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Old 04-12-2020, 04:19 AM   #41
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 18 (2020-03-28)

26th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

I slept late this morning, and Lunari woke me. I grabbed his offending hand and forced it up his back, marching him out of my room, and intended to go back to sleep. Lunari said we had to hold council, so I grunted and said I’d be there in a few minutes. I had forgotten my makeup last night; rain and sleep made me look a mess. I washed my face, brushed my teeth and said a short prayer before joining the others in Lunari and Grogg’s room.

It was the star box they wanted to discuss. Xipil was curious if it still glowed. It did. The light was bluish, but very sharp. They explained that we needed to discharge the energy stored in the box, and recharge it fully. Completely charged, it would not discharge over time, and we could hand it over to Azura. Lunari and Xipil determined that we had to travel a little to the west before charging it. The easiest would likely be to travel north along the coast and then west. According to Lunari and Xipil, the box would discharge more rapidly underground.

Lunari suspected that some of the energy in the box had been used to fuel the ritual that attacked Lord Madan. Using it that way was very risky, he claimed.

We heard sounds outside the door. It was Lady Isa and Pak, and Lunari gave the sad troll the flute he had made. It took some persuading to make him accept the gift; at first, he had claimed he was unworthy. Pak started playing, tears of happiness streaming down his cheeks.

Lunari took Lady Isa aside and asked for compensation for our work. Lady Isa rightfully thought that two hundred gold was too much, and agreed to give us a hundred. She fetched the money and handed it to Lunari, but we couldn’t tell anyone, especially Nujan, that she had paid us. Grogg gave her some of his embroideries.

Lady Isa and Pak walked away, but Xipil followed, wanting to discuss magic with the lady. Grogg went after them as well. Lunari returned to his room, commenting that now that we had reached Guling, our agreement that he’d pay my traveling expenses was concluded. He returned shortly with a pouch with twenty-five gold coins. I’ve never been so rich! Once Grogg returned, Lunari gave him four gold pieces, keeping the rest safe. Trolls have practically no sense for the worth of money; it’s a racial thing. Lunari had explained to me earlier that he allowed Grogg to have some coins, for impulse shopping, but if he needed something expensive, Lunari would pay for it from a pouch he kept for Grogg. Xipil got a pouch of twenty-five.

After a while, Keri knocked on the door, commenting that things weren’t going very well around here. I guessed he had learned about the attack on Lord Madan. We had decided to go help Lord Lunas, as that would be on the way to where we could charge the box. We didn’t mention the part about the box, but told Keri that we would go north to help Lord Lunas. This was good, Keri said. That way, he didn’t have to dispatch soldiers to the north, soldiers who would be needed here.

We couldn’t leave before sunset, so Keri brought the others down to the dungeon where they could put the star box so it would discharge faster. I sat down to pray. Keri came back after a few minutes. Xipil had sent him to get me, and Keri babbled about an orc, so I asked if I should get my knives. He made me ask for permission before killing anyone. I had no difficulty making such a promise; I always ask You before I take a life.

Xipil reported that Krull, the orc in one of the cells, had said I was coming to take him home. It seemed like a misunderstanding, or at least a statement that could have two meanings, so I sat down in the torture chamber to pray for guidance. You told me in no uncertain terms that Krull should not die. Lunari was concerned that I’d kill Krull without asking the nobles for permission, and insisted that we leave, but Xipil hadn’t finished talking to Krull. Lunari tried to pull him away, but the tiny elf failed to overpower the lizard man. I tried to ask Xipil politely to come, but he refused. In the end, Lunari had Grogg pick him up and carry him out. Krull was singing in his cell, and Grogg translated from the troll language. The song was a troll children’s song about how cowardly elves were. Lunari fumed. As we left the dungeon, Krull called after us to tell the cat that it was time. Xipil called back that we would.

We agreed to meet to fetch the box a half-hour before sunset; that would give us enough time to retrieve it and cross the island and leave before the land bridge closed. Lunari wanted to check in to an inn and spend the night in Guling, for he needed to make purchases for himself and Grogg, and the stores would be closed when we got there. Keri insisted that it was urgent that we make as much haste as possible to reach Lord Lunas, and claimed he’d fix it so that we’d get what we needed 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 04-12-2020, 04:23 AM   #42
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 18 (2020-03-28)

I went up to my room to pray, but Xipil interrupted. He wondered what Krull had meant; the orc had made claims about You. I told him that Krull seemed confused and sat down to pray again. Xipil suggested that we find a cellar to pray in, as that would take us closer to You. We headed for the village. It was still raining. I got permission to borrow a food cellar under one of the houses. Xipil asked if we needed to wash before praying, but I explained to him that the ritual of cleansing is only required in chapels.

Lunari arrived in the village a little later. We could tell from the faint violin music that reached us. During my prayer, You repeated that Krull shouldn’t die, at least by my hand, and revealed to me that he didn’t speak with Your voice, but with someone else’s. I got the impression that he might be the “prophet in the south” that I was looking for, but his talk seemed like nonsense to me. However, considering that it was Mitra who sent me for the prophet in the first place, I didn’t have very big expectations. I talked it over with Xipil, and then we prayed some more. I knocked on the door to the house again, and thanked them for letting us use their cellar. I was more than welcome to borrow it again.

Xipil and I met Grogg and Lunari back at the fort, in the dining hall. I asked if they had packed their things and were ready to go, but they hadn’t. Lunari groped one of the maids and asked where we could obtain traveling rations. The woman returned shortly with a sack, probably enough for three days. If we needed more, we had to buy it in town.

Lady Isa, Remi and Keri walked in, for Lady Isa wanted to say goodbye to Kraa. Remi handed each of us a pouch. They contained eleven gold pieces each, payment for “specialist services” for the last four days, and for the coming week. Remi claimed he had no authority to give us a bonus, but Lunari said we were going to meet Lord Lunas, who could deal with it if he thought we deserved it. Nobody mentioned Lady Isa’s payment.

Grogg, Lunari and Xipil went with Keri to get the star box in the dungeon. I spent the time talking to Lady Isa. I explained that even though the situation seemed dark now, everything would be all right in the end. I felt that I got the message through, for the noblewoman’s face lit up with happiness and hope.

When the others returned, Xipil asked Lady Isa to tell Pak from Krull that it was time to start moving backwards. I shook my head in confusion, but Lady Isa promised to relay the message. She and Keri walked with us across the island. Lady Isa said goodbye in the village and gave us all hugs. Keri followed us all the way to the land bridge, and gave me a rolled-up letter that I was to show at the city hall.

Heavily armed city guards stood watch there, and I showed them the Aldera seal on the letter, so one of them escorted us to Markus’s office. The former sergeant sat behind a pile of paperwork, and groaned when Lunari offered congratulations on the promotion. I gave him the letter, and he unrolled it on the desk, allowing me to see what it said: “Sorry. Help them. Keri.” Below the dwarf’s message, with finer script, stood: “Remi has seen this letter. Remi.”

Lunari asked Markus for a crossbow and a bolt for himself, and a shield for Grogg, and Xipil chimed in that he needed to restock arrows. Markus took us to the armory of the city guard, which was located there in the city hall, so it wasn’t far to walk. I spotted some fine long knives, and asked if I could have them. I licked my old knives, in case there was a bit of poison left on them. There shouldn’t be, for I had cleaned them already, but You know… I bit my new blades ritually before sheathing them.

The armory contained more than weapons. Lunari took some oil for his lantern and Xipil got a map and a rope, although Markus had to send for the map. Lunari asked then if everyone had received what they needed. I thought I should procure some birth-bane root, but I sincerely doubted that the city guards stored that in their armory. Not that I was planning to sleep with anyone, but I deemed it prudent to have some, just in case. I made no mention of it to the others, of course. They were all men, or at least not females, I corrected myself: Xipil is genderless.

Before we left, Markus asked our advice about the tower. We recommended that he keeps the area off-limits, and that he burns the corpse. Markus had a message to Lord Lunas, that the “swamp route” was desperately needed. We said goodbye and good luck.

On the way to the wagon yard, we passed a brothel. Lunari stopped and stared, for obvious reasons. I found it likely that they had birth-bane, and stopped as well. I asked if I could have five minutes; Lunari asked for an hour. We didn’t want to wait that long, and tried to convince Lunari to come away with us. The birth-bane would have to wait. Our raised voiced caused the bouncer to come out and ask us to go argue somewhere else. Xipil pulled Lunari after him, and we got to the wagon yard.

It was an inn attached to a large hall filled with wagons. I walked up to the bar and told them that the Evening Fort thought we needed a wagon. The bartender eyed me suspiciously and asked who at the Evening Fort thought so. I smiled winsomely and dropped Remi’s name. That got us a wagon, and we erected a canopy to shield us from the rain. Someone brought two horses and harnessed them to the wagon. Lunari took the reins while the rest of us filled the wagon bed. Then we were off.
__________________
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 04-16-2020, 09:40 AM   #43
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 19 (2020-04-04)

26th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412 (continued)

By the light of the lantern, we studied the map that Markus had provided. It covered Arland and the Prince’s Cities, as well as what was just beyond our borders. I could see that the map wasn’t made here in Arland, so the others’ theory that it came from the Prince’s Cities seemed reasonable.

At the city gates, the guards were about to stop us, but they recognized the sigil on the wagon and let us out. I paid attention to where Lunari guided the horses until I was certain he knew where to go, then I lay down and closed my eyes – after brushing my teeth, of course.

Xipil was concerned for a green-skin ambush on our way to Nadder, the village where we hoped to meet Lord Lunas. We managed to calm him down; we should be safe at least for the first half of the trip. As it was important that we made good time, I told Lunari to wake me when he grew too tired to drive, and I’d take over the reins.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.


27th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

I woke in the middle of the night. I had a moment of panic when I couldn’t see anyone at the reins, but once I sat up, I saw that Lunari had fallen asleep, slumped over in the seat. I moved up to him and took the reins carefully so I didn’t wake him. I drove awkwardly, for since I didn’t want to wake him, I had to sit over him, leaning on the low backrest.

When the pre-dawn light hit his face, Lunari started stirring, his hand caressing my calf and moving upwards between my thighs. I gave the arm a solid punch, and even though I pulled my blow, I expected a colorful bruise to adorn him for the next couple of days. He startled awake, if he wasn’t already, and proclaimed his innocence. I shouldn’t blame him for moving in his sleep. I explained, quite calmly, that his hand had no business being where it had been, sleeping or no sleeping. He slunk back to the others in the wagon bed.

We passed some farmers coming out to do the day’s work, but they ignored us beyond a short glance. The rain had abated somewhat, making it less tedious to work the fields, not that I have any experience with farm labor.

We found a small village, and I pulled up at the inn so we’d get some breakfast. We had kept a sedate pace during the night, but we hadn’t made any stops, so we figured the horses needed a rest. Recognizing the Aldera sigil, militia-men asked who we were and what our errand was. I explained that we were going to help Lord Lunas against the green-skins. They hadn’t heard about the green-skin threat, so we assumed we’d have safe travel for most of the day. Polite words went a long way, for they offered to feed the horses while we broke our fast at the inn. Being blessed with good looks didn’t hurt, though.

After the meal, I asked the soldiers for local news. They had heard of the martial law in Guling and Ur, but were confident that the Aldera family could deal with whatever was going on. They had no new knowledge, at least pertaining to our quest. Lunari, Grogg and Xipil came outside just as I was asking directions to the village’s wise woman, and decided to come along when one of the soldiers offered to take us there.

Lunari asked for crow’s toes, earning a frown and a huff from the elderly woman. Grogg gave her a gold coin, and she said she’d examine him; his magic needle hadn’t healed all the wounds from the tower raid, yet. The rest of us were shown the door. After a while, Grogg and the wisdom came outside, and she invited Lunari in for a talk. Grogg glared at me, and I asked if there was something he wanted to ask me. He said there wasn’t. Once Lunari came outside again, I slipped inside and asked for birth-bane root. The wisdom said she’d give me a dose for free, but I told her I needed more. I didn’t tell her of my resistance to the drug; that was none of her business. I figured I’d rather have her believe me a lightskirt than give away Your secrets. I got eight doses at a steep price, and a similarly disapproving frown as she had given Lunari, earlier. It should be enough for two “incidents”, taking my resistance into account. The wise woman’s assistant was ignoring his patient, caressing me with his eyes instead. I couldn’t help but wink at him when I left. I don’t know why I did; I have no desire to pursue a relationship with him, nor did I wish to take him for a tumble in the hayloft.

Xipil wanted to know why Grogg stared that way at me. I didn’t know. Grogg does many silly things. Xipil also asked what my errand was with the wise woman. I explained that I needed medicine. “Are you sick?” he continued worriedly, but I assured him that this was not the case.

We stayed in the village for another hour, and Lunari made a pass at the young woman who worked in the inn’s kitchen. She saw through him, and rebuked the attempt. When we left the village, I thought they were going to talk about us for days to come, if not weeks.

We stopped in another village for lunch, and one of the village women changed into a shorter dress and offered her services to Lunari. They vanished into a room adjacent to the common room. The walls weren’t very thick, so Xipil and I decided we’d go look for a chapel. We didn’t find one, but we discovered a small seamstresses’ shop, and Xipil sent me inside to buy some fabric for Grogg.

When the sun was nearing the horizon, we found a slightly larger village and entered the inn. Lunari’s eyes immediately fell on the working girl who was talking to a local when we entered. Lunari hired the girl and the only available room. She seemed impressed with him being a foreigner.

Xipil and I went in search for a chapel. Again, we failed to find one, but we spotted a vineyard outside the village, and went to check it out. Anything was better than having to listen to Lunari’s antics. There were guards at the vineyard, but they didn’t challenge us. A middle-aged man came to meet us and correctly deduced that we weren’t merchants. I told him we were travelers, curious about the wines. Maybe we’d buy a bottle or two.

The man took us on a short tour of the facilities and allowed me to taste his wines. Even with small sips of each, the amount I imbibed would make another person at least tipsy, so I pretended to get a little drunk. The salesman was on the job, but took some sips himself as well, and made the occasional flirtatious comment. He didn’t go so far as to become a bother, and I ended up buying a bottle that I thought Lunari might enjoy. I felt a little bad for punching him as hard as I had done; he’s so frail!

Back at the inn, Lunari was still bouncing about with the strumpet. I commented on the noise to the innkeeper, and got permission to pitch my tent among the fruit trees out back. Xipil and I went outside. He asked if he could sleep in my tent. I don’t mind sleeping in the same room as him, generally, but the tent is really only large enough for one. He climbed one of the trees instead, after we had done our evening rituals.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.
__________________
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 04-16-2020, 10:04 AM   #44
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 19 (2020-04-04)

28th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

I woke while it was still dark. The animals in the village were restless. I slipped my knife belt around my waist and put on my cloak, meeting Xipil, Lunari and Grogg in the orchard. I suggested that we take a look around the village to see what was going on.

We soon spotted a flock of hens in the street, heading north, out of the village. Grogg told us he smelled something strange and asked if he should get his club. The poultry were not the only animals on the move; sheep and goats were also walking off, with frantic villagers trying to gather them up. When Grogg returned, he said that Kraa was reacting to something. We decided to follow some hens that the villagers had failed to round up, sending Kraa ahead of us. I sent Xipil forward as well, reasoning that someone with the capability of communicating what they saw would be more valuable as scouts. Grogg glared at me.

We followed the poultry for about an hour, and Lunari commented that he thought someone was using animal magic to summon the animals. He suspected it was the goblins. I took off my cloak and gathered up the hens in it. Xipil had found more animal tracks paralleling our path, and reasoned that all the animals were headed in the same direction.

Returning to the village, I handed the hens over to their owner, who was thankful for the assistance. Lunari wanted to return to bed, but I told him we had to leave; he could sleep on the wagon. The horses were affected by the spell, too, and wanted to leave the road, but I managed to keep them on the right path, with some difficulty. I’m not a teamster. Xipil sat by my side, watching the stars. Five minutes out of the village, he removed his cloak and leapt off the wagon, disappearing into the night. I called after him, but he didn’t reply. I was a little concerned, for he seldom took off without telling me where he was going, but there wasn’t anything I could do. Neither Grogg, Lunari, nor I were capable of tracking him down, at least not in the middle of the night. The accursed full moon was disrupting my night vision. The bright side was that it gave off enough light for me to see the road. Xipil knew where we were headed. We just had to hope he didn’t run into trouble on the way.

Lunari slept through the whole incident, but Grogg was awake. After a while – it seemed like hours, but the sun had yet to show up – he started sniffing around Lunari, waking him, and explaining that he could smell wicked horses nearby when Lunari complained. Grogg picked up his boss’s spear, and Lunari tried to take it back. He exclaimed that it had become magical, something to do with the “Ancient Stallion”. Grogg gave back the spear and told Lunari that Xipil had vanished. Lunari started looking around, but I told him it happened hours ago. Lunari suddenly remembered that we had forgotten to bury the star box when we went to sleep, and told Grogg and me that we had to help him remember, tonight. I asked if he could take over the reins so I could get some more sleep.

Xipil was back, and woke me when the wagon rumbled into a palisaded village. Lunari swaggered around, holding his spear with extreme confidence, filling soldiers and villagers with awe. One soldier called out “Commander Lunari arrives!” and everyone snapped to attention when we followed the elf into a building where Lord Lunas was having a meeting with his officers. Lunas told Lunari to relax the magic around his people, but Lunari explained that it was the stars that were especially active; he hadn’t done anything.

Lord Lunas asked if we had spotted animals heading north, and Xipil told him that the animals were led into the desert by giant ants about the size of goats. Lunari told him everything that had happened in Guling. The half-elf lord said he had to go back, but Lunari assured him that we could take care of the ants and the goblins.

Lord Lunas told us what he knew about our opposition. It boiled down to that goblins of the Flame Clan had allied with fire ants, so called because their bites burned. He emphasized several times that we shouldn’t trust the goblins, whatever they said or did; they were the epitome of deceit and treachery. The fire ants were not intelligent beings, they were only animals, but the goblins controlled them somehow.

There was only one horse in the village that suited Lunari’s extreme mood, and he was able to convince Lord Lunas that he needed to borrow the war stallion. Lord Lunas told everyone that we were in charge here when he left, and to give us whatever help or equipment we required, but I don’t think anyone would deny Lunari anything, the way they were fawning at him while he strutted about with his spear. We got something to eat, and two rooms with two beds apiece, and Xipil and Grogg tried to get some shuteye while Lunari pranced around on his new horse. I walked with him outside the village, and buried the star box so it would discharge faster. Lunari stood on the saddle, showing off. The enchantment oozing off him didn’t seem to affect those of us who knew him from before the same way it spellbound strangers, but I found myself glancing admiringly at him from time to time. I stomped on the feeling and reminded myself that he really was a whining coward.
__________________
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 04-16-2020, 10:15 AM   #45
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 19 (2020-04-04)

Lunari insisted that I should ride a little, so we found a horse for me, too. My dress wasn’t split for riding, so I was baring more skin than was decent, but even though Lunari admired my legs, I thought he did so in a respectful manner. Xipil came while we were riding around. Lunari commented that horses don’t like him. For that matter, I thought to myself, my horse didn’t seem to like me either; I was having trouble controlling it until Lunari’s enchantment took hold of it, and then it only followed his horse, wherever that went. Xipil told us that Kraa had returned with a small glass bottle. Grogg had opened it in Xipil’s and my room, and had spread its rank fragrance there. Even though the bottle only had been open for a second, Xipil suggested that I didn’t return for a while.

Xipil had brought his two pet frogs, Slikk and Slakk, and asked if I could persuade a villager to look after them while we went into the desert looking for goblins. The frogs wouldn’t like the climate out there. Xipil explained that the frogs needed water and insects, and I relayed the information to a more than willing villager.

When I returned to the house where we had rooms, Xipil handed me a small bottle. The others had found it on an earlier expedition, but hadn’t managed to identify the contents. I didn’t recognize the liquid either, and suspected that it wasn’t natural. I suggested they take it to a magician for analysis. Suddenly Grogg rushed at Lunari, who used his spear to trip him. The troll complemented Lunari’s skill and stood up again. I scratched my head. Xipil asked if he could touch Lunari’s spear, but Lunari clutched it possessively and said he had to admire it from afar. I gave Lunari the bottle of wine I had purchased, and apologized for punching him so hard.

I left my disguise kit and my makeup in my room, holding my breath while I was in there. My backpack was still heavy, and I was glad I had a horse. With it, I wouldn’t be the slowest party member anymore. When we left the village, Lunari was bedecked with wreaths of flowers; his spear was still affecting the villagers. Lunari muttered to himself about invading Loyalist land, and I glanced worryingly at him. The spear’s enchantment seemed to be going to his head. He put the spear down occasionally, and I thought he looked pensive. The overconfidence returned as soon as he gripped the weapon again.

Xipil was scouting ahead, and in the evening, he reported that he had found a depression where all the stolen animals were kept. Further scouting discovered a cave nearby, with four or five fire ants outside. By the tracks he found, it could be as many as ten goblins and twenty ants there.

Lunari’s first plan was to have Xipil throw the foul-smelling bottle that Kraa had found into the cave to see what happened. He asked me to check if the rank liquid was an acid. I took the bottle and asked for his arm. He took the bottle back, and poured some on a leaf. He broke off the twig and rode back towards the village. He returned after about ten minutes, declaring that the liquid wasn’t an acid. He gave the bottle to Xipil, and instructed him to pour a few drops onto an arrow, and shoot the arrow into the cave. Xipil did as he said, and walked towards the cave. Five angry ants came at him, so he ran away. They followed him until he dropped the arrow, then they buzzed around near the arrow while Xipil made his escape. I thought it might be a good idea to go kill those ants while they were away from the cave, divide and conquer. Lunari didn’t comment on my suggestion, but mounted his horse and rode away, towards the cave. Grogg followed him. Xipil asked me what we should do, and I sighed and said we just had to follow.

Outside the cave, Lunari was shouting that he was Lunari Grandiflora, and that he had come to conquer the goblins. “Come outside! You are bound by the rules of single combat! Don’t let Lunari Grandiflora, the great conqueror, wait!” Seven green-skinned goblins with blood paint on their faces came out of the cave, followed by ten fire ants. One goblin stepped forward, mocking Lunari. I sat my horse, watching the proceedings while I applied poison to my knives. The presumed leader of the goblins, who I thought was a fake, hiding the true leader, snapped his fingers, and two ants drew a large circle on the ground. Lunari dismounted and met the goblin, spear against flail.

Lunari started by casting a haste spell on himself. The goblin rushed him, but missed, and Lunari retreated, giving the goblin time to cast a spell of his own. Lunari stepped forward, stabbing with his spear, but he missed. The goblin swung his flail at the elf, who dodged elegantly. The goblin blocked the next stab with his shield, and again he failed to connect with the flail. Lunari’s next attack pierced the goblin’s shoulder, enraging the goblin into making an all-out attack, but Lunari dodged again and stabbed the goblin through the thigh. The goblin fell to the ground, bleeding profusely. The other goblins bowed in the dust for Lunari. Lunari commanded that someone should patch up his wounded subordinate. I stayed in the saddle, watching the goblins carefully for signs of betrayal, but they only spat on their former leader while he bled out.

We followed the goblins inside the cave. Most of them didn’t speak Common, but one of them revealed their plan to curse the animals and release them back to the stinky humans. Now that Rama’s month was approaching, the humans couldn’t slaughter the cursed animals. However, it wasn’t midnight yet, so Lunari ordered the goblins to kill a pig and roast it for his victory feast. Lunari shared out his wine, and he and Grogg feasted with the goblins.

Xipil and I brought a lantern, and checked out the rest of the cave. We found traces of animals already slaughtered for food, and saw that the goblins had travel gear, including harnesses for some of the ants, which they apparently used as pack horses while they traveled. Some animals were tethered in the deepest part of the cave.

The goblins fawned all over Lunari, but glared at the rest of us, although they seemed to accept us as part of Lunari’s clan. Xipil received a bottle from Lunari, who had got it from the goblins, with instructions to cover ourselves with it. The liquid inside smelled like goblin, or perhaps it was the goblins who smelled of the liquid. We determined that the liquid would make the ants regard us as friends.

I prayed for Your permission to butcher the goblins. Lord Lunas had made it clear that we couldn’t trust them. I took Your lack of reply as an endorsement of my plan. The goblins settled down to sleep eventually, only one awake and patrolling. I watched the patrol routine, and told Xipil to take out the guard the next time he went outside the cave.
__________________
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 04-16-2020, 10:23 AM   #46
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 19 (2020-04-04)

1st of Rama, year 412

The goblins were lying in a row along the cavern wall. The one who spoke Common was on one end. I started in the other, intending to spare him so we could interrogate him further. I stuck a poisoned blade through the neck of the first goblin. I had planned to reapply poison to the tip of the knife before moving on to the next, but the goblins slept very lightly, and the next one sat up, about to scream, so I skewered his neck with both my long knives. The penultimate goblin started screaming before I could do anything about it, but I moved towards him, stabbing the throats of the two before him as I passed them. The screamer ran away, but I didn’t think it was necessary to follow; Xipil would take care of him, or at least he’d be able to track him down if he escaped. I turned around and finished off the goblin that I had barely scratched in the rush to get to the screamer.

The Common-speaker put his hands up and begged for mercy. I told him that since he pleaded so nicely, I’d spare his life. From the outer part of the cave, I heard the thunder of hooves, and the sudden cessation of screaming. Lunari appeared on horseback, and the last goblin begged him to be spared. Xipil tied up the goblin, and I made a gag and stuffed it in the captive’s mouth. Lunari promptly removed the gag, and started talking to the goblin. He convinced him that we’d take up their plan of sending cursed animals to human lands, and learned that the animals in the cave were prepared. Lunari explained to Xipil and me, once Grogg had carried the goblin outside, that he had agreed to the goblin plan to gain credibility in the captive’s eyes, hoping to learn goblin magic and ant lore from him. He wanted Xipil and me to kill the cursed animals after he and Grogg had taken the goblin away from here, but I reminded him that this was a bad idea in Rama’s month; we needed priests of Rama to deal with the animals.

We untied the goblin and headed towards the village. After a while, the goblin mentioned that we had forgotten to release the animals so they could bring the curse upon the humans. I turned my horse around, saying I’d deal with it. Instead, I made sure the tethers would hold, and looted the goblin corpses. They had a few coins and a collection of small glass vials, similar to the ones we had seen earlier, both those that made the fire ants friendly, and those that made them angry.

I caught up with the others just before the sun should rise, but it was still dark as night, the full moon taunting me from above. I handed the goblin bottles discreetly to Lunari. He was in the thrall of the spear’s enchantment and said we had to go to the Plains of Eternity to find the Ancient Stallion. Fortunately, he was enough in control of himself that he remembered that we had business to take care of here, first.

I asked the goblin if he had a name, and he implored Lunari to give him one. Lunari declared that his name was now Sly Slumsnurr. Grogg and Sly remained outside with the ants, but Xipil, Lunari and I washed the goblin stench off us and entered the village. I washed my dress as well, in the small brook, out of sight of Lunari and Xipil.

In Nadder, we were welcomed back by villagers who were convinced Lunari could bring the sun back. There were lanterns everywhere, and guards on high alert. Lunari told the villagers that we brought victory over the goblins, and everyone cheered.

Lunari summoned the sergeant in charge of the garrison, and we went inside the head quarters to talk to him. Lunari explained about the curse, and the sergeant agreed to send scouts to keep an eye on the captured animals until priests of Rama could be summoned. Lunari gave the sergeant six bottles for the scouts to use to make them seem like allies to any ants that might appear.

Xipil revealed that we had captured a goblin and planned to use the fire ants as pack animals. I groaned inwardly, but Lunari overruled any protests that the sergeant might have had, saying that it was all right, because he had conquered the goblins.

Xipil and Lunari wanted to discuss our next moves, and the sergeant excused himself so we could talk privately. Lunari had an urge to go to the Plains of Eternity, but Xipil reminded him that we had things to do here, such as filling the star box and helping the Aldera family.

The sergeant reappeared to let us know that ships were sighted out on the sea, heading towards Guling. Lunari, Xipil and I agreed to cast votes about where we should fill the star box. Lunari voted for a ship’s mast or a spire mountain to the north-west. Xipil wanted to go south, to the swamps. I was concerned for the lack of privacy on a ship, and preferred deserts to swamps, and cast the deciding vote. We’d go to the spires. In the desert, we could use the fire ants both as pack animals and as protection, and I offered to fetch the harnesses that we had left in the goblin cave.

A few hours later saw me back in the cave. I made sure the tethered animals were still there, then I rummaged around for the ant harnesses. I found ten in total, so we didn’t have enough for all fifteen ants, but it should be enough for our purposes.

I met Lunari on my way back to the village. He said that we needed to get the goblin corpses, to feed the ants. He’d never stack seven corpses on one horse, not even when they were small as goblins, so I returned with him. We brought the corpses back to where Grogg, Sly and the ants waited a safe distance outside Nadder. I dropped the corpses unceremoniously off my horse and told Lunari and Grogg that I was going back to the village, to return the horse, which the sergeant said they needed, and to sleep.

When I entered our room, Xipil woke up and told me that he had seen star activity above the Plains of Eternity. He was also convinced that we needed to do something about Lunari’s spear. I told him I had a plan, and to let me deal with the spear. I just had to get some sleep, first. In the room next door, Lunari had company. I brushed my teeth, said my evening prayer although it was only afternoon, and went to bed with my head under the pillow. The walls here were so thin!

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.
__________________
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 04-16-2020, 10:33 AM   #47
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 19 (2020-04-04)

2nd of Rama, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

The villagers celebrated the return of the sun this morning. Loudly. Annoyingly, they attributed it to Lunari. We brought food out to Grogg and Sly and had breakfast with them. Sly gave us ant oil – the friendly variant – and we applied it. Lunari and I dug up the star box, that is, Lunari watched me dig up the star box. It still glowed a little, so we put it back in the hole while we prepared to move out. Lunari fetched supplies in the village after shaking off the ants which thought he was a nice guy to follow. We couldn’t very well bring the ants into Nadder.

Lunari tried learning goblin magic from Sly while we traveled. Suddenly, Xipil farted loudly, and Sly exclaimed that his magic didn’t work on lizards. Then he pointed at me and asked Lunari, “What about her? She seems very attracted to you.”

My plan to relieve Lunari of his spear had three steps: First, I would pretend that I was attracted to him, by casting longing glances at him, looking away as soon as he saw me, as if I was shy. Second, I’d contrive situations where we’d brush against each other. Third, I’d get him alone, and when he undressed, I’d grab the spear and run. I’d proceed from step to step whenever I deemed it more urgent to separate Lunari from his spear. Sly had clearly noticed that I was implementing the first step.

Lunari asked if I could be a guinea pig for the spellcasting, but I said no, so Sly tried his tricks on Grogg instead, without luck. When he finally succeeded with his spell, it was targeting an ant, which promptly dropped to the ground, lying still on its belly.

Xipil tried riding on one of the ants, but it didn’t go very well. It was awkward without a saddle, so Xipil asked Lunari if he could reshape one of the harness baskets to a saddle. Lunari tried, but it went horribly wrong. The basked cracked the ant’s carapace, killing it. The other ants went wild. Luckily, we were all smeared with ant oil, so they didn’t consider any of us as enemies, but they mangled several of the harnesses. The dead ant was reeking, and Sly asked Lunari if he should wash away the stench. We decided to fry the corpse instead. With the smell gone, the ants calmed down. And the meat was edible, and tasted not too bad. Even Xipil tried it, and he doesn’t usually eat meat, although he didn’t appreciate the taste.

Lunari and Xipil repaired the broken harnesses, Lunari with his plant magic, and Xipil the old-fashioned way. One of Lunari’s spells backfired, disintegrating Grogg’s hatchet handle. Sly used the break to demonstrate how the goblins extracted the ant oil. When we resumed our travel, I asked Lunari if I could sit behind him on the war horse. He didn’t mind that at all, of course, so I clung tightly to his back while Sly continued teaching him goblin magic.

Xipil and I both noticed animal burrows while we were traveling, and when we stopped, we did so near a fox’s den. We thought it was empty, but when we pushed the still-glowing star box inside, we heard the fox’s displeasure deep inside. We figured it wouldn’t harm the fox to have light inside its den, at least not for just one night. And it wasn’t unlikely that it had another exit, if it needed to get out before we removed the box.

Lunari transformed an empty water barrel to a cradle where Xipil could sleep while we traveled. That way, he could stay awake at night, keeping watch. Tonight, though, we had to share the watches. We agreed on a schedule while we ate, and I sat down to meditate. I needed to refill my poison vial. Lunari sat on the horse, sleeping with the spear in his hand. Grogg took the first watch.

Suddenly, I noticed that Sly was standing next to Lunari and the horse, and it was the goblin who was holding the spear. Sly cackled maniacally and told Grogg that Lunari was nothing without his spear. Lunari rode out of reach of the spear and turned around, as if to charge Sly, but instead, he dismounted.

Grogg walked over to Sly, and the goblin asked him what they should do now. Grogg told him to hand over the spear, but then he went to fetch his maul. Lunari asked if Sly would give him back the spear, or if he wanted a duel. Grogg ran back to the goblin and smacked the maul into the ground next to him. Scared out of his skin, Sly dropped the spear and ran for it. My throwing knives followed him. One bounced off the leather armor, but the other took him in the neck. I hadn’t removed the poison from the blades yet, so the traitor dropped dead.

Everyone was of the opinion that Lunari needed a timeout from his spear, so Grogg made a deal with him that Lunari could keep his magic needle while the troll held on to the spear. It would be easy for Lunari to stick Grogg with the needle, making him fall asleep so he could retrieve the spear, but he didn’t take that opportunity, so maybe he didn’t think of it. I was certainly not going to mention it, in case it hadn’t crossed his mind. Xipil wanted to know if holding the spear made him go crazy, but Lunari didn’t want him to try, and Grogg, the three-meter-tall troll, held the spear high.

I went over to the goblin corpse and picked up my knives. Lunari was a little annoyed that I had killed Sly, but I thought we had learned all we could from the little trickster, and Lunari grudgingly agreed that it wasn’t likely that he could learn much magic from him anytime soon. We knew how to milk the oil from the ants, and that was what was important.

Xipil and Lunari went back to sleep, and I sat down to resume the meditation after licking clean my blades. After four hours, Grogg was still on watch duty, spear still held stubbornly above his head. I erected my tent and went to bed.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.
__________________
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 04-17-2020, 01:27 PM   #48
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 20 (2020-04-12)

3rd of Rama, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

Lunari complained about insect bites this morning, and Xipil mentioned having been stung, too. After treating Xipil’s sting, I discovered that Lunari wasn’t just whining. He had swollen up in several places, the skin pink and tender in areas larger than the bruise I gave when I punched him earlier. I treated the stings and took down the swelling. I checked myself for bite marks too, and found a couple, but whatever puny venom the insects had injected didn’t affect me.

Grogg had stayed awake all night guarding the spear, and Xipil asked if he had plans to conquer the world, like Lunari had when he held the spear. The spear apparently didn’t affect Grogg in the same way as it did Lunari, or else it made Grogg a much better liar than I would think possible. He claimed he had no more desire to conquer anything than he did yesterday. I believed him. He didn’t seem to possess the same overconfidence and determination that Lunari had demonstrated.

We had breakfast watching the carrion birds circling high above us. Xipil was concerned we didn’t have enough water and wanted Lunari to send the horse home, as it was our largest consumer of water, by far. Lunari refused to give up that fine specimen.

We applied ant oil and dug up the star box. It wasn’t completely discharged, so Lunari suggested to remain with the horse and his spear, catching up with us once the box had emptied its mystical energy. Xipil and I thought this was a very bad idea, both because of the spear, and because we didn’t want anyone to be alone in the desert, for however long it took to empty the box, which could be days, yet.

Heading north, Lunari and Xipil rode their respective mounts while Grogg and I walked. Ahead of us were sharp peaks and tall mesas. We traveled towards the nearest mesa, half a day away. Xipil and Lunari talked about filling the box on top of the mesa, where it would have a clear view of the night sky. We wouldn’t be able to get Grogg or the animals up, but I guessed I’d manage the climb if Xipil could get a rope up first.

When we got nearer the mesa, the others found tracks of humanoids hunting. Xipil said they had tried to hide their tracks. Maybe something more dangerous hunted the hunters? We were still several kilometers away when Lunari spotted a tent west of the mesa. I couldn’t make it out, but we sent Xipil ahead to scout. We buried the star box while we waited for him to return.

The vultures had followed us sedately all day, but suddenly they flustered with activity. Kraa had apparently plucked a large feather from one of them, and delivered it to Grogg. The feather was thick with stinging insects, and I warned the others, causing Grogg to shake the feather, and the insects to wake up, seeking blood. A swarm of them buzzed quickly towards me, so I legged it. I managed to lose them in the desert, but not before being stung. Some of the insects tried to get Lunari, but on horseback, he outpaced them easily. Returning to the others, I compared the fresh stings with those I got last night, but they were practically invisible since the venom didn’t affect me, so it was hard to say whether they were caused by the same types of insects.

Suddenly, Xipil called out from afar. I couldn’t see him, and failed to discern his message, but there was someone between us and Xipil, running westward. I noticed Lunari eyeing the spear in Grogg’s hand, and darted towards the troll, in time to leap up behind Lunari on the horse before he charged after the runner. Grogg came loping after, and the fourteen giant ants followed.

Lunari and I soon overtook the runner, a human dressed in hunter’s garb, a bow on his back and a quiver on his hip balancing the axe on the other side. He put his arms up and begged for mercy, even dropping to his knees. Once Grogg, Xipil and the ants got closer, he got even more frantic, wild eyes darting around. Lunari called to Grogg to keep the ants away.

Lunari asked how many were in his party, and the hunter admitted that there were four others. Lunari also wanted to know what was on top of the mesa. The hunter didn’t understand why he wanted to know, but told him there were only a few hardy plants up there, growing in crevices in the rock. Lunari didn’t believe that he only was a hunter, seemingly thinking that he and his friends wanted to ambush us. Still on his knees, the hunter didn’t get away before Lunari trampled him.

Miraculously, the man got back on his feet, and he turned to me to beg for his life. I didn’t have time to reply, for Xipil moved up to him, and the hunter shouted for his friends to run. Xipil struck him with his staff and told him to shut up, which he promptly did.

I took the hunter by the arm, and we all returned to where the star box was buried. The fellow was on the verge of tears when he explained to me that they were out here hunting armored lizards. Lunari interjected a question of whether any of them were magicians. No, they were all hunters. Lunari grumbled that he still thought they were planning an ambush, but Xipil turned to me and asked my opinion of our prisoner. I said I thought he seemed sincere and truthful. I didn’t even want to tie him up when Lunari ordered me to. I complied only when the prisoner asked me to, himself. I passed his weapons to Grogg.

I thought he might have internal bleedings, and treated him as best I could. I asked his name, and he whispered that his name was Milen. I gave him my name, as well. We talked for a while, and I learned that his village lay to the south-east, in Aldera land. That was a surprise, for we had all assumed that he was an outlander from the wilds.
__________________
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 04-17-2020, 01:38 PM   #49
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 20 (2020-04-12)

Xipil asked Milen if he would be our guide here in the desert, paid of course. He agreed, once I promised to deliver him safely home and protect him from the ants. I told him we had found a way to trick the ants into believing we were their friends, and smeared some ant oil on him. Xipil asked him what dangers we needed to watch out for in the desert, and Milen explained that it was safest to hide during the day and be active at night. We should use fine-meshed netting to prevent insect bites.

We dug up the star box and proceeded towards the mesa. Milen’s friends had taken off with all their equipment. We sat down in the mesa’s shade and ate. Lunari tried to milk the ants like Sly had showed us, but he didn’t get the hang of it, so he ordered Xipil to do it instead. Lunari had his spear back, and was in command mode. I reburied the star box.

Xipil climbed the mesa and returned to tell us what he found. It was greener up there, but there were no plants large enough to hold the weight of climbers on a rope. He borrowed Grogg’s axe head, thinking he could fasten it in a crevice and tie the rope to that. With the rope, Lunari and I managed to get up as well, and Milen tied our packs to the end of the rope so we could get our stuff up, under Grogg’s supervision, of course. Milen didn’t want to remain below with the ants when Xipil, Lunari and I planned to remain up there for some time, so Xipil and I pulled him up. His injuries prevented him from climbing.

Lunari wasn’t too keen on having Milen for a witness, so I suggested that he should instruct Grogg to send up the needle, so we could put him to sleep. I was more interested in sharing its healing powers, but didn’t say that out loud. Anyway, Grogg refused to let the needle go unless Lunari threw down the spear first. Needless to say, Lunari didn’t let go of that voluntarily. I pitched my tent and sat down in the shade with Milen; Lunari and Xipil tried to get some sleep, as they were going to stay up all night to fill the star box. The ground up here was rocky, but I buried the box as best I could.

Milen, in his mid-twenties, told me this was his second year of hunting in the desert. Ato, the leader of his expedition, had picked him after he had excelled in the “hero games” last year. I learned that the Aldera family paid the winners of these village games generously, and that the prize money had outfitted Milen for these hunting expeditions. On a hunch, I asked Milen if he had heard of someone called “the prophet in the south”, but the title was unfamiliar to him.

Lunari was sleeping soundly when the sun approached the horizon, so I walked over and touched his spear. I didn’t feel anything, not even an urge to take it away from him. I woke Xipil and Lunari, but Milen asked if it was all right if he went to sleep. I thought that was a good idea; rest was what he needed now.

The star box was finally empty, and Xipil discussed with Lunari how to charge it. They agreed to stay with the box for half-hour shifts, alternating between charging the box and resting. I asked anxiously if there was anything I could do, and they told me to keep watch. That, I could do. Lunari also thought they might need medical treatment afterwards. My eyebrows rose with surprise, but I promised I’d patch them up if it came to that.

I walked the perimeter of the mesa, and noticed that Grogg had gone to sleep among the ants below. I stayed clear of the star box, which slowly gathered up light. After two hours, it shone as bright as a lantern. After four hours, it was nearly as bright as day up on the mesa, and Milen woke up. I told him that the magical experiment the others were performing wasn’t harmful, although it was uncomfortable to look directly at the box. Milen turned his back on the box and swore he wouldn’t tell anyone about what he’d seen. The light confused the small birds that lived up here, and some of them even seemed intoxicated. I understood Milen’s sentiment.

The entire box-filling process took eight hours, and the light grew brighter and brighter. At the end, even Grogg in the shade at the foot of the mesa was surrounded by daylight. When the box was completely filled up, though, it stopped glowing. I breathed a sigh of relief, watching Lunari put the glassy contraption into its bigger, wooden container. That container was not to be opened, he instructed. Milen, who hadn’t struck me as particularly devout, was praying fervently to Azura for protection.


4th of Rama, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

We refreshed our ant oil, but Milen still wanted me to go down first. Our equipment came next. Xipil tied the star box carefully to the end of the rope, but it slipped out of his hands and plummeted towards the ground. I tried to catch it, but I wasn’t fast enough, so the box crashed onto the rocks, exploding in a shower of wooden splinters. Astonishingly, the glass-like apparatus inside was intact, not even a scratch showed. I lifted it up carefully and placed it inside my backpack. Lunari and Milen joined me on the ground. Lunari gathered up the wooden splinters and took the apparatus from my pack, going a little distance away before repairing the wooden box with magic.

Lunari lay down to rest; he had been reeling from the exertion of charging the box, and the spellcasting he just did wasn’t effortless either. The loud crash had woken Grogg, and he walked over to Lunari and tried to take the spear. A fight ensued. Milen was scared and cowered behind me, but I could see that Lunari and Grogg weren’t really trying to kill each other. Grogg just tried to grab the spear and rip it out of Lunari’s grip; Lunari tried to trip the troll. Neither of them were successful in their attempts. I watched with interest while Xipil free-climbed down the cliff face.

The warhorse thought that Lunari was in danger, and tried to intervene, slamming Grogg to the ground and trampling his leg. Grogg got up again, anger gleaming in his eyes, but I still reassured Milen that it was just a friendly scuffle. Lunari started using the sharp end of the spear when Grogg punched the horse in the face. Grogg was still reluctant to use deadly force against Lunari, but once the troll was reeling from his wounds, Lunari ran away, causing the troll to snap. Grogg took off his helmed and hurled it at Lunari’s fleeing backside. The elf crashed to the ground, and Grogg sat down, making it clear that he was done fighting.

Lunari would be sitting gingerly for some time to come, so I asked if he wanted first aid. He declined the offer, so confident with the spear in his hands, but Grogg didn’t, so I bandaged his arms, where Lunari had stabbed him.

I winced on Lunari’s behalf, when he climbed the horse. He had decided that he wanted a break from Grogg’s company, so he ordered us to meet him in Nadder and took off. Grogg waved and called after him, “Good fight!”

The rest of us had breakfast, watching the ants devour one of those armored lizards that Milen had been hunting. Then we headed for Nadder. As both Milen and Grogg were reeling, we didn’t move very fast. Xipil lay in his cradle on one of the ants, and asked Grogg if he could borrow the magic needle. When we stopped for the night, I removed the needle from the sleeping lizard man and returned it to Grogg, who needed it more. Milen offered to stay awake to keep watch, but I didn’t trust him enough for that, so I told Xipil that he and I should split the night’s watch in two. Xipil had to take the first half, as I had stayed awake all through the experiment last night.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.
__________________
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 04-17-2020, 01:55 PM   #50
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 20 (2020-04-12)

5th of Rama, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

I was still bone weary when Xipil woke me, but I managed to stay awake through the watch. When the sun came up, and we had had breakfast, applied ant oil and started moving, it was easier to keep my eyes open. Grogg and Milen weren’t reeling anymore, so we reached Nadder in the afternoon.

We shook off the ants an hour before reaching the village. Milen was relieved. He had been so scared of the ants, even when he was covered in ant oil. Xipil gave Milen two gold pieces for his help and reminded him to keep silent about what he had seen. Xipil’s loose tongue revealed that we were working for the Aldera family, but that turned out to be a good thing, for Milen was devotedly loyal to them, and apologized deeply for making trouble for us. I told him he hadn’t been difficult at all, and that it had been a pleasure traveling with him. Milen headed for his own village when the rest of us entered Nadder.

I asked the guards at the gate if Lunari was there, but they couldn’t reveal where he was or what he was doing. We tracked down a sergeant instead, and learned that Lunari had gone to check on the cursed animals in the cave.

We got rooms, food and water for washing, and I retrieved the equipment I had left here. After a quick meal, I washed and brushed my teeth, before collapsing onto the bed, one hand on the floor as I mumbled Your evening prayer.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.


6th of Rama, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

I was completely refreshed when I woke up this morning, and I recited a prayer of thanks before joining Xipil for breakfast. Xipil thought we should hurry back to the Evening Fort; he thought Lord Mir had returned.

Xipil went to inform Lunari, but he had company and told him we should travel ahead. On his fast horse, he’d catch up with us in no time. Xipil woke Grogg and went outside to see about borrowing a wagon. Lord Lunas had left with the one we brought with us when we first came here. It took some time to arrange the wagon and horses, and Lunari met us just as we were leaving. He hadn’t had breakfast yet, so he repeated that we should just go ahead and let him catch up. We tried to push the horses, so we’d arrive in time to cross the land bridge before it closed tomorrow evening. Even so, it only took Lunari an hour to overtake us.

We found an inn in the evening, and Lunari looked about for company. There were no working girls at the inn, so Lunari decided to make a pass at me instead. His feeble attempt to seduce me failed miserably; he must have gotten too accustomed to paying for sex. I told him I had expected better from him, and he replied sourly that if it was that time of the month, we could hook up another time. He was wrong about the time of the month, which surprised me. We’ve traveled together long enough that I would have believed he had picked up on my cycle. Not that I’m announcing when I bleed, but there are small signs, for those who pay attention. And Lunari has certainly paid me more than enough attention; maybe he just doesn’t know what to look for? I grumbled a bit about the moon. Luckily, it was waning now, but at full moon, everything seemed to go wrong with me. Poor night vision, bleeding, cramps… I snapped out of it, reminding myself that You had blessed me with a fairly light period, unlike some girls I knew, who could barely walk upright when the cramps took them.

Xipil told us he was going outside to look at the stars. I offered to accompany him in case something happened, but he claimed it wasn’t necessary, so I went to bed instead.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.


7th of Rama, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

I frowned at Xipil’s unused bed on the other side of the small room we shared as I did my morning ablutions. I went to get breakfast in the common room and found Xipil and Grogg talking at the bar. I asked Xipil where he had been, and he told me he had stayed in the chapel. He had sat down on the roof to meditate, and woke up in the chapel. Lunari wasn’t up yet, so I said I’d go for a short visit, as it had been a while since I last basked among Your snakes. Xipil gave me directions while I waited for a piece of bread to eat on the way – we did have to hurry to if we wanted to cross the land bridge tonight – but then he decided to come along.

The chapel was a tiny one. It was barely enough room for both of us to cleanse ourselves at the same time, and when I lay down among the snakes, I could touch the walls with my outstretched hands and feet. The lack of a light source didn’t bother me at all. I counted five small snakes slithering over me. Xipil’s voice broke through the bliss, asking how long I planned to stay here. I told him I wanted half an hour, but then we heard a horse outside.

Xipil thought it had to be Lunari who was out there, having heard from Grogg where the chapel was located. I remained below while Xipil checked it out. It was indeed Lunari, and Xipil exclaimed that Grogg clearly couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Lunari asked if there were snakes here, and if I was present. Xipil answered “maybe” to both questions, claiming that this was just a dark cellar, beneath Lunari’s dignity.

Xipil shut the hatch and came back down. He explained that Grogg had come here last night, without cleansing himself before entering. My fingers caressed the hilts of my blades, and I hissed between extended fangs, but Xipil said he had felt that You weren’t too offended. I told him I had to pray on this. It felt good, lying among the snakes. I got the impression that Xipil might be a blessing for Your followers, but that he wouldn’t reach a high rank because he couldn’t reconcile his way of thought to Your teachings. Nothing on Grogg, though, so I supposed he could live.

We returned to the inn, fetched our belongings and hopped on the wagon. I told Grogg that if he wanted to visit one of Your chapels, he should tell me, so I could bring him along and show him the proper behavior. He responded that he didn’t know that it was a chapel, he had just wanted to find Xipil, and followed his scent there.

It took me a while to realize that the horses pulling the wagon were adjusting their speed to Lunari’s, and Lunari was going slowly. I told him crisply that he needed to pick up the pace. The sun was setting when we reached Guling, so we really had to hustle to get to the land bridge in time. When we got there, I grabbed my backpack and jumped onto Lunari’s horse behind him. We just left the wagon there. Lunari raced over the bridge, leaving Xipil and Grogg in the dust. We took an extra lap around the village, which I noticed had grown considerably since we left here a week ago. Several new hovels were erected, and there were more people and animals. Lunari was still holding his spear, so the villagers all but ignored me, calling out happily that Lunari had returned.

The guards at the fort welcomed us back, too. Lunari rode all the way up to the closed gate to the inner courtyard. The horse lifted a hoof and knocked on the gate, and one of the guards there asked our errand. Lunari told them that Lord Lunas wanted us to report as soon as we returned. A couple of minutes later, the half-elf appeared. He repeated his annoyance that Lunari affected his people with the charismatic aura he was exuding.

Lunari didn’t comment, having already told Lord Lunas that it wasn’t his fault. Instead, he jumped off the horse. I dismounted, too, and took Lunari’s arm, and Lord Lunas commented that we had “found each other”. Walking back towards the stables to put up the horse, Lord Lunas asked if it was the spear that was driving Lunari insane. Lunari responded that the spear made him a new and better version of himself.
__________________
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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