Twillingbottom's Field Guide

A Treatise on Failure

Oh what foul fortune befalls me!

Here we are, in the most interesting of locales, with all manner of discoveries at our fingertips, and my compatriots can only think about wanton destruction. Goodman Grog will be happy to be sure, to be rid of his bug problem, but I for one am saddened at the thought of the missed scientific possibilities!

At last we had reached the lair of the kruthik broodmother. No sooner had I brandished my notes and quill then that large brutish orc of a woman rushed headlong into the nest, screaming and carrying on as if the Reaving had returned! I stood there dumbfounded at the lost opportunity to observe the kruthiks at home in their resting state.

kruthik_lair.jpg

Fortunately for me, the wily creatures proved to be elusive, as my companions engaged the beasts haphazardly. i would have time to observe the kruthik’s response to this outside stimuli. In fact, Barrian’s attacks were quite flaccid. He seemed to spend more time on fancy flourishes and twirling about than to actually find any purchase with his blades amongst the chitinous scales of the kruthiks. Perhaps too much time had been spent the evening prior with drink by the hearth and boasting about his many daring exploits. I find that a good night’s rest and a light breakfast is the prudent course of action when one is setting out on an adventure. One cannot properly conduct science with a head full of wool!

The broodmother was none too pleased with us disturbing the sanctity (ha, get it, we are in a cloister! I should pen a volume of jokes and puns…) of her nest. The clamour and din must have been too stressful for the hatchlings, as at the sound of the broodmother’s reptilian shrills, the eggs started to burst, disgorging them into the melee. It is a shame really, that we couldn’t take a moment to observe and enjoy the beauty that is childbirth, as the hatchlings were looking at us for their first meal. The broodmother quickly moved to protect her young, lashing all about with jagged claws and spewing forth poisonous quills. This proved to be too much for poor Miss Iskrem, as she soon succumbed to her wounds. It was only a bold move by Gyna, using her namesake Roundpound technique that saved Puff from becoming dinner. Exceptional that one of her particularly impressive girth could be so manoeuvrable.

Vavara and Luthien had similar woes when we first entered the nest. Perhaps they were as eager as I to see the kruthik up close and personal, and this is why they deliberately shot and fired their respective projectiles off the mark. It was only once the beasts had closed that Vavs and Lutes found their stroke. The elven lasses teamed up to fell one pernicious kruthik. Soon all the specimens were left in a beaten or battered state, and I was able to collect a myriad of samples to be catalogued later.

Now from here I was satisfied to return upstairs to the inn to examine the remains of the creatures, but for some unbeknownst reason my besotted colleagues decided to go mucking about down some dingy passage. Couldn’t they see there was science to be done?! My apprehension soon proved warranted, as at the back of a dimly lit chamber there was the most curious of orbs. Ancient man-made artefacts are not my area of study, being more of a naturalist, but even I could tell this glowing metallic ball, floating above its pedestal should not be trifled with. No sooner had we begun to enter into a healthy debate as to the merits of taking the orb, and how we should proceed, then had Gyna grabbed the orb from its resting place. I swear that woman will be the death of us. I’m not going to say that it served her right, but upon grabbing the orb, her body was wracked with spasms for a few tense moments before she collapsed unconscious to the ground. I think I saw a small smirk on Meliamne’s face. When she finally came to she said that she saw some sort of vision, but if it was of anything other than dumplings and mead, I would be surprised.

Upon our return to the inn, we were approached by a young lass looking for help. The spirit animal protector of her village has gone missing; a moonlight bear. She needed us to assist her in locating and returning the bear. What an exciting opportunity! To see such a creature in the wild is a rare occasion indeed. As long as I can keep my maladroit companions from smashing the bear into oblivion, all manner of knowledge could be gleaned. Perhaps my luck is starting to change!

Science!

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