This is the autobiographical journal of Arvil Bren, a somewhat reluctant hero who has been placed on an unknown quest by powers that he barely knows exist. Follow his journey as it is updated daily, Monday through Friday, and enjoy! These are the most recent entries in Arvil Bren's third journal; Politics of the Redoran. His first journal can be found in its entirety here. His second journal, Trail of the Archmage can be found here.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Day Twenty-four: The druegh

After my long labors in the night I slept late today. I was determined to resume my mapping, and set my sights on a string of tiny islands that are visible from my dock. Standing well out to sea from Vvardenfell itself these islands mark the edge where the coastal shelf drops away into the Inner Sea. I cast my water walking spell and set off, towing a string of weighted corpses and trailing a huge school of bloated slaughterfish who swam sluggishly along. I hoped that I could leave the bodies far from shore, and leave the slaughterfish there as well.Upon closer inspection what I had called an island chain turned out to be little more than rocks, and there are many that lie slightly below the surface. While the Bitter Coast has much to offer for smugglers, it's waters are incredibly treacherous. As I stood on the rounded top of a boulder, gazing down a long submerged slope into the depths of the inner sea, I wondered how many mariners had met their fate on moonless nights on this rock, or its immediate indistinguishable neighbors.

In the distance to the south I could make out the railing of a vessel, standing just above the lowered tide. I opted to swim a while to try to clear the memory of the gore from my skin. The slaughterfish continued to feed on the landward side of my rock, so I stepped off on the seaward side and stroked lazily for the distant shipwreck. I had an eerie feeling of being watched, but treading water to scan the surface around me revealed nothing. I climbed out on another rock and basked in the sun, and again turned a full circle. Nothing but sea, rocks, and sky; and in the distance the trees of my own island broke the horizon.

I stepped into the water to continue my swim. The plunge left me shrouded in swirling froth, and I never saw the hammering blow that drove the air from my lungs. Fortunately my time here has steeled my nerves, and even while gagging on seawater I was able to complete the required gestures of a water breathing spell. My chances would have been slim indeed without that. A creature had my ankle in a crushing grip, and was obviously intent on holding me beneath the surface. As the water cleared I could see that it had the upper body of a powerfully muscled man. One normal looking hand fluttered in the water, but the opposite arm ended in a huge, powerful claw, which clamped my foot in a viselike grip. Beneath these arms sprouted a second pair, heavily muscled, and ending in smaller claws. The beast had no legs, below the waist long thick tentacles swayed rhythmically, drawing the monster and myself down into the depths. I had met the fabled dreugh face to face. While the druegh is indeed a dangerous adversary and has dragged many a sailor to his demise, they are really no match for a water breathing mage. When the creature's favored style of attack failed and I did not rapidly drown it did not adjust, and I was able to impale it. I crawled back out on the rocks and used my invaluable belt once again, this time to heal the bruised flesh and cracked bones of my ankle. There are armorers who craft with dreugh hide, but the beast's face was a bit too manlike for me to set about skinning it. I scraped off a mass of the waxy coating, which has magical properties, and left the remains to whatever fate the sea held for them. I hope the creature's kin had the opportunity to do whatever their kind do for their dead.


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