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Old 05-31-2019, 07:04 PM   #71
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 17 (2019-05-26)

Thoughts on October 15th

It stopped raining in the mid-morning, but heavy clouds threatened to unleash another shower upon us.

In the afternoon, Va’lyndra reported that she’d heard a guttural scream and had spotted a rag-wearing humanoid torturing a deer when she crawled to investigate. I’ve never seen her as outraged as when she told us about it.

Leaving Olivia and the animals, the rest of us snuck forward. When we crested a hilltop, I saw there were two people there now, cutting and prodding at the screaming stag. Although human-shaped, they were clearly not human, and Va’lyndra told us they were boogeymen, sadistic beings who like brutal murder and who collect entrails.

Bows at the ready, Va’lyndra and I moved forward again, hoping to get close enough to shoot before they spotted us. I lost track of Lady Karita and Kine temporarily. At about eighty paces, Va’lyndra stumbled into a bush, breaking twigs and making loud noises. One of the boogeymen spotted her and started running, and I took aim at him; the other looked around to locate the source of the racket. I fired, and the arrow sprouted from his cowardly backside. He fell, and I aimed at the second boogeyman. Va’lyndra and I released almost simultaneously, so it was difficult to see whose arrow hit and whose missed.

We ran forward. Va’lyndra was wearing mail, as usual, so I outpaced her. Just as I caught up with Kine, who had started running as soon as Va’lyndra bumbled into the shrubbery, a boogeyman burst out of the underbrush, swinging a club at me. Surprised, I still managed to dodge the blow. The three of us exchanged a few unsuccessful blows before the chest wound overpowered the foe. I retrieved my arrow. Va’lyndra kicked him as he lay there, reciprocating for the deer that she had to put down.

I asked Kine to help me find my other arrow, and we followed the bloody tracks of the other boogeyman. Lady Karita had also tried to track him down, and we met up at a hole in the ground that we determined had to be the lair of the boogeymen. As we didn’t know what to expect down there, we decided not to follow.

Olivia butchered the stag, brushing off skills learned in Duke Leonard’s household; she had had more duties than being chambermaid for the Duke’s concubine. Va’lyndra found some roots, earlier, so the travel rations will last longer. Kine bought supplies for two months, but it’s possible we’re staying for up to three, so it’s good to get some extra food.

We traveled a bit further, but still decided to double up the watches, in case the second boogeyman came back with vengeance in mind. Kine asked Lady Karita to participate, to which she acquiesced, but warned us that she would only be able to take the first watch. Remembering how long it takes for her to get up in the morning, it made sense to me that she shouldn’t sleep before her watch.


Thoughts on October 16th

Nothing happened during the night. Nothing happened while we traveled either, and we reverted to our regular watch routine in the evening.


Thoughts on October 17th

Va’lyndra spotted ruined buildings in the distance, a sign that we’re approaching the area of our quest. I think something’s wrong with her, though. She’s been irritable all day, and has black rings under her eyes.


Thoughts on October 18th

Lady Karita, Kine and Olivia woke up with bellyache and weren’t in the condition to go anywhere, except for regularly visited bushes just outside the camp. Va’lyndra seemed better, though.

Olivia noticed a tree with bark that she hoped would settle their stomachs, and I went with her to gather some. She was so weak I almost had to carry her. There was no fun tonight.


Thoughts on October 19th

I had to let Olivia sleep, and suffered through half the watch alone before I spotted a shadow moving towards the camp. I woke Va’lyndra quietly. I didn’t want to wake the others unnecessarily, like if it was a fox or something, looking for scraps. When we emerged from her tent, we saw three creatures, small, reptilian humanoids wielding short spears. I yelled that the camp was under attack, and shot at one as they rushed towards us, but missed.

Va’lyndra shouted at me to watch my back, and I whirled around, narrowly avoiding the point of a spear. Now five of them were surrounding us. Kine burst out of her tent, awake and alert, and I heard a familiar scream of pain from Lady Karita’s tent.

The little blighters were difficult to hit, but my brass knuckles connected with one of them just as Kine entered the fray. The other four were focused on Va’lyndra, and it seemed to me they were having trouble penetrating her armor, so I ordered Kine to help Lady Karita, who still remained inside. I feared the worst.

Va’lyndra and I felled another reptile and that broke the spirit of two of the last three. I followed one of the runners, and took it out. Va’lyndra shot an ice dagger at the other, ignoring the last one, who failed to get past her flying shield.

When I returned to the camp, Kine and Va’lyndra had captured the last one and were tying it up. I retrieved my first aid kit, noticing Olivia were still sleeping, and bandaged Lady Karita’s leg. She had been stabbed through the thigh and was barely keeping her assailant at bay with her unfamiliar sword when Kine arrived. I had to wake Olivia so she could take an expert look at Lady Karita and Va’lyndra, who had taken a number of scrapes. If she hadn’t slept in her armor, she might not have been alive.

Va’lyndra made a small wooden cage around the prisoner, and it said something in a foreign language when Kine asked who they were. The reptile obviously didn’t understand her, so I repeated the question in a loud, clear voice. It still didn’t understand. Huh! Va’lyndra said they were kobolds.

I got out a shovel, and began digging a grave for the dead ones. Thankfully, they weren’t very large, so the hole didn’t have to be very big. One of the corpses started moving, and I yelped and whacked it with the shovel. Just in case, I cut all their throats, before finishing the burial.

Eventually, the others went back to sleep, and I resumed my watch. The prisoner started screaming, and I tried to hush it, but to no avail. I fetched Lady Karita’s sword; it glowed green in the presence of the kobold. I prodded the prisoner to get its attention, and the sword zapped it. I buried the last kobold, too.

When they woke again, Kine and Olivia were feeling better, but Lady Karita was still vomiting. We took another day of rest. I rigged a trapeze in a tree and practiced.


Thoughts on October 20th

Lady Karita had to rest another day, but got better when she finally managed to eat something. Va’lyndra and Kine went to gather food. I stayed in the camp, practicing.


Thoughts on October 21st

Kine is in heat again, and was a nuisance all day. If Olivia had still been sick, I might have taken one for the team, but she kept me on a short leash, and well fed, as it were.

Va’lyndra spent some time trying to teach the rest of us to recognize various bird calls that she would use to relay different messages. I see the usefulness of it when she scouts ahead, but must admit that the various sounds blurred together in my mind. We need to practice more.

We found a dilapidated tower, near the ruined city Va’lyndra spotted earlier. Lady Karita drew the tower on the map, and we went inside to explore. We found nothing of interest. The city was marked on the map already, with a note that it had been searched, so if there had been anything here, the previous party would have taken it.

Va’lyndra revealed, when Lady Karita questioned her, that she had been part of similar quests before, but only as an escort and survivalist, so she didn’t possess any trade secrets helpful to discovering hidden treasure.

We saw no reason to search the city thoroughly, but looked for a few special places, and concluded that our predecessors had dug them up. The map marked a road leading out of the city, but it was overgrown, and not any easier to move along than through the rest of the woods.

As it grew darker, we found the ruins of a farm a safe distance from the city. We didn’t want to remain back there, in case someone or something was prowling the ruins in the night. With so much happening today, I hadn’t had a chance to practice, so I gave the reins to Olivia and started leaping about. Va’lyndra commented sourly that if there had been someone here recently, I had trampled over any tracks they might have left.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:33 PM   #72
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 18 (2019-06-01)

Thoughts on October 22nd

We traveled westward, towards a question mark on the map, following the overgrown road. After a while, Va’lyndra, scouting ahead, made a bird call. I didn’t remember what it meant, but Lady Karita said Va’lyndra wanted us to approach.

There was a tower standing on a hill south of the road, and it looked intact. We saw no signs of life from this distance, so we decided to sneak up for a closer look, leaving Olivia with the animals. The guide had told us to stay far away from inhabited, well-kept buildings, so I followed the others with apprehension. Va’lyndra tweeted, and I asked what she wanted; we were close enough to speak normally. She pointed out that the ambient noises of the forest had disappeared.

We continued ahead, and suddenly something fell from the trees on top of Va’lyndra and Lady Karita, who were in front. Vipers! Va’lyndra stepped back, warning us that they were venomous. Kine ran forward, swiping a snake from Lady Karita’s shoulder, only to be showered herself. I shot one of the snakes on the ground, as I didn’t want to risk hitting my friends.

Lady Karita, with trembling hands, hurled throwing stars at the critters before drawing her sword. I ran forward, using my bow to scrape a few snakes off of Kine, and Va’lyndra sprayed Kine with a water jet to help her get rid of more. The jet blew off about half the snakes, but it also knocked Kine to the ground; she rolled around to crush the rest.

Behind me, I heard Lady Karita mutter a curse to herself; the snakes were magical. I tried stomping on a few snakes, and Va’lyndra whirled her staff, crushing several, but the rain continued. Lady Karita shouted that it was a trap, for she had seen that twigs above us were being transformed to vipers. It was time to get the hell out of there.

Dodging out of the shower, Lady Karita tripped and fell. I ran back into the danger zone, trying to lure the snakes away from the others. Va’lyndra and Kine were having trouble disengaging, and Kine fell to the ground. The vipers that had been covering her moved towards Lady Karita, who hurriedly got back on her feet.

I yelled to the others to draw the snakes away from the unconscious Kine, and ran to pick her up. I should have given Lady Karita and Va’lyndra more time, for the snakes turned towards me when I lifted up the cat girl. Staggering under the weight, I barely managed to dodge the vipers trying to climb up my legs. Luckily, Va’lyndra cleared a path for me with her water jet, and we got away.

We hurried towards Olivia, and when we realized we weren’t followed, I placed Kine carefully on the ground, leaving her in Va’lyndra’s care while I ran to get the medic. Va’lyndra knows first aid.

When I returned with Olivia a couple of minutes later, empty potion bottles were scattered on the ground. Olivia pushed Va’lyndra aside and took charge of the situation. She put her ear to Kine’s chest and listened, then she touched her neck. She looked up at me, opening her mouth to speak, but no words came out. No words were necessary; her tears said it all.

We decided to follow the elven tradition of leaving the dead to be reclaimed by nature, as none of us knew the burial traditions of cat people. Va’lyndra would speak the ritual words, but first, we needed to retrieve our weapons. I had to drop my bow so I could pick up Kine, and Lady Karita had used two throwing stars. Unlike me, who had purchased a heap of extra arrows for this prolonged quest, Lady Karita only brought five throwing stars.

Va’lyndra, using her magic sight, discovered a magical field going all the way around the tower. Our weapons were just inside the wall of the field. I took a running start, and cartwheeled over my bow, picking it up as I passed. I took a U-turn, returning out of the magical field, vipers falling from the trees in my wake. We moved away from the tower until the snakes turned back into twigs, then we went back to the barrier. I retrieved Lady Karita’s throwing stars and Kine’s whip in the same manner, and then we went back to Olivia. I knew we could have reached at least the bow and the whip using a long pole and a fishing hook, but I wanted to show off. Lady Karita claimed it was too long since I had had an audience.

After the funeral, we discovered a potential problem: None of us had any experience leading oxen. Fortunately, Va’lyndra’s elven talent for animal empathy let her convince Dagros and Ferdinand that she was their friend, and they agreed to follow us.

We traveled a bit further before camping. We examined Kine’s packs, to see if there was anything we needed for the journey, but besides the food, Kine had only carried things for her own use. Some of it may be appropriated later, but for now, we left everything where it was.

We discussed a new routine for the night watch, and agreed that Lady Karita should take over Kine’s watch in the early night. As she needs more sleep than the rest of us, and Va’lyndra needs less, Lady Karita would wake the elf earlier than Kine used to. Olivia and I would still have the last watch, and we would still keep watch together. Va’lyndra raised her eyebrows at me when I declared that Olivia and I would stick together, but voiced no objection.

Our lovemaking tonight was impassioned, fervent. Kine’s death had reminded us of our own mortality. What if this was our last night together?


Thoughts on October 23rd

We continued west along the road. In a somber mood, nobody said much until we reached a ruined village in the afternoon, where our predecessors seemed to have done a good job of digging the place up. We camped outside the village.


Thoughts on October 24th

Continuing westward, we neared another ruined village, and Va’lyndra signaled that there was danger ahead. A log tower oversaw the road, so while Olivia remained behind, the rest of us went ahead to take a closer look. We decided to climb the hill next to the village, to get a better look, and discovered that goblins are exceptionally perceptive. They spotted us from far away, and swarmed the streets. We had no unfinished business with them, so we chose to make ourselves scarce. Va’lyndra hid our tracks as we took a detour back to Olivia and the animals. Then we took the long way around the village, eventually continuing westward.


Thoughts on October 25th

It appears the goblins lost track of us, if they indeed tried following, for we had no unwelcome visitors in the night. The weather got a little warmer, today, and we figured we would reach the crossroads tomorrow, and then we would turn south. The question mark on the map was tantalizing.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:48 PM   #73
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 18 (2019-06-01)

Thoughts on October 26th

As expected, we found the crossroads after a couple of hours of traveling. The south road was just as overgrown as the one we’d been traveling for the last few days, and we proceeded after a short break. I expect we’ll find the question mark tomorrow. I wonder what it will be…

Va’lyndra spotted someone in the bushes, and warned us with a tweet, waiting for us to catch up. At Lady Karita’s urging, I sat down in Lightfoot’s saddle, riding normally. I stared at the figure hiding in the shrubbery, and he stood up. At first, I thought it was an ogre, albeit a very small one. Not that he was petite, not in the slightest. He was at least seven feet tall, taller even than Lady Karita, but while the lady was willowy and graceful, this fellow was like an oversized strongman performer, muscles bulging under his primitive pelt clothing.

Lady Karita, Va’lyndra and I all readied attacks, and I sensed Olivia pulling back. The fellow was unarmed, though, and remained where he was. He gesticulated, tree-trunk arms waving in the air, hammering fists on his massive chest. I got the impression he wanted to tell us something, and that fighting wasn’t high on his priorities. Unless I was completely off in reading the situation, if given the choice, he’d rather bed me than dead me. I could work with that, and if he tried anything I didn’t want him to, his groin was just the right height for my very nice brass knuckles.

I put away my arrow, and approached him, nudging Lightfoot forward. A bird tweet admonishing caution sounded from Va’lyndra. I caressed his shoulder, smiling appreciatively. A hiss caused me to withdraw my hand. Olivia didn’t like where this was going.

The fellow drew something on the ground which I didn’t comprehend, so I called Lady Karita over. After studying the picture, she concluded that he had drawn the four of us and a compass. That told me he had some opinion of which direction we should be going, but he hadn’t made any arrows pointing the right way, so there was need for more communication.

Remembering my manners, I pointed at myself and said my name. Then I pointed at the little ogre. He responded, presumably with his own name, grumbling something like “Ilzo” around his sharp teeth. I pointed to Lady Karita, Va’lyndra and Olivia as well, introducing them.

Va’lyndra approached, telling Lady Karita and me that this was an orc, known to be highly aggressive and violent creatures. I objected that Ilzo seemed peaceful enough, just as he lifted me out of the saddle and sat me down on his shoulders. To show everyone it was just a game, I rose to a handstand.

Lady Karita retrieved some food from our packs and offered it to Ilzo. He returned the favor, fetching a rabbit from his shrubbery, tearing off a leg and giving it to her. Fresh blood dripping from her hand, I could see Lady Karita’s revulsion, but she took a polite bite. She gave me an exasperated look and told me to get off my perch. I somersaulted down to the ground.

Lady Karita, Va’lyndra and I discussed what we should do while Ilzo put on armor made from skulls and bones. We finally decided to proceed on the mission. The orc could do as he wished, which turned out to be to stand in front of us and hammer on his chest. Va’lyndra said she thought he was trying to tell me something. I concurred, but said Olivia wouldn’t like it. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra expressed solidarity with Olivia, asking me not to go down that path.

An idea struck me. I showed Ilzo some coins and a shovel, and mimicked digging. Maybe he could tell us where we could find buried treasure? I think he understood, but he gave no indication of knowing where we should go.

We moved on. The orc yanked up a small tree, and with a pack over one shoulder and the tree over the other, he followed us. I spent the rest of the day promising to Olivia that I wouldn’t spread my legs for him.

We made camp early, and Lady Karita and Va’lyndra discussed how best to explore the white areas that we were approaching on the map while Olivia and I pitched the tents and camouflaged them. We decided to continue with our new watch routine, keeping an eye on the orc as well as on the surroundings. Olivia and I went to bed as soon as our chores were done.


Thoughts on October 27th

“Alarm!” My eyes popped open, but I couldn’t see much in the darkness. Rapid thumping against my chest told me Olivia had woken, too. We disentangled from our customary sleeping position, and I fumbled the brass knuckles onto my fingers, whispering to Olivia to string my bow. Battle clamor masked our rustling, and I crawled out, into the moonlight.

Va’lyndra and Ilzo were engaged with two goblins each, and I could barely spot archers between the trees surrounding the camp. Va’lyndra noticed my approach, and sent me to help Lady Karita, who was crawling backwards out of her tent, dodging an intruder’s spear.

I slammed the spear fighter as he exited the tent, but he resisted my attempt to tackle him. He turned his spear on me, but missed. My brass knuckles didn’t. The goblin staggered one step backwards, looked down at his chest, then collapsed on the ground.

A goblin archer, standing nearby, swung his bow at me. He had just fired at Va’lyndra or Ilzo, and hadn’t had time to redraw. An unarmored target was too tempting not to attack, but I dodged. I swung a kick back at the goblin, but missed, giving him time to draw a knife. He shouldn’t have bothered. I made an acrobatic feint and offered him my foot. He crumbled around it.

Lady Karita was bleeding. The spearman had gutted her, but she was still conscious. Looking around, I saw Va’lyndra now was surrounded by three goblins. Ilzo had engaged the archers in the tree line on the other side of the camp, wielding a limp goblin as a shield while the archers slashed at him with belt knives. I had to help Va’lyndra, whose flying shield had disappeared from sight.

Surprising two of Va’lyndra’s opponents from the back, I quickly turned the tide. My friend dispatched the last of them, and I ducked into my tent, warning Olivia I was coming. She asked if Va’lyndra had things under control as I reached for the bow and quiver. Ilzo still had one opponent the last time I saw him, but I guessed Va’lyndra would be able to help if necessary, so I said yes. Olivia didn’t let go of the bow. “Then you have time to Get! Some! Clothes! On!” she hissed.

Armed with bow, arrows and medical supplies, we emerged a short time later, decently dressed. Lady Karita requested first aid, and Olivia leapt to serve. After applying bandages to the high human, Olivia looked at the rest of us to see who needed help next. Ilzo had taken a few hits, and was clearly in need of help, but Olivia came to me instead. I think she’s afraid of him. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you”, I thought as Olivia applied herbs to my bruised rib.

Va’lyndra bandaged Ilzo, and they continued their watch, letting the rest of us go back to sleep.

When Olivia and I got out of the tent to take our stint, we saw that the orc had put goblin heads on spikes around the camp. It was a disturbing sight, especially for the sensitive Olivia, but although she looked ready to do so, she didn’t throw up.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 06-22-2019, 02:34 AM   #74
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 19 (2019-06-08)

Thoughts on October 27th (continued)

We proceeded south. Lady Karita tried communicating with Ilzo, learning his language as well as teaching him ours. I stayed out of is so as not to bungle everything up. I’m not a cunning linguist. I practiced balance instead, shifting postures in the saddle once in a while so I wouldn’t overuse one muscle group and get stiff and sore.

In the afternoon, we arrived at an abandoned village on a small hill, and I asked Lady Karita if this was the question mark on the map, but she explained that the question marks meant that the other team hadn’t explored there. Which meant that the question marks didn’t signify a location worth searching, but instead somewhere the others hadn’t bothered searching. Boring!

I still asked if we were going to dig around here, and the general consensus was that we at least would check the place out. Va’lyndra used her mage sight, but saw nothing special, other than tracks of ants the size of house cats. Nobody should explore on their own. Ilzo pointed at a few houses, but lead us another direction. Maybe he has experience with these ants?

Va’lyndra spotted a building that she thought looked interesting, a ruined church. If the entire village was built on a giant ant hill, it could be dangerous to dig here. However, Lady Karita knows a weed that we can burn to drive off the bugs, so she and Va’lyndra went to look for it while the rest of us set up camp, at a safe distance from the hill. Before leaving, Lady Karita instructed us to find a place where she wouldn’t be attacked inside her tent. I guess being attacked in her sleep hasn’t improved on her.

In my opinion, Ilzo has proven himself trustworthy, so I suggested he should take the first watch instead of Lady Karita, but my companions objected. By the way, I wonder what will happen if Ilzo follows us back to civilization. How will people react to him?


Thoughts on October 28th

We spent a few hours gathering more weeds before returning to the village. Va’lyndra listened to the ground, and determined the ants were active during the day, so we chose to come back when it got dark.

Va’lyndra spent the time looking for edible roots and leaves and whatnot. Her elven stomach requires a particular diet, so she doesn't partake in the travel rations that Kine bought. Lady Karita and Ilzo had another language lesson. I tied a rope between two trees and practiced, entertaining Olivia while she mended Lady Karita’s tent.

In the evening, Va’lyndra put her ear to the ground in the village again, and reported less activity. I made a hole in the church floor, and Va’lyndra looked down, observing ants in the cellar. While I broke through the floor, the others had made a fire. I tried to shovel it down the hole, but somehow scattered it all over instead, including on Va’lyndra, who failed to dodge and got burned.

We started gathering wood for a new fire, and Va’lyndra spotted an ant on the surface. She and I drew our bows, and Ilzo hurled rocks as the ant numbers multiplied. It soon became apparent that the ants emerged faster than we could kill them, so we left.


Thoughts on October 29th

We returned to the church in the morning, noticing that the ants had retrieved their dead, and thus absconded with our arrows. I tied my rope to the church wall and dropped the other end down the hole when Va’lyndra reported she saw no ants down there. Then I jumped down, and waited for the others to climb after. Lady Karita stayed on the surface, keeping watch.

Va’lyndra discovered that the moss-grown walls were covered with illustrations, and started scraping off the moss carefully. She claimed the illustrations could tell the story of this place. There also were holes in the walls, passages into the ants’ nest, and Ilzo and I plugged them with large rocks before helping Va’lyndra scrape the walls.

When Lady Karita reported ants outside, I whooshed up the rope and let loose my arrows. There only were a few ants this time, and I made sure to retrieve my arrows. Then I took over the watch so Lady Karita could help interpret the illustrations below.

It seems orcs lived here once, building the village and church, and sacrificing each other to a statue depicting a giant eye. Va’lyndra and Lady Karita were overjoyed by the find, for some reason I didn’t understand. Va’lyndra voiced a suspicion that goblin villages may contain such statues. If we could talk to Ilzo, he might be able to tell us more about this place. He’s an orc, after all.

Lady Karita and Va’lyndra poked around a bit, deciding that there were no rooms adjacent to or beneath the cellar, just as more ants appeared. Ilzo and I held them at bay until Lady Karita and Va’lyndra climbed out of the hole. Then we had to flee. I grabbed my rope before we ran; I didn’t want to leave it to the ants.

We took a detour so we could shake the ants off our tail, and Lady Karita and Va’lyndra were exhausted when we came back to camp. They told Olivia to start packing, for there was nothing else for us here. I disagreed, jumped on Lightfoot, and rode back to the village to see if I could retrieve my arrows. The village was devoid of crawlers, but they hadn’t taken the corpses yet, so I got back the arrows. A few were broken, but many were intact. I’ve lost around ten arrows to the cursed ants. When we’re attacked by goblins again, I’ll have to see if their arrows are compatible with my bow, otherwise, I might run out. We’re going to stay in the wilderness at least one more month, I suspect.

I had no trouble rejoining the crew, and we moved on.


Thoughts on October 30th

We kept moving south, today. I practiced acrobatics in the saddle as we travelled, but as the day progressed, a strange feeling crept over me. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought I was drunk, for I was getting woozy, and nearly toppled from my perch on more than one occasion.

Seeing me unbalanced alerted Olivia that something was wrong, so she examined me when we took a break, and discovered several tics gorging themselves on my blood. Apparently, they injected a poison that made me sick.

High on the poison, sex was a bizarre experience. I wouldn’t recommend the combination.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:13 AM   #75
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 19 (2019-06-08)

Thoughts on October 31st

Everyone was awake when the kobolds attacked, except of course for Lady Karita. Although Ilzo and Va’lyndra were up and about, it was technically my watch, and Olivia’s, so I was armed and ready to strike as soon as the little buggers charged out of the underbrush. I moved in front of Olivia and landed a solid punch on the first one to approach. Ilzo smacked one, too, and that was that. The other kobolds ran away. They had counted on surprise for their little raid.

Concerned that the kobolds would trail us and attack again, I asked if we should track them down and deal with them once and for all. The others agreed, although Lady Karita was reluctant. She has an irrational fear of these reptile folk. She’s afraid of snakes, too. That was obvious in the fight where we lost Kine.

I didn’t want to risk losing masterwork arrows on such feeble foes as kobolds, so I swapped out the good arrows in my quiver with normal ones from my packs.

Va’lyndra tracked the kobolds to a cave entrance. Lady Karita hesitated, clearly afraid of going inside. Her sword glowed green, marking the presence of our reptile quarry. Va’lyndra speculated that there wouldn’t be much loot in a cave such as this; had the kobolds been rich, they’d probably decorated the place a little. Ilzo, who didn’t understand what the rest of us were talking about, entered. When it was clear that Va’lyndra and I was going to follow, Lady Karita lit her lantern and tagged along. She didn’t like the idea of remaining alone while her sword glowed.

We passed a couple of forks in the passage and squeezed through a tight spot. That is, Ilzo squeezed through, and I don’t think the others were all that comfortable in the cramped corridor, but I slipped by easily enough. Being a contortionist, I had no trouble bending whichever way was necessary to pass. Then Ilzo howled a war cry and stormed off. We followed, and caught up with him when he lost whatever he had tried to run down. Va’lyndra could run farther from the lantern than me, with her elven eyes, and I think Ilzo has perfect dark vision. I had to stay with Lady Karita and the lantern, and we stopped in a T intersection, some meters behind Ilzo and Va’lyndra, who had turned left.

The elf mage cast her ice slick spell as a small horde of kobolds hurtled out of the darkness towards her and the orc. I had my bow ready to fire at any opponent who managed to squirm past the two melee fighters, but Va’lyndra shouted a warning that they were coming from the other side, too. I whirled about and shot one of the ambushers, noticing that Lady Karita had completely frozen.

I wouldn’t have time to draw another arrow, to I took a defensive posture in front of Lady Karita. Va’lyndra was using her staff to great effect, and Ilzo grabbed still-fighting kobolds to use for weapons, and they seemed to be winning on their side of the battlefield, thanks to the ice slick, and Va’lyndra’s flying shield. Things were looking more dire on my side. I couldn’t count on Lady Karita for help, so I stayed on the defensive, hoping that Ilzo and Va’lyndra would wrap things up before the kobolds swarmed me completely. I threw the occasional punch when one of the kobolds got overbold, but for the most part, I used my superior mobility and world class acrobatics to keep the buggers occupied.

Then, in the corner of my eye, I noticed shadows moving out of the darkness; the way out was blocked! I fought down the rising panic, saying to myself that Va’lyndra and Ilzo would be coming, and so far, I had managed to remain unscathed, although my leather armor had taken a couple of scratches.

Backup arrived just as the shadows coalesced into more kobolds. I thought I should let Va’lyndra and Ilzo deal with the kobolds from the side passage, as they were closer to them, so I moved towards the exit, and the approaching spearmen. In the chaos, Va’lyndra struck me in the back, causing me to fall to the floor, dropping my bow. As I lay there, dazed, a kobold took the opportunity to stab me, but didn’t penetrate the armor. Swamp wurms have sturdy hides, and the armor has repaid the fortune it cost me to acquire it at the auction.

I gathered my senses, and leapt to my feet, using an acrobatic technique to get up rapidly. In a desperate attempt to get Ilzo, the last two kobolds dropped their defenses, allowing me to take them out easily, but not before one of them skewered Ilzo, slamming the spear through the bone armor.

Lady Karita, who seemed to have overcome her panic, raised her sword, pointing out that it still glowed green. Ilzo took it and decapitated all the kobolds. As the last blow struck, the light faded from the blade.

I asked Va’lyndra if she didn’t mind looking at my wound, as someone had landed a quite solid blow. I handed her my first aid kit, pointedly. Taking the hint, Va’lyndra attended to my wound and to Lady Karita’s, and then she tried to help Ilzo. I don’t remember from my teachers that you’re supposed to stick your finger in the wound and rummage around in there, and I don’t think Ilzo liked it very much. He howled and scowled at Va’lyndra. She tried offering him a healing potion, but he didn’t want it. I think he lost confidence in her good intentions.

Lady Karita wanted to go back to the camp so we could continue with our travels, but Va’lyndra and I wanted to search the caves first, and overruled her. We found a chamber with three kobold children and several eggs, too small to register on the sword, and I realized we had just killed their parents. Now they would starve! I told the others I felt bad for the children, and wanted to provide for them in some way. Va’lyndra offered to make a cage to keep them in. The thought of bringing live reptiles with us caused Lady Karita to have another panic attack. I gave one of the pups to Ilzo, bringing the other two myself. The one in Ilzo’s hand bit him, and was crushed for it, but the others took to me.

We found more eggs and pups in another room, and I didn’t know what to do with them all, but Va’lyndra said I should ask Olivia. Of course! She’s the wisest person I know. The children here made it clear they didn’t want to come, and I felt no twinge to rescue them. That made things easier.

Then we discovered the kobolds’ kitchen, with two wild boar carcasses. Ilzo sniffed them both and rejected one, shouldering the other.

When we came out into the daylight, Lady Karita calmed down, and said that Olivia would say to leave the kobold children behind. What would I do when they got bigger, sprouted spears and started to ambush us in the night? Her argument sounded reasonable, so I agreed to say goodbye to the two pups. Va’lyndra had jokingly asked what I was going to name them, but I had replied that I wanted to talk to Olivia before deciding on names for them, so I just said “goodbye, little ones”, patting them on the head. Lady Karita is so knowledgeable! I never would have figured out that the kobolds were capable of magically summoning their weapons.

As an afterthought, I carved a piece from Ilzo’s boar and gave it to the children with another pat on the head, and then we were off. I looked behind, and saw the little kobolds running after us. My heart broke. Lady Karita was fuming when we returned to Olivia. I explained what had happened as we travelled. I held the kobolds in my lap and guided Lightfoot with my legs. When I told Olivia that Lady Karita had said that we needed to watch out for the kobolds sprouting spears, she laughed and said that Lady Karita was a font of interesting facts. I guess it’s because she reads so much.

In the afternoon, we found a ruined fortress in a valley. We set up camp, and left Olivia to take care of the animals and the kobolds. After a couple of hours of searching, we agreed that there wasn’t anything to find at the fortress, so we returned to camp. Va’lyndra made a play pen for the kobolds, something I could tie to my packs and bring along as we ventured further.

After dinner, I was chatting with Olivia when suddenly her mouth dropped open, aghast. I scanned about for a threat, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. Ilzo was fiddling with his pack, Va’lyndra was reading, and Lady Karita was wiping her knife in the grass. I watched the trees, looking behind Lady Karita to see what Olivia was staring at, but I couldn’t see anything. I turned to ask what Olivia had seen, but my eyes fell on the play pen, where Spark and Twinkle lay still, blood-red and butchered.

Olivia grabbed me from behind, and loving warmth seeped into me and prevented me from lashing out at Lady Karita. When I had calmed down a little, I fetched a shovel and buried the children, play pen and all. Olivia said maybe it was for the best. Sooner or later they would sprout spears and attack me for killing their parents.

We retired to our tent. I wanted to be noisy, to torment Lady Karita, but Olivia soon got me on better thoughts. Or rather, she wiped all thoughts from my mind.


Thoughts on November 1st

We kept going south today, and finally came to a parting in the road. One path headed south-east, the other west. Va’lyndra and I climbed the tallest trees nearby, but could see nothing but forest in all directions.

Ilzo signaled that he wanted to go west, and I trusted that he knew what he was doing, but Lady Karita wasn’t so sure. “What do we really know about what the orc wants?” “Nothing much, but if he heads west and we go east, we’ll never find out,” I replied. As there were more unexplored areas on the western side of the map, Lady Karita reasoned that we might as well go there. After all, we don’t have anywhere particular we need to go. At least, we haven’t as far as I know, but then, the others haven’t been very forthcoming with information lately.
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Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue

Last edited by coronatiger; 06-22-2019 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:31 AM   #76
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 19 (2019-06-08)

Thoughts on November 2nd

We stuck to the overgrown road, going west. Lady Karita and Ilzo tried to teach each other their languages. I was still missing Spark and Twinkle, even if I had only known them for a single day, and glared the occasional dagger at Lady Karita’s back, but made no mention of it. Olivia knew, though. She always does. And she knows when I need a little extra love.


Thoughts on November 3rd

Va’lyndra seemed unsteady this morning. I don’t think she’s slept very well the last couple of nights. She was still alert when we traveled, and whistled the signal for being careful. We had come to a cemetery, and as far as we could see, there were no signs of any habitation ever having been around here.

Olivia cautioned us of a glow on the other side of the cemetery, so we left her with the horses and moved stealthily towards it. When we got nearer, we could see that the glow emanated from four pumpkins, flying around wearing black, pointy hats, black capes and evil grins. A wicked flame flickered inside each of them.

We started to pull back, but Ilzo tossed a rock at them, making them come for us. My arrow bounced off an invisible shield, and we didn’t care to find out what they could do if they closed the distance. Luckily, we were able to outrun them, but Va’lyndra, wearing mail and exhausted from not sleeping, ran herself into the ground, so Ilzo had to carry her. When we got away, Va’lyndra hammered on his back so he’d let her down. When he did, I leaped up on his shoulders, standing there until we got back to camp. He seemed so eager to carry someone, and I need all the practice I can get, if I’m going to become the world’s greatest acrobat.

Lady Karita asked Va’lyndra when she last slept, and didn’t like the answer, so she sent the elf to bed. Ilzo also headed for his tent. I caught Olivia’s attention, and indicated that I would like to retire as well, even though it was still the middle of the day.

Of course, we didn’t sleep. Some time later, I don’t know how long, for I wasn’t paying attention to the time, I heard Lady Karita’s voice tell Va’lyndra to take the first watch now that she was awake. When she was too tired to watch any longer, she should wake Olivia and me for the second watch. Lady Karita herself would take the third watch. I dove back into the business at hand.


Thoughts on November 4th

Returning to the cemetery, Va’lyndra used her mage sight to look around. The rest of us searched the tombstones and mausoleums for mystic symbols. We found nothing, neither in the cemetery, nor in the ruined church building, but we stayed away from the area with the pumpkin demons for the time being.

Not finding anything of interest in the safe areas, we determined to sneak up on the pumpkins again. We failed to remain hidden, and the demons chased us away.

We returned with a plan a little later. Ilzo and I approached openly and tricked the pumpkins into following us on a merry chase around the cemetery, allowing Lady Karita and Va’lyndra to see if they were guarding anything of note.

The strategy paid off, and while I ran myself ragged, the search party uncovered stacks of coins and a magical pole weapon with a sword blade on the end from a mausoleum. Va’lyndra danced her spell dance to analyze the weapon, and discovered that if its wielder were to say its name, Surkalpi, it would burst into light. We experimented a little, and decided to leave the weapon with the night watch.

Both Lady Karita and Va’lyndra looked able to use the weapon, but with differing techniques. Surkalpi was a sword in the hands of the high human, and a staff in the hands of the elf. I wouldn’t try to wield it, but as long as it was at hand, Olivia or I could activate the light spell, hopefully scaring off nocturnal ambushers.


Thoughts on November 5th

We proceeded westwards along the overgrown road, and Va’lyndra signaled danger, waiting for us to catch up so she could point out a green sphere hanging from a tree. We’d seen these blobs before, and I warned the others that it was the red ones that were dangerous to us; the green ones were plant eaters. Va’lyndra cautioned that I was misremembering, it was the green ones that we should take particular care around. We agreed that Va’lyndra shouldn’t stay as far ahead as she had been doing; if she walked into a blob, she wouldn’t be able to warn us, and would suffocate before we could come to her aid. Lady Karita had saved a couple of bottles of anti-blob potion from before, and handed me one. I remember how easily the liquid had dissolved one of the blobs we encountered earlier.

We avoided the few blobs we encountered over the next couple of hours, and then we came upon an abandoned village. One building, likely a church or temple, was largely intact. Entering it, we discovered the same kind of wall paintings as in the church with the ants. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra studied the illustrations.

I excused myself, claiming there might be something interesting on the roof. There was, at least as soon as I got up there … The view wasn’t all that great, just trees in all directions, but I had a good practice session.

In the evening, Lady Karita explained that the illustrations were interesting and plentiful, and wanted to remain here to study them for another day. Ilzo borrowed my rope and disappeared into the forest, presumably to tie it between two trees to practice balance. Olivia and I said good night to the others and went to have a good night.


Thoughts on November 6th

Ilzo didn’t return the rope to me, so I asked him where it was. Of course, I spoke loudly and clearly so he should understand me. He invited me out to the forest where he showed me that he had used it to make a snare. I assume he was going to let me have the pleasure of picking out all the leaves and twigs he had used to camouflage the rope.

Lady Karita spent the day as she had said, studying the paintings. She eventually claimed to find a clue to the whereabouts of the flying eye god.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:43 AM   #77
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 19 (2019-06-08)

Thoughts on November 7th

Following Lady Karita’s clue, we turned slightly to the right, leaving the road. I stood on the saddle, picking the forest out of my once-fine rope. Lady Karita reprimanded me, warning me to sit down and pay attention to the surroundings, at least as long as we were traveling through blob-land. I ended up sitting still all day, even though I itched to move, but the occasional blob reminded me of the danger.

Lady Karita has had some progress learning Ilzo’s language, and was finally able to ask why he was following us. She translated for the rest of us that someone named Animamea had told him to go with us. When prompted, Ilzo explained that Animamea was a large muscle. Something got lost in the translation, obviously. Eventually, we concluded that Animamea must be Ilzo’s god. So, he’s on a holy quest as well.


Thoughts on November 8th

Staying on the northwesterly course, we were moving higher in the terrain, and now Lady Karita asked us to look for certain land marks, a hill next to a lake. Because of the threat of the blobs, Va’lyndra and I climbed trees together, and eventually spotted what might be the right lake, but we didn’t get all the way there. We’ll get there tomorrow.

Lady Karita discovered that orcs are nocturnal, and now that she’s able to speak with him, she seems to trust him more, so we could agree on a new watch routine. Va’lyndra would take the first watch, Ilzo the second, and Olivia and I would take the morning watch, when it started getting lighter.


Thoughts on November 9th

We reached the lake mid-morning, and climbed the hill next to it. Va’lyndra found an overgrown path; someone had carved steps where the hill was steepest. On the flat top, the sight of a once grand temple greeted us. Lady Karita’s comment when she saw it was that we were going to search it thoroughly.

The temple was a rectangular formation of columns, fifty meters wide and twice as long, and in the center stood a statuette on a pedestal behind an altar. Va’lyndra didn’t see anything with her mage sight spell, but that didn’t necessarily mean anything. We’ve encountered religious magic before, and some of her spells, like mage sight, don’t work on it.

The statuette portrayed the flying eye god, and I recalled that we’d seen one like it before, in the temple where we had the prophetic dream visions. As we were now on the lookout for such relics, I said to the others it was too bad we hadn’t brought the other one with us. Lady Karita explained that we had indeed taken it back to town, but they hadn’t told me because they didn’t trust me not to reveal it when I reported to Alfrey Kansh, the leatherworker. I was upset when Lady Karita confessed this, but to be fair, Alfrey had managed to trick me into believing that he was one of the good guys. I know now he works for the Church, who murders innocent people simply because they live in the same village as suspected heretics. Of course, I’ve never revealed anything dire when I report to him since learning of his affiliation, but to put it in the words of Lady Karita: You can’t reveal what you don’t know.

We moved towards the altar, but Va’lyndra, in front, told us to stop. A god was present, talking to her inside her head. She listened for a while, then walked over to the altar and picked up the knife that lay there. She muttered “I think this will work” before stabbing herself in the palm, bleeding onto the altar. Then she laughed and came back to the rest of us, explaining that the god was hungry, and seemed satisfied with the offering.

Lady Karita moved up to the altar, Va’lyndra on her heels. Ilzo and I hurried to catch up, but Olivia remained outside with the animals. Lady Karita studied the altar, then she picked up the statuette from the pedestal. A horrible scream reverberated inside my skull. The others must have heard it, too: Lady Karita let go of the statuette, and I saw the Ilzo and Va’lyndra flinch as well.

In each of the four corners of the temple, the ground seemed to shimmer and writhe, and four temple guardians emerged, two flying eyes like the one we’d seen before, and two masses of tentacles.

The size of the temple gave me time to aim and shoot at one of the eyes before it could close the distance. My first arrow missed, but the second flew true, and the eye dissolved into green goo. I turned around to see one of the tentacle masses lash out and grab Lady Karita. I fired at it, and Ilzo slammed into the writhing tentacles while Va’lyndra occupied the other floating eye. The last tentacle mass moved slowly towards us, and I learned later that Ilzo had tossed a small boulder into it, reducing its capacity for speed.

The tentacles squeezed Lady Karita, who fought back with her knife until she lost consciousness. I kept firing arrows into the mass, but without much effect. Finally, Ilzo, now grappled too, made an all-out attack and dissolved the tentacles, releasing the both of them. Meanwhile, Va’lyndra had taken care of the other eye and tentacles.

I pulled my first aid kit out of the backpack and set to work on Lady Karita, calling for Olivia to bring healing potions. Administering liquids to an unconscious patient isn’t something I’m willing to try unless I must. Va’lyndra beat Olivia to it.

Lady Karita came around shortly, but wasn’t up for another fight, so she and Olivia left the temple. Va’lyndra picked up the statuette and the knife, but no more guardians appeared. We made camp down by the lake.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 07-06-2019, 03:57 AM   #78
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 20 (2019-06-30)

Thoughts on November 10th

Lady Karita studied her map. She had marked about a dozen religious sites when she examined the murals at the last overgrown temple, and pondered which one we should visit next. Va’lyndra expressed a desire to go to a temple in the north-west corner of the map, while Ilzo wanted to see the temple of his god, which Lady Karita had marked south-west of our current location. The lady eventually decided that we should go to Ilzo’s temple first, then Va’lyndra’s, and then we’ll see if we have enough time (and food) to visit more sites. We can’t prolong the journey much past new-year. A contact will be waiting for us to return.

Lady Karita told Va’lyndra where she wanted to go, and the elf set about figuring out how to get us there. She didn’t range far ahead, as we’re still in blob land.


Thoughts on November 11th

I woke in the middle of the night, when Ilzo raised the alarm, and I could hear snapping rope and the thunder of hooves as one of the oxen broke free and ran off.

I disentangled myself from Olivia, put on my brass knuckles and asked my companion to prepare my bow. I crawled out of the tent, looking around for movement in the darkness, but didn’t see anything except for Ilzo, who tossed a rock into the night. A dull thump as the rock landed on the ground told me he missed whatever enemy was out there. I reached for the staff-sword and shouted “Suckerpunch!”

Lady Karita knew what I meant, and provided me with the correct word, and I leapt to my feet, my hand gliding along the shaft as I yelled “Surkalpi!” Light flooded the scene, and I spotted a giant blob on the other side of the camp, swiping tentacles after the rocks that Ilzo threw. The stupid thing sensed tremors when the rocks hit the ground near it, and thought they were food. We were smart to let Ilzo join the expedition.

I dove back into the tent, digging for the anti-blob potion Lady Karita had given me earlier. Ilzo kept distracting the blob, and Va’lyndra cast a spell to dehydrate it. When I reemerged from the tent, several castings had taken care of the blob, and the potion wasn’t needed.

I ducked back into the tent, lest the orc see me, and got dressed. Olivia and Lady Karita lit a fire, burning the remains of the blob while Va’lyndra and I went to find Dagros. The rest of the night was uneventful, and Olivia and I got some rest before it was our turn to stand watch.

We continued trekking through the forest. Ilzo walked with his sling ready, and caught a rabbit. He ate it raw. He said it tasted better that way! My stomach knotted disgustedly at the sight.

In the evening, we arrived at an overgrown road that Lady Karita and Va’lyndra said was marked on the map, and we camped there. We haven’t seen many blobs today, so maybe we’re leaving blob land?


Thoughts on November 12th

We hadn’t traveled very far when we came upon an overgrown village, and we spent an hour exploring it. I climbed everything that could be climbed, and Va’lyndra found wall paintings on a collapsed wall. Lady Karita wasn’t interested in dragging around the blocks of stone to complete the picture, so we moved on. Va’lyndra had found signs of earlier explorers digging around and shifting stones, reducing our chances of finding something valuable.


Thoughts on November 13th

When we started out this morning, Lady Karita told us to look for a crossing in the road, where we were going to turn westwards sometime today. During the day, we had several sightings of a large wolf, and we wondered if it was following us.

As we made camp, we could hear wolves howling not too far away, reminding us that we need to stay alert tonight. Va’lyndra and Ilzo had found a defensible site along a ravine, and Lady Karita strung a tripwire around the perimeter of the camp, using pots and pans as crude alarms.


Thoughts on November 14th

I had just fallen asleep when Va’lyndra shouted “Wolves!” I pulled away from Olivia and slipped on my brass knuckles. As I emerged from the tent, I saw a flash of light from Va’lyndra’s guard post, but realized she had forgotten to light Surkalpi. I thought she must have learned a new spell, but her light didn’t stay on, so I ran over and called out the name of the magic staff sword.

Ilzo, Va’lyndra and and I fanned out, taking position between the wolves and our spooked animals. Surkalpi made it as bright as day, and I could see a huge wolf behind the three that were approaching me.

Ilzo kicked after a wolf, but missed and fell. Lady Karita moved towards him, shuriken flashing from her hands, distracting the wolves so he could get back on his feet.

Two wolves tried to pounce me, and one of them hit, scraping my bare chest with its claws. I remained standing and landed a solid kick on the wolf that hit me. Then the large wolf joined the fray, swiping at me with a giant paw. I contorted out of the way and tried to retaliate, but the larger wolf was even more agile than its smaller companions, and dodged out of the way. It howled a signal to the others beasts before leaping at me again. I stiffened as I stepped on a sharp rock, and felt huge teeth sink into my waist.

The wolf could have ripped me to shreds, but its signal had been a call to retreat, and it let go of me and dashed off into the night. I called out for Va’lyndra to shoot it, and another flash of light burst in her hand. Apparently, her spell wasn’t supposed to do that, for she shook her hand in pain.

I estimate that more than a dozen wolves were involved in the attack. A couple lay still in our camp, but most of them got away.

I called for Olivia to bring the first aid kit, and felt Ilzo’s eyes on my naked skin before Olivia interposed herself between us and started covering me in bandages. Olivia had slung on a coat before emerging from the tent, and she guided me back there, opening the coat to cover me too from the male eyes. This action also revealed to me what she didn’t wear underneath, and reminded me of where my loyalties lie, in case I had forgotten.

I quaffed three healing potions, and emerged fully healed, as well as fully clothed, a minute later. Olivia had closed her coat again, and was bandaging Ilzo. Va’lyndra was calming down the animals, and Lady Karita was keeping watch. I watched Olivia hungrily, and dragged her back to our tent as soon as she tied off the last bandage.

Over breakfast, Lady Karita told us that Ilzo’s temple was located in a large town at the end of this road, so it should be easy to find.

Now that I no longer had to watch for blobs, I practiced acrobatics in the saddle while we traveled. Nothing happened the whole day, and when we caught up with Va’lyndra in the evening, she showed us a shallow cave she had found. This place was even more defensible than our last camp.


Thoughts on November 15th

For once, I could sleep undisturbed until our watch in the early morning. After an hour or so, Olivia pointed out movement between the trees, and I thought I could see the contours of a wolf. I shot a couple of arrows after it and scared it off. I retrieved the arrows after breakfast, but one of them had broken.

In the middle of the day, Va’lyndra reported seeing a castle near the road ahead of us. After a brief discussion, we agreed to go around it. I realized that Ilzo regards me as the group’s leader, possibly because I was the one who approached him when we met, possibly because I’m the strongest and most fit. Or possibly because of something Lady Karita told him. I don’t know.

We arrived in the abandoned town in the afternoon and searched for the temple, but didn’t find it.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 07-06-2019, 04:11 AM   #79
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 20 (2019-06-30)

Thoughts on November 16th

Va’lyndra found what might be the temple. As the others studied the outside walls, I climbed up to the roof and looked around. The building was ramshackle, and one part of the roof couldn’t support my weight. I grabbed the ledge as the stones fell away from under me, and when the thunder of crashing rocks subsided, I called out that I was all right, and pulled myself up. I couldn’t see much in the darkness beneath me, except that I seemed to be above a fighting arena. A ten-meter drop is a little too far, even for an acrobat, so I climbed back down to the others and told them what I had seen. I wouldn’t be able to do much exploring in the darkness anyway.

When Lady Karita had finished translating, Ilzo entered the building. Lady Karita, Va’lyndra and I followed. Torches burst alight, and we saw statues standing around the arena, wielding a variety of weapons. We could also see a humanoid sitting on a chair in the arena proper, among the stones from the roof.

Ilzo tried to enter the arena, but two of the statues blocked his way, saying something to him in what I’ve come to recognize as orcish. Whatever Ilzo replied, it must have been right, for the statues let him pass. Of course, as a follower of the god whose temple this is, Ilzo would know the password. The person in the arena rose from their seat. He, or at least I assumed it was a he from his size, wielded a large maul and wore plate and mail.

When the rest of us tried to follow Ilzo, the statues blocked our way and told us, in the common language, that if we wanted to challenge the champion, we had to wait until the current duel was finished.

The champion swung his maul back and forth while the two fighters exchanged a few words in orcish, and they both dropped their weapons. Ilzo first, then the champion. Then Ilzo rushed forward, only to get kicked in the stomach. They both threw a couple of punches, then Ilzo grabbed the champion. He was awarded a kick in the groin, but used the movement to take the fight to the floor. Half grappling, half fist-fighting, the two of them rolled around on the ground. They fought with fists and teeth and the occasional knee strike. After a while, they simultaneously decided to forego defenses and focused all their efforts on attacking. Then, after a solid punch from Ilzo, the champion turned to dust. All the statues crumpled, the torches went out, and we rushed forward to help Ilzo, lighting Surkalpi as we passed it.

As I helped Ilzo out of his bone armor, I could see it had taken a beating. Ilzo had as well. I applied bandages where the champion had bit him and offered healing potions. He drank both of mine, and all three that Va’lyndra had brought.

When the champion disappeared, Ilzo had found a statuette in his place. Va’lyndra did a spell dance, and determined that it was imbued with holy magic. We searched the rest of the temple, and Lady Karita found a diamond ring. It wasn’t magical, but it could probably fetch a good price.

We were all amazed at Ilzo’s fighting skills, but Lady Karita commented that he’d be more effective in battle if he used a weapon, and suggested that he should practice with Surkalpi when she practiced with her longsword. They exchanged a few blows in the arena. Va’lyndra pulled out a book and started reading.

After lunch, we decided to see if we could find any other buildings in town that looked as if they could hold treasure, and after a while, Ilzo discovered a metal cellar door. Lady Karita looked for traps, and spotted something suspicious through the key hole, but she couldn’t see exactly what it was.

I practiced acrobatics while she picked the lock, as I didn’t want to go too far away with the first aid kit and healing potions. We watched from a safe angle as Lady Karita cracked open the door. Now she could see the two huge crossbows connected to the mechanism. The opening was large enough that she could slip inside and remove the bolts from the crossbows, and we all entered. Inside, we found a magical long knife.

We brought it back to the camp, and Va’lyndra started analyzing it. Suddenly, a flame swept towards me. Surprised, I barely dodged beneath it. I asked the elf what she had found out about the knife, but she apologized and said she needed to study it more.

As I lay in her arms tonight, Olivia commented that some strands of my hair were singed. I didn’t care; I was too caught up in the moment.


Thoughts on November 17th

Va’lyndra resumed her analysis of the knife and discovered that the blade would return to its owner if dropped or thrown. It came as no surprise that it also burned its targets. Va’lyndra figured out how to claim ownership of the knife and did some experiments with it. She demonstrated that it quickly came back to her when she threw it away. I realized that this is what I’ve been looking for in a weapon: The ability to alternate between using it in melee, and using my bow. With this weapon, I could drop it when I needed to draw an arrow, and I didn’t have to bend down to pick it up when I wanted to use it again.

Va’lyndra transferred ownership to me before we left town, traveling towards the mountains where her god’s temple supposedly stood.


Thoughts on November 18th

Nothing much happened as we traveled, today, but I learned the need to pack the knife down thoroughly, lest it wriggle out and swoop into my hand.


Thoughts on November 19th

Va’lyndra whistled a signal, but not even Lady Karita recognized it, so we left Olivia and the animals and moved forward, silently but quickly. Va’lyndra told us she had spotted some large creature in the distance, but hadn’t gotten a good look. We started searching for it, and it wasn’t long before we found it. Larger than a horse, the creature at first looked like a lion, but it had wings, and a snake for a tail. And it had seen us.

Va’lyndra explained hurriedly that it was a burgh lion, that it couldn’t fly like birds do, but used its wings to leap long strides. The snake was armed with a paralyzing venom. And the beast was very aggressive and territorial. She didn’t have time to say more, for the lion charged towards us, leaping into a gliding pounce from fifty meters away.

Ilzo had his sling ready, and Va’lyndra and I had our bows. Only Ilzo hit, and then the lion landed between us. Lady Karita was standing a little to the side. The lion tried swiping at Va’lyndra, but had landed awkwardly and tripped. Ilzo swung Surkalpi inexperiencedly, but missed. Va’lyndra and I both shot and missed, again. How that’s possible against so large a target, I find hard to believe. Lady Karita moved into reach and stabbed with her sword, but she missed too.

The snake tail tried to bite Va’lyndra, who dodged the attack. Ilzo, unaccustomed to his weapon, dropped his defenses to focus on the attack. The tactic worked, for he struck true, and the beast failed to roll out of the way. The lion lay still.

The snake tail, on the other hand, had a mind of its own, and continued to strike at Va’lyndra, who wisely enough stepped out of its reach. Ilzo, his blood boiling, moved in and nearly chopped it off with Surkalpi, but not before the snake hit him. Luckily, the bite didn’t penetrate the bone armor.

Ilzo cut off both heads of the beast, splashing blood and goo all around. He wanted to use the heads as deterrents, putting them on spikes in our camp, but the lion head was too heavy to bring along easily. Lady Karita didn’t want anything to do with the snake head, but lent Va’lyndra equipment to extract its poison.

On our next stop along the way, I asked Lady Karita if she could teach me how to wield a knife, and I started practicing with Scorchmark. Such a powerful weapon needs a name, doesn’t it?
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 07-25-2019, 05:15 AM   #80
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 21 (2019-07-07)

Thoughts on November 20th

That burgh lion was scary. We decided to try to avoid them in the future. Va’lyndra scouted ahead, and we were off.

I spent most of the day standing on Lightfoot’s saddle, experimenting with Scorchmark while we traveled towards the next temple. The knife returns to my hand whenever I drop or throw it, or to the sheath in my belt if my hands are occupied. I eventually figured out how to put it down, nice and easy, and have it not leap back to me. Olivia had been a little worried she’d be stabbed in the night, even if we stuffed the blade deep inside one of the packs.

Ilzo has learned enough of our language from Lady Karita to hold simple conversations with the rest of us, although I find it difficult to understand him, sometimes.


Thoughts on November 21st

Before setting out this morning, Va’lyndra and I climbed trees to see if we could spot mountains ahead. The temple we’re seeking lies in the heights. Our mostly blank map had a few mountains in the northwest corner, around the temple, but we could in fact see a mountain range, and Lady Karita drew it in along the western edge of the map.

After a while, we caught up with Va’lyndra, who claimed she had whistled the danger signal. I strung my bow while she explained that she’d seen two burgh lions on the other side of a ridge, not far ahead. As we had decided earlier, we tried sneaking past them, and Va’lyndra found a clever route through a cleft in the ridge. We hardly lost any time at all going around them.

In the evening, I asked Va’lyndra where she was born. She snapped that it was none of my concern, but admitted she came from the Old World, long ago.

Climbing trees, we observed a great canyon not far ahead, stretching as far as the eye could see in both directions. We would have to cross it or go around to reach the temple.


Thoughts on November 22nd

We reached the canyon in a few hours. We crossed the tree line today, so we didn’t have much to block our view, but we spotted no place where we could descend with the animals. The others noted a few locations where we could climb down, but we’d have to leave the horses and oxen behind. Personally, I think I could get down anywhere. I have climbing gear in my saddlebags, and am confident in my skills.

Ilzo found giant footprints with extra toes on one foot. The tracks were a couple of days old, and moved westwards, along the canyon. Had they been very fresh, we mightn’t have followed them, but we didn’t expect to overtake whoever or whatever had left them, so we felt pretty safe turning west.

We looked for ways down as we proceeded along the canyon, but found none.


Thoughts on November 23rd

For the first time since we set out on this trip, the sky was completely devoid of clouds this morning. A chill breeze streamed down from the mountains ahead. It seemed winter was approaching. In fact, we could see snow on the highest mountains.

We followed the tracks along the canyon until they turned south in the afternoon. Our trackers, Ilzo and Va’lyndra, confirmed that the creature moved faster than we did. We continued straight ahead for another hour or so before making camp.


Thoughts on November 24th

It’s considerably colder here in the mountains. Ilzo didn’t have a good night; he didn’t have a thick sleeping fur to wrap himself inside. I had two that I shared with Olivia, and we also shared body heat, although she insisted that we put some clothes back on before going to sleep. I don’t like having anything between us, but I saw the wisdom of being ready in case of an attack; running out in the middle of the night stark naked could be dangerous.

We continued west, and Va’lyndra decided to climb a mountain to look ahead. Ilzo, Olivia and I traveled around the mountain with the pack animals, and Lady Karita waited for Va’lyndra with their horses. I lent Va’lyndra my snowshoes, in case she needed to cross deep snow.

They caught up with us in the afternoon, and Va’lyndra explained that we’d reach the end of the canyon tomorrow. She also spotted a cluster of trees on the other side, which she thought was the temple.


Thoughts on November 25th

The temperature dropped even further last night, and I failed to keep Olivia warm. She huddled inside her cloak as we traveled on, and became even more introvert than usual. Everything seemed to be a struggle for her, but she didn’t complain, and finished her chores on time. I’m not sure the others noticed anything; I’m particularly sensitive about Olivia’s well-being.

Va’lyndra said the horses were feeling the cold, too, and we covered them in blankets whenever we stopped.

Thankfully, we rounded the canyon and started moving out of the mountains again, so we’ll at least not be climbing any higher, even if winter is coming.

Olivia understandably didn’t want to undress before bed tonight, so we just cuddled for a while. I wrapped myself around her, holding her close, hoping that would be enough to stave off the hunger, when suddenly a cold hand plunged into the warmth between my legs. I must have blacked out, for the next thing I remember was Olivia reminding me to get dressed before going to sleep.


Thoughts on November 26th

Lady Karita behaved strangely this morning, talking to people who weren’t there. She didn’t improve during the day, and if it hadn’t been for Olivia, guiding her horse, she would have ridden off a cliff. I was getting seriously worried, but Olivia thought she would get over it soon, suspecting Lady Karita of smoking a bad batch of sleeping medicine. I asked Va’lyndra if she thought we should do something, perhaps take away the drugs, but she wanted nothing to do with it. Olivia is too shy to partake in such a venture, and I didn’t feel comfortable discussing the topic with an orc, so I was on my own.

As the day wore on, I kept procrastinating. I didn’t know what would happen if I relieved Lady Karita of her drugs, and I didn’t want to risk making things worse. In the end, I trusted Olivia’s opinion, and hoped the bad batch wasn’t too large. Now that Lady Karita had started lighting up more or less continuously, she’d burn through her supply quickly.


Thoughts on November 27th

It was another cold night. A couple of days growth of winter fur didn’t help, but was annoyingly itchy. I’m not partial to body hair, although a well-trimmed beard can be nice to look at, and can’t wait until it’s warm enough to shave again. Olivia and I usually do each other.

Lady Karita didn’t smoke during the day, and she seemed to be back to her normal self.


Thoughts on November 28th

Yet another cold night turned into yet another cold day. Ilzo muttered and grumbled, and Lady Karita translated that he complained that game was sparse here in the mountains.

We arrived at the temple of Elendus in the afternoon, a grove of trees surrounded by a wall. I suggested we light a fire, so Olivia could get some warmth, but Va’lyndra was horrified by the thought of desecrating the temple. I wearily pointed out that we could pick dead branches and twigs from the ground, and we eventually got a fire burning, without defiling the sacred grove. We doused the fire before it got dark, as the light would draw unwanted attention from the monsters in the night. If it keeps getting colder, we’ll have to revise our thinking.


Thoughts on November 29th

Olivia relit the fire and prepared a hot breakfast. Va’lyndra said a prayer to Elendus. I asked her if she thought we might find danger inside, and she answered cryptically that Elendus is a god of nature, mercurial and volatile, fickle like the wind. I put armor on before we entered.

We found old footprints in the grove; someone had been here before us. At the center of the temple stood a tree shaped like a hand. I asked the others if we should bring out the shovels, but Va’lyndra approached the hand tree and prayed. Then she danced a spell dance, and explained that someone else had taken the statue. I suggested we leave, so I could exchange the armor for warmer clothes, but Va’lyndra wanted to remain a while longer. Ilzo wandered off, though. To keep warm, I started cartwheeling around the hand tree, then alternated with backflips and somersaults.

After returning to the camp, we stayed around the fire the rest of the day, trying to soak up as much heat as possible before nighttime. When the sun set, we had to put out the fire, so Olivia and I retreated to our tent to share body heat.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue

Last edited by coronatiger; 07-25-2019 at 06:10 AM.
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