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An Excerpt from the Explorers’ Society Pages
Volume XVII, Number 3
Letters From the Field

I write you from the City of Cauldron. Recently, I have gained the employ of Mayor Severen Navalant, who wishes me to report on the happenings in his fair city. He connected me with an adventuring group, the Dungeon Divas. Together we will roam the area, seeking adventure and fame.

Tea in the Mayor’s garden was a lovely affair as I made the aquaintance of the Divas. Myntilly is a tall woman with auburn hair, and a cloak that has seen many battles. I am sure this sorceress has many tales to tell. Indira, the Pelorian Cleric of the group, shows true leadership evidenced by her actions as well as her faithfull protege Buzz. Her stature and mace are a commanding presence. Cinder is secretive as is typical of an elfish rogue; quiet, and usually adding to the conversation after much contemplation. Sadi is a dark-skinned, dark-haired, and dark-eyed ranger. Her cloak surrounds her and she carries a haunted look about her. These are the original members of the Divas. Two other members have been added during their adventures. Acgar, a half-dragon, manages to hide her bulk. It is rare to see such half-humanoids in the City. It is a tribute to the Divas how fully they have incorporated her to their team. The last member is Elvis Krylscar, a former militia man and womanizer, cleaning up his act as he has joined the Divas.

The fame and importance of the Divas can be evidenced by the presence of Lord Vhalantru at the tea. This benefactor is in the habit of creating stone likenesses of adventurers and gifting such statues to the Mayor for his garden. Lord Vhalantru studied the figures of the Divas in preparation for such work.

But enough of such trivialities.

After tea, we walked the streets of Cauldron in search of the Captain of the City Guard, Quinlan Ghelve. It wasn’t long before adventure found us.

Two women stood in the street waiting our approach. They were armed, and stood ready for action. The Divas showed no fear and walked directly up to them. These women, Annah and Cora, were ready for a fight. The Divas showed great restraint parrying the verbal thrusts from these upstarts.

Suddenly I heard an arrow whistle past my ear. I quickly used my wand of mage armor to ready myself for the coming battle. A man behind us was attacking with ranged weapons, while the women used more direct means. Cora’s rapier flashed in the sun, and Annah created a greasy slick under our feet forcing team members to scramble for balance. Another man weilded two knives against Krylscar. The heroic Myntilly cast from the ground while being peppered with holes from Cora. Cinder and Acgar kept the sniper at bay while Indira called on the power of Pelor. When silence surrouned us, I was ready with my joyful noise and Indira was able to cast heal spells. The upstarts quickly realized they were no match for the Divas and ran off.

All except one. The knife-weilder, Zack, had been captured. There was quick deliberation and questioning of the captive. By this time, the noise had alerted the guards, and Quinlan Ghelve himself had been alterted to the scene. The Divas’ magnanamous nature proved true. Instead of relinquishing Zack to the guard, or killing him on the spot, they turned him over to the cleric of his choice — the half-orc Asfelkir Hranleurt at the Church of Kord. Zack was humbled by the mercy of these powerful Divas.

We headed toward the Slippery Eel for some well deserved refreshment. Unfortunately, this was not to be.

A loud, rhythmic banging could be heard from a far off building. The masonry exploded in a shower of talus, and a large creature emerged from the dust. A monstrous insectoid, its mandibles clacking, stood on the street. Citizens stood frozen in dismay and fear. The creature used its four arms to continue its methodical ruin of the warehouse.

Suddenly the air crackled with energy and smelled of ozone. A lightning bolt sliced the air from Myntilly’s fingers and jolted the insect to attention. As he turned toward us, the Divas prepared for action. Cinder climbed a nearby building to gain vantage. The arrows from her bow met their mark. Acgar maneuvered for position to use her acid breath weapon. Krylscar and Indira began to gather the citizens toward safety. I began to compose a wondrous recital to fascinate the creature.

But, alas, there was no time for our actions. Half-orcs garbed as city guard methodically marched toward the creature, banging a babel of chacophonous metallic music.

The creature paused and gazed upon Krylscar. As their eyes met, I could feel the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Drool formed from the corner of Krylscar’s mouth, and his eyes glazed over.

And then the creature was gone. A circle of fresh dirt remained where the creature had burrowed under the street.

Noise. A woman screaming about her baby. More rhythmic rumblings from her building. Yelling, calling, and confusion as we re-oriented ourselves toward this new threat. I quickly put myself in position where the creature would likely emerge, readying my fascinating oration. Myntilly levitated toward the woman with ther baby. Cinder espied an innocent with a cart, calmly approaching the scene. Acgar readied her breath weapon, but seemed nervous about harming passers-by. Indira’s concentration was evident and the palpable power of Pelor gathered strength around us. Krylscar shook off the creature’s spell and approached the guard.

Again, the creature burst from the building. And I was ready with my recitation:

Oh mighty insect with multifaceted eyes,
Your reflective surface gleams brightly
in the afternoon light.

Oh enormous beetle with multijointed arms
your
rhythmic beat shakes,
rattles and rolls all around us.

Will you crush us
or muster us
or push us asunder?

Will you burrow
in furrows to
disappear down under?

The creature paused in its destruction. I had its attention! Quickly, I tried another two verses.

Oh buggy bug man, with multitalented mind
your awesome actions are destructive and a
challenge us us mere mortals.

Oh wondrous winged creature with unclear motive
your massive body gives pause to
creatures great and small.

Then I averted my eyes to avoid its mesmerizing glare. When I looked around, the creature was gone again. Another fresh mound of dirt appeared in the creature’s former location. The woman and her baby were safely away. Cinder was helping the man with the cart avoid harm. Krylscar stood with the half-orc guards who had stopped their banging.

And there were rhythmic sounds of destruction several buildings behind me.

As I turned to look, Indira swooped into the building. Expeditious retreat sent me to her side almost immediately. As I entered the building, I saw the creature prostrate and dying and Indira with a determined look about her.

What was this creature? Who had summoned it? And for what purpose?

Respecfully submitted,

Dyskko

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