Surprises
The Abyss was full of surprises.

First there had been Boudica’s unexpected romance with Thelyra, then the party’s victory in the tournament. Boudica had anticipated wailing, tormented souls, not mind-numbing sexual ecstasy and jubilant, cheering crowds. There had been a tiny naked woman in a bottle (Pelor rest her soul), the amnesiac princess Rashida, and the hospitable blood fiends. The most pleasant surprise had been encountering an army of Pelor-worshipping soldiers where they had expected to find frost giants.

Other surprises had been less pleasant. After allowing Thelyra to possess her, Boudica should have expected the struggle that ensued, but it surprised her nonetheless. Thank Pelor that Rashida had survived her sadistic compulsions, that Leon had taken her hint and read the Wish scroll. And most unpleasant of all had been Meena’s sudden turn, and her death beneath Mirilda’s axes. Boudica fought back the welling of grief that she felt rising into her chest. It could just as easily have happened to her. The thought made her shudder.

And now there was this strange warlock wandering the swamps in search of her father. She had abilities that had already helped the Unchained, and Boudica could discern no evil intent in her, but she still worried. Boudica understood well the corrupting nature of this place, and the tiefling had been wandering through it for some time. Boudica wanted to trust her, and believed that she would eventually. But not yet. Not until she could be more confident that there would no more surprises.

But there would be. The best she could hope was that those surprises did not drag down another of her companions. She looked at Leon, at his placid expression and crooked, half-smile. He looked as if he was strolling along the clifftops near Last Light, admiring the ocean view, not trudging through an infernal swamp. Boudica had seen him take the dropper to his tongue, watched as he retreated to somewhere else, his eyes glassing and his face softening. Boudica was most worried about him, and she watched over him now as a mother watches her child. He had saved her life and her soul, and she could not let anything bad befall him.

Boudica gazed across the expanse of fetid water and stunted, half-dead trees. Swarms of insects whirled like small cyclones, and the sickly-sweet reek of swamp gas hung over everything. What she wouldn’t give for a breeze, or a spit of ground where her boots did not sink into the water and muck.

For the first time since they had entered the Abyss, Boudica found herself missing Last Light.
Session: Game Session 34 - Saturday, Feb 03 2018 from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Viewable by: Public
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Great work as always, Matt. I love how the post provides a nice summary of all the Unchained's travails thus far in the Abyss.