11th of Haring, 9:42 Dragon
Silliness with everyone encountering some angry specter of their past aside, ultimately Legnar was able to get his hands on one of those invitations we were looking for. (I may be a bit too deep in my cups at the moment, because for the life of me I can’t recall where it came from right now.) Creating invitations for the rest of us, though, was going to take coin — a whole hell of a lot of coin at first, though our hero the innkeep came to the rescue again and was able to get us the necessary supplies for relatively cheap — and time. While Legnar slaved over his quill and parchment, the rest of us looked for something to occupy our time before the party started. Me, I would have been content to lounge at the inn and keep my eyes open for cultists with a bone to pick, but Alalen and the Tal Vashoth (what’s his bloody name, again?) thought it would be a good idea to pay a visit to a local ruin, apparently located close enough to Val Royeaux that we’d have time to get there and back again in time for the party, even with the inevitable dungeon-delving and darkspawn-slaying taken into account. I admit I wondered how lucrative it could possibly be to explore a ruin that’s apparently within shouting distance of the city, but I didn’t have any better ideas, so off we went.
It can’t have taken us more than an hour to walk out to the ruin, which seems to have once been an old mine or something similar, nestled deep within a narrow crevasse. As we made our way down, we came across an old campsite with the bodies of a couple of unfortunate previous explorers in it, as well as a pack of darkspawn that we quickly dispatched. However, that fight only served to attract MORE darkspawn, and soon we were forced to retreat further into the ruins to get away from them, because apparently we thought THAT was a good idea for some reason. By some miracle, we were able to put some distance between ourselves and our pursuers, and the chamber we found ourselves in was defensible rather than a deathtrap. We set up some crates to use as barricades, and from there, it was just like the old days back on the wall for me — protecting the men next to me, and stabbing until there was nothing left to stab.
Eventually the darkspawn stopped coming, but by that point we decided we’d had quite enough and left to go back to town. At least one of the crates we cracked open had some healing potions and other tinctures in it, so the trip wasn’t a total loss. Given how close those ruins are to Val Royeaux, I suspect the only reason they haven’t been picked completely clean already is because there’s so many bloody darkspawn down there — you’d think the nobs running this town would be more concerned about something like that! Still, once all this party nonsense is said and done and we have our full party back again, it may be worth it to take a bit of a detour and see if we can’t ransack that place properly.