Eastern Odyssey

An Introduction
Session 1

Our players find themselves in the town a Phent looking for adventure. The group meets and makes introductions within the largest inn in Phent called The Slumbering Drake. The party quickly learns of several worrisome issues which include undead accosting visitors within the graveyard filled with mausoleums within the city walls. Additionally, there have been multiple rumors regarding the disappearances of many of the citizens of the town.

Our cast of brave adventurers includes:
Wynnin; a half-elf rogue
TheArtist; an Half-Elf Bard
Mace; a warforged paladin
Hammah Pashar, a human warrior.

Along with the rumored issues within the city, the party is aware that The Shadowmasters have recently been making inroads into the government of the city. This is said to be an attempt to gain income from the prosperous trade that occurs within the city of Phent as a populated way-stop along The Golden Way. Many scoff at this rumor because little evidence has been obtained which validates the seemingly unbelievable rumor.

If this is true, it is surely being opposed by The Nine Golden Swords, a group of predominantly Shou monks. The Nine Golden Swords are a yakuza type organization that is based out of Phsant, a large city east northeast of Phent and a large city along The Golden Way. The Nine Golden Swords have yet to be seen by any of the townsfolk lending further evidence that the rumors of The Shadowmasters are nothing but rumors.

Wynnin uncovers a small group of thieves engaging in the profitable business of extortion, whose victims include the Madam of the bordello that Wynnin calls home. The group decides to find and exterminate the threat so that the shopkeepers in town may engage in their given trades peacefully.

That evening, outside of a local bakery, the party observe a small group of thugs collecting “taxes” and accost the group in the street. After a well placed charm spell by ?, the bard. The group relieves the thugs of their gold and find the location of the safe house to which they deliver the goods. The thugs announce that they are members of The Shadomasters and Wynnin decides better of the plan. The rest of the group wants to take the goods, and clear out the safe house and persuade Wynnin to follow in their proposed exploits, against his better judgement.

During their discussions, the party hears the screams of a damsel in distress and run to her aid. As they come across the scene, they see a human figure with a burlap sack over her head being carried on the shoulder of a massive orc towards waiting horses. They successfully fell the orc carrying the package and one of his orc cohorts, but lose the third as he mounts his horse and rides out of town to the east.

Our brave adventurers then proceed to the safe house and are turned away after they give an incorrect passphrase and are attacked in force by several crossbowmen strategically placed in several second story windows. Not to be turned away, the adventurers return to the safe house after healing their wounds and take out the residents of the safe house including the leader of the gang finding a secret passage into the sewers of Phent.

After relieving the coin from the extortionists, the party returns to The Slumbering Drake and decide better regarding tracking down the abductors or dealing with the undead within the graveyard.

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Schemes Foiled
Session 2

The adventurers find themselves rejoining the next morning within the dining area of The Slumbering Drake to discuss what their next adventures will entail.

The party consists of:

Wynnin; the Half-Elven Rogue
TheArtist; a Half-Elven Bard
Acorn; a Dwarven Sorcerer
Karion Hope; a Tiefling Warlock.
Hamma Pashar; a Human Warrior.
Mina; a Dwarven Barbarian

The group initially decides to head down to the safe house in which they just vanquished the thieves and explore the sewers below. As they head down some random passages they find a section of tunnel in which the wall is cracked pretty severely. As they look into the fissure, they are suddenly attacked by a group of shadows. The shadows quickly knock Theartist unconscious as well as Hamma Pashar. The group decides that retreat is the best option. They heal their wounds and head back to the crack and TheArtist explores into the area squeezing into the hole in the wall. He is quickly overwhelmed by several more shadows. The rest of the party fight them off and Wynnin pulls him from the fissure and the party again retreats, deciding that perhaps the sewers aren’t the safest of routes through the city.

When they return to The Slumbering Drake they find a poster stating that Crazy Eddie is having a half off sale in leather armors. The party heads to the marketplace. While wandering through the marketplace they see ?, the girl they saved earlier from abduction by orcs. She comes up to her saviors and introduces them to her father, Mergent Otut. Mergent thanks the group for saving their daughter and says he has a job for them if they will only come by his estate later that day. As they continue making their rounds through the marketplace, a merchant screams out that he is being robbed, and a thief quickly disappears into an alleyway. Ugadesh, the Captain of the Town Guard, also happens to be making his way through the marketplace surrounded by henchmen. The henchmen are dispatched by Ugadesh to deal with the issue. After his men leave his side, Wynnin notices four unsavory characters closing in on Ugadesh from all sides. As the ruffians pull knives coated in poison, Wynnin calls out to Ugadesh telling him to watch out. Ugadesh quickly takes a defensive stance as one of the combatants attempts to stab him in the back, missing thanks to Wynnin’s quick thinking.

The crowd parts as combat ensues and the party quickly dispatches the four would-be assassins before they fell Ugadesh. As the skirmish ends, the guards return from the alleyway stating they have found a murderer with Renaldo being surrounded by the guards. Ugadesh thanks the party for their life saving measures and tells them to come to the keep where he can thank them properly. He then turns to his henchmen and instructs them to take the murder to the keep for meet justice.

Wynnin stays behind and inspects the alleyway seeing four murdered corpses who are only barely recognizable as those who were extorting gold from local business. The same group which the party had encountered just the other day. He does notice, however, that the blood is dried and the murders were not committed just prior to Renaldo’s appearance in the ally. He also notices that blood has not pooled around the body leading him to believe the murders were not committed where the bodies were found. He decides that he is unsure it was Renaldo at all and perhaps he was being framed.

The party then continues some shopping within the marketplace deciding to go see Ugadesh later that evening. As dusk approaches, the party goes to see Ugadesh in the keep. The Captain brings them into a meeting room and gives them 50 gp for saving his life. Additionally, he tells them that there is a reward of 500 gp for any group willing to clear the mausoleums. The party says they are not really interested in dealing with undead, but they will consider the opportunity and return if they change their minds. But, before they leave, they ask Ugadesh if they can question the prisoner Renaldo about the day’s events and Ugadesh agrees.

They party proceeds down to the dungeons, where Renaldo is being held. They ask him if he can recall anything about what happened that day. Renaldo says that the last thing he can recall is someone saying “Hello, pretty pretty.” He then had a burlap sack placed over his head, at the base of his skull and then everything went black. They press him further and he maintains his story. Renaldo begs the party to find his captor, thereby proving that he was not the one who committed the murders.

The party then heads over to Mergent’s estate. They are welcomed by his valet and are ushered into a parlor. Mergent arrives shortly after they are seated and calls for a bottle of Aglarondan wine. As the party drinks the spirits, he tells them that he is scheduled to meet a rather nefarious character the next night to deliver a payment for services. When asked what the services are, he is quick to state that he’d rather not go into detail, but the party should rest assured that he is concerned for his well-being based on the reputation of the other party. He offers a payment of 50 gp should the party meet with the payee and conduct the transaction on the next eve in the warehouse district. The party agrees and returns to The Slumbering Drake for a good night’s rest.

The next day the party decides to explore town trying to track down the person known to say “Hello, pretty pretty.” After some interesting rendezvous with a variety of townsfolk, they are told that a thug named Rug has been known to use the phrase when prizes are within his grasp.

That night, they return to Mergent and collect the sum to be delivered. As they head into the market district they find a man wearing a fur trimmed cloak standing in the shadows of one of the warehouses. Wynnin decides to scout out the area on top of some of the warehouses and finds and ambush being set for the party.

When the party closes, the shadowy figure moves towards them and says “Hello, pretty pretty.” Combat ensues between the figure, his three henchmen and his allies laying in wait atop the warehouses. The party quickly deals with the foes, taking the man prisoner who reveals his name to be Rug. They question Rug and he spills the information regarding the murders performed in the ally.

His story goes something like:

“I am a member of an organization and was instructed by my superiors to kill some members of the guild who had revealed certain secrets. Around the same time I was hired by Mergent to deal with a man who had been seducing his daughter. I decided to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, and framed the boy for the murder of the guild members.”

The party delivers Rug to Ugadesh and explain the story, securing the release of Renaldo. Wynnin convinces Renaldo that he needs to leave town quickly, since The Shadowmasters are now hot on his trail. Renaldo agrees to leave for Telflamm immediately.

The group then returns and while the majority of the group enters through the front door, Wynnin drops out of site and climbs a vine attached to a trellis and quietly enters Jezzara’s room. Mergent meets the rest of the adventurers in the parlor and they proceed to tell him they know what happened between himself and Rug. They agree to keep quiet should he allow them to keep the payoff, the reward, and provide them with jobs in the future. Mergent skeptically agrees instructing the party, “I am not an endless well of gold for you to blackmail.” The party ensures him that they are not going to return seeking further funds for their silence.

The party returns to The Slumbering Drake to enjoy the fruits of their labor in wine, women, and song sung by TheArtist. As the party sits around the table, Nicky, a friend of Wynnin comes and asks Wynnin if he has seen Breanna as she has been missing for several days.

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Caught in the Middle
Session 3

Our party of adventurers awakens in the morning and meets in the common room of The Slumbering Drake. However, there is an obvious absences as Wynnin does not appear for breakfast. The party assumes that Wynnin is off trying to locate Breanna and instead decides to go to the mausoleums to find out what is behind the awakening of the dead.

The party includes:
Karion Hope; a Tiefling Warlock
Hamma Pashar; a Human Fighter
TheArtist: a Half-Elf Bard
Acorn; a Dwarven Sorcerer

As they are scouting out the wrought iron walls that surround the mausaleums, they notice that the gates are locked with heavy chains and guarded by two of the city watch. As they continue their examination of the outer walls, they notice that another group of adventurers is allowed passage by the guards. They then approach the guards and are told that they may only be allowed in by order of Ugadesh. TheArtist does some not-so-fast talking and eventually bribes the watchmen to allow the group into the mausoleums. As they search the grounds they notice the other adventurers go into a mausoleum located in the northeast corner of the grounds. Rather than follow the group they search through some rather uninteresting mausoleums located throughout the graveyard.

They finally decide to follow the other group and in the outermost chamber discover the dead bodies of two large worgs. As they are examining the bodies they hear sounds of combat coming up from a stairway in the northern wall. The party quickly draws weapons and hurry down to the next chamber just in time to hear the combat end. Within this large room filled with stone coffins, they discover the dispatched corpses of several skeletons. As they investigate the bodies, they hear combat taking place through a doorway in the westernmost wall.

The party moves through the doorway and encounter a group of five adventurers battling automatons. When they attempt to join the other group, they are rebuffed for their aid. Once combat ends, they are told that this is a bounty being retrieved and they are not welcome in joining the foray deeper into the mausoleum. After some angry words are exchanged by both parties, our adventurers decide to leave the other to their work and exit the mausoleum.

After exiting the mausoleum, the party returns to The Slumbering Drake and discuss their next actions. They decide to investigate further the disappearance of Breanna and head toward the brothel. When they arrive, they are given access to Breanna’s room. While some investigate the room, others talk to her co-workers and discover that she had a man who professed his love to her regularly, named Numer. Uncovering very little as far as clues, the party decides to return to The Slumbering Drake to discuss their next move.

While at the inn, the group overhears that they may have found one of the group who was responsible for sacking the safe house. The party of adventurers realize they must be talking about Wynnin and follow the group into an alleyway. As they enter the alley, they notice that there is another group at the other end of the alley that are clearly waiting for The Shadowmasters. The Shadowmasters draw weapons and clearly have the intention of teaching a lesson to the others blocking their path. As the two other groups move into a section of the alley that opens up, the party realizes this is a gang war between the Nine Golden Swords and their arch-rivals, The Shadowmasters. The party soon realizes that The Shadowmasters have been lured into a trap as monks move past them soundlessly to attack The Shadowmasters from both sides.

Our party is unsure of who to aid in the battle, and are paralyzed by indecision as they watch The Shadowmasters to fall to their enemy, the Nine Golden Swords. As the battle ends, the Nine Golden Swords bind the fallen thieves and begin to move off down a side alley. The party stays behind and questions a thief that has been left for them by the Nine Golden Swords.

They learn that the group of thieves had information from an informant on the whereabouts of Wynnin and were headed to the informants house. The informant, it turns out, is none other than Mergent Otut. The party also learns from the fallen thief that the Nine Golden Swords are thought by The Shadowmasters to be responsible for the abductions within the city so that those captured might be sold as slaves. The party quickly heads over to Mergent’s estate and enter the residence forcefully. They search the house and find Wynnin in Jezzara’s room. They then quickly move to Mergent’s room to find an open window with the curtains blowing in the night air. When they look out the window, they see Mergent disappearing into the night.

When they search his office, they find information that tells them that Mergent Otut has been closely aligned with The Shadowmasters. Among the notes they find information on several safe houses as well as government officials who are on the payroll of the thieves’ guild. Notably are the Magister and several judges as well as other city officials. There is also info on those opposed to the thieves’ guild including the wife of the mayor and Ugadesh.

There is also some information regarding townsfolk who are thought to be friendly. Most notably is Alkiel, the town’s coffin maker. His coffins are regularly transported to a variety of cities across the Unapproachable East.

The party makes their way to the keep to speak to Ugadesh and give him their information. Ugadesh is grateful and offers a deputy position within the city guard to all of the party members. Only Karion Hope and Hamma Pashar take him up on the offer. When asked, he tells the party that he would interested in the group uncovering information about the workings of the Nine Golden Swords within the city of Phent. The party agrees.

After some discussion, the group decides to follow a transport of coffins outside of town, and with their newly acquired authority, search the coffins. Certain enough, the group finds that the bodies of the fallen thieves placed in some sort of stasis within the coffins being transported to a location approximately 75 miles outside of town, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. As the story comes to a close, the group decides to drive the wagons to the delivery point and find out who is on hand to receive the shipment.

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The Slaver's Outpost
Session 4 - The Testament of Karion Hope

The Testament of Karion Hope

We are several days out of Phent along the Golden Way. The cart we are driving is filled with caskets, and those caskets are filled with people, all of whom are in a deep trance brought about by some dark magic.

Magic no darker than my own ‘gifts’, no doubt. My Grandsire speaks to me the more I use His power. My soul is lost.

A day ago we tried to revive two of the casket’s occupants; a tall human and a beautiful elven maid.

The human we picked because he looked to be a stout fellow and, as the habit of these slavers, his clothes and gear were intact. He wore armor and carried a sword, but wasn’t dressed as a Shadowmaster and had the countenance of a kind man. Upon achieving consciousness, the man told us his name was Cole, and that he was a Holy warrior of a God I did not recognize.

My Grandsire allows no other deities in my life. There is only Him.

The Elf, to report with honesty, was picked because her beauty was irresistible. She was breathtaking as any of her kind. When she revived she would not tell us her name. There was a shyness to her that made her even more irresistible to the heart.
Heart? I have no heart. I have only Him.

I shall call her Acacia, after the tree of the same name. Stunning to behold, but full of thorns if you get too close.

Whynn had rejoined us along the road, his loins still aching from the merchant’s daughter. The loss of his companion still ached him a bit, but it couldn’t be helped. It was good to have him there, he is a reasonable fellow and quick with his blade.

My constant companion of late is [THEARTIST], a half breed minstrel who is light of morals but quick to quit a fight. Perhaps he could find courage and compassion for others somewhere within him.

After some days on the cart, just before nightfall, we came upon a camp next to a small trail. There were men and orcs, and a small tent. Whynn disappeared into the shadows, and the other four of us approached the camp as the scum traders. After a few moments, when the talk was fruitless, Whynn struck from the shadows, dispatching a slaver. I was set upon by a number of them, but my new companions proved to be worth the time to wake them.

Cole’s bravery was impressive as he stepped into battle without reservation. Acacia launched javelin after javelin at the enemy, and Theartist hid behind the cart, a cart that was toppled over onto him when the ogre emerged from the tent and flipped it.

The battle was quick, and we knew that the slavers had planned to take the cart up the trail. We camped and the next morning set off.

Along the trail we found obelisks. Acacia told us a story of an old crazy wizard who was reported to have a stronghold in these woods that was guarded by obelisks. Theartist’s sharp eyes found two other obelisks in the distance, lined up with the one we were standing next to. We made note and moved on.

It took only a few hours to find the abandoned castle the scum were using for a base. A tall spire marked the place; a ruined old castle built into the side of the mountain. We formulated a plan to scout the castle under the guise of a troupe of wandering minstrels, with Theartist and Acacia leading that effort. The three of us asked and were granted entry.
Orcs and men filled the place, much more of the first and fewer of the second. There was work being done, the stronghold stunk of labor and desperate fortunes. Theartist, with Acacia helping, conducted a show fit for a royal court, all the while orcs and men who would consort with them looked on. A perfect pearl presented to a pig.

In my heart I am no better than these men, these orcs. My Grandsire whispers to me to join them, help them enslave the innocent to make my own fortune. I struggle in silence.
We are given a tent for the night and some food that neither I nor Acacia ate. After sundown I found a way out of the castle and gathered Whynn and Cole. Upon meeting with the others we decide to enter the spire.

The lone guard in the spire was no match for the sharp shadow that is Whynn at night. We began to descend into the belly of the tower, trying to use caution and stealth. It was at this point that Theartist, for a reason that still escapes me, pushed me aside as I looked into a dark hatch and jumped in. He acts rashly at times, preferring to work independent of his comrades. This time he paid a dear price for it.

A murder of ravenous birds set upon him the moment his feet touched the floor. Within seconds he was suffering from dozens of cuts and bites, and he fell to the floor. Cole and Whynn jumped in immediately, trying to protect our rash companion. I let fly my Grandsire’s magic and, with Acacia’s assistance, the four of us were able to defeat the birds. Theartist was revived and we moved on.

The next room was occupied by a giant spider, which fell to Cole’s sword and Whynn’s blade quickly enough.

Thus far I’d mostly avoided using my Grandsire’s powers. A cantrip here, a small trick there, but nothing to really rouse him in my consciousness. The next room would change that.

In there we found a man asleep in his bed. His cries for help were interrupted by Whynn, who dispatched him.

But the walls, the walls were covered in tapestries and upon a tapestry I saw a face and the face looked back at me and my heart raced and I saw that face smile at me and it knew my secret. Panic gripped me as my mind raced and my heart beat and my body poured sweat into my clothes and I couldn’t breath.

An instant later, the panic was gone. My companions had not noticed. The man in the tapestry no longer smiled but his face was still there, the face of a thousand sins.

Knowing that help for the now dead monk was coming, I tried to block a door with a desk. In lieu of helping with this endeavor, Theartist sought to inspect the contents of that desk, taking several items of value all the while I, and Acacia, were trying to protect the group.
Perhaps, like me, there is no help for Theartist. He is better than I am despite his failings. His soul isn’t doomed.

After Theartist was finished pillaging the desk, Acacia and I were able to move it with only a moment to spare. The monk’s companions knocked, and called for the now dead man by name; Incanvar. In a moment of brilliance, Acacia started making the sounds physical pleasure, a performance that almost moved me to arousal.

That is, if I were capable of such things. My Grandsire will allow me no pleasures of companionship, no solace in the touch of another. The price for His power is high.

We explored the castle a bit, finally making our way to the Great Hall where Theartist and Acacia made their inspired performance earlier that night. Several orcs were asleep in the room, and men were about playing games or some such nonsense. The room was lit dimly lit by the orange and yellow flicker of weak candles and dying torches.

Calling upon my infernal powers, I lowered the illumination of the flame. Whynn set about his ugly work, spilling the blood of the orcs as they slept. I then reversed my spell and caused the lights to flare like miniature suns, shocking the rest. Before their eyes could adjust my companions had brought about their demise.

We suffered nary a scratch, but all of the slavers lie dead.

Seeing us work as a team inspired me to tell my companions that the rest of the camp was ours should we choose to take it. Whynn, ever steady, agreed with me, saying that twenty orcs were no match for us. Cole never spoke, never needed to, his bravery was his testimony. Acacia agreed quickly enough, adventuring like this was new to her. She was still unsure of how dangerous she truly was.

Theartist agreed and we hatched a plan wherein Theartist, with the assistance of my magic, would startle the camp with another performance. We launched into the show and chaos erupted.

Whynn, on the other side of the camp, exacted a heavy toll on the orcs, making them pay for their slavery with his blood soaked blade. Acacia, growing more confident with every moment, called upon the plants themselves to hold the slavers while my Grandsire’s fire scorched the flesh from their bones. Cole, a rock, let the orcs crash upon him, but wouldn’t move. They fell before him like weeds before the scythe.

Then Theartist quit his music and conducted a symphony of slaughter with his own blade.
As before, we spilled no blood of our own, our plan worked. Twenty of the vile orcs lie dead in the camp.

A good night’s feeding, my Grandsire was pleased, or so he whispered. The souls of the dying orcs were cursing my name.

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Freedom with a side of blood.
Session 5

Excerpt from the journal of Hammah Pashar

Life is many things to many people. I look back at my youth and marvel over some of the things I had done, thinking myself immortal as only the inexperienced do. I remember my first real adventure very distinctly. Every sight, every smell, every sound is etched in my memory bringing about the sort of nostalgia that makes me sometimes wonder if the good old days would still be good if I went back knowing what I do now. The forces that shape a person’s experience and perceptions are unique to each individual and, depending on the person, can either make or break them. Castle Whiterock was definitely one of those special places that exerted life changing forces.
I remember that we had just cleared the first level of this foreboding place and took a quick break before heading further into the depths. After taking stock of our objectives, we decided to continue down the stairwell in earnest. Too earnest in fact, as we witnessed our favorite shyster, Wiynn, tumble headlong down the stairwell leading to the lower level. To this day, he will swear that it was all planned, and tell us that we reacted too quickly charging down after him while he was flat on his back. His, shall we call it, creative imaginings of events puts a smile on my face every time I remember one of his stories. Despite the less than graceful tumble, he appeared unhurt and we all had a chuckle until we noticed a slew of Orcs advancing upon our fallen companion.
The holy warrior Cole and I bounded down the stairwell, shields leading and formed a defensive perimeter around the hapless Wynn assessing the situation quickly and it was grim indeed. We were flanked and outnumbered. The Orcs held the positional advantage and had us lined up in their sights neatly like a carnival archery gallery. As the sing song twang resonated from the multiple crossbows being fired, I thought that we were hopelessly outmatched. The fighting was fierce and bloody. We must have been in the good graces of some almighty being, because we won that fight and did not notice any clarions sounding loudly. Of the two doors in the room, we decided to take the one on the right and our resident locksmith, Wiynn, opened it for us.
Not wanting to be surprised again, Wiynn decided to scout the hallway leading from the door to the room at the other end which glowed faintly and radiated quite a bit of heat. Upon his return to our position, he told us that something large was in the other room. We asked him to describe what it was that he saw, but he said that he had never seen a creature like it before in his life. Curiosity got the better of me and I tried to imitate the silent footsteps of my companion. My failure at stealth was all too apparent as we heard deep rumblings from the creature in the other room. The sounds resonated through the corridor, sounding like an attempt at communication. I stepped into the room and saw before me a massive bovine headed monstrosity wielding a javelin in its hand that was more akin to a ballista bolt.
“We can do this one of two ways: the hard way, or the easy way!” I stated boldly to the creature before me. What I can only assume was laughter, came from the creature’s barn sized chest and was immediately followed by a thrown javelin which pierced my side badly. Gritting my teeth, I muttered under my breath “Ok, hard way it is” and advanced into the room to engage the creature. Seeing me advance into the room, my companions made haste to do the same. They slightly balked at the sight of what it was we were fighting but steeled their resolve and came out swinging. It was a glorious battle! Arcane blasts from Karion flew past my head and flashes of steel worked in tangent with each other as Cole and Wiynn helped me surround the beast as it bellowed in rage and pain from multiple wounds that would have felled the hardiest camel.
When the hard fought battle was over, we were all breathing hard and thanks to Cole’s medical expertise, were none the worse for wear. A tiny glint caught my eyes as I bent over the bloody corpse at my feet and extracted a key that was hanging from the creature’s side. Since there was only one locked door, I assumed that this key was tasked with opening it. I offered the key to Wiynn but he scoffed at my offer as an insult to his prowess and examined the lock on the door. He fiddled with the lock on the door for a while, and seemed stumped by the trick to the lock. He approached me and took the key with which he opened the door. We all gave a hearty laugh at this turn of events which was stifled by the grim realization of what was on the other side of that door.
The room could only have been described as a slave pit. We had found the captives we were looking for at last. Misery hung in the air mixed in with the thick fetid scents of unwashed bodies and rotting food. Punctuating the misery were silent groans, moans and sobs coming from the caged pits which lined the floor. We knew what we had to do and burst into action. Cole and I approached the first pit, rope in hand, and lowered it to the floor for the startled but grateful captives. I was covering him with my shield as he tried helping the unfortunate trapped souls to freedom when Wiynn attempted to traverse the top of the cages to the other side. Unfortunately, his footing did not hold and he slammed down, crotch first, onto the crossbar of the cages. We all collectively winced (or is that Wiynnced?) in sympathy for our companion as he plummeted into one of the cages.
While trying to climb out of the cage, Wiynn noticed two elven ladies in the cages beside him and being the rascal he was, turned on the charm. At this point, we noticed some activity across the room on the other side of the cages as the slaver Orc guards became alert to our presence. Crossbow bolts flew at us and of the volley, only one struck me in my shield arm as I was trying to cover the prisoners who were being pulled from the pit by Cole. Karion leaped into action and started blasting the guards with considerable arcane energy that was so potent, it started knocking them backwards and causing more than a few misfires which undoubtedly saved more than a few escaping prisoners. Karion’s immense power however, was dwarfed that day, by his quick thinking.
We were trapped on the other side of the room with heavy portcullis gates between us and the hail of bolts which kept flying our way. Karion spotted a hidden lever in the stonework and yanked on it which raised the portcullis gates and made me grin wickedly on the inside. Covering myself with my shield, I dashed through the now opened gates and attempted to engage the guards. Cole followed closely on my heels and we clashed in the middle with morning star wielding guards who charged at us bellowing curses and profanities meant to intimidate and demoralize. I leapt into battle, shield leading and proceeded to knock the guards into empty pits while clearing a path to the other side. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Wiynn yell something to Karion and throw him an object as he rushed through the door we had just come through. As I turned to see what was going on, my eyes widened in surprise and not inconsiderable shock as bearing down on me and Cole was, well, a bear!
I turned toward the bear assuming a defensive posture, shield in hand, and looked in amazement as the animal barreled past me and into the waiting crowd of Orcs who were just as surprised as I was, but much more frightened as they discovered that they were the objects of its ire. The fighting here seemed to go on forever and my arms were starting to get tired. I thought I was going crazy when I saw the bear leap a good 30 feet to land into the mess of archers that were trying to kill it before it got to them. I noticed a lot of broken shafts from crossbow bolts sticking out of the bear’s hide and felt a pang of sorrow for this unusual battle companion. I was determined at this point to make sure that it lived hoping that it didn’t try to eat me at the end of the battle. I rushed over to its side and started working alongside it to defeat the archers, when the door in front of us flew open and out charged three of the most hideous looking blobs I have ever seen, snapping their jowls while wading into battle.
The bear, in its frenzy knocked me aside with its massive paw and descended upon the disgusting creatures, in a fury of fur and fang. Naturally, I was a bit perturbed by being knocked away from the fight and used the bear’s expansive backside as a makeshift springboard to vault nimbly over it trapping our foes between blade and claw. We had easily dispatched the surrounded minions and were once again fighting side by side when through the open portal we spotted the creatures’ master. An Orc stood there, massive long bow in hand, as he set his sights on the bear and fired.
The shot was unerring and struck my bear companion in the neck as I let out a cry of dismay as a fountain of blood sprayed forth from the fatal would. The bear did not fall over dead amazingly enough, but changed forms into that of one of the elven ladies Wiynn had rescued. I immediately pulled her behind me as a second arrow bounced off my intercepting shield and started my dance of death with the remaining minions in front of me trying to get this seemingly helpless elf some breathing room. The battle tide turned when Cole made his way to us and we decimated the enemies. The elven lady had now changed forms yet again into a giant spider and proceeded to wrap up (Ha!) the fight.
As the dust settled, and we took stock of our situation, I noticed that Karion was no longer by the entrance door which was now open and saw what looked like the remnants of a massive funeral pyre. One of the prisoners, a gnome, told us how to get the rest of the prisoners out and we followed her plan. After getting everyone out, we learned that the gnome’s brother was being held captive in another area of the castle and told her we would rescue him. As we approached the door, Karion was making his way back to us and told us what had happened.
He and Wiynn had seen a large force (presumably the now blackened corpses) heading toward us and Wiynn told Karion to lock the door and dashed through. Apparently Wiynn’s quick thinking saved us from a painful death as it seemed he had trapped the horde in this room and then used the lanterns in the room to burn them to a crisp. It was then that we saw Wiynn trotting back to us nonchalantly as if he didn’t have a care in the world. I looked on in wonderment as he went back to one of the elven ladies he had rescued and pulled out a bottle of wine in quick order. I chuckled in disbelief as the woman was quick to snuggle up with her rescuer and offer physical thanks for his actions.
While we were discussing our plan to rescue the gnome’s brother, Wiynn overheard us and mentioned that he happened on a gnome in another room not too far from where we were now. We told him to lead us there but he told us to stay here and wait for him to come back. We shrugged and he left, coming back soon with the gnome’s brother in tow. We started the process of escorting the prisoners out, and putting the weaker ones on our horses as we made our way back to Phent. Toward the early morning, I was on watch and sparring with Cole so we could keep our fighting skills sharp when we heard Wiynn cry out and point to the tree line. Out of the trees, a glowing being appeared and proceeded to advance upon us with nothing but pure hatred shining in its eyes.
This creature was terrifying, and shamefully I panicked and tried to lead the prisoners to safety away from the abomination which was now approaching. A horrendous wail pierced the morning air and made us all feel bitterly cold to our core. Karion, Cole, Wiynn and our new elven friend were buying me time to get the prisoners to safety and were paying for that time with their blood. The fight was tough. I saw Karion and Cole fall, as Wiynn and the elf fought the creature. I ran over to Cole to do what little I could to take care of his wounds and the elf cast a healing spell on the fallen Karion to bring him back into the fight. Wiynn, kept chipping away at the creature and eventually it dissipated in a cloud with a gut wrenching shriek.
Shaken by this encounter, we made sure that everyone was good to travel and set out on the road to Phent again. I had wanted to get as far away from that cursed area as soon as I could. I still ache when I think of the terrifying visage of the undead creature that almost ended us when we had faced down a veritable army in the castle. I prayed that day to whatever gods were listening that I would never have to encounter something like that ever again. I was so utterly helpless and afraid of the unknown when I was young. Knowing now what I do of my history and travels, I would not have wasted my prayer to the gods. Banshees were the least of my problems.

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The Darkness
Session 6

They say writing can be a healthy form of expression but I am not sure if I am ready for all that now…alas I will give it a try. The green elf maiden, Alanis, in which the party saved a couple days, encouraged me to commit my adventures to ink….and so I shall.

We made haste after the Banshee attack back to the shelter of Phent. I doubted Phent would be a safe haven for us while we rested and attended to supplies, and I was correct. It seems the city has become the latest chess board between the Shadow Wankers and Nine Golden Baboons leaving the decent people of Phent the pawns.

Once back in town, the good Paladin Cole tended to the folks that we freed while I gave special attention to Alanis. For some reason, I do not fancy her as I do my other distractions. She is easy to talk to and I like her around me. She reminds me as I once was, my heritage, my past, the past I keep running from. I have hide from it for decades now, a blink of an eye to an elf, but for me it seems like centuries ago. After hours of conversing with her, I decided I needed a break from emotion and visited Jezzera…shit was too deep for me and I needed a breather. Jezzera is attempting to take over her father’s business and unfortunately, I had to listen to her whine for a bit before I got what I was after.

It was nice to sleep in a soft bed and eat a hot meal. I don’t fancy myself as a road warrior and I suspected most of the party agreed as we slept long and hard that night to include Cole. Hammah needed a couple of days before he was road worthy, so he was out. The exception was the Druid maiden Acacia, she pushed out early into town and apparently learned that the governor’s mansion has been sieged and the governor and his family were being held hostage. She alerted the rest of the party.

My friend Karion set off to talk to the Captain of the Guard, Ugadesh. Karion still has trust with that Half Orc dolt, and went to visit him for guidance during the siege of the Governor’s mansion. Cole was pushing towards his temple before being rerouted over to the mansion. When I heard what was going on, I decided to head over there to check it out. I already knew Cole and Karion would want to resolve this, so I decided to try and get a head of the game.

I’m not sure why, I did not really have a plan, it seemed like a great idea, but I decided to attempt to incite a riot and spool up the townsfolks. There was a moron inside the mansion that was already doing it and I figured to help him out. May get us a free pass inside to negotiate or allow the townsfolk to push through to the mansion and give us an opportunity to sneak in. While on my makeshift pulpit commonly known as a lamp post, I caught Karion’s stern eye indicting that his plans were not in parallel to mine and I reluctantly hopped down and rejoined the rest of the party.

Karion indicated that we were to save the Governor and we needed to get inside the mansion. There were some suggestions to look for some hidden entrances and I offered up the sewers. However, if I were to siege a mansion and take hostages, I would post an army around the basement and sewer entrance and alas I was right. We made our way into the sewers and from the start, fought wave after wave of “Shadow Wankers” inside the mansion. DeArtist casually joined while entering though the sewers, it was good to have his inspiration around.

Our tactics were simple, DeArtist and I scouted ahead, we ambushed and then intercept the squirters trying to alert the rest of the bad guys. Acacia would shape change into a large cat which was deadly and effective. Cole provided shield cover and bashed well. I excitedly watched Karion bolts of magic push back hordes of fuck sticks to the ground and saw opportunity there. DeArtist’s magic is getting deadly as whirly blades of knives appeared from thin air to slice and dice. His tunes seemed to inspire Cole. The tactics was simple and effective, but I figured Tymora’s luck would wear thin and decided to capture and interrogate one of the peons participating in the siege.

The jackass sang like a Lark when threatened. They were not really Shadow Masters, but Nine Golden Swords ass wanks posing like Shadow Fucks to “frame” them. He gave up information, but they key was that the governor and his family was not among the hostages. I let him go on his merry way.

I dressed DeArtist and myself as Nine Golden Sword members to perform the old fake prisoner ruse to head right up to the boss. It worked, but he was well protected. I quickly sliced at one of his guards to try and gain the element of surprise, but he did not drop. My jaw did as his bodyguard detachment moved to open up the middle ground. I decided to parley which turned out to be useless as the Chief’s intention was to get us to move into the middle room, something we all found very suspicious. I scanned for traps but did not find any. Cole ended talk by charging at one of the bodyguards and chaos erupted.

I darted in behind Cole to assist, but one of the bodyguards broke away to start slaying prisoners as Cole got surrounded by enemies. My gut wanted to help him out, but I knew Cole and he would have wanted me to save the innocent and helpless. Karion dropped a darkness spell which we soon learned only aided the enemy. They also dropped magical darkness and were able to sense us through it, and there was nothing we could do. I listened helplessly as I heard Cole dropped as waves after waves slammed into him as I helplessly took swings of the executioner. I heard the door slam shut and feared the party was now separated.

I don’t fear death, but this was one situation in which my migration to Arvandor was evident, a place I may not be welcome in. I use the shadows to my advantage all the time, but this was magical darkness and my vision sucked. I was useless, outnumbered and trapped. I was enraged that my friends and adventuring companions did not enter the room to help Cole. Hammah picked a bad day to take a break.

My mind wandered elsewhere as I start to accept my fate until I saw a magical blast of fire and briefly saw Karion burn the Nine Sword leader and his bodyguards with his magic. One of his abilities is to see through magical darkness and he had managed to push into the room before the door was shut. Later, I heard the door open and combat erupt from within the mansion. Either the town guard finally got un-lazy, or something else was brewing, but it was enough for the Nine Sword to exfil quickly.

As the darkness fell and we started to regroup, the Shadow Masters lead by Mergent had also decided to assault the mansion. They did not want their “good name” tarnished by The Nine Golden Swords. When the assault was done, I one fingered saluted Mergent and he departed. We were too beat to pursue and he left. I am sure we will see both of them again one day.

This day ran deep for me. Never has anyone been sought to bring up my past as Alanis as done. She seemed to sense that she knew who I was and the genocidal disgrace I caused. It is nothing but bottomless sorrow, and still feels like a cold dagger piecing my heart. During the end of the siege when the magical darkness came out, I was there again…it’s how they fight. That stint mimicked the day I lost everything.

My short time among the humans is what I know now and comfortable with…I want to not care again, for my own sanity I need to not care. I’m done penning this…back to my drink.

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Shadow of Death
Session 7

As the group leaves the governor’s mansion with those previously abducted in tow, they make their way to the keep to drop off the group of saved house members to include the governor. They quickly return to the Inn of the Slumbering Drake and receive an invitation from Lady Chauntessa, the owner of the brother. They quickly discuss the fact they did not claim their reward. Cole and Hammah decide to meet up with Ugadesh and the rest of the party enjoy libations and song.

As Cole and Hammah enter the keep they are quickly escorted to a meeting hall where a celebration has gotten under way. After some drink and congratulations, Ugadesh pulls them aside. “I am unable to offer you a reward in gold at this time as I am consolidating resources for the upcoming attempt to rid the town of the Shadowmasters, but I am willing to offer you this magical cloak.” Cole and Hammah accept the prize of the Cloak of Elvenkind and return to the inn.

The group is then ushered into a meeting room, where Lady Chauntessa awaits. She tells them that she is interested in any books they can recover from Whiterock Castle and offers them fair payment in return for any and all tomes. She then hands them a Heward’s Handy Haversack to store the weighty volumes as the party accepts the mission.

They sleep the night uneventfully, and decide it is in their best interest to leave town quickly in the morning. Wynnin decides to purchase a pack mule laden with elven wine and they begin their three day journey to the castle. Along the way, Wynnin sees a large creature belly crawling in the tall prairie grass on an intercept course with the path. He quickly drops off his horse and makes his way towards the ambusher and discovers a large one eyed giant lurking in the tall grass. The cyclops is challenged by Hammah and stands to demand payment in the way of food to proceed. “Leave me the mule, and I will let you proceed.” Hammah negotiates with the cyclops saying he will retrieve game for in the stead of the mule and the cyclops agrees. He disappears into the distance and returns several hours later with a fallen deer. He gives the prize to the cyclops and the cyclops takes his leave peacefully.

Upon arrival at the castle, all but Hammah, Cole, Wynnin and Theartist stay in the ruined buildings above ground to stave off any encroachment of enemies from the rear. The other four make their way into the dungeons. The small quartet finishes searching the level where they saved the slaves and quickly find the way downstairs in the throne room of the ruling orc who has seemingly disappeared with any who were left after the inferno in the lair of the minotaur.

Wynnin makes his way down the stairway and carefully examines an blank stone wall discovering a doorway further into the lair. He slowly and quietly opens the door, only to feel the door suddenly give and a large net filled with old, rusty armor which makes a terrible racket. Wynnin tells the group that obviously this was designed to warn inhabitants and perhaps they should return again tomorrow. Hammah convinces the group the the heroic thing to do is continue and he makes his way through the doorway into the empty room containing only brown colored stains on the floor obviously a sign of previously held bloody combat. He sees a canvas curtain hanging on one of the walls, and sees a figure move away from the curtain as it swings back into place and footsteps scurry down the hallway along with a bellowed warning.

Hammah moves over to the curtain and peeks behind it. Through the dim light of his torch, he can just make out the figure of a humanoid standing just at the edge of the light down the hall. He decides to pull the curtain and throw a torch to light the path. When he pulls the curtain, he feels a click and is suddenly faced with an enormous morningstar swinging like a pendulum into his chest and just grazing Cole as Cole dives to one side.

Wynnin tried to acrobatically tumble past the swinging weapon and was caught in the back as the weapon swung back in the other direction, propelling him further down the hallway. The rest of the party hurriedly moved down the hallway to engage the bugbear as two of his comrades joined in the fray from a room just beyond their vision. They quickly dispatched the bugbears and moved down an adjoining hallway.

They came upon the first door and Wynnin deftly opened it, seeing a wizened orc with glasses and hunched over with age instructing four other orcs in the ways of alchemy. He snuck into the room and dispatched the orcish alchemist with a sly stroke that severed his carotids. Theartist nocked his bow with a flaming arrow that slammed into a table igniting the components in a large flash of flame injuring two of the orcs. The rest of the party flowed into the room and struck down the remaining orcs. The party scavenged all the alchemical objects as Hammah eagerly identified them. Hammah then searched the body of the alchemist and noticed a bag of Shifting Sand which can be shaped into an item and, when returned to the bag, reverts to flowing sand.

As they searched the room across the hall, they came upon the body of a flayed troglodyte. Unsure of its meaning they decided to move forward into the complex.

The group proceeded down the hall and found caves that appeared to be mines. Uninterested in exploring mines they returned to the previous hallway and followed it to its end. They came across a door that they were unable to open through rougish skill and moved to a second doorway. This door opened into a small orc barracks with four sleeping orcs. They slid quietly into the room and dispatched them in their sleep.

They found another hallway which veered off the main and came upon another doorway. As they opened this room, Theartist could see several one-legged figures standing motionless against the far wall. He brought a thunderstone into his hand and hurled it at the figure. As the loud boom was emitted from the stone, the rest of the party quickly closed and finished off the four practice dummies.

A search of this room revealed a large altar. Wynnin could tell that something seemed odd about the altar, but he could not discern what did not seem right to his studious eye. The party moved on.

The next door the party came upon was searched by Wynnin who determined the door was trapped with a wire. He pinned the wire in place and had Theartist check his handiwork After both agreed the trap had been disabled, the party moved through the door. Unfortunately, the soon discovered that the disarmament had not been successful as a small stone fell to the floor letting out a large “boom!”. The four orcs occupying the room suddenly came to attention and Cole swiftly moved in to deal with the threat. As the party fought, another group of six more orcs, obviously warned by the loud noise, came to the aid of their comrades. The party fought bravely but Cole, Wynnin, and eventually Hammah all fell to the bite of their morningstars. Theartist, realizing he was outmatched began running toward the exit in an attempt to notify those above of the fate of their comrades. An orc chased him down, and Theartist realized that running was fruitless. He then relied on the magic of his voice and charmed the orc into believing he was an ally. He quickly ordered the orc to give him his cloak and disguised himself as one his enemies. He returned to the five remaining enemies and told them their was a troglodyte attack taking place in the mines. The orcs rushed passed him in an attempt to fight off the supposed foe.

Theartist quickly used a healing potion, used sparingly on each of his fallen comrades, to return them to conciousness. The foursome retreated down the hallway and through the exit.

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Dangers beyond Trials
Session 8 - The Second Testament of Karion Hope

We’ve been camped at the base of Wizard’s Tower since our return to this location from Phent. We’ve decided that we should go delve the dungeon, as it were, in waves. This, I suppose, is to ensure that someone survives should things turn foul in the depths. This last wave consisted of a small group including Hammah, Wynnin, Cole and Theartist. They’ve just returned and look much the worse for wear. They tell me a tale wherein Theartist’s propensity for flight in the face of any danger saved everyone’s lives. My guess is that perhaps extreme discretion in the face of battle does have its virtues.

The next morning Hammah, Cole and myself draw the short strings and we gear up. The plan is a further exploration of an alter room and perhaps heading deeper into the caverns and warrens of the mountain. I’m very glad to have these two men at my back. Cole is a tall, thin fellow who seems he cannot decide whether to grow a man’s beard or to wear stubble, as his face is constantly unshaven without a full growth. His wit may duller than some but that doesn’t show one bit in his heart. He is the first to battle and stands like a rock against enemies. His painted armor shows the dents and tears of his bravery. He has acquired a new sword, a magnificent piece that he claims holds some magic. Power of this sort is well placed in Cole’s hands.

Hammah is bravery personified. He never shrinks. More than once I’ve seen him grit his teeth, put his shoulder into his shield and press on in the face of mortal danger.

It is a comfort and an honor to descend into the depths of the dungeon with these men. I am not worthy of their companionship nor their trust. I am an abomination with purple skin and copper eyes. I won’t even allow myself to cover my plum pate with hair, and I shave with a borrowed knife before we proceed.

Detailing every encounter that we had that day would be both tedious to compose and even more dreadful to digest, so I will touch on the moments of memory. The Alter room contained mysteries we were unable to divine, so we moved on. We stumbled upon rooms filled with the same azure orcs Theartist described from the day before, but our trio dispatched them dispassionately. We became more a mill of death than a group of friends, moving with efficiency and purpose. My companions would form an impenetrable wall of steel and muscle while my cerulean bolts of demonic magic flayed the flesh from our enemy’s bones.

My Grandsire was happy with the meat that I served him today, but he laughed at me. There is more to come. He has a purpose for me, I know not what. My hope is that my companions are spared his machinations.
We found a secret room containing a model of the castle. This revealed to us that there are many unexplored areas that have, as of yet, escaped our attention. We foiled traps and locked doors, encountering orcs and creatures posing as rocks that fell upon us. When we found the fourth level of our delve we were set upon by frogmen, troglydites who sought to rend us with claw and tooth. At one point even the ants of the place sought to eject us.

All the while Cole smiled and enjoyed the journey. The moment that caused me the most panic was, just before entering a door, he exclaimed, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Remarkably we survived that combat with the disguised Troglydites, though just barely.

After that battle, and with the day having gone long and our resources running short, we deiced to head to the surface to join the others. Each of us was intact if not bruised and exhausted. I will make my way down here again tomorrow.

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The Conundrum of the Crimson Dragon - Chapter 9 Verse 6
Session 9 - A Testament of Karion Hope

Yet Another Boring Testament of Karion Hope

After emerging from the bowels of the Wizard’s Keep, Cole, Hammah and I regaled our so-called companions with our tale of the day’s events. These were recorded in my last testament. Since Hammah isn’t inclined to record written words, and Cole is unaware of how to use them, I was elected to record this, our most current foray into the lower reaches.

Incidentally, it occurred to me to ask why would a Wizard, or a group thereof, spend so much time building rooms under their keep? There aren’t any windows, the ventilation is horrible, and it’s always cold. I don’t mean to say refrain from making the odd root cellar or two, but building a structure that is many more times the size of anything on the surface seems counterintuitive. It’s more expensive to build underground and much less pleasant to be there. I suppose subterranean is the best way to keep a secret, and the God’s know these Wizards had secrets.

We spent the morning discussing who would delve that day. Theartist stated that he was feeling a touch of the vapors. It is my belief that close call to mortality during his last descent has caused his testicles to recoil further into his abdomen than before, which is making it difficult for him to ambulate. A yellow tail does tend to get in the way of your feet.

Wynnyn didn’t want to join us because he was complaining of a gross amount of burning whenever he urinated, a malady no doubt gifted to him from one of his many carnal conquests. Should his groin find it in itself to be a bit more discerning perhaps he wouldn’t feel as if he was excreting boiling water from his privates. I must admit a small bit of pleasure when we all hear Wyninn’s groans of pain as he empties his bladder.

So, as before, Hammah, Cole and myself mounted the steps to the depths below and started our day. By now we are a well-oiled machine, dealing with problems without breaking much a sweat. This day would end a little differently, with our mettle and our morals being tested. Soon after entering the dungeon we met Cora, a pleasant Halfling. She was dressed in dark leathers and wore the accouterments of an individual who makes their living in the darker places of society, much like Wyninn.

Our first obstacle was a hall with large stone in the way. Cora was able to wiggle herself through and told us that we had to come to other side to help. After some work, we make our way through the stone and Cora introduced us to Numeria, a water pixie who said that she couldn’t get home because the water filled passages ahead were occupied by a large lobster. Cole and I enjoyed some drawn butter jokes, we drank some potions to help us breath underwater, and we moved into the passage. Much to my surprise there was a large, and rather ornery lobster waiting for us. Pity we didn’t really have any drawn butter because the creature fell quickly, Hammah and Cole making expert work of the beast.

Next we encountered an entrance to the lower levels of a tower, an entrance guarded by two of the strangely blue orckind. Cora made her skills known as she dispatched an orc before the fight even started. She was able to sneak up behind the creature and drive a crossbow bolt though its neck, both murdering and silencing it in one action. It occurred to me that we acquired another companion like Wyninn, only this one was both more effective and more importantly, present. Unlike Wyninn, I believe I could grow to trust Cora.

The tower proved to more difficult than the guards who were posted outside. Inside we found an enormous blue orc, more a giant, who was floating and flinging spells at us. Cole and Hammah pressed their advantage quickly against the monstrosity, who retreated up the tower. This would avail the giant nothing as my brave friends leaned into it and slew it.

What was interesting about the chambers was less the creature found in it and more the reliefs on the walls. They depicted orcs being aided by storm giants, storm giants of the same hue as the Orcs we’ve been dealing with. Interbreeding would explain the orcs strange monochromasia and overly large size. This conundrum would require more investigation.

Another level up we found a throne room of sorts occupied by a giant’s skeleton. On the alter we found an iron crown. Before the words of warning concerning handing the crown could escape my demonic lips Hammah picked it up. Not surprisingly the skeleton rose from the alter and leaned into us. Hammah suffered several mighty blows but kept up the fight, yelling at one point, “I take it in the face like a porn star!”

I’m not quite sure what means, but he was proud of it, and I’m proud to call the man my companion if not my friend. I am incapable of friendship for no other reason than to keep those near me safe. My Sire whispers to me. I want to fight him, but his voice is strong and his power is terrifically addicting, especially when I use it to help my companions. Each small use bites at my soul.

The walls once again held mosaics, this time ofbirds of prey. More mysteries.

Next we were in a room filled with what we presumed to be the women and children of the troglydites. My assertion was to leave no enemy behind us and destroy the creatures, despite the murmurings of my sire who said he had plans for the wretched beings. Hammah would not hear of the destruction of innocents, as he called them. His will to do good can sometimes blind him to realities. The children will grow to be warriors, and the woman will breed more children, and so on. I succumbed to Hammah’s wishes and the monsters were left unmolested, free to grow and kill us another day.

We then found a room with an alter filled with statues of dragons. There was a group of acolytes praying about the alter with a priest engaged in the recitation of some demonic ritual on a raise platform on the other side of the room. Cora was able to sneak around room and deliver another fatal bolt to the priest while the rest of the rooms occupants were dispatched by either my Sire’s necromantic ministrations or Cole or Hammah’s steel.

A note about Cora, she’s an assassin, and a very good one.

The next room would test our morals. We found a red dragon, the evilest of creatures, locked in a cage. It entered into a discourse with us where it promised us riches and power and glory should we set it free. I knew these were hollow promises, and I knew the advent of the creature’s freedom would spell doom for countless many. However, it was trapped. I felt it should be given the chance of free choice, something I would never be afforded. My Sire wanted the thing trapped as it would only grow into something that could challenge His power.

To my surprise Cora agreed with me. The creature should be set free to set its own course. Hammah, not surprisingly, disagreed powerfully. He stated that it was a creature of evil and should be destroyed or left to rot. In many ways he was correct, but even evil creatures should be given a chance to make choices.
With a stalemate the decision was left in the hands of Cole, who was conflicted. Part of him agreed, it was a creature of evil and should be left to die. It’s absence from the world could only be seen as a benefit. However, the goodness in him could not stand to see a creature, any creature, suffer so. The goodness won out and the dragon was released.

It immediately attacked us and nearly killed us all. If it weren’t for Cora, wonderful Cora, the creature would have made a meal of us. She was able to sneak on the creature and kill it with a crossbow bolt. She is a useful and reliable companion, and by far the best assassin I’ve ever met, ever.

We survived, lived to fight again. Our relationships are a bit strained as I’ve noticed Hammah watching me more closely, but he need not fear. We have a difference of world views, but our alliance is stable.

For now.

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The Consoler
Session 10

Alanis placed the pot of water over the open fire to heat it up. She took up residence at the temple of Chauntea in Phent after she was rescued. The place worked for her…temporarily. After she placed the pot on the fire she looked up, still facing the fire.

“You absolutely reek”, she said while staring gazing into the fire.

“You wanna fuck. I am in town for a bit”, a male elven voice from behind her slurred.

Alanis turned around slowly to face her Cosby. She knew who he was, but was not keen on his delivery method. He emerged from the shadows, disheveled and looking beat. His long raveled black hair attempted to remained tied in a ponytail. His cheap leather armor still out of repair and looking battle worn. About the only redeeming factors within him was his fine elven black cloak that lightly draped along the floor and his blood shot piercing green eyes that for sure has been the killing blow to many weak willed maidens. The slow rocking back and forth indicated he had much drink in him.

“Wynnn…” Alanis said with disappointment.

“Aye…let’s get that robe off of you.” was the response.

Alanis turn away from him, back towards the fire. She reached for a large mug and placed some herbs inside it and poured the boiling water over them.

“Drink this, it will make you feel better” she replied. She turned to face him and gave him a stern look indicating she was not interested in his present advances. She slowly gave him the mug of tea in which he causally accepted.

“Why are you here”

Wynnn looked at her intensely, she could see in his eyes that he was going to deliver a remark that was on par with his current situation, but she could see that he wanted more. Wynn paused, indicating she was correct, and bit his tongue.

“Why are you here”, she whispered to him.

Wynn looked around nervously. The seriousness of the encounter was starting to sober him up. He found a chair, and plunged in it and buried his face in his hands.

“Talk to me” the green elf druid said as she slowly rubbed that back of the ruined elf and held him in an embrace to comfort him.

“Well, maybe if you were too place your mouth on my…”

“Can it Wynn…or get the fuck out. I’m not one of your Phent harlots.” Was the angry response.
Wynnn looked up, pondering his options. The easy path was not there, but he was compelled to visit her for a reason. She was comfort to him, his outlet from the outlet. He did not know why he said that, only that was what came to his mind first. He was ashamed he said that.

“I’m sorry”

“What happened. Talk to me” she said.

Wynn took a sip of the mug of weird tea. It tasted familiar to him, but it was not delightful. He felt his mind starting to clear and felt Alanis’s eyes looking at him with curiosity and much sorrow.

“We went down lower into the castle” Wynn started.

“Cole has some visions and wanted to detour to the alter we had found earlier. We obliged. He found a magical hat and he took it in which afterwards we descended further. Once we got to the lower level, we heard this music playing. TeArtist was with me and it was much too good and classy for him so we investigated further and found out that some invisible wind elemental thingy need some musical instruments to escape. Of course the party was all over helping this thing escape and took inventory. Drum… a simple jade drum was all we needed. TeArtist found the music and order we needed to play to release the circus act. We pushed on, we needed to head into Gnome hell, which was the path forward. We assumed the drum will be here.
Gnome hells was fun, it consisted of contraptions and weird animated objects we trapped into rooms, hung from chains, or bashed in with weapons. The encounter was fun, like I said, I assisted DeArtist with hanging animated death carts while Cole and Hammah bashed them around.

It was up until a door in which shit got fucked up. I don’t remember much. The Drow came, they killed my friends and kept stabbing me. A part of me knew it was bullshit, but the other part of me knew otherwise. Afterwards, my friends were there. They helped me, but I could not help them. It was like it all happened again….fuck it“

Alanis starred at Wynn when he was finished, indicating she wanted more from him. He had opened up, even if it was minor.

Wynn continued looking at the ground…he was done.

“If you continue to perform this way Wynn, your friends will abandon you. What you do is dangerous and involves everyone to have a clean and healthy mind. Yours not so much right now.”
Wynn smirked

“Well, you have spoken highly in the past about Cole and Hummah and their moral values in which you have respect for. Follow their lead. You were once them. This wine and pussy charade you got going on is old Wynn. Either unfuck yourself or leave the realm. This is a disgrace to your family, to who you were, and the elven nation in general. I am here to help, but you need to help yourself first and let your past go.”
Wynn kept his gaze firmly on the ground and thought for a few. Too much already. He quickly stood up and flashed a roguish smile towards Alanis.

“So we gonna fuck or not”

Alanis pulled her robes tighter across her body.

“Bye Wynn”.

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