Bear Claws

11. Madness in the Dark

Our trip to the Vents took us two days. On the way we talked about what brought us away from home, what we thought of Orcs. I struggle with the hatred around us. How do we know we are in the right?

We found the Farstriders camp at the entrance to the Vents. Inside was a cramped and claustrophobic twist of tunnels that were filled with madness. Many times we heard voices whispering to us. Insidious words sowing distress and betrayal. There were warnings that Kalad would kill me in my sleep, that all the dwarves hated me. I know this is not true, but I found I doubted Kalad’s faithfulness all the same. He has been most taciturn since his ordeal with the Orcs.

We helped a lone Orc fight some beetles that corroded our weapons and destroyed my armor. The Orc turned out to be a liar and a worthless source of information. He seems to be another spot of evidence that the world may be more black and white than I had supposed.

We encountered another room where echoes magnified, deafening us and destroying our ability to communicate. Another room where light had no power, no existence and where spoken language could not be heard.

Clearly somebody toys with us.

Alton has been hearing a voice telling him he will have to pay soon. He prays to Ioun constantly. James does not like us talking about it without including him. He does understand.

Xaladin tried to swim a rushing river when he had many safer options open to him. The fool. He nearly died. Alton’s floating disk turned out immensely useful in saving him from death.

Finally Kalad recognized where we were and lead us to the Vents. We found Orcs and a Troll desecrating an altar to Moradin with the remains of the Farstriders. We killed them.



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