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It’s a Miracle We Aren’t All Dead (Session 5)
Finally, we seemed to be safe. I tried to heal Snowy, but he assured me that he had it taken care of and sure enough, after mumbling a few words his wounds almost completely disappeared. I was very relieved, though my feeling of peace at last was cut short.
“Come on guys, we have to hurry”, came the always irritating voice of Tirondel.
Still, I wasn’t willing to waste time telling him off for yelling at a man who had been, just ten minutes ago, almost dead. We continued on, with me still leading the way. There was a glimmer of light a long ways down this tunnel. Eventually, we found the source. The tunnel opened up into a large cave. The ground sloped down, looking like there used to be a pond or something here. It was completely dry now, though, and there was a fire going to our right. Near it was a horse that had several bites taken out of it and looked disgusting. There were no other signs of life, but we proceeded with caution, knowing the chances of it being uninhabited were very low. Tirondel went towards the horse, Snowy stayed back with Anssi, and I led Thomdril to the other end, which as we moved on and my torch lit up the darkness, we saw had many different tunnel openings. One went straight forward in front of us and when I strained to listen for sounds, I heard a low growling coming from down it. I relayed this information to the others and decided to scout ahead. I put out the torch and slowly walked forward, taking care not to make any sound. Just then, I heard a loud crack from behind me. Turning around quickly, I saw Snowy, who it looked like had just trodden on a stick, making the loud crack. I put my finger to my mouth and continued to creep forward. I made it to the opening of another tunnel leading to the left from the tunnel that had led forward, the one that I had heard the growling from, and I peered around the corner. There were wolves, trapped in a wooden cage. They were pushing against each other and the sides of the cage, growling all the while. Breathing a sigh of relief, I looked farther down the tunnel. What I saw frightened me down to my bones. I saw a few orcs who appeared to be guards and past them was what looked like an entire civilization of orcs, with several dozen at least. Realizing that going down there was certain death, I went back to tell the others about this. Tirondel, realizing that nothing good would come of observing the horse I suppose, had come back to us and we all grouped up and talked it over. Anssi and I had the obvious plan of looking down the other tunnels for a different way out. There was no way that even Tirondel would argue this, I figured. But no. Tirondel said that what we should do was try to sneak down the tunnel, past the orcs. He convinced Snowy to his side, and though Thomdril seemed to agree with both of our plans, when we pushed him to choose one or the other he chose Tirondel’s plan. By this point I was just done with all of their idiocy. Even so, I couldn’t leave them. They (except for maybe Tirondel) were my companions, my brothers in arms. And so, we went on our suicide mission, with Thomdril leading. We managed to sneak past the guards and saw a side path that led to an opening to outside the mountain. However, this path went around a large open area. In the area were all the orcs. If just one saw us, we would be dead. In the very middle of the orcs was what looked like a giant spike going into the ground. As many questions as this raised, I couldn’t dwell on them. We had to get out. We continued sneaking along. We got about halfway before an orc saw us. He shouted, “Hey!” and pointed at us. We found ourselves facing all of the orcs. Certainly a nerve wracking situation if there ever was one, but somehow Thomdril got his wits and began talking to them. Before long, though, it became obvious that he wasn’t the greatest negotiator, so Tirondel began feeding him words. The orcs seemed to be swayed by his words. They looked at what looked like the orc chief for orders. The chief deliberated, and finally had his verdict. We would leave immediately, and if we were ever seen in the mountain again, we would be killed. Happy with this, we got out as fast as we could. I knew that I would never live this down. Tirondel would brag about this forever. Thinking this, I sighed and we began trudging down the mountain.
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Tales of Belegor the Great - Tale Numero... uh... Seven
One day, I was in a pub, drinking and impressing the ladies. Pubs are great, you know? They are incredible places for men like myself to show off how… well, manly we are. Anyway, a beautiful lady came stumbling into the bar.
“Please help me!” she cried. “A troll has taken my friend!”
Of course, being the, above all, just amazing person that I am, I rushed over to her. “What is wrong my lady?” I asked.
“I was taking a leisurely stroll in the mountains with my friend. Suddenly, a troll jumped out from behind a rock and grabbed us both, one in each hand. He brought us both to his cave and tied us both up. I managed to struggle loose while he was gone, but my friend wasn’t able to. I don’t have much to give you, but the troll had a pile of gold. You could take that. Please, save my friend!”
Well, long story short, I trekked up the mountain, killed the troll with its own club, and got both the money and the girl. Then I went back to the pub and stayed there all night, buying everyone rounds. Before I realized it, the money I had earned was gone, and I was completely drunk. Still, that was one of the best nights of my life, even if I can barely remember any of it now.
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Tags: interlude
Escaping the Dungeon (Session 4)
Well, I suppose I had better start writing up my account of what has gone on in these dungeons so you don’t have to trust that crafty noble Tirondel’s stories. I haven’t bothered to read them, but I don’t doubt they include many an undeserved put down to me or one of our other teammates. Despite what he says, that guy isn’t always the brain and powerhouse of the team. I’ll try to give a more accurate description of the events of our kind of heroic quest.
We had finally made it. The Sa Karan Blood Stone was imbedded in the far wall. I was about to run towards it when I came to my senses and looked around. There were three dead bodies: a female Sun Priest, a half orc, and a handsome young gentleman in shining armor. Near them were the bodies of two monstrosities. They had three shell like legs, I guess, that all converged on a circular center, which had a gaping mouth facing the ground. There was no chance, though, that they were still alive. It looked like these three, presumably the Scarlet Riders, had put up quite a fight.
As I investigated the man’s body, I discovered that sadly, he did appear to have passed away. As I was looking for signs that might show who he was, I heard a yell from behind me. I turned around to see Tirondel, holding his hands out, the remnants of a burst of fire quickly fading from behind a monster that seemed to be the same as the ones lying dead on the floor. It was spinning like a top, with the leg like things rotating like a motor above the head, which was violently spinning on the ground. I pulled out my sword, just as the monster’s rotating legs struck Snowy across the chest. They left a bad mark. Looking around, I noticed that there was a large hole in the ceiling. It appeared that the monster had gotten the drop on us.
Tirondel shot a burst of fire at it again, but it seemed to have no effect. It lashed out at Thomdril, but Snowy muttered an incantation that seemed to make its attack miss. Tirondel shouted at us not to attack it. Did he mean to show mercy to it? For some reason, Thomdril listened and stayed his blade. I, however, ignored his order and attempted to strike at it with my shortsword. I hit it, but the shell protecting the creature’s insides stopped it from going deep enough to do any damage.
The creature again turned towards Snowy, but Tirondel yelled another incantation and coils of earth came out of the ground and wrapped around the creature’s legs, stopping it in its tracks. Thomdril now struck at it, realizing that there had been no need to pause in the first place, and his great axe broke through the shell, doing the first damage to it of the whole fight. I took this chance and swung at it alongside Snowy, but again, our strikes just bounced off of the shell.
Tirondel scoffed at us, though it seemed completely unreasonable considering he had done no more than us, and while hanging back safely too. He then shot a third blast of fire at the creature, and this one hit, scorching it through completely. While he had just stayed back until the end and stolen the kill, I had to begrudgingly admit that it was a quite masterful display of fire magic, though I would never admit that to his face.
The fight finally over, Thomdril went and pried the blood stone out of the wall, and we went back to looking at the bodies. We found numerous magical items, which we had Snowy identify. The handsome man I was observing turned out to have a quite strong magical longsword, a magical amulet, and a signet ring proving him to be a member of the house of Galstaff. He almost surely was Trabyan, and he was dead.
Whispering a prayer to him, I took the longsword and promised to do good with it, in his honor. The amulet I gave to Tirondel, a reminder to him of my kindness and generosity. I also figured that if we were accused of killing Trabyan and his companions and looting their bodies, I could blame him, but I convinced myself that that wasn’t the main reason. We allowed Thomdril to keep the blood stone and the maul that he had picked up from the dead half-orc. I left the signet ring on Trabyan’s body and prepared to begin the long trek back, now with Trabyan’s body in tow.
Before we could start moving, though, we heard a loud rumbling sound and a large crack appeared in the ceiling. Rocks started raining down. Tirondel yelled, “Earthquake!”, which I though seemed rather pointless, as this could hardly be mistaken for anything else. As we ran, jumping from rock to rock, I unfortunately had to leave Trabyan’s body in the room so that it wouldn’t encumber me in my escape.
We jumped over the pit trap from earlier, but rocks were falling down the tunnel. It seemed we wouldn’t be able to escape this way. Tirondel yelled that we had to get back to the spider tunnel. We jumped back over the pit trap and fled back down the tunnel. We each looked for notches in the rock for us to hide in, each found one that looked like it would work, and hid in them.
We stayed there for a while, waiting for the rumbling to stop. None of us were willing to get out even once it did, for fear that some rocks might not have settled down quite yet. Eventually though, we worked up the nerve to get out, and we walked back up the slope. We looked up the tunnel, but there was no way we would be able to make our way up it. The rubble completely filled it, so that clearing it would be a lengthy task, one which we did not have anywhere near enough rations to keep us going long enough to complete anyway.
We climbed up the hallway and were able to make it back to the room where we had left the bodies, only to find that the back half of the room along with the wall that the blood stone had been embedded in had collapsed, and far below, there was a stream. I found Trabyan’s body again, which was no easy task, as the floor and the bodies were almost completely covered in rubble, and I took the signet ring from his finger and put it in my pocket. I felt bad about having to do this, but we couldn’t carry his body back in this shape. It would be a hard enough journey without extra weight. At least with this ring, we could prove that we’d found him.
Tirondel suggested that we climb down to the stream. We tied a rope between myself and Thomdril, who was the only one of us with any experience climbing, and I cast a spell on myself to boost my own climbing abilities. After all, one misstep here could mean our doom. We climbed down slowly, section of the cliff by section, with Thomdril and I alternating between the top of the climb and the bottom, and eventually made it down to the stream.
We got in a line with me in front and started to follow the stream, hoping it would lead us to an exit, but the space we had slowly lessened, until all of us but Thomdril were reduced to crawling. The space was slowly closing in, but we had to push on. If we turned back now, there was no guarantee that we would find another way out.
For some reason, this trek was really tiring me out. Every movement was a struggle, but I pushed onward. As time went by, we regretted not bringing more food and water. We hadn’t yet been reduced to attempting to drink the water from the stream, but we were close. The only liquid any of us had brought was Snowy’s liquor, which he didn’t have much of. He shared a drink with Thomdril.
Finally, the space closed. A wall of large boulders blocked our path, and the stream just went through small cracks in them. Still, we had to keep moving onward. We formed an assembly line to clear out the rocks, and after a full hour, finished. I was incredibly fatigued by this point, and the only thing keeping me going was my loyalty to my friends.
Now, though, the water was getting deeper and faster. While this was a good sign that meant that the stream at least didn’t end very soon, Thomdril’s height that had aided him earlier now meant that he was practically swimming so that he wouldn’t go below the surface of the water. If this turned into rapids, it would be almost as bad as the stream ending, as was our concern before. The only good news was that by some kind of miracle, I was feeling almost fully rejuvenated. Then came a bend in the river. I scouted around it, and found that the river came to a waterfall.
As I looked over the edge, I saw that it went down about 10 feet. The drop would be no problem, but the worst part came after that. There was a whirlpool at the bottom, and the river led from there to the side. Luckily, there was an opening to a tunnel across the whirlpool. It was the first dry ground I’d seen in what felt like days. To get to it, though, we would have to cross the whirlpool, and if we failed, we’d be pulled down the stream to the right, and most likely would not survive.
I waded back to the others and relayed this information. They came up and we all took a moment to decide what to do. Finally, I came up with a plan. I tied the rope around my waist and handed the other end to Tirondel. Then I cast a spell on all of us to boost all of our climbing abilities. Our plan was this: I would climb across the wet rocky walls to the other side. Then I and one of the others would hold onto the rope so that the others could climb across it.
I started climbing across the sheer rocky walls. They were slippery, but I was eventually able to make it. I held up the rope, which was just long enough to go across the entire whirlpool. On the other side, Thomdril kept hold of it. Snowy decided to go first, but instead of climbing hand by hand, he began to walk across it like a tightrope.
I watched as he made it halfway across, and then looked down. I saw him go pale, and then cursed myself for forgetting. Snowy had an irrational fear of water. He lost his balance, then wobbled back and forth, trying to stay on. His attempts were futile, though, and he fell from the rope. True, it wasn’t going the way we had planned it, but he could still swim to my side safely. At least, that was the hope. Then we saw the cave gnashers.
They must have crept up sneakily, waiting to attack whoever fell in. There were eight of them, and Snowy landed right in the middle of them. Three of them climbed up the rocks on either side of the waterfall and bit at Thomdril and Tirondel, but they all missed. One bit at me and it hit me, but did no significant damage. At the moment, at least, I was more worried about Snowy, who was attacked by the remaining four and sank under the water.
My instinctive pull to help kicked in, and I jumped in after Snowy, taking a hit from the cave gnasher that had hit me earlier in the process. I cast a healing spell on Snowy, and could only pray that it had helped. I took a defensive stance, putting my body and my sword in the way, blocking the cave gnashers from being able to deal any more damage to Snowy.
They attacked again, but didn’t do much. I saw one get knocked off the above ledge and fall down, getting impaled on its comrade’s spear. I cut one’s head off and Snowy, moving again, swung at one but missed. One hit me, but I shrugged it off. No matter what, I would protect my friends.
Then I saw three icy bolts fly from the above ledge, presumably from Tirondel, and freeze through three of the remaining five cave gnashers. As the other two, realizing that they were outmatched, turned to run, I cut down the one on my level, as Tirondel took down the one above.
We had won. The cave gnashers had been defeated, Snowy had been saved, and the other two were able to get over to our side with no incident. Finally, we were back on dry land (or dry stone) and could see a glimmer of hope. We would get out of there and live to see another day.
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Epic × 3!
My Life Story - told by Belegor (me)
When I was born, my parents named me Belegor, which comes from the word beleg, which means ‘great’ in Elvish. I believe the name fits me very well. My mother was an elf, and my father was a human. My father was a drunkard, though, and they didn’t stay together long after that. My father took ownership of me after they broke up.
My father bought a ranch and we lived off of it. Over that time, he taught me the finer things in life: drinking, flexing, and hitting things really hard, preferably all at once. I excelled at them all.
For my 18th birthday, my father gave me a big axe that he said would make me a true warrior. He said I could put my mark in the hilt, to truly make it mine. I went out into our bull pen and slaughtered the biggest one with the axe, and then I asked my father to put the eye of the bull in the hilt. He laughed and said he was proud of me. The next time he went into town, he did what I asked. With such a mighty blade, he said, I should go out into the world and prove myself as a true fighter.
Since then, I have done all I can to make my father proud. I drink a lot, flex a lot, and kill many things. He said it would give me a charm the women can’t resist, but I haven’t had much luck with that so far. It must be because of my looks. I am strong like a human, but I have the elegance of an elf. Bah, elegance. As far as I know, you can’t kill things with it, so what good is it? Ugh. I need another drink.
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Epic × 3!
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