Kelyn's page

82 posts. Alias of Kelyn Morrn.


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Where was I? Oh right, doing my best imitation of a desicated corpse

Fell off the roof and staggered boldly into the fray. Nina released fiery retribution onto the hit platoon, giving excellent support to us knuckle-draggers. The badger was unleashed, but for the life of me, just can't keep up with the lizard. No bigger than a bar stool, but he's like a stealthy blade barrier. Eventually, they all laid down and were good bloodsuckers; only odd thing was Lugh. They really didn't like the Lady's flame, and most focused on Lugh, who went down for a dirtnap. Before they could celebrate, a bright light shot from his chest into the sky, and he stood up. Sometimes it is just handy to be that connected to higher powers

Once the blood spray died down, started patching folks up. Some locals were enlisted to help with the bonfire, and contact was made with the "guild". Went on a cross-country jaunt to a water-filled hole; the one we seek is supposed to be down below, but the water doesn't drop till dusk. Got comfortable for the wait, not in any rush. When the water cleared, quick carpet ride to a chamber containing a woman resembling the portrait up north. Bags launched into an epic saga of his search, and her betrothed who waited for her return. At first, she wasn't buying; don't know why she would doubt fine individuals like us. An end to years of running and hiding finally got her to agree to the trip.

Quick port to the castle, and the lovebirds were reunited; sort of. She has big gaps of memory, so wasn't all over him like a cheap suit. They asked for some time to talk, and went out to walk the grounds. I asked Nina if she would take a stroll so we could keep random problems from disturbing them. When they returned, they were still reluctant. Will memory return, will they be hale, whole, and again human? As the group took turns making our case, he kept looking at me oddly. He then asked if we'd met, or knew each other. "Sigh" I asked his indulgence, if we could take another short walk. Related some tales that had similar circumstances, and he agreed to make the attempt. The couple were made comfortable, and took the first dose. Yep, those are some centuries-old corpses. The second brought back a pair of youths that fit right in with us. Happily, all memory returned, and they were truly a couple.

The next day, he dropped a bomb; they will wed in a week, and WE get to make it happen. He will take a new name, as a decendent of the count, but she needs to be nobility from another land to make things look legit. I foolishly thought there might be a few minor problems, but Nina only needed to hear the M word. Suddenly, a beautiful field marshal is throwing out ideas, and others pile into the chaos. Don't get me wrong, that is one happy woman, but I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop; probably a storm giant's hob-nailed warboot.

First order of business, return to Magnimar with Isabeau in tow. While Vex can handle any paper that might be needed, we need a noble. Enter Hobart. Should have known there wouldn't be a problem; big party and he gets to give away the bride? Instant uncle. Then he announces his friend Fujiko will have to go, just doesn't get out enough. Fine, am sure there will be plenty of seats. Then the old guy says he will be bringing(dragging, if neccesary) Ameko; high time she start thinking of these things. Quick trip to Sandpoint. Unable to talk her way out, Ameko decides if she's going to a party, she will be entertained. Properly. The guest list now includes a certain gnome, and a half-elf who isn't about to let her go with this bunch without him. And back to Magnimar.

Stupid me, thought I might get a little break. Nina comes in with Isabeau, Mother, and the Troll; and we're in Absolom. Return to the rooms of THE designer, whose retirement I assured last week, and see to any reincarnations he might have. Don't know how dashing a figure I'll cut with hands wrapped in gauze and burn ointment, but the ladies will look fabulous. Now just a few small things, like an accurate headcount and figure how to get enough coaches for this wagon train and how to get it all cross country in time for our big entrance,

How tough can that be?

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Not exactly sure how much I had to drink, but it seems we're still on the boat to Oregent, following Bags' original lead. Must try to keep a clearer head while on these working trips.

Spent some time talking to anyone who would listen, and the only connection with the name was a hag, possibly in Absolom. Guess if he could manage to be turned into a vampire, she could have had a bad experience as well. At least we're headed in the right direction.

Arrive in Absolom, a little fuzzy on the details of the trip. No matter, back in the center of everything and time to get to work. Days pass without any useful leads, somrthing about black-sailed ships at the western port. While trouping the inns, looked up a few talented crafters who had been quite helpful in the past. The rich and powerful just never seem to get fashion; it's not how outlandish something is cut, or how many live animals are attached. One really only needs a few traditional styles that flatter the subject, that are made from the most exquisite materials to catch the eye and imagination. A few steamer trunks of doubloons should be sufficient to bolster a wardrobe and cover any funtions that might pop up.

In the meantime, the hunt continues and we seem to be working a dry well. The only word on the street is of some uncouth louts tromping through the inns.....who seem to be our little group. Hmmmm. Guess we're getting lazy, and a bit too big for our well-cut britches. Time to get scarce and head for an island to the north someone turned up. Hired a solid coaster for the trip, will take the east route and miss the rumor of plague(?). Asked around for any word of the missing women, using a bit more tact, but still not getting it quite right.

Spotted Macer talking with a local just up the street, when said local erupted in a fountain of blood; that man really needs to work on his people skills. About then, noticed some hazy forms accosting Macer, which might explain the fountain. While Nina sent some damaging assistance, I moved up to get better acqainted, and was joined by more of our group. These rather thick, well equipped vampires provided a nice workout, but were put down without upsetting too many townfolk. While tidying up, I was struck by a sudden feeling of "missing". The new kid announced her arrival behind me, but this wasn't the she I was expecting. I turned to find an empty patch of street that should have been filled with wonderfulness.

Some of the others were talking of inconsequential matters as I scoured the empty road. Link trotted by and pointed to a nearby roof where Nina was having words with another of these fuzzy individuals (something about a cloak). A sudden lurch, and I was with Nina, flanking this arrogant undead. At my suggestion, it took a knee, but lost none of the attitude. A nod from Nina (not a kidney punch to lose the attitude nod, definitely a stir his innards and expose them to the air nod) and it was no longer a problem. Must be geting better at this sort of thing, managed to avoid splattering either of us. She spotted this lurking and popped up to question it as I went through its' pockets for loose clues. Found a sheet with drawings of Lugh, Macer, Oona, and HUGE; appears we've become wanted and they've sent some top-shelf hitters.

Returned to find Macer stacking bodies and pouring oil over them. Oona suddenly recalled that these operators tend to work in large groups, we should expect more. No idea where she gets this stuff, but figured it was time to spread out and avoid AOE. Right on cue, small groups appeared; guess word of a vampire roast got their attention. On a side note, we really need to take some time to get the whole subtle, low-key thing worked out. Nina took us up on a building to assist Macer, but the over-dressed corpse blipped away, leaving something Awful; just going to have to turn him inside out for that. I believe Nina intends to drop some sky and damnation on his hooligan friends, time to work out some of this mad.

OK, road...boattrip!

So, Bags is working a REAL cold case, trying to locate this guy's betrothed, who has been missing for about two hundred years. Sure, happens every day. Seems a nice enough guy, for a vampire(Whoa! Where did that come from?) and Bags could probably use a hand or some company. Besides, haven't been to Absolom for ages; we are going there, right? Don't remember hearing a specific destination, bad form to go haring off to random locations. I'm sure someone will think of it and make sure we arrive where we're supposed to be.

Excuse me, porter? Be a good lad and show us to our cabin, have lots of relaxation to catch up on.

Really! Nothing? Nobody in this circus parade can come up with a few passing thoughts or interesting remarks? Leaving this sort of thing to the likes of me will surely come back to bite someone in a sensitive spot.

Left the stradle trench of Illmust and started upriver. When we reach the junction with a second river from the north, we turn due east through the forest to get to...definately is a C word, just can't remember which one. Simple plan, and was going well, right up to the walking trees. Not like the ones in the old tales, sedately tromping along tending their groves. These things were fast, gigantic, and could reach as far as we could see. They played ten pins with us for some time until we were able to offer enough unpleasentness to remove them, kind of like the clown shoes back in Illness.

Continuing our trek, finally broke into more open country and arrived in C-word; much to the dismay of the locals. Seems that nothing of good intent ever comes up from the rivers. Seeing what we stumbled into, am surprised Anything makes it through. Arranged lodgings and started inquiries, seems the lord doesn't spend much time here or interact with the town. Spent a lovely evening and got needed sleep in a real bed; helped in no small part by the fact that this is a well tended village that isn't sinking into a filthy swamp.

Departed the following morning for the manor, can't wait to meet the person behind this elaborate plot. Arrived without dismemberment, a definate plus to the day. The staff are quite reserved, and our host, who is very long in the tooth(and really old, too) is not what I expected. Appears to be a decent sort, just no idea how to interact with the living. Sat down to an amazing spread and talked at length, finally managing to get the crowd warmed up and enjoying themselves. Our host sustains himself without draining everyone in sight, and manages his domain without the darkness and death that seem to be the norm in this land. If more of those with pronounced canines could follow this example, there would surely be fewer groups of loons (like us) running around slaughtering them.

And we also need to figure out what the heck Baga is going on about.

Where has the time gone? Puttered around the capital while people prepped for the shindig(don't know what they were doing all those days in KM). Thought a bit of relaxation was in order, so arranged a cruise across the bay on the way to...definately a C word. Guess I arranged pretty well as we're enjoying the captain's cabin; does alright by himself. Relaxing trip, even brushing up on a few tricks that haven't been needed since the pirates.

Speaking of which, HUGE being HUGE, he got bored and was spending much time in various forms(bird, sea monster, etc) and spotted some freebooters in the area. Informed the captain, seemed only right as he was taking fine care of us. Precautions kept this vessel safe, but the louts found another target. While our ship continued on course, some of us decided to warn off the greedy villians. Soon became obvious that they were our equals(at least), and were out seal-clubbing the locals; bad form all around. As the casters laid down a base of fire, the rest got more personally involved. I admit there were a few tactical setbacks, but in the end the nere-do-wells were properly pounded into the decking. The other ranks below decks were restrained and remanded to proper authorities; hope they don't cause too much fuss, seemed rather talented for rowing scum.

Arrived in the "port" of Illmarsh, and immediately decided to leave the festering cesspit. Still unable to precisely label the miasma that infests the place, but will gladly leave that for others. A few "locals" took issue with this choice, but Nina was past polite repartee and blasted them so that we might continue to higher ground and fresher air. Along the way, HUGE seems to have buggered off, but Baga has shown up, headed to the same location we seek. Won't pretend to understand the forces at play here, but company is always welcome; especially when it doesn't smell like the south end of a north bound carp that's been laying dead on a sunny riverbank for a week. Be good to catch up with someone from the old neighborhood.

Must have blinked and missed something important; the fight in the pavillion was over except for Oona punching a meat sack, that might have once been Delvawho. Vex turned the pile of offal into clean bones, and having guessed Lugh's plan, figured there would be problems. Sure enough, his face was turning a dark shade of...something(that damned green light again), and I exited stage right as the shouting began.

Flew up to rejoin Nina and see how the long battle was progressing. She was efficiently blasting the diehards as some, notably the giants, were striking tents and heading fot the hills. Other groups were attempting to resolve some inter-personnel issues at sword point, but it generally appeared to be entering the long grind/clean up phase. A massive group of Kellids appeared from thin air(?) and layed into the party, who had retired to the gate area to spectate. This wave of flesh crashed in and did extensive damage in a short, sharp action. Embarrassingly, I was unable to get to the fight before it was all over but the bandaging.

Leaving the maelstrom to devour itself, we pulled back to Kaer Maga to refit and recover; next stop, party. After a careful inspection for ExDim items, we did a port hole/teleport run to Kalifiss(?, really need a folio/atlas to keep up with these names), saving a good bit of travel time to the quaint little province that will be hosting the next attempt on our lives.

If it wouldn't be too much trouble, could we schedule a group meeting? I was thinking a fun subject might be the definition of the word "party"; there seems to be some confusion. Having acquired a new wardrobe and some knick-knacks, we find ourselves in Kaer Maga(truly the smelliest city in existance) scouting an army of thousands. And since it contains mostly giants, orcs, and the like, it's unlikely to have a decent band, or even a buffet line. Really must have words with the event planner.

Nina felt she would be most useful at elevation, stirring up the hired help with a selection of illuminations, and took along a couple of the less ham-handed. I jumped in the port hole so that HUGE could reprise his Elemental Surprise, which seemed to go swimmingly, except for the mention of some lava(?). Barged into the big tent to find the wingless wonder and her little playmates in the midst of... You know, I just don't have the words to describe the gymnastic exhibition they were attemting.

As most of the mob were focusing on Delvawho, I waded into the extras. Hearing a number of detonations in the camp, but it's just so hard to tell how we're doing when everything is this hideous shade of green.

Well, another fine road trip in the books. One of legoman's minions made off with his holding thing, so we'll probably see him again. Also wouldn't be surprised to be set upon by relatives of the angry dark elves who tried to interfere with our looting of the tower. And if I see any of those knives they were flailing around, people are going to suffer.

Arrived back home to find a garish invitation to a grand party in Ustelav(?). After our last shindig there, not sure about their idea of a "party", but I'm sure there will be plenty of entertainment. As the alternative is the World Wound thing, break out the dancing shoes!

Hi, poligize; been pretty busy for a while and a little confused; we're in legoman's tower clearing out dark elf things, but they don't think much of the idea; keep hittin them, but it's kinda like swinging a stick at one of the pilings; Nina's doing well, but keeps saying they're beyond her, don't think so; mostly it's cold, tearing, dark, shocks, repeat; there was a real bright light, it was beautiful and I tried to show Nina, but couldn't find her; went toward it for a better look, felt a tug, and Nina was there with a strange look on her face, but I couldn't find the light to show her; she said it was time to get back in, so went back to chipping away at the glacier; things move around alot, hard to keep track of folks, sometimes there are lots of people, others am almost alone; the stickmen are helpful, if not very talented, but just can't measure up when dealing with the dark things; they are very thick, if I can manage to connect, which is getting harder with all the starmetal they keep shoving inside of me; Atz and the others are doing their best to stuff all the parts back in, but there is so much splashed and scattered along the halls, sems like a whole lot more than could come out of me...

Is it getting brighter in here?

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So, here we are cruising a swamp. Not much to look at, the smell is difficult to describe, but do so enjoy the company. I appreciate HUGE's effort, but bouncing along on a small hairy hill just can't compare to gliding smoothly while taking in what passes for a view.

In the middle of nowhere, noticed several large ogres curled up under brush, half burrowed in the muck. Yelled at the all-terrain beastie (are they sleeping down there?) and moved to engage. The things crawled from their holes(really wish they wouldn't have) and turned out to be larger versions of the clocktower beast. True to form, they shed magic like rain, so went in the old fashioned way. Got real fun when the first one went down; the skin slid off, and a huge cat/bat/dunno waded in. At least they took magic damage, so Nina was much happier to be able to blast them. Noticed a distinct lack of support; lots of yelling about not being able to see any foes. Guess they weren't sleeping on the trip out, but were doing shots; and I'M the irresponsible one. Enough mud and blood were kicked up to find them and continue the trek.

Later, another trash-patch thing(can't even describe them anymore, just not right)took off ahead of us, and HUGE did his super speed thing to catch up. Which seemed the thing to do, except flying over to the tower it came out of appeared to be more useful. Went to the open door, but when I tried to enter, a stick-man(?) told me we had to leave, and slammed the door. As the tower is on the Ethereal plane, popping the lock is going to be tough. Just then, the door reopened and Vex invited us in; glad he's mostly on our side. The stick was politely telling us to GTFO as we weren't allowed to be there. The new kid convinced it we were, and we would evict other trespassers already inside; some kind of drow(?).

Moved around the amazingly spacious thirty foot tower; not sure how he packed all this mansion into a little tower, but need to find out and upgrade the camping tower. No sign of the lego man, but Vex did find one of the dark gits. Confronted it and informed him that it was time to go, but it did not comply. Looks like we'll have to beat him down and give it a proper 86ing. We live in such uncivil times.

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Alright, alright; nothing special, just trying to catch up.

The carnage went on and on for semmingly endless minutes. While HUGE enjoys these little gatherings, this really doesn't fit my idea of church services. One would think that the loaded high-brows that favor Abadar should present a bit more decorum. After the first group left for Hobart's, carved a path to the family and gave Nina some room. She ported them home to be looked after, and then to help at Hobart's. More disassembling when I noticed the new girl had returned and was yelling that Oona was the target and we had to protect her(the strickened look on her face showed just how much that hurt to say). Not seeing Nina in the fray, I called her back so she wouldn't miss the shindig, and got yet another of those looks(#867 or 8, hard to keep track any more; if there was ever time to explain, I'm sure these things would go much smoother).

Oona was "safe" in her green circle, and the undead/demon legos were thinning out. The THING sent in some proxies to keep us entertained; for the life of me, I have NO idea what those were. There was talk of them being very chrarismatic, but every time I went for a lunge, I threw up a little more. Finally put them all down and started to bring some order to this charnel house. Some of the bystanders spared a grisley end started muttering how it was Our fault it happened, but it seems to me that a crowd as flush as this could afford better security. A few dislocated jaws later, we set off to my house to pick up the missing. Extensive cleaning enroute as I knew better than to try to show up covered in bloody, decaying clumps of ....whatever. Hugs, smiles, relief; was even civil to the bane of my life. Maybe this is part of that maturity thing.

Suddenly, we hit a long stretch of peace. While there was work to be done, no one(or thing) was trying to shuffle off our mortal coils. Just to make things perfect, it was decided that I was getting pudgy and that WE would work to fix this. While going against many things I hold dear(sleeping, rich foods, canoodling, etc), pursuing a certain individual through the streets of Magnimar does have its perks.

Guess this vacation is coming to an end, there's talk of dealing with the lego man and the army-leading goblin(that's just Never going to stop being funny). Also need to turn Delvawho into a throw rug or something, but there probably won't be much left after Lugh gets done with his rightous retribution. Don't poke the badger if you can't suvive the spoon!

So, got the family members, confounded the demon/orcs, and bliped back to the church in short order. Except we were six days late/overdue? Stupid planes.

Left the clegy to contemplate the existential ramifications and headed for the exit. Passing through the main hall, the congregation rose and the world got funny. Not little lights funny, but deep belly, crying and pointing funny. Nothing to do with the big mob of undead witch things that were tearing into the group and going for the family members. There was something I was supposed to be doing, but it was all too absurd to bother. About then, Nina reached over, slapped me upside the head, and asked if it would be too much trouble for me to eviserate Delvahene, who happened to be among the crowd.

As the day returned to its' usual bloody state, I smiled my thanks and tore into the silly bint. It seems to have some power to fend off the badger; does a lot of damage, but just can't unleash for a proper dismemberment. Need to look into this if time permits.

Everything went green as the b$%$! turned, ran over and kissed the new girl(don't ask, don't tell; I hear there's nothing wrong with it), and ported(as usual). The girl yelled for all to gather on her to port to Hobart's to cover family there, but I waved her on, being busy saving the present ones. Once we get them home, then to the mansion.

What year is it? Hard to keep track of events when not sure what day of the week it is.

Managed to break up another extradimentional invasion of the city, this time from the "demonic" bridge footing(how, exactly did we miss THAT little gem?). The ladies of Lugh's family and Mr Macer's dad were still on the missing list, so much research was done. He managed to get word that he was in the World Wound, and the women were being held nearby. After a short buying frenzy, we gathered at the temple of Abadar(Her church is currently closed for minor renovations) for transport into the lair. One of the clergy mentioned the usefulness of dimentional shackles to avoid random porting, apparently a common problem around there, and we convieniently have a couple dozen sets(makes me wonder what some of these folks get up to in their spare time). Wait, who am I talking about? Our group? Strike that side comment, these are just everyday knick-knacks. If someone were to pull out a half dozen of those crawdad submersibles, that might raise an eyebrow.

Ported to an undergroud complex with shackles in hand; good plan, less than optimal execution. Arrived to not find Mr Macer's dad, then lose some of the group, get some back, then lose others. With patience and a lot of luck, got all assembled and locked to the same place. Using magical direction finding, we wandered about till HUGE got bored and elementaled thru the mountain. Found the ladies in dimension locked cage guarded by a dozen orc/demon/lego things, and returned so we could join the fun. A new plan was suggested, where Lugh would get in a port hole with a bottle of air, HUGE takes it to the cage, Lugh gets his family in the hole, and HUGE just wlks them back and we leave. And we didn't break a single thing! Can't imagine that maturity or wisdom are creeping in, so will have to give a great deal of thought as to just how this happened.

So, back in Magnimar mostly assembled, if not quite safe. Now for the next step in our plan to save the world, if we can just figure out what that might be.

What? Who? Where? Ooooowwwwwww!!!!! Did I get hit in the head again? How long was I out this time?

Nevermind, too much to do, this place looks like heck. Need to get things calmed down and start putting them back together.

What piling?

OK, so the thing that grabbed Vex only has two legs and is about HUGE's size (when He infrequently goes about on two legs).

Catching up as Oona wades in and begins slapping it. Just a whole lot of rage in that woman, don't want to be in the area when her seams split. the creature tosses something down, a portable hole? Oona dashes in and lobs... GODS ABOVE AND BELOW!!! The crazy wench threw another port. hole into the first, sucking both into nothing. Could have taken everything in the area, and I was WAY too close for comfort. If we survive this, will have to hold classes on the proper care and handling of extra-dimensional spaces.

Heavy fire continued from the tower as those of us with sharp bits cleaved away. Checking that Oona had no more wads of black cloth in her hands, I moved to engage the beast. Was doing well, but had no luck drawing attention away from Oona; this thing was focused. It kept grabbing at her, and I swear it was trying to eat her; how's that supposed to work? A succubus returned and headed for our little scrum, with most of the fire from the tower moving to her. The thing finally went down, and the flyer veared off to escape. A quick ambush put her in the dirt for a long nap, so went back to the frog creature (don't ask me, I just work here). No sign of Vex, Oona says it swallowed him; yeah, right. Not wanting to upset her further, just started splitting it open. What do you know, there's what's left of Vex, a little digested around the edges. No sleeping on the job in this outfit, hit him with the goo and got him back on his feet.

Gathering up as things quieted down, the big brains figured a large sacrifice powered the gate, probably the smell down in the piling. Maybe if we ask nicely, Ignis could reduce everything in there to ash and throw off the schedule. The city could use some breathing room to recover and start cleaning up. While we, of course, throw ourselves into stopping the flow of reprobates, and 86ing the ass hats behind this little operation.

First to check on family and friends, ensure they weathered the latest incursion. There are still some unaccounted for. Speaking of missing, where the heck is HUGE? How do you mislay something of that size? Maybe we're getting sloppy.

Time to change the (brown) big boy pants, and continue charging headlong into the grinder.

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Good thing we didn't bother coming up with an intricately planned(or any other kind of) plan, because there is NO way it would have survived this contact.

All manner of things walked, ran, bounced, flew, and crawled from the portal and headed to all points of the compass. The battle line of intrepid heroes that was drawn up to valiantly crush the horde was generally ignored, most contact being incidental; Just the proper kick in the shorts in case anyone was still under the illusion of making a difference. Tightened up the(brown) big boy pants and wandered into the fray.

The lead wave of torch-wielding goblins was going down nicely when I noticed something unusual, even for goblins. Two of them, engulfed in flame, were riding odd beasts that hopped erratically forward. Not wanting these to get loose in the still-standing neighborhoods, I moved to engage; good idea, less than optimal execution. Piercing the thing caused it to erupt in a wave of sticky fire, luckily catching the second one and setting it off too. All of the goblins in the area were incinerated, taking them out of the fight. On the other hand, our group was left standing in a lake of fire, giving me the stink-eye. It's not like these things have safety warnings on them, and if this was covered in the prefight briefing, I was thinking of something else. Nina, from a tactically sound position in the camping tower, was laying down a carpet of bombs in the heavies as they approach. Some of the blasts are cold and ice, very effective on the planars and misc. creatures. I can imagine the beaming smile this brings to her lips.

About then, HUGE(the four-legged version) charged through the mass at incredible speed, knocking the giants around like tenpins; very interesting. This probably would have been the most memorable part of the entire battle, if Macer hadn't decided to stop fighting and start removing his armor. In the middle of the battle. In front of everyone. I know someone will have a perfectly rational explanation for this later, so I turn back and continue the fight, ankle deep in flaming goop.

The free-for-all continues, and it seems we may be making some progress. Looking over the heaps of fallen enemies brings hope, as an enraged wail carries across the field. Oona is saying that her mealticket is down and being carried away. This brings me pause; she could only mean Vex, and he doesn't fall down, he makes other things go away. Looking around, I spot a quadruped stomping off, with the lizard apparently impaled on its tail. As I try to disable the governor on this rug, several spells crash in to slow it's escape. As he is not trying to bore through the creature, can only assume Vex is truly dead, so he can't be more dead from more damage, right? Just know that the creature is NOT getting away with our little(scheming, lying sociopath, but probably not Really treacherous) buddy.

Where's HUGE?

A few spare moments to catch up before being overrun by the hordes of the abyss.

When last we left the story, a swarm of one-eyed mummies(rather large) were closing on us. Vex, who I could finally see, spoke of a nearby tunnel that could be held by a few against many; nice to know there are walls in this vastness. Found the hole and packed in to receive guests, Macer and the orc were first in line as greeters. Bit too tight for all of us to be useful, flew Nina out and up so she could rain cleansing fire on the things. Good teamwork made short work of them, and we moved to catch up with those who had moved into a large chamber. Seems they were chasing a woman named Delvaheen(?)who has a problem with us, Lugh in particular. Think she was involved with the problems at his temple under the bridge, possibly some other things. She evaded several attempts of dimensional binding, and left some of the group quite surly.

Our route continued to an interesting door with a clever lock. HUGE passed through the wall while I needed a minute to allow the rest of us mere mortals to continue. Looks like someone has gone to great lengths to keep something stuck in here; can't wait to meet it! Path led to an immense chamber crossed by a slender, arcing bridge that was missing it's center section. Huge elected to flow down the wall and across the assumed floor as we floated across(just no way to get his multi-ton butt on these little rugs). No sign of the big guy when we reach the far wall, but am sure he'll be along.

Entered a large chamber, complete with throne and dais. On it sat a well equipped, one-eyed woman(something in the water?) with Delvaheen tugging at her arm. Since most prisoners aren't allowed to keep weapons and armor, figured this must be another guard. Nina jumped several of us into contact, and a lively dance erupted; literally! The subtle weave of deadly weapons was suddenly blasted apart by great streams of lava. Ignis had received here invitation to our little soiree, and she really DOES NOT LIKE one or both of these women. The cyclops was holding her own, parrying with a clumsy longsword like it was a willow switch; quite vexing. Almost giving in to frustration, we finally crushed the woman and the sword clattered to the floor. It had a strong draw to it, but I'm already spoken for. Of course, Delvaheen had teleported away, the craven bint. Collected useful things, including some minor organs, and decided some rest was in order before going on. Put the tower up in front of the door(did I mention it;s a Really big room?) and snuggled in for much needed sleep, dreaming of our return to Magnimar.

Woke up full of energy and new spells. Nina would take Atz, Macer, and us to my house while Emma(has she been here the whole time? I'm a little unclear) takes the rest to a warehouse in Vex's growing financial empire. Words are spoken and we appear in the receiving circle upstairs. Mother is there, looking weary, and gathers us in her arms. She speaks of war come to Magnimar, and the families of our group seem to be targeted. Macer curses and vanishes, didn't ever hear him click his heels. The family has held our neighborhood at a cost, but others haven't been as lucky. Atz' family has located with Lugh's, and after quick greetings(really? my brothers haven't been maimed or seriously wounded? OW!! Sorry! just figured it might build character) we set off to check on them. After an eventful trip, we find HUGE's assassin and the ranger from Sandpoint(definitely an S word; nice girl, just needs to clean up and spend more time with people, maybe get a few fashion tips from Nina) who told us most of the families had gathered at Hobart's. Sent Atz there to check in and the two of us set out for the warehouse to see what the others had gotten into. Long montage of random creatures, burnt city, and helping the locals before tracking them down at Hobart's; of course.

Spent time trying to gather all the stories and make sense of it. Monsters appear, usually at night, and tear everything up. Lugh's temple is leveled, as is most of Underbridge. A spirit, like the one that had Hobart, was removed from Lugh's father; need to watch out for more of those. Macer insisted on going to the Irespan, the last place his dad was reported. We headed there, and would then drop down to inspect underneath. Bridge proved to be a bust and checked the Piling we had explored as kids. Nothing but some carrion eaters down below, probably a good thing considering the smell coming out of there.

Continued below to look over the temple location, this place is going to need lots of work when we clear up the current problems.
speaking of problems, the whole side of that piling is glowing and all manner of things are launching out into the city.

Like I said, just another day.

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In other news, time to find Vex.

HUGE seems sure Vex is somewhere below us(birds can point?), so down we go. It becomes apparent quite quickly that my mode of transport doesn't measure up to the expectations of the group. While "The Girl from Kaer Maga" plays in the background, I'm skewered by glares and bombarded by endless "Are we there yet?". The group stoically remains on board, deciding not to dive off into darkness; all talk, no action. Note to self; sell these things when we get back to civilization, hate to keep such objects of disappointment around.

Finally arrive at solid ground to find HUGE happily squashing things and Oona screaming about dismemberment; you know, just another day. Land the rug next to a couple demons and the meat are happy again. Spend some time hopping the carpet to keep people in contact, but just not feeling it. Eventually wear down the opposition and pretty sure I heard Vex near the finish, but still can't see him. Now I'm hearing there's another horde moving in to swarm us before we have a chance to regroup or hustle up a quick lunch.

Like I said, just another day.

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Yeah, Magnimar has to wait for a bit. While trying to make sense of what the half-orc was telling us, a very annoying buzzing swelled up all around. Couldn't pick out a threat until Nina pointed down and said a horde of planars were flying up to us, nothing she had ever encountered. As usual, no rest for the weary.

Nina and Atz stayed high while I moved the carpet to keep the enemy at a distance; no plan survives contact. The cloud of demons bore in, hewing flesh and throwing flame. Spells were running thin and our lifeblood was raining into the darkness. Kept moving to let the big fighters maim them, and try to take some pressure off the casters. Majority were the humanoid/insect/demons(?), but a stitch-job with angel wings really had it in for Lugh. It pressed in hard(big mistake) and ended up mechanically separated.

Finally, a few moments breather and a quick headcount. About then, it occurs that it's also quiet down below. In the rush to remain breathing, totally lost track of the other fight. An eagle flies up from the darkness; has to be HUGE cause it's making such a racket. You ever notice how a person that doesn't speak your language just gets louder and expects you to understand? Doesn't work with birds, either.

Catching my breath as some healing is passed around when it finally hits me:

Where's Vex?

Who would have thunk it? We might have actually done well enough to get some down time. Magnimar was mentioned(I'm in!), which also has a small mountain of goodies to be collected. Just love it when an unplanned series of coincidences comes together

Huge has brought word of a large gathering of giants setting up camp on the plain below town. While this is surely of great import to those goofy enough to live here, I plan on blowing this pop stand as soon as we finish arguing about the method of travel. On that subject, while walking/arguing, we begin to fall.

Not for heroes of our stature to trip over a curb and wind up in a drainage ditch, we seem to have fallen into The Elemental Plane of Not a Damn Thing; all that's here is darkness and down. Picking up a good deal of speed as much is said about doing something, a calm voice says "Carpet?". Capital idea! Reach into the bag for my favorite aerial floor covering and wrestle it into operation(much easier on a calm day with solid ground involved).

While recovering party member projectiles, we fly into a massive lightning storm. I get out the throw rug so Nina can remain above while us short-reach types can get closer to the problem. A web the size of a small town is occupied by hundreds of...things. Who(other than my brothers)would take a Drow, stick a giant spider to it's butt, and have it shoot lightning, and call it a good idea?

The ranged crowd starts dropping bombs on the mob while us sloped foreheads wade in. Close up these things don't make any more sense, so guess it's just as well to get rid of them. Find a two leg among them who was on the menu, will probably have a good tale to tell. A good fight, spells handle the numbers, and we find ourselves in the company of a pummeled(know the feeling well!)half orc.

First thing he says is that Felu hired him to get information to us, because she wasn't allowed to contact us herself. Pardon me, but the last I heard was that Felu had been dragged off to Hell and someone else had left to go and fix this. Now this guy pops up and says she's HERE?! Magnimar may have to wait a bit and somebody has a LOT of splaining to do.

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Dark. Warm. Quiet. Buried?

Wait, it doesn't feel that heavy; comfortable? Seems to be something else under here, can't quite tell...Good Morning, Sunshine! I do apologize for the early wake up, but am so glad not to be trapped alone under what now appears to be a mountain of blankets and comforters.

As I try to nestle back into peaceful slumber, my body takes this opportunity to spasm and cramp every joint and muscle. Just a subtle reminder that the last few days have not been a vacation and to JUST STOP IT!!! Others will have to piece together the exact sequence of events; been torn apart and reassembled so many times(Thank you again, Nina)that things are a bit fuzzy. Probably still in Kaer Maga, you just don't run across this smell anywhere else. Kind of remember many unclean things going away and much to still be done. No doubt some of the more driven will be pounding the door down any hour now, time to creak slowly into action.

First, will need a huge tub of near scalding water, preferably with tons of bubbles. Will surely cost a fortune, but well worth the mess. On that note; excuse me, Miss? I'll be requiring a qualified lifeguard, or at least a responsible adult, and was wondering if you might have a couple hours to spare?

I must admit, I am very confused about all these goings on. What kind of machinist keeps going face first into this meat grinder? Or even tunes in each week for the body count update?

Finally staggered out of the entryway in pursuit of the gassy vamp. Several wandering idiots later, we're following a weather front. Arrived at their resting place to find the group curb stomping boxes and slinging dirt. Moved on to clear out the lich's new playroom, finding parts of Oona's dad; this day just gets better and better. Schlepped through some other rooms before heading to the big chamber Macer was going to take on by himself.

Glad he waited for the rest of us to catch up before doing the Leroy Jenkins, now I have another image of hell engraved in my brain. Nina yelled something about horrid wilting(very accurate description) while removing us from the ugly green cloud, leaving my lungs behind(try to remember where those were).

Breaking out the air support, need to get into this things face before it spells us out of the history books.

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I've had better days.

The non-stop beating continued. Lost Oona in the scrum, but managed to push hard enough to finally make it inside the front door. Let me rephrase that; I was able to stay upright and in the fight because Nina kept replacing the parts being hammered out. The battle moved around the room, more creatures replacing those who went down. Couldn't keep track of our status, people dropping and getting back into it, blue stuff was flowing like punch at a cotillion.

Tired of being ignored by the opposition, Nina started jumping us around to provide flanking. It felt like I was trying to chop down trees with an ice pick, she made sure the creatures bore the badger's full wrath. Ages later(others assure me it was only a few minutes), the last foe clangs to the floor. We look across a field of splashed blood, rent flesh, and broken metal. Hurrah, we've taken the foyer!

A moment to check that our parts are mostly attached, the group moves in pursuit of a vampire's gaseous shape(there was a vampire?). Macer has wandered down a side hall, something about hearing noises. Why are all these people glowing?

(Cough, cough..) Can't recall who keeps talking me into these things, ruggedly handsome fellow; oh yeah, ME! Always seems like a good idea, and then I'm spitting up blood and trying to put all my ribs back in the right order.

Returned to our rooms to discuss our findings, got some rest, and rose to hunt some crypts. HUGE and Vex tunneled in, and after some time, came back with the toothy loot. We had hoped for a few trophy weapons taken from past hunters, but the boxes held mostly coin and bar stock. Will be very useful to replace spent supplies after our little raid.

Traveled up-city to the given address and walked into a cunning ambush. Nina, Oona, and I held the door while the others blipped in to surround the enemy. The enemy being several 10' tall constructs that shed magic like water, very annoying to the arcane members of our band. Tore into them with some effect, but had problems turning all their attacks. Note to self; after the fight, be sure to gather up the various bits that have been beaten out of me. Sure to be needing those later.

The scrap continues; some drop, more show up. Will have to continue later, getting a little short of breath. Might be a lung among those missing parts, take that sort of thing for granted until they go missing.

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Ow!!! Enough with the poking, already. It would seem that I have been a bit delinquent recording some of the events of our travels. Rather pointed reminders(I see you winding up back there) compel me to put pen to paper.

Surviving several attempts on life and limb, the group arrived back at Magnimar. Hadn't realized what a long year it has been, and how much we have been missing at home. It was decided to winter in town, and spend quality time with family and friends.

Looking forward to a few months of feather beds and fine foods, some lunatic started on a demented health kick. The rest of us were dragged along(in at least one case, kicking and screaming)"for our own good". No one in their right mind gets up at that hour, staggers around under that kind of weight, and gets beat with sticks. Especially when recovering from long, arduous travels. Now, I would be the first to speak of cutting a fine figure when dealing with the public, and certain individuals managed to improve an already stunning figure......

Now, where was I(and where the heck are my pants)? Come spring, we left in search of vampires, a lich, and an undead dragon(?). Oona had come up with some story about leads in our quest, so off we went. Passed through an ancient battlefield the size of a small country, and arrived at a cyclopean city that had fallen to ruin long ago. Found the beast holed up under a former palace, and after many explosions and feats of strength and agility, put it down. We met tall stone beings(NOT golems) who had lived there longer than anyone could figure. Two of them joined us to look for others of their kind as we traveled.

Much overland travel(like that carpet), cooling our heels at he base of a massive cliff, and escorted through tunnels to the city of Kaer Maga. It's kind of like Magnimar, but alot more "residents" packed into less area; now this is a smell one is unlikely to forget. We set about learning our way around and gathering information. Finishing a working lunch, the familiar sounds of our group's standard negotiations erupted in the square. We emerged to find the usual carnage as the group told of things porting in and starting the ruckus; I remain skeptical. In the aftermath, we find our number increased by one. Ignis, an elemental construct who seems to be a project of the DIY lich we're hunting, was an involuntary participant of the recent disturbance and wished to return to her place far below the city. Of course, we agreed to help.

We collared a few dusk wardens, and Nina told them of the delicate situation that needed to be corrected. Unable to resist such charming logic, they agreed to help us if we were foolish enough to go there. They spoke of an entrance to the undercity they had found while exploring as children(hmm...)and set up an elaborate ruse to cover our entry. We moved through a large temple with minor incident and found ourselves at a large chamber filled with hundreds of yelling worshipers. Using the chaos as cover, we moved to a large gate with a massive lock, presumably to keep out monsters. It opened pretty easy, but didn't seem the right time to discuss security with them.

Moving into a warren that stretched in all directions, we encountered a creature that Felu's friend said was part of a "hive mind". It sucks the brains out of a person and leaves the rest to be drained/devoured by the vampires they work with. Important safety tip; stay clear! Continuing on, Nina spotted a vampire watching us from a side tunnel. We approached, and it regaled us with a tale of woe. A powerful vampire(glanced at Oona) and a lich had taken over his digs in the upper city, and he wanted them removed. For our help, he would lead us to an army of stone people like the two traveling with us, even throw in some money to finance. He led us to an immense chamber filled with rank after rank of stone figures, but none of them moved. As our companions grieved at this loss, the vampire gave directions to his estate and produced a key. The vampires have a depository here like the one in Ustalev, and there we could get some funds to help eliminate the interlopers. As I took the key, I thought about the two others, and assured him it would be done.

After it left, we talked with the stone women at length. The figures in this cavern had been drained, what was taken used to make the goo we carry; five creatures to fill one vial. It could be possible to reanimate the creatures, but will need to return them to the elders. Opened Vex's well and used my hoist to get two in for transport. While arranging them and the stones already inside, Ignis stepped forward and started a new line of conversation. It took quite some time to get heads around the idea that Ignis is actually the "soul" or cornerstone of the Weapon; our chance companion is really the center of all this.

We have much to do, this just got REAL interesting!

What the heck is going on here, who is this other guy? While he is a handsome fellow with a pleasant voice, there is only room for one Kelyn around here. Don't know what's happening, but I just don't like it.

Well, best laid plans and all that. Seems to be some doubt about us getting back home, everybody and their dog knows who we are and is intent on doing us in.

On the way back, something approached our camp wanting to talk. Nina says it's a low-speed lich, but I can't make out anything it says. Vex and Lugh traded blue stuff for dubious information, guess they went along when it named Noculous and Treyvor(way too many loose lips about us having this stuff).

The following day, were attacked by swarms of undead(?!) mosquitos that tapped off a fair bit of vitality. To the screams of DO IT NOW, Nina dropped a fireball that thinned them out, along with a few friendly HP's. As we continued forward, Macer(well, Hickory, really) bumped into a few demons. Natos(?) and his flunkies decided to try their hand at our demise, and remembering the scene of their last handywork, the group waded in. The lackies went down quick, but the N guy proved more durable. Unfurled FC2, the latest word in tactical flexibility, and soared into the fray. We hammered away at that thing like dwarves at the forge, but it just wouldn't go down. There were plenty of wounds to go around, but it really had a sore spot for Oona. It kept using some sort of drain on her, guess we have an idea what she'll look like in thirty/forty years. It was a close thing, but we put it down before Oona's canines got long and serious.

Still a long way to go, probably going to be a busy trip. Think we'll have to tell the next lack-wit peddling rhymes to buzz off, think it's fairly obvious that a large queue has formed to take turns at our mortality.

Well, best laid plans and all that. Seems to be some doubt about us getting back home, everybody and their dog knows who we are and is intent on doing us in.

On the way back, something approached our camp wanting to talk. Nina says it's a low-speed lich, but I can't make out anything it says. Vex and Lugh traded blue stuff for dubious information, guess they went along when it named Noculous and Treyvor(way too many loose lips about us having this stuff).

The following day, were attacked by swarms of undead(?!) mosquitos that tapped off a fair bit of vitality. To the screams of DO IT NOW, Nina dropped a fireball that thinned them out, along with a few friendly HP's. As we continued forward, Macer(well, Hickory, really) bumped into a few demons. Natos(?) and his flunkies decided to try their hand at our demise, and remembering the scene of their last handywork, the group waded in. The lackies went down quick, but the N guy proved more durable. Unfurled FC2, the latest word in tactical flexibility, and soared into the fray. We hammered away at that thing like dwarves at the forge, but it just wouldn't go down. There were plenty of wounds to go around, but it really had a sore spot for Oona. It kept using some sort of drain on her, guess we have an idea what she'll look like in thirty/forty years. It was a close thing, but we put it down before Oona's canines got long and serious.

Still a long way to go, probably going to be a busy trip. Think we'll have to tell the next lack-wit peddling rhymes to buzz off, think it's fairly obvious that a large queue has formed to take turns at our mortality.

Where does the time go? Been so busy getting ready for the trip home, almost forgot to jot down a few notes on what has happened.

Arrived back at the dwarven city. remembering to keep the princess under wraps. Doesn't matter if they're human, elf, or dwarf; the average citizen just flies into a panic when things go a little wrong. Politics and keeping up appearances, the rewards can't be worth all the fuss. Delivered her to the relieved king, and she was escorted to more secure quarters. A large ransom demand had just arrived, which didn't make sense as we(Vex) had recovered her days ago; looks like an inside job.

The group was brain-storming on how to solve this latest problem, when HUGE appeared with another piece of the rock, and said he got it from the vault of one of the nobles. Seems he had felt one of Vex's tugs, and had elementaled through the city and ended up there; not quite sure how to feel about this. Also, that a rogue had helped him(and herself) out of there and the pieces we've found are really an elemental. No idea what kind of weapon it's supposed to be, but what do I know about the plans of deities?

The other noise going on is a woman hauling a palidan in shackles. He attacked a demon in the city, turns out it's the other Vex(the tall one). The group threw in their two coppers worth on our past dealings, and the possible connections with the blight to the north. At last headcount(one, two) we are not an army, some other large groups of good people will surely go up and handle that.

Back to the original problem, HUGE had set a classic mystery reveal for the next day. With the court gathered, HUGE passed papers with the name of the guilty to the king and his senior adviser. While everyone watched the advisers like hungry hawks, I noticed one of our escort guards sweating like a stevedore. Tried to get the other's attention on this development, but they were being thicker than day-old pudding(maybe the palidan was contagious). Drifted close to the distraught fellow, in case he got frisky, using everything short of signal flags to point him out. Finally, he was grabbed and hustled away. A few of the advisers were pretty nervous, and tried to get a look at the papers during the confrontation. Looks to be more people with dirty laundry, the king will need to do a bit more house cleaning before things settle down

We'll be leaving for home shortly, most anxious to get there. While it has been great fun stimulating the local economy, feel the need to do something a bit closer to home. Nice to have a pile of useful toys, but want to do something bigger. Lugh could be on to something, will talk on the way back.

Thoroughly enjoyed our time in the dwarf city(have to remember to ask the name), walking about finding the most interesting things. No time to have work done on the badger, but found many items that could prove useful along the way. As mentioned previously, sleeping in a soft bed with room service just can't be beat with a stick.

Having wrapped up our financial blitzkrieg(still have a few coins left for incidentals), Vex is saying the powers that be are getting anxious again. About three days NW, excellent timing to field test some gear. Set off early with HUGE sporting a new howdah for the group's comfort. Nina and I were aloft on a flying carpet, now this is traveling. Not trying to be anti-social, just spreading out in case of passing casters or dragons. The big guy will probably outpace us on the flats, but the rate is fine up here; even something in the magic that keeps the wind from blasting us.

Our pachyderm found a campsite with everything but cabins, but have something for that, too;Instant Tower! Put a cube on the ground, and a thirty foot tower appears. No more worrying about stuff crashing through the tent or finding dry spots for bedding. Even has a stout, locking door. Everyone is having a grand time showing off new toys, even Hickory gets to see the light of day and roadtest the new shoes.

The following afternoon, spotted a kobold trying to hide below. Lugh held it with a spell, and we went down to talk. He spun some kind of story, and Vex agreed to go with it back to it's tribe. We're to wait here as we would intimidate the others. Right. About twenty minutes, we started following the trail, setting up around the entrance to it's lair. Some time later, it came out(alone), so it was grabbed again and kept for later(?). Vex eventually came out, without a rock, but said he managed to rescue the princess. Maybe I slept through a few important meetings, but don't remember anything about rescuing royalty. I'm supposed to be in on that sort of thing, it's in my job description. None of the group seemed to be in on the plan, Vex just grinned. He' going to make a fine piece of athletic equipment one of these days.

The trip back was quiet, except for the massive kobold sweep of the forest, their beady little eyes weren't doing well in the daylight. Didn't hurt that HUGE's spell hid us quite well, steered them around us. Should be back at the city soon, wonder what kind of a deal the little guy worked out for his daring deed?

While suffering the trials and tribulations of a long campaign, the good things in life can sometimes be overlooked. Our scrap with the scaly beast may have ruined fine clothing, but these lizards tend to hoard a bit of coin. HUGE changed into a hawk, spiraling high above in search of it's lair. He returned and led us to a large cavern, a likely start. Have to keep a close eye on that one. He changes between all these shapes, I worry one day he'll forget where he started, just wander off into the wild, forgetting family and friends.

Moved slowly into the tunnel, finding the blood trail of something large and direly wounded. Came to a large chamber that indeed held a pile of loot, but yet another dragon. Unable to avoid it's senses, we approach and HUGE engages it in conversation. It is the mate of the one who fell upon us, out in search of those who took their offspring(explaining the blood near the entrance). HUGE offered a lone figure he'd seen while aloft, saying it was the demon who had spoken with Lugh(what was it's name, definitely an N-word). The beast flew off in a grief-stricken rage, believing us unable to do serious harm to the hoard. We cleaned up in record time, separating the nicer items from bulk coinage, and went on our way. Won't have a friend if we run across that one again, but seeing as it's red, that probably wasn't in the cards anyway.

Continued into the mountains, staying in some dwarven outposts. Not much on comfort, but fairly secure for sleepovers. At one, we were approached by a dwarf patrol, and after talking, find they are looking for us(is there anyone who doesn't know who and where we are?). Even better, they know we are the group they seek because of our own scaly, Vex. Don't know how this story started, but I've GOT to hear the rest.

Led to a hidden entrance of a large dwarf city. At it's center, we meet with their leaders and advisers for uneasy talks. The seers tell them a piece of the Rock they found should be given to us, to help stop the troubles. Seems more like putting the dead albatross around our neck and sending us on our way.

Again, I need to look at the upside of things; we're in the middle of a major city. What it lacks in sunlight, it more than makes up with soft beds, entertainment, and the lifeblood of commerce. Nothing we like better than stimulating the local economy, our way of holding back the howling darkness(you're very welcome!).

Well, this is a new one. HUGE seems to carry an inferiority complex, and has been working on his craft. He can now take the form of a mammoth; hair, tusks, the works(still smells about the same). Claims he can carry whole mountains, and it does beat walking everywhere, but still gives me the willies to have the group packed in one place.

Enjoying the ride, we approach a river and spot two ships of treasure hunters. Much yelling(and lying) back and forth about having any luck, and one craft steers for the other. Not to be left out, Vex leapt(!) from HUGE to the aggressor craft. We started bailing to avoid fire, and support at range. People start bamfing around, and HUGE blinks(how does something bigger than the house I grew up in BLINK?) astride the second ship. Much smashing, burning, and crushing; some of the opposition port away(with a piece of the rock?) and we continue.

Came upon a massacre of an adventuring group. Their camp had been hit and all was torn apart; not even sure how many there were. Those who can read such things say it was probably the planars who talked with Lugh some nights back. The high quality of gear just abandoned worries me, HUGE just has that look in his eye.

Further north, guess I nodded off cause suddenly my biscuits are burning and a big lizard is coming back around for his lunch. Takes a few to recover, but we pile in to put this latest problem down. The damn thing has points in every direction, but anger(and numbers) prevail. Would like to find it's hidey hole, but the noise will surely draw many two-legged vermin and we need to be away.

Are the higher powers this hard up for entertainment? If someone has made a deal that's bringing all this down on us, they need to fess up so we can reevaluate our plans, such as they are. Where did I put that burn ointment?

Honestly, what is it with the silly names? I know that there are many things out and about, all looking to be the big,bad whatever. In the old tales, a memorable moniker tacked on to something was enough; the Terrible, the Slayer, something that sticks with the average citizen. Now, it's all jumbles of random letters that can't be pronounced, if you can be bothered to remember them. May seem like a small thing to the up-and-coming villain, but it makes for a terrible story; not a good start if you're trying to establish a legacy.

After a mind-numbing session of who is what and works for I don't know, HUGE made it back to camp lugging a boulder he says is part of the weapon. Stored it in the empty hole, talked a bit of the many groups roaming the area, and decided to head north in search of more parts based on Vex's research. Settled for the night, but there was no rest as many small hills started landing among the bedrolls. Managed to get clipped a couple times without seeing the source, so we took off in random directions(tactically sound) to stop them. Ran across a Giant tossing said terrain features, and helped to put it down. Moved to the sounds of scattered combats; six were eventually accounted for, but no clue what led them to us. Until HUGE came back to camp and told of a conversation he had with a Merilith.

Seems to be yet another entity that credits us with way more pull and knowledge of the current happenings. Can understand the general confusion caused by vague portents and stupid names, but would like to point out that we appear to be in the deep end of the cess pit here. Don't have all the details, but I'm pretty sure that thing can make you cease to exist without breaking a sweat. Just saying.

Got in some more reading before going on shift, when a large, bipedal warthog(with tiny wings) stomped into camp. Not much of a conversationalist, it went straight to murder. Will have to take a few liberties when recounting this in the future; hard to paint a heroic picture of people running around in their drawers, swinging anything that came to hand. It was a stout specimen, and took alot of physical persuasion to send it back where it came from.

We knew there would be all manner of creatures hunting for these pieces, but how is it they keep ending up at our camp? Have looked at length for some item that might lead them here, but have had no luck. Will try to close our eyes for a few hours before continuing our trek.

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Hello? (tap, tap, tap) Is this thing on? Where the heck is everyone?

Spent more time searching for a direction to start, even a vague one. The geezer pointed at the map and started going on how he saw a face in the local terrain, the center/nose being the Lurkwood, NE of Riddleport. While this seemed to be coming in from way out in the cheap seats, it has been my experience that the gods have odd senses of humor(along with infinite cosmic power) and are much more survivable when you play along. A quick count of hands, we're going for a boat ride.

HUGE contacted his cousin(the one with the brand new ship) while others picked up a few supplies. A short stroll to the docks and we were getting settled for a cruise north. Thought I might lend a hand on the way, but everyone seems busily competent and I'm just in the way. Only diversion is to watch the comet get closer, we seem to be racing to the point of impact. A day or two out, it blasts apart and rains debris over a wide area. Unfortunately, our transport is targeted by several pieces and there are casualties. The wounded are fished out of the drink, the dead are left where they sank(these Northern guys aren't much for sentiment), and we continue on.

Passing Riddleport, we can see that the town has suffered damage, and much traffic headed inland. I can also see signs offering "pieces of the comet" for sale(did I call it, or what?), these guys work fast. Traveling upriver, we get the feeling large numbers are moving, all looking for their piece of the pie. No contact with any of the groups, I'm catching up on my reading. We land at a bend in the river, south of the woods, and prepare for our hike. HUGE changed into an eagle and flew off towards the mountains, don't remember hearing any plan. The group bustles along; tracking, identifying things, being generally industrious. We continue to be fifth wheels and follow along in the wake of all this activity.

End of the first day finds us in the woods marking the foothills of our target area. No sign of any other mobs, but set watches on our camp; no reason to be sloppy. Also, no sign of HUGE. Towards morning, we hear strange voices approaching camp, and others rousing. Stepping out, I see several demons(Nina confirms they are Nabaazu) talking with Lugh, who ISN'T attacking them maniacally. To make it more confusing, they say their boss sent them to touch base with Lugh, get things arranged. Names are traded back and forth, we don't seem to know the same creatures as them. Why do I get the feeling we're sitting at the kid's table, and the adults are all doing important things while we just hold our sippy cups? Eventually, they decide to leave, and since there is NO way we're getting back to sleep, we strike tents and head into the mountains.

Guess we'll wonder around for a while, see what we bump into. Don't figure folks looking for pieces of god-weapon are going to be real sociable, but there isn't much else for it. Be nice to find HUGE, but these are some fairly big peaks. The trees are starting to change up here, at least it will be a pretty walk.

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How the heck did I end up back in Magnimar? Last I remember, we were hip-deep in sin spawn, fighting for our lives. Got to find another line of work where things aren't always hitting me in the head, could lead to permanent injury.

Seems the spawn were slowly ground down, some shadow demons were dealt with, and several of the kids were returned to Underbridge. One misses quite a bit when suffering a concussion. We were walking the bazaar, replacing supplies, when the others started appearing from the crowd. Something had given Atz an interesting box, a "gift" to the "Dark Slayers"(?) for their fine work. We have a name? When did that happen? Don't remember any meetings or votes, who decides this stuff? Oh yeah, the box.

Magical, possibly an extra-dimentional space. The new kid says the marking is of an important family down in the Mawangi. Never been there, pretty sure the others haven't either, so it's probably a trap. Don't see any of the usual triggers, so I pop it openWHAT THE HELL IS THAT!?!?!?!? Some kind of snake-thing made out of other snakes with more snakes attached came out and started flailing around. Kept hold of the box as it vented on me(did I mention the head thing?). Amid calls of "construct" and "immune to magic", finally got my weapon out as Nina wisely took a step back. The whole group piled in, and it finally went down. Not quite good enough for Oona, who continued to pound the carcass in an apparent attempt to send it back where it came from. She then sprang up, covered in gore, and began terrorizing the crowd to find the delivery thing. Did I mention we were on the edge of the bazaar, with hundreds of witnesses? Didn't get much; just the usual pointing, whispers, and the rolling of eyes.

After patching up, some of the group went to check out the elemental cultists, while the rest went to talk with the telescope guy out on the piling. The new kid ported a few there, but Nina thought we should just fly. Less chance of ending up in Cheliax, and much more scenic. On arriving, talked with a whole village of people who seem to live in this guys head(wonder if he used to be an adventurer till he took an arrow to the head?). Deciphering the many voices, he says the comet will land in the next day or so, possibly scattered over a large area. The mad glint in his eye tells me this will turn into a scavenger hunt, with thousands of participants. The landing isn't supposed to cause damage or injury, but I fear the slaughter when everyone starts grabbing for parts. Won't be surprised to see stands on every corner selling "pieces of the comet".

Took the box to a local seer, want to get a line on the latest thing that wants to shuffle off our mortal coils. During the reading, the man went catatonic and slid from his chair. At the same time, Nina got a vision of the succubus, but couldn't tell where it was. The thing must have been trying for an easy kill, or at least to send us south while it searches the bushes for terrasque eggs. Makes sense, the broad's been part of every bad thing happening; need to end that one real soon.

A false trail of us sailing for the south was laid, and we went into disguise. Staying at various inns and laying low while researching and equipping. So, what IS the best method of collecting scattered artifacts while avoiding dismemberment at the hands(claws/tentacles) of hordes of others doing the same thing for all the wrong reasons?

Definitely the party of the season for these reprobates.

Macer continued to wrestle with the head priest(not much of a fight, thought the leader would be more impressive) as Vex threatens the main group. With a quiet warning to Vex, Nina takes the chill out of the air with a quick Fireball; and takes most of the crowd out of the crowd. With room to work, the little guy goes after one of the two "people" on the side platforms. They choose to be difficult and fly up to one side of the chamber, and proceed to unload spells on us.

After some pedestrian work clearing out the cultists(not the killers we expected, more like dilettantes), I join the new kid pot-shoting the fliers. Nina tried a few spells, but wasn't getting past resistance. The big one tired of this, and dominated her to take out Vex. He kept his composure, and broke the enchantment with his knife. Then the new kid was taken and told to drop Nina. Oona was less than subtle helping the old guy subdue her, some bad blood sure to come from this.

Nina added some dimension to the dance by making Vex fly, that is one happy dragon. I followed soon after to assist and flank. The two demons(?) showed typically poor form by porting to parts unknown, didn't even wait for the song to end.

We have a former head priest and one of the cultists to talk with. Not real sure what was going on, or where that hole in the floor goes. Also, where the heck is HUGE? Just not like him to miss a lively scrap, must be the usual "something else going on" that I missed in the excitement.

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Another fine bit of work.

After our altercation with the bouncers, a few minutes were taken to gather up and reattach various bits and pieces. While HUGE was engrossed with shark fest, I went to work on the door. Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to shield it from outside access, so the work was moving slowly. The crowd around me on the landing was getting restless, and as various sarcastic comments came up from below, I assured them that I was using the "good key". At which time the lock clicked, and the door was open; nothing to worry about there.

Walked into a small room with a half dozen kids sitting on the floor, playing game of marbles. As I began to inquire about their clubhouse, found myself suddenly facing a wall of angry. My keen senses informed me all was not quite right, as two were hovering at head height, and most of them were sticking sharp metal bits into me. As a pool formed around my feet, the room got tighter as the group packed in and laid into the miscreants. More sorcery, some in the back are singing as we chop away. HUGE moved to block their exit, but doesn't seem his usual, bloody self. Oona developed sudden maternal instincts and cleft one of the flyers to her breast; doesn't seem like the time or place for that sort of thing. As carnage continues, start thinning them out, and they break for the next room.

A guy behind a table is saying something about rowdy customers as the group finishes off the runt "harpies". The shooter seizes him up with a spell, and the whole place reeks horribly; again with the feces? Nina murmured "Edwin?" as Vex jumped on the table, stabbed the guy(reducing him to a pile of clean bones), and turned with a grin from earhole to earhole. I'm sure he didn't have anything interesting to say.

Macer led the way through a secret door one of the runts opened, to stairs going up the piling. HUGE found another that leads down, and went hunting. I commented on our past success with this tactic, and a few turned back to follow HUGE; he's very focused once he gets started. About then, Macer yelled down that there was a door at the top of the stairs, and some of us turned again to go up and support the fight that was sure to break out.

Arrived to find the old guy pulling the shooter from the door. She had unleashed a cold blast into a church service, but since they are heavily armed cultists, not likely to file complaints with the city guard. Moved into a room Full of nuts to see Macer grappling their leader by the altar. There are casters in here, but can't pick them out of the crowd. Nina has flown up to support from the doorway(very tight stairs) and we're making room to get more of us in.

There's only several dozen of them, how hard can it be?

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Some days, it's just always Monday.

When the bony thing shed the meat suit, an almost palpable wave came off it. My mind went to dark places, and I came back to my wits leaning against a wall near the Bazaar. Had to have been more of the nutjob's sorcery, need to find a better defense. Started back toward the tower and spotted Nina headed my way, happily none the worse for combat. Seems I'm the only doof hit by the spell, but the beast was put down; hopefully it will stay there this time. She spoke of the demon in the chamber above the clockworks, and was concerned the others might not wait.

Hurried back, but ran into the group on their way out. HUGE had hung around and saw that it had been severely fettered by the nut, so it will keep for now. No way something that big can manage those stairs, especially blind. Stopped by the temple(of course)and decided to track down some of the more rabid cultists. HUGE found one leading off a new convert, and followed them as they rowed out to the Gull piling. He returned for us, and without wasting time on a plan, we moved to trap them in their lair.

Along the Dockway, I put the boat in the water, and we moved to approach from a side and avoid lookouts. Spotted someone with a large telescope on top of the next piling, seems to be tracking the comet; something else to check if we find time. Landed on the scree, put away the boat, and moved to the entrance. Vex surfaced to say some kind of fish guy was guarding under water as HUGE appeared behind two guys covering a door at the top of some stairs. As I climbed to assist, he shoved one off into the bay, and drew on the other. This one seems to be a fair hand with a cleaver, and a good deal of blood is spilled. He seemed put out when I ventilated his spleen when he tried to make me shark bait. Where are my manners? Nina had kindly pointed out that several of the local wildlife were moving in, and had gotten to the other guard before he had quite reached the dock. Then the rest arrived and pounded the talented guard before the big guy split him. I always thought it was just a late night drinking story about someone falling in two pieces, but there it was; kind of thing that will bring up yesterdays lunch if your not ready for it.

Well, the sharks are busy and no one's blocking the door; might as well go in. Where the heck is that fish guy?

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My, how time flies when you're squandering it.

We've been pounding the streets checking on all the "priests" wailing about the comet's approach. They generally fall into two groups, nutters and opportunists. The first seem to really believe their own drivel, no cause for concern. The second bunch are the usual bottom-feeders looking to separate the rubes from their coin, just another day in Magnimar. The problem is, when notes are compared, a couple stand out as agents of something darker that needs to be aired out and shown the light of day(like the religious reference?).

Discussing possible plans, it was proposed we check the clock tower, where we found the big golem arm. blink, blink blink. My first thought was there was no way it could connect to the lich, but I often forget that there are things even older than Father. Then I began assembling a herd of runaway fears and rampant impossibilities before collecting up tools for the side trip.

Arriving at the tower, am again amazed to find it basically upright. Try not to do the math, everything I've ever read proves the thing should have fallen and taken a big section of Underbridge long ago. Have seen way too much that couldn't happen, don't sweat the small stuff. Wasn't looking forward to the climb; have packed on a few pounds since the last time, and don't figure the years have been kind to the structural integrity of the stairs.

We fanned out in the main chamber, skirting the bell and wagon. HUGE started calling at something over in a corner, and a large form stood up. The golem appeared whole(repaired?) and ready for a fight. After a brief scrum, it went down, only causing major damage and blood loss. As we were counting heads(and limbs), the pile started moving. Something rose from the mess, shedding the golem's skin like an off-the-rack tunic. What we now face is a bony horror, about half again the size of the golem, but waaaay more angry.

Like I mentioned before, just another day in Magnimar!

Actually managed to get in a few quiet days before we were tracked down with another emergency. Macer's little sister had been bitten by a vampire, a fact discovered at Hobart's party(this group sometimes has sharing issues). While the condition had been corrected(with the blue fluid), Macer had spent his nights chasing after the culprit. Said culprit being Epher, the knothead from our past, who has apparently managed to become a vampire(anything for attention, always was a drama queen). Doesn't come as too much of a surprise; he would drone on about how smart he was, how he should be the "leader", make all the decisions. Never figured out that sort of thing is earned, not demanded; he wasn't the brightest candle in the chandelier.

With a new quest, we launched into our usual confusion. Someone suggested to see if Bags might be in town, the two had been close in the past. A small character flaw on Bags' part, but he never was the most socially gifted guy. Searched the Dock district and found him hoisting a few with some of the Scarni he worked with. He hadn't seen Epher in years, but thanked us for the information that he had joined the other side. Bags mentioned a few places he frequented in the past, and wished us luck in finding him. While not an intellectual giant, Bags could probably hold his own standing shoulder to shoulder with the other meat walls. Should keep in touch with him, especially considering how deep things have been getting as of late.

A long, detailed planning session ended with using Oona as bait while the rest of us hovered nearby to pounce. While not likely to earn a place in the history books, the fool actually fell for it. Vex found him first, and almost skinned "alive"(?). Epher then bolted, straight onto Lugh's scimitar. He then flew up to evade the many blades, and managed to catch a fireball and a few musket balls. The leech then flew off, pursued by HUGE in beastform. Seeing that others were about to stroke out because they couldn't follow, Nina began casting Fly spells and launching them like little birds from the nest; a heart-warming sight. Note to self; if this is to continue, remember to bring one of the umbrellas; some enjoyed this WAY too much!

Trotting through the area in a more traditional manner, we found the flock pacing a small cloud. Seems he had been run down and finished in a nearby building, and we just had to follow him to his bolt hole in......Oona's house! Wonderful! Now we know who turned him, and will probably have to confront the old man(just not tonight, are you listening out there?). Oona, ever the flower of decorum, barged in and plowed through the crowd of servants in pursuit. Found him in his box downstairs and the fiendish ideas started flowing. I think Lugh had the best, take him out on a boat and show him his last sunrise(the boy does have a poet's soul). This was all happening while carrying a coffin from the basement toward the street. Decided it would be best to place it in the port hole(after a thorough check for other "spaces")before continuing. HUGE was the voice of reason(really, when did suffer this concussion?), and argued that he might not have been a willing victim. He's right, of course, and I'm a doofus(as usual) for not seeing this possibility.

We divert to Lugh's temple, and place the box in the lower cells. As in Mother's tale, the first vial returned him to mortal form, but still stone dead. The second snapped him back to life, and straight to loony. He's convinced we couldn't change him back and this is all some kind of a trick. Guess he can't accept no longer being "special", he;s going to need close watching for some time. On the other hand, HUGE came up with a big raspberry to the spread of Evil; who'd have thunk it?

Now we just have to deal with Oona's dad(who might be peeved at losing a lackey), demons, a country of vampires, and a liche that may still be in the area. Looks like a good start on another week of being us!

Wonder of wonders! A plan was made, we followed it, and it worked. The creatures were lured out one or two at a time, and the group took them down. By the third day, either they were all gone or were catching on; time to go. Vex led us to the rear of the stone building where he had noticed a loose stone. HUGE and the geezer worked it with a crowbar and got help from inside. The help was a gigantic ghoul hand that grabbed HUGE, intent on retrieving a snack. He blinked free, and many blades removed it near the elbow, setting the thing to bellowing. Group decided to try the front, where HUGE simply walked through the wall and opened the door from inside(don't mind me, I'll just get the bags).

Inside were three large, crafted ghouls, one missing an arm. They were held in stout cages, but made every effort to reach us. Several hacks kept them back as we descended to the basement, and found the lich's playroom. It took a few minutes for the brain to process the wanton disregard for life. Body parts of things, some of which couldn't be identified, were scattered over many workspaces. The only paper recovered was a drawing of what looked like a comet, that was matched to a birthmark on a skin that was removed and preserved from a person(?); will have to research this later. Lugh found a wing he believes came from a celestial, and removed it to properly pay respect later. The scale of the carnage was overwhelming, and it was past time to leave. I collected many foul tools to dispose of and Nina attempted to cleanse the place with flame and lightning. Leaving the building, there was noise of things we had not finished gathering, and we made a dash for the front wall.

We were running(and falling) down the slope, yelling and urging each other on. I was taken back to our childhood adventures, like the escape from the piling, and the feeling stayed with me as we cleared the wall and sprawled breathless along the road. Surrounded by people closer than family, no place I would rather be, no matter the situation.

Collected ourselves and returned to the Devlin manor. While most of the estate was cleared, the thing was returning tonight, and how would we deal with it. Direct confrontation was out, it was suggested to leave a note detailing the futility of it staying around seeing the minions and materials had been removed. HUGE then stated he would deliver it to the thing personally. At what point did HUGE become suicidal? The last week has been full of darkness, but I missed the breaking point. Much talking(and shouting) followed, the note was decided as the best option. HUGE left us to our cowardice, not wanting to waste his time on such conduct. Vex made up an impressive document, and it was posted on the gate. About midnight, we took up concealed spots nearby, and witnessed a large black cloud approach. It dispersed to show a black coach stopped at the gate. The thing dismounted, read and discarded the note, and waited till some figures floated out of the estate to speak with it, and all departed; hopefully for good.

The next morning, I sought some advice on how to approach the spirit next door. It was suggested to be more formal, and started planning a trip to Sandpoint to meet with Amiko again. Later, Hobart announced a large party that evening to celebrate(and remember), so that would have to wait. When all had gathered, HUGE entered with an aged Tian he introduced as Lord Kaijitsu. He had decided not to waste time talking to spirits, and had used the blue stuff to return him to life. I glanced upward, expecting thunder and divine lightning, but nothing happened. Lines have been crossed, and powerful feet are being stepped on; the casual use of that stuff can open all kinds of problems. I made excuses to leave early, am going to need some time to get my head around this. Might have to let the world turn by itself for a bit.

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While HUGE and Vex handled the were to the south, the other slammed into the shooter and her shield; it's like they can smell the new on them. Most of us moved north as the other's time was clearly limited, but I have concerns about the six on one thing. Weapons and spells lay into the canine menace, and they eventually go down. HUGE continues toward the big house; Vex may be following him, but who can tell? We move to the sounds of combat from the pit where Macer has joined Lugh. These things aren't your grandma's ghouls, they are thick! I jump down to cover the rear while Nina wisely chooses to remain topside to cover and support.

Don't know if it's my fault, but suddenly there is adventurer rainfall, and the whole group is down here. Just to keep it fair, more uber-ghouls slam in from the other direction; right into the sellsword. I admit to taking the time to check if the new guys have steaks tied around their necks, but it's just luck of the draw. We hack, slam, and shoot repeatedly, but don't seem to be getting very far. I seem to be faring better than some of the others, not that I'm complaining about being overlooked. Nina says that the bad guys prefer less reactive prey; makes sense, but want to be part of the effort.

Another wave of undead moves in, their crawling along the walls like maniacal spiders. Lugh yells to fall back, staying will mean certain death. Suddenly, I'm standing next to Nina(have I mentioned recently how much this woman means to me......pardon, back to the fight) and turn to assist the withdrawal. the others calmly hoist themselves out and dust off before starting for the wall. Who knew that rampaging undead could be so civil in a tight situation? We picked up some cuts and scrapes in our tactical rout, but make it back to the road. Vex and HUGE rejoin us and say the ghouls are slaughtering the canines and taking over. Time for more planning.

Cleaned up, we gather to compare notes. No idea what the lich has done to the ghouls, but the deep end has gotten way deeper. HUGE, Lugh, and the fossil are in the corner, making master plans for the following days. I talk with Nina about fighting things that resist flame and blade, will ask around for more ideas. Nothing like being a legless man in a butt-kicking contest.

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Cleaned up, we gathered in the library to talk about how to proceed. The butler announced guests, and led in a twelve year old girl and a fossil in armor. The girl blurted she was there to see her friend Felu, and things went south. From their looks, we had put on our murder faces and it went quiet. We explained that Felu had fallen and been taken, and that her partner had left to rectify this. We were in the middle of a large job, and had to make new plans. She said it was a good thing they showed up, because they have skills that will help us out(blink, blinkblink). HUGE informed them to return the following evening, and we could talk more then. They seemed put out, but said they would return.

A long night of little sleep, got an early start on the day. Went through the market to replace things used up the day before, and headed home to talk with Mother. We needed more information, and I wanted her counsel. She noted our anxiety, but when I produced one of the blue vials, she went pale. My siblings were rushed out on various errands(which I'm going to pay for later) and we moved to the study. She told a tale from years past of coming upon a man, gravely wounded and fading. He produced two of these vials and pleaded for her to use them on him. As he spoke, he passed and rapidly began changing, withering away. She used the first, and the man fleshed out and regained a bit of color, but was still quite dead. When nothing further happened, she used the second, and witnessed a small miracle. The years fell away from him till he looked a healthy man in his twenties. He then took a deep breath and opened his eyes.

After thanking Mother, explained that he had been taken by an undead many years before, but had been unable to undo the curse. He learned that powerful undead hunted for these vials constantly, but he never learned details, just that it came from "elsewhere". He said he must travel far away, as those he borrowed from would not be kind to any who helped him, and she never saw him again. She had attempted to find more about the vials, but the few with any knowledge of them were unwilling to share; seems that putting down vampires runs in the family. The main point she wished to make was that the vials, while powerful and valuable, should be kept hidden. Those who know what it is will destroy to acquire them. Also talked at length about the vampires we put down, the wolf creatures infesting the manor, and the lich who likes to experiment with the living. Mostly want others to know of the problems, more help will be required to clear them up.

Returned to Deverin's to share with the others and talk to the girl. She's a caster that uses a firearm(?)to channel spells, and he is a sellsword that keeps angry things at a distance. Just hope he can keep up, there's a lot of winters behind that one. It was decided to bring them along tomorrow, see what they can do. Don't have an extensive plan, but the goal seems obvious.

Next morning, hopped the wall and started toward the high ground around the manor; wolves first, then the misc undead. HUGE shaped into a dire wolf(luckily heavily armored so we could tell him from the rest)and took off to the right; so much for the meager plan. Followed a short distance back, but the group didn't do so well with noise discipline. Passed a shed HUGE had marked "undead" and saw him approach a were toward the big house. As we moved on it, noticed the new folk had fallen behind and tried to get them to close up. Just then, many dire wolves sprang from all sides. A lively scrum with much tripping and bleeding, we eventually put them down and regroup. I still have questions about the new recruits, but the day is still young and they will have many chances to shine. There seem to be two more of the weres approaching(no telling how many dogs)and Lugh has "found" a ghoul tunnel to explore. So much to do, so many unnatural things to put down.

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For the life of me, I'm still not sure what just happened.

Things start with HUGE, Lugh, and me around the boss and Vex leaped into the rafters with six of her underlings. That is one brave individual; might of been a bit of miscalculation, but it sure did look good. The floor fight began with some quick moves, but we soon found that we had drifted into deeper water. This one was fast and tough as iron; new tactics are called for. I recalled some of my more obscure training and distracted her, giving the others more openings. Not as heroic as hacking away, but damage was being done. Sadly, It was giving terrible wounds all around. Nina tried to remove the roof with fire, but all was solid stone, and she turned to support Vex from the stairwell. It tried to stop me with it's gaze, and nearly succeeded, but the warmth from Lugh's talisman kept me in the fight.

Was holding my own, due in large part to the battering given by our warriors, when I noticed a distinct lack of said warriors. Dead or dying, no way to tell as It turns on me. Parried a few, but other attacks get through and the cold washes over. Felu is being pressed hard, and it seems Sam has joined with them; that gaze is a harsh thing. Nina calls that her spells run thin, but they are enough to free up Vex, who jumps down to help my hapless flailing. It finally succumbs, and three of us(four, if you count Sam standing idly by the door) on our feet. A quick check shows Lugh and HUGE clinging to life, Oona has passed beyond, but Felu is just gone! I look about while using up our potions, but she is nowhere to be found.

In a dull monotone, Sam said Felu had been claimed by the devil who owns her soul, and to give the blue stuff we found on other vampires to Oona. Will get back to the first part, but the fluid quickly brought her back; no idea what it is, but may be the safeguard I've been hunting. Will have to be very careful with this. Tried a few things to get Sam back, but had only limited success. It was enough for him to grasp the part he had in Felu's death, something snapped inside. It finally took some of the blue stuff to bring him back fully. He(and Oona) act almost like pesh addicts, gazing longingly at the vials; what have we stumbled into?

Careful search and looting of the vampire crypt and their remains are dealt with. Another portable hole is found(did I mention careful?) and HUGE uses them to move us back to the manor. While trying to staunch all the wounds, we talk and try to make sense of what happened. Sam has decided to return to his uncle, says he can "save her" and will not be swayed. Their loss tears a big hole in the group.

Guess I was sitting slack-jawed for some time before Nina brought me back. My mind still can't focus on what might have happened if I'd given in to that gaze; not sure I could match Sam's calm demeanor. And for all we went through, I don't feel any more competent, and that undead thing still waits in the marsh. The luster of this lifestyle definitely been ground off with a sharp stone, but who's going to do it if not us? Might be the drain talking, but am NOT feeling very invincible(no matter how I hold my thumb and forefinger).

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Time to jump down the rabbit hole, those hungry vampires won't wait on us all day!

HUGE led the way down the stair when all felt ready to engage. As he reached the bottom, there were several meaty thumps and a call of "vampire". Nina and I were discussing options as the entire group surged past to join in, turning the corridor into a mosh pit. I was left to watch the other direction as Nina healed HUGE(again with the low dice rolls). While the others were curb-stomping the first leech, another ran up to disembowel me. Enjoyed a bit of sport slapping it's knuckles with the badger, it seemed put out until they both did the smoky withdrawl thing. Minor patch work and the group went around the left to discover double doors. As we were lining up to enter, four more parasites leaped out of the walls and started their usual savagery. Currently unoccupied, I moved to support Sam(not a fan of close encounters), while Nina moved toward Felu and Vex. He would be one of the last to request assistance, but he does appreciate a good flanking partner. Nina showed the stirge a new trick by funneling a fireball through her sword; by all reports, it was not pleased with this surprise.

Much butchery later, the pests were smoked and we lined up on the doors again. HUGE couldn't help himself, and "blinked" through the door as I worked to unlock it; if you guys don't want me to waste time with this stuff, just tell me. Burst into the chamber to find stacked caskets and no opposition. The six from earlier were inside trying to recover, and were quickly stacked and beheaded. This left the boss thing and six more, presumably above to cut us off. Piled the boxes and contents in the chamber, and Nina dropped another fireball to leave any escapees out in the cold.

Huge was first back up the stair to find it closed. Used all those muscles and tendons to shove the stone aside and let the fight begin. The female faces HUGE, and from the yelling, the underlings have decided to play spiders in the rafters. Our current clogged condition will make this an interesting tactical problem, but I'm sure the group will throw a little light on the situation.

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So I'd finally been talked down from the assassination conspiracy rant and put my soapbox back in the portable hole, when there's a knock at the door. It's Kiara, and she's assuring me there isn't any conspiracy, and starts going into some other information. The whole time I'm thinking how did she know about this and how can I believe someone who could be at the center of it? Have found that it is impossible to look every direction at the same time, and may have done permanent damage to my neck trying.

This has been a good time. We're back in real civilization catching up and getting ready for the next bit of work. I may have commissioned the most expensive piece of silk in town, can't wait to see how this works out. Other irons in the fire, we start focusing on the Kaijitsu manor. HUGE spends much time in other forms watching the estate and many many flavors of dog that inhabit the grounds while others hit the books to research everything forgotten since the last go round. All seems quiet and boring till the bright idea comes up to watch at NIGHT; suddenly the place looks like the marshaling camp of a major invasion. Coaches and wagons at all hours, deliveries and shipments, and some bizarre characters. There is a woman camped in the graveyard, believed to be a vampire. Looks to be in charge of the dog things/guard force; small potatoes. The problem is this odd guy who visits for a few days at a time; bad hair, weird clothes, likes to stitch together and animate "things". Nina's look tells me I should be laid out on the ground, drooling or worse. She describes an ancient, powerful undead creature who will undoubtedly take a dim view of our kicking over this anthill.

Plans begin to form; HUGE grabbed one of the constructs, who was full of useful information once it figured we wouldn't eat it or send it back. The lich(?) is predictable, so we plan to hit the toothy one about noon the day after he leaves. Nother vampire under our belts and we can move on to serious work.

Using spells and stealth, we enter the estate and move along the northern end. We stay below the patrols line of sight until coming even with the big tomb. Move up to the trees and I circle around to open the door. Group sneaks in and the door is closed without tripping any alarms. A search shows a standard layout, with all the activity in the rear. HUGE, with a couple of us giving moral support, slides open the massive lid to reveal stairs twisting down into the hill. Guess it was too much to hope she would be napping quietly for us to slaughter, but the possibility of rooms stuffed with loot does shine a bit of light on things. Got to keep a positive attitude in this line of work, the other side is SO depressing.

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Wait just a minute. There have been several "coincidences" lately, and I'm beginning to smell a familiar species of vermin. Hate to credit the other side with any level of intellect, but am thinking they put out contracts on us. We're not real hard to pick out of a crowd(we make up a good part of one), but this is lining up too easy. Need to talk to that woman following HUGE around(definitely a K name, it'll come to me), she may know something as it's her line of work. Hold on, what if she's on the job HERSELF? HUGE doesn't seem all that enamored of her, but she keeps hanging around.

Many questions, need to talk to Lugh about interrogations. I do NOT plan on being some soul-less schmuck's bounty!

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Another fine day in Drudgeville. Readied spells and equipment for the big haul, and found that others would be taking care of things. Lugh, sort of knowing the way, would lead in gaseous form and HUGE would do the heavy lifting as an earth elemental. He's taking the storage unit so he can collect loot without shifting form, a time and resource saver. We retired to a small cafe down the road to wait to assist, while Felu and Sam returned to the inn to recover their things ahead of our usual short-notice departure.

Sampled the mediocre fare as we waited on the intrepid explorers(wouldn't be a bad place if it had a decent cook, sunshine, and a population that knew how to smile on occasion). Fido showed up to tell us that Felu and Sam had been detained by the local law, and had allowed themselves to be shackled and taken in without death and explosions; must be a different Felu and Sam. The explorers finally returned with a story of hunting vampires and near misses. They had one set of loot, but a sneaky one had set an ambush at Malik's hold.

We then moved down the road to the local lockup. Frontal assault seemed messy, so Nina made the two of us gaseous, and we went in search of our criminals. Found Sam in a dingy cell wearing dimensional shackles; love these things, twist the wrists a few times while holding your tongue just so, and the things just fall off. Guess that isn't common knowledge, just as well. Floated down the hall to find Felu, who had not been accorded the best treatment to be expected by a cooperative guest; probably need to return some day and look into serious urban renewal. It's really difficult to remain a good person when surrounded by small, petty oafs. Released Felu, Sam stowed the shackles for later, and blinked the two of them out. We floated at a more sedate pace to rejoin the others and figured it was time to blow this mead stand.

Traveled several miles into the forest and set a hidden camp. HUGE and Lugh returned the following day to clear out Malik's goodies, and it was time to head home. Sailed rivers and the big lake in my mighty vessel, arriving at the true capital; not a big improvement. We were having a look around before taking passage south, when a couple thugs showed us the local hospitality. They attempted to shove us in an alley and play a round of "Kill 'em and Take Their Stuff". We politely declined, but they were most insistent as the general population turned a blind eye. I traded organs with the two as Nina dropped unpleasentries on them. They finally broke off their murder attempt, but we decided not to pursue as we had both been seriously mauled. As we patched each other up, I checked Nina closely, and she assured me I also wasn't wearing a sign that said "Kill Me, Please". Staggered back to the docks with bared weapons, thinking maybe the whole country should be plowed under and reseeded; probably the best idea in the long run.

Long travels by ship and wagon, with only a few episodes of murderous intent. A wonderful day when we return to Magnimar, settling into familiar surroundings. Hobart got word of our arrival, and threw another lavish party. An amazing evening of family and friends, a huge weight has been lifted from me. Nina is smiling, and has stopped giving me all those concerned looks. Tonight is for celebration, tomorrow I'll figure how to use this pile of coin to foil these attempts to shuffle off my mortal coil.

Toured the town in style, went through a pile of lucre, and tried to get back up to speed. This burg is really on it's last breath, but I've done what I can. As it happens, my brilliant, long-range plan to keep Nina happy will probably require me to purchase a portable hole of my own to prevent finery being covered in muddy camping gear.

Spent time talking with locals and looking for helpful information. A priest of a smaller church knew a bit of Lena and her role as the figurehead of the household. He wasn't one for gossip, but mentioned she had trouble of some form. Met with the group later, and made final plans for the meet.

Got all spiffed up for the luncheon, arrived in style, and was shunted to the library as extras. Spent some time in small talk and browsing this pretense of literacy; I found five copies of the same boring book on tree fungus. These guys buy this stuff by the wagon and hope no one pays attention. I also didn't find any wall safe, secret passage, or treasure room; so much for the great vampire lord.

About then, Sam's pet showed up with Malik's key, and said there's a door HUGE can't blink through and I had to open it cause I'm the lock guy. Shouldn't this be on a leash? I know who ISN'T cleaning up after it. Excused myself, and accompanied Lugh to join Vex upstairs. Malik's key was of no use, so took a bit of time with my finest tools, and got nowhere. Stared daggers from many eyes(most not even IN the room) assailed me until it came to me to try THAT key instead; everybody's an expert. The door opened to a small study with the usual desk, cabinet, and corpse. Malik hadn't made arrangements for a plaything, another reason to dislike the undead. There was a pile of papers to sort through, so opened the hole and shelved it about the time Fido came back to say the meet was breaking up. Rejoined the ladies in time for the grand exit, and returned to the inn relating what had happened.

Sam came up with another plan for the evening. Seems Macer had spent the previous evening bending the ear of another vanpire that spends his time siphoning locals at our inn(did I mention this is a splendid little town to raise a family in?). Sam wants to work it to help with the Malik plan, and asked for Nina's help in negotiations. She agreed, and they began in the usual, curtained alcove. She returned for Malik's key, to prove his demise, which led to fire, lightning, and screams as it snatched said key; my kind of deal. A general commotion ensued as Oona latched on to it and proceeded to do things that should have at least got a smile out of it, but I guess it's not the same if you're undead. In hindsight, should have just grabbed the pouch, it was in no position to resist, but I just let the badger run free. It wasn't pretty, and I'm not real proud, because it led to a repeat of the road fight with Malik. Followed the mist to a large building with little access, guess there are LOTS of vampires here(thinking of putting up a little summer place). Had limited time till it reformed, so I was getting ready to fix my mistake, when Lugh said he would finish it; wasn't going to argue with that look. Atz warded him from undead notice, and he turned to mist.

Waited quite some time, to the point of real concern, but there were no alarms or explosions. Lugh finally reformed and stated the creature was dust. The special key opens the vampires loot vault, and the building is full of them. Can't wait to hear the next part of this plan!

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It was a magnificent journey. Ranks of gleaming warriors held the center as tall barbarians from the northern wastes fell upon their flanks and lines of southern spearmen charged in. All the while, brilliant magics and thunderous volleys ripped through our foes, human and otherworldly. We moved from victory to victory, nothing could stop our crusade.

We took ship and carried our fight to the south. We sank brazen corsairs, battled monsters from the deep, and scattered fleets that dared oppose us. These were heady times, standing at the prow of a mighty ship with Nina beside me.... Nina?...

Things are a little fuzzy; that's Nina, but everything else seems wrong. Did I get hit in the head again? It does happen pretty often. She has a look; damn, what did I do now? No, that's concern, not anger; what DID I do? Asked what I had missed, but all that came out was someone stepping on a frog. Took a bit of water as she explained I had come down with a persistent fever as we traveled from Fort Dolar. We were now in Ardis, and people are checking into the key found on the vampire. Eventually sat up to discover I'm a sweat-soaked wreck in a shabby little room; you know, this looks just like the crappy bordello we rescued Epher from in Magnimar, when he was trying to show us how much of a man he was. Don't think I've ever seen women that mad before or since, but it was their own fault for not making sure he had the coin first.

Staggered out of bed, got too good a look at my condition, and excused myself to the stable yard. Stripped off my filthy rags and burned them on the spot. Then spent the next half hour scrubbing in a trough, then made sure to dump it out and refill with fresh water. No reason for the animals to suffer, I'd done enough for all of us. Returned to the room with all possible dignity; might have worked better if I had remembered to bring a change of clothes, but these people look like they need something to gossip about.

With the extra coin from our recent fracas, I need to spoil the heck out of a certain young lady and attempt to make up for my most recent failures. Also need to get some color back and get ready for our social call.

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