Useplanb's RotRL Game - Player Journals Included

Rise of the Runelords

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My dearest Moxie,
My home is lovely this time of year, and I am sure my mother would welcome you with open arms!
Come to the Celestial Plane, where we don't kill good-hearted intruders on sight!

Scarab Sages

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From the Diary of Kori’el Shalani, 4(?) Abadius:

…Davok’s doorway turned out to be a 5’ passage with an empty closet at the end; which was quickly determined to have another secret door at its back. We once again lined up in the hallway, opened the secret door, and one by one began entering another laboratory, this one “occupied.”

One occupant was working on some sort of flesh golem laid out on a table, the other was obviously an undead creature of some type. We entered slowly and relatively peacefully, with Rikert and Xandu at the rear of the group, and a short conversation ensued. The crowned fellow at the table seemed very interested in the status of the outside world, and we related some inconsequential information about it. He also seemed unwilling to aid us in our quest to construct Runeforged weapons. The negotiations were proceeding, though not in any terrifically constructive direction, when something must have happened behind us; the liche (as Freiderich shouted when he blurred into motion) hit is with some sort of magical rainbow, and I felt reality warp around me. Moxie vanished, and everyone else seemed to be whole and the fight began.

After the prismatic spray, the liche put a wall of force across his end of the room; had I the presence of mind or forethought to ready myself to counterspell, I could have stopped it, but once again I proved my true worth and failed to be of real use to my companions (I had intended to encapsulate him myself, but assumed that a wizard of such ability would be able to escape). I next discovered what the other undead creature was capable of, as it struck at me and seemed to be trying to tear my soul away. OUCH. I struck back with corrosive consumption, and backed away to let the spell take effect. Xandu, Rikert and Freiderich appeared beyond the force wall, and as I thought to join them, the rest of that part of the room filled with wraiths, one skipping past the wall and appearing next to me; but didn’t seem able to harm me (Death Ward still in effect, thanks Xandu). Davok had drawn the other thing’s attention, and he screamed as the creature ripped at his soul I hit it with a scorching ray, but it still failed to fall. The wraith had gone to look for another target, the soul-ripper was still working on Davok but had to be near falling, so I put everything I had into a simple lunge with Calypso (Unerring Blade, critical focus and anatomist really make it easy to confirm crits!) and struck the thing down.

Looking about, we discovered that the liche had apparently had enough and departed, though the force wall was still up. Xandu, Rikert and Freiderich had returned to our side, and Mother Not had taken some damage from the wraith; Moxie was nowhere to be found. Where could she have gotten off to? We realized that we only had a couple of minutes left on the death ward, so we quickly moved off to search for the liche’s hiding place.

Opposite the mummy hall was another door, by the time I got there, Davok had entered what looked to be a library and seemed to be in a fighting stance, but Xandu said, “the liche isn’t there, keep going,” but I didn’t want to leave Davok to face an unknown threat. I moved into the room (followed by Freiderich and Mother Not) in time to seem some zombie on speed grapple with Davok, tear into his head, and start EATING HIS BRAIN right in front of me! I wasn’t in position to use spellstrike on it, so I zapped it with a scorching ray, then struck with Calypso and Piercing Vampiric Touch (another crit!). Freiderich had gotten into the act and was damaging the thing but it was still feasting on Davok’s brains (who seemed powerless to escape its grip). I hit him again with force puch (yet another crit thanks to Mother Not’s Fortune hex), looked at Freiderich and shouted, “I have to get him out!” Freiderich nodded, and I stepped up and dimension doored Davok and myself out into the laboratory. Davok’s head was bleeding profusely, and I had no way to stop it. Xandu and Rikert were nowhere to be seen, but I looked into Davok’s eyes (one bulging almost out of its socket, the other unfocused and wandering), pointed toward the open door and said, “Go find the angel! He went that way!” Thankfully, he had enough presence of mind to shamble off in the direction I had indicated. I couldn’t help him more, as Mother Not was now screaming in abject terror as the brain-eater turned its attention to her. I ran back in, recalled my scorching ray spell again, and zapped the creature once more. Will this thing never fall down? Just as it opened its gaping maw to bite into Mother Not’s head, a brace of Freiderich’s bombs removed the last trace of the thing’s foul parody of life. We have to find the others…

Yeah, Death Ward is the ultimate anti-undead spell. But the way they manage undead in Pathfinder (high-bonus touch attacks, lose levels automatically and then save that evening to get them back, many times lose ability points with no save at all), I just don't mind it. Wraiths are out-and-out polite in letting you save at all!

Scarwall in Curse of the Crimson Throne, the wing of Gluttony in Rise of the Runelords, and pretty much ALL of Carrion Crown put Death Ward on my list of spells that any party that wants any hope of survival MUST have.

And I know the pain of Plane Shifting a PC who doesn't have any way to get back. It's fun, because you get to write your own entire side adventure for her. But it's painful, because the group has to stop everything to figure out a way to find her...

Look forward to hearing everything from Moxie's point of view (once she's back, of course)...

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Colorful Conversation

After settling the accounts with the mummers the troupe gathered in the first urn corridor at the secret door found by Duh’rock. I checked it for harmful intent and finding neither malice nor a secured lock the troupe advanced through the tight space to a second door which was safe and unsecured. A third secret door was found in the back wall of this closet sized room also unsecured and absent of any aggressive machinations. Duh’rock lead the way into a grave and heinous spectacle of undeath! (tongue gag!)

Sitting in the back of this small chamber was a crusty…no really, he was crusty,…ancient noble(?) of curious lineage wearing fine robes and a crown. He calmly addressed each of us in turn as he laced the last stitches in a mismatched, misshapen corpse. As he bit the suture away from the knot he began to inquire about Thassolon and the current state of the world politics. He asked of the Scribbler and perked at the mention of his clones, creeping me out with a sinister throaty cackle of a belly laugh which by itself raised the hairs of my neck. This was only slightly less creepy than what happened next. In an instant, quicker than ever I have seen prior, a number of disturbing things happened in an extremely rapid succession. First the creepy cackle ceased mid guffaw with an angry piercing squint looking down the hall. I raised my empty open hand and barely squeak out a “NO” which seemed to happen in a slowed aspect of time compared to his fleet reaction. Then a quick movement of hands and unintelligible arcane ramblings and his visage became a swirling mass of blurred reproductions of himself. Finally a fan of multicolored rainbow shafts of light filled the room, an arcane affect I had seen used before. While worrisome, the rapidity with which it had been issued only allowed me to recoil partially before I was engulfed by an intense bright violet hue.

I was shaken by a fierce vibration lasting but a moment then I felt as though I was abruptly and rudely pushed. I opened my eyes to avoid collision only to find myself in a momentary vortex of images and color, light and utter darkness, all without physical affect. Then as if the glamour had been lifted I fell to the ground apparently no worse for wear! But wait my eyes are open and it is TOTALLY DARK!! I quietly called to my troupe mates…Frederich? Kori’el? Xandu!!? Rikert!!? Panicked I reached for my torch stone, and for comfort Simon's torch everlasting. Casting light in my immediate area I had this sudden sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I am alone!!!

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Xandu’s Journal Entry:

It’s as if time here is of little importance. I don’t think we are aging at all. I know we’re only talking about a few days but still. Some of us eat out of habit, others don’t. We search the halls and rest after battles. I never really feel tiered but I rest and pray. Hannah is very excited these days. She has noticed that I don’t prepare offensive spells and that seams to please her. She never asked me not to take them but is quick to point out how not taking them has allowed me to learn to overcome what others might call shortcomings. She very much wants me to learn to be and take on a support roll. She is a lot like Simon in that matter. Keep your friends, your troupe, alive. Find ways to make them grow in their strengths as you grow in yours. She says to be patient, that we are doing something together that wasn’t thought possible. I asked about that statement and she acts as if she didn’t say a word. She always hints but never lets the cat out of the bag. I think she enjoys knowing more than I do.

Hannah says that I have surprised her on many occasions and that my ability to mold Desna’s power is amazing. Yes, Simon that’s right, Hannah called my use of the power that is granted to me “Amazing”. She also has taken an interest in Kori’el. The newest member to our troupe. Very plain looking but she tries hard to help our troupe. I know that Moxie has taken a shine to her. Then again, I’ve noticed Moxie watching over everyone in the troupe at times. It’s almost as if she’s making a running tab on where everyone is at any given moment.

Then Moxie will just act out of the blue as if she were bored with the whole thing and go wander off. Moxie has been very sweet and even affectionate lately too. I sometimes wonder what’s behind the looks she gives me. I hope I haven’t vexed her in any way.

Just yesterday we were in a battle with two demons and a sorcerer of some kind. As we walked through a curtain of smoke we were hit by two waves of bitter cold from a flying sorceress flanked by two very large demons that started pummeling my troupe mates to pulp. I was almost dead (1hp), GrAnne was dead Sheldor was hurt badly if not dead, Rikert and Kori’el were paralyzed and the only thing I could think of was get as many as I could out of the beaten zone. I took Rikert, Kori‘el (who were not responsive), Moxie and Friedrich across the room and behind a large marble pillar. Moxie cursed at me for making her move (she had to re-aim) Friedrich huffed and disappeared and to top it all off one of the demons had followed us. He was so close and Moxie was out in plain view, I had to do something before she was crushed. I moved to Moxie but in doing so I could only reach Moxie and Kori’el, I could only pray that Rikert would be behind the pillar enough that he wouldn’t be seen by the approaching demon.

Moving the three of us back to the front of the room but still behind a pillar, Moxie again cursed and said “Xandu! For Shelyn’s sake, stop all this flittering about and just let me be. I can’t figure out where you’ve taken me.”

That’s what I mean by I hope I haven’t vexed her. She’s been a little on edge today.

I’ll go ahead and continue my story since I’ve started.

I prepared and healed us as best I could before a demon found us. It was then that I got the idea to teleport the demon out of the room and onto another of the teleport circles. Poof, I went but the demon stayed. Horrible dread set in as I realized I had just left Moxie and a paralyzed Kori’el alone with a huge demon. (did I mention that the demons were HUGE). Desna save us.

As I re-entered the room I saw Rikert had slain one of the demons and engaged with the one that I had so unceremoniously left with Moxie. Moxie had moved closer to the entrance but at least she was still up. I couldn’t see Kori’el, hopefully she was still hidden behind the pillar and not dead. Davok was inside of some wall of force unable to help but alive and Friedrich had a very, very, very lost look about him. He was not himself at all. I called upon Desna to heal him and her power flowed like a strong river current through me and into Friedrich. He snapped out of his stupor and engaged the flying sorceress. I allowed the river to continue flowing as I changed it into healing flows of power.

At some point at the end of the fight with the last demon and Friedrich’s fight with the sorceress. A power was traded between the sorceress and Friedrich. Friedrich claims it’s a Boon but it looks like a target to me. After everyone was brought back to life and healed as best as could be. Kori’el was constantly teasing Friedrich about giving her his mark. With the full knowledge that she would need to kill him in order to receive it. “Xandu will bring you back, won’t you ,Xandu.” She smiles and winks at me but looks seriously back at Friedrich. She’s so needed in this troupe. It’s stuff like that that lets me know we’re going to be alright.

We stayed there to rest so that Sheldor and I could prepare spells to retrieve some magic weapons. Then we moved to the hall of Gluttony. I had given several of the troupe Ant haul as to aid in their carrying capacity. This was done mainly so that more would be able to carry a wounded troupe mate to safety if need be.

When we entered the hall I started casting protective spells on the troupe. I had just finished a spell on Kori’el when a mummy walked from a secret door and smashed into her. Most of the troupe was frightened by the mummies but Rikert quickly took care of us and got us fighting again.

The next room was a large pit with walkways that crossed in the center. We quickly moved to our left and looked inside the room. Dark energy arced between two pillars. Negative energies coursing to form a vile portal. Next Room Please! The room that was next would be the one that was straight in front of where we had entered. This one lead to a chamber of vileness I hadn’t seen since the farm house. You remember the hillbilly ogres….yuck. Any way.

We moved swiftly through that room and into another. Then down a hall and …MUMMIES. This time Rikert and Kori’el were in, just the right spots and they pretty much with some help but they pretty much took charge of the mummies. Thank you Rikert, Thank you Kori’el. After the mummies were dead (again) Davok found a secret door and then Moxie found yet another.

It gets strange here as I couldn’t see what was going on ahead of me. I was at the back of the troupe save Rikert who was the very last. We could hear our troupe mates conversing with someone but had no idea what was going on. It didn’t sound as if there was any fighting and I thought maybe they had found a prisoner locked away for eons but NOOOO as I got a glance at the man that they were talking to, the very old and pale man with a crown on his head, the man that had just finished sewing up a patch work corpse. This is the man the troupe was so eagerly talking to. I couldn't believe it but I didn’t want to seam rude so I to engaged it in conversation also. Then all of a sudden, a rainbow of colors heads right for us and we’re almost whisked away to another plane. ????
Moxie’s gone. NO. I try and talk to Moxie the spell I use will work no matter what if she is still on this plane and only a 5% chance it doesn’t work if she is even on another plane. I got nothing. My fear is that she’s dead. All in all there was only a 5% chance it wouldn’t work. Surely it worked and she just wasn’t there.

Time. As I started this entry time seemed like nothing and now the time I have left is slipping through my fingers.

Moxie’s gone. The fricking lich is behind a protective wall and I need him to tell me what he did with Moxie. NOW

I grab Rikert and hop him to the lich. Rikert pummels said litch but the lich dimension doors away. We hop back to the troupe and start our hasty search of this wing. Davok bashes through a door and into a room and says “That’s not him” I shout that he’s not in this room as the rest of the troupe save Rikert egnore and pile right past me into the room with Davok. Rikert and I race past the gruesome room and out into the pit entrance. We head to the remaining door way. I have a suspicion about the negative energy room, that is directly behind us now.
Didn’t matter, Rikert opens the doors we hadn’t been through yet and is beset upon by a huge armored flesh Gollum. I use Mislead and have my double follow Rikert while I moved past Rikert and the Gollum. Then I cast greater teleport (ant haul in the morning for the win) and teleport myself and the Gollum to the pit. I am safe on the walkway. The Gollum takes a few moments to reflect upon his actions before hitting the bottom. Smile (it worked).

Davok walks slowly to me with his brains half eaten.??? I heal him and scream at Rikert and the others that we need to go to the room with the negative energies. TIME

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tap,tap,tap...sigh...tap,tap,tap...who's not ready...why am I waiting!!! :D

Scarab Sages

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From the diary of Kori’el Shalani:

Dear Diary-

I feel like such a failure.

I’ve seen Mother Not die twice, Davok die once, and Sheldor ripped limb from limb. I’ve seen Davok’s skull torn open and a horrifying undead thing feasting on his brain before my eyes, and I couldn’t stop any of it. I have been paralyzed with fear, and had a demon stun me into uselessness. The fact that those unaffected were able to win that skirmish without me is scarce encouragement; and Calypso’s cheerleading isn’t helping my self-esteem. I feel like I’m learning, but I am so hopelessly, laughably outclassed that I fear I will never be able to catch up. Before we caught up with them, teaming up with the Storm Guard seemed like such a simple path to fame and fortune! Now I am discovering the cost. When will it be my turn? Does Xandu have a diamond in his pack to bring me back, or will the others decide that it could be better used on someone else? Does he have one left for anyone?

These people all seem to have such faith in their gods, and I try to emulate the “laughing in the face of death” stories about Cayden Cailean, but it rings hollow in my ears. Surely they see through my façade, that I am small and lonely and incompetent, and that my greatest fear is that I will be found out for the fraud that I am. Calypso tells me that that is all nonsense, but in this case I know he’s wrong; or perhaps he just wants me to think that he has confidence in me, and he will desert me when a better magus comes along. Like father deserted mother and me.

I look to Moxie; her confidence and defiance in the face of challenge helps to keep me going, and now she’s gone. A moments thought (and the sense of reality warping around me when I was hit by it) tells me that the violet beam from the prismatic spray was a plane shift effect. Moxie didn’t just pull her vanishing act, she is GONE from here with no possibility of return. I am frightened for her, more frightened than for those of us who might die in combat. Who now will I look to for an example, for inspiration? The paladin is cold and aloof; his reaction to me freezing at the mummy’s onslaught tells me that he for one sees through me. Sheldor too, though neither has said anything yet. I am almost afraid of Mother Not, with her mumbling and chortling and furtive looks; something tells me that she isn’t to be trusted. Freiderich seems to be a friend, or at least a kindred spirit; but I am too afraid to open up to him. There is no privacy here, there can be no secrets in this place where no one needs to sleep and we dare not wander off alone. Moxie is gone, and Xandu is frantic in his need to search and find her.

Cayden Cailean, can you hear me? I need help, and I have nowhere to turn. Is there a cup of strength that I might drink from, to let me assist these other lost and broken souls like mine? I feel their need as strongly as my own; I ask for them as well as me. If you are there, if you can hear me, please lend me your laughing confidence so that I may help my friends.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Nice. Very nice.

It's reminiscent of some of the writings I did for Essanne (my GMPC in my Runelords game) except in your case, your character is competent but doesn't think she is, while Essanne is an Arcane Trickster. Which of course means she's useless. ;)

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Dreams of Mortals (An Interlude):

Simon once told me how important I was to the success of the troupe. I had no idea until now what he may have been referring too.

I have brought Davok back from the dead twice but never gave it much thought until now. I just thought it was part of the power that Desna had given me to help with our quest.

Sheldor’s body lay broken and beaten in a dark pool of his own blood. Limbs broken, eyes unfocussed and glazed. Mother Not’s cold body lay nearby her eyes fixed on oblivion. Both were dead. I thought I knew what to do and what to expect, boy was I ever wrong. Unlike with Lynn’s death, I knew I could bring both of my fallen troupe mates back. With Lynn I have the way but not the means. With these two I had both the way and the means. It’s funny how ones mind works in times of stress, Sheldor was hurt the most so I started with him. As if one death was more dead than the other.

It has been said that some one was brought back from Death’s door. I now know how correct that statement is. It has become my practice to pray to Dena for an audience with the recently deceased to converse with and/or make sure that they are willing to return to the living. This I did with Sheldor and GrAnnie (Moxie’s endearing nick name for Mother Not). I had never pondered the profound meaning of speaking with the dead. It takes place in a void, just blackness and voice. If they are connected with their God there is no sign of it or interference. The meeting is brief, I don’t know if I go to them or if they come to me but there is an exchange of ideas and words, that’s about all one is allowed. This can only be done if there is a body part left to talk to. Alas I have no way to even try and talk to our fallen brother, Lynn. Something that has weighed heavily on my mind.

Back to my two friends that lay dead before me. The prayer should only take a few moments but whether because of the place we’re in or because I was paying more attention I don’t know but as I went to seek his spirit out to bring him back I noticed a Great Vast Darkness with dim lights like stars in the nights sky, only very dim. I was a light too but brighter and I wasn’t in darkness, well lets just say that the Dark that I was heading towards was darker. So you have a black night sky and in front of you, you have a blacker night sky with dim lights within it. I could see that I wasn’t the only bright star headed for the darkness but that there were others like me. The others like me were not fixed to a spot but were floating toward the Vast Darkness, I felt like I was cocooned in Desna’s power and that is where my light came from. The other stars like me were probably cocooned in their Gods power going to the Darkness to bring one of their fallen back.

My thoughts were of Sheldor and his spirit, as I got closer to the Darkness, the Darkness moved. It was if it had moved to allow Sheldor’s light to be closer to mine. Like a great cloak opening to allow something hidden to be freed. I had an overwhelming sense of duty. The Darkness was “allowing” Sheldor to return but only under my protection. That is how I perceived bringing Sheldor back. When my prayer was ending I witnessed Sheldor’s life return to his body. A body that wasn’t broken but whole. I moved quickly to GrAnnie.

I eagerly started my prayer to Desna. In my prayer I asked Desna for the grace to allow me to escort GrAnnie back to the Troupe. I know Desna smiled. She knew I had learned something important, her power filled me with joy and love. Again I approached the Vast Darkness with all it’s dim stars. Without a body or shape I bowed to the Darkness and I can tell you without doubt that it bowed back. Then it opened it’s great cloak to allow GrAnnie’s spirit to return with me.

The Great Mantle of Death held no hate or love for GrAnnie nor me. It allowed, without remorse or regret, me to escort GrAnnie’s spirit away from it and back to the living. I no longer feel as if I could nor would I ever try to seize a spirit away from Death but that sometimes I would be “Allowed” access into and back out by some pact that the Gods have with Death. I now know that no matter what others may say, no one holds or could ever hold enough power to overcome Death’s embrace. As strange as it may sound I am comforted by my discovery. Death is truly a wondrous thing.

As I departed with GrAnnie’s spirit, I turned, again I bowed this time with great reverence. To my surprise the Vast Darkness gave me a sweeping return bow. I opened my eyes at the end of my prayer to see GrAnnie return to us. Had I made a new friend? One can only dream.

Scarab Sages

Damn it, now I have to show you up again?! Cut that out!

Maybe you and I should have a talk but not right now, I need to find Moxie.

Scarab Sages

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$ Kori'el, we need to talk. $

I'm kind of busy right now Calypso, in case you hadn't noticed.

$ There are no enemies in evidence at the moment. Your insistence on subvocalization as a means of information transfer is distressing, especially at times like this. Allow me to …$

There, that's so much easier. We do need to talk, immediately.

% Calypso, what have you done? Everyone is frozen! I'm frozen! Help! %

Kori'el, there is no reason for distress. While physical contact exists between us, we have no need to rely on subvocalization in order to communicate. I merely accessed some of the potential in your new headband to bring you up to my speed, as it were. The world around you continues as it always has, and you continue within it; but your consciousness is now operating at a more efficient rate. We can discuss a matter of overwhelming importance in the time it will take your body to cover the few steps to where Xandu is busy healing Davok.

% Alright then, what is so important that it can't wait until the battle is over? %

I have become concerned at the amount of energy that you are wasting on your feelings of inadequacy.

% WHAT?! How do you know about that, I've been careful not to… %

You talk in your sleep. Also, we share a telepathic bond that, as you can see, goes somewhat deeper than you thought. Kori'el, if you would take the time to rationally reflect on your recent circumstances, you will reach the inescapable conclusion that you are no more an "incompetent fraud" than anyone around you, and you are considerably more competent than some. Exhibit A: on the occasion of your very first combat alongside these individuals, you correctly noted that the actions of Rikert directly resulted in the unnecessary prolongation of that combat, and indirectly resulted in the death of Davok. You have yet to cause the death of a comrade, either directly or indirectly. Exhibit B: the continued existence of Sheldor cannot be explained without assuming a far more lax attitude toward competence on the part of the group as a whole than you give them credit for. His kill rate is far below that of even Mother Not, let alone yourself, and he has shown himself to be reluctant to cast appropriate support spells on other members of the team. Exhibit C:..>

% Enough, I hate it when you get like this. I concede the point, but that really doesn't make me feel any better. I've been freezing up, I've been getting caught unprepared, I haven't had the right spells ready at the right times… %

Kori'el, I cannot leave you.


Of course; I told you that our bond went deeper than you realize. The truth of the matter is that I cannot exist apart from you.

% But… you're a Black Blade. Other Magi have held you before, and likely others will wield you after I'm dead. %

While true in a strictly physical sense, that is not the whole story. The Calypso that you know, the "me" that you are conversing with, does not exist apart from you. There were other consciousnesses that have called themselves Calypso that were associated with this blade, but they no longer exist in any tangible sense. I know that the data associated with those entities exists, but I cannot access it. I have no continuity of consciousness with them, only a continuity of purpose. I cannot leave you since I would cease to exist without you, and our purpose has not been fulfilled.

% And what purpose is that, exactly? %

We have discussed this before; I am constrained from communicating it directly. Suffice it to say that we are currently in the right place, with the proper allies, to accomplish that which needs to be accomplished. So it is useless to consider leaving this group once they escape their current predicament. I cannot allow that to happen, so please disabuse yourself of the notion.

% But what if I die, what if Xandu dies? Then where will you be with your "purpose?"

I will be here, waiting. At any rate, such speculation is useless. If you die, Xandu will bring you back. If Xandu dies, YOU will see to it that HE is brought back.

% Just how am I supposed to do that? I'm no cleric of Desna. %

There have been casual remarks and allusions by various party members. The existence of an appropriate scroll within the group is almost certain, though that probability is reduced with the removal of Moxie and her equipment. Remarks by Mother Not also indicate that she has the materials and capability of performing such services in the absence of Xandu. It may become necessary for you to… coerce… Mother Not into doing her duty. Failing that, you will find the scroll and enact the spell yourself.

% I doubt that Rikert will sit idly by while I twist Mother Not's arms.%

Of course not. In such a circumstance, HE will be doing the twisting. Look lively, Xandu seems to want to talk now. $


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

All I can think of is the two of you dueling with words... and then Hurricane Moxie arrives. =^-^=

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Just keep calm and focus.

Now, where are those goggles?

Now then, move quietly and see what can be ascertained from on high!

Whatta mess we have gotten ourselves into now!

Catacombs, this feels like catacombs or a labyrinth!!!! Calm….KEEP CALM!

Climb to the top and let us see what we are in for.

Whoa! What was that?!?!


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Sorry, guys, Moxie is building suspense like nobody's business! And I *know* Nobody's business! :-P

Xandu has always used some interesting language, but I just couldn't let this one go...

Lint wrote:
" I got a glance at the man that they were talking to, the very old and pale man with a crown on his head, the man that had just finished sewing up a patch work corpse. This is the man the troupe was so eagerly talking to. I couldn't believe it but I didn’t want to seam rude so I to engaged it in conversation also.

Likely unintentional, but quite witty!


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( LOL, As a complete and total fan of the movie Stalag 17, sorry couldn't resist!)

Unt now I vould like to velcomen our new grammar feldvebel...heir Rikert!

Ist you oll goot little schpeakars offen da qveens Anglish?!

Ist you oll goot little Schpellars?


Den let ush oll zay danke to feldvebel Rikert...I'm vaiting!!! :)

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Rikert Krupt – Paladin of Iomedae

The hidden passage led through a small hallway and ended in a room with what appeared to be sewn-together bodies and an old man who was doing the sewing, along with a ghostly figure which floated above the floor in an alcove to the right.

By chance, we had once again entered the room out of our normal order. (I could almost hear Simon's voice chastising us...) I found myself at the back of the party as I had come the farthest distance following our destruction of the mummies in the next hall. I waited in the back, barely able to see what was in the room, while several party members began talking with the old man.

I could tell that the conversation would be short-lived by the maniacal laughter coming from the man at some comment from Kori'el or Freidrich. Not wanting to be caught off guard, I asked for Iomedae's protection against the evil filling the chamber ahead. The granting of her protection was quickly followed by the inevitable attack from the old man, who revealed his dark powers of necromancy and sorcery as he quickly cast spells which washed over the entire group with various effects. I was struck by two rays of color from the spell, one of which seemed to contain some type of acid, while the other had no effect.

The man stepped back into another alcove behind him and cast a spell creating a wall of nearly invisible force to protect himself. I asked again for another of Iomedae's blessings and transformed into the aspect of one of her angels to shield myself and the others from some of his magical attacks.

Xandu turned and asked if I was ready to face the man, and then magically moved us into the small alcove with him to avoid the wall's protection. The space was tight as Freidrich also moved into the space in a swirling storm of dust that was the result of one of his potions.

My first attacks failed to hit the man as he moved backward, swiping a hand against the wall behind him that seemed to melt and release a swarm of ghostly specters which poured into the room. Luckily, we had prepared ourselves with spells to protect us from necromantic powers before entering this wing, and their attacks were unable to hurt us.

I refocused my second round of attacks and struck him three times as he staggered backward from one of Freidrich's bombs. I moved forward to press the attack, but once again another foe evaded us by using a magic portal to disappear from the room. We turned our attention back to our friends behind the wall who were locked in combat with one of the shades and the ghostly figure that had floated in the alcove when we first entered the room.

We were able to destroy the undead menacing our friends, and then moved quickly from the hidden room, back into the outer rooms in search of the necromancer and the missing Moxie. Xandu seemed almost frantic as he called Moxie's name. We split up to search and I moved back to the chamber with the walkways above the deep pit, while several of the others moved to another door across from the area with the narrow hallways and the bodies of the mummies. One door remained on the walkway that we had not searched, so I moved up to it and entered the room beyond it, followed closely by Xandu.

Inside of the room, I found several large stone coffins that were guarded by a hulking, armored creature that seemed to be made of rough clay. The golem moved immediately to attack, and I stepped up and struck it several times, carving away chunks of whatever passed for flesh. Suddenly, the creature disappeared from my sight and I heard Xandu yelling, "It worked!" from back in the hallway behind me. His exclamation was followed by an enormous crashing and splattering sound as the golem evidently fell into the pit below the walkways.

I moved forward and removed the heavy stone lid from the coffin at the end of the chamber, but found it empty!

I turned and left the room, finding Xandu healing a badly wounded Davok on the walkway.

What had happened to him? It didn't look good. Parts of his skull appeared to be missing and blood was gushing from the grievous wounds.

Apologies!!! Brevity is not among my strongest traits!!!

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The Giantess, Grig-nak, and me

I quickly realized my lights were not necessarily the wisest of ideas in such a huge expanse of open dark environment and so they were quickly doused. I donned my goggles allowing me to see in darkness and began to search for a way out. The air had a rich odor of petrichor. The sweet scent of loam was so overpowering I could not help to think I was in a catacomb of some sort, soon to be devoured by a swarm of zombies! “Just be quiet and use every bit of skill you have!” was all I could think.

As I walked I could tell the ground began to incline so I decide to make the climb and develop a plan along the way. After scaling to the top I came to rest on a large boulder at the crest of the hill. As I began to prepare my attempt to reconnoiter, the ground quaked, then again!! I felt motion, vertical motion!! I held on for the ride knowing rock slides to be very dangerous and frequently fatal!! Then the motion stopped and it felt as though I was afloat. As I looked around a mass of stony earth rose rotating and spoke aloud. “You are not of this place, what is your name and where are you from?” Mouth agape, I stammered for an answer. I introduced myself and told him from whence I came. “How did you get here?” Thinking since I had not yet been squished like a bug I could elaborate on the tale a bit and give myself a moment to contrive an escape should an attempt become apropos.

After relating my story, he told me to where I had traveled, and that I could refer to him as Grig-nak. He also related that he was unable to provide an immediate solution to my dilemma but he would take me to someone more capable to solve it. To be clear Grig-nak was immense. His height was easily ten times my own. So when he cradled me in hand and asked for my patience, I laid back as his tree trunk sized fingers gently encased me. The swaying motion and thumping of his gate also lent an idea to how large he was. Soon the swaying and thumping became a muffled, constant, gravel-ly rush not unlike the breaking of waves on the bow of a ship. This and the warmth within his clasped hand lulled me into a sound sleep. I woke from the broken cadence of thumps and swaying motion to which he had returned while I was asleep. Shortly thereafter I could hear muffled speech in a language foreign to my ears and then he opened his hand and advised me to be forthright. As his hand lowered me gently to the floor my eyes took in the most beautiful sight I have, and probably WILL EVER BEHOLD in this life!!

“WHOA!!” There I stood in a brightly lit room of a palace draped in the most glamorously delightful … stunning and bonnie-lovely finery I have ever seen!! Grig-nak spoke, in our common tongue, and presented me as “The gnome Moxie, a gem found of my domain, that requires assistance to return to her prime.” That is when it became obvious that the female seated in an elaborate stone chair I stood before wasn’t an amazing…extremely…exquisitely carved statue but an actual living creature!! With a start I turned as she first spoke. “What is your name?” she asked as though she questioned whether she had heard correctly. I answered all of her questions quickly and honestly. Especially when she warned me to be truthful! She ended our brief conversation by stating I could stay with her until my companions called for me, or until such time that it became obvious they had not survived the encounter I had described, at which point she would see me delivered safely to my homeland. The only rule set required I stay within the confines of the palace. (I KNOW RIGHT!?!....DEAL!!!) In the most respectful way possible, not knowing local customs, I placed my hands over my heart and exclaimed “Bless you kind Lady of stone, you are a most gracious hostess indeed! It is with great humility I receive your generous hospitality and submit to the terms of your house Noble Lady!” as I performed an elegant deep scraping bow and curtsy, trailing a leg behind me. She was a visage to behold and yet difficult to maintain in eye to eye contact due to the fierceness of her passion and dignified gravitas. This would be the longest period of time I would have her attention or be in her presence during my wait. I would get a brief glimpse of her now and again but never another opportunity to engage. To describe her one would say, though eleven foot tall and a being of stone, she had the physical attributes of the fairest human woman. Her skin resembled the texture of polished, milky alabaster with a hint of pale violet accents. Her hair was a collection of deep blue opal spikes that fired along bright green veins and was clustered with more points of light than the night sky. The intensity of her eyes was due to a quality and resemblance of the finest blue agate whose iris was encircled by wisps of silvery white ribbons that expanded and contracted with the wax and wane of her passion. Her style and choice in fashion were exquisite and very much to my liking as she was always well kempt and “dressed to impress.” She was never, EVER, without the finest of gold and jewels upon her elegant fingers, neck, wrist, waist, stummy button or dripping from her ears! She was a Lady of great power and she displayed it for all to see!

The Palace was kept and decorated in the same manner as she kept herself, complete and total opulent comfort and delight. The culmination of said opulence hit home when I was able to rest in a bed capable of accommodating my entire troupe! It was as big, or bigger than my room at the Red Dragon Inn! After a good long rest I ate strange but wonderfully prepared food and explored the confines of the palace. I convalesced at what I hope was a bath house(?) and returned to my room to rest again. Upon rising the second time I realized I had no gauge on time other than the grumbling of my stummy and decided to take up my time in a more suitably constructive way. After a bit of innocent rummaging I found the supplies required to allow me to journal my stay. I expressed it through art and word trying to capture the magnitude of my Host and her palace. Though I am sure it falls ever so short as a quality work I hope it will provide the essence of my experience and remind me of the most amazing other-worldly time of my life. I started my journal with the following, “There is no other way to express this experience than to say it is a welcomed, refreshing reprieve from our endeavor against Karzoug. I praise my Lady Shelyn for the gift of recuperation and rest and ask for her blessings on my troupe mates and our cause!” Again I lost track of time head long in my attempt to journal,…

(“Journal entry 6: In what has come to be brief contact with individuals in the palace who I assume are vassals, indentured servants (or possibly even slaves) I have come to know my Hostess to be of the ‘Shaitan’ race. She is specific in nature to them and I believe she is referred to as a ‘Pasha’ in her culture. This is a title of importance to the community at large, but I fear I have not grasped the finer points of the responsibilities of the position, something is getting lost in translation I am sure! It is difficult to extract the nuances of descriptive detail when you are conversing in short bursts, in different tongues, and that is IF you can find a willing participant. From the stories I have heard from seafarers who have anchored off Sandpoint over the years, the merchants of Magnimar and what little Frederich has shared, and then comparing it to the what I have observed thus far I believe this culture is very similar to that of the Kelesh Empire of my home.”)

…I quietly sang buried in my diligence to catalog the more outstanding features of the palace, dancing from one feature to the next. It was with great embarrassment and humiliation that I jerked awake at the sound of my host’s voice in an arched, great hall where I had been trying to capture the intricacies of the sculpture and reliefs interwoven with architecture where she informed me the time had come to return to my home. I gathered my belongings with mixed emotions. Happy to be going home, to help my troupe and sad to leave this incredible place! I was led to a court yard where my host awaited. I produced Simon’s oversized map in an attempt to show her where I was from. She looked vexed at my attempt to be helpful and I quickly made the map disappear! I asked for permission to speak once more before my departure to which she acquiesced. As I removed a necklace I spoke plainly and sincerely.

“Noble Lady, your generosity is without question or boundary. I appreciate you for accommodating this lowly gnome, and providing the experience of a lifetime. My ability to provide for you will never be within my means as I am a simple gnome from common folk, and my stars will never shine as brightly as your own. Please allow me to repay your kindness with a token of my gratitude. This periapt has served me well and it is my hope that you receive it with an open heart for your merciful assistance and hospitality.” I presented her with my periapt; a bright blue stone dangling from a slender silver chain. I did not wish to meet her gaze and simply stepped back saying “I am prepared…and thank you ever so much!” I heard her speak in the kindest tone yet as she extended her hand, “Take my hand…finish your walk…embrace destiny…daughter of the Rose.” Her understanding and encouragement warmed my heart with hope. As a dust devil began to swirl about me I looked up to her smiling face with a smile of my own. Her beauty faded as the whirl wind intensified and changed to snow.

I was home, on the beach, facing a cold winter surf. I almost did it…almost, I wanted to jump into that frigid surf head long and then sprint back to my room but time wasn’t on my side! I turned to race to Shelyn’s chapel and was stunned by the presence of a life sized bust sculpture of my hostess, formed from the white beach sand with her opaque countenance visible upon it. The sand sculpture animated presenting a closed hand. As the elegant fingers opened I heard her voice call out from the sculpture one last time “Be well little one, I hope your battle against ancient evils is well fought and successful.” In the open hand lay an elegant, tiny rose adornment of the most impeccable craftsmanship…


I COULDN’T BREATHE!! I am sure my unblinking eyes couldn’t have opened any wider. The stem and leaves were made of minutely detailed silvery mithril and the blossom’s petals of impossibly cut, brilliant red rubies. With one hand covering my mouth and tears streaming down my cheeks I slowly reached for the rose with trembling hand. Before my fingers could touch it, it leapt into them giving me quite a start. Then the sand sculpture began to melt back into the beach, starting from the open, outstretched hand. I tried to speak words of appreciation, but I couldn’t find them. There were none that could have measured to the occasion. I couldn’t maintain a stance and knelt in the sand, crying and laughing at the same time. When I could breathe without gasping involuntarily and my emotions were again in check, I touched the rose to the center of my high leather collar and there it stayed. Knowing the breadth of my recent good fortune, I ran to Shelyn’s chapel in the Cathedral and sang praises to her, thanking her for allowing me to experience such beauty, and asking for her blessing on my recent host. That is, until Father Zantus placed his hand on my shoulder and asked if I was alright…” Oh Father!!! Get the others; we have to talk right now!!!”

After a brief hug, he smiled and sent runners to the Sheriff, the Mayor, and Lady Ameiko. He asked of the troupe, our travels and our endeavors. I impressed upon him I was unsure of how long I would be staying and wished to tell the tale once to ensure the best use of my time. I took the opportunity to relieve myself of tithe and another installment for the orphaned, infirmed and upkeep at the sanitorum. I inquired if any local nobles or notable citizens of Sandpoint had been making contributions? (Because they should be!) At any rate when all were gathered we had a quick “story time” to include our losses. I answered all of their questions after letting them know that either I would need to leave quickly if the call came or that I would have to assemble a new troupe….until that moment my former host’s words had not sunk in! It had already been three days!! I sat motionless and silent at the thought of what may have happened. It was there and then that I asked Ameiko to provide one of her finest meals suitable for packing, along with a few bottles of wine, mead and a short bottle of Duh’rocks spirit’s. I explained how desperately the troupe needed some reminder of what we were trying to save! I would not allow the anxiety of what might have happened to rule in place of meaningful preparation when the call came. That, and I could not bear to think of the entire troupe defeated and sewn back together by the “noble” undead keeper!!

I excused myself and made quick time to the fish monger. His pickings were slim but that did not matter much. As I turned hastily headed for my rendezvous, I stopped for a moment, took a deep breath and made the conscious decision to slow down and enjoy as much of the time at home that remained. I walked to the Turandarok along the Lost Coast Road and surveyed the river. After a brisk walk in the cold winter wind I found them hunting below Boggy Creek Bridge. As they were darting about in the water and ice, I watched from the bridge. A couple gave me a passing glance but did not recognize me for the bundle of winter gear in which I was wrapped. It wasn’t until I squeaked that they all gave a curious look, then I removed my mask, hat and scarf and they swam to my side of the bridge in excitement and expectation of the contents of my bucket. I sat on the seaward side of the bridge with my feet dangled down. I gave them a few bites as I told them the story of my travels, to which they cared not one lick. Then we played games and performed tricks for the remainder of their meal, at one point racing the length of the bridge and back, or playing hide and seek from side to side. The later didn’t last near as long, as soon as they figured to split up and guard both sides. After the meal I told them I would be leaving soon and would visit upon my return. I left them to their round, full bellies lounging on the bank and headed back to town to return my pail, to tend to some quick business and clean up if time allowed.

I replaced my heavy coat, hat, and boot covers and had my armor and leathers cleaned. I purchased new crispy clean adventurers outfits for every member of the troupe resembling those they already wore with the help of the local merchants and guessed as best I could for Kori’el. Finally I returned to the Red Dragon Inn with a load of clothes to smiling, cheery faces and excused myself to the privacy of my room. OH MY!! The smell of fresh home cooking filled the air!! Baked breads, spices, hearty meat, fruit, it was all there!! My first order of business was to see to the unloading of the troupes haul from my pack to make more room for the things we would need to bring home. I locked it in a trunk and then I packed the troupes fresh change of clothes and bottles of wine, mead and spirits in my bag for the return to the Rune Forge. The only thing that remained to pack was the home cooked food! I tied Simon’s torch to the top of my partition and began to get out of my smelly, combat weary clothing. I removed my grimed and tattered overshirt and trousers. It is amazing the smells they hide…whew! I peeled away my undershirt and stockings and finally old bandages and poultices Xandu had applied for good measure (GAG!!)….EGADS what a wreck! I could never perform in such a state of unkempt, I would have to summon all my tricks and skill to recover from this much filth and disregard! I began the ritual in my room by warming the water and basin on my wash table. I used a mildly coarse stone and some powdered soap to scour my face clean. Then I knelt on the bison rug over the basin before me and rinsed and brushed my hair into it…EEEE-YEW-WAH! The filth that had dried from spatter and spray cut from the innards of untold foul creatures matting portions of my mane into clumps (TONGUE GAG!!!) while mostly soluble, pieces were evident! I scrambled to remove as much as possible as bathing in a soup of that fetid, rancid, putrescence was wholly undesirable!! I called a warning from the window and cast the contents of the basin to the street when all was clear. With a renewed sense of urgency I collected a towel, Simon’s soap, my bath oils and hair tonics and with absolute abandon raced to the bath! There I collected some hot water and scrubbed while standing in the “spit bath” or half barrel and washed with Simon’s soap, rinsing with the bucket of water until I felt free of the really nasty funk. Then I asked for some milk, two fresh eggs, and a heavy glass of the hard stuff. I asked the milk be placed by the window to allow it to chill. Then I gingerly slid into the full, stimulating tub of hot water as the surface swirled with vapors against the winter chill. I took two generous gulps of spirits and poured a healthy portion into the tub. As I laid in the steamy tub, melting away the hardness of the season and sustained combat I cracked the eggs over my head and worked them into my hair and left them to soak until half the heat had escaped from the tub. I asked for a new tub of water and another heavy glass of spirits. While the water was being changed I pulled the cold milk from the window and soaked my hair and face in it until my new bath was ready, then I rinsed my hair of the egg and milk wash in the “spit bath”. At last I was off to the final pleasure, the long hot soak! I poured a generous amount of scented oils in the tub. I washed slowly and methodically with Simon’s soap occasionally taking a stingy gulp of the spirits until there was but a fingers measure in the bottom of the glass. This was poured into my hand and used to wash my face, neck, and ears until the last of it was gone. I rinsed with a bucket of hot water after standing before the ajar window long enough for my skin to shiver and contract with goose bumps. FINALLY I FELT CLEAN AGAIN!! I wrapped in my towel and giggled off to my room.

I dabbed a light, yet fragrant, fruity oil along my neck line and between the girls, inside my hips and behind the knees. I dressed in a nice form fitting white pullover shirt with extra-long sleeves and a low split front that ties at the neck line....if you need it secured. I tied it in front of the sisters and called it good. Then I slipped into the black pants and boots and trotted down stairs to pay for my bathing regimen, dairy products and the rest of that bottle of spirits. The sideways glance made me feel like I had to explain. So I whispered to Lady Ameiko about the nasty brush and basin and that settled the discussion. As I began to head back to my room, I heard some of the regulars ask if I would perform for them, at first I said maybe, but quickly changed my mind after seeing their mood diminish. But I explained it would not happen until I was ready, and definitely wouldn’t happen if the troupe called on me. With some flattering (?) remarks and flirtatious banter I skipped off to my room.

The hair would have to wait, I poured half the remains of the spirits into the basin and swished it around, then I poured it out rinsed with water and poured it out again. The process was repeated with the brush after a good period of soaking! Afterwards I placed a few drops of spiced oil in my palms and rubbed it into my hair and let it set while I produced my paints and powders. Using the best makeup tricks my adopted parents taught me I produced the most elegant night look with warm natural color and brilliant bright eyes surrounded with heavy dark lashes and red summer apple colored lips. As I leaned away from Lucian’s mirror to inspect the hair, it was wavy and curly and shined with a healthy glow. So after a few minor fixes and pinning back one side I called it good. I gathered my gear just inside my door just in case the call came.

Gathering my performance mind set, I sauntered down to the commons to some approval and made my rounds from table to table playing with the regular patrons and being innocently flirtatious until it was agreed that everyone would sing while I danced, and if there was time I would sing a song or two. While dancing I noticed Simon’s Kitten with company having as much fun as she would allow herself, though it pained me to do so I finished my dance flirting with him. She was approving and entertained, and as normal I leaned in to make amends with the woman whose escort I had been so naughty, with a big smile….but with her….. this time….. the embrace was much longer and intense than normal! I separated quickly and made a concerted effort to fight the coming tears by taking suggestions for the first song…silly me! Of course they wanted the interactive sea shanty that required I move about the room and lite on the laps of every male patron…what was I thinking?!?! After that song I was a bit dewy and begged for a moment of rest before the last song. Soon the commons was again filled with another boisterous display at which I leapt onto a table and began to sing a lewd old pirate tale that was another favorite of the locals. It is a mostly humorous tale in which the successful drunken pirate is accidentally and comically slain in sword play with his rival. I always play the pirate and we have taken to have an Inn employee play the rival to keep the peace with the exuberant patrons. After dying at the hand of a serving wench wielding a broom stick, I retired to a seat at the bar to cool off and cool down from the rowdiness of the evening. It was fun and the Inn was lively. A much welcomed site I wished to have shared with my troupe! My thoughts went to their needs, their state of mind, I found myself doubting for the first time, it had been so long! Ameiko brought a generous collection from the patrons for my performance. That is when the call came. Xandu’s voice was heard calling my name asking where I was. Ameiko and I grinned as I adjusted myself and said “Ameiko’s Inn.” He asked if I had died…to which I answered “You just missed it…NO!” with a giggle. I looked at her like I assume the “Pasha” had looked at me when I produced Simon’s map of Varisia. Ameiko also played with him a bit just to increase his emotion that much more, she is a peach! He said all was well and he would notify me when they were to arrive. He asked if I had been here the whole time at which point I told him “NO, I had been somewhere else for three days waiting for this call and would tell the troupe about it when they returned for me, it was a LOOOONG story!” (CRICKETS….) Xandu finally asked “Well…so…but you’re OK?” “Yep just waitin for a ride!” I knew that would dig in a bit! “Ok well I’ll call on the morrow when we’ve had a chance to regroup and charged for the trip there.” He said. “Sounds shiny! Take care of the troupe!” as I looked up with a sweet smile and a wave.

After we felt the effect come to a close Ameiko took my hand, walked me to my room and said. “Young lady, you have had a rough road as late, and you have done what you can, for your companions, for this town and for your little sea monkeys! Give it a break, and DO NOT give up on those boys! They made it, you know that! Now clean yourself up and get in that bed quick! Your luck they’ll call two minutes after you fall asleep!(sniff…sniff) GOD’S OF ELYSIUM WHAT IS THAT STINK?!?!...” That made me break out in a shameful laugh as I pointed to the pile of tattered clothes….”After you get those retched smelling rags out of my Inn, LETS GO!” (snap,snap, snap!) I took them through the bath house to the burny pile, then ran back to the room and washed my face, lost the pants and boots and jumped into a warm bed…HMMM!?!

Sleep came fast, and deep! The night went by quietly. In the morning a gust of wind rattled the shutters and Uther’s chime! I shivered and was on the verge of sleep again in dream land when I heard his voice. It was calling my name….OH SNAP! “Hello?” I said. “Where are you?” Xandu asked. “Ameiko’s…i-i-in my room…YAWN!” I said. “Be ready, we’re gonna try this!” Xandu warned. “KAY!” I stretched to the squeak and dressed in my new clean clothes and gear, fixed my hair and rinsed a bit before placing my beautiful rose below Shelyn’s notch beneath my shirt. Then I grabbed my bag and scurried to the kitchen and informed them the troupe was arriving very soon. We prepared a table with a hot hearty plate and a full mug of spiced wine and mead for each of them. I placed their new clothes on a table next to their meals and sat patiently awaiting their arrival.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Moxie just won the internets. ;)

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Well, *I've* been humbled. I think Tangent's right. Moxie wins.

EDIT: And just to show you what I think, here's the IM I sent to Shiro and Raesh's players just now:

OK. In my humble opinion, this is the single-best campaign journal entry from anyone on any thread I've ever read, myself included. (Warning: It's LOOOOONG!): ournals-Included#721

Tangerine...Noble Harm - Thank you for your kindness. I am the one humbled. Thank you for your time and attention. Thank you for your interactions. It is highly appreciated, beyond your knowing!

(teary eyed blown kisses, smiling wave!)

Grand Lodge

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Well, in response to Moxies mini novella, it was completely random and made on the fly. Because I was trying to run a intensive fight with Azaven, his Devourer and the troupe I did notes with Moxies player to determine what plane she was sent to (all random) then had him work on rolls for time difference between the planes. In the end, he was with the Shaitan for 3-4 days while the group had only been fighting for a little over an hour.

I also didn't want to jerk the player around but had Moxie make 3 Diplomacy rolls, 1 for Grignak (player named - think Galaxy Quest), and the other 2 for the Shaitan. Both were good enough to bring them from Indifferent to Friendly for Grignak, and from Indifferent to Helpful for the Shaitan.

As for the group, we stayed in rounds for purposes of their Death Ward spell and they continued running amok looking for Azaven, when Grrrannie cast Locate Creature and they oriented back into F10 and found the secret door leading to F11. At this point I decided that all the sarcophagi were trapped, only 1 of which was open (and in essence having healed Azaven back to full. Davok dropped into the room and Azaven immediately opened another crypt (not his personal phylactery) and set off that trap. In the end not much damage was done other than a chain lightning. Force bombs that knock you prone end that, as well as that damned Aura spell shutting off spells. So he couldn't cast any of his quickened spells since they are essentially levels 1 through 3 and even though they take a 6th level slot can't be cast.

In the end the whole encounter ran 14 rounds when the Death Ward ran out. No deaths (other than Moxie being somewhere - and somewhen - else. Everything they fought was advanced and at max health. The group entered into the halls having just leveled to 14.

So super looting aside, they decided to try and teleport to Sandpoint (well Xandu did) and ended up falling in the void before he teleported back. They decided to do a Plane Shift after Grrrannie studied the spell. I figured it would be in one of the MANY spellbooks they have found here. BUT the monkey wrench to getting Moxie was the group deciding to make their anti-Karzoug weapons before they left.

So we did the animated Karzoug encounter. For this he was advance and at max health and they still killed him in 4 rounds. Some minor meta-gaming aside the encounter wasn't that threatening. Other than the same people failing their Slow save having also take DEX drain they were not affected by anything other than mass damage. My only real error was that it was supposed to chase Xandu as he was the one who made his weapon first. I did get to hit him twice and he was NOT feeling well but Force bombs that knock you prone with a DC 27 Reflex save is not going to generally be made by that statue.

We ended with the group having gone to Sandpoint, grabbed Moxie and teleported back to the standing stones so they could finish the Runeforge, or at least go into the Halls of Greed.

Scarab Sages

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How do you follow a "wall-o-text" like that?

From the diary of Kori’el Shalani, 5(?) Abadius:

I feel… different. Not myself. My temper is short, and I find myself snapping at the others when I speak; and they are snapping back. It might be the nature of this timeless hell that we are in, but Calypso says that it is a side effect of the Runeforged dagger on my hip.

After defeating the “ravenous dread zombie” (Freiderich’s words. He can be so exasperatingly pedantic sometimes), we ran and regrouped at the door to the portal chamber. Once again we found it empty, and I turned to Mother Not, “Do you have any way of locating the Liche? Time isn’t on our side!” She hemmed and hawed a bit, but finally did a spell, and slowly turning, pointed toward a wall. “He’s over that way,” she said; back in the direction of the urn-lined hallway. We ran, spreading out a bit on the way. Davok was first back in the sewing room, and exclaimed that there was a secret door in the floor that we had missed earlier; I could see nothing. As the rest arrived, he moved to the corner and opened the trap door, dropping through to a chamber below. I followed, to find myself in a burial chamber with three sarcophagi and a revitalized Liche. The fight was on again.

Our Death Wards wore off shortly after our arrival in the chamber, but the Liche didn’t last much longer. As he fell and our protection failed, we discovered that waves of negative energy were coming from the sarcophagi, a magickal trap of some potency. We all hastily exited the chamber (except for Rikert, whose own protection was still working). We healed and examined some of the treasures that Rikert had retrieved from below, and Xandu settled in to scry for Moxie.

He found her back in Sandpoint of all places, and instantly came up with a plan to retrieve her. We discussed for a bit (we had plenty of time after all, we needed to regain our spells) and decided that since we had the materials to make Dominant Runeforged weapons, we should do so BEFORE we left to retrieve Moxie, just in case we were somehow prevented from re-entering the Runeforge, and that we should all go back to Sandpoint (dropping off all the treasure we had accumulated so far, to make room for whatever else we might find on our return—not to mention the dragon hoard outside the front gate). We then rested as best we could, and those of us who prepare our spells did so.

At the Runeforge, Xandu went first, and enchanted a flaming Ranseur he had picked up in the Halls of Wrath. Nice little “up yours” touch there, I thought. There was an intense flash of magickal energy, and then a ray of light shone from the Runeforge on Karzoug’s statue. It spoke to us, animated and attacked, breathing some sort of magickal aura that slowed our actions. It seemed to be some sort of Golem, and my knowledge of such things told me that I didn’t have access to any spells that could harm it. Its size and speed made it nearly impossible to avoid, so I started on my protective spells. It ignored me utterly, seeming to concentrate its attacks on Xandu and whoever was able to harm it. Mother Not did some sort of hex on the thing, and each time that it struck one of us, it seemed to develop cracks; eventually (after striking Rikert), it simply fell apart.

Feeling somewhat apprehensive, I approached the Forge and followed the steps to make another weapon, this one a dagger I had appropriated from the Liche. No more statues came to life, and we took it in turn to Ruenforge our chosen weapons (I never even considered trying it on Calypso; it was hard enough to talk him into letting me carry a dagger enchanted in such a way). Xandu then cast Plane Shift, Mother Not Plane Shifted us back, and we teleported to Sandpoint. We dropped off our excess baggage with Fr. Zantus, collected Moxie (she bought me clothes! I’ve gotten really tired of mending my old outfit), teleported back to Rimeskull, retrieved the keys (and I incidentally learned how to go about that), and headed up the mountain. Moxie seems to want to talk to the guardian elementals for some reason…

I *love* the inclusion of the Dominant Weapon effects in the writing! Kudos!

I'm amazed how different groups find different things difficult: My group had only 1 death and 1 Feeblemind in the Runeforge, yet the statue of Karzoug nearly killed the paladin!

Carry on, adventurers, carry on!

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Eagerly awaiting the next one. :)

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Xandu’s Journal Entry:

I was panicked, Moxie was possibly dead and I had no way to try and speak with her. Scrying takes so long and we still need to find the Wizard (litch). I was thinking that he maybe in the negative energy field that we had seen before. The Golem was slowly climbing up the pit of crypts and the troupe was spread about. I had to heal Davok, his brain was pouring out of a hole in his head but with Desna’s power it was easily repaired. The troupe gathered at the doors to the negative portal room and we entered ready for a fight but no one was there. GrAnnie then cast a spell to locate the litch and pointed towards where he had been when he had vanished. It was a foot race back into the halls of the mummies and back to the secret room.

Davok had located another secret door in the floor of the litch's room and some of the troupe had jumped into it but we could tell that there wasn’t enough room for everyone. The one’s that could make it were fighting the litch. They eventually took it down and had to pass up one of our fallen so I could heal him and that gave room for Rikert to go down and clear the room. While he was there I started my scrying on Moxie. Sweat covered my brow as I franticly gathered her possessions to aid in the scrying. I was able to get her and she was in the Rusty Dragon along side Ameiko???. I was in shock. I asked (rather stupidly) if she was dead. She said no but was waiting to tell us what had happened until we came for her. ARRRRGGG

I told everyone that Moxie was alive and well in Sandpoint. We then rested so that I could try and get us to Moxie. Some wanted to make our rune forge weapons first but I couldn’t wait that long. As soon as I could I tried to teleport out but ended in the void or a void. I felt like I was falling and didn’t know what had gone wrong I didn’t know how much time I had so I tried to teleport back and (Blink) I was back with the troupe.

They were quite put out that I had tried but at least we knew that teleporting out of the rune forge was not an option. I then disgusted plane shifting with GrAnnie and she said she could use a spell from one of the spell books. The troupe was adamant about the weapons so I waited. I still felt the need to be reunited with Moxie and couldn’t think straight.

We departed our safe place, each of us with the items needed to make weapons to fight Karzoug. As we entered the rune forge with the giant pool, it’s tentacle’s started flowing out, touching us and our weapons. I took the items from my pouch and tossed them into the pool then I took the Flaming Ranseur that I had taken from the Halls of Wrath. I thought it fitting since I use a long spear but hardly ever use a weapon any more. Plus it was a favored weapon of one of the Rune Lords so…. take that.

It just sat there in the pool. Did it not work? I picked it back out and that’s when the fit it the shan. Karzoug’s voice rumbled and spoke laughing at us telling us we would die. Then His statue came to life and attacked. I sped around trying to stay out of it’s reach and yet keep as many of the troupe within my healing burst. GrAnnie cast a spell that made it take damage as it damaged us so as long as I could keep us healthy it would lose this fight. That’s just what I did.

After the statue fell, the rest of the troupe was able to make their weapons. Then we gathered all that we could take back to Sandpoint. First I plane shifted us to the place I meet Hannah for morning prayers. We weren’t there long but I think she was around, just watching us. From there GrAnnie plane shifted us to our plane fairly close to Sandpoint and from there it was a quick teleport to the Rusty Dragon and MOXIE!!!!

I tried to be professional but I think I hugged Moxie a bit to long. I just didn’t want to let go. I think she was blushing as she lightly pushed me back and greeted the rest of the troupe. She had new clothes for everyone. Ameiko was there along with the Mayor and the Sheriff. Father Zantus greeted us as well. The visit was a blur. There just wasn’t time (funny that). A few short hours later we had teleported back to the mountains and regained the keys necessary to open the portal.

Tangent101 wrote:
All I can think of is the two of you dueling with words... and then Hurricane Moxie arrives. =^-^=

Tangent called it. Moxie wins with a Hurricane entry.

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Ok...maybe not so patiently....(tap, tap,tap!)I raced up to my room, checked myself in the mirror and for all intents and purposes the nights sleep had done me no harm! (HUZZAH!) The hair was quickly placed and the eyes were lined. Thats when I heard the pooft of arcane transport outside. I quickly dabbed a touch of fragrant oil behind my ears and slid down the stairs to greet my troupe! I gave each a great hug! WHEW! Each had the smell of the Rune Forge still about them mingled with the stench of battle. Xandu had the mix of of everyone's stench about him and it was ripe!I encouraged each of them to eat and tried to persuade them of the powerful "healing" effect of a hot bath before changing into their new clothes! I even offered to work the knots out of shoulders and walk their backs to snap bones back into place afterwards. I had done this for my adopted parents time and again because they found my size, and more specifically, the size of my feet to be perfect for the job. As time, our ever present enemy weighs heavy on their minds, we will see how long they wish to linger and how much they will embrace the good spirit and comfort all were willing to provide during the short stay in an attempted rejuvenation. "EGADS! What took a bite out of you?" Duh'rock looked ROOOUUUGH!! Even for a half-blood orc....which is saying something. Realizing I had just said something mildly inappropriate...out loud, I followed it quickly with "Makes ya look tough...MEAN...ARRRRGH!!!" with a giggle and a big smile. (YEESH!!) Can't say I'm sorry to have missed whatever they endured in my absence!

Scarab Sages

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A Zombie tried to eat his brain. It's ok though, he wasn't using it.

Grand Lodge

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So last night the gang (now all back together) went back to the Runeforge to specifically go through the Hall of Greed to see if there is any info that they could gain. Along the way they arrive back at the dragon hoard and with multiple ant hauls and dumping all mundane gear out of their handy haversacks they fill up with all the gear and head back to Sandpoint using their last teleport for the day. Ameko agrees to let them store it in Tsuto's old room below the glassworks and they dump it all and rest for the night before heading right back to the runeforge entrance in the morning.

The start of the night only had Koriel, Davok, Xandu and Friedrich in attendance as the rest were delayed. So I got to run the first part of the halls as written. I accidentally baited the players into triggering the trap door at the entrance to the halls. I had commented how I was surprised no one had bought Gloves of Reconnaissance. Thats when Davok, had a light bulb go off and he commented that he forgot he had them. So he walked over and placed his hands on the door. A brief glimpse of the giant piston and the mechanical workings was the only warning he had as both he and Koriel dived out of the way and the door smashed Friedrich and Xandu against the opposite wall for 67 points of damage.

They found the secret door and proceeded to the morphing mist. But because they held their breath, had the weapons they made it through without any problem. The mephit encounter was the group just ignoring them essentially because both Diplomacy attempts only netted a 16 each which did nothing to improve their disposition to the party. It was about this time that Moxie and Grrannie showed up and everything became the usual advanced/max health self. As it turns out the golems never stood a chance. I got a couple of hits in, but the arrows from Davok, and force bombs that knock you down meant they were no threat.

Some of the fun moments were the fact that the group knew that some of the goldfish were more magical than others and they thought that they goldfish were turning into the golems every time they started down a hallway. Because of the golems slow movement (and I tracked their progress toward the threat) they would show up a round or two after the party would kill a golem and start down a hallway or investigate the fabrication rooms. Another theory was it was the mephits creating them. :)

Eventually they arrived at the Mithral Mages lab and the fight started. He managed to get off a Cone of Cold and Prismatic Spray but the damage he caused was average at best. The only truly annoying thing was I finally hit Friedrich (who was not in dust form), but he got the poison beam and being an alchemist was immune to poison. Its a curse I tell you! :)

They dropped him painfully low in a few rounds (and he even made the save to not get knocked down by force bombs) and ended the night with him Dimension Door-ing out. They should finish up the wing next week.

Scarab Sages

From the diary of Kori’el Shalani, 6 Abadius:

Xandu cast Wind Walk, and we scudded up the mountain to the entrance. In the end, Moxie had nothing to say to the elementals, and we wafted into the cave and down to the dragon hoard at the entrance to Runeforge. We spent a couple of hours sorting through the treasure, finding some useful items, deciding who could best use what, and then trading hand-me-downs. I found a Pearl of Power (1st level), and Davok gave me his +2 Cloak of Resistance (my old +1 then went into the treasure pile, since everyone had one at least that good). Xandu and Mother Not picked up a healing wand and some scrolls, then we packed all the loose stuff into our haversacks, bundled up the bulkier stuff and hoisted it (Ant Haul, courtesy of Xandu and Friederich), and teleported back to Sandpoint. Ameiko was kind enough to lock the stuff up for us in the basement of the glass works, and we got hot meals, a bath, and a night in a bed before teleporting directly back to the Runeforge entrance.

Using the keys we had retrieved the day before, we opened the portal and headed back into hell, moving directly to the Halls of Greed after Runeforging a weapon for Moxie. As we walked down the opulent hallway toward a jewel-encrusted door at the far end, I cast my Stoneskin spell yet again. I’m getting low on components for that, but it’s just too useful and long lasting to forego in this place. It was a good thing I did, because the instant that Davok laid his hands on the door to scout, the trap sprung. He and I managed to leap aside in time, but Xandu and Friederich were smashed into the opposite wall with crushing force. I felt sorry for them, but had to stifle a small chuckle all the same. After the trap reset, Davok pointed out the secret door into the complex (did he notice that before and just not tell us? He reacted awfully quickly when that trap went off…) and we walked on, soon coming to a wall of shimmering green and silver mist. It was some type of transmutation magic but I couldn’t tell what it did, so I decided to hold my breath and plunge through as fast as possible. It was about 40’ to the room at the other end, where I was immediately berated by a group of water Mephits in a fountain. I told them that I didn’t intend to foul their fountain, but they didn’t seem inclined to be helpful so I ignored them and shouted back to my companions, who all got through the fog without incident.

Down the hallway to the left, we found another large open room with yet another fountain, this one topped with a statue. As soon as I stepped into the room the statue animated and attacked; it hit me once, but didn’t hurt much. I went defensive and prepared to distract it, but Friederich hit it with force bombs and my attempt at distraction went out the window. Mother Not contributed in a positive way with her Retribution hex, Davok began firing and I hit it with a Pool Strike (magus arcana, no spell resistance or save, so the only damaging thing I could hit it with. Also a crit. Note: Keen rapier [threat range 15-20], anatomist, critical focus and Unerring Weapon [+10 to confirm crits all together] means that when Kori’el hits, she crits A LOT). Friederich got smacked since I couldn’t get between him and the stone golem, but then dropped it with more bombs. As the others searched around, I went to check the exit, and discovered another stone golem coming down the hall toward us. Since we caught it in the corridor, this fight went a little better; in the end we fought four of them, and destroyed them all with only minor injuries to our side. Rikert spent the entire time “polishing his helmet” as far as I could see.

Along the halls, we found a number of rooms crammed with mundane material. Nothing of interest there. At length, we came to a door that lead to a workspace, and an occupant that wasn’t a stone golem. I tried to speak with him in Thassilonian (he had a bit of an Azlanti look about him, aside from the metallic skin), but as an answer he hit us with a cone of cold. We, of course, charged in to engage him. This guy was good. He hit Davok with a Disintegrate spell, caught most of us in a Prismatic Spray, and then all of us (I think) with a fireball, all in quick succession. Davok and Moxie were shooting, Friederich was throwing bombs, and for my part I hit him with a Maximized Cone of Cold (two can play that game!) and a Lightning Bolt (which didn’t seem to harm him in the slightest, but didn’t seem to heal him either), then closed in for the kill… just as he Dimension Doored away. I REALLY need to talk to Sheldor about taking over some of Xandu’s healing chores, so that I can teach Xandu how to counterspell that nonsense…

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Useplanb wrote:
The mephit encounter was the group just ignoring them essentially because both Diplomacy attempts only netted a 16 each which did nothing to improve their disposition to the party.

Your most diplomatic party members have +15 Diplomacy or less?


I think my party's bard could sneeze and people would find it so cute he'd get a 32. Both the pally and bard have maxed-out Diplomacies, so I'm not used to rolls below 40...

...apparently my party is far fonder of talking to people...

Scarab Sages

Kori'el has no diplomacy skill at all. She rolled an 18, and the -2 for carrying a dominant weapon brought her to 16. I thought she did pretty well.

Our party "diplomat" is Rikert (who wasn't in attendance last night), and that's only because he has a high CHA score. I don't think he's wasted a precious skill point on Diplomacy.

Way back when, Uther had some charisma and spent skill points on diplomacy. If he'd lived, he would probably be the "face" character for the group. As for the rest, a scowl and hand on a weapon hilt seems to suffice. ;)

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Kori'el wrote:

Our party "diplomat" is Rikert (who wasn't in attendance last night), and that's only because he has a high CHA score. I don't think he's wasted a precious skill point on Diplomacy.


Rikert has a 15-16 in Diplomacy. I've spent quite a few of my not-very-many-to-start-with skill points trying to keep his skills balanced, but with a focus on Diplomacy.

(Also, Lucien was putting points into Diplomacy before Nualia killed him.)

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Ooooh! I seem to have caused a Diplomacy rift!

Tee hee! Being evil is fun!

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Yup. It is. =^-^=

I was worried my Skyrim (Reign of Winter) group was going to lose their face, but she got a new summer job so she could drop the restaurant job and have her weekends back. The Skype (Runelords) group has the Sorceress who's their face, though a couple of the characters have a decent Diplomacy besides her.

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NobodysHome wrote:
Useplanb wrote:
The mephit encounter was the group just ignoring them essentially because both Diplomacy attempts only netted a 16 each which did nothing to improve their disposition to the party.

Your most diplomatic party members have +15 Diplomacy or less?


I think my party's bard could sneeze and people would find it so cute he'd get a 32. Both the pally and bard have maxed-out Diplomacies, so I'm not used to rolls below 40...

...apparently my party is far fonder of talking to people...

That's right! and my AC is 22, Highest attk numbers start at 21, with a single musket damage of d10+10(+4d6 Snk when apropos), highest save is REFLEX 16, the only impressive skill I have is stealth at 32ish, many in the teens-20, a number of 10's and a handful below ten one of which is diplomacy! I'm kinda shy when meeting new folk's for the first time...sorta stage frighty! This troupe has ensured I stay current on all things fighty and sneaky! Otherwise I wouldn't be speaking to you as...ME!

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Moxie wrote:
That's right! and my AC is 22, Highest attk numbers start at 21, with a single musket damage of d10+10(+4d6 Snk when apropos), highest save is REFLEX 16, the only impressive skill I have is stealth at 32ish, many in the teens-20, a number of 10's and a handful below ten one of which is diplomacy! I'm kinda shy when meeting new folk's for the first time...sorta stage frighty! This troupe has ensured I stay current on all things fighty and sneaky! Otherwise I wouldn't be speaking to you as...ME!

Of all things I might call you, Moxie (any many would be complimentary, and some might make you blush,) "shy" is NOT one of them...

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Oh how kind! Thank you!...hmmm?...OK...Lemme 'splain! Orphaned at a young age, felt like an outsider until adopted by a couple of acrobats/singers/actors, I learned to assume a persona that would ingratiate me into general acceptance through these arts. Performance is different than common interaction...for me. I assume a role and "I" don't have to invest with the person beyond that point! I can, and have done it before,(thank you dice...errr...Shelyn!)but I do not excel at it. It is simply uncomfortable to me...why would some one I don't know want to take the time to talk with the likes of me (worthless orphaned gnome child)?!? I am a simple common gnome, from simple folk,from little-no-wheres-ville who hides behind a mask of moderate talent that some find entertaining. It begs the question...would they(?) like the real me???...

Hmm?!? Maybe thats also why it's so hard for me to open up even to those I am fond of..err...close to...UGG!?! ;)

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Gentle Moxie,
Pay no heed to the ramblings of the lout Noble Harm. His name says all you need. I know of not one instance where harm can be considered "noble"!

You have proven time and again in your writings to be a kind, gentle, and good soul. No amount of miming or apery can disguise the fundamental goodness within you.

Do not discount yourself so easily! It was only half in jest that I invited you to my plane! I believe you would find it warm and welcoming, as it is to all good souls. And you are certainly one of them.

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It has been a lot of fun playing this AP as a rag tag group (troupe) of miss fits. We don't have high stats and for a change it's been a lot of fun bumbling around. I would say Friedrich and Kori'el are the most learned of us followed by Rikert. The rest of us are just regular folk on an adventure. We've tried not to meta game to much. It's fun playing because we truly need each other for our individual strengths. No one person dominates. We all have to help in order to survive.

Scarab Sages

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That is so, Lint. Even though I may joke about Mother Not (and all her player's characters) being useless, she still counts, and her presence makes things easier (sometimes MUCH easier) for the rest of us. Same goes for Sheldor. Sure we can get along without someone, but the whole in our case is way more than just the sum of the parts. Maybe that comes from having played together for (in my case) almost twenty years.

Damn, I'm old.

Kori'el wrote:

That is so, Lint. Even though I may joke about Mother Not (and all her player's characters) being useless, she still counts, and her presence makes things easier (sometimes MUCH easier) for the rest of us. Same goes for Sheldor. Sure we can get along without someone, but the whole in our case is way more than just the sum of the parts. Maybe that comes from having played together for (in my case) almost twenty years.

Damn, I'm old.

Talk to me when you're about to celebrate 40 years of playing. Then you can gripe.

(Of course, then we can reminisce about hiding brand new freshly-minted $2 bills under our mattresses for the bicentennial, sure that they would be worth a fortune, and then look them up on eBay last month and see they're worth like $5 each and weep.)

Hey, don't you guys have a campaign to run or something?

I'll shut up and go away now... at least until we get more story!

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Why aren't they worth $2?

Though to be honest, every time I find a bicentennial quarter I snag and keep it. :)

'cause they're old and I'm charming. Or is it the other way around?

D'oh! You made me post!

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

*holds up a sign with the word "Evil" on it, and an arrow pointing down at himself*

Scarab Sages

Almost twenty years... with THIS GROUP. I've been playing RPG's since Basic Electricity/Electronics school in 1978 (NTC San Diego).

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