise, sort of garden-like place. Up on top of the hill there's a sort of Romanesque mansion thing, with a little pointy-eared organist weirdo called ALPHONSO. Apparently he's been expecting us for ages and is going to give a concert.... !!!!(?)

Oh well, to cut a long story short, he turns out to be a RAKSHASA and we turned out to be imprisoned in a cell in a fortress. Bummer! Eric the Werebear ate some dodgy food and slept the sleep of the drugged. I managed to get out of the cell with Snyde, thanks to the Famous Patent DeLuxe Adventurers' Kit (acid dribbled down a waxed straw on to the bolt) and snuck out. Magic Mouth guards gave us away, and the Rakshasa started tossing Lightning Bolts about. Then he sicced his pet HORNED DEVIL on to me, which I killed (just) and he clapped politely at my exploit. I politely acknowledged his applause by tossing my mace at his chest, and then jumped on him out the window as the greedy sod flew down to retrieve it! He got all pissed off at that and stayed to fight, and when Snyde joined in, I grappled him as he flew off. The Snyde climbed on, and I stabbed him to death with my dinky little +1 (+2 vs. Small) dagger. Yay dead Rakshasa!

NOTE: Yay for the fact that the GM had forgotten about Rakshasas not being affected by magic weapons of less than +3


MORAL: never trust a friendly person! It'll just turn out to be a horrible monster with teeth that long!

Eric came around not long after the fight, and after a bit of a rest we set off again into the growing daylight.

Novenmber 13

I've decided to go Artifact hunting — somnething to boost my intelligence enough that I can be a magician of some sort. So, I'm going back to the paladin to pick up the Lyre of Building which I will trade for info on the sort of something I'm after, and maybe some help to get it.

Snyde the Soldier is going back home to his village, to help repel the marauding Bad Guys from my (ex) castle. I reward him for his loyal service with all sorts of money and magic stuff.

November 16

Attacked by a MANTICORE, which jumped right on to the end of my lance and died on top of me. Urk! (hp40)

Ditto by HYDRA (of 8 heads), as we move down towards the village. We kill that as well (hp64).

When we get to the village they panic (the villagers, that is) on hearing of the investiture of my (ex) castle by the Orcs and their gunky skeletony master. We stick around for a week, organising some sort of guard, and then Snyde, Spike (wife of Snyde) and 2 kids truck off to THARBOLD via paladin to get some help from the king of these parts.

The paladin is helpful and will do something about the Narcs; he doesn't really approve of the king.

Between the paladin's keep and Tharbold we are attacked by BANDIDOS. We kill ten of them.

We reach Tharbold. Summary:

We came in sight of the DRUIDS ISLE and their defenses started up with a vengeance! Whirlpool-eddies caught us so that we couldn't get out, and then Sheet Lightning blew my lovely Folding Boat to pieces. Boo-hoo!

Trûk and I managed to fly to the shore (just!) but Eric was left floating out on the briny, waiting to be rescued. (A druid went out to get him). They sent dolphins to retrieve my pack.

They took the Harp (Anstruth) and the Lute (Dol) with enormous glee, and apparently they were expecting me. Why is it that people are always expecting me?

I'm off to find the Torc of the Ricons, which was lost in a fight with the current mainland Imperial dynasty, and apparently the signet ring I found (ages ago) belonged to their hero's squire, so I'm going back to the scorpion's cave where his remains were to see if I can pick up the trail of the hero himself. The druids will teach me how to use my crystal ball, so maybe I can track him down that way.

The druids gave us a yacht; we sailed back, picked up Beltran, waited for Captain Clinker & sailed back to the city (Tharbold) with him. More trouble with the bureaucracy — apparently you now need papers there — and went to see Snyde, my trusty retainer. He was disillusioned with the Big City and wanted to go back home, so we went.

Eric and I went up into the hills, and after several days, were attacked by two STONE GIANTS. They almost did for me, until I suddenly remembered all my magical goodies — I Held one and Lightning Bolted the other into smithereens. Then I did a bad thing — stabbed the Held giant to get some hp back. Oh dear oh dear. (hp 48,52)

Brief encounter with a DISENCHANTER; I climbed a tree and Eric bonked it on the head. We run away.


February 25

We've found the general area of the scorpion's lair, but can't find exactly where it is — my memory's not what it used to be. Come to think of it, my memory was never what it used to be.

February 27

Attacked by three HIPPOGRIFFS. I kill one, the other two fly away (hp14)

February 28

4 OGRES. We kill 3 (hp 21,24,16)


March 11

We've found it! The cave has been colonized by snakes; we smoke them out and I investigate. In amongst the remains of the body in there I find a small bone scroll case: inside it is a message we don't understand. We will take it to the paladin, he's only two or three days from here as far as I can remember.

March 21

I was wrong, he was 10 days away! We arrive just in time for his funeral. Oh dear.

Morag is there, and after paying my respects and all, I repair to the paladin's library. After much searching, I find a lexicon and translate the note:

Hail Lords of Earth and Sky,

The situation is hopeless and our army is dying. I go to find the Ythurg beyond the mists. They are strange beings, as legend has it, and ferocious, but mayhap they will listen. This enemy is theirs as well, and will threaten the Lost Isle eventually as it seems to threaten the universe. Live on in hope my Lords and Ladies, if I die there my treasures will be as safe as they can be in these evil times, and a new champion may yet be born. I will leave you now, Anac has prepared this messenger and will accompany me. The curse of the Dagda on these invaders!


From this point on, the notes are no longer dated.

Sirius was played by Alex Wynn, Mister Joob by Simon Petrie, and Anopheles Pericoloso by Mike Tarsitano (I think).


Off down south. I've picked up some more companions — Sirius the Greek (he does get around), a mysterious magic man by the name of Goo-goo Gajoob, or Mister Joob as we call him, and a lunatic druid called Anopheles Pericoloso.

The first incident was an encounter with some kind of local water-spirit who made us wet and gave us some kind of ultra-groovy gold coins which return to the owner when you throw them away. Sirius did something silly (I forget exactly what) and got waterlogged until he went back and said sorry. Anyway, we killed a whole bunch of wargs (10 of them) which attacked us while we were camped up in the water-spirit's clearing.

Travelling further south, we were jumped by a pair of ettins which we made fairly short work of, and later on three trolls which we likewise snuffed thanks to Trûk's acid spit and the magic Bic Flic flametongue of Fnord the Pretty Amazing.

Under the foothills of a range of mountains we had to go through, the vegetation started to go a little weird; gigantism, dwarfism, funny colours, weird shapes and all that sort of thing. Further up we found a scummy little village full of rustics who led us to believe they were being preyed upon by vampires who lived in a sort of Russian-looking stave-house commanding the pass through the mountains.

After a certain amount of dithering about, we hit on a Cunning Plan to dispose of the nasty creatures — attack the castle and kill everything in the way, which we duly do. They shot us full of arrows after we killed nine 1st level and one 3rd level fighters, and some invisible git kept bashing me from behind. He scarpered when his troops were butchered, but I spotted him and put an arrow right into... the side of the house. Doh! Oh well.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, all of the big guys got away (though not unscathed) and I killed a horse that was carrying the invisible turkey (not an actual turkey bird, you understand, but a colloquial turkey) along with Mr. Joob's magic book and about 200gp, which I magnanimously left to my comrades (being feelthy reech already).

Inside we found the missing villagers, plus a black cloak and a pair of false vampire fangs. Hmmmm.

The villagers were so pleased to see their missing progeny that they almost burned them on the spot, assuming they'd been vampirized; Sir Fnord soon had the situation in hand by punching the ringleader's head almost right off, and once things were explained to the rustic dumbos things went more or less back to normal.

Oh yes, we also found a crazy junkie druid who failed to fulfill his wellness potential while going cold turkey on the way south, and died. We buried him and carried on our way.

Next day

Two manticores (hp 26,29). We also found four manticorettes which ran away — we killed three of them (hp 8,6,4). There was not a lot of treasure in their lair, a few scrappy bits of (rather nice) plate armour and some money: 10pp and 2 smallish emeralds. Pericolo Anopheles (the druid) went off in search of the kitten that got away, found it, and then left it again, deciding that it was just too much trouble.

Four days later

This would appear to be one of those things that everyone forgot about, since Eric the Werebear somehow reappeared none the worse in Fnord's later career. Maybe his brain grew back.

We encountered four trolls (hp 27,18,21,25). One of the scaley scumbags scooped out Eric's brain, leaving him a moronic INT 3! He wandered off to live a happy life as a rugby player (bear I guess).


We wandered off down the river a ways and came upon a garden in which Pericoloso smelled some strange flowers and keeled over in a euphoric stupor... when he eventually woke up, he immediately rushed off to smell some blue ones! Eventually we found a clearing in which there was a "cottage" and a "druid" — ha! Another rakshasa! (hp 30) Pericoloso spoke to it in the secret druidic language, and it failed to answer; it tried to trap us with an illusion, and we killed it. We found a cavey thing beneath its lair and investigated: two constrictors (hp 35,38) and a purple worm (hp 65).

Investigations result in the discovery of the rakshasa's treasury, guarded by a guardian familiar. After many travails we managed to stuffed it into the treasure chest (after emptying it, of course). Mucho loot garnered, but the blasted thing clawed nastily at my bottom lip, the scumbag! Hey-ho. Joob found a Libram of Silver Magic, the lucky bastard. I got some Gauntlets of Dexterity, so I'm quicker than I was.

Next day

Trûk reports wyverns in the distance: we will have to take precautions.

Four days later

Drizzle underground? What was going on here? As usual, thanks to Sir Fnord's slap-dash record keeping we can only guess.

We were attacked in the night by a swag of lizardmen, of which we kill eleven. After Joob finished reading his book, we followed them down their hole, revealed to us by the local sparrows, to whom the druid can talk. We walked around underground for a while and didn't find anything for a long time. Dreary drizzle, rather nasty really, so we leave.


"Another" Imperial soldier? There were others previously? Honestly, this so-called diary leaves a lot to be desired.

On the way down the river we are attacked by the two wyverns which turn out to have riders on their backs. We Lightning Bolted one out of the sky (hp 40); the rider Feather Falled to the ground and Lightning Bolted me back, the bastard! Anyway, we killed the rider as well, who turned out to be another Imperial soldier (level 10)

Down river from that fracas we saw a smoke plume; on investigation it turned out to be a bunch of plebs — a surly and foul-mouthed bunch, who responded poorly to Sir Fnord's winning ways and turned out to be six wereboars (hp 36,31,29,18,27,34) all of which we killed.


Found a village, stayed there for the winter.


I trained Sirius up a level, and the village was attacked by 30 bandits, of which we killed 15 (5 1st-level and 10 0-level). Also spent the winter supervising the building of a decent boat.

Dumped the idea of travelling by boat since the problems of transporting Trûk and Beltran are considerable.

An indeterminate amount of time later

On the way to a city whose name I can't remember, we were done over by a bunch of greedy cut-throat little toymakers — dwarves, the short-arse little scum-suckers, who kidnapped most of the party (I escaped by flying) and STOLE VIRTUALLY EVERY PENNY WE OWNED. The bastards.

"They were surly bastards without honour" says Sirius.

What lake? Where?

I've still got all my money, but all of the party funds were nicked by the malicious midgets. I took their address (a lone mountain by the southern shore of the lake) and I'm going to GET THEM.


Got to the city. Booked into an inn. Mickey-Finned by the bastards.

The city militia incarcerated us all (except for the invisible Joob) in a stinking dungeon, from which we escaped. The scumbags got everything that had been left behind by those sons of fun, the dwarves. We will have to get it back!

Well, a few epic battles and things later, me and Sirius and Pericoloso escaped by flying out a window, leaving Mr. Joob to escape invisibly. We managed to loot a bit of stuff from the various corpses (about 9 guards and 4 sergeants/captains), but we definitely need to get our stuff back. I've only got one charge left in my wand; I'd like to get it recharged if I can, so I don't want to use up the last BLATT!

Joob met a revolutionary: Sarah.


Norm Dragonslayer (as he came to be known) was played by Steve Rennell, and was notorious for never making a saving throw and for unerringly attracting all random attacks.

Met a new party member: Norman Jones, a ranger of phenomenal strength.

Sarah has informed us that our stuff is probably being held at the Imperial airbase, about 10 miles south of the city, ready for being shipped north by wyvern to the Emperor. She guided us to the place, which was lit up like a christmas tree with continual light thingies. I started picking up distress vibes from Trûk when we got close to the place — I hadn't seen her for a few days and had assumed she was hunting, but it looks as though she was penned up in the base somewhere.

Anyway, I flew everybody up on to the walls while the guards boozed in their tower, and when they did finally notice us we started a mighty slaughter. They caused us some slight inconvenience with arrows (Sirius was criticalled, but not critically) and we managed to kill their C.O. and magic user. I used up the last charge from my Zappo-wand, so it's now so much dead wood, but it was worth while since the bastards had been performing Scientific Experiments on my lovely Trûk! Grrrrr!

We caught the wizard's apprentice who showed us where our stuff was, and Trûk tried (unsuccessfully, alas) to boil him in acid. He escaped into the forest since we had let him go for helping us. Everybody else who hadn't been killed ran away while we were engaged in the lab, so we only got one wyvern.

Hit List:
  • 4 x L3 fighters, hp 20,17,18,15
  • 1 x L7 fighter, hp 54
  • 1 x L6 magic-user, hp 21
  • 11 x L1 fighters @ 5.5hp each
  • 1 x wyvern, hp 54
  • 1 x ogre, hp 22 (on the way back to the resistance camp)
  • The ogre was surprised, and we all stood back and let the ranger fulfill his function. Quite tragic really; the poor old ogre never stood a chance.

    We took back two horseloads of weapons back to the resistance and so repaid our guides.

    Trûk has been severely scarred emotionally by her traumatic episode with the bastard vivisectionists and so requires a great deal of TLC. Poor thing. How could they do such things to such a cute and sweet-natured craeture?

    Next project will be to rescue loyal old Beltran from the municipal plods.


    Went with Mr Joob into town, both invisible, and rescued Beltran from the clutches of the execrable Empire with relatively few casualties — just one stable-boy, kicked to death by a vengeful warhorse.


    Went looking for an ent to tell us about the Ythurg. Found one, he didn't know but sent us to the centaurs who sent us off to find Ænestes, a centaur sage-hermit. On the way we kilt us a green dragon, which was fun, and that's all really.


    We are about to climb Fire Mountain to find the sage with a letter of introduction to smooth the way, though they say he'll probably know we're coming anyway. Why do people always know we're coming?

    We are attacked by mountain giants, who we kill (hp 55,62) and proceed up to the centaur sage's place across the crater by way of a long skinny bridge. He tells us that the Isle of the Ythurg can only be reached through the Mist Barrier on Samhain or Beltane, and found a snatch of verse:

    With a wailing on the water
    The Ythurg came clashing their shields
    through the cold mist
    Sword and spear and strength of arm
    the enemy endured not
    No enchantment
    marred the massacre
    for magic the Ythurg despise

    We gave Ænestes the baby dragon to replace his two guardian giants (oops) who we (accidentally) killed. He identified some of our magical stuff. We stayed the night with him.

    Next day

    While crossing the bridge we are attacked by wyverns — I brought one down with an arrow through the brain, the other one was brought down by the combined efforts of everybody else.

    We went down to investigate and found one of the pilots still alive — the wyvern recovered from being stunned and smashed my thigh as I went past (OW!). Anyway, I flew back to Ænestes while the others looted the bodies and finished off the other pilot. The one who had been flying my wyvern got away — by flying! I chased him at full speed, but couldn't catch up with the bastard.

    Stayed with Ænestes for three weeks while my legs healed.

    May 6th

    Set out for a little mountain town where a horrible monster is ravaging and slaying — our payment for the information is to take care of the monster which is nasty and extra-planar and being worshipped by people.

    We are attacked by three leucrottas (hp 24,28,18) which we kill.

    May 7th

    Came into town, talked about things with two old men, and are just spying on a potential sacrifice when the credits rolled. (Now evening).

    same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel:

    We attacked the shaman conducting the sacrifice and shot him several times, Norm Dragonslayer finished him off and the druid Pericolo looted him. We fought the repulsive spidery beast (a retriever?) when it appeared, Mr Joob cast a light spell into its eyes and it started casting rays randomly, one of which petrified Norm. I jumped on it and it dragged me under the water; I stabbed it and it let me go, though safe thanks to my Acme® Helm of Underwater Action.

    May 8th

    We went underwater but could not find it. We summoned it (twice) and it came; it rayed me (chiz chiz) and I ran away. Anyway, after much battle, Norm struck the death blow and MADE A SAVING THROW AT LAST!!!! After yet another epic battle, in which it also made Trûk run away (chiz chiz), we killed it at last, (yay yay). THEN two blue slaad arrived, which caused us a little bit of trouble but we managed to kill them too.

    May 9th

    Wyverns fly overhead. Pericoloso is told by a villager about a druid who lives in a cave up in the hills — we decide to investigate. We find a lamia — she dies. In a back cavern are the remains of Druid Sam, still alive and quite perky, but with all the wisdom of a log. Found some stuff (detailed elsewhere). Going spear-fishing tomorrow.

    Missed a bit - to summarize...

    We found a woman (rescued her from a wyvern-rider who we killed along with his wyvern) who turned out to be a secret-agent sort of thing, now in custody along with another Imperial guard whose wyvern we killed. We got a bottle from the woman like the "Jeannie" Bottle of Larry Hagman fame (command words: Korbah to get in, Korbight to get out again.

    We had a trial and executed the woman, Celin, and converted John the Wyvern-Rider with oaths to the Dagda and the Morrigan.

    John the Wyvern-Rider: STR 14, INT 14, WIS 14, DEX 11, CON 16, CHA 17, hp 29, L3 fighter, uses longsword and longbow.


    Going towards the lake again, we find an interesting Complex... We are attacked at night by wights which we off before they manage to do anything nasty to any one of us. Anyway, the place had been fairly thoroughly picked over by grave-robbing bastards before we got to it to do our grave-robbing, so we got NO LOOT. Hey-ho.

    On the shores of the lake we found a fishing village which is being menaced by banditos who nick food and stuff — we are attacked by a M.U. who fireballed us. I requisitioned some walnut oil to rub Trûk down with; a little less repulsive to be around than the usual fish oil.

    Anyway, we chased after the M.U. and found him and his cronies running away on three wyverns — I took off and chased after them invisibly (courtesy of Joob). Put 3 arrows into the hindmost wyvern, which was carrying 3 passengers, one of them the M.U., and magic missiled the M.U. into oblivion with my Wand of MM. After which I shot down the wyvern and its two other passengers.

    We go back to the village after finding the body of the M.U. and the wyvern, and wait for Samhain. I arrange for Beltran's care and we discover that the M.U.'s ring is a Ring of Wizardry (doubles 3rd-level spells).


    I think that this "Harry the Hobbitslayer" was played by Rowley Moffat, but I wouldn't swear to it since my memory is crap. It might have been Rat (Jonathan Anderson). Or it might have been neither of them, but someone else entirely.

    We take the boat out and row out into the lake — the spirits are very active tonight, though the only one that did any actual harm was a night-hag on a nightmare. Some time during the night it got unnaturally cold, and mist started to gather — all sounds from the outside stopped, and I lost contact with Trûk. Harry the Hobbitslayer (the thief) and I came over all sick, and we came out of the mist into bright sunlight. We disembarked and walked inland, with Harry and I getting steadily worse until we had to be carried. Various magic items have been pooted by exposure to this place; worst hit seem to be Norm (of course) and Joob.

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, we were met by the Ythurg who took us into their village (one of several?) and we have had our "battle-rank" determined by being clubbed unconscious in a series of fights. Sirius and I are Ror, which apparently means we get to be in the front rank of the battle, Norm is Or and Joob and Harry are San

    Some of the Ythurg have weirdly enlarged parts — eyes, hands, feet and stuff. They say it is due to "the plant", but what plant we do not yet know. Possibly silverbeet; I wouldn't put any obscenity past that noxious weed.

    We get tattooed into our various clan-thingies (I now have attractive but painfully-applied patterns all over my buttocks and thighs) and go off with a shamaness to Ythris, where Oman was. We were attacked by dire wolves (hp 24,20,12,8,15,21,17,14,27) and brown bears (hp 31,36,18,26), all of which we dispatch.

    Agent Orange — STR 15, INT 16, WIS 11, DEX 15, CON 16, CHA 8, hp 53, AC 5, Level 5 fighter.

    Weapons: Staff, bronze bastard sword.

    Agent Orange guided us to the entrance of some old mines or something near where tghe Plant is. We went down into the caverns, were attacked by (i) a vodyanoi, (ii) a bunch of doombats as we were crossing a narrow ledge with an abyssal drop down to water, and then (iii) a roper, all of which we managed to kill except for some of the doombats. We found the base of The Plant, which had Oman and his cronies attached to it by tendrils. They were all green and yucky, like yellow musk zombies (only green). To cut a long story short, we managed to get Oman's body and the Torc of the Ricons, and his sword.

    Hang on, hang on — what spaceship? This is the first we've heard of any spaceship!

    At the moment we are trapped in the spaceship with nasty insecty critters outside, probably the original owners of the spaceship. We have very little food.

    And with a bound they were free... a gap in the diary, followed by:

    We reappear out of the mists and go back to the fishing village. For some reason we're going to Ordhun (it's the centre of the resistance) and on the way we kill 4 giant trolls (hp 39,35,45,42), 3 wyverns (hp 54,48,42) and 1 L4 fighter (hp 21).


    Got out of the last sticky predicament alright, though I forget the grisly details, and are now on our way to Ordhun, chief city of the resistance, with a bowyer (who had made me and Norm dragonbone super-strong bows back in his village, for which we are eternally grateful until we forget all about him). We shot down 3 wyverns and got some "telly-scopes" which are sort of like Eyes of the Eagle, only not magical. We got 3 of them.

    We've been investigating the properties of the Torc of the Ricons, and have determined that it can do the following:

    Three days later

    We are savagely brutalized by 7 perytons (hp 19,16,18,22,21,21,19), one of which killed our bowyer friend. We got the lot of them and resrrected the bowyer. We got some gelt from the perytons' lair; about 330gp worth of stuff.


    Got to the city; billeted Trûk ouside with funds sufficient for two weeks, and billeted ourselves at an inn called the Dicky Dice @ 10sp per night plus 10sp for two weeks laundry.

    Is this a different Druids' Island than the other one where Fnord got his Folding Boat blown to smithereens, or am I getting chronologically and geographically confused again?

    He never mentioned any Horn of the Ythurg before... but then that's nothing new. The standard of record-keeping in these diaries is frankly shocking. Shocking, I say.

    We lent the Horn of the Ythurg to the boss of the resistance, in return for which he owes me a BIG FAVOUR. Part of the BIG FAVOUR is that he's looking after the billeting of Trûk while we're off looking for the Druids' Island which is what we are now doing.


    Ran away from an Imperial warship to an island. While out hunting we are attacked by a t-rex (hp 105) which just about killed me, the stinking prehistoric bastard! We got back to the beach without further ado and I healed myself of all but 4 hp.

    While on watch I was Held and Silenced and dragged off by miscreants while my so-called co-watchman was asleep, the lazy scumbag bastard! The miscreants hand me over to a fighter-type (after binding and gagging me) who flies off to the ship with me. The awful things that happen after that are too numerous and ghastly to mention, but they are no fun at all.

    Long neck? What's this about? There was a mention earlier of bodily mutations caused by a Plant, perhaps this is related?

    To make a long and tragic story short, I lost my Flametongue. Gradually I am losing all my magic items and am becoming an ordinary fighter again (with a long neck). Hey-ho. However, on a cheerier note we killed or captured the entire crew of an Imperial warship, so that's got to be good. And shot down 7 pteranodons (hp 18,12,21,17,16,21).

    Mr Joob is attempting to convert the crew to the worship of Utumno, some sort of barbaric god of sleep. I wanted to keep the ship so that we could sell it and all be phenomenally wealthy again, but the votes would not countenance such financially useful action, and we marooned the crew and sank the ship.


    I have no idea at all who played Aristophanes the thief, or where he came from. Maybe Mike Campbell, maybe Mike Tarsitano — hell, it could have been just about anybody.

    After some uneventful sailing, we arrived at the Druids' Island and I gave back the Torc of the Ricons and Onam's sword. In return they gave me a Rod of Lordly Might! Wahoo! Just like old times. Everyone else got groovy stuff as well; Sirius got some Eyes of the Eagle, Norm got some Bracers of Defence (AC 3), Mr Joob got a Rod of Resurrection (could be useful, that). Our thiefly chum George (Aristophanes) got a Cloak of Elvenkind which he slavered over mightily and will no doubt be tricksier than ever.


    We are now off on a quest of Monsieur Joob's, involving an avatar of Time. I'm unclear about the details, but I'm sure Joob has them all straight. A few days out we ran into a storm which forced us to land on a Mysterious Island... our camp is attacked by something nasty. One of the crew ran off screaming into the night. We investigated and came upon a building whicjh looked as though it had been deserted (or at least neglected) for some time — months rather than years. It seemed to have been a monastery. We found our way down into the crypts where we found the wine cellar and a secret room with a BROKEN PENTACLE!!!!! Oo-er!

    Anyway, we are attacked by bone devils (hp 49,52,57,41) and an ice devil. Sirius flees in terror, (ha ha).

    About three weeks later...

    ...having run away from the devils, we land on another island, apparently the island wwe want for Joob's quest. Anyway, we land and find a brownie whose boss, a paladin, has been kidnapped by some sort of lizardy things. We investigate and try to rescue this unfortunate do-gooder.

    We balls it up in a BIG way, and after an unsuccessful frontal assault (strange... frontal assaults have always worked so well) we all wake up chained up in a dungeon (except for Joob), but Success! We've found the paladin! "Don't worry" I say, "we've come to rescue you!"

    Alas, we are stark bollock nekkid and once again I must rescue my goodies, not to mention my equipment. I do hope that they don't do anything rash with my Rod of Lordly Might.

    Kushmenna was a new character played by Rat, a huge strong warrior. (Kushmenna, that is. Not Rat.)

    Kushmenna managed to break his bonds, attracting the notice of a couple of lizardmen guards. One of the guards is killed, the other one runs away. We escaped our chains, are still stuck in this cell — for the moment.

    meanwhile, Joob is having many invisible adventures, sneaking about the place and finding out things.

    With much pain and grief we escaped from our cell after being burnt by Joob's fireball and stunk by Joob's stinking cloud. Hey ho. We fight some lizardmen and kill seventeen. More fighting ensues, we kill a lizard king (hp 59) and another 47 lizardmen. Kill kill kill kill kill kill kill. We eventually found our stuff in a teensy room — Sirius was suffering withdrawal symptoms since his Weird Hat (?) was gone, but he got it back after an epic fight with a guardian demon in a teensy room (see above).

    We are now sitting around for a while.

    Our clothes we found being used as padding in lizard-baby cradles and things — I've got my black snakeskin strides back. Now we're off trying to find Time again.


    We found a deserted villa (Joob flew over it). We investigated it reasonably thoroughly. The library has books in Elvish, Dwarvish and one in Greek. The villa is set at the base of a cliff and there is a passage leading into it — we find a sort of astrology lab, with a weird pedestal thingy with a glowing woogly hemisphere on top which Joob touches, revealing a stairway down.

    Sirius managed to fall down a trap on the way down (snicker) and Norm was trapped by a lurker above (hp 54) which gets killed before Norm suffocates, fortunately. More traps, then a mind flayer (hp 52) before we find an enormous room in which is chained Time. The floor is all mosaiced, and terrible things happen when you step on it. Woe is us! With the old man are two mind flayers, one of which we killed with arrows.

    Sirius managed to get to the Old Man by leaping, and found him chained with the Chains of Fenris to a block of grey stone. Fnord racked his brains and came up with a whole lot of irrelevant trivia from Norse mythology, but nothing useful. Aaaaaargh!

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, we eventually got him out with Rock to Mud cast on the block and then pulling him out, whereupon the chain started slithering after Sirius, and then after Joob.

    We got away, Time gave Sirius a box with the chain in it, and we have to find a super-duper high level Norse cleric to do something with it. (It is CE). We'll find the paladin if possible to take care of it.

    Next day

    We all got back on the ship so that we can go back and pick up Beltran and Trûk before we get zapped off to another plane. We sail for 5 days without problems, but then on the...

    ...6th day

    ... Quelle horreur! Something funny ahoy! says the crowsnestman. It's something glinty and red off the port bow, floating through the sea. Sirius peers through his Eyes of the Eagle and sees a red building with a purple pennant floating along merrily merrily merrily on the ocean wave. It was about three miles away when we spotted it, and Mr Joob promptly flies off to investigate. We sailed up to it and rowed over to the doorway in our jolly little jolly boat, and tied up to the bollard.

    I get out and investigate further... inside, the circular building is divided into six rooms of different sorts, one of which contains two (possibly) stone golems and many treasures which we are too terrified to touch in case the stone golems turn out to actually be stone golems and smash us all into strawberry jam with hammer-like blows of their mighty granite fists (and that sort of thing). When we ventured into the middle, we found an old man and an iron golem which proceeded to beat up on the old coot — he survived a blow, and therefore must be a tough old coot! This is not to be borne, so we leaped into the fray and slew the golem.

    The ungrateful tough old coot was not quite as pleased and grateful about it as he might be, and just flourished his sword about. Mr Joob put him into the bottle (korbah), and then when he came out he was just as grumpy as ever. We were unable to make verbal contact with the miserable old bastard, so we decided to take him back to the two old biddies at the House of Pleasure (I forgot to mention them before) so that we can get some sort of translation going. (The biddies and I both speak Latin, and they also speak his language).

    While the others are dealing with the old bugger, I poked around and found an armoury in which I find a suit of +1 plate (hee hee!)

    The upshot of all this is that the place belongs to someone called Mackelbrauer from a place called Ochdor. Mackelbrauer is apparently a big doozy wizard; the old bloke (Rodell) stole from him and has been confined here ever since, apparently a fair old while.

    We explored some more and found a wine cellar; I scored a rather pleasant red. Upstairs we found a Lovely Room (bedroom) along with seven other rooms similar. We score 75 small gems, mostly from clothing. Most of the wealth in the place seems to be in tapestries and similarly difficult-to-transport things which we will nevertheless take with us when we leave.

    In a room right up the top we found a whole lot of crates of fireworks, in another we found fishing gear, kites and stuff, and in another, maps and navigational gear. Another was apparently empty.

    Good grief, Fnord and co are really nothing more than bunch of barbaric thugs looting and pillaging their way through the world. It's shocking, just shocking the way they carry on.

    We left, first pillaging the museum (the treasure room) and killing the two stone golems on guard there and garnering the following loot:

    On the way out the burglar alarm went off, but nothing (apparently) happened. We left, waving a fond farewell to the two old biddies and the cantankerous old bastard.

    An indeterminate amount of time later

    An uneventful voyage ensued and we made it back to the city. I went to see Trûk and Beltran, both overjoyed to see me again of course. Sirius headed off to try to sell some of the booty from the Pleasure Dome, and I attempted to have my Super-DeLuxe Adventurer's Kit reconstituted, with some success.

    Three days later

    We were approached by Amara the paladin, who wanted us to accompany her south to a High Priest to dispose of the nasty chain. We agreed.

    Two days later

    We were attacked by two cockatrices (hp 32,29), of which we killed 2. Well done us. Unfortunately, Norm was turned to stone by one of them. We put him in the bottle, along with five other statues we found standing around, and took him off to find the High priest to get him de-stoned.

    Day 3

    We left the forest and came upon some standing stones and barrow mounds. We decided not to disturb them, but fat chance, we were attacked that night by two wights, one of which drained a level off me. AAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!!! I'm never going to make it to 10th level!

    Day 4

    Sirius is befriended in the night by a nice prettily-coloured snake who thinks his thighs make a fine hot water bottle.

    Day 5

    We are attacked by five giant scorpions, of which we kill two (hp 35,25) and drive off the rest.


    Day 8

    We found the mesa we were supposed to find, enter it, and meet the enormaously high-level cleric who, unfortunately, can't de-stone Norman. However, he knows a LG wizard who lives on an island down south — he gives us a map of the place, called Taprobana.

    Jumping-off point from the mainland is a port called Estra; we set off after finding Beltran who had been attacked by a lion unused to heroic warhorses — he dealt with it. Joob CLW'd him. We spent several days travelling without incident.

    Day 11

    Half way through the day we came upon a river where we were attacked by six trolls. We killed the lot of them of course (hp 40,38,32,37,30,42). Nothing else happened for the rest of that day and night.

    Day 12

    We crossed the river and followed it down to the coast where we scared the shit out of some villagers who appear to be dracophobes — bigots! Anyway, we hired a boat (25gp) and paid for two nights accommodation at 2gp each. We waited for a couple of days for the wind to come right, and sailed off to Taprobana, which we reached about 18 hours later. Joob flew off invisibly to scout out the shoreline and we landed in a river-mouth. We decided to sail up the river, and got a reasonable distance by nightfall, by which time we could see the mountains.

    Day 15-ish (?)

    We eventually found the wizard (nameless), who stuck us with a quest in return for de-stoning Norm. A LARGE red dragon is mentioned in a jocular sort of way, and we have to bring back everything magical to her, but we get to keep all the money we can eat.

    The dragon can do magic. Oh, goody.

    She gave us the general area of its lair, but it's in an area full of caves and old buildings. It's probably Ancient you know, and it's going to be a barrel of laughs.


    After a certain amount of re-equipping and stuff we set of on a bee-yootiful day, during which we were uninterrupted by nasty interludes. Next day, way down south, we crossed a bridge and towards evening we spied a suspicious-looking glow about a mile to the east. We investigated and were attacked by nine hill giants. We killed seven of them (hp 40,38,53,47,41,21,47) and one of them fell on top of Norm when it died. Ho ho, how we laughed. We dragged him out from under, but unfortunately he broke his hand (but not his groovy dragonbone bow, thank goodness).

    Over the next 9 days

    We travelled without any more incidents, and Norm's hand gradually got better. We got to another river, crossed it, went around the mountains, got to another river, and followed it down until we found a gigantic building, big enough to hold a dragon...


    Well, the building didn't contain a dragon but it did contain three jade-clad mummies which scared the shit out of poor old Fnord while Sirius and Norm killed them.

    After dealing with the nasty thingies, we poked and prodded about the place and found an interesting riddle-thingy which we solved by exercising our gigantic intellects and thus gained entrance to a stupendous amount of treasure:

    ...all of which went into the portable hole.

    Not long afterwards....

    A funny thing happened: we went all woogly and got squirted through on to another plane, courtesy of Tim (?) and Mr Joob, and found ourselves in a desert which is HOT: we are fortunately well-supplied with cold-weather clothing.

    We joined a caravan and went to a city called Bard-i-Nishadar. On our very first day there we were attacked (in our hotel room!) by an invisible thingy which we think might have been an invisible stalker set on us by that Mackelbrauer bloke — a visit to the temple of Athena and the expenditure of 6,000gp confirmed it, and we got a direction for him. North-east, which is across the desert.

    I suspect he is scrying me, and perhaps the red glass statue is some kind of locator, since we detected some sort of indeterminate magic on it but never found out exactly what it does.


    We were invited to the birthday party of one of the city's merchant princes, one Arimi bar Zarcara. I'm going as a bunny (it's a costume party) and am giving him a silver armlet with a frieze of hares running around it. I've got a scabbard made in the form of a carrot to go with the bunny suit.

    The court magicoes wouldn't let me in with the portable hole jam-packed with weapons and things, so I left it in the care of a priest of Anhur, who are an honourable lot, by and large. We spent some time in a queue going through the gate, and eventually managed to meet the prince himself. Joob made a pun, which the prince fortunately didn't have him killed for. I got nicely pizzled on amazingly good wines and ate amazingly delicious hors d'ouvres, and was approached by a bunch of priests of Set who wanted to buy Trûk — I refuse with a certain amount of politeness, none of which I feel. Settite bastards really get on my wick, the scungey wormy scum-sucking bastards; I shall have to keep an eye on them.

    All of a sudden a "disturbance" breaks out in the form of an attempted assassination (I suppose it was inevitable), and then all hell broke loose and we scarpered. An invisible person tried to back-stab me while I was retrieving my equipment; I kicked him (critically) in the guts and tossed him in the hole. we made it back to the hotel without major incident — we killed a bunch of 4 potential assassins, one of which word of recalled away.

    At the hotel we were met by some men of Sheka Kûm, the victim of the assassin at the party. We agreed to take his sone and daughter to Taki Sha, the sage, to get reinforcements for their Family.

    We travelled across the desert in the bottle tied around Trûk's neck, which worked out to about 200 km per day rather than the paltry 20-30 km we could have managed on our feet. On our first break, we were attacked by three giant scorpions, and then by another assassin who attempted to kidnap the girl, Balerina. he had some wings of flying, which I got, plus some magical chain armour (at least +2, possibly better). We executed him in a lawful fashion by chopping off his head — it took Sirius several goes, but he finally managed to butcher him. We then made Trûk invisible so that it won't be so easy to find her next time, especially since an invisible old man found by Joob's pseudodragon familiar was not accounted for and was suspiciously magical-looking.

    After some delay (Trûk got lost again) we eventually made it to Kashan with the kids and landed in the garden of their uncle in the monsoon rain. Their uncle did me a horoscope (Aquarius, moon in Cancer, Taurus rising) and gave me a map of the known world with Ochdor (home of the filthy Mackelbrauer, scumbag and sender of invisible stalkers against innocent adventurers for absolutely no good reason at all) marked on it. It's somewhere near Azerbaijan.


    Akakis the Butler was played by Sean Broadley.

    After three luxurious days of freeloading, we were approached by the butler who recommended a number of rental properties for our perusal. We chose one (with his help) and also hired a butler of our own out of three candidates. We set several butling tests; the successful candidate's name is Akakis, a resourceful and surprising chap.


    After the monsoon, we all went off back to find Beltran before we head off north. While encamped, most of us settled down to the usual sumptuous repast supplied by the bottle while Joob stood sentry, and Sirius went for a post-prandial stroll... while our supposed protectors outside were jaunting about and sight-seeing (Joob was off flying somewhere) sirius was attacked by a huge wormy thing, in the course of which the bottle was buried in the sand. Norm "korbighted" out and almost smothered to death, but fortunately managed to "korbah" back in again. We settled down to get pissed rotten drunk on Bottle Bounty while waiting to be dug up again, which seemed to be taking an inordinately long time...

    Next thing we know, there's an almighty explosion and a blinding flash, our precious bottle was lying in flinders all around us, and I was deaf! Our Guards and Protectors blew us to smithereens while playing silly buggers with a purple worm instead of looking after us as they were supposed to do.

    Joob and Sirius, having destroyed our source of food and shelter, gained enough experience from their selfish hogging of the purple worm to go up a level. Where can I hire a vampire?

    Joob disappeared with a Tardis-like "oogah-oogah" (probably out of embarrassment), leaving us without the bottle and without a cleric to make magic tofu, so our only food is Norm's six weeks worth of iron rations. Fortunately a bunch of banditos or mercenaries or something sold us food and drink at an incredibly exorbitant rate (200gp!!!)

    That night

    We camped up in Sirius' tent and are attacked (lightning bolt) in the night. We drove off our attackers, who bore a remarkable resemblance to our business aquaintances of the afternoon.... we got some of their horses and recouped our losses. We decided to forego our just revenge, and nine days later we arrived back at Bard-i-Nishadar.

    I retrieved Beltran, and we were recommended to leave the city since although there is a truce at present, some people still want us to be dead dead dead. We did some shopping and general housekeeping (Norm got a map of oases from a friendly tracker) before heading off to Azerbaijan to find the evil nasty Mackelbrauer.

    4 days later

    We were attacked by a Roc (hp 130) which we killed in a fairly short time, and proceeded to investigate what might be its lair up on a cliffside nearby. Sirius killed one of the chicks (hp 36) and found a cave behind the nest. The other chick ran away from him and attempted to glide off the cliff; it was shot down by Norm and Kushmena (hp 45).

    The stonework beneath the nest had been crenellated at some stage, and there was a stair of sorts leading up to it, though the bottom hundred feet or so was missing. Akakis the Butler set to spit-roasting some roc chick drumsticks while the rest of us did a spot of spelunking.

    The place was old and deserted and broken down, and down some stairs we found some rooms. One of them appeared to be (or have been) a wizard's workroom; Sirius entered and ended up in a Different Place — somewhere with trees and things (a teleport thingy?). Another room was a bedroom, where we found a secret compartment with some burnt bits of paper in it.

    We went back downstairs for dinner, an excellent repast beautifully served by Akakis, and completely set off by a variety of wines and some after-dinner mints.

    That night, Sirius went back through the portal to look at the stars there, and discovered that it was a couple of thousand miles north and several hundred miles west. I think that we will go there. We spent a couple of days making bridges over old pit traps and a gantry to get the horses up, then we went through the portal. I took bearings off a couple of funny-shaped mountains so that I could find the portal again, and also spotted some smoke to the north. We camped for the night, planning to investigate in the morning. The butler saw to everything with frightening efficiency, as usual.

    Next day

    The smoke turned out to be a celtic village who welcomed us with almost open arms and gave us a feast. They didn't believe in dragons, but I proved their existence to them and the chief had to skull the remains of the mead vat.

    We were sent to stay with Aunt Hattie, who seemed to be the village wise-woman and who had an elf woman there — Freya — who has had her tongue ripped out and her hands and feet mutilated. We spent a long and laborious time investigating her story — we made a sort of Elvish ouija board and got her to spell out her answers. She wanted us to take her to the mountains to the east; she had lost her baby when she crawled out of the forest two months previously. She wouldn't say who had hurt her, and wanted us to take her to a druids' enclave.

    The next morning we woke to find that she had written some stuff for us; apparently she and her party were taken by 60 orcs, and they done her wrong by golly.

    I gave Aunt Hattie the suit of silks I got back in the desert, and she seemed quite chuffed. We set off to see if we could find Freya's baby and friends, and to kill the orcs before we went off to the druids.

    2 days later

    We spotted a flight of 10 pegasi.

    Next day

    We were getting close. Norm started scouting about for orc spoor, and it wasn't long before he found some; the most recent sign seemed to be from the day before.

    Norm found a clearing containing standing stones with elf-runes carved on them and a stone village; there were no signs of life initially, but further investigation revealed orc guards and defaced elvish totems. Through his telescope he also saw a crucified hobbit, still alive.

    I concocted a Cunning Plan: the others assault the gate while Trûk and I go around the back for an aerial assault. It worked rather well, if I do say so myself; we slaughtered the unpleasant bastards and rescued most of the prisoners. Trûk and I went on an aerial recce to a nearby hobbit village we were told about.... except that I couldn't because I had to land to tie up the orc chieftain I'd knocked unconscious on my first pass (Wings of Flying stop working once you land). Oh well, instead I almost rubbed orcish poison on my wounds while under the impression it was orcish medicine; fortunately I was stopped just in time by Norm. Dear oh dear.

    While clearing out the buildings, Norm found an underground complex, now a store, but possibly once a shrine. Norm took an arrow in the stomach, which gave him a little bit of gyp, but fortunately he was fixed up by one of the elvish prisoners who was a healer.

    The hobbits invited us to their village, and the elves were quite keen to leave as well, so we went down to the storeroom and loaded all the stores into the portable hole. Meanwhile, the elves and Norm and co. found a secret door with elf-stuff behind it, and another one with what we thought might be an escape tunnel behind it. Norm followed it to the end and tracked an orc which had escaped through it, but didn't catch it.

    We feasted most righteously, and George (the thief) opened the chest from the secret compartment, which turned out to contain some of the elves' swords, plus some other stuff including some orcish poison and a potion of invisibility (useful!).

    Beltran got amorous with a shetland pony; the local pony poulation might be getting a bit bigger shortly.

    We set a watch in case of the return of sneaky orcs, while Norm interrogated the half-orc chieftain I had sconed, who had regained consciousness. One piece of information which came to light was the existence of another orcish village about twenty miles west; the orcs having been established around the area for 20-30 years. The Big Boss of the orcs lived in the mountains under the Kris and is blue, 30 feet tall, uses magic, can read minds, and is called Lord Yolmar.

    The hobbits were not keen to stay any longer in case of retributive strikes, so we took them all with us — all 150 of them.

    4 days later

    We met up with some armed hobbits who kille an orc that had been tracking us. They told us that there was an armed refugee camp of hobbits which would take in our hobbits, so we left them there and carried on north to the mountains.

    Soon after leaving the hobbits we came to a river which was, we were told, the home of some nasty creatures (possibly created by Yolmar) called night creepers (they sound fairly similar to carrion crawlers). I flew over the river with Estevar the Elf to find the elvish sentries who have boats which can ferry the horses over. While we were away, the others were attacked by three of the night-crawlers: one was turned to stone, the other two hacked up in standard fashion (hp 41,44,52).

    Estevar meanwhile contacted the elves, who ferried us all over to the other side of the river, to a Sylvan Woodland (groan!). We walked through it for several days, seeing various sylvan sights, and on the third day came to a long, thin lake, where Estevar asks if we could be blindfolded. We agreed, of course, and were taken over a hidden bridge to a hidden island with a hidden elvish city on it. We were taken up a hill to a castle where there were various elves sitting about. A great time is had by all, especially Norm, who managed (in his own words) to "score a luscious piece of pointy-eared crumpet", or at least nearly. Her name was Avahli.

    Orson was (and still is) played by Andrew Robins.

    Later in the evening, in the midst of drunken frolicking and festivities, we also met a wizard by the name of Orson Scott Card. He had a manservant by the name of Willard who didn't especially like rats. Unfortunately I was too drunk to remember our initial conversations, but he seemed like a nice enough chap for a wizard.

    Next day

    We were summoned to a 2:00pm audience with with the Queen in her throne room. She spoke to us about our quest, and seemed to think that we had bitten off more than we could chew. But then, what's new? Hey-ho, off we went after a respectable interval, during which I honed my skills to a razor edge and also party non-stop since hey, why die without having a good time first? Sirius trained up to 8th level, and Orson instructed me in the mysteries of his Magical Staff which will (among other things) do 4 Cure Light Wounds spells a day (command word: FIXIT).

    Meanwhile I stooged around grizzling about my lost experience. I tried to convince elvish M.U.s to cast permanence on me after Orson cast strength on me, but they wouldn't go for it. Bah!


    Anyway, we eventually left with an elvish guide, Laon — we appeared at our first camp remembering little. On our first night out we were attacked by two night crawlers (hp 35,37). We killed them. Later, hearing wolves howling, I sent Trûk to investigate and she discovered 20 km away in our line of march are a congregation of orcs and wolves. We couldn't do much about them from 20km away, so we left them alone.

    Next day

    We were hit by a nasty storm, but were protected from it by leomund's Tiny Hut, courtesy of Orson. Several days of unpleasant mountain climbing ensues. EEYUK! BLEEEUCH!

    4 days later

    We heard the sound of battle, and sent Trûk to see what was going on. It turned out to be a battle between two groups of orcs, one lot wearing a green lightning bolt on a red field, the others wearing a white crescent on red. Green & red won. Laon told us that we were passing through the area of the orcish tribes, and he wanted to pass through just as quickly as possible.

    later on, we passed a pair of impaled elves. Laon was most pissed off, and stopped to cairn them. Hey-ho.

    2 days later

    We were now all invisible, and began to encounter fleeing orcs. Intrigued, Norm investigated; having been given boots of elvenkind he snuck forward and came scurrying back all pale and wan, not to mention invisible — bone devils were snacking from bodies on crucifixes. later investigations indicate a possible major fuck-up in devil-summoning. Hmmmmm. How awfully unpleasant, they'll all have to be killed!

    We attacked them, and they all paffed out, the bastards! The crucifixees were found to be in varying states of health, i.e. two dead and one catatonic hobbit female. When she snapped out of it we discovered that her name was Marigold, and had a husband Harold who was dead on one of the crosses. She was understandably pissed off and wanted to come with us. We agreed, and Orson gave her a magical dagger.

    Next day

    We carried on, and finally saw the Kris, 50 or 60 klicks away. Maybe two weeks, at the rate we've been going. Marigold the hobbit remained pretty grim, naturally.

    George/Harry spotted a weird ball; Norm shot it straight through the middle and it blew up! (27 pts damage - OW!) Almost everyone came through alright except (of course) for me; I lost my wings of flying, my gauntlets of dexterity, and ALL of my vials of healing potion. Bugger! Bugger! Bugger! Bugger! Bugger!

    Not long afterwards, we spotted 3 nightmares attacking 4 pegasi 200' above us. Norm bunged them full of astonishingly accurate arrows and Orson zapped spells all over the show, while the rest of us twanged away ineffectually, doing no good whatsoever. Two of the nightmares went down, the other ran (flew) away north-west. One of the casualties plummeted, the other glided down about ¼ of a mile away. We set off to find it, for to hack and slay. Even the keen eyes of the elf and the keen nose of Norm were unable to find anything, but the eyes of the eagle triumphed, and Sirius spotted what looked like a nightmare on a ledge about 50' above us. Norm bunged another arrow into it and it disappeared, presumably banished back to its unholy plane of origin.

    After that, we attempted to find refuge on the face of a cliff by clambering up a rope, a dodgy business and not to be taken lightly. Akakis, the butler, almost fell to his death but escaped with a dislocated shoulder. Oh what fun!

    Trûk was starting to feel a bit frisky — it was about time to have "that" talk with her, I supposed. What on earth does one say to an adolescent dragon feeling the first pangs of unbridled lust? There was nothing about this in the Adventurer's Handbook! Good grief. Anyway, I sent her off to sublimate by eating... whether it would work or not remained to be seen.

    Next day

    The next morning dawned dark and ominous — the day was dark, and Norm felt weird. Next thing we knew there was an earthquake upon us; fortunately Norm's premonition gave us time to get into a globe of force, courtesy of Orson, which got us past the earthquake, but left us underneath a pile-up of giant boulders poised to crush us as soon as the spell ended.

    Bizarre things follow.

    We all clambered into the portable hole, Orson dispelled his force globe, and Norm and Orson leaped off the cliff trusting to their feather-falling. Norm was walloped by a rock on the way down and was bludgeoned into unconsciousness. Marigold sort of fixed him up, then Sirius healed him. He was concussed; Orson offered him some of his mother's tonic.

    We continued, under the trusty guidance of Laon. Orson used me as an impromptu windbreak.

    About 4:00pm Norm throws for surprise. What? Well anyway, he detects danger, and we were ambushed by forces unknown, oh what fun, who turned out to be two hill giants which we killed rapidly (hp 32,40). No mucking about, that's us. Soon afterwards a patrol of orcs came along... we ambushed them and killed 9 in the first flurry, with great rejoicing. A bunch more scurried off into the rocks to escape us, the swine! Sirius shot one not five feet from Norm; it was hiding under a rock. Norm shot one right up the backside while it attempted to hide, then snuck off to hide himself with his cloak of elvenkind. One more was knocked off before long, and while scanning about for more orcs I spotted one of the nasty flying balls, like the one that blew up on me not long ago — several people shot at it but didn't stop it. Meanwhile Norm continued with his persecution of the "innocent" orcs, and caught one which attempted to spear him.

    Interrogation followed. It was basically a flunky, and blamed all the bad stuff on gnolls. Both Laon and Marigold were keen to kill it out of hand, but new scruples of Fnord the Just prevented this harsh punishment, since its only proven "crime" was in defending itself from an attack by us. We couldn't afford to let it go, however, which posed rather a moral dilemma until Orson announced that, with some study, he could polymorph it into a pegasus. After having it explained to him the orc agreed, and the deed was done.

    We hid once again for the night. While on watch, Sirius saw a campfire about ½ a mile away with humanoids around it. He alerted Norm, who went off to investigate and found that they were gnolls. While snooping around in his cloak and boots of elvenkind, not to mention being invisible, he spotted another of the mysterious balls flying overhead.

    There was no sign of Norm after that, and when the fire went weird Sirius finally alerted us. We decided that we couldn't spare the time for Orson to learn spells, but had to go immediately to save our comrade! Orson instructed Sirius in the use of his Hand Grenade (?), but was reminded by Akakis that it may not be a good thing to leave it in the hands of someone who could not distinguish invisible comrades from bits of air.

    By the time we got down to the fire, it was gone out and the people were likewise gone; there was no sign of Norm. Casting about for tracks I determined that they had gone off south. Fortunately, Kushmenna did a bit better and found their real tracks. We followed.

    After a while, we saw the source of a glow we'd seen before: a tower. We heard a bell (clang clang clang clang) and assaulted the tower with a Cunning Plan (our usual Cunning Plan). Inside the tower we killed 11 gnolls and a Type II Demon (hp 27). We found Norm, bound and bleeding and at Death's Door; we healed him. A rampage followed in which we killed an elvish M.U., snaffling 2 rings (plus Norm's ring of feather-fall), 1 magic dagger, and a magic necklace, plus 6 magical bottles and a bottle with an imp in it.

    In a room at the top of the tower we found an octagonal black pillar with a trapped secret door in the base. George opened it... Norm and Orson suddenly went all flaccid, and Orson fell down. Apparently Norm saw something like a crystal ball. I, meanwhile, was downstairs rolling the bodies of the (penurious) gnolls and scored a few silver pieces for my trouble. Orson and Norm recovered, and Orson tried to use the thing to investigate Yolmar's castle; he found it, but the strain was too much for the poor low-born lad and he keeled over minus two points of Constitution.

    Orson used an unseen servant to fish the stuff out of the mysterious alcove in the pillar base. As well as Norm's stuff ans Orson's boots, we found three books and a wand (two magic books and a herbal). Orson then went to slepp, and we spent the rest of the day guarding him and Norm.

    Next day

    We spent the day playing about with the obelisk, and trying to decide what to do with the two prisoners Norm took. Note to self: get some magical sleeping potion made that lasts for a week.

    The gnolls swore not to cause us any harm by word, deed or omission, and not to communicate with Yolmar or his agents. I agreed in return to protect them as my "men". The oath was to be cancelled only by my agreement, or in the event of the deaths of the entire party.

    I swore the two gnolls (who I have dubbed Fido and Rover) to my service with heavy oaths and (on their part) baring of genitals and what-have-you, and they agreed to guide us to Yolmar's castle.

    Next day

    Not far out we ambushed an orcish patrol and killed all sixteen of them. Almost immediately afterwards, we were attacked by some invisible critters that looked like elves, and some hobbits as well! They have a weird glazed look to their eyes, but they didn't smell like zombies — I wondered what the hell was going on; maybe they were under some kind of mind control or something. This was all very disturbing, since I'm not allowed to kill elves on purpose under any circumstances (one of the conditions on my elf life thing). Anyway I (and various minions) attempted to deal with them as best we might. A fight ensued, during which Norm exploded another floating ball. One of the elves was killed by Kushmena, the others were subdued, and on closer investigation proved to have invisible chains around their wrists. While we were investigating, Norm colllapsed and freaked out — something to do with the episode at the pillar.

    We revived one of the elves fully with his chain removed, and he was completely confused. We worked out by deduction that his most recent memories must have been from six or eight months earlier at least. This Yolmar bod is starting to seem very scary indeed! The hobbits were webbed by Orson, and on investigating the bodies were found to have died — apparently of terror. I suspected them of having been destroyed by Yolmar as soon as their usefulness ended.

    The elves were Korsani (L4 fighter), Morahil (fighter-mage), and Oberassi (L5 fighter). One of them had had his nose broken by Sirius and didn't think much of that at all. Mind you, Sirius is an uncultured brute. Unlike me who am a truly heroic and noble Lord of Men. Yahoo and three cheers for me.

    Not long after, another of the flying balls appeared. I shot it out of the sky nearly 200 metres away; it still fried us all! Bloody hell!

    We conversed with one of the elves, Bahir, who is the brother of Sekir, controller of Yolmar. He told us some things that made me think that perhaps we had bitten off more than we could chew... Sekir has been invisible for the last 200 years, and will certainly have more spells permanenced on himself. He's psychotic, and probably has the aid of the Big D (you know, that green two-headed demon lord with the snaky bits), and is an amazing genius to boot. He made the silver balls when he was 13 years old.

    On the march, Norm was alerted by the sound of horses approaching. We hid and I asked Fido who they were: apparently they were messengers from Yolmar. Norm and I shot them dead, and on the bodies we found a pouch with a scroll written in Orcish, to the effect that any humans or elves in the vicinity were to be taken alive without looting or torture, to be delivered unharmed to Yolmar. Comforting, I suppose.

    We're doomed.

    Bahir told Norm that his sweetheart, Avalie, had put her life-force into his contact gem. She would die if he died, and she could see and feel what he sees and feels. This was very bad. Oh boy. That meant that I would have to go to extraordinary lengths to keep him safe, the silly bugger. (Apparently she could also cast spells through the gem, but at great cost).


    We went back to the tower and the obelisk with the intention of familiarizing Orson with the caverns beneath Yolmar's castle by means of the crystal ball, then to teleport in via Orson, who has a Brain The Size Of A Planet.

    The teleport goes ahead without incident with the small exception of a monumental fuck-up; all of the rest of us were stuffed into the portable hole so that Orson could carry us, and almost suffocated to death while Orson transported us to a very dark place full of water — probably a subterranean river. Orson was noncomittal about our exact location, and insisted that we were exactly where he had taken us. Oh dear. Never mind.

    With great travail we wended our way downstream in the portable hole (open this time) on a tenser's floating disk being towed by a flying wizard, and at length came upon a jetty projecting into the river, where Sirius leaped on to a couple of orc kiddies (about 7 years old) and smashed his knee against a rock wall. Oh dear.

    The kids were caught, and the orcs that were encamped just through an adjacent passageway were slaughtered to an orc, though they resisted bravely and futilely. An interrogation of the orc-children (involving cookies) followed, in which we discovered that there was a portcullis to block passage along the river. We let it down and then settled down so that Orson could re-learn spells.

    Norm was just nodding off (on guard duty!) when he noticed that the portcullis was going up; a hobgoblin came through with a bunch of slaves. Norm bluffed him out, pretending to have been sent down to "correct inefficiencies", while lowering the portcullis. He then challenged him, whereupon I sneakily stabbed it with my remarkable extensible prong (Rod of lordly might spear form), provoking a shower of abuse form Norm who had been looking forward to some light recreation.

    Some interrogation of the slaves followe in which nothing much of interest was discovered. We were then left with another one of those blasted moral dilemmas, and decided to let the slaves live. They swore not to leave the room for five days and not to do anything to cause us harm, still under the impression that we were some sort of Spanish Inquisition sent by Sekir. We headed off using the fly/Tenser's disk/Portable hole method. Orson took us wherever he wanted, no doubt having many adventures while we all sat in the hole playing cards.

    The diarist then went to have a piss, and returned to a completely confusing situation.

    We climbed out of the hole to stretch our legs, and apparently Orson had seen some kind of critter with pincers. Through in the next cavern were swarms of bugs of some kind — big ones, about two feet long. We decided to go through the bugs, and were immediately attacked by the savage little bastards! We killed eight of them, and then, finding ourselves in a dead end, settled down to rest. The butler served us a delicious dinner. Orson remained invisible.


    We rested, watching vigilantly for trouble which did not appear to come, but then you never know. After we finished watching, we set off back the way we had come. We flew through a cavern full of orcs, who smelled us and some of whom tried to follow — we went up some stairs and came to a landing and a fork in the corridor. We were left there by Orson, who flew off too fast for the tenser's floating disk. He returned rather shame-facedly to re-do the spell.

    Back the other way, found webs and were chased by orcs. One of the orcs fell down an embankment and broke his leg, and we chased the others off. Norm talked to it and convinced it to guide us up to the top — it did, and we found ourselves out on a pinnacle thingy with crenellations where we were attacked by three hobgoblins and four humans who we killed. We were then fireballed and magic missiled by the invisible Sekir, who I shot — he then ran away.

    Back in contact with Trûk.

    We decided to go down the doorway we didn't come out of. Down a long corridor we set off a magic mouth alarm, and were attacked by six fire toads, of which we killed the lot (hp 19,16,18,20,25,25). We were ambushed at the portcullis by 15 orcs and 13 half-orcs.

    After the ambush we pushed down the door and portcullis and went through: one of our fireballs revealed a secret door in the ceiling, which we opened. While Norm and co. investigated, I carried on down the corridor and found some big metal doors. While I was wedging one shut, the other burts open in through poured a horde of enemies. Trûk intimidated many while slowing them, Kushmena fireballed them twice, and I killed one with my mallet (15 prisoners, 86 dead).

    We went back and climbed up through the secret door; on the way up the stairs we tripped another alarm and then had to kill some more guards (4 orcs).

    We carried on, stacking up an impressive glory list. At the head of the stairs we found a gaol stocked with various peoples, some pregnant women and some odd hybrids. We took the women (1 elf, 2 dwarves) with us, leaving the rest.

    More gaols followed, and through a bunch of stuff ended up back out on the side of the mountain. We backtracked and checked the passage with Orson's wand of secret door location and found one; we got through and up some more stairs where we found two skeletons holding levers sticking out of the wall, maybe a dead-man switch fro soem horrible trap? Orson immobilized them with a wall of force and we scurried past and up more stairs. We heard a noise from behind us, possibly somebody coming through the secret door downstairs.

    At the head of the stairs we found and penetrated another secret door, behind which we found Yolmar (hp 115) and Sekir (who ran away after being breathed on by Trûk). Yolmar was wearing a crown which we stashed in the hole. We got Sekir eventually, mostly by luck and with the help of a wand of force.

    Emissaries from Bah-Humbug — polite, but real shits.


    We prepared to enter aggressive negotiations with the orcs fucking around in the throne room. Although feeling mysteriously under the weather, Norm and I burst into the throne room with Trûk doing impressive back-up. "Who dares defile the throne room of Fnord the Mighty?" I boomed pompously — whereupon the human threshing-machine (Norm) charged in amongst them and, before they could recover from their surprise, killed twelve of them! The remainder fled shrieking down a corridor with Norm in hot pursuit, killing as he went.

    At this point a Darkness descended from the mezzanine and cast a cowardly spell at me! I was forced to flee under the influence of foul demonic wizardry, while Orson, Norm and Trûk attempted to deal with the demons — to cut a long story short, we dealt with a succubus, a Type III (Glabrezu) and a Type II (Hezrou), all being dispelled to their filthy plane of origin by dint of mighty blows of an heroic nature (by that time I had recovered fdrom the fear spell and was back in amongst it).

    Later on the illness overtook Orson and I in its full unpleasant force — we were obliged to observe the world from the confines of the latrines owing to the Terrible Bowel Liquification Curse (we assume it was a curse, since Orson had already tried a cure disease without effect).

    At this point the diaries end (or at least, all the diaries I could find). The mountain fortress was eventually cleared of all its vermin, and Fnord claimed it and the surrounding lands for his own, setting up the sovereign principality of Fnordonia. Because the pass controls trade traffic between the Great Lakes country and the coast, it has proven to be a profitable enterprise and under Fnord's benevolent guardianship the fortress has expanded to become a thriving and self-sufficient settlement. A period of about twenty years separates the events in these diaries from those to follow.