AD&D Campaign Blog

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AD&D Campaign Blog

Postby bill » Thu May 22, 2008 1:39 pm

So yeah, I started running another D&D game after a 10 year break. If anyone is interested, we have a blog where I have been writing a narrative story based on the events and characters within the game. Basically it is a lazy way of writing a story since I have the other players helping me write it, so to speak.

http://www.billy-witch-doctor.com/blog

It shows the newest first as is the way with WordPress, grumble. It has zilch to do with EverQuest but if you feel like reading something for a hot second, check it out.

Also, if anyone reads it, I ask with complete sincerity that you point out typos, mistakes or anything else that can be improved upon. Been a long time since I've written anything and I would like to know what people like in the story.

EDIT
Cast of characters/players:

Rowyn: Rae's female elven rogue
Nanoc: Scott's male human fighter
Rosencrantz: Jason's male human invoker
Artimer: Keith's male human ranger
Vance: Deryck's male human fighter
Lirindel: John's male elven specialty priest of Kossuth [Elemental Fire God]
Chorthier: Cameron's male human rogue
Dresden: Jay's male half-elven bard
Erlan: John's [DECEASED] male elven specialty priest of Selune [Goddess of the moon]
Aurian: Cameron's [DECEASED] male human specialty priest of Sune [Goddess of art and beauty]
Last edited by bill on Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AD&D Campaign Blog

Postby bill » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:21 am

Most of the material here has been moved to another site.

http://dnd.liselle.net/index.php

Currently having some more content moved, I've been writing the last several write-ups myself. I'll be moving material from our Google group into this forum this week.

I've been using the google group we use for planning the D&D games as the forum for my write-ups. Now to get those out into the public eye.

If you're bored and looking for something to read, maybe take a look!

All of the players take random shots at the write-ups when they are inspired. I do write-ups when they need to be done.

Hmm, I'll copy my last write-ups here. I loves the feedback, even when it is critical.
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Re: AD&D Campaign Blog

Postby bill » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:31 am

...and, as Hades had warned Orpheus, his sweet wife was drowned back to the dark world of the dead.

...

...

Gathering their composure and their gear, the Half-Day Heroes packed up their temporary camp in the former campsite of the grave robbers. Stepping carefully over the mixture of thick piles of hay and razored caltrops left behind and arranged by Leera the half-elf historian that the group had rescued from a deep pit, they strode triumphantly towards the waterfall guardian, Sigur.

Today's order of business was to venture back into the throneroom that the heroes had mortal combat with an undead creature claiming itself to be the king. Somehow, it seemed to be a dead-end. Yet, the grave robbing party that Leera had described was nowhere to be found.

Artimer grew more and more sluggish as the days down here dragged on. Aside from strange magical beasts, there was very little room for nature here, if any. "The quiet, infinite resting place of the dead is no place for a woodsman," he thought. Black ichor from previous combat had hardened into a crusty layer on parts of the coiled, leather whip at his side and some of it flaked off as he straightened his darkened studded leather jerkin.

He felt as out of place here as he would have in a boat being tossed whimsically about on the waves of the Sea of Fallen Stars.

As Lirindel clasped a hand over his holy symbol to Kossuth, a small flame flickered in the shadow of Artimer's enchanted torch. While the priest began his morning prayer rituals, Rosencrantz kept a distance. While having his own morning rituals to attend to, he certainly wanted them to be as far from the priest of fire's combustible nature as possible.

Chorthier, sat legs folded in quiet contemplation. Laying across his folded legs was the short sword that was wrested from the deathgrip of the twisted undead creature that claimed to be the king. It looked cruel in the gleaming torchlight, silently reflecting the dancing lights.

On the opposite end of camp, the huge warrior cleaned each of his weapons methodically with a distant, unflinching demeanor. The good priests of Gond had shown him the importance of having clean equipment. While his enormous blade had very little moving pieces, he knew that caring for the blade and all of the parts of the handle were as important as greasing an integral cog of the wonderous machinery of Gond himself.

Traveling through familiar chambers within the tomb, momentarily reliving past battles with fire-scorched arachnids of gigantic stature, they continued onward to the throneroom.

Once there, yesterday's memories of battle and what seemed to be certain death loomed larger than ever. In their own dreams during the previous night, each had lived and died in that fight a hundred, nay, a thousand times. Each re-enactment involved faintly discernable differences that enthralled the dreamer and while terrified, they were each unable to escape their own thoughts.

They slowly wandered around the room, now having the moment to carefully examine the large chamber. There was a throne at the far end, created seemingly from a single piece of grey stone. It was built into the wall and possibly carved from a single piece of stone that lay beyond the walls. It was on a half-dais of what appeared to be the same piece of stone.

Suddenly, Chorthier stopped moving and became completely still. Anyone paying attention would have noticed that this wasn't the first time he had grown rigid, for it signified that he had detected something.

Chorthier's uncanny hearing was something that the group had only just begun to see in action. He turned toward the source of the faint sound he heard when the drawing of a blade broke his concentration.

~Bill
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Re: AD&D Campaign Blog

Postby bill » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:32 am

The sly elven woman ran her slender, tapered fingers along the cold stone block wall. They slid effortlessly, gathering a fine layer of undisturbed dust as they continued along their path. She knew she saw it. Where was it? Moments later, there it was. A tiny, nigh imperceptible space between two of the blocks that was most like a thin slot in the wall.

Once she located the opening, she instantly set to work on tampering with the situation. First, she tried jamming a dirty fingernail into the opening but it was far too thin even for her frail digits. Then she began prying with her fingers until that was considered a failure. Then she realized she had something longer, thinner and stronger than her fingernails.

The magical dagger slid softly from its sheath at her belt. Without turning to see the attention she had earned, feverishly Rowyn continued to assail this barely-visible discrepancy of craftsmanship. Dipping the dagger into the slot as far as it could go revealed a distinct "click" that was suddenly both great and terrible. Whichever it would be, Rowyn was quite familiar with both outcomes by now.

Before any conclusions could be jumped to, the portion of the wall that was next to the slot rose a couple inches very sharply. Then, Rowyn placed a hand on the door and gave the most gentle of shoves. Freely yet slowly, the wall swung inward like a door on a hinge.

Now Chorthier could hear it again, much more clearly this time. "Tink. Tink. Tink." A slow, laborious pounding of what sounded like a pickax against stone. The cadence kept a rhythm as the group gathered at the doorway to descend a long staircase. Chorthier placed a finger to his pursed lips, everyone understood.

The stairway was long and ended at several landings only to continue again to descend in the opposite direction on the far side of the landing. Back and forth they descended below the stone throne. As they descended, the pickax grew louder. Chorthier must have been right about what he heard.

Finally, the stairs fell into a dimly lit chamber. As they descended, they saw varous statues but instead of the normal lifeless, grey stone that previous statues were cut from, these were fully painted and the most lifelike a statue the group had ever seen. Surveying the rest of the chamber, it quickly became apparent that they were not alone. A rather burly hobgoblin man wearing a scar-covered suit of field plate armor was hefting the pickax and driving it into the ground. Standing near him was man in velvet robes.

"You fools," he shouted. "You'll ruin everything!" The sound of the "S" from "fools" had a particularly slippery sound as it slid off the man's tongue. He almost hissed at them. Realizing that these were most likely the remaining members of the tomb robbers, before the two men could react, the group of heroes set upon them.

The hobgoblin dropped his pick and immediately swung an incredibly heavy looking war axe into the air in a wild arc. Nanoc appraised the situation and noted that in all his combat, having never seen an axe of such construction. The man in robes began staring at Nanoc as Nanoc approached the two men, drawing out his long shard of mettle.

Nanoc's eyes locked with the serpentine man's gaze. The man's eyes were yellowed with the appearance of more than a man but that of an animal. A snake, to be precise. In an instant, Nanoc had thought that he had seen snakes everywhere. His heart lept into his throat and he was about to grab as many people as he could and run fo rthe stairs.

But he recognized what was happening. The man was trying to control him. This was a trick and a younger Nanoc would have fallen for it without hesitation. But young Nanoc was fading away day by day as they traveled. This was today's Nanoc, experienced and more prepared to handle magical adversaries. He shut his eyes as tight as his frame could bear and when he opened them again, the snakes were gone. All that remained was the din of combat and the spellcaster before him.

The hobgoblin, the rest of the party; they all melted away as Nanoc drew closer to his target.

~Bill
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Re: AD&D Campaign Blog

Postby bill » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:35 am

The cork-stoppered glass vial bumped and rolled out of a scaly hand and across several stones in the floor, coming to a stop at Rosencrantz's boot. Xeron was dead, his warrior-accomplice lay slain beside him. The liquid within sloshed around, almost possessing a life of its very own within the container.

Artimer spied the hole in the ground that the hobgolblin was widening with the pickax and sharply decided to not steal even a glimpse of it.

Suddenly, a ghostly visage materialized at one of the statues near a sarcophagus. The image was that of a regal blonde man wearing a crown.

This former man, a man once king, then began to paint history unknown to any but the most learned Sembian sages. A history of great betrayal, a history of peril and a future of salvation.

As the group stood before him, mouths agape with wonder, he relived a time at once distant and current, a time where the values of heroism, valor and courage were equally met with diabolical evil, treachery and deceit. This tale culminated with the current state of the king and his court.

Then, he sought the assistance of the group. Apparently some of the grave robbers had made egress down the hole and into the Underdark below. Their departure was only accented with importance when the kingly apparition concluded that the bones of his defenders and wife as well as his own have been stolen.

These bones, he instructed, may be instrumental in the future defense of these lands. He prophesied a time at which his return will occur, at darkest days. However, the loss of those remains may hinder that return. Having bade the return of the remains of those disturbed, he offered something to aid them.

Reaching into the sarcophagus behind him, into depths unfathomable in the natural world, he drew forth a black blade that shone brightly in the dark and dusty tomb. Some of the group shielded their eyes while others immediately took a genuflective posture.

Without hesitation, shame, guilt or reservation, Rowyn outstretched a hand with her head still bowed. Feeling the cool handle press against her palm, she closed her grasp around it and immediately felt a power, an energy unlike that she has ever encountered. Dizzy and confused, as she felt consciousness ebbing she scabbarded the blade and brought the light under her reign.

~Bill
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Re: AD&D Campaign Blog

Postby bill » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:36 am

The arrow sailed for only an instant before striking true against the hay bale that Kuiper set up 100 yards away.

"Nice one!" Kuiper said approvingly. This week, Kuiper was instructing Artimer on some tips and tricks to moving and shooting. Artimer was much clumsier than Kuiper but also much newer at combat.

The salt and pepper haired ranger had seen many seasons in Haranshire. Not many adventuring companies pass through Sembia since the government there considers adventurers to be little more than common thieves and plunderers. Haranshire has been so quiet that the Sembian government rarely has anything to do with it.

Being inland and away from major trade routes, traffic here in Haranshire is scarce and trading even more rare. As the summer gave way to the fall, trading all but completely dried up as the orcs began attacking Thurmaster and then Count Parlfray's keep. Preparing for a winter's long assault, Count Parlfray mustered as many men from Carmen's mining operation as he could afford to outfit.

Strangely, the attacks stopped happening and for a short while, the count was able to breathe and start making more plans to defend against the emergency of the orcs attacking.

Then as more weeks passed, the orcs still hadn't attacked. Things were getting quiet and the Count's son was getting restless about the recent disappearance of the group of heroes into the tomb nearby to the keep.

Lintern, the count's son, eventually traveled into the crypt with some of the heroes that were trying to join the larger contingent of the group. Lintern became separated at one point and wandered for a few days, alone.

Finally coming upon the waterfall guarded by Sigur, he found Leera waiting with Sigur for the group to return. Sigur met with Lintern and escorted both Leera and Lintern out of the crypt via magical travel up and through the waterfall.

As they returned to the keep, Leera explained her entire situation to Lintern, about how she fell in with the grave robbers, about the fate that befell Teryl her husband and the group of heroes that rescued her and continued on deeper into the crypt after Xeron's gang.

Upon Lintern's return with Leera, counsel with the local aged wizard, Tauster, was immediate. The rebuilding of his formerly destroyed tower could now commence.

As the construction had gone underway, the heroes returned days later. Loaded with magical treasures and stories to share, they first met with Count Parlfray, his son and Leera. The consensus was to leave behind things too big to carry and head to Thurmaster to meet with Tauster.

At Thurmaster, the group met with Tauster to have him divine anything he could about the trinkets and items brought back from the crypt. Tausters 5'2" frame hunched and bent at the thought of the exhaustive process being asked of him.

A long sigh escaped his cracked and worn lips. "Of course I can do it." The laundry list of ceremonial processes involved popped into his aged mind. The day will begin at dawn, with the drawing of a protective circle for the purification procedure. That would require an expensive pearl be crushed into powder on the morning of the ceremony and used to draw the arcane circle.

The purification is lengthy and tiring. 8 hours of concentration and ritual are required of the old man of 74 winters. "These never get easier," he shrugged on the morning of the ritual as he crushed a pearl in his mortar and pestle.

Finally, after the items have been purified and protected, he can begin the divination of each item. Focusing ancient magics, Tauster spends another 8 full hours of intense meditation as he handles the different swords, armors and baubles. Prayers to Mystra, the goddess of all magic, prayers to Azuth, the patron of magi, prayers to Oghma the binder: calling upon their infinite reserves of universal wisdom and power to be lent to him, but a shard of their knowledge would be enough the shatter his fragile, mortal human mind.

Not enough power, and the ceremony would be for naught.

The first item was to be Merthuvial, the blade handed to Rowyn by the shimmering once-king. Immediately upon grasping the blade, a blinding light issued forth. The energies swirling around the room were powerful gusts of twinkling wind that threw chairs and furniture across the room violently.

As the gusts raced around Tauster in an engulfing whirlwind of arcane energy, books were being picked up off the shelves and thrown around as well. Tauster's unmoving form was battered and beaten by airborne debris yet his resolve was unwavering.

Moments of the time-stream flashed through his mind, a barely comprehendable montage of information, formulas and equations, images and snippets of songs.

The blade openly defied his efforts, or so it seemed. As he railed against the chaos of the ages, a burning light appeared in his mind's eye. The vision, a black blade. Made of a strange ore not familiar to Tauster, it glowed defiantly amidst an odd frantic storm of magical energy.

His body collapsed onto the ground, entirely spent. Barely conscious, he released his grip on the handle of the sword and closed his eyes. As his mind drifted for what felt like a lifetime, portions of his young life flashed into view.

"Can it be, that ....this is the end of ... me?" His mind strained to comprehend what was taking place. "Mystra?"

The white-blue nimbus forming in front of him could have been Mystra, it could have bee Azuth. But instead, it was something else entirely.

~Bill
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Re: AD&D Campaign Blog

Postby bill » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:37 am

The group posted watch outside of Tauster's tower while he performed arcane rites to divine the nature of the various enchantments placed upon the articles that they had uncovered. The entire day was without incident or event and this bored the group dearly.

Taking shifts to get food and drinks for the posted guard, they rotated 2 people out of the guard each time and were sending them to the Hounds & Tails for snacks.

As they happily munched on freshly prepared chicken and beef made especially for them, they were oblivious to the events transpiring in the home of the wizard they were protecting. The next day they met with Tauster to retrieve the items and to hear his reports on what he had discovered.

To their dismay, his information was sparse. He had little to say about many of the various items and most troubling was his complete lack of information regarding the blade Merthuvial. In fact, the group was so absorbed in finding hat he had to say that they completely overlooked his exhausted countenance as well as the fact that he had left all of the items neatly arranged in a pile on the floor, surrounded by a strange dust that gave an even coat to all of his furniture and rugs.

They also overlooked the over-turned furniture considering that he had just moved back in, perhaps his chambers were just in disarray. They collected their things and bid the old man farewell. Their next stop was to return to Kuiper and try to track down Oleanne, the woman of the woods as she was referred to by the folk of Haranshire.

As Marpenoth came to a close, the gentle breezes of summer sharply became a slew of torrential rains and gale-force winds that were impassable to all but the most stalwart and intrepid travelers. Not to be deterred by any force or obstacle, the heroes set out into the maelstrom.

The going was slow across the plains between the Count's keep and the Redwood. As daylight began to fade, the group finally reached the edge of the forest. By now, many of the leaves had fallen from the branches of the thick forest, revealing a deeper view into the forest as well as giving the trees a more skeletal visage. Their boney appendages flailed and bent wildly as the winds bore down.

Slickened limbs soaked through to the core, the horses plodded along in the mud carefully, slowly, deliberately. Occasionally slipping, they eventually found some cover further north along the edge of the forest. Artimer and Lirindel hurriedly raced around the area gathering what would be the materials for their shelter for the night.

As water poured over the elven man, he cursed under his breath. "Why didn't we stay, this is ridiculous. By Kossuth!" he bellowed into the raging storm. Just then, a flash raced across the darkened sky chased quickly by a peal of thunder. A tree dozens of yards away was struck and flames hungrily leapt up its trunk. The intensity of the storm quenched the fire as fast as it flared up, but Lirindel recognized a message when he saw one.

The dour, water-logged elf returned merrily with an armload of branches and leafy covering. Chorthier raised an eyebrow at Lirindel incredulously.

"I thought the rain was bothering you?" he asked of the lithe priest of elemental fire.

"Kossuth has shown me my place in this storm. It is protecting our path from the ill wills of forsaken gods. Rest easy young humans, this too shall pass." Lirindel's sagely words rang in their heads as they were lulled to sleep by the ceaseless pounding of droplets onto their jury-rigged shelter.

~Bill
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Re: AD&D Campaign Blog

Postby bill » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:38 am

The dull roar of the falling rain masked many noises; it splashed into the Churnett River, it fell onto the saddles of the horses whose riders had dismounted to head over to the river bank, it shaded distant vistas. In the night sky, only a dark blanket of clouds were visible as the source of nature's fury.

Chorthier heard something faint at first, mingled in between the horses' breath and the pounding of the rain on the slippery mud underfoot. They could see glowing eyes, feral eyes that paced back and forth just inside the forest off the edge of the river.

After a moment, Lirindel approached. "Can you see anything?" he inquired. Chorthier noted that while they could see the eyes, he still thought he heard something else. Lirindel focused his eyes in a way that humans cannot comprehend. For him, he relaxes his vision to the point of becoming blurry. As the sharpness fades, shapes begin to take on colors. Any nearby light will ruin the effect as the light still lends clear vision of those things

Shapes that give off heat, become a more intense shade of red depending on the amount of heat being given off. Shapes that give off no heat give no definition at all and blend into the surrounding environment as they possess the same degree of temperature as their surroundings. Things that are drawing in heat or that are colder than the surrounding environment can take on a blue tone.

Lirindel's eyes were as sharp as ever. He wondered if they were as sharp as Chorthier's hearing. Strange human, he thought, to have such a keen sense. Usually one could only expect that level of refined awareness of the elven race.

As Lirindel began to relax his focus, he could still see the reflective properties of animals' eyes on the other side of the river just past the edge of the forest. They were a little high off of the ground to be dogs or wolves, but the patterns of movement gave him the impression that they were either feline or canine or something similar.

As his vision began to see degrees of heat, that's when he saw them. Many shapes resembling large wolves were darting in and out of view, cloaked in the darkness of the tree line which also served to block Lirinedl's direct line of infravision. All in all, he was able to confirm at least half a dozen forms. They were canine in appearance and were about 4' at the shoulder and estimated to be about 7' in length. Much larger than any normal wolf or dog.

Chorthier heard it again. This time it was either louder or closer, it was hard to tell with all of the background noise. He strained very hard to hear the noise that seemed to be coming from the other side of the river. This time it was distinct. He immediately looked around to his companions to see if they heard it as well. It was clear by their calm demeanor that they had not heard it. He became unsure that he heard anything and that perhaps his imagination was playing tricks on him.

A moment later, he heard it once more. This was the last time he heard it because afterwards, the group made haste away from the Thornwood and continued to follow the river towards Milborne. The hair on his neck tingled with energy, his heart pumped furiously.

What he heard rang in his ears for the rest of the trip to Milborne and each time he thought about it, the hair on his neck stood up immediately. It was a low, raspy voice with an altogether inhuman quality to its depth.

"Chorthier"

~Bill
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Re: AD&D Campaign Blog

Postby bill » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:47 am

A fair, sunny breeze floated across the pond at the Eelhold. The sun shone on the water, throwing sunrays randomly over the faces of the heroes. On horseback, they approached a pristine swan floating in the water near the edge of the shore. Its white feathers had a pure quality that seemed to repel any imperfection.

The great bird turned its long neck and began to speak with a beautiful woman's voice. "Thank Mielikki you've arrived, things are getting desperate." Artimer had heard of magical woodland creatures before but had never actually encountered one. He thought he would be less surprised after seeing the things he's seen during his travels with this group but he was mistaken. Finding himself unable to even introduce himself to the avian, he took a barely perceptible step backward in apprehension. The swan's gaze seemed to pierce through him and it made him slightly uncomfortable.

The swan, who's name was revealed to be Shiraz, had apparently known the group from past experiences. One such experience was with a small goblin tribe to the south. The group had helped to relocate the tribe near the Eelhold and away from the farms because of a magical ring possessed by the tribe's shaman. While the magical ring seemed to be the source of slow yet vast flooding of the surrounding plains, it also seems to be able to help control a water elemental that lives in the bottom of the pond here.

Shiraz then began to relay the story of the aarakocra, a bird-people that have had a lair in the cliffs deep in the Thornwood for many, many years. Living in peace, most folk of the county of Haranshire have never even noticed or heard of the tribe's existence. Being one of the only people to be able to fly up to the cliffs, she had been invited to visit with the bird-folk many times.

A peaceful race, they now find themselves threatened. Shiraz had heard of their blight and sought out Garyld for help. Garyld is the local constable in Milborne. He also serves as the contact person for messages to reach the Count the quickest, via his carrier birds. While this took place, the group was still chasing down Xeron and his gang and were nowhere to be found in the county.

The aarakocra had recently reported to Shiraz that they had seen some movement in the forest below. They had seen some ogres and hill giants moving through the forest from the south. Then about a week later, a frightened aarakocra met with her and described an attack on their cliff-lair by giants and ogres. Some of the bird-folk had been captured in the assault as some that were killed were taken as well, presumably all to be eaten.

The aarakocra were unsure about how they were discovered since they stay far from the eyes of the people of Haranshire. Shiraz revealed then to the party that she would have mentioned them sooner but wanted to keep their home a secret, even from them.

When the group sought out Kuiper to find Oleanne, he told them that he would try to find her, but the chances of him finding her were slim. He proposed that they would have better luck if they also consulted Garyld. Upon reaching Milborne, Garyld told them of Shiraz's concern and that they should visit her and see what can be done as well as introduce the possibility of her helping them to find Oleanne.

Oleanne was known as the "woman of the woods" by local folk and rightly so. Oleanne lived in the forests and kept wild animals for pets. She rarely spoke with anyone and kept out of sight to the point of almost being a myth. However, the group felt that she could shed some light on their impending assault on an old keep deep in the Thornwood forest, where more of the kidnappers they've been hunting for months may be hiding out.

"Your goblin friend, Khakki, has been asking about you. Since you need to rest up tonight you should go visit the goblins and perhaps get some shelter in their cave. Tomorrow morning we can finish up making the rest of the plans." Shiraz herself was growing tired of the constant rains that came into Sembia as the winter months drew closer.

"Perhaps the windriders can help your assault into the Thornwood. But for now, let the goblins entertain you. I must warn you though, they've really acquired a taste for the local eels in the pond here. It seems to be all that they eat lately." The swan then began to preen its feathers and stretch its wings.

Later that evening, the group enjoyed a bizarre celebration in their honor, underground and surrounded by tiny green men with blue-painted faces and pointed teeth. Half-cooked eel was the special dish of the event and many of the group enjoyed their dry rations of cured beef, dried cheese and hearty bread.

~Bill
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