The Great Adventure

The Final Frontier...
The love of Nova, Fiends, Flying through the Void.

We rejoin the party having just left Kassanoody’s Kottage. Man but if that wasn’t the most relaxing 18 hours the party had spent together… Probably since we visited Left Eyeless Louis so many… weeks ago? It felt like a lifetime had passed. The party emerged to the same dull light that had been shining when they first arrived in the strange pyramid. Having had enough of this strange extra-planar place, the group starts heading out straight for the grey door, with the intention of getting back to the slightly more predictable chaos of being wanted fugitives on the run.
As the group gets under way, Nova arrives, flooding Tierra with images of “positive, positive. Mild attraction” ahh, it would seem that old dog Roark had caught her eye. The group is almost home free at the exit door when Roark tells them that there is a strange pyramid in the centre of this larger pyramid. Deciding that they’d better check It out, Garion reasoning that an opportunity to prevent the capture of future adventurers was one they couldn’t pass up.
On the way to the central pyramid the party is accosted by dark fiends.
Lightson, excited to finally put his guano to use, flings a fireball into the fray, seemingly forgetting the blast radius on the thing. He catches two of the fiends, but also Gam and Hanlon. Live and learn. Hanlon exchanges a few blows with one of the fiends, and Gar strikes home with Ferguson. The group is surprised when Gamalian holds out his hand and speaks a strange name: “Mijimé”, summoning the jewelled dagger to his hand.
Gar takes one down, the fiend exploding in an icy blast. Gam shoots the next fiend, slaying it, but not after copping a secret feel of our brave Priestess. The battle complete, the group loots some swords and some mystery balls.
Tierra takes the time to confront Gam about the Mijimé. The group is divided on who should carry the dagger, Garion sides with his brother, his faith renewed that Gamalian can be responsible enough to not do anything dangerous.
[…]
The group makes it to the central pyramid, finding a small pyramid, with small hemispherical depressions on each face. In the bushes nearby, the party finds small hemispherical stones, about exactly the size of the depressions in the pyramid faces. Garion decides to take the plunge first, and places one of the stones into a depression. He vanishes. Next Tierra, Gamalian, and Lightson repeat the procedure. Hanlon is beset by more fiends before he can join the rest of the group. After serenely wiping the floor with the fiends, he manages to get hand to stone and vanishes himself…
Garion dropped into a strange dark realm. Apparently on a roughly circular platform of rock, floating in an infinite void. In the distance Garion could see other floating rocks. In an effort to stand tall and see as much of the surrounding area as he could, Garion found he could float. Soon the rest of the party came through, and Garion excitedly relayed their new abilities in this strange place.
The only feature of note on the platform was a small sign, written in a strange text which was strangely legible to the party. The sign read: “This stop decommissioned, please use another.” Well that’s a strange set of words…
The group decides they should do some experimenting over the edge of the platform, in preparation for travel to one of the nearby visible platforms floating in the void. It turns out the group can fly out over the edge of the platform as well. They all tie themselves together, and Garion takes off, a little faster than he should have, jerking Hanlon and Gamalian at the end of the rope. Eventually the team gets the hang of it, and makes it to the next platform. After circling around it, they find a similar sign to the one that was posted on the first platform. This one however has a large circular button on it. The group touches the circular object, it lights up and a sound is heard: “Call Accepted”. The button could not be toggled off after pressing it, so the group decides it is time to rest and wait.
After several hours pass, and the group gets some much needed rest, an object can be seen approaching in the distance. It seems to be a boat, or a barge of some kind, with rows of large oars extending out the sides. The boat was approaching impossibly fast, until something was dropped out of the back of it, an anchor?
The anchor catches in the aether, as if it were solid ground, and sparks fly out from it as the boat is decelerated and brought to a halt next to the party’s platform.
A strange man, overly happy and speaking like some sort of Carnival master (with a C, not a K) announces to the party: “1000 g’s, sail the seas! Low on Wealth? Pay in Health! Feeling Poor? Pull some Oar!” Further inquiries by the party are met with a repeat of the same message. Hanlon, Tierra, and Lightson decide to pull Oar, as well as Garion, who changes his mind when he sees Gamalian choose to pay health. Garion changes his mind and pays in health as well, both of them take a nasty hit as they step aboard, feeling quite drained, though happy they didn’t have to pull oar in their drained status…

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Roark, come on my shoulder... that's not what I meant.
DM appreciation month

We start the evening with a presentation of Gin and Collage to DMJ for all the fine work he does.

start scene:
Much mirth, lots of back slapping and dick waggling after the smiting of the nasty Demon. Tiran, a bit shy, pulls his cloak from the Bag of Holding. While he is doing this, we notice that under his arms, it’s all shimmery, like a solid shadow. No evil detected.
We are about to do further examinations, when we hear a big BANG from down the loot hallway. Something is coming.
Hanlon quaffs a Resist Heat Potion and heads for the flaming door, with Damdrah in hand. Meanwhile, Kasa and Inthin are throwing spells at the loot door to hold it fast. Inthin has it wedged pretty tightly with vines anchoring it to the stone walls.
There is a mad rush to the Bag of Holding and people get all suited up in their gear.
Hanlon tries to go through the flame door, to no effect other than being blasted back into the middle of the room slightly singed and smoking.
Basso Profondo at the loot door, but Kasa and Inthin are still holding it.
Gar checks a door to find a long halway, as does Tierra (down the hall from whence the demon came). Tierra heads down her’s and Gar provides cover at the doorway.
Meanwhile, Tiran and Gam are working on the runes around the flaming door hoping to effect release. Gam recognises a trap mechanism and opens the door. Hanlon immediately heads for the door. The big thing at the loot door is starting to break through and causes a ripple of fear through the team. Kasa, Inthin, Hanlon and Gam are OK, but everyone else shits bricks and runs towards the door. Hanlon, Gar, Tiran and Roark get through just as the door closes. Hanlon goes back through the black portal just as a firey hand reaches through the loot door. Hanlon shouts words of encouragement, not that they were required or made any difference.
Kasa invites us to spend some time at Kasanoody’s Kottage, a bardic spell for secure shelter. Kasa grabs the key from under the mat and opens the door. After a bit of uncivilised jostling, we enter. “Snug as a bug in a rug and warded to the nuts” Kasa starts a fire in the fireplace and cots are brought out. There is smoked meat and cheeses in the kitchenette and 4 Vines Red wine (200gp) on offer.
We see some dark faces at the windows, but Kasa insists that we need not worry about what it outside.
There is a toast to the hosts, and a thanks to Roark and some discussion of a debt of honour, which it is agreed can mean much or nothing.
Kasa gives Tiran a scroll bound with a ribbon. On the scroll are 4 spells: 2x protection from evil, 1x protection from chaos, 1x dimensional door.
Although Tiran looks like he’s about to dive headfirst into a bottle of wine, Kasa convinces him that he would be better off studying his spells before imbibing any further. We all get 8 hours of rest.
Over a light breakfast, it is story time. We all take turns telling each other about our personal ordeals behind the black door. Kasa listens in with the warning that anything good will end up in a bardic tale. We try half assedly to negotiate payment, but after listening to Kasa’s light hearted, but very possible, threats of time travel, and undoing things, we let it go with some mention of “future considerations” which again, can mean much or nothing.
Hanlon makes a marginally sucessful pass at Inthin, but only the two of them are aware of it.

Gear: we get all of our original stuff out of the Bag of Holding, plus 10 percent. In that 10 percent, it’s mostly junk, with the following exceptions:
Scroll – magic, scroll of shatter. Magic weapon, cleric spell.
Goggles – goggles of minute seeing – microscope googles.
Wooden box – scrimshaw out of bone. small characters/figures. beautiful.

Kasa entertains us with songs and stories, for example the “Tribe of Ogres”. We are led to beleive that he speaks some Ogre-ese.

We have a bit of time to inspect and test Tiran’s “Black Flanges” He goes up to the second floor and jumps. He catches some wind, but still takes 3 damage, which we sense is about half what he should have taken. When he wraps the flanges around himself, he seems to blend into the backgroud, and our eyes fall off him.
Tierra (nat20) “seems to have merged a bit with Roark” bit of glide, hiding, no damage cackle
Roark “like this cackle?” and deals us all a bunch of sonic damage.
Hanlon and Gam quickly test Mijime. Gam fails to stop it, but Hanlon is able to overcome it.

We get a bit more rest and everyone is fully healed up. Tiran tries to “hide” his wings and they physically disappear. He can bring them back at will.

The Kottage begins to quiver and Kasa announces that his work here is done. “We came to help a friend and pay back a group who dealt with us in good faith.” When we start to ask for more help, he resonds with “Perhaps you are meant to be here”
Before he leaves though, he asks us for a favour: “Spread the word of Kasanoody’s Karnival. We aspire to be the best. Mention my dive roll. Two K’s”
Gam: “You shall forever be a friend”
Kasa in Ogre-ese “It’s been a punch in the face”
Inthin become winged and grasps Kasa, hauling him upwards.

“Two souls departing, Romario Kasanoody, and Inthin”

end scene

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Rork Lives!!
Buhler's Write Up

Was she truly free? Tierra grinned at Hanlin as he replaced the now loose spikes back into their stony home. Monks were more useful than they might first appear.

Hanlin jogged over to his own place only moments before their captors reappeared on the other side of the flame. They seemed ready to torture the oddest looking captive when the flames on the portal door dimmed and an ogre stumbled through.

The two demons descended on him instantly, screeching and slashing at him with their chain-whips. The Ogre made one heroic blow on a demon before slumping to the floor. Using the short battle as cover, Tierra twice called Sophia to flow through her and heal the group.

A little better for the wear, Tierra’s friends gazed downwards apparently attempting to hide their newfound hope. All, that is, except Garian who stares at the demons with contempt.

The demons, though, continue their task of chaining the Ogre to the wall.

Hanlin uses this moment to free himself from the wall and sneak up to the flame.

“Hanlin!” Tierra wispers urgently. “Hanlin, free me. Please.”

Hanlin looks torn, but eventually concedes and frees Tierra’s feet. The two companions sneak up to the fire, Tierra grabbing an abandoned hammer on the way, and attempt to find an opportunity to attack their captors.

Garian chooses a different approach, and walks boldly toward the creatures.

The demons appear surprised, but move to engage him.

Deciding that there is no better moment, Tierra removes her magical feather from her hair. She lines the demons up and unleashes a gale at the fire, forcing it to burn her torturers. One is caught off-guard and is blown against the wall.

Garian uses this moment to charge the demon, but she’s more agile than Tierra would have guessed and catches Garian with a solid whip strike and claw to the ribs.

Meanwhile, a glance back at Tiran shows him casting a spell and pointing at the ground.

Hanlin rushes past Tierra to attack Garian’s foe from behind.

Tierra rushes back to free Gam.

Garian attacks with his bonds as an improvised weapon, striking with surprising force. He connects twice.

Hanlin punches her from behind in a flurry, landing one solid strike.

The demon which was blown down sprints for the door which the large and dangerous-looking thing came out of.

Tierra made a dash towards this creature and at the same time a fist-sized stone flew at her, glancing off her shoulder. Undaunted and quick, the demon managed to open the door and disappear through it before Tierra or the stone could do anything.

Meanwhile, the demon fighting Garian takes a couple solid blows from Han, grimaces and delivers a powerful strike on Garian. She looks pissed!

Tierra spins and returns to removing Gam’s bonds.

From across the room Tierra could hear Garian’s voice “St. Cupthart!” What the…? When did he get religious? He cracks his demon foe sending her to the dust, then without missing a beat, he picks her up and tosses her into the flames at the room’s centre.

Weak cheers erupt from around the room.

The fire chews on this unearthy corpse for a minute and then tosses it aside.

“Han, lets get this door secure!” Tierra was surprised by the urgency in her own voice. But Hanlin was already thinking the same thing and rushing over. With a hammer, spike and chain, they managed to lash the steel door’s handle to a spike driven into the wall.

Tierra manages to free Gam, and to help Hanlin remove Tiran’s chains as well. She didn’t even notice that Garian was in search of their gear until he was handing her the Fist, her magical meteor hammer.

The appearance of the groups weapons encouraged a general stampede to the storage area, leaving only Tierra and Garian to figure out how to defend themselves.

Tierra busied herself with assessing injuries of the other prisoners. The hag-creature nearest Big Evil’s door rattled her chains demanding to be let go, but Tierra was not convinced that the hag was truly going to help them and there were others with more promising allegiances.

The humans, and the elf-goat creature all were already dead. The blue-coloured and very odd creature was closest, so Tierra focused her attention on it. She got it free in less than a minute—she was getting good at this task—and it said some words that sounded kind and grateful though Tierra could not understand it. It fled out the door near the gear. Tierra rushed to the cyclopse, hoping to recruit someone with some strength.

A clanging noise behind the big door drew her attention. Big Evil is coming. Tierra and Garian rushed forward to prepare for the beast.

Deciding that Garian was too weak, Tierra called again to Sophia to heal them in preparation for the big confrontation. After a few large shakes, the door breaks inward revealing a menacing figure and a cold that clutched at their hearts. Tierra considered fleeing, but with Garian standing strong she felt, somehow, safe.

Garian stepped forward, delivering a massive blow. Tierra put everything into her own attack but the glowing blue meteor glanced harmlessly off the terrifying beast.

A small demon being darted out from behind the great beast and delivered a whip-strike and claw to Tierra. Tierra’s world turned white with pain for a few moments.

Garian also took a blow, but from the large beast’s oversized claws.

Realizing that they were out-matched and in trouble, both heroes turned to flee their foes. Almost at the gear-door, the flame flairs up announcing the entrance of another being into this hell-realm.

“Cassinudy!” She hears from Garian behind her.

Tierra stops mid-flee and turns to see Cassinudy and Inthin calmly standing at the entrance. The evil beings immediately recognize their more powerful foes and rush at the new-comers.

The naked heroes scamper back into the battle to help their rescuers with the battle. Tierra says a quick, but meaningful prayer. Garian and Hanlin rush and drop the demon while Tarian gets something from the bag-o-holding.

Ithin waves her staff around and all in the room could smell fresh meadow grass. It improved everyone’s spirits, except the Devil who looked, for the first time, stricken.

This gave Gam an opening that he’d been waiting for. An arrow flew true to it’s target—perhaps the best-shot arrow Gam had ever shot, and the beast looked truly hurt. Garian sneaks over to flank Big Evil.

That gives Tierra a chance to cast a spell summoning a lantern icon from another, more peaceful plane. It barely blinks into this reality before striking at the devil with a ray of light.

Big Evil has his own ideas and casts a spell that causes many within earshot to be cursed with invisible but damaging spiders.

That’s when Cassinudy begins singing. It’s a folky song about a far-away adventurer and battle, but it calms them all. It actually breaks the spell of spiders for several of the victims.

Somehow, even while singing, Cassinudy charges the great beast, striking twice with swords, one with lightning crackling.

Tirian casts a spell which seems to melt off the beast while Tierra and Hanlin rush around behind the evil being to add more flankers. They need not have, though, as Cassinudy steps forward and lets another two blows destroy the beast.

Inthin brings forward another round of meadow-calm and several of the evil creatures in the room die from exposure to it.

That’s when she smiles, removes her backpack and rock flies out.

“Roark!” It’s Gam who yells it first, but everyone cheers.

It does not take long for Roark to take advantage of the audience and weave a story about escaping the upper pyramid-place, and returning to their native plane.

He realized that he was hurt and alone, so he flew to find the only people that he knew—Cassinudy and friends. He realized that they were heading for the cyclopse-cave and so he bee-lined for that destination, with one injured wing. Fortunately he found their band and could lead them back to the fog and the pyramid world.

The group of them traveled into the white door first, encountering a hostile and frozen world, where they had to fight off dire wolves and snow-beasts. But they made it out and then decided to check the black door where they found this lot.

No one in the party likely heard much of the story. All anyone could think was, Roark lives!

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Rork Gone?!?
John M's Write Up

Tiran’s soul aches. The empiness threatened to overwhelm him.

Not now. The band of warriors still had their weapons drawn, daring to catch their breath just after such recent combat.

Tiran knows he needs to focus. Put those negative thoughts away at this time. The weapons and equipment of those fallen had been piled, and the wizard casts detect magic. From the large and small victims of the battle, various items are identified. It includes magic swords, black poison, blow guns, blackjacks, daggers, and various blow guns.

Picking up a backpack from one of the fallen, Tiran recognizes a demon symbol. Tierra, the cleric, begins to act strangely, as if possessed. A trial with the magic dagger is carried out, with little effect. (strangely, the name calling bird announced the presence of the dagger).

Then, another round of attacks are carried out by a new group. Tiran is getting tired, using up his daily allotment of spells. As the rest of the party attack the creatures, the wizard used up grease and true strike. The creatures, are eventually defeated. However, both friends and foes fall pray to the patch of grease.

A cyclops appears. The party elects to go through a black gate. Again, decisions made in the moment, and reflected upon with better knowledge.

The party passes through, and enter an area, as it through a blazing fire. It smells of fire and coal, and the group is immediately set upon by three monsteres, that look like feminine demons with chains. Tiran immediately takes a hit, and feels pain. Despite an attempt to attack (maybe water will damage?), he fails to hit. The party is quickly brought low.

Tiran’s next memory is pain, and pulling of his wrists. He slips into the safety of his memories…….

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To Be Filled
Finas write up
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Apres Giantes
A little help here

The TAB: Hanlon is down three. everyone else is even

Who doesn’t like hugs? I mean they are a very important part of childhood development. They have been shown to strengthen the immune system. They increase feelings of well-being. They are supposed to make you happy. But I swear by all that is holy, if I never have another hug, it’ll still be too soon.

After our shenanigans with the giants, we make camp. We set a watch, but night continues uneventfully until day. Everyone gets lots of sleep and feels pretty good by morning. That is, until we look outside the tent and realise that a dense fog has rolled in, reducing our visibility and giving us a bit of a chill.

Westward, ho!

We make fantastic time for the first 400m, but are stopped short by a 100ft ravine that blocks our way. We search for paths, but quickly give up and decide to walk upriver (there is a small river/creek on the bottom of the ravine) and explore the headwaters. I valiantly volunteer to descend to the floor of the ravine while the rest of the companions continue along the ridge. I thought I was paying close attention, but soon was involuntarily receiving my first hug of the day. Quicksand – I haven’t seen quicksand since I was a young child. And this is the good stuff too. I slowly start to sink past my knees and make a quick call for help from the group above. After setting a grapple, the entire group, except Garion, scrambles down the hill by way of the rope to the bottom of the ravine. I make sure to warn them of the areas of quicksand that I can see from my position – which is getting lower.

While they decide on a course of action, I receive my second hug of the day, a fairly large reticulated python. To their credit, the appearance of the snake really gets the team into motion. I am hit in the chest by Gam’s spider web and although he tries with all his might, I am well and truly stuck and well and truly being held by the snake. Tierra attempts to whack the snake with a spiritual hammer, but is unsuccessful. Garion attempts to aim his crossbow from the ridge, but realises that all the targets are too close to make a safe shot, so he slides down to join the fray.

Roark watches, thinking it’s a bit big for him, but then his instincts take over and he attacks. I’m taking a bit of a beating since I can’t reach my weapon and I can’t free my legs, and I have this great snake wrapped around me, cracking ribs and squeezing away my life. Tiran gets close enough to cast a spell the gives me (and the others around him) more strength/endurance?, and Tierra throws a much needed blessing of healing energy my way. Garion puts on the mighty glove and cleaves mightily into the snake. Tierra throws out a walk on water spell and although I feel much lighter in the sand, I’m still held back by the extra weight around me. I manage to work a hand free and attack with a flurry of blows. We brutally hack, slash, punch, scratch, talon, and yell at the snake and eventually prevail with Gam dealing the final killing blow.

In my much weakened state, I am still not delirious enough to forget to loot the body, and surprisingly find 12 gold pieces. Wasn’t worth it. Gam and Gar pull me out of the quicksand, but in the process, the brothers manage to get themselves a bit stuck. Before long, we are all extricated. We collect our dropped gear and Roark retrieves the grapple from the lip. I receive more blessings through Tierra and can eventually feel my extremities and breathe without pain.

We make our way to the headwater whilst evading the lurking quicksand areas and after an extensive search, realise that we have wasted a bunch of time. We cross the creek and, following our noses, locate some sulphur, which Tiran collects. Our travel westward for the rest of the day is uneventful and we make camp at 1730. Spells are expended and everyone is made healthy and comfortable. Gam and I spend about 5 hours training with the knife while on watch together. He is really coming along. We wake Tierra to return the knife before she goes on duty.

Night, as it sometimes does, continues until day.

We wake to thicker fog and colder temps. We continue westward and then the weird shit starts happening… the fog parts and we can see that something is not right. The fog seems to be magically dispersed in our immediate area and we have a clear view of a tunnel with sloping walls to a point well above us.

A masked raven on the left side, 20ft in the air, hails us with “Seven souls entering – Garion, Gamalian, …, Nova Khaaa” It uses all our full names (I get “Hanlon the Serene” – more a title than a name) and includes both birds. Nova responds with a “Khaaa.” We try to engage the raven, but it acts as if we are not there.

The trees are different, the shadows are longer and it’s darker. To the left is a white oak with dark leaves. We make plans to go right. I don’t really care, just as long as no one hugs me.
HtS

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Write-up from last time...

Hi everyone.

Well, it appears that my disorganization has gotten the better of me, and after an hour of searching I can only find pages 2 and 3 of my notes which were, I believe 5 pages long. I apologize, and will attempt to reconstruct what happened from my sketchy memory… I may need some help filling in gaps early and late in the story.

- – - – -

“Tierra! Are you alright?!”

Stars faded back into the evening light, revealing a concerned-appearing Gam. “Where is everyone? …and what happened, exactly?”

“You don’t look so good. Do you know where we are?”

“In the South. Some city with rules about 3rd sons. Can’t think of the name…”

“Do you remember being hit on the head? Couple big fellows jumped you back there? Garian, Tiran and the others are chasing them now.”

Tierra frowned and shook her head.

“How many fingers?”

“Three. Look I’m ok.” She stumbled toward her feet for a second before returning to the ground. “The earth is pretty comfortable here. Maybe I’ll just take a nap.”

“No. Sorry girl. I don’t know much about healing but I know you aren’t supposed to sleep after taking a hit to the head like that. Here, tell me a story while we wait for the others.”

“About what, Gam?”

“Maybe about our trip. What do you remember about the fight with Big H?”

Tierra smiled against the pain. Gam always liked to re-hear (and re-tell) stories about his brother beating the odds. Fighting the machine. Fighting Big-H. How did that happen, anyway? She was so tired.

“Hmm… well it started when we found that group of barbarians in the woods. Gave them a good kicking, as I recall. But then we healed them and made a bit of an alliance with them.

We pretended to be worried about Big-H and his gang to let them save face. It sort of worked because they wanted it to… but everyone knew it was worth less than wild cow shit.

Actually, I think it would have been all good, and then the others came.

Big-H was worried. He said ‘I need this like a hole in the head’. Now seeing as I currently have what feels like a hole in my head, his words have more meaning.”
The leader approached big H and said, ‘Heard you lost a fight. Fell on back.’ Can’t remember the leader’s name right now…”

Gam nodded, “Crogan.”

“Right! Crogan.

Anyway, Big H looked embarrassed. But he told us and his followers to back off. Wanted to fight this Crogan. Big H was still talking to us and that other guy drew his sword and cut off Big H’s head. Right there. Standing.

It started a big argument with people from different groups posturing and I had no idea who was friend and who was… well, going to take our heads.

That’s when I asked Sophia for some extra help… the kind that helps those who are friendly to us and hinders those who aren’t.

I think there would have been a big fight, except for the Shaman. He used his magic to call for silence.

The big leader Crogan said, ‘Big H was a coward. He brought shame on the locardy.’

A big barbarian man called out ‘it was a cowardly blow!’

The Shaman said, ‘Pola talk. Speaks truth. I understand you were beaten by an outsider. You want to lead. You need fight him!’

They meant Garian.

Crogan said, ‘I win I leader.’

The Shaman agreed and said, but if he wins we let he and his people go free.

Everyone backed up.

They began and Garian struck like lighting. Hit Crogan twice in a heartbeat—and hard too.”

She could see Gam’s pride rise as she spoke.

“Crogan attacked, charging, but he hit Garian’s wall and I think that hurt him as much as he hurt Gar.

But Gar didn’t back off—Crogan was shaken by his own blow and Garian took his opportunity. He just swung his sword twice and Crogan fell.

The crowd was stunned for a second. I think they thought Garian didn’t stand a chance. I think they thought it would go on for a while. But 4 blows and their champion was released from this world. They raised their fists in some sort of sign of honour.

But Garian didn’t stop there. He took off Crogan’s head and yelled, ‘let this be a lesson to all cowards who try to cheat their way to leadership.’

Tiran had a bit of a chat with the Shaman and learned about some caves in the cliff. We all said our goodbyes and headed out to find them.

We set up camp while Hanlon and Tieran climbed the cliff to find bat guano.

That’s where I get a bit fuzzy, Gam.”

Tierra scrunched her forehead a little. “I remember that we fought the Giants. They threw stones so very far, almost hitting us. We ended up rushing toward them and they came down the cliff to fight us. I know I cast some spells calling an elemental and a holy archon. I have this memory of a Giant sliding down the cliff face and Hanlon fighting with him on the cliff. I know we beat them… but the details are swimming in my head like a colossal whirlpool.

Actually, the overwhelming memory I have is that after defeating them, I was so frustrated that I hit a helpless, dying giant with my weapon. Sophia was disappointed with me. I can still feel her disappointment, Gam. Right deep into my bones. I still have to learn a lot about compassion. But I don’t remember what else happened that day. Nor since, actually."

Gam interjected. “The others are coming back. You’ll remember this again. Right now, we should find out what happened with those thugs and get you some headache medicine. I’ll hear your story later.” He gave her a wink, and his brother a broad smile. “So, did you take care of those thugs who hurt my Lady?”

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Jorill's Gambit

We join our companions as they are about to engage in some serious trade negotiations, involving two somewhat uneven piles of shiny objects.
Gamalian was declared the chief negotiator, thanks to his gift for gab. Hanlon passed him a special ring to give him an extra boost before the negotiations commenced. Tiran quickly mumbled to himself while fumbling around with something that looked like eagle droppings and Gamalian was looking positively stunning, prompting unexpected gusts of wind to blow his hair back.
As confident as Gamalian was feeling and looking at this point would be curbed somewhat by Kass, who is no slouch to this game himself. He’s loaded for bear and ready bust our metaphorical balls and make some gold.
It’s cold and rainy when Kass is ready to get the negotiations underway, he advises the companions that his wife, and his confidante and specialised magic user Arimosa will be attending the discussions in an advisory capacity.
Kass advises us that they generally prefer trade to the outright exchange of gold, and as such will apply greater value to items offered in trade, rather than exchanged for gold outright. Gam opens up and advises that we have an excellent supply of gems, the value of which will only have increased since the recent troubles (read: shit tornado) in Badorities. Kass seems impressed by this argument and is poised when Gam offers up the set of Blue Dragon Sword and Shield.
Kass and his team immediately confer, in what seems an almost telepathic manner and comes back with an offer of 8000gp for the set. Tierra doesn’t like the offer, and Gam agrees, laying on the argument that complete sets of such items are hard to come by. Tiran offers up the reasonable approach, suggesting that perhaps Kass was a bit hasty in his appraisal of the items and perhaps didn’t afford them the value they deserved. Kass is willing to revisit the sword & shield in the interest of moving on with the negotiations. Gam comes in next with the flute we recovered from the Cyclops’ den; Gam suggests that such an item would be invaluable to a Karnival such as Kassanoody’s, it being able to replicate the sounds of any natural creatures. Upon inspecting the flute, Kass has a reaction that even Garion noticed, even though it was the slightest of eyebrow lifts. Kass plays it off as if the flute is nice, maybe even very nice, but that is all. Roark, sitting patiently on Tiran’s head up to this point, is not about to let that response stand. “Bullshit” he calls out; startling the party, and forcing Garion to spit out his mouthful of ale. Roark is acutely aware that Kass and his advisors know something about the flute and aren’t talking.
Kass, realizing he’s been found out, recalls the tale of the flute to our party:
“This flute belonged to the great bard known as Kell Tonfatil. Kell died about 35 years ago, and passed the flute on to his 3rd son, Kiell. In the tradition of the south, 3rd sons and 4th daughters are prized above all else, with 2nd sons being brutally despised by their families. Kiell was showing great promise with his father’s flute, until his older brother, the 2nd son Jorill’s resentment of his younger brother’s favour and talent got the best of him. Jorill, who was a fighter of some acclaim, fought and killed a blue dragon at some point in his travels. Jorill used the scales from this dragon to have a Sword and Shield built for him. He then had the set enchanted so that it would only work for 2nd sons, a sign of his bitter anger at his station in life.
Kiell was found dead, robbed of his flute and stabbed by some mysterious assailant. Jorill was suspected but never found… “
Kass is desperate to hear the story of how we came across these great and long lost items. Gam tries to upsell some grand battle against hordes of Goblinoids, but Kass isn’t buying it. He politely advises Gam to, as they say in Dillith: “Cut le shit”. Game concedes and tells him of the slightly less exciting story of us battling Cyclopes in their den.
The negotiations move forward, and with us knowing how special the three items are, make our opening offer of our entire wishlist. Kass gulps, confers with his advisors and tells the companions that all will be traded for, minus the ring of force shield that he promised to another.
Delighted, the party spends some more gold on some potions and bracers of defense for everyone. Gam shakes Kass’ hand and the deal is sealed.
As it turns out, Kass himself is a second son, and when he wields the sword and shield, glows with a noticeable aura of power.
It takes three days for the items purchased to be enchanted, Gam and Hanlon experiment with the magical dagger, and Tiran finds a few sober hours to study his newly purchased fireball spell.
As the party is getting ready to depart, a mage named Wexley arrives to show the party what he’s been working on. It turns out it’s a surprise for Roark. Wexley unveils a small rodent skull (Dire Vole, I believe it was identified as). He straps it to Roark, masterfully made, it fits Roark’s avian head perfectly. Roark takes off, and when he flies back, unleashes an awful cackling laugh that permeates into the companion’s souls. Luckily, our hardened party was able to resist bolting in fear; they did, however, have some painful ringing in their ears for a few minutes afterward.
The ringing having subsided, the companions inquire about the southern paths, and Kass advises them that Dryfer Lyssen is a bad ass cat who hangs out on the wall north of Bogdanka. He can be trusted and knows his way around and possibly into Bogdanka.
The companions decide to head south towards Dryfer’s.
After a short while on the trail we narrowly avoid a dangerous pit trap, full of strange arachnids. We suggested that Lightson cleanse the pit with burning fire, but alas he was without sulphur, and such the spiders live to creep another day.
It is getting to be dusk, when we are set upon by strange people in some bushes. Garion , not about to be pushed around, calls out, challenging who or whatever is lying in wait. Sure enough, a huge man comes out of the bush towards Garion. Along with the savage, a good 16 other humans surround the companions… nice move Garion.
A scuffle ensues. Garion plants his feet to catch a charge from the barbarian, but iinstead takes a shot to the chin, while Hanlon slips around back to do some stabbing, despite Gamalian’s pleas to not kill anyone.
Tierra also flashes some fancy magic, and causes a few of them to drop.
Just as we’re in the thick of it ,Roark dives in and unleashes his new cackling skull ability. Just like that 7 of the fools run in fear, while the rest of them are left holding their ears. Tierra then paralyzes the huge leader, who is convinced of the error of this ways by the heavy end of Mr. Ferguson.
Big H as he’s called, is the leader of the Big H crew, this particular group of Lo’ka’dee.
He tells us of other groups lead by Tall Ken, Big Louie and Ugly Ron.
We leave the party as Big H presents the group to his tribe…

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Kasanoody's Karnival

Is there anything more wonderful than a carnival? With all the strange accents and strange smells, the interesting people and the even more interesting spectacle. It is only at a carnival where, for a few pieces of silver, you can be transported to a far off land where things you have only imagined, or read about in books, are brought to life right before your eyes. And to stumble across a carnival in the middle of the forest, where you are the only guests, is a true marvel, for you do not have to fight with others for the attention of the Carnys, and you get to see a little bit of the action behind the scenes.

Hanlon and Gam rejoin the group from the bushes to hear Tiran asking about fire ice wine. Kasanoody seems ammenable and we retire to a tarp covered area from where we can see some fighters (2 half orcs, 2 rogures, 2 clerics (a master and an apprentice) and a couple of wizards. Basic introductions are made and the ever chatty Kasanoody is happy to hint at the possibility of later seeing a play to be performed by his troupe of players all of whom have some bardic training and can play musical intruments. A cursory examination of these instruments reveals that they are well made… this appers to be a well off crew.
We meet Kasanoody’s wife Inthin, an elven monk when she brings in some refreshments. We sit and listen to Kasanoody expouse the magnificence of his Carnival (“with a K”, we are informed) after we let slip that we have not heard of them on our travels. Kasanoody is attempting to become the BEST MOBILE INFORMATION DEPOT IN THE WORLD, and to do this, he travels far and wide, buying, selling, entertaining. He foreshadows that it is not a cheap thing to do, with many expenses and lots of training. He has only the best in his troupe and any douchecopters are soon let go. Smiles are free, succor is free on the first day, hospitality is free, but everything else costs, and if you do not wish to pay, you nardburglars are welcome to go get it yourself.

We have a short discussion regarding rain gear, something with a little oil in it, and drop 40GP each on rain poncho’s and boots. We are finally dry, but still a little chilled, and Kanoody graciously lends us some fur linings to go inside our new duds for the evening.
The food arrives, and as the crew sets up a stage and seating area, we tuck into some roast beast, wild boar, and other very fine foods, expertly prepared with foreign spices, along with some fine wines.

We watch the play, called “Borsan’s Gift”, about a young man who wanted fighting glory. He was never satisfied and alienated all his family and friends. There appears a white dragon and with it, the opportunity for epic glory. When the battle comes, Borsan stays his sword to allow a youth to throw his grandfather’s dragon killing spear. The dragon hits Borsan with it’s breath, killing him. When the townspeople find his body, they find a visage of contentment.

The play was still a little rough, but one thing we took from it was they used a real dragon’s head although probably not a real white dragon.

Kasanoody wants to hear more of Badorities and we trade him story for story. Tierra tells of the fish people and the ensuing battle, the change of leadership at the top, Shalkia killed, and how the town is now under martial law with the dead rising and the gates closed. Kanoody sums it up perfectly with: “Shit in your easter basket”

B’Haktaran – really the center of southern culture – very mystical and unrefined. They draw from southern cultures making it a very interesting place. Best area for magic in the south.

Bankhar – smaller, less chaotic and very peaceful. The southern people are full of passion, and it feels like you are on the verge of death a lot of the time. You must show respect for their culture and they will happily trade with you. You must not appear weak, have bravado and swagger, talk fiercely and confidently. Do not be polite and gentle or they will mop the floor with you. There are many merchants, and religions, particularly natural religions. There are Kings and Kingdoms, but people generally run their own lives in the strong merchant economy.

Ulia – not our favourite palce inthe world – they are not a fan of Tierra’s religion. K – most places are not fond of Sophiaists.

Gam asks Kasanoody if he’d consider going south due to the upheaval in Badorities, but he responds that south is not his path.

Other side of the Scar – “you gotta be tough as tits to get across” Kasanoody and crew recently met a Baylor – major demon – that pushed them to their limits. They also met some giants and dragons – small, peppered with blue (lightning) – act big when you meet a dragon, try to negotiate your way out of a conflict. “It is slightly less horribly dangerous to cross the Scar near Ash Shahawa.” As for other settlements on the other side… elves and gnomes, but no cities. There is a harbour on the Vast with a small settlement and the ability to build you a ship if they have 2 months notice. There are lots of old temples and small strongholds of about 30 people. Kasanoody offhandly remarks on the existance of huge insects and dinosaurs.

Tiran and Tierra wander off to talk to the wizards and are mistaken for alchemists… they are looking for help to make a “Forehead bomb” which they discover is called a Rythansias Bomb made from a noxious weed with caustic pollen that makes your eyes burn and your throat cough horribly.

It is at about this point that Gam notices that his bow is missing and although initially some of us suspect theft, we realise that he left it inside the cyclop’s cave. Kasanoody indicated that he has some items that might replace the lost bow, but when we ask to see them, he insists that we wait until tomorrow to view his stock.

Kasanoody lends us a tent for the night and we get down to some rest. The watch order is Gam and Hanlon, then Tierra, then Garion, then Tiran.

At 4am there is a commotion. Kasanoody’s watch notices some JUBAKABRA – 4 to 5 ft lizards -and raise the alarm. One of their guards (hestor with his sheep familiar) hits it with a magical arrow and it scuttles off. We can see a few more of the JK in the light from the arrow, but the guards don’t seem to be too worried about them although a guard remarks to Tierra that “these things are difficult”.

Night continues until day.

Tiran awakes with surprisingly no hangover but Inthin still gives him a small flask of the hair of the dog.

Kasanoody opens his magic store for us to browse saying “we have lots of potions, armour, shields, wands, staffs, scrolls, tomes, masterwork and magical. We can craft magical items, or imbue current items.”

Tiran detects magic on all our items…
Hanlon’s ring of stability – when wearer wants, when both feet are planted, you are almost unmoveable. A rushing bull will stop and take damage.
Gam’s longsword 4000GP, +1. shield 4000GP +1shield, +3 AC. 10K for the set.
Chain, +1 hits and wrapping capability 7000GP
purple bomb – alchemal
flute 5000GP mimic’s nature’s sounds

What follow’s is a list of some of the more interesting items with prices quoted by Kasanoody:
cost to enchant Ferguson sword, 6000GP toburst of fire on 19 or 20, better effect against cold creature.
Alchemist’s fire 125 per vial
Enhance damdrah – stagger on a good roll, align against creature, (2500) blood claw – damages -1 weilder, but +4 damage, hit for cold, hit to suck health 19-20 rolls 1/2 of damage recovered to weilder (8000gp)
Jingabo hat of comic relief (let’s ask jingabo) 7 charges left (3500)
rings of bound health, when two people wear these rings, you split the damage, 4000GP
ultra fine mithral shirt, 4 pounds +4 to AC (10K GB)
bracers +1 1500, +3 12K
feather, gail feather, powerful wind gust. (7000gp)
horn of stirring, (3000)
ring of climbing (3500)
cloak of elemental protection 1/2 the spell, but constant (3000gp)
bag of holding +1, 3500GP
potion of constition
crossbow hits like a heavy, but loads like a light +1 5000gp
anti toxin vial 75gp
tanglefoot bag 100gp
thunderstone 50gp
cure moderate wounds 500gp
chime of opening
scroll of fireball

It is now 10am and we have much to discuss and decide.
HANLON 16 (hours) after (arriving) : )

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Hell is like being trapped between a one-eyed giant and the cold certainty of death

We got soft in Badorties. A home. Servants. What were we thinking? The Cold Mistress has come to remind us of our place in the world, thought Tierra, through chattering teeth.

She wasn’t the only one. Each member of the party were getting colder by the minute, and some were starting to really suffer.

She glanced at the wizard who was shivering uncontrollably. “That’s it, we’re going to have to build a fire in the entryway.”

A short discussion of where to build a fire ensued, but it was clear that anywhere inside the cave would force them out like drowning rats.

“I’ll come with you, there must be some dead-fall around here.” Garian’s confident voice cleared the chatter. A glance around showed that no one could think of a better plan. Besides, perhaps the second cyclops was just a poor interpretation of facts, and the cold was going to kill them either way.

The wood was wet, very wet. But when a pile of musty grain was added Tiran managed to get a blaze out of it and Garian and TIerra set out to find wood for a wind break. Good thinking, Garian, Tierra thought, I had completely forgotten about the sail.

Tiran managed to engineer a decent sail-wind-break while Gamalion tied up some clotheslines and began on some porridge.

Hanlon, his stone obsession clear, began to heat some rocks in the fire. How can anyone that in touch with stones be completely right in the head? He made up for his odd idiosyncrasy by volunteering for watch.

The rest of the party began to warm up, but it was a quiet fire as the wet wood marked their spot to even the dullest-minded giant, and the most city-born watchman.

Watch switched around, with Tierra setting up a tarp to keep the rain off the watcher’s post. Ok, so the warm stones weren’t such a foolish idea. Tierra went to bed without incident, sending Gamalion to watch the night.

Sleeping on that bedroll was amazing, and Tierra drifted quickly. It seemed that barely seconds had passed and she was dreaming that Gamalion was yelling “Cyclops, hold or die, this is your last dance” from a million miles away. How did he get so far away? How could his voice carry that far? Why would he be dancing with the Cyclops. Oh last chance! He was saying last chance. He should really come closer before he yells.

She never saw Tiran man the crossbow, and the yell of “incoming” was almost as far away as Gamalion. (Though the clap of thunder sounded close.) Nor did she see Tiran cast a ward, Rork abandon the cave, Gam attempt to circle around for a better shot. She slept restless through Tiran’s epic crossbow shot, Ham’s (almost epic) fail — and the serious damage he took. But something in his cry out in pain brought her suddenly to reality.

Tierra scrambled up and searched for her weapon while Tieran threw his glowing stones at the one-eyed giant, and the cyclops charged Garian, crushing him against the wall. Hanlon attacked with his odd-looking damdra.

Tierra was so focused on lining up the cyclopse Sophia, let me hit true! That she completely missed Gamalion’s stealthy approach behind the cyclops with the cursed dagger. Gamalion’s banker training paid off, as he sunk it deep into the cyclops’ kidney and the beast colapsed like a dropped marionette.

Before it hit the ground, Gamalian turned and stuck the knife into Hanlon who fell as quickly as the beast.

“Disarm!” Her voice carried a mystical authority, and Gamalian dropped the weapon, and the trance it placed over him.

Wham, wham. Tarin’s rocks hit Gam for good measure a moment before Garion tackled his brother. He wouldn’t be stabbing anyone for a little while, curse or no.

Sophia, let him live. Give him your strength as he has not his own. Bind his wounds that he might again walk with us. She was kneeling beside Hanlon and felt the familiar power flow through her with intoxicating reassurance. It was enough. Hanlon woke.

A debate over the knife broke out. Gamalian and, of all people, Hanlon, fighting for the idea that Gam should keep the knife. He must still be suffering the after effects of shock, she thought. In the end, the interveners won, and Tierra was elected to carry the knife. Which she did, carefully wrapped in a cloth.

She drifted off, thinking thank Sophia for the bed roll, and for the strength to have defended this cave.

The morning progressed normally, with Tiran looting a body, and Gam helping to count the odd currencies from unknown kingdoms, and Gar making breakfast.

A late start, but rested and somewhat warmer, the party hit the road. It wasn’t an hour before they crested a hill to spot a colourful band of wagons (pulled by bison) approaching. It was a group of about 25 people, 5 wagons and 14 chickens crossing the wilderness. The wagons wore signs proudly pronouncing that Kassanoody’s Karnaval was here. Kassanoody’s Karnaval? Who’s ever heard of that?

Several riders approached, and a couple of the party members hid to watch the exchange.

“Ho! Greetings travelers! We’re the world famous Kassanoody’s Karnaval.”

Kassanoody himself approached the group with a poetic introduction and jazz hands from his followers.

The party told them a little about Badorties, and Kassadoody told them about trouble in and near Bogdanka “a shit cake covered in shit.” Apparently the big deals there were a Alcasties family that became big after the civil war and controlled the mining town. They’re good at collecting tax, and intercepting travellers with guards stretched out all the way to the river.

Eventually talk turned to a feast and good alcohol (Ice fire), and the party began to forget about cold and giant one-eyed beings, lost in their promise of a better day.

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