Age of Worms Adventure Path playtest: Demon Boy

Campaign Journals

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This will be my character journal for our Thursday night campaign here at Paizo. The purpose of this campaign (in addition to having some fun) is to playtest the new Dungeon adventure path: Age of Worms. Erik Mona is the DM, and the players are James Jacobs (Tyrilandi), Kyle Hunter (Dram), Mike McArtor (Vyth), Sean Glenn (Taan), Wes Schneider (Abelard), Sarah Robinson (Dae Jin), Jason Bulmahn (Gar), and myself (Demon Boy).

Kyle has done an awesome character illustration of Demon Boy which can be found here

I plan on posting a new update every week on Thursdays, for as long as I can. Because we can't possibly play every week, eventually I will have to start skipping weeks, but we will see how far I get before that happens. The first entry contains only character background information; we will get to what actually happened during the first session next week.



Entry 1
1 Reaping CY 595
Location: The squalid graveyard of Diamond Lake

I was born in the Emporium. Stop for a second, and imagine the dirtiest scummy little scrap of pond sludge clinging to the wet bark of a rotting tree trunk. Now imagine a spongy white speck of fungus desperately clinging to the sludge, trying to suck anything wholesome in that piece of pond scum and incorporate it into its own soggy, misshapen form. Now you have a pretty good idea what kind of place I was born in. The Emporium is the parasite, but all it’s gotten out of Diamond Lake these past few years is corruption and festering rot.

My mother was a whore. All my life I have heard kids, and sometimes even adults, yelling “you bastard son of a copper whore!” at each other in the streets, the common room, and occasionally even upstairs, but somehow, no one ever yells it at me. You might think that was because they were sensitive, or maybe because the insult wouldn’t sting as badly if it were true. Actually, no one bothers calling me that because they have much better names to throw at me.

“Hellspawn,” “snakespit,” “bloodface,” “ratkin,” and “Demon Boy,” they call after me at me every day. And I can’t really object, certainly not to the last one, as technically speaking that’s my name. Ok, not my real name, but close enough. When the Boss first got hold of me, Auntie Rose tried to tell her my real name, but she wouldn’t listen. “Don’t care what he was called!” she growled fiercely, her eyes shining in anticipation of the money she would make with me, “Demon Boy’s what people will know him as, so Demon Boy’s his name! Best if he never even knows any other!” And so it was settled, and if she hadn’t needed someone to clean me and take care of me, I probably still wouldn’t know my real name: Aroval.

So where was I? Oh yes, I was born in the Emporium. All of that flowery talk aside, the Emporium is pretty much a dive. I suppose that probably doesn’t mean much to you, as from what I have heard, these dives don’t exist in very many places. But many’s the person I’ve overheard across the bars saying “Damn straight, but t’are ain’t no better dive than the Emporium, and that’s the truth of it.”

Of course it wasn’t always the Emporium, and maybe telling you how it happened is the best way to describe it, since I seem to be doing such a lousy job so far. Years ago, it was a brothel, one of a half-dozen in a small mining town. It catered to rough and drunk miners who wanted it so bad they didn’t care who they got it from. And in this case, that was just as well, cause from what I understand, in those days there wasn’t any uglier (or cheaper) whores this side of Greyhawk than those found and Zalamandrea’s House of Sugar. My mother (from what I have heard) was just about the most innocent looking halfling you could imagine. Well, except for the whole fat, double-chin, scar across the face thing, of course. How she got to be a whore I have no idea, Auntie swears she doesn’t know, and I have never been able to weasel it out of the Boss, if she ever knew herself. I suppose in the end, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes, I wonder what it would have been like if she had been a married woman, though. Happy, peaceful, and I would have never been born. It makes me a little sad, thinking of her like that, which is why I do it. I have no sadness left for myself anymore.

But I was talking about the Emproium. Lets see, it must have been round about ten years ago, I was still a baby at the time, and hadn’t been taken yet, when Marat showed up. He’d been wandering around the hills for years, putting on shows, but this time it was different. Somehow, and no one is exactly sure how, the Boss managed to convince him to sell her his traveling show, and move in with his whole traveling circus. She renamed the place “Zalamandrea’s Emporium.” The old sign she put up after she bought him out is gone now, blown down in a storm three winters back. The Boss never replaced it. Everyone knows the Emporium anyway, so why bother?

It’s a rum place, it never really stopped being a brothel, but when the Marat moved in with his freakshow, it turned into the dive it is now. They say there’s nothing that can’t be had at the Emporium, and they’re usually right. I have a lifetime of stories about the place, but I’d just as soon forget them all. If I have my way, I’ll never see the inside of that place again, and you will get more than enough from my own story to draw your own conclusions.

So I was about three years old when the place got sold, and it was just after that when my father showed up. My mother, as I said before, was a whore, and asking questions was not in her job description. When my father showed up the first time, he was covered in dark robes and wearing a black mask. When he came into Zalamandrea’s House of Sugar and demanded a halfling, neither the Boss nor my mother asked any questions. Of course everyone else was curious, and grilled my mother with questions the next morning, especially when they discovered her client had left in the middle of the night. But my mother never said anything about him, ever, to anyone. When my sister and me were born the next autumn, she did her best to hide us from as many people as she could. In fact, for a long time, only my mother and Auntie Rose knew about us. She must have known what people would think, pale pink skin and ghost white hair, not to mention blood-red irises. Even at that time, she must have wondered what we were. Of course it’s a moot point now.

As I was saying, I was about three years old when my father returned. He arrived, as he had left, in the middle of the night. He was less subtle the second time, kicking the door in at midnight and stomping up the stairs to my mother’s room. No one knows what would have happened if she had not been there, but what actually happened was bad enough. When the Boss arrived on the scene, she promptly ran downstairs screaming. My father had kicked in my mother’s door, just as he had kicked in the door downstairs. Inside the room, there was blood everywhere. My mother never made a sound, as the flesh was systematically ripped from her bones; I like to think she died quickly. But the way the Boss tells it, when she looked in the room for a brief instant, their eyes met, and she could feel my mother silently begging her to do something. In the meantime, my father, who had just removed my mother’s left leg with his bare hands, turned and stared at the Boss.
As she described it later “The creature had mottled red skin and long fangs. At the end of its hands were inch long curved claws, razor sharp and dripping with blood. But it was the eyes that I will never forget, solid red molten orbs staring at me from across the room. He looked, and I knew that if I was there for one second longer, I was going to die slowly.” The conclusion of this story (told at least weekly, if not more often) would usually be followed by a nod or gesture in my direction. “But don’t worry folks! We have his offspring in a nice safe place. You don’t need to worry about him coming for you and drinking your blood, and for only 2 copper apiece…” suffice to say I got very tired of hearing it.

When they worked up the nerve to return to my mother’s room, hours later, they found that my father had systemically ripped the flesh off her entire skeleton, and then taken her bones with him. Of my sister, asleep in the room with my mother when he arrived, there was no sign. Most of the town now believes that he ate her before he left, at the time, of course, they did not know she even existed.

I survived, because I was not in my mother’s room that night. I had been taken ill with a fever, a bad one, and been removed from my sister’s presence for fear that I might make her sick as well. As it turned out, it saved my life. I was sleeping in Auntie Rose’s room at the Emporium when my father arrived. Auntie says I slept through the entire evening, but when I woke up, the fever was gone. From that night on, Auntie told me she knew I had been touched by The One.

If she knew it, no one else did. In fact, after the terror that happened that night Auntie was even more determined that no one else should know about me and my parents. But it was not to be. When I was four years old, and desperately anxious to escape the confining prison of Auntie’s room, I finally managed to sneak off on my own when she was out. I trotted down the hall, full of my own independence (or so I am told) and ran straight into the long skirts of the Boss herself.

At first, she was furious, but when she saw my white hair and red eyes, she knew me at once for what I was and demanded to know where I had come from. Not knowing any better, I eventually led her back to Auntie’s room. When Auntie saw us, the Boss and I, quietly playing in her room waiting for her, she just about died of fear. The Boss was not upset with her, but she had every reason to be afraid. My mother, The Boss explained to Auntie Rose, had belonged to the Emporium, and I, her only remaining possession, would naturally devolve to the same owner, since there was nothing of her remaining.

Auntie protested, of course, but there was nothing she could do, and she dared not complain too loudly. And so the Boss took me, and named me Demon Boy, and my life truly began at that point.

The first thing I remember is pain. Not pain such as you know,when you cut yourself with a knife or burn yourself in a fire, nor even when you are brought down by a fierce internal ache so bad that it forces you to your knees. This is cutting, razing, burning, searing, constant, and terrible agony. For days, weeks, months, time loses its meaning. After a while, the pain becomes a part of you. You have been branded, scarred in your very soul, so that you will never live again a single second without pain. Even when you do not feel it, it is with you. Welling up from your mind in an eternal spring of despair, sucking the life from your spirit, even as it gives strength to your mind.

When they finished with me I was changed, inside and out. Even now, I am not sure how they did it. After a while I stopped even asking, fearing that knowing how it was done would give me some idea of how to reverse it, and knowing that I would never be able to achieve that. Some foul blend of magic and alchemy, I am told, usable only on a child, which permanently altered the pigmentation of my skin. He was inspired by what was already there, a faint touch of red, ghostly but eminently present among the natural fair tones of my flesh. Between that and my eyes, and her own memories, the Boss made me into the child of a demon. She took my skin and darkened it to deep, blood red. Bright and almost arrogant, until my skin shone with the color and radiated a feeling of intense heat, and the smell of fresh blood. But that was only the beginning. She proceeded to inscribe circles and whorls of black shape spiraling across my back, down my arms and legs, and coalescing above my heart in the lidless eye of a foul demon. I was truly a terror to behold, albeit a small one. I was, in a way, perfect. I allowed people to confront their fears safely. By mocking me, they could drive out their own terrors. They could feel more powerful than hell itself. I was a perfect attraction. Years later, I was told that they would have added horns and a pointed tail as well, but the cost was too high. Sometimes, I wish they had—horns and a tail could be useful.

My life, from then to now, since my earliest memories, has been full of mocking laughter, which I suppose is only fitting. At first I remember hoping that the color would fade, that the marks would grow indistinct as I grew. But instead they seemed to grow with me; adding complex shapes and spirals as they expanded. By day, I was thrown in a cage, and people paid money to laugh at me, spit on me, and throw things at me. They could not actually hurt me; I was spared that at least, but nothing else. The entire story of my father and mother was posted upon the wall outside my cage, and for just a few copper, everyone was invited to come marvel, and mock, the twisted thing that I had become.

For my part I have roared and cursed, given as good or better than I got. I have sat silent in the cage for weeks on end, doing nothing. I have tried to strike up conversations about the outside world from passersby. I have piteously cried and begged and pleaded with anyone who could hear me to be let out. But for years upon years, nothing ever changed.

I lived at night. They took me back to Auntie Rose’s room at the close of each day. She loved me and took care of me, and despite my fate, and I loved her just as deeply. It was she that taught me how to read and write, how to reason, how to be a person, instead of a demon. And it was she who told me about The One. How could she not, when I was his chosen. She could see his mark on me, she said, and someday, somehow, she knew that I would be able to see it for myself. For a long time, I never believed her.

But she was right. As the years wore on slowly (too slowly) my popularity as a sideshow attraction began to fade. Then as the area around my cage grew lonelier, the Boss began paying more and more attention to other things. Other new and more grotesque creatures that she had obtained from far off lands occupied her attention, and for the first time in my life, I began to think of escape.

I was feeling strange new desires and emotions. I didn’t know the meaning of the universe, but suddenly it became urgently important that I find out. With Auntie’s coaching, some of these mysteries became clear. She taught me that The One was a mysterious god, and I had to agree, after what I had been put through, I didn’t know what he could expect me to accomplish. She told me the myriad of temples and faiths that existed in the world, and how their gods battled with each other over small matters. How their self-righteous priests paraded around, consumed with their own importance, all the while missing the whole point of the matter. The One, she explained, had existed before them, before their gods, before time itself. He was the entire fabric of the universe, and nothing existed in reality that was not part of him. He was silent and uncaring about the world, most of the time. But every once in awhile there were those born who were touched by him directly, and they were able to manipulate the would around them as no others could. By controlling the very essence of creation, they were able to wield strange powers on behalf of The One. But The One himself seemed almost oblivious to them, not caring even what his chosen accomplished upon the earth that was part of him. Which was fine with me. I mean, if you’re going to wield ultimate power some day, it would be a shame to have someone looking over your shoulder telling you how to use it.

And power I had been given. Not ultimate power, at least not yet, but I found that by focusing in a certain way, I could make things glow, and in a different way, I could even make them move on their own. I began to listen more closely to The One, and found that if I was relaxed and connected with him, he would speak with my voice and move my arms in strange shapes not unlike the pattern of my skin. Afterwards, I would see objects float, and come to rest, or start to glow. By focusing in a different way, I saw people and objects radiate a strange form of power. I knew that if I could somehow control these things, the world itself could be mine. As my power grew, I began to plan my escape.

For weeks now I have scouted out the town at night, looking for a place to go when I ran away. I knew the Boss would almost certainly try to find me, but if I could remain unreachable for a few weeks, she would probably give up. She is nothing if not lazy, and she has only grown more indolent as she has aged. By this time I had repaid her investment in me a hundred times over, but I could not be bringing her that much any more. I knew that if I stayed, it was only a matter of time before she gave me over to the brothel master, if people would no longer pay to laugh at me, perhaps they would pay to exploit me another way. I have never been very strong physically; I knew I could not survive that for long.

* * *
Yesterday I slipped out of the window a couple hours after dark and quietly crept away from the building. Not that there was any chance of anyone inside noticing me—the Emporium at night is even louder and more obnoxious than during the day. The building only starts to quiet down around dawn, and I planned to be back well before then. I had stowed a small stash of treasures in one of the old abandoned buildings that litter the area around the Emporium. A gang of local street urchins also uses those buildings, but the colony of large spiders that lives in this particular ruin has always kept them away. I quickly pushed aside the board that concealed my belongings, and began pulling them out.

From the beginning, I knew that my appearance would prevent me simply strolling around town, but on one of my first excursions I stumbled across (quite literally) a freshly killed gnome that had been tossed out into the street behind the Emporium (not an uncommon occurrence). Although he had been stripped of his valuables by whoever had killed him, the corpse did possess one extremely useful item, a thick black cloak. Considering that my entire wardrobe at the time consisted of two pairs of short breeches dyed bright blue, you can imagine I was extremely grateful to the poor sod for the find. That cloak has given me some measure of anonymity, and has permitted me to move through town and even interact with other people, at least at night.

As I pulled the cloak from the compartment in which it was concealed, I felt a sharp point prick me directly in the small of the back. A low, raspy voice commanded “Take it easy fella, I don’t know what you are, but you’re gonna turn around slowly or feel my spear inside your belly.” As I turned around, I felt a deep hatred for the sheer injustice of my situation welling up inside me. Suddenly, I understood that no one would ever trust me, that no matter where I went in the world I would be forever marked as an outcast. A homeless monster doomed to a life of utter solitude. (Fortunately for me, that was not correct, as you will see.) As I whirled to face him, the rage that had been building within me burst forth in a massive blast of intense heat. The curse I screamed at my attacker was lost in a massive roar of fire that sprang from my jaws. And for a brief moment, I watched in satisfaction as my assailant (a halfling no less!) twisted and writhed in the burning flame that was only a small part of what I myself had experienced.

My rage spent, the fire slowly died away, and began to realize what had just occurred. I can breathe fire? I was struck with wonder at the sheer idea, quickly followed by fear at what would happen should anyone discover this about me. Claims of great strength and bizarre mental powers were one thing, but if anyone found out that Demon Boy could actually breathe fire, my life wouldn’t be worth the iron my cage was built from. I had to get away, and soon.

I awoke from my reverie with a start, as I realized that the building was slowly catching fire around me. Sparing a brief prayer to The One for my attacker, I quickly stripped him of his possessions. His clothes were burned to a crisp, but the spear he was wielding, while scorched, was perfectly serviceable. But the most amazing find was the crossbow strapped to his back. I don’t know where this halflling came from, but it must have been a much more interesting place than Diamond Lake, halfling sized crossbows are certainly not the norm around here. I paused to grab his belt pouch (and was rewarded by a satisfying jingle) and slip on my cloak, and then ducked out of the burning building.

As I ran, I could hear the cry of “Fire!” taken up behind me, and knew that there would be people swarming over that entire section of town for hours. In the confusion, it wasn’t hard to slip off to the other side of town. Something totally unexpected had just happened, and I needed to sort it out someplace quiet, so naturally, I headed for the cemetery.
“Quiet as the grave” is the expression people use, and usually it is the literal truth. Oh sure the entire place is covered in refuse and discarded junk, smells to high heaven, and is infested with a plethora of crawling insects, but it is usually pretty quiet. As I was sitting on the tombstone, it finally dawned on me; I would never go back to the Emporium. Regardless of whether I could control this strange new power I had discovered, what I had found on the body of my attacker had finally given me the means to escape once and for all. With my divine abilities, these weapons, and a little luck, I might actually be able to make it out of here. If only I had someplace to go…

It was at that moment, as I was brooding upon a marble marker in Diamond Lake’s squalid public graveyard, that I first spotted her. She was a moderately tall human woman, about 20 years old and not-quite-painfully-thin. Her skin was quite pale, and she had midnight black hair down to her shoulders and equally dark eyes. Dark shadows were gathered under her eyes as well. Her arms were marked with faint scars, like cuts from a tiny blade or dagger. She was wearing a fancy courtier’s outfit and an inordinate amount of jewelry.

I jumped to my feet with my spear at the ready, prepared to flee at the first sign of hostility, but she just smiled. “What are you doing here, little halfling? Have you come to experience the power of death for yourself?” I was slightly taken aback, and I cautiously lowered my spear and replied. “Not exactly, although it would be appropriate, death has been following me my entire life.” She smiled at my response, and with her smile I felt my loneliness and despair vanish like the money in a fool’s purse. She withdrew a greenish bottle from within her robe, unstoppered the cork and passed it to me. “You sound refreshingly morose. Perhaps you would care to elaborate?”

As we passed the bottle of wine back and forth, I learned a few things about my new friend. She was a devotee of the death goddess Wee Jas named Tyralandi. I resisted the urge to enlighten her about the true nature of the universe, as I could tell she was committed to her own beliefs. She told me she also had worked for a local carnival, but that instead of a sideshow attraction she had traveled with them on what was known as the “Greyhawk Circuit,” visiting dozens of towns and villages in the surrounding area. I was full of questions about the outside world, and she in turn was amazed at my ignorance. Having never had a friend before, I wanted the conversation to last forever, but of course that was not to be. Eventually she left the graveyard, and I was alone again.

Before she left, however, she agreed to meet me the following night (tonight!) at an abandoned building outside of town. Apparently, there was a group of people looking to get out of town (boy did that apply to me) and they were going to raise funds by looting a “cairn” just outside of the village. I agreed at once, although I was a little dubious at the prospect of meeting a bunch of strangers, what if one of them turned me in? Still it was better that any of my own ideas.

The next morning, emboldened by my first real conversation with an outsider, I pulled my hood low over my face, and walked into town. My courage lasted just long enough for me to purchase a journal and some writing supplies. I have decided to chronicle my new life, beyond the Emporium. I have left, and I will not look back. This is a fresh beginning for me. Just how far can a scrawny red-skinned, red-eyed, white-haired halfling make it in the world outside the pond scum that is this whole town? I guess we are about to find out.

Great voice, Jeremy, and a great character background.

As a DM, that would be worth a little mad XP. As a player, that's be worth a bit of envy.

Thanks for sharing. Keep it coming.

- Chris

Wow, awesome writeup!

I'm just dying to begin running this campaign.

I'm curious though: from the description, it seems that Avoral has two feats, Draconic Heritage and Draconic Breath. Shouldn't a first-level halfling sorceror have only one feat?


philarete wrote:
I'm curious though: from the description, it seems that Avoral has two feats, Draconic Heritage and Draconic Breath. Shouldn't a first-level halfling sorceror have only one feat?

Good catch. Demon Boy has a flaw (specially approved by Erik) which gives him a bonus feat.

If there is enough demand I might be willing to post his character sheet online at some point.

Scarab Sages

Jeremy Walker wrote:

Good catch. Demon Boy has a flaw (specially approved by Erik) which gives him a bonus feat.

If there is enough demand I might be willing to post his character sheet online at some point.

Demand! Demand! Well, I would certainly like to see it, that is. Excellent background! Quite a fractured little work of art.

Jeremy Walker wrote:
philarete wrote:
I'm curious though: from the description, it seems that Avoral has two feats, Draconic Heritage and Draconic Breath. Shouldn't a first-level halfling sorceror have only one feat?

Good catch. Demon Boy has a flaw (specially approved by Erik) which gives him a bonus feat.

If there is enough demand I might be willing to post his character sheet online at some point.

Chalk me up for a demand also.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

YEAH! Post that character sheet, Jeremy! Let us all in on Demon Boy's dirty little secrets! I promise Tyralandi won't use them to her advantage!


Hmm, well it does seem like a few people (besides James) are interested, so I will post an abbreviated version of my character if I get the chance.

Anyway, here is the recap of week 1. Enjoy!


Entry 2
1 Reaping 595 CY
Location: Inside the Whispering Cairn, in the hills outside Diamond Lake

I have never known such excitement in my entire time trapped in that miserable cage. Having nothing better to do, I waited outside the abandoned building almost all day, concealed in some rubbish across the street. The first person to enter the appointed meeting place was a tall fair elf wearing a sword and a bow. Just from looking at him I could tell he was arrogant, and probably cruel. He looked like one of those haughty merchants who used to come and stand out side my cage and say things like “That poor stupid bastard, it’s too bad he’s cursed to spend eternity chained up. Oh don’t get to close darling, you wouldn’t want him to spit on your new gown.” I was a little dubious about joining up with him, but if he can use those weapons he carries he might be worth the trouble.

A short time later, the next group of people arrived. Two humans and what looked like another elf entered the building. One of the humans was wearing heavy looking armor and carrying a big sword. He looked solemn and stern, I could tell just looking at him he would never be caught dead in a place like the Emporium. The other human was leaner, but somehow keener. Both him and the elf smelled faintly of pine needles, they both looked like they would just as soon sleep under the stars as in a building.

Shortly after they entered, I was startled to hear the sound of raised voices and the twang of a bowstring come from inside the building. I was contemplating ditching this whole idea and running off, when Tyralandi finally arrived. I quickly stepped out to greet her, but she only acknowledged my presence with a brief nod before sweeping into the building. I trotted after her, slightly miffed. I was unsurprised to see that the arrogant elf was at the bottom of the confrontation I had heard from outside. The lanky human from the second group had drawn his bow and had it pointed directly at the elf, who for his part seemed unconcerned. It didn’t take Tyralandi too long to settle things down when she arrived, and each of us briefly introduced ourselves.

The arrogant elf was called Taan, apparently he was a magic user of some kind, it seemed unfortunate that The One would choose such a person to favor with his touch, but considering myself, perhaps I should not have been surprised. The two woodsmen were named Dram (the human) and Dae Jin (apparently a half-elf, I didn’t know that was possible, actually seems kinda kinky). Dram called himself a “scout” and Dae Jin a “ranger,” sounds like semantics to me. I figured this was probably plenty to clear out the cairn, so I was a little surprised when I heard the sound of large boots in the doorway.

I whorled around, and was stunned to see the face of someone I recognized: the dwarf stomping into the building was none other than Gar. Gar was just about the last person I expected to see in a place like this. For one thing, he was the nephew of one of the richest people in town, the boss of a local mining company. I could not fathom why he would need to rob cairns to get money, the fact that he sported a shining new suit of armor and weapons only reinforced my incredulity. Back in the cage, Gar had been one of the most frequent visitors to my attraction. Apparently he had a lot of aggression to work out of his system, as he was one of the biggest bullies in town, and he never grew tired of wandering over to my section of the tent and hulking peanuts, vegetables, and other, worse, things through the bars of my cage. I instinctively shrank down into the concealing folds of my cloak, before getting a grip on myself. I could not afford to appear weak in front of my new companions; I had to face Gar.

For his part, Gar hardly seemed to notice me as he tromped in. I am beginning to get used to the fact that outside of my cage, I am just another halfling, and that as long as I wear my cloak, people have no reason to stare at me.

I was so consumed with the entrance of my tormentor, that I hardly noticed that he was not alone. Another human dressed in black cloth had followed him in. He almost seemed to fade into the background as I watched. The opposite of me, he would fit in anywhere, capable of blending into a dark forest or a crowded street without effort. He did not introduce himself, but I heard someone else address him as Vyth.

There was a brief conversation before we got down to business. Gar seemed particularly keen that we not mention any of this to his uncle. I was a little bemused by that comment, could he be running away? What hardship could he possibly be escaping? I echoed his comments, however, requesting that no one mention my current whereabouts to my owner at the Emporium. Many of them seemed to notice me for the first time then, and I caught a couple of long stares at my face, but I am used to that by now.

Shortly thereafter Dram pulled a tattered map out of his sleeve and placed it on the table in the center of the room. I got a couple more odd looks as I clambered up on top of the table to look it over with the rest of them, but I am sure they will adjust to my appearance in time. The map showed the location of an abandoned cairn just a short walk from here. Gar proposed that we should split the treasure inside equally between us, and I (along with everyone else) was quick to agree. He then inquired what we were all good at, making it plainly obvious that he was a dwarf, and he would fight, and wanted us to fight as well. I was a little dubious about my combat abilities (all of the Boss’s claims notwithstanding, I had never been particularly strong) so I replied simply that I had been touched by The One. I could see immediately that none of them recognized His power, so I simply left it at that, they would understand soon enough.

The journey to the Cairn was uneventful. When we arrived, the first thing I noticed was the silence. My entire life up to this point had been permeated with sound. From the moment I awoke each morning, to the time I fell asleep each night, the sound of the Emporium and filled my ears, a rough cacophony of shouting, screaming, laughing, and weeping. Even after I had escaped last night, the sound of the firefighting followed but the den of the village had constantly surrounded me. As we slowly left the village behind, the noise slowly faded into the background and disappeared. The weight of the quiet began to bore into me. In my mind, the echoes of past torments began to well up from my soul. Soon, the sound of our footsteps as they swished through the grass was the only thing breaking the oppressive void. Desperately, I began to whistle. Songs I had heard growing up in the Emporium came rushing back to my mind. Drinking songs, circus jingles, bardic tales filled my head and crowded out the old memories of forgotten pain. I continued to whistle as we approached the cairn, fortunately, none of my companions seemed to notice.

The cairn itself looked older than the hills, and I mean that literally. Despite its obvious age it didn’t look like it was going to collapse anytime soon. Gar in fact muttered something about how he was impressed with the stonework. Vyth and Dram led the way into the dark passageway, carefully advancing and pausing frequently to look for traps in the ancient tunnel. As we advanced, DaeJin mentioned causally that there was some kind of animal tracks on the floor of the caves. Wolf tracks most likely. I had a few seconds to wonder if the wolves in this cave were anything like the ones back at the Emporium before Tyralandi suddenly seemed to notice that I had been whistling the whole time.

“Hush!” she commanded in a fierce whisper, “Don’t you know that wolves eat halflings?”

To understand my response to this command, you have to understand that up to that point, I had never really considered the personal danger I had placed myself in coming to this cairn. Certainly, the though that some of us would not return had crossed my mind, but surly some of these other people would die first. In addition to that, I had known Rowsby, Woof, and Wogdog, the circus wolves, for years. They were fed scraps and old meat, and it never occurred to me to be afraid of them, as they were always friendly. Naturally, when Tyralandi commanded me to be still or be eaten by wolves, I was a little surprised.

“Wolves eat halflings?” I replied in a low voice. Ok, maybe it was not such a low voice, cause the next thing I knew two mangy emaciated feral beasts rushed out from the back of the cave and bowled into Dram, growling and biting like mad. But if I was startled to see the wolves, I was even more surprised at the reaction of my companions. With a roar of curses and battle cries, they rushed into battle as gleefully as the circus children rushed to the promise of sweets. For all their enthusiasm, however, they seemed to be singularly ineffective at actually hurting the creatures that were attacking us. Of them all, only DaeJin and Gar seemed to have any skill with the weapons they wielded. Reluctantly, I followed my companions, and desperately stuck my spear between two of my companions, and was rewarded with the solid thud and squeal of pain indicating success.

As the wolf slid off the point of my spear to collapse inert on the ground, I was about to gloat over my triumph to my companions when a massive ravenous wolf at least twice the size of the previous ones rushed out of the darkness and grabbed Taan in his massive jaws. Nearly ripping his arm from his body, the beast tossed him against the far wall where he struck with a loud crunch, and slowly slid to the ground with a soft thud. Clearly, he was out of action, unconscious and possibly dead.

Although slightly stunned by the brutality of the attack, we quickly regrouped and surrounded the fierce beast. Tyralandi quickly rushed to the fallen Taan, and whatever she did seemed to have some effect, as I noticed his wounds begin to close. Meanwhile, I had been less effective in my assault on this new wolf, perhaps I had some work to do before I could boast of my combat prowess after all. The battle raged on, Vyth had somehow managed to get behind the creature, and as it turned to face him Taan started up from his position against the wall and shoved his sword up through the mouth of the wolf into its brain. Arrogant though he may be, it seems that Taan may prove a worthwhile companion after all.

Pausing only briefly to lick our wounds, we pressed on into the blackness of the ruin. Emboldened by our success against the wolves we were less cautious in our exploration of the surrounding chambers. We were rewarded by four interesting discoveries.

First, at the end of one of the passageways lay a ruined artifact from a lost era. A circle of stone had been constructed on a raised platform, inscribed on the inside with mystic runes. Apparently, it originally had something to do with transportation, but half of the circle had been shattered, and now lay in small flecks of stone on the chamber floor. Thinking they might have some value, Gar gathered the pieces of the artifact into a bag for future study.

Our second find came inside the former lair of the wolves. A small piece of marble had been dropped there. Apparently part of a larger carving, this piece had been shaped into a human forefinger and buried in the rubble of the wolf den.

The third discovery was a set of painted frescoes on the walls of yet another chamber. Brilliantly done and still impressive after hundreds of years, they depicted a large room divided into several smaller bays. From each bay of the chamber, a point of colored light shone.

The final discovery was the chamber depicted in the painting. Roughly star shaped and capped with a large domed ceiling, the most striking feature of the room was the large sarcophagus in the center of the star. On the lid of the coffin, a roughly humanoid shape had been carved. Eight feet tall, and with strangely elongated arms and legs, the statue was perfect with the exception of one forefinger that had been broken off. Holding the carved finger that we had found earlier to the statues missing hand, Tyrilandi muttered a few words under her breath. With a snap, the missing piece bonded to the carving, and the sarcophagus was complete once again.

Glancing around the chamber, it was obvious that each bay was meant to contain a lantern. While most of the lanterns were intact, one of them was missing, preventing us from recreating the scene in the frescos of the other room. I postulated that if we were able to recreate that scene, we would be able to open the sarcophagus safely. Dram was able to confirm that it was, in fact, trapped.

In addition to the different colored lanterns, there was a further mysterious element to the room that was not obvious at first glance. The sarcophagus was capable of rotating to “point” at each of the different bays. We experimented with the different positions, and in some cases strange containers rose from the floor of the smaller chambers when the sarcophagus was pointed at it. It seemed as though there was another level beneath the chamber we were currently exploring. Dram suggested that I should crawl inside one of the chambers as it dropped into the floor, allowing me to possibly explore the level below, but the very idea made my skin crawl. I categorically refused, I will not so easily allow myself to be caged once again. At least, not alone.

Tyralandi, Abelard and myself remained by the sarcophagus, while the rest of the group wandered off to explore a side passageway. They called back something about having found a trap and a weird face carved into the wall, but I was too busy staring at the colored lights in the dome ceiling to pay them much attention. I am sure that the mystery of the room is somehow connected with those little lights. After a time, they asked us to rotate the sarcophagus again so it would point at the side passage. The three of us (or I should say the two of them, as I was not much help) managed to turn the sarcophagus part of the way toward the other chamber before the entire mechanism collapsed.

With a massive crash of falling rocks, the entire floor of one of the side chambers collapsed into the darkness below. In the silence that was left after the echoes had died away (and I stopped whistling again), I could hear the clicking sounds of some kind of insect moving across the stone floor. The sounds began to grow louder; whatever it was, it was getting closer by the second. I pulled out my spear, and beside me, I saw Abeland and Tyralandi readying weapons as we prepared to face the unknown.


Here is the journal from week 2, enjoy!


Entry 3
1 Reaping–4 Reaping 595 CY
Location: Inside the Whispering Cairn, in the hills outside Diamond Lake

The ominous skittering noise grew in volume as the three of us waited in the chamber with weapons drawn. Someone (I think it was Tyralandi) yelled to the others in the side passage to come help us, and we heard them respond. However, I knew they were at the top of a 40-foot rope, and it would probably take them some time to get down to us. For now, we were on our own.

Abelard and Tyralandi cautiously approached the hole in the chamber floor that was the source of the mysterious noise, their weapons at the ready. Abelard placed himself between us and the danger, and motioned us to stay back. I slowly circled around behind my companions, I could feel the sweat beading on my forehead and dripping from my hair. The tension in the room grew with the volume of the mysterious noise, until I felt myself begin to choke with repressed emotion. I had never felt anything like the adrenaline that now coursed through my body. I was utterly drunk with sheer excitement. The noise grew to a raging cacophony of sound, echoing off the chamber walls and reverberating throughout the room. Finally, the source of the sound came into view.

Insects. Each one of them half an inch long at most, with a curious red mark on their backs. They catapulted out of the hole with titanic force in a massive eruption of black and red. I swear some of them were flung twenty feet in the air by the force of the explosion. Normally, insects never bothered me (certainly, there were plenty of them around the Emporium), but there was something about these. Perhaps it was the amazing speed with which they charged across the chamber floor toward us. Perhaps it was the volume of the noise they produced as they charged. Or perhaps it was the sheer number of the vermin that appeared. They covered the floor of the chamber in a skittering black carpet, constantly climbing over and through each other as they advanced, writhing and churning like some hideous black river. My excitement turned to sheer terror in an instant, and I screamed.

Despite my horror at the swarm of insects I rushed forward along with my companions. I could not let them face this alone. Calling upon my newfound power, I blasted the legion of insects with a burst of fire. To my disappointment the effect was much less impressive that it had been against the halfling. Countless insects perished in the consuming flame, but the swarm as a whole seemed undeterred. As the smoke cleared I saw a new horror rise from the depths of the hole. A massive (by which I mean larger than me) eight-legged spider-like creature climbed into view. Instead of a normal body, however, its legs were attached to one enormous eyeball that instantly focused on our small band.

I managed to breathe out one more blast of fire before I turned to run. This one was even feebler than the last. It seems that this new power is not as reliable as I once hoped. Again, hundreds of insects perished in the flame, but the swarm pressed on undaunted. The eye spider seemed completely unfazed.
As I rushed back towards the rest of my companions, I heard a dwarven battle-cry change into a yell of surprise, shortly followed by the loud metallic crash of someone in full plate armor hitting the ground at high speed. It appeared that Gar had been a little over-anxious to join the battle. Before I could get close enough to see just how badly he had hurt himself, I felt the skittering legs of insects crawling up my legs. They had caught me.

Within seconds I was completely covered with crawling, biting insects. Their bites burned with intense pain as they consumed my flesh. Once again I screamed in terror, and lurched away, desperate to get out of the consuming swarm. Unable to see clearly, I stumbled blindly, only to find myself face to eye with the terrible eye spider. I felt one of its long legs pierce my shoulder as it lashed at me, darkness took me, and I knew nothing more.

The next thing I felt was a tremendous rush of power coursing through me. I could feel my wounds closing and by body repairing itself incredibly fast. The power drove me into consciousness, and I slowly opened my eyes.

The first thing I saw was a wizened old man leaning over me, holding a small metal disc inscribed with a strange symbol. He was looking at me intently, and it was apparent that he was the one responsible for the power that had returned me from the brink of death. As soon as I opened my eyes, he stood up and moved out of my field of vision, I could hear him chanting a prayer under his breath as he stooped over another one of my companions. Slowly, I sat up and looked around.

I had been returned to the warehouse where the expedition had started. It was still dark outside, so I was unable to tell exactly how much time I had lain unconscious. Slowly, I surveyed the bruised and bloody figures of my companions. The old man had just finished saying another healing prayer over the still form of Dram, and I saw him stir and begin to wake. Elsewhere in the room, Gar, Dae Jin, and Abelard lay motionless on the ground. Tyralandi was conscious, but clutching a nasty wound in her belly that was slowly seeping blood. Vath was wounded as well, but he actually seemed to be in fairly good shape. Of all of us, only Taan was unmarked, leading the old man around to the various unconscious forms, slowly reviving them.

When he finished with Gar, the old man stopped and looked down at him intensely, “Don’t I know you?” he inquired, staring at the dwarf lying in a pool of blood. Gar replied “No, I don’t think so, I’ve never seen you before.” The old man looked unconvinced, and Gar continued desperately, “Could you please finish healing us, Tyralandi over there looks pretty bad.” The old man looked over at her and answered “No, the Dark Lady takes care of her own.” Tyralandi nodded and murmured “I’ll be fine” but Gar was insistent, “No, no, you must heal her, look at her, she’s dying right in front of you!” He stood up and began leading the old man over to Tyralandi, who looked positively mortified (even more than usual) at the prospect.

“Velius Chidramen,” she blurted out, addressing the old man, “I’d like you to meet Gar Blitzhame.”

At that, several people began talking at once. Velius demanded to know what was going on, while Gar began to beg him not to tell his uncle what he had been doing. Several people tried to explain to Velius what had happened, and slowly I began to piece it together myself.

Apparently, the battle had not gone well for us after I had gotten knocked out. Gar had apparently jumped (or fallen) from the passageway directly on top of Dram, badly injuring both of them. In the meantime Abelard, Dae Jin, and Vath had succumbed to the viscous attack of the swarm. Gar, amazingly still conscious after his fall, finally managed to disperse the swarm with a well placed vial of acid, but after that he immediately fell unconscious himself from the strain. In the meantime, Tyralandi was engaged in a battle with the eye-spider, while Taan fired at it from further away. The eye-spider eventually managed to overcome Tyralandi, but before it could reach Taan, he felled it with a well-placed arrow.

Afterwards, Taan managed to revive Vath, and together they brought us all back out of the cairn to the abandoned warehouse. Taan went straight to the temple of St. Cuthbert for help, and returned with Abelard’s mentor Velius Chidramen. When he arrived, Taan informed him that Abelard had died in battle, and that the rest of us were badly wounded. Although Velius was devastated by the news of Abelard’s death, he did agree to heal us. I was stunned that Taan had been the one to rescue us all. It seemed so out of character for the elf to care about the lives of his fallen companions, especially mine. Perhaps I had misjudged him.

Velius listened to the myriad of explanations with growing impatience. Tyralandi attempted to claim responsibility for the whole affair, while Dram protested that it was his fault as he had found the map. Meanwhile, Gar continued to implore the cleric not to tell anything to his uncle. Finally, Velius had enough “Silence!” he proclaimed, “Now, I want to know exactly who I am dealing with here. What is everyone’s name? The sheriff will hear about this for sure.”

Suddenly, the night seemed icy cold. By this point, the Boss must be looking for me high and low. Lazy as she might be, like an old dragon, she knows her treasure to an ounce, and would be furious at the thought of anything escaping her. If word of my whereabouts reaches her, she will swoop down on me like a bard on a maiden and drag me back to my cage in chains. I desperately tried to think of a way to conceal my identity, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was hopeless.

When Velius finally got around to me, I could do nothing but throw myself at his mercy. Kneeling before him, I begged him not to take me back to the circus, “They will throw me back in the cage and spit on me again. And this time, I may never escape. Please sir, don’t take away my chance for freedom.” It might have been my imagination, but I thought I saw some pity in those dark eyes as he looked down at me. “What do they call you, son?” he asked me softly. As nice as he looked, giving my right name seemed foolish. After all, he already said he would tell the sheriff, and I did not think he would have any pity for the likes of me. “Redskin, they call me.” I answered, (well, it was not entirely a lie, people do occasionally call me that) and he seemed satisfied.

Before he left us, he demanded to know where he could find us. Gar replied that he would be here, as his uncle would certainly not allow him to return home. Velius just snorted at that, and issued a stern command as he walked away “Stay out of that cairn!” He took Abelard’s body with him.

The next couple of days passed in a blur. At any moment, I expected to see the Emproium guards coming up the pathway to take me back to my cage. During the night, I would awake at the smallest noise, every time expecting to see the figure of the Boss looming over me, but she never came. Could she have forgotten about me? By the afternoon of the second day I had begin to hope so.

Gar spent the time working on the mine office. Apparently, he was good for something else besides fighting after all. Something had changed in Gar. No longer was he the angry town bully who paraded around ready to lash out at everyone. Part of that probably stemmed from the fact that like me, he was always looking over his shoulder.
Apparently this uncle of his was quite a tyrant (I wonder if he is anything like the Boss) and Gar fully expected to be summoned home by a bunch of his father’s men at any moment. It’s hard to dominate people if you are scared out of your wits. But there was more to it than that. As we worked together (well he worked and I asked him lots of questions about what he was doing) I noticed that he seemed more relaxed. During the occasional times when he forgot about his uncle, he seemed happier. It seemed perhaps that I was not the only member of the group to escape from a cage.

Oh and before I forget, something else happened that day that seemed to impress everyone but me. Gar managed to create some blue paint and proudly painted the words “Abelard’s Band” on the front of our building. All of my companions seemed to think it was the perfect name for our group, but I still don’t get it. Abelard had been (as far as I could tell) nothing special. An honorable warrior certainly, and valiant after a fashion, but ultimately futile. His combat prowess had seemingly been overrated by my companions, I could not remember him landing a single solid blow upon or enemies, or doing anything meaningful in combat except allowing himself to be partially consumed by a horde of ravenous insects. By naming ourselves after him, it seemed that we were only proclaiming our futility to the rest of the world. But everyone else seemed to think it appropriate, especially Tyralandi. Knowing her morbid nature, I could see how naming our group after a dead warrior would please her.

In the middle of the second day, a representative from the sheriff’s office came to visit Abelard’s Band. Terrified that he might have come for me, I hid outside the back wall and listed to the conversation through a hole. I couldn’t hear very well, but the story that Tyralandi told this guy didn’t sound very familiar. In fact, it was about the biggest pile of donkey crap I have ever heard (which is saying something). The deputy swallowed though, and went away satisfied. It seems that Tyralandi was a better liar than I thought.

On the third day, everyone agreed to go back to the cairn “to honor Abelard’s memory.” I figured that must mean they wanted to be eaten by a bunch of beetles, but hey, that would leave more treasure for me so I was happy to tag along (not that there had been any treasure so far, but Tyralandi seemed confidant it was there, somewhere). Once again we entered the Whispering Cairn. Taan seemed intent on opening the sarcophagus before we explored further, but the rest of the party overruled him. I, for one, was relieved by this decision. I didn’t like the look of that coffin one bit.

We lowered a long rope into the pit the beetles had come from, and slowly descended. We had only begun our exploration of the lower chamber when we once again fell under attack my massive swarms of black beetles. Additionally, two beetles of monstrous size accompanied their smaller brethren. I attempted to stem the tide with a blast of fire, but I have never yet been able to recall the force I unleashed with that first blast, and this effort was the weakest yet. Slowly, the force of the attack drove us back into an adjoining side passage, as the monstrous beetles sprayed our party with streams of vile acid.

We had just began to stem the advance of the creatures when it happened. Gar had just dispersed one of the beetle swarms with another acid vial, when I saw a monstrous shadow loom over the back of Taan from down the side passageway. I opened my mouth to call out a warning, but it was too late. The shadow coalesced into a massive insect form at least four times the size of the other beetles. It seized Taan in its horrid mandibles and smashed him ruthlessly against the side wall. Taan’s senseless body crumpled to the ground, and it surveyed the rest of our increasingly pathetic band with apparent contempt—or was it hunger. I raced in, heedless of the smaller beetles, and fired a bolt of weakening energy at the monster. I had the satisfaction of watching it shrink under the effect of the magic, before one of the smaller beetles bit me in the back of the neck and I felt blackness envelop me once again.


Our exploration of the Whispering Cairn continues below in Entry 4, after an interesting side expedition to Diamond Lake.


4 Reaping–6 Reaping 595 CY

It was the rudest awaking I have ever experienced. Once again magical energy mended my broken body, but this time instead of the kind face of an old man, I awoke to see Gar dabbing some kind of paste on my injuries. While the stuff certainly contained some virtuous properties, it also felt like cow manure was being smeared into my wounds. There was that same slimy-cold granulated texture, and that same putrid stink. But that was nothing compared to the sound.

At first, I thought that Tyrilandi had caught some small animal and was slowly flaying it alive. Removing its skin one square inch at a time, careful to prolong its agony by keeping its major arteries intact so she could stretch out the experience as long as possible while the creature writhed and screamed in excruciating pain. But when I turned to look, I saw that she was just playing a fiddle. Badly.

Covering my ears, I muttered a quick thanks to Gar, and stumbled outside, desperate to get away from the horrible sound. Off around the side of the building, Dram was busy cooking something over a small campfire. I wandered over and pestered him with questions on how he had caught the rabbits he was cooking, and how he was cooking them. He launched into a long explanation on the finer points of tracking down game, and I felt my eyes beginning to glaze over. Wolfing down some of the stewed rabbit, I staggered back to my corner (thankfully, Tyrilandi had stopped playing) and drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, the party decided to head into town. Something felt different about this day. We had actually found a couple of interesting items in our foray the night before, and I began to feel optimistic about getting out of this sewer sometime fairly soon. Gar pulled out our loot, and the whole party gathered around to examine it. There was a gold bracelet, finely wrought and intricately carved. Taan claimed that it was Elvish work, and I had no reason to doubt it. The second item was a small silver ring, inscribed with a strange glyph, which Gar recognized as a symbol of elemental air. Taan invoked his magical talents and studied the items intently. The ring was apparently magical in some way, but the bracelet was not. Surreptitiously, I invoked the power of The One and examined the items myself. A faint (and now familiar) glow suffused the ring lying on the table and I could feel puzzle pieces in my head falling into place.

The powers of The One I had been manifesting were magic! The same type of power I had seen the conjurers and illusionists of the Emporium use to delight the crowds with fantastic displays of light and color. But I had never seen any of them utilize any of the powers that I possessed (not that I had seen them perform very often). I wonder if The One will grant me any of their powers eventually. I have seen that many of them posses animal companions, creatures that are bonded to them in some way that I do not understand. While I cannot deny the value of my new friends, such a companion would be most welcome. Perhaps I can discover how they summon these creatures, and see if I can duplicate the effect using my gifted power.

I was snapped out of my reverie by mention of the name Allustan. Even in the cage at the Emporium, I had heard people talk about him. A local sage and relative of the town governor, he was said to be the smartest person in town. People with questions they could not answer and problems they could not solve went to him, and in every case that I had heard of, went away knowing exactly what to do. But even more than that, unlike everyone else in town, Allustan was supposedly a kind and generous man. Besides my obvious desire to get some answers, I had never met anyone like that. Even though I was sure the Boss had people looking everywhere in town for me, I could not pass up the chance to meet the famous sage.

We left about an hour later. Tyrilandi, Gar, and I were going to take the magical items we found to the sage, along with the drawings that Gar had made of the arcane symbols. In the meantime, Taan was going to sell the bracelet that we had found, to try and raise some money for healing for the next time half the group was knocked unconscious.

We had only gone a few hundred yards, however, when we reached a small stream and Tyrilandi stopped suddenly. Pulling a small grey bar from within her robe, she broke it neatly in half and tossed one half of it to Gar. She said one word, “soap,” before turning and disappearing through the brush to our left.

Washing in the Emporioum had been a daily ritual that I both anticipated and loathed. While the Boss couldn’t care less about our personal feelings, attendance at the freakshow would suffer if the place started to smell too badly. Every other day, the entire gang was taken out behind the building, and one by one we were handed over to Gristle. I don’t know what her real name was, or where the Boss had found her, but as far as I was concerned Gristle was just about the most terrifying sight around the Emporium.

Slightly over seven feet tall, she was all muscle and sinew; strong as three men, and as fierce as a starving white tiger. The story was that after she was born, her orc father had come and cut out the tongues of both her and her mother so they could not tell tales of him behind his back. No one is entirely sure what tales he was afraid of, but everyone agreed he carried the biggest axe of any orc they had ever seen.

Along with her brutish appearance and powerful physique, Gristle had also inherited her father’s evil temper. Unable to voice her frustration, she seemed to take grim satisfaction in scrubbing the living daylights out of anything that was given to her to clean. And if that object screamed in pain as she was cleaning it, well so much the better. While the alternative to her ministrations would have meant a lifetime covered in rotten vegetables and horse manure, I still dreaded her ministrations. Still it was one of the many painful experiences that were part of my old life.

As painful as the memory was, it still felt good to be clean once again. Once I had cleansed the dried blood and filth that caked my skin, I turned my attention to my black robe. The acid of the beetles had not been kind to it, and there were several large holes and a couple of places where the fabric had been completely dissolved. Still, it was mine, and I had to try and salvage what I could. Using the reminder of the soap, I managed to remove most of the smell that clung to the fabric. Donning my now clean robe, I rejoined Gar and Tyrilandi and we continued to Allustan’s house.

We made our way through town, and I tried to remain as inconspicuous as possible. It’s amazing that no one really looks at each other in town, and despite my fears we passed through and no one gave me a second glance. Allustan had a fairly nice house, but somehow I was disappointed. I had expected something large and fantastic from the wisest person in town, and compared to that, his place was downright humble. Either being a sage doesn’t pay very well, or Allustan is more reserved that I would have believed possible.

We were shown into his parlor, and before too long, the sage appeared and introduced himself. Allustan was an old man with long hair and a long, intricately braded beard. He spoke in a firm but low voice that was brimming with confidence. I could tell that he never raised his voice, because he knew that he would never be interrupted. After the usual remarks about my appearance and background (I would never let on, but by this time I am beginning to be bored with that whole subject), he inquired why we had come, and whether we would like some wine.

I had heard of wine, of course, but I had never been that interested in it. Of all the people that came past my cage, the drunkards were always the ones I hated the most. They staggered and slurred their way through the attractions, sometimes doing the most outrageous things for no reason at all. And as for their attitude toward the attractions, well pretty much best thing I can say about them is their aim was terrible. I could not politely refuse, however, and I confess I was curious. It was with a slight amount of trepidation that I accepted the goblet from Allustan’s servant and sampled a small sip. It was disgusting! I can’t understand how people drink this stuff, let alone drink it until they fall over! To say it tasted like cold rancid donkey piss would be an insult to the donkey piss (and I would know). I quietly set the goblet aside and turned my attention back to the conversation at hand, which was far more interesting anyway.

Allustan recognized the symbols we had brought as ancient symbols originally inscribed by creatures that had lived here in ages past. He could not determine their meaning, but he said that he knew where to look. In the great city of Greyhawk to the west Allustan had a friend who possesses a library greater than the one he has here. He believes this friend owns a book that he could use to translate the symbols, and he even offered to have it brought here if we could raise the necessary funds. He seemed keenly interested in both the items we brought and the symbols we displayed, and got especially exited when we told him that both had come from a nearby crypt. He insisted that we show him everything else we found in the crypt, and we agreed, as well as promising to return with the money he needed to transport the book. To my surprise, he was also interested in a book that Gar hesitantly brought up from the recesses of his bag.

Despite my intentions, I did not muster up the courage to inquire about the animal summoning ritual, but I did not have to. As we turned to leave, Gar actually piped up and inquired if Allustan could teach him anything about magic. I had no idea Gar was interested in magic (he certainly doesn’t seem the type, with his heavy armor and terrific strength) but I guess you never can tell. Allustan seemed bemused, but answered in the affirmative. I am sure this will not be my last visit to the mage’s hut, I can ask about the ritual next time.

After our interview, we returned to the mining office. I was surprised to find that Taan had not returned yet. How long could it possibly take to sell a bracelet? As the evening stretched on I began to worry, had he taken the item and run off with our money? Or had he been captured by bandits, or worse, by town guards? I watched the path into town anxiously, and finally was rewarded by the sight of Taan returning just before dark.

We clustered around, asking him what he had gotten for the bracelet, and why it had taken so long to return. I was aghast to discover that he had been to the Emporium! I defiantly misjudged this elf. It was true that he was not as cruel as he had first appeared, but far from being the cunning manipulator I had expected, this was downright foolish! To gamble with our only asset at the notorious tables in the Emporium was one thing, but Taan had actually challenged the gambling manager over the matter of a rigged table! I was struck dumb with pure shock. Taan was luckier than he knew, not only had he managed to win a few extra coins (that was rare enough) but he had challenged the house and lived to tell the tale. At least, for now. I finally decided not to say anything about it, but suffice it to say I will not be giving him any of my equipment to sell.

It was too late to return to the Whispering Cairn that day, so we decided to put off any exploration until tomarrow. The return to the crypt was uneventful, and we soon found ourselves once again in the passage where the beetle had attacked Taan.

In that complex of rooms, we found two things of note. The first was underneath the goo that the beetles had lived in. Poking around through slime and muck, we unearthed three ancient humanoid skeletons. While the bodies were uninteresting (at least, to everyone except Tyrilandi) their possessions were anything but. Each possessed a long thin vial filled with blue liquid. Etched into the glass was the inscription “Cure Light Wounds.” Obviously these were incredibly valuable to us (short on healing magic as we were), and we divided them up amongst the group members. The second thing we discovered was a chamber filled with stone slabs watched over by a statue holding a massive hammer. Lying on one of the slabs was a skeleton with his skull crushed, and as soon as I stepped into the room, I could feel fatigue washing over me. I had no doubt what had happened to the poor sod lying on the stone slab.

Pressing on deeper into the crypt, the passageway ended in a flooded staircase. I was at a bit of a loss, water was fine for washing, but the prospect of diving underneath the surface to search the unlighted depths was too much for me. It didn’t seem to bother Gar though, and he just glanced at the surface and began stripping off his armor. Fighting, spellcasting and now swimming? Is there anything this dwarf can’t do? Taking the everburning torch we had found in the lantern room, he promptly dove under the surface of the water along with Dram and vanished from sight.

I was beginning to wonder how long they could hold their breath, when Dram reappeared, struggling madly in the water. He looked like he was fighting something, but from where I was it looked like he was just wrestling with the water itself. Then the torch went out, and the room was plunged into blackness. Acting quickly I infused one of by crossbow bolts energy, causing it to illuminate the passageway once again. I then rushed forward and fired it into the water. Whatever they were fighting, they would need light to see it. One by one, most of the rest of my companions waded into the water and joined the fray slashing wildly at a portion of the water that seemed alive with fury. Finally Taan fired a bolt of magical cold energy into the water and a portion of it crystallized right in front of us, before slowly rising to the surface and breaking up.

During the battle, when Tann, Tyrilandi and myself were waiting at the top of the stairs Tyrilandi had kicked open Gar’s bag (which was lying on the ground) and began pushing objects out of it with her foot. I had no idea what she was doing, but I had more important things to worry about in any case. Needless to say, when Gar returned to the surface he was very upset, and handed his bag to Taan with strict instructions not to let Tyrilandi look inside it. As soon as Gar dived under the surface, Taan began going through the bag, only to be stopped by Tyrilandi, apparently, whatever was in there, she wanted to be the only one to find out.

This time, when the explorers returned, they brought back some very interesting objects, the most important of which was the missing red lantern. With all haste we rushed back to the lantern room and placed the missing lantern upon its hook. Taking torches from our packs, we lit all of the lanterns together, and waited expectantly. At first, nothing seemed to happen, but as we listened, a mournful sound which had not been present before reached our ears. The distant wail was faint, but clear, and it was coming from the trapped upper passageway. We moved up there and discovered that the face at the far end had opened up, and beyond was the unknown.

Hey Jeremy -

How goes the Campaign Journal? It's been great to see two distinct perspectives on the Whispering Cairn adventure. I hope you didn't give up. I'm very interested in how poor Demon Boy took Alastor's manevolence.

For instance, what horrible part of his early carnival life did it remind him of? Hopefully, it didn't remind him of more forced scrubbings by a nasty Half-Orc. . . gross.


Chris Wissel - WerePlatypus wrote:

Hey Jeremy -

How goes the Campaign Journal? It's been great to see two distinct perspectives on the Whispering Cairn adventure. I hope you didn't give up. I'm very interested in how poor Demon Boy took Alastor's manevolence.

For instance, what horrible part of his early carnival life did it remind him of? Hopefully, it didn't remind him of more forced scrubbings by a nasty Half-Orc. . . gross.

No I didn't give up, I've just been....distracted.

I will post another update tomarrow.


As promised, here is another update to the journal. Actually, here are two updates, since I seem to have fallen a week behind James. There is not much to the second one, as Demon Boy played a smaller role in that session.


6 Reaping–7 Reaping 595 CY

The passageway beyond the mysterious face was intimidating, to say the least. The stone wall in the center of the mouth had vanished completely, there was no sign of where the stone had gone, or how the door could be closed again. Beyond the mouth lay the most unusual room we had discovered yet.

The floor of this room was completely covered with a solid mass of black balls. These balls were about 5 inches in diameter, made of solid lead, and extremely heavy. The mouth opened up in the middle of the wall about 10-feet above the surface of the lead balls. Directly beneath the opening, a long wooden plank extended across the length of the room (about 50 feet). The walls of this room had been elaborately carved with a complex geometric pattern interspersed with dozens of round holes, about 6-inches across. Beams of sunlight shone through some of the holes, and projected across the room above the plank in a fantastic display of light. On the far side of the room, where the plank was attached to the wall, a massive metal door barred further exploration.

After a lot of discussion we agreed that this trap probably worked by firing these lead balls out of the wall as people walked across the plank. I speculated that the trigger might have something to do with the beams of sunlight that crossed the room, and that if you could avoid interrupting them, you might be able to bypass the trap. Dram nodded, and without preamble climbed over the side of the plank. Using some nifty climbing techniques, he managed to traverse the entire length of the plank by climbing underneath it and swung himself up onto the plank in front of the metal door.

We could see him pushing and prodding at the door, but after working at it for a couple of minutes he called back that there was no way he could see to open the door. “Anyone have any ideas?” he shouted from across the room. It was at that point that things started going to hell once again. Tyrilandi and I had the same idea, and we yelled back in unison “Why don’t you just knock?” Before Dram had a chance to respond, however, Taan seized Tyrilandi’s shield and strode out onto the plank. “Lets see if this helps” he said, and pushed the shield across one of the sunbeams.

I don’t know what he was expecting, but immediately there was a loud metallic crash, and about a half-dozen more lead balls shot out of the walls on each side of the room. Most of them went wide, however, two of them connected with a solid thudding sound. Taan managed to deflect one with the shield he was holding, but the other caught him directly in the small of the back, and with a lout shout of dismay, he tumbled over the edge of the plank.

Vyth and Dram rushed toward him, but the ring he was wearing had saved him. As soon as he fell off the plank, the ring’s power had surrounded him, and instead of crashing into the solid mass of balls, he had gently floated to the ground. It was just as everyone was beginning to climb back onto the plank that we heard it.

Faint at first, but clear and strong, the sound rang off the chamber’s walls and echoed down the long passageway. At first it sounded like a high-pitched screech, something like the sound of claws being scraped across an iron cage. As it rose in volume, however, the sound became clear. It was laughter. Not the deep, rich kind of laugher you hear from shared amusement between two close friends, no this was the cold shrill sound of pure mockery. The kind of laugher I had heard from the other side of my cage bars for years, from someone who has you completely in their power, and is reveling in it. All of us looked around frantically trying to locate the source of the sound, but we could see nothing. Finally, the voice stopped laughing and spoke: “You should be more careful.”

“Who’s there? Show yourself!” came from several of my companions, which drew another shout of laughter from the voice. It called out teasingly “Oh do you really want to see me?” “No!” I shouted, from behind my friends, “That’s ok, I am sure you would prefer to remain hidden.” I wasn’t sure what foul creature was lurking in this room, but whatever it was, it was dangerous. Perhaps we could reason with it, but we didn’t have to see it, and somehow, I thought that seeing it might be dangerous.

“Who are you?” I called out cautiously, which lead to the weirdest conversation I have ever had. First from one side, and then from the other the voice began to slowly answer our questions. It seemed we were dealing with the spirit of a lost child, who and died in this room years ago, and yet somehow had remained behind. He told us that the door on the far side of the room was sealed with a latch, but that he might be able to open it for us, if we could help him somehow. I moved forward on to the plank and was about to ask him what he needed help with when Tyralandi (who was practically beside herself with excitement at the prospect of meeting an actual spirit from beyond the grave) asked him: “What’s it like being dead?” Just when I was finally making some real progress towards getting him to open that door too. The ghost responded, “It’s ok, I guess, but my neck hurts.” Which is not the answer I expected at all. Tyralandi moved out beside me on the plank and said, “If you show me, I might be able to help you with that.”

After she said that, there was a split second of silence, and then the air around me began to glow. I could feel gooseflesh rise on my skin, and chills ran down my spine. The room suddenly seemed freezing cold, and I began to shiver uncontrollably. I was absolutely terrified. I shut my eyes and felt my legs give way. As I collapsed on to the plank, faint and far away I could hear Tyralandi’s voice “Oh that looks terrible, come over here and let me get a look at that.” As she said that, I felt a wave of cold like nothing I had ever felt before wash over me. Icy fingers reached in my nostrils and clamped onto my skull. Inside my chest, I felt my heart stop beating.


Have you ever suffered from amnesia? Have you ever found yourself standing somewhere, with no memory of how you got there, or why? Have you ever searched your memory desperately trying to bring yourself up to the present, but been unable to do so? If you haven’t, let me tell you it is absolutely terrifying. The fear I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt now. Somehow, I was standing on the plank near the center of the room. My friends were looking at me with an absolutely horrified expression, and I could feel a warm, wet liquid oozing down the side of my face. Then I realized I was standing directly in the path of a beam of light. I don’t believe I have ever moved so fast. I bolted back along the plank and through the opening, behind me, coming from beneath the plank I heard a shout from Dram and a roar from some monster.

I crashed headfirst into Tyrilandi who grabbed me by the shoulders and bent over me. I expected some words of comfort, but what she said was: “What was it like? Tell me, damn you! What did you feel?!”

I just stared at here for a few seconds, completely unable to formulate a response. Finally, I gasped out, “What, what happened?”

“It possessed you,” she replied. “What was it like?”

Possessed me. I felt a sudden surge of nausea, and just about vomited all over Tyralandi’s dress (which, by the way, would have been just about the most dangerous thing I could have done). I swallowed rapidly, and stared at Tyralandi in horror. She stared back at me with a fierce curiosity, and for a moment, we just stood there. Then I heard a roar and a loud crash come from behind us inside the room. Battle had been joined.

Tyralandi brushed me aside and jumped off the plank behind me, down into the room. Pulling out my crossbow, I slowly went back down the corridor and cautiously looked around the room. There was no sign of the spirit that had possessed me (although its voice continued to mock us from around the room), but directly beneath the opening into the room, was another bizarre monster. It looked like a huge (again, bigger than me) garden slug, but instead of two antennas, it possessed four writhing tentacles, and a large chitinous beak. Gar, Tyralandi, and Vyth were exchanging blows with it while Dram circled and looked for an opening to stick it with his spear. I began firing bolts at it, but by crossbow skills leave much to be desired, and all my shots went wild. I tossed aside my bow in frustration and dropped to the ground. Leaning over the edge of the plank, I was able to stick it with my spear. In the meantime my companions seemed to be having a very hard time hitting it. Despite tearing some gashes in its soft mushy flesh, the creature seemed mostly unperturbed by their efforts. Finally Dram was able to land a solid blow with his spear. Moving quickly, he darted to an unexpected angle, and drove his spear into the back of its head and up into its brain. With a final flop the creature fell to the ground and began to melt slowly.

As Tyralandi began to heal the wounded in our party, the disembodied voice put in another appearance. “Oh, well done!” he called out “That thing killed many, many people.” I wasn’t about to stick around to be possessed again; I bolted down the hallway and listened to the conversation from a distance.

It seemed that this spirit was lonely and bored. It had been trapped in this room for a long time, and its only fun was killing the odd adventurer that dropped by. Tyralandi managed to strike a deal with it after a long period of negotiation (punctuated with bouts of insane laugher and random threats from the ghost). We agreed to dig up his bones (which were apparently buried underneath layers of the lead balls) and return it to his family for proper burial (apparently they had a family cemetery on their property). In exchange, he would unlatch the door for us when we returned.

Underneath the balls, we found several corpses and even a fair amount of loot, before we uncovered the body the spirit identified as his own. Taking the skeleton, we returned to town and began our search for his old family. Or I should say, Tyralandi and Taan did. I remained behind with Dram to keep an eye on the guildhouse (as Gar has begun to call it). I am not sure what sort of guild would be called “Abelard’s band” but whatever. While we were waiting, it occurred to me that Dram had mentioned that he was a cartographer. I asked him if he might have any old maps of the surrounding area that would show the boy’s farm, and he said he might, but that he would just as soon not go back and ask his father for them. Apparently, their relationship was awkward at best, and hostile at worst. I nodded (its amazing how often people with families manage to screw them up so badly) and said that we might try it if our friends failed in town. He wordlessly agreed.

The next day, we found ourselves marching up the road to the ghost’s family farmhouse. Dram had snuck into the barracks that morning and managed to procure the necessary map from right under his father’s nose. The map had pointed us to an old farmstead a couple of miles outside of Diamond Lake. We set off in high spirits, eager to finish this task and get back to raiding the crypt, which was finally beginning to pay off.

The farmhouse, when we reached it, looked as if it had been deserted for some time. When we reached the door, however, we were startled to discover a footprint on the doorstep, heading out of the house. After leaning over to examine the mark, Dram looked at us and said, “fresh blood.” Suddenly, the day didn’t seem so jovial. Tyralandi opened the door and cautiously moved into the room. As she moved over to the opposite side of the room and peered around the corner, the rank smell of rotting flesh washed over us. Something has died in this farmhouse, and recently. Suddenly, Tyralandi screamed, “Monster!” and rushed back out the door. As she left however, Vyth rushed IN to the room, and dashed around the corner that Tyralandi had just vacated. The rest of us approached more cautiously. From around the corner, we heard a ferocious bestial screech followed immediately by a sickening crunch, the now-familiar sound of one of my companions getting thrown violently against the wall.

Gar bravely moved up to engage whatever it was, while he motioned us to stay back. Before he could close with it, however, I dashed ahead and fired off a bolt of weakening energy, hoping to slow down whatever it was before it ripped Gar apart. As I moved into the room, I saw a jumble of dead creatures lying on the ground alongside the unmoving body of Vyth. Looming over them was yet another ferocious monster. It looked like some kind of horrible feathered bear, with shaggy brown fur and long feathers trailing behind it. Its head was extremely bear-like, except for a long, cruelly hooked beak that extended from its face.

It rushed up to Gar and began pecking and slashing madly. Gar, for his part, seemed undaunted by the size and ferocity of the creature. Still it seemed to be getting the better of him. I summoned a protective force field and pulled out my spear, but before I could close with the monster Gar gave out a tremendous dwarven battle-cry, and buried his axe in the creature’s chest.

Tyralandi moved over to heal Vyth, and in the silence following the battle, we all heard the most peculiar sound.

“Meep! Meep!”

It seemed to be coming from underneath the stairway. As we moved over and peered around the stairs, a tiny, newborn owlbear looked right back at us. “Meep!” it said, as it looked at us questioningly.

When we walked out of the farmhouse 10 minutes later, we were carrying a baby owlbear tied in a sack.

We had been unable to find any record of the boy’s family in the ruins of the farmhouse, so we decided to see if we could find the graveyard he had spoken of. The only thing of interest in the farmhouse had been a severed human arm, with a strange tattoo. Dram cut the section of the skin containing the tattoo from the arm, folded it up carefully and placed it in his belt pouch. Which, I don’t mind saying, made me a little nervous. First of all, messing with random corpses was usually Tyralandi’s job in the party, and second, well lets just say I have a LOT of tattoos.

Other than that, a search of the house yielded nothing but a few gold coins and some scraps of fur, which was a little disappointing. I contented myself with thoughts of the fabulous treasure that was surely awaiting me further inside the crypt as we headed over to check out the family graveyard. What we found was more than a little disturbing.

Someone had completely dug up the family’s graves. A large mound of fresh earth was piled off to one side with a shovel sticking out of it, and five large pits had been dug in the ground in front of the engraved headstones. At the bottom of each hole was an empty coffin. After a long discussion, we decided that we could not just bury the child’s bones and be done with it. If there were grave robbers in the area, they could very well return (for their shovel, if nothing else) and if they took the child’s bones we would not fulfill our agreement with him. Reluctantly, we decided we would have to find the grave robbers and dispose of them before we could bury the child. I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect, but on the other hand, these people were likely to have stuff we could take after they were dead, so perhaps it wouldn’t be a complete waste of time.

The party returned to town, but we were divided on what to do. Dram and Tyrilandi wanted to sell the owlbear to the Emporium. I didn’t see anything wrong with this idea, but Taan objected strenuously, pointing out that the Emporium would likely abuse him horribly. (I couldn’t disagree with this, but I didn’t see his point at all. After all, it was an owlbear, not a halfling.) On the other hand, he seemed to think the sage might give us a better price, and that was reasoning I understood. Gar, Taan, and I went off to talk to the sage, while Dram and Tyralandi went off to the Emporium.

Allustan seemed happy to see us, but it was becoming obvious that he was growing tired of our constant visits. Despite that, he remained friendly, and agreed to view the monster tied up in our sack. He was surprised (to say the least) to see that we had captured an infant owlbear, and said that while he had no interest in purchasing the creature himself, he was sure there were people in Greyhawk who would jump at the chance to buy him. “How much will they give us for him?” I asked. “Plenty” he replied. “How much is plenty?” I persisted, thinking maybe we could come away with 3 or 4 hundred gold for this effort. “About three thousand gold,” was his response, and my jaw fell open. I had never seen so much money in my entire life. Suddenly, the prospect of heading for Greyhawk seemed extremely appealing. Allustan directed us to a place where we could get an iron cage to keep him in for the journey, and we were so stunned, we almost forgot the other reason we came.

We told the sage about the missing bodies and he seemed to think it must have been the work of a necromancer. When we showed him the tattoo he was able to identify it as the mark of a gang of thugs who hung out at a bar in town called the Feral Dog.

As we walked back to the guildhall, I was torn. On the one hand, there was three thousand gold waiting for us in Greyhawk. On the other hand, who knows what treasure might remain in the crypt. And there was the promise we had made to the ghost to consider as well. I can still feel his icy fingers clutching my heart. I would not want to back out of a deal with the dead.


8 Reaping 595 CY

By the next morning, some decisions had been reached. Firstly, we had decided not to sell the baby owlbear to the Emporium. Everyone agreed that we could get more for it in Greyhawk, and that the Emporium would almost certainly try to swindle us were we to sell it to them. Second Tyrilandi categorically refused to bury the child’s bones until we had recovered the stolen skeletons of the rest of his family as well. We had three possible leads on their location. One: the thieves worked for one Balabar Smenk, a corrupt local mine manager and the most powerful man in town. Our second lead was the Feral Dog, a trashy local bar known for its pit fights to the death between stray dogs. According to Allustan the thieves hung out at that bar most of the time. Finally we knew that one of these people was short one arm, and there couldn’t be that many one-armed thugs in town, could there?

We all agreed that the Feral Dog was the best lead and the place to start, but it would be pretty empty until later that night. We decided to wait until after dark to avoid attracting attention to ourselves. The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. Vyth and Tyrilandi made a quick forey into town to a local temple, to see if they had healed any one-armed miners recently, but they didn’t discover anything useful.

That night, the entire group headed into town. We had decided that trying to question these thugs inside the bar was a bad idea. For one thing, we didn’t want anyone to overhear what was being said. Besides that, however, it was not going to be easy to get these thugs to volunteer information about their boss, and we would prefer to do it somewhere quiet and out-of-the-way. Gar and Taan were sent into the bar, while the rest of us set up a little ambush around the back. If those two could lure them out, we would be ready.

I had taken position alongside Dram, and as the minutes ticked by, I watched his attitude change from nervous anticipation, to growing impatience, to frustration, to mounting anger. After about fifteen minutes had passed with no sign of our quarry, he abruptly stood from his hiding place, and stomped around to the front of the building and disappeared through the front door. From across the yard I couldn’t quite hear what exactly he shouted, but I caught the words “Balabar Smenk” and “c&&%$!$#~&s.” Apparently our boy Dram didn’t believe in subtlety. At almost the same moment, Taan threw open a window on the side of the building and looked out. Inside the bar, the normal buzz of conversation dropped away completely; it sounded like Dram had struck a nerve.

Then several things happened at once. Someone inside the bar let off a fierce bestial growl, Tyrilandi yelled “Flee!” through the open window, and the front door burst open and Dram rushed out with a mixture of fear and defiance painted on his face. He quickly ducked around a corner, as a fierce looking man dressed all in black and carrying twin short swords followed him out the door. He looked around briefly, but didn’t spot Dram hiding behind the door.

Meanwhile, there was a tremendous roar of laughter from inside the Feral Dog, which was probably the result of Taan falling flat on his face in front of the window. I was feeling pretty good about how things were going, when the largest half-orc I have ever seen came through the front door. He was over seven feet tall, with a shaved head and white, almost translucent, skin. On his forehead was tattooed the same sigil that we had found on the severed arm.

I don’t know what Dram had said, but this guy looked absolutely furious. Close on his heels (and looking extremely small compared to the half-orc) followed Gar, his own axe at the ready. He yelled at the half-orc to calm down and take it easy, but the albino had spotted Dram. He screamed in fury and charged, heedless of the blows that rained down upon him from every side. Battle was joined in earnest, as Tyrilandi, Gar, and Dram faced off against the two thugs from inside the bar. DaeJin and I added to the frenzy with arrows, bolts, and rays of weakening energy, but nothing seemed to phase the big half-orc. He struck Dram in the shoulder with his massive axe, and just about cut his arm clean off. He was about to finish him when Vyth appeared out of nowhere. He leaped off the roof of the bar, and made a frantic stab at the half-orc, but he must have been off-balance from the jump as his stroke went wide. The orc did not miss with his return blow, however, and for the fourth time I saw Vyth crumple to the ground.

Things were beginning to get desperate, and I was considering trying to make a run for it (I don’t think any of them had even noticed me yet) when Gar pulled off the most amazing stunt. With terrific anticipation, he adroitly dodged a massive axe-blow from the half-orc. For a split second, the albino was off-balance and out of position. At that moment, Gar delivered a swift kick to the brute’s piviot foot, which forced him to lean way over to maintain his balance. As he did so, Gar brought down his axe with tremendous force, and with one clean sweep severed the albino’s head from his body. The power of the axe stroke sent the head flying, turning over until it landed on the ground a good twenty feet from the body. Meanwhile a tremendous fountain of blood spurted from the severed neck, showering both Gar and Tyrilandi in dark, wet blood. In short, it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

Just like that, the battle was over. The other thug dropped his swords and stepped away from the fight, nervously shifting his gaze back and forth between Gar and the corpse of the dead half-orc. Gar, for his part, seemed even more surprised than the thug, riveted to the ground in absolute shock, just staring at the head as it rolled across the ground and finally came to a stop in front of the bar door. Tyrilandi, on the other hand, was completely unfazed, and simply leaned over Dram and began to heal him.

When she finished, she moved over to the still-stunned thug, and began to pepper him with questions. As the interrogation began, Taan and another elf woman wandered out of the bar and eyed the prisoner with some distaste. Leave it to Taan to show up after the battle was over with a beautiful woman and a winning smile. I will say this for him though, he knew how to rough somebody up. While the guy was reluctant to talk at first, a few minutes of Taan’s ministrations soon had him spouting off everything he knew.

I was all set to enjoy the show, when I noticed something. Two men dressed in long robes quietly opened the side door of the bar, glanced around anxiously, and began to seek off down the ally behind the Feral Dog. I had no idea who they were, but I could guess well enough. I cautiously followed them as they made their way around the back of the building and off down a side street. As we passed the far side of the building, I caught a glimpse of Gar quietly vomiting over the corpse of the dead orc. Apparently, he is a lot more sentimental than I thought. Well, he’ll grow out of it eventually.

The two men were fairly cautious, but I had no trouble following them through the dark streets as they made their way across town. They finally entered a run-down building called Jelek’s flophouse. I waited a couple of minutes to make sure they were not simply throwing me off the trail, and then made my way back to the guildhouse.

When I got back, I was pleased to see that both Vyth and Dram were going to recover. I asked Tyrilandi what she had discovered from the guy, and she replied that apparently these thugs had been stealing bodies for someone named Filge, who was a friend of Balabar Smenk and hung out at some old abandoned observatory on the outskirts of town. I asked her what an “observatory” was, and she said it was for watching the stars. Watching the stars? No wonder the place was abandoned.

As I went off to my corner to sleep, I noticed many of my companions were having trouble falling asleep with the racket made by our pet owlbear. It was true the noise was fairly constant, but they would get used to it. After sleeping in the Emporium, nothing seems noisy anymore.


9 Reaping 595 CY

When we awoke this morning, Gar was nowhere to be found. At first I thought he had simply slept outside to get away from the owlbear’s noises, but Taan (who doesn’t really sleep) said he had slunk off in the middle of the night and muttered something about “thinking over a few things.” I can’t imagine what’s bothering him, but he didn’t take any of the treasure with him, so I don’t really care. Either he’ll be back or he won’t.

I was just enjoying a breakfast of stale bread and water (good stuff) when a strange cleric walked into the guildhouse. I knew he was a cleric at once, there are only two kinds of people who radiate such powerful arrogance and self-righteousness, and of the two, clerics are the only ones who wear funny symbols around their neck. In this case, I recognized this symbol as the same one that Abelard used to wear, so this guy must have come from the same church.

He strode into the mine office, taking us all in with a long glance. He sniffed disdainfully, and said in a slow drawl “My name is Tassilo, I have been sent by Heironeous to see that the tragedy that befell Abelard is not repeated, and that you troublemakers keep to yourselves from now on.”

The group stared back at him with a mixture of surprise, trepidation, and outrage. “Troublemakers?” Taan said with a sneer, “What is the meaning of this?”

“The church is deeply concerned that one of its members was killed under such suspicious circumstances.” Tassilo continued, “they have assigned me to determine whether you are to blame for his death, and see to it that no one else dies as a result of your tomfoolery.”

We all just gaped at him. “Now see here!” I replied forcefully, “Abelard knew what he was getting into, he accepted the dangers present in the Carin just like all the rest of us. He accompanied us of his own free will, and the notion that we are somehow responsible for his death is completely outrageous!”

Tassilo stared at me with a long, apprising gaze, taking in my red skin, black markings, pale translucent hair, and fiery eyes. “Listen treacherous creature, I don’t know what you are, but the circumstances surrounding his death are for me to determine, not you.”

I stepped back a couple of paces as he continued, “I don’t know what happened in the Stirgenest Cairn, but I intend to stay with you lot until I find out, and that’s final.”

My mind swiftly reviewed the events of the past 24-hours and settled on the image of an albino head flying through the air in front of a fountain of blood. “Well ok,” I finally replied, “but it would be unfortunate if some of our secrets were revealed to the rest of the world.”

Tassilo’s eyes narrowed, “Is that a threat?” he growled menacingly.

“Of course not,” I replied quickly. It appeared at this point we could either let this guy follow us around, or kill him outright, and I wasn’t ready to make an enemy of the church of Heironeous, at least not yet. “You are welcome to travel with us, just be careful is all.”

He just grunted, and Tyralandi held up the brown sack that contained the bones of poor Allestor Land. “Shall we go then?” she said, “I believe Dram knows the location of the observatory.” Vyth nodded and Taan, still staring at Tassilo suspiciously, said “Yeah lets go before any more…anyone else shows up.” And with that we headed off to the observatory.

The building was about a 10-minute walk out of town at the top of a large hill, which provided a commanding view of the lake and the surrounding countryside. It consisted of a large domed tower three stories high, connected to a low one-story building off to the side. A flight of stairs led up to the only entrance, and beneath them was what looked like a closet.

Ignoring the closet for now, we trooped up the stairway and knocked on the front door. Naturally, there was no response. The building itself was old and run down, but in surprisingly good shape. Whoever originally built it had built it to last, and despite its obvious age, it seemed to be in good condition. Dram immediately volunteered to climb onto the roof of the side building and scope out the tower for us. It looked like there might be some windows accessible from the roof that might provide a more unexpected means of entry.

Indeed, he returned quickly and reported that it looked like there was some kind of bedroom in the tower, and someone was definitely living there. We all climbed up on to the roof (except for Tassilo, who just stared at us as if we were crazy). At this point I noticed that Dae Jin was no longer with us. She says so little most of the time I hadn’t even noticed her absence until now.

One glance through the window confirmed we were the right place. Standing at the top a staircase leading up from below was a mummified figure, either a halfling or a human child, it was impossible to tell as the figure was completely incased in bandages. Its arms were thrust rigidly before it, hold out a large silver platter on which rested the severed head of a human female. The head had short black hair and pale green eyes, and had obviously been treated with some sort of alchemical preservative, as its skin was a palled blue. Its mouth was wide open, and a single coin had been placed upon its outstretched tongue.

At the foot of another staircase on the opposite side of the room was a fantastic statue of a human with angelic wings and a beatific expression, the word “Filge” carved upon its base. Elsewhere in the room was a comfortable looking bed and a large writing desk covered with papers, along with flasks and jars full of various liquids. Some of them contained fleshy objects in suspension. There was no one inside.

A cautious investigation of the room’s contents turned up a hastily scrawled note and a thick black spellbook full of necromantic magic. The note implied that Filge was here at the invitation of Balabar Smenk, to investigate some strange undead that Smenk had recently found.

The most disturbing thing we found, however, was the horrible sound of off-key singing that was floating down the stairs. I was faintly disappointed. For a few minutes there, I thought we might have actually found a match for Tyralandi (insane, obsessed with corpses, blatant disregard for life) but I couldn’t imagine her hooking up with anyone who sang that badly.

Vyth and Draam stealthy crept up the stairs toward the sound, while I took up a defensive position in the room. I figured, they would either be able to deal with what was upstairs or not. If they could, they didn’t need me anyway, and if they could not, it was best to be prepared when they came running back down the stairs. The seconds ticked by slowly as I waited patiently for the screams. I was not disappointed. With an abrupt yell, the singing stopped, and I heard a loud crash from upstairs. This was followed by more crashes, some yelling, what sounded like a spell being cast, and Taan dashing up the stairs. Tyralandi took up a position at the bottom of the stairway, and a small figure dodged Taan and ran down the stairs right at us. It was the animated skeleton of a small human female holding a rusty sword.

Tyralandi pointed a finger at the monster and commanded in a loud voice “Obey me!” but it had absolutely no effect. The skeleton started laying into her with its sword and scored several good blows. Sensing that it would be hard to effectively damage with my spear, I moved up and attempted to distract it instead, hoping that Tyralandi would be able to land a blow with her morningstar, which would be much more effective. With a flourish, I drew its attention and provided her with the perfect opening, but instead of destroying the creature, Tyralandi just continued to point at in and scream “Obey me, damn you, do what I say! You stupid monster I command you to obey me!” I am pretty sure that not only did the skeleton ignore her, it didn’t even hear what she said. I was confused, Tyralandi must know that pointing and screaming was not a very effective combat maneuver (she hadn’t done it in any of our other fights), but for a good thirty seconds all she did was yell at the skeleton, while it proceeded to land several good hits on her with its sword.

I had more pressing concerns however, as I heard a delighted cackle from the mad wizard up above, and a shout of dismay from Taan. This was immediately followed by the tinkle of breaking glass, and the sloshing sound of several gallons of water pouring onto a stone floor. Then, I saw the creatures descending the stairs, and gave my own shout of dismay.

Several large ugly creatures where lurching down the stairs toward us, big, ugly, and mean. They resembled nothing more that extremely ugly orcs, with green skin, and they were clearly dead. Their chests had been cut open, and we could see straight into the cavity where their hearts had once been. But now nestled among the soggy pink flesh of their lungs was nothing more than the flapping rubbery tubes of their severed arteries. Their entire bodies were covered in green slime, which slowly dripped off them and left a sticky trail across the floor.

Their movements were disjointed and slow, but inexorable. One of them paused briefly to dispatch Taan, while the other two proceeded down the stairs straight for us. I wasn’t sure what had happened to Vyth and Dram upstairs, but I had to assume the worst. Knowing we had to unleash every weapon we possessed to have a chance, I stepped around Tyralandi (who had finally stopped shouting) and let loose a blast of fire.

This time, I felt a surge of power as breathed, and for the first time since I killed that poor halfling, I felt the full force of the blast descend upon the undead creations. One of them somehow managed to dodge out of the way of the worst of it, but the other one and the skeleton caught the full force, and looked badly singed.

Then chaos descended upon the battle. The third undead monster had easily brushed aside Taan, who was lying upon the stairs bleeding copiously onto the stone. I remember Tyralandi landing some good blows on the skeleton, as I let off several more blasts of fire. I was stunned when Tassilo charged into the fray (I didn’t even see him enter the room) only to run right into one of the monsters and collapse instantly from a fierce blow to the head. By the time Vyth charged down from the top of the stairs and finally dispatched the last monster, I was almost completely drained of all my arcane energy, wounded, and covered with gore.

Slowly we took stock of the situation, apparently Filge had been in some sort of laboratory at the top of the stairs, and hand managed to hit Dram with some sort of paralysis spell. However, he could not prevent Vyth from sneaking up to him and felling him with a well-placed sword thrust. Dram eventually recovered, and started to tie up the unconscious wizard while we searched his laboratory.

Aside from the unfortunate man spread out on his operating table (clearly dead) and the shattered remains of several holding tanks that had held the zombies before they had been horribly animated, the room contained only one thing of real interest, a set of old keys, which turned out to fit the doors in the observatory.

With these in hand, and with our party returned to consciousness, if not exactly health, Tyralandi, Tann, Tassilo, and I continued our exploration of the downstairs. I was particularly interested in the delicious smell of food wafting up the stairway; it had been a long time since I had had a really good meal (I can’t exactly stroll into most restaurants after all).

When we reached the bottom of the stairs, I was ecstatic to see a huge dining table heaped with piles of delicious-looking food. Fresh fruits, meats and gravy, piles of succulent pastries, I could feel my mouth start to water just looking at it all. I darted into the room straight for the food when a sudden motion caught my eye, and I noticed the rest of the room for the first time. Seated around the table was a collection of dead people, their inert forms slouched in their chairs, their heads slumped over the table bowing in to the plates of food which had been set before them. The motion I had seen was a slight swaying coming from the one at the head of the table, as it slowly moved back and forth in the breeze. Of course, there was no breeze.

I stopped dead in my tracks, but I couldn’t just leave all that food. I spotted one empty chair at the head of the table, and slowly began making my way toward it past the long line of corpses. Alert for the first sign of movement, I slowly clambered up on top of the chair, and from there on to the table itself. I saw the faces of my companions framed in the doorway starting at me with expressions of absolute horror, and then the corpses started to move.

I immediately froze with a leg of chicken in my hand, but instead of attacking me or throwing things at me, the dead people began to waive their utensils around in some kind of sick parody of life. They began mimicking a formal dinner party, and then they began to speak.

“You’ve done it again Filge,” I heard one of them say, “A truly remarkable feast.”

This was followed by a few seconds of silence, and then a female voice said, “You are absolutely right, those fools who oppose you will soon be brought low.” A male responded from across the table, “That’s right, after all you brought me down easily enough, how hard could they be to destroy?” A few more seconds of silence and then I heard the sound of a room full of dead people laughing uproariously at a joke that had never been told.

This was too much for me, throwing some of the choicest bits of food onto a plate; I darted back to the doorway and away from the animated zombies. Finally I was able to enjoy my reward, and I took a huge bite out of a leg of mutton.


It was foul, rotten and disgusting, I am not sure which was worse, the feel of slimy maggots squishing between my teeth, or the awful chemical taste of the preservatives that had held the food’s color and texture for decades. With a roar of disgust and frustration, I threw the food across the room. Meanwhile, the dinner party continued apace. Tyralandi and Tassilo began hacking apart the corpses, who did nothing to resist them whatsoever. When they finished utterly destroying the foul creatures, we moved on to explore the rest of the lower floor.

And now I must wrap up this entry, as a search of the rooms and corridors on the lower floor have been fruitless, and they are just about to open the last door (which presumably leads to the entrance hall). I will be incredibly relived to put this horrid observatory behind us. The combination of the sickening smell of dead flesh and the horrible taste in my mouth will surly drive me insane if I stay here much longer. I will try to pick this up again later today.

Write Demon Boy! Write like the wind.

ASEO out

Scarab Sages

Yes, please! Catch up to the Goth Priestess! Write, Demon Boy. Write!


Patrick Walsh wrote:
Yes, please! Catch up to the Goth Priestess! Write, Demon Boy. Write!

Well, I don't think I've caught up to James yet, but here are two more entries for you all to chew on.


9 Reaping 595 CY (supplemental)

What a strange day, it began with fire, blood, and monsters, and it ended with fire, blood and a few answers (at last). When I left off, we were just about to finish exploring the main floor of Filge’s observatory. We were looking for the rest of the Land family’s corpses, that albino half-orc had informed us that he had delivered them to Filge (now lying unconscious upstairs) but so far we had only found one of the four missing skeletons, and we had explored the entire observatory except for one room.

I was just turning this information over in my mind, mulling over where those three skeletons could possibly be hiding, when Tyralandi kicked open the door to the last room. Naturally, the moment the door was opened, the three skeletons on the other side each fired a crossbow bolt into Tyralandi from point blank range. Silently, she collapsed upon the ground.

I jumped over her fallen body and fired off a bolt of arcane power. The bones of the skeleton blistered slightly where I hit him, but he seemed unfazed as he tossed aside his crossbow and reached down for the loaded one lying at his feet. I backed away slowly, and almost stumbled over the stooped figure of Tassilo leaning over Tyralandi muttering under his breath. Before he could complete the spell, I grabbed his arm and shook my head. I wasn’t sure exactly what the deal was with Tyralandi, but she had made us promise that no matter what happened, we were not to use healing magic to revive her. Tassilo looked at me as if I was crazy, but we were both distracted by the sounds of three crossbows being cocked.

Dropping Tyralandi, Tassilo sprang into action, leaping into the doorway and holding up that funny symbol he always carries. For a moment, a bright flash of light blinded me. I rubbed my eyes furiously, and when I could see again I saw the skeletons running across the room away from the cleric.

Two questions immediately popped into my mind, how could I learn to do that, and why hadn’t Tassilo done that to the undead we had fought upstairs? Before I had a chance to ask him though, he slammed the door shut, and growled “Come on, we have to get her to safety.” I could tell by the tone of his voice that he would brook no argument, so I meekly grabbed Tyralandi’s feet and helped Tassilo carry her unconscious body upstairs.

Once we had rejoined our companions, there was a lot of debate about what to do next. Dram was all for leaving at once, but I pointed out that we were still missing three skeletons, almost certainly the three that were cowering downsairs with loaded crossbows. We agreed that we had to deal with them before we left, so we all trooped back out the widow, over the roof, and down to the front door to finish them off. We were interrupted by the sight of Gar coming up the path toward the observatory. Dram and Tassilo were curious about where he had been, but he just muttered something about Allustan and then gruffly demanded to know what was going on.

We quickly filled him in, and he seemed positively delighted at the prospect of trading blows with some skeletons. I guess he had a lot of pent up aggression to work off or something, because he was so eager, he just bashed the front door right down before we could tell him that we actually had the key. No sooner did the door open, however, than three more crossbow bolts came flying out at us. Whatever Tassilo had done had apparently worn off by this time. Undaunted, the entire group (with the exception of Taan and the addition of Dae Jin, who once again had rejoined us without me noticing her) charged the three skeletons. A few minutes later, we left the room with three more sacks full of bones.

Triumphantly, we retuned upstairs and found Taan sitting on the necromancer’s bed staring at the unconscious forms of Filge and Tyralandi. As soon as we walked in the room, he said, “Well, we made short work of this place, how soon do we move in?” He was apparently convinced that this observatory would make a much better hideout than the old mine office we were using as a guildhouse. Gar was very much opposed to this idea, and a huge argument ensued, to which I paid very little attention. As I listened to the argument go back and forth, something strange began to happen.

As I stood there, I slowly felt the anxiety drain out of me. A curious calm surrounded me, and I felt stronger and more capable that I had ever felt before. I don’t know if it vanquishing the skeletons or the necromancer or both, but suddenly I felt a tremendous surge of self-confidence. I became hyper-aware of everything around me, from the smell of the alchemical preservative leaking down the stairs, to the sound of papers fluttering around on the desk (the window was open) to the feel of my own blood pounding through my veins. And then suddenly, an overwhelming urge came over me to burn something.

At first, I tried to ignore it and push it aside. But as my companions’ argument dragged on it grew more and more insistent, like a nagging itch in a tender spot just begging to be scratched. I began casting around the room for something that I could burn. At first, I thought of the desk with its myriad of papers and chemicals, but I knew my companions would never let me get away with that. They might come in handy, and besides I could burn down the whole tower (I struggled to suppress the feeling of glee that thought awoke in me). Then the body of one of the dead orcs still lying in a heap at the bottom of the stairway caught my eye, and I suddenly had an idea.

“We should burn the bodies,” I exclaimed suddenly. The debate stopped as everyone stared at me in surprise. “You know,’ I continued, “in case another necromancer shows up or something, just to be on the safe side.”

After a couple of seconds of surprise from my companions, most of them shook their heads and Gar replied, “no, no, it would attract too much attention.” Tassilo agreed, “we should give them a proper burial” he said.

I could see that I wasn’t going to get any support from the rest of the party on this, so I said nothing more. I ruthlessly tried to quash the desire that still welled up inside me, but somehow I could not. I still felt uncommonly relaxed and capable, and I could not put the feeling aside.

So it was that when most of the group went off to bury the skeletons of the Land family, I volunteered to stay behind along with Taan and Tassilo. As soon as the rest of the party had disappeared over the horizon, I got to work.

First, I dragged all of the corpses down the stairs of the observatory and out onto the hillside facing away from the town. That was a lot of work, and I was a little concerned that one of the others would try and stop me, but Taan simply watched with an amused expression, while Tassilo contented himself with performing some kind of ceremony over the pile of dead zombies before wandering off. I then began ripping up the grass around the mound and piling it on top of the bodies. Finally, I gathered up as much of that alchemical preservative as I could find and poured it over the pile. It certainly smelled flammable. By this point, I was in a frenzy of anticipation. I even went upstairs and offered to burn Filge while I was at it, but Taan seemed to think we could get some answers out of him so I just left him. I did mention to Tassilo that he might want to move Tyralandi’s body back to the guildhouse, after all, this bonfire was sure to attract attention of some sort. And then I was ready.

Torch in hand, I went back out to where I had prepared the bonfire, and found Gar standing by it looking absolutely furious. “You do realize this will be seen for miles?” He growled at me. I thought for a second about all the people who would soon be witnessing my handywork, the glorious flames that would soon send a massive column of smoke high into the sky. “I would consider that, a bonus” I replied, smiling at him. And then I tossed the torch onto the prepared bonfire.

With a tremendous woosh the preservative caught on fire. After a few seconds the entire pile was burning merrily, and Gar gave me a very black look and stomped off toward the observatory.

For a couple of minutes I stood there watching the fire, reveling in the sheer joy of the leaping flames. A tremendous feeling of contentment washed over me as I stood there, I felt like Demon Boy was making his mark on the world at last.

A few minutes later I saw my companions making their way over the fields and back to the guildhouse, carrying the unconscious forms of Tyrilandi and Filge, and I hurried to follow. Behind me a black cloud rose into the shadow of a crimson sky.

The rest of the evening passed in something of a blur. For the most part I sat in my corner, feeling happy and contented, sure that all was right with the world at last. I have a vague memory of Tassilo convincing the others to come with him and listen to his report for the temple of Hironeous. Obviously, I could never set foot inside a temple to Hironeous, so I stayed behind and quietly contemplated the beauty of fire. Slowly, I drifted off to sleep.


I was awakened in the middle of the night by a horse cry from the necromancer. For a second, I wondered if my memory of the previous day had been a dream. Had I really been so obsessed with burning something to light a fire that would risk alerting the Boss to my presence? It was the foul stench of the preservative that still clung to my hands that convinced me it had all been real. What on earth had come over me? Indeed, I could still feel the lingering traces of the contentment I had previously felt. Was I going mad? I wonder what that would feel like.

My reverie was broken when Taan strode into the room, dragging behind him the semi-conscious necromancer. Filge was unwilling to talk, so Taan went to work while I watched and cheered him on. Needless to say, after a few minutes of this, Filge broke down and told us everything. It seemed that Smenk had summoned Filge from the Greyhawk to investigate “strange green worms and unkillable zombies.” A local dwarven mine manager had approached Balabar with a business deal. He wanted Smenk to provide his mine with supplies. Suspicious of a trap (Smenk is not exactly the most popular guy in town) Smenk insisted on seeing this “operation” for himself before he agreed. What he saw there (cultists, undead monsters, zombies, green worms, bloody rituals) was horrifying enough, but the really disturbing thing was what the cult leader had said. “The Age of Worms is coming,” he had hissed to a quaking Balabar,”and we must be prepared.” “Secrecy is essential to the success of our Triad, and those who cannot be silent, will be silenced.” Balabar took the hint, and signed the deal. And as soon as he had gotten out of there he brought in his undead expert (Filge) to investigate. And no sooner had Filge arrived than he had whistled up some skeletons to use as helpers. Which is where we come in.

After another long debate (at some point, someone is going to have to start making decisions for us, it takes us way too long to decide things on our own) we finally agreed to turn over Filge to Tassilo’s friends at the temple of Hironeous. He assured us that they would be fair, impartial, and discrete, and that Filge would be hanged. That seemed to satisfy everyone present, and so it was agreed. Tomorrow we return triumphant to the Whispering Cairn, ready to explore the passageway beyond the locked door. I wonder what’s back there?


10 Reaping 595 CY

Our planned triumphant return to the Whispering Cairn was put on hold for today. When I awoke this morning, Dram looked extremely pale. He mumbled something about being “under the weather,” which I presume meant that he had been sleeping outside again. Tassilo, with his ever-present concern for the well-being of everyone he sees, immediately rushed over and examined him thoroughly. Apparently the nasty bite he had received somewhere along the line (we have been in so many fights, I am starting to lose track) had become infected, and Dram was slowly transforming into a ghoul. I was mulling over the advantages of such a transformation (no sleeping, no bleeding, no dietary compunctions) and was on the point of asking Dram how it felt, when Tassilo announced that they would be going to the temple immediately to cure him. He also asked the rest of us if we were feeling ill at all, and, not satisfied with our denials, he proceeded to examine each of us in turn. He spent quite a bit of time looking at Gar and Taan, and gave them both doubtful looks when they proclaimed their good health, but he didn’t press.

Figuring that as long as we were going into town we might as well take care of some business, I persuaded Tyrilandi to take our findings to be appraised (and hopefully sold) at the various merchants in town after Tassilo and Dram had visited the temple. I lingered outside the gate of the temple while they were inside (no sense in provoking a confrontation until it is absolutely necessary) and when they emerged we proceeded to Tidwoad’s. The old gnome is quite a thief, but Tyrialndi (it turns out) is a fair negotiator herself (she has a great cold stare) and I think we managed to work out a fairly good swap, considering who were dealing with.

After we completed our business in town, we met up with Gar who mentioned that Allustan had invited us all over for lunch that afternoon. I was anxious to see him again for several reasons. First (and most importantly) we had several as yet unidentified magic items, and the old sage was the best person in town to talk to about those. Second, I still wanted to ask him about the animals I had seen following mages around, and perhaps this time I would be able to work up the courage. Finally, some of my companions (particularly Gar) were interested in the history and symbols we had found inside the Cairn. The whole prospect seemed deadly dull to me, but they seemed keenly interested and maybe if they learned more they would stop talking about it so much.

When we arrived, Allustan had a meal spread out on the old stump behind his house. We all gathered around the stump and Allustan was gracious enough to conjure up some sort of mobile platform for me to stand on, so I could reach the food. He said it was “courtesy of an old friend.”

Ah the food! The food was unlike anything I have ever had before. I don’t know what most of it was, but compared to what I had eaten most of my life it was incredible. Ripe, succulent fruit, bread that was hard and flaky on the outside but wonderfully chewy on the inside, vegetables, meats, cheeses—the colors and textures were totally outside my experience, but it was that taste that I will never forget. I had no idea food could taste like that. Each bite was a sensation beyond imagining. I had always looked on eating as a purely mechanical process that one engaged in to keep hunger at bay. This was a battle that I was usually able to win (the Boss occasionally forgetting to feed us notwithstanding) but had never thought to enjoy or look forward to. The paste that I ate (along with the rest of the “attractions”) was grey, tasteless drivel, but it did fill the stomach. But what was laid out on the oak stump in the backyard of the sage’s house had nothing in common with what I knew as food.

The food had the additional effect of taking my mind off the conversation, but based on what I heard between bites, it doesn’t sound like I missed much. There was a very long discussion of the history of the cairn. I heard the words “Wind Dukes” and “demon lords” mentioned several times. I perked up a little when they were talking about burial cairns, but the conversation swiftly turned to the sigils we had found, and I dozed off again.

The meeting was not wholly unproductive though, before we left Allustan identified our items for us. He also gave me a small scroll entitled “On Familiars” when I asked him about the animals I had seen following wizards around. I haven’t had a chance to study it yet, but it looks fascinating.

11 Reaping CY
You never know what will happen when you fall asleep in the guildhouse. So far, I have been rudely awakened by temple guards, fussy owlbears, atrocious music, sympathetic clerics, arrogant clerics, and screaming necromancers. This morning it was Gar who did the honor by running into the guildhouse just after dawn, yelling at the top of his voice “I’m gonna die! I’m gonna die!” Naturally, as soon as he finished shouting I rolled over and went back to sleep.

When I got up an hour later, I saw Gar and Tassilo returning from yet another trip to the temple. Apparently Gar was not going to die after all. I was both disappointed and relived, if he died, it would be one less person to split the treasure with, but Abelard’s band was bad enough, Garabelard’s band would be downright awful. Still yawning, we made our way back to the cairn. The ghost was as good as his word, and when we got back to the trapped room, the impassable door stood ajar.

The room beyond was a vast open circular chamber surrounded by a walkway. For narrow paths, at each cardinal compass point, had once lead from the walkway to a round platform in the center of the room, but two of the paths had collapsed into the bottomless pit below. In the center of the central platform was a round hole. On the wall of the room along the walkway four large murals had been panted in the wall. Far from the musty smell I had been expecting from a long sealed room, the air was surprisingly fresh, and I could hear wind blowing across the room.

As we moved along the walkways in front of the murals, they began to come alive around us. The figures depicted in the paintings shimmered, and began to dance and move before our eyes slowly portraying a story about some wind dukes. My companions paused to carefully examine the writing, but I was more interested in the central platform. I was not alone in my interest, as Vyth (who was in front) stepped out on the pathway leading to the central platform while most of us were still examining the murals.

As soon as he did, two armored figures appeared on the central platform. I am still not sure where they came from, but I could tell at once that their intentions were hostile. One of them floated over to attack Vyth with a pair of elegant twin swords, while the other stood on the platform and eyed us balefully.

I quickly fired off a ray of weakening energy at the one fighting Vyth, and was rewarded with a solid hit. I didn’t notice any difference in the things graceful motions, but it didn’t seem to do that much damage when it landed a solid blow on the mute ninja. I also fired off a ray at the other apparition, and managed to get a hit on him as well. It must have been fairly effective, because instead of attacking us with his swords he brought them above his head, and sharply struck them together. It is hard to describe what happened next. I could feel the vibration from the swords spread into the air, the stone, and my flesh. It ripped through me in an instant, and I felt oddly dazed by its passage. Shaking off the sudden feeling of weakness, I maneuvered around my companions and attempted to stick the creature with my spear. I still need some work with that, however, as I accomplished nothing more than bouncing the point off its armored shell. Before I could try again, it clanged its swords together once again, and this time when the energy ripped through me, the world faded into darkness around me.

When I awoke, it looked as if very little time had passed. Tassilo was kneeling over me with a concerned look on his face. I assured him that I was all right, and he moved off. As he left, I felt a new appreciation for his concern for others, but I was still not sure what he got out of it. I was no longer tempted to mock him for it, however.

Taking quick stock of the situation, it seemed that my companions had successfully managed to destroy both of the apparitions after I was removed from the battle. I congratulated myself on finding such competent (and compassionate) adventuring parties, that they would defeat the enemies, and then revive their fallen companions to share the treasure.

It was at this moment when Gar and Vyth, standing on the platform in the center of the room, simultaneously jumped off the platform into the hole at the center. I bit back a curse for their foolishness, for instead of plummeting through the hole to their deaths, they slowly rose up through the chamber’s ceiling and out of sight.

The rest of the party rushed out on to the platform and stared upward, but we could not make out our companions that had ascended through a seven foot wide hole directly overhead. The mystery of their ascension was clear enough, however, as we discovered a vast column of air in the center of the platform was rushing upwards at incredible speed. The magical nature of the column was made clear a few moments later, when we saw Gar descending from the roof at a comfortable speed.

At the top we reached the culmination of our exploration—the true tomb. The walls of this chamber were completely covered with fantastic imagery. Where as below, the story was told more generally, here one Wind Duke in particular was the focal point of every scene. One in particular stood out, it showed the wind duke facing off against a demonic figure holding a strange device, a short stone rod with a metal loop at the end. The demonic figure had a look of intense concentration on his face, while the Wind Duke stated back at him with a look of hopeless defiance. A small black sphere was depicted as just touching the Wind Duke’s chest, and around it, we could see the flesh rapidly disappear. It was clear we were witnessing the Wind Duke’s final moments. I marveled at the power those demonic figures had commanded. Gar recognized the sphere as a powerful artifact called a sphere of annihilation. The power of such a device must be awesome to behold.

The sarcophagus in the room yielded several treasures after it had been opened, including an ornate box that seemed to be carved with demonic sigils, and then sealed. Taan wanted to open the box at once, but the rest of us restrained him, pointing out that we were exhausted, injured, and unready to face whatever might come out of that box. He reluctantly agreed (after we took the box from him by force) that Allustan would probably be the right person to open the box in any case. Once we made that decision, we all headed out of the Cairn and back to town.

No one was exactly sure what was going to come next, but several people suggested that we might explore the elevator contraption that we had passed over before, so as to be sure we had gotten anything of value in this place.

any updates for demon boy??


So it's been awhile since I wrote a journal. A long while. So long, in fact, that I have fallen way behind James and even further behind the campaign. I will make an effort to catch up, but we will see how it goes. In the meantime, here is a new entry.


11 Reaping 595 CY (cont.)

When we got back to the mining office, Beaky (that stupid little feathered demon) was missing. In his cage, his captor had left us a note: “See Me, (signed) S.” Presumably Smenk thought that miserable little creature was worth something to us, and had kidnapped him to force us to seek him out. Having suffered through several nights of hooting, screeching, and clawing, most of the group was relieved at the disappearance. I felt a slight pang of regret that we wouldn’t be able to cash in on the creature’s wealth, seeing as Gar had grown quite attached to the ragged ball of fuzz, and probably wouldn’t have consented to allow us to sell him anyway.

Speaking of Gar, he was more than a little upset at the “abduction” (as he put it), and insisted that he was going to “kill Balabar Smenk.” Not that I would be opposed to killing Smenk (he has lots of stuff we could take) but it seemed that taking on the most powerful man in Diamond Lake directly might be biting off more than we could chew, and even Gar admitted as much eventually. But he swore that he would find some way to get back at Smenk, while the rest of us just nodded.

That evening we once again returned to Allustan’s house. The old sage seemed happy to see us, especially when we showered him with news of our adventure. He eagerly absorbed everything we had to tell him about the final two chambers, and delighted in examining the relics we brought him. I prepared myself for another snooze, but before I could get comfortable, Tyrilandi brought out the box. After watching Allustan cast several protective spells and retrieve a long staff from his closet, I was prepared for something truly spectacular when he finally broke the seal, but it turned out to be nothing more that a small loop of metal wire attached to a stick. The damn thing wasn’t even magic. Tyrilandi said she would hold on to it anyway though. Just as well, It’s not like anyone would want to buy it.

After we had identified the rest of our treasure (nothing for me, sadly), we headed back to the guildhall and went to sleep.

12 Reaping 595 CY

After a small debate (Gar brought up Smenk and Beaky repeatedly) we decided to return to the Cairn and check out the moving stone cylinder we had skipped before. We found the cairn as we had left it, desolate and abandoned. The strange whispering noises still filled the entry passages, but now the sound seemed welcoming rather than disturbing. Having defeated the guardians in the final chamber, what challenge could the remaining side-passageways really pose?

After our first experience with these contraptions, I was prepared to refuse when Dram suggested I descend first. I was surprised, therefore, when Dram himself offered to scout out the mysterious device. The surrounding stone groaned and creaked as the contraption descended, but when it returned Dram reported that there was indeed another passage on the far side.
The chambers we discovered had clearly already been looted, but despite that we managed to find a few useful trinkets that had been missed by previous expeditions. We had a short battle with some unusual floating eyestalks (nothing really surprises me anymore, not after we found a worm with four tentacles hiding in a sea of lead balls). We were, in fact, just about ready to head out when Tyrilandi decided to have one more look at a curious egg-shaped stone with an arcane glyph we found in an old workshop. It was clearly a magical device of some kind, but the sigil radiated evil, and none of us had been foolish enough to touch it. It was at this point that Taan did something extremely stupid.

Now stupid actions are dumb, there’s no question about it. They usually lead to pain, misery, suffering, and poverty. Worse than that, they make you look like an idiot, and no one (well, ok most people) likes that. But, on the other hand, if you are bored, and want to see some action and excitement, doing something stupid can be extremely rewarding. And even if all people do is mock you for it, doing something stupid can force them to recognize that you exist, and when you’re small and in a cage… But we were talking about Taan.

So, Taan grabs Tyrilandi’s hand and forces her to reach out and touch the stone sphere. The stone immediately wakes up, transforms into an anthropomorphic rock (ok, I admit, I don’t know what “anthropomorphic” means, but it sounded cool when Tassilo said it later). and started to beat Tyrilandi into a bloody paste. She shrieked and fled, and as Taan slowly backed away as well, I swear I saw a smug grin.

In the meantime, Abelard’s band…

Ok, that’s it, I hate that name, and I am not going to keep using it. From now on I’m calling our group SPIT (that’s Stupid Pack of Interfering Troublemakers), it’s far more appropriate.

Anyway, as I was saying, in the meantime SPIT had engaged the monster. And when I say engaged what I really mean is the monster was beating us into bloody pulp, one at a time. Gar was the first to fall, followed closely by Vyth and then Tassilo. Tyrilandi desperately tried to heal the fallen, and managed to return Gar to consciousness before succumbing to a blow herself. After hitting the monster with a ray of enfeeblement, I initially thought I would not be of much use in this fight. Just as I was reaching for my crossbow, however, I felt the prompting of my mysterious god. It was almost in a trancelike state that I watched my hands make new arcane gestures, I heard gibberish coming out of my mouth, and to my amazement I saw two tiny creatures spring from my outstretched arms and race toward the monster like streaks of crimson fire. Before I could see them clearly, they struck the rock monster and ripped off small pieces of his body. As the creature staggered back, obviously wounded, I tried to reconstruct what I had done.

Somehow, I had gained a new spell. Muttering praise to the One under my breath, I began shooting off round after round of the strange magical creatures. I still couldn’t see what they were, but I could tell they were having an effect. The chaos of battle seemed to fade around me as I gleefully fired off more and more. Magic is fun!

As Gar finally smashed the creature to pieces (of rock) with a final blow, my euphoria slowly faded. It was over, and we had won after all. I immediately felt a wave of exhaustion sweep over me. I shook my head, trying to clear it, as I took stock of our situation. Taan, Dram, DaeJin and myself were still standing, although Dram looked badly wounded. Gar was lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood, but he seemed conscious. Everyone else was out.

As soon as the fight ended, Dram strode over to Taan fury in his eyes. Taan watched him come with a slightly bemused expression, which quickly vanished as Dram nailed him on the side of the head with a fierce blow. Taan, never one to be outdone, immediately stuck his sword directly into Dram’s bleeding shoulder, and the fight was on. Tired as I was, I could not help but look forward to the coming battle. While Dram was defiantly the more dangerous fighter, he was also badly wounded. Meanwhile Taan looked fierce, and I could tell from his arrogant posture that he would be utterly ruthless. I tried to start a slow chant of Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! (these brawls are more fun if the audience gets into it) amongst my companions, but they didn’t seem interested. In fact, they seemed horrified.

Before I had a chance to really going, Gar put an end to things by knocking out Taan with the side of his axe. Leave it to Gar to ruin everyone’s fun. He always was a stick-in-the-mud. Oh well, it looked as if we might take all Taan’s stuff, so some good might come of the fight after all.

We hauled Taan back up to the central chamber in chains. I wanted to take his stuff immediately, but Gar put me off. I suppose Taan is his prisoner after all. His fate will be decided tomorrow.

Jeremy Walker wrote:
If there is enough demand I might be willing to post his character sheet online at some point.

Hi. Did you ever post Demon Boy's character sheet? I'd still like to see it and am sure others would, too!

Thx. :)

Rill wrote:
Jeremy Walker wrote:
If there is enough demand I might be willing to post his character sheet online at some point.

Hi. Did you ever post Demon Boy's character sheet? I'd still like to see it and am sure others would, too!

Thx. :)

I would. Then maybe the PCs will come across him again.

Peace and smiles :)



12 Reaping 595 CY

I hate elves. Stuffy, self-righteous, and downright rude, an elf would rather discuss a problem at length with his prudish peers than bestir his precious self actually doing anything about it. Eventually, his descendants will either accept it as an inevitability, or forget that the situation was ever any different. And just try and get one of them to accept responsibility for anything. Of course not, its always the “short-sighted lesser races” that are at fault. And don’t get me started on their stupid god. Only an elf could worship someone like that!

Anyway, despite all of that, I think I’m starting to like Taan. You gotta admire the guy. He wakes up trussed like a half-orc’s whore, spends 30 minutes denying responsibility and blaming everyone else, and somehow convinces the rest of the party to not only let him go, but to return all his stuff and even give him a share of the loot! Even now, I’m not sure how he did it.

Once that was resolved, Gar proposed that the time had arrived to “deal” with Balabar Smenk. Before the rest of us could question his sanity yet again, however, Dram noticed a flock of blackbirds resting in a nearby tree. Normally the appearance of a bunch of insignificant avians would be unworthy of comment in this journal (I try to stick the important stuff y’know, like elves and how much they suck) but in this case the appearance of the birds led to an unprecedented event so remarkable even now I am not sure it really happened. Dae Jin actually spoke more than three words at once.

Apparently these birds were some sort of message from her mysterious organization based out of town. I’d heard of this “Bronzewood Lodge,” and I suppose I knew Dae Jin was a member, but I had never put the two together before. To hear the locals tell it, they were a bunch of hedonistic misfits who spend most of their time in massive bestial orgies and the rest of it praying to various trees. Admittedly, this was from a group of people who spend most of their time in self-mortification. Anyway, she announced that she was summoned, and the rest of us were invited. How she learned that by watching a bunch of birds crap in a tree; I am still trying to figure out.

Seeing this as an excellent opportunity to put off our inevitable confrontation with Smenk, we all agreed to join her on a visit. It was about an hour’s march outside of town through the countryside, which gave me a chance to reflect a little on my new life of freedom. These people I had fallen in with were certainly a mixed bunch, but overall I realized I had come to like them. While I wasn’t exactly your typical Diamond Lake loser like the rest of them, they still accepted, even welcomed, my presence among the group, despite my occasionally eccentric behavior. It seems like forever ago that I was trapped in that cage, waiting to be mocked, beaten, and fed by turns. Life outside my cage was as exciting, dangerous, and unexpected as I could have ever imagined.

This was driven home once again by our encounter at the Bronzewood Lodge. When we arrived, Taan and Dae Jin were summoned inside the lodge to meet with the chief treehugger, while the rest of us were invited to join in some sort of “meditation” that was going on inside the building. Having never participated in one of those before, I agreed, and Dram, Vyth, and I head into the building. As it turns out, I was very glad I did. When I arrived in the meditation chamber, I was greeted to a welcome sight. A small group of people had gathered around an open dirt ring in the center of a fairly large room. Inside the ring, two mostly naked men were wrestling with each other, each trying to push the other out of the ring, or force him to the ground. I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite events at the Emporium: Mud Wresting!

On feastdays and other special occasions, the Boss would clear out the center of the display room, and a crowd would gather to watch the show. By clambering up the inside of my cage bars, I was able to get a fairly good view over the heads of the crowd. They would pour water over the center of the room until it became a huge morass of caked clay, and then two burly men (and sometimes women) would go at it. I remember one halfling in particular named Runtling that I would always cheer for. He was always so much smaller than any of the other competitors, but he was fierce, and totally fearless in the ring. The crowd would roar, mud would splatter across the whole room. And then there was that delicious crunching sound when the bones of the wrestlers snapped. It was one of the few bright spots of my long captivity.

I thought once more of Runtling as I dashed forward to the edge of the circle. Although this contest was less intense than the ones at the Emporium, I immediately started cheering on the competitors, egging on the fighters and encouraging the other spectators to get into it a little more. Slowly, the crowd responded to my exuberance, and before long I had them all chanting with me. And then they brought around the elixir.

I am not sure what the stuff was, they handed it to me in a huge wooden bowl (well, huge for me at any rate). They said it would “aid my meditation.” Seeing as how much fun I was already having, I was ready to try anything. There were a bunch of leaves smoldering in the bottom of the wooden bowl. Imitating the others, I leaned over and inhaled slowly. It smelled faintly of flowers. Whatever it was it went right to my head, and I felt a feeling of incredibly certainty and confidence rush through. I resumed my cheers with renewed vigor, and sucked in another lungful of the elixir.


When I awoke several hours later, I had little memory of what transpired after that. I do have a vague recollection of riding on Dram’s shoulders back to the guildhouse singing at the top of my voice though. That elixir was good stuff. I stumbled over to Dae Jin and said “Anytime you want to meditate, let me know and I’ll come with.” What actually came out was “An’ime ‘u ‘ant med’ate, lemme ‘new ‘n I cu’ith.” Good stuff. After that, I staggered back to my corner again and dozed off.

That evening, the effects of the elixir had faded to the point where I could both walk without falling, and speak coherently. SPIT headed over to Allustan’s to unload the last of the gear we had found in the Cairn. While we were there I noticed something strange. Pegged up around the town were posters offering a reward for returning an escaped slave. Sketched on the board was a crude likeness of me! I admit to being a little flattered, I had never had anyone attempt to draw me before. Unfortunately, it was not a very good likeness, not that there are all that many red-skinned halflings covered in white symbols. At some point, I will have to go back and deal with the Boss and her “gentlemen quaggoth,” but now is not the time.

That night, some pesky goblins tried to kill us. I spent most of the battle standing behind my friends throwing magical creatures at the enemy, so I didn’t see much of what happened. Vyth managed to make a fool of himself again, jumping off the roof right in the middle of a pack of goblins, tripping on his own robe, and then collapsing from a knife blow to the ribs. We were eventually victorious, but one of the buggers managed to escape the battle, and there were not enough of us left to pursue them. The rest of that night passed uneventfully.


Jaws wrote:

I would. Then maybe the PCs will come across him again.

All right, I must be crazy, but here is Demon Boy's current stat block. Keep in mind that my journal is way behind where the campaign currently is, so it will look fairly different from what you might expect.

Demon Boy
Male halfling sorcerer 4
CN Small humanoid (halfling)
Init +2; Senses Spot –2, Listen +0
Languages Common, Halfling

AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 11
hp 20 (4 HD);
Resist fire 9
Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +3 (+5 vs fear); (+3 vs fire, paralysis, and sleep)

Spd 20 ft.
Melee longspear +2 (1d6–1/x3)
Ranged light crossbow +5 (1d6/19–20)
Base Atk +2; Grp –4
Special Atk breath weapon (30 ft. cone of fire; 2d6/spell level; Ref DC 15+spell level half)
Combat Gear potion of cure light wounds, potion of gaseous form, potion of mage armor, potion of protection from arrows, potion of shield of faith, scroll of scorching ray (2), scroll of web (3), scroll of lightning bolt, vial of alchemist's fire (2)
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 4th, +5 ranged touch)
2nd (4/day)—web (DC 17)
1st (8/day)—mage armor, magic missle, ray of enfeeblement
0—acid splash, detect magic, disrupt undead, light, mage hand, read magic

Abilities Str 9, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 6, Cha 20
SQ halfling traits, summon familiar (none)
Feats Draconic Breath, Draconic Heritage, Draconic Resistance
Skills Bluff +10, Concentration +9, Diplomacy +7, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (arcana) +2
Possessions combat gear, cloak of Charisma +2, backpack, belt pouch, blanket, chalk, signal whistle, sunglasses, scroll case, waterskin, 4 sunrods, 1 torch, 3 tindertwigs, 6 days rations

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Jeremy Walker wrote:

Feats Draconic Breath, Draconic Heritage, Draconic Resistance

No mention of your FLAW.

Which probably is fire-related, I envision bonfires spreading across Oerth as time goes by ;>

Nice character! You've been selling yourself short in one area, however -- your flat-footed AC should be 11.

Contributing Artist

Obscure wrote:
Nice character! You've been selling yourself short in one area, however -- your flat-footed AC should be 11.

Ha! For Small! Nice to see an editor make a stat mistake on his own character. That's what you get for sharing. Nice catch Obscure.

Am I missing something, or are halflings supposed to be Small humanoids....

- Ashavan

Koldoon wrote:

Am I missing something, or are halflings supposed to be Small humanoids....

- Ashavan

Which of course also explains the AC issue. I was looking at the CN Medium Humanoid (halfling) line.

- Ashavan


Obscure wrote:
Nice character! You've been selling yourself short in one area, however -- your flat-footed AC should be 11.

Fixed, and fixed the size on the second line as well. And you're right Kyle, that's what I get for sharing :)


Darkjoy wrote:

No mention of your FLAW.

Which probably is fire-related, I envision bonfires spreading across Oerth as time goes by ;>

I didn't mention the flaw, as it is already incorporated into his stat block. And while it's not really responsible for the pyromania (that's more of a "for fun" aspect of his character) you might say they are connected.

Liberty's Edge

Any updates???? We want more demon boy!!!!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

We'll play again next Thursday. No game this week due to the holidays.


Liberty's Edge

Cool beans...can't wait to read the update!!!! Yeah...more demon boy!!!


what class are you??

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

talyn wrote:
what class are you??

Demon Boy

Male halfling sorcerer 4

Just scroll upwards for more demon boy goodness

Scarab Sages


Any new updates we should be expecting? wink wink, nudge nudge?

Interesting: Extremely lucky rolls, or do you get max hit points per level due the difficulty of the campaign?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

mwbeeler wrote:
Interesting: Extremely lucky rolls, or do you get max hit points per level due the difficulty of the campaign?

Sorcerers & Wizards get d6 hit dice in Erik's campaign. Which is as it should be, as far as I can tell. Those poor classes need SOMETHING to keep them alive...

James Jacobs wrote:
Sorcerers & Wizards get d6 hit dice in Erik's campaign.

That's downright kickin'. Beats always taking prestige classes for extra hit points (though I'm still a huge fan of Divine Oracle).

Lantern Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
mwbeeler wrote:
Interesting: Extremely lucky rolls, or do you get max hit points per level due the difficulty of the campaign?
Sorcerers & Wizards get d6 hit dice in Erik's campaign. Which is as it should be, as far as I can tell. Those poor classes need SOMETHING to keep them alive...

I can see sorcerers having a higher hit die since they don't spend all their time with their nose in an old tome, and it balances out their hangups with meta magic feats, I mean a full round for any spell feat just kinda throws it off balance with the wizard.

oh and um...


...please? ^.^

Dark Archive


This journal really needs to be updated!! (Wink Wink)


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