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Stoneheart Dungeon #2: The Visitors

More people join our heroes as they try to reclaim shrines from evil worshipers of the demon lord Orcus, Prince of the Undead. The party’s monk, Eagle One, continues their tale. (-GM)

23rd day of Sarenith, 4717 AR

A priest of Orcus

It is me, Eagle One again. Today, while we are cleaning the temple, two new people show up: Isaax, an arcanist, and Fabrizio Moretti, an alchemist. They are helping us clean the temple, when we heard some magic being cast.

Groominator and I go out to investigate it, and we stealth in some bushes. Turns out, they cast darkness, so we can’t see anything. We have to wait for Hannibal to get there so he can cast daylight. Then, we realize that he has to cast daylight on an object he touches.

I come up with the brilliant idea of him touching my arrow. I shoot the arrow, and we can finally see them. They are three humanoids, wearing a lot of black clothes, chain mail armor, and they have steel shields. They will be tough to fight.

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Slumbering Tsar #7: I Don’t Say Much, and Let My Gun Do My Talking for Me

Choosing the method of frontal assault, the party enters the bailey of the fortress at the center of the city’s walls. (-GM)

4th day of Sarenith, 4717 AR

They call me Neptune. And they also told me to chronicle our little expedition into Tsar. So I will.

After dealing with the mob of skeletons, leaving them dead (again), we realized that we were still in danger. In the middle of the large courtyard was a tower, and from the arrow slits came a continuous stream of arrows. Not many hit their targets (us), but it got annoying, and so I took a few shots at one. It stopped firing for about 30 seconds, then kept shooting. We quickly had Alucard’s roc fly us back up to the ramparts, saw a door to our left, and went inside.

We found ourselves in a barracks, with beds, an armory, and a kitchen. A careful search revealed some dust, and a few cobwebs. We took the time to heal, and discussed our plan of action. I remembered seeing a door above the side of the entrance gate leading into the central fortress, and we decided to go into that. I knew my lock-picking prowess could get us in, and Dio could get us out.

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Stoneheart Dungeon #1: Blood and Bones

The Church of Iomedae is primarily concerned with the threat of demons from the Worldwound to the west. For less pressing tasks, it employs eager adventurers who migrate to Mendev but who are… less than fitting for service in the paladin armies. The new party is tasked with reclaiming two shrines to Iomedae and Abadar that were lost to cultists of Orcus ten years ago. The party’s zen archer monk, Eagle One, begins our tale. (-GM)

20th day of Sarenith, 4717 AR

It is me, Eagle One (a honorably zen archer), with The WANDerer (a summoner), and some other people whose names I can’t remember. A rogue and a paladin. We are now riding our horses to investigate and reclaim two shrines, one to Iomedae and one to Abadar.

Finally, we arrive. We walk into the first shrine and find that it is covered with blood and s***. The statue of Abadar has gotten its head blown off, and someone apparently took a s*** in its neck. Our paladin (Hannibal his name is) starts yelling obscenities at the statue and suddenly he is turned into a warpriest. Must have lost his paladinhood.

Well, while The WANDerer (let’s call him W for short) tries to decipher things written in blood on the ground, I walk over to the statue. I try to find its missing head, but all I find is rubble that seems impossible to put together. Then, while our rogue tries to find traps and secret passages along the wall, I hear a noise of a sword coming out of its scabbard. We’ll have to try to find that. Then, I notice some words at the foot of the statue:

“As you obey the commands of Abadar so does this figure obey your COMMAND.”

Just then, before I get a chance to do anything, we notice two skeletons covered in blood coming our way. I go out and try to shoot one. My arrow goes through its ribs, barely seeming to do anything. W’s eidolon seems to be doing a lot. Quickly, Hannibal and our rogue rushes out to help us. The skeletons are tough, but we end up beating them. It takes time, and we are exhausted.

We decide to go back and clean up the shrine before exploring the other one. After a bit, we decide to camp the night here. During Hannibal’s watch, I am awoken by a scream. Oh s***! A bunch of giant spiders have invaded the shrine. I shoot one after another, but they have bound our rogue, Groominator the Great (I finally learn his name) and Hannibal. W keeps on summoning giant spiders, but thankfully these are on our side.

We manage to defeat the last of them. I look up to the sky, and wonder what more will await us. Then, I go back to help clean the shrine.

-Eagle One (Bruno)

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Eagle One, vanaran zen-archer monk 4
Groominator the Great, goblin rogue 3
Hannibal the Cannibal, aasimar warpriest of Sarenrae 3
The WANDerer, half-elven summoner 3

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Rappan Athuk #45: In-N-Out

The party returned to exploring Rappan Athuk’s maze, looking for a way down to the fabled goblin city. (-GM)

18th day of Arodus, 4718 AR

“I AM THE MIGHTY SASHA!! TREMBLE IN FEAR!”

We started the day like most days: with a vote. The choices were to go into the maze below a sinkhole we had found earlier, or explore somewhere else. The verdict was to go down the sinkhole so off we went.

We found a tunnel at the bottom of the sinkhole and followed it for about 80 feet. As soon as we turned the corner, Ghost-Wolf was killed by some unseen attacker. Directly after, The Hero of No Name grunted in pain and fell to his knees. Unseen attacker turned out to be unseen attackers as the monsters revealed themselves. Four powerful looking goblins stood surrounding the dead body of Ghost-Wolf, their daggers raised.

Further down the tunnel, more goblins emerged. The goblin in front seemed to be the leader and shouted at us, “I AM THE MIGHTY SASHA!! TREMBLE IN FEAR FOR BEFORE YOU STANDS THE POWERFUL LEADER OF MINING EXPEDITION 38!!!” A little goblin in the back mentioned how being a failed mining expedition wasn’t really something to use to intimidate people. It should really give you -2 on your roll or something. Then after thinking for a second, the party finally realized that this could be the party that was with Gurran and his small group of miners that got separated. We told Sasha that we would be right back.

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Slumbering Tsar #6: The Midnight Message

The Church of Iomedae, intrigued by the possibility that some remnant of the paladins left behind in Tsar by the Army of Light might still survive thousands of years later, resigned itself to the fact that the previous adventurers they had sent had either died or otherwise succumbed to some great evil. The Church has sent a new party of more experienced heroes to investigate the ancient ruin of Orcus.

Their diviner, Dio, begins their story. (-GM)

4th day of Sarenith, 4717 AR

Malerix, the tar dragon

The first thing one might notice about The Camp was the smell. Not the pure, putrid odor of rot, but a more subtle, complex, dry smell that leaves you wondering. A smell that makes you nervous, a smell that makes you look over your shoulder or lock your door. The next thing one may notice is the inhabitants of this “town.” They peer through rotten curtains and cracks and doors. Their greedy, shining eyes peer out at you with a wicked desire, instilling a sense of wrongness, a sense that all is not as it seems in this pathetic excuse for a town. Finally, the last thing one may notice is the Usurer himself. His rat-like eyes glint out at you with a sheen of avarice. His thoughts are occupied with any situation that could result in the smallest bit of profit for himself. He concerns himself with nothing else, for in his mind there is nothing more important in life. Overall, one may conclude that The Camp is a sad, disgusting mockery of modern civilization. No one in their right mind would want to go within 50 miles of the place; it is simply that repulsive.

However, our group cannot be rightly called within their right mind. Our company is composed of a Paladin, Alucard, a wizard, Dio, a gunslinger, Neptune, and an Armored behemoth of a man, Nonek. We have come together united by our mutual goal of reaching the city of Tsar. We arrived together at the camp at mid-day, and were greeted by the Usurer. He peered at us through shrunken eyes. “Good day sirs, Welcome to my fine city. If you would like to purchase anything, you must exchange your gold for bits. The current rate of exchange is, lets say, five gold per bit.” He smiled as he crowed this to us, eyes alight with dreams of wealth.

“Sorry to disappoint, scum, but we do not deal with weasels. Good riddance.” I proclaimed. He sneered at us and scurried away, knowing that he would not win this battle nor convince us otherwise.

We headed to the outskirts of town, content to waste the day and head to Tsar tomorrow. However, that night we heard an ominous noise which awoke the more perceptive members of the party. An odd creaking came from out of the gloom. “Who’s there?” The noble paladin bellowed, but to no response. Louder and louder the noise grew, until we could finally see a hunched figure in the distance. Pushing a cart and bundled in rags, the creature moved closer. Searching my mind, I remembered tales of strange figures coming out of the night and offering knowledge at a price. “Buy? Buy?” The mass of rags spoke, shuddering slowly and holding out a quivering hand. Upon his hand was a set of false teeth. We paid the man 50 gold for the object, and he spoke unto us this, “Sleep not in the city or to darkness awake. Not light to the eye but to the soul at stake.”

The next morning we headed out from The Camp and ventured towards the city. We knew of a large dragon that was said to vomit upon travelers before swallowing them whole. However, we believed that the vile beast would pose little threat to a group as adept as ourselves. Overall, when we did face the beast, the fight was anticlimactic. It flew away constantly, and just spat over and over. It died how it lived: Pathetic and alone.

Finally we arrived. The colossal structure loomed over us, intense and ancient. What lay within was unknown to all. The giant doors to the city seemed to lean over us, awing the party with their massive size. We entered through those doors, but not before some scouting was done. We discovered that there were groups of undead on the ramparts above and to our sides, and we decided that they needed to be dealt with. The bird took us up, and the battle began.

– Dio (Zack)

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Alucard, ifrit paladin 11
Dio, elven diviner 11
Neptune, undine techslinger 11
Nonek, human armor-master fighter 11

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Rappan Athuk #44: That’s Not What I Meant

The party grappled with a set of riddles in a network of caves surrounding a perplexing fountain in Rappan Athuk. Nioveskirian tells their story. (-GM)

15th day of Arodus, 4718 AR

We unanimously agreed to burn it all.

As we continued down the hallway, I noticed that the passageway seemed to be getting narrower. To my great surprise I discovered that this was because the passageway was getting narrower. The corridor opened into a fairly large room, with several carvings of demons and two inscriptions in an old version of our common tongue. They were too archaic for me to decipher, but Shia used his magical helm to translate.

The one on the left wall said, “The face of the demon leads one to eternal strife.”

The one on the right wall said, “The elements conflict, and the path of water drowns the fires of hell.”

It seemed the walls were too cryptic to be of any use, so we examined the floor instead. At first glance, it seemed to be covered in sand, but a second revealed that is was actually quicksand. Our burrowing buddies found that there was liquid underneath. Most of it was fast-burning oil but there was a bottom layer that contained a few feet of water. More burrowing found a dirt passageway that eventually led to air. We unanimously agreed to burn it all.

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Age of Worms #20: I Had Expected The Octopus, But Never The Catastrophic Crushing Corridor Conundrum

In a missing chapter, our heroes’ investigation of the doppelganger who tried to frame Ensorcella led them to an abandoned loading dock and warehouse called Sodden Hold. They found and imprisoned some doppelganger guards, then journeyed deeper into the complex.

In this thrilling conclusion to our Age of Worms chronicles. Noway Amagonadai hits it out of the park and gets a grand slam. (-GM)

4th day of Sarenith, 4741 AR

Suddenly my subtle sixth sense stirred softly. I was not alone…

The doppelgangers, being sniveling cowards, had retreated into the watery depths. We were wisely wary when water was involved, so I scouted the sea in solidarity to solidify our success. The pool was about 30 feet deep, but depth is devilishly difficult to devise down here, and I had a feeling that I was much deeper as I swam into an underwater cavern.

Suddenly my subtle sixth sense stirred softly. I was not alone. I ceased all movements in the hope that whatever was wandering wouldn’t notice me. As I watched, a large many-tentacled abomination slithered into the cavern. Given its size, it could only be either a giant squid or an octopus. A cave could create claustrophobic confinement for a squid, so it was almost certainly an octopus. This was good, as my village had some experience in dealing with… hmm…

It seems I need to choose a plural form of octopus. I had not expected this, as this adventure only contains one octopus. I never should have referenced the past, but the mistake is irreversible now. The Grammar Nazis smell controversy in the air, and they will stop at nothing until the issue is resolved. If I don’t choose the right form, they will blitzkrieg me out of existence. I have three options: octopuses, octopi, and octopodes. Octopuses seems to be more of a casual form, emotionlessly affixed with the usual rules to save time. At first glance it seems fine, but it emits a slight air of wrongness when you think about it too much. Personally, I have no trouble with a few skewed syllables, but if a Grammar Nazi peers in too closely, chaos could commence. It all depends on how perceptive they are. There’s also octopi. This form sounds more comfortable, and has the added bonus of the special pause given to words that end in a vowel. However, it has one notable flaw: it has been claimed by the Grammar Nazis. While complying to their rules might seem to be an effective way to avoid their hostility, nothing is ever that simple. There are factions within the Grammar Nazis, and some seek to destroy all controversy instead of enforcing their captured words. These Nazis will see the compliant form as a beacon of corruption, and few can outrun a radical Grammar Nazi. And finally, octopodes. This form has always confused me. If you’re going to have an s at the end, then why not just use the casual form? Despite its confusion, this rarely used form may be my best option. Being from a much more obscure section of english, few Nazis will know the term well enough to pounce on it. Unfortunately, all these advantages cause one major disadvantage: a somewhat unique form of Grammar Nazi is trained to catch civilians who wish to choose the easiest way out of the battlefield. If I am too obvious in my avoidance, these border Nazis will find me. A horde of Grammar Nazis appear on the horizon, many equipped with Panthey’res. I don’t have much time left. Should I expose myself to perceptive Nazis, radical Nazis, or border Nazis? Or perhaps there is a way to set them all against each other and escape in the fray. It’s my only hope.

This was good, as my village had some experience in dealing with octopusodesesi. I pulled twice on the rope tied to my waist to signal danger approaching, and went in.

Herbert must have sensed my plight and cried out to the others. I could almost sense him tugging at the other end of the rope with all of his reptilian might, guiding me to the light.

The octopus’s watery yet tearless eyes slided in my direction, and I knew it had spotted me. I readied my hammer, but it was too quick for me, quicker than most octopusodesesi, and it ensnared me in its tentacles. I knew it was pointless to try and fight back, so I dropped my hammer and tried to blind it with my magical shield. Alas, the octopus had the eyes of an octopus, and blandly blinked to block the blinding blight. But all was not lost. My foiled trick did succeed in distracting it enough to not notice my companions using the rope to pull me, and the octopus I was attached to, out of the cavern and up to the surface.

I had not actually expected them to react to my tugged warnings so efficiently. It must have been Herbert. I have always suspected that we had an empathetic link between us. My suspected suspicions suddenly solidified as I realized Herbert must have sensed my plight and cried out to the others. I could almost sense him tugging at the other end of the rope with all of his reptilian might, guiding me to the light. Herbert was a very good tortoise, almost as good as poor Mack.

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