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Recap 3 (August 25th, 2001)

Badly injured in their fight with the slavers, and Leento finding himself naseous with a terrible headache, the party decided to spend the night at the fort before returning the children to their villages. Concerned over the noises heard in the dungeon and also noting from Heroll's journal that a group of orcs were expected that night, the party opted to be extra cautious with regards to their watch. The majority of the party, with Leento looking after the children, and a tied up, wimpering Heroll the slavemaster dumped in a corner, camped in the eastern tower while Venetto and Raistlin camped in the western tower near the sea.

{Major retcon ahead} Entering the western tower for the first time, Venetto and Raistlin discovered what the slavers had been using as a training room. Aside from worthless wooden swords, quarterstaves, and training dummies, the party found enough arrows and crossbow bolts to replenish their supplies.

Soon after nightfall, Venetto heard sounds from the beach and noted what seemed to be a medium sized boat arriving on shore. He woke Raistlin and waited. Four humanoid creatures exited the ship and climbed the path to the fort. Venetto understood their orcish grunts: "This be second time signal-light not on. This time we find out why." Suddenly dismayed that he hadn't worked out a method for conversing with the party on the western tower, Venetto began waving frantically in the dark, hoping that someone over there would see him while the orcs would not. Luckily, Lashtal was on watch and her elvish infravision enabled her to see Venetto's signaling, and looked around. Spotting the orcs, who now stood in front of the fort's open gate, peering in, she quickly woke the rest of the party.

The orcs passed the gate and Raistlin quickly threw the switch that dropped the gate. The orcs were now trapped in the double-gate mechanism in the same manner that the party had been by the slavers the previous day. Without bows to return fire, and too confused by the suprise attack to note that the gate to the dog pen was still open, two orcs fell immediately in a barrage of missle weapons from the two towers, but before all could be dispatched, an orc retrieved a horn from his fallen comrade and blew.

While the party paused briefly to consider this new development (Venetto noting at least 6 more orcs climbing up from the beach) Raistlin called out "Drop your weapons and call off your men." The 2 orcs dropped their weapons immediatly but shouted back, "No signal to make stop."

Raistlin then stormed to the southern wall and shouted to the advancing orcs "Stop where you are. You are outnumbered. Drop your weapons." An orc from within the gates agreed, "It is true. Outnumbered and overpowered." The orcs stopped.

With the remaining party members' weapons trained on the surrendered orcs, Chyekk and Leento descended the eastern tower and raised the gate, intending to tie up the 2 original orcs. As they approached, however, the orcs' facial expression turned from fear to hatred. "Run!", he shouted. "They are dwarves! Run!" The 6 orcs outside ran south, towards the hills that the party had hid in themselves while observing the fort the previous night. Two were dropped by the party's missle fire, but the rest escaped.

After placing the two captured orcs in the fort's dungeon, the party took 2 of the slavers' carts and all of their horses and rode off to return the missing children.

One night before reaching the first village, Lashtal encountered Malekith, the drow wizard the party battled across the continent in Endripor Wood. Retelling the tale the next morning, Lashtal noted that Malekith offered vague promises of adventure and knowledge in return for being allowed to take Chyekk. After his offer was refused, Malekith disappeared into thin air, invisible even to Lashtal's infravision.

Continuing on, the party delivered the children to the villages of Norfolk (4/15), Hamleta (4/24), Bhamlet (4/26), where they were hailed as heroes. The only negative incident was when Leento returned the body of the one dead child to his parents and performed the Druidic ceremony of burial. The parents were much comforted by the rite, but the local priest of Tyr arrived to denounce Leento's actions as pagean and wrong. Leento found this to be in contrast to what he understood was the standard policy of the Temples of Tyr, namely that the Priests and Druids worked together to do what was best for their people. Indeed it was Priesto of Hetasi, a Patriarch of Tyr, who first noticed a young Leento's bond with nature and brought him to Hengus the Druid to be apprenticed.

Chalking the incident up to small town intolerance, the party moved on to Warrensville (4/29) where they receieved their reward of 5,000 gold. The party further impressed Mayor Warren by returning the small advance they had originally received and returning his horses. The party then sold the excess slaver horses, finding that the recent bout of iron shortage was beginning to affect the stability of Chumera's economy in general. Meanwhile, Leento left the village and travelled the surrounding plains, seeking an animal companion. He instead encountered a pack of hungry wolves. Thinking quickly, Leento caused the tall grass to reach up and bind the wolves. He then returned to Warrensville, deciding that in the future he would seek familiars under safer circumstances. The party then rode off to Roesh in hopes of purchasing Plate Mail armor for Venetto and Chyekk, exchanging pleasentaries with a small merchant caravan on the way.

Unfortunately the iron shortage extended even into the capital where both the Shining Hammer and Derek's Smithy were charging exorbant prices for their plate mail (approximately 4 times their standard worth, with the Shining Hammer demanding money up-front just to take measurements. Venetto refused even the 800 gold piece pre-made suit that the Hammer was offering. While the dwarf and ranger were shopping, Raistlin and Lashtal approached one of the city's several Temples of Tyrs to repay a portion of their debt (the 12,000 gold they owed for resurrecting Raistlin from the dead nearly 2 and a half months ago). The cleric of Tyr identified Raislin by sight and was also well aware of the party's debt. Apparently Priesto's arrangement was highly unorthodox. After Lashtal earnestly expressed the party's desire to pay what they could afford, the cleric grudgingly accepted the partial payment and noted that Tyr's temples were likely to perform small services for the party again (hinting that they wouldn't have been earlier, and that the more costly services such as resurrection and remove curse most likely were not yet available to them). The party deposited the remainder of their newfound wealth with the Banker's Federation, finding their rates rather high but not wishing to be burdened with the weight of more than 2,000 coins during their journeys.

Resuming their original plan (from before being beset upon by Mayor Warren to find the missing children), the part rode out to Malta Forest in search both for clues about Balin The Brave's party and to discover what had happened to the Staff of Woodland after the Malta Druid Naron was slain by trolls. Upon arriving at the wood, the party freed their horses, knowing that left tied up they would surely be eaten by the local fauna.

Not having any real idea of where to go once in Malta, the party wandered northeast until Venetto found what he believed to be troll tracks. Ignoring the various sounds of the forest, the party followed the tracks for the better part of a day when suddenly a pack of ferocious giant weasels, four feet long and tremendously fast, baring razor sharp teeth, came crashing towards them. Leento summoned his earth power to cause the forest itself to hold back two of the attacking rodents, while slowing the charge of the remaining few. Undaunted, one beast lunged for Raistlin, latching on and draining blood from the suprised cleric's body. As Raistlin wrestled on the ground with his foe, the other party members, afraid to help Raistlin for fear of missing and hitting their ally, defended themselves from the remaining two that had escaped Leento's snares. While the rest of the party held them off, the weasels slowly succumbed to Leento's soft calls. Responding to the voice of a caretaker of the forest, two of the animals ceased their attack. The party was then free to kill the third and dispatch the two weasles entangled in the forest shrubbery. Cursing, Raistlin summoned Tyr's holy power to heal himself and, as the party, having found a semi-defensible area near an outcropping of stone, had decided to camp for the night, grudgingly agreed to heal some of the other wounded. During this time Leento convinced the two living weasels to accompany him on his journey.

The next day's travel occured rather uneventfully, but that night on Venetto's watch, a horrible howl was heard. Venetto quickly woke Chyekk and the two fighters looked around. Using his infravision, Chyekk saw the heat-shape of a large humanoid crouching at the edge of the campground, and the fighters quickly woke the remaining party members. The creature, knowing it was spotted, charged forward on all fours, revealing itself to be a large and gangly creature with rubbery green skin and matted hair: a troll, similar in appearence to the one the party encountered and Venetto defeated with his masterful blow in Cervante's treasure cave in the swamps south of Betaya. Fortunately, though it was nightime and they were deep in a forest, the moonlight was strong enough that the human members of the group were able to see, and the party attacked the monster. Chyekk's axe put a halt to its charge while Leento summoned a swarm of biting ants from the forest floor to harass and distract it. Suddenly, a second troll charged in from the south attacking Lashtal's flank. Chyekk and Venetto rushed to her aid and a grand battle ensued. The party found that while their last encounter with a troll had been a bit of a fluke, they certainly were, with some work, capable of defeating two trolls. Using lore Chyekk learned in Rockholme, after defeating the trolls the party burned their remains using oil, for it is known among dwarves that trolls regenerate, and can reform from even a single piece of flesh if it is not bathed in fire or acid.

With Leento reeling from another headache, the party re-camped and rested for the night. Before sleeping Lashtal wondered aloud why the first troll thought that it could hide after letting out such a howl. The next morning, their third day through the the woods, the troll tracks they had been following split, with a pair of trolls heading northeast and the remainder travelling northwest. The party opted to follow the larger group.

An hour later the forest opened up into a glade. Here Leento felt the presence of pure earth power. Then a unicorn entered the glade from far side. It was a majestic animal, powerful and confident, a long white beard beneath its chin and green trollblood dripping from its 3 foot long ivory horn. The unicorn approached Leento and tapped its horn on the druid's staff, then shook its head to the northwest. Having done this several times, and satisfied that the party understood that they were meant to go that way to find the Staff of the Woodland, the unicorn strutted over to Arkospixi and allowed her to scratch and nuzzle his face.

Leaving the glade under the unicorn's watchful gaze, Venetto noted that there were no recent troll tracks in this direction. The party travelled for a day and a half in this direction and then found that an area of the forest had been cleared and a large stone structure had been built. Chyekk noted that the structure had been built within the past year by competent but not overly skillful stoneworkers. The party approached the structure's front door, Arkospixi in the lead ready to check the door for traps. Before she could begin her inspection, however, the door opened, revealing a man, obviously a Druid. The man introduced himself as Yerraterra, and, hearing the party's quest, invited them in. The party was suprised to learn that Yerraterra had already defeated the trolls that slew Naron, and had in his possession the Staff.

After healing Lashtal, who was still injured from her attack from the troll, Yerraterra had the party settle down in the main room of the structure, which he revealed was a Temple to Gaia, the Earth Mother. The Druid then left the room to prepare a meal for the group. While he was away, the party quickly turned to Leento with questions: Have you heard of this man? Do Druids normally dwell within stone structures? Are Yerraterra's slightly unnerving characteristics a giveaway that something is wrong, or just normal traits for a hermit? Leento was unsure, and as the party decided on their next course of action, a bear wandered into the room from the door Yerraterra had left open. The bear sat down, appearing friendly. Not sure if the bear was a spy, Yerraterra in disguise, or an innocent friend of the druid, the party set about to distract it while Raistlin summoned upon the power of Tyr to gain the ability to detect evil. Soon Yerraterra returned with a meal of raw fruit and nuts. While the party ate, he explained his story:

Yerraterra had been wandering the land since his forest had been destroyed when he felt Naron's distress signal. He arrived at Malta too late, but he was able to defeat the tribe of trolls that slew him (to the northwest of the Temple) and recover the Staff. He since has taken up residence in the structure he found here unoccupied and full of rubble, and converted the building to a Temple of Gaia. It is abnormal for druids to reside within a stone structure as they prefer to live under the open sky, but this forest is unusually dangerous with many tribes of trolls and other creatures (possibly even a green dragon), so he chose to reside in the structure's relative safety while he set about restoring the balance to the Wood. He had sent his apprentice to notify the Druidic Council that he had regained the Staff, but probably too late for Leento to have received notice to abandon his quest. He encountered a group of elves sent from Nara Forest by the elven Queen Morwyn, who had also felt Naron's signal of distress, but he assured the elves that everything was now under control and they left.

After eating, Yerraterra excused himself, saying he needed to get to work. The bear remained in the Temple. Keeping the bear distracted, the party investigated the temple, but, aside from a wooden structure that was apparently amatureishly added on to the back of the temple, they found nothing odd. The wooden structure was apparently where Yerraterra slept, prepared his food, and stored his supplies in large wooden barrels. Leento then sat with the bear, speaking to it, asking questions. He learned that the bear's name was Bearito, but didn't get any useful information about the elder Druid.

The party was invited to spend the night, and was even welcome to use the Temple as a base of operations while they were involved in their search for the remains of Balin's Quest (unfortunately, Yerraterra knew nothing of Balin The Brave or Flint Fireforge). The party accepted staying the night, at least, and were shown to a room. Once alone, the party began to talk, discussing who something was not quite right about Yerraterra's story. Chyekk was confident that the Temple was relatively new, though Yerraterra claimed he found it abandoned and full of old rubble and rotted furniture. Additionally Leento felt there was something odd about his master Hengus not being aware of Yerraterra's arrival and also that a druid would choose to live within a stone structure. Indeed the whole party found something about Yerraterra a little odd. However, all of these vague doubts weren't concrete enough to merit any sort of action. The best piece of evidence was the rubble Yerraterra claimed to clean out, and the party agreed to check the site he dumped it the next morning.

Before heading out the next morning, Yerraterra fed the party with more fruit and nuts, and they engaged in further discussion. The elder Druid said that he had met the unicorn while gathering breakfast and said that the unicorn was glad that the party had arrived safetly at the Temple. He said that the unicorn sent them to Yerraterra because it was worried for their safety in the dangerous woods. At one point during the conversation Yerraterra suddenly became rather accusatory, suggesting that Leento was here specifically because the Druidic Council had sent him. He soon calmed down and then excused himself as it was time for his work to begin.

The party headed off to the area Yerraterra said he dumped the rubble from the structure, and they found the pile exactly where he said it would be. Most of the rubble had been burned, as Yerraterra said it would be, but some remained. Chyekk inspected it and declared that it was definitely construction material, not rotted furniture. The rubble may have fooled the rest of the party if Chyekk hadn't been there, but the dwarf was sure. However, the party still was not sure what this meant. Perhaps Yerraterra was also confused upon seeing the rubble and simply thought it was rotted furniture (though the wood was definitely not rotten).

Seeing a bluejay nearby, Leento called it to him and they began to speak. The bird was very respectful of Yerraterra, as, it seemed, were most animals of the forest. However, after thoroughly interrogating the bird, the bluejay indicated that Yerraterra had been working with the trolls, and indeed had overseen the trolls when they built this structure not more than a year ago. The bluejay did not seem to think there was anything wrong with this, and also said that the trolls had not been around recently.

The party, now knowing that Yerraterra was in league with the trolls, decided to return to the unicorn glade and pick up the trail of the trolls, intending to investigate their lair. Upon re-entering the glade, Leento immediately noticed that the presence of Earth Power he had felt before was gone. The unicorn was nowhere to be seen. The party suspected that he was killed by Yerraterra.

Turning northwest, the Venetto quickly picked up the troll's trail and the party began following the tracks. After a few hours of travel, the party again found themselves under attack by trolls. This time there were three, and the party sadly discovered that the marching formation that was so effective for them in dungeons, with the strong members in the front and rear and the physically weaker members in the middle was useless in an open area where there were no corridor walls to protect their flanks. Leento was attacked immediately, overwhelmed by a troll and unable to to cast any spells. The other members attempted to help him but were unable to rescue Leento in time, and he was slain. The remaining party members rallied and attacked the remaining trolls, with Chyekk swinging his axe in a fury. After a brutal battle, the party defeated their attackers and burned their bodies.

Greatly demoralized, the party returned to Yerraterra's temple, carrying Leento's corpse. They place the corpse in front of the Temple's altar and entered their room to recovery from their injuries, and to grieve. Late that night Yerraterra banged on their door, furious. "What did you DO?", he cried. Accusing the party of incompetence, of maliciousness, and of paranoia, the Druid ranted madly, fretting that the Druidic Council would now come to investigate, which would ruin all his plans. Chyekk shouted back, demanding to know what plans he spoke of. Yerraterra then attempted to compose himself and told the group that he had overextended his hospitality and that the group should leave in the morning. Chyekk objected, repeating his questions and advancing on the Druid, but then backed down when the Druid raised his hands as if to cast a spell. Yerraterra stormed off, and the party returned to their room.

The next morning the group left, having decided to leave the woods and head for Warrensville, the nearest decent sized village that could potentially have a non-Tyr temple. (Since they were still in debt to Tyr, they could not return to a Tyr temple and ask for another resurrection. Indeed, having less than 3,000 gold to their name, they doubted they could afford a resurrection anywhere.) Yerraterra was nowhere to be seen.

The party quickly travelled throught Malta Woods, and reached the edge of the wood on the fifth day of travel. As they were leaving, Venetto felt sure that the party was being watched, but the party pressed on, not wishing to be distracted.

Having freed their horses, the party was forced to travel on foot to Warrensville. On their way back they were attacked by another group of goblin raiders. The party quickly dispatched the goblins, and, noting that this group of goblin's weapons were not of the same level of quality as the previous bunch, quickly moved on. Climbing a hill, the party saw more goblins in the distance. These goblins had obviously seen the previous battle as they were charging as fast as possible in the opposite direction of the party. The group decided not to pursue, but were reminded of comments made by the shopkeeper and Mayor of Warrensville regarding the excessive amount of goblin activity in this area, following an unexplained withdrawal of support from Lord Phantar's Knights.

The party arrived in Warrensville and found themselves very fortunate to find a Temple of Trinot, the god of Luck. The temple, a bit run down, was clearly not patronized by a majority of the village's citizens, but was still active. The priest, an disheveled looking old man, arrived and the party began to barter with him for the service of raising Leento from the dead. The priest scoffed at their offer of 2,000 gold for the service, but after more arguments and pleas he looked the party over and then said "Perhaps we can work out a deal after all. Wait here please." He left the main room of the Temple and then returned with a small pearl, which he handed to Chyekk. He said, "In return for raising your freind from the dead, you will give me 2,000 gold and you will take this pearl. One day this pearl will glow, and when it does, you will perform a service for me." The party questioned him on what the service would be and how they would know what to do, but the priest answered no further questions, simply saying, "You will know when the time comes." Unable to part with Leento, the party agreed. Unfortunately, there was no office of the Chumera Banking Federation in Warrensville, so the service could not be performed until money was retrieved from Roesh.

Three weeks later Leento was revived with very little fanfare. In contrast to the elaborate ceremony performed when Raistlin was revived, the priest of Trinot simply waved his hand over the corpse and mumbled a few words in an archaic language, then smiled and retreated to the far side of the Temple as the party rushed to greet their friend returned from the mostly dead. Leento, his health permanently rattled by his encounter with death, required a few days rest in Warrensville, and then requested that he be taken to see his master in Hetasi.

The party's travel through Chumera to Hestasi was uneventful, as they were travelling through the area closest to Roesh where Lord Phantar's Knights are most effective. They arrived in Hetasi (7/9) and Chyekk took a still shaky Leento to Hetasi Wood to meet Hengus while Lashtal went to her parents house and the rest of the party went to the tavern.

Hengus had some information on Yerraterra: He was truly a Druid and had indeed been at Leento's initiation ceremony. He was a the Druid of Unirel Wood until the day that the devil Hutijin arrived on the Prime Material Plane in the body of a giant mutated pumpkin. Hutijin's arrival destroyed Unirel Wood, converting it to the wasteland that it is today. Yerraterra saving what little of the local animal and plantlife he could, he fled the forest and went in hiding for the thirty years that the Great Pumpkin ruled the land, until its eventual defeat at the hands of Lord Phantar's band. Yerraterra then returned to The Waste and desperately attempted to restore his forest, to little avail. Hengus speculated that the process of seeing a devil enter the world, the loss of his forest, and the failed attempt at restoring it had driven the Druid a little over the edge, and surmised that it was for this reason that the Druidic Council dictated that Yerraterra should walk the land be a wandering druid, responding to needs as they arose. Therefore it was perfectly natural that Yerraterra would answer Naron's distress call. However, Hengus still had not heard word from the Council that Yerraterra was in the forest with the Staff, so it seemed unlikely that Yerraterra had indeed sent an apprentice to inform them. When told that Yerraterra was in league with trolls, Hengus became even more concerned and released Leento from his obligation to regain the Staff, saying that he would notify the Druidic Council of these events.

Meanwhile, at Lashtal's father's request, Lashtal's mother attempted to be more accepting about her daughter's decision to travel the world in such dangerous times, and even invited her "friends" in for dinner.

The party then gathered and decided that they had best take care of the goblin menace, both because it seemed to be a serious problem for the local villages and because, after the ease they defeated the goblin raiding party they encountered upon leaving Malta Wood, they felt it would a morale-boosting mission after their withdrawal from their previous quest.

Again travelling through Roesh's immediate sphere of influence, they encountered no signs of trouble until they passed the town of Warrensville (8/3), when Venetto spoted goblin tracks. The party followed the tracks to a small grove, and, upon entering, found a group of goblin who were easily dispatched. Venetto traced the goblin's tracks back to a large forest to the east of Malta Wood.

Within the forest they found that the goblins had sealed themselves up within a poorly constructed wooden barrier, and were prepared to fire upon the party with arrows. Stepping back, the party took advantage of their longer range with crossbows and used flaming bolts to set the structure on fire. The goblins disappeared behind the burning wood and while Leento called upon the rain to contain the blaze, Lashtal circled the hastily built fort, noting nothing of interest except a small stream that went under the wood on the eastern side. Returning to her party, Lashtal kicked in the damaged wood while her party members covered her. The group found that the goblins had retreated into a cave in a small hill that was behind the fort.

Advancing towards the entrance, Chyekk called a halt as his dwarvern eyes had spotted a concealed pit trap in front of the cave. Walking around it, the party entered the hill, and found themselves under fire from goblin arrows. Instead of charging the goblin archers, Venetto and Chyekk put up their shields and, shoulder to shoulder, slowly advanced, protecting the rest of the group. Their slow advance was fortunate for they found two goblins laying in ambush in an alcove. Quickly dispatching the two assassins, the party continued its march, and the archers turned and ran down a tunnel where the corridor split into three. The party pursued, ignoring the other two tunnels for now, and then saw the archers retreat through a door. The party found the door locked. Arkospixi squeezed past her companions to attempt to pick the lock, but was unable to. A swift kick from Chyekk also failed to bring the door down. Suddenly the party found themselves in an effectively dead-end corridor with a large force of goblins charging towards them. Goblin archers rained arrows into the party while the front line advanced. Undaunted, the party charged forward with Chyekk and Lashtal sweeping through their ranks and Venetto inflicting massive amounts of damage while Arkospixi and Leento fired into their ranks. Raistlin's flail took down the few that survived the party's initial onslaught.

Having annihilated their attackers, the group returned their attention to the door. Arkospixi began inspecting the knob for traps, but instead of finding a trap, she accidentally triggered one, and poison gas filled the corridor. Arkospixi choked, swallowing some gas and getting badly damaged. The rest of the party managed to hold their breath and avoid the gas as it dissipated. Then Chyekk gave the door another kick, this time knocking it off its hinges. The open door revealed a room with several wooden boxes and a corridor to the north. There was no sign of the goblins that had retreated through here. Stopping briefly to investigate the boxes (finding large reams of good quality cloth in one) the party went off to the north as the corridor opened up into a room with a pit containing bones. The party continued north and found themselves face to face with a giant snake. Behind the snake, the corridor had been collapsed by the fleeing goblins. Leento attempted to halt the snakes attack with his earthpower, but the snake's will was too strong and the snake lunged forward and bit Chyekk. Fortunately, his dwarvern sturdiness protected him from the poison, and the group attacked and defeated the huge reptile. The party then turned south and returned to the other tunnels they had previously ignored. The eastern tunnel contained the empty barracks of the goblin army, but the northen tunnel, which was so narrow the party was forced to enter single-file, contained a huge, deformed looking man holding a giant club: an ogre. Along with him were his two lieutentents: larger, hairy versions of goblins called bugbears, and five strong looking goblins, probably the platoon leaders.

"So," bellowed the ogre in a halting common. "These are the fools that chase away my army..." At the ogre's signal, the goblins fired their bows at the party, but the narrow tunnel and Chyekk's shield made sure that none hit their mark. Then the party advanced towards the waiting ogre and bugbears, and battle ensued. Raistlin beseached Tyr to hold three of the goblin archers in their tracks, preventing them from moving or firing their arrows, and Leento summoned a swarm of beetles to slowly devour the ogre. Venetto and Chyekk and Lashtal dealt dealy blows to the bugbears as Arkospixi wounded the remaining goblins. Soon the ogre and his lieutenants were defeated and the remaining goblins surrendered. Chyekk approached them and began knocking them out with the broadside of his axe, containing his racial hatred of goblins. One of the goblins panicked and ran, but Chyekk quickly lunged after him and knocked him out as well.

Having cleared the goblin hideout of all monsters on the south side of the cave-in, the party returned to the room with the boxes and found that they contained the loot the goblins had gathered from their raids on merchant caravans. Most of the items were too bulky or not valuable enough to be of interest to the group, but Lashtal identified some decent quality jewelry and dishware.

While the other party members were sifting throught the goblin's booty, Leento was forced to sit down as he was being beseiged by another bought of naseua and headache. Meditating, Leento discovered that he had been summoning insects in battle without enough preparation, and if he continuted to cast the spell at that rate it would causd him permanent brain damage.

{Of course, all of Leento's headaches are a retcon, but the reason behind them is, in noting that the Summon Insects spell is vastly overpowering for a 3rd level druid spell, I looked it up in the player's handbook and discovered that Adam had been holding out on me: the spell actually required a round of casting time before it can be employed. I'm also trying to work out limitations to the spell, as I highly doubt that the spell was intended to be used against high level monsters such as dragons or dinosaurs. Honestly, I doubt it would be all that effective on a rhino, or even a man in full plate mail, so I'm discussing it with Josh and Adam, and also my friend Ted who also plays D&D. I may also post a question on the D&D newsgroup, and try to find out if the spell was modified in 2nd edition (1st edition rules are often vague (in fact the DM guide is essentially Gary Gygax's notes in book form, and 2nd edition often expands on or clarifies things). So we'll see. The extra round of casting time is an actual rule from the book, though, and that rule will take effect immediately.}

I also regret to inform you all that this past session was our last session with Bobby. Bobby's schedule at UPS makes staying up late with us on Saturday (even as late as he had been) almost impossible, and he hasn't been thrilled with having to be NPCd for the majority of each session. So his character will be leaving the party at the first logical opportunity (probably the next time you all arrive in a decent sized town). His character will still be around and will be available if Bobby decides to guest-play with us on occassion. Rachel will continue to play with us.

This means that the party will be down a character, and Raistlin was shaping up to be a fairly powerful character at that. With a low AC and high hitpoints, many extra cleric casting abilities due to a high wisdom, plus the ability to cast low level magic-user spells and use mage-only items, Raistlin will be sorely missed by the party (dispite his abrasive attitude). Farewell, Raistlin!

If anyone knows anyone that would like to play, we now have an opening, so let me know...

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