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Old 02-27-2020, 02:06 PM   #131
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 31 (2020-02-22)

The main chamber spanned both floors, and the huge creature started climbing in through the hole, separating us from Va’lyndra. It shouted “Intruders!” in Common. I called Ilzo back, for he had started back down the stairs. Distracted, I missed the goblin I had been aiming for.

Va’lyndra emerged from the tower shaft, just behind the creature that I eventually learned was a troll. She cursed and started a spell dance. “Surrender or die!” the troll bellowed at us. Ilzo rushed past Leopold and me, heading for the troll, calling “Behind you!” as he passed. Leopold followed behind Ilzo towards the troll, leaving me to deal with the goblins that were coming up the stairs.

“If you don’t surrender, I’ll rip you to pieces!” the troll howled. Behind it, a goblin crashed into Va’lyndra’s floating shield. I fired an arrow at the troll, but missed. Ilzo struck out with Surkalpi and the troll tried to parry, but Ilzo’s deceptive attack slipped past the troll’s defense and gave it a deep gash, which it seemed to ignore. Leopold followed Ilzo, making sure to keep the orc between him and the troll.

“In that case, die!” the troll concluded. It tried to punch Ilzo, but missed. I turned my back on their fight and prepared to dodge. Even more goblins were coming up the stairs. I heard fighting sounds from behind, but had to trust my companions to deal with the troll.

Arrows zipped past me, and the swordsman swung at me, but missed. I drew Scorchmark and gave him a slash, felling him. Leopold returned to my side, and I learned later that he had shot a sand jet at the troll, temporarily blinding it, although it still managed to land a couple of blows on Ilzo.

I stabbed the next goblin to approach, but the one who followed was quick with his shield. Leopold lashed out with his own long knife, but his attack was blocked, too. Two arrows came from the side, one missing and one bouncing off Leopold’s armor. Leopold and I were slowly backing away from the goblins, and I heard that Ilzo and the troll approached us from behind. I felt my back was in danger. I considered doing an acrobatic maneuver, vaulting over the goblins in front of me so I could stand in the entrance to the tower, but just as I was about to execute, more goblins poured out of the tower; if more followed, I’d be surrounded.

Va’lyndra called for me to come to her. I made a last parry before leaving Leopold to deal with the goblins. He’s relatively unskilled when it comes to fighting, so Va’lyndra had better have a good plan. I cut the troll with Scorchmark as I passed it, and it howled in pain, for the first time. It seemed it had a weakness for fire, but Va’lyndra hadn’t had time to tell me about it, nor did she want to risk shouting when that might cause the troll to turn on her. I could see that Ilzo had carved it up good with Surkalpi, but those wounds were slowly closing, and the orc was reeling from his injuries, on the verge of collapsing. With no thought for defense, Ilzo made a frantic attack on the troll, which crashed to the ground.

Va’lyndra held out an arrow to me and told me to use it on the troll if it moved again. She was completely ignoring the goblin behind her, and the swordsman gave her a deep cut in the back of her unprotected neck, the magic shield just too slow to block the attack.

The goblins swarmed around Leopold, and several of them attacked Ilzo from behind, going after his feet, which weren’t covered by his armor. I dropped Scorchmark to grab Va’lyndra’s arrow, watching Ilzo turn around and cleave one of the goblins in two. He called for Leopold to get behind him, and Leopold moved wisely there. I put the arrow in my mouth and grabbed hold of Scorchmark again, the magic weapon leaping into my hand.

The goblins kept cutting at Ilzo’s legs, drawing more blood, but the orc’s countering whirlwind attack felled all three who hadn’t started for the stairs when the troll went down. Va’lyndra summoned an ice dagger.

The one who had cut Va’lyndra’s neck tried the same with me, foregoing defense in order to focus on hitting the relatively small target. My smooth acrobatic dodge caused the sword to clang into the stone wall, the force of the blow ripping it from the goblin’s hand. I showed the goblin how it’s supposed to be done, Scorchmark slashing and burning his throat at the same time. I left the goblin to pass out behind me and raced forward to stab the troll. I saw that blue patches were growing on its skin, and tried to tell the others, but I had an arrow between my teeth, so what came out was rather unintelligible. Va’lyndra turned around to ask what I was saying, and I repeated “Color!” as I chopped into the troll’s neck. Its wounds were closing, so I thought it would be wise to take off its head and dump it in the sea behind the temple.

Ilzo tried to follow the fleeing goblins down the stair, but tripped and fell. I kept sawing at the troll’s neck, and Va’lyndra told me to attack the green pieces of its skin. The neck was green, so I continued my grisly work. Leopold informed us that the goblins were sprouting new goblins. I looked over and saw him cutting at a misshapen form growing from a fallen goblin.

Ilzo came back up the stairs and collapsed against a wall, just as I finished cutting through the thick troll neck. I removed the arrow from my mouth and asked if anyone should give him a healing potion. Va’lyndra quaffed one herself first, and then moved over to help the orc.

Leopold shouted that we had to stop the goblins, for they were fleeing with the relic. He ran for the stairs, but I leaped down to the ground level through the hole in the wall, where the troll had climbed in from the main room. Four goblins were running away, over the courtyard, but I put an arrow in the one who carried the relic, which crashed onto the paving stones. Two of the goblins fled in panic, but the third picked up the relic, so I gave him an arrow, too. I explained to Leopold when I returned with the stone statue that “Those scratches were already there.”

The two small rooms near the troll corpse held four goblins who were tied to the wall. Leopold tried to speak with them, but discovered they shared no language with him. Simple gestures were enough to convey the message that they wanted us to free them, which we weren’t eager to do. They could be hostile, and our main fighter was out cold. We decided to return to the temple later, to search it thoroughly once Ilzo had had a few more healing potions. We could delay dealing with the captives until then.

Once Ilzo was awake, we returned to camp. Va’lyndra brought the troll head, but the horses were uneasy in its presence, so she left it a safe distance back. I washed the troll goo off my arm while telling Olivia what happened back at the temple. Then it was time for lunch.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

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

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 03-15-2020, 03:48 AM   #132
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 32 (2020-02-29)

Thoughts on June 11th (continued)

Ilzo had to take another fourteen healing potions before he felt fit to fight again! In comparison, Va’lyndra quaffed one, so she had some time to kill while Ilzo finished his drinking, which she spent to determine that the statue indeed was the holy relic we were looking for. After her analysis, she had to rest, so I retired for a snuggle with Olivia.

The troll’s head stood on a pole by the overgrown road when we returned to the temple. Leopold had suggested that it might be a bad idea to leave the statue in camp with only Olivia for protection, in case it drew enemies, so Va’lyndra brought it along in her backpack. She told us that the statue had a weird property that made those around it stronger. That statement got Ilzo curious. Leopold explained that what the statue actually did, was to make people into more monstrous versions of themselves. Ilzo stopped us to retrieve the statue so he could fondle it. Va’lyndra told him he had to bleed on it, but Leopold drew our attention to the temple, so we proceeded.

Things were just as we had left them this morning. Leopold tried communicating with the goblin prisoners, Ilzo decapitated all the goblin corpses – that seems to be his thing – and Va’lyndra and I searched for treasure.

We found no valuables, nothing but blood trails and goblin corpses, but Leopold managed to get some information out of the goblins. They had come here because something smelled very good, but other goblins had captured them, and the troll had tortured them. They promised to go away if Ilzo and Leopold let them go. Va’lyndra and I were still searching the nooks and crannies of the temple when our companions released the prisoners, so when Va’lyndra spotted goblins moving towards our camp, I freaked out. I ran after them as fast as I could, and noticed they were unarmed, so I guessed they were the prisoners. They headed down the road towards Olivia, so I followed them to make sure they didn’t bother her. The troll head startled them, but they continued along the road. Of course, I left the road to check on Olivia in our hidden camp, just in case. I may have stayed in camp slightly longer than strictly necessary…

I returned to the temple, and we finished up the search. This area wasn’t very inviting, with blood, corpses and that foul stench, so we packed up camp and put a couple of hours between ourselves and the temple. According to Leopold’s reading of Lady Karita’s map, the next temple is dedicated to the undead, and lies in boogeyman territory, a couple of days to the west.

Leopold suggested double night watch again, but the rest of us didn’t see the need. Ilzo finally sat down with the statue again, and cut himself on Surkalpi so he could bleed on it, but nothing happened, as far as I could see. He asked if there was anything else he could do to activate the statue. Va’lyndra told him to put his hand on it, and came over to dance a spell dance. I held Olivia’s hand with concerned anticipation. Suddenly, a thin layer of frost appeared on Ilzo and the statue, and the orc glared irritation at the elf. Va’lyndra ignored the look and cut herself, too, putting the bloody hand on the statue. To my relief, nothing happened, and Va’lyndra declared that more research was needed to discover the activation ritual. Ilzo asked her if she knew such a ritual. She nodded and I shivered. Va’lyndra cleaned the statue with her water jet, so it seemed she was done experimenting tonight. Olivia and I went to bed relieved.


Thoughts on June 12th

Olivia and I heard voices in the woods during our watch. I asked Olivia to be ready to activate Surkalpi while I looked for whatever was out there. The voices were loud enough to wake the others, and they were rather noisy when they came out of their tents, so I told Olivia to make light.

Eight goblins were arguing, not far from our campsite, and I asked Leopold if he wanted to talk to them. Ilzo started swirling his sling, and the goblins fled. Olivia didn’t think they knew we were there until she turned on the light.

Ilzo went back to bed, but both Va’lyndra and Leopold decided they’d had enough sleep. I don’t think they need as much sleep as the rest of us. We continued west after Ilzo got up again and everyone had had something to eat.

Around midday, we approached a ruined village. Va’lyndra, who was scouting ahead, spotted a humanoid archer on one of the rooftops and whistled the danger signal. I didn’t recognize it, but the others insisted, so I prepared my bow and looked around.

Va’lyndra returned to tell us about the archer, and Leopold asked if we were going to go and say hello. Va’lyndra thought that sounded like a good idea, but I groaned, and Ilzo wasn’t too keen on talking either, so he decided to remain with Olivia and me. However, once the other two started towards the village on foot, Ilzo followed, curiosity getting the better of him.

After a while, Olivia and I heard shouts from the village. We couldn’t hear their words, but discerned that it wasn’t Va’lyndra’s voice, at least. I leapt into Marvin’s saddle, ready to go check it out if I heard calls for aid from any of our friends.

In the village, the three of them walked into a boogeyman ambush. After Ilzo and Va’lyndra had exchanged fire with the ambushers for a while, they took cover inside a building. Ilzo passed out, pincushioned with arrows. Va’lyndra told Leopold to throw the bottle we found in the hydra temple at the boogeymen when they entered, and he did. A huge, tentacled monster emerged from the shattered bottle, making short work of the boogeymen. Va’lyndra and Leopold tried to get Ilzo out while the monster was busy, but they were just not fast enough. The window they pulled Ilzo out through was too small for the monster, but not for its tentacles, so Va’lyndra went down, too. Leopold lured the monster after him and away from his unconscious companions. He was faster than the monster, so he circled around to dump healing potions into Ilzo and Va’lyndra.

I knew nothing of this at the time, so when a boogeyman came running towards Olivia and me, I took it for an attack and shot him down. Behind him came the tentacle monster, and I ordered Olivia to retreat with the horses, except for Marvin, who I used to draw the monster away from Olivia. Once I got its attention, I started peppering it with arrows. I lost count of how many arrows I needed to bring it down, and praised the cornucopia quiver, without which I would have had to return to Olivia to restock several times. Marvin easily outpaced the monster and kept me at a safe distance, even when I dropped my bow. I didn’t tell anyone but Olivia about that blunder!

Once the monster fell to the ground and stopped moving, I wheeled Marvin around and set off after Olivia, but it was Leopold I met first. With an acrobatic maneuver, I picked him up and put him behind me without having to slow down. Olivia had a good head start.

Leopold told me that Ilzo and Va’lyndra were down, but although he had hidden them, he was concerned that boogeymen might discover their location. We caught up with Olivia and told her the monster was taken care of, stopping only for long enough that Leopold could get on his own mount.

On the way back towards the village, we saw Va’lyndra flying in our general direction, having taken the potion of flight that she had threatened to use to leave us behind. She was considerate enough to bring Ilzo, still unconscious, so she didn’t move very fast. I stood on the saddle to make myself look bigger, and waved at her. We met up, and I smeared healing salve on Ilzo.

A thought occurred to me, and I got back on Marvin and returned to where I had felled the monster. It wasn’t there. Blast! I hurried back and told the others we needed to get out of there, but brought back Va’lyndra to study its tracks before we decided which way to go. Va’lyndra told me we were never going into that village again, for that’s where the tracks led.

Leopold demanded to know how we managed to get that monster into a small bottle in the first place, and we had to tell him that we found the bottle in a temple on our last tour down here. Olivia found it pleasant to travel now that Ilzo was lying tied over his saddle, unconscious and most importantly, silent. She thought he should pay us back for the healing potions we used on him, at least those that were used on injuries that should have been avoided. Going into a village of boogeymen to talk! How stupid is it possible to be?

Ilzo woke after an hour’s travel. I talked to him about the healing potions, and he gave me a potion of major healing in payment. Olivia reminded everyone of the advantage of healing salves, that there’s no risk of drowning the poor, unconscious patient with one of them.

We stopped later than usual tonight to put some extra distance between ourselves and the monster. Olivia camouflaged the camp as usual, and we retired, leaving Leopold to take the first watch.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

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

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 03-15-2020, 03:54 AM   #133
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 32 (2020-02-29)

Thoughts on June 13th

Olivia and I spotted two boogeymen in the moonlight. I fired three arrows towards them, but missed, because they were so far away. Fortunately, they didn’t notice the projectiles that flew past them. I hoped the boogeymen were like the goblins last night, just out on a stroll, but they seemed to be following the tracks of our horses, and came closer. I shot one of them, and the other tried to run, but he got an arrow in the back. I didn’t want to leave Olivia alone so I could check on the boogeymen, but Va’lyndra and Leopold woke up about fifteen minutes later.

I told them about the boogeymen and asked Va’lyndra if she could go and check on them. “Please?” She could see them from the camp and determined that they were dead. Her elven eyes impressed me.

Once Ilzo got up, we had breakfast and took off. We came across a ruined outpost and gave it a cursory search, but found nothing of interest, so we moved on.


Thoughts on June 14th

According to Leopold, the temple of the undead was only a couple of hours away, and probably swarming with boogeymen. The notes on the map said the temple lay “under a hill and north of a lake, probably outside the city”. A city was indeed marked on the map, but I expected it to be as ruined and overgrown as other settlements around here, although likely inhabited by boogeymen.

The heavy rain made everyone miserable, even with various water-proofing measures. When we spotted two boogeymen patrolling half a kilometer away, I wasn’t in the mood for running after them. They hadn’t seen us yet, and were out of range of my bow. Ilzo discovered that his sling was missing. He had dropped it in the boogeyman ambush two days ago.

We continued searching for the temple. When we topped a ridge, we came upon a crude wooden watch tower a hundred meters away. Well, calling it a tower was a bit generous; it was only about four meters tall, more an elevated platform than an actual tower. Two boogeymen stood on top of it, and three in front, and they saw us as soon as we saw them.

I drew my bow and told the others we needed to get away. Ilzo untied the rope to his pack horses, but the others turned away. I aimed at one of the boogeymen on the ground and fired, taking him down. Ilzo started towards the tower. Leopold gathered Ilzo’s pack horses.

Having drawn the boogeymen’s attention away from Olivia, I called out to Ilzo that we were fleeing, and he too dashed away. Some arrows followed us, but only one did actual damage, striking Ilzo’s horse, Fearless. Ilzo and Leopold were hit, too, but their armor shielded them from injury.

Once we were back out of sight from the watch tower, I called a halt. I ordered Leopold to provide security while Olivia took care of Fearless and the rest of us dealt with the watch tower. We couldn’t let them alert their friends to our presence. Va’lyndra lent Ilzo a magic ring that made him look blurry when he put it on.

We returned on foot, and indeed, one of them was running towards the city. “He’s mine! You take the tower!” I declared, and dashed after him. All the running to reach Olivia the last week seemed to have paid off, for I zipped along, closing the distance between us at a voracious speed. At a hundred meters, I stopped and took aim. My arrow took him in the back, and he stumbled, but started to get up again. After two more arrows, he stopped moving.

I whirled around towards the tower. When I had it in sight again, it lay in shambles on the ground, and Ilzo was busy decapitating fallen foes. Va’lyndra and he had everything under control, so we returned to Olivia and Leopold.

Fearless wore bandages, but Va’lyndra felt she had to do something more, so she talked to the horse, using a potion of animal speech, and fed it a healing potion. She turned to Ilzo and told him his horse was rude. All the horses were reluctant to go on, telling the elf that something scary lay in our direction of travel, so Va’lyndra felt she had to bribe them with horse snacks.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

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

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 03-15-2020, 04:06 AM   #134
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 32 (2020-02-29)

Soon enough, we arrived at a graveyard, and Leopold suggested we find a hiding place for Olivia and the horses nearby while we checked it out. It sounded like a good idea, but there weren’t any good spots in the vicinity, at least not for ten horses and a human. We ended up leaving them just out of sight, but within shouting distance, should anything happen.

A large stone crypt, about three by four meters in size, stood in the center of the cemetery, and looked like a good place to start our search. A stone door blocked our way in, and in the middle of it was inset a skull with glowing eyes. Va’lyndra detected both ordinary and divine magic in the skull. Leopold said hi to it. “Greetings, travelers,” it responded in Common, “the temple is closed.”

Leopold and Va’lyndra engaged the doorkeeper in conversation, and learned that only the high priest or one of the three deacons have the authority to open the temple. The skull didn’t want to give us any information about them, though. It was more than happy to inform us that this was a temple to Carnus, the Resurrected, and that all true believers knew the noble art of raising the dead.

Va’lyndra said she had to start a ritual, causing the skull to ask who she was. She claimed to be Deacon Va’lyndra, but the doorkeeper didn’t know that name, and couldn’t let her in.

Leopold asked more about Carnus, and from the description he got, I recognized a statue I saw last year down in the mines, when I encountered cold dwarves with holes in their heads with Lady Karita, Kine and Magnar. The doorkeeper was curious about this, but I said what happened there was none of its business. It told me that even if I’m a pilgrim, traveling from temple to temple, this one was still closed, and I had to talk to the high priest or a deacon to gain access.

Bored with conversation, I walked out of sight of the skull and leaned heavily on a headstone to see if it was loose. It took a few tries, but I finally found a battering ram for Ilzo. I dragged it back to the crypt, leaving it around the corner so the skull wouldn’t see it. Leopold and the doorkeeper were still talking about religion. Ilzo and Va’lyndra had wandered off.

When Ilzo returned, I showed him the headstone and mimicked what he should do with it. He took it around the corner and threatened to bash in the doorkeeper’s face unless he opened immediately. The skull threatened him back, saying he’d regret it if he tried to break in. It said that Leopold was a much more interesting conversation partner, and told him to visit a city we’d never heard about, to see Deacon Lucius about opening the temple. Blah, blah, blah! I caught Ilzo’s eyes and nodded towards the headstone, but he said he promised Va’lyndra to wait until she returned. The doorkeeper talked on, claiming there’s a temple a week to the north-west where there may be another deacon. Ilzo wanted Leopold to ask the skull if the holy relic was still inside, but instead he asked about the undead to the south, the ones we newcomers to this continent were fighting. It became clear that the doorkeeper was living in the past, for it thought that to the south lay only deserts and wilderness; it was to the north that civilization was found.

I wasn’t hard to ask when Ilzo suggested I check out the roof of the crypt. The doorkeeper noticed me, even though I climbed out of sight of the skull, and asked what I was doing up there. “I’m looking for holes in the roof; are there any?” I responded. The doorkeeper said there wasn’t, which I could easily see for myself. I also spotted Va’lyndra approaching with a shovel poorly hidden behind her back, so I started dancing on the roof, to draw attention away from her. The doorkeeper begged me to stop. “Why? Do I give you a headache?” I taunted. Leopold also asked me to get off the roof, so I somersaulted down and finished the act with a flourished bow to nobody in particular. Ilzo asked what the roof was made of, and I told him it was solid stone.

Va’lyndra didn’t come all the way back to the crypt, stopping to dig up a grave about ten meters away. That was good enough for Ilzo, so he picked up the headstone, and approached the door. “Hey, what are you doing?” the skull exclaimed, “You’re going to regret this!” Ilzo took it as a challenge, and battered at the door. “Last warning,” the doorkeeper threatened, but Ilzo struck again.

The ground around the crypt started trembling, so Leopold and I started pulling back. Skeletons clawed their way out of their graves, but Ilzo took it calmly. “If I defeat all you send at me, will you open?” he asked the doorkeeper. There was no reply, except for the twentyish skeletons that moved towards him. I slashed at one of them with Scorchmark, causing the nearest four to turn towards me. I attacked again, but missed. Ilzo tossed the headstone at one of the skeletons, but it dodged out of the way. Leopold continued to withdraw.

Two skeletons tried to grab me, but I danced away from them. I felled one with Scorchmark and continued my backwards dance. Leopold picked up a branch from the ground. Va’lyndra did a spell dance, but I didn’t perceive any effect. Ilzo stood with his back towards the crypt, limiting the number of skeletons that could attack simultaneously, and dodged heroically.

I made two rapid strikes with my knife; the first missed, but the second dropped another skeleton. It was hard to see Ilzo through the throng of enemies, but I saw disturbances in the crowd, indicating that he was fighting back, not only dodging. Va’lyndra kept up her spell casting, and a hailstorm erupted over Ilzo. The hails she made back in the mountains were tiny in comparison to the heavenly projectiles that now pummeled Ilzo and the skeletons mercilessly. Ilzo wore heavy metal armor. The skeletons didn’t.

One of my skeletons grabbed hold of me, wrapping its arms around my torso and trying to hold me still. I dodged the other one even so. Four of the skeletons turned towards Va’lyndra, and Leopold ran around the hailstorm to come to her aid. The elf struck one of the skeletons with her shovel. From the throng, Ilzo’s voice thundered, “Is this all you’ve got?!?”

Ignoring the skeleton that was holding me, I struck out with Scorchmark at the other one. Its bones fell in a heap, silently compared to the hailstorm. My captor tried to bite my neck, but missed. Scorchmark took care of that one, too. Leopold arrived at Va’lyndra’s fight, but kept running, towards what, I didn’t know. Va’lyndra was unarmed against three skeletons, so I ran towards her. The hailstorm, with some help from Ilzo, I presume, had brought down all but one skeleton, so I didn’t worry about the orc, even though the skeleton poked him in the eye.

The skeletons around Va’lyndra were surrounding her. One had grabbed hold of her shield, and the others were kicking her in the groin, having discovered that lack in her armor. I slammed into the shield-holding one, causing it to fall and drop the shield.

Ilzo had finished his last skeleton, and drew a pickaxe. “Was that all you had?” he said, turning towards the crypt, not caring about the hailstorm. The skeleton I tackled tried to kick at me, but the movement tore it to pieces. The other two kept kicking Va’lyndra. She can be glad she’s a woman already. Two quick cuts with Scorchmark ended the opposition.

“The ground there, it was moving!” Leopold exclaimed. I looked and saw it was still now, so I asked if he was experienced with first aid. He said he wasn’t, leaving me to treat Va’lyndra and asking him to go to Olivia to fetch some healing salve for the elf, who had passed out.

The hailstorm stopped after a minute or so, but Ilzo kept up the noise, attacking the door with his pickaxe. The doorkeeper protested. The door crumbled, but Ilzo continued, cleaning the skull of stone fragments. The skull was furious, and its mood didn’t exactly improve when Ilzo decided to use it as a chamber pot. When Leopold returned, he took offense at Ilzo’s crude behavior, unlike me, who was all but rolling on the ground, I was laughing so hard.

Once I got my breath back, I turned serious. “We shouldn’t enter the crypt before Va’lyndra wakes up.”
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

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

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:00 AM   #135
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 33 (2020-05-10)

Thoughts on June 14th (continued)

Waiting for Va’lyndra to come around, Leopold washed the doorkeeper skull, who launched a litany of curses at Ilzo. Va’lyndra woke after about a quarter of an hour, and I asked her if “her gang” could be interested in buying the skull, but Leopold said he didn’t want to part with it. “His gang” would also be interested.

After some discussion, we decided to bring the skull inside with us. The skull had finished its tirade, but it was clearly still mad at Ilzo, and I can’t blame it. He had used it for a toilet, after all. In the crypt, steps led deep below-grounds, to a locked stone door. Ilzo brought out his pickaxe again, and Leopold tried to persuade the skull to help us, arguing that it must not want Ilzo to destroy the entire temple. The skull remained silent, but glowered at Ilzo while he broke through the door.

Behind the door was a large chamber with several doors. A flock of orc ghosts wandered around at random. In the middle of the room was a mound of stone and dirt, and a hole in the roof let in daylight. There was also some metal junk here and there, and we spotted the occasional coin.

The ghosts were talking, but in Orcish, so I didn’t understand them. Leopold thought they sounded disturbed. Ilzo entered the room, and two of the ghosts slid over and touched him. He crumpled to the ground. Va’lyndra reached inside with her hooked staff and pulled him and Surkalpi out. I brought out my first aid kit, but Ilzo had no more wounds than he had entered with. He should wake up soon.

I noticed that the ghosts remained inside the large chamber. They didn’t pass through doors or walls to get to other parts of the temple. Inspired by the hole in the roof, I suggested that we dig our way down to those other rooms from outside, thus bypassing the ghosts. Va’lyndra was skeptical to the idea, afraid that penetrating the ceiling could destabilize the entire building, but Leopold thought it might be doable. Va’lyndra cast a few spells to see if she was able to affect the ghosts, but her spell repertoire mostly consists of water spells, and nothing she did could touch the apparitions. Va’lyndra and I dragged Ilzo outside.

Leopold walked around above the temple, studying the ground. Va’lyndra sat down resting against the crypt, and I practiced acrobatics, somersaulting from tombstone to tombstone. It wasn’t very respectful of me, but considering that we were already planning to rob the temple, I didn’t feel I’d incur any additional divine wrath. And as Ilzo hadn’t been struck by lightning for his transgressions, I thought I should be safe. I made sure the doorkeeper skull didn’t see me, though.

When Ilzo woke up, he and I started digging where Leopold pointed. The soil was very loose, so we had to dig out a cone-shaped hole, to prevent it from collapsing over us. Once in a while, Leopold lifted away a huge chunk of dirt with his magic, but we still were only about half done when it was time to return to Olivia.

We set up camp a little farther from the road to the temple, where boogeymen might be patrolling. There was a lake about half a kilometer away, and Olivia and I went there to bathe. Ilzo might settle for a burst from Va’lyndra’s water jet, but I wanted to wash properly with soap. And to cavort with Olivia where the others wouldn’t bother us.


Thoughts on June 15th

Ilzo, Va’lyndra, Leopold and I walked up towards the temple to continue our excavation, but we spotted five boogeymen standing by the ruined watchtower. One of them pointed at us, and Ilzo bellowed “Charge!”

One of the boogeymen dashed off towards their city to the north, and I ran to cut him off. At two hundred meters, I stopped and drew an arrow. I took careful aim and released. The arrow took the boogeyman in the back, and he stumbled. My next two shots missed, but my fourth arrow struck its mark, and the boogeyman went down again. A few more shots made sure he’d never get up.

I was about to turn around and run back to the tower, but I spotted a boogeyman coming down the road from the north. I hid among the trees, and saw that it was in fact five of them, jogging in my direction. I took aim again, but they noticed me and hid behind trees of their own. An arm was visible and got an arrow.

One boogeyman tried to get away to the north while the others fired in my direction. I shot him in the back, and down he went. The return arrows whizzed past me, but none came near enough to worry me. The boogeymen decided to send another runner, and he got an arrow in the back as well. Realizing that their tactic wasn’t working, the rest of them legged it. I ran after them and shot one more before the remaining two split up. I managed to graze one of them with an arrow, but by then the last one had gotten away, so I thought it would be best to return to the others and report.

The ruined watchtower was devoid of life; four decapitated boogeymen showed that Ilzo had been there. I found my friends in the camp. Ilzo was chugging healing potions while Va’lyndra bandaged his wounds. Leaving them to it, Olivia, Leopold and I packed up camp and prepared to leave.

Va’lyndra and Leopold cooperated to hide our tracks, not an easy feat with ten horses. We suspected that boogeyman trackers would manage to follow us anyway. Those smarter than me reasoned that the boogeymen would come after us in force until we left their territory, and then a smaller party would continue to track us to make sure we went away. I thought the boogeymen would have scouts out in front, like we do when we travel through wilderness, and suggested that Va’lyndra and I could lag behind the others and ambush the scouts. Without trackers, their main force would have difficulty following. Va’lyndra and Leopold didn’t agree with me. They were of the opinion that we shouldn’t do anything but running and hiding, and argued that this way, most of the boogeymen would turn back after a day or two, but if we provoked them, they might decide not to go home without our heads.

Leopold continued talking to the skull throughout the day, and informed the rest of us that it wanted revenge over Ilzo. It thought dismemberment seemed appropriate. Va’lyndra discovered that only divine magic remained in the skull. The ordinary magic had vanished, possibly when Ilzo unattached the skull from the temple door.


Thoughts on June 16th

We continued westwards, and Va’lyndra made sure we didn’t leave unnecessary tracks for the boogeymen to follow, directing us to ride in streams and over rocky patches whenever possible.

Towards evening, we began to think that we must have left the boogeymen behind, or at least the main contingent of them, and we decided to make camp for a few days so we could forage and restock our food supplies. Olivia insisted that we needed to find a place that we could camouflage well and defend easily, and I relayed this to the others. Olivia is too shy to stand up for her opinions to anyone but me, unless Ilzo has made her too upset to remember, but that is just as likely to break her down in tears. I like Ilzo, but I wish he’d be more considerate towards Olivia, who is so sensitive.
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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.

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Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:20 AM   #136
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 33 (2020-05-10)

Thoughts on June 17th

Ilzo and Va’lyndra left camp to forage. I had offered to come along to shoot the animals they spotted, since I’m the best shot in the party, but Olivia didn’t want me to go. She didn’t think that Leopold would suffice for defense. Absentminded, he might not pay enough attention to notice sneaking boogeymen, and neither Olivia nor I thought he’d be able to stand up to a boogeyman in a fight, one on one.

Remaining in camp with Olivia all day, I had certain hopes and expectations, but Olivia stomped hard on them and demanded that I remain watchful and not distract her either. Remaining celibate throughout the day was a chore. Usually, I manage, if I have something else to occupy my mind. Cooped up in camp, with the pinnacle of temptation sashaying enticingly in front of my eyes all day … She had to slap my questing hands away on a regular basis, and I was completely taken by surprise when Va’lyndra and Ilzo returned in the evening.

Ilzo had set up snares and other simple traps, but nothing had blundered into them, yet. Va’lyndra had found some fruits and roots, enough to feed us for a day, but not near what we’d need to restock our supplies. According to Olivia, we have food for two to three weeks, still, but we need quite a bit more, wandering the wilderness searching for temples, not to mention our trek back to civilization.

I ordered Ilzo to take over the watch and snuck up on Olivia. She yelped when I tossed her over my shoulder and carried her to our tent. I put her down carefully and turned to close the flaps. I felt eager hands fumbling with my armor and stripped it off as fast as I could. Relieving Olivia of her dress, I lost myself in her embrace.


Thoughts on June 18th

Olivia and I made sure to eat breakfast during our stint at the night watch. That gave us the opportunity while the others ate, to prepare for a day of chastity, getting it out of the system, in a way. When we got out, slightly flustered and disheveled, the others were talking, and it seemed Ilzo was trying to get Va’lyndra to touch his private parts. When Va’lyndra saw us, she suggested that I go out with Ilzo to hunt, today. Olivia forbade me from going, even when Leopold explained that they had been discussing ways to appease the skull, and which body parts Ilzo could live without. My jaw dropped. Was Ilzo really willing to chop off … that?! Va’lyndra and Ilzo left camp to go foraging again, and Leopold filled in Olivia and me on the conversation the others had begun last night. I thought cutting off anything was a bad idea, and said as much. Tattooing and branding was nearly as bad.

After a while, Olivia thought she heard someone calling, from the direction Ilzo had gone. She wanted me to check it out, so I skulked from tree to tree. I soon spotted a group of five boogeymen in the distance, and made my way towards them. They were going to miss our campsite if they didn’t change directions, so I just followed them to make sure. Of course, they changed course, turning almost straight towards Olivia.

I remained hidden and managed to shoot two of them before they spotted me. The others tried to flee, and I shot two more before losing sight of the last one. I expected him to go home and report, so I headed back towards the camp. A rustle in the bushes alerted me to an impending attack, so I dodged the arrow from the last boogeyman. I whirled around, drawing an arrow, but the boogeyman vanished behind a large tree about twenty meters away, before I could shoot. I circled the tree and fired as soon as I saw the boogeyman again, but I missed. He had drawn a knife and tried to rush me before I could draw again, but he veered off when he saw how fast I drew Scorchmark. I dashed after him and gave him a slash, but it didn’t cut deeply. Shocked by the burning blade, he forewent all though of defense and tried to stab me, but I slid fluidly around the thrust and gave him two rapid cuts across his chest.

I returned to camp and told Olivia and Leopold about the boogeymen, and the gnome instructed me to go back and cut the throats of the fallen foes, to make sure they were dead. I was only able to find two of them, so Leopold went out to search for the remaining three. He was wounded when he came back an hour later, for he had to fight two boogeymen on his foray. Luckily, he had been able to fight them one at a time, and they were both reeling from the arrow wounds I had inflicted earlier. The fifth had bled out when he found him, Leopold added while Olivia patched him up.

Va’lyndra came back not much later, and told us she had found a grove of fruit trees. I offered to help her gather up the fruit, but Olivia didn’t want to remain behind with only a wounded gnome scholar for protection, so she went in my stead. I warned Va’lyndra to take good care of Olivia. They brought horses and empty saddlebags to carry the load, but still took three trips to the grove, only stopping because we wouldn’t be able to bring more with us. We could return to the grove to refill our packs, when we were leaving this region. We decided to return towards the temple of the undead, tomorrow. Va’lyndra cast her dehydration spell on most of the fruit; she said it would keep longer, that way.


Thoughts on June 19th

We traveled back east again, today, taking a slightly different route. Va’lyndra and Leopold said we would be less likely to run into boogeymen if we did. They were right, for we didn’t see a single boogeyman all day. The heavy rain and the occasional thunder in the distance might have had something to do with it. I was glad to get inside our tent in the evening.


Thoughts on June 20th

Not much happened today. We continued eastwards in the rain, and made camp a few kilometers before the temple, according to Va’lyndra. Leopold claimed that the skull seemed less responsive than it was earlier. I thought that perhaps it had realized that Leopold was friendly with Ilzo, and decided not to talk to him either.

In three weeks, it’s Olivia’s birthday. I had hoped we’d be back in civilization by then, so we could do something fun, just the two of us, and get something good to eat. I guess I’ll have to think of some other way to celebrate her turning twenty-two.
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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 05-15-2020, 11:31 AM   #137
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 33 (2020-05-10)

Thoughts on June 21st

Va’lyndra’s insomnia struck again last night, making for a yawning elf at breakfast. I was a little concerned for Olivia’s safety when we left her alone with the horses, but we had several kilometers to go to the temple. She should be all right, in the middle of the forest, in a well-hidden camp. The boogeymen should believe that we were days gone. Those were a lot of shoulds. I kept glancing back towards the camp as Ilzo, Va’lyndra, Leopold and I made our way to the temple.

Near the temple, Va’lyndra spotted a boogeyman patrol, and we hid to let them go by. Reaching our half-finished excavation, we sent Va’lyndra to look for boogeymen, while the rest of us were supposed to dig. However, I thought that even with Va’lyndra scouting, boogeymen might approach, so standing on the surface could be risky. I asked Leopold if he could use his magic to make a hole in the temple roof, which should be between one and two meters below the deepest part of our excavation. If he could, the soil that we’d otherwise have to pile up above the hole could just fall down inside the temple instead. Leopold was initially against the suggestion as the soil might cover up something that we might need, but standing in the open – more or less – for several hours was even less tempting. It would be safer to dig through the soil down inside the temple, if we had to.

I tied a rope under Leopold’s arms and lowered him down the existing hole so he could determine the thickness of the temple roof. He needed to know that in order to make his own hole, he claimed. I thought it sounded strange, but then, I’m no magician.

In the other hole, still with the rope to secure him, Leopold cast his spell, and the dirt started falling down the hole he had made. I helped him up, and then we retreated a safe distance so we’d not follow the avalanche. It took about a minute to settle, and we could see that it had undermined the turf; the last half meter or so before the excavation had no support from below. A bit of shovel-work gave us an entrance to the sloping hole. I tied one end of my rope to a tombstone nearby so it would be easier to get up again for those without my skills at climbing.

Ilzo, Leopold and I waited in the hole, peering over the edge and looking for Va’lyndra, who had taken a scouting trip. We didn’t want to enter the temple without someone who can see magic traps. Leopold thought he spotted her, and went to fetch her. Shouting was not an option when boogeymen might be near.

Suddenly I heard Va’lyndra whistling the signal for Leopold to hide. Repeatedly. Leopold had hunched down next to a tombstone, but on the wrong side. Va’lyndra fired a couple of arrows in his direction to get him to move, but he didn’t understand. I admit I didn’t either, before Va’lyndra explained it afterwards, and looked for the foes she was shooting at. Va’lyndra had to make a hail shower to cover her movement to Leopold and then back to Ilzo and me.

Va’lyndra told us we needed to keep a lookout while the others explored, so I volunteered. I thought the others had more to contribute while searching the temple. Va’lyndra was needed to look for magic traps, of course, and Leopold possesses lots of relevant knowledge. Ilzo could break down doors or walls and do any heavy lifting. After making the hail, Va’lyndra wanted to rest up for a few minutes, so we sent Ilzo down to shovel dirt away from the door in the small room below our hole.

I noticed someone approaching, and alerted the others. Leopold told Ilzo to be quiet, and I climbed up and brought the rope back down, so it wouldn’t be an arrow pointing towards us. Leopold used his magic to lift up dirt from the room below and hold it over our heads as we hunkered down, hiding from above the fact that we had made a hole through the temple roof. We could hear talking above the thin layer of dirt, and Va’lyndra and Leopold heard footsteps vanishing into the distance. When it had been quiet above us for a minute or two, Leopold dropped the dirt back down the hole.

Leopold and Va’lyndra rested for an hour while Ilzo shoveled dirt and I kept watch. Then the three of them opened the door that Ilzo had cleared, and started exploring. After a while, Leopold returned. I hate being alone, and was daydreaming about how I’d celebrate with Olivia when I met her again, so he startled me when he appeared. He told me they hadn’t discovered anything I’d find interesting yet, but they had come to a dead end. Going through the large room with all the ghosts wasn’t an appealing option, and neither was digging another hole through the roof, so they had set Ilzo to break through a wall. When he mentioned it, I could hear Ilzo working his pickaxe.

Leopold came back again once Ilzo had broken through, and asked me to come. They had found an altar, and there might be other exciting stuff there. We arrived just in time to see Ilzo and Va’lyndra toppling the massive stone altar. Nothing was hidden under it, unfortunately. For some reason, Va’lyndra looked intently at me and said that it was all right to be scared of ghosts. Did she think I was afraid of them?

The room was rectangular, and Ilzo had broken through near the middle of one of the short sides. Rows upon rows of stone benches lined the room, and the altar lay near the far wall. There was a door on the middle of the right wall, which led to the ghost room, and two doors on the left wall, near the corners. Va’lyndra approached the farthest door and did a spell dance. She made a loud bang, but I didn’t see any damage having been inflicted on the door. She danced again, and informed the rest of us that there were no magic traps on the doors. However, in the room behind, she sensed something disturbing.

Va’lyndra wanted to rest for a bit before going in there. Both doors were locked, so we used the time to discuss how to get in. We concluded that Leopold should use his rock magic to shape the stone around the lock. He opened the door nearest the toppled altar. Behind the door was another room of similar shape and size. At the middle of the wall opposite the doors was another stone altar, on which lay a skull-topped metal staff. Yet another altar stood near the end of the room, almost parallel to the altar Ilzo and Va’lyndra had toppled. A translucent head floated in the middle of the room, and three ghostly orcs stood in front of the altar with the metal staff. They didn’t seem to notice us opening the door and peering inside.

Leopold asked Ilzo to say “Hello” in Orcish. I assume that’s what he shouted. The floating head turned towards us, and Ilzo had a short conversation with it. Ilzo translated for our benefit. He asked if we could take the staff, but learned that only one who is worthy might take it. Leopold retrieved the doorkeeper skull from his backpack, and it said something in Orcish, which I learned later meant “Kill the orc”. The three ghosts materialized, hefting weapons. One wielded axe and shield, and wore heavy armor, one dual-wielded rapier and pick, and one had a bow in its hands and a longsword on its back. I drew an arrow and fitted it to the string, stepping backwards. Ilzo dropped the pickaxe and readied Surkalpi, while Leopold stuffed the doorkeeper skull back into his backpack.
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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 05-15-2020, 11:46 AM   #138
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 33 (2020-05-10)

The archer drew an arrow and took cover behind the altar nearest the door. The axe man rushed to the door. Va’lyndra retreated, spell-dancing. I told Ilzo and Leopold to get away from the door so the archer wouldn’t have a target. The fencing ghost, who seemed quicker than the others, came at Ilzo, but the rapier failed to penetrate his armor. Even so, Ilzo had tried to retreat from the attack, which gave me an opening, but my arrow struck the axe man’s shield. The fencer followed Ilzo and attacked with the pick, which lodged itself in Ilzo’s breastplate. Ilzo moved further away, yanking the stuck pick out of the fencer’s grip.

Leopold picked up two sticks from the ground and stood up. The axe man swung at him, but Leopold retreated towards me and avoided the blow. The archer called out instructions to his friends; I guessed they stood in his way. I drew another arrow and stepped back again, so I stood next to the toppled altar.

The fencer kicked at Va’lyndra, and while her shield failed to block, she managed to parry with her staff. Following up with a thrust with his rapier, the fencer missed, but the double attack succeeded in disturbing Va’lyndra’s spell.

Ilzo swung Surkalpi at the axe man, making him pull back. Leopold pointed one of his sticks at the axe man, and a lightning bolt struck his shield, sparks racing across the foe’s metal armor, causing him to shiver and fall. An arrow shot out through the door and nearly hit Ilzo, and then the kneeling archer shifted sideways into my field of vision. Bad choice.

Va’lyndra tried to hit the fencer with her staff, but he parried. Leaping up on the fallen altar, I shot at the archer, who had to drop to the floor to avoid getting hit.

The fencer grabbed his pick, which was still stuck in Ilzo’s chest, but Ilzo kicked him, and he fell to the floor. Leopold just looked around; all our enemies were down. Va’lyndra smacked her staff in the face of the fencer, cursing him for disrupting her spell. I drew another arrow, and Ilzo stepped over the fencer to swing at the axe man, doing massive damage to his shield. The axe man started getting up, and the archer drew an arrow.

Va’lyndra hit the fencer again, still cursing, and he turned insubstantial. As did the pick in Ilzo’s chest, and it fell to the ground. I took aim at the archer over Ilzo’s shoulder. The altar I was standing on lifted me seventy centimeters above the floor, but Ilzo was still taller than I was. Fortunately, Ilzo stepped aside to stab the axe man with Surkalpi, giving me a clearer shot. Leopold shot another lightning bolt at the axe man, but he just shrugged this one off, standing up.

The archer moved forward, pointing an arrow at us. Va’lyndra attacked the axe man, but missed. I fired at the archer, and he dodged, but I hoped I had disrupted his aim. Ilzo thrust at the axe man again, but he parried. Leopold shot him with yet another lightning bolt. The axe man retaliated at Va’lyndra, but her floating shield took the hit. The archer fired at Leopold, who threw himself to the floor, then he dropped the bow and drew his longsword, moving up to the door to stand behind the axe man.

Va’lyndra made an all-out attack against the axe man, but didn’t do much harm to him. I drew Scorchmark and leapt over Leopold, into the fray, lashing out as I landed next to the swordsman, but I missed. Ilzo attacked the swordsman, too, doing some damage with Surkalpi, and I noticed that the axe man tried to block with his shield for his friend.

With an orcish battle-cry, the axe man all-out-attacked Va’lyndra, chopping frenziedly. Her shield blocked both his attacks before falling to the floor in pieces. The swordsman moved away from me and cut into Va’lyndra. Moving behind the axe man, I struck out with Scorchmark, cutting off enough fingers to make him drop the axe. Ilzo attacked the swordsman, who parried. Leopold fired another lightning bolt, but this one struck the wall.

The axe man tried bashing me with his shield, but I ducked under the blow. The swordsman tried to get Va’lyndra, but his sword turned in his hand. Va’lyndra retreated and summoned an ice dagger. I swiped at the axe man’s less protected foot, but missed. Ilzo tried grabbing the axe man, but he interposed his shield and tried to kick me. I backflipped, dodging the kick acrobatically. Va’lyndra’s ice dagger shot through the melee without hitting anyone.

I ran at the axe man, making as if I was going to somersault over him. He made himself large to block my passage, so I slid between his legs instead, striking out with Scorchmark as I passed. Attacking while doing an acrobatic maneuver is hard, and I missed. I twisted around to an upright position, ready to defend if the axe man turned on me.

Leopold, back on his feet again, fired a lightning bolt past Va’lyndra and the swordsman, but it struck the metal-clad axe man. Spasming, he fell to the floor. The swordsman made a flurry of blows, dealing a heavy blow to Va’lyndra before missing Ilzo. Va’lyndra collapsed. With two rapid strikes, I cut first the swordsman and then the axe man, turning them both insubstantial. Peaceful once more, they floated back to the altar in the inner room.

I opened my backpack and retrieved my first aid kit, setting to work on Va’lyndra. Ilzo fetched the skull-topped staff from the altar. It looked to be made mostly of silver. I offered to patch up Ilzo, too, but he refused, instead engaging the floating head in a shouting match.

Leopold got out his notebook and started jotting down whatever he found interesting. It took Va’lyndra two hours to come around, and I considered giving her healing potions, in case her injuries were even more serious than I first thought, but Olivia’s warning not to administer liquids to unconscious patients rang clear in my head, so I determined to wait. I practiced acrobatics while I waited, occasionally going back to my lookout spot in the excavated hole to look for boogeymen.

Va’lyndra quaffed four healing potions before getting up to look for magic, but she found nothing except for the staff we had obtained already. There was another unexplored section of the temple, and Ilzo had to break through another wall to get us there. We found a room that Leopold said had been a library, but all the documents had rotted away long ago. There were more rooms, but they contained nothing of interest.

We left the temple and made for the camp. I told the others I looked forward to getting back to camp again, where Olivia was waiting. Va’lyndra thought perhaps boogeymen had found the camp and kidnapped Olivia, and I nearly freaked out and ran. Only the knowledge that I wouldn’t be able to find my way back without the others kept me at their side, but I pushed them as hard as I could. Images of the first boogeymen I had seen, torturing that poor stag, floated through my vision. What if they did that to Olivia?

When we finally came within sight of the camp, I dashed ahead, bow at the ready in case of boogeymen. Olivia looked up from where she was watering the horses, frowning slightly at my charge before bursting into a welcoming smile. I dropped the bow and scooped her up, swinging her round and round in joyous circles. Olivia leaned on me dizzily when I finally put her down. I ripped off my helmet and kissed her.
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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 05-30-2020, 09:49 AM   #139
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 34 (2020-05-24)

Thoughts on June 22nd

There was divine magic in the skull-staff, according to Va’lyndra. She had danced her spell dance last night, but I hadn’t had enough patience to wait to hear the results. Olivia and I did another dance instead.

Va’lyndra and Leopold agreed that it might not be smart to store all the divine magic in one place. Uncharacteristically, I tried to remain in the background; I didn’t want to carry any of those things. Leopold decided he would take the scepter we had just found, because Walter could maybe tell him about it. “Walter who?” I asked. It turned out it was the door keeper skull who answered to that name. Walter kept reminding us that he was mightily displeased about Ilzo using him for a chamber pot.

We left the boogeyman city behind, and traveled westward. After consulting our map, Leopold informed the rest of us that we would be going in a more southerly direction than we did earlier, so we wouldn’t be going near the bountiful fruit grove. I don’t think that will be a problem. According to Olivia, we have enough food now for two months, and I certainly hope we’re back in civilization before then. We’ve been gone for a month now, and I’m beginning to crave a proper audience.

Leopold realized while we traveled that with his other possessions, the skull scepter was too heavy for his pony. I don’t care who carries it, so long as it’s not Olivia or me. I assumed that Va’lyndra took it back, but I didn’t pay attention to where she put it.


Thoughts on June 23rd

We continued toward the temple of the realm of the dead. Leopold had a conversation with Walter about it and discovered that Walter’s faith was strongly opposed to that temple’s creed. Dead and undead don’t mix, apparently.

I started thinking about a birthday gift for Olivia. Out here in the wilderness, I wasn’t likely to find anything that would suit her, so I decided to make a birthday performance for her. I spent the day thinking about it, occasionally trying out a bit of choreography. In between rain showers, I did some of it in the saddle, and some one the ground. The horses are so heavily laden that I can run faster than we travel on horseback. Lately, I’ve discovered a technique for running fast, spurred on by the need to reach Olivia before the monsters that inhabit the Bewitched Forest. I think I’ve nearly reached the limit, but I’m going to practice until I get there.


Thoughts on June 24th

Luckily, we had an overgrown road to follow. The rain grew so dense over the course of the day that it was practically impossible to see clearly more than a few meters ahead. The ground turned to mud under the horses’ hooves, slowing them down. Ilzo, having grown up around here, knew that it would only get worse tomorrow, and suggested we find some kind of shelter.

Va’lyndra found a nice place in the afternoon, where some large trees had bent towards each other, entangling their branches. Shaping the trees with her plant magic, Va’lyndra nearly made the canopy dense enough to keep off all the rain. The horses could tolerate a few drops coming through, and the rest of us have tents. Olivia and I pitched our tent as far away from the others as possible, while remaining under the canopy; Va’lyndra didn’t want to listen to what would undoubtedly happen once Olivia and I got out of our drenched clothes.


Thoughts on June 25th

We stayed in camp all day, and I seized the opportunity to play with Olivia. All of her.


Thoughts on June 26th

The rain stopped during the night, and by the time we struck camp and continued west, the sky was clear above us, although we could still see dark clouds in the south. Thunder rumbled in the distance, but the bad weather was moving away from us.

I practiced in the saddle, and Olivia beamed at me, outdoing the midsummer sun. Suddenly, Va’lyndra whistled from up ahead. “Danger, come quick!” We picked up the pace and I strung my bow. Va’lyndra whistled again, and Hungover came galloping towards us, riderless. I could see Va’lyndra hiding behind a tree, watching carefully in the other direction. Leopold and Ilzo dismounted; I pulled Marvin up short and somersaulted over his head. I slipped on the soggy ground and fell, but bounced to my feet so quickly that only my flushed face revealed that I hadn’t intended to hit the ground the way I did. Thankfully, nobody commented my embarrassment. I drew an arrow and took off along the road, towards Va’lyndra. Leopold and Ilzo took to the forest, so I soon overtook them. Ilzo bellowed an orcish war cry.

As I reached Va’lyndra, I spotted three boogeymen with bow and arrow, aiming at us. I aimed back. Arrows struck Va’lyndra’s tree, and we returned fire. These boogeymen were adept at dropping below our arrows, but my fourth shot struck true, taking one of the boogeymen down permanently.

Casting a sideways glance, I noticed that Leopold was shooting lightning bolts at one of the boogeymen. One bolt struck our foe, and he fell to the ground shivering. The third boogeyman turned and fled, but Va’lyndra and I shot him down. In the distance, we could hear the familiar sounds of Ilzo trouncing an opponent. “Ah, that would be the last of them,” Va’lyndra commented.

Leopold took some time to finish his opponent, closing with him in melee. The gnome didn’t need our help, but took a couple of shallow cuts. We called to Olivia to bring up the horses, and she bandaged Leopold’s wounds. Va’lyndra had run out of arrows, and scavenged some from the fallen boogeymen.

I finally noticed what had made Va’lyndra signal in the first place: Six goblins were tied up in trees, and the boogeymen had been in the process of torturing them when we arrived. I went over to investigate. Three of them were still alive, so I yelled for Leopold, asking if he wanted to talk to them. Leopold came over and took Walter out of his backpack. He asked if the skull knew the goblin tongue, but Walter replied a disdainful “Pah!” Ilzo had also heard my call, and his arrival may have been the source of Walter’s bad mood. Leopold asked Ilzo to search the boogeymen for valuables.

“Now that I’ve sent Ilzo on a meaningless task, will you talk with me?” Leopold asked Walter. Walter replied that talking to such worthless creatures as goblins was beneath his dignity. Va’lyndra appeared and tried to convince him, but he retorted with insults. Va’lyndra told him that if he insulted her again, she would give him to Ilzo as a chamber pot, permanently. Eye sockets glowing, Walter replied that he was spitting in her eye, which prompted Va’lyndra to spit at him instead. Leopold moved the skull out of the way of the glob. “I spit on your mother, too,” Walter added. Va’lyndra summoned a water jet, knocking Walter out of Leopold’s grip and blowing both of them to the already drenched ground. Va’lyndra kept haranguing Walter, and Leopold asked him to be polite towards his friends, before stuffing him back inside the backpack. I barely kept a straight face. My friends arguing shouldn’t be funny, but there’s just something about Walter that makes me want to crack up.

I cut the ropes holding the goblins to the trees. One of them staggered away, but the two other live ones fell to the ground, writhing in pain. I tried offering them healing potions, but they refused.

We moved on, and Olivia complained that Ilzo had dragged boogeyman corpses over to her and the horses. Not so loud that he heard her, of course. Once she stopped fuming, she pointed out that Ilzo had found a pretty ring on one of the corpses, and it now adorned his finger.
__________________
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 05-30-2020, 10:08 AM   #140
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 34 (2020-05-24)

Thoughts on June 27th

Half a day further west, we discovered a ruined city. Va’lyndra waited for us to catch up, and saw no sign of habitation before we arrived. Leopold brought out Walter, and according to him, this city was called Firban. Va’lyndra apologized for her earlier behavior. I asked Ilzo if we should go exploring while the others talked, and we dismounted and made our way stealthily among the ruins, finding a fort and what we believed to be a temple. On the other side of the city was a lake, with a river flowing through it from the north to the south.

After a while, we ran into Leopold and Va’lyndra. That meant that Olivia was alone! I called over my shoulder that we should meet up at the temple, as I dashed off to make sure she was safe. The city was uninhabited, but I was less sure about the wilderness surrounding it.

The temple was a single, large dome, somewhat flattened, but seemingly untouched by age, unlike other buildings here. The entrance was carved like a guardian, complete with a full helmet and a cloak, but where the legs and lower body should be, was a tunnel beckoning us inside. Olivia herded the horses to an overgrown temple garden and began setting up camp.

Va’lyndra had already checked the entrance for magic when Olivia and I arrived, but Walter was making a fuss. Swearing like a sailor, he refused to come inside, but encouraged us to break whatever we found there. He also warned us not to perform any rituals in the temple. Leopold left him with Olivia, and then we entered.

In the center of the temple was a large chamber, with entrances from a circular hallway that went all the way around. Along the outer wall lay a series of rooms, all with altars except for the last one. Leopold claimed it used to be a guard room, and it had a staircase leading down. Ilzo found a metal lever that he wanted to investigate. It was attached to a wire that eventually disappeared into the wall, near peeping holes through which we could see the tunnel we had used to enter the temple. Ilzo asked the rest of us to go back to the tunnel to observe what happened when he pulled the lever.

We heard the rusted metal grind, but nothing happened. The wire was rusted through, so that wasn’t a big surprise. After a minute, Ilzo shouted that he had found the trigger, and suddenly the floor started vibrating, and we heard a whirring noise under us. I flipped back to my feet, and we retreated from the tunnel before two rusty portcullises rose from the floor. Leopold called Ilzo over and asked how we were supposed to get out now. Luckily, nobody was trapped between the portcullises, but the only way out was blocked. The space between the iron bars was too small for me to slip through, but there was a small gap between the top of the portcullises and the ceiling, where I thought I might get out. Not the others, though. However, Ilzo had a pickaxe in his belt, and entered the first altar chamber and started to make a hole in the outer wall. Leopold grimaced, and told Ilzo not to destroy this intact archeological find; there had to be a mechanism for opening the portcullises. They walked off to find it.

Suddenly, the portcullises fell back down. Va’lyndra had heard splashing, and figured out that it was water that lifted the portcullises. When she used her magic to remove the water, there was nothing holding the portcullises up, so they dropped. The spell left her exhausted, so we thought this was a good time to grab something to eat, back in camp. Leopold wasn’t hungry – he just eats rocks, anyway – and remained to study the altar chambers.

The dome seemed solid, so I climbed up to its top, once I finished eating. The view was great from there. With the peak at fifteen meters above ground, I was standing on one of the highest places in the entire city. Far to the west, I could see a mountain range stretching to the north and south, and in the north-west was the great canyon we had circumnavigated on our previous expedition. I did an acrobatic routine while I was up there, and practiced some of the dance moves I would incorporate in Olivia’s birthday present.

Olivia scalded me when I got back down. She didn’t think it was safe to climb the dome. It was pretty steep, at least the lowest part, but I reminded her that I’m a fair bit more skilled than most people. There was never any danger that I would fall. “That’s true,” Olivia conceded, “just like there’s no chance you’ll slip and fall in the mud when you dismount from Marvin.” I hid my tomato face in her bosom until the redness abated.

Calm and collected, I entered the large, central chamber with Va’lyndra, Ilzo and Leopold. We found nothing of interest there, so we descended the stairs from the guard room. The first room off the corridor held a pool and mechanical contraptions for lifting the portcullises that were also there. I thought it looked very complicated, and not even Leopold understood how it worked, at first, so he decided he wanted to study it, while the rest of us proceeded.

Va’lyndra, Ilzo and I continued along the corridor, and found dozens upon dozens of burial chambers. We didn’t enter them, we just got the lay of the land, and the underground passages spread beyond the temple dome.

Leopold had figured out the mechanism by the time we returned, and went to flip a switch that would prevent the portcullises from rising when enough water pressure had built up. The switch was too heavy for the small gnome, so Ilzo had to step in. Then we went to search the burial chambers.

There were inscriptions at the entrances and on the sarcophagi. Ilzo popped the lids, and we found bone fragments and dust inside. Ilzo poked around in the dust, and Leopold told him off, saying something about positioning that I didn’t understand. We took the time to check out all the burial chambers, and Ilzo found an amulet in one of them. It was magical, Va’lyndra told him, unlike the ring he had taken from the boogeyman, yesterday.

I was nearly asleep by the time we finished in the temple. Va’lyndra wanted to analyze the amulet before turning in, but I wanted nothing more than to lie down with Olivia.


Thoughts on June 28th

We slept late this morning. Va’lyndra reported at breakfast that the amulet protected from an unfamiliar type of magic, and she and Leopold discussed it at length. I got bored and lured Olivia around a corner. We just kissed, for we expected the others to call to us any minute that we were striking camp. Ilzo came and interrupted, to our great annoyance, but when he said we were going to check out the fortress, I came along.

The fortress was huge, practically a district of its own. We searched all over, particularly in the main keep, but found nothing of value. When I got hungry, I returned to Olivia, but the others seemed to have brought food, for they didn’t return to camp until evening. Olivia and I were beaming, having had the time of our lives. Leopold reported that they had found a magic circle, but had no idea about what it had been used for.
__________________
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
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
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