The Journal of Kria 'Damsel' Voss

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Kria's Journal: Part VI
"Beasts From Above"


So, two boys sent with us to act like Deudermonts little spies, an elf who quickly got on everybody's nerves, and a quiet human guy that moves around the field rather nimbly. Faelon and Alvi, a cute couple, but ones I'm sure I'll have to kill soon enough - I don't play nice with watchdogs. Of course, I informed of that with my usual charm and grace, so I think the warning's carried well.

The trek went on for some time, I had to keep the elf company at the head of the team much to my chagrin (I'd rather he keep far, far from me), and we came across a river. No worries, I guess, just a gap to hop - not that it stopped Shorty from apparently attempting murder on Sorin. If that's a dwarven version of a prank, I really don't want to see their 'hazing', prolly involves far too much paint thinner for my liking. When we all finally got across, we were assaulted by a pack of orogs and enslaved goblins, some of them being...different. Abeleth didn't lie about the aberrations, anyway, and we were quick to lock formations. Some came around to flank us, but seems we at least had enough bruisers to form battlelines, I mostly stuck around helping Sorin and waiting for the rest of us to regroup.

Then, a big guy showed up, wielding two big old axes. The elf got himself screwed in melee, and then it was a bloody mess, though I did put a nice and violent arrow into the one good eye of 'Beast Hew'. Orogs aren't that much smarter than orcs, it seems, and from there it was standard fare - killing the backliners and sending them careening into the ravines kept us occupied for the rest of it when the stupid Chieftain bit it. Sorin's armour, though, got melted off him by one of the freaky orogs - apparently it spewed acid. Great, good to know they can do that, let me know how it goes in future while I stay roughly a hundred feet back.

We crossed a footbridge to scout ahead before beating a retreat, because Sorin apparently is completely and utterly worthless without his armour, and found a poor sucker who got done in by some rather sickly stuff. Faelonn, being about as bright as I thought he must be, touched the guy directly and dragged him across the bridge. The guy didn't last long, all said and done, so we head on back down to the Daggercap outpost with a severed orog's head and nothing else to show for it. Shorty got hold of a stupid hat from a dwarf for Beast Hew's death, what a deal, and we settled in for a while before heading straight back out. Was a long trek, admittedly, but when we finally got back to the mountains we saw the orog were mobilized in force - I SURE AM GLAD WE BACKTRACKED FOR NOTHING, GUYS. Our enemies took our attack as an invitation for all out war, it seems, or something awful close to it - we better stop the source and get out.

In a effort to evade the two hundred half-breed ogres swarming the mountainside, we took a sidetrail and started climbing, where we were swarmed by some birds. Stupid birds, apparently, we left them dead and kept going...and then found out why the sidetrail wasn't in use. A pair of yetis was bombarding us from above with boulders, cracking us about, and we were pretty defenseless - Lucien was using his magic to make rocks fall slower, and I spent my time weaving and dodging up ahead, climbing halfway up the cliffside before finding a good spot to start peppering the yeti with arrows. Others looked in rough shape, afterwards, so we had to settle in for a brief rest...

And Faelonn shows his true colours. A drow disguised as an elf, but without a ring - an earring. I can't say I was upset to kill the guy, but the fact the drow were continuing to mess with us made me unreasonably angry, an anger I quenched with my blade in his heart. Looks like Deudermont's gonna find the drow are closer to home than he expected, the round-eared dolt, and if I have to ram a blade in his henchman's heart to make him see that, I'm glad to do it. Alvi seemed as surprised as we were, but I guess it doesn't matter.

I've got my first drow ear. Don't worry, Faelonn, it won't be lonely for too long.
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Kria's Journal: Part V
"The Aberrated Orogs"


I put a few things together in my mind.

Wasn't hard, mind you, once I sobered up and said goodbye to the lovely stranger sharing my bed for the evening...

And it's all connected a bit much for my liking.

Shorty mentioned Faelara was tied, somehow, to the bandit activity they'd recently dealt with. Symbols, coin, it doesn't matter; the trails are there. Now, there's Drow skulking around amongst the orcs in a position ripe for attacking Veldrane and Cynthar's Gate, and I finally get to confirm my suspicions about the regicide & familicide back in Faelara - white-haired cave dwellers trying to screw with my people - people that'll send them scuttling back to their little holes once I find where my allies are.

So, fine, Miss Voss has a target or two hundred, and she can afford the arrows just fine. I don't mind tracking, either, and I can sure as hell find the skulks now that I know what I'm looking for...but lone ranger will get me killed. Princess Valna, now that she's firmly decided she's staying in the land of the living, listened to my 'theory' rather well. I appreciated that (though she owes me), because my temper was running a bit short, and I honestly don't want to see her watch her country burn when I can just as easily find a way to sway her to raise an army against those dirty Drow and turn my homeland back over to its rightful owners. But the Princess wants proof, which I can grudgingly understand, so I best go get it. Fortunately, it's easy enough to seem like my usual 'money-money-money' self, and as Shorty's at the fore of being sent to the Daggercaps to test for this nonsense, I can easily just tag along. I think I've at least earned 'senior membership' in this little adventurer's club, in any case. Go to the Daggercap Outpost, talk with a guy named 'Deudermont', get some leads to follow on disturbances - fine, easy, here's hoping we find a strong trail.

So we set out, and we're attacked by cutthroats in the night, how deliciously typical. We put them to the grindstone pretty quickly, once we woke the hell up, and I saw another one; a Faelaran agent. Except, I knew the prick was just a drow wearing elf ears, slipping in and out of sight as he tosses his little blades about. I couldn't get an arrow on the bastard, and he got away, but don't worry - next time I'll pin him to the ground through his damn feet.

Getting to the Daggercap Outpost wasn't much trouble thereafter, despite us murdering a half-dozen highwaymen on the way, and we're put to chat with some dull human who doesn't know the first thing about the meaning of fun. Devin Deudermont's a prick, sure enough, but he's apparently 'in-charge' out this way and is playing dumb about the whole drow thing. The humie will get what's coming to him if I find out he's working with them, and I'm not going to make it pretty, not one bit.

I ended up getting into a chat with an elven lady named Abeleth Firestarter, we were...'talking'? It was either arguing, being friendly, or flirting, I'm not a hundred percent sure which. I'm also not sure if I want to get in good with her, or shoot her ears off and paint a wall with them, but I guess that comes later.

She claimed to recognize me from Faelara, I shrugged it off, but she wasn't letting up on the idea too easy. I just kept batting the notion aside, which made her grumpy, but I love making fullblood girls grumpy - nobody does 'haughty' better! Of course, she's probably like five or six times my age, so I won't get too uppity. She gave me a tip-off to some orogs up in the Daggercaps, apparently showing abberations or mutations of some kind, which sounds like 'red alert, drow nonsense involved' to me, so I figured we'd take a look at it. Shorty got the same idea from a dwarf (not before feeding Lucien enough paint thinner to knock him out for a good half hour), so it seems that's where we're headed.

And NOW Deudermont wants to talk to us about it? Bloody typical round-eared malarkey, the man can go screw himself for all I care, but he's offering cash for us to do the job we set out to do anyway. So fine, he's a complete and utter moron, but he's paying me to do what I love - destroy anything the Drow touch.

Abeleth told me to watch my back. Maybe more friend than enemy afterall, I guess, but I'll keep my cards close until I'm sure she's not going to stick a blade in my spine.
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Kria's Journal: Part IV
"A Deathmark for Drow"


Another day, another dead orcish prick.

After we left Ik-Gor's broken body behind, we continued on, one of us spotted another one of those secret doors. Was it me? Screwed if I know, I'm already hitting the whiskey back in town.

Spoilers, I guess, in case you thought I died or something - are you an idiot?

Found another puzzlebox, busted it with some words about bottles, a good way to get anyone talking if the bottles are full of booze. Room had some gold, a few trinkets and one of those dimension-loopy bags, too - Shorty's carrying it, and seeing as he's basically in charge of this company of crazy, I'm happy to let him do so. We holed up in that room, hunkered down for some rest, so the boys can hurl some useful magic again. Wasn't long after that we found the room the Warboss was set up in, corrupting a magic pool of Sarenrae, with a bunch of his lieutenants all standing around ready to fight.

I'd try to describe them all, but screw it, they all die anyway.

That was a hell of a mess of a fight, fireballs and oversized orcs in desperate need of being cut to size, not that it stopped Shiny Loudmouth the 2nd from growing to the same size to try and lock horns with the Warboss. 'Oleg', am I meant to take that seriously? Psh. I nailed the flametosser with a few careful shots, and put a nasty one into Oleg too, reminding him why quality trumps quantity. Of course, a whole bunch of high-quality arrows will help out a lot, in a pinch. We had problems all over, more of us teetering on the brink of death, namely Kilik and Lucien. I couldn't knock him out of the way of that arrow, and I felt bad about it, can't say why. Feeling bad about things isn't normally my style, but I tried to make up for it by shooting more orcs, at least. Not sure if Lucien appreciates gestures by way of murder, but hey, he's an interesting guy.

Shorty died.

I feel like I should explain more, but see, he got up afterwards like he was fine. Sorin dumped him in that pool, awful Sarenrae-tainted swill, and that mended him back to standing. I wasn't going near the stuff, mind you, Dawnflower can take a long walk off a short cliff if she thinks I'm bathing in her 'divine brilliance', the egotistical prat. So, with not-dead Shorty back on his feet, and us stowing away everything of value or that radiated vague magic (new enchantment on my greycloak, great stuff), we had our cure for the princess.

Of course, I figured it was too late, given how long we'd taken. She'd probably be dead before we made it back, at that rate, and then the Archmage Khelben casually teleported in and I'm going to kill the next gods-accursed wizard I see and it's not going to be pretty. Stepping through the old bastard's teleportation circle (and letting Shorty relieve me of my gem from the lore box, stupid jerks), we got the cure to Princess Priss and she had a change of heart on the whole 'dying' thing.

Hooray.

Maybe if your guards are worth half a copper, they won't let your peasants wash over you with poison darts, next time.

Better for the Kingdom, either way, don't need a civil war cropping up here just yet. But see, there was a drow with the orcs, pretending to be Faelaran. With a ring, enchanted to disguise him, a drow shaping effortlessly into an elf. And see, I think back, on my time among the courts and seeing the nobles and royals...and that ring is familiar. Too bloody familiar. So, Drow, is it? That's where I get led by the sleeve, to fight cowardly, shadow-skulking lunatics that put an end to my family at large, and a few too many friends?

That's fine by me.

I'll start collecting their ears.
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Kria's Journal: Part III
"Ik-Gor, Ichor, No More"

Heading back to Raven's little campsite wasn't much fun, I half expected to find it decorated in a lot of black and fancy fabric, but I guess not. Found another guy there with that same look in his eyes as the shiny guy that bit it, and he introduced himself as Sorin, Jace's brother.

Awkward.

Breaking the news with body in tow was fun stuff, but I didn't kill the fool, so what's the harm? Fancypants decided to take Jace's corpse back on in to town, while the newest Markov decided to accompany us, either to help the princess or to hone in on his dead brother's paycheck, not sure. Maybe just wants to kill some orcs, which I can get behind. I'm also going to get behind him, because like his brother, he's carrying a door on wheels and is good at standing in front of bad things. Lots of bad things, actually, a few too many bad things. I think it's a family tradition.

Wading into the keep of Old Veldrane itself, Tribin tricked the orcs into opening a door, at least I think he did. Shorty and (New) Shiny set up a bit of a shield wall, good for firing arrows out of, and we cleared a way. Bit further in, we found a torturer, and a not-quite-all-there prisoner. Mentioned his name was Lucien, these humans and their prissy names, he seemed more than a bit addled. Wanted to come along, though, and his magic proved useful. He does have this odd tendency to try and sit down the orcs for a calm chat when we're in the middle of a battle, though, which strikes me as crazy. What's crazy is that it works, sometimes, but I try and move past that for my own mental stability.

Emphasis on stab.

The next battle was a deadly one indeed, they had mages throwing fire and conjuring whips made of pain, and a huge frontline. Seems Lucien and I tag-teamed the mages, he nailed the fire-guy with a ray of his own brand of flame, and I buried an arrow in the skull of the shaman that'd tried to drop Shorty. Suddenly, their spellcasters were both gone, and they were shaking in their poorly made boots. While that happened, Sorin took three of them out in one swipe, and what looked like a hectic for our lives ended up as a much fairer fight.

Well, if we fought fair, anyway.

Cleaning up after that, we stumbled across some secret doors. No surprise, really, the old nobility must've loved digging little tunnels to crawl into the moment a single sign of danger pops up, poor humans. We found these 'Lore Boxes', some kind of children's puzzletoy that someone back in town wanted us to recover, but...not seeing the difficulty there. I mean, I figured two of them out in a heartbeat, maybe I'm just some kind of savant. Sure my cousins wouldn't think so, but hey, screw them, I got a magic sword and a shiny gem out of knowing how to outthink an inanimate object.

Sorin fell down a pit. Not much else to add there. Three gems, three magic weapons, one of each is mine. Trying to convince the walking suit of armour not to rush down a corridor is like trying to tell an orc not to rut, a human not to conquer, or an elf not to simper.

Or the choir boys not to whine and whinge.

We then encountered another swarm of orcs, less of them this time, but with a more lethal bent. Unlike Razz, this Ik'Gor guy seemed to know what the hell he was doing, wielding the curved blade of my ancestors no less. Funny, an orc playing at being an elf, and apparently doing a damn good job of it. He laid into Sorin so damn hard that I thought we'd lost two Markovs in just as many days, I tried to pull him out of the way, but no dice. Poor, stupid human. He was still breathing, though, so I shadowed his wounds and he seemed to sputter back to life. Which is good, and all, because I was about to be pinned against a wall by the guy that nearly just slaughtered him, and Sorin slaughtered back.

With Shorty barely freeing himself from a medicine man's black magic, I dropped the dress-wearer, and we were able to bring the last two psychopaths down. Not before we had over half our crew unconscious and bleeding at different points of the battle, though, and we're starting to feel we're in over our heads.

Hence why I hang at the back with a clear line to the way out.

Hey, you're all great companions and none of you have fainted in fear yet, but I'm not really willing to put my flesh on the line for any of you. Guess I sort of did, but call that a toss of the coin, I felt lucky. Keeping the Markov line from killing itself off, though? I haven't got enough shadow magic for that. We're hunkering down, we're all out and spent, I can keep shooting but it's no good if the magic-men have nothing to go by - they're more useful than their dresses let on.

Coming for you soon, Warboss, you're in the way of my paycheck. A terrible place to be, y'know, a lot of smarter men than you will tell you.

I need a brothel and a good drink when all's said and done.
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Kria's Journal: Part II
"Hilltop Harrowing"

Cave of orcs.

Fun times, y'know, as usual - we ambushed a group of the greenskins puttering about in their den, cut them to pieces, shot a few, ra-ra success. I swear, these things are good at rutting and not much else, given some of the half-orcs I've met I kind of hope they'd be at least a little clever? Maybe?

Of course, I can't say that for my allies, either judging by the next bit.

Choir-boy rushes in and gets himself completely pounded, the other choir-boy ends up dragging him over elsewhere so they can have a seance and fix his broken torso, and Jace decides to barrel straight into the middle of them as far from help and hope as possible.

Y'sure you're not an orc?

I was busy picking off the big ones, trying to swipe baddies off the plate-guy, because I know who's flesh they're gonna wanna piece of when the shiny man falls down. Yeah, that's right, the spritely elf girl who's turning them into pincushions. I landed a few nasty arrows that I was rather pleased with, while Jace and Shorty were cleaning up shop; then the dwarf asked me to clear him a path.

Clear a path, eh, shortman!?

I drew him a straight line from his armoured hide to the spine of the boss orc, punching through about a foot of bone, muscle and flesh, leaving a corpse and an angry, angry orc with a fletched arrow in his back. "If you get lost, follow the arrow!"

Oh yeah. Still got it.

And then it was standard massacre! All's well. After picking ourselves up together after that one, we doubled back to a cave for a rest, hunkered down for the evening. Little worried, given one greenskin escaped, and we had a scouting party stumble on us. Stumbling, mostly, due to the blade through their midsections and the arrows in their vitals. They didn't stumble on home, that's for sure.

After our little rest and recuperation (mostly to let the choir-boys take a knee, I think - Nethys and Sarenrae sound like the most boring gods alive) we trekked up back and past the fort, trying to make it to Old Veldrane itself, and of course there were orcs waiting on the hilltop. I figure that little bastard that got away tipped them off, and the scouting party not returning likely didn't help, so they were fully ready for us. Didn't even have time to shadow my bow, the gits, and then they were on top of us. And nearly surrounding us, too, which is no good in the archer's eyes. Jace got big, Killik and Geoffry (choir boys) got to swiping and mixing magic, Tribin got to skulking, Shorty stood very still, and I got to shooting.

Not that it did much good.

Things were going badly, real badly, when Jace bit the blade and took a tumble. Tried shadowing his wounds, but not much luck, distracted me a little much from the fight as well as their blade-crazy warboss trying to make me into a quarter-elf. I kept nailing him with arrows, but the bastard was quite resilient, and it wasn't until some long-haired ponce with some fizzling magic showed up and distracted them that we made any headway. Still, I'll take it. Dropping 'Razz' was a bit of a pain, but we did it, and then slowly murdering the big guys to work on their joker archers was our ticket out. Now, we're heading back to the camp of the guy named 'Raven' (what kinda name is that?) to recuperate, but things feel messy when you're down a meatshield.

Sorry, Jace, twice the size, twice the arrows in you. Promise not to take any stuff off your corpse, get the feeling Shorty wouldn't let me, anyway.
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