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The Lidu Diaries (a player's prospective of the STAP)


Campaign Journals

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Taldor

Dax Thura wrote:
Today the group I run starts sailing. I've been going over your posts to help me up my game. I've got to keep things exciting and fun for everyone.

Sounds awesome Dax, Good luck, and try to have fun.

I'll be finishing off the SWW first post in the new year BTW. It's been a long journey thus far but now there's only two entries left . . . feels kinda monumental!

Taldor

This week's Lidu diary entry goes up Friday instead of Monday.

I'd like to ask for some advice if I may:

My current mini that I use for Tristan is Jolie, Female Scribe by reaper miniatures. That's a wonderful mini BTW, perfect for Tristan, but as Tristan is rapidly approaching level 15 and Alien Transcendence (where her type changes to outsider) and I'd love to get another, more impressive looking miniature for Tristan.

I thought I had found just that a couple of weeks ago when I came across This sadly it seems to be sold out.

So my question is this: Can anyone think of a suitable miniature for Tristan? I'd like the following things:

1) female and spell caster (obviously)
2) Tristan doesn't use weapons so crossbows or daggers are pretty useless. I'd prefer a wand or a rod type of object in her hands, but staffs are good as well as long as they could modified.
3) dynamic pose please
4) head covered in somehow (Tristan will need to hide those tentacles growing out of the back of her skull)
5) Toad familiar, books, or glasses a welcome plus!

If anyone can think of a mini that even remotely matches that description please tell me about it and post me a link here!


I found this figure from reaper minis. http://www.reapermini.com/FigureFinder#detail/02071. She has the hat, no items, fairly dynamic pose.

Taldor

P.H. Dungeon wrote:
I found this figure from reaper minis. http://www.reapermini.com/FigureFinder#detail/02071. She has the hat, no items, fairly dynamic pose.

Thanks P.H., I hadn't see that one before, but I don't know . . . that helmet is . . . um, not flattering.

I like the dress, looks like a nice light fabric, but the cloak looks quite thick and maybe fur trimmed. Not the best choice for a tropical adventure. The cloak, plus the helmet, makes her look like she might be influenced by Nordic fantasy. The other thing is th hands look a bit meaty. All in all I don't think that one is going on the top of the list.

Thanks again though, I really appreciate the effort.


But that helmet could easily be altered into a wooden bullywog crown! LOL


Adventuring in the story books always seemed so grand, but the reality is always so dull. Today we destroyed a legendary monster and scourge of the sea, and yet I don’t feel any more the hero then I did yesterday. Yesterday I was scared. Yesterday I wanted to go home. Yesterday I wanted nothing more than a warm bed and a good night’s sleep. Tonight I’m just grateful to be alive! I hardly sound like any sort of hero that I ever remember reading about.

The trouble started two days ago when the Sea Wyvern hit a rather unusual fog bank. That night – my last entry – reported nothing terribly odd. I did note John’s instance that it was unnatural weather but at the time I had no idea that he was right for once. Fog banks on the ocean aren’t all that unusual at night, especially in the more northern climates, but John kept insisting that it felt unnatural. John normally get’s a touch of arthritis in wet weather but he kept insisting that he didn’t feel it coming on! I think we all dismissed him, he had been wrong a few times in the past, but this time (as it turns out) he was correct!

When the fog cleared yesterday morning the watch made a horrible discovery: we were stuck on the edge of a massive Sargasso! The thing was abnormally large. It literally stretched for miles. In the distance we could see other ships stranded and trapped in the Sargasso. I took one look at that sea of green and one thing came to mind – Journey’s End. I hadn’t time to read everything I would have liked before embarking on this trip, scarcely a dozen books or so, but thankfully one book told the chilling tale of a ship named the Antelope. The ship’s crew woke one morning to find that they, like us, were stuck in a giant Sargasso. They tried for days to free their ship to no avail. Finally they were forced to abandon their ship and make the perilous trip home in two small dories. One was lost in a storm, the other, losing its mast, floated for days, eventually running out of food and water. When a ship happened across the lone dory it had only one survivor. The unnamed survivor told his tale . . . and then promptly died. At the time I chalked the tale up to maritime myth, but at that moment, looking out across that sea of green, I knew the tail was true.

“Did you read anything about how to escape from the darn thing?” Kale asked when I inadvertently turned towards him.

I must have been thinking out loud again. It’s a terrible habit that I developed at the academy, mainly because I found problems and ideas easier to process if I could talk through them, but my inner/outer dialogue confusion has only gotten worse over the years. Many of those close to me were staring at me when I turned back to the crew.

“Um, no,” I said, suddenly wondering exactly how much I had said out loud.

“Get out the hooks!” Amella shouted to the crew, “I’ve heard these silly tales before, and don’t care what you say Tristan, this ship isn’t going to suffer the same fate as this ‘Antelope’ you speak of,” she snarled, “not as long as I’m captain!”

Amella set the crew to trying to free the ship. The plants seemed unnaturally thick and strong. The crew struggled without making much progress. I looked to the ship in the distance. Then to the sea weed bellow.

“Kiki,” I called, Kiki dropped down from her usual perch to join us at the side.

“What’s up?” Kiki asked.

“You feel like a little recon?” I asked.

“You mean that ship out there?” she asked.

“Well I was thinking a little closer to home to start. I want to know how deep these weeds are. Could you take a quick look around?”

Kiki took a rope (at our instance) and climbed over the side of the ship. She carefully lowered herself till she was a foot over the strange growth, and then she gingerly dropped down. Some of us gasped. Instead of sinking beneath the weeds, she landed on them, and even after jumping on them, and trying to work her way into some of the small gaps she’d found, Kiki remained on the surface.

James decided to test to see if the weeds would support him as well, and after he had Orlani tie some ropes for him, James also climbed over the side. James sunk into the sea weeds a slight bit, but other than that, the weeds seemed capable of supporting a grown man. Soon Fredrick and even Kale were walking about on ‘ground’ bellow our ship. That’s when Kale made a rather unsettling discovery: Taking his broadsword, he cut a great swath into the weeds, and he had scarcely pulled his sword from the gash when the wound began healing closed. In less than a minute Kale’s great chop had healed! Beside me, on the ship, Amella began cursing.

“What will we do?” cried Anne. I felt despair creep into the hearts and minds of our crew. I glanced once to them, noting the fear creeping into their faces, and then I scanned the horizon.

“James, Kale, Kiki, Fredrick, and Buffy,” I shouted without really thinking why, “Let’s get our things together and get some exploring in before lunch. Amella, keep your crew busy, when we find out how to escape this damn Sargasso, I want the Wyvern ready to sail.”

I quickly went to my room and packed my books, wands and rods, and any of the other magical odds and ends I figured we’d need. Kiki and Buffy joined me after a few moments.

“Where we going Tristan?” Kiki asked.

“I’m not sure,” I said.

“Up there is sounded like you had a plan,” Kiki laughed.

“Did I?” I said without thinking.

“We should check out that other ship,” Kiki said, “there might be treasure or something we can use on it.”

I nodded. Maybe there’d be some dories or row boats on the other ship. Truth is, at this point, I didn’t know what we were going to do. All I knew was sounding like you had a plan was comforting to others somehow.

We set out just after breakfast (no sense walking on an empty stomach). The other boat, the Rage, was less than a cables length away but traversing the unstable surface of the Sargasso took time and energy. There was no stable ground anywhere, every step caused you to sink into the murk, and leaving swirling puddles of salt water that eventually disappeared behind us. The Rage was a sorry sight, the ship was a rotting mass, vines and sea weed were growing out of the hull itself. The boards were all rotten and soggy. There didn’t seem to be a single piece of salvage on the entire ship.

We decided to check in the hold. I doubted the stability of the stairs but they managed to hold our weight, although they did creek and screech like living things. The inside of the rotten hull was something else. Everything was damp. Light peered in through a gaping hole in the side of the ship. Fungus and moss grew from the walls and ceiling. The floor boards were practically green with sea weed and algae. Everything around us seemed alive . . . and yet we saw no signs of life.

We found no bodies, no bones, not even a rat or bug, but we did see signs that the boat had once been inhabited. There were broken weapons, the remains of barricades, and scorch marks where parts of the ship had been set alight. Some kind of terrible battle had happened here. There were no signs of who had fought who though. Had the crew turned on themselves? Had some outside force descended on the ship? With the lack of bodies, the last scenario seemed far more likely, but given the apparent accelerated decay of the ship there may have been more than one force at work here.

It was beginning to look like we weren’t going to find any answers when Kiki spied a book in the captain’s quarters. The floor had rotted away in there, and the book sat on the edge of a table, which balanced over the edge of the pit on three very rotten looking boards. I was half tempted to send in a summons after the book . . . something didn’t feel right, but before I could even open my mouth, Kiki charged strait in. It seemed almost predictable what happened next, the boards shifted at Kiki’s approach, the book fell (into the pit), and Kiki dove into the pit after it. Then the floor of the pit came to life! Thick vines, as thick as a man’s forearm, shot out of the walls and floor of the pit. They struck at Kiki and swarmed out of the pit to strike at us!

The men quickly moved up to engage this new threat while I began summoning. I had no idea if Kiki was alive or dead. At this point all I could do was hope.

The plants seemed to form three distinct entities. I watched in horror as all the plant life around us writhed with life. The entire ship seemed to be coming alive! James and Fredrick cut away at our foes with their flashing swords; much like the gardener trims the hedges on my uncle Worrin’s estate, while Kale looked more like a lumberjack, with his broad, over the shoulder chops. Buffy used her magic to summon Palor’s blessing upon us, and there was a loud bang to my left as Orlani fired a bullet into the floor on the opposite side of the pit. Firearms are loud and impressive, but highly inaccurate.

Finally my summons appeared, a hideous multi eyed beast that could only loosely be said to resemble a dog. I made it appear inside the pit and the vine creatures turned on the thing that shouldn’t be in full force. Kiki’s hand suddenly popped up onto the edge the pit, and the hobbit, badly beaten, but still alive, pulled herself to safety. She was somehow still clutching the book!

Knowing Kiki was safe was a huge relief. It also meant that I didn’t have to worry about her getting caught in friendly fire. The monsters, the vine horrors, didn’t last long once Kiki was safe . . . our three swordsman, plus my magic, proved to be a rather lethal equation.

“Looks like there’s a centre to this place,” Kiki said as looked through the journal, while being healed by Buffy, “we should go east and see what we can find . . .”

“Kiki,” I snapped, fully intending to scold her for recklessly charging into the captains quarters, but then curiosity got the better of me, “how do you know that?”

“It’s in the journal,” she said holding up the book she’d just rescued, “always read the last page first.”

I suddenly wondered if some day someone would do the same with my diary. I wondered what they’d find. It seemed a fine piece of foreshadowing that later that day I was forced to consider writing my own last page. More on that a little later though. Needless to say I was a bit stunned by Kiki’s revelation.

“What’s in the centre?” Asked James.

“Doesn’t really say,” she said with a shrug, “doesn’t even really say that it’s the centre, but it something different to the east of this wreck. A ‘dark forest’ or something.”

“Does it say how far?” asked Fredrick.

“Well,” Kiki said scratching her head, “seems to be about a day and a half’s journey, but I think these guys were monks or something, and some of them can travel pretty fast on foot. They might have been priests though.”

“We should head back to the ship for supplies,” Kale said.

‘Thank you captain obvious,’ Hop-Toy muttered. I laughed.

We quickly made our way back to the ship. Kiki let me leaf though the book on our way back. There was little else of interest in the days before becoming trapped in the Sargasso but there final days were quite horrible. It seemed that there was something living on this island of weed. That made me shiver. Part of the story I’d read claimed that the Sargasso itself was alive! Somehow sentient. I’d kept that piece of information from the others, mainly because when I had read it I didn’t believe it myself, but now I wasn’t so sure. Could this sea of green be one great monster?

When we arrived back at the ship we quickly went about our tasks, we packed food and supplies, Churtle was sure to give us all sorts of supplies (I carefully checked these items over), and gave our orders to the crew. Kiki was quick to tell the crew what we’d learned.

“Nobody goes anywhere alone,” I heard Kiki telling Amella, “double the watch, and keep the passengers bellow deck after dark. These things can take over a person’s body so watch out for anyone who’s acting strange as well.”

Sadly our expedition wouldn’t start on a high note.

“I want to bring one of the dories,” I said, “it’s a long trip and we could hit open water on the way, and more importantly, if this thing starts to break up we’ll need some way of getting back to the Sea Wyvern.”

“Wait,” Kale snapped, “you want to bring one of the row boats? Who’s going to carry it Tristan?”

“I wonder,” I snapped back with as much sarcasm and venom as I could muster.

“I’m not getting bogged down with a boat,” Kale grumbled, “It’s going to be hard enough going as is!”

“I’ve read about portaging,” I said, “people carry boats over long distances all the time!”

“I don’t know Tristan,” James said, “I think I might have to agree with Kale on this one. Carrying a boat over this terrain is going to be hard going . . .”

“Look,” I snapped, “it’s very simple. You, Fredrick, Buffy, and Mr. Disagree here flip the boat over and you carry it over your heads. Kiki, Orlani, and I carry the rest of the supplies and the oars.”

“And what happens if we come across trouble?” Fredrick asked, “I’m no good if I’m pinned under a boat!”

I turned to the others, but I knew I was going to win this argument . . . Orlani would side with James, Buffy would side with the majority, and Kiki could swim and breathe underwater.

“Fine,” I snapped, “I trust you’ll remember my words of advice when you’re blowing bubbles beneath the blue!”

And with that we set out on our fateful journey. It was a long hard hike, but I was walking angry, and that helped quite a bit. Thankfully most of us were built well by our gods and the morning and afternoon journey only served as a constitutional. In fact, of the entire group, only Fredrick showed signs of fatigue. Thankfully there were plenty of landmarks along the way. Without them, on that sea of green, it would have been quite easy to become lost. Every hour or so we’d spot a ship on the horizon, we stop to let Fredrick take a break, and to get a barring, and then we’d walk until it was out a view and the next ship appeared.

By late afternoon it was becoming obvious that we weren’t going to discover the center of the thing before night fall. In the distance we spotted another wreck that we could take shelter in. We were left with the decision of ‘do we press on into the night’ or ‘do we make camp?’

“I think we should keep moving,” I said, “the sooner we find this thing and destroy it the better.”

“I think we should camp,” said Kale, which was the only obvious choice for him, I mean I had clearly stated that we should go on.

“Camp,” Fredrick managed to get out.

“I agree with Tristan,” James said, “I don’t like my . . . er, our boat being trapped in these weeds any longer then it has to be.”

“Let’s keep going while we still can,” Kiki said.

Orlani naturally sided with James, and Buffy, as always, voted with the majority. We pressed on. The sun was about ready to set when we passed the wreck and as we started to put distance between us and it, something else on the horizon caught our eyes: moving shapes, almost humanoid, began to rise out of the ground.

“We should try to fight our way through,” I muttered.

As we moved forward to confront this new challenge however we were greeted with another surprise: trails of mist began to rise off of the sun warmed sea weed, and as the sun went down, and the air cooled, the mist became a thick fog! I pulled out my ever-burning torch and Buffy cast a light spell on her shield. It was like being in a bubble. The world only seemed to extend to the edge of the light. I realized that navigation would now be impossible.

Suddenly plant monsters stumbled into our light. They were horrible looking creatures - vile plant stretched over a human frame. They were vegetable zombies made of death and plant. They were walking bags of fertilizer. We fought the monsters off, they were tough opponents, but they eventually fell to our combined might. Then we found ourselves in the dark . . . with no idea of north or south.

“Outsiders . . .” came the whisper from the dark. That voice was echoed by another. “Outsiders . . .” was all it said. Soon the voices were coming from multiple directions.

“We’d better get back to that ship,” Buffy said, looking nervously about.

“I told you,” Kale said triumphantly, I silently wondered if this had been the only time he had been right.

From the fog more creatures stumbled into our view. “Outsiders,” they mumbled. Kale, James, and Fredrick, drew blades and charged in. Buffy moved up to use her payers as support, and Kiki and Orlani moved around for the flank. I began my summons. Suddenly one of those vine creatures sprouted up beside me! This was a new experience! The vine smashed into me, and with lightning speed, wrapped around my arms and body, quickly cutting off air.

It’s odd how my mind works in these situations. Ordinarily I’d expect to be panicking, and even now, as I write from the safety of my bed, I feel my hands shake as I remember that moment . . . but at the time I felt not one ounce of fear. My mind seemed to go very calm, very analytical, and I remembered thinking ‘ok, what are my options?’ My summons was lost. My offensive spells were useless with my arms pinned, I knew I might be able to get a hand on a wand, and I also knew I might be able to survive long enough to be rescued . . . but I’ve never been particularly good at falling into stereotypes, and a damsel in distress was about as stereotypical as they came. I concentrated on my breathing, blotted out the pain, and then I whispered my magic words. Suddenly I was next to Buffy, feeling very dazed after my quick trip through the 4th dimension, but thankfully no longer trapped.

“Fred,” shouted Kale, “can you get us back to that wreck we passed?”

“I can sure as hell try!” Fredrick shouted back.

We followed Fredrick as soon as I sent the last weed screaming and burning to vegetable hell. We practically ran, our tired legs fueled with fear, and soon, thanks to Fredrick’s incredible navigation skills, found ourselves scrabbling up the side of the rotten ship.

“Outsiders,” said the voices in the mist. I summoned my monsters, first to guard us as we scaled the side of the ship, and then to hopefully draw the attackers off by sending my dog off in some random direction. It didn’t work. The next wave hit us shortly after we made it safely onboard the ship. The higher ground aided us somewhat, the monsters needed to climb aboard, but the vine creatures didn’t! They seemed to erupt from bellow deck, from under loose floorboards, and even through cracks in the walls no more than an inch thick! We were forced to regroup. No sooner did we cut down the vines then the zombie like monsters came swarming over the railings. The fight was quick but bloody. We were winning the battles but at this rate these monsters would win the war.

After this latest wave we moved to the centre of the boat and tried to remain quiet and hidden. Perhaps the monsters would think us dead. It didn’t work. “Outsiders,” came the voices from the fog. We pulled out our light sources to find them attacking from the other side of the ship. This confirmed my worst fear. The monsters were being commanded or organized from outside source. Something knew where we were, and something was sending these creatures after us.

“We should have stayed put,” Kale was saying as he chopped down another vine, “these things would never have found us . . .”

I bit my tongue. ‘These creatures would have found us no matter what,’ I thought, ‘it’s the very ground that’s tracking us and coordinating these strikes. They would have come no matter what. All staying here would have accomplished was give us the better tactical advantage for those first two battles.’

“We learned more by venturing into the night,” was all I said when there was peace again. It was the honest truth. I now knew for sure how these creatures were finding us, that it was intelligent, that it could communicate with the plants living in it, and that if we didn’t destroy this monster we were all doomed.

“Our lives are not things that you can use for your experiments Tristan . . .” Kale lectured, he continued for some time (talking about right and wrong of all things) but I turned away and used my mind training to blot him out. He followed and continued his little spiel but I wasn’t listening. Perhaps someday he could look past his prejudice and not assume the worst of me . . . but that wasn’t going to happen tonight.

Another assault hit us shortly after that. Buffy and I were running low on spells by this point. Many of us were wounded and we were all dreadfully tired. We fought on. We made compost out of another hoard of herbs and in that final lull I consider writing my last and final page . . .

But then we noticed a silence, an end to the voices, and through the fog I could see the warm red and yellow glow of the sun! I have never been so relieved to see Lydia’s hand spread across the sky! I almost sang out to her . . . though thankfully I didn’t, I’ve been told that I have a singing voice that should only be used inside . . . deep inside . . . away from doors and windows. Besides Buffy was already giving thanks to Pelor and I didn’t wish to sing praise to another sun god in front of her. Buffy might consider it blasphemous.

I almost dropped from relief and exhaustion as the sun burnt off the fog and I watched as those plant-men seeped back into the ground. I sat down, pulled the bloodstained sheet (that I collected from Lavinia’s) out of my haversack, and quickly (using some loose floorboards) made a makeshift shelter from the sun. Then I went to sleep.

I woke to find the others eating a modest lunch. Churtle had packed some fresh bread, dried fruit, and some hard cheese – bless her heart! I tore into meal with vigor. I pulled out my spell book and studied as I ate. Normally I wouldn’t dare eat food anywhere near my precious spell books but we were pressed by great need.

“Are you ready to go yet Tristan?” Kale asked when he’d finished eating.

I finished chewing my food. Then I turned to the others.

“We should leave with all haste,” I said, “at our best possible speed. This thing knows we’re here and it will be able to track our progress during the day, and it directs its forces by night. So we’ll need to get to its centre tonight or else we might not be able to survive another night.”

“What do you mean by ‘this thing’,” James suddenly asked.

“This thing,” I said waving my hand at the landscape, “all of this, journey’s end, is one great monster. That’s why those creatures always knew where we were. If we don’t find its heart tonight we might not live to get another chance.” I said as I casually popped another piece of cheese in my mouth.

“How do you know all this?” Kale demanded.

Rather than answer him I gathered my things. “Let’s go,” I said, “we’ll have to eat supper on the move.”

The rest of the day was a haze. It was hour after hour of walking. I nervously gauged the sun. ‘Just a few more hours,’ I begged. I couldn’t but help feeling the fear and desperation creeping into my heart. Not so much for myself, I somehow knew Wee Jas had a place for me, but for the others. My friends, our crew, and the young passengers, I didn’t want them to meet the same end as countless others had, but I knew if I failed the Wyvern, and everyone on it, was doomed

Then, in the distance, not long before sunset, we spotted the dark land. It was a horrible place. The sea weeds and kelp were different here, they were a dark brown, and it smelled of rot. The kelp stuck out of the ground like giant fingers. It almost looked like a forgotten forest. In the middle of this mess was an old salt caked ship. It was a ship that looked as though it had been sitting here from the dawn of time. The ship seemed to be sitting in the middle of this dark and dead land. As we drew closer to the ship we became aware of a sound in the air. At first I thought it might be the wind, but as we drew closer to the ship, there was no mistaking the sound of a voice whispering some alien language. As we reached the side of the ship the sound of whispering practically filled the air.

“Look!” Kiki cried pointing to the wastes behind us. We turned to see hundreds of shapes rising out of the ground behind us. There was no escape. This battle would see one of us dead. We turned back to the ship.

The ship, the Thunder, was so stunk in the mire that the top railing was within my reach. We climbed aboard, hoping against hope that the creature we sought was somewhere inside. This ship was different from the others. Skeletal bodies lay strewn about the ship. This was completely unlike any of the other ships trapped in this mess . . . the contents of the ships also seemed relatively untouched. We found crates and chests, some smashed open, but with their contents still relatively untouched. The ship was far from uninhabited though, it seemed as though every door we opened held some kind of plant threat, but we were now determined, and we fought our way to the very bottom of the ship.

Here, deep within the monster, the whispering was almost unbearably loud. We knew our advisory was close. We found the doors to the hull practically vibrating with the noise. Inside we found a few trinkets, including an ivory scroll case and a magical tower shield, but we weren’t there for treasure, we needed to end this. In the far end of the hold was a gaping hole in the floor. Buffy asked for blessing, I cast haste, and we approached the hole. It seemed to go down forever. Kiki pulled out a vial of alchemist fire and threw it down the pit . . . somewhere, very far below, the vial shattered and for a moment the bottom of the pit lit up with fire. Then for one blessed second there was silence . . .

Then someone was screaming, it took a moment for me to realize that it was me, my whole world was filled with noise. The voice was now actually inside my head! A mass of writhing tentacles, vegetation, and human faces erupted from the pit! My eyes beheld the Mother of All. I desperately tried forming a spell but my words failed me, the mother’s voice filled my head, I was losing my own mind!

‘Tristan,’ I heard a tiny voice calling, ‘Tristan snap out of it. Your friends need you . . . I need you. Concentrate! Remember your training . . . snap out of it and fry this thing!”

I opened my mouth and the words flowed out of me. Jets of pure flames shot from my hands and missiles shot from my fingers. I hit the creature with everything in my arsenal. The entire ship seemed to shutter, the beast let out one long terrible cry, and then it fell dead. Then there was silence . . . sweet blessed silence. We wisely decided to make our escape. Half-way out we felt the ship (and in fact the entire waste) shutter. As we reached the main deck we could already see, in the dying evening light, the Sargasso beginning to break up. There would be no returning by foot. If only we had a boat . . .

Thankfully the Thunder began to break up. The masts, and some other large pieces of wood, were still enough wood. We quickly set about lashing them together to build a makeshift raft. Thankfully Buffy had a spell that allowed us to walk on water . . . that gave us the time to complete our task. I can’t imagine what would have happened otherwise. James, Fredrick, Kale, Orlani, and maybe Buffy would have drowned I imagine . . .

We floated for some time, I held out my torch, occasionally using magic to light our position. The raft was far from perfect, water washed over it, pieces dipped below the water line, and every now and then a piece would break off and we’d either have to try to re-lash it to the raft, or helplessly watch as it floated away into the darkness . . . by the time the Sea Wyvern floated into sight I was cold, wet, and very, very tired.

Having the Wyvern come across us in the night was another lucky break. The water wasn’t choppy, but the ocean was massive, and even though it might have been possible to see six miles from the crow’s nest we must have been over ten miles away. Amella, to her credit, picked a course and sailed it true. When we spied the Wyvern’s lantern cutting through the dark some of us practically cried with relief! I waited till the ship was in range, then I used my D-door spell to bring Kiki, Buffy, Orlani, and myself back to the ship. If the thick headed men didn’t want to carry a boat then they could float a while longer!

We lost two people last night: Banaby Chisk and Mary Read. Banaby Chisk was one of Avner’s servants. Amella suspects that he might have sent the poor man out after dark despite Amella warnings. Avner naturally claims that he’s innocent . . . I have my doubts as well. As for Mary, nobody knows, she was on watch after sundown, people remember seeing her in the hold . . . but when a head count was done in the morning she was missing.

Tomorrow we shall have a service for the missing,
Cthulhu Dreams

Taldor

KattHunter wrote:
But that helmet could easily be altered into a wooden bullywog crown! LOL

I actually went back and had a look at the mini when you suggested this! Sadly I don't think it would work. The helmet simply comes too far down on the sides of the mini's head for me to make it look like a crown.

Ok, the latest Lidu diary is up, this one is very raw though! This is strictly a first draft, so be weary of typos and spelling mistakes.

I might do up some author's notes later.

Also, the first new Lidu entry will appear on the 7th, but feel free to comment over the holidays. I do check these forms at least once a day.

Taldor

KattHunter wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
KattHunter wrote:
Hey, Kale didn't dissagree with having another preist on board! In fact he was the only one that didn't fight her on that.

I know, but I'm pretty sure Kale disagreed with Tristan about something in an upcoming entry . . . which is why Kale was left to float while Tristan D-doored the ladies back to the ship (I trust you know what I'm talking about).

Also: I can say without a doubt that we've been playing this game for a year now! It was about this time last year that we started the savage tide, and here we are, one year later, almost half done! Huzzah!

I do remember that argument. Thing is was Kale was right that time and Tristan was just sulking about it. LOL

And for anyone paying attention: Tristan was upset about the boat, not the decision to continue into the night. Tristan realized later that it was a mistake to continue, but as she says in the entry, she did learn something from the experience . . . so Tristan considered this a worthwhile sacrifice.


Watch the stars this winter solstice

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

Taldor

Hey everyone, seems awful quite in here, is anyone still reading?

Anyways here are the author's notes:

First off Tristan aced her profession: sailor roll, she got a natural 20 and beat everyone else's knowledge checks. So remarkably, despite only having a 5 ranks in profession: sailor, Tristan was the only character on the ship with a roll over 20. Seemed fitting somehow. Sometimes the dice just seem to fall into place.

Also Tristan seems to be having trouble with her inner/outer monologue . . . never a good sign! Truth be told though, Tristan had this problem from the beginning of the campaign, she was often muttering to herself, but it's never really come up before. I'm actually a bit surprised that none of the other players ever mentioned it.

The argument on the ship was a common sense thing, I mean how could we be certain that it was solid ground all the way to the center of journey's end? If we managed to kill the thing, and it started to break up, how were we going survive or get back to the Sea Wyvern? I think there might have been some OoC thinking going on, I mean who would design an adventure with no escape? There wasn't any evidence that we'd even have drift wood. I mean this ship that's on the very edge of the mire is a rotten wreak. Going forward without taking precautions was suicide. Tristan did have scrolls of water breathing so she wasn't as worried about drowning, but she couldn't understand why the men weren't concerned for their own lives.

The second argument, if we should stop or not, was in hindsight a pointless debate. We were doomed to be attacked all night regardless of if camped for the night or not. Trying to go forward was useless though, and with the fog, there was a possibility of getting lost.

The fight with the mother of all could have been quite quick, our party has the potential to deal lots of damage, but in order for Tristan to cast spells she needed to make a concentration check. So, for a 3rd level spell Tristan needed an make a DC 18 concentration check, which at 7th level meant Tristan needed to roll 8 or better. I decide to have Tristan cast a maximized empowered fireball . . . then I rolled a 7. It was only much, much later that I remembered that Hop-Toy Dan could have aided Tristan on the check.

Well that's it, last Lidu entry for 2007, see everyone in the new year.

Shadow Lodge

I'm stil reading and being inspired.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Still reading.


Still hanging by your lips (err, keyboard) ;)

I (among others, I guess) just didn't want to spoil your thread with too many pointless messages.

Go on!

Taldor

Hello and Happy New Year everyone,

Thank you for your replies, it's good to know that people are still reading! I meant to leave my previews for next week yesterday but we had quite the New Year's feast and I didn't feel like doing much of anything by the end of it.

Next week:

Tristan and company finally make it to the Isle of Dread! Should be smooth sailing from here on in right? Right?! What happens when our plucky team encounter a storm, a masher, s T-rex, and three nasty terror birds? Death and destruction that's for sure!

Also, the Sea Wyvern crashes into a reef, who lives and who dies? I'll give you a hint: Don't get too attached to John Silver, Rodger Jolly, Davey Jones, or even Avner's lovable servant Quenge Asper. One, or more of them, may die!

Tune in next week, same Lidu place, same Lidu channel.


Durraaah - avast ye scurvy dawgs, and prepare to nearly drown, be flung from the yardarms to break ye bones on the stony reef or worse yet ... come to intimately know the gullet of such a fearsome creature as has yet to be seen by scurrilous cads as yerselves!

Ow ... my brain hurts George ...

Osirion

Happy New Year!

I'm still here as well. Been absent for a while, and then lurking for a while more, but still as hooked as ever on the story. I do hope at some point that Tristan will finally tell Lavinia how she really feels. It seems that many others know how she feels already, and I'd be surprised if Lavinia doesn't suspect something. Whether or not she would return that kind of affection is another matter however.

I also love the tension that has been building up between Tristan and Kale (what a jerk - sorry KattHunter). ;) And one more question/stray thought... I wonder when James will finally steal their ship...

Taldor

Chimpman wrote:

Happy New Year!

I'm still here as well. Been absent for a while, and then lurking for a while more, but still as hooked as ever on the story. I do hope at some point that Tristan will finally tell Lavinia how she really feels. It seems that many others know how she feels already, and I'd be surprised if Lavinia doesn't suspect something. Whether or not she would return that kind of affection is another matter however.

Tristan has been non to subtle about her feelings as of late and I'm pretty sure Lavinia has ranks in sense motive. Tristan threatened the Meravanchis (with actual physical harm) if they didn't stop bad mouthing Lavinia, she personally wiped out a troglodyte tribe when Lavinia mentioned that they were threatening the village, and more importantly she singlehandedly killed a certain villain that had been plaguing Lavinia for a long long time . . . just moments after he tried to dominate her no less --> more on these things later! I think if feelings are going to be expressed they should happen very shortly . . . just last session Tristan was able to get a peck on the cheek (for luck Tristan said).

Chimpman wrote:
I also love the tension that has been building up between Tristan and Kale (what a jerk - sorry KattHunter). ;)
Well to be fair we are only getting Tristan's side of the story, Kale has been insensitive and suspicious of Tristan, but Tristan has hardly been the innocent victim she likes to present herself in these diaries! The Tristan/Kale relationship gets better from here on out, the SWW, with it's enclosed setting, was the low point in their relationship.
Chimpman wrote:
And one more question/stray thought... I wonder when James will finally steal their ship...

hehehe, I think when James first joined up with us he had every intension of stealing the Wyvern out from under us . . . but after getting to know the others (especially Tristan) he's clearly changed his mind. I think this has something to do with Tristan's impressive summons, her punishing spells, and the fact that anyone that has earned Tristan's ire has ended up very, very dead.

Another thing to remember is that Tristan is a natural leader, with strong opinions of liars and cheats, and this has really altered the group dynamics for the better IMO.


Why? Why were we spared? Why should I live, while the entire Carpenter family dies? What do the gods have planned for us? How can I record the tragedy that befell us? It’s been a day . . . hardly enough time to process all that’s happened, I still feel unbearable sadness, and I struggle to write . . . but someone must record the horror that has befallen us.

It was just yesterday . . . my hands are shaking just to think of it . . . but I must compose myself. The day started innocently enough, the sky was such a beautiful crimson, and the water seemed so peaceful and calm. There were birds as well, sea cliff nesting birds Urol had said, and that meant that we were close to land. No more than half an hour later Skald was calling out that he’d spotted land . . . poor Skald, I which I’d been kinder to him. Everyone was excited. It meant that our journey was nearly over . . . oh how I wish that statement didn’t drip with such cruel irony.

Soon we all could see the great cliffs of the Isle of Dread looming on the horizon. They rose out of the ocean like a great gray wall. Soon we could even see the white surf smashing against the jagged rocks below the feet of those inhospitable cliffs. Amella wisely decided to give that dangerous coast a wide birth! We needed to get to the far side of the island and away from those cliffs as they would shred and crush our small ship without taking as much as a scratch.

John had been grumbling all morning about a storm coming. He was right. We had scarcely time to enjoy our accomplishment of successfully sailing the Vohoun Ocean when Skald reported the storm clouds in the distance. These clouds moved much faster than the storm that savaged us a little over a week ago. Within the hour we were being pelted with rain. The waves and wind picked up almost immediately. By noon the storm was on us in full force! We fought to control the Wyvern against the powerful wind and punishing rain, each flash of lightning showed us that jagged coast, and reminded us of the punishment for failure. Before we could float where ever the waves took us, and that had been terrifying enough, but now we had to fight to keep the ship away from the vicious Isle.

It quickly became apparent that this storm was worse than anything we’d faced yet. Two hours after lunch Amella called for all hands on deck. Together we fought the wind and the waves. It took Amella, Buffy, and James together to steer the wyvern, Amella was only a small woman and she needed every ounce of strength and all the help she could get to muster and turn the wheel against the storm. I made myself useful by organizing the crew on the main deck, the wind was so powerful that I could scarcely hear Amella yelling at me from ten feet away, and I knew the crew on the main deck had no idea what she wanted. Thankfully I didn’t need Amella’s commands to know what to do, the pumps needed to be manned, ropes needed to be tightened (as well as a thousand other little things), and someone needed to relay the forward observer’s reports!

Three times the Wyvern plowed through waves on her dreadful course. Twice I was nearly knocked to the ground and perhaps overboard, but I, and the others, managed to keep their footing. I was told later that after the first wave hit us I began shouting. At what, or what I said I couldn’t guess, but Amella said it seemed that I was screaming some sort of challenge at the ocean itself. When the second wave hit Amella tells me that I began laughing nearly hysterically . . . again I don’t remember any of it, I vaguely remember being nearly knocked down for the second time and being thankful for being alive, but that’s it. The third wave didn’t even phase me and I do remember yelling ‘is that all you got?’ at the sea but other than that I don’t remember anything other than yelling orders at the crew.

Moments later I realized that Kiki and the other forward observers were yelling something, but it was too late, the Wyvern smashed into the reef with a bone jarring, ship crushing crunch. I could hear the sound of cracking wood over the roar of the ocean! A few of us were thrown to the to the deck with the crash, most desperately tried clinging to whatever we could as the waves washed over us, but the worst was yet to come! From somewhere out in that black violent landscape a roar echoed the crash of our ship.

“That doesn’t sound good,” Kale said behind me.

“Oh,” said an excited Urol, “I wonder if we’re going to get to see a masher! I’ve heard them in the distance, even caught a glimpse of one with a spy glass, but I’ve never seen one close up . . .”

“Pull hard boys,” Amella was yelling, “We got to get off this reef before . . .”

A horrible monster erupted from the water and snatched up Dorent Migter, his brother screamed in horror, and ran to the ballista to kill the beast and save his brother. I didn’t need to wait that long, I shot fiery rays at the creature, and it screamed in pain and dropped the lifeless dwarf from its mouth. The masher turned its walleyed gaze to me. Morlond fired his ballista but the unwieldy thing missed by a fair margin. I ran to the far side of the ship (which was no easy task giving the slant of the ship and the water pouring over the slippery wet floor) but the monster pursued me. I thought I was going to be the next victim to end up in its suction cup mouth but then Kale jumped in between me and it.

“I hope you remember this Tristan,” He hollered as he thrust his sword into the creature’s gapping mouth. Perhaps not the most heroic thing to shout when coming to a lady’s rescue, but I’m sure this was as new to Kale as it was to me.

Behind me I could hear Morlond howling over the body of his brother, the rest of the crew scattered at the sight of thing, but Amella and Skald (who had moved back up to the crow’s nest) held their ground. The monster continued to chase me, and to make matters worse, it was able to stay at a distance and out of reach of our swords men. Even when it did reach in to snap at me with its horrible mouth, sharp spiky spines, coated with a sticky clear toxin, extended and pierced the hands and arms of our warriors as they retaliated. I dove for cover behind the stairs when the monster was distracted. I knew a summons would distract the beast and would better harass the thing in the water but with the thing chasing me around the ship I wouldn’t have time to summon anything!

The others bought me the time I needed to bring my summons from the far realm. It loosely looked like a shark, if you discounted the horns and scales, and I placed directly behind our attacker. I’m unsure of how effective my psudo shark was but the distraction it caused allowed the rest of us the chance to draw our ranged weapons, and in the ensuing counter fire, someone shot an arrow straight through one of its eyes and into its brain. The monster let out one last terrifying scream, shuttered a bit (with all its spines extending and retracting at involuntarily), and then it sank beneath the water.

Amella didn’t waste a moment, the monster was scarcely in its death throes, and Amella was going about getting the crew organized getting us off the reef. We quickly used our hooks and poles to try and dislodge us from the reef. The wind had died down from at this point because I could hear every cuss word Amella had blasting over the howl of the wind! The waves hadn’t subsided any, but that worked to our advantage, because Amella used the wave action and the rocking of the boat to get us off the reef. We were all thankful to be clear of the thing before another masher showed up.

Lirith was sent bellow to report the damage and she came back with our worst fears: “It’s leaking like a sieve down there. There are more holes then I can count. The water’s just pouring in!”

“Damn it all to hell!” Amella roared, “Man the pumps! I want everyone hauling water!”

Thankfully by that point the storm had started to subside. The Wyvern was in dire straits though, she was leaking badly, and even if we were able to pump water out of her day and night she’d still be taking on more water then we could pump out. The Wyvern was sinking. Nothing could stop that now . . . it was only a matter of time . . . the best we could hope for now was to find a place to beach the Wyvern before we sank. The storm was still powerful enough to make that our immediate concern though, the Wyvern would eventually sink, but the storm could simply capsize us.

The crew worked hard but I think as weariness seeped into their bones it brought with it despair. I thought hard for words to say, something to build their spirits, but words escaped me. Even Buffy was strangely silent in this time of need. Then, as our crew began to prepare for the inevitable, a flash of lightning brought sudden new hope!

“I see a beach!” Skald shouted, “Dead ahead!”

Fredrick began franticly looking over his maps and charts. “Here,” he said pointing to map, “we must be heading here. It’s our only hope but we’re probably somewhere between six and eight miles away.”

We all knew what Fredrick was worried about, the ship was already low in the water and was beginning to lean heavily to one side . . . six miles might as well have been eighty.

“We’ll make it!” Amella and I said at the same time.

“God willing,” I felt the need to add, “they wouldn’t let us come this far only to have us fail here!” I naively said. How was I to know that the gods didn’t have plans for everyone?

The crew continued bailing with renewed strength. Each flash of light showed us to be closer and closer. Soon even I could see the beach from the main deck of the ship! At that moment salvation seemed so likely . . . Suddenly Skald was screaming. From his vantage in the crow’s nest he finally saw the reef practically underneath us. Amella turned the wheel hard, but the Wyvern was too sluggish, and to make matters worse, as the Wyvern slowly turned (exposing her leaning side to those sharp jagged rocks of that hidden reef) we were smashed hard by a rogue wave, practically rolling the ship completely over. The last thing I remember seeing is poor Skald dropping from the crow’s nest onto the jagged rocks bellow . . .

I never learned to swim. Seems silly now; here I was: a young woman, having lived all her life by the sea, and never having learned to swim. I don’t think I’ve even ever been in water over my head before. I’m not scared of the water or drowning per se, and it’s not as though Mother coddled us girls, but for some reason my early days in the Lidu manor never included any visits to the beach. By the time I was old enough to be sent to live at the House of the Dragon such silly childhood excursions seemed beneath me. I was being sent to the cities most prestigious school and I had no time for fun and games . . . I remembered thinking those thoughts as I plunged head first into the water . . . ‘perhaps I undervalued such skills,’ I thought as I sank like a stone.

‘Wave your arms,’ I heard a tiny voice calling from inside my head, ‘your arms you stupid mammal! Wave your arms!’

I could feel the air pounding in my lungs, demanding to be let free, and it would have been so simple to just allow the air to escape and breathe my last breath. . . but I did as the voice commanded.

‘Now kick your legs!’ snapped the voice, ‘and be quick about it! You can’t breathe underwater. Both legs at the same time! Keep waving your arms. Good, keep hold of that air . . .”

Somehow, after an eternity, I burst to the surface. ‘Now,’ hollered the voice, ‘breathe now!’ But the waves pounded me back down before I could sip a breath of air. All I got was a mouthful of sea water.

‘Tristan,’ screamed Hop-Toy, ‘keep fighting!’

‘Keep fighting,’ echoed the voice. I was going to die, I knew it, and there was some strange voice in my head . . .

Suddenly my head broke the surface and I coughed up sea water and managed to gasp a half breath before the waves pushed me back under.

‘Keep kicking,’ ordered the voice.

‘Keep swimming Tristan,’ Hop-Toy pleaded, ‘you have to keep swimming! You’re the only friend I got Tristan! What chance does a toad stand on this cursed island? You have to keep fighting for the both of us!’

I fought. I kicked my legs, I pulled my arms, and for some reason I didn’t die.

‘Wheels have been set in motion Tristan Lidu. Too many have invested in you; have come to depend on you, for you to die here and now. There is still much work to do . . . ’

I don’t remember anymore than that. I awoke with a nasty cut in my scalp – yet I don’t remember hitting my head . . . is it possible I dreamt the entire exchange?

When I awoke it was morning. I found myself lying face down on a sandy white beach. Bits of debris and smashed cargo littered the beach. I pulled myself to my knees. I heard a tiny groan beneath me, and I gasped in horror as I pulled Hop-Toy out from the sand underneath me!

“Hop-Toy!” I cried.

‘Water,’ was all he croaked.

Luckily there was small fresh water stream which I quickly dunked him in. Toad’s skin can’t handle salt water very well. It’s like poison to them. As I stood I began looking for survivors.

“Orlani!” I could hear James calling; he seemed to have been the first one up, as his was the first voice I heard.

“Tristan, Kiki, Buffy!” I heard Kale calling from somewhere on the beach.

“I’m here!” I called, “I’m alright.”

“I’m ok,” I heard Kiki calling, “I think I see Fred, he doesn’t look so good! Wait, he’s alive!”

I began calling names. Anyone I could think of, desperately trying to find out who was dead and who was alive. More often than not I got no response in return. As I walked along the beach I began to see the others: Kiki, Fredrick, Buffy, Kale, James . . . and Orlani, who James was tenderly embracing. Further up the beach I could see Thunderstrike grazing peacefully at the jungle’s edge. Yet I saw too few of the crew . . .

“Amella,” I called, “Churtle! Anyone, if you’re alright, please say something!”

“I’m alright,” shouted Urol from somewhere down the beach.

“Aye,” shouted Rodger from further up the beach, “I be fine as well. Tis’ a fine mess we be in. Marooned on this cursed island, I can’t see how things could be any worse . . .”

A great roar erupted from the jungle. From out of the trees came a giant lizard – a tyrannosaurus to be exact – It charged straight at us! The monster stood fifteen feet tall, its head alone was at least six feet, it had claws like swords, and teeth like daggers. Poor Rodger couldn’t run fast enough. The great beast easily cleared the distance between Rodger and it, snatched poor Rodger up in its mouth mid stride, and with one bite swallowed him whole! Our swordsmen drew their weapons and charged. It was insanity! Any same person would have turned and run. I must have gotten lost in the insanity of the moment because I found myself charging after the tyrannosaurus as well!

The monster moved remarkably fast for something so large. Fredrick and James managed to dive away from its snapping mouth but Kale, who went straight for the things belly, suddenly found himself looking up at a huge set of pearly whites. Kale battled for a moment in the things mouth but then he too found himself going down the creature’s gullet. First I screamed in horror, and then I roared in anger, and then I lit the overgrown lizard up with fire and ice. James, Orlani, Fredrick, and Kiki cut the thing apart with well coordinated strikes. The monster, burnt and bleeding, looked to retreat back to the jungle, but was brutally cut down in its attempt. Moments later Kale cut himself free from the creature’s belly!

I must admit I was very much relieved to see Kale alive. If he hadn’t been covered in blood and bile I might have even hugged him. Rodger wasn’t so lucky though . . . Buffy said it didn’t look as though he had suffered though, she told us that he had likely died in the monster’s mouth.

From further down the beach we saw more shapes.

“Amella,” I cried running to meet her, “are you alright?”

Amella seemed dazed and confused; she stared blankly out into space as I hugged her. “What?” she mumbled, “I’m fine I guess . . .”

“Churtle,” I cried, as the Kobold climbed out from behind some rocks.

“Um, hi boss,” Churtle said, “yous ok? Sorry I couldn’t help with that dinosaurs but I couldn’t find a weapon . . .”

“I’m just thankful you guys are alive!” I said, quickly giving the Kobold a hug.

“You!” shouted Avner, “this is your fault! Look what you’ve done!”

For a moment I thought Avner was yelling at me, but then I angrily realized he was yelling at Amella, who was still standing dejectedly beside me. I was surprised when Amella didn’t chew a strip off of Avner . . . then I realized that part of her actually believed what Avner was saying!

“This is why women shouldn’t . . .” Avner began, but I turned on him before he could finish his sexist remarks.

“You listen here you cad,” I snapped, “You can thank two things for your miserable life Amella Venkalie and whatever god or demon that chooses to torment us with your continued existence! If Amella hadn’t been commanding this ship we would have bought it out on that masher reef! She bought us every opportunity.” I turned Amella, “we owe you our lives, there isn’t a captain alive that could have sailed us safely through what we faced, and you did far better than I ever could. I’m not sorry I made you captain and if I ever own a ship I’d make you my captain again in a heartbeat.”

Amella seemed thankful for my words but her spirits still seemed low.

“What do we do now?” I heard Tavey ask. The cabin boy had thankfully survived the ordeal as well and was now practically clinging to Kale for guidance. He had directed the question to Kale but I knew it was the one question that everyone was silently asking themselves.

“We gather supplies,” I said with a shrug, “Urol, you’ve been here before right? Can you guild us to Farshore?”

“Oh yes,” Urol said, excitedly looking about, “just give me a few moments to draw up a map and figure out the quickest route!”

“Let’s not rule out repairing the Wyvern just yet,” James said, “even if it takes a few days that’ll be faster than trying to walk to the far side of this island.”

“Good point,” I said despite Orlani and Amella’s questionable glances, “we’ll likely need supplies from the boat anyways, check out if she’s repairable when you get over there.”

“Ok,” James said, “I’m going back to the boat, who’s with me?”

“Me,” said Kale, Kiki, and Orlani. Tavey raised his hand once he saw Kale was going but Kale wisely decided that the lad would be more useful scouring the beach. The others would need to swim out to the Wyvern, as it was some two hundred feet from shore, and of the members of our small group, Kale, Kiki, Orlani, and James were our strongest swimmers. The rest of us set to searching for supplies along the beach. Eventually Urol approached me.

“I’ve been doing some figuring,” the Gnome said as he scratched his nose, “I got a route planed that’s bound to be both scenic and scientific . . .” he glanced up at me and must have seen something in my eyes because he quickly added, “also quick and safe! Very safe! I’ll get us to the Oman village of Tanaroa, should take about ten days, and that means about seventy five pounds of food or so.”

“Fine,” I said, “talk it over with Fredrick. Everyone else get searching, we need nearly a hundred pounds of food!”

“You know,” Urol decided to add, “if space or quantities becomes an issue there is plenty to eat on the island itself! We’re walking in a veritable bounty of . . .”

“I’m not eating anything you find!” Avner snapped.

“Nonsense,” Urol said, “there’s no reason to be squeamish about eating local, there’s plenty of delicious and nutritious food all over the island! See,” he said plucking a small bright green crab out of a tidal pool and popping it in his mouth, “all kinds of good food if you know where to look . . .”

Urol chewed the small green Crustacean for about a second . . . then his eyes bulged; he spat up his make-shift lunch, and was sick for about an hour.

“Ok people,” I said watching Urol retch up his guts, “let’s try for a hundred pounds . . .”

Kale, Kiki, James, and Orlani returned in one of our row boats with bad news:

“The ship’s going to have to sit where she’s at for a while,” James said with a hint of disappointment, “she’s too badly damaged for us to patch up with what we got.”

“We didn’t find any more survivors either,” Kale added.

“Only bodies up and down the beach,” Fredrick noted, “looks like we’re it, we’re all that remains.”

I looked to Buffy for some guidance, or at least some spiritual insight, “The gods can be kind or they can be cruel,” was all she said.

‘Which was it,’ I wondered, ‘are they being kind to us for sparing us, or being cruel in prolonging our suffering?’

‘I think it’s both,’ Hop-Toy decided when I plucked him from the fresh water stream, ‘worrying about the gods isn’t your profession though is it? You worry about how you’re going to get us to Farshore and where my next meal is going to come from . . . that ought to keep you plenty busy. Your death God will call for you when she’s ready!’

“She’s not just a . . .” I started to argue, but I realized Hop-Toy had a point. I had enough problems to worry about for the time being.

After a few more hours of searching we figured that we had all we could find and we set off inland. Thunderstrike was delegated to pack mule status despite Avner’s protests. Fate seemed to be on our side as Avner’s master craft saddle never did turn up but a pack saddle (that must have been among the supplies intended for Farshore) did. Even Avner eventually saw that he couldn’t ride the magnificent beast if he couldn’t feed it, and nobody else was capable (or willing) to carry the feed needed to keep the horse healthy. Thunderstrike needed to carry his share. Thankfully the horse didn’t begrudge the new role (unlike his owner) and seemed more than happy for the exercise after being locked in the hold for the better part of three months.

It was near sundown by the time our rag tag group of survivors set out from the beach. We only made a few miles before we were forced to make camp. Still I feel we made good progress. As we walked I asked Hop-Toy what he remembered about the crash.

‘I remember trying to pull your great hump through the water,’ he said, ‘apparently you forgot that you’re not an amphibian. It was a futile effort and I was rewarded for my folly by having your great lump flopping on top of me and crushing me for half the night!’

“Before that,” I whispered so no one near would hear me talking to my toad, “when we first hit the water. Do you remember anything odd?”

‘Like you sinking like a stone?’ he said, ‘did you think you were going to walk along the bottom or something?’

“Did you hear any voices?” I asked, nervously glancing about. The others were pretending not to hear me, “I thought I heard another voice in my head . . .”

‘Perhaps your parlous grip on reality is slipping,’ Hop-Toy said, ‘or perhaps it was a hallucination brought on by a lack of oxygen, drinking sea water, or maybe something brought on by fear or panic. Maybe the whole thing is a retro or pseudo memory brought on by a sharp blow to the head. Who knows? All I know is that hearing voices are never a good sign . . .’

“This seemed so real, so vivid; this voice wasn’t like anything I’d ever dreamed. For a moment I thought the voice was you.”

‘And what did it tell you to do?’

“To swim.”

‘Smart voice,’ Hop-Toy croaked, ‘if it tells you to start killing or eating brains or anything consult with me before obeying alright?’

Camp was a somber affair. We said a few fords for the fallen, we ate our food, and I wondered why this had happened. Of the thirty that had set out for Farshore three months ago only twelve now huddled around the fire. Wee Jas guide me.

Why have we been spared?
Cthulhu Dreams

I had scarcely put my pen down when three huge birds charged from out of the bushes! They attacked the camp, likely looking for an easy meal, but once we were up and ready the oversized chickens went down easily enough. They got their kicks in though, James nearly fell victim to a savage beating, while poor Tavey was nearly carried off! Thankfully I had a few spells left and Kale cut off Tavey’s attacker while Fredrick and Buffy came to James’ aid.

From here on out I think it’s safe to say we’ll be doubling the watch.


"Welcome to the Isle of Dread, a far more aptly named locale than your meager perceptions are prepared to receive."


Bah! It was a breeze!

Taldor

author's notes:
First off, let me just say that as much as I liked the Sea Wyvern's Wake, I really, really, really hated how it ended. I don't mind being stranded on the Isle of Dread, but when 4 out of 6 PCs devote serious ranks into sailing/ navigation it seems like a slap in the face to have the PCs auto fail and sink. This is where the term 'railroad' usually gets thrown out.

I don't mind being marooned on the Isle of Dread, but sinking the players without even giving them an opportunity to feel in control of their own destiny, and/or to have all those NPCs die without having the chance of saving any of them . . . bad story telling IMO. If I was to DM this section I'd have given the players the chance to beach the ship, or, having failed that, give them a chance to save a few of the NPCs from the waves.

The despair Tristan feels at the start of this adventure is very hard to write and feels a bit forced. Honestly, after suffering such a loss, I think a sensitive character like Tristan might suffer a breakdown, which, on the Isle of Dread, would spell disaster. So I'm forced to have her carry on despite the immense tragedy she's witnessed. Having Amella and the other to worry about helps a bit - but I really the end of this adventure (and next) give the PCs needless tragedy and really seem to try to make the PCs feel helpless.

I think HTBM was my least favorite adventure thus far, which was odd, because the first three chapters were really great. I didn't like the BBEG at all. I thought he was poorly written, badly designed, and his one and only reason for being was to jerk the players around. We'll talk more about him later I'm sure.

Tristan hears voices (part 2): by now Tristan has learned to disregard the voices she hears when summoning creatures from the far realms but this new voice is something different . . .

fighting dinosaurs = awesome

(also Kale was one round away from death when we cut him loose. I had him cut himself free in the story because it makes for better reading but in the actual adventure Kale couldn't quite do it with his belt knife . . . this is one reason I've suggested picking up two weapon fighting and a Wakizashi, one it would be good against multiple low level creatures, two a good light weapon is great to have in these grappling situations (even if you don't use the weapon for 99% of the encounters)).

Terror birds: this first attack was pretty frightening but by the time we approach the mountain pass they're really just mild surprise birds.

Any questions or comments are welcome!

Taldor

Cyclopean Geometry wrote:
"Welcome to the Isle of Dread, a far more aptly named locale than your meager perceptions are prepared to receive."

Thank you stranger, In many ways your right, Tristan really changes on the island, or rather the island really changes her! Slowly we see the shy quite girl fade and die, while the strong and opinionated woman begins to thrive, and the crazy/ruthless/dangerous alienist slowly begins to show her multi tentacled head!

Taldor

Turin the Mad wrote:


I freely admit, I am a big fan of quite a few of these wonderful, character-driven campaign journals. Sadly, as the GM, combined with my RL workload, I do not have the time, energy nor inclination to post such a monumental undertaking.
Turin the Mad wrote:


Many thanks Guy, it's not a large number that drop by the journal and say hi/comment/critique/other. Rest assured, many of the current journals are eyeballed regularly - and most have far better focus on writing about character details et al that mine. ( I still have yet to hear any of the players actually speak thier character's name at the table now that I think upon it...)

Also Turin I was going to comment that your PCs seem to have really stepped up with the RPing! Congratulations! I really like the love it when my players get into a story :)


Guy Humual wrote:
(also Kale was one round away from death when we cut him loose. I had him cut himself free in the story because it makes for better reading but in the actual adventure Kale couldn't quite do it with his belt knife . . . this is one reason I've suggested picking up two weapon fighting and a Wakizashi, one it would be good against multiple low level creatures, two a good light weapon is great to have in these grappling situations (even if you don't use the weapon for 99% of the encounters)).

The major problem with Kale getting two weapon fighting is that he'd have to invest two feats into it. Plus Fred and James both have it!

Cheliax

I've continued to read along and I must say I am glad to see Tristan and friends finally reach the Isle of Dread. The "railroading" aspect of the end of the Sea Wyvern's Wake is interesting to me because my players really hated that when we played as well. In the end, what I ended up doing, was allowing them to make their profession sailor checks to avoid sinking. If I remember right, they ended up avoiding the crash. So I let them go to Farshore, and there found out Lavinia's boat had crashed somewhere on the beach and she and the Jade Ravens were missing on the Island. So they ended up going in Olman fishing vessels to the site of the Blue Nixie crash (which I just had as the start point to here there be monsters), and thus they ended up doing most of the adventure anyway.

As a DM, I really enjoyed HTBM. There was so much "creepiness" I was able to put in the adventure as Olangru messed with them. Olangru himself was a TPK 2 times and then the Lemorian Golem in the shrine was almost another. I also want to commend you on portraying the first evidence we have that Tristan isn't quite completely sane. The voices along with Hop-Toy-Dan as the voice of her "conscience" is really good writing. I can't wait to see how Tristan and crew delt with Olangru, the Lemorian Golem, and perhaps most of all the defense of Farshore. Mostly I am glad the SWW is over so we can get on with the storyline. You did a great job of portraying the sheer "length" of the voyage in your writing. I know when I ran that particular portion, my players skimmed over most anything that wasn't a combat or provisioning exercise.

Let the Isle of Dread begin.

Taldor

Brent wrote:


As a DM, I really enjoyed HTBM. There was so much "creepiness" I was able to put in the adventure as Olangru messed with them. Olangru himself was a TPK 2 times and then the Lemorian Golem in the shrine was almost another. I also want to commend you on portraying the first evidence we have that Tristan isn't quite completely sane. The voices along with Hop-Toy-Dan as the voice of her "conscience" is really good writing. I can't wait to see how Tristan and crew delt with Olangru, the Lemorian Golem, and perhaps most of all the defense of Farshore. Mostly I am glad the SWW is over so we can get on with the storyline. You did a great job of portraying the sheer "length" of the voyage in your writing. I know when I ran that particular portion, my players skimmed over most anything that wasn't a combat or provisioning exercise.

Let the Isle of Dread begin.

Thanks Brent. As a DM I can easily see the value of Olangru, when we first meet him he's extremely creepy and nerve wracking, but my problem with him is that he doesn't seem to evolve further than this. I hope to expand on this discussion when his sinister mechanics first appear in the Lidu diaries (probably in two weeks time actually) but for now let me reiterate that from my prospective the first 3 chapters of this adventure were great. In fact I'd say that I enjoyed those first three chapters as much as any other fun part of this adventure . . .

SWW was probably my favorite adventure so far (despite it's ending) so I didn't begrudge the amount of writing needed, but I'm sure if anyone else didn't enjoy that adventure, or if you simply didn't like character development, these last few entries would have been very tedious! The SWW should be the longest in the shear number of entries because it was the adventure that would have taken the longest amount of time for the PCs to complete!

Taldor

KattHunter wrote:


The major problem with Kale getting two weapon fighting is that he'd have to invest two feats into it. Plus Fred and James both have it!

I forgot that you don't have EWP: bastard sword. Still a Wakizashi would be awesome.

Oh, quick addition to the author's notes:

One of the running jokes we've had in this campaign is that if James doesn't talk to an NPC that NPC tends to die. Early in the SWW James was the only PC to pick up on the fact that Lirith had some sort of noble background . . . but he never followed up on this information! Game session after game session I kept bugging him OoC to talk to the NPC and he kept saying he was just looking for the right opportunity, but nothing ever came of it, and then we crashed. At one point the DM let slip that only the NPCs that we'd established a relationship with survived - it took me exactly 5 seconds to make the logical leap that because James never talked to Lirith, Lirith died. Well perhaps not the best logic, but it was still a good running joke . . . whenever we run across an NPC we don't like we'll often shout "Quick James: don't talk with them" or, in HTBM for example, "James would you stop talking with Avner already!"

It's worked out well so far . . .

Taldor

Guy Humual wrote:


from my prospective the first 3 chapters of this adventure were great.

it just occurred to me that I might not be exactly clear here. HTBM is broken up into four parts, what I'm trying to say is that I enjoyed the first 3 parts of HTBM, but the 4th part (mainly the temple) I didn't. I'll explain why later . . . although if anyone want to search the Paizo site . . . I think you'll find that I've expressed my opinions elsewhere.


Guy Humual wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:


I freely admit, I am a big fan of quite a few of these wonderful, character-driven campaign journals. Sadly, as the GM, combined with my RL workload, I do not have the time, energy nor inclination to post such a monumental undertaking.
Turin the Mad wrote:


Many thanks Guy, it's not a large number that drop by the journal and say hi/comment/critique/other. Rest assured, many of the current journals are eyeballed regularly - and most have far better focus on writing about character details et al that mine. ( I still have yet to hear any of the players actually speak thier character's name at the table now that I think upon it...)
Also Turin I was going to comment that your PCs seem to have really stepped up with the RPing! Congratulations! I really like the love it when my players get into a story :)

Agreed - and a suggestion for the fighter types that get swallowed often: spiked gauntlets, always on and able to get your way out of almost any gullet that claims you. (Refunds available upon proof of death.)

The in-game RP isn't much (which is fine with more than 4 or 5 players), so they're largely glomming onto the forum as a significant avenue of interactions. Although The Journalist I think shall soon be posting her entry as regards the mysterious time of her 'abduction' by a certain Ape Demon... grins evilly. IM, being copy-pastable, is an ideal tool for conducting and recording (after judicious editing) 1v1 role-play for the GM on the go.


great writing, and deeply amusing

As for the "shipwreck" - strangely enough that worked pretty well with our group, since from the description of the initial situation - caught on an uncharted lee-shore, with a galeforece storm/hurricane bearing up everybody expected Shipwreck from the outset. It's just one of those situations where you cannot really expect anything else (well, two ex "Marine" players, plus all of us pretty much naval minded and sailing afficionados gave us a strange perspective ), but basically everybody tried to keep the Wyvern floating and steered toward a suitable place to crash and founder. Noone actually expected the ship to survive through this !
Basically like an airplane "going down" with the crew looking for a suitable piece of landscape helpful to survival . Which made for an entirely different sort of athmosphere perhaps ----> everybody was focused on saving the crew and passengers from the impending disaster.
But sincerly, that was not the most inspired piece of writing and conceptualising in SWW, and could have been much better set-up earlier on - say with damages from the first storm, so the characters could get an inkling how utterly destructive and terrible that second storm would be.

Two things strike me as a mite strange though , given your groups attitudes from the previous installments - you guys didn't actually bury or incinerate your drowned buddies and crew ? Nothing like a wake or anything ? Seems odd somehow, given who goody-two-shoes lawful/traditional Kale seems to be, not to mention Tristan

As for Kale's problem lacking a suitable secondary armament - consider a bladed boot or armsheath for a dagger, possibly spring-loaded to push a dagger into his hand in case of emergency, for cutting your way out. Same goes for elbow- or knee blades...
(all of these from Complete Scoundrel )

Taldor

vikingson wrote:
great writing, and deeply amusing

Thank you (but how could you find such tragedy amusing <sob>)

vikingson wrote:

As for the "shipwreck" - strangely enough that worked pretty well with our group, since from the description of the initial situation - caught on an uncharted lee-shore, with a galeforece storm/hurricane bearing up everybody expected Shipwreck from the outset. It's just one of those situations where you cannot really expect anything else (well, two ex "Marine" players, plus all of us pretty much naval minded and sailing afficionados gave us a strange perspective ), but basically everybody tried to keep the Wyvern floating and steered toward a suitable place to crash and founder. Noone actually expected the ship to survive through this !

Basically like an airplane "going down" with the crew looking for a suitable piece of landscape helpful to survival . Which made for an entirely different sort of athmosphere perhaps ----> everybody was focused on saving the crew and passengers from the impending disaster.

This is pretty much my feelings, the Sea Wyvern should be doomed, after that first reef the PCs should know they're going to sink . . . however when the players spot the beach there should skill checks (DC 30 to 40 range) to allow the PCs the chance to successfully beach the ship (without all the dreadful loss of life).

And having failed that I'd have appreciated the chance to use my PC's spells and abilities to try and save some of the NPC's lives.

vikingson wrote:
But sincerly, that was not the most inspired piece of writing and conceptualising in SWW, and could have been much better set-up earlier on - say with damages from the first storm, so the characters could get an inkling how utterly destructive and terrible that second storm would be.

I suppose I could have reported the aftermath of that first storm better, but during the actual storm Tristan was in her cabin suffering from a nasty bump on the noggin if you remember. I did make it clear that the second storm was far worse though, and Amella did call for all hands on deck, whereas during the first storm she was capable of ridding it out with just the on duty crew.

vikingson wrote:
Two things strike me as a mite strange though , given your groups attitudes from the previous installments - you guys didn't actually bury or incinerate your drowned buddies and crew ? Nothing like a wake or anything ? Seems odd somehow, given who goody-two-shoes lawful/traditional Kale seems to be, not to mention Tristan

There's nothing the PCs wouldn't have liked better then to have given a proper burial to all the NPCs that died in the SWW . . . but that would have taken a great deal of time, and after the attack of the tyrannosaurus, it quickly became obvious that time wasn't a commodity we could afford to waste. To put it simply we went into survival mode. We did say a few words for the fallen later that night . . .

vikingson wrote:

As for Kale's problem lacking a suitable secondary armament - consider a bladed boot or armsheath for a dagger, possibly spring-loaded to push a dagger into his hand in case of emergency, for cutting your way out. Same goes for elbow- or knee blades...

(all of these from Complete Scoundrel )

Kale does have a knife, which he was able to use to try to use to cut himself free, but sadly he didn't quite deal enough damage to free himself. Now if he had a magical dagger, or a weapon capable of dealing more damage, he might have cut himself free without any trouble. The advantages to the weapons that you and Turin have suggested is that they'd be much easier to use in a grapple.

Qadira

Guy Humual wrote:

This is pretty much my feelings, the Sea Wyvern should be doomed, after that first reef the PCs should know they're going to sink . . . however when the players spot the beach there should skill checks (DC 30 to 40 range) to allow the PCs the chance to successfully beach the ship (without all the dreadful loss of life).

And having failed that I'd have appreciated the chance to use my PC's spells and abilities to try and save some of the NPC's lives.

Given that the SW is predestined to run aground, I plan to make the PCs actions the key factor in determining how much of their stuff they get to take with them through HTBM. If they flub their checks and don't make good decisions, then everything except their belt knives goes to the bottom and they swim ashore barefoot. If they do well, they'll keep more stuff and be able to recover more from the wreckage.

Taldor

Thomas Austin wrote:


Given that the SW is predestined to run aground, I plan to make the PCs actions the key factor in determining how much of their stuff they get to take with them through HTBM. If they flub their checks and don't make good decisions, then everything except their belt knives goes to the bottom and they swim ashore barefoot. If they do well, they'll keep more stuff and be able to recover more from the wreckage.

I like the idea but I'd stress a bit of caution here, the STAP is very hard on resources as is, and taking away the PC's hard earned items because of this crash might be devastating later on (also you might face a player revolt!). If you do this, and the PCs fail badly, I'd highly recommend adding more treasure along they to allow the PCs to recuperate their losses. Believe me, they'll need every advantage they can get later on in this adventure!

Taldor

One last set of notes for the Sea Wyven's Wake:

Sea Wyvern Passenger list

01 Tristan Lidu *: (PC) Captain and conjuror of the Sea Wyvern. She’s known to mutter to herself and occationally talk in strange tongues. Has a toad familiar that she often talks to.

02 Kale Silverthumb *: (PC) Captain at Arms. Kale seems to revere oriental philosophy, clothing, and swordsmanship . . . even though he doesn’t seem to fully understand them.

03 Kiki *: (PC) Quartermaster. Kiki is quick of mind and body. Unfortunately she doesn’t take the time to think most things through. She is quite rash.

04 Buffy *: (DM PC) Ship medic. Priestess of Pelor. Very agreeable. Always seems to agree with the majority.

05 James Kidd *: (PC) Officer and Pilot. Seems cursed with bad luck. Quite clumsy. Seems to be a natural leader. Extremely good liar.

06 Orlani *: (NPC cohort) leading seaman and boatswain. James’ girlfriend and right hand. Seems far more competent then her boyfriend.

07 Fredrick Norrington *: (PC) Ship navigator and diplomat. Somewhat quite and reserved, only really comes alive during battles and difficult negotiations.

08 Churtle *: (NPC) ship cook. Churtle was rescued from the lotus dragons by the PCs and has agreed to stay on as their cook for the long journey. Churtle is also an expert poison maker. She almost never confuses her two professions.

09 Amella Venkalie *: (NPC) First Mate. Perhaps the most knowledgeable sailor aboard the Sea Wyvern. She is quick to voice her opinion and doesn’t shy away from a fight. She has a quick temper.

10 Father Feres (AKA Conrad Horst)*: (NPC) former priest, now lowly deckhand. Conrad is a con man who pretended to be a priest to escape justice. Claims to be a changed man after a near death experience . . . time will tell if this is true or if it’s another elaborate ruse.

11 Avner Meravanchi: (NPC) Passenger. Avner’s father is funding part of this expedition, claims that he’s sending Avner along to oversee his investment, in actuality he may have funded the expedition as a reason to get rid of Avner for a while. Avner is a clueless, spoiled, liar, and cheat. Is practically expected to throw a tantrum if he doesn’t get his own way.

12 Banaby Chisk: (NPC) Passenger. One of Avner’s valets. Quite, doesn’t socialize.

13 Quenge Asper: (NPC) Passenger. One of Avner’s valets. Quite, doesn’t socialize.

14 Lirith Veldirose *: (NPC) leading seaman. A flamboyant tomboy that loves to be the center of attention (good or bad).

15 Tavey Nesk *: (NPC) cabin boy. Eager to please and a hard worker. Has taken a shine to Kale for some reason.

16 Skald *: (NPC) leading seaman. Quite and mysterious. Skald acts like someone guilty of something. Actually on the run from dangerious individuals in Styes.

17 Urol Forol *: (NPC) ship’s science officer, secondary navigator, and expedition guide at Farshore. Urol loves bugs and nature. He also loves ancient ruins and danger. Quite possibly insane. Always cheerful.

18 Dorent Migter*: (NPC) Artillerist. Dwarven engineer. Clams to be the older brother.

19 Morlond Migter*: (NPC) Artillerist. Dwarven engineer. Clams to be the taller brother.

20 Davey Jones *: (NPC) ordinary seaman and deckhand. Davey can’t swim despite being at sea most of his life. Wants to marry an Olman girl and settle down somewhere.

21 John silver *: (NPC) ordinary seaman and deckhand. Always looking to drink and gamble. Perhaps the most superstitious member of the crew.

22 Rodger Jolly *: (NPC) ordinary seaman and deckhand. Despite his last name Rodger is almost always in a bad mood about something. Often can be found gambling with John.

23 Anne Bonney *: (NPC) ordinary seaman and deckhand. Big and quite, easily as strong as most men aboard ship, is best friends with Mary.

24 Mary Read *: (NPC) ordinary seaman and deckhand. Mary is loud and obnoxious. As bad as anyone for starting fights. She is often the one to throw the first punch.

25 Mitch Tailor: (NPC) passenger. Farmer and father. Enjoys smoking a pipe but can’t bellow deck. Often can be found topside at night smoking.

26 Wynona Tailor: (NPC) passenger. Mother and wife. Actual head of the Tailor family, Mitch quietly looks to his wife before making any decisions. Was a seamstress and weaver before marrying Mitch.

27 Will Tailor: (NPC) passenger. Middle son of the Tailor family. The eldest daughter and youngest son remained behind in Sasserine. Will is hoping to find a wife and help his father build a new farm at Farshore.

28 Mike Carpenter: (NPC) passenger. Mike is actually a carpenter by trade (like his last name suggests) but he’s also good at a large verity of odds and ends including smithy, masonry, and fishing. He hopes that he’ll be able to practice his wide verity of skills in Farshore away from the controlling influence of the trade guilds.

29 Lane Carpenter: (NPC) passenger. Like her husband Lane is also a master of many trades, including weaving, sewing, apothecary, and midwifery. She’d prefer to practice the latter two skills at Farshore so she’ll have something to pass down to her daughter.

30 Merriam Carpenter: (NPC) passenger. Only child of Mike and Lane. Merriam is almost sixteen and not happy about having to leave friends and family to journey to Farshore. Recently she has taken a liking to Will Tailor.

(* indicates a crew member)

I didn't want to post this earlier because it contained some spoilers. If anyone needs a list for there own campaign please feel free to use whatever you like off of mine.


Guy Humual wrote:
vikingson wrote:
But sincerly, that was not the most inspired piece of writing and conceptualising in SWW, and could have been much better set-up earlier on - say with damages from the first storm, so the characters could get an inkling how utterly destructive and terrible that second storm would be.
I suppose I could have reported the aftermath of that first storm better, but during the actual storm Tristan was in her cabin suffering from a nasty bump on the noggin if you remember. I did make it...

OMG, that wasn't aimed at you - I was talking about the adventure itself here ! Please accept my apologies if I possibly slighted you, even in accident !

*chagrinned*

And I do see the reasoning for you leaving behind the dead, it just made me wonder how Kale (and Frederick ) would "tick" about it.

Taldor

vikingson wrote:

OMG, that wasn't aimed at you

NP man, I like a bit of criticism now and then, helps me to know what's working and what isn't. I've asked for criticism and I'd never get mad at anyone who gave it to me (unless it's something useless like "U sux").

vikingson wrote:
And I do see the reasoning for you leaving behind the dead, it just made me wonder how Kale (and Frederick ) would "tick" about it.

This crash really sucked all around, I'm not exactly sure how long it would have taken the twelve of us to bury 15 people, but I'm willing to bet it would have taken the rest of the day at least. Worse still: rotting flesh attracts monsters . . .

One other problem: no shovel.


First of all Kale's not a very religous person. He felt bad about the dead people, but barely surviving himself and being eaten alive and having to cut yourself out kinda makes one forget about dead people and start thinking about "How am I gonna live?"
Also, Kale loosly follows Bushido. He would only really give honor to the dead warriors.


Guy Humual wrote:


One other problem: no shovel.

the eternal problem.... Many good thing not taking place for the lackof a proper tool !

Well, our guys went for a pyre, which was easier to do since they didn't have a shovel either - and nicely circumvented the question whether the dinosaurs and other scavengers would dig for the corpses...

I am certainly looking forward to the further exploits of "mad Tristan & Company".


I awoke to the sound of Churtle exercising. At first I thought I was still dreaming, she was dancing about swinging about ten feet of knotted rope. When I sat up she immediately put the rope away and began busying herself with breakfast.

“Breakfast is almost ready,” Churtle chirped as she poked at the fire.

“Morning Churtle,” I said as I sat up looking around the camp, only Buffy wide awake and going about her morning prayers. I edged a little closer to Churdle. “Are you adding a new morning routine? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that rope before . . .”

Churtle let out a small nervous giggle. “You saw that eh boss,” she said rubbing the back of her head, “just something I’m working on . . .”

“Something?” I repeated as a question.

“You ever reads Gaxsban or Lady Sasserine?” she asked. I knew both of those books: Gaxsban was a terrible trashy romance novel that featured a far too much sword fighting and not nearly enough of the stuff that makes a trashy romance novel worth reading, and Lady Sasserine was only slightly better, but a book that most of the girls at our school felt unabashed about reading because it contained a token amount of history. Of the two books I preferred Lady Sasserine. She wasn’t a woman to get tied up and wait for a man to rescue her.

“I know both books,” I said (although somewhat reluctantly).

“Well you know Kurtmaziigg?” Churtle asked. At first I had no idea who I she was talking about . . . then I remembered a conversation we had many, many weeks ago. Kurtmaziigg was the Kobold king in Lady Sasserine.

“He’s the kobold king isn’t he?” I said.

“Well, yes and noes,” Churtle said with a toothy smile, “he was king in the book, but the reals Kurt bes great warrior, and him just bes kings champion. In real battle him used his spiked chain to rip out Teraknian’s eye and trips him before he could saves Lady Sasserine!” she added with glee. I didn’t remember this particular scene being as happy as Churtle did. “Anyways in Lady Sasserine Kurt uses spear, because all Kobolds use spears in them books,” Churtle said with a roll of her eyes, “but in real life he uses spiked chain! Hows you gonna trip someone with spear anyways?”

That I didn’t know. He was only a minor character in the book, he had perhaps a page and a half at best, but if the book had made factual errors about him I wouldn’t have been surprised. The entire novel was pretty rife with errors.

“Wait a minute,” I said, suddenly remembering something about Gaxsban, “didn’t Gaxsban kill a bunch of Kobolds that were using spiked chains in the hall of the pleasure queen,” I realized my memory might have been a bit too specific, “ . . . or something,” I quickly added.

“Ya,” Churtle said dejectedly, “but Gaxsban not a reals person, so likely noes real Kobold assassins really died. I not likes that book too much anyway, almost no kobolds and far too much sex, I thinks Gaxsban hump every woman he meet.”

“So,” I said, trying to avoid talking about a book which I suddenly remembered had a lot more trashy romance novel bits then I initially thought, “You’re trying to learn how to use a spiked chain?”

“ya,” Churtle said picking up the rope again, “spear be goods in tunnels, but here in open space, I thinks spiked chain work better. Best thing is that I can get bad guys who be far away and not get ins the way of Kale and James.”

“Churtle,” I said trying to be as delicate as possible, “maybe you should leave the fighting to the men, I mean you’re trying to learn magic and . . .”

“I’ve been thinking about that boss,” Churtle said giving the rope a few swings, “I’ll never be as good as yous, maybe I nevers get powerful enough to be useful, but I might be useful as support attacker though.”

“Churtle,” I said, “this isn’t a Kobold village, and I’m not going to let anyone abandon you because you’re not pulling your own weight.”

“Hmm,” Churtle said scratching her chin, “we surrounded on all sides be monsters that are bigger than us and want to eat us. How this not like a kobold village?”

I blinked. I wasn’t able to come up with a non obvious answer.

“Everyone should pull their own weight,” Churtle added, “I don’t wants to hide when battle starts, I wants to help, and I can do that with a frying pan.”

As a response I opened my Haversack and pulled out Aunt Mary May’s crossbow. I suspected that it would be more useful in Churtle’s hands then mine. “You know how to use one of these?” I asked.

“Yep,” she said, demonstrating by quickly reloading the oversized (in her hands) weapon, “it’s big for Kobold but once it’s loaded you just point and click!”

“Alright then,” I said finding the original case of bolts my aunt had given me (I had fired only 3 bolts, well fired 5 but I recovered 2 thanks to not getting them stuck in any targets). “I want you to help me and Kiki with the support.”

“Oks,” Churtle chirped with a toothy smile, “but I’m still gonna learns how to swing a spiked chain: someone gots to protect yous while you cast your summons.”

I smiled; thankful for Churtle’s friendship. Having people believe in me, trust me, and support me really made a huge difference these last few days. For breakfast Churtle surprised us with Terror bird steak! Unfortunately without oil or a proper marinade they turned out a tad dry. Still it was nice to have fresh food for a change. I’ve eaten enough hard tack and salted beef to last me a lifetime, even the dried fruit and wind dried sausages we picked up at Renkrue had grown monotonous, and anything new was a welcome change.

After breakfast we began our arduous trek through the jungle. It turned out that there were plenty of game trails through the jungle. Dinosaurs, you see, make big wide paths through even the densest growth, and the only difficulty we experienced was cutting our way from one path to the next. By noon we came across a great crater made, from what we could only guess, a huge meteor. The jungle had yet to reclaim the landscape. So, if it was a meteor strike, it couldn’t have happened all that long ago. I wondered if there are moon rocks or pieces of the heavens buried somewhere at the bottom of that crater?

The terrain wasn’t impassible but our immediate concerns were the huge diplodocus dinosaurs grazing in the area. If you could imagine a sailing ship growing legs and a tail you could imagine the size of the things. They weren’t carnivorous but seeing as there wasn’t one of us bigger than the bottom of a diplodocus’ foot we weren’t going to take the chance on provoking them! Urol informed us that they were harmless but we still gave them a wide birth. The peaceful giants took no notice of us and continued grazing as if we didn’t even exist. If we thought we were going to get through this scarred landscape unmolested we were sadly mistaken. As we approached the opposite side of the crater we heard this strange cry followed by something huge crashing through the jungle.

We all moved into defensive stances. Ahead, some fifty feet away, a young Diplodocus charged out of the jungle being pursued by six terror birds! The safest choice would have been to allow nature to take its course but Urol (of all people) suddenly wanted us to intervene!

“Leave him alone you bullies! You have to do something!” he shouted, “those terror birds will kill him!”

At first I thought to reason with the gnome, explain to him that we were in enough danger without looking to find battles, but looking into those little squinty grey eyes of his told me that this wasn’t something that he was going to let go easily. Truth be told I didn’t want to let these Terror birds make a meal out of the baby diplodocus either . . . maybe it was because it was young and I was young, or maybe I’d already developed a hatred (and perhaps a bit of a taste) for these Terror birds already. I quickly looked to my companions and I could see that most wanted to help the (not so) little guy out as well. We silently nodded to each other, and then sprung into action.

As luck would have it, the dinosaur chose to run in our direction (bringing his attackers with him). I wasted no time in making our presence known! As the beast lumbered out of my line of sight I targeted the perusing terror birds with a maximized fireball. Four of the nasty beasts fell. The two remaining were toasty critters. Kale, James, and Fredrick moved forward to intercept the predators, and they, combined with missile fire from Kiki and Churtle, were able to make short work of the last two. The dinosaur showed its thanks by nearly bowling Buffy, Kiki, Churtle, and me over, while simultaneously smashing Kale, James, and Fredrick with its tale.

“Thanks,” Urol said as we picked ourselves up off the ground, “You guys are the best. You’re true heroes and friends of nature.” I’m guessing he choose to ignore the looks of venom directed at him and the fleeing dinosaur.

By supper we found the terrain seemed to be constantly rising and the jungle seemed to be thinning. The insanely cheerful Urol said that we should make the base of the mountains by nightfall but I had no intension of sleeping out in the open on this island. Who knows what might swoop out of the sky in the middle of the night! I knew of flying lizards and dinosaurs as well as tales of a great bird so large that it could carry off elephants! This island seemed exactly the place for these terrible creatures to live. I nervously scanned the skies.

Ahead we spotted some Oman ruins. Apparently, according to Urol, there are many Oman ruins dotted all over the island. This island had once been a seat of power for the ancient Oman Empire. What this particular set or ruins had once been, I had no idea, but as we approached we saw that the place was now infested with spiders. There seemed to be a thin carpet of spider webbing over everything. Most of the spiders were just tiny little things (the kind transmuters can swallow in one gulp) but there were quite a few larger spiders scurrying about (the kind transmuters call two biters). I understand some people are scared of spiders, I’m not, but after those ruins I could certainly emphasize!

As we drew deeper and deeper into the ruins I became vaguely aware of larger shapes moving about inside the buildings, at first I thought they might be humans or animals or even those mysterious ettercaps, but no man or mammal lurked in those darkened shelters. I caught sight of three great black hairy legs, longer then my arms. I jumped forward to warn my companions but they had already halted – there in the centre of town sat a throne made of webs and bones. An aged woman in black silk sat high atop the throne. I remembered reading Larissa’s journal all those months ago and I knew instantly this old crone wasn’t all she appeared. She beckoned us forward.

“What do we do?” Kale asked.

“You wait here,” I said eying the old lady, “Fredrick and Urol you’re with me, but stay close: if this is a trap I’m going to D-door us out of there. The rest of you stay on your toes and beware, there may be giant spiders in some of those buildings.”

“I don’t know . . .” Kale started.

“Be careful,” Kiki said cutting him off, “and whatever you do don’t walk into her parlor.”

I stepped forward before Kale or the others could question my decision further. Fredrick and Urol were almost forced to jog after me as I choose to advance at a brisk pace.

“I hope you know what you’re doing,” Fredrick said when he caught up.

“Haven’t got a clue,” I said as I approached the webs, the ancient lady began calling to us in a language that sounded familiar but that I couldn’t quite place. Perhaps she spoke a strange dialect of a language I was already familiar with? Undeterred she changed to Sylvain.

“Hail strangers,” she said, “would you care to speak?”

“Hail web mistress,” I said, trying to sound as friendly yet as guarded as I could, “we mean you and your kin no harm and only seek passage through your lands.”

“Who are you that has wandered into my web?” she asked, “You are not from this place. I have not seen your like in an age. I am Lithira, queen of these ruins. What brings you to my domain?”

“I am Tristan Lidu leader of this small expedition,” I said with a general wave at the others, quickly turning back to introduce my companions standing next to me, “this is Fredrick our diplomat,” the startled blank look in Fredrick’s face told me he didn’t understand a single word that was being said, “and this is Urol our guide,” the twinkle and interest in Urol’s eyes told me that he clearly understood, I cut him off before he could say something inappropriate or awkward, “and due to some tragic chance and ill fortune we’re forced to travel to the far side of the island on foot.”

“Did you, perchance, come to this island by boat?” she asked curiously.

“Yes,” I honestly said, “but sadly our boat was dashed on the rocks . . .”

“Then perhaps you have tales or events from elsewhere in the world,” she said leaning forward egger to hear my stories.

“But of course great spider,” I said realizing my new roll, “are you at all familiar with the events that have transpired in the part of the Oerth we call the Flanaess?” she shook her head to expressive the negative. “Then let me tell you a tale of the arrogance and folly of man and the terrible events known as the Twin Cataclysms. The events that would end two great civilizations and would re-shape the Flanaess as we know it . . .” I continued my history lector until I got to the part about the founding of Sasserine and I think I wisely choose to exclude any quotes or scenes from the novel.

“I thank you for your tale.” She said with a smile, leaning back on her throne, “the world beyond sounds truly wondrous and I would very much like to visit it one day. As for your journey, there is little I can do to aide you. You should know that the way to the south is dangerous. There are unnatural things that lurk in the dark places, now more than in the past. I know that four eyes have gazed upon you and their servant seeks you out. You would do well to avoid him.

“If you plan to head south, take the dark mountain pass that travels under the peaks. It was made by the ancient ones, but beware – hungry birds nest near its opening not far from here, and they are fierce near their young. May you wander the web to find your way home.”

“Who is ‘four eyes’?” I asked, trying to think of every creature or person that might have been given such an unusual name, “and what creatures lurk in these dark places?”

“These things I’m afraid I can’t tell you,” she said with a shrug, “these are but visions and shadows, looking for answers is like grasping at smoke. I know only what I see not always what it means.”

I asked a few more questions, mainly about the history of the island and its people, but sadly she could tell me little. Her kind had arrived on the island only after the mysterious disaster struck the Oman civilization. I also asked about the surrounding area but again I learned little. It seems our host had not traveled the island in some time.

“It was a great honor to speak with you,” I eventually said when I had no more questions, adding a sight curtsy, “and thank you for your time then do we have permission to travel through your city?”

“Yes human,” she said, “and please take care, you were a refreshing change from others of your kind, I think it sad that I do not expect that our paths will cross again. Go with my blessings.”

With that we turned and left. The other gasped in surprise at something behind me.

“Did you see that?” Kale asked, “She just turned into a giant spider and scurried away!”

“Yes,” I said, “she was an Aranea, spiders that can change shape and cast spells. They have been known to eat humanoids but they’re not reported as being particularly malicious or cruel . . .”

“Whatever,” Avner snapped, “you can stay here with your new found spider friends if you like, but the rest of us are leaving!”

I could tell the others shared Avner’s fears, if somewhat reluctant to agree with the twit, and truth be told I had no desire to outstay our welcome either.

“We have permission to travel through these ruins,” I said, “and the aranea even told us of a route through the mountains. That should aid us in our journey immensely.”

“Can we trust her?” Kale asked.

“Well supposing her information was false, what would she have to gain?” I asked, “Luring us away from her city where we’re surrounded on all sides by her minions, into some sort of . . . trap? That she cautioned us about anyways? Perhaps warning us about phantom villains so that we’d worry ourselves to death?”

“Well I don’t knw what she said, but maybe some of it’s a lie but the rest of its true?” He asked with a shrug. It wasn’t faulty logic: if the aranea wanted to trick us that would be the best way of going about it, but to what end? I still believed that the aranea had given us information that she believed to be true; but, I was forced to admit that Kale wasn’t such a complete dolt at times. He occasionally used his brains instead of his sword. Too bad it’s often one or the other with him.

“Possible but highly unlikely,” I said as I continued our trek, “I’ll tell you about what else she said and what I’ve learned as we walk.”

We quickly left the Oman ruins and climbed a far ways up into the foot hills before we stopped for supper. We didn’t bother trying to light a fire, so supper was cold terror bird meat with a piece of hard tack and some berries that Urol had discovered earlier. I told the others what I’d learned from the aranea and we carefully pondered over the riddles she’d left us with. The general census was that we trusted Lithira’s words if not Lithira herself. We decided to look for this mountain pass that the aranea had spoken of. The only real landmark she had given us was that ‘hungry birds nested near its opening’, not much to go on, but the ever optimistic Urol thought we might reach the mouth before nightfall. Naturally I had my doubts . . . but after about an hour of climbing we spotted a nest of terror birds further up the mountain.

To be honest I was a bit disappointed that we were dealing with more terror birds, I think, between last night and today, I was growing sick of them, and I think I might have secretly been hoping that we were going to face a new challenge! Still, even though we’d seen plenty of these animals already today, we couldn’t afford to underestimate this new challenge. We planned our approach carefully. Kale, James, and Fredrick advanced ahead of us, Buffy and Orlani followed a few steps behind, ready to jump forward to fill holes and offer melee support, and Kiki and I followed behind them ready to offer ranged support. Churtle and Amella followed even further behind, offering even further fire support in case we needed to collapse back and needed cover, and finally Avner, Urol, Tavey, and Thunderstrike followed taking up the rear.

The birds were extremely territorial, the moment our front line came within sixty feet they reared and charged, and I’m not sure if I mentioned this or not, but these things move very, very quickly! In a heartbeat they were on top of us. Being animals, they only had very basic tactics, and they foolishly charged straight at our front line. Our fighters held the line and the beasts in the rear bunched up behind. Now, given the opportunity, they might have used their speed to flank and engage us on all sides, but I had no intension of letting them have that opportunity! I threw an empowered fireball strait into their midst, and I don’t mean to brag, but it was a well cast and placed spell. It only dropped two of the five beasts but I managed to hurt all of them. One of the terror birds was the largest and most powerful we’d ever seen (it stood at least fifteen feet high!), rather than waste my magic trying to bring the giant down, I focused my magic on dropping the other beasts and thus freeing up my companions so we could focus our efforts.

The terror birds liked to focus their efforts, and for some reason they choose to focus on Fredrick, but thankfully Fredrick proved to be an elusive target. The smaller birds could scarcely touch him, the huge terror bird however . . . the beast ripped at him with its claws and pecked at him with its beak. Had my fireball not diminished their numbers Fredrick might not have survived that initial barrage. As is, he it took every bit of agility and skill he had to keep from being pecked to death. Support quickly arrived though, and despite the beast’s strength and power, it didn’t last long once our forces got into flanking positions! Finally the monster fell, Fredrick too had collapsed only moments earlier, but Buffy was quick to tend to his wounds and Fredrick was soon up and about (looking none the worse for the ware).

Kiki was quick to run up the trail to search the nests. What she hopped to find I couldn’t guess, these were animals after all, and animals were not known for their love of art and valuables. The nests did contain eggs however: 3 nests, and amazingly, 3 eggs in each! Upon seeing the eggs Urol immediately wanted one for himself. I sighed, silently wondering where a three and a half foot gnome (counting his pointy hat) was going to carry a one foot egg, but I suspected I knew.

“Tristan,” Kale called over, he and James were in conference with each other, “come here a moment.”

“Do you know how much those eggs are worth?” James asked when I approached.

“To smugglers or to honest folk?” I asked, daring him to suggest smuggling them back to Sasserine somehow.

“I’m just talking ideal market price,” James said, ignoring my implications.

“Five hundred gold!” Kale said before I could guess, “nine times five hundred is . . .”

“Eight times five hundred is easier,” I said glancing over at Urol, “besides the gnome already asked for an egg and I relented.”

“For what?” Kale asked.

“I don’t know, maybe he really likes giant omelets, but I’m not going to relent now. He’s helped us plenty thus far and if he wants an egg then I think we should give him an egg.”

“But they’re worth five hundred . . .” James almost whined.

“What’s the market price out here?” I asked, “Hello Mr. rock what do you figure this egg is worth to you?”

“Eeew look what I found,” shouted Kiki from the largest nest.

“I’ve got no problem with the way we split up the swag, or even giving an egg to Urol,” James was saying as we climbed up the hill to Kiki, “but maybe if you’d ask for our opinions from time to time, people wouldn’t get so hostile. A good leader at least offers the illusion that they listen to their companions from time to time. Maybe if you’d listen, and give folks a chance, you might be surprised.”

I gave my two companions a glance, James had an unreadable expression on his face, and Kale just sort of shrugged and looked at his belt buckle.

“What do you suppose that is?” Kiki said, prodding the half eaten corpse in the nest. It almost looked like a spider, but the tell tale hump on the things back still remained, if not the head and front arms. “Looks like one of them araneas.” Kiki said prodding the thing with a stick she’d been using to climb with.

“I think you’re right,” I said glancing to the others, out of habit I detected for magic, surprisingly a soiled piece of fabric underneath the body glowed. “Looks like there’s something magical in here,” I said as I pulled at the fabric. The item turned out to be a cloak. It was absolutely filthy though, and would take some serious cleaning before we could sell it. It would take some serious cleaning before anyone in their right mind would ware it . . . even if it did have protective magic in it.

We picked up anything of value from the camp. The eggs found their way into my haversack. It was really the only safe way of transporting them – they might smash together or just get jarred if secured to Thunderstrike. We then climbed a bit further to find the cave entrance. It wasn’t a grand complex, and there weren’t any carvings or markings outside to suggest that this cave led all the way through the mountains, but just within the mouth of the cave we could see signs of worked stone and human craftsmanship. The sun was already beginning to set so we decided to camp in the mouth of the cave. Thankfully Churtle had the foresight to bring some firewood (on the back of Thunderstrike) so we’d have a watch fire and something to cook breakfast with in the morning.

It had been a long hike and many of us were quite tiered at the end of it (myself included). I don’t consider myself a slouch when it comes to walking, back in Sasserine I walked everywhere, and on the ship I always had a daily constitutional (pacing from stem to stern and back again 44 times throughout the day, or roughly one mile), but I had never walked this far in my life! Fredrick figured we covered about thirteen miles (give or take) and tomorrow we’d likely need to travel the same distance. I pulled off my boots to examine my feet. They weren’t used to this sort of punishment. They showed signs of blisters and sores . . .

“Let’s see,” Kale said looking over my feet, “ouch, looks like someone’s pretty little feet aren’t used to this kind of work.”

“And how are your delicate little tootsies fairing?” I asked.

Kale plopped down next to me and pulled off his own great boot. “About as well as yours,” he honestly said.

“Look Kale, we haven’t been on the best of terms lately, have we?” I reluctantly asked. Kale shrugged. “Maybe we can put some of this bickering and bad blood behind us.”

“Bad blood?” he asked with a bit of surprise.

“You know what I mean.”

“Sure,” Kale said with a slightly confused look on his face, “if that’s what you want Tristan.” He said patting my shoulder. He gingerly pulled his boot back on and moved on to see how Kiki was doing. I sighed, was all this fighting and feuding simply in my head?

‘No,’ croaked Hop-Toy, ‘but he doesn’t know how you feel.’

“Then how do I make him understand?” I asked my toad.

‘Why bother?’ Hop-Toy asked, ‘would you try to explain alchemy to a gopher? I think it best to leave it at ‘blue bottle good, black bottle bad’. Quite frankly that’s all he’s capable of grasping . . .’

“Who,” I asked, “the gopher or Kale?”

‘Both’ snapped my toad, ‘don’t you understand a metaphor?’

“I don’t means to interrupt,” Churtle said, edging over to me, “I’m sure the boss has an important discussion with her toad . . .”

‘Obey me!’ croaked Hop-Toy.

“But I was wondering if wes could do a lesson?” Chrutle finished.

“Sure,” I said plucking Hop-Toy unceremoniously off my lap and storing him under the bullywug crown, “he’s getting pushy and full of himself anyways.”

‘Obey me!’ bellowed Hop-Toy one last time before he found himself in the dark under my hat.

We studied for some time. It was getting quite late and my eyes were beginning to droop when it happened. Ironically I was just about to tell her that it was time to stop when the tiny ball of light appeared on her finger tips. I blinked and quickly rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn’t imagining the thing. Churtles own eyes had gone as big as saucers!

“Are you doing that boss?” she asked.

“No,” I said in amazement, “you’re doing that all on your own.”

Truth be told, up until this point, I felt as though I had been humoring her. The ability to cast magic is such a rare gift . . . I figured what are the chances? As I watched that raw unrefined magical light bounce and flutter in Churtle’s hands I knew I had to recalculate my probabilities! Everything that’s happened this far has been too improbable to calculate, yet we’ve survived dinosaurs, ship wrecks, demons, and even sea monsters. There had to be forces greater than our own at play here. I closed my eyes and said thanks to the Stern Lady and her lover. Even if they didn’t have a hand in all these miracles I knew I should thank someone.

Thanks for miracles and small mercies,
Cthulhu Dreams

Taldor

Author's notes:
How does one learn how to use a spiked chain? I imagine it's done in steps: string, rope, knotted rope, nerf chain, chain, and finally spiked chain. I never did like this weapon but I can't deny it's tactical advantage. initially I was planing on giving Churtle a long spear or pole arm mainly to aid the others in combat (and seeing as a dragon disciple Churtle would gain a natural attack she wouldn't need to worry about creatures getting inside her reach) but the more I thought about it the more the flexibility of the spiked chain appealed to me. The area a spiked chain threatens alone was inventive enough. To do the same thing with a standard reach weapon requires two feats (weapon focus and short haft).

I love how Tristan tries to deny culpability for reading trashy novels. "Oh Lady Sasserine is about history so it's educational . . ."
She reads anything she can get her hands on I'm sure . . . if they have a scantily clad lady on the cover so much the better.

The next barbarian I make is going to be a lusty fellow named Gaxsban.

What's Tristan eating this time?
Answer: Terror bird. Easy answer this time . . . I imagine these creatures would taste like Emu if anyone was wondering . . .

Diplodocus dinosaurs are jerks. They deserve whatever they get!

What's with the transmuter jokes? Ever read the material component for spider climb? Ever gonna have a wizard use that spell in the future?

Our Diplomat and the Spider Queen: In Fredrick's defense Sylvain probably isn't all that common of a language . . . but if you're going to find work as a diplomat you might want to learn more then common. Fredrick has sense learned Oman, Abyssal, Suel, and undercommon. Fat lot of good it did us here though.

The mild surprise birds: by this point in the adventure our reaction to the terror birds was 'yawn, oh look, more terror birds,' These things were still dangerous mind you, but our encounters with them were becoming less and less worrisome with each meeting. We quickly discovered that these things like to swarm one player, and if that player, is say, Fred (who could pump is AC up to high 20s to low 30s), then the terror birds spend a lot of time trying to hit and failing badly! The big Momma didn't seem to have too much trouble hitting Fred though (as Fred soon found out) so if it wasn't for a well placed (and a well rolled) fireball, this fight could of been real trouble for us. As is we really had to concentrate on bringing down the damage dealer fast!

Seriously, what does Urol do with his egg? It was never mentioned again in our campaign . . .

Kale and Tristan: During the SWW Tristan and Kale went at it pretty good. Thankfully during this adventure we start to see them mending their friendship . . . or rather we see Tristan starting to realize that Kale isn't so much cruel as he is oblivious to anyone's else's feelings. You don't learn stuff like this in those trash novels!

Last thing: more Churtle development, Churtle gains a level in duskblade by the time we make it to the seaside cliff, and in the diaries that's only about one night off. Churtle hasn't mastered magic yet but she's very close to becomming a level one caster.


Tristan Lidu wrote:

“Hmm,” Churtle said scratching her chin, “we surrounded on all sides be monsters that are bigger than us and want to eat us. How this not like a kobold village?”

I blinked. I wasn’t able to come up with a non obvious answer.

priceless !

Tristan Lidu wrote:
Most of the spiders were just tiny little things (the kind transmuters can swallow in one gulp) but there were quite a few larger spiders scurrying about (the kind transmuters call two biters).

consider that terminology officially stolen

Taldor

vikingson wrote:
priceless !

Thanks, I really like writing for Hop-Toy and Churtle because their view of the world is quite a bit different then Tristan's, and they create an interesting contrast. Churtle has some good lines in game but the only time Hop-Toy gets to speak is in these diaries.

vikingson wrote:
consider that terminology officially stolen

hehe, I wonder how many people actually read the spell components?

I could just imagine some poor transmuter trapped in a dungeon somewhere needing spider climb to escape and only finding spiders the sizes of their fist. Fun stuff :)


Guy Humual wrote:
What's Tristan eating this time?

This segment is gonna get better!

Cheliax

Guy Humual wrote:

Author's notes:

How does one learn how to use a spiked chain? I imagine it's done in steps: string, rope, knotted rope, nerf chain, chain, and finally spiked chain. I never did like this weapon but I can't deny it's tactical advantage. initially I was planing on giving Churtle a long spear or pole arm mainly to aid the others in combat (and seeing as a dragon disciple Churtle would gain a natural attack she wouldn't need to worry about creatures getting inside her reach) but the more I thought about it the more the flexibility of the spiked chain appealed to me. The area a spiked chain threatens alone was inventive enough. To do the same thing with a standard reach weapon requires two feats (weapon focus and short haft).

I love how Tristan tries to deny culpability for reading trashy novels. "Oh Lady Sasserine is about history so it's educational . . ."
She reads anything she can get her hands on I'm sure . . . if they have a scantily clad lady on the cover so much the better.

The next barbarian I make is going to be a lusty fellow named Gaxsban.

What's Tristan eating this time?
Answer: Terror bird. Easy answer this time . . . I imagine these creatures would taste like Emu if anyone was wondering . . .

Diplodocus dinosaurs are jerks. They deserve whatever they get!

What's with the transmuter jokes? Ever read the material component for spider climb? Ever gonna have a wizard use that spell in the future?

Our Diplomat and the Spider Queen: In Fredrick's defense Sylvain probably isn't all that common of a language . . . but if you're going to find work as a diplomat you might want to learn more then common. Fredrick has sense learned Oman, Abyssal, Suel, and undercommon. Fat lot of good it did us here though.

The mild surprise birds: by this point in the adventure our reaction to the terror birds was 'yawn, oh look, more terror birds,' These things were still dangerous mind you, but our encounters with them were becoming less and less worrisome with each meeting....

I am presently running a second group through the STAP, and they are about halfway through HTBM. They were also getting tired of running into terror birds by the time they got to the underground road. As it turned out, they put all that bird meat to good use as they had poor luck on the dice when salvaging supplies. I think the cliffside walkway will be more interesting, and I can't wait til they get their first taste of Olangru, as he was one of the most memorable villains for my first group that played through it.

In any event, the journals continue to be some of my favorite reading on the web. Keep up the great work!!!


I awoke to find Churtle perched above me.

“Mornin’ boss,” she chirped, “I gots breakfast almost ready and I gots your toad lots of fresh slugs.”

I was wondering why Hop-Toy hadn’t alerted me to Churtle’s presence. I glanced over at the traitorous amphibian. He was happily gobbling up a leaf full of defenseless slugs.

‘Ask her if she needs a familiar,’ he said between mouthfuls of the disgusting gastropods.

“And I was thinking that maybes we could have a quick lesson before we head out today,” she said hopefully.

“Churtle,” I said as I sat up and pulled on my bullywug crown, “I’m afraid there’s little else I can teach you, I’ve helped lead you to this monumental step, but I’m afraid I just don’t know enough about natural casting to lead you further.”

“Yous nots gonna help me anymore?” she cried.

“Churtle,” I said putting my hands on her shoulders, “you’re my friend, and I would never abandon you, but you’re going to have to figure out the next steps by yourself. I’m always here to answer your questions as best I can, but I can’t tell you how to cast magic any more then Hop-Toy could teach me how to breathe underwater or you could teach me to see in the dark. As spell casters go we seem to be pretty alien to each other.”

Churtle gave a sad little sigh.

“You’re a smart Kobold Churtle,” I said, “if anyone can figure it out I’m sure you can. I can tell you about theory or . . .”

“Oks,” Churtle said perking up, “Tells me about theory!”

“Ok Churtle,” I said, “but let’s do that on the road. Right now I need to study my spell book for today’s journey.”

Churtle seemed content with that.

Breakfast consisted of Terror bird again – although this time the meat was far juicer and flavorful. I thought it best not to ask Churtle how she perfected her recipe (quickly glancing at what she had discarded) the answer might have ruined my appetite. Avner took one look at what Churtle had prepared and he decided to stick with the hard tack and salt meat, which, I think, was fine by everyone. After a hearty breakfast we broke camp to begin the next leg of our arduous journey. I tried to remind myself that this wasn’t day two of ten but rather the second day of our ‘sightseeing adventure’! It sounded as stupid then as it does now.

For the next hour or so we walked through an underground cave system. At times the floor was worked stone, other times it seemed like natural caverns, but the path almost always remained perfectly straight. It was truly a remarkable engineering feat. I couldn’t help but wonder how much of this had been accomplished through magic and how much through muscle.

Of the thirteen of us only Churtle felt at home in the tunnels. Not long after we got out of the sun she peeled off her sun-dark goggles and offered to scout ahead. Thunderstrike hated these tunnels the most. At times it took every bit of coxing Urol could manage to get him to go forward. The rest of us were simply ill at ease. Amella in particular wasn’t happy about entering these tunnels:

“There has to be a better way overland,” she muttered (not for the first time) as she walked next to me, “I don’t like this, better to have the sun overhead and feel the wind against your face.”

“Seems safe enough down here,” I said, “I haven’t had the best experience with underground complexes, but this one doesn’t have undead in it – which is a nice change!”

“And it feels like we’re being watched,” she muttered looking behind us, “Wait!” she said suddenly turning, “did you say undead!”

“Well two out of three times,” I said to myself, “the mummy rot could hardly be counted as undead.”

“Damn it Tristan,” Amella cursed drawing nearer, “do you think there are undead down here?”

I glanced at the others, who were suddenly eyeing me nervously, “don’t be silly,” I said with the best laugh I could muster (unfortunately it came out sounding fake and forced). “What are the chances of that? Why I bet we won’t even see another living thing in these tunnels, never mind an undead one!”

That did little to placate her, or the others, who now, inexplicably, had the fear of the undead on their minds.

After a while we spotted light up ahead, but our hopes were quickly dashed, we hadn’t reached the end of the tunnels quite yet. We had merely traveled under one mountain and were now in a valley approaching another. There was actually no direct sunshine here. Rather light cascading down from somewhere up above. The air was relatively fresh here, and it seemed preferable to the darkness of the caves, but our peace was suddenly shattered by some falling rocks.

To be honest I didn’t hear a thing, but Kiki, Churtle, and Urol all snapped their heads around at once. Suddenly we were reminded that this was a dangerous island and caution was always necessary.

“What do you think that was,” Kiki asked.

“Somethings behinds us?” Churtle chirped.

“I told you this was a bad idea,” Amella muttered.

Slowly Kiki and Churtle scouted the area behind us. After a few moments they returned with nothing. Whatever it was, if it had been something, was gone.

“Could be a cave fisher,” Urol said with a shrug, “they like to lurk in caves and snatch up anything that walks under them. I heard there are giant ones somewhere on the island.”

Naturally that failed to relieve anyone.

For the next twenty minutes or so we all nervously gazed up at the cliffs, crevices, and overhangs above us as we walked along the trail. There were plenty of places to hide and far too many blind spots. We all now wondered and feared what might be lurking above. Thankfully the enclosed tunnels weren’t that far off. I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to be back underground.

Finally, after three hours of walking, the tunnel opened up into an underground complex. It had been built by the ancient Oman people. That much was clear, what with the Oman love of geometrical designs and animal motifs, but the most amazing thing may have been the fact that the complex looked completely untouched/ unexplored since the mysterious collapse of their empire all those centuries earlier. Case in point: the skeletal ribs pinned to the throne by a spear of the first room we entered!

What this room had been built for we can only guess, there was a pool that may have once been a fountain directly across from the entrance, a set of stairs leading deeper into the complex, and of course the aforementioned throne, but this was no guard post, and it seemed unlikely to me to be an actual great hall . . . but I’m quite unfamiliar with Oman culture or architecture so I honestly couldn’t speculate. Urol thought it was a greeting room. We were surprised to discover that the spear was still in pristine condition, the tip still remarkably sharp even after all these years, and when Buffy cast her detect magic spell she confirmed our suspicions: it was an enchanted weapon. We also discovered a gold necklace, and, oddly enough, a strange red rod that Kiki found in the pool. The water in the pool had become stagnant and Kiki was very lucky she didn’t get sick splashing around in the pool . . . I swear that halfling never thinks!

We took the stairs up and deeper into the complex. Soon we found ourselves standing at the edge of a massive gorge. Two bridges spanned the great chasm. Two massive stone statues seemed to stare down on us. Their mildew caked faces questioning our presence, but they didn’t hinder us, and they offered us no aide or suggestion as to which path we should choose. After much debate we decided on taking the bridge on the left, it was the straighter of the two, and our best option for missile fire should there be opposition on the other side of the door. The opposition wasn’t on the other side of the door though . . .

As we made it halfway across when a great black shadow slithered down the wall and landed on the bridge in front of us. It was a massive bug, a centipede, and blocked our path – and threatened to do more! Behind me I heard Avner’s girlish squeal and I turned to see another great black monster biting at him and Thunderstrike! Somehow it missed . . . and when Avner blindly ran for his miserable life the creature somehow missed him again! Who would have thought Avner would have such luck? Then again, seeing as he’d somehow made it thus far in life unharmed, he must have someone (in heaven or hell) looking out for him.

Our group sprang into action: Kale charged the insect in front of him, James and Buffy rushed back to challenge the bug at our backs, Fredrick looked to get between the stone doors on the other side of the bridge and the massive bug, and Kiki, Churtle, Amella, Orlani, and myself offered range support. I concentrated on the centipede that was in front of us as more people rushed to defend the rear and between Kale’s brutal chops, Fredrick’s quick swords, and my magic the bug went down quite quickly. The one in the rear took a bit more time – not for a lack of effort! But between a panicking horse, a panicking Avner, and a host of non combatants between James and monster, coordinating the assault on the remaining centipede was difficult. Buffy fended off the monster admirably while awaiting reinforcements though. I often forget that as well as being a healer she’s also a formidable warrior.

Finally the last centipede fell and our group remained relatively untouched. We pushed the carcasses off the bridge. Their bodies splashed into the water bellow, not quite sinking to the bottom, or perhaps the water bellow wasn’t as deep as I thought it was. On the other side of the bridge we found a large set of double doors . . . perhaps they had once sat and glided effortlessly on stone pins, but the ravages of time and gotten to these massive doors and not even Kale could budge them.

“They’re stuck,” Kale muttered, “There’s no moving them, let’s go back and try that other bridge.”

I began fumbling for my scroll case, I had the foresight to have bought a knock scroll for just such an emergency, but Kiki stopped us all.

“Why don’t you just work together?” she asked, “I’m sure three of you could push at the same time.”

I felt like slapping my forehead. I was too quick to use magic sometimes. Still, I was rather surprised that one of our smaller, less brutish teammates had come up with the idea, while the men were prepared to give up. Soon our three strongest companions (Kale, James, and Buffy) had braced themselves against the door and with one great heave, managed to push the door far enough to allow us (and the horse) access to other side. My heart sank when I saw what that was though . . .

“Looks like Catacombs,” James said.

“I wonder if there’s anything valuable inside . . .” Kiki said rubbing her hands together.

“Don’t you dare even . . .” I started saying, turning to Kiki, but Amella practically spun me by my arm.

“There’s no way in hell I’m going in there!” she snapped, “We need to find another way around.”

“We’d scout it out first,” I said, trying to calm the former sea captain down. She wasn’t panicking per se, not like Avner had anyways, but she was certainly not her normal fiery self confidant self. I could see worry in her eyes. She was clearly out of her element here, and somehow she must of thought that I was somehow at right at home! “We’re not going to put anyone at risk here. If we did go in it would be just James, Kiki, Kale, Buffy, Fredrick, and I, the rest of you would say on this bridge here and guard Thunderstrike, and Avner,” I added with a whisper. She glared at the pompous noble, who was just now beginning to compose himself.

“Or not,” I said with a shrug. “But the point is . . .” I caught sight of my companions advancing into the catacombs without me, “the point is that I wouldn’t want to put everyone at risk. You and Churtle look after the others; they’re not as competent as the two of you. And I’ll do my best to look after this other crazy lot. Between us girls we might just get out of this disaster with everyone still alive!”

I just managed to get to the doors, fully intending to scold whoever thought it would be a good idea to advance inside without their spell support, when I heard a shriek from somewhere further in.

“Mummies!” Kiki was crying, she ran straight past us, in wide eyed terror.

I immediately began summoning. From further in I could hear Buffy praying to her god.

“Back you undead monstrosities,” She cried, “the light of Pelor commands you.”

From further in I thought I could hear one or two of the men yelling in horror. Then Buffy was calling to Pelor again. Shouting for creatures to leave . . . I guess her commands didn’t take the first time. My beast finally arrived somewhere within the complex. I had no idea where because I had no idea how close my companions were! I had simply summoned the thing at the as far into the darkness as I could.

“Destroy the undead,” I commanded in abyssal. The creature, a powerful dire beast/wolf like thing, let out a great howl and then probably charged the first undead in its path. Then, to my dismay, I heard it start yipping, and it probably started fleeing for its other-worldly butt shortly afterwards. I could hear more yells of terror and anger. Deep inside the catacombs bedlam was erupting. Kiki charged past me, looking to rejoin the fight, and I watched as she reached the end of the hallway, raised her crossbow, and shot at something down another passage. I caught sight of the light shinning from Buffy’s ion stone and saw the shadows of her fighting with something on the wall. I thought about summoning again but there was no panic in Buffy’s voice now and I could see that Kiki had recomposed herself. It must have been the unholy auras of the powerful undead that had caused such fear. It seemed that now we had our opponents well in hand. I waited for the fighting to stop before rejoining the others.

“Everything alright here?” I asked when I turned the corner and joined up with them.

“There were three of them,” Buffy said, pointing down one of the corridors, “we took this one out the hard way,” she said kicking the dried husk at her feet. The creature didn’t look like the undead I had read about, namely a preserved corpse wrapped in strips of cloth, but rather more like dead that could be found in tombs back in Sasserine . . . complete with death shrouds, “but the other two went that way,” Buffy finished saying.

I quickly followed Buffy as we chassed after the other undead guardians. “Where are the others?” I suddenly asked.

“These mummies project an aura of fear that can shake even the most hardened of warriors,” she said glancing to Kiki, “not all of us fared as well as others I’m afraid.” Buffy wouldn’t tell me who had faltered but she made it clear that she hadn’t defeated the mummy on her own. I wondered why she was so tight lipped . . . it’s not as though I would think less of a man who had run from battle . . . leaving a priestess behind to defend herself . . .

Ahead I caught sight of Kale and James hacking away at one of the cowering corpses and I thought I heard Fredrick somewhere hacking away at another. The problem was that swords weren’t terribly effective against the dried husks. I caught sight of my summons shaking in a corner.

“What manor of coward have I summoned?” I called, “Beast, you’d better make yourself useful, find Fredrick and aide him or else I’ll send you back to the far realms.”

The dire wolf bounded off down the hallway. The guardians lasted a few moments longer and then all was quite again. We explored the winding hallways but found no more opposition. We did discover another set of massive stone doors, these swung easily enough on their hinges, despite their age, and we moved into the next room.

There were three sets of doors (counting the pair we entered through). The ones directly across from us looked exactly the same as those we just entered from, but the doors to our left looked completely different, they were larger, and seemed to be crafted from iron. They also sat on tracks with strange mechanical hinges; to our right was an odd mechanical contraption: two pillars made out of stone (one red, one blue) with notches carved into them. I examined the pillars and found that they were built to rotate but no force could manage. I also examined the iron doors, they were an extraordinarily tight fit, I couldn’t even slide a piece of paper between the joints, and some experimental tapping told me that they were likely not solid iron. I suspected that they were stone encased in iron and were likely several feet thick. It wasn’t likely that we were going to bash these doors down.

It didn’t take us long to figure out that the red rod that Kiki had found slid into the red stone pillar, although the pillar still refused to move afterwards, and it seemed likely that the blue rod would be needed before we could make the mechanism work. We hoped that mechanism would open those massive doors.

We tried to open the stone doors across from us, but we discovered that they were stuck as the other set we encountered earlier was. After a minute of pushing and straining we managed to open this set of doors as well. At the far side of the room we could see light cascading in. Perhaps this room had once been a dining area, there were the remains of a rotting table, but where were their kitchens? Where did the Oman sleep? It was all very curious to me. The time to be curious was short lived though, there was something lurking in this room, and like almost everything else we’d come across on this cursed island: it wasn’t willing to talk.

At the far end of this room there was another pool, Kiki dashed forward, probably hoping that the missing rod was somewhere inside . . . and there was something inside, but it wasn’t the missing rod. A great black blob splashed out of the pool and snatched at Kiki! It was only Kiki’s incredible reflexes that kept her from being grabbed. I didn’t wait for the others to move – I attacked the thing with rays of flame. Kale and James charged into the fray but a strange thing happened when their weapons struck the monster: the creature simply divided into two! Kale gasped and held his weapon but James kept chopping! The strange black ooze kept getting smaller and smaller with each swing!

“Everyone back off!” I screamed. I scarcely waited for everyone to clear the area before I blasted the thing(s) with a fireball. That did the trick. The smaller bits of the ooze seemed more susceptible to my fireball. James and Kale gasped at the sight of their weapons: seems the ooze was highly acidic. They quickly washed their weapons clean in the nearby pool. Somehow we had gotten through that completely unscathed. I didn’t like to think of what could have happened had Kiki been snagged.

The pool turned out to hold nothing. We turned to the doors . . . and found ourselves on the other side of the second bridge!

“Is the way safe yet?” Amella called when she saw it was us.

“Not quite, we still need to find a rod,” I shouted back.

“Maybe there is no other rod and we’re going to have to somehow bash down that door,” Kale said.

“Maybe there’s a secret door somewhere,” Kiki suggested.

“Could be,” I thought out loud, “but where would they . . .”

“In the catacombs!” James and Kiki shouted almost at once.

I mentally drew the map in my head. It seemed unlikely that there would be a secret room along the wall closest to the chasm (unless it was a small room). The wall running parallel to the iron door seemed far more likely. It even had a number of short dead end passages. I advised the others to start searching there first and less than ten minutes later Fredrick was shouting that he’d found something. Sure enough, I arrived just as the ancient door slid open, revealing another room (and stirring up a lot of dust). It was a hidden tomb. I decided to wait outside while the others pilfered the body. I was unclear as to what the church of Wee Jas would say about the act of reclaiming items needed for our survival from the long departed but I suspected that the church would frown upon it . . . even though the Omans clearly worship different gods. Churches seldom had anything useful to offer. Nothing practical anyway. I’d ask for my penitence from Wee Jas herself . . . she seemed more forgiving!

“Should we check for traps?” I head Fredrick asking inside.

“Ya, looks fine,” came the all too quick reply from Kiki.

I turned to shout a warning! But it was too late: I heard a great snap, like the sound of a wooden pallet hitting the floor, mixed with the sound of multiple metal on stone strikes (like twelve men sharpening their swords at once), and then immediately followed by five yelps and grunts of pain. I gasped in horror as I surveyed the room, perhaps as many as a hundred spears had shot out of the floor stabbing anyone in the room! Fortunately the scene was far worse then it looked. Many of the spears proved to be old and brittle. Most had even failed to pierce even basic leather armor. There were still plenty of scrapes and bruises though.

“Kiki,” snapped Kale, “I thought you said that it looked fine!”

“Well,” Kiki said nervously, “you should know that looks can be deceiving.”

Inside the sarcophagus we found the missing blue rod. There was also a masterwork dagger and a magical pearl. These went inside my haversack for the time being. We returned to the pillar room and attached the blue rod, then, and then, with only a small amount of fiddling, we managed to turn the pillars and the massive Iron doors swung open reviling the wonderful outdoors and the smell of the ocean air. Outside, on the steps carved into the sea cliff, we spied a great winding road that looked to follow the coastline as far as the eye could see.

We gathered our companions and prepared to continue our journey, there was only one problem, before we could reach the road we needed to cross about a hundred feet of shallow (and I use that term loosely) water. Seemed simple enough . . . except nothing on this island is ever simple. As we began moving into the water we became aware of something below the surface of the water. They were giant crabs (nothing on this island is ever small) and they rose out of the water to attack us.

I’ll not bore myself recording the details of this less then epic battle. Suffice to say that despite being out of our element and being surprised, the stupid crustaceans never really had much of a chance. I will note that crab meat is very delicious. After our battle was over we spent the better part of the afternoon gathering drift wood and building a great fire to properly cook the crab meat. Churtle remarked that it was too bad that we weren’t also attacked by some sort of giant butter monster or golem. I think we all had a laugh at that. It felt good to laugh again. Things have been far too gloomy as of late.

Walking is easier when you’ve had a fill of fresh crab,
Cthulhu dreams (of juicy crab meat).


Wow that was a long one! If you don't mind me asking, where are you guys in the campaign as of now?

Taldor

P.H. Dungeon wrote:
Wow that was a long one! If you don't mind me asking, where are you guys in the campaign as of now?

Tell me about it! Stupid Tristan and character development.

We just finished of the Lightless Depths last session and I imagine we're going to get a bit of downtime before the next adventure. Anyone rooting for a Lavinia/ Tristan relationship keep your fingers crossed.

(and I don't mind answering questions about our campaign . . . just keep in mind I might not always have the answers ;))

Shadow Lodge

I'm in trouble now. My group will start HTBM next Sunday. I depend on this diary to help me run my games and I'll be ahead of them in two weeks.

Taldor

Dax Thura wrote:
I'm in trouble now. My group will start HTBM next Sunday. I depend on this diary to help me run my games and I'll be ahead of them in two weeks.

I wish I could help you out Dax but I'm struggling to update once a week now. Sounds like moving along at a good pace though. I hope your players are enjoying themselves.

I can offer you some other journals to help you out though:

A canuk runs Savage Tide by P.H. Dungeon, his crew is further along then mine; and so, I had to stop reading for fear of spoilers.

a Madman GMs The Savage Tide by Turin the Mad, not as much heavy on the story or character interaction, but there is good crunch stuff for people who like the rules/ power gaming aspect of the game.

And there's one more that I've heard carborundum mention:

carborundum wrote:
I'm loving this journal too, Tristan! Between this and JollyDoc's on enworld, I've got plenty of ideas for my own fortnightly campaign. I really like your characters and the effort you've put into the backstories - keep it up whenever you have the time :)

I found it once, and from what little I saw it looked really good, but sadly I can't locate it right now. Maybe one of my other regulars can link it up for you.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Great update - love Kiki's checking for traps :-)
Kind of like your mum asking if you brushed your teeth...

"Uhm ... of course I did ... you don't need to check!"

JollyDoc's campaign is all the way up to Into The Maw now, and it's to be found at ... this location.

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