Princes of the Apocalypse

On the next episode of Assholes vs Wild…

Warforged, Reaver attacks…and revelations that could potentially cost us our lives!

Join me, Sandro Latarnia, and friends as we journey to the most treacherous environments of Eberron; from scenic ogre-infested roads, to deplorable holes in the ground. Today, we tackle the pedestrian struggles of Rivergard Keep.
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The toll of the bell indicates the start of the work day, as we all hate, and so the team disperses to look around the keep or maybe reflect on their thoughts. This day has been about as exciting as watching paint dry. Kilkax notices one of the watchmen has been eyeballing us all morning, so he goes to confront the man. Turns out it wasn’t just him—-everyone else has been staring at us since we look like an odd bunch of mercenaries. He tells him to watch out for this ”Jolli” in a rather aloof tone. …’Jolli’ being Jolliver Grimjaw, the boss of this dreary outpost.

On the other side of the keep, Ryo goes for a relaxing walk up the battlements and sees what he thinks are the unassuming neighbours. He is then promptly flung to the ground as a loud explosion hits one of the walls. The peace is broken as Rhysh announces that a Reaver attack is taking place so we’d better make ourselves useful and fight. If this isn’t a good start to your morning, then I feel sorry for you son. I got 99 problems but a raid ain’t one.

We rush to aid Ryo while Tinuviel runs to where the explosion was, just in time to see grappling hooks spring up. With her trusty dagger, she tries to foil the interloper’s plan but only gets halfway through the rope before the wretch rears his ugly head. These intruders seem to be dressed in strange black leather and carry strange weapons on them. I help sever the rest of the rope, sending the fool down. Unfortunately, more men climb up the other ones and some slip through the front gates. They really are raiding the keep, I applaud them for getting up at some ungodly hour for this. We engage the newcomers while Ryo, recovering from his fall, seeks revenge and joins us. He performs what looks like a WWE maneuver, flies off the wall and lands on the raider’s chest, caving it in and killing him. Rhysh and a half-ogre warrior join the scuffle and while I’m busy running my sword through people, Tinuviel the Burninator goes trigger-happy on an unfortunate raider, literally burning him to a crisp, nothing but ash and charred bones left, thankfully she only does minimal damage to the stables nearby.

Back at ground-level, Kilkax gets a nasty arrow to the back; it seems a few more Reavers have snuck up from behind. Anora eldritch blasts one of them into the 9th Circle of Hell for grievously injuring her buddy and continues the assault while Kilkax runs into cover to heal himself. As we fight, we notice that their swords seem to be made of strange opalescent material, bits of it coming off when scraping against armour. The entire keep suddenly erupts into a mélange of violent ringing thanks to the combined efforts of Team Nice Ass Such Sass casting Shatter, which reduced a lot of the combatants. Shit gets even stranger as Grimjaw appears out of nowhere and slams into one of the raiders like a true savage. At some point, some guy turns into a damn water snake and gets a face full of lightning from Kilkax. Eventually, we beat back or rather..annihilate the intruders. The damn snake escaped into the water but no matter, they won’t be back for a while. We heal our injured and the workers start cleaning up the mess; Grimjaw approaches us and in a rare show of relief, thanks us for our role in this. We’re now welcome to stay but his demeanour sours as he grumbles about a certain sailor not lifting a finger to help. He marches past me and into Shoalar’s boat. I’m a little worried for the Genasi, but that’s none of my business.

Now that calm has returned, I examine one of the odd swords. Tinuviel managed to glean information about them; they’re lined with shark teeth. That is gnarly as fuck, so I keep one for myself. Kilkax heads the looting operation and gets a good amount of gold from these Reavers. He also spies a piece of metal in a crevice, he takes it and figures out that it’s part of a Warforged’s armour…? Grimjaw emerges from the boat, seemingly pissed and heads into the great hall. Ryo follows suit, probably with a boatload of questions. He comes back informing us about the frequency of these attacks and that Jolli told him to talk some sense into his ol’ friend, Captain Planet. So he does that, that brave little toaster, and well…things don’t go so well. He proved his points but Shoalar just wouldn’t budge from his stance of basically ‘I’m leaving tomorrow, why bother.’ Ryo mentions there’s something fishy going on below deck. Anyways, Pike emerges and heads straight to the stables. I follow, question and bribe the little bastard about having any prisoners but that failed. Bah, didn’t need that 5 gold anyways. I enter the stables to see what he was up to and damn, does it smell like aged piss in here. There’s something sticking out of the hay so I pull it out. Turns out to be a damn coffin, I don’t sense 10 Million Zombies™ so I pry it open. It’s full of metal…similar to the one Kilkax has? I run back to try to snatch it off him but the guy has better reflexes. I tell him to come with me and we figure it definitely belongs as a set. We call everyone over and Tinuviel releases our little dragon friends. She then lectures us on how Warforged work and we’re doing it wrong. We hear giggling from the back. Garienna and Elvira polymorphed themselves into little turds…how charming. LO AND BEHOLD, they found another crate-coffin. We bust it open and this…big humanoid hunk of metal is just sitting there. Ryo pokes it and it tells us to please stop doing that. At this point, we’re stewing in a mixture of awe, amazement, and the scent of Pike’s dirty deeds in the air.

We get to know our new…cohort, and find out that they’ve been here since the War, that they only want to be at war, that they know nothing else. They refer to themselves as Nameless. They’re a little off; that’s understandable since they’ve been powered off for years and as of the moment, are pretty much stark naked. They demand their armour back, Anora and the others give it accordingly. After collecting the dragon sisters,Tinuviel and Anora decide to pay Shoalar a little visit. Ryo and Kilkax head to Grimjaw to find out more regarding this keep’s history and its past denizens. That leaves me with Nameless. They end up walking to the weapon storage and bashing the door open nonchalantly. Not sure what they’re doing, but they pick up a mace and a battle axe. Very impressive. Definitely a machine of war.

Back at Shoalar’s party boat, Tinuviel doesn’t let it slide that something odd is going down below deck, despite the Genasi captain insisting it’s just his other crew members. He leaves and Tinuviel summons a rat familiar to spy downstairs. Well, he wasn’t lying about the crew members but there’s barrels full of…parts. Machine parts, it seems there’s more Warforged to be had here. Is Shoalar smuggling shit? They leave and as they pass a certain area, Anora suddenly gets stage one Tingles again. This does not bode well.

At the Great Hall, which is rather nicely adorned in nautical fashion on the inside, Ryo and Kilkax find vines and dug-up dirt. Must have been the work of that boar from earlier. Strange. They question Jolliver about this keep and Warforged, to which he answers casually, but when they ask about Shoalar being suspicious, it puts him in a bad mood and he leaves to the back of the building. Well now they know that Nameless is a free citizen of their own right and can do whatever they want. The two rifle through letters like the meddling kids they are and find…incriminating things. Letters to and from certain figures but most importantly, one sealed with blue wax. Upon closer inspection, it reveals to have the symbol of the Cult of the Crushing Wave. The handwriting is elegant, but the message inside isn’t so. Something about initiating a plan and that they’re searching for the ones who meddled in Red Larch. Us. Kilkax pockets the letter and they return to divulge the information. I asked to see the letter…but now I wish I hadn’t. Sure, a plot to eliminate us isn’t very dandy, but I saw something I did not want to see. Plunging into a state of shock, I fail to notice that everyone has left to check on the other two, so I follow and observe from a distance.

Tinuviel seems to be channeling through a fish familiar and exploring something underneath the keep. She sees dim lights, meaning something is down there which is causing Anora to feel strange. They were about to practically keelhaul someone to send them down but halt as Ryo notices that Shoalar has been watching us for a while now. He probably thinks we’re idiots.

With all things considered, Ryo decides that this isn’t worth the trouble and does some sick flips and shit over the wall, and out of the keep. Kilkax follows with his own tumbling display to join his Tumble Buddy™ The rest leave via the front gates, because we don’t have a flair for dramatic exits. Summoning my beautiful steed, “Johnny Four-Hooves”, I search the area for a good spot to set up camp. As we gather by the fire, Kilkax regales us with the tale of how he was conned into trading his treasured bagpipes for a bogus ring. He swears vengeance on that. Maybe we could just surprise him on his nameday with a new set instead?

In the end, we managed to leave Rivergard Keep unscathe…but where do we go from here?

That’s it for Assholes vs Wild. New episodes, Sar @ 7pm bst

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Everybody's Got Ghosts and Shit

Well damn, we sure have gotten ourselves into a pickle. The boat we were in was less a boat than a glorified piece of flotsam. We spent most of the time trying to keep ourselves warm, along with our two dragon friends. Halfway through, we noticed Sandro acting peculiar. Turns out he was hella sick, from what? Who knows? We took off his armor and wrapped him in our trusty bear suit as we tried to get to land as fast as we could.

We came upon Glyphstone Keep early that morning, which looked very old and had an impassable gate. Before deciding on how we should get in there, I conjured my trusty raven familiar, Edgar, to scout out ahead. Through his eyes I saw the empty keep grounds and a large shipping boat. It looked promising, but we weren’t sure how many people were in there, if there were any at all.

As everyone bickered on how to make ourselves known, I got annoyed and shot a fireball into the air. I just wanted to be out of that damn dingy and to get warm. The flare worked, and we heard the most dickish voice to ever dick. The guard, Resh (Rhys? I didn’t care to learn his name,) well he didn’t want us there, we tried the sympathy angle and the work for our keep angle, but he was stubborn in his want to not help us. Anora finally convinced him to let us in by telling him about Womford and our friend who was currently shaking hands with Death.

He lets us use the stable, which was a shithole. But our knight in shining blue armor appeared in the form of Shaolar who lets us use his boat. He’s a Genasi, and we were all wet, and not just from the boat ride lemmetellyou.

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Even though our lust is great, we learned from Elizar, and we remain suspicious of him. At this point, we’d be suspicious of our reflections we’ve been dicked around so much. It doesn’t help that Ryo starts to hear voices, and Anora’s hands get toasty. Is there ANOTHER dragonshard? Nah, we’ll get to that barrel of worms later.

Ryo get nervous about his sick back tattoo and asks me if I can look at it. We hide behind some nearby barrels, and I find nothing unusual. The first mate, Pike, starts judging us so hard. Meanwhile, Shaolar comes back upstairs (I didn’t even realize he’d left), and is surprised we’re still awake. I am too, to tell you the truth. He offers us the choice between dice or cards.

We choose dice, though Ryo declines and check on Sandro. After a few games of Gladiator, we’ve lost a mountain of gold. I get suspicious of his dice and he lets us examine them. I still didn’t buy it, but I know when to stop gambling (though not really since I lost pretty much all my money), and I left the table to check on Sandro and Ryo.

As Anora and Kilkax play cards and talk about their pasts with Shaolar, the three of us have a heart to heart in the corner. They try to get me to make a move on hot blue guy, I get all high school insecure. It ends up with us getting pretty deep. I think we bonded.

During the game, Shaolar reveals that he and Pike were in the navy and helped move people on the day of mourning. He now ships cargo to super sketchy clients. Pretty sure Anora and Kilkax weren’t listening much, as they were too focused on how improbable Shaolar’s hands were. After losing both his money and dignity, Kilkax was left to put two and two together and realize how Shaolar cheated by rigging the deck.

He is determined to win everything back, so he borrows my cards to act as a neutral deck. Though, I think this is a hella dumb idea, I give them to him. He tries to persuade Shaolar to play again by wagering 2 gems and a ring. After a long back and forth, he agrees after Kilkax butters him up about liking the finer things. The wager was that whoever wins keeps everything, from past games as well.

Shaolar is unconvinced, so Anora shows leg. He drops a sick burn by telling her that he’s seen better legs on whores. Thankfully, a bell clangs from above, ending the Kilkax’s losing gambling battle. (Moral of the story: don’t gamble kids)

Shaolar tells us that this signifies that Grimjaw wants to see us. I guess he’s the leader of the keep, though his name leaves a lot to be desired. Did he buy that name from the goth store? Whatever, point is, the Silver Flame are back. Remember those racist assholes? They are demanding to be let in, while Sandro throws up all the middle fingers at them.

Thank the gods that Resh (Rhys?) is a dick and tells them to gtfo. They get more demanding, not even saying please. Anora wind whispers to him, telling him to not let them in because they suck. I guess it works since he walks away. Shaolar notices our obvious hate for them, and talks to the Silver Flame.

They demand some more, and he delivers more sick burns about their “righteous and true” ideals. He was pretty awesome, and tells Grimjaw they aren’t welcome. Grimjaw agrees and tells them to gtfo, they threaten to bring their army. Shaolar is like eh so. They threaten some more and Shaolar capsizes their boat with a snappy one-liner.

Shaolar asks if they were following us, we don’t know but we reveal we met them in Womford and they were super racist. He returns our money all of it PLUS INTEREST because of us being able to deal with assholes like that. Wow that guy is awesome and attractive. As this goes on, the people in and around the keep start to work, and Ryo and and Sandro go for a walk.

During their walk, Ryo gets a horrible vision of people dying in the keep (it’s intense), and he becomes quite shaken. When Sandro tries to help him, he notices that Ryo’s back is BURNING. Sandro is all “YOURE HOT, I MEAN FLAMING, GAH YOUR BACK THO”

The rest of us decide to explore the keep, but that doesn’t last very long because Anora falls off the battlements into the water. She’s pulled by the current against the grates that lead under the keep. The water around her starts to bubble, like she’s in a witch’s soup pot. We fashion a rope line to help her, and I mage hand it over. As soon as Anora touches it, the rope burns and becomes useless. I remember what Shaolar did to the Silver Flame’s boat and I book it to his ship.

I’m ashamed to say that my articulation was that of a child, and when I found him the conversation went something like:
T: HELPANORAFELLANDWENEEDYOURHELP! WEDONTKNOWWHATTODOFOLLOWME
S: Eh, Whaa? Ok.

Once he gets to where Anora is, he manipulates the water and guides her to shore. As we sit on the bank, we all wonder: What the fuck is up with this keep? Are there ghosts? Are they mad?

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Divine Intervention!
But there was fire, so it's probably Hell related

From the desk of the Reverend Dr. Kilkax of Argonnessen, Esq

Innkeeper owner’s Log: Day 2

This has turned out to be kind of a shit day. It started with more employees clamoring at our door begging for their jobs for the day. It actually must be kind of nice to not have the brain power necessary to do things like… remember your job or… eat. For larfs, we told someone to just shit themselves all day and they actually did. I’d feel sorry for Inglor if it wasn’t for what happened later – I’ll get to that.

So we got a knock on the door the previous night and were told we had like a shit ton of money stolen and I’m like… 60% sure none of us took it, so our first thought was to hunt down Gariena and Elvira. Tinuviel jumped at the notion of finding them and went back inside. Come to think of it, she might have just wanted to get away from the rabble…

BUT ANYWAY, they were in the lineup of workers for some reason. I sent them inside and TInuviel had a little chat with them. As that was going on, she also apparently found the key to the safe, which was a relief. I’d suspect one of us to have stolen the money in any other circumstance, but the keys probably would have been there anyway, so who knows?

After her discovery though, we all split up inside to look for any other clues. And once again, Tinuviel found a clue. And by a clue I mean money. It was Anora who actually found the clue. It was a letter to Thaelond written by either a group of six year olds who were writing with a piece of asparagus or a bunch of orcs. And as much as I would’ve liked for it to be that first thing, it was that second thing.

And then SPEAK OF THE DING DONG DIDDLY DEVIL there they were. They were like “WHO HERE IS KILKAX?” I thought it would be funny to shove Ryo in front of me, but my incalculable strength was obviously too much for him to handle as he stumbled and fell forward. It was hilarious. After he stammered for a bit, a line of communication was established and we got them to agree that they could take whatever they wanted from the safe before leaving, which they were happy to agree to.

Only problem was… the safe was empty.

They were suddenly not as happy.

I tried to give them literally anything to get them to not murder literally everyone. I offered them the whole inn, ‘cause Thaelund is not getting rid of me this easily. Then they were like “What about her?” and pointed at Anora. She then made her way over, only getting slightly stabbed and as a counter offer, she requested she… host a banquet for them or something.

They said no.

Instead they gave us a day to come up with the money. And as tempting as it was to try to scrounge up some earning and then die, we opted to find the info about the Dwarven books we came for and just dip and maybe murder Thaelond a little bit if we ever see him again.

Ryo and Tinuviel went into the city to see if anyone knew anything. I’m not entirely sure what they did out there, but I did see that Tinuviel’s coin purse seemed a little lighter and shewas NOT happy when they got back. If I didn’t know any better from the look on her face when the city went up in flames- DID I SAY THERE WAS A FIRE? WELL, READ ON THAT’S CALLED A HOOK

So I, along with Sandro and Anora stayed behind to see if there was any info we could gain there. There weren’t much folks helping out, but once Ryo and TInuviel got back, Anora and Ryo tried talking this moody woman who I’m pretty sure just wanted to be left alone. So I promptly sat down and also talked to her. We found that not only did she have information about the book; she had more of them with her! Awesome! We haggled with her a bit before Sandro escorted her to go get them. Sandro came back not a couple minutes later and tactfully told us that the ENTIRE CITY was ON FIRE. And by tactfully, I mean he started a mass panic. And it seems the woman just bolted which was kind of rude of her, honestly.

Elvira and Gariena jumped into Tinuviel’s cloak and my rucksack as soon as it seemed like things went sideways. So then we ran through the whole city trying to find our way to the docks to get a boat. We had a couple scuffles, but everyone came out relatively unharmed. Well, until Sandro and Anora stayed behind to help a stuck child. I didn’t hear anything, so they might be crazy. But they did have a child with them when I saw them, so probably not. Looks like they took some hits though due to all the falling rocks and rubble and FIRE

We all piled into the first boat we saw and Ryo used his scary good strength to row us out of there. I guess everyone’s vision was kind of blocked by the smoke, but I saw that fire elemental from before tearing up the city. To be honest, I was kind of wondering what happened to it. I was dead before I saw the end of that fight. Tinuviel breathed a massive sigh of relief when I told everyone what was happening. I’m just going to… give her the benefit of the doubt?

As I’m writing this, we’re still adrift. I can’t see the city anymore. Though one thing’s for sure

I’m retiring as an innkeeper

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We run a what now?
The classic tale of friendship and frenemies alike

We enter back on the scene in camp Garienna and Elvira with everyone standing around the now inert dragon shard. There were attempts to try and grab a piece of it for (cough) research purposes but with only two daggers and the fragons laughing at our meager attempts everyone decided against it. The group did however decide to return to the original plan and head on to Womford. There was the dwarven book that needed sorting and some gems that needed evaluating. Overall everyone was ready to move on from the festival from hell.
Garienna added that she could possibly be of some help in womford, so she and Elvira would join TFA on the journey forward. They would however have to transform from Fragons as people may try to pokeball them (for shame). She then blew up the amazing tents everyone built the night before in a display of her awe inspiring magical talents. The fire, although disheartening, reminded everyone of Anora and they turned to face her with some questions on her fiery past. Anora still in shock from being thrust in the air and compelled by a dragon shard not but a few hours ago, decided to open up to the group. She hoped she would not scare off her new potential friends and with a semi vote of confidence she began to tell her tale. She explained of her life as a child travelling with her mom who was a dancer (and no not that kind of dancer) and the event that led her to flee her family and hit the road for more answers (check Anora’s bio for more info). The group was satisfied with Anora’s tale, and while some are still skeptical the F in TFA definitely now stands for five ;) This is where things get interesting as the group hits the road and traveled onto Womford.

Our lovely fairy dragon friends were becoming tired in their non-dragon forms so Tinuvial and Sandro opted for carrying them and keeping them hidden until they could change form again. As a light rain began to form the gang reached Womford and were all sufficiently creeped out. Nothing about this town seemed right but alas we had a mission to complete and nothing could be as bad as a demon fire elemental ‘festival’ right?
Upon entering Womford Kilkax suddenly remembered that he had actually been to Womford before and took point on leading the group around. After a long day of travel everyone was ready to find a place to rest and so it was time to re-transform our dragon friends. After failing several times to find the perfect dirty alley for the deed, a southern alley proved fruitful with a classic dead end and Kilkax, Ryo, and Anora kept watch. This is when a very sketchy old beggar woman appeared and asked for some cold hard cash. Kilkax and Anora pretended not to hear the woman as Ryo skillfully dropped some coin in her hand without making unnecessary contact in case she was ughhhh contagious …
With everyone now appearing human the journey continued on to the biggest looking building which seemed like a keep but was actually an inn. Once inside everyone hit the pub for some food, mead, and the chance to finally sit down.
This is when things got weird. Kilkax snuck off to the bar for some mysterious banter and came back to a rowdy bunch ready to start some more in-fighting about secrets being with held. After some bathroom chats were had and things started to settle, Kilkax explained that he found us all a place to stay and just in the nick of time as the fragons were beginning to transform back into, well fragons. We found our selves at a door with 3 red tear drops wondering if Kilkax had signed us all up to a new gang. Once the door was opened however we were all amazed to see a kick ass pad pimped out to the nines. Everyone but Anora decided to get piss drunk and Kilkax was summoned to do some plumbing back at the bar to his chagrin.
Once morning hit everyone was pleasantly surprised to smell bacon being cooked by Sandro who was oddly chipper after such a night of debauchery. His drinking buddies were a little less chipper upon awaking. Suddenly there was a knock on the door. The group as if all suffering from PTSD hit the floor and cautiously opened the door expecting nothing but trouble behind it. To their surprise the entire town was bustling just outside. Peasants of all kind were awaiting their daily tasks to be divvied out. This is when we discovered that Kilkax signed us all up to run an Inn for a good 3 days and our sitcom theme music began to roll. The peasants, with a collective IQ of 12, finally received their tasks for the 3 days and we all took up new leadership rolls. Ryo headed to the stables, Sandro to the bar, Tinuviel to the docks, Anora to the seamstress, and Kilkax in punishment continued his custodial duties from the night before.
After a hard day of work everyone met back at the bar for a cold pint and a warm meal. Just as everyone started to unwind Ingor the grounds keeper came up and explained how Kilkax should have a set of master keys on him and it didn’t seem ominous at all. Then a scream from a back room was heard. It was further explained that a small crew of ‘the church of the silver flame’ were back there in a private room doing God knows what. Kilkax, Anora, and Sandro went to go check things out and Ryo and Tinuviel went to go check on the Fragons as we kind of forgot they were even still with us. Things got heated with the silver flame and Sandro almost lost his shit after seeing a helpless man with an unfortunate butt hat getting his fingers cut off for no reason at all? Anora helped to keep him in check and lying through her teeth, promising that the true inn keepers would be back with in the next two days. They all reconvened back at the house of 3 blood drops making a plan to slip out of the town later the next day to avoid what trouble seemed to be brewing.
Everyone went to sleep thinking just how complicated things had gotten and that’s when a knock was heard at the door. Anora woke up with Kilkax just behind and opened the door. Chilaska, her “swords” (one of them from the silver flame) and some locals barged in and began to throw around accusations that the TFA crew had stolen some important items as they had the master key and a shadowy figure was seen running out of the building. This is about the point where Anora and Kilkax had a dual panic attack and went into full bullshit mode knowing they did not have the key now or ever for that matter. After patching together a good enough cover up, Chilaska and crew decided that TFA was in the clear but more questioning would come later if the key was not presented to them. They left closing the door and Kilkax and Anora magically heard someone from upstairs in their sleep whisper “the fragons can transform into people …” and that’s when the group collectively thought OH SHIT WE’RE FUCKED, cause the fragons probably stole that shit while we were running an inn (cough Kilkax cough)! Just as everyone else began to wake up another knock was heard at the door. Kilkax forcefully opened it expecting only the worse and found the entire village bustling outside again, waiting to be assigned their daily rolls again (collective IQ at a 6).

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Sob Story!!
But Also Dragons.

First, Anora is no longer gumbyfied! Congratulations on your life, Anora. Welcome back to the Thunder Dome.

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This week, we, TFA, were blessed with peace. Of course it didn’t start that way. Kilkax made sure of that (by being dead). Dude could have gotten laid, but instead he got laid to rest.

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At least, that’s what we thought until closer inspection led Tinuviel to believe that maybe he wasn’t quite so dead. Garienna did some druid hoodoo on this here dehydrated fella and fixed him right up, she did (H2O is something magical, I’ll tell you what). Tinuviel and Ryo (DAS ME) crafted some kind of makeshift stretcher in order to get Kilkax back to Garienna’s camp. Kilkax was very much passed-the-fuck-out along the way, until he wrenched himself out of his weird slumber with a gasp that would make John Barrowman proud. A little disoriented, he fucked off into the woods, pursued by the super speedy (and also extremely sexy) Ryo, who straight up shoved his dragon ass onto the ground and told him to pull his shit together. Which he sort of did.

TFA managed to make it to Camp Garienna in one piece, and were thrilled to discover that Gariennas two mischievous sprite companions (my notes say Aphid and ??? so I guess their names are going to be a mystery sry kids) are alive and well, and assholes.

This is when things get tricky. TFA separate; Garienna (who, of course, is not one of our terrifying renegades) retires to her tent, Ryo hangs out by the fire pit, Kilkax finds a tree to brood beneath, Sandro is enraptured by some very comforting flowers, and Anora and Tinuviel opt to chill on top of and underneath some rather large mushrooms that double as stairs. Once they’re separated, shit gets weird.

Kilkax and Anora hear giggles coming from the fire pit and the flowers. As far as both of them can see, neither Ryo nor Sandro are laughing, so wtf is happening there eh, m8? Kilkax tries to communicate to Tinuviel that he’s hearing weird giggles coming from places where giggles should not be, and the response is as follows:

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Kilkax decides to get closer to Ryo, and it is at this moment Ryo feels something tickle his upper lip and he (G O D F O R B I D) laughs. Kilkax is apparently incredibly offended by this, and straight up assaults Ryo, deciding that this is the moment to out everything from Ryo. The conversation goes a little like this…

SPYRO: AHURDUR TELL EVERYONE THE TRUTH
RYO: GOOD SIR I HAVE BEEN NOTHING BUT KIND TO YOU PLEASE REFRAIN FROM BEING SUCH A BRUTE!
SPYRO: DURRRRRRR IM DUMB TELL THEM EVERYTHING OR I’LL HURT YOU
RYO: ALRIGHT! FINE! IF I MUST! I AM…….NOT! A! RANGER!
EVERYONE: …

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Ryo explained that he is actually a Monk who once trained with the Order of the Broken Blade in a monastery in Cyre, now known as The Mournland. After The Day of Mourning, Ryo was unable to return home and so found himself lost, wandering from town to town, trying to find somewhere or someone who wouldn’t cast him out for knowing that he is a refugee. Eventually just saying that he was a ranger who had come from the woods seemed a lot easier, and that’s what he has been saying ever since. Then, in order to prove that he was telling the truth, he did some real neat tricks with Sandro’s sword and everyone thought he was awesome. It was also revealed at Tinuviels betrothed and Ryo’s childhood friend, Gentle Giant (And Proclaimed MegaBitch) Paeris, is currently MIA as on The Day of Mourning, he did not turn back as Ryo did, and was lost to the fog.

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Then they all ate some food. That was probably the best part of the whole adventure. The food. OR the Critically Awesome tents. Or the really fucked up dream our adventurers, as a unit, were blessed with? There were…dragons. Dragons and…was that…foreshadowing?

Ryo was the first to wake up. He was rather rudely jolted awake by a voice…a voice that sounded awfully like the dark dragon from the collective dream.

NOW, when I said shit got fucked up before, it’s nothing compared to what happened next. Ryo decided to poke around in the brush and the trees, trying to find whatever it was that was glowing. It took him a while, but he eventually came upon what looked like a large, glowing gem, and for whatever reason Ryo felt compelled to touch it.

That shit was a mistake, as he was thrown across Garienna’s camp. Thankfully, a loud noise (or the sound of Ryo’s shattered dreams w/e) woke everyone else up, and they rushed out of their tents to see what the absolute fuck was going on. Turns out that the large ‘gem’ thingy was a Dragon Shard and it was Garienna’s job to protect the shard, and apparently Ryo had just gone done fucked all that right up. (Good thing he’s cute because he sure is useless).

Ryo was very aware of a rather odd pain on his back, and he asked Tinuviel to take a look – it wasn’t anything she recognized but she probably thought Ryo looked really cool with a tat – but there genuinely wasn’t that much time to think about it because before they could properly discuss, Anora was acting really strangely and OH YEAH a TREE FUCKING ATTACKED THEM. SO they had to FUCK THAT TREE UP. Ryo STRAIGHT UP ALMOST DIED. But eventually, because these five are heroes for a reason, because they did everything everyone thought a kid COULDN’T do! They MADE IT to Shell City, and they BEAT the Cyclops, and they RODE the Hasselhoff, and- …I mean. They. Did good.

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Now, you’d think they would be done by now but nah. Remember that giggling from earlier? It wasn’t just a foil to get Kilkax to be an asshole to Ryo, oh no, it was actually Garienna and Elvira who explained that STRANGE and MYSTERIOUS THINGS would SOON BE HAPPENING! JK they were actually pretty lame and they made fun of Ryo. But they did let TFA stay at the camp. Which was nice I guess.

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Goodnight, Sweet Prince
aka 'don't let crazy try to stick its dick in you'

This…is the story of how Kilkax died.

But don’t worry, it gets worse from here!

Once upon a time, there was a bard named Kilkax, who woke up to smoke from under the door to his room. Turns out, it was just some morning ritual performed by the fire cultists at Scarlet Moon Hall. He noticed that his friend, Anora the Sorceress, had not emerged from her quarters, so he decided to drop in. To his horror, he discovered her in the same afflicted state that he had been in before: Gumbification! Green splotches dotted her in various areas and it seemed like she was literally made of jelly. He decided to leave her be.

In another part of the tower, Ryo the “Ranger”, Tinuviel the Wizard and a whole bunch of people had their hands bound, a burlap sack on their heads and were taken to the cellar. It was a dank and decrepit basement that made ‘Actual Druid’ Garienna uneasy. She wished her sprites were with her, but they had to be left at camp; little did she know, her tiny friends were mercilessly slaughtered by the cult guards. The hippies from earlier were there as well, including three bugbears under the alias of “Vincent Humanman.” A guard opened the hatch and took Mahoon—-the first of many casualties that day.

Meanwhile, Sandro the Paladin was stuck with the hot hippie, both awaited the call for the ritual. He was anxious, pacing back and forth, and questioned Varigo if things seemed very wrong to which the hippie spouted some unintelligent garbage that killed his sex appeal. Sandro walked away and up the hill to inquire the other people who obviously were freaky and in cahoots with the Cult of the Eternal Flame. Two of them smelled like wet dog. He managed to glean more information and things definitely did not look good for his friends.

Kilkax went to find Elizar, who immediately started creeping and coming on hard to the poor guy. The latter mentioned that the ritual would be grand and even though their Prophet, Vanifer, was not there to join them, all would be done in the name of their lord, Imix. The creeper asked about Anora’s whereabouts, and despite Kilkax’s protests to leave her alone, went to check on her and ended up equally freaked out by the state that she was in. They brought her along to the scaffolding, anyways, because Elizar was a pushy ho. Once they were outside, they were immediately greeted by the sight and screams of a man set on fire. Kilkax was horrified and dropped Anora, who fell down two stories, but surprisingly bounced up and away past the gates…past a stunned Sandro, who asked his group mates if they were seeing the same freaky shit unfold. They commented that they’ve seen weirder things, and by Boldrei’s eyebrows, Sandro swore he saw the two men to his left’s teeth lengthen. He peered at the sky and asked himself, ‘what kind of werewolves come out at midday???’ He glanced at where Anora had landed and saw her tucked into some foliage and soil off the main path. She seemed safe there. He noted that he’ll need to go back and pick her up at some point.

Back at the basement, Ryo had found a trap door lever underneath the rugs. He yanked at it and was almost discovered by a guard. He ended up being picked as the next kindle but before being dragged away, he grasped Tinuviel’s arm and threw her a panicked and pleading look. Bound again and burlap sacked, he joined the sobbing Garienna and Vincent Humanman. He also noticed that the sacks were…wet. Fuel, perhaps? Downstairs, Tinuviel got Sauruki to help her with the lever, but have difficulty as guards were popping in and out of the hatch. Sauruki mentioned that fire cultists panic and have no real plan and that they must bide their time. Eventually they made their escape just as another person was dragged upstairs.

After having waited a while by the gates, Sandro and the others were finally let in. He saw Kilkax and flashed him his million-dollar smile. Somewhere in the distance, Ryo swooned. Kilkax began addressing the Children of the Hearth, with an emboldening speech that carried hidden messages about DYING, KILLING and ATTACKING the cult. Elizar commended him and proceeded to entwine his fingers with Kilkax’s. The latter glanced back at his friend with defeat in his eyes that screamed, ‘I’M NOT IN CONTROL HERE’ to which Sandro gave him a subtle middle-finger.

Chanting erupted as Vincent Humanman was brought out, practically dragged to his feet—their guise long-detected. The first bug bear started crying, muttering broken pleas for mercy, the other two snarled and chittered rabidly. Immediately one’s throat was slit, then tossed and engulfed by flames; the others, clubbed and thrown into the fire..alive. Varigo looked very disturbed, so Sandro kicked at his ankles, urged him to stay with him to fight. Their friends were in grave danger and if he ran, he’d be killed. Minutes passed and panic had gotten the better of Varigo. Sandro tried to restrain him, but he bolted away. One of the men transformed into a werewolf and killed Varigo in cold blood. Tinuviel and Sauruki made it out of the cellar, just behind the tower. She recognized Kilkax’s form up above, cast dancing lights and caught his attention. He flailed around to try to deliver a message but Tinuviel could not decipher, so he cast mage hand and wrote ‘HELP’ on the dirt below. She responded with ‘RYU CAPTURED’ in the same fashion. Speaking of Ryo, our freckly cutie was on the first floor with Garienna and a guard. He tried coaxing the guard to take off his burlap sack, but that did not work. As they took Garienna, Ryo tried his best to go in her stead but to no avail. Left to his devices, he busied himself with relinquishing his bonds—first by shaking off the damned sack off his head.He saw a halberd in the room and shimmied his way to cut his bonds off which he successfully did, but the noise attracted a guard and a fight ensued.

The werewolf had picked up Tinuviel and Sauruki’s scent and started heading in their direction, but the badass Wizard cleverly used dancing lights to distract the mutt and led him far, far away. Get lost, furball. Sauruki then realized that she was not of the water cult and they bickered and sassed each other out until Sauruki had enough and left like a jaded lover. It went something like..’FINE! I REALLY DON’T CARE!’ and ‘FINE! BE THAT WAY!’ She decided to go back to the cellar to round up the other prisoners to help them in the coming attack. Up at the tower, Kilkax, too, had had enough of Elizar’s bullshit. They had a rather dramatic lover’s quarrel and Kilkax proceeded to cast Blindness on the man, but all it ever did was piss him off a little. In that heated argument, he had said something that set Elizar off. To the fire cultist, Kilkax sounded like one of the Black Earth and Elizar uttered a phrase and the ritual began earlier than planned.

As the other cultists circled the Wicker Giant, they repeated “ARISE AND CLEANSE THIS PLACE OF THE UNWORTHY,” Kilkax saw the flames take a form and eyes set upon him.

Sensing Tinuviel nearby, Sandro tried sneaking away, fake pee dance and all but another from the group also transformed into a werewolf. They all turned their attention to the paladin and sicced the lycanthrope on him. Elizar, being the perverted nutjob that he obviously was, offered the charming bard another chance to join the cult all the while undressing him with his eyes. Kilkax was even more creeped out seeing that Elizar was already half-mast. Tinuviel, down in the cellar, saw Ryo using a halberd to fight a guard and fired a spell that set the floor boards—and guard ablaze. This helped Ryo deal more damage and narrowly escaped the burning inferno that was the floor. He rushed out to find and save Garienna while Tinuviel went and joined Sandro.

At the centre of the tower grounds, the Fire elemental was summoned and started devouring the cultists, becoming stronger. Elizar was highly amused by this display of wild activity. He honestly thought this was all friggin’ great. The fighting had escalated, spreading all over the area. Help arrived in the form of the remaining three druids and they helped Sandro and Tinuviel take on the werewolf and two others. Elizar had joined the fire elemental at the centre, both Kilkax and Tinuviel cast shatter all around and caught most of the opponents. The party was heavily split but Tinuviel and Kilkax still tried to coordinate with each other from afar. Garienna ended up rescuing herself and partnered with Ryo whom she healed since his leg was basically falling off. Together, they helped take on the elemental.

“HI MY NAME IS KILKAX AND THIS IS JACKASS”

From the burning levels of the tower, Kilkax made a kickass heroic leap off and away from the blazing structure and called over to Ryo. The fire elemental turned towards them, set more things on fire. It burned Ryo and Kilkax badly but Garienna dodged just in time. Elizar took out a flute—similar to the one Tinuviel won prior—and started playing it with a smug look on his face. Garienna did significant damage to the elemental by unleashing a blizzard. In one swift move, Kilkax tumbled out of the way and seamlessly cast Shatter, centred on Elizar, who dropped his flute and it shattered on the ground. He gave Kilkax one sick look and then Tinuviel cast Erupting Earth, altering the terrain around them. Just as Ryo force-pushed the elemental away and Sandro dealt the killing blow to the werewolf, Elizar turned to Kilkax with a look of anger and vengeance, cast a powerful spell that rapidly sapped the life-force from his body. Kilkax dropped to the floor..dead. Tinuviel had just witnessed her friend get killed in front of her, went berserk and ultimately rage-killed Elizar. The fire elemental suddenly did something unexpected—it ran off, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake and while that was still an utterly important mission, there were more grave things to be dealt with.

Our heroes managed to stem a dangerous operation and salvage lives, but the price was steep:

Kilkax was dead.

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Those sure are some berries

Dearest brother,

How I wish you were here to experience these mad adventures with me. I don’t know why I write to you, you’re not here to read these letters. But it helps a little I suppose. Anyway, who would have thought that I would find myself caught up in this web of cults, danger, and deception?
I suppose I should start at the beginning.

After we met those strange druids, we decided to follow them to their festival. I mean, we needed some time to relax after our run in with the Sacred Stone Monastery, we deserved some fun.

We traveled with them for 3 days in a berry induced haze, talking about everything and nothing. Finally we arrived, a little late, to the festival. We made camp and spent the night on a hillside. Unfortunately, Sandro and Anora had to share a tent with one of the druids, the least liked one it seems. He snored so loudly, they had to roll him out of the tent. I spent most of the night looking up at the stars and around our camp. After the berries wore off, I found myself wondering why I was here.

In the morning, they made some delicious breakfast, and I was a little rude to them. I feel guilty about that now, but it’s hard to keep my emotions in check after everything that’s happened. Afterwards, they offered us more berries. I was happy to partake, as was Kilkax and Ryo. Sandro and Anora seemed uncomfortable and went for a walk. After they left, one of the druids was very excited and proposed we have a storytelling competition. We were all very pleased about this idea.

The first one to tell their story was Ryo, who told a very sad tale about an ugly barnacle who was so ugly that everyone died. It was very deep, as everyone agreed. I don’t really remember what the druids’ stories were, I was too focused on the fact that they were trying to grow flowers and conjure wind. Things that druids should very easily be able to accomplish.

Next was me, and I am embarrassed to say that I brought the mood down. I told them the story of your death, and how I went on a quest for revenge that ended with chicken. I don’t think anyone really got it. Kilkax ended the contest with an emotional story about a man who took the fall for the boy he raised. Everyone was deeply moved. I don’t really know how, but I managed to win this contest and I received a beautiful ivory pipe.

The druids then decided to head off to the temple to complete their trials, we would join them later. Kilkax took Ryo aside for some reason, leaving me alone with Sandro and Anora. We decided to go pet the elk that the druids had. Sandro and Anora learned that they were at the same event where a man was burned alive. I decided to let them talk about what they had in common. Finally, the other two rejoined us. We spoke among ourselves, revealing our uneasy feelings about this whole situation, but we ultimately decided we should find out what’s going on. We decided to look around the grounds.

We headed east, where we met a group of druids arguing about the purpose of fire. I didn’t really care much about this petty argument. I was too interested in the strange hooded man they had with them. He looked anxious, and he secretly drew the symbol for the water cult in the air to me. I told Kilkax and Anora, who were farther from the camp, about this. Anora telepathically communicated with the man and he joined us under the ruse of getting firewood. His name was Suruki, and he was an undercover water cultist, wanting to know if we were there to relieve him of his duty. We convinced him we were, and we learned of the cult of Eternal Flame and how he suspects that something wasn’t right about this festival. We agreed and promised to figure it out.

We headed back west, down a new path and we met with 4 new people. They quickly grew suspicious of us and went to attack. How rude, right? Well anyway, Kilkax, Ryo and I almost die. But we’re fine now because Sandro did some incredible sword work. Though at the wrong moment, as another druid woman saw the fight. She was incredibly panicked, though Kilkax managed to calm her. She agreed to let us use her camp to heal and rest for a short while.
You would have loved the two sprites she had with her. They were the cutest things I have ever seen, and so mischievous.

She told us she was there because she felt she didn’t fit in with other druid groups. We were hesitant to tell her that this people weren’t druid at all, but she shared our suspicions. She didn’t know what else to do, so Kilkax offered to let her join us to the ceremony the next day to see for herself. She accepted, but didn’t want us at her camp any longer lest we bring danger into it. We headed off towards our trials and to meet the cult’s leader, Elizar.

Meet him we did, and brother let me tell you, he was one of the most handsome men (with David Bowie level bulge) I’ve ever laid eyes upon. We were all getting pretty hot and bothered in his presence, and it wasn’t just because there was a giant wicker man burning behind us. He tells us of the trials, but I wasn’t really listening due to being captivated by his face area.

We began the trials with Ryo going first. He had to hold a hot coal in his hand for as long as possible, he gave a mediocre performance. I was next, being told to walk across hot coals. My performance also sucked.

When Elizar got to Kilkax, he paused and informed him he wouldn’t have to do a trial which was very curious. Next up was Anora, who had to hold a coal. I don’t think she felt the heat coming off of it at all. At least she had the sense to try to look surprised about this fact.

Last was Sandro, who was given the most difficult task in my opinion. He had to stand beside the burning wicker man for as long as possible. Given that he was wearing heavy metal armor, I was very impressed with his discipline and ability to stay there as long as he did. He became a Child of the Hearth. Ryo and myself became a Brother and Sister of the Kindle. Don’t ask me what these titles mean, I haven’t a clue.

The three of us were sent away, with Kilkax and Anora being invited up to Elizar’s chamber. Lucky bastards. We reluctantly headed back to the camp we shared with the four druids we travelled with. Once we met up with them, they were very excited to tell us their results and offered us more berries. We retired for the night, still feeling the heat from the trials on our skin.

I later learned what had gone on in Elizar’s chambers. Once Anora and Kilkax entered, things got very awkward as they didn’t know what was to be expected of them. Here they had the cult leader undressing in front of them. He asked Kilkax to rub his shoulders, Kilkax immediately started protesting but had no choice in the matter. The backrub was adequate.

During their time in his room they learn they are chosen to march with him, as Kilkax is a dragonborn and Anora is of dragon blood. He plans to complete the ritual the following day to summon the fire elemental and sacrifice his cult, after which he will march on Red Larch and burn it down. They are horrified to learn of this, and figure they should probably save the rest of us from certain death.

I don’t know what is to become of us, and where this will lead. But I will keep you updated.

Rest well,
Tinuviel

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The Power of Friendship
Or Possibly Jewelry

From the desk of the Reverend Dr. Kilkax of Argonnessen, Esq

To my esteemed readers and wonderful fans the world over:

Fuck me, this has been a hell of a weird few days. So after Ryu uses his weird force push thing to get rid of Helenrae we’re left with this Quarbo guy and we needed to get some info out of him. So Tinuviel, along with myself and Anora stuck around to question him while Team Freckles went skulking around looking for any loot we might have missed

So we’re interrogating Quarbo and he isn’t talking because he’s a crazy person. So we attempted to persuade him. And by “persuade”, I mean threaten. And by “threaten”, I mean we cut his fingers off. And by “we”, I mean Tinuviel. I was there mostly for moral support (threats) and Anora was watching peacefully from the sidelines. Honestly, I was impressed at her ability to not hurl

As the tortur- I mean, interrogation went on, he finally started to talk, but it wasn’t really what we wanted to hear. Tinuviel learned that her family was slaughtered for… no reason. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Out of frustration and our curiosity, we basically killed him, but then I brought him back from the brink. I then told him we could do it all day because we’re psychopaths. As all that was going on, I could swear I heard Roy and Sandro awkwardly avoid the whole situation.

Once they actually did come back in, they showed us all the loot they had picked up. It was a decent amount and we split it all up later, but they also found friendship bracelets. Not to be one-upped, Tinuviel and I each grabbed a souvenir pinky from Quarbo and make necklaces out of them. Anora gave a side-eye. I have a feeling she slightly disapproves of us wearing bits of someone else as a larf. Eventually, we heard some ruckus downstairs and Tinuviel lost her patience so she put my dagger through Quarbo’s eye directly into his frontal lobe. Ryo threw up everywhere

We all rushed downstairs and found Bob right where he left him. Thob was ecstatic. They shared a long tearful reunion that was absolutely beautiful. Then Tinuviel promptly accidentally killed Bob when fuckin’ Helenrae attacked. I grabbed his sword to present later. It wasn’t his body, but it was all we could gather what with Helenrae attacking and also Jerry hulking toward us and also Sandro almost dying horribly, as is tradition. And since Helenrae was crazy and flippin’ off walls and shit, we all barely survived. But we managed to take everyone down, with Anora delivering the final blow to Jerry. We breathed a sigh of relief and set up camp at Mt. Gosling before heading to Summit Hall to deliver Thob back. We let Sandro rest because my god, I’m surprised the dude still has functioning internal organs. The rest of us took turns at the watch

I still think about what Ryo and I talked about. I’m probably gonna pull him aside soon and ask about it, because based on how he’s been acting he has no intention of coming clean yet. And I’m still not entirely sure what Anora thinks of us. I assume she spent her watch thinking about that. But she hadn’t run in the morning, so maybe she thinks there’s safety in numbers

When I woke up for my watch, Tinuviel was crying. Something I’ve never seen her do, nor did I think she was capable of doing. I don’t blame her though. To want answers so bad and then be met with what she was told? Horrible. We had a brief talk before I left her back to her own reflecting. And then I heard Thob sobbing. I felt horrible. If I hadn’t been such an asshole at Summit Hall, Bob would still be alive. I don’t like having people die on my watch. I gave Thob Bob’s sword as a keepsake and we briefly exchanged words before he fell asleep

I don’t want to talk about Summit Hall. We returned Thob. We were banished. It’s my fault. The end

We then set out to Beliard where we came upon a choice. We could either head down towards Sharn, stopping by in Womford to follow a lead on that Dwarven genealogy book I picked up (worth a pretty penny each, according to Bruntheldar) or we could further investigate that there tower we saw with the birds and the knights and such. We elected to head toward Womford, but not before staying the night in Beliard. Some drinks were had and at some point Senya kissed Ryo. But it wasn’t like a hot, passionate steamy kiss like she would’ve given me, it was more of a “aw, aren’t you cute, you’re like a brother to me” kiss. He claims otherwise but like, pfft whatever

So we start heading down towards Womford and then a caravan pulls up like “We’re going to a festival! There’s big bonfires in the shape of a man but it’s not Burning Man!” and we were all like “These seem like people we can trust” so we were like, fuck it, let’s go! And then everyone got high and then everyone learned that we were riding with a bunch of crazy cult members and we were all like “Oh”

We’ve just gotten to the festival and I think for the time being we’re going to try to keep a low profile. Because we’ve been so good at it in the past, you know?

Well, I’ve been writing in this journal for like 10 minutes, which means Ryo’s probably gotten into some trouble, so I should go see what he’s gotten himself into

The Right Honorable Kilkax of Argonnessen

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Three Fights and a little lady
battle royal

After a gruelling fight with ‘Jerry’, we re-connect with our heroes behind the safety of a door. As per tradition, Sandro was almost dead and everyone else was pretty beaten up. Behind the door was darkness, weird echoing sounds, and crumbling walls – or so their hands would suggest. It was a cold and unwelcoming dungeon the likes of which will not be their last. Ryo lead the group, lighting the way with his staff as the new comer Anora flanked. After what seemed like hours of walking, the group finally landed upon a doorway to an abandoned room. Everyone decided this was a good a place as any to take a long rest and laid down their bedrolls.

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Ryo took the first watch and meditated on the previous battle, once his watch was complete he went to wake Kilkax with a swift kick to the balls but thought better of it and gave him a forceful shove instead. Kilkax then took up his watch and also thought about the battle and his possible short comings in not better protecting his friend, Sandro. Once his watch was complete he went to rustle up Anora, and took the opportunity to give her some cut eye and a wistful threat of more chatting. Anora agreed to more chats and took up her watch. She kept one eye on the hallway and one eye on the new companions she had met, still unsure of their intentions. Once her watch was complete she went to wake Tinuviel but being new to the group, woke the wrong elf and got another dose of cut eye—this time from Ryo. After getting an earful about elf meditation she continued on, this time waking the right elf, Tinuviel, who swiftly took up her watch. Tinuviel invited Ryo to join her and team elf nattered on until the rest of the team woke. Sandro thankfully woke up fully healed, because as we all know the saying goes: “a long rest a day keeps the doctor away’.

The team then came up with a grand three step plan:
1) Save the captured delegates
2) Find a way out of the sacred stone monastery
3) Find out who runs this place

Before hitting the cobble stone, Anora told the story of her capture in Sacred stone. She claimed to be walking in the opposite direction of the delegates, but once their paths met she got caught up in a wrong place wrong time situation. The black earth cultists met head on with the air cult aka ‘men with birds’ and in the shuffle Anora was taken along with the delegates to the dungeon of Sacred stone. After a day or two in the dank dungeon everyone started to go a little mad. One delegate began to bang against the bars of Anora’s cell allowing a small space for her to squeeze out, in which she caught up with the TFA. Kilkax was skeptical of Anora’s story but a voice of God came over him and insured that she was not lying.

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After forty years in desert the team finally hit some jail cells and a Sage Dwarf named Bruntheldar (aka Brendan). He corroborated Anora’s story, telling the group of his treacherous capture. He then went on to explain how the monastery used to be a castle, the monks are only brewing Brandi and the east wing is to be avoid at all costs. Weird distant chanting could be heard from time to time but the team decided to ignore the sounds and carry on. They split into two teams (freckles and butts). Team Freckles (Ryo/Sandro) went to search out an escape at a group of mossy stones they passed earlier. The others hung back and Kilkax suggested a passive aggressive game of 3 questions to learn more about Anora’s past, but didn’t get any really new information. Tinuviel then found a door and decided to take a sneaky peak inside. She saw one Uruk guard, so she slowly backed out and closed the door.

By this time, team Freckles rejoined the group by the jail cells having cleared the mossy stones and creating a clean exit leading to Beliard. The group formed a plan of escape and freedom for the delegates. They were to call out the guard using Brendan as a distraction. Tinuviel would then cast sleep on him from within the jail cell Anora broke out of earlier. Oceans 11 jazz music played as Tinuviel cast sleep on the guard, the music then stopped with a record scratch halt as the guard did not fall asleep and an Ogre/another Uruk appeared from behind the door. A battle royale then broke out with everyone coming close to death at one point or another. Luckily the Ogre was inept and couldn’t swing his club for shit so the team destroyed all three opponents. After robbing their barely cold corpse of any valuables, a set of keys was found and the delegates rang free. Everyone went to the exit and headed back to Beliard.

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In Beliard the regular cast of characters appeared; Senya the busty bar maid and Ned Thark the barkeep. The group decided they would need assistance if they were to crash into the monastery again, so they went to the dwarf. Brendan not having any help or supplies on hand suggested the group look for some help else where. They decided to take a day’s journey to Summit Hall to gain some backup.

After a rather brutal chat with the matron of Summit Hall she allowed the group two knights for Ten days’ time. Kilkax then added insult to injury by promising to have the knights back in good health 100% no lies. The matron left the group with a sassy quip and they were back on their way to Beliard, this time with two new additions Bob and Thob.

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The journey back to the monastery was long but finally the group reached the secret entrance of the tunnel marked with a rock in the shape of Ryan Gosling. Not wasting any time, the group re-entered the monastery and made their way back to the jail cells. Along the way two giant Minotaur’s (aka mad cows) were found guarding the hallway to the staircase. The battle rang out with the mad cows. They stood no chance against the team with Kilkax’s amazing dagger catch in his teeth and Thob’s final killing blow for the honour of the dying Bob. The group decided it best to leave Bob in the jail cell hidden from plain view, hoping he would make a recovery and the matron would never need to know.

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Now heading back upstairs towards the distillery aka distilleru, weird uniform dwarven chanting was heard. The gang decides to do a bit of exploring while the coast seems clear, checking in the room of ‘she who will not be named’ and a locked door. After Kilkax failed attempts with his lock pick the group moved on to what appeared to be a classroom. The group explored and luckily Anora found a scroll for ‘Knock’ leading the group to try the locked door once more. Inside the room was a laboratory with an ancient figure scribbling at a table. Was he a Lich - time will tell as he did not seem to be in a good mood, so the gang backed out quietly leaving him to his work.

The chanting by this point was only getting louder and weirder. After following the sounds to a select door the chanting came to an eerie halt. The group walked through the door only to find all the Sacred Stone monks dead in massive pools of blood. Only two guards, Helenrae and the monk Quarbo still stood alive and well. The group now releasing the shit-storm they walked into, prepared for their boss battle. There were clouds of smoke created and Sandro beheaded a guard with one foul swoop. Everyone was attentive to not to kill the monk as he needed to be questioned still on the truths of Tinuviel’s family’s death. After the guards were killed and the monk put to sleep, Ryo force pushed Helenrae down into the pit where our good friend Jerry, from the beginning of this journey, lives. Thus coming full circle.

The group celebrated momentarily until Thob thoughtfully reminded the group that Bob was still in the dungeon by himself.

Will Bob be saved; will Tinuviel be able to control herself while questioning the Monk? Will the group be able to once again escape the monastery? All will soon be revealed …

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Worst. Week. Ever.
The training wheels are off!

Dear Diary,

We woke to a new day in Red Larch, after a tumultuous week of conspiracies that left a lot of people either incarcerated or dead. Following Gaelkur‘s tip, we planned to set out to Beliard but before that, went for some last minute shopping. We gathered more supplies like spellbooks, a Genealogical History of Mirabar, some rations and a healer’s kit. Just in case. On our way to Ironhead’s we bid goodbye to Gaelkur, as he was leaving for his long jaunt out of the continent. He left us with wise words regarding picking fights and when to back down. After a quick equipment assessment by Feng, we spoke to Kaylessa one last time before venturing out of town. We encountered a wee lad just outside, who hurled a tomato at poor Ryo. Turned out to be Elak’s grandchild, and he was quite upset. Well, good thing we’re leaving, then.
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The first couple of days went quietly by; most of us reflected the entire time on this strange fellowship we haphazardly formed. Later on, we engaged a hungry Owlbear, whom we laid waste to, while Ryo remained blissfully unaware for the most part. That went well, the only mishap being a traumatised Kilkax and an electrocuted Paladin. We contemplated on eating the dead creature JUST TO SEND A MESSAGE TO OTHER OWLBEARS, but decided on having Tinuviel burn a warning on the ground, instead.

At night, we made camp while Kilkax played some garbled noise that struck fear into our very hearts. At least it kept the owlbears away.

The next days were cloudy. We spent some time inspecting the gold mask—only to find out that it wasn’t even real gold! Tinuviel seemed to recognise it being similar to the one of her family’s attacker. She looked crestfallen and remained silent throughout the night.

On the 6th day, we encountered this subjectively hideous ogre in the distance. Tinuviel tried to put it to sleep twice, but did not work. Running away from it was not an option, either; this ogre was an Olympic gold medallist. I managed to restrain it, while Kilkax blinded him and Tinuviel nuked the bugger. Team Freckles laid the smack-down on the ogre, with Ryo doing his fancy footwork. It was a sight to behold. Later at camp, we tried questioning Ryo again about his strange martial prowess, but he shut us down. He did, however, share secrets with Kilkax in the dark.
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We neared the small village of Beliard, and headed to the tavern to gather information for our mission. The bar wench, Zenia, graciously provided us with information and a great view, but not before giving Ryo A BONER TO REMEMBER. She recognised the gold mask, seeing a similar one worn by a monk who was spying on the delegates. She pointed us to Summit Hall in the Black Caps. She also mentioned Knights in sky blue armour and birds of unusual size. The next day, we headed up north, spotting a scorched battlefield on the way and decided to investigate. We found the same cultist robes and masks in a nearby cairn and took them with us.
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We reached Summit Hall and spoke to the Elder of the stronghold, she told us that the delegates never made it to the temple, but saw the mask and said we should head up to a monastery further north. We divulged information on the bodies found near Dragon’s Crown, and the Elder said that these were not the delegates, but their bodyguards, meaning that there was still hope that the delegates were still alive. She bade us good fortune on our mission and we pressed on.


We arrived at the Sacred Stone Monastery and noticed the strange and deathly pale Dwarven guards circling the perimeter. Decided to tiptoe around the fortress, inspecting for entryways but found none and the door was locked, so we waited to confront the guards who were quite hostile and forced us to back down. That night, we fabricated a plan via using the acquired masks and robes on Ryo and Tinuviel, while Kilkax would use a glamour and let me seemingly “meld” with the image. With that, we settled for the night, taking turns to keep watch. I woke up from some ominous dream but felt relief as the freckled face of Ryo greeted me instead. The guards had not deviated in the usual patrol, but disappeared at some point, so we decided to attempt entry through the back door.

Ryo parkoured over the wall and let us into the garden, where we saw very life-like gargoyle statues. Our attempt at subterfuge worked until Kilkax misstepped and exposed our guise. He quickly put his glamour back on without me, and everyone else resumed inspecting the statues—who started moving on their own! No one noticed this until I started getting mauled by two of them. Trying on the mask did not deter the attack, so we desperately made a break for the inner door. We narrowly escaped the vile demons and now I am lying in a pool of my own blood.

Yours truly,
Sandro XVII

P.S. I’m dying.
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