Skulls & Bones

NOW What?

Tarine 4, 1011

We’ve been hired again. There’s actually a notice board in one of the bars where suckers/ desperate souls tell everyone their problems and then sit around and wait for heroes to swoop in and save them. Disturbing. This guy, Harold Miner, a mid-level rich merchant, has lost a ship (to pirates, no doubt) and says that we have a reputation for helping people. The hell? Still, he’s willing to pay 5000 gp for the return of the Heaven’s Breeze, plus 100gp per head for crewmen. Says he cares about them. It’s like I know all the words in that sentence, but I still don’t know what it means. Since when does any boss care about the workers?

Also on the notice board was news of parents looking for their disappeared kid. I don’t think anyone noticed, but I had a bad moment when I read that. I wondered if my parents lost me and if so, did they care? I was actually jealous of that stupid kid while at the same time I was sorry for him. Imagine having parents who want you around and being yanked away from that. I almost wish we would take that job, but there’s no way I could say that out loud. Except maybe to Bach. I miss him.

I have started hanging out on board the Goat’s Revenge. It’s cool—I have people around me, but I don’t have to actually talk to anyone if I don’t want to. We all set off following the route of the Heaven’s Breeze and I barely noticed the difference in my day.

That first night while I was on watch, everything just felt weird for a moment; and then all of us felt nauseous and the lights all dimmed. I’ve seen Pascha do a similar kind of fog spell so I woke him up to see if we were under attack or something. He tried a light spell and that was dimmer too. Hearing a commotion on deck, we ran up to hear sailors trying to pinpoint something floating—maybe debris from the missing ship. Man, I hope not. That ship is worth a lot of gold intact. Pascha put another light on an arrow and I put it into the piece of wood the sailors saw. It appears to maybe be a crate or something, but the light is just so dim we can’t quite make it out.

Snake turned himself into a swan to fetch it. It has stencil on it that confirms it’s from the ship we’re looking for. Damn.

It seemed as though a storm was coming so Snake became a shark this time to investigate. Instead of a storm (which we’re actually prepared for) he brought news of some kind of dragon/drake that bit him and shocked him. Also the Heaven’s Breeze has been burned up. I was okay with salvaging a ship, but listen you stupid god, I do NOT want to be a hero. Not even a little bit.

The sun rose and it was still too dark to see well, but off in the distance we can see the monster jump out of the water. Pascha said it didn’t look like a normal drake. Gee, what a shame, since I’ve never seen a drake before and now I still won’t know what they’re supposed to look like. How am I supposed to tell thrilling tales of our mighty adventures without accurate details?

We stood on deck just watching the drake approach us (I put an arrow into it but I doubt it even noticed). It flamed a lightning bolt that ricocheted off a handful of guys in the center of the deck and fried them. Damn. People are going to stop being willing to work for us if this keeps up. Pascha yelled for everyone to get below decks. Sounded like a sensible plan. Below we got ready to fight the monster. See that’s a sentence that I’ve written way too many times. I always wonder afterwards what I was thinking, but in the moment I forget how outmatched we are. Snake started putting armor on his wolf. Seriously, an armored wolf. That’s not even strange anymore. He and Pascha threw some different spells on me and I drank a couple of strength potions that Gimbell made for me. Pascha peeked out and told us there were two of them now. Sure, ‘cause one would be too easy. We heard them tearing up the masts and riggings because of course they’re smart enough to jack with the ship’s sailing capabilities.

The wolf and I flew out (and that’s not weird either) and tried to flank one, but it hit me hard enough to know I couldn’t take another one, so I played dead. Snake crept out to heal me, but it wasn’t as good a job as Gimbell does. Still, I barely know the guy, so why is he risking his neck for any of us? I don’t get that. The wolf flanked one with me so I lunged and nailed his ass. The other one ran away. Wait, what? We killed one and frightened off another? How did that happen?

We plan on taking a couple of days to repair the Goat and to track the other drake. That’s the heroic thing to do, is it? It’s not enough that we killed one, no. Now we must track down a creature that ran away, but can easily kill us all.

As we were in our dinghy, I noticed something way off in the distance. It looked like maybe something in a cage. Around that time, we all heard someone trying to call for help. Man’s been out here floating on a piece of flotsam for days, maybe weeks. I remember how that feels. He looks rough. Eventually he could tell us his story.

The Heaven’s Breeze actually made it to Waycoast, but it was all different and creepy. The darkness was there and some of the ships were armed and dangerous-looking. They could see on deck what could only be those horrible chain-things we fought earlier. They turned around and I don’t blame them. Running away is a very sensible option and I don’t know why we don’t take it more often. Colin said the drakes attacked them on the way back to Runner’s Cove. They saw some tiny things—I pointed out the one we saw—right before the drakes hit them. The tiny things were joined by more of their kind and Colin’s sure they were watching the ship. Snake shaped into a bird to look closer. They are eyes inside of cages made of armor or scales. He followed one and they report to the chain-thing creatures. Upon hearing this, Pascha put together the pieces: we’re on the Shadow Plane. That’s right, we’re no longer in our home plane, where light and gravity and things like that work normally.

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We’re Heroes Now?

The orb was actually on the ship. Unbelievable. Just like that, it’s over.

We have some choices now about the new ship. We can tow it back to Runner’s Cove for a reward or we can refit it and become a pirate fleet. Which is a stupid idea. Not that I have a problem with the idea of robbing people, which I don’t and never have, but sailing around looking for fights? Dumb. We had to go back to North John Hollow to hire more crew. Lots of new faces now. Snake took my advice about where to put traps around the orb. Wow.

When we got back to Runner’s Cove, Bob went to talk to Harris Goldtooth, the manager of Waycoast Trading Company – one of Griffon’s competitors. I like this guy already. His daughter and Darius were the ones who told the ship to leave early. While we were at the docks, Severd’s people showed up to escort us to the Drunken Pirate. We caught him up and he wanted to hear our story a second time. In the meantime, some other guy has been examining the orb. Turns out it’s a fake. Of course it is. Unbelievably, Severd does not kill us then and there. Instead he just instructs us what to do if we ever hear anything about the real orb. We are to go to Perrin’s Bay, find the Salty Parrot, talk to Mick the bartender and say we have a message for Black. From Angel’s journal, I guess. What is it with that town? It keeps coming up. So we’re going to live after all. We’ll just owe Severd a favor. I can live with that. Ha!

Part of the price for the reward is going to a party at Goldtooth’s. Yuck. I had to buy a stupid dress for the occasion. At least Bob told me what color to look for. Snake got himself a pair of stilts. Idjit. I lurked in a corner and sort of mentally walked through the torture the Seneschal put me through in order to remind myself that this party is not that bad. Around 11, some guy trailed in looking like he’s been in a fight and headed for the house. I watched Harris get notified and follow. A little while later, a servant told Bob that Harris wants to talk to us. You know what? I’m tired of being on the radar of the important people. I miss anonymity.

Long story short, injured guy works for Goldtooth and has news of a disaster. Surprise. They were bringing in a caravan from Grenadier and were attacked by a creature with flesh hanging off its bones. It flew above them and used a bone bow and arrow. It also panicked people with its howl. Pascha has heard of this thing and explained it, but all I remember is that the arrows paralyze you.

This really does not sound like our problem, and so far Goldtooth hasn’t threatened us into going after the thing. The next thing I know, drunken Bob is negotiating for us to go kill the thing. Did I miss the part where we turned do-gooder? Was there a vote?

Belintine 26, 1011

We take five of our people (See what I mean? We have people.) to tend the wagons we’ll need to bring back the iron ore that we will be recovering. Because we’re heroes.

At least the journey to the ambush was uneventful. I could tell when we got to the place, because it stank worse than a tanner’s. The human and horse corpses looked pretty much untouched, except for scavenger nibbling. The ore was just lying around. Whatever hit them was only interested in killing. See, I don’t understand that. It’s not like I would care if someone got hurt in a robbery, but that’s never been the point. That is just weird, leaving money lying around.

We snuck around examining the wagons, casting spells and waiting for the monster to make an appearance so we can defeat it. Because we’re heroes. It appeared and pretty much took out Gimbell. He’s just not that good at moving silently, poor guy. Bob gold-dusted the thing and it seemed to work, but it howled and I couldn’t move with fear. See, this is why we’re really not heroes. Here’s the strange thing, though. It actually missed me with some of its arrows and then I could move. I guess having an arrow sticking out of you is a good thing. I flew over and smacked it with my new mace. Gimbell must have done his healing thing because I suddenly felt a lot better. Bob started singing and I smacked the crap out of the monster. I love my new mace. It went down! I can’t believe it! We were barely wounded and it was dead. How very … heroic of us.

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We Kind of ARE Stupid

Apparently Darius’s grandfather had been the one to find the crypt. Then some old man came to the family and offered to help them with their business in exchange for their help with … I just realized that Darius didn’t say with what. This was also about the time that the undead started spearing. Darius tried to distance himself from the deal, which went about as well as you’d think.

We told the sheriff about the tunnel, but by the time he got there, it didn’t exist anymore. Of course. In other weirdness news, Snake spotted another Darius walking around town. The new one radiates magic.

Darius tried to bribe us with his treasure trove if we rescue his wife. He outlined the traps in the tunnel to the basement. We headed off to his mansion while I was trying to decide how I felt about this. I don’t care about his wife, but I don’t especially want any harm to come to her either. I do want Darius to hurt some, though.

When we got there I discovered an extra trap in the tunnel: one that set off a fireball, announcing our presence. We decided to abort the mission (I’ve always wanted to say that) and return tomorrow night. Darius was gone when we returned. I reminded everyone that I had wanted to tie him up. Several times.

We relocated back to Snake the Idjit’s place and Severd showed up that night. We fill him in on everything, including the bit about the boss chain-thingy teleporting out with the orb. He couldn’t believe that we hadn’t worked out that the orb can’t BE teleported – why else would Angel have sent it with us on a ship to deliver it by hand? He was also incredulous that we bought Darius’s story. Looking back, we have been stupid. We never questioned anything anyone told us. Severd called us a bunch of idiots, told us he’ll get reinforcements and ordered us to watch for anything unusual. Umm, if we’re such dumbasses (which we kind of have been), then how would we recognize that something’s unusual?

Pascha knows about the chain-things and something called Khytons. Those are beings that just adore pain and suffering, even gaining powers from it. If they are working together, things will get really bad. That much I can work out for myself.

Three days later, Severd returned with warriors, magic users, and instructions. If he doesn’t return from the raid on the Griffon house, we are to take some message of his to Parrin Bay. More importantly, we are to try to find the orb and take that to Parrin Bay. Yeah, giving us that job worked so well the first time. He told to stay away from Griffon House because the fight is way over our heads. I could have told him that. I think I actually did once.

We split up to go and watch things and make ourselves useful. Bob and I went to the docks, Snake decided to fly around the Griffon house (that we’re staying away from) and Pascha and Gimbell wanted to try the tunnel to the basement again. We are slow learners.

Around 4 am, an unscheduled ship pulls out. The Marbled Wave. What a name. We need to tell the sheriff about this, us being such law-abiding types and all. Actually, I’m just looking forward to pounding the door and waking him up in the middle of the night. Sheriff was not happy. This may be the highpoint of my day. Bob had told me to keep my mouth shut, but mouthing off the sheriff is a reflexive action, so I spent the rest of the night in jail.

Snake, I later found out, observed the magic user that had lightning-bolted him ride out from the Griffon house with a couple of mildly injured guys. He followed them north and watched them take some trouble to hide their tracks. In the morning, they teleported. So, no orb. See, we can learn.

Pascha and Gimbell went to the mansion in the early morning and discovered it completely abandoned. The gate was open and although there were signs of battle, there were no bodies.

Gimbell sprung me from jail and we collected Bob on the way to find the elusive tunnel to the basement at the Griffon mansion. Took me about five tries to disable the fireball trap and then I “discovered” another trap 30 feet in which collapsed the tunnel on me. Do you know that the guys got me out instead of cutting their losses? I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t even look them in the eye after that.

Bellintine 20, 1011

Following up on the Marbled Wave, we talked to the harbormaster. Its final destination is Falak and it only left about 8 to 12 hours early. We pooled our money and bought a ship of our own (I can’t believe that I just wrote that sentence) and followed it. Their first scheduled stop was at North John Hollow. We got there just in time to see it pulling away from the docks. We could see the sailors moving around on deck, but something about it was off. Snake shape-changed into a bird and flew over to look more closely. The crew’s clothing was way too baggy on them all. That plus the gloves and bandanas over the faces made him believe they’re skeletons. He counted a crew of about 10 to 15, not counting my buddy Darius. No surprise that the ship is not headed towards its next scheduled stop. We caught up to it since our ship is lighter and guess what? They have a new flag. The symbol of the new god of death. I guess that explains the undead motif.

Each ship hooked the other and got ready for battle. The skeletons were the same as the ones from the crypt – both the easily destroyed ones and the tougher ones. The wimpy ones mostly disappeared when Gimbell did his cleric thing. Impressive. Darius came up on deck followed by a cleric of his own. Oops. A hellhound appeared on our deck and killed off most of our crew pretty quickly. I was busy fighting some skeletons on the Marbled Wave and missed out on that. The cleric floated around in the air and did his evil version of Gimbell’s healing. That hurt quite a bit. When I went down, the hellhound and all the skeletons were gone. When I came to I crawled over to a dinghy to try to sneak up on the cleric. Who did his damage output thing and knocked me out again. Gimbell woke me up again and I tried shooting at the cleric. After a ton of misses, I got in a lucky shot and Snake (who had shape-changed into a giant … wait for it … snake) took him down. The battle being pretty much over, I charged at Darius. Gimbell shot icicles at him, Snake flanked him with me and I skewered him. Good riddance.

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Family

Half a dozen skeletons and something that I found out later is called a Crypt-Thing jumped out of some of the coffins. Idjit actually did something useful and cast some strengthening spell on me (without asking, but it’s not like there was time) while I took a different kind of strength potion that Gimbell had made. Bob flanked the skeletons with me. Odd. Even stranger, I stayed conscious the whole fight.

Dwarven knowledge of stonework says that everything in the shaft higher than 10 feet is very much newer.

We checked out the other coffins, and half of them have or had skeletons in them. The other half will move (eventually) and reveal a door. No traps and not locked.

They all followed the same pattern: an empty room with a door on the opposite wall which led to a short hallway with a door, which opened to a room with skeletons (weaker ones than the ones we killed in the main room) and a door on the opposite wall, which led to another short hallway with a door that opened to a room with some undead the religious people called wights. Bob would cast a spell making the floor slippery and they would all fall in a pile. That was actually kinda funny.

On the third coffin, the pattern broke. There was a door leading out of the wight room. It opened into a longer hallway which led to the main room, I guess. It was really huge and contained tables and cages used to torture people. As I went into the room, I recognized some of the body pieces. Many of the younger kids of Gregor’s gang ended up in here. Thanks to the seneschal, I have a fairly good idea of what they went through.

Not that there was time to be thinking though. Darius Griffon was at the other end of the room, fainting with terror. Wimp. More important, some monster that I thought was chained up came rushing at us, waving its chains. We backed back into the hallway and waited for it to open the door, but it outwaited us. Bob shot some shiny glittery stuff at it that blinded it, but it sent out waves of fear which got to me. I must have panicked and run because when I calmed down I was at the other side of the room in an ice storm that one of the magic-users had summoned. I ran back to the battle, but the chain monster was dead. Darius regained consciousness and started babbling about how he was a victim and his family was at risk. While the tortured remains of MY family surrounded us.

I do not feel kindly disposed towards him.

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Aftermath

The meeting in the alley was a trap. At first the fight was going like it usually does, Bach and me getting hurt, going down, and waking up to continue fighting.

This time, though, when I woke up, the battle was over, we were in Gimbell’s rooms, and Bach wasn’t there. They told me he was cut in half, just about, and Pascha and I were down, so they grabbed us and ran. I can’t believe they just left him. I don’t remember much after that. I planned to go and look for his body, I know that much, but I think I lost it before I got out the door. I remember screaming at the guys, but I have no idea what I said.

Everyone is being kind to me. Instead of being unnerving, it feels kinda nice. There’s an empty space were Bach oughta be.

Severd came to the room to check on our progress. He didn’t already know about Bach. We go over our trip to Griffon’s warehouse and Pascha and I realized that one of the guys from the alley fight had been working in the warehouse.

Severd told us we need help with our task. No kidding. He said he’ll bring us someone. Can’t wait. He returned with this poser-looking idiot. Who invites us to his place to discuss matters. He did put out a decent spread for us. I have no idea why he’s sucking up to us. He even told me he was “sorry for my loss.” Jerk.

The new plan was to return to Griffon’s warehouse. Gimbell can disguise himself and look around for the guy from the alley. No dice. Guy didn’t show. Next new plan was to buy a divination spell. It told us to look among the Griffons. How nice. Idjit decided to check out the graveyard and actually noticed something. There haven’t been any new family burials in the last forty to forty-five years. Weird, especially since I remember the big deal when the current Griffon’s father died a year or so ago.

The latest new plan was for Pascha and Gimbell to check out the warehouse at night. They found out that how the guards are hired, and that there’s one guy who is there every night. The rest of the guards are just a little relaxed about their job; not sloppy, but not expecting anything. While they were doing that, Bob tried looking for Alley Guy in the bars. No luck.

Idjit tried to spy on the Griffon mansion, but was instantly spotted and lightning-bolted. Hah. We relocated back to Gimbell’s rooms for the night. The new latest new plan will involve going back to the warehouse, jumping the guard and searching the place. That went smoothly; Gimbell cast a silence spell so he couldn’t raise an alarm and I stabbed him. We looked around the offices but didn’t find anything. So we went back to the piles of boxes and found a passage built into a fake box. Someone is serious about this place: a couple of ladder rungs down into the tunnel have been greased. There’s a room at the end of the tunnel. It’s very strange – it’s got 8 walls and 16 coffins.

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Bach's DEAD

I can’t even …

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Master Assassin

I’m not going to dwell on what happened the next couple of days. It was about what could be expected from Nutso Whackjob, the Seneschal. We were transported to his city to be “questioned.” The headcase has decided that I’m a master assassin. This means that there’s no point casting a truth spell on me. Master assassins are well known to be impervious to magic. But not to being chained to a wall and beaten. Obviously that’s going to make my master assassin-self crack. I’m still so weak from that trapped box poison that it doesn’t take much to send me unconscious. After a couple of days of all this fun, Whackjob came in trailing after some new guy, acting like a he’s new guy’s dog. New Guy, Severd, tells them to heal me and dress me. This can’t be good. I asked about Bach and he ignored my request. He wants to know if I killed Angel the Tengue (the bird guy) or the captain of that ship. I said no. Then he asks if I will swear to this and submit to a truthspell. I said I already did both. Then he stabbed me in the throat. Well, that’s a reasonable response. As I go out, I hear him tell Nutso it’s impossible for a master assassin to ignore training and let herself be attacked. How nice.

Diakrine 26, 1011

I wasn’t sure I was going to wake up this time. Severd has given us 45 days to find the location of the missing orb from the box. He also wants us to find out who killed Angel. If I’m going to live (even if only for 45 days) I want my locket back. Severd made Whackjob hand it over. That was almost worth him taking it. He made some (deliberately, I’m sure) confusing comment about my locket’s significance. I’m dying of curiosity, but I know I won’t get a straight answer. Plus I refuse to give either of them the satisfaction.

We got back to Runner’s Cove and the magic users tried some spells to find out who killed the Tengue. It didn’t work, of course. It couldn’t be that easy. Another spell directed us back to start looking for answers at the Crow’s Nest. The bartender remembered Angel, but not much else. As we were leaving, Gwen, a waitress, said her sister had rented a shack to Angel and would lead us there. Wow. A break. I wonder why that happened.

After meeting the sister and making arrangements to check out the shack, I triggered a trap on the door that I was trying to disable. A big pile of earth rose up and slammed me hard. We ran around trying to get away from it while still hitting it and eventually it just went away. This is the new normal in my life.

I finally got the door open and Bach and I started searching the tiny room. The parts that don’t have an altar to Chellos. I found a loose floor board, but that was trapped, too. At least I think so. Everyone started acting really stupid for a couple of minutes. Not that I could tell the difference with the bard. After everyone cleared out, I found another trap that hit Bach with more poison. I finally dug out what seems to be Angel’s journal. There were some references to Gregor the news that he’s dead. The “Servants of the Traitor” killed him and some others. No mention of the others that disappeared when Gregor did. There was also a reference to a griffon. We decided to ask the sheriff if any of this made sense. You know, because he’s been so helpful and all.

There’s a trader named Griffon that the sheriff really hates, so we go check out his warehouse. Even though the sheriff said we should concentrate on his house. Griffon seemed to have no clue about any of this, especially what Pascha meant by “Seekers of the Orb.” We were eating dinner when a kid came in with a message for the “Seekers of the Orb.” Didn’t take long for the word to get out. The kid took off running and tried to lead us into an alley. We stopped at the end of it, and saw some figure at the other end.

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New Levels of Weirdness

We all agreed to lock me in the captain’s cabin. Bach tried to slip me my thieves’ tools, which was sweet of him, but Bob’s monkey saw him. I hadn’t even noticed. Show you how messed up everything is. I gave the tools over, but then we argued about who would have the key. Bach insisted on holding it himself, of course, and things were about to get ugly so I said I would trust the dwarf with it.

That night I heard yelling during the first watch. I found out later that some creature covered in black slimy stuff had climbed aboard and breathed on Gimbell. Bach jumped down from the mast where he was and ran downstairs and broke the lock off my door so I wouldn’t be trapped, gave my rapiier and we got in position for when the creature followed. In the meantime, Pascha was trying to wake up Bob. He had no luck until he actually opened the door and shook him. Pathetic. When the thing showed up, it hit me really hard. I backed up, so Bach could get behind it. No dice. Bach went down, and so did I. Gimbell must have arrived during all this, because he did his healing thing and I woke up. And went down again and woke up again. Bach and I started to chase it upstairs when we heard Pascha yelling from my former cell. Bach and I headed in and could not hit the thing. Bach went down again, and Bob actually took his place. Astonishing. I finally got in a lucky hit and killed it. When I walked out in the hallway, I saw Gary’s re-dead body. Naturally. I can’t wait to get off this ship.

We finally reached Runner’s Cove. Pascha and Bob want me to see a cleric. Bach’s worried they’ll put me away, but I’m a little worried about the weirdness, so I agree to see one in public. (As long as they pay for it.) I guess it’ll happen tomorrow. We all split up for the night. Bach and I stashed up our share of the loot in a bunch of different places. It’s strange to have so much money. I don’t even know what to spend it on, apart from food. At dinner, the sheriff showed up looking for us. We’ve been gone for months, but it’s the same old business with him. Whatever. Apparently, I’m supposed to have killed that bird-guy that gave us the box to deliver. I remember now that he said something about dying soon, but I thought he was poisoned or sick or something. Instead he was stabbed with a dagger, so the sheriff instantly thought of me. Isn’t that sweet? Then it got weirder. There’s some other survivor from the shipwreck who swears he saw me stab the captain of the ship! I don’t get it. The sheriff wanted his usual bribe, but of course we just stashed all our money. I don’t feel like revealing one of our hiding places, so Bach and I accepted prison hospitality for a couple of days. I wonder when I’m supposed to talk to the cleric? The guys show up eventually and convince the sheriff to let Bach go get some money, knowing he’ll come back to get me out. When we got our stuff back, we examined the box after all this time. The seal’s broken. Nosy sheriff. When we got back to the inn, I decided to open it. I mean, the seal was already broken, so we’re kinda screwed. Naturally the box was trapped. I got drained of strength and health worse than when the purple sickle-hands hit us. Gimbell will fix me in the morning, though, so it’s not too bad.

Famous last words. Before morning, the sheriff returned with the Seneschal and his men. Who demanded that our stuff be searched. Remember that dagger that I found during the storm? Yeah, me neither. The body I took it from was apparently the ship’s captain. You know, the one a witness said I stabbed. That’s enough for the Seneschal to order both of us put in chains. Overreaction much? When they finished dragging us back to jail, they strip and search us. No especially big deal, apart from the humiliation, but then that bastard yanked my locket off my neck! I lost it then. I don’t even know what I was screaming at him, but it made him punch my lights out. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

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I hate that effin' god

We rested at the nice tree-lady’s grove (or whatever it’s called) for a couple of days before going back. We planned to ruin the symbol in the ground in case some spider-people survived. When we went back, there was a crowd waiting for us – 4 purple things and 7 big spiders. Pascha enlarged Bach which backfired: Bach drew tons of attention and got beat up pretty bad. Things got better when he moved over to where I was and we could fight like we’re used to fighting, flanking someone and taking ‘em down. We dropped a purple and a spider that way. Seemed like Bob went down about that time, and Gimbell moved over to help him. Then I got surrounded and went down. I came to just in time to see Bach go down, but he wasn’t actually unconscious. I could hear him singing to himself. The poison made him too woozy to even stand up. Gimbell came over wearing his metal lobster suit and acted like Bach, which let me get a good one on a spider. I think it was then that I could hear Bob singing while lying on the floor. Poison must have got him too, but at least he wasn’t gonna burn up too much healing. I went down and Pascha brought me back, and then Gimbell did his Bach impersonation again and I took out the last spider. We got in a circle and Pascha did his group-heal thing.

We searched all through the rest of the caves, but we didn’t find any more creatures. We did, of course, find a ton of treasure. I’m starting to get bored with the look of a pile of money and gems. Something is seriously wrong with that. I will make it official now: I will track down whatever god thinks my life is a game and then I will dedicate my life to desecrating his altars. See how he likes being jacked with.

Diakrine 21, 1011

Finally, some good news! The ship’s ready and we can get the #%^&^ off the island.

It was getting too uneventful, obviously. I woke up last night being stabbed. By Gary. Who had a crazed look in his eyes. Even weirder, the muscles on his arms and legs had apparently been somehow enlarged to the point where they bulged out of his clothes. Not weird enough? Well, I woke up yelling (from being stabbed) but no sound came out of my mouth. Is there more than one god messing with me? I tried to just run, but the door wouldn’t open because why should it? We fought in the cramped cabin and I took him out, but then I passed out myself. Bach woke me up and it looked really bad. I didn’t have the wounds anymore and Gary looked like he used to look. Except for being dead. With my rapier in his heart. We decided to wait until the next watch because everyone else is a magic-user and they need their sleep in order to cast spells. Nobody believes my story. Even Bach thinks Gary did something to me and I killed him for it. At least he believes I had a good reason for killing him. I know my story sounds crazy, so I’m glad that Gimbell casts a truth spell on me. I told them everything. Now we’re all confused, instead of just me. Also, the boat registers magic now, when it didn’t before. ^(*%@$! gods.

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Giant Spiders and Purple Sickle-Hands

So, we went to the spot on the map marked with a web. After we cut through some of the web, we found another cave. Yeah, we’ve obviously been having too many open-air fights. All the halls and rooms had incredibly thick webbing on the walls. Bach said it struck him as a likely hiding place and I agreed. We got into a pattern of tearing down webbing as we go through a hallway, go into a room, check for traps, disable traps (unless they involved falling rocks, for some reason; good thing Gimbell has healing magic), tear down that webbing. Some rooms had some (big) spiders in them, and Bach and I would take them out, while everyone else watched our backs. Weird sensation, that. Finally some of the spiders appeared to have learned not to charge us and started spitting webbing. They were joined by this purple sickle-handed thing. It looked like it could be a problem but Bob sang to it and it got confused.

One of the spiders bit Bach and he started getting weaker, but Gimbell fixed him up. The dwarf’s really starting to grow on me. We tried to question the purple thing, but it bit me when Bob stopped singing. Bite made me incredibly woozy. Gimbell put another spell on me to stop it getting worse, but I stayed dizzy for the rest of the day.

We eventually made our way to a huge room with a dozen hallways leading to it. On the floor was a star made of two triangles and a bunch of squiggly symbols around in a circle. Didn’t get to look closely because there were three spiders and a couple more of the purple things. And then four more showed up. Bach rushed the two spiders across the room and of course I followed, but nobody else did. Way to separate the party, guys. After Bach and I finished with the creatures on us, I looked over to see Bob in the middle of the sickle-hands and spiders plus this huge spider that came in while Bach and I were busy. I didn’t see Pascha or Gimbell, but there was a new area of fog in the corner, so they were probably inside that. Wonder why they didn’t grab Bob? Pascha (it turns out) shot a fireball that killed one of the purple things, but it also downed Bob. I missed what happened after that because the giant spider rushed me and I went down too. I woke up a few moments later as Bach was getting up also. Pascha was over by us, also down, and Gimbell went down as Bach and I got up. We took out the last sickle-hand (apparently the boss) but it got me as it died. This time when I woke up Pascha and Gimbell are alive but paralyzed and the boss purple was thoroughly dead. Bach dragged Bob’s dying body over to us and Gimbell broadcast some healing – enough to get us out of there. Before we left, I made a copy of the symbols on the floor to show to the nice tree-lady.

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