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Old 04-14-2019, 07:40 AM   #61
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 14 (2019-03-30)

Thoughts on September 3rd

We stayed at the mansion overnight. I had been assigned a spacious bed chamber with an adjoining servant’s room for Olivia. We messed up her bed before leaving, so it would look like she had slept there. Many people frown upon our kind of love, and it’s best to remain discrete and keep up appearances.

We didn’t hurry back to town. Instead, I practiced acrobatics on Lightfoot’s saddle, sometimes running circles around Olivia. She seems satisfied with Bluebell, who plodded along, largely ignoring my antics.


Thoughts on September 4th

Tonight, I had another countryside performance, this time at a Surnheim estate. Although adventuring is both fun and challenging, this is what I live for: The acclaim of an audience gasping in awe at my ethereal splendor. And celebrating a job well done with Olivia, afterwards.


Thoughts on September 5th

Hess Yggarson made arrangements for Olivia and me to stay the night after gigs outside the city. Traveling at night is discouraged, although I’ve heard that the Garuk region is more pacified than the dark forest surrounding Urdon to the south. The ride back to town started off pleasantly enough, but a sudden autumn squall surprised us, and Olivia and I were drenched when we arrived at the Crow and Spruce.


Thoughts on September 6th

Tonight’s performance was also at a Surnheim estate. These noble families are pretty large, with many branches on the family trees. On the way there, Olivia and I discussed whether I should start looking for an instructor. I haven’t had a teacher of acrobatics since I was young. Well, younger. After all, I’m only twenty-one. I argued that it would be difficult to find someone with skills surpassing mine, but Olivia maintained that a good instructor didn’t need to be able to outdo me, they only needed to be able to see how I could improve. And perhaps have ideas about new stunts. I agreed to talk to Hess Yggarson and Henry Toyler about it when we return to Garuk.


Thoughts on September 7th

Olivia and I set off towards Garuk in the company of other visitors of the Surnheims, a group of young dandies. One of them seduced me during a short rest and I apologized to Olivia as soon as I found my feet again; it’s been over a month since my last dalliance. The dandies laughed at the scowling “over-protective servant” when we continued towards Garuk. Olivia flushed red, and I decided we should find our own way back to town.


Thoughts on September 8th

Today was the last performance of the tour. Tomorrow is the governor’s ball, and then we’re off to the mines on quest again.


Thoughts on September 9th

We hurried back to Garuk from the Tinderholm estate in the morning, so I’d have ample time to prepare for the ball. I don’t know what caused it, but somehow everything went wrong. Maybe I’d had too much to drink. I’m not sure I’m getting another invitation to such events. Olivia tried to console me, but could find no words to pull me out of my stupor, and she had to stoop to linguistics to snap me out of it. She often tells me that she thinks it’s cheating, using that reset switch on my mood. I don’t mind it at all.


Thoughts on September 10th

All preparations taken care of by Kine, we were ready to go questing again as soon as Lady Karita had roused herself. The guards at the checkpoint were as thorough as I remember from the last time we descended, but they made no fuss, and we were on our way into the darkness in no time.


Thoughts on September 11th

With the new tax from the governor and most of the easy quests completed, there are fewer adventurers down here in the mines than there used to be. We arrived in the subterranean city in the evening, and proceeded directly to the location for our new quest to set up camp nearby. I reminded Kine that there are stacks of glass panes at our previous quest site that we could bring out to sell. We decided to fetch them later, when we’d discovered what we could fit on the wagon.


Thoughts on September 12th

After breakfast, Lady Karita, Va’lyndra and Kine started talking about going somewhere else. They were a bit vague, but I reckoned they were talking about the fortress deeper down. I pointed out that we’d just agreed to finish this place first.

When we approached the small house, Va’lyndra informed us that we entered an area of high mana. I didn’t know what that would entail, but I trusted Va’lyndra to let us know of any precautions we needed to take. Outside the entrance stood two statues, one wielding fire, the other lightning. Lady Karita copied the engraving above the doorway.

The single room contained a staircase leading down to a large, semi-circular room. We entered facing a long line of doors along the arc. I counted twelve doors in total, all made of stainless metal. One of the doors was larger and more ornate; all the others had symbols engraved above them and a lever to the side. Lady Karita ordered us not to touch the levers; they could be trapped. Va’lyndra warned us that we shouldn’t touch the doors, either, for they were spelled.

Lady Karita made note of the symbols, and compared them to each other and to things she’d studied while I was busy putting on shows. She managed to translate one of the symbols and explained that in the script of the people who once lived here, it was the symbol for “fire”. Bringing Kine and Va’lyndra into the discussion, Lady Karita speculated about the meaning of other symbols, believing some to mean “water” and “lightning”, but she wasn’t sure. I walked around on my hands while the others debated, and realized that the symbols made as little sense to me upside-down as they did the right way up.

The others decided on a door, and Va’lyndra started dancing to analyze the magic it held. It took her hours, but she eventually discovered that the door opens if we pull up the lever while no doors are open, that it closes if a certain spell has triggered and there’s nobody in the room behind the door. Va’lyndra wanted to pull the lever, but Lady Karita and I insisted she analyze another door, to see if they were similar. Va’lyndra spent the rest of the day dancing in the half-moon room.


Thoughts on September 13th

Lady Karita slept late today, and Va’lyndra showed Kine and me a dance while we waited for her to get up. Doing the weird dance let me sense the water on Kine’s wagon, and according to Va’lyndra, that was what was supposed to happen. Kine, on the other hand, produced a foul, yellow fume. It looked like I could do magic, but Kine couldn’t, at least not properly. I wasn’t sure how Lady Karita would react to the knowledge that whimsical me was meddling with forces best left untouched, so I convinced the others not to tell her about it; it wasn’t as if I was going to pursue a career of wizardry.

We had breakfast together, and halfway through my first sentence, I blurted out what I had done. Lady Karita gave me a Look, but didn’t comment.

After the meal, we left Olivia to go watch Va’lyndra analyze doors. Each spell she identified made us want to continue the analysis. She analyzed three or four doors today, and I put in a good practice session while we waited. No levers were pulled today, but I think we need to try one soon, as we don’t have unlimited time to spend here. The guild master gave us an extension because we wanted to stay in the city until the ball, but we have to remember that we must explore a fortress, too, before we return to Garuk.
__________________
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, 07:42 AM   #62
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 14 (2019-03-30)

Thoughts on September 14th

I woke in the middle of the night, and looked outside the tent to discover Va’lyndra hammering at the wagon. I asked her what she was doing, and she explained that she thought the wagon needed decoration, so she was making some carvings. I don’t know why she needed to do it in the middle of the night. Maybe she just now had recovered from all the spell dancing she’d done during the day. She promised to be quieter.

Lady Karita decided it was time to test one of the levers. Va’lyndra selected a door with a symbol resembling a pair of lightning bolts and pulled the lever. The door opened, and confirming what she had discovered earlier, it didn’t close again when she pushed the lever back down.

Behind the door was a long, narrow room. Three vicious-looking soldier statues stood in the middle of the room, blocking passage to the far side, where a metal plate with a hand-print was fastened to the wall. Va’lyndra detected magic in the doorframe, and analyzed it: To close the door, someone needed to place their hand on the plate. Fearing the statues would animate and attack as soon as someone entered the room, Lady Karita asked Va’lyndra for her opinion. The elf obliged with another spell dance, but didn’t learn anything useful.

Kine threw rope at the statues and managed to topple them. Va’lyndra walked inside and poked at the fallen statues with her staff. They gave no response, so Lady Karita went inside to look for traps. When she neared the statues, they rose up, causing her to flee, but they only placed themselves back where they had stood before. Va’lyndra tried shooting an arrow at the metal plate to see if that would trigger the magic, but nothing happened, not even when she hit the plate with an ice missile.

After a short discussion, Kine toppled the statues again. I ran inside, put my hand on the plate and ran back out. The statues started rising when I neared them, and tried to block my way out, but I evaded them nimbly and elegantly. The door closed when I left the room.

We believed whatever treasure was down here would be behind the large door, and that we needed to go through all the small doors to get there. Lady Karita and Kine conferred over their notes, and selected another door that Kine opened.

Beyond a short corridor was a room with a large depression in the floor on the right side; on the left, a hole of unknown depth was filled with sand. To me, it seemed obvious that we needed to move the sand, but Va’lyndra analyzed the doorframe magic to see if any information could be gained before we did something stupid. Knowing that the spell dance would take quite some time, the rest of us went to bed.


Thoughts on September 15th

Va’lyndra discovered that the door frame spell did something complicated that I didn’t quite grasp, but I think maybe it allows the door to close if we do the right thing, otherwise we’ll never be able to open the big door.

Kine keeps a variety of tools in her wagon, and she produced a shovel when I asked for something I could use to move the sand over to the pit. It didn’t take long before we needed a rope and a bucket as well, for the sand was covering a deep shaft. Steel rungs were fastened to the wall to make a ladder. After eight hours, we had removed enough sand to reveal another metal plate with a hand marked on it. I touched my hand to it and climbed up. We all left the room, and the door closed.

We picked another door, and Lady Karita pulled the lever next to it. With Kine outside, just in case the door closed behind us, the rest of us entered the room. The only interesting feature was a deep hole in the wall, wide enough to stick an arm inside. I looked to see how far it went, and Lady Karita scolded me for not letting her check for traps first. I guess I was a little too eager. I need to remember that things are dangerous down here. Oh, shoot! I forgot to ask my contacts about finding an instructor. I’ll ask Olivia to help me remember when we get back to town.

I couldn’t see how deep the hole was, but Va’lyndra has elven eyes, and she claimed she could see a metal plate thirty meters or so inside the hole. She poured water into the hole, shaped it with her magic, and pushed it to touch the plate. When she brought the water back outside, she sent it after me. She was a little disappointed when I engaged it in a wet-leather-armor contest. The water had done the trick, so when we left the room, the door closed.

Behind the next door was another room with a hole in the wall. This one wasn’t as deep, just four meters, but the shaft expanded in the back, and we couldn’t see any metal plates. Lady Karita provided a mirror, which Va’lyndra used to locate the plate. Again, she sent water in to touch the plate. She tried to douse Kine when she brought back the water, but I was ready for it, and jumped in front of her.

I was soaked and a little cold when we returned to camp, but Olivia helped me out of my wet clothes and made me warm again.


Thoughts on September 16th

Kine opened another door. A ten-meter-wide sea of flame blocked our way, and lightning flashed inside the inferno. I hurled a rock through the flames and estimated it was about five meters to the far wall of the room.

We could see that the flames were coming up through a grate in the floor, and laid a plan. We fetched stone slabs from nearby buildings and pushed them into the flames, thereby creating a path through the fire. The slabs heated up rapidly, but we put a ladder on top of them, and I used it to insulate my feet as I ran to place new slabs. A lightning bolt struck me and I fell down. Luckily, I landed on the ladder, and the others pulled me back.

I took a break, being treated by Olivia, and quaffed two healing potions. When I returned, we continued to cover the grate with slabs, but now, we stood on what we considered safe ground and tossed the slabs into position. Eventually, we got enough slabs in place to make a path to the other side. We saw no metal plate on the wall, and decided to sleep on the problem.


Thoughts on September 17th

Va’lyndra made a sphere of water inside the inferno. It immediately turned to steam. Not having any better ideas, I continued filling the room with stone slabs from the surrounding buildings. Suddenly Va’lyndra put her hand into the flames, and then she stepped inside them. Kine freaked out, grabbed her with her whip and pulled her back out. Va’lyndra didn’t want the healing potion Kine tried to force down her throat. Unlike Kine, I could see the mage had found a safe way to enter the fire, so I told her that since Va’lyndra didn’t want a healing potion, she should get Olivia to come and take a look at her.

When Kine left, Va’lyndra walked into the flames again. Kine returned with Olivia, and as I was explaining what was going on to my wide-eyed lover, the flames disappeared, and we could see Va’lyndra taking her hand off a metal plate on the far wall of the room.

The next room also had grates on the floor, and flame jets, lightning bolts and icicles alternated shooting from them. This obstacle wasn’t as dense as the one in the last room, and we could see through to the other side. More importantly, we could see that there was a safe zone, about one meter in diameter, that moved around inside the hazardous area. It looked to me like the zone moved at random, but Lady Karita noticed that it actually moved along a fixed path. The zone only moved forwards, backwards, to the left and to the right, never at an angle, and I figured I could dance my way through.

If there had been a pattern to the movement, I could have gone through almost immediately, but as it were, Lady Karita and I practiced the steps for a couple of hours. When I was confident I remembered the sequence, I glided through the obstacle. After fifty steps, I was at the metal plate and removed the danger.
__________________
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, 07:45 AM   #63
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 14 (2019-03-30)

Thoughts on September 18th

In the next room was a hole with water in it. Lady Karita was pleased with that discovery, because she thought the symbol above the door resembled a wave of water. Using a weight tied to the end of a rope, we measured that the hole was eight meters deep.

We refilled our empty water barrel, for the water looked clean, and then Va’lyndra did something to cause the rest of the water to vanish. More water surged up from the bottom, though, but rose only halfway up the shaft.

Putting Kine’s faintly glowing stone in my mouth, I climbed down the rungs and swam downwards. At the bottom, the shaft turned to the side, and I followed it for a few meters and discovered another turn, this time upwards, and I found a pocket of air and another hole with water. Taking a few deep breaths, I dove again, down, to the side, and another side turn. I found nothing at the end, and returned to the others.

Vanishing the water was taxing on Va’lyndra, and it took several hours for her to remove it all so we could bring a lantern through. How I had missed the metal plate in the end of the corridor when I first swam there, I can’t fathom. It was glaringly obvious in the lantern light.

We opened another door, and saw ten flames atop stone plinths. Lady Karita entered, looking for traps and other hidden stuff, but found nothing. Va’lyndra said there was magic on the plinths, and started analyzing one, discovering that its magic sensed whether the flame was burning. There were more spells there, but it was getting late, so we returned to camp.


Thoughts on September 19th

Va’lyndra finished her analysis, and told us the plinths emitted a signal to the door when the flames disappeared. The flames were magical, too, and while they would return after ten minutes, any water spell would quench them. A blob of water appeared between Va’lyndra’s hands shortly thereafter, and bobbed its way through all ten flames. It then tried to hit Lady Karita, but I foresaw Va’lyndra’s plans, and dove playfully into the blob.

The next room had sparks on the floor and along the ceiling. A hallway led to the right, but we couldn’t see far down it without stepping into the sparks, and we had no immediate desire to do so. However, we could see that there were no sparks in the hallway. The others spent a lot of time converting one of our ladders to a bridge, but in the end, I just jumped across. It was only about five meters, so I didn’t even have to take a running start. Once I was in the hallway, I saw the familiar metal plate and put my hand on it.

Behind the next door, the corridor tilted to a steep slope. At the bottom of the twenty-meter descent, the corridor continued. Every four seconds or so, spears shot up from the floor, all the way down the slide. We considered different ways I could get down there. I could run towards the shaft and dive down, but that sounded very risky as we didn’t know how slippery the slope was, and it could be difficult to calculate exactly when to jump. Another possibility would be to snake my way down between the spears, hanging from a rope so I wouldn’t slip. Just to see if it would work, I sat down at the top of the slide and kicked at one of the spears. It wasn’t very sturdy, so it bent, and wouldn’t sink back into the floor. I don’t believe the makers of this obstacle had thought of that possibility, but it made it easy to get down, I just had to bend a bunch of spears. My method even gave me a makeshift ladder so I’d get back up easily.

At the bottom of the slide, the corridor continued for a few meters and ended with a vertical shaft with a metal plate at the top. There were no rungs along this shaft, but that didn’t matter to me. I simply braced my back against one side of it and walked up.

The room behind the last small door had three metal spheres on pedestals. Va’lyndra analyzed their magic, and discovered that we needed to activate all three. The first needed lightning, the second fire and the third ice. Fire was easy, we just poured oil on the sphere and set it on fire. Va’lyndra cast a spell that covered the third with a layer of frost. Unfortunately, she knew no lightning spells, but Lady Karita had an idea, fetched her sleeping fur and started rubbing. I don’t know how it worked, but it did. The others tried explaining it, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I think perhaps I’ll stick with blankets for beddings.

We left the room with the globes, the door closed, and the large, ornate door opened …
__________________
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 05-12-2019, 03:04 PM   #64
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 15 (2019-05-05)

Thoughts on September 19th (continued)

I imagined a hoard of treasure, possibly the city’s entire collection of magic artifacts, behind the twelfth door. But I also figured that the owners likely would have taken everything with them when they went. Still, I was disappointed when I saw what looked like yet another riddle: The octagonal room had another door, opposite the one I was looking through, and along each of the walls was a glass globe on a plinth. In the middle of the chamber was another plinth with a larger globe on top. Symbols were carved in the ceiling above the globes near the walls. Va’lyndra’s first comment when she saw the room was that there was a lot of magic inside, which I took as a reminder to be careful, and not to touch anything before she and Lady Karita had completed their analyses of the room. I felt like a coward when I volunteered to remain outside the room, even if it was reasonable for me to stay, as the others are more skilled investigators.

Lady Karita studied the symbols on the ceiling, comparing them to the symbols outside the eleven rooms we’d had to go through to open the last door, and to notes she’d made earlier. She pointed out that several of the symbols in this room were identical to other symbols down here, and eventually concluded that symbols opposite each other seemed to mean opposite things, like frost and fire, and water and dryness. Lady Karita wasn’t able to interpret all the symbols, but I thought her reasoning was sound.

Kine took a closer look at the central globe. Inside it was a smaller globe that was partitioned into eight chambers; each chamber faced one of the smaller globes in the room.

Va’lyndra had to cast a lot of spells recently, so she needed to rest before she could do more. As it was getting late – we’d solved four puzzle rooms today – I suggested we call it the night.


Thoughts on September 20th

I stayed outside the door, observing the others from the outside as they continued their investigation. Va’lyndra was going to make something she called a hypothesis that she would test in the room. This should evidently reveal how the puzzle worked. I would have spoken up, telling her to stick to the task at hand, but Lady Karita approved of the plan, so I guess there was a method to the madness.

As the two of them worked on this hypothesis, I ignored the big words bouncing around the room and let my thoughts wander. Suddenly, the door closed. I moved to block it, but the mechanism was too powerful, and I failed to hold on to the door blade.

The door reopened after a few seconds, and I learned that Va’lyndra had been hurt while interacting with one of the globes along the wall. As I watched, Kine struck the globe with her whip, and the door closed for a few seconds, again. Va’lyndra asked if anyone else was hurt when she did her spell dance. I replied that her erratic steps of arcane movement pained me as a connoisseur of fine dances, but she didn’t get the joke. She just has no sense of humor, that one. I wondered if that’s an elven thing, or if it’s just her. No, I’ve known elves who could enjoy a good laugh.

Lady Karita poured some oil on one of the globes and lit a fire. Nothing happened, so it was obviously not wrong, but I didn’t know if it was helpful, either. Kine whipped another globe. It hurt her, and the door closed briefly. She borrowed my rope and flailed at the globe with it, but nothing happened. We reasoned that only by interacting with the globes with magic, like an enchanted whip, did we cause an effect. So far, the only effect we’d seen was that the one doing the interacting was hurt, and the door closed for a couple of seconds, so maybe the trick wasn’t to use magic?

Then Va’lyndra cast a frost spell on the globe beneath the frost symbol, and we had a breakthrough. The door closed in front of me, and I waited for it to open again, but it didn’t. I shouted to the others, asking if they were all right, and they said they were.

The only way I knew I could open the door was to go through all the eleven puzzles again. Even when I knew the trick, it would take a lot of time to go through all of them, and some of the rooms would be dangerous, especially if I tried on my own, so I decided to wait to see if the others managed to open the door from the inside.

I did some stretching exercises, pondering whether I should do an acrobatics training session, or if I should take the opportunity to have some fun with Olivia, but the door opened before I could decide.

The frost spell had started filling one of the chambers of the globe-inside-a-globe in the middle of the room, and Lady Karita discovered that if we could make the inner globe heavy enough, it would trigger a pressure plate, which would hopefully get us further. The entire mechanism was inside the outer globe, and we had no way of getting to it, so it didn’t look like we could cheat.

When Va’lyndra cast another spell on another globe, everyone inside the room had been shocked, the door had opened again, and the whatever-it-was that had been inside the inner globe had drained out before I could get a look at it, myself.

Va’lyndra said there were different auras around the nine globes, and she recognized only three of them. She doesn’t seem very knowledgeable about how magic works in general. She just knows a few spells and how they work. The spells have proven to be very useful, don’t get me wrong. Without them, we wouldn’t have gotten this far.

We’d accumulated a few magic items during our earlier adventures, and laid them out so Va’lyndra could study them. If any of them had the same aura as one of the globes, we might be able to use the item to activate the globe, even if we didn’t know what the aura meant. Va’lyndra burst into a smile, and walked around the room, looking at all the magic there. Then she created a ball of water on the globe under the water symbol. This half-filled one of the globe chambers with a strange substance, but also caused the inner globe to tilt because all the weight was on one side. When it tilted too far, the globe drained, and everyone was hurt, and we decided to take a break.

At dinner, Kine suggested that Va’lyndra check the aura of the magic item in the wagon. I thought we had checked everything, and asked what she was talking about. Lady Karita explained that there weren’t any magic items there; they had been left in storage in Garuk. Va’lyndra still went poking around the wagon. I caught a glimpse of her inspecting the woodwork decorations she made earlier, and rolled my eyes. Elves!

Va’lyndra’s aura-studying epiphany had revealed that she knew a spell that would activate one of the globes with unknown symbol and aura, and that our healing potions had a similar aura to the globe opposite it. So, Lady Karita slowly poured out expensive liquid on that globe, while Va’lyndra cast her spell. They managed to fill both chambers without tilting the inner globe too far, but the weight wasn’t large enough to trigger the pressure plate.

We needed to find another pair of opposites that we could activate. Va’lyndra’s spell selection was limited, but we stumbled on to the solution: She could feed mana from a powerstone into the fire globe while it was burning; we had brought plenty of oil for our lanterns. Running across the room between the globes, Va’lyndra alternated between casting her frost spell and pushing mana into the flames, and eventually, she managed to fill two more chambers. We heard the click as the pressure plate triggered, and both doors opened up.

The new room was a long one, with racks of staves of different sizes along the side walls. On the far side of the room stood three human-shaped figures, one of water, one of stone and one of fire. They followed us with inhuman eyes, but made no move to attack, and it looked like they were guarding a metal staff that was standing on the floor between them. Pictures of celebrating elves were painted on the walls.

We imbibed a few healing potions, and Va’lyndra cast an ice spell on my bow and on Lady Karita’s knife. While the rest of us watched from near the door, Lady Karita fetched all the wooden staves. The creatures blocked her from getting close to the metal staff. The combat spells wore off, so we decided to go to bed, and see if we could get the last staff when Va’lyndra was refreshed.
__________________
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 05-12-2019, 03:12 PM   #65
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 15 (2019-05-05)

Thoughts on September 21st

Foreseeing the need for a rapid departure, we packed up camp after breakfast. If we managed to grab the staff and the elementals pursued us, we’d jump on our horses and leg it.

Back downstairs, Va’lyndra set about casting her combat spells again. Lady Karita declined having her knife iced again, saying Va’lyndra should save her mana for attack spells, but I got my bow magicked. Lady Karita wasn’t planning on doing much fighting, instead she would get the loot.

Entering the room, I advanced along the left wall, aiming at the fire elemental. Kine took the right side, stopping just within whip range of the stone elemental. Va’lyndra walked between us, going up close with the water elemental. The elementals just watched us as we came nearer. Lady Karita tried sneaking past them while the rest of us attempted to hold their attention. I resheathed my arrow and took a lantern, waving it about and dancing, entrancing the fire elemental. The water elemental spotted her and blocked her way, though.

Retrieving her lantern from me, Lady Karita started studying the pictures on the wall to see if they could give a hint as to how to convince the elementals to let us have the staff. Va’lyndra cast her create water spell on a whim, and started playing with the blob. The water elemental joined the game, which gave Va’lyndra an idea.

On the mage's orders, Kine and I ran outside and fetched one of the water barrels. Va’lyndra opened it and lifted out the water, continuing her game with the water elemental. I didn’t understand what she was trying to achieve before the water elemental was inside the barrel and the lid was back on. The elemental seemed happy enough to remain there.

I thought that was a good way to lure away the elemental, and I dumped a gallon of oil on the floor and set fire to it. I tried to entice the fire elemental to come to my blaze, but it stayed near the staff. It didn’t take long for the foul smoke to become bothersome, and Kine extinguished the fire before we retreated to let the place air itself out.

Seeing no other way of obtaining the staff, Va’lyndra recast her combat spell on my bow and we attacked. Va’lyndra and I shot at the fire elemental with icy arrows and a water jet. Kine tried to ensnare the stone elemental’s legs with her bolas, but failed. Lady Karita ran past the elementals and started working on the mechanism holding the metal staff we desired so much.

I don’t know if the elementals failed to see Lady Karita, or if they decided Va’lyndra was the more serious and immediate threat, but they both launched themselves at the elf mage. Fortunately for her, she has an enchanted shield that flies around trying to protect her, so she only took one or two hits before we had put enough pain on the fire elemental to make it vanish.

Just as it disappeared, Kine seemed to get off the streak of bad throws, and entangled the stone elemental. When Va’lyndra retreated and it tried to follow, it crashed to the ground. I shot at the elemental as fast as I could with Va’lyndra’s ice arrows, and while the arrows struck it with heavy cracks, they didn’t seem to bother it very much.

Va’lyndra misjudged the tactics of the elemental, for instead of standing up, it lashed out at her leg, bringing her to the floor. The remainder of the combat consisted of Va’lyndra trying to get away from the elemental, the elemental crawling after her and punching her, Kine fumbling about for something to throw at the creature while I plugged it with arrow after arrow. Eventually, the elemental stopped moving, and Va’lyndra seized the opportunity to pass out safely.

I carried her out to Olivia, who was ready with the first aid kit. We applied a couple of healing potions to the unconscious elf, and let her rest in Kine’s wagon as we got on our way towards the fortress, our other quest site.
__________________
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 05-25-2019, 11:38 AM   #66
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 16 (2019-05-18)

Thoughts on September 21st (continued)

Va’lyndra woke up after a few hours. I was starting to get worried, even though Olivia had been confident that she would wake soon, and I was near to suggest we use more of our precious drops of healing potion. I was reluctant to waste the potion in case Va’lyndra only was exhausted; we had given her several potions already.

It turned out the potions weren’t that potent, for Va’lyndra was barely able to get up when we arrived at the fortress in the evening.

I was a little jealous, for Olivia had spent most of the day caring for Va’lyndra, so I asked her to tend to my injuries when we had set up camp, a safe distance from the entrance. I had been blasted by the magic puzzle room yesterday, but had no visible wounds, so I had to make do with a massage. I hope we didn’t disturb Lady Karita’s sleep.


Thoughts on September 22nd

Kine opined that we should take things slowly, maybe spend a day or two resting so Va’lyndra could get back on her feet. The trader had taken count of our supplies, and concluded that we still had plenty of food. I reminded the crew that the guild master expects us back soon, so we shouldn’t dawdle. We had spent much time in the city before leaving for the quests, and although we had gotten an extension, we shouldn’t waste time.

The heavy portcullis was impossible to move, but someone had dug a short tunnel around it. We also saw footprints in the dust, and Lady Karita reminded us to be alert for traps. It was unlikely that another group of guild adventurers had come here; I thought we’d have learned about it when we accepted the quest, if someone had tried before. More likely, the tracks had been left by hostile forces of unknown origin.

As she expected, Lady Karita found caltrops spread along the tunnel, with a vicious helping of poison on the points. Her gloves were open-palmed, for improved grip, so I offered to lend her my sturdier pair when she set about removing the caltrops.

Like the other fortress we’d explored, this one also had a large trapdoor inside the portcullis. We tested it carefully, and discovered it had been locked into place, and that the mechanism had long since rusted shut.

We moved everything to the portcullis, and let Olivia organize the new camp while the rest of us went inside.

Our predecessors had left tracks, both footprints in the dust and broken doors. We discovered a large cavern with free-standing buildings, that we eventually categorized as a marketplace. Lady Karita and Kine searched the buildings. Va’lyndra rested, and I kept her company, practicing acrobatics. The search confirmed that someone else had looted the place, for nothing valuable was found.

Three hallways led away from the marketplace, and we took the first one. The area looked to be the poor quarter of the small town. According to the guild rules, we don’t have to search every building to complete the quest, so after a cursory inspection, we returned to the marketplace.

The next hallway led to a new cavern with a few buildings, richly decorated. Statues and fountains adorned the cavern, and if someone else hadn’t looted the buildings already, we might have found something worth bringing back.

Va’lyndra tried casting a spell to detect magic, but something went horribly wrong, and she produced a powerful flash of light, blinding herself. The rest of us were luckily at a safe distance. Lady Karita started offering her a healing potion, but realized she only had one remaining, and asked if anyone else had one to spare. I gave the hapless mage one of mine. Now I too only have one bottle left, but I think Olivia may have two or three in reserve. I know she has one that’s earmarked for me, in the form of an ointment, in case I’m unable to swallow.
__________________
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 05-25-2019, 12:05 PM   #67
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 16 (2019-05-18)

Thoughts on September 23rd

Nothing happened during the night watch, except for a bit of quiet fun with Olivia.

Va’lyndra repaired her damaged shield, and started identifying the metal staff after breakfast, but didn’t finish, because we still had a quest to complete. As we wandered back inside the fortress, I reminded the others that we need to make a good plan for saving the world; we haven’t really talked about it since we were chosen for the task. Kine started thinking out loud, but Lady Karita shushed her.

Back at the luxurious area, we sensed a foul smell coming from one of the houses we hadn’t gotten around to checking, yet. A grotesque statue stood outside the building, and according to Lady Karita, it was similar to one we had found near the tomb with the undead dwarves. We started exploring the house in the usual manner; Lady Karita searched for traps while Va’lyndra searched for magic.

We entered a chamber and saw the source of the smell: A pair of rotting corpses, one dwarf, one human. Lady Karita let go of her breakfast, and we left the house to get some fresh air. After washing out her mouth, Lady Karita tied a handkerchief over her face to protect from the smell, and we went back inside.

There were statues along all the walls, and even I could see footprints going into the only other corridor, for someone had stepped in the pool of blood while it was still wet. Va’lyndra and Kine, experienced trackers, could see other sets of prints as well, and the elf determined that they were about five weeks old. According to Kine, that corresponded with the apparent age of the corpses.

While searching the room for traps, Lady Karita discovered vandalized inscriptions on the walls. She expected that the symbols had held magic, likely a trap or obstacle of some kind, and that the previous raiders had destroyed the symbols to break the magic.

We entered the corridor. On each side were a series of burial tombs, with sarcophagi broken open and looted. We followed the bloody tracks to one particular chamber with three sarcophagi. The footprints stopped in front of the middle sarcophagus, where someone had left clothes, food and a waterskin on the floor. I suggested we let it remain there; the food was likely stale, if not bad, and if I knew them right, the infiltrators had poisoned the water.

A search of the room uncovered a fancy diadem on a shelf, and a magic sword in the middle sarcophagus. Lady Karita found no traps, but the place reeked of magic, so we let the treasures remain undisturbed for the moment. There was blood on the diadem and on the sword, and I recalled the knives that flew around on their own, protecting a treasure chamber we’d found earlier. The sword lay still, though, but I suspected that if we tried taking it or the diadem, it would burst to life.

Va’lyndra analyzed the sword, still without touching it. Lady Karita and I went to explore the rest of the corridor, which we discovered led nowhere, except to several more burial rooms. The analysis took several hours, and I remained with Va’lyndra, entertaining her with acrobatics while she rested between castings. Lady Karita took Kine along to search the other tombs, but they had been cleaned out already.

The sword had many magical properties, besides being fancy enough for a king. No wonder Lady Karita took a liking to it. It would glow green if there were reptiles nearby, and would deal additional damage to reptiles struck with it. Va’lyndra also explained about linking spells on the sword, or was it limiting spells? I didn’t quite follow, but I’m not about to try using it, and I definitely won’t be the one to sell it, so it doesn’t matter if I’m not intimately familiar with how it works.

Nothing about the sword said it would leap up and attack us, so another magic trap had to be present. Va’lyndra found it on the sarcophagus, but it was religious magic, so she couldn’t do anything about it. We decided to fish out the sword with a looped piece of string, and for good measure, we did the same with the diadem. Nothing happened as we dragged our treasures along behind us.

On the way out, Lady Karita memorized the face of the human corpse, intending to describe it to the guild master, in case it was an adventurer from the guild. Kine, not one to leave anything valuable behind, removed the mail from the rotting corpse. Yuk!

The next building also had traces of recent activity. The treasure chamber was broken into, and we gathered up the copper coins that the earlier team hadn’t cared to take.

Back outside, where we had left the sword and diadem, the treasures were gone! Someone was here. Olivia! I borrowed Kine’s lantern and ran back to camp. Olivia looked up at me with alarm as I approached, alone and at a breakneck speed. We exchanged a few words through the portcullis, and I learned nobody had come past the camp. The other raiders had to have hidden somewhere in the fortress, waiting for someone to retrieve the sword and diadem from the trap so they could take them.

I rushed back to where I had left the others and saw the light from Lady Karita’s lantern inside the burial hall, where I rejoined the crew. They had found tracks leading back to the special burial chamber, and were now standing outside, looking in at the diadem on its shelf. The sword lay in the center sarcophagus, as it had before, but now someone were hiding in the sarcophagi. And they stood up.

Three elves, clad in grey, and with greyish skin, stood before us, wielding shields and longswords. The one in the middle had finer clothes than the others, and looked to be the leader. I fired my bow at him, but he blocked the arrow with his shield and jumped out of the sarcophagus, saying something incomprehensible – in elvish, most likely – before stabbing at me with his sword. I barely managed to dodge.

One of the others moved to attack Va’lyndra, but her shield blocked the blow. The last one moved to attack Lady Karita, but missed. I’ve learned that it’s a lot easier to hit someone while standing still, than it is while running around.

Va’lyndra put an arrow into the one who attacked her, and Kine launched a bola, but missed. As our team is mostly focused on ranged attacks, we were forced to withdraw down the corridor, Lady Karita and I towards the exit, Va’lyndra and Kine the other way, and the grey elves emerged into the corridor between us.

One of the enemies followed me and attacked – a miss, of course – before getting up close with me so I wouldn’t be able to use my bow. Withdrawing, I hadn’t had time to draw another arrow, anyway, so I punched him instead. The cracking rib thundered in the hallway as my brass knuckles connected. To my surprise, my opponent ignored me and turned to strike at Lady Karita, who hadn’t followed as far down the corridor. As usual, the lady fell to the floor on her first wound, but I could see she was awake, albeit stunned.

Another punch downed my opponent. The other two were fighting Va’lyndra and Kine, and had their backs towards me. I hastened to draw another arrow, and took down the leader, but not before the two enemies had felled my friends.

I drew another arrow as the last elf rushed towards me, longsword pointed at my heart. He passed Lady Karita, who slashed his leg, causing him to stumble and miss. An arrow through the chest finished him off. He fell to the floor, dissolving into ash that vanished before it settled on the ground. I saw that the same had happened to the other two, but in the midst of combat, I hadn’t paid much attention to it.

Lady Karita passed out from her wounds, and I got out my first aid kit and set to work. Va’lyndra was still conscious, so I saw to Lady Karita and Kine first, but when I got to her, I saw that Va’lyndra’s injuries were the worst. After stopping the bleeding, I ran to fetch Olivia. She knows more about healing people than I do, and did what she could to help our friends.

As I retrieved the sword and diadem, Va’lyndra reminded me not to touch them, so I got out my string again. We returned to camp and counted our meagre stock of healing potions. At least each of us has one remaining, for emergencies.
__________________
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 05-25-2019, 12:19 PM   #68
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 16 (2019-05-18)

Thoughts on September 24th

I asked how people were feeling. Lady Karita was in pain. Kine said she was fine. Va’lyndra moaned that she wanted to return to her forest.

We spent the day in camp. I strung a rope between the portcullis and Kine’s wagon and practiced line dancing. Lady Karita looked over her notes, and Kine washed the blood and goo off the mail she had taken from the corpse.


Thoughts on September 25th

Va’lyndra drank two healing potions, but was still staggering afterwards. She wanted to remain in camp, but I insisted she come along to look for magic when we went to explore the last hallway leading from the marketplace. I promised we’d proceed slowly.

The last area contained barracks and armories, but nothing we found there was useable after all these years. There were some finer buildings as well and we searched them in our usual manner.

I was glad to have brought Va’lyndra along when she declared that she could see magic on a wall. She identified that it was a simple illusion, and stuck her staff into it, revealing the presence of a secret room inside the wall. I stuck my head through the illusion, but could see nothing. The lantern light didn’t penetrate the false wall. I bumped my head against the back side of the small room and withdrew. As I rubbed my forehead, the others scalded me, exhorting caution. I blushed with shame, but as there clearly weren’t any traps there, I put my hand inside and felt around, retrieving a small stack of gold coins.

We returned to camp and prepared for an early departure tomorrow. Olivia was displeased that I had risked my head the way I had done, and made me promise to be more careful in the future.


Thoughts on September 26th

Olivia and I woke up when Va’lyndra shouted that the dead elves were back. I brought my bow outside the tent, and strung it while Olivia fastened the quiver around my waist. Then I told Olivia to get my brass knuckles from my pouch, but I don’t think she heard me. I shot at the leader through the portcullis while his friends tried to clear the tunnel that Kine had had the foresight to block with crates from her cargo. The arrow flew true, and as the elf tried to block it, I realized that Va’lyndra had created an ice patch on the floor beneath him, for he slipped and moved the shield away from the path of my arrow to keep his balance. Black blood gushed from the wound, but he remained on his feet, muttering unintelligible curses at us.

The other elves eventually emerged from the tunnel and Va’lyndra felled one of them with a mighty shot. I stepped into the path of the last one, as I’m the best dodger of us, not to mention that I was the only one who wasn’t injured already. I avoided the attack easily, and surrounding the elf, it wasn’t difficult for the four of us to take him down, even if he had the longer reach. Va’lyndra finished the leader.

Lady Karita was furious that the elves had disturbed her sleep, and went to destroy the sarcophagus with a pick from Kine’s supplies. I came along, as protection, but when Lady Karita had worked the pick for about a quarter of an hour, her hands cramped, unused to labor, and she ordered me to take over. A few powerful blows cracked the sarcophagus, hopefully destroying the magic, too.

When we got back to the camp, Olivia glared at me and pointedly thrust a bundle at me. I reddened from top to bottom, but covered it with the clothes Olivia had handed me. She usually enjoys my sleek figure, but doesn’t want to share the view with the world. Good thing there are no men in our party.

While Lady Karita and I were away, the others had packed up the tents, and were ready to move out, but Lady Karita complained that they had stowed away her pillows and furs. Kine made room for her on the wagon, and the lady tried to get some sleep as we moved off. It wasn’t easy, what with the rumbling and bumping of the wagon, and after a while she got out her medicinal smoke.

We set up camp a few minutes away from the Mild Mole Inn. Some passing adventurers stopped to chat, and asked if we had any healing potions for sale. Kine and Va’lyndra gossiped with the adventurers, while Olivia and I listened. I did ask for news from Garuk, but otherwise focused on building up my hunger, feeling Olivia’s softness where my fingertips stealthily caressed her. When the adventurers left, Olivia and I dove into our tent, and eventually got some sleep.

When we got up again, we saw that Lady Karita was on her way to the inn, and followed her. A look from the lady told us she wanted to be left alone, so Olivia and I found another table where we shared a meal. It was tremendously expensive. I guess it was because of the governor’s tax.


Thoughts on September 27th

There wasn’t as much waiting at the toll station this time. We had agreed not to try to smuggle anything past the guards, and showed them the secret compartment in the wagon.

They confiscated the metal staff, saying it was a religious artifact, but ignored the fifteen other staves. Kine argued loudly when the inspector declared how much we had to pay to get the fancy sword through, and Lady Karita had to step in to defuse the situation.

After all our valuables had been counted, the tax we had to pay was slightly higher than the value of the diadem. The adventurers we had talked to yesterday had said that the grey elves maybe would come to retrieve the sword and diadem, so Va’lyndra didn’t have any objections to leaving the diadem with the annoying religious people who took her staff. We paid the remaining tax with all the copper and a couple of gold coins.

Back at the Red Mansion, the innkeeper was back on his feet, so it would be possible for me to get a room there. His wife, who had been taking care of business while he was ill, had a bee in her bonnet about me, possibly due to how I’d obtained a room here, once, while the inn was ostensibly full. I discussed it with Olivia, and while she wanted us to save our money for a rainy day, she agreed that we could stay here a couple of days, until we were ready to go out and save the world.
__________________
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 05-25-2019, 12:43 PM   #69
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 16 (2019-05-18)

Thoughts on September 28th

We went to the guild first. As we weren’t able to guarantee we had removed the undead threat, we didn’t get full payment for the fortress quest. After the report, we agreed that Kine should sell the loot before we divided the yield. We also agreed that magic objects that we kept could be used by any of us who wanted to, and that we’d split the profits if and when we sold the items in question. Lady Karita decided to keep the sword, for now.

Kine went to a weaponsmith and had the sword valued. We could recover a couple of gold pieces at the toll booth if we went back to argue the case, but Lady Karita decided we shouldn’t, as she would lose face if she haggled over a few gold coins. I reminded her that even a few gold pieces were still a lot of money, but she gave me a strange look and ignored my input. I’ll never understand the nobility.

I reported to Alfrey Kansh, the leatherworker. He works for the enemy, but it would be suspicious if I suddenly stopped reporting. I told Lady Karita afterwards that I hadn’t said anything incriminating, and had completely avoided mentioning the undead.

Va’lyndra and I sought out the fletcher to order masterwork arrows, and then I went to talk to my new merchant friend, Henry Toyler, about setting up shows. Did he have contacts elsewhere in the new world that could facilitate a tour? I also asked him if he knew Varek Mountlake, with whom I had worked earlier, both in the old world and the new. I had been lucky enough to have him as a manager and director in two traveling troupes, and regretted having to say goodbye to him when I did, but Olivia and I had decided to strike out on our own. Now that I was looking to tour again, it would be a blessing to have him around to organize things, but unfortunately, Henry had never heard of Varek.

In the evening, I performed in the Red Mansion common room until Olivia dragged me off to bed.


Thoughts on September 29th

Olivia and I stayed in our room most of the day. She mended clothes and did other housekeeping chores, watching me practice balance and contortion. A roaring fire kept the autumn chill out, so I didn’t bother to get dressed. I enjoy having Olivia watch me, so why would I hide anything from her, now that we were private behind a locked door and closed curtains. Olivia did get dressed, though, several times.

I eventually dressed too, when we left to have dinner in the common room. Then I restocked healing potions at the guild, and returned to perform for the patrons of the Red Mansion.


Thoughts on September 30th

I talked to Henry Toyler again, and he told me that if I went on a tour, his guild had departments that dealt with public entertainment in several cities. Garuk wasn’t large enough, but if I went to Valaria, Emperor City, Unity, Fort Glory, Middle City or Landfall, I could look up certain people to help me set up shows.

I picked up the masterwork arrows Va’lyndra and I had ordered, and dropped off hers. She wasn’t very talkative, but I got the impression that she was analyzing the magic staves, and had been doing so since we returned to Garuk.

I performed in the common room again in the evening.


Thoughts on October 1st

It was time to pay guild dues again, but apart for that, I stayed at the inn. I’m convinced Lady Karita has decided to learn swordplay, but she keeps it secret, and doesn’t practice while I’m around.


Thoughts on October 2nd

Today, Va’lyndra had a meeting with someone about how we can save the world. She didn’t tell me much, but said we were going on a new kind of adventure, other than delving into caves. We’re going to go south, towards Urdon, and need to prepare for two months of living in the wilderness. We’re leaving in three days.

I talked to Lady Karita about what I could say to Alfrey Kansh, and then I went to see him. Hopefully, I didn’t reveal anything I shouldn’t have.


Thoughts on October 3rd

I went to the guildhall to talk to adventurers who might know what I’d need to bring to survive two months in the wilderness, and they gave me a long list of stuff I needed to get. I spent the day shopping with Olivia, before entertaining in the inn. I’m going to go crazy, living two whole months without an audience.


Thoughts on October 4th

I bought a large supply of healing potions, and a bunch of extra arrows. The fletcher didn’t have time to make masterwork arrows, so I just bought regular ones.

Olivia and I brought all our belongings to the stables, where we experimented with balancing the load among the horses. I put on a little show for the workers, who initially were a little skeptical when we didn’t bring out the horses, but afterwards, they were very helpful, and with their help, we determined how to pack each horse.

I put on a show at the Red Mansion in the evening, of course.
__________________
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 05-31-2019, 05:23 PM   #70
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 17 (2019-05-26)

Thoughts on October 5th

Lady Karita slept late, as usual, so I ran to the weaponsmith on a whim to see if I could find a better bow while Olivia packed what little we hadn’t prepared already. Unfortunately, there was no such bows to be had. I have a pretty good one already, but I feel I could use one with a heavier pull, like the one Va’lyndra has.

On the way to the harbor, I asked Lady Karita what she thought about recruiting a melee fighter for the crew. She didn’t like the idea, but didn’t bother to give me a proper explanation. I guess she didn’t think I could find someone trustworthy quickly.

At the docks, we met an elf who introduced himself as our guide and gave us a little information. We were going to sail south on the Silent Lake. Kine had placed her wagon in storage, as there were no roads where we were going, but she had brought her oxen to carry supplies. The vessel wasn’t very large, but there was room for all the animals.

The guide said he wouldn’t debark with us when we reached our destination, but offered to teach us a few things about survival on the voyage. He also had books about archaeology and New World natives that those who were interested could borrow.

Finally, he told us what the quest was actually about. He tasked us with exploring the ruins of an ancient civilization, hopefully discovering magical artifacts we could bring back. Someone else had made an attempt earlier, and had made a crude map of the country, which we should improve as we traveled. The guide wanted the map back when we returned, presumably so other parties could build on our work.

The guide warned us to stay far away from intact buildings that looked inhabited. The earlier explorers had discovered the hard way that the occupants of such places were powerful spell-casters, and extremely hostile. A couple of these buildings were marked on the map.

The rest of the day, Lady Karita, Kine and Olivia spent listening to lectures about plants and animals. Va’lyndra knew it all already, so she studied one of the books the guide lent her, instead. I sat in on the lecture for a few minutes, until I got bored. Then I went exploring.

I crawled all over the ship, from top to bottom. Our living quarters were cramped, and I needed to find somewhere I could be private with Olivia. One of the sailors asked what I was looking for, and must have misunderstood my intentions. He knew of a secluded spot among the cargo, and I let him take me.

Olivia knew what had happened the moment she saw my guilt-wracked face, and rushed over to comfort me. How can she be so forgiving, so compassionate? She tells me it’s not my fault, that I have a mental condition that causes my pants to drop. Then a rain of kisses washed away the guilt. I’m blessed.


Thoughts on October 6th

I practiced acrobatics in the ship’s riggings most of the day. Olivia had me show her the secluded spot and distracted me as often as she could, between lessons. We had a little time for talking as well, and she told me that the guide was teaching them which plants could be eaten and which were bad for you. Olivia thought the topic was interesting, and believed she could supplement the travel rations with things she’d pick up on the way.


Thoughts on October 7th

The guide changed the subject of his lessons, today, and Va’lyndra handed the books over to Lady Karita to join in. The topic of the day was camouflage, slightly more interesting than learning the difference between a spruce and a pine, but sitting still, listening to the droning voice, was a torment, so I left. Camouflage can be nice if you don’t want to be seen, which comes in handy now and again on quest, but that’s not who I am. It goes against my instincts. I want to be seen, to be recognized. I practiced acrobatics, all day.


Thoughts on October 8th

We docked in Urdon in the early afternoon, but had no errands there, so everyone stayed on the ship while the sailors did whatever sailors do. Those so inclined listened to camouflage lessons; Lady Karita pored over her books while I practiced balance on top of the mast.


Thoughts on October 9th

Map-making was on the menu for Lady Karita and Kine. Va’lyndra devoured books. I had Olivia.


Thoughts on October 10th

According to the guide, we’re arriving at our destination tomorrow. Good. I was getting restless. There are only so many masts to climb and railings to cartwheel. The sailors have been an appreciative audience, but there are only seven of them. Olivia has watched me practice since the camouflage lessons ended, and she counts for a thousand. I only caught glimpses of her face as I whirled about, but the delight in her chocolate eyes set my soul on fire every time.


Thoughts on October 11th

And so, we disembarked. The guide pointed us in a southward direction and said goodbye.

According to Lady Karita, who is in charge of the map, we still have some way to go before we reach the ruined nation. In the far distance, we could see blurred mountains that she said was marked in the northeastern corner of the map. If the weather is on our side, it should be hard to get lost. Olivia and I waited in the background while the others deliberated over the map.

It’s getting colder, but we’ve prepared for that with extra winter clothes, and if it should start raining again, I’ve waterproofed the saddlebags, so we should have dry clothes to change into, when we need to. Va’lyndra said that it’s important to keep warm and dry, to avoid injury or illness. It’s obvious when she says it, but I wouldn’t have thought about it on my own.

When we set off, Va’lyndra took the lead, scouting ahead. Kine and the oxen move slowly, compared to the rest of us, so Va’lyndra is able to range back and forth, finding the best way forward. I practiced contortion, hand standing on Lightfoot’s saddle as we traveled. Years of exercise have given me arm strength far out of proportion with my otherwise slender figure.

When we made camp in the evening, I helped Olivia camouflage the tents. My arms were sore and stiff from the practice, and I doubt I could have drawn my bow if we’d been ambushed. You need to start thinking ahead, Mattea!


Thoughts on October 12th

I practiced again when we traveled today, but tried to vary what muscles I exercised. As my arms were still sore, I mostly stayed on my feet, either posing on one leg on top of Lightfoot, or running beside him. Lady Karita rolled her eyes at me, wasting energy as I was.


Thoughts on October 13th

The weather had darkened, yesterday, and it started raining sometime during the night. I had a miserable watch, even with Olivia for company, cowering under an evergreen.

Va’lyndra spotted a log tower and came back to report. Kine remarked that it would be easier to sneak up to it now that it was raining. We left Olivia with the animals and made our way carefully towards the tower. At the top of the tower, we could see a small figure. From a distance, it was hard to determine exactly what kind of being it was, but from what Va’lyndra knew about them, we presumed it was a goblin. As we hadn’t reached the area we actually were paid to explore, we decided to go around the tower. No use stirring up trouble when we don’t need to.


Thoughts on October 14th

The rain dampened everyone’s mood, and I didn’t feel like practicing. I perched on the saddle, hiding inside my cloak, as we progressed through the forest. Olivia’s lower legs were drenched when we arrived at our campsite, as her cloak hadn’t covered them.
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Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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