Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Day 49

Memree and I were still getting dressed this morning when Cleve knocked on our bedroom door. I unlocked it and she practically bounced in, smiling eagerly and carrying, you guessed it, a treasure map, which she triumphantly passed to me.

"A genuine fake treasure map?" I looked at it sceptically, and noticed that, at least, it didn't pretend to be old. The name at the top was 'Castle Grishelm'... the sketchy diagram would presumably make sense if one was actually there, wherever 'there' was. "This 'Castle Grishelm' is part of the local cave and tunnel system?"

Cleve's fingers were moving quickly, and Memree's eyes were following them carefully. "Cleve won the map at cards last night, so at least it didn't cost anything", she said. "The man sketched it out at the table, Castle Grishelm is an old ruin in one of the first big caves, a lot of adventurers pass that way - but it has dungeons, and those dungeons have...secrets? Secrets that only this map can reveal."

"So we need to team up with dwarves, elven archers, and a half-orc or two, on the chance that this map is genuine, and that the 'secrets' involve treasure rather than deathtraps?"

"Cleve says no - it's an easy cave to get to, the three of us can do it, the system's worst monsters never come up that high."

Fine - we were going to take the word of a losing gambler, and stake our lives on it. I was tempted to ask around a bit, see what I could discover about this underground castle...but the face you chatted to over a tavern table might next appear behind a battleaxe in the underground, convinced that you were after a treasure worth killing for. Cleve was overwhelmingly keen on this project, and, well, if it was a less dangerous area than most, and there was a chance of finding something other people had missed...well, call me a sucker, but the idea was starting to appeal to me.

So we made some preparations today, including getting plenty of bolts for Memree's crossbow, and a good supply of the best ointments and potions and poison antidotes from a reputable apothecary. Apparently the route we are taking is open enough for Hengist, so we'll be letting him carry all our stuff, including ample fresh water, biscuits, and smoked meats, enough provisions for a ten-day at least.

And tomorrow, as quietly as we can, we'll set out on this ridiculous quest!

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