Twillingbottom's Field Guide

A Question of Kruthiks
Day 1: Tumbledown Inn

Well, my quest to pen the ultimate Field Guide started off on rocky footing, as a small bout of fisticuffs broke out just as we were getting to know each other. One Bradley Taggart, a supposed representative from the Univeristy, claimed I owed some debt. The ensuing unpleasantness lead to myself being bodily handled by a spry young female elf (which truthfully, I haven’t seen that kind of action since my freshman year at the University), and unceremoniously dumped behind the bar. Goodman Grog did not mind watching as my would-be compatriots flailed away with Taggart’s thugs, chuckling at the ineptitude of their pugilistic abilities. Eventually, the tide started to turn with some deft acrobatics by my elven molester and a few well-placed fists from her new eladrin friend. Taggart unfortunately decided to beat a hasty retreat. He may prove to be quite troublesome in the future.

Once we had all dusted ourselves off and enjoyed a victory pint, it was time to get to the business at hand. We proceeded down into the cellars of the inn to investigate Grog’s curious bug problem. I immediately took stock of a delightful, if somewhat flattened pair of specimens left behind by our dear barkeep. I can tell you that the insides of these, as of yet, indiscernible creatures had the most vibrant colour. Green-grey ichor oozed from the remains. No sooner had I finished inspecting these remains then had one of my new companions been accosted by the very creatures we were here to catalogue. What luck, live specimens! I immediately recalled back to my entomology studies and discerned that these creatures were non-other than kruthiks. Our eladrin friend Vavara tangled with the little beasties, no doubt purposefully missing the fatal blow (or any blows at all) so that I could properly capture the creatures’ likeness in action. The kruthik’s hinged mandibles lashed out and caught Vavara in the leg, leaving the most fascinating of wounds. I cannot wait to see if the bite leaves some suppurating effect on her. See the attached appendix for her personal account on the encounter.

Hatchling_kruthik.jpg

Unfortunately, once those creatures were subdued (with some manner of magical effect, I will have to remind my fellow budding naturalist that we must keep the specimens somewhat intact) it was some time again until we had another encounter with the creatures. For some unbeknownst reason, our party was more interested in rummaging through old wardrobes or destroying some long dead monk’s book collection. And while I can appreciate the value of these ancient texts (being one who also endeavours to pen such an enduring manuscript) I could sense that we were moving ever closer to our true goal, the nesting lair of these creatures.

Our next encounter with the kruthiks occurred by pure happenstance. Once again my colleagues seemed to be dallying, inspecting the statuary here in the cloister, despite my protests to keep moving. The two brutish ones decided that the statues needed adjusting, and forced their movement with incredible displays of strength. I knew that while I may be alone in my pursuit of intellectual conquests, at least these dim-witted folk would be useful when I had large boxes to carry. The noises from these scraping sculptures, however, attracted kruthiks to our very location! Unfortunately, these were more of the same hatchlings that we had encountered before. And while it is always exciting to find new creatures, and kill them, I felt that we had learned all we could from these juveniles. We needed to find the broodmother!

At this point, it did occur to me that perhaps it would warrant an observation of the environment that the kruthiks had decided to make into their home, for completion of the field guide if nothing else. The walls were covered with murals from the time of the monks, depicting their daily toils and the worship of their god-twins, Valintrus and Vexahlia. I could see how the kruthiks had systematically tunnelled through the old hewn stone walls. Truly remarkable at the speed at which they could burrow despite their small size. The leveraging force of their fore-claws must be astounding. I was contemplating the nature of the murals when one of our more hapless associates discovered that perhaps the kruthiks were not the only danger in these halls. The half-elf known as Berrian walked right into a spinning blade trap (It was my understanding that these roguish types were supposed to be rather observant, who knew?). No sooner had Berrian divulged the location of this heinous contraption, then that large orcish woman (if she could even be called female {side note – conduct study as to what passes for female in the orcish clans, and how the male orc can, er, get motivated to procreate}) decided to rush headlong through the trap itself!

We soon came to discover that the murals themselves were actually showing the path forward. One had to simple bow one’s head, and they would pass through unscathed. I, thankfully being of a proper height compared to my more vertically challenged companions simply walked right past. Finally, after all of our trials and miscues, we arrived at the lair of the kruthik broodmother. I for one, cannot wait for all the zoological revelations we are about to uncover.

Science!

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