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A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

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Penelope Quink

Post  Penelope on Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:36 pm

Date:  11th of Lamashan, 4714
Location:  Outside of Uskwood, Nidal

We arrived early this morning at Orolo’s Quay, which is really nothing more than a few ramshackle buildings with a dock.  Still, it was good to have the ground beneath our feet again.  We’ve certainly spent a good deal of time aboard ship considering two of our number would prefer a more terra firma type path.  Every day I appreciate the fact that I have found myself among good solid Pathfinders who will not let fear nor discomfort hinder them from attaining our goals!  I am a lucky girl to be able to record their exploits!

After making port, we spent a few hours canvassing the locals (i.e. hitting the tavern) in order to get a better idea of how to make our journey to Karpad.  The shortest route would be to take the road through the northern reaches of the Uskwood, which is known for its spider population and occasional ettercap sightings.  This would take about four days.  The other option would be to travel north around the edge of the wood, which would add a number of days to our journey.  No thanks.  We unanimously voted to take the path less traveled by.  

Also, and perhaps most importantly, we learned of some sort of plague that is afflicting Karpad, called Tallow Throat.  Colin has never heard of it, and I can’t recall ever reading stories of such a disease.  I suspect we’ll learn more soon enough. . .   Perhaps if we can help the town, then we could bargain with the Boroi family for the ioun stone in payment for our services.  Plague doctor isn’t on any of our resume’s. . .yet, but there’s always opportunity to add more skills to our repertoire!  

Elements for further research:  
Tallow throat – symptoms?  Could it go by another name in a different region?  Known cure?
Ettercaps – spider people. . .  I remember seeing a drawing of one once, but I cannot recall learning anything further about them.  I hope we run into one or two so I can observe their behavior first hand!

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Penelope Quink

Post  Penelope on Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:40 pm

Date:  15th of Lamashan, 4714
Location:  Karpad, Nidal

Not much time.  So much information!

We got into town today just past noon.  Upon first sight we could tell Karpad was as run down as we’d read and heard.  A couple hundred residents at most.  This is a town divided.  The western section – a shanty town, is for the fetchling population of Karpad.  The eastern section is inhabited by the more “respectable” residents.  

Between these two sections lies a temple to Zon Kuthon and the octagonal stone manor that is the home of the Boroi family.  Currently the manor is encircled by six great bonfires about fifteen feet in diameter and sixty feet apart.  Not a sliver of darkness breaks the circle of radiance.

Shortly after entering town, we knocked at the door of the manor house and were received by Major Domo Laurentiu, a stern man who appears weary and worried.  The baron was indisposed at the time so we were instructed to go into town and wait until the baron was disposed.

We wandered into the western section of town upon leaving the manor.  It’s known as Shade Row.  We learned the following things there from a fellow named Rathvoi:  The fetchlings have been relegated here after the plague hit a few weeks ago.  The town believes that they are the cause of all the problems.  The fetchlings are not affected by the plague.  The sickness is fatal.  A week ago, people started disappearing from town – six so far, and none fetchlings.  Those that have disappeared were not sick.

Only just beginning to realize the troubles in Karpad, we traveled over to the eastern side of town, to the Weeping Willow tavern owned by Lorin Camm and her husband.  In the tavern we learned the following:  Symptoms of Tallow Throat are flop sweat, waxy skin, and swollen throat with dark veins running just beneath skin.  Fetchlings are blamed for both plague and disappearances.  First people to contract the plague were human servants in the manor house.  The fetchling servants were fired by the baron and shortly thereafter, the plague started spreading in the town.  “There are more fetchlings born in this town than is proper.”  The first person to go missing was Irini, the baker’s wife, who had been cheating on her husband Micah.  A couple went missing – Neliana and Dervik, weavers.  The eight year old daughter of Marshall Lucian Groy also went missing.  All went missing during the daytime.  Baron Stepan has not been seen in a week, since the disappearances started.

While we were making our inquiries at the tavern, an angry mob had gathered outside in front of the scraggly old willow tree that gives the tavern its name.  This angry mob was about to lynch three fetchlings that had been caught in the eastern part of town trying to buy food.  Scapegoats for all the troubles in Karpad.  Marshall Lucian Groy – a very plague-ridden Marshall Lucian Groy -- was the ringleader, which presented a problem since he’s technically the law and order in this town, but sense has clearly left him as he was trying to execute these three without the baron’s blessing.  Things were. . .tense, but we were able to talk the marshal down.  We told him we had experience in solving disappearances and that we could investigate and interrogate more thoroughly, so he gave us until midnight to solve this problem before he’d string up the fetchlings.  That doesn’t leave us much time, but we have an opportunity here to do a great good in a dark place.  How could we just walk away!?  These are the stories that make heroes after all!

We escorted the fetchling family back to Shade Row and met with a former Boroi family employee named Vichkoff.  He’d worked at the manor when the plague first struck.  The unlucky servant was a man named Bestoy, whose job was to do cleaning in the manor.  Vichkoff also confirmed what we were already suspecting, that the advanced stages of this plague, such as what the marshal is suffering from, causes a form of maddened rage.

Vichkoff appears to have respect for the baron in spite of his ousting, describing the man as a skilled  hunter, and a studied man, driven and determined.  He has been married to Baroness Anya from Nizzra, for a year now and a boy, Marek, was born to them just two months ago.  Shortly before Vichkoff and the other fetchlings were dismissed, the Baron began acting strangely.  He would lock himself away in the study for hours on end, and when he did emerge, he was morose and quiet.  The Baroness herself however, did not seem to be behaving any differently.  That was all Vichkoff was able to share with us, so our next stop was back to the manor.  If the baron was still indisposed, than we’d have to see the baroness.  We had no time and good reason to speak with the ruling family, if only to help them avoid their whole town imploding from the turmoil.  

Back we went to the manor.  Not surprisingly, the Baron was otherwise engaged, but the Baroness agreed to see us.    She met with us in a disappointingly stocked library – a beautiful woman with delicate scars scrolling up both arms and the first joint of her pinky and ring fingers removed.  Definitely a devotee of Zon Kuthon. . .  She was able to further aid us in our investigation on a number of points.  The kennel-master, a fetchling named Gavril, is the last of his kind left in the manor, being the only one that the baron feels can properly care for his hunting dogs.  Soon after their son was born, the baron changed, growing more paranoid and depressed on those occasions that he emerged from his study.  Three weeks after Marek was born, the plague struck.  Then, when the fetchling servants were sent packing, the baron was heard to say, “The shadows won’t take the town.”  The baroness claims to have no idea what this means and so far, neither do we.  When asked about her child’s welfare, she said her son was fine.

We explained to Baroness Anya the situation in the town – including the necessity for haste, and asked that she get us in to see the baron.  After a few brief minutes, we had our audience.  We were allowed into his study, where the man sat at a long desk cluttered with ledgers and various correspondences.  He had been flipping through a large tome which bore a sliver of the moon on its cover, and when we entered, he shut it, locked the attached clasp and then further secured it by locking it away in a desk drawer.    The most intriguing aspect of the man that is so far worth noting, is that he casts no shadow.  . .  He claimed that the fetchlings were leading an uprising, of which we’ve seen no evidence thus far, and that the shadows are coming to life.  He further believes that Tallow Throat is a living breathing thing which wants to wipe out his family and subjects.  It’s hard to say what can be chalked up to paranoia, and what is fact!

After obtaining permission to speak with the lone fetchling left on the premises, the baron wrote a letter to Marshal Lucien Groy granting us permission to lead this investigation as Boroi’s personal agents.  He told us to stop the hangings if we wish. . .  I’d wondered initially if Stepan Boroi might be a villain in all of this, but he seems a man struck by tragedy and now desperately trying to find a solution to undo what has been done, or perhaps even avert something much more dire!  He was less forthcoming than the others about the details but he seemed sincere in those responses he did give.  I do hope we can help him find some answers.  This is shaping up to be a wonderful tale of mystery!  

Our most recent stop for the evening was Gavril, the kennel master.  He’s heard of no fetchling uprising, being locked away in the manor as he is, but he was able to give us a pertinent piece of information in that he was the man involved with  Irini, the first person to go missing, and wife to the baker.  He admitted this freely and revealed that he’d been seeing Irini for three months before she disappeared.  He was not however, the last person to see her.  Irini’s friend, Catalina the chandler, interrupted the lovers’ meeting to join her friend for a lunch which Irini claimed to have forgotten about.  That was the last Gavril or anyone had seen of her.   His parting words to us were, “Please end this.  It has gone on for too long.”

Now we are headed to speak again with the Marshall and give him the baron’s letter.  This should buy us more time for the investigation before the next angry lynch mob gathers.  After that we’re going to go speak with Catalina about the disappearance of her friend Irini.  I’m hopeful that she’ll have much of interest to share!

Timeline of events (as we currently understand them):  
* One year ago - Baron Stepan marries Anya
* Two months ago – baby Marek is born to the baron and baroness
* Just after son is born – baron begins acting strangely.  Paranoid.
* Three weeks after son is born – plague strikes the human servants of the manor.  Fetchlings unaffected.
* Baron begins locking himself away in his study.  Quiet.  Morose
* Days after plague outbreak at manor – baron banishes all fetchlings but Gavril from the manor, saying “The shadows will not take the town.”
* Plague spreads to town
* Fetchlings are forced to live in Shade Row
* One week ago, first disappearance – Irini goes missing.  She’d taken the fetchling Gavril as a lover.  Catalina the chandler is last one to see her.
* Eight year old daughter of Marshal Lucian Groy disappears
* A married couple, weavers Neliana and Dervik go missing
* Two others have gone missing this week.  Who are they??



Questions for contemplation

The fetchling population in this town seems inordinately high.  Fetchlings are descendants of humans that have been trapped in the Shadow Plane for a period of time, so why would it be so high here?  Is this normal for Nidal?  The townsfolk don’t seem to think so.  Perhaps there is a gate to the Shadow Plane in this area, or maybe that plane and our own are closer together in this region than in most, a bit like how the veil between the first world and ours is thin in areas of the Sanos Forest.

Are those who have gone missing involved in illicit activities with fetchlings and have been taken because of those dealings?

None who were taken were sick. . .  do they perhaps have a trace of the Shadow Plane in their heritage?  Were they taken for that reason, in hopes to find a cure for the plague?

The disappearances have all happened during the day.  Can shadows attack in the light?  Must speak with Elle and Colin about Shadow details.

Is Marek a fetchling?  Is that what initially so disturbed the baron?

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Draxthious

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:04 am

10-11-4714


I swear this whole town is insane.  I don’t even just mean the plague thing, though that’s nasty on it’s own.  I just mean the people.  Yes, I’m including the Fletchlings.


So, back into town we go, shiney paper in hand.  You know, the one extolling us as the people in charge of this investigation per his royal pain in my…


From the Mayor, the paper is from the  Mayor.


So we find our dear large necked friend sir Lucian Groy.  I guess that should be Marshall, not sir.  Meh.


We inform him we are in charge now and he throws a very fat necked temper tantrum.  Ahh my friends, you would have been proud of me.   Penny, yes our dear sweet mentally possessed by greed Penny, straight up told Groy to not be crazy.  Funniest thing I’ve heard in months.  Didn’t laugh though.  See, I can learn.


With the help of one of the normal guards we manage to calm Groy down, however that guard says it doesn’t matter if Groy is insane since he’s done so much for the town that if he draws weapons against us the guards will back Groy up.  So, you know he’s crazy and you would still aid him in a fight against a better armed and experienced group?  


Now you see why I think this town is insane.


So, our deadline to midnight still in effect, we head off to the candle makers house since that is the person who last saw, umm, what’s her name.  The lady who was the first to vanish, the butcher’s wife.  The one having an affair with the Fletchling dog keeper.


Anyway, we (after getting her location from the Weeping Willow, the bar not the tree.  The insanity isn’t contagious, I hope) We show up at her place.


Poor Pyraxis.  The door was unlocked.  I mean, we tried to knock but...no answer so we went inside and since the door was unlocked Pyraxis didn’t have to...why am I explaining myself in my own journal?


The small building is divided in two by a wall and here on this side of the wall are candles of every make, description, and size.  Don’t believe me?  Ask that giant man sized and shaped wax figure standing by the door in the dividing room wall.


Penny’s brooch of “hey look it’s a golem” didn’t go off so we don’t think too much of the statue.  After a quick search of this room Pyraxis opens the door to the other side of the house.


Which of course is when the wax golem attacks.  Penny’s brooch lied.


Guess what?  FLAMMABLE!!!


I mean, we defeat it easily, it’s severed head flying across the room while it’s body melts into a pile of flaming wax.


Inside is a room full of dirty clothes, a mattress, and a wardrobe, all shoved against the near wall.  Near the far wall is a trap door in the floor.  To make things more interesting Colin finds a locked (but not trapped) well, lockbox in the mess.


So instead of doing the sensible thing and opening the lockbox, we decide to wait (since the owner might be alive and that would be stealing)  I’m pausing my writing here to let out a long suffering sigh.


































Anyway, Colin attempts to open the trap door which opens easily, sending out a bolt of lightning which fries him and I.  Ow.


Down the stairs beneath the door to a room with a door to our left.  Inside the room are boxes and boxes and boxes of candles.  Oh, and a woman’s body.  Appears to have had her throat exploded outward.  From the inside.  This town sucks.


So, some of our more stout of stomach check out the body, however while they are doing that, two...yes two, shadows attack.


Colin informs us that if these things hit you, you will lose you physical strength and if they get enough, you will turn into one of them.  Joy.  Guess who they hit.  A lot.


The fight is long, and brutal and when it’s over Colin and I are barely able to stand up.  It suckes, this town sucks.


The body, actually the person we came to search for, has a key, a ring of climbing, and two potions of pass without trace.  


The door in the room flashes.  To be specific, light flashes out from underneath it.  The light causes Pyraxis to lose his mind and he charges into the room.  A room smelling of burning fat and candles, various wax making supplies, and a drying rack in the middle of the room which looks like it’s been turned into a human sacrifice alter.  


I’m ready to burn this town.


There are also a poor looking man and woman in here as well as a tiny, invisible voice, which wonders why we are here, the proceeds to tell us that the Mayor hired him to cure the plague by any means necessary and he decided that well, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs and in this case, the eggs were the people who had disappeared.  


Please tell me you aren’t surprised that combat follows?  Seriously, do you really think we would try and barter with something that is killing innocents in the name of good?


Well, the two people are normal, every day weak folk, I almost feel bad for burning the guy alive.  Almost.  The woman is dropped easily enough, still alive however.  The voice?  


Spell caster of a sorts, did a color spray that stunned Pyraxis and I.  Penny tried to stab it, was taunted (it tickles?) then was attacked from behind.  Thus follows the pattern, voice taunts, attacks from new location, moves then invisibly.


We all probably would have dropped if I hadn’t come up with the brilliant idea to keep moving ourselves.  We don’t know where the voice is, so instead of standing still and letting him do what he wants, make him follow us to attack us and then attack in the direction it’s attack came from.


Though it was amusing once Colin broke the alter (That’s my boy), the voice got angry and said that Colin had to be the first to die.  He didn’t die, but he was the first to fall.  Penny was the second.  Bastard.  I would have been the third, but I’m a bit more resiliant than that and I was able to fry the little fairy like bastard.  Seriously, I have no idea what it is but it looks like a fairy.  


In the back of the room are four vats filled with wax and three of those also have people in them, two adults and a child.  Groy’s girl.  Freeing them is a long process, apparently wax is tougher than people give it credit for.


They all have similar stories, met one of the three people out in town (the two in here and the dead chandlier lady) who led them back here for some reason, they met the fairy creature who was able to magically charm them, then they were placed in vats of wax for storage until it was their turn to be sacrificed.


Apparently the fairy thing is named Ilquis and he was quite insane.  Quite.


While Penny is distracted healing a wounded Pyraxis, against his wishes, Colin finds a scroll and a magical dagger.  The rest of the room has candle making supplies and five bodies.  Poor bastards.


Again, while Penny is distracted healing others, I head for the lockbox taking the candle lady’s key, inside I find a bunch of coin and a candle.  Totally worth the wait.  I’m rolling my eyes right now.


About this time Elle shows up and is promptly teased by the others.


We take our prisoner and our rescuees out and while we are passing an alley way, a woman comes out begging for help.  Only to have her tallow throat explode and two shadows come rushing out and by Cayden these things suck.  Thankfully Elle and Penny are able to restore some of the strength Colin and I lost or this would have ended up being a short night.


Now, instead of continuing on we are actually going to stop in the middle of the street and talk about what to do next.  Seriously?  People!
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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:35 pm

11th of Lamashan

We returned the child back to her father the Marshall. His relief at seeing her was enough to assuage his rage for a time, though he still remained very suspicious of the fletchlings. Penny very gently told the Marshall and his guards of the neck-shadow-burst aspect of the situation, and advised them to make sure the girl was kept safe. We departed to the Kuthonite temple to see if we could obtain succor after the draining fights with the shadows, and Draxious, Colin, and myself had been severely weakened.

The Kuthonites were willing to sell the services they had prepared to restore our strength, either for gold or for payment in pain. The idea was interesting, and they said they could take the payment in a time frame that could fit our schedule, but I don’t feel I have yet worked my pain tolerance up to the level to endure what these masters were capable of. We opted to just purchase the healing with gold. We also let slip the nature of the disease which was probably a mistake- the Kuthonites revere these shadows. It’s doubtful they will help further victims of the disease who come to them.

We proceeded to the Manor House to give the Baron an update on our progress. We told him about killing the Lurker in the Light. The Baron did not confirm that he had asked the creature to try to stem the plague. We asked for the chance to use his well stocked library to investigate the problems we faced, but the Baron was at first unwilling. Colin did his best to sell the Baron that Penny’s research prowess was formidable and would be well served by giving us a chance. He relented and gave us access.

We spent the rest of the day researching. We uncovered the story of a Fetchling revolt led by a human named Nikasor. The revolt failed and Nikasor was placed into a demiplane of shadow as punishment, using a special mirror owned by the Stepan family. The prisoners placed in this plane will never age, and will endure torment for all time. We questioned the Baron about our findings, and questioned him about he told us the story, eventually admitting “I may have struck a deal that that gave him hope of coming out.” He backed out of the deal when his wife and son came along.

The Baron told us about the mirror that belonged to his family for over 1000 years, a mirror that had been broken. The mirror leaked shadow essence for all this time, probably resulting in the high number of Fletchlings in the area. He told us that a someone imprisoned in the mirror can come out if someone on the outside was willing to switch. The Baron promised Nikasor that he could use his body for 11 years.
We determined we needed more information, but were were all quite tired at this time. Colin and I decided to sleep while the others decided to keep researching. We decided that it would be best to keep the research operation running non-stop, rather than having everyone sleeping at the same time. We woke to find that the exhausted trio we left in the Baron’s library had not made any relevant discoveries while we were sleeping. The three of them then decided to take a turn sleeping while Colin and I cracked the books. Penny absolutely refused to leave the library despite the Baron’s insistence that she do so and that she may not remove a book. This was unacceptable for Penny, and we persuaded the Baron to overlook her offense to his notions of civility.

Our research efforts finally came to fruition when we found that we could destroy the mirror by entering it and destroying the physical manifestation of the mirror’s consciousness within the demiplane, using a piece of the mirror’s physical presence. This would cause everything in the demiplane to be ejected to our plane. The Baron was adamant that Nikasor should be eliminated before that happened. I myself saw no problem with dealing him after ejection, it seems inconsequential to me to eliminate him before destroying the mirror, but we agreed at the Baron’s insistence.

Our final bout of research uncovered information from the Baron’s family history regarding the stone we were here for. There was mention of the stone in the earliest texts. Apparently the stone was purchased near the beginning of the family line (the first 150 years of its history). The head of the family at the time turned it into an heirloom. We could find no mention of the stone after the time that the Fetchling rebellion was put down. We suspected that perhaps it had gone missing at this time, perhaps stolen by those who sought to topple the family.

Talking with the Baron, he unleased the revelation that he had the shard of the mirror that was missing. He gave it to us on the condition that we before we use it to destroy the manifestation of the mirror, we first make sure that Nikasor does not make it out of the demiplane. The Baron was HIGHLY concerned with him getting out…no doubt frightened by the prospect that Nikasor would be after vengeance after the Baron welched on his deal.

We made preparations to enter the mirror. I insisted that Penny use her Extractor on my before we went in- if we face a score of shadows there, we will need every means available to preserve our strength. She is getting better at the process.

After getting some rest, we touched the mirror and entered the demiplane in turn. There was no color in the place we were, everything was in shades of gray and black. We found ourselves in a large structure, and proceeded to explore it. In one of the first rooms we entered, we found some instruments of torture and two constructs that resembled large snakes. One of then waved hypnotically and the other attacked, and as I understand it (because the cursed thing captivated my mind quickly) only Colin was able to avoid their trickery. He managed to finish them off, saving the Vanguard in the process. He was badly burned by acid in the encounter- the creatures must have been spraying it. Penny opened up several sarcophagi that the creatures were guarding and quickly claimed their contents.

We continued exploration of the structure and found a room with two fetchlings who moved to attack us on sight. They did not stand before us long and we found maps of the village of Karpad that dated over 950 years ago, when the village was larger. It seems as though these two were members of the rebellion who had been refining their plans for conquest for centuries.

We found a room with a feast sitting on the table, and the walls seemed to be bleeding something. We searched but found nothing of interest.

The next room we looked at had a fireplace raging with no heat emanating from it. Elle touched the fire, and two ice-creatures appeared. They were identified as “Ghost Fire Elementals”. They attacked with a cold touch, but we were able to dispatch them. Nothing of interest remained in the room.

The next room we found resembled a small ballroom. Dark portraits covered the walls. All of the portraits except seven were Fetchlings; the rest were shadowy creatures with masks. Two of the fetchlings in the pictures appear to be the two we killed.
The walls in this place don’t appear to be very sturdy, they seem to be almost living in a way. The thought of what it would take to tear through them had been growing in my mind, and I decided to see if they could actually be penetrated. With a quick word to the group, I made a weak effort that bounced off the resilient wall…though it had a lot of give. My second effort, with a running start, was much more successful…




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Midnight Mirror

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:10 am

11th Lamashan 4714

… and that’s when our day got sooooo much worse.

It seems some walls shouldn’t have been broken… Pyraxis went through the hole he had made and what we saw was the most horrifying thing I hope to ever see. (I may have to check my journals later to see if I’ve already seen something this horrible, but my immediate memory is drawing a blank.)  The ‘room’ as it appeared to be… was actually a courtyard surrounded by that undulating  fleshy wall of thick black ichor. What I first thought was a tree though… was a huge mass of the darkest black I had ever seen. Tendrils quivering around and seeping into the ground and walls and a huge triangular maw.

Penny was quick to state that it was a planar creature and was confident that this was the heart of the prison plane. My gut had told me the same… but it felt good to have it confirmed. Pyraxis was the first to encounter it as a large dark tendril grabbed him and pulled him close. Penny quickly followed. Two struggling to survive before I even had time to draw the mirror shard.

Pyraxis did what he could unarmed as usual, and Penny resorted to using a fireball from her necklace, but the creature had regenerative properties. If the information we discovered was right, the mirror should stop it.  I charged in to help, but wasn’t much use. The way it moved, even the mirror dagger had trouble piercing it’s shadowy skin. When I did however, I noticed for a short time it’s regeneration WAS negated.

The battle was furious and frantic. Before I knew what had happened, Pyraxis had been swallowed whole. I’m not 100% sure, but I thought he was still fighting inside it… and it didn’t chew him, so hope springs eternal… Penny was still grappled and furiously trying to keep herself alive. I was grappled and stabbing repeatedly with the makeshift dagger to little availe. Elle was hurling bombs and before I knew, I lost consciousness... again…  

Somehow Elle brought me back. I’m not sure how long I was out, but our situation hadn’t improved. Pyraxis was no longer swallowed… he seemed to have been disgorged. From my view he looked quite dead. He wasn’t moving and his eyes were open… so not encouraging.  Penny didn’t look a very healthy color. While Elle had gotten me conscious, I didn’t feel like i’d be there long. With this much damage… I suspected another hit may kill me outright. This was beginning to look like the last stand of the Wayfarer Vanguard. Still even lost on a prison plane from no return… we were going to go down swinging.

I was able to get my Healing Judgement active, and little by little I regained my health. Elle had retreated out of range and used charge after charge of her Ray of Enfeeblement wand. It was greatly effective. Where it originally hit with every strike and had a grip like iron… it now missed me more than it hit. The tide was shifting and some of us may survive after all. It’s hide was no easier to hit so the battle was far from won. I did hit it though… and each time I did it made Elle’s bombs more effective. Finally… it did fall. Well, Fall isn’t so accurate as explode and wither. The whole realm shook and rattled and the walls began to flake shadow stuff. We took some time to heal… and Pyraxis came back to us.  It seems that being digested involved a paralysis that kept him from the fight.

Now… the downside of this, is that we still hadn’t killed Nicasor yet. I was torn on the concept to begin with. Whatever the man’s faults, The riots were a thousand years ago. He had been imprisoned ever since. Did the Boroi family deserve to be overthrown? Typically if the servant class if rising up, there’s a reason…  Still the idea of just hunting him down and killing him, didn’t set well with me. I wanted to stop the shadow plague, so the mirror had to be destroyed… but Nicasor himself, I was a little more fluid about. Unless he and his minions attacked us of course.  WHICH, the fetchlings we had killed earlier had leapt to do. Back in the room with the thousand year old invasion plans…  It’s a strange place for moral decisions for sure…

Quickly we tried to search the prison before it crumbled around us. When Elle failed to unlock a door, she and I moved to the next one, while Pyraxis and Penny tried knocking it down.

Our door swung open easily enough revealing a room full of keys that were melting into a shadow sludge. One showed magical  and I had only seconds to get it. Penny and Pyraxis called out that they found a shadow in their room. Elle ran to help them, while I tried to get the key. The shadow sludge was deeper than I thought… and had the consistency of quicksand. With some difficulty I was able to snatch up the magical key and start working my back to the others. It seems a shadow wasn’t all they found, as a loud baying caused me to shudder, but Pyraxis ran past the door in a panic while  Penny screamed for help. I’m not sure what happened to Elle, but I suspect she was affected by the howl too… leaving just Penny to fight a shadow and a hound! By the time I had climbed out of the mess I was in, Pyraxis had returned to his senses. Elle had bombed a dog… and together we made short work of the shadow.  I suspect Pyraxis was strength drained again, but with his trademark stoicism it is hard to tell.

The prison was always hard to see in… but it was getting darker. Penny felt that we may have been pushing our luck exploring and I agreed.  We were told that the mirror would deposit everything in it to their home planes…. But I was concerned.  People write what they know… or at least suspect, and I with a prison world dissolving around us, i wasn’t certain I wanted to take it at face value. It was possible that we weren’t to be teleported… but that the mirror had simply opened! We all raced back to where we entered the shadow realm… but the mirror was still solid.

Seeing that particular road was blocked… and that we likely WOULD get teleported… our new goal was to track down Nicasor… and the Shay and whatever else was in here.  We didn’t get far. As soon as we opened the first door on that third level… I felt something shunt my soul and shove me hard. When I woke I was back in the world of color.

I was dazed and couldn’t move… but I could tell I wasn’t alone. We were somewhere between the mirror and the dungeon. Fetchlings and Shay were scattered around me. Pyraxis was stomping one to death beside me. Elle and Penny were nowhere to be found, but it looked like battle was joined.

What happened next was pure chaos. We were vastly outnumbered, we were still reeling a bit from our fight with the entire shadow world… Some of the fetchlings were pretty weak, while the more roguish of them took a lot longer to die. The shay also mastered backstabbing… Elle appeared at the head of a long line of enemies… seeming to take orders from Nicasor… only to bomb his own people.

Now… any doubts I had of Nicasor are gone now. He came out in full battle mode. A creature that appeared more Shadow than human. I’m quite comfortable killing that thing now. Hopefully I can do it before he kills the Baron’s family.  My confidence isn’t great though.

While we were pinned down by enemies, He and a few allies went up the stares into the mansion. It took entirely too long to finish our opponents and we were quite wounded. My second healing judgement was active and i rattled off a light healing spell and chased up the stairs. Penny was tending Pyraxis’ wounds while Elle followed me.

This battle wasn’t over yet!!




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Penelope Quink

Post  Penelope on Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:46 am

Date:  17th of Lamashan, 4714
Location:  Karpad, Nidal

It had never occurred to me that the Wayfarer Vanguard might fail at a task.  I hadn’t even entertained the possibility that we might not successfully complete any and every mission put before us!  Maybe that makes me naïve – I know my companions might agree with that assessment.  Today put that theory to the test.

By the time we caught up with Nicasor, his shadow mastiff and two shae cohorts, the fiend had already killed Baroness Boroi and her child!  The baron himself was clearly distraught, sobbing over the pool of gore that was once his family.  This was our fault. . .   He’d told us we had to kill Nicasor before exiting the mirror, but circumstances made that impossible and now the baron would suffer.  So would we.

The only one of us that stood standing the entire fight was Pyraxis.  All but Colin got back up again.  Our brave dhampir companion, so incensed by what had been done to the family, charged forward into the room only to find himself alone after the mastiff loosed one of its fearsome howls then blocked the doorway.  It made an excellent door. . .  Nicasor struck Colin down, then moments later, nicked his neck to ensure he would die slowly while we looked on helplessly, trying to fight our way past his minions.  At some point in the melee, Elle threw an errant acid flask.  She seems pretty convinced that it was this that killed Colin.  Maybe it was, though I’m convinced Colin would not have lived long enough for us to rescue him.  She’s pretty broken up about it; more angry than sad it seems, but we’ll get him back.  It’ll just. . .well, it’ll be a bit tricky.  Provided nothing more goes wrong, we’ll get him back.

Pyraxis had to use potions on both Elle and myself in the midst of battle to bring us back to consciousness.  We were perilously close to not only failing in our quest, but to being wiped out completely.  Before the end, the baron found his courage (emphasis on RAGE) and charged Nicasor with nothing left to lose.  He struck his enemy hard, but was cut down for all his efforts.  

Finally, Nicasor fell to Pyraxis’ fists and feet.  We were able to stabilize the baron, but Colin, the baroness and the child were currently beyond saving.  I found the adamantine ioun stone on Nicasor’s body and fitted it into the shard.

We’d completed that mission, but it certainly didn’t feel like a win.  After some discussion about what we might do to fix the trouble we had brought (or at least hastened) to the baron’s family, Elle volunteered to go bring back one of the priests of Zon Kuthon.  We weren’t sure they’d even be able to Raise the family, let alone want to do so.  Nor did we know if we had the capital.  That kind of magic doesn’t come cheap!

Colin we were less worried about, because we knew that if we could get him to a Lodge, that the fame and goodwill we’d engendered there, would afford him the Raise Dead he needed.  That led us to another problem however -- getting him to a Lodge before the decomposition had gone too far.  And the closest Lodge to our position?  Why Magnimar of course!  Seventeen days away.

The priest came to the manor and though he seemed willing(ish) to help, there was no priest with enough power to cast the magic needed.  This presented us with still further problems.

After much discussion and bean counting, we decided (with the baron’s leave) to take not only Colin, but the bodies of the baroness and their child back with us to Magnimar to be Raised by some friendlier faces.  We paid the priests of Zon Kuthon to cast Gentle Repose on the bodies and we’ll have to pay to get it done again in Nisroch in order to keep them “fresh” enough for the magic to take effect, but this can work!

So I guess, all in all, we completed our mission.  It wasn’t as elegant as we’d hoped surely, but just the fact that we agreed to clean up after ourselves, nearly bankrupting the party in the process, just to right a wrong?  In that, I really feel like we won.  The Wayfarer Vanguard displayed a lot of heart today, making sacrifices even after everything else had seemed to go sideways.  That’s a story I’m proud to write!

Naïve?  Maybe, but I prefer, “unflaggingly optimistic.”

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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:15 pm

We left Nisrock with our trio of grim cargo on the 24th, wasting no time with the pleasantries of travel. Penny stressed how tight our timeline was to complete our task of returning Colin and the Baron’s family to their prior state. We secured direct travel to Magnimar by boat and arrived on the 4th. We immediately spent most of our of banked earning to have the Baron’s wife and baby raised by a Desnan priest willing to cut us a deal. Drax volunteered to escort them back home- it would be foolish to send them back alone, we had to make sure they made it safe back under the Baron’s care. He is scheduled to return about the 25th of Neth- though he is very enterprising and could shave any number of days off that estimate.

We told Sheila of our success, she issued condolences for Colin’s loss but understood that it was only temporary. The next morning we did have Colin raised under the auspices of the Pathfinder society- we called in a lot of favors for that one, and we owe several more. Elle and I filled in Colin while Penny went off to consult with the priests for what I presumed were after-care instructions. Colin naturally had questions about what had transpired in the many days he had been dead, and we filled him as completely as he wished. We took him back to the compound to rest and refresh.
The group had decided that I should hold the now neutralized Shard of Greed. I do feel as though its myriad of powers complement my tactics quite well. Penny asked me to attune to it to try to locate the next shard and I was able to do so quite easily- though the vision provided to me was unrecognizable. I admitted as such to Penny and offered her the temporary repossession of the Shard to see if she could make sense of the vision – A towering statue of a beautiful woman holding a scepter, standing on a bluff, surrounded by a tangled seaside swampland. She also did not recognize the scene.

Elle and Penny discussed our research strategy and decided to research both the shard and the associated stone at the same time. I accompanied them on the first trip as a show of solidarity to the team, though I knew my patience would wear thin quickly. I was quite perturbed when I found out the volume I spent the entire day reading had been repudiated entirely by later works. We decided to take a break-everyone but Penny that is- and after stopping at both my bar and the Arena to let people know I was back in town, joined Elle and Colin in the bar. Elle apparently felt somewhat guilty about what happened to Colin and was buying rounds that night. My guilt lay in another direction.

The next day Penny revealed what she found in her second shift of research, but was interrupted by an invitation to see Sheila in the library about an urgent matter. We heeded her call and she announced she had gotten a letter from Dradle Drang, a high level Pathfinder in the Absalom Lodge. Apparently he had a contact in Kaer Maga named Horus Karnnady. This contact told him that some individuals identifying themselves as Pathfinders were attempting to start a Lodge in Kaer Maga. Due to the political situation there, that exercise would not go over well even if done by very diplomatic Pathfinders. According to this contact, the “Pathfinders” who were active there were far from diplomatic. Dradle confirmed that a Lodge had not been authorized for Kaer Maga. Sheila volunteered our services to deal with the problem. We are charged with traveling to Kaer Maga and making contact with Horus. We are then to find this Pathfinder group and tell them to cease and desist…and if they aren’t really Pathfinders, to do what is necessary to keep the Society’s good name.. Naturally we immediately suspected this was some kind of retribution by the Aspis after we had done virtually the exact same maneuver on their interests.

We set out that day for Kaer Maga. Before we left, Penny did describe the vision that the Shard of Greed had provided her to Sheila, and Sheila identified it as a statue of Sorshen in a cape near the Muskfens. We traveled a hard twenty four days on the road to Kaer Maga, most of it on well traveled, safe routes. We arrived on the morning of the 25th day, on the 1st of Kuthona. We had to wait for a group of travelers to gather, as only the Duskwardens are permitted to escort groups up the underground Halflight Path to Kaer Maga. Supposedly they were the only ones familiar with the dangers posed. It seemed like an excellent protection racket to me, as they required 10 gold per head to traverse the path. Not wishing to do any more damage to the Pathfinder name, we paid and waited for the escort up the path.

Traversing the Path was scheduled to take a full day. The Path was winding and in some places went straight up. We were in a group of merchants with several Duskwardens providing “security”. About four hours into the journey, enormous chunks of masonry collapsed from the ceiling. Goblins poured out from the opening and attacked our group. More masonry fell and separated the Vanguard from the merchants and Duskwardens. Had we been simple merchants, we would have been slaughtered by the goblins, the ten gold piece fare be damned. Since we were not defenseless merchants, no goblins on our side of the rubble survived. Curiously, the goblins had potions of curing that had art inscribed on them of a man kneeling with arms outstretched.
The fate of the merchants protected by the Duskwardens was not so bright. One merchant perished in the attack. The Duskwardens seemed regretful and offered us refunds for their failure. I find it shameful that they think that a simple refund obviates the promise of protection they issued and makes things right. When I most recently failed to honor a promise I made, I (and my colleagues) spent over a month and most of our worldly possessions to put things right. As my actions were the most prominent cause of that failure, though the Baron has been made whole, I still have a long way to go to make amends with the Vanguard for my one foolish, impetuous action.
Regardless, we continued on light one merchant and made it to Kaer Maga. It was a city of buildings built on top of builidings. We entered the city through the Warrens, a cramped, ruined area. We headed north to an area filled with taverns and non-stop festivities. I found it very loud and irritating. Elle of course wished to stay in the area. We moved on into an area that she and Colin were far, far less fond of- there appeared to be acceptance of the use of undead as servants. They openly walked the streets, carefully controlled by necromancers and not accosting anyone. No natives appeared to show the slightest concern. I was relieved when we left that area of the city without Colin or Elle creating a problem.

The next part of town seemed to be quite wealthy. There were street entertainers abound, and many inns in this district. As we moved through, we were approached by a boy who had been sent out to drive customers to an inn. We took him up on his offer and proceed to a small building, whose exterior banality masked the decrepitude within. The accomodations were Spartan and every upgrade was an additional cost, but we decided to go with the bird in the hand in this strange city and took two rooms. The mattresses were on the floor. We settled in for a night at “The Sorry Excuse.”
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Kaer Maga

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:30 am

Kuthona 3, 4714

Well, the Sorry Excuse is aptly named and first thing in the morning we were eager to depart. Snowden is our little urchin guide. He’s young but resourceful… I may need to keep track of him as a future contact. In just a few hours he was able to track down Horus Collgarde’s house and leads us through the Hostice district, past Downmarket and into Bis. Downmarket feels familiar. A large bazaar the likes I’ve seen in many towns. More places that were non-permanent then permanent. Bis on the other hand, was very different from anything I’ve seen. Home to the Fabled Balconies of Bis, there were literal balconies in the walls of the great caverns. Sometimes stacked 3, 4, or even 5 balconies high. It seems when they ran out of space on the ground… they citizens here went up… or maybe down. I’m not entirely sure which direction they started from.

Regardless, we found Collgardie’s house right where Snowden told us to look, and it was small but in good repair. Approaching the doorway we decided it would be best to knock… and then knock again… then walk in. It was a good choice or else we would have been waiting outside forever.

Opening the door, I saw a body inside and we rushed in. Before we could even get to the body, I saw movement to the left. Near the bar were two goons coming out to finish the job and I hurled my hunga munga at them.  It went wide, but it alerted Pyraxis to the attackers. I had two more attacking me from the back of the building. Penny and I fought two and Pyraxis and Elle took the other two. The fight didn’t last very long,  One of ours was a peculiar kind of disturbing… He would hurl severed heads at us that were full of bitey, stingey monster bugs. Not a true swarm in it’s own right… but it makes up for it in being distasteful. He was the last to die.

Pyraxis had spared one of them, which it turns out was for the best. On the head hurling leader we discovered a note.

“Boys,
Someone killed my friend Horus Collgardie. They left his body to rot inside his own house. Go there and wait. Don’t touch anything. If anyone comes back looking to toss the place or take the body and that person’s not an Ardoc, it’s most likely his killer. Kill anyone who shows up there that isn’t a member of my family-I mean anyone. You’ll be paid well.
Besel Ardoc”

This… is awkward. On one hand, they did attack us and I don’t mourn defending myself, on the other hand… we finally manage to keep a prisoner alive, and now he can identify that we killed his friends who were innocent of… well THAT murder.

After we searched the place for clues, we found nothing. For someone as high rank as I get that Horus was, he didn’t live well. His house had no bedroom for starters. Living room, bar, meeting room, storehouse…. But not a bed in sight. It makes me think we’re missing something.

When the prisoner awoke, we had a friendly if pointless conversation. He was doing what he was told. He believed we were Horus’ killers and claimed that this Besel Ardoc was someone not to be trifled with. We weren’t impressed with the name, but after some more clues we realized that he owned the Kiln… a major player in Golem building. If we hadn’t been from Magnimar I doubt it would have meant anything to us. He confirmed that Besel was looking for revenge on the killers and that he wouldn’t like us killing his boys… I’m not sure we were entirely impressed. As he was too loyal to leave, we locked him in the storage room to wait for Besel’s next instructions while we went to some taverns to see what we could learn.

The pathfinder lodge is still smoke and mirrors. Nobody knows anything but rumors that there may be one, and that the bosses weren’t happy. Basically exactly what we knew back in Magnimar. My theory wasn’t very popular. I don’t think Ardoc is a very good friend at all. His whole ‘kill anyone that enters’ rule doesn’t make sense to me. My theory is that he knew Horus was connected with the pathfinders… and had him murdered. Going on the theory that he is as powerful as his minion claims, then that would make him one of them that want the pathfinders out of town… so kill one of their own, wait for the others to investigate… kill them too. The others don’t like it, but the pieces fit for me. Though I’m quick to admit my theories have been drastically off base lately. Still it’s good to have suspicions voiced.

Of Collgardie we had a little more luck. We found his place of business at least, There wasn’t much to be learned there as he hadn’t been in for a few days and his manager didn’t find that odd. Penny at least got a fuzzy pink blanket out of the visit that Elle was quick to insist on paying for.

After this, we decided to try to meet this Besel Ardoc. Considering he runs a place full of golems… I’m leery of going in there at all. We’ll try to be on our best behavior.

Arriving at the Kiln, we see clay, stone, and iron golems walking freely. Finding a worker we hoped was a manager of some sort… we found more information. Firstly, It is ‘Lord Ardoc’ and that’s something we’d be wise to remember. Secondly unless we were here to buy a golem then he wouldn’t be interested in wasting his time with us. Again… on our best behavior to avoid being smushed… we eventually found out that he often spent time at the Auger’s Entrails. A restaurant not far from the Troll Auger temple. He may grant audience off business hours.

Having some time to kill we searched around for more information… with no luck. When the time came, we returned to the ‘Entrails.’ It was fairly easy to spot out ‘Lord’ Ardoc. The place wasn’t upscale enough that a true lord would blend in… and the well dressed man in the corner booth had three iron golems with him.

Penny wrote him a note humbly asking for an audience and gave it to a waiter to take to him. No sense upsetting him while he’s eating… He seemed amused and invited us over only to give us some veiled threats. Apparently we had a lot of nerve walking up to him in his place waving a pathfinder flag. We were quick to try and set matters straight. He seemed to listen, but still wanted to paint all pathfinders with the same brush whether they were imposters or not.

Once again, my theory was destroyed under me. Perhaps this is the god’s way of keeping me from acting on impulse, since my first thoughts seem to always be wrong. Ardoc did not kill Horus. In fact, he knew about Horus’ connection and instructed him to contact Absolom about the Kaer Maga issues. He was pressured into doing so by someone named Dakar, the leader of the Commerce league, who referred to it as a ‘Shadow Lodge’... which meant nothing to us. Apparently he was promised a favor by someone who he really wanted a favor from to get notice to Absalom and get this lodge business taken care of. Now that we were here, he was washing his hands of the whole thing. If we wanted to contact Dakar… just use his name around the city, and he’d find you. After that… we should just play along. Whatever THAT meant.

It took a little convincing, but the girls convinced me to eat there. I wasn’t looking forward to anyplace with entrails in the title… or a stones throw from three golems and a man who could probably make us disappear… but I buckled. That night we found a new inn, ‘The Irrelevant’. It was pricey, but still better than ‘The Sorry Excuse’. It had two mattresses per room minimum.

3rd  Kuthona, 4714

Today we walked around Kaer Maga. We couldn’t find Dakar, so we may as well explore this strange town. To the southeast we found the Tarheel Promenade. There they had a temple to all the gods… extra focus on Abadar and Asmodeus.  Next, the Bottoms. This is apparently where the blue collar smiths and such live. To the north of that, we found Highside Stacks… the more pompous section who barely would speak to us. Dakar it seems has this place in perpetual fear. We mention his name and his league… and any conversation immediately stopped and people would move away from us.

We also found the Therassic Spire. Apparently the oldest repository or knowledge in Varisia. Penny’s eyes started to glaze over and I admit I started to salivate a bit myself. I’m not sure how accurate that title is now that we’ve been in the Thassilonian library… but it’s still on our list before we leave. Unfortunately we weren’t able to check it out then and there… because that’s when our Dakar fishing paid off.

This… was unpleasant and a failure. First a bunch of burly guys with cudgels approached us with a wizardly looking guy who insisted we do what he said if we wanted an audience with Dakar… we agreed. Surprisingly they did not disarm us, but did stick us in big black bags that drowned out all sound and rode us around in a wagon for about an hour and a half.

When we got where we were going to go.. Everything fell apart. We were deposited in room full of slaves with fans, wealth galore.. And a voice offering to point us the right direction if we promised a favor in the future. We knew that favors were a commodity with this man, but nobody was very comfortable with that proposal. Pyraxis told him we’d agree if it didn’t involve killing our allies or damaging our society. Dakar wasn’t impressed. He asked if we were setting terms to our favor. I said yes. Next thing I knew we were bagged again and after another hour were dropped where we were found.

Elle was not happy about that. She reminded us that we were told to play along at the very least. I was suspicious that he felt those terms were actually deal breakers, but Penny didn’t think the favor would be that bad, and someone like him just didn’t like the idea of bargaining with people like us…

After some discussion, I think we agreed to try some more on our own before we went crawling back to Dakar. We had only been in town a day and half and hadn’t even wandered the whole city yet. The ‘shadow lodge’ was keeping quiet, and we had no time limit on this mission… so let’s give it a few days and see what happens.

That night at “The Irrelevant’ we were attacked by goblins. Both rooms at once, they were fairly well organized, but we fared rather well. I almost had the leader for questioning, but Pyraxis slapped it too hard and killed her dead. In his defense, I could see he tried to do it nonlethally, but their necks are really scrawny…


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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:22 am

4-12-4714


This town sucks.


So apparently, while I was on my way to find them after taking the lady Baroness and her child back home, these people arrived in town, started to look for whatever they wanted to, and then stayed in an inn. They were attacked at about 2 am by a small horde of goblins, which they slaughtered. Pyraxis, for some reason, decided to make a wall out of the dead goblin bodies. When it was discovered at around 5 am, it didn’t go over very well. Though to hear the tale, it sounds like Rocky and the Inn owner were arguing over who’s job it was to clean up the mess. Kinda wish I coulda seen that one.


The group decides to sleep until about ten’ish and when they get up, the inn folk are still cleaning up the mess. Oh well.


My oh so well prepared friends decide to wander town, looking for information both for where I might enter town at and as to what the symbol they found last night might be. The symbol was apparently found on a bottle containing a potion of healing.


As for me, I entered town and started to look for the group. My questioning led me to a young boy named Snowden who leads me to my friends. I make Colin pay the boy a gold and after grumbling about it proceeds to hire the boy to not only ask around town about the symbol on the bottle, but also to watch and see if anyone is following or watching us.


After a quick haggle of the price for his services, Snowden runs off.


Now the group tells me that they are looking for a group of “shadow Pathfinders.” who may or may not be actual Pathfinders. So we head into town to look. Highlights as follows:


1; A young girl found some goblins in town heading to the market. They were captives, probaby being taken to be sold as slaves.


2; Some people have blue and black headbands and streamers on them. They appear somber despite the festive attire. They are Brothers of the Seal, a group that apparently had an internal conflict resulting in them being split. Another little tid bit, their lips are sown shut.


Elle attempts to ask some kids why that is, however the kids don’t answer. The adults on the other hand…..yeah, you ever play that game charades? These guys are perfect at it. Like, communication taken to an art form perfect.


So they believe that language is overrated and have developed a way of talking without talking. Nice guys and gals. They also believe they have seen the group we are looking for, Pathfindes, down in the market. Always in the market and always together. A halfling, a half orc, and two humans.


Now things get weird. See, we decided to get something to eat and Elle offers to buy me a drink. I don’t know why. While eating (and drinking, why pass up free alcohol) we talk about someone named Horus Sneeze, who is apparently dead.


So, about six thirty we head to the Flesh Block, and yes it’s what you think it is. Now, I’ll point out something before I go off that I found weird. Troll shamans evicserate themselves and read their own organs to predict the future. Masochists.


So, we arrived in Widdershins, the district that the slave trade is in and by Cayden Cailen I’m going to burn this place to the ground. Slaves everywhere! Children! Freaking children slaves! The fire inside me is boiling over now and….I…..AAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHH!


A good number of the group attempt to calm me down, or at least prevent me from doing what I should be be doing. Penny asks some of the hideous vile creatures called slavers about the goblins brought in the other night. Following that talk we head to Ankar-te, the district of the city that the undead live. Maybe now I’ll get a chance to burn something.


Also, side note, apparently we saw a Brother of the Seal and he was alone which is very very strange.


We spend a couple hours in this district, looking for information. All we do find is a whore house that sells undead prostitutes. I hate this town.


So we stay in the Long Run for the night.


5-12-4714


So, morning. Yeah. Still won’t let me burn children slavers.


We head to the Hospice district looking for information. A gargoyle (??) tells us that he did see goblins sneaking into town a night ago coming from the west. Also, the group of goblin slaves was being led by a human woman.


Using this information we head back to the Down Market to follow up on what we have learned. We find out that the group of “Pathfinders” has been here for about two months. Also, apparently the troll guys who read their own intestines are highly accurate. Who knew.


So, back to Ankar-Te, to follow up again and good diety of your choice this town in huge. The information we find isn’t about the group of rogue pathfinders however, but about the lady leading the goblin slaves. Apparently she really really likes undead *shudder* and she is frequently seen in this district however they believe she comes from the Dis district.


Which is when a group of zombies attack us. Seriously, just walking by with their ‘owner’ when they suddenly turn on us. To her (the owner’s) credit, she immediately tried to stop them (we found out afterwards that her control necklace was stolen). Still, zombies? The fight lasted about as long as you would expect it might.


I think Elle might be getting…..I think she might be turniing into the thing she hunts, stare into the abyss long enough, etc, etc, . What? I read too. She blows up a group of zombies however the locals hadn’t had time to evacuate yet. She blew up an innocent, taking his leg clean off.


The rest of the zombies die, again, horribly and quickly and no more people are blown up. Seriously Elle...seriously.


Anyway, Pyraxis tells us that he saw a goblin steal the control necklace from the woman.


We leave the area, looking for information on the lady who was leading the goblin slaves. We find her name is V (I’m rolling my eyes here) and she stays near the or in N’deries Theatre, or at least in a shack near that, in the Calvacade, or land of a thousand waterfalls.


While heading there, Penny lectures her sister about blowing up innocents.


We then walk around a corner and are met by six goblins wearing children’s backpacks. These goblins are led by a woman in a hood. To no one’s surprise, a fight breaks out and we win, fairly easily.
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Post  Penelope on Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:22 am

Date: 5th of Kuthona, 4714
Location: Back alley in the district of Bis, Kaer Maga, Varisia

I’m glad V made it. We learned a ton from her that likely would have taken us days or weeks to discover otherwise!

Lady V’s name is Vadoma, and it was she that sent the goblins to our hotel room because “we don’t belong here.” She’s a member of this Shadow Lodge of which we’ve heard and though we don’t know them, apparently they know us very well! That’s not disturbing at all. . .

It seems we’ve unwittingly stepped into a war between the Shadow Lodge and the Pathfinders. I wonder though. . .do the Pathfinders know about this?

Vadoma seemed to have no knowledge of how extensive the Shadow Lodge is, but she gives us the name of her immediate superior. Wymund Pratt.

Wymund Pratt!! You mean Wymund Pratt, Pathfinder of renown who was supposed to have been off in Arcadia on exciting adventures?! You mean THE Wymund Pratt whose bardific lectures I waited for months to get a seat for?? He’s so dreamy!!! But how could he be part of the Shadow Lodge??!! We were about to find out. Kinda.

We bound Vadoma and stashed her in an abandoned building until we had finished with Wymund. She said he was staying nearby at the Nadiri Theater which had been closed for renovations. Elle told Pyraxis about a substance called flayleaf, which can increase his fury in battle and reduce the chance of his mind being subverted. He is not concerned about the addictive quality, but he’s pretty resilient. I’m sure he’ll be fine.

The two doors into the building were both chained. We chose the side door and Elle picked the lock for us so we could sneak inside. We’re not that great at sneaking. After passing through a dusty old storage room, we moved through another door and out onto the stage of the theater. Sconces along the walls were lit and a pile of papers were haphazardly strewn about the other end of the stage.

Colin must have heard something, because he charged, leaping off the stage into the pit, where unfortunately, he tripped over a chair and hit the ground. Awkward, but we’ve all been there and he wasn’t hurt.

What he’d heard was a summoning spell being cast as evidenced by the three fiendish hounds that appeared around us. We were fighting them off, and Colin chucked his hunga munga at one of them, decapitating it before running down the center aisle to get to Wymund.

The dogs went down quickly and Colin and Pyraxis engaged the bard, trying to grapple him into submission, but unfortunately he had invisibility capability, which makes holding onto a fellow quite difficult.

We surrounded Wymund but still he struggled against their grasp and I begged him to stop, knowing that he wouldn’t last long if the full might of the Wayfarer Vanguard was turned against him. I felt sure that he’d been tricked or maybe controlled into doing the things he was doing! He agreed and stopped fighting.

He’s a really good liar. Really good.

Still invisible, he slipped away suddenly and we all scattered to cover the exits. He cast a Fear spell on Colin which sent our beleaguered companion screaming for the front door followed quickly by a pair of huge beetles. Pyraxis fell victim to his mind games next. A Suggestion spell convinced him that Wymund had reinforcements on the way, which Pyraxis should go deal with immediately. Elle and I closed in and he tried to convince me that I should join the Shadow Lodge, which I found extremely offensive even considering his hotness. I’m not sure why it struck me so, but I reacted in a fit of uncontrollable Hideous Laughter, throwing myself down on the ground in my hysteria! Sigh. It really wasn’t that funny.

He’d taken a good amount of damage by this point from all parties but myself (because I’m not so good at the hitting things), and had cast a Grease spell in the area Elle and I were standing before bolting toward the exit. Somehow I didn’t kill myself on the Grease and made it to Wymund just in time to whack him over the head with the blunt end of my spear. It would have done next to nothing if he hadn’t already been so bad off, but as it turns out, it was just enough to knock him out.

Annoyed, we tied him up and dragged him to a couch on stage, where we were shortly joined by Colin and Pyraxis, who were equally annoyed. Before waking him, we searched the storage room and found the room where he slept. Little more than a closet with a pile of blankets on the floor. The pile of papers on the stage was more helpful. A detailed supply list, codenames and dates spanning from one month ago to four months in the future. We also found the names Absalom, Sothis, Kaer Maga, White Throne, Almas and Oppara. Are these other areas were the Shadow Lodge operate? The names weren’t so helpful, as they weren’t encoded as I’d hoped, but merely codenames. Not sure how much sense we can make of this right now, but I’m sure Venture Captain Heidmarch will be interested in these papers, and I will most definitely be making copies to send to Venture Captain Valsin.

Elle thought to dose Wymund with a certain poison that would make him weak-willed and then use an Elixir of Truth on him to get him to talk. I healed him awake, and Detected Magic only to find out the Elixir didn’t take. Bummer, but a good plan.

We were able to glean some information from him, but nothing actionable. He did admit to killing Collgardie, though showed no remorse. He says he was recruited to the Shadow Lodge, but either didn’t know by whom or wouldn’t say. Did I mention he is an excellent liar? He claims that the Pathfinder Society is a bunch of fools led by the nose by the corrupt Decemvirate, who cannot be trusted. He says that his organization does the same as we do, just better, seeking knowledge to empower themselves and. . .eventually others. Hmmm. . .yes, okay.

I don’t know what happened to him, but the vitriol that Wymund was spewing is either personal or mind control. I simply cannot comprehend that this is the same man whose lectures I sat through, but from what he tells us, he was this man all along!

He claims to not know any other members of the Shadow Lodge, but that they seek to ruin the Pathfinder Society and that they are an organization that everyone respects, whereas no one finds the Society itself respectable or competent.

Wymund seems to be little more than a middleman here, taking orders, collecting supplies, and shipping them elsewhere and it seems these requests come in pretty regularly. We decided that we’ll go fetch Vadoma and come back to the theater to rest and wait and see if any other Shadow Lodge members come by to place an order. We’ll have to take him back to Magnimar with us so that he can answer for his crimes against the Society . Maybe they can get more out of him than we did.

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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:39 am

We had but a few minutes of debate on how to proceed with our captive before the decision was taken out of our hands.  We heard the side door to theatre open and in strode Bezel Ardoc, the owner of the Golemworks we had approached before.  A number of heavy footsteps in the room beyond confirmed that he had brought several of his creations around.  I pulled out the Golemban scarab Penny had given me while we moved to the stage to see what he had to say.
In no uncertain terms, he “Told us how its gonna be.”  He said that since it was now our reputation in Kaer Maga that we not make deals, he said no deal would be necessary.  We were to get the Pathfinder impostors out of the city within three days.  He said he had messages from representatives of the Commerce League, and they said that after that time, if the Shadow Lodge remained, all Pathfinders in the city, regardless of affiliation, would be targeted for extermination.  With no options available, we told him we understood the situation.  I asked him if he had any tips about where to find the impostors- and was told “that’s your problem”. He said that he would be taking Pratt, as the rightful authority in the area, to dispense justice. With the situation made clear to us, Bezel departed, taking our best lead with him.

We decided to split up to tackle two important tasks.  Colin, Elle, and myself were to set out into Kaer Maga and try to track down the Shadow Lodge.  Penny and Drax set down to the task of making multiple copies of the papers detailing Shadow Lodge plans, so that we might send a copy out to various Lodges (and keep one for ourselves) to make sure that no matter what happened, the information we had found so far would make it to the right hands.  They would also guard the remaining prisoner, since our plans of taking Pratt back as a captive had been dashed.

We headed back to the inn we stayed at our first night in the city to see if our young informant had any leads for us.  Colin and I decided to have a drink, partly due to the innkeeper’s relentless and creative sales efforts, while Elle disgustedly refused and waited outside.  Before long Snowden did show up, and after dropping off his latest marks to rent a room, he let us know what he found.  He returned an empty potion vial and said that after talking to a number of people, he found that someone had seen the symbol on the bottle somewhere in the Bottoms.  It was a thin lead, but it was better than scouring the entire city.
We proceeded to the Bottoms and began a careful sweep. Still, we would have missed the symbol but for Colin’s eagle eyes.  He spotted it behind some ivy on a dilapidated prison building, that was clearly no longer in use.  We identified a door, but I suggested we make an entrance in the back.  The wall proved sturdier than I expected and we were forced to look for an alternate entrance.  We noted that part of the wall was not covered by a roof, and we climbed up the wall.  It looked out onto an interior courtyard of the building.  Colin and I could see in the darkness that there were numerous goblin corpses around the yard, and then noticed a very large, bear sized scorpion scuttling around the yard.  We decided to enter through the courtyard and had to kill it.  I asked Elle if she had any antitoxin as I eyed the enormous stinger on the beast, and she gave me one.  We adopted a strategy of pelting it with arrows, bullets, and bombs, and though we found it could reach us on top of the wall with ease, we were able to kill it.

We climbed down into the courtyard and Elle picked lock through an interior set of double doors.  We went through came upon what was apparently mealtime for six individuals.  Colin charged a halfling that was eating soup and simply beat him into a pulp before he could even stand up.  After assessing the room, it appeared that at least part of this group fit the racial makeup of the Shadow Lodge members we had heard about.  Feeling reassured that we were not beating innocents to death, I moved to engage the half orc before she picked up her tower shield.  She tried to rush me, but that did not work out for her, and she went down.  Elle threw a bomb that caught the Halfling and a human.  The remaining standing ones peppered Colin with some magical attacks, and one of the adversaries chased Elle around the room stabbing her quite effectively before we Colin and I drew his attention.  Colin was able to the successfully intimidate those who were still standing, and we managed to take out all but one- but that remaining one managed to call out into a hallway that intruders were present.  We took him out, and we were left with two unconscious foes, and four presumed dead.

The call for aid did produce a big problem.  A large trollish creature (we were not quite sure what it was) emerged from the end of the hallway.  We could not understand its language, but it clearly meant us harm.  We though a closed portcullis might provide us some time to prepare, but when it reached it, it lifted the portcullis with little effort.  Colin and Elle moved to go through a door behind it to get in flanking position while I had to occupy it for a few seconds. The thing hit quite hard, but luckily it did not hit with both claws- it was trying to rend us apart.  I managed to take out its knee and put it on the ground , and Colin actually (and unexpectedly) jumped on top of him to put it in a full nelson.  I can’t be too sure, but I think Colin may have also bit him.  If that is what it takes- so be it.  Colin and I were able to strike it with mighty blows, presumably killing it also.  

During the fight I saw another Shadow Lodge member poke his head out from a door down the hall and say something. Since he thankfully did not move to attack us while we were busy with the beast, I let him be at the time, but after the thing fell, I moved down to deal with him.  He was behind a desk and pulled a lever.  We heard the sound of cells opening and the last portcullis raising, and prepared for whatever surprises the Shadow Lodge had let in store.
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Magyc

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Kaer Maga

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:16 pm

6th Kuthona 4714


The battle raged on… I was clinging to the troll wrenching and biting at him in desperation when he went limp. He nearly crushed me as he fell, but I scampered to the side and stabbed again at his throat. It sounded like Pyraxis was having a tough time against his opponent, and now goblins were scampering everywhere shooting at us. Fortunately we received reinforcements too.

Penny came charging in from the front through the door the troll had squeezed through. She screamed out that it was troll and to burn it…. Drax immediately backed her up and did it. I turned my attention toward the oncoming goblins shooting and stabbing with abandon. Penny hit me with some healing, and combined with my healing judgement, I was able to stay in the fight. Pyraxis looked worse for wear when he came retreating out of the side room. The man with a rapier didn’t give him an inch though.  I started to get a little concerned when Pyraxis disarmed him… and then Drax set him on fire… and he didn’t stop.

Now… the man was responsible killing pathfinders, framing pathfinders, trying to kill us… and I generally disliked him. However, he had some moves that I begrudgingly respect. While on fire just as a reminder, He spun past Drax, Pyraxis and slid to the ground in front of me scooping up his sword and regaining his stance quite impressively. Somehow he did it all in a way that each of the Vanguard should have been able to get a shot at him, but not one of us was able to strike. All while on FIRE. As I said, I was quite impressed with his agility. Given our shock, he had a moment to back into the previous room where we fought the first group and started putting the fire out. The fight raged on longer than I felt it should have. Until Pyraxis took that sword away too. Then I cut him from neck to belt.

In the loot we found at minimum two magical rapiers. My first thought was for Penny to upgrade, but in hindsight, Masterpiece mithral is pretty nice. It may be more efficient to try and enchant that.

After some discussion, we decide to rest in the prison. Possibly we can set a trap for any stragglers we may have missed, but all in all, I think we may be finished in Kaer Maga… We have three prisoners, two still decidedly unconscious that need questioning, but all firmly tied and manacled.

When we search through the offices, we discovered these notes.
Dear Dorianna Ouidda
   What news from Almas? It’s been many months since your last letter and I admit that I ‘m growing worried that you were found out. Is your disguise still intact? Do you need assistance? Any word from you would be gratefully appreciated . Sincerly Yours, Kormiggon Sussworth, Kaer Maga Lodge


Dear Hono Heru,
I never believed that your ancient Osirian technique for acquiring a tribe of pet goblins would work--but I must now eat my words, dearest Hondo, and tell you that it did. No matter what you hear about my mission here, know that the goblin trick worked. Sincerly Yours, Kormiggon Sussworth,


Dear Caggrigar,
The mission in Kaer Maga is proceeding as ordered, though Absalom has seen fit to send Pathfinder here to look into our presence. One of my lieutenants, that fool bard if you must know, murdered Collgardie too late-- the old man sent a letter to Dreng and now we’re hip deep in Pathfinder entanglements. As you well know, this is a difficult city for murder and mayhem-- killing the wrong person at the wrong time with the wrong tool can result in a blood feud or, worse, your expulsion from the city. We are not popular here anymore.

I humbly ask that we scrap this part of the plan and try to establish our headquarters in Whitethrone instead. It’s farther from Absalom than Kaer Maga and I know of no one there that the Society counts as a loyal agent. Humbly yours, Kormiggon Sussworth, Kaer Maga Lodge.


We use the tables to help barricade ourselves in, and rest till morning.


6th Kythona 4714 (for sure this time) Also, Elle’s birthday.

We start off with some interrogation. One of our prisoners is still out, but the other is rather chatty. He seems to truly believe that he is a pathfinder… It’s strange really. I don’t sense a lot of animosity, mostly just… resignation. He seems to believe what the Shadow Lodge told him about us and yet his own goals seem to match up with real Pathfinders. I don’t know how it will end up… and if they cause trouble on the road we may still have to kill them, but if they cooperate then they may have a place in Absolom. Regardless it’s out of our hands the moment we hand them off to some proper authorities.

When placed with that deal, he was rather compliant. We were given a name to the ones that we’d fought; Mumina, Bega, Mickey, Ankana, Guaran… and Todor who was still alive. The troll had no names, and we don’t count goblins. Their VC was Kormiggon and he was the one that was difficult there.

It was probably wise for us to leave immediately, but there were other things that we wanted first. Pyraxis wished to guard the prisoners while Penny and I checked out this library. Elle and Drax were going to get a headstart on her birthday party. We’d meet up again in the north side of town. She’s been wanting to go back there since we got here.

In the interest of spreading information as far as possible, we send the copies of all our information to whatever contacts we have. I know at least VC Sheila, VC Ambrus Valsin, and Lady Ollysta Zadrian. Some of the others have contacts of their own… but that’s the best I can do.

The party went fine, I had tracked down a ring I thought she’d like. It contains a secret container for poison… or other stuff. With Elle, it’ll probably be poison.


31st of Kuthona 4714 Night of the Pale

Home sweet home. VC Heidmarch took the prisoners off our hands, congratulated us, and gave us some time off. I spent the first evening cleaning. Apparently there was another ‘milk left out’ incident.

Elle was near worthless this night. It seems her past experience with the undead makes her especially dread the Night of the Pale. Tradition and superstition state that the recent dead return to their homes that night and so she quickly drank herself into a stupor and Drax and I had to help her to her room.  Of my 130 years, I have seen no more than five spirits on this holiday. I hold that it is superstitious drivel. The dead can haunt any time. That didn’t seem to comfort her any.

1st Abadius 4715
Happy New Year!

Pyraxis once again rejoins us at the library for his customary first day of solidarity. After that he plans to work at his day job. My own probably thinks I’m dead… I’ll have to remedy that. I don’t have much luck in the library.

There is much discussion between Elle, Drax and myself about the Shards. Drax again insists that he wants the wrath and lust shards… I however believe I should have it. These shards prey on willpower and I believe I have more than Drax. I’ve fought Wrath for so long in my life. Drax doesn’t fight it… he rides along with it on adventures.

Pride was annoying. Greed was frustrating. Lust?? That can be embarrassing, but Wrath is deadly. In much the same way I don’t want gluttony… I don’t want Drax to have Wrath. The damage he could do to all of us… and the town he’s in is much worse than what I could do. I’m fairly confident that worst case scenario, Pyraxis can keep me from doing too much harm.

Elle on the other hand, thinks that one person should get all the curses and volunteers herself and seems to take offense that she isn’t included in the options for wrath. I point out that she has a reputation of bombing me when she’s NOT angry at me. She still wants more of the shard.

I do like to protect others… but we’re also a team and will bear the burdens together.


5th Abadius 4715
I FOUND SOMETHING!!

Admittedly it isn’t much… but in my research I found a hand scrawled note speaking of a unique stone of a rust red color that I believe is the ioun stone we seek next. Next to that note, the circled word ‘Korvosa’. Ironic… had we not been carrying around prisoners at the time, I was going to suggest we take a short vacation in Korvosa. Restore some of our team balance. We’ve been working and traveling nearly non-stop for entirely too long. People have died. Not just myself, but we’ve waded through a lot of blood these few months. A little downtime where we can actually participate in a city like civilized people without enemies to kill or missions to run would do us good. I’ve sensed some bonds being strained in our group.

However, having prisoners scuttled that plan. Now I suspect we’ll find more information there. I don’t know much about Korvosa. They have a older king I think, and a younger queen. There is a prestigious magical academy the kind you can’t break in and even high level wizards don’t get access to.  I hope it’s not in there…


6th Abadius 4715

DRAX bought a boat. Acquired is probably the better term, but he’s very excited. He called it ‘The Wayfarer,’ which was rather good name for a ship I think. We packed our things and set sail


17th Abadius 4715

We arrived in Korvosa…

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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:56 am

We arrived at Korvosa on the 17th of Abadius.  Drax’s new ship made excellent time.  It is refreshing to not have to subject ourselves to the vagaries of public transportation and all the unpleasantness that accompanies it.  The crew brought the ship up to one of the farthest outlying docks.

By the time we had geared up and the plank was laid from the ship for us to enter the city proper, a trio assembled waiting for us to debark.  They flashed wayfinders and identified themselves as fellow Pathfinders, and introduced themselves as Matty Red, (a human female roguish type), Ish (human male laden with weapons) and Secessa (a female Mwangi native unencumbered by armor).  They told us they were ordered here to help us with our research, and that they had contacts at Korvosa’s library that could get us access into restricted areas.  They laid down some flattery as they said they had heard of the Wayfairer Vanguard and the groundbreaking Thassilonian research we had done.  As we started walking down the pier they questioned us about our experiences, but I was uncomfortable about the questions they were asking, and instead diverted their questions about our Thassilonian work into a story about our venture to the Red Redoubt, presuming that they had been there too.  They gave all the responses one would expect.

This made what happened next all the more stunning. As Matty Red led us down the pier, Penny suddenly whipped her hand to her neck and made an exclamation.  She pulled a dart out of her neck and then slowly began to slump as Colin caught her.  At this moment, Matty Red turned around and said that she was going to need the thing of power that we had found, and that we would have to die, as well.  The three of them proceeded to attack us right on the sparsely populated pier, with another ally of theirs shooting darts at us from a boat anchored alongside it.

One of them boasted about the Shadow Lodge, letting us know who we were up against.   We responded quickly to their ambush.  Colin stepped up to engage Matty, while I decided to employ the tactic Colin had successfully used against the soup-eating Halfling from the last Shadow Lodge we crushed- take out the weakest looking opponent quickly, before they can do anything.  I moved up to engage Secessa, who was preparing to cast, instead of engaging the heavily armoured Ish who was right behind me.  Elle also chose to throw a bomb at her, and we hoped to take her out quickly.

Unfortunately she was sturdier than she looked.  Though we did bloody her up quite significantly and ruin a couple casting attempts, she was able to run away and hide behind a cart.   Elle jumped on the gangplank to the ship where the dart shooter was peppering us with darts from a blowgun.

Suddenly, we witnessed Sheila Heidemarch sprinting down the dock toward us!  Not only was her presence in Korvosa a complete shock, this was a Sheila we  had never seen before…she raced in and laid into Matty Red with her staff and several strikes!  Colin, after a few moments of surprise, adjusted and Sheila and he worked together to take down the leader of this Shadow Lodge.

At the same time, I moved to engage the one called Ish.  He was dual wielding a sword and axe, and had already gotten several shots at me while I was trying to take down Secessa.  I disarmed his sword which I thought would slow him down- but he simply pulled out another axe.  Immediately after, I got hit with a wave of negative energy from Matty Red which severely weakened me. I tripped Ish, buying my precious seconds as I called for Colin for help was I was in bad shape and Ish was still going strong.

Colin immediately came over to help me, a move he paid dearly for.  After he got a few shots on the prone Ish, he inadvertently gave Secessa two shots at him- and she took advantage by hitting him with two very powerful bolts of electricity.  He went down shortly after that.

Elle, seeing what had happened, abandoned her plan to storm the ship and instead tried to engage Secessa.  Secessa was using the obstacles on the pier to her advantage and denied Elle a clear shot for some time, but Elle was able to neutralize her.

In one brutal flurry, Sheila finished off Matty Red and moved to her interpose herself between Ish and myself- just in time, as I could barely stay on my feet.  She told me to take and drink the two potions on my belt, which I did-one was a Cure potion, the other had a Haste effect.  She then took off to deal with the dart shooter on the boat, as Elle came back to help Colin and Penny.

With the help of the Haste potion I was able to batter Ish to a point where he would not be a problem ever again.  Sheila was hit by several darts and though she was not hurt too badly, she succumbed to the poison and collapsed.  As Elle brought Colin back to consciousness, I boarded the ship and the dart shooter jumped into the harbor to escape.  Remembering some tips I heard about fighting underwater, I went in after her.  I got a hold of her ankle and demanded she surrender.  As we treaded water, she said she would if I would guarantee her life.  I did so, and then hauled her back to the pier with no resistance.

The fight ended with two of the Shadow Lodge dead, one unconscious, one in manacles.  Sheila came to within a minute and was midly disgusted that she had fallen to the poison.  I was extremely impressed with her combat prowess regardless- if she had not intervened we would have been in a bad of spot as any we had ever faced.

She said that she had come to Korvosa-presumably through magic- after she found that she had been betrayed by someone in her own compound.  She said that she caught Abrillas, the guard we so frequently ran into at the front gate, going through her study and gathering information on the Vanguard’s activities.  She presumed that the Shadow Lodge knew what we knew now.  Given that Shadow Lodge members can easily pose as regular Pathfinders, it is very hard to know who to trust.  She came to Korvosa to both warn us and redirect our efforts.

“Our mission is no longer secret.  We cannot afford to take this at a slow pace.  The Wayfairer Vanguard is now full speed ahead.  We must find the Shards and Stones as fast as possible.  To that end, I am going to split these missions to two teams.”

Sheila had decided that she would make one team devoted to researching and finding the Stones.  The primary member of that team was to be...Penny.  Her research skills would be invaluable to tracking them down, seeing as how the Shards led to one another- the Stones location would be much harder to determine.  Ones they identified a lead, she would take a team into the field consisting of Canayven Heidmarch, Kalkamedes the Unstoppable, and Corriea, the famed Pathfinder Darklands expert.  We were relieved that the members of Penny's team seemed to be quite capable.  The members of the team were already in Korvosa waiting for Penny (who still lay unconscious but stable on the pier).

Our team, consisting of Colin, Drax, Elle, and myself, would continue hunting the Shards.  To that end, Sheila instructed us to get back on the ship and sail directly back to Magnimar.  and seek out two people.  The first is Jasper Kangmeras, an extremely eccentric doom prophet who happens to know a great deal about the Mushfens, the location of the next Shard.  Elle said he is a worshipper of Groetus, the god of end times and Oblivion.  The second person we are to seek out is a woman named Aagravk, an artist who has a business relationship with Sheila.  She would be very interested in paying heavily for any artwork we find near the Lady's Light that depicted succubi.

Sheila suggested we have a way ready to return to Magnimar very quickly when we have the Shard- presumably so it can't be take from us, and so that whoever is bearing it cannot cause too much havoc. Hopefully the appropriate Stone would be ready when we return. We may want to buy a scroll of some kind, though I'm not sure any of us are capable of using magic that powerful and complicated.  

With that, Sheila wished us luck and bid us get back on the boat.  We loaded up the prisoners and corpses.  Sheila said we could deposit the prisoners in the Heidemarch cells in the city's jail.  I reminded her that I promised one her life, and she said she had no intentions of executing anyone.  With that, we moved to depart.  Penny was still unconscious as Sheila gathered her up to take into Korvosa.  We did not get to say goodbye.  Hopefully we can reunite sometime after this is over.  

Truly the Poison Lodge knew what they were doing in the ambush.  If Colin and I are the fists of the Vanguard, Elle the brain, and Drax the rage- then Penny is the heart.  This fight made clear how much we had come to rely on her unflagging optimism in us, sounding encouragement and advice during the battle, making sure that everyone could keep fighting.  Taking her out of the fight first as they did likely would have meant the end of the Vanguard but for the timely rescue by Sheila.  Elle is concerned with how Penny will fare without us.  I am much more concerned about how we will fare without her.  The Vanguard is taking a mighty loss today.  I hope Sheila knows what she is doing.
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Draxthious

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:11 pm

28-1-4715

It’s about two in the afternoon when my ship arrives back in Magnimar. First order of buisness? Take the Shadow Lodge people, Maddie Red and Areen, to Sheila’s special prison. I hope they get tortured.

So, after a quick confab with the four of us, and yes I still find it hard to believe Penny is with a different group, doing…..Penny related things, we decided that of the two people we needed to talk to, Ayavah and Jasper Candamarus, Ayavah would be first. Off to Underbridge.

Colin, with some subtle and not so subtle questioning, is able to find her shop, the Salacious Relics, at the base of the pyling Harpy. The teifling woman is obsessed with succubi. There are statues in her store in many forms, most of them of the female demons in suggestive poses. And for some reason Elle is convinced I’m….aroused by this? I don’t know. Of note in the “that’s unusual” sense is the woman has six fingers on each hand. Neat.

So, to make a longer story shorter, the woman does not know where to find the Lady’s Light but firmly believes that there are numerous artifacts and other items related to succubi and she will pay us (even drew up a contract) for each one we bring back. Including rubbings of murals. Yeah, this will be fun.


On our way through town an old woman stops Elle and…...Look, don’t let her read this part, ok? You know how when she was a kid, more so than she is now, she lost her friend to ghosts or ghasts or some type of phantasm like undead? The woman said that the spirit of the child friend is still with her. Not in so many words but...look, I’m not dumb ok. When I figured out what she was talking about I pulled Elle away from there quickly. She has enough to worry about with her sister gone, she doesn’t need to think she’s haunted too. Colin and Pyraxis stayed to listen to her. If you want details on that conversation, talk to them.

On to Jasper the street preacher. Who is beyond insane. We find him in Rags End, the poorest section of Beacon Pointe. As we listen to his “sermons” before we approach, seriously all about the end of the world and how we are all doomed blah blah blah, there’s a whore riding a monster and we take his hand we can go into the void together. Insane.

The crazy stops talking when he sees us, calling us the “ushers of the end times”. Neat. While he is talking to us three Pesh addicted idiots attack him. We defend him, and once again I find my friends are hesistant to...do what is necessary. One guy get’s away but I manage to stop the other two. Fatally.

After we save the lunatic he turns from calling us “usherers” to Harbingers. I kind of like that one. We attempt to reason with the nut (hehe, I’m going to burn the city. This guy cracks me up sometimes.) Even the eyedrops of slavery don’t help. Finally Elle gives this impassioned speech about helping us find the power to fullfil his wacko prophecy and it seems to actually help.

So we ask about the “Mush Fens” and finding the “Lady’s Light” and he says the first thing we need to do is talk to the witch Maroux. She lives on a small island with a wodden bridge, and if we stay along the shoreline we will find it. Be warned *snicker* she is easily angered but she knows the area better than anyone. If we call out when we get there, “Greetings Lady Maroux, Jasper sent us.” and offer to help her with something she will be more willing to help us and not….whatever it is witches do.

Apparently two monster tribes, troglodytes and boggards, live in the area and are always fighting with each other. Good to know.

Now….Jasper wants to come with us. And we agree since the fellow, despite having not combat skills, does have healing magic and what not. So Colin and Pyraxis head off to sell stuff while Elle and I take the man back to our house so he can bathe. And eat, but mostly bathe.

When everyone returns the group finally decides something that I already knew. I would get the Lust shard. Imagine how much trouble would be saved if they had just listened to me earlier.

We break for the night, heading off in the morning. However...Elle would like to stay with me. She is still bothered by what the old lady said. I agree to her staying however I do not let her sleep on the floor like she suggested. I may be a demon spawn, but I’m not heartless. So when she falls asleep I lift her and put her in the bed. I’ll stay on the floor.

We depart on my ship in the morning.

30-1-4715

Still very early in the morning, well, earlyish. Ok, it’s midmorning. We depart the ship taking a dingy to the landing because of the shoals in the area. We make the beach and start letting the crazy lead the crazy. I mean we follow Jasper. Up ahead there is a cliff with a two hundred foot statue on it. It’s pretty impressive all be told.

I’ll save you the trouble of listening to our travels along the beach, suffice to say there are sandbars and islands and other water things…

We eventually find an old rickety bridge with bleached humanoid skulls stuck to it. The skulls have symbols marked on them in old dried blood. On the troglodyte skulls are draconic skills giving warning not to approach. We do anyway. Once Pyraxis….tests….the bridge the rest of us cross.

In the center of the island is a moss covered house with smoke coming from the chimney. The smell is bad to everyone however…..oh gods is it bad to me. What ever she is cooking is hurting both my senses and my pride as a chef.

A raven caws out and Elle repeats what Jasper told us to say. A voice inside the hut answers and after some banter, i.e. her extorting our help. Ok, yes we offered to help her in exchange for hers but….Did I mention the smell? Oh the smell. The witch wants Kelpies Hair, a specific kind of seaweed that is apparently really tasty for her…….I hate to use any word that dignifies what she is making is food….stew. We agree and Jasper points out a narrower path between the witch’s island and the near by larger island though it would require swimming.

Poor Colin.
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Mushfens

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:02 am

Abadius 30th,  4715

Well, Jasper Kandamerus… what can I say about him. He’s really getting on my nerves and part of me is curious exactly when practicality is going to be overruled by emotion. One step at a time. Perhaps it’s the loss of Penny and what I consider a far inferior replacement that makes him so intolerable. Something to ponder about in my free time.

Meanwhile we had to track down the seaweed for the witch. It required some swimming and the others still like to give me grief about my earlier mishaps… but I had no issue today. Elle and Jasper took some of her extracts that made them much faster. We also spent some time marching through beaches, swamps and more beaches before I saw the ship in question.

It was a decent sized merchant ship that seemed to be little more than ten feet down. Elle and Drax aren’t as efficient underwater, so Pyraxis and I were the natural choices to explore the ship. I cast Detect Magic and prepared to search the ship hoping we didn’t come all this way JUST for seaweed.

What happened next was a situation I had not considered. Before. I probably should have, but it was just about the worst combination I could think of. When I jumped into the water, I kept a dagger out for stabbing purposes. Those who have fought underwater recognize that most weapons aren’t as effective underwater. Piercing can glide through the water easier though. Skeletons however are pretty resilient against piercing weapons. Blunt works best, but not underwater.  When eight skeletons suddenly surrounded us I became quite concerned. An extra one with that glint of intelligence I hate to see moved with more determination. Fortunately though we were outnumbered and unarmed and surrounded… They weren’t very effective either. I was able to get to Pyraxis and using my shard, cast Hide from Undead. I have never cast this before, but it worked as advertised. The unintelligent versions ignored us completely and the Skeletal Champion also lost track of us, though it kept searching. We quickly returned to shore.

Alerting the others, they waited for us to draw them out. Any attack on our part would break the spell, but now that we were expecting them, I was okay with that. My ranseur was effective, though they kept getting inside my range forcing me back. Between the four of us, we utterly dominated these creatures with blade, fist, flame and acid bomb… The leader I expected a greater challenge, but Drax finished it off much quicker than I anticipated.

We claimed a magical rapier from it that I was unable to identify. Something we would have tagged for Penny to use if better than her own. Seeing it  makes my mind drift toward her. I hope she’s doing well. The last thing any of us want to deal with Drax burning with lust for an extended period of time.

For future readers… that was not intended as a pun, but feel free to laugh anyway. Hopefully we’ll all be able to laugh about this in the future.

Leaving this little island, Elle starts to drown, just a little, before getting back on track. The trip back to the cottage was fairly uneventful. This time she surprised to see us having returned from the ‘haunted ship’. Yes, this time she actually said the word ‘Haunted’. Honestly I thought ‘go get seaweed’ was a bit too easy. She entirely set us up.

Elle stepped up and talked politely and wooed her help. In order for her to be more helpful, she required one  more favor. She wished us to share a meal with her. Drax’s tears were many… and  for good cause. I have bitten troll… I have had incidents in the sewer… but this stew was… just bad. It was like nothing I’ve eaten or ever want to eat again. The seaweed must have helped, and a few of us looked a little green around the gills, but nobody vomited. I consider that a grand achievement and the mark of being excellent guests.

She told us that there were at least two factions fighting. Boggards and Trogs. They had been at a stalemate for years, but recently something changed. An armored woman named Oriana bearing a scarred face under her helmet,  leading a group of other women from Korvosa to plunder the Lady’s Light interfered with the balance. She armed and trained the boggards who in turn were winning the war now. My first thought went to the Cat Burglars we fought over the first two shards… but they weren’t particularly the armored type. Three shards, three battles with women? An odd coincidence….

Of course maybe we won’t HAVE to fight them. We could team up. I doubt our luck will run that way, but hope burns eternal.

Regardless, this was an interesting note… She came back 10 days later claiming to have found Sorshen, the actual Runelord of Lust! If she walks again… this may get much more difficult. By now we’re into third hand rumors… So I’ll just hope she was lying.

Both groups of monsters  lived near tunnels that may go to the Light… She wasn’t sure which one was the right one. Since the women returned alive, it was probably the well armed and newly trained boggard’s cave. There was a third cave though. Some monster that killed everything and nobody had returned from… naturally we decided that one. I don’t know what it is about Pathfinders… but I’m sure I USED to be able to ignore a mystery.... We decided to set out immediately since it was still early afternoon… and I don’t think anyone wanted to stay for breakfast.

She also gave us a map which was fairly detailed. Between that and our wayfinders, finding our way wasn’t very difficult at all. We took the long route to avoid the Trog cave, but all in all we made good time.

The third cave was fairly huge. Twenty feet high, and forty wide could have housed any number of things and the burnt bones scattered around weren’t very encouraging. The ground was too hard for me to find any identifying tracks, and I sincerely hoped it wasn’t a dragon in there. A dragon this close, with this many dead… It would have HAD to be known right??

We entered with very little delay. There were coins scattered around… I’m not sure if that makes it more or less likely to be a dragon… The cave was dark so Pyraxis gave Jasper his wayfinder light and Elle took her draught and started… acting weird. Still, it helps her see in the dark. What we found was something I knew only by name. While not a dragon, it was pretty close in both size and appearance. A Huge, red, five headed serpentine beast. A Pyrohydra. How they differ from a normal Hydra I can’t remember… but the burnt bones give me an idea. Elle yells out that it’s immune to flame for Drax’s benefit and he starts using his bow. I was bitten pretty hard, but thankfully wasn’t poisoned. Pyraxis activated his own shard and we were all hasted. The monster fought hard, but we prevailed… and commenced looting. I once again miss Penny, and am reminded I need to study my spellcraft more. Magic abounded in the form of a crystal wand, Amulet and ring… The only thing I recognized was the Ring of Swimming. After her recent near drowning, the choice of ownership on that one was fairly unanimous. Elle acted all childlike and weird when I gave her the ring… I’m not 100% certain that I’m NOT engaged now! Definitely a conversation for later.

Following the tunnel for quite some ways, through spaces I don’t think that hydra could have fit.. We found a junction. Four tunnels came together in a room with a seven sided monument with the Thassalonian rune for lust carved on each side. Inside there seemed to be space for a female form… This doesn’t bode well my hopes regarding that third-hand rumors.

Sadly this all came later as we were attacked by giant Albino Spider monsters. Solifugids I believe they were called, but regardless, I had never heard of these and hope to never see them again. Still, they burned… so hopefully Drax will do alright in this mission.


Last edited by Colin Marcus on Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:41 pm

After dispatching the spiders, we examined the room. The center of the room had a 7-sided monument with the Rune of Lust on all sides, showing that we were on the right track with our search. Colin said it had the faint aura of enchantment magic. The monument had the hollow, broken, statue of a woman- presumably the Runelord- atop of it. There was a faint pulsing in the room that could be felt, presumably due to the magic it was imbued with. Colin thought the statue had been broken a few months ago based on the surroundings- which was about the time the expedition of women that the Witch has told us about arrived.

Colin asked me to use the power of the Greed shard to see if we could get a better handled on the location of the Lust shard. Unfortunately, I only got the same images I had seen before- but even hazier this time. There were three exits to the chamber- Colin picked the one least likely to lead us toward one of the warring tribes in the area.

We proceeded down the passage and in short order came to a room that was reinforced by a number of large stone columns. Upon entering, four of these columns animated and attacked us. Apparently these things-constructs called Caryatid columns- were tasked to repel intruders. The fight was quite difficult as Colin damaged his own weapons with every strike. Elle lured some of them away in a chase while damaging them with her concoctions. The columns hit very hard and I was knocked out for a period- but we managed to chip them down after a heavy struggle. During the fight Jasper took a swing at Colin. He missed, but this could be a problem if his mental state makes him so unreliable. Colin was very displeased, but if not for Jasper’s help, we might not have survived these columns.

The room contained a large pit, and had no exits. We decided to rest and recover here. Colin took first watch, and unfortunately for him, he had to listen to Jasper rant until he fell asleep exhausted. When we woke we examined the pit and found that we could not determine how deep it was, as there was some magical darkness in effect. Dropping stones into the pit provided no clue either. We lowered Elle down on a rope, and after hearing nothing, a few moments, Colin, Jasper, and I followed worriedly her down. Apparently there was also a magical silence in effect that prevented us from hearing her shout the Ok to us.

The room we entered from the pit had a Sarcophagi prominently featured in the center. A column in the room had a large painting of a woman that Elle surmised was Sorshen. The lid of the Sarcophagi was very detailed, a full color painting of a woman sleeping. We decided to open it, and Colin and I leveraged up the 600 pound lid. Inside was a perfectly preserved woman, clad in diaphanous robes and jewelry, whose likeness had been on the lid. After detecting a powerful magical aura coming from her, we decided to look around the cavern more. We found pictures depicting her cavorting with succubi, which we took rubbings of as requested. Colin saw that one of these pictures had a more powerful aura than other ones, and as he made a rubbing of it, a piece of the picture depressed, and Thassilonian language appeared around it: “Ayonda Mala is bound to the Light for All Ages” . We saw a door open to a sandy underground beach next a river. Two skiffs were beached, and we could hear a thunderous sound in the distance. We hurriedly finished our rubbings and returned to the Sarcophagi.

Given that Colin had identified the magical aura as Enchantment, I asked Elle if she could spare some more of her flayleaf, and got much more hassle from the others than I thought necessary. Finally, she shared some of what she had been keeping and I quickly downed it, entering the altered state of consciousness that made it harder for outside influences to gain purchase in my mind. We took up position around the sleeping woman and Colin shook her with no response. He then tried to pull her out, and then seemed to recoil for a moment, though nothing happened. He explained that that he had seen a vision of her grown to giant size in the chamber and moving to attack him- but he was able to see through this false image to the truth. For some reason Elle convinced Colin to kiss the sleeping woman. I doubt this sequence of events would have made sense to me even if I had not recently ingested large quantities of the Leaf.

We took off the fairly expensive jewelry and items she had been buried with, and Colin and I reinterred her. We moved to the beach to examined the skiffs and debate our next move.
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The Ladie's Light

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:22 pm

Abadius 31st  4717

Today was a dark day for the Vanguard and it started simple enough. Having moved through the succubi door to the private beach, we split into two groups for skiffs. Drax, Elle and myself rode in one, while thankfully Jasper rode with Pyraxis.

The water was only about three feet deep and was easy pushing upstream in hopes of avoiding the waterfall. Elle needed her light again, which while annoying is still better than her on the draught so all went well. Interestingly we found the waterfall upstream not down and feeding the river we were on.

We followed the river for a while until the rush of water was deafening. There were no turn offs, but a few of us did notice that there was a small spiral of water that seemed to go somewhere. I presume there is a tunnel or drain of some sort there, but we put it off till later. Near the base of the waterfall there was an oval platform that we decided to explore. There were many glowing runes, but nothing I could decipher. On the platform was a 12’ statue of a barely clad woman… that was not going to kill us this time, (Elle checked). The statue was magical, but I couldn’t identify the spell either, though it was of moderate strength. Once again I’m reminded of why I like a well rounded team around me. I may have to start seeking out a mage to befriend or employ… my ignorance is getting annoying, and dangerous.

The statue was hollow, though filled with water nearly to it’s, missing eyes. On a whim we decided to fill it up. Perhaps ‘I’ decide to fill it up. We don’t really vote as much as we used to. Drax however carried his prize mug that bestows unlimited water, so he was able to quickly fill it, and the statue appeared to weep. This is hardly moderate magic however. There had to be SOMETHING more to it as this was a peculiar place to leave the statue and I wanted to know why. Nothing moved, nothing switched. Finally Pyraxis and tried to remove it and THAT activated something. Two large water elementals to be exact.

I know I tease Drax about his cooking sometimes… mostly to keep his ego in check. However, today I actually watched our master chef burn water. I think this should never be forgotten.

We all got a few hits in, but Drax and Pyraxis were able to finish them off. It wasn’t a fun fight. We were too clustered on the platform, and they had something similar to a great cleave attack… just wetter.

Finished there and finding nothing of value or interest, our options were downstream or the mystery whirl. It was only three feet deep and Pyraxis volunteered to go first.  I wasn’t too excited about that since last time he didn’t come back… at least that way, but it was still the best option. He took a rope with him and swam away. He wasn’t gone long, and said the hidden tunnel went about fifty feet and surfaced to a room. After some debate about tying ourselves together… which Elle still seems traumatized about. Drax too… Which I had to point out was strange since ‘I’ was the one pulled off the cliff that time. They would have fallen regardless!! Still, we had our air bladders and it wasn’t a difficult swim.

It came to a room with four directions to go. We chose to start north. This entire place I suspect is going to test our levels of awkwardness. The first room we entered had six stone slabs with sheets on them and manacles at each corner. The imagination boggles while in here. There was one book with a faint preservation magic on it that wasn’t quite as risque as I suspected, even though it was called ‘Dreams and Desires.’ It’s purpose was a bit more practical though as it seemed to focus on aiding questions about dreams and enchantments. I’m not sure what use we could use it for, but it did have a few sleep and dream related scrolls that aren’t exactly in my wheelhouse. Still the book should be of value.

The Second door (west) led to what seemed to be an old alchemy lab. Elle became quite giddy and started exploring it like mad. The identification didn’t go too well and we left with various items and a lot of questions. I was able to identify one as ‘Wax of Defiance.’ This got a few laughs out of us as just…. A simplistic and generic way of describing the old ‘wax in the ear’ tactic. This put a magical spin on an old favorite. We found a sealed urn that was difficult to open. We should have left it closed, because there were two gray oozes in it. Or one cut in half… I’m never too sure when dealing with oozes. Drax and I beat on one, while Elle and Pyraxis the other. Every hit with a weapon damaged our weapons and every grapple damaged armor. It seems like everything in this place is designed to break our weapons or strip us naked. Elle came pretty close…

After this, Jasper offered to repair our gear with a little time, so we went back to the manacle room while he started on her armor and my morningstar. With myself armed and Elle dressed we continued on to the south door. This room consisted of marble benches and colored tiles forming a starburst. The room was obviously decorated to inflame passions… and there was another door past this. We decided it was prudent to check that last door to the east before wandering too far. That was a mistake.

The east door lead to a wreck of a room. Broken furniture, bookcases and the like were strewn around and a large painting on the floor. On the other side of the room was a black book. Detect Magic showed that the painting was a moderate magic and the book was overwhelming! Intrigued I entered the room with the intent to walk around the painting, never through. It didn’t matter.

What happened next is difficult to remember. Violence, blood, confusion. The painting seemed to summon in Sevgathi… a giant worm creature that wielded a sword and wand… Confusion came off it like waves. Elle attacked me, I attacked Elle. I attacked myself. Sometimes I attacked the worm… Drax set Jasper on Fire. Pyraxis beat himself in the face pretty hard I think… All while the worm attacked with sword and bites… I lost my hearing halfway through the fight… but I’ll take that. Before we were able to overcome the monster, Elle was cut in half by it’s sword.

Now we have no Quinks at all. Quinkless is not how we should be exploring this place. With Drax’s ship I think we can get her home in time to have her raised… she still has enough influence to come back. The only real question is the mission… Do we finish here and now, and or do we come back at full strength??
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Draxthious

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:25 am

31 - 1 -  4717

Elle is dead.
Elle is dead and I’m going to burn this entire place to the ground.

Jasper is on the ground in front of me, laying where I dropped him in my confusion.  Colin, acting weird (I would later find out he was deaf) used a wand to heal Jasper and as soon as the man’s eyes opened, I threw him at Elle.  He says he cannot heal her.  She is too far gone.

I leave the room, anger and rage building and boiling inside me.  I am so angry I swear I can feel the earth shake in response to my wrath.  But that is impossible, I control the flames, not the lands.  

While I am outside Jasper says that after a nights rest he might be able to heal Colin of his deafness.  Goodie.

The others loot the room.  I will not go back inside until I calm down and I won’t be able to calm down until my anger is sated.  Hell, I don’t even know why my anger is….yeah, ok I know why.

I pace outside, staring at the double doors we have yet to go through.  Colin finds a book written by the Lady of Lust about the nature and types of monsters who use some form of mind control.  Too little too late dungeon.

In the room past the double doors we find a massive bed, soft and comfortable looking. The domed ceiling is made of mother of pearl and the walls are covered in a mural that depicts satyrs chasing nymphs with obviously lewd things in mind.

Elle would probably be teasing me about that right now.  I never did understand why she would tease only me about things like that.  And now I never will.   Dracu 'viata mea.  

Those words?  Abyssal.  No I won’t translate them for you.

The only thing of note in this room is a secret door, very well hidden.  Colin sees nothing of danger so we push open the door.  On the other side is a long hallway with five doors on each side of the hallway.

The door to each room (except the last) has a notification on it, “Thou woulds enter, then thou must touch”  So we search the rooms, I’m not going into detail because there is none.  Each room (except the last) has a bed against the far wall with a chest at it’s feet, a small dressor and a mirror.  Each room is the exact same.

The last door the writting on it is different, saying something about if you want to enjoy the rune lord of lust herself then enter.  However this door is covered in a small layer of frost.  Which explodes in a blast of freezing cold as soon as I touch the door.  Even what protection I have from the cold does not help much.    

Jasper takes his new wand we found…..I don’t remember where…..and heals those of us who need it.  As I continue to try the door a woman, wrapped in a sheet that covers her completely, enters through the secret door.  

It’s Elle!!!!!  Somehow when she died her spirit was transplanted into the body of the runelord we found much earlier.  So now she is alive but…..changed.   Really really changed.  I mean, she was always beautiful, but now…..now she is the embodiment of lustful desire in men.  And here I am about to claim the Lust shard. Dracu 'viata mea

We decide to rest for now, since we are in a perfect place for it.  Everyone gets their own room except.  I don’t sleep inside mine.  I sleep, or try to, out side the door, my room directly across from Elle’s.   Something’s going on, I don’t know what.  But if I can be there for her in any way, I’m going to make sure I am there.  Not locked away in a room oblivious to my surroundings.

I'm glad I did.  In the middle of the night Elle screamed out.  I don't think anyone else heard her.  And yes, it wasn't proper of me, but I simply charged in.  She was sitting up in bed.  Had a nightmare.  I know how bad those things can get.  She asks me to stay so she won't be alone and I agree.  I sit with her while she sleeps.  She won't be alone tonight....or any night she asks.  And when the nightmares come back, I place my hand on her shoulder. I let her know she isn't alone.  It seems to help.  Somewhat.  I wish I could do more.

In the morning I stay with Elle while she recovers her stuff from her…..corpse.  The others are able to realize that the last door was actually fake and was simply a trap that we walked into.  There was no room there, for the lust lord or otherwise.

I give Elle an extra shirt and pants to wear until we can get her stuff recovered.  I have to admit, I am lost.  The anger I felt at her death has not subsided even though I firmly do believe that this is she returned to us.  I don’t know what to think only….Elle has already been through so much, and now this right after her sister is transferred to a different party.  She needs something solid, someone she can lean on, depend on, now more than ever.  Colin keeps trying to prove she’s undead.  (He keeps it up we’re going to see how flamable he is).  No one knows what Pyraxis is thinking except that it’s probably pragmatic.   So that leaves me, and even if I am her least favorite person, I will be there for her.  No matter what.

Before we continue on there is some debate as to what we should do with Elle’s body.  It was initially decided that we would leave it in a room and grab it on our way out.  However Elle wants it destroyed, burned.  So despite the protests of the others, I burn it.  Right now their opinions don’t matter to me as much.  

Why won’t my anger go away?

Through the doors at the end of the hallway is a room, large with eight sides and filled with heat and humidity.  A series of raised platforms in the center of the room lead to a brazier with a grey flame inside.  To the south is a room much like the tiny one we entered from and filled with a lot of nothing.  The eastern wall is a different color than the other walls, it’s slight but noticable.

The grey flame is definitely magical and it seems to radiate a form of transmutation magic.  I go to form the flame into a cage shape however as I approach it four small balls of teeth come shooting out.  Chaocodemons.  Lovely.  Something to vent on.

They did nothing to help my anger.

The room is empty except for a torch near the south and a doorway to the north.  We enter the doorway to a larger room, with two columns to the west carved to look like….well, Elle now so we know who they are supposed to be.  The room is covered in blood, somewhat surprisingly fresh and admidst the carnage is a tall humanoid with bat wings, horns, and bestial legs.  It’s an incubus, a male version of the succubus.  

He does nothing to help my anger and I swear during the fight I feel the earth react again.   My anger is causing my perceptions to become warped.  

While we search the room Jasper heals us.  Elle, after being backhanded by the demon, makes the pun that the creature was “hitting” on her.   I swear that bad joke has been the only thing so far to even come close to alleviating the rage inside me.  Good girl.

After Elle takes rubbings of the images on the murals we head to the hallway to the east.  At the other end we see a massively realistic image of hundreds of people paying homage to Elle.  No, to her body’s appearance, the runelord of lust.

The hallway curves now and as we start through it, the floor drops out from under us.  Elle, Colin, and myself all drop.  Colin and I manage to land alright but Elle hits some spikes.  After some….attempts, I am finally able to climb up and get a rope from Pyraxis.  I leap across the newly formed chasm and secure it to another statue of lady lust.  Using the rope the rest are able to get across.

Once everyone is over I notice that there are other statues of LL (lady lust and yes I just realized how much calling her LL sounds like Elle)  One of the statues is broken, the three others all start shaking.

The heads sprout mechanical legs and burst forth from the statue.

Maybe these things will help with my anger but…..I’ve not had much luck burning things mechanical in the past.
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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:19 pm

The situation left us with Drax alone on one side of the pit with the scuttling statue heads, Elle and Colin at the bottom of the pit, and myself and Jasper on the original side. When Drax called out for help, I realized that no one would be able to reach him anytime soon by going the safe way. I took a running start and just barely cleared the pit, my heels hanging off the edge.

As Elle and Colin fruitlessly tried to scale the pit, Drax and I fought off the trio of statue heads. They were very accurate and hard hitting, and we were quickly driven back to the pit. I had hopes of splitting them up by throwing one into the pit for Colin and Elle to destroy, but they gave me no chance and was forced to leap into the pit to survive. Hitting the ground 40 feet below knocked me out, and thankfully the statues returned to the area they had come from-apparently they were to guard that area?

After we healed up with Jasper’s help, Colin painstakingly used his pitons to create a series of footholds to scale the side of the pit. We carefully climbed up and readied ourselves to face the statue heads again. They came at us hard again-one of them even managed to paralyze and almost kill Colin- but Elle was able to use her bombs to destroy two of them quickly.

After resting, we continued our exploration. In the very next room we were met by a rapier wielding man who seemed confused about the direction we had come from, while at the same time suspicious that we had destroyed the statue heads. Elle decided to try her new form, and tried to flirt with him and was rebuffed; an immediate slur by Drax led to him challenging us to a duel. I immediately charged him and got a solid blow in, and Drax set him on fire briefly, but after he got into a rhythm he became much harder to hit. He had the ability to weave spells and swordplay flawlessly together, which I understand it quite difficult to do, and had much to do with our difficulty in even touching him. I managed to knock his rapier out of his hands and he turned invisible. I picked it up, making sure that he would not have access to his weapon of choice. After he attacked again and became visible, Colin and I got position on him and a side kick shattered his spine.

Colin seemed extremely excited after examining the rapier…I think he said the blade had a name? Regardless, it seems it will greatly help him against his most hated enemy type, the undead. I picked up a formidable bow from that the man called Gnauss carried- perhaps I will transition to it from my sling.

We searched the room and found little to take, but we did find a lever that opened a portcullis, and we went through.
The next room had walls covered by murals depicting many kinds of lustful acts. We searched the room, and actually found something with the artwork itself- it had a carefully hidden name- Amivadeus Yasrin. Elle had seen the name before, and said it referenced a foremost artist from Thassilonian times. Colin also said that the artwork suggested a disdain of the spiritual rot and decadence that was depicted. I had not known Colin had a background in Ancient Art appreciation.

We opened a door that led to a sandy beach upon a river. On the beach were two mounds of sand covered by tower shields. We quickly confirmed what we suspected through a little digging- these were indeed graves, almost certainly from the contingent of warrior woman we were warned of. We took the items that they had been buried with-(we owed no duty of propriety to these dead) and then spend some time reburying the corpses so our actions might escape cursory examination.

In the middle of the small river was a very small island. On the island was a 7 sided stone platform with a glass statue atop it. It appeared to be a woman with her hands turned into blades. We identified it as a Glass Golem. We decided that this time we would attack it from range, thus getting a lot of shots in before it could even approach across the river. That plan quickly faltered when upon the first hit, it came charging at us across the top of the water. Like many of the foes we encountered today, it hit hard, but it went down to Elle’s bombs.

Drax tried to jump to the island. He is capable of amazingly long jumps, but on this occasion both attempts landed him squarely in the river. Only once did we have to haul him in via rope lest he be carried away by the current. Elle followed him over, jumping with her extract, and they searched the island and found Thassilonian writing on the island’s moorings. Colin went over to read it and said that the purpose of the platform was to transport passengers to outer points. There was a power connected to the statue that made it operable. Those who wished to use it must obey the Gatekeeper, the Glass Guardian- who we had just destroyed.

With this avenue apparently closed to us, we debated about how to proceed. For now, we decided to head back and check the wall that had seemed out of place in an earlier chamber. I’m looking forward to it.
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The Lady's Light

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:08 am



Abadius 31st 4717???
Maybe?

One thing never seems to change with me, I always lose track of time when underground. There is comfort in familiarity even when that familiarity isn’t a great thing. Fight, rest, fight rest… without the sun and moon to count, I tend to estimate things.

I worry about our little band. Rage and lust seem to be the words of the day. Drax is angry at everything, I’m angry at both Drax and Elle… if it even IS Elle.  I remain only partially convinced. Elle’s emotions are all over the place. Destroying her original body on a whim like that… Just stupid! Drax and Elle are seem to be getting closer. Whether this is a continuation of honest emotional growth or an effect of the Sorshen’s lust dungeon I can’t be certain. Regardless her new body doesn’t help anything. Between looking like… that, and the constant images permeating this ruin I find myself… distracted to say the least. It’s hard to forget that I kissed that body while still empty… while also keeping in the back of my mind that if it is really Sorshen who tricked Drax into killing Elle… I’ll be smashing my Morningstar into that gorgeous face. Knowing that the prize we seek is the shard of lust itself… doesn’t ease my thoughts any. As I said… it’s distracting. I think this is going to only get worse before it gets better. Pyraxis is the only one not acting off right now, but he’s so stoic I have no idea what’s going through his mind half the time. I find it best to focus on the mission and get out of here as quickly as possible.

After defeating my supposed cousin, (something that Elle claimed and I can’t honestly refute) and reaching a dead end we went back to check Sorshen’s Sauna again. I’m sure there is something about the gray wall, but I still can’t find anything. The torch sconce doesn’t move and doesn’t twist and lighting it had no effect… finally we go the magical route. Elle drinks a potion that detects secret doors and confirms that there is one there, (unless she knew all along,) and the sconce is the key.

Apparently we need to light the torch with the cacodeamon flame. Fairly obvious once it’s revealed. However, I was absolutely right about the door’s location. There’s some comfort in that.

The door slides away and we see a carved image of Elle… Sorshen with arms wide and written in Thassalonian, “Prostrate yourself if you wish to enter my domain slave.” Slightly paraphrased. Elle decided to try first and Pyraxis and I waited at the top of the stairs. She bent over and laid flat on the ground for a moment, then actually kissed the feet of the carving and vanished before our eyes. Pyraxis and I had a short discussion of whether we had actually abandoned any personal pride when we joined the Society. While I felt I still had some left, he felt this might take it. He went first and I followed shortly after. Jasper followed while I was looking around our destination. We were on a small platform with three boats tied to it at the foot of a large waterfall. Elle suggested that it may be the one just past the glass golem. That would make sense. Perhaps that magic there would have seen us safely down without having to find that door… From there we would have to travel down the river in dark tunnel lit by a smattering of glowing moss. Finally on the wall there was a carving of a large male demon with his hand extended and written in Thassalonian the ominous word ‘Farewell’.

Feeling a little nervous after our last fight, I acted on a hunch and touched the hand. I was correct and it set me back in front of the Sorshen carving. Kissing the feet again, I rejoined the others. I like to have an escape route. I suggested we rest for a while and regain some spell ability. Jasper was out and I only had two first levels left and this place had a habit of tearing us up. After some debate, we decided to rest in the room we killed the dhampir and I claimed Silverfang.

My shift went smoothly, though Elle seemed to struggle in her sleep. If that is truly our friend, then nightmares are certainly a mark in her favor. She’s been through much in such a little time. She tossed for several hours before Pyraxis took over the watch.

I was woken up by Elle’s alarm, the door crashing open or the loud croaking of Boggards. Not my favorite way to wake up. Sadly not the worst way I’ve woken up either. I admit I was at first disappointed they weren’t undead. Unusual for me, but I really wanted to try out my luck with Silverfang. By the time I had reached my feet we were set upon by 8 Boggards and some kind of OctoFrog. I think it may be some kind of Boggwid? Boggwyn?? Not something I studied much on, but the way it would shake off and launch tadpoles at people, this time Elle, seems familiar. It may have affected her with Boggard Fever.. We’ll see later. Jasper was immediately surrounded and I rushed to his aid.

It wasn’t a very fun battle to say the least. Our movements were sloppy and every time I attempted to work in concert with my team, I ended up flanked by more boggards. They were everywhere. On the plus side, they clustered nicely and Elle did remarkable damage to them while missing us entirely. A mark in the ‘not-Elle’ column for sure. It took some time and more than a few beatings, but we eventually did succeed. One of the larger leader types, probably the mama, had a magical bow and some arrows. Regrettably I couldn’t identify them.  We had regained some spells, but weren’t fully rested.  Still, we felt well enough to continue and didn’t want to spend another 8 hours killing time.  Elle especially will require looking after. Apparently between the Cacodemons and the filth covered weapons here… She seems to have contracted both cacodemonia AND Filth Fever… Possibly a mark in the ‘Elle’ column. Having suffered from the fever myself, we need to wrap this up. When I had it, I was told it was fatal if not careful, and frankly Cacodemonia sounds worse. It’s time to move. Fortunately Jasper thinks he can keep treating her. Then again, Jasper thinks a lot of things…

We returned to the boats. Elle went last this time so she could enjoy watching us kiss the image of her feet I guess. Elle road with me, Jasper with Pyraxis. The tunnel was long and dark, but with enough glowing moss that the humans weren’t blind.  Every once in awhile we could barely make out a small glowing rune at the waterline, but it wasn’t anything we could decipher. The river seemed to open to a large underground lake, but not trusting the water, we stayed as close to the edge was we could. Sometimes there were patches of beach, but mostly it was rock wall.  

Remember when I said I wished we were ambushed by undead? That was stupid. I knew it at the time… Well, regardless we were set upon by a horde of Lacedon’s… those sea ghouls like Lockerbie that we fought in the dungeon of greed.The ones that can paralyze and infect with ghoul fever. On a separate note though, Silverfang performed admirably. About ten attacked one side of each boat trying to tip it over. It looked like Pyraxis was having some trouble keeping it steady while he demolished the ghouls, but Elle and I both held undead bane weapons and made short work of them. Fortunate too or Elle may have been able to add Ghoul fever to the list of diseases she’s carrying around right now.

We continue to row and find a short ledge along the wall with many mangled bodies… some only skeletons manacled to the wall. There isn’t anything to salvage, and they don’t attack us. Elle yelled to the other boat and woke some gigantic, decaying, ghoul bats above us, but, while they swooped by and scanned our boats, they didn’t attack. Nor did they get low enough for us to reach… Something to remember on our way out.

The boat was heading north by this point. Somewhere in the back of my head I could hear a whispering. Just a constant noise. I turned to chastise Elle about unnecessary talking, when she was digging out the magic wax that resists mental control. Seeing she wasn’t doing the whispering, I quickly grabbed some for myself and plugged my ears. I wasn’t as deaf as I thought I’d be, but it did diminish the sound of the mystery voice. I tried to get the other’s attention to get the wax to them, but when we sped up, they took it as a challenge and went faster themselves… Next thing I know…

This… is where things get awkward.

After I put the wax in my ear, the next thing I realize is that Elle has stood up in the rowboat. Before I could tell her to sit down, despite the fact she could barely hear me, she was stripping down naked and taking everything  she owned and shoving it into my arms. I admit I was quite stunned. All the carvings and artwork throughout this place was one thing, but seeing the runelord of lust in the flesh and all her glory was an entirely different matter altogether. In hindsight, the pictures were accurate.With all mysteries revealed, we could see that she did indeed have gems scattered through her body… not that I can say I noticed at the time. Before I had time to react, she dove off the side of the boat and promptly sank under the water without rising. (Another mark for the ‘Elle’ column.) Her ring of Swimming was amongst the pile of garments on my lap. Immediately I dove after her. I don’t know why she’s trying to drown herself, but I was determined to grapple her and drag her back on the boat. Of course that’s the moment that the 16’ Moray eels showed up. They immediately attacked Elle and tore her up pretty bad. Pyraxis was quick to join the battle and attack the one grappling her.

The battle was a whirlwind… Eel and Elle all around me… trying to stab one but not the other…  Jasper tried to leap from his boat to mine and fell in the drink. Then he also went under. Last I saw, I was pretty sure he was trying to hit me with that flail of his… On the plus side, flails don’t work in the water… the negative side, now he’s drowning too…

Elle escaped the Eel and began swimming north while the eels turned their attention on Pyraxis and me. The water was red with all our blood and one began grappling and biting me. So I reversed the grapple and bit it back…










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Colin Marcus
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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:36 pm

I managed to crush the eel that had bitten very deeply into me. One eel remained, with Colin biting it and keeping it occupied. It was very fortunate he did so, as I had very little left in reserve. Colin managed to wrestle the eel quite impressively, until it sunk its jaws into his torso and ripped it open, leaving him bleeding out underwater. Meanwhile, Jasper and Elle continued to sink, Jasper feebly trying to swing his flail underwater. As Jasper attacked Elle in a fugue, I took one last kick at the eel and managed to kick its head in, turning our situation from catastrophic to merely dire.

With Colin unconscious and drowning, as opposed to the others just merely drowning, I tried to save him first. With my gruesome injuries, and Colin fully clad in his armor, I struggled mightily to get his head above water. And we finally caught a break- Jasper came to his senses, swam over, and pulled Colin’s head up. He then healed him enough to bring him back to consciousness. Meanwhile, Elle had continued swimming away.

We started chasing Elle who was determinedly swimming away from us, and had somehow lost all her clothing. Colin caught up to her and I retrieved one of the boats. She was squirming and struggling mightily to get out of Colin’s grasp, and we realized it was going to be some task to get her restrained. I left Jasper in the boat and dove in to help Colin haul her in. After much struggle on our part and hers, we finally hoisted her out of the water and into the boat, and told Jasper to hold onto her. Unfortunately, she was too…slippery for him, and into the water she immediately went.

Despite the fact that she had time and time again demonstrated little swimming prowess, she was able to mostly keep ahead of Colin and I…perhaps it was her new form? Jasper called out to us “PERHAPS WE SHOULD JUST FOLLOW HER?” Almost immediately she went under and Colin breathlessly yelled back- “That’s why we are catching her- SHE CAN’T SWIM!”, which was far more like the Elle we had gotten used to. By this point we had been fighting and swimming frantically for several minutes straight, alternately wrestling with Elle when we got within reach. Having no alternative, we had to keep striving to get to her before one of many gruesome fates caught her first.
Finally we caught up to her again as she reached the shore she was swimming for. Not sure where she was trying to go, we manacled her arms and legs. She continually strained against the bonds and insisted she had to keep moving. Not knowing whether this was the influence of magic or because of her transformation, we were hesitant to let her. A wailing scream off in a side passage into caverns near the beach made the situation even more suspicious.

Finally we decided to let her proceed, with her bonds intact. She immediately headed for a section of the cavern wall. Colin searched the area and found a very well concealed secret door. He opened it, and the second he did so her demeanor completely changed. She was simultaneously aghast at her unclothed state, and absolutely furious that we manacled her. She insisted she be freed, and when Colin did so a mighty slap resounded in the cavern. I felt her gaze fall on my briefly as well, but fortunately I was not within arms-reach at the time.

Colin gave her his cloak to wrap around herself, and as she returned to the boat to dress, we looked at through the door we had found. The walls were hewn from the cave, a slow burning fire fed into a chimney. A wall held a huge red panel with images of Sorshen in various dalliances. It appeared whoever was in this room was not long gone.

After Elle finished dressing, we decided to check the tunnel where the scream had rang out. We followed it to a cavern that opened into a large pond, with a small island in the center of it. On the island, a green, haggish creature was torturing a human woman tied up to a post. She had passed out, but the creature called out to us to come forth and provide her with more “entertainment”. She held forth at length upon what she would do to us. Not wanting to give her the chance to finish off the woman she was working on, I leapt into the lake to confront her. I was immediately attacked by creatures allied with her- some cross between a lobster and monkey.

These creature also moved to engage my allies behind me. As I struggled to fight them underwater, I saw out of the corner of my eye that Colin had been covered head to toe in some kind of mucus, seemingly keeping him immobile. The creature, calling herself Daifu, then leapt into the water to come after me. She was extremely proficient with her spear and I had not chance to disarm her before I was impaled. According to the others, I was then bleeding out underwater. Colin somehow was able to fend off Daifu and reach me, pulling me out of the water, while Elle healed me and Jasper fended off two of the monkey lobsters who were ripping into him.

I asked the others to slowly retreat to lure Daifu out of the water-fighting her there gave her a big advantage. She never fully left the water, but Colin switched weapons and fought her from land on equal terms, and was able to best her. I hope our efforts were not in vain and that Daifu’s victim remained alive.
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The Lady's Light

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:52 pm

Abadius 31st 4717???
Maybe?
Probably Calistril 1st? Maybe the 2nd??

I think this is the longest day of my life… We’ve tried to rest at least three times, but it isn’t working for us. Everyone is tired and spells are at a low.

After the sea hag was dead, I swam to the island to check on the prisoner. It was too late, she was quite dead. With that much blood in the air, I knew before even looking. Her face was covered in old scars, but there was more than a few new ones as well. It was obvious she had been tortured and eviscerated with the hag’s spear and quite recently too.

I collected Silverfang from where I had to drop it, along with my tri-point sword, while Elle collected her own gear that had been abandoned in the fight. The rest began to heal up and Elle prepared an identify potion while I swam around the corridor looking for treasure. I seem to be spending entirely too much time in the water in this place. Regardless I did find a net of seaweed that glowed with importance full of seashells and gems and took them back. I collapsed in a tired heap while the others examined our new gear. The hag’s spear was +1 and keen, and I suggested Pyraxis take it as a reach weapon. He seemed pleased with the idea. The necklace was a Deathbalm necklace that would help remove diseases… which Elle was currently riddled with. She quickly decided to give up her ‘necklace of groping’ as she called it and switched it out. Myself I can think of a few uses for the mage hand spell… but I’m sure I’ll get slammed with magic the moment I take of the brooch of shielding…The gems were fascinating. One was actually compressed earth and another compressed air. Shattering them produces an elemental to do our bidding… Definitely a nice surprise if we need it. The rest were simply valuable.

Elle made an epiphany about her apparent racism after some poorly received comment about earth elementals and Pyraxis. She seemed quite troubled by this and decided to work on it. Little did I realize that would be put to the test later…

I saw another watery tunnel out of there, but was hesitant to stir up more trouble in our condition. We also were concerned about NOT checking it out. In my opinion we had the following choices. Rest on the beach, rest in this tunnel, rest in the room with the fire… explore the water tunnel or explore the other dry tunnel. All are fraught with danger, but we decided it best to at least explore ‘this’ part of the area. We didn't’ need any more sea hags or gremlins coming out. So we opted for the dry tunnel. That tunnel it turns out was connected to the water tunnel, so that circle is closed. It also appeared to be where the hag threw her toys when she was done with them.

We found floating in the pool, three bloated and mutilated female corpses. They were apparently human though in their shape it was hard to tell. Elle estimates that they were dead for a few months and that concerned me as well. I had been operating on an assumption that the woman of Korvosa may have still been exploring and was responsible for the other dhampir and the fire… but why leave their companions like this?  Elle and I swam to a nearby beach and found two other woman  obviously tortured and impaled while manacled. Peculiar way to store her toys… I wonder if they died too soon or something? I suspect we won’t know. All the women were stripped to their underclothes but we found six suits of plate mail stored here along with their other supplies. That accounts for all the women we’ve found, they all had the same armor and shield with the rune of lust painted on their shield. Armor of that sort is very valuable so we pack it up and drag it with us.

We go back to the secret room and Pyraxis has the idea to prop the rowboats against the doors to give us warning if anyone sneaks in. It was a good idea. On second watch the magical doors burst open throwing the boat across the room waking us all. Four more women wearing that same armor came bursting in ready to fight. Until they saw Elle.  

Elle stunned them and they immediately started falling over themselves with questions about why their lady or mistress or whatever title they used was doing back down here. Elle, ever the sport tried to run with it. She immediately claimed that she brought these men folk here to dally with. I was willing to roll with it and back her play, but it seems Elle is a terrible liar. She couldn’t keep a straight face and one of the women caught it. The lie was up and they knew she wasn’t the real Sorshen.

Now, if we ever get out of this dungeon, one of the things we have to work on is preparing our rest/battle sites. This is at least the second time in a row that we tried to lock ourselves in, only to find ourselves trapped.

The battle started with four, though they quickly called for reinforcements of at least 2 more.  Jasper nearly died, while I worked hard to get through plate mail with a Rapier. Elle tried to get the boat out of the way and escape through the secret door, but came back when Jasper fell. It was ugly and by the time we were successful we were all wounded again. When we tried to continue on, there were four more women with crossbows taking shots at us. Pyraxis and I worked well enough together. He picked up a shield and blocked their shots, then I would step out and shoot my own bow back at them. They seemed good at hitting his shield, but I couldn’t get through their armor with a bow. I also didn't relish the idea of crossing the open area and taking those shots to break the stalemate.

Elle threw a smokestick down and we waited for them to come at us. Unfortunately they weren’t stupid either. When it became clear they were going to wait out the smoke, we decided to back out and try for a bottleneck at the secret door.  Another miscalculation. Shortly after we set our trap… I heard them moving our boats in front of the door locking us out.

Sigh….

Well, a secret door blocked by rowboats aren’t going to stop Pyraxis. He used a crowbar this time, and I may have helped a little, but he broke the door open and Elle threw in another smokestick.

I rushed in as quick as I could, and somehow dodged their crossbow bolts. Two reloaded while the other two drew swords. Once thing I notice about Plate mail, it’s hard to break through, but also really hard to move in. That makes them prime grappling targets. More so than I suspected…

I don’t know what happened… I tease Elle that our grappling adventure in the water must have ‘woke it up’... but there may actually be something to it. Nekauba’s Cloak has been behaving erratically. There have been a few times prior to this that I could have sworn it moved on it’s own to block a near attack… but now I’m sure something is going on with it. When I went to grapple the first of the women I came across, the cloak enhanced my grapple. It would wrap around arms and shields and made it… easy to hold on to her. It is definitely something I need to investigate. I haven’t given my Osirion souvenir much thought since I moved to Absalom.

The fight was a case of desperation and failure. I did something I haven’t done in at least 30 years… I’m not sure if I can blame the scent of blood filling this dungeon, the pain and desperation that I was feeling, but while I grappled her, I bit her. Deep.

She screamed in terror and her comrades rushed to help her with Pyraxis holding them back. I’ve been  a little more free with my fangs of recent, but so far against trolls and eels… This woman was human… and delicious.

Only someone with undeath in their veins can truly understand this addiction, so I’ll not waste time trying to explain it. She still struggled, so I bit again… and this time I drank deep while nearly ripping her throat out. She went limp and died in my arms. The strength that went through my body at this though may have meant the difference between life and death… and when her ally came forward to avenge her… I (and my cloak) grabbed her as well and I ripped her throat out too, feasting all the while.  The battles seemed to stop at my actions and there was screaming about vampire spawn and other such wonderful descriptions I remember too well from my youth. One screamed out about how my group traveled with a monster… which I saw as incredibly hypocritical since they traveled with a Dhampir as well. At least I still believe they did… There is much about this group I don’t understand…

By now there was just one left and Elle had backed off in horror. Pyraxis was fighting her, so I went forward to help and killed her with the sword. The group is eyeing me strangely now… Elle seems downright scared of me, but doesn’t want to talk about it now. Questions for later she says… Probably wise. I used a similar philosophy when Drax burned her body.

The ship ride back should be interesting.

Jasper on the other hand is downright giddy. He thinks this is fabulous and wants to know if I can spawn an army of undead and bathe Magnimar in blood…

Sigh…
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Draxthious

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:54 am

1 - 2 - 4715

First off, after the events of the other night, I am much happier. To think she would feel the way she does is...well, mind blowing. I’m still not a hundred percent sure I didn’t dream it.

Second, apparently in my desire to become Elle’s rock, I have gained the ability to control rocks….well, earth. And lava to some extent. This will be interesting, to say the least.

So, continuing on, we are in the large living area facing the double doors to the east. Colin hits the center thingy and the doors open. Immediately we are hit with steam and a really really hot humidity. So we seem to have found the Lust Lord’s hot tub. Neat. Also, we find a secret door in the south wall. One last find? A wet half vampire. No, not an enemy, Colin decided to jump into the hot tub. That boy get’s crazier the more I get sane. What?

Moving through the secret door we enter a long hallway that swiftly becomes something like a S shape leading to a set of double doors to the east. Opening these lets the smell of hundreds of perfumes out. Colin says the whole room is radiating a magical aura. The shelves are lined with bottles of perfume and in the center hanging from a golden chain attached to the ceiling, is a swirling orb of scent-illating colors. See what I did there. Oh gods, I made a pun, I must be feeling better.

Colin and I enter the room and I am overcome with a wave of dizziness. I am able to shake it off however after about six seconds as we see what we can find in here. Besides perfume we find three bottles of something that Elle will have to identify for us. Colin wants the golden chain though it’s a bit out of our reach at the moment. Maybe later ya greedy bastard.

We head back to the hottub room and open the doors to the east. This leads a long wide gaudy galley. The walls are covered in gold as are the pillars. Statues of Elle (I know it’s not, but still ) are in the alcoves to the north and south and there are three specific golden plates on the ground. The statues are posed in a way that seems to be them saying “hi” to the people who come in. I’m waiting for them to attack cause that’s never happened in here yet. Yes I’m rolling my eyes.

According to Colin the statues and the golden plates are magical and the inscripition on the statues reads, “By my touch may you enter the shining glory of my sanctum”. Coliin touches the hand of one of the statues and the three golden plates start to glow. (as a side note, the door on the far side of the room is stuck shut and we can’t get it open.)

So we touch the hands on all of the statues and with each one the tiles in the floor glow brighter. Shrugging I step on one and am instantly transported into a room with enemies who are not happy to see me. Colin comes a few seconds later followed by Jasper then Pyraxis. Right now however, I am on my own.

The room is a marble chamber with an expensive rug on the floor. There is a stariway leading to double doors directly across from me to the west and a hallway to the south. There is also an alcove to both the east (where I popped in from) and one to the north. Remember those enemies I mentioned? There are four of them and they have backwards bending knees, huge claws and gaping jaws, long polearms, and incredibly hot bodies. That’s right Sinspawn.

So, we one, obviously cause if we hadn’t I wouldn’t be writting this and I just have to say….I kicked...what do you mean I have to keep this clean? Fine! I dominated. I destroyed one utterly with a blast of flying lava and while Colin was fighting one I created a whip made of fire and slayed two others. It was fun….

So now that the rest of us are together (Pyraxis coming too late to join in fray) we started down the south hallway. Eventually hearing the sounds of a party going on. I sneak on ahead and what to my wonderous eyes should appear? A large banquet hall filled with people, lots and lots of people. Ok, so this room is huge and has two rows of columns carved to look like tree trunks complete with the ceiling appearing to be the canopy of the forest. An orange and golden carpet covers the floor and two tapestries hang from a balcony on the eastern side of the room. The western side has a raised dias with two flaming braziers and four statues of Sorshe. Also...an orchestra. A full blown orchestra. Also, people dancing lustfully. I’m not comfortable just watching this so I head back and tell the others what I found.

Unfortunately the stairs in the other room that headed up to the west only lead to the balcony I mentioned earlier in the party room.

So back in the hallway about to enter the party room. Yes I’m going to keep calling it that. When we enter the room we are able to see a throne on the dias to the west and the Rune Lady herself sitting on it. When she spies us she claps getting everyone’s attention and proceeds to tell them to be as lustfull as they want, go crazy, but kill us first. (While she is doing this Colin spots a man taller than the rest of the party that seems to be the Rune Lord of Greed. Not Good!) The party charges us and as we ready for what will probably be our final battle against a horde...they vanish. Like they were never there at all. So, yay?

We proceed to search the room and as we do three spiders appear next to us...and combat is joined (These are not average spiders but actually large enough to pose a threat). While we fight the spiders a bloated creature appears next to us and attacks, moving far more quickly than it’s size and appearance would indicate. Every time we kill one monster another one pops up in it’s place.

So Colin, Jasper, and I run through the room to the dias and as soon as we do giant rats appear next to Pyraxis and attack him. What in my father’s name (who ever he might be) is going on here. (In hindsight it was obvious but I never claimed to be the swiftest thinking. It’s times like this I really appreciate Elle.)

All too soon the culprit appears, a magical flying Sinspawn who keeps shooting acidic arrows at Pyraxis. Using her flying she is able to keep out of most of the reach of my comrades but….yeah, I drop her too. She has a magical guisarme as well as three wants, acid arrow, fly, lightning.

I should mention, this fight has taken it’s toll on me. Not necessarily from the enemies but I seem to be channelling a lot more energy through my body. I am bruised and sore and if I don’t get rest, I may in fact pass out from my channeling. I of course don’t say anything. I’m on a roll and I’m not about to stop now.

So after spending an hour searching the rest of this room we find a secret door in the western wall which leads to an octogan shaped room filled with images of snakes and human arms. Weird. Moving on we find a room filled with ancient and archiac torture devices. Also, four of those strange ladies we fought before. We talk, mostly veiled threats to each other and combat is joined.

It was longer than it should have been and very harsh. Colin dropped again in the middle. Going to have to work on toughening up that boy. Yes boy and I know he’s about a hundred years older than me. Pyraxis is able to knock out the lady who appears to be the leader and ties her up. How do we know she’s the leader? She has a feather in her hat.

After the fight (and with some healing….which we are dangerously low on right now) we are near the door to the south west. Inside we hear what seems like people moving around and getting armor on. Element of surprise here we come.

Or not for as we open the door to find five more ladies (and a room with nine beds, nine glorious looking beds) we find three of them are ready for us and two others stop putting their armor on and combat is joined once again. (This place feels like one fight after another and while normally that would be a good thing, I’m getting tired.)

During the fight Colin eats one of the girls to Jasper’s great amusement. I’m definitely going to have to have a talk with that boy.

So we win, of course and decide...since there are all these wonderful, soft, comfortable beds here..why not try and nap?


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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:59 pm

We decided that we would once again try to get some rest at length, thinking perhaps we had eliminated all-or enough- of the Maidens to guarantee us some peace. While Colin and I barricaded the door to the bunk room, Elle talked to Jasper, trying to futilely convince him that Colin was not a vampire. I’m not certain why she cares what Jasper thinks about Colin. (Though it would be helpful if she stopped him from yelling out to our enemies that Colin was going to eat them, which drove them to fight even harder).

We finally got the full rest we so desperately needed. Elle and Drax shared a watch and talked throughout most of it, which I was able to completely tune out. This incessant chattering seems to be an increasingly common occurrence.
The Maiden leader we had captured had still not regained consciousness as of the morning, so we decided to leave her manacled. Elle wanted to check us over for disease. Given her preconceptions about beings who are not exactly the same as herself, I doubted she would be able to diagnose me even if I were ill. However, I did not object to her trying. She found no problems with any of us, and we went to continue our explorations.

We proceeded up the stairs that were outside the bunkrooms- the only way we could go. It led to a large chamber with 8 alcoves- 7 of which had statues representing the Runelords- evident by the recognizable statue of Sorshen and by being pointed out by Colin and Elle. We weren’t sure how to proceed, but upon touching the statue of Sorshen, it started glowing. We had seen a variation of this earlier, and realized that there was some activation procedure. We decided to touch the statue representing Gluttony next, (which began flaming) and then Pride. At that point, a thunderous boom went off, temporarily deafening me. Four Elementals appeared- one of each representing Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. These guardians then moved to attack anyone they were near. Drax instantly obliterated the elemental that appeared near him. We fought with the remaining ones for some time, but were able to put them all down.
After that, Elle had a theory about the order that the statues should be touched, and we decided to try it. We touched the statues in the order she specified, and after another thunderous boom, were confronted by Four Elementals again. This time an Earth Elemental managed to land a few hits upon Elle, prompting Drax to urgently come to her aid (while ignoring Colin, who was actually on fire at the time). We did manage to take the Elementals out again, and Drax effortlessly extinguished Colin.

At this point Jasper walked around the floor muttering something. We asked him to repeat what he said, and he pointed out the Thassilonian inscription on the floor reading “Those that wish to ascend, must deign to embrace the Lady and the Lie.” After questioning Jasper about why he had not revealed he knew Thassilonian earlier, we decided to try Lust and her opposed sins. Just in case it failed, we took more tactical positions before activating the statues. Our guess did fail, and we confronted the elementals a third time. We had gotten some experience fighting them at this point, and were ready, and took them down much quicker.

After pondering where we went wrong, Drax suddenly had the realization that the Greed statue depicted the Runelord acting very uncharacteristically- it seemed as those he was trying to give something away, a “Lie” about how he would act. We tried the Lust and Greed statue, and this order finally worked, as the eight alcove lit up and provided a passage glowing passage we could not see past.

We opted to go through it and the process left us in different groups. Drax, myself, and Jasper appeared in a room together, and Colin, and Elle appeared in another. We were able to quickly reconvene by leaving the small chambers we appeared in, meeting in a central room. This central room had a pair of 3 foot tall posts capped by horizontally aligned wheels. Elle announced that some combination of wheel movement would activate a teleportation effect. Before we could do anything, the doors to the other chambers leading to this room opened, and a heavily armed Maiden stepped out. She fixated on Elle, and it was evident that she was not at all a contented follower, saying something about some transgression that happened earlier. She then moved to attack us.
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The Lady's Light

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:12 am

Same day….

This new maiden we’ve met also wants to kill Elle, only this time it’s because she believes her bluff. Apparently Elle can’t win. If they don’t believe her, they want to kill her for impersonating Sorshen. The only one she IS able to fool… seems intent on killing Sorshen. Drax immediately steps forward to kill her for threatening Elle... I try very hard to defuse the situation. I have already fought and killed too many women in here that I had no grudge with. All we’ve come for is the Shard… which odds are good that they knew nothing about. The mystery Shard… a few rubbings, and we can all part as mere acquaintances… but they have been entirely too territorial and wouldn’t listen to reason. This one?? She seems entirely the opposite of the others, there’s no reason she has to die too.

Drax disagrees on principle… but she also stabbed him pretty good, so she’s really forcing our hands. My words fell on deaf ears, and I wasn’t able to get her in a non-lethal grapple… going so far as to lose my sword to her, but Elle confessed her deception and was with some effort able to convince her that we weren’t enemies. Jasper with some reluctance heals the maiden of the wounds Drax inflicted on her as a show of good faith, and she warned us what was ahead.

Apparently Sorshen herself was just beyond this room. The runelord of lust herself had a habit of taking these maidens and using them to death or mentally controlling them. This one had escaped and wanted revenge… so when she found out we were intent on continuing, she opted to join us. We healed and enchanted ourselves as best we could… magic wax all around for starters, though after the water incident they only seem to have a 50% success rate.

I was given an invisibility and I cast Silence on one of my daggers. My hope is that I can get close and stick her with this thing keeping her from casting. It’s a long shot, but enchanters are tricky things… Pyraxis pressured Elle for more drugs and seemed very disgruntled when she told him what she had wouldn’t help.

When we were ready, we activated the portal and the room filled with golden fog and we appeared before Sorshen. The room was composed of black marble pillars that had manacles attached to them… and that’s about all I noticed of the room. There was a large bed at the far end with bits of clothes and armor scattered about. Elle… or Sorshen… or whatever was propped up on the bed in revealing clothes… I use that term loosely… but then again so did she. Beside her lay what I assume was another maiden, but she was little more than a desiccated husk of a woman. Her skin seemed thin as paper and all vitality drained from her.

Sorshen… rose from the bed in a way that mortals really can’t. Perhaps some vampires, but not mortals. As if the pivot was at her feet she just… rose to her feet. I and most of the others were in the bubble of silence, so I’m not entirely sure what she said, but it appeared to be something about “Welcoming her new supplicants?” I can’t swear to it, but she was obviously a threat. She cast some spell… and our newest companion seized with fright and fell to the ground for all appearances dead. If I were to guess on that one… I’d say Phantasmal Killer. I’m not sure what she saw, but the way she spoke in the last room… I imagine Sorshen played a part in that as well.

I charged toward her with the dagger, but couldn’t get to her before she spread her wings and took to the air. Yes… Wings. From what I’ve read about her, Sorshen didn’t have wings. Now… I had a theory coming in here, but I’m not sure how much faith to put in it. Either A) This really is the runelord of lust wandering these halls seducing everything… or B) It’s another Sorshen body like Elle is wearing. Between the enchantment magic and obsession with lust, I was really planning on the first… but wings confuse me. Unfortunately wearing the Sorshen body hinders my ability to identify her. I have a nasty feeling that she is resistant to some kind of damage… but without knowing what she is, then I don’t know what. My suspicion is that maybe Sorshen was always a Succubus… that would be a decent marriage of the legends and methods… but I don’t know. Possibly the wings are just a spell she cast. It doesn’t help that Elle did not come with us in the portal… So far I hadn’t seen both Sorshen’s in the same place… but that may have just been paranoia.

Now… I know that I’m old. I know that I’ve seen a lot in my years… But there is something about this group I travel with that bothers me. It may not be their fault… but every time a spell or suggestion or something is thrown at them, they lose their minds!! Have I really seen so much that I weather these things easier… or are they so weak minded that they are extra susceptible? I don’t have that answer. What I do know… is that Jasper is insane and has been since we met him. Pyraxis and Drax were both babbling incoherently and occasionally bashing in their own faces… and Elle? Well, I’ll get Elle later. The one bright point was that none of them attacked me. I really don’t want to be burned alive or man-handled by Pyraxis again. (Correction, Drax did attack me once, but I dodged out of the way… no harm done.)

This was one of the hardest fights of my career. Not having the group focused as they should have been didn’t help. I desperately need to find a way to deal with fliers, but more importantly I need to work on my aim. I followed her around trying to stymie her spellcasting with limited results. She can fly faster than I can run, and for longer. I followed, but I don’t think it helped much. If I could have only grappled her… or reached her I may have been more help. When the silence spell was nearly finished I threw it at her but missed and sacrificed my invisibility.  

In time, Elle joined the party and her bombs were very useful. Drax would also occasionally take time out from hitting himself to burn her a bit… though not as much or as often as I’d hoped. Everything I did either missed or bounced off some non-existent armor. Seriously I’ve seen some well aimed attacks today that would have downed many an opponent by all of us that were just useless. She was wearing next to nothing… so either her activities here required some massive abjuration magic, or we’re back to her not being as human as we thought… Pyraxis was just as confused as Drax… however she made the mistake of attacking him. Thus… she became his enemy one again. I’ll take it. I’ll take a crazy weapon as long as it’s pointed at the right target. He’s still better at hitting things than I am, and was able to bring her down to striking range a few times, but I seemed incapable of capitalizing on them.

The fight lasted for minutes… but it felt like hours. She focused her enchantment at me, and I shrugged it off. I’m not sure what spell it was, but it seemed to be intended to make me lustful for Elle... obviously a spell considering the way Sorshen herself was dressed compared to Elle.  Regardless nothing came of that. Toward the end something extra was added in. Elle seemed to have the ghost of a small child reach out from her and try to hit me. That was the last I saw before I was glitterdusted. Now, I don’t know what that was all about… but it can’t be good. Elle was frantic, and my first thought was another Phantasmal Killer. I suspect the ghost girl may be what Elle fears the most… but it isn’t my greatest fear… and if it was cast on her, why would I see HER fear?? I don’t know. Regardless I switched back from my reach weapon to Silverfang and abandoned Sorshen to Drax and Pyraxis who seemed more or less themselves again… and went on the defensive. I couldn’t see it anymore, but I hoped the undead bane on the rapier would be enough to fend off anything too close. It hit me once and actually healed me just a little… which only shows how dangerous this thing really is.

Some short time after that, Drax cheered that we won, and by the time my eyes cleared the battle was over. Elle was in a heap babbling something about spell components or gibberish while Drax tried to comfort her. Sorshen was cut in half and cauterized by that flaming whip I suppose. She also transformed into something that I DID recognize. Alu-demon. Similar to a Succubus I think… I’ll do more research later. If we ever get out of here that is.

Pyraxis and I search the room, hoping that Elle and Drax pull themselves together. A lot of magic gear, but no shard. My frustration is beyond description. The maiden was quite dead, and must have been a higher ranking maiden at that… her helmet also had a plume, and the whole armor radiates magic. Somewhere on her gear I get the name ‘Oriana’... She was an ally long enough that I don’t feel good about leaving her broken body crumpled in this tomb… yet short enough that we’re still taking her stuff. I ask Drax to cremate her and he dismissively complies. He is entirely focused on Elle and insistent that we are resting here now. I give them a little time, but that request is absurd. We JUST rested… I still don’t know what day it is, but we’ve been active for less than 10 minutes. Jasper agrees and promotes sallying forth to something… something… destruction…  When Jasper agrees I tend to reconsider my position.

Elle was on her draught when the battle started so her mental stability wasn’t great to begin with. Now she is in some kind of shock. That lost look of someone who’s lost their anchor to reality… I’ve seen it before. Usually in victims of some supernatural massacre that we couldn’t prevent. I didn’t think Elle would break under adventuring pressure though. I was confident she was made of sterner stuff. Despite Drax’s interference I do what I can to determine if she’s completely broken or still of some use. With some gentle prodding and pushing I try to focus her attention away from her babbling… away from ghost kids… more toward what she knows. She’s still functional enough to know how many bombs she has. She’s able to identify some of the gear we’ve found. I’m not sure. She seems functional enough to travel with, but I’m not sure how reliable she’ll be in a fight or to watch our backs. Drax isn’t much better trying to coddle her weakness instead of pushing through and getting out of this horrible place. Whatever peace of mind Elle is going to find… it won’t be in this place. She needs to get out now!

But we still haven’t found the shard.

I’m not sure how much farther we can go on. With or without the shard, I fear our time here is coming to a close. If the Alu-demon didn’t have it on her or in this sanctuary… I can only hope the last two teleportation disks we’ve found will lead us to the final room. Elle seemed almost eager to try them out… which is better than sobbing in a heap I suppose, but there’s a reckless tone to her voice… like that of a small child that could doom us all.   




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