Adventures in Iyith

The Catastrophe
Episode 20

So the past couple of days have been a little weird.  Got reassigned, kinda boring haven't done much, but hey it's better than chronicling the adventures of those idiots.  If I'm being honest it's kinda nice just to tag along.  Although I was technically demoted and have do what ever I'm told, most of the work is taken care of by the other two and I don't have to do a thing.  Plus the fur is nice.

The other two went around trying to figure out some stuff about something. I didn't really pay attention.  As far as I'm concerned it's vacation time so I've been using my time to get as much sleep as I can.  Doesn't matter where we end up going, not like I have a choice in the matter.  Yawn.  Oh cool we're somewhere else now, whatever.

You know now that I've had a break from those fools, I think I may have judged them too harshly maybe they weren't complete…

CRASH

Wait what was that?!  Sounds like it came from that door over there.  Wait is that… No… NO!  NOOOOOOOOOO!

IT'S GODS DAMN MISTER POOPER AND HIS SIDE KICK POTATO KID AND JUDGING BY THE RUCKUS UPSTAIRS I GUESS THEY BROUGHT ALONG OLD BOOZERONIE  IN THE SECOND STORY.  At least this means that Ulric is here…   Wait I don't see him!  Oh for the love of all that is good in this world please tell me they didn't kill Ulric.  He was the only good thing about this menagerie of misfits and they killed him!  JUST KILL ME NOW.  

Oh wait there he is!  He's even more handsome in person.  MUST.  FEEL.  HIS.  MANLY.  STUBBLE.  Oh this is nice.  BUT WHAT THE HELLS?  Why are they here?  Why must I be continually punished?

Wait… what is that beautiful shinning shimmer flying through the sky.  It looks like a Deva is flying down from heaven to rescue me!  Please take me now… never mind it's just Xylund… that actually was kinda cool

Hey! You two!  What kind of innuendos are you making about Ulric?  One of you may be my master, but I'm not sharing Ulric with you.  <redacted joke about being the only pussy he needs>. 

NO!  What are you two doing?  Ulric already told you these guys were bad news don't team up with them!  Oh for the love of… fine but don't say I didn't warn you.  I really had high hopes for these two.  

Anyways, Yeah that's a good idea let's go into the room with a blood trail.  Oh yeah that disembodied voice telling us to get out let's not follow that.  I can't see this not succeeding.  Yes let's not be in this room, wait why are you going across the hall…idiots.  

Yeah ask the dead man what's going on I'm sure you'll get sooooo much information out of him.  MASTER?!?  Don't act impressed with this guy.  Do you know what he does to door steps?

 Oh finally Ulric found the secret passage.  I knew he was the only competent one.  Why did I even get my hopes up with these other two it seems like the corruption of team diddly bum kiss has already gotten to them.
 
 So down the stairs we go.  Oh cool so we're going to ignore a second voice telling us to get out.  Great.  You know what they say fool me once shame on the spooky house, fool me twice and I'm surrounded by idiots.
 
 Good this door locked, and the chamber filled with gas, sucks to have lungs doesn't it mortal haha cough cough…  Oh Gods why do I have lungs?  This is terrible.  Sigh I guess this is my life now.  At least I can take comfort in the fact that they'll all be dead soon and I can get a new job.

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TITLE REDACTED
Episode 19

So… after escaping the clutches of Knavic’s convoluted contraptions our—heroes proceeded up the tower of mystery to the upper floor to meet the gnome himself. As all my readers have come to expect, the party treated the master of the tower with the same respect that the show everyone who does not immediately bend over backwards to help them out. Everybody except Corrin and Annie— who were enjoying some peace and quiet as Corrin nursed her back to health after the whole almost drowning thing. Anyways the party somehow stumbled there way against all odds into completing the task Nysali had set before them. Woo. Destiny completed and whatnot. Glorified errand boys and idiots.

After terrorizing Knavic and the faun for what seemed like forever they were finally sent on their way with gifts for Kat and Nysali. Once again fulfilling their destiny as the postal service. Really seems like such a waste…

Anyways upon leaving the tower, they realized that the area around Dawn Lake had changed significantly. They went back to their wagon to continue their travels. It was decided that they should go to the manor at the edge of the treaty woods in order to learn more about the Kobold orb of suck and doom that may or may not be home to a big ass dragon. Respectable plan, finally doing something productive and not just following the whims of others.

The made it through the treaty woods and to the manor where they found a wise old helpful lady who gave them the information they needed to destroy the orb, defeat Cathal Ros, and destroy the evil dream eaters and bring peace and safety to all of Iyith. They were all recognized as the heroes they were. Xylund ending up freeing Nysali from her burden of leadership in Greyloch as well as her curse of being a channel for the former rulers and asking for her hand in marriage. Kern finally made up with those he had wronged in the past and settled down to live a nice quiet and peaceful life. Davynn returned back home to Whitfield, lauded as a hero, bringing honor to his family. Ulric lived a life of luxury until the end of his days surrounded by beautiful women and money. Annie and Corrin returned to the treaty woods, made amends with Annie’s mother and lived out the rest of their lives together. The End.

No.

That’s right. That’s what happened. I’m the one who is writing this remember. I’m watching this all happen.

Oh eat a radiant dick. No I don’t feel sorry for them they’re just stupid mortals. None of the people who write tragic records ever get better assignments that’s all. Everyone knows chroniclers of stories of heroes get first pick at… Yeah, why else do you think I’ve been referring to this group of fuck-abouts as heroes?

No I’m not going to write that. I don’t care if they thought they were going to save somebody. They shouldn’t have been there. They should have known to leave well enough alone. Haven’t you heard that passage from that one scholar over in the other place? You don’t go chasing waterfalls. Plus they should have known something was up. What were the chances that Kat actually was there? They all knew this was a bad idea. Idiots, and now… nope. If you want to know what happened read my report that’s it.

Fine you want me to write it down here it is:

The morons followed nose to ass into what was clearly a trap and ended being ambushed an entity who was far too powerful for them to even think about fighting and ended up killing perhaps the two best people in that miserable group.

Happy now? Good because I’m not. Why am I even on this anymore? I’m sick of stupid and pointless deaths. What did it even accomplish? What did their lives even mean? They should have just stayed home. Stayed safe. That would have been for the best. Let some other morons die. No, it’s not like that. It’s just… uhm… you know give someone else the tragic story, let someone else have that on their performance report.

Wait what? What do you mean I’m getting promoted? I’m going to be on the records council? I’m going to be a Master Chronicler. Thank you this is everything I… What?! How can you do this? This is outrages, it’s unfair… I’ve written more than any of them. How can you be on the Council and not a Master?

Don’t tell me to take a seat. I won’t take this. I’m going to… Wait, what are you doing? Stop! Stoooooooop!

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Lot's of things totally happened
Episode 18

When we last left our heroes they had been given a puzzle by an elvish looking person and a…. yes I know but I was sick last week… what do you mean what do you pay me for? You don’t pay me at all. Who cares it’s not like anybody’s going to notice, it’s just some dumb people wandering around aimlessly. Have you read my previous records? That’s right, nobody around here does! In fact I won’t write any more until I get an actual salary, that’s right I’m going on strike! You can’t make me do anything! This is slave labor! I know my rights! Well… I know I have rights… I’m a little iffy on the specifics… but dammit I have them! Screw your divine providence, I demand respect.

Do you know the last time I had a vacation? Neither do I! I was just yanked out of the celestial fabric of the universe, given form, then given a quick pat on the back and told to go mind my own business and chronical the history of the material plane. You think that’d be interesting. Writing the legends of kings and heroes, watching people who shape the world and the universe through sheer will… But no, I get stuck with the jerk offs of the world. Do you know the last person Tameriil got to chronicle? Freakin’ Adelheid Hornblower, I mean that’s somebody worth chronicling. Tameriil still hasn’t gotten a new assignment because she refuses to confirm to anyone up whether Adelheid is actually dead or not. I haven’t seen a report from her in centuries!!!

Do you know who I chronicled before these idiots? Bob, that’s right Bob. Do you want to know his last name? Well too bad he didn’t have one! He was a cobbler, do you know how invigorating and stimulating it is to write about the intricacies of shoe making? Let me save you the guess it’s boring as hell! Nothing about Bob was the least bit extraordinary. His death was even boring, dying surrounded by his loved ones in bed as he passed off his business to his children. Uggggh talk about a snooze fest. I felt like I was banging my head against a wall for 63 years.

Once that was over I had a slight glimmer of hope. I was assigned a group of adventurers. Yes finally I thought to myself, finally some interesting people. Maybe they might shape this world for the better. Oh how I was wrong. Instead I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. I’ve been hoping for them to do something meaningful and what have they done? Nothing At first I thought it was because they were new and they were warming up to some sort of destiny. Nope! They just bumble around miraculously surviving by the skin of their teeth on sheer luck or by the good will of people more powerful than themselves.

You want to know what they did before right? They went to and old man’s house and were extremely rude to him despite his hospitality. They kept bringing up the fact that he had a dead wife and that his daughter was disfigured. Yeah stand up people. They also never learn. Also they knew this wizard guy, hold on what’s his name, oh Knavic. Yeah they knew he was tricky based off the fact that they had to solve a puzzle to even find him. But nooo they get into his tower and hide weapons on themselves and let their guard down… You want to guess what happened? They ended up separated in puzzle rooms that could have killed them if they didn’t get out in time. Yeah they’re idiots and I’ve had it up to here with following them around!

I demand recompense for my suffering! Either give me some decent pay or move me to someone else! If my demands aren’t met then I quit. Then who will make the nectar in the break room. Pshhht Fenrial, he wouldn’t know a good cup of nectar if it came up and slapped him in the face. That’s right consider me gone until my demands are met!

Yes… absolutely… wait… I don’t think we need to get the boss involved in all this he’s far too busy, can’t we just work this out… hey… HEY! Where are you going? It’s ok, it’s fine we don’t need to interrupt. Look hey I was just joking. Get it? It’s fine. It’s fiiiiine. No please don’t, look I’m writing right now: Our heroes continue their journey through the Treaty Woods after successfully avoiding the Glamoured’s trap. See I’m all good. I didn’t mean what I said, I was just frustrated you know. It won’t happen again. Ok cool we’re all good then and we don’t need to bring this up to you know who right? Alright well thank you for being so understanding. I’ll get right back to work.

They trekked through the forest and the wild magic that suffused the environment grew stronger and stronger… Fucking jackass.

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Da ba dee da ba daa
Episode 17

With the departure of their druid, our heroes, with heavy hearts continue on their divinely sanctioned mission to go somewhere and talk to somebody.  So boldly they trekked through the treacherous tripping trees of the Treaty Woods with their resident guide, Corrin, leading the way.  After several quad-lefts, the party encountered two halfings and the abomination that is a mouse in clothes… I mean where do we draw the line here.  We need some standards here people.  How can we say that we're better than animals if animals start wearing pants?  This world has gone mad! Mad I tell you!  Was it cute?  Yes… but we gotta have order here.

Anyways after the party parlayed with the group in the successful manner that we are all accustomed to, they parted ways.  The party continued into the woods, however they ran into problems with their horse: Crumpet.  To try and remedy the exhaustion of the horse, Xylund summoned an extraplanar being to be a beast of burden and the party decided that it was a good idea to LET THE ANGRY LITTLE MAN RIDE THE WOUNDED HORSE.

Barely two minutes passed before he ended up crashing the horse into a bridge (not that he cared, he loved it).  This kerfuffle attracted the immediate attention of a completely well intention and totally trustworthy woman named Stabby McBackstab III.  With the promise of helping Toast the horse the gang decided to follow the woman to he conveniently nearby house.

She had a blue house with a blue window,

Blue is the color of all that she wears,

Blue are the paths and all the trees are too,

She has lots of bugs and they are so blue,

Blue are the people here that walk around,

Blue like her mushrooms, it's in and outside

Blue are the words she says and what she thinks,

Blue are the feelings that live inside her.

The lady invited the party inside her hut which they delightfully accepted.  Upon leaving to go take care of Croissant the horse, The party realized they may have made a mistake.  They checked the door leading outside and it was locked leaving them trapped in the hut.  After 49 repetitions ofYakety Sax which included: Kern transforming into a cat, Davynn changing colors, growing elephant ears and being turned into a moose, Corrin nearly dying in a chimeny, Grennan himself had enough of this chaos is channeled a divine stroke of inspiration to his paldin causing Xylund to find the key they needed to get out of this fun house.  They also realized that their bone eater could potentially help them with the mysterious text they had completely forgot about which allowed them to find some potentially useful items.

With key and loot in tow, the party exited the fun house ragged and exhausted.  In an uncalled for act of defiance Corrin decided to take dump on the front porch of the hut.  I don't know why They make me follow this group it's just one childish thing after anoth… wait what… no that can't be right… really?  That's… unexpected… I mean Inelene said he was… you sure… whelp ok… aparently the poingnant poopy protest was not done by Corrin, but rather Kern.

The party split up their spoils, well some spoils were left behind… and continued on their righteous and holy quest.

*Note to self: I really need to talk to the boss about a raise

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A rat by any other name would smell as sweet?
Episode 16

Our story continues with the party leaving Camp Venalis after Xylund "delivered a package" and "talked to" Meriel.  They trekked onward into the depths of the treaty woods, toward danger and adventure!  And Lo!  What should the encounter on their way to Dawn lake but the vicious and terrifying cabalistic sub-species of Moose native to the planes of Madness, known only as El Tomprinina Guartcho! (translated as "the one who passes wind in a crowded room").  This vicious beast had somehow clawed it's way into this plane, how else could it have appeared out of nowhere!?!  This Moose was not to be trifled with.  El Tomprinina Guartcho is rumored to be 25% moose, 30% poisonous toad, 15% fiend, 28% moody teenager, and 2% legume and 100%
Murder!  However, Annie, being knowledgeable in the lore of this infernal creature successfully remembered it's cannibalistic nature and offered it beans to calm it's impending fury!

After avoiding a potentially world shattering cataclysm and the hands of the murderous moose by mustering miniscule magical morsels, the party continued on their great and noble quest to save the Realm of Iyith.  Through out the trip, our heroes developed sporadic tinnitus until they came across a strange looking man/ogre/troll and rat bouquet enthusiast Uusilir.  He introduced himself to the party, informed them that Annie's clan needed her, and asked for help.  On the basis of Davynn's reading of Jack Dangerous: Time is Never Enough, the party agreed to help their new firbolg… friend? acquaintance? collegue? random person they just met and have no idea about his intentions or motives? yeah that's that's what I was looking for.  Anyways they proceeded being 100% confident that this was not a trap in anyway because of confidence in Ususilir that minutes of non-interrogative contact had filled them with.

Uusilir lead or keen and not at all guillible heroes to a large tree surrounded by dead rats that he himself admitted he killed…  Still not getting any creepy vibes from this guy, the party entered the tree to go rid it of "something".  They explored the cavernous tree searching for this disturbance.  Eventually Xylund, and Gayle decided that this place was 3spookie5them and started freaking out.  Ulric being the man, the myth, the legend that he is decided that the best way to deal with this unknown threat was to PRETEND like he had been influenced by the mystical forces in order to throw them off guard.  Small scrappy… Things then proceeded to ambush party.(except for Ulric who through his ability to see glimpses of the future saw this coming) 

Eventually finishing their extermination duties the part came across an enchanted door.  With minimal help from Kern and Annie Ulric expertly picked the lock revealing a Cathol Ros room of creepy ass shit.  Realizing that this stuff was above their pay grade and they should definetly NOT fuck with this, they returned to the firbolg that they had met but 10 minutes before to reveal the good news.  During this time, Gayle had a slight break from sanity which took slightly longer to remedy than the total amount of time the party had known the firbolg before that point.  After taking care of Gayle, the party tried to procure some sort of reward from the firbolg as Jack Dangerous did in the sacred text, but only got food supplies for their journey.  Annie however informed the party that she would not be joining them for this portion of their quest.  After some tearful goodbyes,
She went the road to sweet Ladani, hurroo, hurroo
She went the road to sweet Ladani, hurroo, hurroo
She went the road to sweet Ladani,
A quest in the heart and a tear in the eye
A doeful damsel we heard cry
Annie we harldly knew ye.

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That Time I Stole a Horse

Dear Marston,

I realize it has been some time since sending you a progress report, and since I would rather you didn't give away my room to some chump who hasn't done a fraction of the hard work I have put in (like that chump Giles) I am writing to let you know that I am alive, well, still have all of my working parts (ALL of them), and I haven't been captured, abducted, or worse, killed.

This group of adventurers you sent me with, well, how do I put this…what do you see in them!?  Certainly they did you a favor and, as their is honor among thieves, you followed through on your word to supply them aid (why it was MY aid and not stupid Giles I will never understand) to accomplish their goal.  Did you know that their goal has something to do with a necromantic dwarf cult?  I'm assuming it is anyway; I have half a mind to think that they all have their own agendas and just don't realize they aren't physically tied to one another and can walk away at any time.  As for me, the only reason I haven't returned home and told you they all died in a fire or finished whatever nonsense they had set out to do is that I suspect they would drop everything to return to Lorholt and tattle on me.

All things aside, I have been finding ways to amuse myself (especially needed after the undead rabbit incident, I shall have to fill you in on that another time).  Today was seeming to be particularly wretched as we stayed overnight in a podunk little conglomeration of backwoods yokels that couldn't tell the difference between decent booze and their own shit.  Once we arrived back in Greyloch, though, things took an amazing turn.  We went to receive our new armor lovingly given for free by the Argent Order (a copy of some of their official parchments are attached to this letter, in case you may need to forge letterheads, signatures and writing styles in the future) and who should we find working the forges and looking for the world like he was trying to seduce Nysali herself but that clown Xylund.  For some reason he has decided to take a shining to the Druid, Annif.  Not my kind of girl, as I like them to be more sophisticated and with less body hair than me, but whatever he said worked (to his credit he did work the rose angle like the best of them).

After that it seemed he had packages to deliver to a bunch of people I have either never heard of or couldn't be bothered with remembering they existed, so I took the time to make Annif uncomfortable.  Her wretched little halfling keeps thinking I've done something terrible to her and is willing to tear me limb from limb on her order.  The little blighter has attacked me once already even when I was trying to help!  I swear that even though he seems like a uncultured lump with the brains of a rock he might actually be the smartest of the group.  He has shown an interest in learning some of the thieves trade, so hopefully I can keep him happy by mentoring him; maybe even turn him into something helpful down the line.

Speaking of helpful, I think this group of dunderheads seems to have forgotten WHY they have me along!  I could have easily procured a horse and wagon to carry their boxes for them for free, but they INSISTED I resort to normal haggling.  Between this and the way they throw gold around like copper, I think they want to be broke!  So I gathered their coinage (after helping myself to some) and conned a horse and wagon for them.  The horse is named Biscuit, in case you were wondering.  Sold the naming rights for a gold (more proof they don't like money).  I swear this town has problems.  I was able to barter for that boy Gayle easier than I did Biscuit.

In any case, we are soon to be off and playing the role of delivery boy and heading towards camp Venelis as our first stop.  

I will try to be more regular with correspondence, lest filthy Giles gets my things.  

Loyally yours, -Ulric La'carde

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There are some who call me... Tim
Episode 14

'Twas cinder in the fields of woe

Did bumber's see that day;

All victus, the daft heroes

And so that's what they say.

 

"Beware the vermonus pest" said Cat

"The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the familial soul, in fact

Don't even mentiom that!"

 

They ambled and scoured all the land;

Long time the sneakly foe they sought—

So plumped down he, head in the weeds,

And waited while in fraught.

 

And in peceptivus thought they stood,

The pusal Bun-ne with eyes of flame

Came jumbling from far below,

And deftly lay slain.

 

Down to!  Down to!  And through and through

The simpletons wicted and wacked.

They found undead, but in her head

Was more ominous and black.

 

"And dammed have you my last child

Come they will to see her fall!

Out, out I say!  Leave far away!"

He frigently shunned them all.

 

'Twas cinder in the fields of woe

Did bumblers see that day:

All victus, the daft heroes

And so that's what they say.

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Destiny's Child(s)
Episode 13

We open on our heroes after a successful day of them demonstrating the diplomacy and grace that we have come to expect from them.  Their drunken debauchery was interrupted by a disheveled and fishy smelling Kern bumbling into the inn at which they were staying.  After a “restful” night/morning (the party perceived this instance happening at different times because time is just a construct of human perception) the party decided to answer the call of Muted Throne and make their way to gain an audience with Nysali.

Surprisingly the party managed to focus up and not attracted undo attention to themselves although this was probably done out of fear of getting assaulted by the vicious rock throwers of Greyloch.  The magical letters of introduction written by Kat, seemed to get them into the castle just fine although they were forced to wait for Her Grace to see them.  In the waiting room the party met mega ultra-special Davynn crush and the Colonel of the Argent Order.  Although the initial exchange when a little rocky the party enacted the Dr. Clark’s famous method for Avoiding Blame and Achieving Success:

Deny:  What happened wasn’t our fault.

Deny: We did nothing that could have provoked the inn incident.

Deny: Really Nothing!

Counter: If we had the right information we could have prevented this.

Accuse: I mean if you think about it it’s really Kat’s fault.

Belittle: She was totally irresponsible and acted in a manner unbecoming of the argent order member.

Berate:  Kat is just the worse!

Luckily the Colonel wanted to deep fry Kat just like he does every day with his signature fried chicken, coated in 11 herbs and spices and served with your choice of two sides and a drink except in this instance the sides are a Court Martial and the drink is an execution or at the very least a dishonorable discharge.  Finally our crew had found a successful way to navigate the dangerous waters of social interaction. 

After an intense session of Kat hate the party and their companions bounded through mutual animosity were granted an audience with Her Grace herself.  Included in this shindig was the aforementioned reviled Kat and the Bomb-Bad General himself Mister Scaly.  The party recounted their previous adventures and the events that lead them to this point and explained that the incident at the inn could in no way be their fault. 

During the explanation, Fall 2017 Vogue cover model, Ulric threw some major (even though he was a General) shade at Mister Scaly and was thankfully saved by the grace of Her Grace.  After the recap had been given Nysali, Scaly and his Argent Entourage minus Kat left to discuss a plan of action that had nothing to do with the party, but not before they left there was a tense moment where Nysali and Kat locked eyes and Careless Whispers (wink win nudge nudge if you know what I mean) played throughout the room.  The party then proceeded to try and sort out their issues with Kat to varying degrees of success.  It was during this time that the impeccable decisions of the previous day came to light and they realized that maybe they should not have given up Bowyn to complete strangers… or bought a child. 

Anyways, they learned that shit was fucked up with the clerics of Nenameth.  Apparently some sort of filthy dream eater or whatever the politically correct term for them is, are currently trying to influence them through their holy symbols or something.  Kat gave the party the opportunity to back out if they wanted however, whether it was because of courage or stupidity, none of them backed down.  Nysali returned to them to verify that they would risk their lives to figure out what the hell was going on.  Everyone confirmed their willingness to be fodder of destiny and decided that the best course of action would be to go figure out what the orb actually was and repo that shit from the kobolds.  After all of this, the degenerates that are the party were invited to a grand feast that night by Nysali herself.  They all agreed and as she left, Xylund coolly and confidently let Nysali know that her obvious interest in him was flattering but he was a lone wolf and that he couldn’t be tied down and that maybe after he heroically saved the world they could possible grab a drink sometime… or something similar to that.

After Her Grace left, the party talked to Kat and “gave her ass a checklist: one gold watch, two gold chains, six gold rings, it nothing, (God Dayum) Og Jordans, them high socks, no shirt on, they’re stunting (Okay)”.  To kill time before the feast half the party decided that the royal garden didn’t look good enough and proceeded to make it much more better despite what the haters said.  Xylund and Ulric went to go and secured their purchase of Gayle.

The feast was amazing, and there was merriment to be had everywhere.  Davynn was learning the differences in fish, Ulric was living the life he always wanted, Corrin was arm wrestling all the guards, it was great.  The only problem was that Nysali wasn’t there, probably because she was super embarrassed that she confessed her feelings for Xylund and she needed time to recover.

The party was then offered a place to sleep in the castle that night which they took up even though it meant bunking together (except Ulric, who is way too much of a man for anyone to sleep in the same room with).  They all fell asleep not wandering the castle and totally didn’t have any sort of nightmares as disembodied voices whispered throughout the halls.

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Everyone Else Is An Idiot But I Make Perfect, Irreproachable Decisions

Lookit me, drinking tea like a civilized gentleman. Barely any vodka in it at all. Sitting outside the inn, watching the mist burn away while the city wakes up, sipping tea with pinky finger extended.

Feeling clear. Calm. Kinda nice to be home, unexpectedly. Nobody does beautiful ruins quite like Greyloch.

Mostly calm. One fly in the tea.

Would've been so easy to let the little fly drown. No-one could've blamed me. He was asking for it. All I had to do was… nothing. What dumb species of mayfly goes to a Lord Priest of Ryldis and asks, “So what are your thoughts on innate magic? Asking for a friend.” Okay, so I should've stopped that plan in its tracks before we even got to the church, that's fair, but I was preoccupied. And then he can't even maintain THAT flimsy ruse for half a minute, he's gotta launch into a full confession! He was two seconds away from being ushered into a back room for some magical neutering. Which would've upset Kern, but we could always get a new Davynn. I imagine they're the primary export of Whitfeld, if it even exists. Grow them in the fields, probably. When it's harvest time, their potato faces pop out of the soil and they say, “Hi! I'm Davynn from Whitfeld! What's your name? Would you be my friend?” That's how you know they're ripe.

Because there's no way a Davynn reaches maturity on its own, not with those survival instincts. And he thinks I'm not NICE! First of all, fine, I'm not nice, I'll own that, but second, would it be NICER of me to let you bob along in your weird little Whitbubble until it runs up on the reefs of reality? Better a controlled depressurization in a safe environment than a sudden, explosive pop, wouldn't you say? Wake up, potatohead! Katt literally altered your mind and you STILL think she's nice. Kern needs to stop coddling you.

But whatever. Lovely misty morning. Calm. Luckily I had the letters from Nysali on me. I waved those at the Lord Priest and he took a look at her seal and decided to maybe leave us alone for now. And we got out of there before he realized that Davynn had friends'ed him.

Yeah, about those letters. While the others were throwing rocks at people and getting themselves immortalized on wanted posters, a certain beacon of order and rationality was actually getting shit done. Found out where Katt was – apparently with the Argent Order – and managed to get in to see her, but there was no way to talk to her without passing by the others, who were trying to pry Davynn away from the recruitment table in the courtyard of Barren Hold (see above, re: economy of Whitfeld). So while she seemed more or less receptive to my note of apology, relations quickly deteriorated due to our collective penchant for misunderstanding and nonsense. Katt and Annie reeeeeaaaaally don't like each other. If we ever have to deal with the dream eater again, might not be a bad idea to chain Annie up somewhere. But then she'd probably just turn into a bird and stick her beak in my business anyway…. Still, we got out of there with our letters of introduction (or whatever they are, don't want to break the seals to find out in case that invalidates them) so we should be allowed into Caeracht whenever Kern gets back from his god stuff.

Don't leave me alone with these people again, Kern. Like corralling… what's worse than kittens. Corrins. Like corralling Corrins. Hand's shaking a bit just thinking about them. Tranquility ebbing.

I thought Ulric at least would be a voice of reason and restraint, since he seems to know what's what, but… not so much. He doesn't seem at ALL interested in this Nysali business, or to understand that we're kinda in this together, at least for now. Afterwards, who knows, but it was a group summons, so if we show up a person short, it's not gonna start things off on the best footing. If I had a copper for every time he said, “Why am I here?” or “Do you need me here?” or “I'm taking a bath,” I'd have… I dunno, it's too early for math. Obviously I love a good, hot bath but there was AMPLE time for a thorough scrubbing this morning. Get your head in the game, man!

Although I was surprised by the depths of his confusion when I gave him a brief rundown of our recent history, and it occurred to me that no-one's really taken the time to lay out what's going on to him. He didn't even know that he'd been summoned by Nysali! But I don't want to set a precedent by becoming the explainer guy. Not sure who among us fits that niche though. Still, take your questions elsewhere, Ulric! We need an Ulric to explain things to Ulric.

Still and all, he did a good job with the minimal information I gave him. Enough to get the job done. It seemed easiest – although, in hindsight, maybe not advisable – to return Bowyn to the Mount rather than travel all the way to Northshire, since Daralei and Nenemeth are basically the same thing if you squint at them from far away, and it seemed unlikely that the sole remaining caretaker of the temple in Northshire, Whaserface the Stew Lady, would be able to pay us our reward. And I was headed to the Mount anyway, for my own reasons, so we'd be killing two birds with one stone.

Well, we killed those birds, and we did use a stone… but it was not a single shot strike, bouncing from one bird to the next. A much messier affair.

Maester Ludum of Daralei wasn't too keen on letting us leave with Bowyn after it became obvious that he wasn't gonna pay us for her, so there goes that reward up in smoke. Maybe they'll help her, at least…? Hard to say. Ludum didn't strike me as a particularly charitable guy. We kinda whiffed our whole presentation though, which began badly when Gayle told the priests that Bowyn was dead and we were there to arrange for her disposal, and then got worse as we all tried to explain and salvage the situation at once. Davynn came up with the idea of passing around a speaking rock so that we weren't talking over one another, which probably didn't lend an air of legitimacy or even basic competence to our endeavour, but whatever. I urged Davynn to give Gayle the rock, because his notes on what happened at the Nowhere Inn were – we discovered – impressively comprehensive, and I thought his explanation would be similarly clear and factual. He did his best. Only peed himself a little.

But anyway, after all that nonsense, I was pretty rattled and realized that I'd made a critical tactical blunder by associating myself with those… what's a NICER word than cretins? Because I'd need all the credibility I could muster for the much trickier negotiations to follow, to wit, the liberation of Gayle from his life of meaningless servitude in the Mount. If I hadn't been starting on my back foot, Ludum and I could've come to terms while sipping tea like civilized gentlemen. Instead, I babbled some bullshit and then fled to grab Ulric, the alleged silver-tongued rogue.

And to give him his due, he gleaned enough sense from my babble to negotiate with Ludum on my behalf and – long story slightly less long – we got Gayle! The rest is just details. I mean, there were a couple of TINY conditions. We have to help Gayle investigate the makers of stuffed dwarves if we ever come across them, and if he dies, we owe the church of Daralei 1000 gold. Well… scratch that. I wanted Ludum to add a clause to the contract saying that he wouldn't try to kill Gayle himself in order to squeeze us for the gold, and he took some mild offence at that and added another 500 gold to the penalty – which just about made Ulric's head burst – but like I said, trivial details. Although we better get the kid some armour, or at least some reinforced robes.

I suppose, from the outside, it might look like I exercised poor judgment there. But this is why, in spite of everything, beneath the turbulence, I'm serene. I don't have ALL the steps plotted out yet, but I can see the path ahead so clearly, and it's goddamn beautiful. First we need Gayle. Done. Next I need to figure out this grapple gun. In progress. The step after that will figure itself out. But THIS is where I live, right on the edge of the storm, carving sense out of noise. No room for regret or second-guessing. Only forward.

City's fully awake now. Veil of mist's gone, all the surfaces naked and obscene. Now I remember why I left. Was hoping to intercept the messenger with the contract from Ludum before the others woke – hence the early morning, outdoor tea – but the innkeeper has instructions to deliver it to me in secret if it arrives while I'm out. No need to worry the Sweetness & Light Brigade unduly. Gayle won't die because he CAN'T die. End of story.

People and their petty commerce, their unwashed smells. I'll hang around a bit longer, take another look at the grapple gun while I wait. Broken as it is, it makes sense, somewhere in there.

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Grappler? I hardly even know her.
Episode 11

With our heroes having a totally peaceful and not at all scary sleep, they wake to find that the day they’ve all been waiting for has finally come: the day they finally “rescue” Bowyn.  So the party goes together to retrieve Bowyn and meet their ride out of town.  Wait… What? They split the party?  Really?  They’re trying to smuggle out Lorholt’s most wanted and they send the least stealthy person by himself to go retrieve her… that’s a bold strategy Cotton, Let’s see if it pays off for them.

 

Surprisingly though their plan went off without a hitch.  The met Sharkira’s men at the green, no red no… stupid color blindness… at the east north eastern gate that was guarded by people in red… green… red… green… screw it they were wearing cloaks that were some sort of color.  The Tide secured Bowyn in a carriage hidey hole.  Xylund proceeded to “make friends” with the dwarven carriage driver who informed them that they would be heading to Greyloch.  With everyone ready to get underway and all the preparations made, the party proceeded to wait around for an hour as more passengers loaded into the caravan.  You’d think that going into enemy territory and retrieving a mysterious box would get them a private trip out of the city, but nooooooo.  They had to share their caravan with mere peasants.

 

Once all the others were loaded in, they made their way out of Lorholt.  However, much to the disappointment of this narrator and all of the party’s fangirls, cool guy and 1989s number one summer heart throb Ulric did not join the party in their cramped carriage.  Instead they were accompanied by a very clearly unhinged woman who was obviously just barely keeping it together and some boy around Davynns age who was carrying around some fancy learning books who was apparently something called a bone eater, gross why would people even do that, to each their own I guess.

 

Forming a miniaturized taser with his fingers Kern tried to discern the exact moment they left the Gnoll zone.  As soon as there was a spark, he slammed his hands down onto Davynn heart, pulp fiction style, in attempts to revive him.  However this was unsuccessful.  The party inside the carriage then conscripted the boy with the fancy books to try and figure out what was going on, but to little success especially since he was being a little bitch and insisting that Annie and Davynn were dead.  They were only mostly dead, geeze hasn’t anyone seem Princess Bride.  After musing with Corrin for a bit.  The compartment containing Bowyn started making noise.  They quickly remedied this problem by tearing the seat from its hinges revealing the priestess.  She examined the paralyzed party members and attempt some next level magic on them and by next level I mean several levels higher than the 2nd level lesser restorations that Kern was pumping into them.  This was the good stuff, not any of that crap cut with flour, this was 100% grade A divine power infused directly into the blood stream.  Feels good man.  It worked… kinda… Davynn was able to move for a few seconds, enough to let the party know that Annie probably had an idea of what was ailing them. 

 

After a few short seconds of disbelief that uber magic wouldn’t work Corrin realized that the party had never taken the barbs out of the wounds…

 

The next few seconds were a mad rush of movement as a mass of humanity tumbled in this tiny carriage in attempts to find the correct people to take out the poisonous barbs.  The crazy lady in the carriage randomly decided to snap at this point and left for one of the other carriages in the caravan because she was having a break down that in no way had anything to do with the party and their antics.   After the remnants of the needles were removed, Bowyn attempted to get Annie up but was only able to do so for a couple of seconds, during which time Annie revealed to the party that the only cure was Wyddin root, which was resistant to magic.  With that Bowyn contacted Tuvaris and told him to bring some to an inn on the edge of the Treaty Woods.  Despite the significance of this moment a dark secret was discovered: the secret owl.  When the party mentioned the owl that they believed to be Bowyn’s to Bowyn, she had no recollection of such an owl existing.  It was then that the party discovered their true nemesis.  So they took upon themselves, a holy quest, sanction by the great grappling gun in the sky to figure out what the hell this owl was supposed to be and neutralize the threat to the gears that keep the world turning.

 

Anyways, the days continued to pass by in the caravan.  The healers of the party would enhance Bowyn’s magic every day to allow for the paralyzed party members to move for a couple of seconds and down a goodberry to keep them alive.  This continued for a couple of days into the treaty woods.  Every day Annie would check to see if there was Wydinn root in the area.  This lead to the shocking discovery that a source of Wydinn root was constantly 5 miles behind them every day which totally didn’t mean a potential ambush.  One of the nights Annie was able to conjure and owl messenger (“we don’t have secret owls hidden up our sleeves”) and send it to the Venelis Elves to ask for aid.

 

Later in that night, there seemed to be some sort of hubbub with the other guards.  Xylund decided to share the party’s information that there were people stalking the caravan and Xylund’s dwarvish “friend” told him that there had been knoll sightings and that they were waiting for a dead drop from Hellica.  Kern then argued with the patrol saying that they should change to a defensible formation and set traps.  This went on for like 10 minutes only to have Bowyn point out that they don’t have the material components for the spell he was trying to cast (see ‘I’m at soup’ for full transcript of the conversation). 

 

The party is shaken from their stupor by the other caravans fleeing.  Jumping into their carriage with Bowyn and the Bone eater, Xylund makes the executive decision to head toward the Venelis clan which according to Corrin’s reckoning is decently close.  Unfortunately in all they chaos, there was a casualty.  Ulric, People magazine’s sexiest man alive for 5 straight years, was separated from the party.  Far across the distance and spaces between us you have come to show you, go on.  Near, Far, Wherever you are, I believe that our hearts will go on.

 

Despite the emotional trauma of the moment.  The Xylund was able to drive the carriage like a badass through the night at breakneck pace to flee from the encroaching Gnolls.  After a thrilling night of the chase, the party runs into their old friend Stohana who leads them back to the Elvin village.  The party is tended to by Meriel and there are emotional celebrations as the formerly paralyzed members regain control of their bodies. 

 

The rest of the day is punctuated by some interparty conversations which will be summed up below:

 

Kern and Annie:  Annie says she understands why Kern wanted to revert her and that she was sorry for being a bit useless.  Kern says that he was glad that it didn’t come to that and attempts to patch up Annie’s self-confidence by pointing out all the things they couldn’t have done without her.  There’s some awkward conversation that leads to some sweet moments but at least the air cleared about that whole “beating her into a pulp until she reverts” misunderstanding.

 

Davynn and Stohanna: Davynn is taken by Stohanna back to her place (bow-chick-wow-wow) where she teaches him the subtle art of mixing dangerous chemicals together.  Luckily, Dangerous is Davynn’s alter ego’s last name.  He not only excels in learning how to make poisons, but he channels his inner Ulric and suavely leaves Stohanna with a sexy one-liner.

 

Xylund and Gayle (the bone eater): Lots of expositional dumping about stuffed dwarves.  Seriously some cool stuff, but this narrator doesn’t want this log to go on for too long.  He also learns about things… thing that only come out at night, the lean and hungry types, nothing that’s new, he just hasn’t seen them before.  Watching and waiting, Ooh they’re out stalking you to cloud your mind forever more.  So what was plainly seen.  What you think, no longer a thing.  These creatures are wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar.  Your brain is their plater.  If you’re trapped in their claws.  You ain’t gonna get too far.  Oh Oh here they come. Watch out boy they’ll chew you up.  Oh Oh here they come.  They’re a Dream Eater.

 

Xylund and Davynn:  Xylund hatches a plan to make Davyn king of the Kobolds and the two have a conversation about chaos being the real enemy.  Xylund opens up slightly to Davynn only the have the door slammed in his face.

 

Xylund and Annie:  Once again Annie attempts to clear the air about the “misunderstanding” and tries to convey that she hopes that they can be friends and that hopefully she’ll be useful in her 3000 years of life.  Xylund comforts her in the only way he knows how: by telling her to do better next time.

 

The rest of the day/evening followed by copious amounts on music, dancing, friendship, and drugs… lots of drugs.

 

 

 

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