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7/21/2017
Nonamme
Cinderland
Zubin
Luddite
Nicodmus

We encounter a voice in our heads congratulating the party on getting the shard of gluttony. However, the voice determined they cannot allow us to leave with it and plan to attack us. It is a Caulborn! Nonname talks to the Caulborn and tries to reason with it. Finally we engage them. I become confused and miss most of the battle. Nicodums opens a door thinking we do not have the shard and hears a voice. "I haven't spoken to someone in a long time." He shuts the door, but Noname wants to speak to it. There is a corpse that speaks to us! Maligast of Eox is his name. He does not provide a lot of information about the curse the party has or what he is researching. We head out back to the teleporter and all touch it at once. We had to make a fortitude save as we transported back.

Noname holds the gluttony shard to try and figure out where the other shard is.

----

Stat Damage
-3 INT, -1 WIS

Everyone is 10 level
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Pointer-left Silvarn_thumb
Silvarn
Posted by the GM
The Tomb of Dreams
Episode 8: Purpose
Bright Shadow suggested that they misdirect the attention of both Rubylak and the Realm, allowing them to withdraw in the confusion. She knew Northern Light to be very persuasive, unafraid of crowds, and personally beholden to the North. Northern Light agreed to the plan and began composing her words. She also asked Bright Shadow to help her with a disguise—though she was bold, she was not foolish enough to incite a riot against Realm soldiers and nobles. They crafted a silver and blue mask resembling an owl, a creature of divine wisdom in Linowan myth.

That night, Syn walked the road leading south from Rubylak, biding his time until his companions decided to leave as well. He kept a weather eye for any pursuers, making sure the road southward to Great Forks was clear if hasty travel was needed. He left Suma, still asleep, in Beztup’s charge. On the road, he met a grizzled old man named Anoki, who served as the watchman of the road. Anoki was not fond of the Realm, and he confided in Syn his wearing of a necklace with the sign of the Maiden of Journeys. He mentioned that the god of his sister’s village had taken bribes for miracles and hexes, one of which had given his sister a pox. Syn promised to investigate the matter, but remained outside the village until dawn.

The following morning, Northern Light and Bright Shadow waited until Xua Huo and the Realm soldiers left to hunt the Anathema, then left the Palace of Rubylak and walked toward the docks. They paused in an alley for Northern Light to change into her costume, and then strode down to the docks. There, Northern Light called upon the weak of Rubylak and the poor traders to band together and take what should be theirs from the opulent and greedy Dynasts. She directed them to a nearby Realm caravan, the Realm ships at the docks, the Realm guards in the city, and the nobles as well. The rioters surged outward, and Northern Light watched, and waited.
Session: Episode 8 - Friday, Jul 14 2017 from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM
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Hope
It started off a pretty good day, and went up from there (more-or-less), at least for a while.

I did it, finally. I asked Strongbow out for coffee or dinner or something. I mean, I’ll admit it was partly out of a little bit of jealousy (I’m sure DD would say a lot of jealousy, but whatever). But he and Kay were planning the stakeout on Michaels and he made some sort of off-the-cuff remark about it having been on a while since he was “on a stakeout with a pretty girl.” And I sort of realized that that hurt a lot more than I would have expected it to. So I took a deep breath, asked for a minute of his time, and spat it out. And he said okay, so I think that’s a good sign? Better than a “No, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” which was what I was sort of expecting/dreading.

So that was nice, and even DD’s questioning looks couldn’t get me down. I’d even go so far as to say that even shopping with Zathra couldn’t kill my buzz.

That experience was frustrating, to say the least. Nothing was ever quite right, and while I took it as a challenge (and I like me a shopping challenge), it started to eventually feel a little as though I personally wasn't quite good enough, either. I had a little bit of a vibe that I was being tolerated because I was important to DD, and because I was the pocketbook for the excursion, but that was about the extent of it.

And then DD was getting this weirder and weirder look, and when I asked her what was going on, revealed that she thought we had a tail. I asked her to tell me what he looked like, and she wasn't even through describing his all-white clothing before he was standing among us, suggesting in a muted British accent that Zathra avoid the color herself.

And it was strange, because it became clear that this guy, Liam, aka Beacon (who Strongbow knows - we’ll have to circle back to that at some point soon), was there to offer some sort of warning (or threat, depending on how you want to look at it). He was not really looking for a fight, but he was prepared for one. He suggested we have a 50 foot perimeter, and when I said that maybe we go outside instead of ruining “these nice peoples’ day”, he teleported us away.

To the Moon.

Like, look-up-and-see-the-great-blue-marble Moon.

I was more surprised to see Zathra among us than anything else, I had expected her to put up more resistance to his power.

But there wasn't much time to admire the scenery. Beacon had a message he wanted to make sure that DD and Zathra understood (although, interestingly, he didn’t know she was DD specifically until she introduced herself, he just sensed her power). He had intervened because he didn't like the idea of two forces like Zathra and DD being so close together. (He noticed us, apparently, because Zathra had been teaching herself English by stealing tiny bits of the language from everyone around us, a word here, a syllable there.)

He asked DD, pointedly, when was the last time she was hungry for actual food. He pointed out that Solo didn’t make her power out of nothing. He looked at her and said that she sat outside his purview. He said she wasn’t human anymore. He said she was Hunger. Like Zathra was. He gestured to the Earth hanging in the sky, and said “I am the protector of those billions of people... if I feel like you are a threat, I will stop you.”

My head was sort of spinning at the strangeness of it all, of the assertion that my best friend was more a force of nature and less a human. She tried to defend herself, asking him how he could claim that she wasn’t human anymore. And he showed her that he himself wasn’t, either.

It was... incredible, in the literal sense.

There was an incandescent, almost painful light. Even through my eyelids and my arms I could see it. And there was Hope. Perfect, wonderful, Hope.

Today was better than yesterday. Tomorrow was likely to be better still. In the end, it would all be okay.

It was the sort of feeling that makes you want to cry with relief, that makes you want to do a hundred jumping jacks, or kiss a baby, or write a novel.

It was wonderful.

And then I looked around, and it was clear that I was the only one who felt it that way.

DD looked shaken, Zathra looked angry. She was ready for a fight, and I stepped between her and Beacon, taking the risk that I was too important to DD that she wouldn't trample me to get to him. I stood my ground, even after he said it was alright and asked me to move. She said she was going to teach him a lesson, and I said “You will NOT.”

And then Beacon snapped his fingers again, and DD and I were back in the mall. I had a perfect tan, and Zathra was not with us. “Oh fudge.” We said simultaneously, just before our comms went off.
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Epic!
Warmth Through the Cold
Mirilda did not know how to feel on the sojourn back to town. The cold wind whipped against her face and her feet crunched in the early snow. She was numb, but not from the cold.

They had been looking for that tablet for months. They knew it was a race against the necromancers and Accolytes of Orcus and the importance of finding it first. If the Unchained failed, the Hrothgar realm, and maybe even the entire world, could be in peril.

They succeeded but at a high cost. Aimorel and Tor gave their lives and most people would not even know. They would not know the danger they had been in. They would not know of the how many of the Unchained perished over the last few months in their quest to destroy the tablet.

Mirilda, the undaunted warrior, was exhausted both emotionally and physically. She loved the battle but their adventure had taken its toll. However, there were many rewards. Mirilda realized that beyond the riches they amassed, she had taken her own journey. She used to keep everyone at an emotional distance, now she had friends, well more like family, and it hurt so much to lose them. But she learned that the hurt was worth it. Having the fallen Unchained in her life, even briefly, was worth the pain she felt at their loss.

She felt tears run through the snowflakes that landed on her cheeks. She never used to cry but had found herself doing it many times over the last few months. She used to turn her face and covertly wipe her tears when one of the party fell. She did not this time. She let herself cry openly, not just for Tor and Aimorel but for all of the Unchained, living and dead. She cried for living because she knew that they were feeling the deep sense of hurt as she did.

She looked at what remained of her family walking before her and the numbness melted away. A sense of warmth swept over her that fended off the cold for the remaining hike to town.
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Victory
The Unchained were victorious. When she had struck the tablet with the orb and it had split and collapsed into a whirlpool of light, Boudica had felt a joy more intense than anything she had ever experienced, a buoying light that suffused her and lifted her sunward, and left her standing euphoric and bewildered on the tangled grass of the barrow fields. She knew that Pelor had reached into her and touched her soul, and as soon as she regained her senses, she fell to her knees and gave thanks.

But her elation quickly ebbed as she remembered her lost comrades. She felt sadness for Tor, but he had turned down a dark path that troubled Boudica greatly, so her sorrow was mixed with a sense of relief, that was in turn saturated with guilt at feeling thus about a man who had saved her life so many times. And Aimorel. Boudica felt nothing but deep sorrow for the elf, for she had been quiet and kind and as brave and loyal as one could hope for in a comrade-in-arms. She recalled Aimorel’s broken body on the floor of that room, her hips twisted sickeningly sideways, her broken, crumpled legs, and her long hair coiled and clotted in the pool of blood beneath her head. Boudica shook the image away, wiped a tear from her eye.

She swore there on the hummocked ground of the barrows that she would return and find the bodies if she could, and that she would eradicate as much of the remaining evil as she could from the barrow maze. Her job was not quite done.

She glanced at her remaining companions, saw the confusion of sadness and joy in their eyes, and did not feel so alone. She clapped Mirilda on the shoulder, knelt down and hugged Leon. Meena seemed to be scenting something on the wind, her shark’s nostrils twitching, so Boudica decided to give her a hug later, when she was back in human form.

Then, without a word, they all turned and headed back to town.
Session: Game Session 22 - Sunday, Jun 25 2017 from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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