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Great Reader

2263 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2020 :  06:46:46  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
The first taste is always free

02 JUN 2017

13 Eleasis 1372 1827 days have passed

Enalda and I stepped off the ship on the 10th and we were immediately overwhelmed by the oppressive heat. We knew we couldn’t don our armor in this weather, and our first stop off the boat was to purchase clothing for this climate.

What a busy city Assur is. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of different races of creature reside here without notice. People only glanced at us as we walked through the city, no stares, no murmurs, just sweet anonymity. I took a deep breath of the humid air as I felt a small weight off my chest.

We spent the day wandering the city, the plan being to familiarize ourselves with the city prior to heading to the temple the following day. Once we had our supplies, we went to the cheapest inn we could find, a salty establishment called “The Kraken’s Afterbirth.” We got what we paid for, a simple room, a watered-down beer, and some stale bread. The clientele all seemed to be pretty grizzled sailors. They minded their business, though, and no one seemed to care about us. While eating, I overheard some talk about how the inns were filling up and people were having trouble finding a place to sleep. The Temple jobs were attracting many people, it seemed.

On the 11th, we rose early and made our way to the already-long lines of the temple. It was already getting hot, even though the sun had yet to rise. We made our way to the end of the line and waited several bells. Some musicians had made their way to the temple, playing for coin, while merchants made their way up and down the lines selling umbrellas and water.

Our wait ended when a temple priest approached us and asked what we did. I didn’t quite understand what he meant by what we did. I eat, I breathe, I shit, why do you care? I pointed to my weapons and he clarified that he wanted to know what we were skilled at. I understood that a bit better and Enalda told him we were tavern security. Yeah, that’s probably the best way to put it. We were told to join a group and ushered into the temple.

Inside the temple, we sat with roughly 10 people when another priest entered to conduct an interview. He casted some sort of spell to require us to tell the truth. That was fine, there was no chance he was going to ask anything that I didn’t want to divulge. He began by asking several questions about if any had committed various crimes. The applicants filtered out until there were five of us. Enalda, myself, two men from the East, and a rather young man. The men were Danjo and Shino. As we were asked about our experience, Danjo divulged that he once led companies of men into battle and had slain many. It was really fascinating that one as calm as he had truly experienced so much. It made me slightly embarrassed to say that I had no actual combat experience. Shino was his companion, and we learned through the questioning, he seemed good at magical arts. The two of them seemed reluctant to speak of why they left their homeland. The young one was Sahil, a local with restorative abilities and the gift to create water, a vital ability in this environment.

Upon explaining our usefulness, we were given our task: travel the Southern trade road and investigate the reason for why the trade has stopped. We were given 100 crints to supply and were promised another 900 if we returned with information with a bonus available if we were to return with a lot of information. Made sense. We set out once again for more supplies and met with our new companions down by the docks, where a Hinn named Tuck, the assistant harbormaster. He offered us work and a place to stay for the night, guarding the warehouses. The inns were full and people were sleeping in the hot boats, so this seemed like a much better option.

On the 12th, we waited for the temple messenger by the dock. Upon his arrival, we showed him the coin we were given to show that we were not imposters and he led us to the temple. Tuck tagged along with Shino and Danjo. On our arrival, Tuck requested to join our group. The elegant lycan priest advised he would have to give up his harbormaster profession, which he did. We were made to sign a contract for the work and given a mark that meant we could not take on additional work until out job was done. Enalda spent a bell praying to her deity before we left, and I waited outside for her.

We set out a third time for more supplies, this time under the paid advice of a local Ranger. He seemed extremely knowledgeable about the environs and gave us a long shopping list which we immediately set out and stocked up. Tuck purchased two camels and a mule to carry the supplies.

We finally left the city that night, as the temperature began to finally drop. On our way out, we passed a massive grouping of tents outside the city. A city of tents, filled with people looking for work. It was truly fascinating to see so many people with nowhere to go.

We traveled the first day without any trouble. The heat was worse than previous days, but Shino and Sahil were able to keep us magically comfortable. What luck to be paired with these two.

The 13th brought us a couple of trials. Enalda was able to survey the skies and knew a storm would be upon us within the day, and we were at the worst possible location for a flash flood. We hustled as fast as we could for better ground when the rain set on us in an instant. A flash flood wave came crashing across the sands and knocked almost everyone down. I was able to stay on my feet, but only barely. Enalda lost her footing briefly, then stuck her weapon into the ground to balance herself and seeing that, I did the same. Around a half bell later, the rushing water was gone just like it had come. Looking around, we hadn’t lost anyone, but we did lose an entire barrel of whale fat. Danjo lost some tea, and Tuck lost some clothing, but otherwise we escaped the flood mostly unscathed.

A few bells later, as the sun was rising, we came upon some wagons that looked ransacked. Suspecting foul play, Enalda and I donned our chain shirts and approached slowly when our companions were fired upon with arrows. Three hobgoblins and a bugbear were hiding behind the wagons. Seeing my first opportunity to test myself, I ran for the biggest threat: The bugbear. Enalda followed me as Danjo fired an arrow back, slaying one immediately. The bugbear made to strike first with a mace, but I dodged out of the way and countered with a blow from my hammer. The hammer struck true to the beast’s chest, clearly breaking ribs. Enalda followed up with her blade as Tuck put a hobgoblin to sleep. The last remaining hobgoblin ran as fast as he could. Tuck, seeing this escapee, ran faster than I’ve ever seen someone run. I knew I couldn’t keep up, so I tied up the sleeping hobgoblin in the meantime. Perhaps we had already stumbled across what we were searching for? I can’t imagine this little band of miscreants was the entire reason, but maybe we could learn more from them.

It felt good to finally have physical release. Hoar gave me strength, and with it, I was able to turn this attack back on these bandits. Attack and be attacked.

Higher Atlar
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Posted - 11 Dec 2020 :  06:49:20  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The First Leg Completed

16 JUN 2017

18 Eleasis 1372: 1832 days have passed

Tuck had managed to kill the fleeing hobgoblin and returned to us. We tied the sleeping hobgoblin up as well as the bleeding bugbear. Danjo woke the bugbear up and tried to communicate with it, to no avail. The bugbear did not understand us, and we could not collectively speak a language it did understand. Finding the wounded bugbear useless, Danjo quickly ended his life with a quick stroke of his blade. I was not familiar with the type of blade he used, but he certainly handled it with finesse.

The now-waking hobgoblin witnessed this execution and stayed very calm and compliant, even though he, too, did not understand our language. Danjo made some hand gestures to the hobgoblin indicating that if he fled, he would die. The hobgoblin seemed to understand. We took him with us to turn him over to authorities.

The following day, we came upon a truly horrific sight. Another caravan of wagons, circled, and clearly ravaged. The bodies had been tied up and defiled. I lost focus on my surroundings and continued to walk forward. I could not hear my companions call to me. Had bandits been waiting, they surely would’ve gotten the jump on me. Though after what I witnessed, I would have relished welcoming them appropriately.

I cut the bonds that kept the bodies bound and freed what remained of the corpses. Their bones at rest, I held one hand and made a plea to Hoar. Please, let me find the lawless monsters who would commit such a heinous act that I may reap the seeds of revenge sown here. These were people with families, with futures, and all of that had been stolen from them and worse, they lived their last moments in shame and agony. I begged Hoar to please guide me, please call upon me to right this injustice. I would make them regret being born.

I couldn’t take it any longer. I had managed to compose myself and approach the grisly scene, but the rush of emotions overwhelmed me. I drew my hammer and proceeded to smash the wooden sawhorses that the bodies were previously bound to. The physical release would have normally helped me to calm down, but I was still furious. I grabbed the hobgoblin and dragged him to the bodies. Drawing my blade, I made it clear to him that if he had anything to do with this, his life was forfeit. He obviously didn’t respond to my shouting, waving my blade around, or kicking him in the face. Still unsatisfied, I spit in his face and walked away. Danjo, meaning well, sought to calm me. He placed his hand on my shoulder and tried to speak to me. It took all of my willpower to just push his arm away and not outright break his wrist. We have only been together a few days, I do not trust you to touch me, stranger. Next time, I might not hold back.

We left the caravan wreckage and began back South. In the middle of the next night, Tuck released our hobgoblin prisoner in an effort to learn where he was camped at. Three of us had been told to chase him to the North and we did as we were told. We were instructed to go an hour North, then return South while Tuck, Sahil, and Danjo tried to follow the hobgoblin’s tracks. Shino and Enalda both realized after running for a short time, that splitting up in the desert like this was a suicidal idea and that we should regroup immediately. It was fortunate that we did, as Tuck and Sahil found the hobgoblin’s track headed East, not North.

We made our way further East until we came across the hobgoblin’s dead body. Though we didn’t learn the exact location of his encampment, we knew the general direction and marked our location on our map for future reference. Danjo and Tuck spoke of a magic spell that would force the hobgoblin’s head to answer questions even after it had died, so they severed the head and carried it with them.

We traveled back West to the main road when we were set upon by another monsoon rain, this time without the flash flood. Our supplies sufficiently protected and covered, we were able to make it through without losses.

The following night we traveled down the road, when out from the ground burst two large black creatures. Sandstone gargoyles, I came to learn. They were tough beasts with thick hides, sharp claws wings, and a horn that came to a point. I became familiar with the horn part quickly, as the creature near Enalda and I attempted to impale me and left a sizable wound. I called upon Hoar to heal my wounds before returning the attack with an impaler of my own: the pointed side of my hammer. I struck hard and true, but the beast’s flesh resisted more than I anticipated and my attack didn’t have the effect I had expected. Enalda shielded me with her divine protection and struck the creature, having the same problem I did. Seeing this, I channeled Hoar’s fury upon the creature, and he guided my next swing through the natural defenses of this chaotic creature and I struck it straight to its core. The creature looked at me almost as if it was in disbelief. After another strike from my hammer, the creature had enough and flew away. I made an attempt to strike it with one of my javelins, but it was much too high.

In the meantime, our four other companions had managed to put the other gargoyle to sleep and kill it that way. The threat was gone and we moved on.

Smoke plumed over the horizon the next day. A raiding party had just set another caravan of wagons on fire. At Tuck’s suggestion, we all hunkered down and simply observed them. They went East, just like the hobgoblin. Once they were completely out of sight, we went to the burning caravan. Danjo and Shino’s attempt to put out the fire ended in disaster, as the water the poured mixed with and alchemical solution on the wagons and exploded. Enalda and I helped the two of them away from the fire and explosions and we decided to leave towards Lastarr with our hides intact. On the way, we saw another raiding party, but made sure to pick up the pace until they were out of sight once more.

At the gates of Lastarr, we were met by a very intimidating welcoming party. They meant business. We were encircled, told to lay down our weapons and explain ourselves. After explaining our purpose, the old man who seemed to be the leader, explained the laws of Lastarr to us and welcomed us in.

Inside the gates, we were quickly set upon by a crowd of people. I grew nervous as more and more people stared at us, calling my sister and I out directly, demanding answers to why noone could travel the roads and how come we were the only ones who could. We did our best to make our way through with minimal panic, but it was very difficult. I could feel my heart racing.

We went to the temple of Lucha to discuss having the spell cast on the head. After much deliberation, it became clear that this temple had no clue about the other temple’s operations, and would not aid us without compensation. The temple of Waukeen was a very similar result, 600 gold pieces to have the spell cast right away. This was too much and I grew very impatient, pacing around the room.

Once the talks were finally over, Sahil and I made our way to the market for information. Information was the entire purpose of our trip, after all. We sought out an alchemist and paid him 5 gold pieces to help us identify the black ooze we had seen burning the caravan. He called it “phlogiston” and said that when the ingredients are mixed together and water is added, it creates a violent reaction that explodes and burns. He said it was a fairly difficult concoction to come by, but not impossible. Sahil seems like a very bright young man, taking this information in and pondering it carefully.

At the end of the day, we went to rest at the Eye, an inn with very exotic entertainment and even more exotic clientele. A beholder barkeep and a Drow maitre d. My sister and I rented a room together and left the others to figure out what they wanted. In the center of this giant arena, a goblin troupe played a war drum beat. They had very admirable drumming ability. This was follower by a necromancer, summoning undead to play music underwater. How strange, indeed.

Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Posted - 11 Dec 2020 :  06:51:21  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A Thrice-Damned City

30 JUN 2017

20 Eleasis 1372: 1834 days have passed

There is a far seedier side to this city of “strict laws” than I had expected upon arrival. In the two short days, I learned that we were very much not welcome here.

After sitting through the necromancer’s undead drum act, we were served our meals for the night. Mutton stew for Enalda and I, simple rice for Sahil, and much more exotic dishes for the others. I hadn’t thought about lying low at this point, but I still didn’t want to stand out.

Tuck, absorbed in the atmosphere of the Eye, requested some sort of mixture to be added to a drink of his. His mood elevated quickly and he was much more jovial than usual. I was curious about the substance until I found out he spent a handful of gold for it, no thank you. After finishing his meal and drink, he left with a Hinn prostitute. To each their own, I suppose.

Shortly afterward, a Drow in a large hat made his way to our table. He dropped sacks of crints on our table with a message. Noone could read the message, but with the aid of Sahil’s magical abilities, he deciphered the text. The money was a gift, and we were to meet someone at a tailor’s shop on Guardian Way in two bells – Likely to discuss more work. I became wary immediately. I did not like this person picking us out of a crowd.

When Tuck had finished with his…acquaintance, we left for the tailor’s. We arrived a bit early, and while waiting, I was able to commission some silver coins with the symbol of Hoar stamped on them. I felt it may strengthen my relationship with the Doombringer, offering the tokens to those who seek vengeance such as I.

Enalda also entered and sought something engraved with Lucha’s symbol to be added to her scabbard. While I liked the idea, I was not surprised that it was not in stock. That would have to be custom-made for her. Perhaps if we are in town for a longer period in the future.

Afterwards, we entered the mostly-empty tailor shop. I had a bad vibe about this immediately. An old man, Suhl, approached us. He gave us a story about how he frequently paid for information and was looking to pay for us to travel South to Listenshire. He offered a massive quantity of crints for the work, again raising my suspicion. How did a man with nearly no stock and rising supply prices have so much money to toss around? On top of that, I was not sure how it would interfere with our current work. I didn’t like it one bit.

My suspicion only got worse when I politely asked if Suhl would let me use my Detect Chaos ability on him. He became very apprehensive immediately. He was stammering about how he didn’t know what the spell would do to him or how that would affect our deal or why it was necessary. I didn’t believe that he could live in a city like this and not know what this ability did. I assured him nothing would happen, used the detection on him, and came up with nothing. I gave him a gold piece for the hassle, even if he wasn’t an agent of chaos, his actions provided useful information to me.

In the end, we discussed it and left without giving a firm answer. I was against it, but a few of the others only saw more money to be had. They could accept his offer, but I would not. On our way back, we split up – Tuck and Sahil left for the Eye, Shino and Danjo to the camels, and Enalda and I went to resupply. I feel like Enalda and I may be the only ones taking our survival seriously.

Once back at the Inn, we reconvened in Enalda and I’s room. Tuck and Sahil told us of a Dwarf who approached them and delivered a warning under magical silence. He warned them not to trust the tailor, and that the tailor had sent many to their deaths already on the road to Listenshire. The Dwarf apparently made a hasty exit when he noticed the Drow approaching through a crystal ball. Later that evening, a message arrived from a delivery boy, advising them to “Seek the path to the sacred shrine.” We could only assume that came from the Dwarf.

Midway through our conversation, a scream could be heard from outside. We went out to find a woman in hysterics. She blubbered on about a dead body outside. We dashed for the door to find a dead Dwarf, his neck nearly severed, bleeding out on the street. Sahil and Tuck identified him as the Dwarf who delivered the warning. This gave me reason to believe the Dwarf over the tailor.

Shortly after, the Lastarr authorities showed up via some magical means – A massive giant and a very powerful-looking man. They questioned the audience after having us give him space. I complied immediately, wanting to assist in every way.

Tuck and Sahil were interviewed by the giant while I led the man to the terrified woman inside. They were finished speaking with us and teleported out just as they had arrived. Most of our entourage quickly dashed back to the room to discuss our next steps. Only Danjo lagged behind, valuing a free drink from the bartender more than the need to address our sudden danger – a foul-looking beverage that could be smelled quite a distance away. I did not believe that now was the time for dulling our wits. We all arrived at the same conclusion back at the room, though: Suhl and the Drow were dangerous and we needed to leave soon.

The room got very warm unnaturally quick and before we knew it, the hall outside of our room had been set ablaze. Danjo and Enalda made to bash the door down when I shoved them aside and went to work with my hammer. The hammer tore through the door in two well-placed hits, opening the passage and filling the room with smoke.

We had to get out. NOW.

Tuck put his fleet feet on and dashed down the hall through the flames. I looked over at the fool Danjo, who saw the encroaching flames and slammed his drink back in one gulp. I could not fathom his idiocy at a time like this, how utterly and moronically reckless. This man could be a danger to us soon, but I couldn’t contemplate this now. I made a mad dash through the fire and made sure to keep an eye on Shino behind me. His elder may be foolish, but Shino did not seem to share that trait. He was both wise and useful.

We rounded the corner and were met with a huge blast of water coming down the hall. I managed to duck under it in time, but Shino did not and was swept up in the current. He made a quick recovery and followed me down the now-extinguished part of the hallway.

A priest of some water diety I could not identify was channeling these huge torrents. She called to us, “Are there more?” We replied, “Yes!” She acknowledged our answer and ordered us to keep moving, quickly.

Outside the fire and water, Shino and I had made it. Shortly after, Danjo emerged from the flames mostly unharmed. He looked at Shino briefly, seeing that he had also made it out, then passed out. It didn’t take a doctor to see that the drink had finally hit him. Wonderful, now I had to carry this troglodyte’s asshole out.

In the lobby, Tuck advised us to stay put while he went back towards the rooms. The maitre d demanded we make our way out to the street. I didn’t want to risk more lives by further crowding the exit and went outside to wait for Tuck. This ended up being a poor decision.

Outside, among the crowd, I thought there wasn’t anything to worry about. The fire was inside, and we were away from the fire. I was wrong. I came to this realization seconds after I felt a sharp pain in my neck. A crossbow bolt, but it was tipped with something. I struggled mightily against wave after wave of lethargy that passed through my body. Very soon after, my entirety became limp. I dropped Danjo to the ground, but he still did not wake. I followed shortly after.

Enalda immediately came to my aid. She hoisted me over her shoulder and made her way to the temple of Lucha. I could see, but I could do nothing else. Shino had picked up Danjo while Sahil followed. We came under further fire and I could hear the bolts showering my brave sister. Some I could hear clang against her armor, but others made a much more sickening sound. I could offer a prayer to Hoar. Once again, I came begging to the Doombringer. Please, deliver us from this danger. Guide my body and soul that I may have my revenge on this Drow. He had injured my sister, and for that he would pay.

It was getting difficult for me to breathe. We got to the temple and Enalda quickly demanded to be let in as more bolts hit the doors. The guards reluctantly let us in. They immediately looked at our wounds and tended to them. It was explained to me that the poison I was struck with was called the Tears of Death. I was only minutes from dying had they not aided me. My body ached with pain all over as if I had just been in a dozen bar brawls. The temple let us stay the night for our safety. It was only now that I had noticed the absence of Tuck. I do not know if he had just been completely separated from us, ran, or was killed. I suspected he had fled, but hoped he just found a safe place for the night.

The following day, I had a thought. I suspected that the crints we were given somehow allowed the Drow to track us. I had to think of a way to discard them safely. The priests offered to retrieve supplies for us prior to us leaving. Enalda and I sent them out with some coin to grab supplies.

A short time later, the priest returned visibly upset. He claimed that we had given him fake money! I told him in earnest that we had been deceived by Suhl and would gladly subject ourselves to a Zone of Truth to prove our innocence. The priest chuckled and smugly said we didn’t have a choice in the matter, as if he was proud to catch some sort of criminal. They stripped us of our equipment and shackled us together. We were led by guards down the street to the temple of Tyr where we would be interrogated. This was a terrible idea with the assassin still loose, but we had no choice. Surely the guards would be strong enough to deliver us safely, right?

Wrong again. The guards dropped in front of us as I glanced up to the rooftops and saw the Drow. Sahil and I called him out and drew the public attention to him. He continued firing, dropping Shino and Sahil both. It became nigh impossible to move with the dead weight on the shackles. Luckily a gnome dashed to our side and covered us in an obscuring mist. This was no gnome, though, but our pal Tuck in disguise. I couldn’t have been happier to see him. He picked the locks on my chains and I was able to carry Sahil.

Before I could get him to safety, a massive ring of fire surrounded us followed by a shifting prismatic sphere. The authorities had finally arrived, led by a heroic figure in plate mail. He assured our safety and took us back to the temple of Lucha where we explained everything to a priest of Tyr. They made another effort to gather our supplies and even gave us the cover of a camouflaging spell, giving us invisibility for a good period of time.

Outside, we made our way to the sacred shrine described in the note. Sahil and Tuck had managed to ascertain its whereabouts. I felt it important to report back to Assur and deliver the information we had. We were not sent for heroics, but for information of which we had gathered a lot. I was the lone voice speaking this, however, and I could not venture out by myself, so we went East instead.

A pair of pterafolk descended upon us and though they were rather intimidating, they were all squawk and no bite. Once the first one had been slain, the second made a wise decision to keep on flying.
2 days have passed since the Drow incident.

Higher Atlar
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Posted - 11 Dec 2020 :  06:53:41  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A Motley Crew

28 JUL 2017

23 Eleasis 1372: 1837 days have passed

5 days have passed since the Drow incident

These past couple weeks I have grown to know my companions a little better, and I feel the need to document this in the event that one of them turns on me.

Tuck Arbuckle:
A worldly Hin standing approximately 3 1/2 feet tall. Average build but with a slightly vacant look in his eyes. This worldly traveler is a master of disguising himself, becoming completely unrecognizable to the untrained eye. He is very focused on his personal gain, but he does not seem as though he would abandon an ally as long as it does not cost him anything. That said, He values more than just coin. He seems to value experiences as well – including but not limited to recreational drug use and prostitution. He is very sly and very witty and has a sharp mind that has helped us numerous times. However, I feel like that would give him the greatest edge over me in the event of betrayal. He is skilled with some basic magics that enable him to turn invisible, put people to sleep, and even run at a great speed. However, the only combat prowess I have witnessed so far has been with a small shortbow. I don’t know if that is all that he can do or if that is all that he has let on. The man can read Drow. He does not seem to take well to the Drow race themselves, though I cannot blame him. Seemingly positive at all times, I feel that Tuck could be a great ally or a terrible foe depending on who is holding the money.

Sahil is a quiet and gentle young man. I feel that he poses zero threat to me now or in the future. The man walks with a peaceful demeanor and only fights when it is his last resort. In fact, I’m not entirely sure I’ve seen him fight at all. The man is gifted magically. Healing and aide spells protect us from this blistering heat and repair our injuries as necessary. He is a very sheltered youth. I feel that Sahil would never betray anyone as long as he wasn’t being forced to. I feel that were I to cross him, he would not seek vengeance and at worst would simply ignore me and walk away. I respect him, not only for his abilities but for his calm demeanor and his coolness under pressure. He’s a fairly frail human standing approximately six feet tall and maybe weighing 125 lbs. He is very lean. He prays to the adama in its entirety. He does not seem to focus on the worship of one specific deity.

Shino is a lean, graceful, and muscular man from the land of Wa. Shino follows Danjo as some sort of indentured servant or perhaps as repayment for some sort of debt. Maybe even as a teacher/student relationship. I’ve witnessed Shino utilize a multi-section staff – likely a weapon from Wa – as well as conjured magical flame. His abilities are not limited to just offensive as he has also been a key part in our magical protection from our environment. Shino is a human roughly six feet tall of Wa descent. He has dark hair and is approximately 200 lbs of very lean muscle. He is younger than Danjo, but I feel he holds more composure than his master. He seems to be wise, calm, and collected with the capability to fell mighty foes. Shino’s alliance seems to purely be with Danjo, though I would like it if he would remain my companion for future adventures. I feel that that is entirely dependent on where Danjo goes. That said, I don’t feel like I have anything to worry about from him given that Danjo does not turn against me.

Danjo is an older man of Wa. He also stands about six feet tall and weighs roughly 200 lbs. I have witnessed Danjo wield both a long bow and a foreign Wa blade that he refers to as a katana. Danjo is a mighty warrior and if his words are to be believed, he has seen a lot of combat in Wa. Danjo gives the impression that he is no longer welcome in his homeland, though he has not specified why. That said, Danjo has made very little effort to not stand out in a crowd. This has become a bit of a hindrance to our group as Danjo goes out of his way in every shape and form to show that he is not of this land, that he is a traveler. Normally this would not be such a problem if we did not have Drow and Barghest trying to assassinate us. Furthermore, Danjo has proven unable to act rationally in some situations. Case in point, the event at The Eye where we knew that an assassin was watching our every move. Danjo ordered the strongest drink he could. A drink that he should have had no question about how strong it was. And even in that situation, Danjo felt it was a good idea to chug this drink as fire crept up around our lodging. Needless to say, Danjo did not remain conscious shortly after, forcing Enalda, Shino, and Sahil to fend off the assassin after I had been struck. A man of his strength and experience I feel should not have made such a foolish decision. He knowingly and willingly put our entire party at great risk in a time of desperate need. Despite his poor judgments, he has proven to be an asset at times, particularly in combat with the beasts of the desert. I feel that Danjo, though he may turn against me someday, may not be a huge physical threat. I do not see any capabilities beyond his skills with weapons, and I like my chances in a fight, which, funny enough, he has asked to spar with me should we get a free moment. Hahahaha.

Higher Atlar
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Posted - 11 Dec 2020 :  06:55:44  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unnatural Killers

11 AUG 2017

8 Eleint 1372: 1852 days have passed

20 days have passed since the Drow incident

There is something more than a minor disturbance in this area. Ghastly, otherworldly beasts of chaos roam this desert. Beasts that we are ill-equipped to fight. I do not know which was worse, the vicious birdlike creatures, or the horrifying nightmare sludge.

It started with the bird creature. First, one flying by itself lazily overhead as we were camped. We kept an eye on it as it circled us. I blinked and there were suddenly two. At first I wasn’t sure if I was hallucinating from the heat, but sure enough, they landed a short distance away. Tuck had conjured an illusion of some giant ballista, but they weren’t convinced. The idea was good, the execution, poor.

Once they touched down, they began some weird dancing ritual. We all looked at each other trying to figure it out when the purpose exploded all around us. They had the ability to detonate explosions from their bodies at a considerable distance.

Sahil began by cloaking us in mist, then turning into a tree. I could somewhat understand the mist, though I’m sure that would not have stopped the explosions. I could not figure out the tree thing, however. Perhaps his mind had lept back to the tangle vine and he simply did what worked last time. Regardless, it was not helpful, but I couldn’t be too upset with him.

I stood at the edge of the mist, able to just make out their forms when soon there were many of them. This seemed different from when the second had joined and it made me suspect an illusion of some sort. Calling Hoar’s guidance to identify chaos, the illusion was ineffective to me. This creature would soon feel pain.

Danjo, Shino, and Tuck stood outside the mist, lobbing ranged attacks to no effect. I knew I had to stop the creatures as my companions were not making any headway. I charged into the first one and, pleading to Hoar, struck the beast to its core with my hammer. It shrieked a horrible sound, some language I didn’t understand, and I shouted back.

Enalda has joined me shortly thereafter, bringing her trusty shield arm to my side and fending the second from my flank. She called the aid of her god, and stood diligently by my side. And I needed her for the beasts’ assaults. One after another, the two rapidly tore into my body. As Danjo’s blade bounced off their flesh, Tuck’s arrows missed, and Shino’s flames only barely singing their ass hairs, it was clear the beasts were not concerned with anyone aside from my sister and I.

Twelve times. Twelve times I had nearly succumbed to my ravaged body only to be pulled back by Hoar himself. In the midst of all this, my sister suffered a gruesome wound to her throat that I treated as best I could immediately. As if it wasn’t enough, the beasts showered us in some sort of spore that cause vines to burrow deep into our skin and further peel the flesh from my body. I surely thought we were dead. Once Enalda and I fell, there would be nothing my companions would be able to do to them and they would be picked off easily. I knew they were trying, but they were entirely outmatched, and it was only divine intervention that allowed me to stand up to these things at all.

I made swing after swing at the beast. The second one disarmed me of my hammer, so I pulled the sword from my back and continued. Hoar guides my arm and hand, not my weapon. After another swing, one beast grabbed my hammer and vanished. Then the other followed. I nearly breathed a small sigh, the beasts were gone and my hammer was the only casualty. While I had grown fond of the weapon, and had worn grooves into the handle that fit my hands just right, it was not overly sentimental to me. My dagger would have been a different story.

As I was halfway through the aforementioned sigh, I was cut off by the vines pouring out of my body. I could see Enalda beside me, similarly entangled and worse, she couldn’t breathe still. Our companions helped cut the vines off, even tried burning them, but that only hurt us more and didn’t seem to phase the vines. We stood next to each other, calling forth the last drops of healing we could when the vines finally stopped. They were cut off shortly after, but we were horribly scarred from them. We had these disgusting growths all over and Enalda still couldn’t speak. I tended her wound with all the knowledge of first aid I could. I was able to open her airway at the very least, and get her to breathe fully. Her vocal chords were still wounded, but with proper care, I think she will recover.

The following day, we encountered another living nightmare. A semi-solid, tentacled monstrosity. This…thing did not hold a shape or form for long, as it rolled along the ground like a disgusting wave. Hoar told me right away that this thing was another agent of chaos, and a fierce one at that. It burst from the ground beneath Danjo and Shino. I stood my ground, ready to do battle when I witnessed a most unnatural event. Danjo and Shino had become a boiling pile of screaming sludge. It was completely horrific. Not only had they melted from just a simple touch from the beast, their belongings were seemingly gone as well. I had no way to fight this thing if it melted everything by touching it. If my sword melted, then I would effectively be unarmed, and I couldn’t punch it without melting myself. I had to cut the loss of Danjo and Shino and flee, before I fell to the same fate.

The creature was relentless, it would not stop chasing us. Thankfully for us, Tuck had discerned how to use one of our new magical staves to emit bright explosions of burning light. What a fantastic item, I thought, as long as it holds out. I knew staves only had a limited amount of power in them, and I hope it had enough.

As luck had it, the staff was able to destroy the creature after several blasts. Even better, Danjo and Shino were able to recover somehow and we even found most of their equipment. I cannot fathom what those two went through, but there is no way that this creature is natural to the desert.

We moved North after that, into the hills where we came across some Grigg Sprites. Curious and playful, it was a nice respite from the bloodthirsty demons we had been encountering. Even a small brownie came to greet us and we learned about the surrounding land. It was quite pleasant, a small wooded oasis, really. We even ran into a moving, talking tree who blocked our way, asked what we were doing and where we were going, then told us he wasn’t interested and that it didn’t matter to him. Curious, but no threat.

I had been picking at my vine pods that night when the memories of the bird demons rushed back to my mind. Seeing my sister’s pristine and caring face marred by these disgusting things and her throat slashed so I could not hear her soothing voice overwhelmed me and I lashed out at my companions, blaming them for this. I voiced that we should head back to Assur, that the things we are facing, we are not prepared for. I knew Assur would have it’s own problems, but I don’t feel like they would turn me into a humanoid puddle.

I was met with disagreement, Tuck and Danjo even had the gall to say I was afraid. Afraid! Had Hoar not brought me back from the brink of death TWELVE times, those demons would have had their way with you, you smug assholes. This isn’t fear, you ingrates, this is knowing when we are outmatched. I sought Sahil and Shino’s advice. I knew them to be the calmer, wiser voices in the group. they did not agree with me either, but Sahil did point out that our current locale was much nicer than what Assur would be, or Lastarr, or the desert. I couldn’t disagree with that, but we would not be here much longer.

I made my ultimatum: if Enalda and I were to be stranded in another fight like that, we were leaving back to Assur with or without them. You see, Hoar had rewarded my valor the previous day with a glimpse of his magical power. Magical power I could call my own. Magical power that would grant us passage through the desert. Enalda and I had a path back to Assur if we wanted it, and we weren’t keen about this suicide mission.

It’s easy to be tough and fearless when you aren’t being butchered.

Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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