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"Know thyself"

Left eyebrow partially burned off, the right one is fully gone, with seared flesh where it should be. The forehead skin is stretched tight due to the grafting process, making its coloration seem surreal; the dark red color of burning, the whitened color of having many layers incinerated off, and then the general whitening of flesh as it stretches to cover an area far to big for whats left. Along the left eye, on both sides, a line of stitches curves around the face, going along the temple, down the cheek, and crossing the jawline. On the other side, the line runs the length of the nose, curves just above the right side of the mouth and clips the edge of the lips before stopping. Parallel to the mouth but stopping at the ridge of the nose is another line of stitches. Where the two lines cross, just before the cheekbone, there is a small gathering of puss. An image of the face being split open- flayed, seared, bleeding- still comes to my mind. I smile at my mirror, which causes me pain. So I smash it instead.

"To thine own self be true"

Can I beat Fineas? I'm tempted to just send him a message through any source I can, even if its fliers. Tempted to meet him somewhere secluded and just end this now. But as I look at the distorted, broken images in the mirror (which look less horrific then the original image) I doubt at my own abilities. I can't split my face open again without dying. Be reasonable. or is it fear? I crush the cigarette I'm holding. As anger and impulse sweep my brain aside, I pour a cup of whiskey and drink it to calm myself down. From the bottom of the glass I can see my reflection. I should wait to act. I know this.

But I can't seem to get away from myself today.
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Gnoll Cave!
Wow, today really had some serious stuff happen! The Gnoll that LC interrogated led us to the base where his boss was hiding and then wished us a “quick and painless” death. He thought we were going to die in there!

Anyway, we went inside and managed to surprise the guards…sort of. May apparently started singing and gave us away. Why would she do that!? Oh, yeah, I guess LC tripping and making an enormous clank made some noise too, but still, not his fault he has big armor. We managed to dispatch the two initial guards easily, but then we started getting shot at by more guards from down the hallway! We managed to force our way through the chokepoint into a more open area. Poor LC ended up having to take the two toughest guys head-on! He got pretty banged up because they hit him a LOT, but he kept on fighting and taking hits for us. It was really brave! We eventually managed to dispatch them with a lot of fire. It was really fascinating to watch. Oh, yeah, I did a couple of scythe attacks too.

After taking out those random grunts, we ended up walking around in a big circle because we took the wrong path. We eventually found our way to a ladder. On the next floor, LC accidentally triggered a trap! Fortunately, it didn’t hurt a lot, but I decided I should go ahead of him. I have a knack for dealing with them and the poor guy had already taken a real beating. We found a bunch of gold in a few boxes under the beds in the next few rooms. In the next one, though, I got attacked by a huge zombie as I came around the corner! It did some weird things to me and made me a little dazed, but I fought it off and helped show him what for. A few other ugly skeleton undead guys came from the south, too. LC just totally owned these guys, though! He put a couple of huge beams of light into both of them, and the second one just exploded in one blast! This is why I told May that LC is definitely NOT a liability.

During the fight, May used that Polymorph thing to turn her weasel into a big dragon thing! Afterward, she used it to carry her, which LC said made her seem spoiled. She retorted by saying LC was just jealous that I wouldn’t let him do the same if I got polymorphed. That’s wrong, of course; LC could ride me whenever he wants. I’m not sure why he started laughing really hard when he read that over my shoulder just now, but oh well.

The final level of the cave had a giant and some kind of wizardy-guy with some undead. The giant called us weaklings! I might not be really strong, but I’m not weak! That was when the battle started. The giant was really cheap; he threw sand at us! It didn’t work though, since LC and I both managed to deal with it. LC then did that Righteous Might thing and made himself into a giant! He looked really amazing like that…um, anyway, the caster guy was really cheap too, firing lightning blasts while hiding behind a thing of blades! The giant had this weird thing where he would randomly phase out and dodge attacks, which was really annoying! Poor LC took another big beating. After a lot of tough hits, the giant finally went down! When Vex decided to finally target the mage guy with his gun, he went down in one volley! We then mopped up the undead guys. We won! I think I might have embarrassed LC after it was over by running over and hugging his leg, but I accidentally ended up picking him up; I don’t know how, he literally weighed a ton! I guess I don’t know my own strength sometimes!

The mage then talked to LC and revealed that this was all just a distraction. Asmeldam was going to be attacked and we had just been diverted from the actual attack! LC is right, hundreds of thousands of people are in danger. We have to hurry back, now!
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Well, today was a very in...
Well, today was a very interesting day. We discovered some new stuff about where one of the Order bosses might have been located, but we also needed to send someone back to warn about some of the more dangerous stuff we discovered. I was really worried that I’d have to be separated from LC, but fortunately, Talis and Rell volunteered to go back instead. Sadly, that left us in the position of not being able to do anything with just two people.

We did get really lucky, though. We were in a bar when we found this girl and her furry buddy looking for information about the Order. The girl was a bit of an oddball, though. She stood up on the table and shouted and eventually fell off when her friend tried to help her. I went and got her attention, even though LC was skeptical. He’s so stubborn sometimes, but I think he was just looking out for me and trying to not get me in a weird position.

The girl(May) and I talked for a few about the Order and I mentioned that LC might be a liability since he’s being chased by the Order. I was pretty annoyed that she called LC a liability, because he’s been really useful in every battle he’s been in. Eventually, the four of us went up to the room LC and I had for the day. After some long discussion about what each side knew about the Order, we eventually came to an agreement to work together, even though LC and Vex didn’t really seem to like each other. Also, I’m not sure, but I think May might have been eyeing LC. Was she? I hope not, she was probably better looking than I am. I’m not sure. Maybe I just imagined it. You think she was looking at you? Wait, why am I answering your questions in writing LC? Go away, you’re being rude! This is my journal! May also asked if we had “any business” to take care of in our room before we left. I don’t think LC got it, but I almost giggled and said yes, just to see what she would have said back.

Anyway, we eventually ended up in a rundown town that had been really damaged by a war. We discovered that gnolls and other monsters still tried to raid the village, but there was no one in the village that could defend it. Fortunately, two gnolls were spotted near the village while we were still around. We set out to chase them off, only to discover they were actually playing dice when they were supposed to be scouting! We were able to take them out without too much trouble; they were really weak. I put a few scythe little hits into them and they just fell apart. I’m not THAT strong, am I? Oh yeah, Vex landed a few bullets from that “Gun” thing of his, May shot some magic missiles, and LC did that really cool light blast thing from his hand again! He looks so cool when he does that kind of stuff. LC started interrogating one after we caught it; apparently, they were scouting the village ahead of a planned attack! LC, the only one who can speak Gnoll, also said the gnoll saw Vex looking at my rear. I don’t THINK he was serious, but still…LC said he’s the only one who can do that. I guess you can, it’s fine with m-LC, go away already!
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Chapter XVI: In Pursuit of Northwatch
Titus, a little embarrased he had not considered the boats, confirmed with Garr on whether or not they could navigate the bay. "Aye. It would be challenging with such small numbers, but we could do it."

It was then that he noticed the larger of the ships. The Yssge use longships when on raids, they never land a Knarr when attacking a village, as they're too large to move back out into water if the battle goes poorly.

On closer inspection, the landing planks were down, and the Yssge at the bow had been stabbed by a longsword. There was no alarm raised, so no Rankan soldiers should have been on the beach. Also, Yssge never lower landing planks during a raid. "I think these were refugees, not raiders.", Gaelen suggested. Garr couldn't imagine why the Yssge would need asylum.

Titus returned from the lower deck, "Garr, you should see this". Heading down, they found sparse supplies and a number of murdered children. One still fought for life, though fever was quickly taking hold. Gaelen did what he could for the wounds but was interrupted by Tristan's warning signal.

Rushing topside, the heroes realized they were surrounded by archers. From the direction of the watchtower, not the town, came Constable Hroaham. He accused the party of allying with the barbarians, though all assumed it was his bloody sword that did the murdering, "Only good Yssge is a dead Yssge."

Before Garr could leap from the boat Hroaham threw down some embers from a pocket. "Hear me Lord of Light! I summon your luminaries to destroy the heretics!" With that, the embers grew into mighty warriors of fire!

Between the fiery luminaries and the archers, the party was pinned down. Thanks to quick planning and some adaptive stratigem, they were able to destroy the luminaries and finish off the archers. Hroaham made an escape, despite having a piece of Garr's obsidian blade lodged into his chest. He drew a horn from under his cloak, obviously sounding an alarm.

With no time to prepare a ship the party, plus the surviving Yssge child, mounted on the stolen horses making a desperate ride for Northwatch.

For three days they rode with almost no rest. Gaelen knew the land well, and kept them far ahead of the pursuers. Arriving on the plains of battle it became apparent that the Beysib had occupied the eastern part of Ranke, as well, making their journey all the more dangerous.

They covered their tracks, set false markers, and backtracked as much as possible. All was working until a slight misstep by Gaelen. His own hubris got the best of him. Attempting to leap a narrow gorge, the horse buckled and fell into the ravine. Gaelen nearly ripped his arm from the socket grabbing onto a low hanging branch; never letting go of the child. The horse did not survive the fall and they alerted themselves to the Beysib. Garr summoned all the primal energies he had causing a small earthquake to distract their enemies. Though successful, it proved too much for the barbarian, tiring him out.

The chase was on with Yuan-Ti arrows coming from all angles. Titus' horse was encumbered with Gaelen riding as well; slowing it enough for a number of arrows to find flesh. The horse buckled from under their weight, sending them crashing to the ground. Dusting themselves off, they realized the Yuan-Ti had them surrounded. They were led by one not seen before. An incanter commanded them!

There was no strategy or quick planning in this fight. The heroes fought not with bravery or heroics, but with the very real threat of death hanging over their heads. The incanter seemed to poison their minds, slowing their actions and tricking them into attacking eachother.

However, the tenacity of Garr, Titus, Gaelen, Balthasar, and Tristan proved too intense for the Yuan-Ti. With most falling or wounded, the incanter made its escape. Gaelen moved to the high-hill and watched it slither away, drawing one singular arrow. The aim was true, the hand was steady; the incanter only made it 50 yards before falling.

Turning back to the very shocked group he said, "What? I couldn't let anything get away to tell the story of the Eastwatch ranger who got lost in the forest..."
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Pointer-left Lodoss2_thumb

Posted in Duran Keep
The Drugar are a nasty bunch. I have to diversify my spells to account for their resistance to fire. A shame. Fire is one of the more... entertaining elements to play with. Especially when it comes to battle. Of course, it gives me the opportunity to unsheathe my blade. Fighting with sharpened steel can be satisfying for different reasons.

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