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Old 07-17-2021, 05:53 AM   #261
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 68 (2021-07-11)

Thoughts on November 12th

I had the last watch of the night, alone and miserable in the sleet. It was as if the weather gods didn’t want us to venture forth. Sulla, however, is no weather god, and I don’t really care about any others, so I determined to weather the weather, as it were. It didn’t look as though it would clear up anytime soon, I thought as we prepared breakfast, but just then the sun peeked out. Va’lyndra could surely have told me the sun would come out, but it wasn’t important enough for her to bother. Anyway, the sleet returned with a vengeance. The sun fought through a few times while we traveled, but all in all, it was a rather miserable journey.

We didn’t have to trek many hours before discovering our target. During a lull in the sleet, we saw the house in the distance. The terrain was flat around here, and there weren’t many trees. Va’lyndra thought we should leave the horses behind, and I added that I didn’t want to risk Olivia either. She and Didrik could stay with the horses, preferably out of sight from the horseshoe-shaped mansion. We backtracked to a tiny ridge and made camp behind that. I made sure Olivia was comfortable in a tent before we proceeded.

A few hundred meters from the house, Va’lyndra said that we wouldn’t get the horses past this point. At two hundred meters, Va’lyndra stopped and let us catch up. Suddenly, the world changed. Now, we could see the true landscape around the mansion. It sat on an island in the middle of a small lake. The island was shrouded in thunderclouds, and in a zone around the lake was elementals of fire and light, small globes floating around. The nearest weren’t many meters away, but while they sensed our presence, they didn’t attack.

I retrieved a potion from my pouch and readied it. Ilzo put away his wooden sword; it wouldn’t last long against fire elementals. Va’lyndra began talking about making a water barrier around us, and I asked if the others didn’t have potions of fire resistance. Apparently, I was the only one of us prepared for this. Va’lyndra had faith in her water barrier spell, but I asked how we were supposed to cross the lake. By swimming, she said. Leopold reminded us that he couldn’t swim, and Ilzo offered to carry him on his back. “When did you learn to swim?” I asked the orc. “Um…” Actually, not even the water mage knew how to swim. “But I know a spell that allows you to walk through water,” Va’lyndra said.

We needed a boat of some description to ferry us over the lake and returned towards camp while discussing how to construct it. Obviously, Va’lyndra would shape wood to make it, but she had never done anything quite like this before and was open to suggestions. I only know that boats are supposed to float on the water, so I let Leopold and Va’lyndra make the decisions. Ilzo had several ideas, but I don’t know if any of them were worth listening to.

I kept Olivia company, and we watched through the tent opening while Va’lyndra transformed trees into the things we needed. The largest piece by far was a seven-meter-long canoe. She also made oars and outriggers. Va’lyndra needed rest between castings, and we took the opportunity to have lunch.

The boat was a heavy monstrosity which we barely managed to carry back to the elementals. We put it down outside the illusion barrier and rested for a minute. I quaffed a potion of fetch-and-carry, so Ilzo and I would be able to carry the thing without help from the others. Leopold made an earth dome covering us and the canoe, and we walked slowly towards the lake. Va’lyndra carried Surkalpi and said its name so it would light up the inside of the dome.

We had come halfway to the lake when three elementals broke through Leopold’s barrier near me. The fire elemental watched me as I watched it, but it didn’t attack. The two light elementals latched on to Surkalpi and vanished into it, making the already bright light painful to see. Leopold patched up the hole in the barrier, and Va’lyndra squirted water towards the fire elemental. The elemental glowed brighter and summoned a small fireball, but Va’lyndra hit with her water jet and destroyed the elemental before it could fire at her.

At the edge of the lake, we stopped. Va’lyndra tried turning off Surkalpi, but it didn’t work. The light still shone painfully brightly. Leopold instructed Ilzo and me to put down the boat. I quaffed my potion of fire resistance, and we attached the outriggers. Leopold and Va’lyndra climbed in, and Leopold toppled the earth dome outwards, giving us some space. Ilzo and I pushed the canoe into the water, and he jumped in and took his seat. My showing off must have rubbed off on him, for he was surprisingly acrobatic. I pushed the canoe all the way in, and a fireball hit my bottom. Because of the potion, I only felt a slight heat and a gentle pressure. I jumped onto the canoe, balancing on the sides and watching backwards. Leopold nagged me to sit down and row, but I watched the fire elementals. One of them threw a fireball at the canoe, but I parried it, and the fire winked out.

When we were a few meters away from shore, the fire elementals seemed to lose interest in us, so I sat down and grabbed my oar. None of us really knew how to operate this vessel. Leopold determined that Ilzo was only making things worse and instructed him to put down his oar and sit still. A great wave struck us from the front, and Leopold and Va’lyndra were drenched. Leopold shouted for us to hold on to our oars. The heads of water elementals peeking up from the lake made it undesirable to have to swim for lost oars. Another wave struck, and I realized my feet were getting wet. Ilzo removed his helmet and used it to gather up water from the bottom of the canoe and toss it over the side. “Make a hole in the bottom to drain the water faster,” I suggested, but Leopold screamed “NO!!!” and Ilzo just kept using his helmet. More waves hit us, dousing Va’lyndra and Leopold again and again, and giving Ilzo something to do. One of the waves toppled Leopold backwards, but he was soon back in position. Something on the right side of the boat creaked ominously under the largest wave, but I didn’t see anything break, and we managed to cross to the other side.

I got up and ran past the others to pull the canoe ashore. The furious winds made it a struggle to keep my feet, but I steadied myself on the heavy boat. I got it halfway onto land before it became too heavy. My friends climbed out, and Ilzo helped me get the canoe all the way onto dry land. We didn’t want to give the water elementals free rein with it while we were busy with other things.

I prepared my bow while the others untied their stuff from the canoe. The wind knocked Leopold over, but he got up again. A low cloud, glittering with sparks, soared towards us. We spread out. The cloud shot lightning at Va’lyndra, but she appeared unharmed. Her hydra leather armor gives extra protection against lightning. Another lightning bolt targeted Ilzo, who failed to dodge out of the way. He shook it off. I shot an arrow at the cloud, but of course it just went straight through. Va’lyndra called for Leopold to get his lightning wand out. Maybe the cloud would boost it the way the light elementals had boosted Surkalpi?

We struggled towards the mansion, fighting the wind. Leopold was nearly blown away, and Ilzo picked him up and carried him under his arm. Up ahead, we could see several figures waiting for us in the central garden. Blinking tears out of my eyes, I prepared myself to dodge away from another lightning cloud. Leopold told Ilzo to put him down and held up the wand. Four lightning bolts struck it, and smoke wafted from its end, but Leopold didn’t look injured. He grabbed Ilzo’s belt and let the orc pull him through the storm.

We were only ten meters or so from the mansion when the storm suddenly abated. Before us, on the other side of a large fountain, stood a night elf and three large elementals, bigger than Ilzo, shaped more or less like humanoids. There was a being of ice nearest the night elf. Then there was a stone elemental, which on second look was in fact a magma elemental with stone armor. Its eye sockets glowed red, as did the cracks between the armor plates. On the right was a whirlwind, the least human-looking of the creatures.

The night elf welcomed us and asked our errand. Nobody answered, not even Leopold. The night elf said he hoped his greeting didn’t insult us in any way; it had been a long time since he talked to actual people. Elementals weren’t good conversationalists, he confided. Va’lyndra told him we had come to spread Elendus’s influence. The night elf wished us good luck with that and apologized that he would have to oppose us. A slave to his god, he had been here for what seemed an eternity. He would like nothing more than for us to succeed, but Nimbus demanded he fight. Leopold wanted to document his life – all several thousand years of it – but had only brought a single wax tablet for notes. The night elf had written a diary, though, and Leopold got this look in his eyes that I’ve only seen in the mirror when I need Olivia. I whispered to him that if he needed to rest before we fought, the night elf seemed willing to talk for a while.

I let Leopold and the night elf talk and watched the elementals. They didn’t do anything except standing there, or in the case of the air elemental, hover. I opened my pouch and considered which potions to use. Speed and invulnerability, I decided. The speed potion wouldn’t last very long, so I held that one at the ready, but the invulnerability potion could last for hours, so I felt safe quaffing 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 07-17-2021, 06:10 AM   #262
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 68 (2021-07-11)

Five minutes later, the night elf thanked us for the chat and indicated to the elementals that they should attack. I quaffed my potion, drew an arrow and stepped forward. The whirlwind blew forward, as fast as I could have run. Ilzo charged ahead as well, but on the opposite side from the air elemental. Leopold packed down the wax tablet while Va’lyndra and the ice elemental summoned magic missiles. The magma elemental stomped up to the corner of the fountain. The night elf did magic gestures towards the ice elemental.

I shot at the ice elemental, but it dodged. The air elemental continued towards Va’lyndra. Then the ice elemental looked at me and returned fire, but its missile didn’t go where it had planned; it landed just behind Ilzo, who was in front of me and to my right. The missile exploded in a shower of ice particles, but did little or no damage against the orc.

The magma elemental continued towards Ilzo, boosted by the night elf’s magic. I fired at it, but my arrow didn’t penetrate deeply through the stone breastplate. A little magma spurted out; that was all. On my left, the air elemental reached Va’lyndra and swept its hand past her. On my right, Ilzo waved Surkalpi in the vicinity of the magma elemental.

Va’lyndra fired her ice dagger at the night elf, but struck the door behind him. The ice elemental began to prepare another explosive missile, and the magma elemental thrust its hands into the ground, making stone spikes shoot up from under Ilzo. They glanced off his armor. The night elf continued doing his unknown magic, this time in the direction of Va’lyndra and the air elemental.

I drew an arrow and asked Va’lyndra if she needed help. The air elemental made sparks between it and Va’lyndra, but she didn’t think it was serious enough to speak up. She just stepped aside and swept her staff through the whirlwind. Ilzo swung Surkalpi at the magma elemental and made a big gash. Magma sprayed out towards him, but didn’t touch him. The elemental tightened its fist and gave Ilzo a powerful blow to the chest. Leopold had finally retrieved his wand and came running past me. I fired at the night elf since Va’lyndra seemed satisfied to duel the air elemental. The night elf threw himself down to avoid getting struck.

The air elemental shot a narrow cone of sparks towards Va’lyndra and me. Va’lyndra failed to get out of the way, unlike me, but the sparks didn’t harm her through the hydra armor. Ilzo stabbed at the magma elemental, who parried. Leopold fired a massive lightning bolt at it, and it took a nosedive but was still struck. Va’lyndra kept waving her staff ineffectively at the air elemental. The water elemental fired, or should I say iced, at Ilzo. He dodged the explosion.

I dashed across the garden to the corner of the building, where I could shoot at the enemies from partial cover. The air elemental swept past Va’lyndra and headed for Leopold. With the magma elemental temporarily out of commission, Ilzo ran for the ice elemental. Leopold faced the air elemental, turning his back on the rest of the battlefield. Va’lyndra began to run, but towards me, not after the whirlwind.

The magma elemental began to rise, so I shot at it. I hit a crack in its armor, but the arrow didn’t penetrate deeply. The air elemental hit Leopold, who began to shake violently. Ilzo slammed into the ice elemental, bounced off and fell on his back. Va’lyndra changed directions and ran for Leopold, shouting for him to watch out; the air elemental could shoot lightning.

I shot another arrow at the magma elemental, but my arrow hit the stone plate and bounced off. The air elemental hit Leopold one more time, and whooshed after Ilzo, who began to rise. Va’lyndra doused the magma elemental with a water jet spurting from her staff. The water hissed and turned to steam when it struck. The magma elemental tried to punch her but missed. The ice elemental shot its missile at the ground under Ilzo and it exploded as expected, but Ilzo kept rising.

The night elf was still doing magic, and I tried to shoot him. The arrow struck the wall behind him. The air elemental reached Ilzo and touched him, but Ilzo shook off the stunning effect easily, unlike Leopold, who was still shivering. Ilzo gave the ice elemental a mighty blow, sending ice fragments flying, and toppling the elemental backwards.

Va’lyndra kept her water jet going. The magma elemental must have disliked it, for it reached into the ground again and stone shards shot up at Va’lyndra, shattering one of the potions on her chest and penetrating the hydra leather. I shot the magma elemental through the crack above its breastplate.

The air elemental went berserk on Ilzo, offended that he ignored it. Va’lyndra ran towards them. The magma elemental saw Leopold facing away from it and punched him in the back, sending him flying. I shot it in the neck crack again while the air elemental continued to harass Ilzo. Ilzo turned, dropped Surkalpi, and kicked the air elemental, calling out for Gromsh to aid him.

The magma elemental turned and followed Va’lyndra. I shot it yet again in the neck. Why wouldn’t the damned thing go down? Ilzo drew his pick from his belt and Leopold finally began to move, climbing carefully to his knees. Va’lyndra ran for the night elf instead of helping Ilzo. Maybe she knew something I didn’t. The ice elemental made an explosion under her, but she dodged most of the blast. The magma elemental ran after her but looked over its shoulder at me. I wonder why…

The night elf moved away from Va’lyndra. I ran to the northwest corner of the garden, shooting the ice elemental in the back as I passed it. The air elemental gave up on Ilzo and tried to take Va’lyndra in the back, but it missed. Ilzo missed the ice elemental with his pick. The ice elemental summoned a new missile and retreated from Ilzo. That put it within reach for me. I drew Scorchmark and cut it across the back, twice. The fire magic in my knife was too much for the ice elemental, and it melted into a puddle.

The air elemental struck Va’lyndra across the back, but her armor neutralized the lightning-infused attack. Ilzo began to retrieve the wooden sword from his backpack, but it was difficult for him to reach it. Va’lyndra focused on the night elf, trying to hit him with her staff, but she kept missing. The night elf ran away, past the magma elemental and towards Leopold. I shot an arrow over the fountain, but an invisible shield protected the night elf. The air elemental came for me, but I dodged its attack easily.

Ilzo finally dropped to the ground. All the small injuries had added up and he just couldn’t keep going any longer. Va’lyndra ran after the night elf, swinging and missing as usual. The magma elemental turned and followed them.

I attacked the air elemental with Scorchmark, hoping the magic blade would prove as effective against that as against the ice elemental. The whirlwind dodged, though. I ducked under its retaliation. Leopold zapped the night elf with another empowered lightning bolt and caused him to fall. Va’lyndra hit him with her staff.

The air elemental and I both missed with our next attacks. Leopold shouted that we needed Ilzo’s sword. Va’lyndra, who hadn’t seen Ilzo fall, called for him while pummeling the prone night elf. The magma elemental ran up to Va’lyndra and swept its huge fist past her.

I ran to Ilzo, swinging Scorchmark wildly towards the air elemental as I passed it. I dropped the knife and drew the wooden sword from Ilzo’s backpack. Va’lyndra doused the magma elemental with her water jet. Its leg stiffened and broke as the magma elemental fell backwards. Boiling rock poured out from between the armor plates.

The night elf began to rise, but Va’lyndra broke his skull with her staff. The air elemental tried to attack me, but I retreated and made for the night elf. He was the avatar of Nimbus, and Queen Manara had told us we had to kill him with the weapon made from the world tree. I didn’t know if our mission failed if Va’lyndra’s head blow was fatal.

Since I was paying attention to the air elemental, it went for Va’lyndra instead of me, making a futile attack against her armor. Leopold was hiding behind a tree, aiming his wand at the night elf. He was clearly on the verge of collapsing.

I stabbed the night elf in the back with the wooden sword. The air elemental came at me, but it missed. Va’lyndra tried to distract it with her staff, but it ignored her. She was about as effective against it as it was against her. Since my stab didn’t penetrate very deeply, I tried a swinging attack instead. I had no experience with a longsword at all, but I treated it like an oversized knife, and that seemed to work all right. My swing connected and cut into the night elf’s back, but I had no idea how many times I needed to hit in order to kill. I would just have to keep attacking.

That proved slightly more difficult than I had hoped. The air elemental grazed me with an attack, and I shivered uncontrollably. Fortunately, my hands tightened around my bow and sword, so I didn’t drop them. Va’lyndra tried blasting the air elemental with her water jet, but that was about as useful as her staff. It just went straight through.
__________________
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 07-17-2021, 06:22 AM   #263
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 68 (2021-07-11)

I retained control of my body just in time to dodge another attack from the air elemental. I gave the night elf another cut to the back, and the sword got stuck. The air elemental was blowing around me and I had to dodge as Va’lyndra’s staff came sweeping by. I rattled the sword, hoping to get it loose or to do some internal damage to the night elf, but the blade was well and truly stuck. The air elemental kept attacking, and I had to let go of the sword to retreat from the frenzied attacks. I picked Scorchmark from the air, thanked the weapon for seeking me out, and cut into the air elemental. The fire swirled through the whirlwind and disintegrated it. A voice boomed, “Nimbus will punish the sinners!” It looked like we’d won, but this was what I had feared when accepting this mission. Queen Manara had dismissed my worries.

I asked Va’lyndra to help Ilzo and walked over to the night elf. The sword didn’t look like a sword anymore; it was bent like a branch and was shooting leaves. Leopold interrupted my musings, asking me to fetch his backpack. I ran to deliver it, and Leopold pulled out healing potions while I rooted around in my own backpack, discovering that I had forgotten to bring my first aid kit.

We needed to touch the Elendus statuette to the former sword to complete our quest. I asked Va’lyndra where the statuette was. “In my backpack,” she replied. She didn’t have that on her, so I asked where the backpack was. “In camp,” she said, and I groaned.

Va’lyndra followed a branch growing off the sword and stretching inside the house. Leopold followed. I walked over to Ilzo and poured a healing potion into his mouth. Olivia has said we shouldn’t do that to unconscious patients, but it was Ilzo, so I didn’t think she’d mind. The potion didn’t seem to do him much good, so I tried a potion of major healing instead. He didn’t wake up after that one either. I didn’t dare make him drink more and hoped he’d be stable until Olivia could treat him.

Va’lyndra came out of the house to get Ilzo’s pick before vanishing inside again. I stayed with Ilzo and watched as the sword branch grew to a tree. Then I began to worry about Va’lyndra and Leopold, for they’d been gone for half an hour. I climbed the house, looking in all the windows. I didn’t want to trigger the same traps as my friends. Besides, it was way more fun to search for them this way.

I spotted Va’lyndra through a skylight. She was standing near a table with some strange apparatus on it. I knocked on the glass. Va’lyndra turned and told me to go back to camp to get the statuette. I said I didn’t want to run through the elemental zones alone. They were still there, and I couldn’t imagine them being any less hostile now that we had angered their god. But what if some of them followed our tracks back to camp?

I quaffed a potion of flight and zipped towards Olivia. Gusts of wind tossed me about, but I used my acrobatics skills to remain in control. Water elementals looked up from the lake and shot ice daggers at me. I dodged all but one, and my potion of invulnerability protected me from harm. The fire elementals pelted me with fireballs, but I ignored them. The ones that hit winked out of existence, thanks to my fire resistance potion.

There were no signs of trouble in camp, but Olivia was worried about me returning alone. I didn’t have time to give a longer explanation because I had to return while the flight potion still worked. I did take the time to give her a not-so-short kiss and asked her to find our healing salves, which could be administered safely to an unconscious patient. I found the statuette in Va’lyndra’s pack and then I was off, promising Olivia that we’d return before dark.

The flight back to the mansion had the same hazards as when I left, but my awesomeness and my magic protection allowed me to land safely and unharmed in the garden. Ilzo was up and about, and had dug into his own supply of healing potions. “Hey Va’lyndra,” I yelled. “Do you want to be here for the statuette-poking-at-the-tree?”

Va’lyndra came out a few seconds later, and I gave her the statuette. The branches stretched towards it as she moved closer. She let the tree grab the statuette and pull in into its trunk. Then a thin branch grew out from the tree, without any leaves. Sap seeped from the end of the branch, forming a plum-sized lump which Va’lyndra plucked. The branch wizened and fell down. Va’lyndra shouted for Leopold to come watch.

Leopold wanted to test the lump with the magic balance weight we had back in camp. He explained that he had found an amazing library, and Va’lyndra added that she had found a magic laboratory. I asked if we could go soon. Va’lyndra just stared at me, but Leopold said we had to find out how to turn off the magic fields with the elementals. The three of them went inside, hopefully to figure this out.

When it began to grow dark outside, I climbed back up on the roof and knocked on the skylight. “Can we go, yet?” I asked. Va’lyndra proposed I helped Ilzo figure out how to get past the elementals. I said I thought she and Leopold should help, too, since they were the smart ones.

Va’lyndra had to stay in the laboratory, in case any of the items there were connected to the magic field. I found Leopold in the library. He told me excitedly about some book he had found which described a snail colony behind the house. I reminded him that we needed to find a way out, and he told me he had found books describing the protection of the house. The magic field was centered on a diamond, which we soon found out that Va’lyndra had discovered. The elementals were drawn to a zone around the diamond, so I offered to shoot it away with my bow if Va’lyndra shaped one of her arrows around it.

I aimed for a tree about four hundred meters away, but Va’lyndra had messed up the arrow and it didn’t fly true, landing among some bushes, a hundred meters short of the tree. The elementals didn’t seem to notice, but we decided to give them an hour. Va’lyndra returned to her lab and Leopold to the library.

I watched while some of the elementals moved away. After an hour, most of them were still in their original spots. I couldn’t see the water elementals anymore, but the fire and light elementals were visible in the night. I conferred with Va’lyndra, who said we had to wait longer before we could go.

After another couple of hours, I deemed the fire elemental density around the lake to have been reduced enough for it to be safe to make a run for it. I went to gather up my friends. Ilzo had found the wine cellar and was as drunk as a skunk when I found him. He hadn’t wanted to let any of the wine go to waste. He took Surkalpi and tried to turn off the light. He shook it when saying its name didn’t work as it used to. That didn’t work either, and I found some bedsheets to wrap around the glaring light.

Running through the storm, both Leopold and I got swept off our feet, but unlike him, I turned it into an acrobatics stunt and found my feet again. Ilzo howled orcish drinking songs while the rest of us paddled across the lake. The water elementals made waves again, and Va’lyndra had to grab Leopold to keep him in the canoe. We pulled the boat up on the other side while taking fire from the elementals on land. Ilzo and Leopold were hit, but they had both drunk enough healing potions on the island to remain in good condition. We legged it past the elementals, and I kept pace with the others. We slowed down once we were out of the danger zone. I would have liked nothing more than sprinting the two kilometers back to Olivia, but I restrained myself.

Olivia was displeased that I had broken my promise to return before dark. I felt I should have made clear to the others that I had made a promise. Maybe that would have gotten them to focus on what was important and not be distracted by books, wine and magic items. Olivia saw how heartbroken I was and kissed me. “Let’s go to bed!”
__________________
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 08-07-2021, 11:48 PM   #264
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 69 (2021-07-18)

Thoughts on November 13th

Hidden behind our little ridge, we couldn’t see the elementals depart from the zone around the mansion during the night. When we looked this morning, there were only a few lights hovering on the lake shore, few enough that I’d be willing to bring Olivia past them.

At breakfast, Leopold said he wanted to return to the library. I asked why. “How do you think I became so knowledgeable?” he countered. “By reading books, obviously,” I replied, “but you know everything you know already, so what’s the point of reading more?”

Olivia caught my attention and we went away from the others to speak privately. “It’s safe here now, isn’t it?” she asked, and I nodded. “Then the others don’t need us. Why don’t you and I go back to Alvheim? We’ll be more comfortable there,” she said with a hand on her belly. I began to pack while Olivia informed the others.

“Hey, guys? I just remembered about the auction. If we have anything that we want to sell, we have seven days to report it in Urdon.” I had nothing that I wanted to sell, but Va’lyndra had found some magic items at the mansion. She needed to analyze them to determine if we needed any of them, but that could be done in a couple of days. We agreed that they would join us in Alvheim in four days if we were going to Urdon to sell magic items. If Va’lyndra and Leopold – and Ilzo, I guess – decided we had nothing to sell, they could remain here for ten days before I would start to worry.

Didrik joined Olivia and me so we wouldn’t get lost in the woods. We could have made it back to Alvheim today but chose instead to make the trip in a pace that suited Olivia’s condition. I delighted her with acrobatics when we weren’t chatting. It was a fine day, for the season. It was overcast most of the day, and chilly, but no sleet. Didrik guided us deftly around any potential dangers, and I proposed he and I split the night watch between us. The wolf nodded.


Thoughts on November 14th

Olivia, Didrik and I continued towards Alvheim in the same sedate speed as we had yesterday. I thought Queen Manara would want a report, so I told Didrik to lead us to her.

We arrived in the afternoon. Didrik didn’t follow when Olivia and I rode into the temple garden. Queen Manara meditated under the world tree, but she opened her eyes when we approached. I helped Olivia dismount, and we made our curtsies. I told the queen that we had completed the mission, but she didn’t want to hear the details.

Queen Manara asked if there was anything she could do for us. I couldn’t think of anything, but Olivia was worried about the little one growing inside her. The queen put her hand on Olivia’s belly and reached inside with her mind. She confirmed that like its parents, the baby was blessed by Sulla. The baby was human, she said, as if it could be anything else. Queen Manara offered to do magic on the baby to ensure it wouldn’t look different from other children and prevent it from manifesting uncontrollable Sulla powers. I was wary and said Olivia and I had to discuss this in private.

We went out to the forest and back to the non-elven side of Alvheim. There was no room in any of the inns in the District except for common dormitories, and Olivia and I needed a room to ourselves. We found a farm on the Hill that rented out a room. We could eat with the farmer and his family and workers, and they even had room for our horses.

When Olivia and I finally were alone at night, after I had entertained everyone with acrobatics, we discussed what Queen Manara had said. My opinion was that if the child was blessed with gifts from Sulla, that was a good thing. As a priest of the three-faced love god, I was sure I could help the child control any powers it received, or at least make sure that the powers were channeled safely. If the child inherited my Hunger, I would make sure they found safe relief. Queen Manara had implied that her “procedure” could be done after the child was born, so Olivia and I agreed to wait. Hopefully, the child would be grown enough to weigh in with their opinion before we had to make a decision.


Thoughts on November 15th

I asked Olivia what she wanted to do today. She would like to go back to the hospital to work but said she didn’t have the stamina to work a full day. I put on a matinee on my regular place on the Hill, then spent the rest of the day with my wife.


Thoughts on November 16th

Our friends arrived in Alvheim yesterday evening and checked in to one of the stuffed inns. They sought out Olivia at the hospital today, and she told them where to find me.

We discussed which artifacts to keep. There were some that were related to spirits, and I saw no point in keeping those. The others agreed. Then there was a magical still that could produce many fancy beverages. I pointed out that Va’lyndra or Leopold could use this to earn some money once they retired from adventuring, but they weren’t interested. Va’lyndra also had a conical flask which had resisted her attempts at analysis; we decided to keep it until she uncovered its secrets. Finally, there was a gemstone that had several magical properties. They all had to do with keeping creatures at bay, and the most prominent feature was its ability to trick those who saw our camp to believe that there was nothing interesting about it. The gemstone only worked as long as it remained stationary, and it required mana to activate, but it would be a valuable aid for our night watches. It wouldn’t hold off anyone who were actively seeking us out, but we would be safe from most random encounters. The gemstone was absolutely worth keeping.

Va’lyndra wanted to speak to the elf queen, and Leopold and I went to look for a ship in the meantime. We didn’t have much time to get to Urdon, and Olivia wasn’t up for a hard ride. If there was a ship that could take all our horses and luggage, that would be awesome, but we’d settle for passage for Olivia and me. We were lucky enough to find a passenger ship that was leaving today, but it had no room for horses.

Olivia checked on Leopold’s horse, the one that had had an infection on one of its legs. It was completely fine now, so our friends should have no trouble getting to Urdon quickly.

I transformed into Fabian and told Ilzo and Leopold that we would look them up at the knowledge guild outside Urdon. If there were still people looking for us, we would want to lie low, and I would just have to refrain from performing, however much that pained me.


Thoughts on November 17th

The wind abated during the night, and the crew put out oars. I offered to help.


Thoughts on November 18th

There was still no wind this morning, so I joined the crew at the oars again. Several passengers began to mutter about the slow speed. I entertained with acrobatics to lighten the mood when I wasn’t busy rowing.


Thoughts on November 19th

All this rowing is good for me. It builds arm strength and stamina. Also, the captain gave back my fare for helping out. The other passengers were unnaturally displeased with the time it took to reach Urdon.

It was dark when we docked. Olivia and I found our way to the Golden Swan inn. “Remember, no acrobatics and no flirting,” Olivia said. “You may have a perfect disguise, but they know my face. We want as little attention as possible.” I talked to the innkeeper and got us a room. Nothing fancy, though, just a simple room with one bed big enough for two. Olivia stayed in the background while I arranged for a bathtub to be brought 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 08-08-2021, 12:01 AM   #265
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 69 (2021-07-18)

Thoughts on November 20th

Today was no day to remain in bed, even though I was tired from long hours at the oars in the last few days. I bounced out of bed. “I’m going to the knowledge guild to fetch the magic stuff,” I told Olivia. “Breakfast first,” she chided. “You’d better bring it up here, since we’re supposed to lie low.”

I walked hurriedly through Urdon and out the gates. There were now two guard posts outside, and I asked them why that was, and why they wore different uniforms. “It’s not important. Move along,” the soldier ordered gruffly. I jogged in a – for me – slow pace until I was out of sight of town, then I sped up. I raced along the road and nearly missed the path to the knowledge guild.

The guard at the guild gate didn’t recognize me, which I found thoroughly disappointing. I didn’t consider that I was still using the Fabian disguise. Insulted, I crossed my arms and told the guard to fetch Va’lyndra. She had gone out, the guard said after a runner had found her room empty. With nowhere else to go, I checked the place where we had interrogated Neriel. I was in luck; Va’lyndra was there. I complained about the guard not recognizing me. Va’lyndra just stared at me, like I was being stupid. I guess I was.

We went inside and to Va’lyndra’s room. We filled up my backpack with the things that we were going to sell, and Va’lyndra reminded me which item was which. She also gave me some gold as payment to Olivia and me for helping the guild warn Alvheim about the threat from the Serals. Va’lyndra instructed me to get a list of which items would be for sale at the auction, and to look for interesting quests at the adventurers’ guild.

I brought Marvin, Lightfoot, Bluebell and Snowflake back to Urdon. Soldiers from one of the guard posts stopped me, but some from the other side said to let me pass. I stabled the horses at the Golden Swan and went inside to check on Olivia. She was worried when I relayed from Va’lyndra that there were still people looking for us, but she decided to come with me for my errands.

We went to the bank first since they were the organizers of the auction. I found an alley and turned back into Mattea, then we went inside. The people there said to go to another place, a building just down the street. At this other location, we handed over the stuff, and I explained what each thing did, but they said they would do their own analysis. The list of items for sale wasn’t ready yet, but I could pick it up in a week’s time. I would have to deposit money in the bank and write a letter with which items I would like to buy, for which price. I would get what remained of my money, along with items I won, a month after the auction. If some of the items I put up weren’t sold, I’d get them back at the same time.

Our next stop was the adventurers’ guild. We filled up on potions and purchased one of beast speech for Va’lyndra and ten healing potions for Ilzo. There were still no flight potions; those took quite a while to produce, but the guild master assured me they were coming even though he couldn’t say when. I studied the quest board to see if there was anything other than beginner stuff. Neither the bandit quest nor the troll quest was on the board anymore, but there were a few other quests that I thought I’d tell Va’lyndra, Ilzo and Leopold about.

I had to show my guild rank to deal with the auction and the potions, and that meant being Mattea. Passers-by had recognized me when we walked between the bank and the guild, so I had smiled and waved and done some tricks to please them, but now I had to turn back into Fabian.

Olivia wasn’t going to come with us on adventure, so we stopped by a bookstore and some other places to get her something to occupy herself the coming week. Then we fetched the horses and went out to the knowledge guild. We discovered that Leopold and Va’lyndra wanted to do research, and Ilzo needed to return to Alvheim to organize his arena construction. There would be no adventuring in the week to come. I decided I could entertain Olivia and the knowledge guild members while we waited.


Thoughts on November 21st

We had breakfast in the common dining room. Ilzo had already left for his quick jaunt to Alvheim, and Leopold and Va’lyndra returned to their studies and weren’t much company even before that. Olivia declared she was going to read today. I turned to the people at the next table. “Have you heard the good news about Sulla?”

Apparently, Sulla was an unknown entity, even here at the knowledge guild. I spent the day rectifying that, talking to whoever wanted to listen about the three-faced god of love. “Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all loved one another?” was a frequent question of mine. I even demonstrated for a few of my listeners.

I kept no secrets from Olivia, of course. I had expected some display of emotion, but she just frowned at me for a good minute before returning to her book. Maybe she sensed that I didn’t feel guilty about sharing my body in service to Sulla. Her surprising lack of response was by no means the reason why I chose to stay in our room practicing contortion this afternoon. I had a show to put on in the evening.


Thoughts on November 22nd

Olivia dragged me back to our room after breakfast and asked me about my missionary activities. We had a candid discussion about how I proselytized. I felt that it was the right thing to do, and Olivia accepted that. However, she did remind me that I shouldn’t lie with the same person more than once, because that would drain them of luck, and I didn’t want anyone to stumble down the stairs and break their neck, did I?

Olivia seems to be immune to my luck-draining. Maybe it’s because of our deep emotional connection? Or maybe it’s because she’s blessed by Sulla, too?


Thoughts on November 23rd

Thinking back on the day after saying good night to Olivia, I realized I’ve inadvertently settled into a pattern: Spreading Sulla’s teachings in the morning, practicing in the afternoon, and performing in the evening before rounding off with some alone-time with Olivia. While these activities are all good, I didn’t like the fact that I was beginning to follow a pattern. When you’re supposed to promote chaos, sticking to a schedule isn’t the right way to go.


Thoughts on November 24th

Today, I stayed in our room most of the day, keeping Olivia company. I skipped acrobatics practice, although some of the things I did to amuse my wife certainly got my blood pumping. After dinner, I started performing right there in the dining hall, and I rounded off the day spreading the good word.


Thoughts on November 25th

I did an early performance today, followed by missionary work. I practiced in the evening. After talking it over with Olivia, I understood that all this messing about confused people. And confused watchers or listeners are not what I’m aiming for. Starting tomorrow, I’m going back to my original schedule.


Thoughts on November 26th

I had a dream last night. It was unlike the dreams Sulla had given me before, for there was no sex involved. Maybe it wasn’t Sulla who sent this one? I told Olivia about it as soon as I woke up. There had been an egg in a nest with other eggs. This egg cracked, and a tiny lizard crawled out, out of the nest and out of the cave where the nest was. Outside the cave, the lizard spread its wings and flew up into the sky, rising higher and higher. The lizard found other creatures, which it devoured, among others a crab and a strange thing with tentacles. Then a seed landed on the lizard’s back and sprouted into a great tree. The tree spread vegetation around itself, covering the lizard. The roots buried deep inside the lizard and enveloped its heart, squeezing. Then came the counterattack. The lizard’s heart pulled the essence of the tree out through its roots and bound it to itself, and in so doing, killed the tree.

At breakfast, Leopold mentioned having an odd dream, and it turned out that he and Va’lyndra had had the same dream as me. Va’lyndra wondered if Ilzo shared the dream, too. None of us knew what the dream meant, so I put it out of my mind, and prepared today’s speech. My friends withdrew to their books when I began preaching about Sulla.
__________________
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 08-08-2021, 12:08 AM   #266
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 69 (2021-07-18)

Thoughts on November 27th

New record, today! I’ve usually had only one or two listeners when I’ve talked about Sulla, but today there were four! I showed Sulla’s love to each of them after the talk.


Thoughts on November 28th

I dreamed again. The dream was a continuation of the one from two nights ago. The winged lizard crashed into a great wall of stone and veered off, but pieces of the wall came off and tried to envelop the lizard. Like with the tree, the lizard resisted and sucked up the essence of the stone. Similar episodes followed, with the lizard absorbing new essences. The lizard grew to become an entire world with many small creatures and plants. Then an impatient voice said, “Now it is your turn to clean up. You have learned the ritual, so make a wish and get it over with!”

I told Olivia about the dream, first thing. At breakfast, I started to ask Va’lyndra and Leopold if they also had dreamed, but Va’lyndra didn’t want to talk about it in the common dining room, so we agreed to meet in our room after lunch so we could discuss it privately. Olivia saw that I was desperate to find out more about the dream, and gave me a challenge to occupy myself with while I waited, presumably so I wouldn’t start talking about the dream to anyone else.

“How far can you cartwheel without stopping?” Olivia’s voice echoed in my head while I grew dizzier and dizzier, spinning round and round outside the compound wall. When I came back to the gate after my first circle, I was really queasy, so I stopped and leaned my back against a tree. The world kept spinning, and I compensated, only to find myself on the ground, looking up at a concerned gate guard. I assured him I was fine, just dizzy and in need of a little rest.

I was soon back on my feet, ready to try again. I had made it once around the compound, but I had forgotten to think. When I tried again, I twisted around every tenth or so cartwheel, so I alternated between facing the wall and the woods. That worked wonders to prevent the dizziness, and I kept going until I was too tired to go on. I staggered in to Olivia and crashed onto the bed with a disarming smile to alleviate her worries. Then I realized I had forgotten to count the rounds.

I took a bath and helped Olivia with hers, then it was time for lunch. Talking to Va’lyndra and Leopold afterwards, I discovered that they’d had the same dream as me, but they weren’t any wiser than me about the meaning of the dream. They dispersed to their studies, leaving me decidedly unsatisfied.


Thoughts on November 29th

Ilzo came back in the evening, during my performance. I was eager to ask him about the dreams. I was convinced he must have dreamed the same things as Va’lyndra, Leopold and me, but Olivia dragged me off before I could ask. Or rather, she gave me a look that I couldn’t resist.


Thoughts on November 30th

I asked Ilzo at breakfast if he’d dreamed of a flying lizard, which he confirmed. Leopold was more interested in telling us that he had finally deciphered Neriel’s book. Va’lyndra made us all shut up about things we should keep secret, and instead had Ilzo talk about his trip back to Alvheim.

In Leopold’s room after the meal, we could talk about what Leopold had discovered. The Serals planned to take over the world, as we already knew, but Leopold revealed that the Serals had an enemy in the spider people, who I gather live somewhere far to the south or west. The Serals also had some trouble in the Old World, and Alvheim was a thorn in their foot.

We decided we had to get the Serals off balance. If they could deal with each obstacle at their own pace, they would win. Leopold wanted to try a magic ritual, just a small one with only us to power it. He didn’t think we’d throw the entire world into chaos if we just did it small enough.

We brainstormed what we could pray for. Someone suggested turning the Serals chaotic. That would certainly put a spanner in their works, but we didn’t think it would be within the realm of possibilities. The ritual would put us in contact with one of our gods, and we had to ask for something within that god’s power to give. Leopold and Va’lyndra also thought that the favor had to be proportionate to the amount of mana we put into the ritual.

I suggested asking for the Serals’ disguises to fail since the only reason they can operate the way they do is because everyone thinks they are human. Va’lyndra thought this might be doable with the mana we could scrape together, but none of us were sure that we knew a god who could dispel disguises.
__________________
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 08-21-2021, 03:39 AM   #267
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 70 (2021-08-15)

Thoughts on November 30th (continued)

The discussion ground to a halt when we ran out of ideas about the Serals. I offered to go to Urdon to collect the list of items for sale at the auction, and Olivia and I went to our own room. I changed into clothes that would fit Fabian, kissed Olivia goodbye and went to find Marvin at the stables.

I transformed into Fabian once I was out of sight from the knowledge guild compound. I rode to Urdon and found an alley near the auction warehouse where I transformed back to Mattea. I touched my chest to verify that I was in the correct shape. All these transformations were confusing. I had to pass the guard posts as Fabian, but the knowledge guild and the adventurers guild knew me as Mattea, so I had to be myself when conducting official business, like signing up for auctions and buying potions.

Inside, I asked for the auction list, and the functionary checked his papers before giving it to me. I suppose he looked to see if I was allowed to have the list. I thanked him and returned to the knowledge guild, transforming into Fabian after I left the warehouse, and back to Mattea again when I entered the woods.

I threw off my backpack and crashed onto the bed. Olivia was worried I was sick, but I was just exhausted from four transformations without much rest between. I pulled the auction list from my pouch and read through it. It was disappointing not to find anything I wanted to buy, but maybe I should be pleased that I didn’t need anything. I had hoped for a magic bow or perhaps better armor or some utility item. The only armor on the list was masterwork plate armor; Ilzo could find it interesting. There was a scroll of Ancient History on the list, which made me think about Leopold.

I spent the day in our room, going out only for meals. Va’lyndra informed us about her plans to discuss the Elendus gift with Varian, the guild’s artifact expert.

In the evening, someone knocked on our door. One of the guild leaders, Wilhelm, wanted to speak to me. The messenger showed the way to Wilhelm’s office. Wilhelm had received reports about my activities this last week, and asked me to stop my missionary work. The knowledge guild wanted to remain secular, and not beholden to any one god. Wilhelm offered to put me in touch with some people who knew a lot about Sulla if I acceded to his request. I said that was fine. Wilhelm added that he’d appreciate if I stopped the related activities, too. At least when it involved the guild members. He didn’t care what I did with my adventuring companions, but he knew about the luck draining, and didn’t want me to inflict that on his people.

I shook Wilhelm’s hand and went to tell Olivia the good news. I expected her to be overjoyed to have me all to herself again, but she was more thoughtful than happy. She still celebrated with me, though.


Thoughts on December 1st

We gathered in Olivia’s and my room after breakfast to discuss the auction list. I said I didn’t care for any of the items, but the others wanted to bid on quite a few. We agreed on a prioritized order of those items and noted down how much we were willing to pay for each of them. We decided to front almost all the money required for our maximum bids, and not depend on our magic items being successfully sold.

Ilzo, Va’lyndra and Leopold went to fetch their gold. We had to put the money in the bank before the auction for our bids to be considered. Olivia and Va’lyndra counted the money, one thousand seven hundred thirty-one gold pieces. It wasn’t every day that I saw that amount gathered in one place, but Olivia reminded me that I had paid a thousand gold pieces for my cornucopia quiver at an earlier auction. The most expensive item we were bidding on this time was a so-called “Stone of Volcanic Eruption” with a minimum bid of six hundred, which Va’lyndra was willing to pay up to nine hundred for. For a single-use item, it had better be good.

As we put the gold into pouches and put them into my backpack, Va’lyndra expressed concern and said she didn’t want me to go alone. I asked what she was worried about. If she feared robbers, Ilzo should come, but if she thought I was going to do something stupid, Olivia should escort me instead. Va’lyndra said she wanted both of them to accompany me.

Ilzo wore his gold-plated bone armor when we left the compound. It might not be a good deterrent for robbery, but his size and the way he carried Surkalpi certainly were. He had said that if someone tried to rob me, I could just outrun them. This was true, except that Olivia was with me. I’d fight to the death to protect her, or more likely just give up the money if she was threatened.

I transformed into Fabian when the compound had disappeared behind the trees. One transformation didn’t take that much out of me, but I appreciated the slow pace that Olivia dictated on Bluebell. I rode behind her on Marvin; Ilzo walked in front. When we reached the main road, there was room for Olivia and me to ride side by side, but she ordered me to stay behind. Traveling single-file had proven wise on adventure, so she thought we should do that.

The soldiers outside the gates didn’t bother us, and I directed Ilzo to go to my transformation alley. I changed back into Mattea, and we walked inside the warehouse. I gave our letter to the functionary and asked if it looked all right. He said it was fine, and I handed over the gold. The functionary counted the money at a record-breaking speed, and arrived at the same amount that we had counted. He wrote a receipt and gave it to me. I passed it to Olivia, whispering that she should give it to Va’lyndra.

I asked the functionary to remind me when we would get the results. He said that the deadline for delivering bids was the twentieth, and they needed at least two weeks to process the bids. That meant we could collect our prizes in the beginning of January. The functionary said that we could arrange for the items and money to be shipped to anywhere their bank had a branch office, but I said we’d pick up our stuff here in Urdon.

Since we had five weeks or more with nothing to do, I asked Ilzo if we should go to the adventurers’ guild and check the quest board. Va’lyndra and Leopold had their studies, so I thought we should find something that Ilzo and I could handle on our own.

Gnomus greeted us at the guildhall and informed me that they had just received a flight potion with my name on it. More would arrive in a week’s time. I asked Olivia to pay for it since I’m not to be trusted with our finances, and she told me afterwards that we were running low on cash, asking me to restrain myself until we got another cash infusion. I agreed but asked where all our money had gone; we hadn’t put up any of the money for the auction, and Olivia told me regularly that we were rich.

Olivia informed me that she had a special purse for our savings. If there had been anything I wanted from the auction, she would have opened that purse, but she wanted us to be provided for when my careers at adventuring and acrobatics were over. I gave her a hug and thanked her for planning ahead when I couldn’t.

Most of the quests on the board were beginner stuff. I thought maybe we needed to pick one of those since we didn’t know if Va’lyndra and Leopold were coming, but Ilzo found the best-paying quest, investigating disappeared people. I told him if we were to take that quest, we needed our companions.

We brought it to Gnomus who said he had a special quest for us. A village three days away hadn’t been heard from in a month, and we would have to find out why and deal with the situation. This quest was actually given by the knowledge guild, so we would have to talk to them about it. I thought that was good; then we could get Va’lyndra’s and Leopold’s opinions on questing, first.

Va’lyndra and Leopold had gone out to experiment with the Elendus blob, but we met at lunch and went upstairs to talk afterwards. I told them about the quest, and then we went to see Wilhelm Surre. Two elves and an ogre stood outside his office, glaring at each other, when we got there. We learned that we’d better come back tomorrow, when the guild leader wasn’t as busy.

Back in our room, Va’lyndra and Leopold told us about their experiment. They suspected the blob of being some kind of powerstone for divine magic, but they had both been nauseated when they tried using it. They wanted to use the blob to fuel the ritual to reveal the Seral in Garuk. We had learned from Neriel’s interrogation that the Seral there was an observer of the preparations against Alvheim. I said that if we were to try anything to the Seral, we should be there to see if anything happened. How would we know if the ritual worked if we were several days away from there? Va’lyndra said we could send an agent from the knowledge guild to observe the results, or send word to one who’s already there. We agreed to bring it up in tomorrow’s meeting with Wilhelm Surre.

I had a hard time focusing on our planning. My mind was on the fact that I didn’t perform yesterday, so when Ilzo left to check up on his arena and Va’lyndra and Leopold returned to their studies, I started practicing, deciding what tricks to show off tonight.
__________________
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 08-21-2021, 04:02 AM   #268
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 70 (2021-08-15)

Thoughts on December 2nd

We met Wilhelm at breakfast in the common dining room and asked if he had time for us today. He replied that he’d been thinking of us and agreed to meet after the meal. We met up in his office, and Va’lyndra and I presented our cases.

Va’lyndra explained our planned ritual and the need for an observer in Garuk. Wilhelm said it was no problem to send word to an agent there; the message should take about three days to arrive. We realized we should specify a date for the ritual, so the agent would know when things were supposed to happen. Planning the ritual depended on our quest.

I told Wilhelm I had learned he had a quest for us, the silent village. Wilhelm, on the other hand, had something more urgent for us to do. A trade delegation from Surd had arrived in Urdon recently, led by the colonial governor’s son. Guild merchants wanted to trade with Garuk and had come to discuss terms with the Sidel family. Why they talked to the rulers of Urdon instead of Garuk was beyond me, but this was the case. The knowledge guild believed that a trade agreement would speed up war preparations in Garuk. Since it was the Serals who wanted this war with Alvheim, we were against it.

Although Wilhelm wanted the delegation to disappear peacefully, it sounded to me that he wanted us to assassinate them. I balked at that and Olivia nodded agreement. Wilhelm said we didn’t have to kill anyone, and we brainstormed for a solution. It took a while before we came up with the idea of using a ritual to ask Sulla to mess with the minds of the delegation. If this succeeded, the people from Surd would hopefully say or do something so terrible that the Sidel Family kicked them out and back to the capital.

The delegation stayed in one of the military encampments outside town. We decided to go to the edge of the forest, where we could see the camp, and set up a ritual circle there, hidden by the trees. Attempting this would allow us to see whether and how the ritual worked, and we told Wilhelm we’d do this first, before sending word to the agent in Garuk. We needed time to prepare, but if everything went smoothly, we could do the ritual tonight. Leopold wanted to do more research and got full access to the library from Wilhelm.

Leopold and Va’lyndra thought that we might not have enough mana to complete the ritual. A suitable sacrifice to Sulla would reduce the amount needed, but they were worried we didn’t have anything to offer. I said that I would have given up my virginity for this cause, as it would have been a most suitable offering to the god of love, but I had left it in the Old World. However, I could go into Urdon and round up some virgins to sacrifice. Va’lyndra didn’t like the idea of involving outsiders, so we shelved the suggestion.

We split up. Leopold went to the library, Va’lyndra, Ilzo and I went to find a good spot at the edge of the forest, and Olivia went to put her feet up in our room. It was only about a month until her delivery.

We needed a flat space with hidden view to the military camp. I didn’t know the first thing about camouflage, so I just followed Va’lyndra. Ilzo found a place for our ritual almost immediately and called us over, but Va’lyndra thought we should take the time to see if we could find an even better location. She believed the direction we had gone looked promising. When Ilzo came with us, he quickly found a spot that was as good as Va’lyndra thought we’d be able to locate, so we decided this was it.

We returned to the knowledge guild compound, where Leopold had found a document warning about this kind of ritual. It said that those who participate might be affected by the god who is worshipped, perhaps even taken over completely. My friends found this concerning, but I didn’t see the issue with giving Sulla power over us.

Va’lyndra and Leopold informed me that their mana wasn’t aligned with Sulla, so they couldn’t contribute in the ritual. I had to do this all on my own, but they’d tell me what to do, and they said I should try to draw energy from a powerstone. Leopold lent me his.

I followed Va’lyndra’s instructions for how to use a powerstone, but while I felt both taller and more satiated when Va’lyndra said I should, I didn’t actually grow, and I still looked forward to the next meal. Va’lyndra’s way didn’t work for me, so I took the powerstone and left the room, but I stopped in the hallway and went back inside. “Um, this is my room. Can you guys leave?” I hurriedly added that I didn’t include Olivia.

I made myself comfortable on the bed and slipped the stone inside. I didn’t dare including Olivia in my magical experiment, but going at it alone never did much for me. After half an hour, I gave up. I wasn’t going to reach ecstasy on my own, and it didn’t seem like the powerstone was releasing its energy either. I washed and dried it, and put on my clothes again before calling Ilzo, Va’lyndra and Leopold back inside. Va’lyndra checked the powerstone, and declared that it contained no less energy now.

Va’lyndra suggested I tried using the Elendus blob instead of Leopold’s ordinary powerstone. She had discovered that the energy contained in the blob wasn’t of Elendus. Maybe it was Sulla who had infused it with power?

Leopold asked if I used mana when I transformed. I told him I didn’t, I just grew a little tired. “That’s exactly how Va’lyndra and I use our powers!” Leopold exclaimed. I blinked at him. “But I don’t get tired when you guys use magic,” I said, utterly confused. Va’lyndra gave me a flat stare, and I realized I was being silly.

Leopold insisted I tried to transform, pulling the required energy from the blob instead of draining myself. I took the blob and focused. I think I managed to draw just a trickle from the blob. I didn’t actually turn into Fabian, but I felt my body become more masculine for a few seconds. My stomach turned, but I couldn’t tell if this was the same as Va’lyndra and Leopold had felt, or if it was just me reacting to the icky magic.

Va’lyndra and Leopold were convinced I could make this work during the ritual, and that made me certain it would work. Who was I to argue with the experts? Leopold said I just had to focus on the ritual instead of transforming, and that didn’t sound too difficult.

We still had to prepare the ritual circle. Leopold would do the actual drawing of the mystical symbols, but we needed to strip away the turf so he could carve the symbols in the soil. Ilzo and I fetched shovels and headed out. There were people out on the fields between the forest and Urdon, so we worked as quietly as we could, to avoid detection. Ilzo impressed me with his stealthy moves. We flattened out the worst bumps in the circle, and then we went back to the compound.

I recharged with Olivia before dinner, and Va’lyndra, Ilzo, Leopold and I returned to the ritual circle. It had rained while we were inside, and the water had turned the soil to mud, but Va’lyndra cast a spell to dry out the soil.

Drawing all the mystical symbols on the ground took a long time. Leopold was far more meticulous than I would have been. After a couple of hours, it started raining again, a real downpour, but Va’lyndra danced her spell dance again, and the clouds dispersed in a circle above us. If it wasn’t getting dark, people might have noticed the odd weather. Ilzo and I dug ditches out of the circle so water wouldn’t gather there, but Va’lyndra’s spell made it unnecessary. Still, it gave us something to do, besides watching Leopold draw in the dirt.


Thoughts on December 3rd

It was hours past midnight when Leopold finally declared that the circle was ready. Va’lyndra froze the ground, covering it with a thin layer of ice so we wouldn’t disturb the drawings. Leopold warned me that the ice would be slippery to walk on.

I put the Sulla statuette in the middle of the circle. Then I hesitated. Leopold reminded me what to do. After an opening prayer, I asked Sulla to mess with the heads of those people in that camp over there – I pointed – so they wouldn’t be able to conduct their negotiations the way they wanted. I tried to draw power from the Elendus blob, and I didn’t get nauseated at all, much to my surprise. I felt the energy surge from the blob and through my body, a most peculiar sensation.

When I finished the ritual, I walked towards the military camp. Ilzo came running after me, and I thought he might try to stop me, so I picked up the pace and left him in my wake. I tossed aside the Elendus blob. I don’t know why; it wasn’t very heavy. I skidded to a halt before the three guards at the entrance to the camp. They didn’t look like they had anything important to do, so I started flirting.

The situation escalated. When someone came to see what the uproar was about, I got them to join, usually taking the place of someone I’d worn out. The whole affair melted together into a long blur. At one point, while a soldier was feeding me snacks and drinks, I realized that the sun was high in the sky. I must have gone through every man in the camp, and I recalled vaguely that some female camp followers had joined in as well.
__________________
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 08-25-2021, 09:24 AM   #269
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 71 (2021-08-22)

Thoughts on December 3rd (continued)

The chill of winter doused my hunger and cleared away the mist in my head. I winced as I witnessed the continuing orgy around me. I was perched on a stool, eating a travel ration. From my throne, I felt pity for those rolling around on the cold ground with no more clothes on than me. The sounds that reached my ears revealed that the entire camp had fallen under my spell. Well, most of it; I could hear angry voices behind a tent, and three men in civilian clothing were making their way through the feast.

I frowned at the three approaching men. Why were their swords drawn? I stood up just as they reached me and attacked. They were trying to subdue me, using the flat sides of their swords, but that was no reason not to dodge. I ran, calling for help, but most people were too busy to react.

Two bowmen were ready for me when I exited the crowd. I ducked under their arrows and reentered the throng, still calling for help. But help wouldn’t be found here. Everyone was still entranced and caught up in the orgy. I racked my brain and hoped my clothes were still where thought I had left them, at the place where I had seduced the first three soldiers. I found my outer garments there, and my pouch with the miniature portrait of Olivia; I couldn’t leave without that. I didn’t see my underwear, but I had recovered my most prized possession, so I legged it, keeping an eye on the archers so I could dodge their shots. Someone yelled, “Stop that harlot!” and a man tried to grab me as I exited the encampment, but I changed directions so abruptly that he tripped and fell flat on his face.

Usually, I take care not to show outsiders how extraordinarily fast I can run, but now that my life was in danger, I completely disregarded that rule. The three swordsmen and the two archers came after me, as did some arrows that I couldn’t outrun, so I had to dodge. Once or twice, I could feel the arrows brush past me, but I was still unharmed when I reached the forest.

The men following me were a couple hundred meters behind by then, so I stopped behind a tree to put my clothes on. I realized I had forgotten Scorchmark in the military camp and tried to summon the weapon with my will, hoping it wasn’t pinned down.

Some soldiers from the other camp, the one owned by the Sidel family, came out to give chase, too. I couldn’t tell if they were after me or the men following me. I had just slipped on my shoes when I saw a projectile hurtling towards my chasers. It looked like a small rock and came from the forest, a little to my left. It looked like help, but it could also be a roaming monster, so I didn’t take any chances and kept silent. I’d take on most inhabitants in the Bewitched Forest singlehandedly, but preferably when I had my weapons and armor. The projectile knocked one of the swordsmen off his feet.

I tied my shoelaces and continued into the forest. The archers tried another volley, but their shots went wide. I saw Va’lyndra sneaking through the woods, but I didn’t reveal myself. I didn’t know how to explain all this, and I also thought I had made the archers lose track of me, so I didn’t want to make noise. With Va’lyndra coming from the direction of the unseen rock-lobber, I could be quite sure that it was Ilzo who kept my chasers busy.

I was just thinking that I needed to go back to the military camp to find Scorchmark when the magical weapon came zipping through the air and hovered next to my hand. The blade had brought its sheath, so I attached it to my belt.

I turned around and sneaked towards the ritual circle. I had to retrieve the Sulla statuette. The ritual circle had completely vanished. It wasn’t where I thought it should be, nor were there any traces of the digging Ilzo and I had done, so I decided I wasn’t at the right location and kept searching.

Suddenly, there was a road in front of me, and the unmistakable Grand River on the other side. I knew where I was, so I turned left and soon saw Urdon ahead. I skirted town and found the south road which I followed to the path to the knowledge guild compound.

At the guild gate stood two guards, a dwarf and a human. I knew the dwarf; his name was Drevegan. Since I had romantic feelings for him, I went up to him and told him about it. I said I hoped my wife, Olivia, would accept him into our lives, and took him to speak to her, hand in hand.

When I began to explain to Olivia, in our room, she stormed out and slammed the door before I could tell her that Drevegan had many younger siblings and would be a great help raising our child. I turned to Drevegan and said that it would be fine, I would convince Olivia that this was a good thing.

Someone knocked on the door. “Come in,” I responded, but Va’lyndra’s voice told me to come out. I opened the door, and Va’lyndra asked me to come out into the hallway and give her my hand. Olivia stood behind her, but I could only think that Va’lyndra wanted to be my girlfriend. I stepped outside and let her grip my hand. “This is for your own good,” she said and lowered a big ball of icy water from above the door.

The water stayed around my head so I couldn’t breathe, but I broke free and withdrew into my room. I ran to the window to get away. Va’lyndra followed and ordered me to stay, calling me a coward. I pushed open the window, shivering with cold. Va’lyndra asked if Sulla had let go of me, but I didn’t care to reply. I just dove out and broke the fall with a roll. “Wait! Don’t leave!” It was Olivia, desperation and pain tingeing her voice, so I began to climb back up. Va’lyndra looked down from the window with eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep. She ordered me to answer, but in my miserable state, I could only think of Olivia, and couldn’t fathom what she was talking about, so I just climbed. Va’lyndra put her ball of ice water around my feet, numbing them so I had to climb only with my hands. Anyone else would have fallen, but I saw Olivia’s face behind Va’lyndra, and kept going.

When I was back inside, shivering and dripping wet, I looked at Olivia expectantly. Va’lyndra seized my chin and turned my head towards her instead. I tried to push her away, but she shoved my hands aside. “Please, stop fighting,” Olivia begged. Va’lyndra said my fighting spirit was a sign of Sulla letting go and walked out the door. Olivia locked it and closed the window before pulling me towards the fireplace. “You look cold, Mattea,” she said, stating the obvious. Drevegan was nowhere to be seen.

I removed my wet clothes and Olivia found something dry for me to put on. Then we sat in front of the fire, embracing until I stopped shaking. Olivia said she thought I was affected by the magic ritual. I agreed. She also thought it would be wise if I didn’t see anyone for a while, and promised to stay in our room with me. That sounded like a good plan to me.

I almost fell asleep on Olivia’s shoulder and forced myself awake. Olivia wasn’t nearly as tired as me, having actually slept last night, but she allowed me to carry her to the bed. I needed her closeness and it wouldn’t be good for her to sleep on the floor.
__________________
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 08-25-2021, 09:33 AM   #270
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 71 (2021-08-22)

Thoughts on December 4th

I woke to find Olivia enter the room with a breakfast tray. I got up to share the meal with her. We talked about inconsequential, happy things while we ate and afterwards. Although I could practically feel the love between us like a tangible bond that stretched from my heart to hers, I saw worry and concern on Olivia’s face. Why couldn’t she revel in the love, like I did?

Someone knocked on our door, and Olivia asked who it was. “Ilzo,” said Ilzo. Olivia told him to go away. He knocked again, and I repeated Olivia’s order. Ilzo tried changing his voice and claimed to be Va’lyndra, but it was obviously still him. I told him to go away again. It was quiet for a few minutes, then he knocked again. I met Olivia’s eyes. She shook her head slightly. None of us said anything. We hoped he’d get the idea.

I understood why Olivia wanted me to stay with her. She was feeling vulnerable. With her big belly, she couldn’t run away from trouble as easily as before, and needed me there to protect her if danger came knocking. She also didn’t have as much energy as she used to. So, I helped her to her feet when she wanted to stretch her legs and fetched whatever she asked for. When she read, I sat beside her, held the book and turned the pages. By doing all this for her, I hoped to make up for the horrible things I said and did yesterday.

When we got hungry for lunch, Olivia insisted on going alone, so I sneaked after her and made sure she was safe. She got her tray of food and paid a guy to bring our next meals to our door.

The next time someone knocked on our door, it was Leopold and Va’lyndra. Olivia walked towards the door, and I asked how wise it was to open. We were supposed to be quarantined. Olivia asked through the door what they wanted. Leopold informed us that Wilhelm Surre wanted a report on what had happened earlier. Olivia said I was unwell and that Va’lyndra and Leopold would have to deal with him; they could tell us how it went, later.

Leopold and Va’lyndra came back a couple of hours later. Olivia still spoke with them through the door. Wilhelm had asked if we were going to investigate the vanished village. Our friends hadn’t known what to say. Olivia asked Leopold if he knew how to find out what was wrong with me. Leopold conferred with Walter, who only said that it would be a bad idea to ask a god to take back a gift.

Olivia invited Va’lyndra inside to see if there was anything unnatural about me. Va’lyndra asked if it was all right if she brought Leopold. Leopold watched from just inside the door while Va’lyndra did her spell dance. To be safe, I made sure Olivia was never directly between me and them; if necessary, I could throw myself in front of her.

Va’lyndra suddenly asked Leopold to undress. Both he and Olivia said that was a bad idea. I didn’t understand why. It’s socially acceptable for gnomes not to wear clothes. Va’lyndra said I had Sulla magic inside me. The way she said it made it seem like she thought this was bad, but Sulla is my god, so why should their magic be bad for me?

Olivia told Va’lyndra and Leopold that I had been feeding her and turning the pages in her book, like I somehow had insulted her by doing it. I thought she maybe wanted their sympathy for how I had treated her, but didn’t want to mention Drevegan’s name in my presence.

Leopold asked what I thought about leaving Olivia here for a few days so we could check on that village. I told him it was out of the question. If the guild needed this so badly and couldn’t send anyone else, Leopold, Va’lyndra and Ilzo should go. I needed to stay with Olivia. But one look at Va’lyndra told me she wasn’t fit to go. She looked like she hadn’t slept in days. We agreed to wait until she was better. Despite her exhaustion, Va’lyndra wanted to come back to check up on my Sulla magic, and she asked if it was all right if she analyzed me once a day for now. She was no threat to Olivia, so I said it would be fine.

When the servant brought dinner, Olivia ordered a bathtub and water. I was mortified. I had been clinging to her all day, not to speak of last night, covered in strangers’ fragrances. Our perfumed soap had never smelled better than it did today. Luckily, I didn’t have anything sticky in my hair like I had after my lapse on that ship, but I washed it thoroughly nevertheless.


Thoughts on December 5th

We had breakfast in bed today. Olivia allowed me to fetch the food after the servant had left it outside our door. Afterwards, Olivia instructed me how to examine her. She had the knowledge of a midwife, but she wasn’t flexible enough to listen to her own chest and back.

I didn’t understand why she had me do all those tests on her. Oh, I knew she wanted to ascertain that there was nothing wrong with her or the baby, but some of the tests seemed like she just wanted to see if there was anything I wouldn’t do on her command. The kinkiest was by far having me taste her water and describing it to her. During the procedure, I thought she was just having fun with me, but she nodded so knowingly, I knew it was a legitimate test. Olivia concluded that nothing was wrong with her pregnancy.

The examination took a toll on Olivia, and she wanted to relax and read. I, on the other hand, was so turned on after scrutinized her naked body and literally putting my nose in her business. Olivia could have shut me down, had she not been in the mood herself, but she needed a breather first. She had me sit on the bed, leaning against the headrest, and sat between my legs, resting her head against my chest. She put her book on her baby bump and when I moved to help her with it, ordered me to keep my hands on her breasts.

A bleary-eyed Va’lyndra came to visit after lunch. She cast her detection spell on me and determined that the divine magic was still in me.


Thoughts on December 6th

I loved spending time with Olivia, but it didn’t bring money to our purses and I began to crave exposure. Olivia was an appreciative audience for my performances, but she wasn’t a roaring crowd. Va’lyndra declared I was getting better – she detected no Sulla magic in me anymore – but she was getting worse herself, even nodding off in the middle of a sentence. After she had gone, I asked Olivia if there was anything we could do for her, medically speaking, but Olivia said that we just had to wait it out.
__________________
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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