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Old 07-25-2019, 04:26 AM   #81
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 21 (2019-07-07)

Thoughts on November 30th

When Olivia and I took over the watch from Ilzo, he delivered a confusing report of food taking our food. He still can’t speak our language very well, so Olivia checked our supply, discovering that a fair amount had been stolen. When I spotted large rodents skulking around the camp, I shot one of them, scaring off the rest. The rat-like creature didn’t look very appetizing, so I gave it to Ilzo for breakfast. He cooked it before eating it, so it can’t have been very appealing to him either; usually he eats his meat raw.

While looking around the grove yesterday, Ilzo found tracks leading north, and we decided to follow them, even if they were weeks old. Va’lyndra spotted a place where they’d taken a short rest, and we searched the site, but didn’t find anything of interest.

Later, we found a battleground. Four giants and two human-sized people had fallen here, and animals had been at the corpses, eating away any way of identifying them. The two human-sized people wore leather armor, which also had been gnawed at, and we found several broken arrows, but nothing useful. Va’lyndra checked the teeth, concluding that none of the fallen were orcs.

Lady Karita thought it was of no use to follow the old tracks that continued north, and wanted to seek out more statues. Va’lyndra wanted to stay on the tracks, at least a little longer. I got the impression she bears a grudge against those who took the statue away from the temple, defiling the sacred grove. Oh, the irony! I had no strong feelings in the matter, but thought we should humor Va’lyndra, at least for a little while. We agreed to go north until Lady Karita determined we’d reached the edge of the map.

When we made camp, we built a makeshift rack from which we could hang the food so it wouldn’t be so easily accessible to rodents.


Thoughts on December 1st

The weather changed for the warmer, today, and I forewent heavy winter clothes in favor of my swamp wurm leather armor. I still wore a cloak, though. We followed the tracks north along the mountain range all day, but decided to change course tomorrow.


Thoughts on December 2nd

We set off in a southeasterly direction today, returning to the sheltering forest around midday. In the afternoon, Va’lyndra spotted humanoid figures in our path and tweeted a warning sign. We wanted to remain unseen, so we veered off to the south. Olivia and Ilzo took extra care camouflaging our camp.


Thoughts on December 3rd

Olivia and I woke up when someone entered our tent. At first, I thought it was Ilzo, but Olivia screamed, so I grabbed his legs and tried to pull them out from under him. It didn’t work, so I drew Scorchmark, readying an attack in case the intruder tried anything. I wasn’t sure if it was Ilzo or not until he retreated out into the moonlight, saying something in orcish.

Olivia was still screaming. Knowing that a strategically inserted finger wouldn’t work on Olivia the way it did on me, I settled for holding her close, stroking her hair and whispering soothing words until she calmed down. Going near her private parts while she was panicking would only make things worse.

As soon as Olivia was calm, I burst from the tent, yelling at Ilzo. What was he thinking, creeping into our tent like that??! He said there were people in the woods, and he came to tell me, the leader, about it. Lady Karita exchanged a few words with him in orcish before activating Surkalpi. She claimed to see somebody far out among the trees, but told me not to stare, so I didn’t.

Ilzo moved out, sneaking towards the people out there. Va’lyndra started to follow, but Lady Karita bade her wait until she had armed herself. I put on armor, strung my bow, and strapped on Scorchmark and the quiver, leaving the brass knuckles in the belt pouch. Then I guarded Olivia and the camp while my two companions followed the orc.

The three of them returned after a few minutes to fetch Surkalpi, but deactivated the light spell before moving out again. They followed the intruders south for half an hour before returning to camp again. They had lost the tracks, but determined it should be safe enough for us to continue east.

As Olivia and I were up and alert, we resumed the watch, sending Ilzo off to bed. I tried thinking of a way for the others to wake us silently without having to enter our tent, but didn’t get any good ideas.

We made good speed today. The weather was good, and the first snow has yet to fall.


Thoughts on December 4th

It was a cold watch this morning. Olivia and I huddled together on a fallen log, and occasionally got up to look around. As we sat there, Olivia suddenly shifted and moved her face towards mine. I closed my eyes for a kiss that never came. “There’s someone out there,” she whispered. My eyes popped up and I looked around, but I couldn’t see anyone, even when Olivia pointed discretely. I trust Olivia completely, so there was never a thought in my mind that she was mistaken. I picked up my bow and drew an arrow while Olivia activated Surkalpi’s light spell. I still couldn’t see anyone, but Olivia spotted several dark figures in the bushes, so I called out for the others to wake. The figures, now aware they’d been spotted started lurking away. Lady Karita, Va’lyndra and Ilzo emerged from their tents, and I explained what was going on, but nobody could locate the lurkers. Va’lyndra even went so far as to claim that Olivia must have made an error. The others went back to sleep after a little while, and we turned off the light.

We chose to let Lady Karita sleep longer this morning. She needs her sleep, or she gets grumpy. Va’lyndra brought out a book to study. Olivia and I ducked back inside our tent for some private time.

Nothing happened as we rode through the forest. I balanced on the saddle, as usual.
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You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

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

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue

Last edited by coronatiger; 07-25-2019 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 07-25-2019, 04:42 AM   #82
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 21 (2019-07-07)

Thoughts on December 5th

“Attack!” Olivia activated Surkalpi, and I looked around for whatever she’d seen, bow at the ready. The others appeared on the scene, and this time, Ilzo spotted someone and took off; Va’lyndra summoned ice daggers, shooting at someone I couldn’t see. A short while later, she shouted that Ilzo had caught up with someone and ran to help him. I asked Lady Karita if I should follow, and she said she’d guard the camp. When Va’lyndra and I got there, Ilzo was struggling to lift up two unconscious boogeymen. Something had happened to his arm; it dangled limply and got in the way. In the end, Ilzo pulled the two bodies back to camp. I asked why he was so keen on bringing them, but he didn’t reply.

Since Ilzo isn’t exactly Olivia’s favorite person at the moment, it was up to Va’lyndra to see to his arm. Under her ministrations, he got it working again. He tied up one of the boogeymen, and decapitated the other. I watched wide-eyed as he set the head on a spike. Then he went back to bed. Pale Olivia’s hands were on her stomach, holding it in place. I dragged the corpse out of the camp and dumped it behind some bushes.

The prisoner woke up, and I asked why he tried to sneak into our camp. He didn’t reply, he only bared his teeth at me. I went back to Olivia, who was feeling fragile, and put my arms around her. After a while, I noticed that the boogeyman tried to get out of the ropes, but he lay still as long as we watched him, so I told Olivia to keep an eye on him and went to wake Ilzo and tell him that his prisoner was awake.

Ilzo tried questioning the boogeyman, but got nothing sensible out of him. I asked the orc why he had brought the creature back to the camp, and whether he was going to eat him. He said no. When I said I wanted my rope back, Lady Karita cut the prisoner’s throat. I washed the blood off the rope while Ilzo mounted another head on a spike.

After we had traveled for a couple of hours, Va’lyndra signaled for us to come fast, so we broke into a gallop. I strung my bow while we closed the distance. There were two burgh lions ahead of us, and they’d seen us. I leaped off Lightfoot. Lady Karita dismounted fashionably. Olivia took the reins and pulled back. Va’lyndra leaned her staff against a tree and prepared her bow.

I took aim at the nearest lion and fired; the arrow struck the beast, but it kept coming. Va’lyndra and I both missed with the next arrows, but I hit twice more before the lion was upon us. Like the previous burgh lion we fought, it took a giant leap and swooped down on Ilzo and Lady Karita, who stood ready with sword and naginata. Ilzo swung and missed, and dove under a huge paw. Va’lyndra shot the largest ice dagger I’ve ever seen at it, and Lady Karita slashed with her sword. Blood gushed from the wounds, and the lion dropped to the ground. The snake tail, on the other hand, was still active. It bit Ilzo.

As the snake was attached to the unmoving lion body, I figured the first monster was out of the combat, and took aim at the second one. It had moved faster than I had thought possible, and I didn’t think I’d have time for a second shot before it engaged us in melee. Luckily, the arrow sank deep into the lion’s chest, and it shuddered, but managed a controlled landing a short distance away before proceeding on foot, slower. I shot again, but missed.

The burgh lion slammed into Lady Karita just as she landed a powerful blow on it. She fell down, unconscious. Va’lyndra fired an ice dagger at the lion, and I struck it with another arrow. With a strong staff blow to the skull, Va’lyndra felled the beast, and I saw the snake tail go limp.

Ilzo hadn’t had the wits to get away from the first snake tail, and was trying to punch it, but wasn’t having much success. Venom glistened on his bone armor, and blood dripped from puncture wounds on his unprotected neck. I approached the lion head, pulled Scorchmark, and plunged it through the eye, into the brain. The snake tail fell to the ground.

I tried to give first aid to Lady Karita, but somehow made things worse, so I called for Olivia to take over. She applied two healing salves to the fallen lady. Then I asked Olivia how to treat snake bites, pointing at Ilzo, but Olivia claimed he would be fine. I think she still bears a grudge for him scaring her so badly a few nights ago, but she wouldn’t condemn him to die if there was anything she could do to help, so I supposed Ilzo would be all right. Va’lyndra gave him several healing potions, though.

When Lady Karita woke up, she asked if we got them, and I explained that if you inflict enough damage on the lion head, the snake stops moving. I didn’t mention bungling my first aid attempt.

Ilzo pulled through, although he was shivering for the rest of the day, so travel was slow. I tried to get him to ride, but he fell off the horse. If he hadn’t been so heavy, I could have ridden double with him to make sure he didn’t fall, but as it was, no horse of ours could handle him and another person.


Thoughts on December 6th

After the two encounters with boogeymen and burgh lions yesterday, I was thankful for having an uneventful trip today.


Thoughts on December 7th

A rustling noise caused me to turn towards Va’lyndra’s tent, and shortly afterwards, she emerged, clearly unable to sleep. She has these episodes periodically. That was the most interesting thing that happened today. Well, except for what Olivia and I just did.


Thoughts on December 8th

Olivia yelled that we were under attack, and activated Surkalpi. I leapt up and looked around. Goblins! Two arrows slammed into Olivia, and she dropped to the ground. I drew Scorchmark and moved over to her, ready to protect my lover from the melee fighters that were approaching. An arrow zipped past me and disappeared into Lady Karita’s tent. There were at least ten goblins, attacking from all directions.

Ilzo emerged from his tent and grabbed the nearest enemy. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra appeared as well, seemingly unharmed by stray arrows, and moved in my direction.
I slashed the first goblin that approached; the heat from Scorchmark cauterized the wound as he fell. Another goblin moved in to strike at me, but missed. He jumped out of the way of the return strike. Olivia started crawling away.

Moving towards one group of archers, Ilzo shield rushed one of their guards, using their friend to great effect.

Three goblins swarmed me, and tried to hit me with their crude weapons. I dodged and weaved out of the way, and had to use acrobatics to remain untouched; I parried the last attack with Scorchmark, for that seemed easier. Now, one of them had come between Olivia and me, so I somersaulted over him, again placing myself protectively above her. I tried slashing at the goblin while in the air, but I didn’t have much hope of actually hitting during such a maneuver.

Va’lyndra entered the fray and whacked one of the goblins. Lady Karita drew her sword and parried an arrow. Wow, she was fast!

I slashed the largest goblin, presumably the leader, and he collapsed. Va’lyndra and Lady Karita attacked the last enemy in this group, but failed to take him down. Olivia crawled into the nearest tent to take cover.

One of the goblins that had fallen earlier got back on his feet, but I ignored him. Doom was about to fall on the archers that shot Olivia; I dropped Scorchmark and drew an arrow. Va’lyndra whirled her staff, felling the two standing melee fighters. I put an arrow in the first of my two targets, and he crumpled to the ground. Lady Karita ran towards the other one, lashing out with her sword. I shouted to her that he was mine, but she didn’t listen, so now we both ran for him. He turned and fled, but we were faster. Lady Karita attacked, and the goblin stumbled. Scorchmark leapt into my hand and I finished him off. I stopped by the first archer on the way back and drove the blade through his eye. I withdrew Scorchmark and took out the other eye, too, for good measure. It’s too bad we won’t leave any survivors; I want word to spread of what happens to those who harm Olivia.

Ilzo had plowed through his group of goblins without much difficulty, I presumed. He was still standing, and I really only had eyes for Olivia. In the privacy of our tent, I stripped off her clothes and bandaged her wounds. Then I gave her a healing potion, and although she claimed to be fine afterwards, I coddled her for the rest of the watch.

We continued through the forest. I hovered over Olivia until I was completely sure she felt no pain from her wounds. After we pitched our tents for the night, we said good night to the others, and I made a thorough inspection of every inch of her body. The healing potion had done its job; I felt no scars marring her soft skin. I had no objection at all when she reciprocated, and put my lips to hers, losing myself in the moment.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

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

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue

Last edited by coronatiger; 07-25-2019 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 07-25-2019, 04:54 AM   #83
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 21 (2019-07-07)

Thoughts on December 9th

We had a pleasant ride through the forest, today. Unconsciously, I remained closer to Olivia than I use to, never straying more than a few yards away from her.


Thoughts on December 10th

Today was yet another day of nothing happening. I can’t say I’m displeased with that, but I wish we’d find that temple soon.


Thoughts on December 11th

Va’lyndra claimed we were nearing the temple, now, and began climbing tall trees to look around for it. Not wanting to be left on the ground when there was climbing to do, I joined her. We didn’t see any signs of the temple. According to Lady Karita, it should lie in the middle of the forest. No specific landmarks were given.


Thoughts on December 12th

We turned north for a few hours, then south, zigzagging through the woods in search of the temple.


Thoughts on December 13th

From a treetop, Va’lyndra spotted a glint to the southeast, something reflecting the sunlight. Lady Karita reminded us that we were looking for a temple of magic. She showed where she had marked other temples on her map, including a temple of love. I would like to take Olivia there, but we won’t have time on this expedition. Va’lyndra claimed I’d feel at home in the temple of perversion, and I must admit I became a little curious, although I felt somewhat offended, too. The other temples solicited no comments.

In the evening, we arrived at what looked like an eight-sided prism in a clearing, about twenty meters across. Va’lyndra said it was a magical force field, and inside it, we could see a similar shape, a little smaller in all dimensions. Ilzo tossed a rock through the force field, earning him a glare from Va’lyndra and Lady Karita. Va’lyndra started dancing to analyze the force field, a process that could take hours, so Olivia and I excused ourselves, claiming to need sleep before our watch, but everyone knew why we really withdrew.


Thoughts on December 14th

After finishing her analysis, Va’lyndra explained that the force field suspended all magic temporarily except for the first person to enter. In addition, protective spells hindered tampering with the field. I left Scorchmark and the healing potions from my pouch with Olivia and followed Va’lyndra, Lady Karita and Ilzo through the field.

Inside, a hovering globe awaited us. Va’lyndra immediately started identifying it, but her spell failed. Instead, the globe started filling with smoke. As we discussed what had happened, the smoke slowly dissipated. Va’lyndra proceeded to analyze the inner barrier, to see if that too was protected, but now her spell worked like normal. However, the full analysis would take hours, so the rest of us left to look around outside. We found an old road leading south. Lady Karita marked it on the map, but I don’t think we’ll be following it, at least not on this expedition. We need to turn north after finishing here, if we are to meet our contact in time.

Va’lyndra discovered that she needed to fill the globe with smoke to open the inner barrier. Any spell cast on the globe seemed to turn to smoke, so the only question was whether she had enough energy to fill it. She tried holding a powerstone in one hand outside the force field since they were worthless inside, but she couldn’t pull its energy through the barrier.

She cast her default spell, the water jet, on the globe, and water turned to smoke. After a few seconds, her nose started bleeding, and she stopped the water jet. We didn’t dare to let her leave, and a healing potion brought to her wouldn’t work, but she sent me to find her bottle of brandy. She took several deep sips and resumed the water jet. Blood started dripping from her eyes and ears, and I don’t think it was the brandy that made her unsteady on her feet; it had only been a few seconds since she imbibed it.

The smoke filled up the globe, and it disappeared, along with the inner barrier. A line of eleven ghostly magicians stood with their backs to us, waving their arms in the air and uttering mystical phrases. After a while, we realized that they were repeating themselves, each of them going through the motions of casting a single spell, targeting yet another barrier. Desperately drained, Va’lyndra drank a healing potion, only to confirm it didn’t work.

We rested for about an hour, and then Va’lyndra cast a spell to identify the spell of one of the ghosts. That caused him to start dancing, and as Va’lyndra cast more spells, the other mages followed suit. Maybe they started dancing because that’s how Va’lyndra casts spells? The elf said we had to copy their motions to open the next barrier, so she and I started dancing. The brandy had taken its toll on Va’lyndra, and Lady Karita, who didn’t share our view, seized her shoulder and told her to focus. Suddenly, magical symbols appeared in the air next to one of the mages. Va’lyndra sat down to rest; she had run out of energy again.

Va’lyndra discovered that she could alter the symbols, and figured out that she needed to find the symbols that matched the spell being cast. She also discovered how to make symbols appear next to the other mages. She started spell dancing again, and suddenly, black energy shot from her hand and struck Lady Karita, who swore. I immediately pulled out my first aid kit and set to work. Va’lyndra moved on to another spell, and lay a hand on my armor-protected chest. The leather tore apart, and I told her if she hadn’t been so injured from creating the smoke, I would have hit her.

Lady Karita left to drink healing potions outside the force field, and brought her notes back inside. She got Va’lyndra to concentrate on the task at hand, not an easy job, considering the amount of liquor the elf had imbibed. The two of them managed to identify many of the symbols, but several eluded them. Va’lyndra wished she had paid more attention to her thaumatology teacher. Ilzo fetched a log of wood and tried to bash his way through the third barrier, but to no avail.

The symbols near each ghost mage were arranged in three rows with respectively twenty, four and seven symbols on them, and Lady Karita and Va’lyndra determined that they needed to choose one symbol from each row, three symbols to identify the spell. A few of them were relatively easy to figure out, according to Va’lyndra, but in the end we had to guess. Trial and failure eventually found the correct combinations, for the ghosts and the barrier vanished.

A single statue stood inside, and Va’lyndra picked it up, with no caution for traps or tricks. Nothing bad seemed to happen, and we retreated back to our tents to sleep.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

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

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue

Last edited by coronatiger; 07-25-2019 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 09-01-2019, 05:05 AM   #84
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 22 (2019-08-25)

Thoughts on December 15th

When we got out for our watch this morning, both Olivia and I noticed that hot air had blown in over the forest. Well, it wasn’t really hot, it was still chilly, but it was warmer than it had been yesterday, and considerably more comfortable than it had been in the mountains. Maybe we’ll get home before it starts snowing.

When the others joined us for breakfast, a discussion arose regarding if we should try for another temple, or if we should head straight home. I told everyone that Olivia and I wanted to return to civilized lands, but Va’lyndra was very keen on exploring “just one more temple”. Using Lady Karita’s map, we tried to calculate how much time we would need to travel to the temple, and from there to Urdon, where we had an appointment with a contact. He (or she) was going to a meeting place just outside town once every day, until January 10th, and would get a ship to take us past the town, and up to Garuk. If we arrived too late, we would have to find our own way through the wilderness between Urdon and Garuk. We’ve traveled there once before, and discovered it was a dangerous route, but probably not more dangerous than it’s around here. Going by ship would be more comfortable, though, and we’d save at least a couple of days, I think.

Another limiting factor was the amount of food we had left. We estimated that we’d need at least eighteen days going via the temple, but I figured that unforeseen circumstances like heavy snowfall could easily double the travel time. Olivia reported that we only had enough food for twenty-nine days. More than enough if conditions remained fine and nothing bad happened at the temple (or elsewhere), but if something were to happen, we’d find ourselves light on resources.

Va’lyndra cast a spell to foresee the weather, and said that it would probably not get bad during the next seven to fourteen days.

Lady Karita was sitting on the proverbial fence. She was curious what we might discover at the temple, but she also expressed a desire to return to the comforts of society. The discussion dragged on, and eventually she cut through and ordered Va’lyndra to lead us away from here. “We’re going home, right?” I asked the elf hopefully. “Um… right,” she replied.

After half a day of travel, we spotted a twenty-meter-high stone pillar. According to the notes on our inherited map, this location might be one of the lethal places we want to avoid at all cost, so we took a detour around it. Ilzo told us that orcs know about the danger of these places, and the kind of orc that was too curious to stay away, had died out long ago. We lost Kine at a similar site, a few weeks ago.

When the sun approached the horizon, we erected our tents, and Olivia and Ilzo camouflaged the camp as best they could. Looking at the sunset, I realized that Va’lyndra had been leading us astray, and I confronted her. “If we were heading straight towards Urdon, the sun should have set around there, not over there.” I pointed as I talked. Va’lyndra had an explanation, though. There had been another danger site, and we were in the process of going around it. “Oh. For a minute, I thought you were trying to lead us towards the temple.” Va’lyndra assured me this was not the case, so I went to find Olivia. I was starting to get hungry.


Thoughts on December 16th

A scraping at the tent flaps woke me up. Was it our watch already? I dressed and went out to relieve Ilzo, but he pointed to Va’lyndra’s tent where several large centipedes were trying to get in. They looked at least half a foot long. I activated the light spell on Surkalpi, drew Scorchmark from my belt and slashed one of the critters.

From inside the tent, Va’lyndra asked who I was. I imagined the shadows Surkalpi cast of me and the centipedes on the side of the tent might look scary from the inside, and I told her to stay inside until I had dealt with the insects. When I cut the last one in half, I saw Ilzo had picked up a live one and was stuffing it down an empty potion bottle.

Va’lyndra emerged, and Ilzo showed the bottle to her. She recognized the centipede as extremely venomous and said she hoped he hadn’t been bitten when he jammed it into the bottle.

I called for Olivia to come out. She knows a lot about medicine, but I hoped her skills wouldn’t be needed. Lady Karita, knowledgeable about poisons, had yet to make an appearance, so I went inside her tent to check on her. I failed to wake her. Fearing she had been bitten, Olivia and I hurriedly dragged her out of the tent, and while Olivia searched for bite marks, I went back inside with Surkalpi to look for centipedes. Lady Karita woke up and protested about the treatment. I didn’t find any insects inside, and Olivia didn’t find any bitemarks, so we let her return to bed.

I asked Ilzo if much was left of his watch before I followed Lady Karita’s example. Olivia remained outside, comparing notes on first aid with Va’lyndra. I tossed and turned until Olivia slid under the blankets a little while later. Finally, I could wrap myself around her and doze off.

Ilzo’s brown skin looked a little pale when he woke us for our watch, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I was more concerned for Va’lyndra, whom I thought was having another insomnia episode. She had stayed up, keeping the orc company for the rest of his watch.

Va’lyndra seemed to long for bed, watching the sleeping Ilzo with what I assumed was envy. She wasn’t very talkative, and Olivia and I sat down on a log, huddling together between patrols around the camp. Suddenly, a water jet burst from the mage’s hands, shooting into Ilzo’s tent. “Bugs!” She got up and stomped on the few that were crawling around the tent. “You’d better be watchful, Mattea!” she admonished. My hand, with a mind of its own, had found something interesting under Olivia’s dress, but I withdrew it and rested it on Scorchmark, ready to draw the fiery blade, eyes darting around the camp.

When Lady Karita woke up, she asked what was up with all the blood. “What blood?” I asked, and she pointed to a red spot on the ground. Va’lyndra explained that Ilzo had been bitten, and that she had had to blood let him. Her keeping an eye on him suddenly took on a different meaning.

Ilzo was feeling better after breakfast, and we packed our things and left. “Take us home,” I told Va’lyndra. “Of course,” she replied.

In the evening, we reached one of the overgrown roads that crisscross this land, and made camp out of sight of it, as a security measure.


Thoughts on December 17th

We crossed another road after a few hours, but aside from that, nothing noteworthy happened as we traveled.


Thoughts on December 18th

I woke just after falling asleep. Va’lyndra was shouting that bears were on the approach. As usual, Olivia strung my bow while I strapped the quiver and Scorchmark around my waist. I crawled out of the tent and spotted two huge grizzly bears thirty meters away, and closing. I took aim and plugged the closest one with a broadhead arrow. Ilzo hurled a rock and Va’lyndra fired off an ice dagger spell, and the bear stumbled and fell. The other bear got an arrow, too, but it didn’t penetrate as deeply as my first arrow had. Ilzo yanked Surkalpi out of the ground; we place it upright so it can light the whole camp in case we’re under attack. Then the bear was upon us. It tried to trample Va’lyndra, but missed.

I drew Scorchmark, ran around the bear and made a swipe, hitting nothing but air. Ilzo made a clumsy attempt to stab the bear with Surkalpi, and I registered that Va’lyndra cast a spell; it had no effect I could see. The grizzly tried to bite the spellcaster, but her flying shield interposed itself. Attacking from behind, I slashed the beast, singeing the fur on its backside. Whirling her staff, Va’lyndra smacked the bear across the snout, eliciting a roar of anger and pain and a flurry of blows, none of which connected with her. I slashed the bear’s flank, making a deep gash that the heat from Scorchmark immediately cauterized.

The bear collapsed, leaving off a stench of burnt fur. I asked Ilzo if he could help me drag the stinking carcasses away, but Va’lyndra interjected that bear meat is good food, so the two of them started slaughtering the bears instead. I went back to bed, closing the tent flaps as tightly as I could.

We had bear meat for breakfast. And for lunch. And dinner. It didn’t taste bad, actually, but I think I’m going to be pretty fed up with it when we’ve eaten it all. It’ll be good to get back to Garuk, where the food is more varied. I day-dreamed about delicacies I had tasted what seemed an eternity ago, while we traveled through the forest.
__________________
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 09-01-2019, 05:08 AM   #85
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 22 (2019-08-25)

Thoughts on December 19th

In the afternoon, we crested a low hilltop, and Va’lyndra declared that we needed to climb some tall trees to look around, but Lady Karita spotted a rooftop downhill. As we approached the building, we saw that it had been built into the hillside. In front of what was clearly a temple, a small river ran by, crossed by a dilapidated stone bridge. No wonder Va’lyndra had wanted to see the lay of the land – we were completely off course. However, now that we had stumbled across another temple, we might as well explore it.

The hillside got steeper and steeper as we neared the temple, and we decided to take a detour to the north. We wouldn’t get the animals down to the entrance if we decided to climb, and we might be in need of a quick retreat. We found a ford a short distance upriver. The river was only a few meters wide, and not very deep, so crossing was easy.

We didn’t have much daylight left, so we made camp in sight of the bridge and temple, and decided to postpone the exploration until tomorrow. Lady Karita went to check out the bridge, and thought it looked treacherous, so she didn’t try to cross.

Olivia and I excused ourselves and retreated to the privacy of our little tent, just as Ilzo asked Lady Karita what she was smoking. “It’s a medicine I take to fall asleep when we’re outdoors. There are so many distracting noises in the night.” Olivia blushed, shook her head, and got down to business.
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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 09-01-2019, 05:24 AM   #86
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 22 (2019-08-25)

Thoughts on December 20th

The stone bridge had a few holes in it, but didn’t look too bad, apart from that. Lady Karita crossed it, more light-footed than even I could have managed. I jumped over the river instead. Ilzo and Va’lyndra waited on the other side; Olivia watched from the camp. As she didn’t know much about knots herself, Lady Karita told me to tie a rope between one tree on each side of the river, so the others could use it for support when they crossed the bridge. I didn’t tell her where I gained my experience. Olivia doesn’t like being tied up, but I’ve known a few men who did...

I jumped back and fastened the other end of the rope, then I climbed up and walked on the rope to Lady Karita’s side. I wondered out loud if I could keep my balance if Ilzo shook the rope, but the lady admonished me that it was time to work, not play.

Ilzo and Va’lyndra joined us, and we approached the temple. Lady Karita’s sword started glowing, warning us that some kind of reptile was close. Instead of going straight for the open doorway, we headed for a window. Inside, we could see that a corridor stretched along the outer wall. Doorways opened up to rooms on the other side of the corridor, but it was too dark to see much.

Va’lyndra walked over to the main entrance to look for tracks, but dodged back as soon as she glanced inside. “Hydra!” We could hear splashing from inside, as a huge creature moved from the back of the temple towards the entrance. I took aim through the window, but Va’lyndra ordered me to aim at the door instead. “It’s venomous and casts spells,” she explained hurriedly, digging frantically through her mind for more scraps of knowledge about the creature.

I angled away from the building so I could shoot past Ilzo, who took up position next to the doorway, waiting to ambush the hydra. Lady Karita stayed near the window. Va’lyndra stood behind Ilzo, preparing an ice dagger spell.

A huge, three-headed creature emerged from the darkness. The sunlight must have temporarily blinded it, for it made no attempt to avoid my arrow, which plunged deep into its chest. It spotted Ilzo, though, and dodged out of Surkalpi’s way. The ice dagger whizzed past it.

The hydra snapped at Ilzo, and drops of green venom fell harmlessly to the ground when he parried. I drew another arrow and took a step back. Ilzo slashed with Surkalpi, but a shield of water manifested in front of the hydra and blocked the blow. At the edge of my field of vision, Lady Karita was frozen in fear, and the monster opened one of its mouths and spewed a burst of water towards my three companions, who nearly stood in a line. Preoccupied with my friends, the hydra failed to see my second arrow, which I planted squarely in its chest. Ilzo, still not too familiar with the naginata, missed the hydra with his next stab. I think Va’lyndra cast a spell, but no visible effect appeared.

Then the hydra blasted Ilzo and Va’lyndra with lightning. By some miracle, the elf managed to dodge, but Ilzo was struck. He stood fast, though, and chopped at one of the necks, but a water shield blocked the attack. Va’lyndra muttered “this is stupid” and rushed towards the hydra, staff at the ready. Lady Karita seemed to have shaken off the fear, at least for now, and ran towards me just as the hydra disgorged another burst of water. This time, we all were in the blast zone, but Va’lyndra and I dodged out of the way. Ilzo leaned into the burst and stood his ground, but Lady Karita was knocked over.

I took aim with my third arrow as Ilzo swung Surkalpi again. The water shield appeared and blocked the blow. Va’lyndra maneuvered around the hydra and struck out with her staff, but missed. Another lightning blast hit Ilzo, but it didn’t seem to bother him very much.

A water shield blocked my shot, and the hydra dodged Surkalpi. But Va’lyndra was flanking the beast and must have poked it where it hurts, for its legs gave way under it. I hurriedly drew another arrow, hoping to shoot again while it was still dazed. Ilzo made a strong attack and hit one of its necks; Surkalpi bit deeply into the hydra. Va’lyndra whirled her staff in a double strike, and two rapid cracks rang out as she struck. Lady Karita had found her feet again, and rushed towards the creature, shuriken flashing from her hands, but not penetrating the thick skin.

The hydra lashed out at Ilzo, twice in rapid succession, but its teeth caught nothing but air. My fourth arrow missed the beast entirely, but Ilzo struck its neck again. Lady Karita’s next shuriken bounced off the hide, but the hydra’s wounds caught up with it, and it slumped to the ground, unconscious. We finished it off easily; I took its eyes with Scorchmark, Ilzo cut off two of the heads, and Lady Karita poked at it with her sword until the magical blade stopped glowing. I put some bandage on Ilzo’s lightning burns, and he put the two heads he had cut off on spikes driven into the ground.

Then we went inside. Ilzo and Va’lyndra took the lead, and Lady Karita and I followed. Straight ahead lay a large chamber with a lowered floor, and black water made a pool around an empty altar in the middle of the room. Fifty statues depicting various monsters lined the walls. Va’lyndra stuck her head in the water and determined it was only half a meter deep. She waded towards the altar, Ilzo on her heels. I watched the corridor, arrow drawn; we hadn’t checked the other rooms, yet.

From inside the room, Va’lyndra asked Lady Karita and me if we recognized the script on the altar. Getting wet wasn’t high on my priorities, so I said no, but Lady Karita had been doused already, by the hydra, so she went to take a look. She claimed the script was orcish, like other texts we’ve seen in this land, but wasn’t able to interpret what the engraving said. The others joined me on dry land, and when Lady Karita complained that she was wet, Va’lyndra cast a spell, drying out their clothes.

We searched the other rooms of the temple, and found mostly garbage, but we did discover a bottle with some liquid, and Va’lyndra claimed it was magical. In the room with the bottle, glass shards covered the floor, and I made a joke about hydras in elixir stores. Va’lyndra just glared at me, showing yet again that she has no sense of humor.

In all the other temples we’ve visited, we’ve found a holy artifact that we’ve taken with us. Well, not in the temple in the mountains, but Va’lyndra discovered that other raiders had been there before us and taken it. Here, we’d found nothing of the sort. We returned to the altar chamber.

I still didn’t want to get wet, but I saw that the statues ringing the room all stood about four or five meters apart, so I climbed the nearest, and leaped from statue to statue, pausing to take a look around each of them. Some of the leaps were a little difficult, even for me, and I noticed Ilzo gaping at my skill. The others have seen me perform similar feats before, but I think I impressed them, too. I didn’t find anything, though. Perhaps I was a little preoccupied with showing off.

Ilzo and Va’lyndra waded back into the water and searched around along the bottom. They didn’t find anything but a broken bottle, on which Ilzo cut himself. While they were still searching, Lady Karita went outside, and I joined her. She remembered being told once, that some monsters were known to eat artifacts, and proceeded to cut open the hydra.

I watched her work for a couple of minutes, then I got bored and started walking around on my hands. Va’lyndra and Ilzo appeared and asked what was going on just as Lady Karita was beginning to pull the innards out of the carcass. After a while, she pulled out a hard lump covered in goo that made Va’lyndra light up. “It’s magical!” They cleaned it, and saw that it was once part of a statue. Lady Karita kept digging, hoping to find more pieces.

I didn’t care for the stench, and sashayed to the river, where I moved one end of the rope to another tree so I wouldn’t get wet if I fell. Then I did some warming up stretches on the rope before asking Ilzo to shake it. I had to switch rapidly between hands and feet to remain on the rope, and in the end, I fell off anyway. Perhaps I won’t add that trick to my performances, at least not yet.

When Lady Karita was satisfied she wouldn’t find any other statue pieces, we went inside the temple again. Lady Karita waded through the water, for she was covered in hydra insides. Nothing happened when she placed the artifact on the altar, and she went back to camp to change clothes. Va’lyndra and Ilzo stayed with the carcass and started skinning it, thinking the hide could be made into sturdy armor.

Olivia spotted the fine lady dipping her filthy clothes inexpertly in the river, and politely asked if she could help. Olivia gave the clothes a thorough wash, and I kept her company, telling what we’d seen and done at the temple. When the clothes were clean, Olivia’s hands were shivering with cold, and I suggested that we return to our tent, so I could warm her.
__________________
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 09-01-2019, 05:34 AM   #87
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 22 (2019-08-25)

Thoughts on December 21st

We packed up after breakfast and left the temple behind. I hoped Va’lyndra would concentrate on the navigation as we traveled. If she didn’t, we might remain in the wilderness forever. The weather was still warmish, and we had a pleasant ride through the woods.

When we made camp in the evening, something occurred to me, and I asked the others, “Did anyone remember to retrieve the statue piece from the altar before we left?” Luckily, my companions aren’t as scatterbrained as me, and Lady Karita patted one of her packs, demonstrating that we, collectively, hadn’t forgotten it.


Thoughts on December 22nd

The temperature dropped during the night, and gray clouds threatened us with snow when we woke up, but it wasn’t until around midday that the first snowflakes touched the ground. They melted almost as soon as they landed, and we weren’t hampered at all during today’s travel.


Thoughts on December 23rd

Snow fell lightly for most of the day, and while the ground was mostly bare, we began seeing patches of white here and there. We crossed an overgrown road in the afternoon, but otherwise, the journey was rather dull. I practiced balance while we traveled.


Thoughts on December 24th

We kept moving north today, but turned slightly to the east after a while, skirting a mountainous area.

I look forward to reaching Garuk. A soft bed and decent food would be most agreeable. I’m getting sick and tired of bear meat and travel rations. And a hot bath would be divine. And I think I need to go shopping. This coat is becoming tight over the shoulders, and I don’t think there’s enough spare fabric for Olivia to do anything. I believe I’m putting on some muscle (I hope it’s muscle), so I also think I’m going to look for a new bow, one with a heavier pull. And I should restock arrows and healing potions, too. It’s going to be expensive. I really hope we’re getting paid for this job.


Thoughts on December 25th

When I rose this morning, a thin layer of white covered everything, and the sky was clear. I smiled, recalling the joyful winters of my childhood years. Memories of playing in the snow flashed before my eyes, and I remembered sipping my mother’s warm soup after long hours of play. A snowball struck my helmet and brought me out of my reveries.

I looked around. Ilzo had retired to bed after waking us, so only Olivia and I were out in the pre-dawn air. My lover was looking innocently in another direction, but her stance shouted her guilt. She knew I was coming for her, and had unconsciously spread her legs, preparing for a tackle. Olivia knew a thing or two about wrestling from a couple of years back, but stood no chance against my onslaught. I grabbed the front of her jacket and twisted her around as I passed her, dropping to the ground. I made sure she landed on top of me – I wouldn’t want her to get hurt, after all – and then rolled over, pinning her under me. She squealed delightfully under my ambush, and I put my mouth over hers so she wouldn’t wake Lady Karita.

After a while, Olivia reminded me that we were supposed to keep watch. She worked her jaw and tongue as we made the rounds, checking on the animals. Maybe we’d lain there a little longer than I thought. The sky was noticeably lighter, too. I yawned.

A little after midday, our party reached a village. It looked long abandoned, and we could see no tracks in the snow. We decided to check it out. Olivia watched the animals as usual.

Va’lyndra identified the mansion and the church as interesting places to search, and discovered a hollow wall in the church. I asked if we had anything heavy that Ilzo could use to break through the wall, but Lady Karita wanted to find the opening mechanism. A quick look around revealed a small, broken lever. Va’lyndra made a battering ram, and Ilzo and I made a hole in the wall. In the small space inside we found a rusted suit of armor and some old bones. And a silver wand. Magical, according to Va’lyndra.

We walked back to Olivia and resumed our journey. In the evening, Lady Karita declared that we had left the map. That meant that it wouldn’t be many days before we’d see signs of human civilization again! I forgot to ask her how Va’lyndra’s detour messed up her mapmaking attempts.


Thoughts on December 26th

To say that the forest became more familiar would be a vast exaggeration of my experience at woodcraft, but I got a feeling that we’re approaching human lands again. Maybe it’s only the yearning for the luxuries of civilization that makes me feel this way.


Thoughts on December 27th

The forest was as foresty as it has been forever. We’ve truly been lucky with the weather lately, for the snow is still not deep enough to delay us. Roots and straws rose out of the white, protesting the coming winter, urging us to move forward while autumn still had a say.


Thoughts on December 28th

I’m starting to get bored with this forest. I practiced acrobatics as we put mile after mile behind us. I miss the crowds and the cheers. Instead, tree replaced tree, hill replaced hill, and everywhere, snow. Gah!


Thoughts on December 29th

I guess I should be thankful that nothing happens to delay us. But, oh! The monotony!


Thoughts on December 30th

The thin layer of snow melted away as autumn made a last, frantic attempt to hang on. We can’t be far from Urdon now. I decided not to pester Lady Karita and Va’lyndra with questions of “are we there, yet”. We’ll get there when we get there, but my god, I’m sick of this forest!
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

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

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue

Last edited by coronatiger; 09-01-2019 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 09-01-2019, 05:41 AM   #88
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 22 (2019-08-25)

Thoughts on December 31st

Lady Karita’s howl of pain woke everybody. I grabbed Scorchmark and burst out of the tent, covered only in goosebumps. I couldn’t see much, so I activated Surkapli. Ilzo, who had been on watch, was on his way into Lady Karita’s tent, and she leaped into his arms screaming that something was inside her tent.

Ilzo shouted for a pot. I quickly obliged him with one, and he dove into Lady Karita’s tent. Olivia frowned at my nudity when she went past to inspect the high human. I took the hint and got dressed, even though I could feel Olivia’s eyes caressing my backside as I returned to our tent. Olivia’s voice exclaimed that Lady Karita had been bitten.

When I got back out, Ilzo was showing a spider in an otherwise empty potion bottle to Lady Karita and Va’lyndra. Olivia decided to blood let Lady Karita, and started lighting a fire. She borrowed Va’lyndra’s knife and stuck the blade into the flame. I offered to lend her Scorchmark, as it seemed to me that she wanted to burn the bite wound as well, but she explained that it wouldn’t work the way she wanted it to. I scratched my head and let her do her thing. She’s the best healer I know, and I must admit I can’t quite wrap my head around her methods, although they seem to work.

When she had finished scorching the blade, Olivia made a careful incision into Lady Karita’s arm. Poisoned blood dripped slowly to the ground, and as soon as Olivia had bandaged the wound, Lady Karita threw back three healing potions. Since his watch was almost up anyway, I sent Ilzo to bed. Olivia kept an eye on Lady Karita, leaving camp security to me.

After a couple of hours, Olivia declared that the poison had been successfully fought off, and allowed Lady Karita to return to her tent. I asked her to explain about the burning of the knife. She told me about tiny, invisible demons that were vulnerable to fire. I didn’t understand. If they are all over, and as dangerous as she claimed, why don’t people burn their utensils before eating? I love the sound of her voice, so I let her talk, but my mind went elsewhere. She must have seen it wander off, for suddenly, her hand plunged down my pants and retrieved my attention. One blast of bliss later, she resumed her explanation, but I still didn’t get it. Olivia gave up: “Maybe we should go check on the horses?”

We got off to a late start today, as nobody wanted to wake Lady Karita. The ground was mostly devoid of snow, so we got pretty far anyway.


Thoughts on January 1st

“Happy new year, Olivia! Welcome to 379!” I kissed my soulmate passionately, first on the mouth, then her cheek, then the neck, intending to go all the way down to paradise, but she stopped me before I got very far. Our luxurious room at the Red Mansion Inn faded away as reality intruded. Ilzo was impatiently scraping at the tent flap. It was time for our watch. I muttered profanities while I slipped into my clothes. Olivia helped me strap on the swamp wurm leather sleeves and promised I could have her for dessert tonight.

We found a road after a couple of hours of travel, an actual road! It wasn’t very wide, and didn’t show sign of heavy use, but it was a road, nonetheless. Civilization, here we come!

Va’lyndra still ranged ahead, and in the afternoon, she whistled a signal. I didn’t remember this signal; we hadn’t used it very often, but Lady Karita said we needed to get off the road and hide, so we took cover behind a small hill. Lady Karita watched over the hilltop and spotted two humans on foot going south. There was no snow for us to leave obvious signs in, so they didn’t see our tracks.

We waited until they passed from view, then we returned to the road. We caught up with Va’lyndra after a minute or two, and not much later, we reached the fishing shack where we would meet our contact. The shack reeked of old fish, and wasn’t very large anyway, so we pitched our tents outside. The road was far enough away that a casual passer-by might overlook our presence, but we saw no reason not to have a night watch.

After dinner, I reminded Olivia of her promise. She practically dragged me to the tent, not that I wasn’t just as eager as her. I darted through the undergrowth like a snake, my tongue searching for prey.
__________________
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 09-01-2019, 05:55 AM   #89
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 22 (2019-08-25)

Thoughts on January 2nd

Daylight lit the camp and I was startled awake. Someone must have activated Surkalpi, so I picked up Scorchmark and burst out of the tent. Ilzo and Lady Karita stood outside her tent, and I asked what was going on. Ilzo explained that there were spiders in there. They apparently had things under control, and Ilzo told me it was still a couple of hours left of his watch, so I went back to sleep.

As we were going to wait here for our contact, we took things slowly in the morning. After breakfast, Va’lyndra started a spell dance to analyze the magic wand and bottle, and I danced to entertain Olivia, Ilzo and Lady Karita.

Va’lyndra asked us if we wanted to try something interesting, and gave me the wand along with instructions. I pointed the wand at a tree and said the word that was inscribed on it, “Lux”. A bolt of lightning shot from the wand, striking the tree. I didn’t trust in my ability to avoid saying the trigger word without meaning to, so I handed the wand back to her. Ilzo was fascinated with the wand, and wanted to try it. He shot a bolt straight up. I pointed out that now that we were back in human lands, we might want to be careful about making light in the middle of the night and shooting lightning into the air. We don’t want to draw unwanted attention to ourselves. Certain people may ask some questions we’d rather not answer. Va’lyndra was horrified: “Did you light up Surkalpi!? Here?” The light must have been visible from Urdon, an hour or two to the north along the coast. I explained about the spiders in Lady Karita’s tent.

A little while later, Lady Karita spotted a squad of soldiers coming along the road. She asked Ilzo to go and hide, and Va’lyndra demanded that he leave the wand. Then the elf mage hurried to hide the artifacts in the shack.

Two of the soldiers approached Lady Karita and greeted her good morning. They were clearly unused to dealing with high human nobility. They asked if she had seen a light in the night, much brighter than a campfire. Lady Karita claimed not to have seen any such light, and Olivia and I agreed with her. Then they asked what we were doing out here, with so many animals, counting six horses and two oxen. Lady Karita told the soldiers that we were adventurers, and obliged not to disclose the details of our current quest. The soldiers looked us over. We didn’t look very much like adventurers, three young women, one high noble, a servant, and me. I was wearing my helmet and leather sleeves and had a long knife in my belt, so they might take me for a bodyguard.

Just then, Va’lyndra appeared from around the corner of the shack, and Lady Karita asked her if she had seen a mysterious light during her watch. Va’lyndra told them that she had in fact seen a light above the water. She hadn’t been able to determine if the light came from below the water or above, but after it disappeared, she had seen wake rings on the water. I thought to myself that it must have been Surkalpi that drew near whatever creature had made the light. Another reason to be careful with the light spell.

The soldiers conferred, and decided to clear the area. We started packing, and I noticed that the soldiers’ eyes followed my sashaying as I moved around camp. I made sure they were out of earshot when I asked Va’lyndra if she had a plan for bringing out the artifacts unseen. She answered that she would shape a wooden box. The soldiers were unlikely to search our baggage.

One of the soldiers stopped me nervously as I crossed the campsite. “Aren’t you Mattea Vishi? Who won the summer games last year?” I made a flourishing bow and took off the helmet, so he could see my face clearly. Leaving the packing to the others, I started chatting with my fans.

When everything was packed up, I said goodbye to the soldiers. They encouraged us to go into town and report what Va’lyndra had seen. As we rode off, we could all hear one of the soldiers boast to his friends that he could have gotten me on my back, had we but been alone. Poor Olivia gave me a pleading look, and I took her hand with a silent promise not to seek him out.

I asked Lady Karita if she had figured out what to do with Ilzo. Orcs are seen as brutish raiders, and generally unwelcome. Lady Karita said we needed to convince Ilzo to act as her bodyguard, and not wander off on his own when we’re in town. We found him a short distance away from the shack, tossing pebbles into the Silent Lake. Ilzo was still convinced I was the group leader and wanted to focus his protection on me, but I explained that I was strong enough to take care of myself. I compared Lady Karita to a wise elder of the tribe, and said that she possessed very valuable knowledge. I think he got the point.

The next question was how to identify our contact. We found a place to hide nearby, and Lady Karita and Va’lyndra spied on the soldiers at the fishing shack. Olivia and Ilzo watched me practice acrobatics while we waited.

Our spies spotted a man coming from Urdon stopping to talk to the soldiers, then return back. Va’lyndra caught up with him out of sight of the soldiers, and made herself known. It was our contact, all right, and the elf agreed to meet him again at the Grand River, an hour or two outside Urdon, after he had acquired a ship for us.

The only bridge across the river is in Urdon. We were reluctant to use it, as we we’ve been banned from the area, but if we boarded upriver, our contact should be able to smuggle us past without too much hassle. Boarding at the fishing shack, as originally planned, was out of the question, now that Va’lyndra’s sighting made sure the soldiers would watch the lake.

We left the road. Va’lyndra led us cross-country, intending to skirt Urdon without being seen from the village. We crested a small hill, and saw the palisades no more than two hundred paces away. Soldiers spotted us and watched as we took a sharp right turn. I told Va’lyndra, “When you led us to the last temple, a tiny voice in my head said that you’d led us there on purpose. That voice just vanished.”

We found a campsite near the river, and we sat down to wait for our contact. Olivia and I pitched our tent to get some privacy.

Ilzo’s jaw dropped when he saw the boat arrive. How could something so large float on water? I explained to him that this boat wasn’t very big. It was just large enough to fit all the animals on deck. The animals were a little anxious, but Olivia managed to calm the horses, at least. We stuffed our packs into a small compartment under deck, and Va’lyndra took steps to magically conceal the artifacts.

Our contact was an elderly human with long, gray hair and beard. Dressed like a farmer, he would have been far down on my list of suspects, if I was to search for a clandestine operative.

When we reached Urdon, a customs officer came aboard and asked if we had anything to declare. Olivia and I sat huddled together at the railing, and tried to remain inconspicuous. Va’lyndra showed the officer that we had brought food and hide, and paid for it.

It was dead calm, and our contact asked if we could join the crew to row, so we could travel even while the hired crew rested. We agreed to help, and were assigned to the day shift. We said good night to the crew, but decided to keep watch, being on a ship full of strangers. We slept huddled together in the bow, in full view of the crew, so I was glad Olivia and I had managed to steal an hour or so while we waited on the riverbank.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

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

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue

Last edited by coronatiger; 09-01-2019 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:14 AM   #90
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 22 (2019-08-25)

Thoughts on January 3rd

Row, row, row your boat. I could feel my muscles growing as the day wore on. After the shift, I checked the storage compartment. It was just large enough for Olivia and me to squeeze in between all the packs and have some fun.

It seemed the deck planks weren’t as thick as we would have liked, so everyone heard what we did. Rude comments greeted us when we reappeared on deck, and Olivia buried herself under a blanket in the bow. One of the sailors invited me to go below again. I accepted.

Why can’t I say no? I’m supposed to be in a monogamous relationship. I buried myself under Olivia’s blanket and begged forgiveness.


Thoughts on January 4th

Olivia and I were as quiet as possible today, but the sailors knew what was going on, and we had a repetition of yesterday. Olivia hid her face in shame, and I had another liaison while she didn’t watch. Normally, she keeps an eye on things and drags me away before I go too far, but on this little vessel, there is nowhere to go.


Thoughts on January 5th

We expected to reach Garuk today, with a private room and a proper bed, so I felt no dire need to go below decks with Olivia, and her presence at my side all day made the sailors stay away, even if their mouths were blabbing.

We arrived in the evening, and agreed with our contact to meet again at a warehouse tomorrow evening to transfer the “goods”.

Lady Karita told me in a no-nonsense voice that I was to talk to nobody about what we’d been doing for the last months. I didn’t know what to say, opening and closing my mouth like a fish. I feared that Alfrey Kansh, the leatherworker I report to, was going to become unpleasant if I didn’t tell him anything. Finally, Lady Karita agreed to come along when I go there tomorrow.

First, we needed to check in to an inn. We headed for the Red Mansion, and the innkeeper greeted us politely. We all got rooms, and Lady Karita made sure to install Ilzo in the servant’s room of her suite. Olivia and I got to share a room, of course.

A bathtub waited when we brought up the last of our packs. I shed my clothes and sank into the steaming water. Olivia rummaged through our baggage, laying out clean clothes on the bed. She made a large pile of dirty laundry that we would hand over to the inn’s staff. Then she looked deeply into my hungry eyes and moved her hands to the buttons on her dress, changed her mind, and resumed rummaging. “Are you teasing me?” I accused her. “Would I do that?” she asked innocently, still with her back turned to me. I slipped silently out of the bathtub. Olivia pretended not to notice when I undressed her. She yelped when I swept her feet away and carried her over to the tub, lowering her carefully into the water. “There’s room for two,” I declared, “Now, where’s the soap?”


Thoughts on January 6th

The clean clothes Olivia had laid out lay on the floor, unused. Wrapped in toweling, we had dried in front of the fireplace after the bath, and moved to the bed once the staff had cleared out the tub and laundry. My leg caressed Olivia’s, savoring the smoothness left behind by the razor. My nose took in her scent, the clean fragrance of pure Olivia. Eyes closed, I didn’t notice that she was awake before she whispered, “That’s not the only part of me that’s clean shaven, you know!” Her fingers appeared between us, caressing my abs on their way to inspect her razor-work from last night. The clothes remained unused for a couple more hours.

When we finally got down for breakfast, Lady Karita told us a letter had arrived for her and waited at the town hall. She also made clear to the whole party that “Mattea is not allowed to go anywhere alone, at all.” Therefore, everyone went to the town hall, except for Olivia, who opted to remain at the inn to do chores. Lady Karita went inside to retrieve and read the letter, and the rest of us waited outside. Ilzo was still wearing his bone armor, and I raised the possibility that we could buy a proper suit of armor for him, but he claimed he wouldn’t wear anything not made by some orc he knew. I didn’t catch the name.

At the leatherworker’s shop, I asked Alfrey if he could repair the swamp wurm leather armor that Va’lyndra had ruined. He said he couldn’t, and that we might have to go to Urdon to have it fixed. Urdon was the main hub for furs, hides and leather in the region. Va’lyndra asked him if he could do anything with the hydra skin she had brought, but he told her she needed to see a tanner. Again, Urdon was the place to go. Alfrey’s eyes burned with unasked questions when we left.

We returned briefly to the Red Mansion to consult with the innkeeper. He suggested that perhaps the merchant guild could arrange for the hides to be shipped to Urdon and tanned. Va’lyndra headed towards their offices, and the rest of us went to see a weaponsmith. He said he could repair my armor, so I handed it over, along with some money. I asked if he had a bow for me, but alas, nothing he had in stock suited my requirements. He knew a bow-maker in the capital, and offered to send an order, but warned me it would take two months before I would get my new bow. I asked Lady Karita if we were going to remain here that long. She didn’t know, and suggested I wait. I did purchase a stack of arrows, both broadhead and bodkin, all masterwork, of course. The smith told me that if I had any broken arrows, the arrowheads could be reused, cutting down work and cost for new arrows. If only I had thought of that.

The weaponsmith was fascinated with Ilzo’s bone armor; he had never seen its like before. He inspected the armor, but couldn’t say whether metal armor would be better or not.

Our next stop was the adventurers’ guildhall. I checked the board to see if anyone had a bow for sale, meeting my specifications. Luck struck! I asked around, and learned that the seller was supposed to be at the first inn down the mines. I scanned for interesting quests, but nothing leaped up at me.

Lady Karita was talking to the guild master when I reappeared from the back room. He was asking if we’d been to the north-east. Things were happening there, apparently, and he would like to hear of it. He also asked us to renew our memberships, saying that strictly speaking, I wasn’t allowed to look at the board unless I did. Lady Karita said that we weren’t sure if we wanted to renew or not.

After a meal at the inn, we went to see the people who had sent us on this mission. We met two men at a warehouse, and entered to conduct business, hidden from prying eyes. I didn’t recognize either of the men. They were both finely dressed humans sporting beards; one might even be a noble, and he did most of the talking. They wanted to know where Kine was, and why we had brought an orc with us. I let the others talk it out. Then we handed over the four temple artifacts to the second man, who I noticed walked with a stoop. Va’lyndra showed the men the magic bottle, too, and said it contained both divine and ordinary magic.

While the older man stepped aside to analyze the artifacts, the younger showed us to a table and brought out glasses and a bottle of wine. Lady Karita started copying the map, explaining what we discovered while she drew, hardly touching her glass. It was a decent wine, but not the best I’ve ever tasted. When the glasses were empty, the strangers told us we had completed our quest satisfactorily, and invited us to come to their guild and stay there. They warned Lady Karita to keep the orc on a tight leash. I have lots of stuff to do in town, and wasn’t willing to agree until he admitted that their guildhall was in Garuk.

However, he told us we had to stay inside until some people he called sponsors arrived. That changed matters again in my mind. How can I remain cooped up? I need to perform, to be seen! Lady Karita and Va’lyndra had to do some heavy convincing to make me agree. They said that the guild had never seen an acrobat of my quality before, suggesting that I put on performances for the initiates. Well, flattery goes a long way, and in the interest of group cohesion, I acquiesced.

The guy who had analyzed the artifacts went off on his own somewhere, but the other fellow escorted us to the Red Mansion so we could fetch Olivia and all our belongings. We paid the innkeeper for the night, even if we wouldn’t be staying. It was getting so late he probably couldn’t sell the rooms to anyone else.

When we arrived at the mysterious guildhall, our escort showed us around, briefly. He let us know that the servants here were at our disposal if there was anything we required. Lady Karita got a room all to herself, of course. Ilzo did, too, being the only male in our party. The escort asked Va’lyndra if she would be staying at the student dormitory as usual, or if she wanted to upgrade and share a guest room with Olivia and me. Not thinking it completely through, she quickly responded that she of course wanted to upgrade. I put an arm around Olivia’s waist and smiled wickedly at our elven companion. Realization dawned on her. “Oh, f***!” “Precisely,” I replied. “I’ll take the student dorm room after all,” she conceded.

We brought in our packs, and gathered downstairs for an evening meal together. Lady Karita told Ilzo that some people here found him intimidating, and asked him to mind his manners. He still demanded raw meat for his supper. He didn’t think it tasted very good, though, and Lady Karita explained that when as many people live together as here in Garuk, it takes some time from the animal is slaughtered to the food reaches the tables. That’s why humans cook their meat, and season it with vegetables and spices.

Lady Karita, Va’lyndra and Ilzo stayed at the table talking after the meal. Olivia and I left to make sure Va’lyndra’s prediction came true.
__________________
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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