"Sunday's Game" - The Exodus

Up to Date

Evening readers! I’ve been adjusting the dates of the posts to more accurately reflect when they actually occurred, but, right now, I think I’ve got them, at least, in order. So, without further ado – here is what was once “Sunday’s Game”!

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Road to Nowhere

Always in a rush. Just now got back to the Exodus, and it seems we’re set to move out again. Fharlanghn, give me strength, but this seems like we’re on a road to nowhere.

(The Incident with the Hag) – We left Brinfell fairly hastily, as it seemed as we didn’t do our job properly, and, we lost track of both the dopplegangers and the Count. Fine. Whatever. The Road goes ever forward. One day, in our travels back home, we encountered a remarkably tall woman, nearing seven feet – we approached her cautiously, as she seemed to want no troubles. Mae, however, seemed to note something odd about here, besides the height, obviously. I believe she said she noticed that the woman was even taller a moment before, and she had shrunk when we got within sight of her. Elves and their eyes, y’know. And of course, her suspicions weren’t unfounded – as soon as we began to pass her, a thick mist emerged from her. She lunged at a number of people inside the mist, and we heard horrific ripping sounds – in the confusion of the combat, I can’t say who finally put her down – but, when the mist dispersed, I was horrified to see Renzo disemboweled, his innards spilling out onto the road.

But, all was not lost – miraculously, Renzo seemed to slowly piece himself together, as I’ve always heard trolls could do. Over a course of minutes, his stomach sealed itself shut, and Renzo awoke – clearly in pain, but, alive, to be sure. It seems as if our young troll is growing to be much like his other kinds very quickly.

(The Incident with the Howlers) – I don’t understand where these beasts came from – there was a small plague of them a few days into our trip – a strange mix of porcupine and dog, these things attacked us without any provocation – they weren’t difficult to fend off, but my curiousity is so much that I can’t help but wonder why brought these things to these parts. The first group of these howling dogs we encountered hungrily devouring a deer – natural enough. But as soon as they caught sight of us, they left their pray in the middle of the road, and charged. We were attacked later that evening by a number more of them, as well. Renzo was certainly a bit more brave than usual when he fought them off, now knowing that his wounds were only temporary – and I’m glad for that, less for me to worry about.

(The Incident with the Lizardmen) – Apparently we’ve upset a number of the locals in our travels. Our first encounter with the lizardfolk happened in the dead of night, as, suddenly, the very enviroment around us pinned us to the ground. A lizard man hissed at us, demanding that the peoples that were setting fires to his forests come forward – of course, while we were partly responsible, it was certainly in no ways intentional. Despite Franklin and Ru arguing this point, there was no calming the lizardman. Suddenly, there was a number of spells being thrown from the lizardman and Franklin alike, both adamant in setting each other ablaze. Renzo struggled free, and, Fharlanghn let me move of my own accord, thankfully (although I forgot he gave that blessing to me at first – I was still half-asleep, if you recall). The battle degernated quickly once Renzo was out and atop the lizardman, and, while the lizardman spent some time hiding in the earth itself, it helped him little. I blessed Renzo with the power of flight, and Renzo used this to help the others out of the entanglement – and then swoop down and tackle our query once he emerged again.

“He was delicious,” Renzo was heard to say later.

A few days later, we encountered what seemed to be a band of lizardmen, who were intent on finding someone called the “Rotting One”. They could only have meant Franklin, of course. After some debate amongst themselves, my group decided not to sell Franklin off – Mae actually initiated the fight between by entangling this lizardfolk band (the leader then entangled us with the same spell, of course). A fight broke out, but it didn’t last long – after cutting down a number of them, Ru shouted at them to “call off his dogs”. The leader, standing not ten feet away from a raging Renzo, decided that it would be best if he collect his dead. After a few short words between the two parties, they collected their dead and left us be. No doubt we’ll see them again, but, at least this was settled before anyone else got killed.

(The Incident with Shadows and Hicks) – We met a man named “Roy” on the way back to the Exodus. He seemed like… the simple kind of man, and his main interests seemed to be in finding “his pigs”. He had, in tow, three boars, and, from what he was saying, he seemed interested in getting more. After some words, the party decided to let Roy come along, although Thenar warned (and rightly so) that we seemed to attract all manners of bad things – this couldn’t be more true.

Later, during that evening, we were setting up camp. Roy sat against some rocks and tried to sleep while Ru worked on another trap. However, before he could finish it, the people working on the trap seemed to notice something odd moving towards the camp – “shadows”, someone said, and before I knew it, they were upon us. Thenar looked panicked for a moment, as he remembered what these things could do (his first encounter with them was when he had just finished his masterwork plate, and he was feeling particularly brave, then the shadows went through it like so much wet paper), but was quick to act with the rest of the party in pulling out a holy water. Franklin quickly cut one of the shadows down with his magic missles, but, afterwards, they dove underground, hiding from our site. Most everyone redied holy water to splash on the shades once they showed themselves again, and, unfortunately, most of them threw the water when they did.

The shadows all emerged under Franklin, and I think all but one of us threw the water in his direction – Franklin, being undead, took the brunt of the water, his skin sizzling and burning – it seriously injured one of the shades as well, but, Franklin didn’t seem imediately concerned with that. The shades flew up and over Franklin after that (as they seemed to have no effect on him), and dove towards Tindel. Our new friend, Roy, seemed a bit panicked by this – and suddenly, he took on the shape of some strange boar-man, and charged his way out of the camp, boars panicked and fighting their way out as well. It was chaos, to say the least. When the dust settled, though, the shadows were destroyed, Roy was dead, his boars ran off, and Lortes had turned into a shade himself – and sadly, he wasn’t free of the influences of the beasts that spawned him, and turned on us – and we had to put him down as well.

This put a huge damper on the spirits of the party. While we were getting closer to home, losing Lortes wasn’t easy. He was exceptionally loyal, and died defending Ru. We gave him a proper Fharlanghnian burial, and Ru and Mae worked up an proper marker for him. Ru then devised a horrific trap that would be set if anyone decided to loot Lorte’s grave. After resting the rest of the evening, we picked up our things, and prepared to move on.

(The Incident with Qutaybah) – One morning, we were visited by a giant of a man named Qutaybah. He claimed to be an explorer and a merchant, and he proved to be great company, even in the early morning hours. Panbatter awoke and made breakfast for everyone, treating our guest to a great meal, and the rest of the party sat with him, making conversation, asking where he came from, what he was doing out in this wilderness. It turns out he is from some place called the “Plane of Air”, as he put it, in some city set off. Another thing to put on my list of places to visit. He made light trade with us, rewarding Panbatter a set of exotic spices for her cooking, and traded a number of diamonds, to help with our efforts in bringing Franklin back to the world of the living (an issue I intend to resolve soon, as I don’t want my abilities to turn the undead to be restricted by his presence anymore). He spent a number of hours with us, and, as we set out to leave, he wished us good luck – and we went our seperate ways.

(The Incident with the Medusa and Ederraswen) – I don’t remember much about this particular incident, as I lost three days to it. We were not far fro the Exodus at all, and in fact we were following the same river that they were at this point – we saw what appeared to be a young woman, bleeding heavily in the river. A number of us rushed to help her, and, as I put my hand on her, she turned – and then, I awoke, with my Brent, my sponsor, the head of the Church in the Exodus. Apparently, I was turned to stone by the very gaze of the woman, as was Panbatter. I awoke stiff as you could imagine, and amidst chaos – my friends were all darting about looking for magics to help Panbatter out of her enchantment. And from under their breath came the word “Ederraswen”.

It seemed as Ederraswen had means to restore Panbatter, but was being stingy with it. Thenar, Tindel and myself visited her, with intentions of getting whatever means she had away from her. She smelled of cheap wine when we approached her, and, she seemed to be in remarkably good spirits. She told us that she had two devices that she could part with – a wand with a few charges left on it that would break the enchantment, and a scroll – the scroll she seemed particularly eager to hold on to. While we were talking with her, a man that looked much like Franklin, except with what may have been clown makeup and a moustache approached – he claimed to have been summoned by me to identify this wand. He was quickly told to “fuck off” by Ederraswen, and dejected, he did. Tindel finally broke down and said, “fine, we’ll take it,” dropped the gold she demanded, and we set off to have it identified.

Frankling spent an hour analyzing it, and discovered what it truly was – a wand of a shatterspell. This would have broken the enchantment on Panbatter alright – into a thousand tiny pieces. She lied flagrantly to us, and she was going to pay for it. We set forth quickly to the Exodus authorities, and to the cart of Ederraswen herself – but she was long gone. Through some freak chance, she apparently left the scroll she was so adamant about keeping behind – and so, we were able to recover Panbatter from her solid state.

And now, the kid gloves are off. She had full intentions to shatter Panbatter to pieces. Mae is hot on the trail, with the help of Renzo’s nose, and we’re going to ride her down like a dog. Seems as we’re about to be on our way, then… I’ll be sure to write more later.

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Bloodlines: Part Three

Dopplegangers, harpies and puppy mutilation. These are the days of our lives.

How I’ve survived this long with this party I don’t know. They’re excellent together in battle, but, as soon as we reach any sort of civilization, everything falls apart. Between the Count escaping our capture (well, not our capture, as he technically escaped the king’s prisons), the struggle with Ru’s literal inner demons and Ru’s particular penchant for decapitating puppies (Ru insists that the dog is fine, but, that’s not the word around town), well… it’s safe to say that I’m glad we’re back on the road.

We left the Count’s hunting lodge to the city of nobles (Brinfall), and with only two minor incidents (a scouting party of stinky lizard men and an exceptionally stupid ettin – who, assuredly, as NOT a cleric in disguise), we arrived. That’s where the trouble began. Well, no, the trouble began quite some time ago. This is simply where the trouble decided to trapse around for awhile and make my life miserable.

Brinfall was home to a fairly respectable temple of Fharlanghn, with the only exception that it was usually attended by an egg-fart of a man who calls himself “Forestwalker”. This was my first stop, after we turned the Count in to the city guard. Franklin joined me, as he seemed to have a lot to talk to Fharlanghn about – I let him be, for the most part, though I watched over him to make sure none of the other clergy bothered him.

The rest of the party went about with their own activities. Ru disappeared for a bit, and came back with jewelry I hadn’t seen him with before. I can only assume that he got this legitimately and not at the expense of others. Panbatter was pleased at her earnings at a local restaurant (and the locals were pleased with her. She was offered some position in the kitchen, and, from the sounds of it, she almost took it). Franklin kept to prayer, Thenar kept to the forges, Renzo, generally, kept low (and Tindel with him). Mae, in her travels, discovered a little girl in an alleyway, battered in bruised.

She, of course, brought her immediately to me. The girl’s parents had apparently been abducted by a trio of men, one of which carried a black sword. Upon hearing this news, Ru threw his sword down in the church, asking it to be locked away. I’m not entirely sure, admittedly, what was going on in Ru’s head, but, he seemed intent on keeping himself away from people. I doubted that he had anything to do with this girl’s troubles, but he wasn’t so convinced, apparently.

Ru locked himself in his room that evening, which was understandable – he clearly felt he wasn’t in contol of himself, and from what I heard transpired that evening, I don’t blame him. Apparently, with Mae standing guard at the door, Ru appeared to her out of his room – in the flesh, asking for her help, saying “I need you to come along, I don’t want to hurt anyone else.” Mae was concerned, obviously, but, mistrustful. (She later revealed that she knew what was going on with Nesterfettle, but she wasn’t sure what he was capable of – so, her mistrust in this situation was appropriate as well). When she opened the door to Ru’s room, he was still inside – and, simultaneously, he was bolting down the hallway. When Ru came about in his room, he stood up and ran out of the room as well. The chase spilled out into the street, a pair of Ru’s being chased by Mae and Franklin. Renzo slept peacefully.

A confusing bit of battle occured in a nearby alleyway, which ended with a pair of unconcious and lightly singed "Ru"s (courtesy of Franklin). When I was awoken and told of the situation, I thought it best that we move these two to the church of Pelor, as they’re more adept to situations like these. And, as “Forestwalker” (idiot) was still missing (off on some prance through the forest, no doubt), he would be no help. So, the Pelorian church it was.

We carried the "Ru"s to the church, and, upon explaining the situation, the Pelorians quickly constructed a magic circle to contain them in. When they awoke, Ru explained everything he knew about Nesterfettle – apparently, he had been troubled by a possessing spirit, which was introduced to him by Mae, when we had the encounter with the ettin (the ettin that was a cleric, not the ettin that was an idiot. Although…). Upon hearing this, the Pelorians advised that we all have a means to keep this spirit at bay. Franklin took up the task, creating four protective necklaces with the symbol of Fharlangh. For a wretched undead, he makes me proud.

The necklaces took a few days to construct. In that time, of course, the Count that we had captured, apparently, escaped (under strange circumstances, too, as he had no means to cast spells before, and then, suddenly, the means were no longer needed). The king had already awarded us for our troubles once, and we seriously contemplated, after this time in the city, letting it remain his problem. But, guilt got the best of us, and Ru was sent to consult the king (which Ru, you ask? Good question. The other “Ru” was apparently a shapeshifter of some sort – he was shipped off to the jails almost immediately). After a brief meeting with him, Ru told us the king would agree to another reward if they were to capture Von Denn once again. So, we were on the hunt again.

However – we had trouble finding any kind of lead. The Count, apparently, had a penchant for disappearing. Mae and Renzo encountered a bit of a clue, though, as they met two more shapechangers. After some mincing of words, and confusion at the jailhouse, they struck a deal with us – they let their other friend out (the one that was impersonating Ru, and, as it turns out, the little girl I mentioned earlier), and they tells us where our Count is. Thenar, being a master of diplomacy, helped to settle the matter quickly. The shifters were out, and they told us where to find him.

Apparently, this trio of dopplegangers had a treefort outside of the city, but were muscled out by harpies. Also, apparently, the Count had made it out of the city walls and made some sort of deal with the foul beasts. So, according to them, the Count was perched up in some strange birdhouse, plotting his next move. This was a lie, of course.

We explored the treehouse, and we did, indeed, find harpies. The bird-beasts were using magic devices that were ENTIRELY unsuited to fights in trees (fireballs, OTHER trees), and, after nearly burning the tree down, the avian idiots managed to destroy the tree fort. The last of the harpies, in despiration, dropped a tree token on the top-most level, nearly taking the whole thing down and us with it. We managed to uproot the tree (well, Renzo and his pure, brute strength did, for the most part) and get the hell out before the whole thing came apart.

And did we find the Count cowering within? No, of course not. Did we find the shapeshifters once we returned to the city? No. No, not at all. And, with this particular series of events, I’m happy to say we’re on our way home.

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Bloodlines: Part Two

Still trying to catch up to current events, so, I’ll make this brief.

After resting a bit, and after I restored Thenar’s strength (which had been drained away by the shadows), we moved back into the keep, to seek out the evidence that the Count needed. It was a harrowing experience, to say the least. An undead cleric who was praying to Ishmin, I believe, accosted us when we encountered him at his altar. He tried summoning something up to fight us, but, to no avail. I think Ishmin was pleased that we paid some respects to his shrine, and would not move against us. We took him down swiftly, as he was by himself, and then we moved on.

If I recall correctly, we encountered a trio of mummies next. I don’t recall the exact order of things, admittedly, mostly because one of them hit me so hard it rattled my brain. After resetting my jaw and healing it with magics, I helped to keep the mummies at bay from Mae and Panbatter, who were paralyzed with dread upon seeing the beasts. We caught on quickly to the idea of setting them ablaze – they lit up REAL good.

Perhaps the most difficult time we had in the keep was when we encountered to devilish creatures – one was a man covered head to toe in barbed chains, and another was a guant, skeletal figure with a scorpion’s tail. The chain devil gave us little trouble, but the scorpion devil used powerful magics to keep us at bay – walls of ice sprung out of nothingness while the devil disappeared and reappeared across the room. Finally, with the help of a late-arriving Franklin, we were able to chase the beast off – but, no doubt we’ll see it again.

Lastly, in the keep, we encountered all the evidence we needed. Perhaps I’ll go into more detail as to what was going on here, but, in short, the prince that linked von Denn to the king was once a resident here, and slaughtered most of the keep. And, we discovered, he was still a resident today. A skeletal figure with a lashing tongue, horns on his head and black sword in his hand, this sunnuvabitch hit hard. Nearly killing Panbatter with a single blow, and coming close to cleaving Tindel in two, it was safe to say that taking this thing down was no fun at all. But, I write this today, and it’s obvious I survived the beast, as did the rest of the party, and we left that place with the prince’s ring – all the evidence we needed.

Of course, there was the issue with von Denn. Once we returned, he attempted to betray us, but the Franklin and Ru’s moxy somehow convinced the half-wit to come closer to them, and they beat five shades of shit out of him. Bound and gagged, we started off to the capital city of the Noble Lands, to turn this dolt in for treason. Just another day, it seems, for this lot.

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Bloodlines: Part One

Daniel here. I’ll make this brief, as I have a lot of catching up to do.

Nobles. They seem so content to simply sit in their homes, as if that is the end of their travels. You will not find many nobles in the church of Fharlanghn, as the road is often too harsh for them. They know nothing of adventure and the eternal pilgrimage. But I suppose that leaves the road clearer for those that want to take up the trip.

I apologize. My mind was wandering. After our harrowing experience with Edarraswen in Iredell, we thought it best to perhaps volunteer ourselves for a job outside of the Exodus for a bit. So, we were assigned to scout a nearby offshoot of the Great River, to see if there were any settlements worth stopping in. Of course, they’re likely twiddling their thumbs now, wondering why we’ve yet to return, as we’ve been gone a solid week. We found many things of interest down this way, to be sure, but of what use they would be to the Exodus, I do not know.

Our first encounter with a noble was with an old man whom seemed determined to have one last hunt. We were passing by a fairly large estate, when a pair of men were heard to be arguing. The older of the two demanded that he be left alone and that he be allowed to hunt a bear. Apparently a large bear had been ravaging local folk and foresters for the past two months, only leaving one to tell the tale. The younger of the two men approached us, in secret, asking that we accompany his father (the older of the two, obviously) as “trackers”. He wanted to ensure his father’s safety. It was a good thing that he did, admittedly, for what we saw.

Our first night tracking the bear proved fruitless. In the night, however, we were provided SOME manner of clue. While we were sleeping, we were set upon by a group of goblins, who seemed intent on lighting our camp ablaze. They did a relatively good job of it, too, admittedly, lighting the lord’s tent on fire as well as the surrounding trees. Still, they were simply goblins – we fought them down quickly, and only a pair got away from us.

The next day we set out only to encounter more trouble – this time, ettercaps. We nearly stumbled into one of their traps, as one of them taunted us across the road. Tindel, thankfully, spotted it before he fell into it. We gave chase to the ettercap only to be set upon by another, and a pair of giant spiders. For a good duration of the battle, I was caught up in the ettercap’s webbing, unable to help poor Tindel who, once again, found himself envenomed. The lord we were guiding was worse for wear. He was blanketed in ettercap silk, almost a formless blob. Franklin, thinking himself clever, set fire to the web, and set a good portion of the forest ablaze. This was, undoubtedly a clue for the others that were just now catching up to us – simply follow the path of devistation, and you shall find us.

The lord kept trying to sneak off, and, for some reason the idea of wearbears came to mind amidst the party. I said nothing. It’s better to have them fearful than to be reckless like they often are. After the ettercap battle, the lord attempted to sneak off once more, and succeeded long enough to be caught by a neighboring noble. There was obviously some manner of issue between them, as this new noble accused ours of poaching. We talked this man down, promising that this will be our last hunt. And, in these parts, I certainly hope it was.

Finally, we encountered the bear, though. But, as nothing is simply that easy for us, this hunt would not be conluded with a simple shot of the bow either. While we approached the bear looked relatively docile, as soon as we came within bow range of it, it turned to us, eyes feral and wild. And, of course, it’s teeth began to glow, which was offsetting. We soon discovered that we were not the only hunters in the woods, and were quickly surrounded by goblins, all toting shortbows. They let loose their arrows at us, and the bear cut into us as well. Thankfully, ‘Renzo and the others put the bear down quickly, and we were able to take down the rest of the goblins down with relative ease – save, of course for the entagling vines that sprung up from the ground, the work of some haggardly goblin matronwoman. She gave a good chase, turning Mae’s dog against us, and hiding within a mist of her own making. She made one last desperate attempt to rouse the bear so that it could fight us again, but, she was cut down before this, thankfully.

So, for this noble, it was one last hunt. He thanked us for helping him along all the way, and rewarded us with hunting rights on his land (a prize worth more than my friends my know – any boon from a noble can prove to be more than it appears to be at first). He allowed us to rest in his manor, where we were treated as if we were his own kin – and, as Fharlanghn would have it, we were quickly on the road again.

And, as Fharlanghn would have it, we were set upon by another obstacle. On our way back to the Exodus, a cart came barrelling out of the woods – this cart was the cart of one Count Noliss vod Denn. He introduced himself, in the most noble manner he could, although he was clearly afraid of something. What he was afraid of became apparent quickly – a ghast came darting out of the woods, and he dove back into his cart. We cut it down quickly (not as quickly as I would have liked, but I can’t very well use my turning, due to Franklin’s condition, can I?) Apparently impressed by this, the Count extended us an offer.

The Count had apparently discovered an old keep that was once his families, but, there were troubles deep within – his workers had been disappearing (dwarven workers, Thenar would note) and beasts like the one that had given chase to them had been spotted. So, he offered us whatever we could find in the keep as our own, if they would return with evidence – evidence that his family was related to the House Jorat (the king’s house). He was sure that there was evidence down in the keep, it’s just that he did not feel he had the manpower to do so. Ru, and a few others, of course, haggled for a better price. After agreeing to a certain sum, we set off – with one of his men, Lortes, to guide us.

We stopped at a nearby village to resupply then, followed Lortes to Von Denn’s keep. It was a horrible place. Falling apart like most other keeps we’ve come across. Still, we ventured in, in hopes of finding whatever link may lay here that relates him to Jorat. Lortes stayed outside to attend to our horses.

After beign accosted by shades and ghasts alike, we quickly made our way back OUT of the keep. It was then decided that we needed a bit more rest before taking on another task like this.

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The Ettin's Riddle
(Or, "The Trouble with Bards")

The party left the cave where they had fought Ferd, looking for Tindel. Tindel, apparently, high-tailed it back to town, baby in hands. The rest of the party gathered their things, and began to move back to the town themselves, a two-hour walk that none of them were looking forward to. But, the walk came and went and the party made it back to the town without issue. Of course, the town had issues of it’s own.

Apparently, while they were gone, an ettin had been lured onto the town’s bridge by some of the town guard, in order to try to get the ettin to fall into the water. However, all this resulted in is the bridge being smashed to pieces, as well as the aforementioned guards. The Exodus wasn’t going anywhere without that bridge being taken care of, as they had planned to cross the river here.

The party, for the most part, was unenthusiastic. They expressed that they were sorry that these things had happened, but they were TIRED. Ru, especially simply wanted to rest. Franklin and Panbatter went asking questions that evening, Thenar worked on his wares, and Ru tried his damnest to rest. Daniel, spent the night with some ale.

Evening came quickly. Everyone slept, save for Franklin, who found sleep didn’t come any more. So, he wandered the camp for hours on end, stopping briefly to attempt to talk to the librarian (who also didn’t seem to sleep), but quickly giving up on that realizing that his company wasn’t welcome. So, he wandered some more. Sometime in the wee hours of the night, perhaps a few hours before the sun began to rise, Franklin spotted something stalking through the town – it was the ettin.

He wasn’t the only one to notice, as Mae had finished her meditations earlier and wanted to get away from a grumbling Ru. Franklin approached the beast slowly, after telling Mae to get everyone up. Mae proceeded to do so, as Franklin found himself within reach of the beast. Franklin, for some reason, spoke up.

The conversation between Franklin and the ettin was muted, but, it was clear that the ettin understood him. The ettin seemed curious about what, exactly, Franklin was. Franklin became defensive, and the ettin reached out with what seemed like healing energy. It burned Franklin, and, of course, Franklin began to holler with pain. This sent the ettin off and running, and the rest of the party arrived just in time to see him go.

So, they discussed what to do. Everyone decided it’d be a fairly good idea to track down said ettin to his his home, and, without much delay, they set to it. With the bridge out, they would have to find a means to cross the river. Renzo came up with a fairly simple solution to this – he’d carry them across, just walking across the bottom. The plan worked, although it was later found that it wasn’t needed – crews working to repair the bridge made a temporary walk over the broken parts. But, what’s done is done, and a soaked party set out to find the ettin.

They followed the ettin’s tracks for about an hour, which slowly got intermingled with other tracks. It soon became apparent who the tracks belonged to, as a number of ogres started stalking out towards them from the wood. The ogres were feeling cocky, apparently, and didn’t realize what they were up against – they were soon put down by the party.

Tending to the few wounds they had recieved, the party looked around for Daniel – who they realized had never accompanied them over the river because no one bothered to wake him up when the ettin was stalking about the town originally. There was some arguement if they should bother to go get him at all, but Franklin ultimately decided for the group – he simply wandered back towards the town to go get him. And almost as soon as he left, the rest of the party were approached by a pair of orcs.

“No arrow,” they muttered in the Trade Tongue, obviously not wanting to suffer the same fate as the ogres that were laying on the ground. Ru spoke orcish, so, they spoke with him the most, explaining how they tried to talk with the ogre, but it cut through a number of their rank. Ru asked if they could show them the way to the ettin’s lair, and the orcs agreed to do so – Mae and Ru went off with the orcs, while Thenar, Panbatter and Renzo waited for Franklin and Daniel’s return.

Ru and Mae wandered along the path with the orcs for a good half hour before they began to realize something was wrong. Eventually, they spotted the rest of the orc’s party slowly creeping up behind them, about eight of them in total. With almost nothing but a nod, Mae and Ru knew what to do. They booked it, outrunning the orcs with ease, and finding their own way to the ettin’s lair.

(The orcs, dejected that they lost such easy prey went back to start trouble with the three remaining that were waiting for Franklin and Daniel. I’ll spare you their horrible fate. Suffice it to say they lied to Renzo, and Renzo caught on.)

Mae and Ru eventually found themselves in an abanonded courtyard – within the courtyard was a half-toppled tower with a still intact doorway. Thinking it rude to simply barge in, Ru thought it would be a good idea to knock. Of course, out stepped the ettin. Ru tried to speak, but, the ettin struck him once, and he collapsed. Mae, despirate to get the attention of the ettin, fired into him, then made haste to get away from him.

Ru (who collapsed in hopes that the ettin would leave him be), opened his eyes, and crawled into the tower, where he found strange words carved on the inner walls. Ru scribbled them down the best he could before hearing the ettin return, then beat feat faster than he ever imagined possible.

Mae had a very different encounter on the way back with a young thing named Nesterfettle. It offered it’s services to her in order to help Ru escape, and Mae agreed, reluctantly.

Mae and Ru finally made it back to where Panbatter, Thenar and ‘Renzo were awaiting, just as Franklin returned with Daniel. Ru spoke of his discovery within the ettin’s lair, and they all decided to head back to the town of Iredell to pour over what he had found.

Using tomes from the Exodus’s library, they pieced together an idea that the ettin was not an ettin at all – that he must have been transformed, or cursed in some manner.

Let me get to the meat of the matter. They scoured for scrolls of dispel magic and Panbatter ran to wake Ederraswen, a bard, to cast it as well. The ettin arrived in the dead of night. Thenar had to hold off an angry mob at the bridge while the spell was being cast. Edarraswen arrived after the fact, and, in seeing this, decided to leave, with her full payment. Ru, of course, having minced words with Edarraswen before would have none of it. Guns were pulled, swords were drawn, Panbatter fled in magical terror. In the end, Edarraswen put a lesser geas on Ru for her trouble, then moved on her way…

(I apologize for rushing this summary to finish it up, but, it has to go up SOMETIME.)

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Fuck Nature
And Other Happy Thoughts

Hey, everyone. How the hell are ya? Me, I’m doing alright, save for the fact that nature has designed certain plants specifically to make humans suffer. And for that, it will pay. Oh, yes, it will pay. Anyhow, just wanted to get a few thoughts out to the lot of you, while they’re in my head. Headbones. I have many headbones.

So, right – first, a couple of issues with the House Rules. Changing a couple up – I redefined a few of the skills (noting mostly what skills don’t exist anymore, and what some skills are now called). As for bleeding out, starting “Season Two”, I’m going to make the bleeding out rule go back to -10. Reason being is that if you have a high Con score, you’re going to have the ability to avoid dropping down to -10 easier anyhow. All it really does is hurt characters like Daniel, who would die at -9, and it doesn’t effect mosters, who get left for dead or coup de graced anyhow.

Another thing – on the character section – I would really like it if everyone took time to bust out a paragraph describing their character, as I don’t like having to describe them myself – they’re your characters, afterall, and you should have a say on the page. I also want to get you guys to interact with the Exodus a bit more, but, the way the adventures are going, that’s going to have to wait. Which is fine – no campaign ever goes just the way it was thought to be going at first – and, to be honest, the way things are working out are just straight-up more interesting than what I had planned originally.

I’m really looking forward to running this upcoming module, mostly because I’ve been through it before myself, and I’m just curious what route it’ll take with WILDLY different characters than the last one. I believe when I went through it, there was a psychic drow, a clergyman of Pelor, a frikkin’ ninja, a drunk and a samurai. So… yeah. Things should go a bit differently, I suspect.

Alright… enough babbling out of me. Just looking forward to Friday, is all.

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Something of a Rant
Maybe it's Just the Weather

I had a particularly unpleasent time at the game I played in this evening, and I’ve been mulling it over in my head as to why that is. Perhaps it’s the weather, or perhaps it’s because I spent a good four or five hours playing a game, only to get one extremely easy combat done and over with. Maybe it was the negativity that certain people spout and always spout. I think it was a little of everything. All I came home with from this evening was a splitting headache and a sense that perhaps I should move on.

Of the negativity issue – if I wanted to be berated or hear others berated, I’d go back to high-school. So, I think at this game, the old adage “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” applies. Seriously. I’m sick of it. It’s draining, and gets me in a foul mood. And when I’m in a foul mood, I get candid, and then feelings get hurt. Natural defensive reaction. So, I’d much rather avoid that kind of thing at this game. At any game for that matter, actually, which is why I’m not going back to Chris’s. Sorry.

I don’t want this game to become like that. It’s a game, meant to be enjoyed. If you’re not having a good time, take a break, do something else. Seeing as I’m the DM in this situation, I don’t want to have to take a break – because that forces the rest of you to take a break. So, I’d like to continue enjoying the game. So please – no whining about the rules during the game (correcting me when I’m wrong is fine, of course), no snide remarks out of game. There’s just no need for it. If you have a negative opinion about something, keep it to yourself, unless it’s something that has to be said.

I say all this because, well, frankly, it’s tiring. Most people come to “games” to escape negative shit, be it at work, home, whatever. That’s why I DM, too – to have fun. So, while I doubt, honestly, that this game will ever get to the point where I’m getting fed up with anyone, I don’t want it to ever get to that point – because, I won’t kick anyone out, I’ll just stop altogether.

Another thing is, don’t worry about your characters stats and all that crap – again, it’s a game, but, it’s a team game. Sure, inter-party fighting is bound to happen, but, if it has to happen, don’t compare stats. Seriously. If you need to have a dick-measuring contest, do it outside, away from me. The game isn’t about the character who r0xx0rz the most. Hell, I honestly have more fun with a “hopeless” character, myself, who gets into situations he has to overcome despite having no means. That’s one complaint I have about the d20 system – it lends itself to easily to characters competing with out of game stuff.

Again – maybe it’s the weather, but, I’m simply not in a good mood – I’m happy about OUR game, but right now I’m just not happy. I don’t see our game going that route, once more – and I don’t ever want to see it even leaning towards that route.

So, in summary. Negativity: cut the shit. Powergaming: cut the shit. Nature: cut the shit.

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Trouble Times Two: Part Two

Ru struggled to his feet as we heard the sounds of more of the cavern’s denizens tromp forward. Amoraq nodded at us, and said he’d hurry back to the encampment and try to find reenforcements. Almost as soon as he ducked out of the cave, Tindel and Franklin were standing at the entrence. Before they could say anything, however, we were beset upon by goblins.

A large number of goblins were seen in the passageway to the North of us, and, after a couple of them were cut down, they fell back into the next area. Renzo and Thenar persued, and the rest of the party followed suit. There was no real “plan”, apparently… some people stayed back, intending on staying in the doorway, while Renzo, of course, had another plan – paste the gobbies. He moved forward through the room, taking a couple bolts to his side, and does what he does best. He cut down one of the goblins that were firing at him, but was quickly getting overwhelmed.

A number of orcs entered the room, intent on pulling away a pair of boulders that were laying atop what was obviously a trap door. Franklin read quickly from a scroll, which produced a ball of flame – it burned one goblin to cinders and then it moved quickly to burn a rope away, forcing the orcs to move forward and try to move the boulder by hand. Franklin then ran forward and stood in front of a recovering Renzo.

Mae and Ru stayed in the doorway, firing at the goblins and orcs, bringing them down one by one. The remaining orcs managed to pull the other boulder away from the trapdoor just as Tindel was crossing it – Tindel fell into a pit that was a good twenty feet deep, but seemed to recover well from the fall. Renzo ran back to me for a moment, so that I could apply some healing magics to him, and then curiousity got the best of him as he went to return – he peered into the pit.

I couldn’t understand the conversation he had, but he was clearly speaking to the ogre that was now climbing out of the pit – I feared for Tindel, who I hadn’t seen since the pit had opened. The ogre and Renzo babbled at each other for a bit, and I could have sworn I saw the ogre curl his lip up and shrug. Amazingly, when he emerged from the pit, he began laying into the goblins and the orcs instead of the rest of my friends.

“It’s okay!” Renzo shouted to us, “He’s our friend now!”

I stood there, bewildred for a moment – the rest of goblins and orcs that were still concious ran back further into the cavern. Mae began interrogating one of the goblins as Renzo told us our new friend’s name and what-have-yous. We fed the ogre for his troubles.

Mae told us what the goblin told her – that, apparently, the one that was running this whole thing was calling himself Ferd – which was the name of the bandit that this lot took care of way back in Cinq… I suppose it was POSSIBLE that he lived, but… I had a distinct feeling something else was going on here.

We pressed on, pausing only to wait for Teg and Renzo lift a heavy portcullis out of the way. There was another larger cavernous area, and another portcullis in our path, but Ru discovered a secret switch that allowed us to simply lift it up. We pressed on once more. Thenar and Renzo were leading the party, then Thenar stopped short. He said, quite loudly, “I think I hear orcs up ahead.” He then, apparently, realized his own tone, and then whispered, "And, well… I think they just heard me. We moved up to a corner quietly, and started whispering plans. Thenar, knowing that they had already blown any surprise they might have had, shrugged, and dove around the corner, shouting as dwarves are apt to do. He then, very shorty thereafter, turned back around the corner, riddled with bolts.

After I patched him up a bit, we quickly glanced around. Mae and Ru saw a bit of cover they intended to make use of, and Renzo saw a huge boulder he intended to pick up to advance with. Tindel signaled to Franklin (although he didn’t speak) and Franklin placed a magical armor on him. Tindel’s intention was to step out and draw fire so that everyone else could get cover. I gave him a quick blessing, and the game was on.

Everyone moved like lightning – Tindel sprang out, dodging almost all of the bolts, a pair of them landing solidly in his shoulder. Renzo dove across the opening, and picked up the huge boulder, and positioned it so it would provide him cover. Ru and Mae dashed behind a set of rocks, and began to lay down fire from their bows, and Panbatter, Thenar and our new friend Teg moved out behind Renzo to aide him.

Renzo tossed the boulder atop a pair of goblins, and knocked the orcs that were standing behind them back and down. Ru and Mae made short of any target they could get a bead on, and, after another series of bolts, the goblins pressed forward – as did one of the humans that was standing at the end of the cavern. He bellowed as he advanced, which reminded me of how Renzo fought sometimes. That thought frightened me.

The whole battle was a flurry of swords and arrows, and I just remember healing whomever I could. An orc almost buried an axe into Renzo, but, Panbatter SOMEHOW shoved Renzo out of the way, taking the solid hit herself. After it was all said and done, Panbatter was greviously injured, and Teg was laying there unconcious, but alive, and the rest of us were hurting badly, but at a standoff with the remaining man at the end of the cavern, and his orcs.

“No one said anything about a kid,” Tindel said, out of turn. It was true, though, we had heard nothing about this. The man stood out in the middle of the cavern, with a child in hand, holding her above a pool of water. Once again, in all the anticipation I lost track of things. I tried to creep forward to heal our new friend, Teg, but, an orc buried a crossbow bolt in his head… not soon after that, Ru, somehow, suddenly appeared behind the man, and put an arrow into him, then jumped towards him with dagger in hand. A quick struggle, with Tindel and Franklin diving in after the child which was inevitably dropped… oh, I’m starting to babble here, aren’t I?

I apologize – what we saw next was distressing, to say the least. The man fell to the ground, finally – I once again forget who put in the final blow – but, once he fell, a spectre emerged from him. The spectre of Ferd, the man that my friends had killed way back in the town of Cinq. He bellowed in rage, and tried to force his will over a number of us, succeeding for a small amount of time with Merenwen, and almost succeeding with Renzo. A combonation of spells, magical weapons and finally holy water made his visage fade… and then we ran.

(Bah. Bad summary. This is what I get when I take too long to update.)

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WTF PWND
Getting Things Accomplished

I apologize for not getting some of the stuff I said I would get up, but, I’m weak.

I blame… the sea.

Ff1duke


Anyhow, I did manage to get something accomplished – the new site design! …you like? You damn well better, because I’m keepin’ it like this for quite some time. Or, until I have another fit of energy and decide it needs another facelift. Or if I learn a new trick that would make updating the site easier. Or something. But for now it stays! Hell, it looks like it works for resolutions 640×480 on up, so, that’s a decent change..

Alright. This sleep thing isn’t happening today. Damn it, damn it, damn it.

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