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Old 03-13-2019, 11:52 AM   #51
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 11 (2019-03-09)

Thoughts on August 12th

Looking down from the gallery, we saw row after row of stone benches, and at the end of the hall, a series of altars in front of winged statues. The gallery wasn’t that high up, but although it was tempting to jump, I decided to take the stairs with the others. After all, if I landed right in the middle of a trap, I mightn’t get out of it.

Using the normal procedure of looking for traps before searching an area, we found more living apartments and lecture rooms on the ground floor. Inside the main entrance to the building, opposite the door, was the head of an elf carved into the stone wall. The mouth was gaping, and we saw a hole in the back of it, wide enough for Va’lyndra to stick her quarterstaff into, after ascertaining that the head itself wasn’t magical. Since she hadn’t finished analyzing the magic of the door, we were still climbing in through the hole in the upper story wall. We would still need to confirm it, but it looked suspiciously like something unpleasant would shoot out of the stone elf’s mouth if we tried using the door.

We moved on and found a treasure chamber. Piles of coins looked back at us as we stared at the wealth inside. We registered two full suits of armor standing just inside the rusted metal door, each holding a halberd, and Va’lyndra said they were magical. Theoretically, they could be part of the treasure, but they looked like guards, so we decided to leave the treasures behind, at least until the spells had been identified. Experience had showed us that Va’lyndra might need several hours to fully analyze a magic object, so we decided that she should spend her time casting spells while the rest of us searched through an area declared free of traps.

At last, the time had come to inspect the center hall. An initial sweep of the room found no traps in the main area with all the benches. The front podium with altars, statues and a fountain was left for later. Lady Karita and Kine searched the main area while Va’lyndra and I returned to the treasure chamber. Va’lyndra did her spell dance while I watched her back. I took a few steps myself, reliving the ball at the Tinderholm residence.

Va’lyndra’s spell dance took a few hours, as expected, with time to rest between castings. Lady Karita and Kine had time to move the glass from all the paintings out to the camp, but eventually Va’lyndra could reveal to the rest of us what she had discovered. The armors would animate if anyone touched the treasures, and attack anyone they didn’t recognize. Va’lyndra had figured out that the armors themselves weren’t among the treasure, so we should be safe manipulating them.

We laid a plan for how to disarm and dismantle them. The plan failed as soon as I tried to take the halberd from one of them, for all the parts, including the weapons, seemed to be welded together. Fortunately, they didn’t animate, and they were just light enough that I was able to carry one of them to the cathedral-like chamber. I laid it down on the ground, then Va’lyndra and I lifted one end of a stone bench and dropped it on the armor. After a couple of such hits, Va’lyndra said the magic had been broken. For safety’s sake, we left it under the bench. We repeated the process for the second suit of armor.

We brought all the treasures outside. There were about equal amounts of copper, silver and gold among the coins, and we had to take several trips to get it all out. Olivia and I celebrated our newfound wealth, to the annoyance of Lady Karita. She's a great adventuring companion, intelligent and talented, and I've come to think of her as a friend, but she's irritatingly outspoken about her prudishness.
__________________
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 03-13-2019, 12:38 PM   #52
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 11 (2019-03-09)

Thoughts on August 13th

We climbed back in and went to check the altar area. Va’lyndra found a hidden switch that opened a door to a steep staircase leading down to a crudely carven corridor. After about a hundred yards, the corridor ended at a small room with benches and a lectern.

Behind a metal door, a giant floating eye was waiting for us. Totally surprised, I didn’t react before the others destroyed it. In fact, I didn’t even see the eye before it lay on the ground, but the terrifying sight still nearly made me lose my breakfast. The eye had splashed acid over Kine, but I managed to wash it off her, and after she had drunk a healing potion, she was fine again.

In the room with the eye, there was an arcane pattern on the ground, and a demon statuette on a pedestal. Va’lyndra did her magic dance again and discovered that the pattern was some kind of protection against powerful beings that might be summoned there.

In the next room, four glass spheres rested on pedestals. Inside them were the images of a farm landscape, one for each season. The summer landscape was bathed in a purple light, the others in silver. Va’lyndra was looking for magic in the spheres when suddenly everything shifted, and we were somewhere else.

Startled, we looked around. Olivia was there, and the animals and Kine’s wagon. Most of our gear had appeared as well. I rushed over to Olivia and held her as we gawked at the landscape. I feel a lot braver when I’m comforting her. We were standing on a grassy mound surrounded by fields being worked by farmers. In the far distance, we could see spires, and Olivia thought she recognized them from travelers’ stories. If she was right, we had been transported back to the Old World, for she believed the spires to be those of the royal palace in Fugg, one of the kingdoms in the Holy Alliance. That meant that we weren’t too far away from Lapac, another Holy Alliance kingdom, where Duke Leonard and his bitch of a wife resided. I thought to myself that we could go there for help, if everything else failed, but I definitely had mixed feelings about it.

To get the lay of the land, we approached the nearest farmer, and Lady Karita started talking to him, but he ignored us and kept to his work. Then we noticed he looked suspiciously like the cold dwarves we had encountered a couple of months ago: Dead! We didn’t know what to make of that, but didn’t get much time to confer before ten winged beings, very similar to the statues near the altars in the cathedral we had just left, floated towards us.

The beings demanded that we showed them proof that we had permission to be in this area. Lady Karita tried talking to them, but they eventually declared that we lacked said permission, and the leader waved his hand in the air. They all drew their greatswords and descended upon us.

Lady Karita went down after one hit. Kine went down after one hit. Va’lyndra and I shot at them, and two of them were knocked down by Kine’s panicking oxen; I yelled at Olivia to mount Snowflake as I leapt up on Lightfoot. The creatures rushed towards us, and took out Va’lyndra. Two of them swiped at me, but missed. Snowflake was just fast enough for us to stay out of reach of the swords. I remained between Olivia and the enemies just in case. The horses tired after a while, and in short order, Olivia and I were struck down, too.

Confused, we all found ourselves back on the grassy mound, no more wounded than we had been when we first arrived there. I noticed that the arrow that I had shot, now was back in the quiver. We talked a little about what had happened, then rode off in the opposite direction from where the creatures had come. After a while, we were overtaken by the winged ones again. Again, Lady Karita tried talking to them. Again, they attacked and killed us.

And again, we were back on the little hilltop. We decided to see if the nearest farmer had any kind of document on him, hoping for some proof of permission that Kine could copy. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any. We rode towards where we believed the enemies would appear, and right enough, we met them, just as we crested a small hill. This time they had three dead soldiers with them. They didn’t seem to realize we were in some kind of loop, and asked us again if we had permission to be there. Then they killed us.

Back on the mound, Va’lyndra and Kine had to take a few seconds to gather themselves, and commented that the dying experience was traumatizing. Having seen something new, the three dead soldiers, we decided to go that way to investigate. We found the soldiers guarding a circle of standing stones and split into three groups. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra circled around to the left, Kine and Olivia to the right, and I went straight on. Heavily armed and armored, the soldiers were very slow, so I had no trouble staying out of halberd reach while I shot at the one who followed me. The other two went after Lady Karita and Va’lyndra. My arrows didn’t seem to do much harm, so I doubled around to give Lightfoot to Olivia, so I could close in on my opponent. I figured that if I got inside his reach, I could be able to pummel him to death, whatever that might mean for someone like him.

When I turned, however, I saw Lady Karita and Va’lyndra lying on the ground, and the oxen were running off with the wagon; Kine was clearly down as well. One of the soldiers stayed to guard the stone circle while his two companions came at me. I didn’t want to fight two of them at once, so I mounted Lightfoot again. Eventually, the flying creatures appeared and killed us.

When we awoke this time, Olivia fell to the ground, retching, and Va’lyndra, wild-eyed, screamed something about not wanting to be whipped. I hurried over to Olivia to steady her. Dying is certainly a mind-shattering experience. Only Lady Karita and I hadn’t displayed any signs of unraveling so far, but I figured it was only a matter of time.

Having the fastest horse, I galloped towards the stone circle, and drew two of the soldiers away before the others crested the hill. They managed to take down the third, and using a hit-and-run tactic, I returned to the stone circle followed by two dead soldiers bristling with arrows, yet seemingly unperturbed. Olivia handled the horses while we took down the last two. We were all inside the circle when a shimmer appeared across it. I ran to push the horses away, and took a nasty cut when a portal blinked into existence. I staggered a couple of steps before losing conscience, and I didn’t get to see the blasted wing-men emerge to kill everyone.

And so, we were back on our little hill. Again, I lured away two of the soldiers while the others took out the third. As I approached the circle again, the others had started toppling the standing stones. They had to pause to help me with the last soldiers, but we managed to topple six of the eight stones before the shimmer appeared. Instead of opening, the portal exploded, and no winged enemies appeared.

We had to rest for a while, applying bandages and healing potions, but we hoped the loop was broken. Unfortunately, the wagon had stood a little close to the explosion, so Va’lyndra had to improvise some repairs before we could go, setting off towards the spires.

Thankfully, all our food and water had been brought along to the Old World. The tents were still back in the caves, so Olivia and I had to hide behind an outcrop to get some privacy. We returned to the safety of the camp afterwards.
__________________
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 03-13-2019, 01:08 PM   #53
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 11 (2019-03-09)

Thoughts on August 14th

We stayed alert as we traveled towards what we presumed to be Kalistro, the capital of Fugg. I don’t like this version of the Old World, what with all the dead people here. They haven’t bothered us yet, but it’s unnerving to see corpses walking around, doing everyday tasks.


Thoughts on August 15th

When we arrived at the city gates, there were dead guards there, but they didn’t try to stop us as we passed through. A welcoming sign greeted us, but the city itself largely ignored us. We considered our options. Lady Karita argued for going to the palace. Whoever was in charge of this dead city was likely based there. An inn could also be a good source of information. Kine suggested splitting the party, but was quickly voted down. Nobody wanted to risk getting cut off from the others.

We ended up going to the palace. A dead guard stopped us from entering. Lady Karita dug into her memories of names and places, and remembered an acquaintance whose presence here wasn’t unlikely. The guard demanded Lady Karita’s name in a rasping voice, when she asked for her friend. Lady Karita rattled off a sequence of names. Why do all the nobles have so many names?

The guard entered the building, and it wasn’t long before a figure appeared on a balcony above us. She looked down at us, sneered, and said we were of no value to her. “Execute them.”

Suddenly, I had a vision in which the world was more vibrant, before everything faded to purple. When I regained consciousness, we were all sitting at a table in the common room of some inn, except for Olivia. There were several soldiers present, and an officer who was enjoying the company of two ladies of dubious morals. According to the sunlight penetrating the windows, it was still early in the day.

I had to make sure Olivia was safe, so I went to look for her while Lady Karita talked to the innkeeper and Kine chatted with the soldiers. Lady Karita learned that the date was July 2nd, year 845. Something weird is definitely happening to us. I thought it was August 15th, year 378.

I ascertained that Olivia wasn’t on the ground floor, and was on my way up the stairs when I heard the innkeeper tell Lady Karita that frequent demon attacks nearby were the reason for the high presence of soldiers. I looked through all the rooms upstairs, except for a few that were locked, but couldn’t find Olivia.

I was just apologizing to a couple I had disturbed in the act when a loud crash reverberated through the inn. As I hurried towards the common room, I heard screams and battle clamor. Then everything shifted, and I was seated at the table again.

Lady Karita quickly recounted that a huge demon had burst through the wall, burying Kine and the soldiers. She and Va’lyndra had tried to fight it, but as soon as the demon squashed the officer with the huge mace it was wielding, everything had faded away.

We stood up to go outside to have a look around, but before we got to the door, the demon came crashing in again. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra held it at bay for a few seconds before the world faded away again.

I stood up from the table, shouting we needed to get away; Kine threw her beer mug at the soldiers to get them away from the wall that had buried them twice; Lady Karita tried to get the officer to safety, thinking the shifting may be linked to his death. The officer, also a high human, waved her off. Insulted, Lady Karita berated the soldiers about drunkenness. The officer replied with a comment that triggered Va’lyndra’s bad temper. Shift.

Va’lyndra walked over to the baffled officer and punched him. Before anyone else did something rash, Lady Karita took control over the situation, and had us all discussing a strategy for breaking the loop. Recalling the four spheres in the room under the cathedral, we started thinking we may have to break through three more loops. There had been some strange carvings on the floor of that room. Maybe there were carvings here, too? We left through the kitchen to look outside. We saw fighting up the street, and could hear the demon breaking into the common room before we shifted back to the table.

Lady Karita asked me to seduce the officer to get him away from the room. Hoping I could remain in control of myself, I still tried my best to get him to come with me, but he was adamant he couldn’t leave his seat. Then he turned the tables on me with a wink and a suggestion that I sit down with him instead. I wasn’t hard to ask. I sat down next to him, and forgive me, Olivia, but the hunger took me. I slid into his lap and stuck my tongue down his throat.

I vaguely sensed Lady Karita, Kine and Va’lyndra discussing how to break the trap. Out of the window, Lady Karita could see a gallows being erected, and the soldiers told her a man had tried summoning demons, and was to be hanged.
__________________
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 03-21-2019, 05:52 AM   #54
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 12 (2019-03-16)

Thoughts on August 15th (continued)

The demon crashed through the wall. Miraculously, I managed to gather my senses and disentangle myself from the officer. Lady Karita circled the demon and left to scout around outside; perhaps she could gather valuable intel before the next shift. Va’lyndra charged at the demon with no though for defense and was smacked down. She
did occupy it long enough for me to drag the officer out of his seat. The demon moved after us and tried to crush him, but stumbled and dropped its massive, burning mace. I saw purple gas leak from the mace, and thought maybe the mace was linked to the loop, for the brief vision we’d had before emerging in the inn the first time had been tinged with purple. I thought it was a long shot, but I dove for the mace, just in case. Seeing me trying to steal its weapon, the demon kicked at me, but missed and fell to the floor. I leapt up and raced to the kitchen, but the heat from the burning weapon became unbearable, so I threw the mace as far as I could.

I heard a thump, a squeal of feline pain, and Kine’s voice shouting “run” so I exited the back door. I suddenly felt an urge to rescue Olivia, and looked for an open window above the ground floor. There were a few, but a little too high to reach, even with a running start. I didn’t have the time to climb up, for I could see the demon crashing through the kitchen. Abandoning my plan for Olivia, at least for now – I didn’t know which room was ours, anyway – I ran around the building and in the main door.

Kine, Va’lyndra and the officer lay on the floor, and the soldiers were still buried in the rubble, but everyone else had managed to escape. The officer’s clothes were on fire, so I grabbed a mug of beer and quenched the flames.

Rounding the building, I had seen Lady Karita approaching the gallows, where soldiers were battling a three-headed demon, so I ran in that direction. The fire demon was also on its way there, and I made sure not to get too close to it. The soldiers had bows and spears and could attack it from a distance. I only had my brass knuckles, which I hadn’t even put on, yet.

The three-headed demon breathed on soldiers to transform them into smaller demons with twisted animal features who then turned on their former friends. I wasn’t as afraid of them as I was of the larger demons, so I engaged one in close combat. That one was far more skilled than I had anticipated, and I took a nasty gash from his sword. I staggered back out of the melee and drank both my healing potions before I rejoined the fray. More soldiers arrived, and we managed to kill all the demons.

We learned that the prisoner had turned into the three-headed demon and started attacking the soldiers, just as two more demons had appeared out of nowhere in fiery explosions, one of which had blown a hole in the wall of the inn.

Lady Karita and I rushed back to the inn, and once we explained ourselves to the soldiers now standing guard outside, we were allowed to enter. Va’lyndra had received first aid from the soldiers, but they were reluctant to touch Kine, in case she was a demon. Lady Karita made it clear Kine was one of us, and I ran off, banging on the locked doors on the upper floor, shouting for Olivia, but to no avail. Lady Karita emerged up the stairs, holding a key, and we found the door that matched. A quick look inside revealed that she shared the room with Kine and Va’lyndra; Olivia and I had our own room, of course.

Returning to the ground floor, I searched behind the bar to see if there were extra keys there, for I had none on me. I found a drawer full of keys, and brought them all back upstairs. Finally, I found our room, but it was empty except for our gear. I found a first aid kit, and returned to the wreckage below to bandage Kine. Lady Karita went outside to check on our horses at the stables, and shouted to me that Olivia had arrived. I leapt up, and everything shifted.

We found ourselves seated at the too-familiar table. Curses! I had really hoped we’d broken the loop when we saved the officer and vanquished the demons. Lady Karita decided to go towards the gallows while Va’lyndra and I would get our bows and snipe the prisoner before he could transform. Lady Karita barely reached the door before the demon crashed through the wall. I vaulted over the bar, yanked out the key drawer and ran. Shift.

Kine walked to the soldiers at the wall that would explode and said Va’lyndra could see into the future, and that they were in danger. The soldiers called Va’lyndra over to explain. Meanwhile, I convinced the innkeeper to get out the spare key so he could unlock my room; he told me Olivia had taken the key with her when she left the inn. As we crossed the room to get to the stairs, one of the soldiers left to get reinforcements, and the other two moved away from the wall that had crushed them so many times already. The officer still was as drunk as a lord, and remained ensconced between the two prostitutes.

Va’lyndra did a spell dance to enchant our bows. The room she shared with Lady Karita and Kine had a view to the gallows, fifty yards up the street, and we had a clear line of sight to the prisoner. As I placed an arrow on the string, a waft of frost smoke rose from the tip. We aimed and fired. My arrow took the prisoner square in the chest, and he crumpled to the ground. Shift.

Va’lyndra and I fetched our bows, and Lady Karita talked to the soldiers. This time, we decided to fight the fire demon when it broke into the inn. After all these loops, we’d figured out that the demon would appear after a fixed amount of time, unless one of our crew tried to leave the inn; that would summon it immediately for some reason we had yet to figure out.

We all took our positions around the common room; Va’lyndra stood at the kitchen door, Lady Karita and Kine closer to where the demon would appear, and I stood near the top of the stairs. That would place me as close as I could get to a shot at the gallows, while still being able to help take out the fire demon first.

The battle went catastrophically bad. Kine tried to engage the demon in a contest of strength. The huge creature was so large, it nearly scraped its head along the ceiling, and wielded a mace weighing about half as much as Kine herself. Suffice it to say Kine lost her whip in the contest. Lady Karita, Va’lyndra and I went after the demon’s relatively unprotected neck, but neither arrow nor throwing star managed to find its mark. The demon plowed its way through the soldiers, Lady Karita and Va’lyndra. Shift.

I don’t know what she was thinking, but Kine went over to the officer and clawed open his throat. One of the soldiers cut her down with his sword, and we shifted back to the table.

We hurriedly laid a new plan, and rushed to execute it. Va’lyndra and I got our bows again, and stood at the window, aiming at the prisoner. Then we shouted for Lady Karita to open the door. Immediately, I heard the crash as the fire demon emerged below, and the prisoner started transforming. I released the arrow, and it flew true, taking the half-demon in the chest, causing it to fall to the floor. As the gallows was raised above the ground, my target remained in sight, and I could fire again at the still transforming prisoner before the nearby soldiers rushed in to finish the job.

Back in the common room, I could see that Lady Karita and Kine had saved the officer, but Kine was dying from her wounds. I did what I could for her, and poured healing potions down her throat, but I feared she would die anyway, and choked off a sob as soldiers carried her away to the infirmary. Lady Karita followed the officer to the local garrison.

I went to look for Olivia, and my heart leapt when I found her. I embraced her and asked where she’d been. She said she had delivered a letter for Lady Karita. I asked if she’d done that every time, and she gave me a confused look and told me that she’d delivered several letters for Lady Karita at various times, and was there anything wrong with that? It seemed that Olivia didn’t remember going in loops, unlike the rest of us. I didn’t know what to think about that. What I did know, was that I finally had Olivia back, but probably not for long, so we went up to our room to enjoy each other for as long as we could. We got a couple of hours of pleasure before the world faded away, and I had a vision of trees in bloom, and a farmer scattering seeds in his field.
__________________
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 03-21-2019, 06:09 AM   #55
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 12 (2019-03-16)

Thoughts on August 15th (continued)

Finally, we were back in the room with the four spheres under the cathedral, and I noticed the spheres had stopped glowing. Lady Karita told us she’d received a sword from the officer as a reward for saving his life; the sword had disappeared when the world shifted, though. He had also invited her to participate in a ritual that would banish the demons running rampant.

As we talked, we observed that we were all wearing dark grey cloaks, and among other things, I was missing my bow and arrows, so Lady Karita suspected that maybe we hadn’t returned to our own world. The suspicion was confirmed when we saw that the formerly acid-spitting floating eye wasn’t where we’d left it, and we heard voices from behind the not-at-all-rusted metal door. The voices were reciting something like a creed of faith, and then one voice told the others that the world was ending, and to avoid damnation, they had to pray to Lord Chaos.

Suddenly, the door opened, and a woman asked what we were doing back there. She looked like an elf, but had greyish purple skin. Kine immediately kicked out, but the woman seemed more startled than hostile, so Va’lyndra seized the cat girl and forced her to apologize. The purple elf apparently accepted the apology, and told us we should join the others of the little congregation. Most of them were purple elves, but there were a couple of lizard men and some green-skinned larger ones with long teeth. I tried not to look too closely at them.

The finely dressed elf at the lectern had a pile of parchments and explained that they described a ritual that everyone needed to perform to save themselves. Va’lyndra received a copy, and studied it with Lady Karita looking over her shoulder, before asking the priest if it was necessary to use animal blood in the ritual. It wasn’t. What was I getting myself into? Monsters and blood rituals, and the others just took it in stride? Va’lyndra seemed pretty unfazed by it all, and was even suggesting human sacrifice! Lady Karita and Kine didn’t appear to be concerned about her, though, so perhaps it was just an act?

The ceremony was finished, and people were talking to each other. Lady Karita said we should mingle, so I pushed down my fear, and started flirting with one of the elves. He said I had the qualities of a good sex slave, and asked if he should ask my owner if he could borrow me. My hunger reared its ugly head and devoured any sense of caution I might have possessed. I looked at Va’lyndra and asked if I could go with him. She said he could have me if she got one of his rings.

Shortly thereafter, everyone left. One of the guards uttered a formula before opening the main door, the one we still hadn’t finished analyzing. Everyone went their separate ways, I with my new owner. Shift. I had a vision of the farmer again. This time, he was harvesting crops.

And so, we found ourselves back in the real world. Or were we in yet another distortion? To say I was disoriented would be a severe understatement. We were back in the room with the four spheres. A quick look around showed an acid-leaking eye-ball on the floor of the next room, and the metal doors were as rusted as they had been when we first found these chambers. All the equipment I remembered bringing was here, so I felt a rising hope that I would see Olivia again, soon.

Va’lyndra noticed that the magic ring she’d received from the elf had disappeared, just like the sword that Lady Karita had been awarded by the officer earlier. Va’lyndra remarked that if she wanted to get another one, she just had to pimp me out again. I hope she never desires another magic ring, because I’m afraid I won’t be able to walk away if she throws a stick at me.

Ascending to the cathedral, we found someone sitting on one of the stone benches, waiting. The bald individual was shaped like a human, but skin covered the eye sockets, and two narrow slits substituted for a nose. The mouth was disturbingly normal, and opened to speak. I was freaking out, but for some reason, I remained still, and didn’t draw my weapons. The creature said he was a servant of Chaos and the last part of the prophecy, and that the fate of the world lay in our hands. Cosmic imbalance threatened to destroy everything.

Why me, I thought. I don’t want that kind of responsibility. And what can I do? I’m no hero. I’m not a warrior, or a wizard. I don’t have a powerful organization to call upon for aid. I’m just a scatterbrained performer.

The creature told us we could ask him four questions, one each. He also gave the impression that we should confer before asking, for we had better make the questions wise ones. I requested Lady Karita’s permission to fetch Olivia. Thinking was required in this situation.

I found Olivia in the camp outside, building a castle of the coins from the treasury we’d found. I hurriedly told her what had happened, and what I needed her for. She was reluctant to leave her post, but I made it clear that if anyone came to take the gold, she was to get away and let them have it, so she had no obligation to protect it. She stayed in the camp because we thought she’d be safer there than inside the buildings we were exploring. Olivia is worth more than all the gold in the world, and unlike anything else I know of, utterly irreplaceable. I started to demonstrate to Olivia how highly I value her, but she pushed me away after a few seconds, asking if the others weren’t expecting us to come back.

Leaning heavily on Olivia, I was able to contribute in our discussions, and we agreed on the first question. Lady Karita asked, “what or who causes the imbalance?” The creature answered that there were beings from other planes of existence that were at fault. Some of them were causing Chaos, others were making Order. Currently, one race of demons, the
serals, were shifting the balance too heavily towards Order. There are people in our world who summon demons, letting the balance be disturbed.

After another round of debate, Kine asked, “what can we do to restore balance?” The answer to this question was pretty much useless, I thought: We need to weigh down the other side of the scale. Clearly, we need to promote Chaos in some way, so Va’lyndra asked, “where can we learn more about Chaos and Chaotic forces?”

The creature responded with several suggestions. We could learn the language of the departed civilization down here, and read what demon worshippers have written. Under the right circumstances, we could even talk to demons or demon gods, but not with Chaos directly. We could also find useful manuscripts in the secret vaults of the knowledge guilds, or find someone knowledgeable in the churches of the lower races. I don’t know what he meant by lower races. I suppose all except for the higher race, but that could be any, depending on one’s point of view. Maybe Lady Karita knows. She knows a lot of things.

The creature also revealed something about himself. He said someone in his order would know more, but he knew the most. That prompted my question, “how can we get in touch with your order?” He replied that this was a wise question, and told us that Va’lyndra’s sponsors and superiors were members. Other guilds of knowledge were also affiliated with his order. Any place with remains of Chaos would be interesting to the order, so we might encounter someone there. Most members are shapeshifters, so they can look like anything.

After delivering the response, the creature declared that our questions had been answered. I started to protest that Olivia hadn’t gotten to ask anything yet, but the world faded away.

We were back in the room under the cathedral, lying on the floor. We clearly had been there for a while, for we were all hungry and thirsty. I got up and stretched, but Lady Karita rounded on Va’lyndra, wanting to know about her sponsors. Va’lyndra tried to evade the question, but Lady Karita nailed her pointy ears to the wall and forced her to admit she had sworn an oath of secrecy, and that she needed to talk to her superiors before she could reveal anything. I was more interested in how Olivia was doing, so when Lady Karita relented and said she wanted to know how long we had been wherever we had been, I gladly led the way out.

Olivia looked up from her coin castle when we emerged from the darkness, the worry in her eyes giving way to relief. I rushed over and greeted her, and only relented when Olivia made me aware of Lady Karita’s impatient foot-tapping. It had only been about seven or eight hours since Olivia last saw us, but it was nearing midnight, and she had expected us back long ago. No wonder she was worried. I hugged her again. Lady Karita suggested we all take the night. I grinned impishly and said I thought that was a very good idea. Lady Karita was very understanding of my needs, but urged us emphatically to keep it down.
__________________
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 03-21-2019, 06:41 AM   #56
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 12 (2019-03-16)

Thoughts on August 14th

Olivia and I woke when Kine roused us for our watch. We talked about what the servant of Chaos had said, and what I’d seen in the dream worlds. Along with Lady Karita, Kine and Va’lyndra, I had been chosen to save the world. I was proud that someone had considered me capable of such heroic feats as would be required, but I didn’t feel up to the task. I’m a world class acrobat, but I feel sadly lacking in other areas. I was also indignant that Olivia had been left out, but Olivia was thankful for it. I guess there’s a difference between not feeling like a hero and not wanting to feel like one.

If I’m going to restore balance to the world, I need to forget what’s been hammered into my head about Chaos being bad. But I now have a reason to pay back the Church that murdered innocent people because of my testimony.

After breakfast, Olivia and I dove back inside our tent, for Lady Karita declared that we were all tired, and should remain in camp for a while before continuing exploring.

I can’t put my finger on the differences, but I thought the real Olivia felt better than the imaginary ones. I lost track of time, but eventually, Olivia asked if it wasn’t time for me to go do my job. I stuck my head out of the tent to ask the others if they wanted to go exploring again soon. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra were discussing how to translate the text on the plaques above kitchen entrances down here. Yikes! I pulled back and returned to exploring Olivia’s terrain features.

Eventually, we decided to get on with the quest. Va’lyndra articulated the password the purple elf guard had used in the vision world, and opened the spelled door. The rest of us stood a safe distance away. Nothing happened, so Va’lyndra entered, followed by Kine and Lady Karita, and they proceeded towards the room with the spheres. I was reluctant to follow, and was still trying to convince myself that it would be safe to pass the door, when I realized that the others had brought with them two lanterns, and that I only would be able to follow if I took Olivia’s lantern. I wasn’t about to leave her in the darkness, but I could think of several things that I
wanted to do to her ... The others probably didn’t need me, anyway.

Lady Karita, Va’lyndra and Kine returned after a while, emptyhanded, and we proceeded to the next building as soon as I managed to disentangle myself. One side of the building had collapsed, but otherwise, it looked safe enough. The main door was made of living wood. The ground floor contained a few large, empty rooms. The second and third floor also had large, empty rooms, but the ceiling was lower there. The last three floors had smaller rooms that once may have been offices, and we found some hidden jewels there.


Thoughts on August 15th

The fourth building was a spire that we couldn’t see the top of in the light of our three lanterns. There were two openings opposite each other, and a winding staircase ascended into the darkness above. After climbing for a while, we reached the top of the tower, a small plateau with a low wall standing between us and a hundred-meter drop. While the others rested, I did some contortion practice, hand standing on the railing.

The stairs had once reached even further, and we could see a hole in the cavern ceiling about ten meters above us. I remembered we had found a similarly sized hole in the ground on the upper level of the mines earlier, and wondered if this was the same hole. We decided to fetch the wooden doors we’d found, so Va’lyndra could shape them into a ladder, after exploring further on this level.

From the plateau, a narrow, precarious bridge spanned into the darkness. I led the way, one rope length ahead of the others. The bridge reached another plateau, and an enchanted door barred our entrance to the tower. Va’lyndra started her spell dance to analyze the door, while Lady Karita, Kine and I skirted the plateau to discover other bridges leading off.

Having time to kill, we checked out the other bridges, and found markings of other adventurers. Lady Karita consulted the map we’d been equipped with by the guild, and confirmed that others had explored here already, and that the bridge network was quite extensive.

Kine had taken a tally on our food and water, and I guess we’d been down here longer than I’d thought, for it looked like we were beginning to have to hurry, so maybe we should focus on the buildings we were supposed to check out, instead of spending hours analyzing a door leading elsewhere. Va’lyndra discovered the door was protected by a password, and we decided to return to our own tower.

Kine and I fetched the doors, and Va’lyndra converted them to a ladder. Unfortunately, as we had nothing to steady it against when we raised it towards the hole in the cavern ceiling, the ladder tilted sideways, and fell off the plateau. Four or five heartbeats later, splintering wood echoed throughout the ruined city.
__________________
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 03-28-2019, 08:50 AM   #57
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 13 (2019-03-23)

Thoughts on August 15th (continued)

We climbed down the long, winding stairs and met Olivia for lunch. After the meal, Va’lyndra was still tired from her spell-casting and wanted to rest a bit longer, so Olivia and I went to retrieve the ladder pieces. They were valuable, even if they were shattered, but we discovered the ladder had just broken in two.

Leaving Olivia in the camp, the rest of us went to explore the next building. It looked like a sports stadium where one quarter of the circular building had collapsed. We took the main entrance, for Lady Karita thought that the public areas wouldn’t be trapped. A portcullis barred the way to the arena proper. It was barred from our side, making us think captive animals or people were the entertainment. We also found cells. They were empty now, of course, and we couldn’t decide whether they had held people or beasts.

In the basement, we found several mechanisms for getting up to the arena. Many of them were broken; some levers were so rusted they wouldn’t budge, others simply did nothing. Then Kine pulled a lever, opening a trapdoor under me. The drop wasn’t long, but rusted spears protruded from the floor. I managed to avoid most of them, but one hit me right between the legs. A depressing thought struck me that I might never be able to enjoy sex again. My second thought was that healing potions work wonders.

I had to stretch to tip-toe to get off the spear. I jumped to grab hold of the ledge, and pulled myself out of the hole. Va’lyndra offered to give first aid, but I told her I wouldn’t let anyone but Olivia near that part of me. While Lady Karita ran to get her, I sat down a short distance away to get some privacy, pulled down my trousers and waited for Olivia, clamping down with my hands on the wound to staunch the bleeding.

Olivia arrived with her first aid kit and set to work. The thought of her fiddling around down there was arousing, but the intense pain staved off my desire to do anything about it. I had healing potions of my own, but since Kine had dropped me into the trap, I figured she should be the one to spend resources healing me. I demanded a potion from her, and felt much better, but the pain remained, so I demanded another one after the first had settled. I told Olivia I still wasn’t fully healed, and was about to shout for yet another potion from Kine, when Olivia stood up with a stern look on her face, saying I should wait. The pain would keep me focused on doing my job, she declared, and if I could keep myself in check, she would kiss the pain away tonight. A wave of anticipation surged through me, but Olivia crossed her arms stubbornly and glared at me until it passed. I dressed and joined the others; Olivia returned to camp.

We found another such trap, and took care to avoid it. The we discovered a metal door with a key hole. Va’lyndra peeked through, and saw the glow of magic on a shield there. There was no magic on the door, but Lady Karita found a tiny switch near the floor, and noticed that the entire area outside the door was a giant trapdoor. We tied a piece of string to the switch, moved off the trapdoor, and pulled. Nothing happened, so Lady Karita pulled harder until eventually the string snapped. Then we tried forcing it up with Va’lyndra’s quarterstaff, still from a distance, but the switch was completely stuck. I put all my strength into it, and the switch broke.

Lady Karita picked the lock. Then we tied a rope to the handle, and pulled open the door. A crossbow bolt shot out and struck the wall. Good thing we all stood safely to the side, off the trapdoor. We tested the trapdoor, and it still seemed safe. The room was a repository for weapons, but except for the magic shield, there was nothing of value there. Even the crossbow used in the trap was beyond repair.

We searched through the entire stadium, and found a few coins. I had to test the arena, of course, so I took the time to do some cartwheels and backflips before we returned to Olivia. She made good on her promise.


Thoughts on August 16th

The next building resembled the first one we explored on this quest. A music hall or theatre, with a door of living wood, this structure was in a much worse state. There were holes in the walls, and the roof had partially collapsed. Lady Karita thought the door was trapped, so we simply entered through the wall and took a look from the other side. It was clear the arrow trap had deteriorated to such a degree that it no longer was able to fire. We searched through the building and found some coins. Va’lyndra stepped on a loose tile on a ledge and fell to the floor below, slightly twisting her ankle. I jumped down and bandaged her leg.

After a short rest, we proceeded to a building that we figured out was a public bath. At first, the large number of storage closets had us thinking it could be a place where people could store valuables, but when we got to the main room in the building, we changed our minds, for it had a large pool in the middle. Admittedly, there was no water there, but the depression in the floor, along with drains and faucets, strongly hinted at a watery theme. Va’lyndra did a spell dance and declared there was no water nearby, except for what we’d brought with us. I found a fine ring in one of the drains, and Kine estimated it was worth thirteen gold pieces. This was the first time that I found something all the others missed. I couldn’t wait to tell Olivia about it.

We had time to check another building before bedtime. It was pretty small, compared to many of the others, and half of it had fallen down. The stairs between the two floors had crumbled too, but because of all the rubble we could climb on, getting up was pretty easy, even for the others. We thought the building had been a restaurant once, with dining rooms on both levels, and a large kitchen in the back of the ground floor. We found nothing of value, but at least we did our job, searching the place.


Thoughts on August 17th

I awoke slowly, rejuvenated. Euphoria rushed through my veins as I recalled what Olivia and I had been up to last night. A sharp prod in my side brought me back to reality. It was time for watch duty.

There were two sites left to check out. One of them was hardly more than a pile of rubble, and we chose to take that last. The other was a compound of adjoining buildings, most of which had fallen down, but two towers still stood.

The towers yielded no secrets, no treasures. Wanting to leave no stone unturned, we started poking through the ruins, and Lady Karita and Va’lyndra spotted an open space through cracks in the rubble. We managed to remove enough rocks to wriggle through to the chamber below. A corridor led away from the chamber, to a metal door. After not finding any traps or spells on the door, Lady Karita picked the lock. Stacks upon stacks of coins gleamed at us from under a thick layer of dust.

Then three large knives rose into the air and darted towards Lady Karita. Not expecting this kind of attack, she let one past her guard and fell to the floor. Va’lyndra smacked one of the blades to the floor with her staff, and I stepped on it to keep it down. After overcoming the initial surprise, we found it easy to subdue the enchanted knives, and for safety’s sake, I broke the two I had seized, but Va’lyndra wanted to keep the third. It had stopped moving on its own, but was still magical.

Lady Karita had remained conscious and rejoined the short fray as soon as she could stand up, but was in need of bandaging, so I offered to take care of her while Kine and Va’lyndra started emptying the treasure chamber. Suddenly, the third knife broke free from Va’lyndra’s grip, and lunged at her. I leaped up and grabbed hold of it. If Va’lyndra wanted to keep the knife, she’d better come up with a good plan to restrain it, fast. She made some feeble attempts at binding it to her quarterstaff, but I could see that wouldn’t hold it for long, so I broke the third knife too, ignoring Va’lyndra’s protestations.

Va’lyndra found an enchanted stick and three magical gems in the treasure chamber. I thought the stones smelled like rotten fish, and Va’lyndra and Kine added that they made a high-pitched, monotonous sound when they touched them, so I stayed away.

Getting all the treasures out through the narrow passage in the rubble took quite some time, so we postponed searching the last building until tomorrow.


Thoughts on August 18th

Lady Karita, Va’lyndra and I searched the last ruin, but found nothing. Kine and Olivia packed the wagon with all the loot we’d found. We put the malicious painting between two doors, and Va’lyndra welded them together, using her elvish talent for shaping wood. Kine put something in the secret compartment in the bottom of the water barrel. I didn’t think there was anything we needed to smuggle out, except for the painting. We had certainly found enough valuables that we could afford the fifty percent tax. I didn’t say anything, though. We left in the early afternoon.
__________________
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 03-28-2019, 09:08 AM   #58
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 13 (2019-03-23)

Thoughts on August 19th

We passed the Mild Mole Inn without stopping. The innkeeper still has it in for Kine, I believe. If we’re going to spend long periods of time down in the mines, we may have to restock food there, so something may have to be done.


Thoughts on August 20th

When we reached the check point, there was a long line in both directions. Merchants returning from trading at the inns down here protested loudly about having to pay the tax, and Kine predicted that prices were soon going to soar. We had to wait for nearly two hours before it was our turn.

The soldiers at the check point were much more thorough in their searches this time. I asked if there were any female soldiers available to do the pat-downs, but there weren’t. I didn’t mind the intimacy, but Olivia was scared senseless of what the brutes would do to her, so I remained close enough to intervene, should the situation demand it. Starting a fight here would be stupid, but I was prepared to offer myself up to anyone advancing on Olivia. I’ve done so before, and I’ll gladly do it again. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to protect her. The soldiers were professional, though, and proceeded to check our cargo without any fuss.

The inspectors thought the two welded-together doors looked suspicious, and shook them, listening carefully for anything loose inside, but didn’t find the malevolent painting. We paid a fifty percent tax on the coins we brought, but things like the ladder parts, the glass panes from the paintings in the art gallery and the magic items were passed over. They discovered the false bottom in Kine’s water barrel, and seized everything inside. The governor apparently found it more lucrative to confiscate the goods than to quarrel with adventurers in court.

Kine grumbled that we were going to have to find a better way of smuggling contraband through the check point. I argued we were rich enough to pay the tax, and reiterated that I preferred to be honest in the future.

We had lost track of time during our stay below-grounds, and arrived in Garuk earlier in the day than we had thought. I asked Lady Karita what we should do now. She wanted Va’lyndra to talk to her sponsors to get permission to share information with the rest of us. In the meantime, we would get lodgings, report to the guild and so on, the usual adventurers-back-from-quest stuff.

At the Red Mansion Inn, we learned that the innkeeper had been injured, and his wife was in charge. Lady Karita, Kine and Va’lyndra checked in with no trouble, but when it was my turn, every room had suddenly become occupied. I would have offered the same incentives to her to let us have the small room in the attic as I had given her husband earlier, but I didn’t like the way she glared at me, so Olivia and I left to find another inn. I didn’t stay long enough to get a read on her, but I strongly suspected she wasn’t leaning in my direction. Olivia doesn’t like it when I drop my pants willy-nilly either.

The Crow and the Spruce was a decent inn, not posh like the Red Mansion, but agreeable nonetheless. We got a room, and were on our way up with the luggage when a street urchin approached me with a letter. I sat down on the bed and opened it. It was from Alfrey Kansh, the leatherworker to whom I used to report, before I discovered the information I gave was used to murder innocent children. The letter ordered me to report to him as soon as possible.

I didn’t notice I was trembling before Olivia sat down next to me and held me close. What should we do? I feared an ambush at the leatherworker’s shop. If we fled, we’d have to go far away, out of Virendia, maybe farther. I wasn’t going to give up my ambition to become the world’s greatest acrobat, but even if I did, and tried to hide, word would still get out that the famous Mattea Vishi was in town. Olivia pointed out that now that I’d been tasked with saving the world, we’d probably have to stay close to Lady Karita, Kine and Va’lyndra, or at least coordinate our plans with them. Olivia asked if I trusted Lady Karita enough to tell her about the trouble we had gotten ourselves into; she’s both clever and powerful. I agreed we should talk to her, and that seemed to settle things for Olivia, but I just stared at the wall while she moved about the room.

I don’t know how long I sat there brooding, but Olivia finally had enough. Covered only in two weeks’ worth of sweat and dirt, she sauntered into my field of vision, waving a bar of soap at me enticingly. A steaming bathtub stood on the floor, just large enough for two girls who don’t mind sharing.


Thoughts on August 21st

Olivia and I went to the Red Mansion to meet the others at breakfast, like we had agreed, but only Kine was there. After the meal, I performed for the customers in the common room, doing contortion hand-standing on a chair I balanced on two legs; the innkeeper’s wife wouldn’t throw me out mid-routine.

Lady Karita arrived after a while, and asked for the others. I told her what I knew, that Kine had gone to sell our loot, and that Va’lyndra had yet to make an appearance. I asked to speak to Lady Karita in private, and the three of us went up to her room. I confessed to reporting to the leatherworker about what we’d been doing, explaining that he worked for the Virendia government, who wanted to know about Chaos we encountered during our adventures. Lady Karita deduced my reports were to blame for the massacre at the village outside Urdon, and I emphasized I had stopped reporting as soon as I figured that out. Now, I was afraid to meet with him, and even if all he wanted was another report, revealing what we were up to would jeopardize our mission to save the world, for we would have to promote Chaos to restore balance, and we knew the government and the Church would oppose that. I admitted I had gotten in over my head, and needed Lady Karita’s help. I was relieved when she announced she would think about the best way to deal with the situation.

We met Va’lyndra down in the common room, and she told us she had been identifying the magic items we had brought past the check point; the three gems that smelled of fish had been confiscated along with the other valuables Kine had hidden in the secret bottom of her barrel. Va’lyndra explained that the shield was magically hardened to withstand damage, the short staff was a magic staff – duh! – which also stored magical energy for her to use, and the dueling bill inflicted more damage, using an unknown element.

Lady Karita, Olivia and I went to the horse market. Lady Karita asked for a strong and fast combat-trained horse. She had searched for one earlier, but hadn’t been satisfied with the selection at that time. New horses had arrived since then, and she was offered one that the seller claimed fulfilled her requirements. She wanted to try the horse before buying it, and agreed to come back tomorrow, when she had more time.

I was also on the marked for a new horse. Snowflake wasn’t as quick as Lightfoot, and I wanted to buy Olivia a horse that could keep up with me if we had to flee from danger. Olivia confided that she had grown attached to Snowflake, and asked if we could keep her as a pack horse, and sell Chestnut instead. That was fine by me; if we had to run for our lives, losing what possessions we packed on the slower horse didn’t matter.

We found a horse that suited Olivia, a gentle black mare that nevertheless was battle hardened. We agreed to come back when Lady Karita did, so we could take the horse for a run before handing over the money.

We gathered up Kine and Va’lyndra at the Red Mansion, and went to the adventurers’ guild to report, and to collect the pay for the quest. I paid close attention to Lady Karita’s recounting of events, and tried to discern what she left out. We learned that someone had retrieved Magnar’s remains, and there would be a funeral service in about a week. Our persona-non-grata status in Urdon was still in effect as far as the guild master knew.

Va’lyndra had heard rumors about unrest in the north, and we stayed at the guildhall to socialize and to hear what our colleagues knew about the situation. It seemed Virendia’s neighbor to the north, the Tamburin Supremacy, were amassing troops near the border. What little I know about them is that they have a liberal view about magic, but are very discriminating towards non-humans; not even high humans are allowed to pass their borders. Other races are kept as slaves.

Va’lyndra let us know she had spoken to whoever she needed to get permission to reveal her secrets to us, but wanted to go somewhere else, so we would have to talk about it later. Olivia whispered to me that she was tired, and wanted to go back to the Crow and Spruce. I didn’t think it was urgent to learn Va’lyndra’s secrets, so I took Olivia’s arm, and we wished the others goodbye. When we arrived at our room, Olivia didn’t seem tired at all …
__________________
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 03-28-2019, 09:23 AM   #59
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 13 (2019-03-23)

Thoughts on August 22nd

Lady Karita, Olivia and I returned to the horse market in the mid-morning. I brought Lightfoot, so we’d have a horse of known capabilities for comparison. Stable grooms saddled up our new horses and we all went outside the city. The horses performed as promised, and we left a small fortune with the previous owner.

With our newfound wealth, Olivia and I decided we needed another coin purse, so I asked Kine to go buy a waterskin and a pouch, for I didn’t want to see the leatherworker until Lady Karita had laid a plan. Olivia filled the waterskin with lamp oil, and refilled our old ones. We would need it before long, if we were going to search for Chaotic scriptures in the underworld.

In the afternoon, everyone went back outside the walls. Va’lyndra wanted to try out the new magic items, in particular the dueling bill. She felt bad handling the weapon, and Kine did as well, but neither Lady Karita nor I felt anything. Va’lyndra tried to strike a tree. Nothing magical happened as far as I could see, and she still had that bad feeling. Then she asked Kine to hit her with the weapon. Kine poked lightly at her, barely strong enough to blood, but there was a flash of silver as she struck, and Va’lyndra dropped to the ground, bleeding profusely. Olivia leapt into action and bandaged the wound. I thought it was stupid of Va’lyndra to test the weapon on herself, and she was lucky I had brought Olivia.

I nearly wept when Lady Karita asked Kine to hit her, too. How stupid was it possible to be? Lady Karita had reasoned that since she didn’t get that bad feeling when she handled the weapon, it wouldn’t injure her as grievously as it had Va’lyndra. Fortunately, Lady Karita was right, and I was wrong.

Suddenly, Lady Karita announced that Va’lyndra was spying on us to find out what had happened to Magnar. I let Va’lyndra know that if she wanted to know how he’d died, she could just have asked us. There was no need to spy. I’m not so sure I can trust Va’lyndra anymore. Good thing I didn’t reveal anything to her about the leatherworker.

Speaking of the devil, he waited for us at the Crow and Spruce when Olivia and I returned for the night. Thinking quickly, I confirmed receiving his letter, and fibbed that I had planned to come to his shop tomorrow. We had just arrived back in town, and I hadn’t had time to see him; there had been more urgent matters I needed to deal with first. I offered to report then and there, but he preferred the privacy of his shop, so we agreed to meet in the morning.


Thoughts on August 23rd
I went to see the leatherworker and talked myself into trouble. I told him about Magnar’s death, and that we’d helped liberate victims of kidnapping. I talked about our most recent quest, exploring ruined buildings. I described the dream vision, that we’d encountered powerful flying creatures that killed us again and again, when I suddenly realized I had deviated from the story Lady Karita had told the guild master. I cut it short, saying we went through many loops and then woke up. I think I managed not to reveal anything about the demon statue or the malicious painting. Alfrey gave me five gold pieces for the report, so I guess he was satisfied. Whew!

When I arrived at the Red Mansion to meet Lady Karita, Olivia had already been there for a while. I told Lady Karita what I had reported, that I had tried to stick to her story, but confessed that my mouth had run off on its own. Lady Karita thanked me for being so open with her.

After a short trip to the market, Olivia and I spent the rest of the day at the Crow and Spruce. I danced in the common room, first alone, performing on a table, then with a string of partners. Olivia watched from the corner mending clothes. When the hunger took control of me, I went to bed with the first person to offer. Luckily, that was Olivia, coming to save me from myself. She knows the signs, and is apt at spotting them.


Thoughts on August 24th

Everyone had breakfast at Karita-time at the Red Mansion, like we try to do every day. We were going to stay in town at least until Magnar’s funeral, so I needed something to do until then. I looked up Hess Yggarson, and asked him to set up a show for me, perhaps a private performance for one of the noble houses?

When we regathered for dinner, Va’lyndra announced we were all going to a pub. Immediately. On the way there, Lady Karita took Va’lyndra aside for a private conversation. I asked what Olivia thought about it, if we should be concerned, but she dismissed it as unimportant.

When we arrived at the pub, Va’lyndra explained that today was an elvish holiday, and to celebrate it, we needed to dance. What a coincidence! She and I had discussed elvish dances just yesterday, and I had showed her I knew the intricate steps of the required dance. The others didn’t know the dance, of course, as they were neither elves nor connoisseurs.

So, Va’lyndra and I danced, celebrating a holiday I’d never heard of before. Lady Karita, Kine and Olivia watched and had a few drinks. Lady Karita and Kine, less shy than Olivia, chatted with other customers.

When Va’lyndra declared that we’d danced sufficiently long, Lady Karita told us she’d found a possible buyer for the painting. I’m a little concerned, for the painting is dangerous, but I suppose Lady Karita knows best.

Kine and Va’lyndra started talking about how to create a secret compartment in the wagon that the inspectors at the check point wouldn’t find. I joined the conversation half-heartedly, not really keen on trying to pull one over on the authorities. Two-time offenders would likely be treated more harshly than the slap on the wrist we received a couple of days ago. I could still feel the dance beat pulsing through my veins, and I wished good night to the others, taking Olivia back to the Crow and Spruce for a horizontal tango.
__________________
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 04-14-2019, 07:36 AM   #60
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 14 (2019-03-30)

Thoughts on August 25th

Kine acquired a larger wagon sometime since we returned to Garuk, and today she and Va’lyndra spent the day making modifications to it. I assume they were building some kind of secret compartment. I didn’t stick around, as I had some shopping to do, ordering replenishment masterwork arrows and the like.

In the last couple of months, I’ve put on some muscle, and some of my garments have become a little tight. Olivia has a deft hand with needle and thread, and set to work. Most of my clothes aren’t very tight-fitting, though. I prefer clothes that give me maximum mobility, and on occasion, I enjoy having clothes that come off easily …

In the evening, I performed in the common room of the Crow and Spruce, and Hess Yggarson came to see me afterwards. He told me that there had been five replies, various nobles and rich merchants who wanted me to perform for them. As I hadn’t given him any information about when I would be available, he hadn’t been able to agree to any dates with the patrons, and needed my input. I knew we all were going to stay in Garuk until Magnar’s funeral in three days, but didn’t know for how long after that we would remain, so I postponed my answer until I had spoken with Lady Karita. I promised to drop in tomorrow to let him know what she said.


Thoughts on August 26th

After breakfast at the Red Mansion, Lady Karita took Va’lyndra, Kine and me to the guild to look for quests on the board. The others wanted to return to the city we’d explored in the last few weeks. They also wanted to sign up for a couple of quests, as that would make us look like serious adventurers. There only was one quest in that city, though, but it looked interesting, especially to Va’lyndra, for the task was to explore a building with an air of magic about it. Va’lyndra seems to have a fetish for magic objects, and hoped we’d find some interesting artifacts. We took another quest as well, two days further inside the caves, where we’re going to explore a fortress.

Lady Karita talked to her cousin, Karl Morgenstern, about storage for goods she didn’t need on the quests, and heard that the governor is going to have a ball on the 9th of September. Knowing I wanted to do some performances before going back underground, Lady Karita accepted an invitation to the ball, and told me about it so I could tell my manager.

Hess Yggarson hadn’t been sitting idly by in his office waiting for me. He had potential contracts for more performances, and when I told him I would remain in Garuk until the 10th, he set up a schedule for me, with performances every other day, starting tomorrow. I asked if he could get me a gig at the ball, too. That would make eight evenings of entertainment.


Thoughts on August 27th

I told the others my performance schedule. Of the three noble families in the area, both Surnheim and Tinderholm had signed multiple contracts with me, and as the governor represented the third family, Knavheim, I would be seeing anyone who’s anybody in these parts over the next couple of weeks, or rather, they would be seeing me. Becoming the world’s greatest acrobat is no good if you’re not recognized as such, but after these performances, word will hopefully spread about my awesomeness. I look forward to receiving invitations to perform for dignitaries around the land.

The first performance was to take place at the country estate of a branch of the Surnheim family, and Olivia and I rode out there after breakfast. She prepared me for an evening of entertainment, and I made a fair job of it. I know I can do better, but I don’t think anyone but another professional would spot that I was slightly off a few times.


Thoughts on August 28th

Olivia and I stayed the night at the mansion, but left after an early breakfast to get back to the city in time for the funeral. As expected, nobody but adventurers attended, for Magnar had no friends or relatives living nearby, but it was a dignified service. I think maybe Va’lyndra must have known Magnar intimately from before, or else she must be sick, for she looked haggard, like she hadn’t slept for several days. I hope she gets over it soon, whatever it may be.


Thoughts on August 29th

Today’s performance was to take place in the city, at a party for some merchants. I rehearsed a couple of the routines in the common room of the Crow and Spruce, to the delight of the staff. I was determined to do better tonight than at the last show, and I did. There’s still room for improvement, though. I know I’m hard on myself, but how can I get better if I don’t correct my mistakes, however small they may be?


Thoughts on August 30th

Having no plans for the day, I invited Olivia to join me on a picnic. Being part of an adventuring group as well as a performer seldom lets me have the day to myself. And I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than spend the time with my soulmate. We rode out to the secluded pond where I’d taught Olivia to swim and didn’t return until the sun was on its way down.


Thoughts on August 31st

Days ago, town criers announced that today would be a day of reckoning. Everyone crowded together in a large square in the center of the city to witness the execution of traitors and infiltrators. The case we had helped solve earlier, about the illegal mineral monopoly, was part of a larger conspiracy that had been uncovered. After Lord Karl’s family had been released from captivity, he had been free to proceed with his investigations. Some sixty people had been found guilty of various crimes. Most were fined and banished from the land, but fifteen of them were going to hang for what they’d done.

An official named all the convicts and listed their crimes. Gentle-hearted Olivia didn’t want to watch what was happening next, and returned to the Crow and Spruce. I felt it was my civic duty to witness the executions, and stayed with Lady Karita until the crowd dispersed. I’ve grown accustomed to violence in the time I’ve been adventuring, but I still found the experience unsettling. Ever on the lookout for a possibility to make some money, Kine sold rotten fruit to the crowd.

I had a quiet, early dinner with Olivia before my next gig. Again, it was city merchants who had hired me. Yesterday’s rest and recreation worked wonders for the performance, and I executed each routine to perfection. After the show, I had a long talk to one of the merchants who had been mightily impressed. Coincidentally, it was the same guy who explained to me about supply and demand a while back, Henry Toyler. We discussed the possibility of him promoting my fame, spreading my reputation. He didn’t commit to anything today, but wanted to think things over, and maybe discuss it with some colleagues.


Thoughts on September 1st

Olivia and I had a serious conversation today, about the future. I had arrived home rather late, and hadn’t been in the mood for talking, but at breakfast, Olivia asked why I had been so euphoric last night. She appreciated being woken up, so she’d know I was all right, but as our intercourse had been non-verbal, not much information had been passed on before we drifted off to sleep.

Why am I an adventurer? My goal in life is to become the world’s greatest acrobat – shouldn’t I devote all my time and effort to practicing and performing? Adventuring is a lucrative business, but it’s not as if I need the money. I can earn enough to support the two of us by setting up shows like I’m doing now, and Olivia has set aside a small fortune of adventuring-earned gold that we could use to start our own troupe if we wanted to.

I think I started adventuring because I was tempted by the excitement. I kept at it because of the challenges it presented, and how I could expand my repertoire by using skills in ways I wouldn’t think of, had I just stayed at home. The life-and-death situations in which we occasionally find ourselves have proven a boon; when there’s no safety net, you mustn’t lose focus on what you’re doing. It’s rough, but I feel I’m learning so much.

Knowing that I’m supposed to save the world, I feel I need to work towards that goal. I just don’t know what to do. Olivia is much cleverer than I am, but like me, she’s more than happy to let Lady Karita take charge. I see why our crew was chosen for this task. Lady Karita is intelligent, diplomatic and politically well-connected. Va’lyndra is an adept spellcaster and a source of forbidden knowledge. Kine is practical; having her take care of our logistics makes things go much more smoothly. She also seems to have a knack for figuring out how things are connected. As for me, I have my skills.

Olivia asked how I’d know when I’d reached my goal of becoming the world’s greatest acrobat; would I need to compete with every other performer out there? No, if I think I’m better than everyone else, and the world agrees with me, I’ll be satisfied. I won’t sit back on my throne and relax, though. There’s always a new routine to learn, another stunt to perfect.


Thoughts on September 2nd

In the mid-morning, Olivia and I rode out to one of the Tinderholm residences a couple of hours outside the city. The evening performance went well, but as I always think, it could have gone better. There were plenty of small things I could have done just a little bit differently.

There was dancing after the show. Olivia discreetly pulled me aside when she noticed I was getting hungry.
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Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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