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Ish
Posted in PhD&D
Awake in the Underdark
Day 4

“Four days. Four days since I woke up in this prison cell, a slave of the Drow. I won’t bother you with a long tale about my life before this – that’s a story for another day. All that matters is that I had been travelling west from my home in the Taan for several seasons. And then, I awoke here. Somewhere in the waking nightmare known as the Underdark.

I must have been taken while I slept.

I’m not alone. I share my prison with over a dozen others. Most seem to be inhabitants of this place; I couldn’t tell you their peoples’ names, but I recognize a few from half remembered tales from my youth: stories of sadistic slavers from below who snatch wayward children in the night; of twisted, dwarf-like, creatures whose madness spreads to those around them; of dark, deep places where the everlasting sky is never seen.

There are a handful of surface folk here too. I recognize a mighty Dragonborn, an Orc, a Dwarf, a human, a Half-elf, and one who the others call a Gnome. When I first arrived I hoped that some might be powerful warriors or cunning sorcerers, but I’ve since realized that they are all as lost and helpless as I am.

There is no sky here. No stars to guide me.

There’s a good chance I may die deep in the dark.“

----------

Day 5

Ish notices a commotion across from him in the cell. The Human and half-elf speak to each other in hushed, but animated tones. The thing standing behind them, the “walking mushroom” he heard another prisoner refer to as a Myconid, seems… excited? At first Ish tries to ignore the trio, but then notices the big Orc moving toward the Myconid. The Orc is powerfully built, but he’s not terribly good at hiding his intentions. The Myconid must have something the Orc has decided should be his.

Trusting his instincts, Ish springs across the cell knocking the Half-elf and Human aside as he moves past them. Ish reaches the strange mushroom like Myconid, and not sure what kind of danger it might pose, simply lifts it up and places it to one side. The soil where it stood is disturbed. Ish quickly clears away the dirt and uncovers something of true value: a metal bar.

Ish picks up the bar and turns to face the approaching Orc. Ish reads his aggressive intent and without hesitation strikes him across the face with the metal bar. The Orc falls backward, bleeding from the nose, and in a daze. Ish stands at the ready in case the Orc needs further clarification regarding the local Orchish hierarchy. The Orc, still dazed, signals his understanding by not counter-attacking.
Nearby, the Half-elf says something to his Dragonborn companion, but neither move aggressively.

Ish begins to relax.

After days of not speaking, Ish turns to his cell mates while holding the metal bar before him and says, “We can escape using this. Do any of you have other hidden weapons or tools?”

For a moment, everyone is silent. Then the Dragonborn replies, “I have a silk rope”.

For the first time in days Ish feels an intoxicating rush of hope. They have tools, perhaps weapons… and most importantly, his cell mates have not been broken. Several have been secretly plotting against their captors!

Ish is overwhelmed by his emotions and barks at the Dragonborn, “Give me the rope”.

The Dragonborn looks at him and calmly asks, “What will you use it for”?

Ish impatiently replies, “We don’t have time to talk Dragonborn, we must act now! Give me the rope.”

At that moment Ish hears two Drow slavers approaching from the guard house. Ish quickly returns to his spot by the cell door and hides the metal bar behind him. He hopes no one is foolish enough to give away their secret in an attempt at securing favors from the slavers. Ish would rather not kill any of his cell mates if he can help it. Their skills and strength might be useful later.

Everyone remains silent as two Drow guards move to within a few paces of the cell bars. They appear annoyed. The smaller of the two looks at Ish and in heavily accented Common yells,

“You there, what’s going here!?”

Ish stares ahead, expressionless. The Drow guards becomes visibly annoyed. The taller one smirks. He raises his hand crossbow and fires a dart at Ish. Unable to dodge the projectile at such close range, Ish feels a renewed sense of despair come over him when the dart strikes his flesh.

As the world fades, he hears faint whispers in the dark.

----------

Day 6

… kill them all.

Ish wakes with a start. At first he is disoriented and struggles to understand where he is and how long he has been asleep.

Maybe it’s all been a nightmare?

Reality reaffirms itself. He is in a prison cell. In the Underdark.

The metal bar!

It’s still there. His cell mates did not take it while he was unconscious. For a moment Ish struggles to contain his surprise at the significance of their restraint.

Perhaps I’ve misjudged them.

Barbarian raiders are not known for trusting strangers. However, they are eminently practical and know that no warrior survives long without comrades-in-arms at their side.

Ish looks to the Gnome, and for the first time address her by name,
"Szai, why did you not attempt to escape while I slept?”…
Session: Game Session - Sunday, Mar 26 2017 from 10:00 PM to 2:30 AM
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Tags: Chronicle
Epic × 3!
O sangue em suas veias
  O Sol era forte na península de Zakhara, a luz que ele emitia possuía um alaranjado único, iluminando o majestoso reino, as casas, os templos e os castelos. A arquitetura marcante dos Zakharans era inigualável, os planejamentos entravam em perfeita harmonia com as silhuetas da cidade e cada rua parecia estar mais viva que a outra. Os habitantes possuiam uma beleza exemplar, com os cabelos escuros e pele morena. Lar dos mais temidos e fervorosos guerreiros, a península se manteve forte durante eras de prosperidade, a força e a determinação dos Zakharians superava a de qualquer outro povo, além do mais, de que outra maneira seriam eles capazes de sobreviver às extremas temperaturas, aos áridos desertos e aos perigos que a areia escondia?
   Eis então que um dia, dois irmãos descobrem em seus espíritos a força necessária para sobreviver no mais lindo, e ainda sim perigoso, lugar de toda Faerûn.
  Ao brincarem fora dos limites do castelo e até mesmo da cidade, desobedecendo as ordens de sua mãe, Omid e Bajen Radan encontraram uma criatura ameaçadora e fatal, recoberta por uma resistente carapaça preta, enormes garras, oito grotescas patas e uma gigante cauda,com um ferrão em sua ponta. O escorpião cautelosamente avançava em direção aos garotos, que recuavam lentamente apavorados, qualquer movimento brusco e poderia ser o fim dos dois, morrerriam no quente deserto, sem que uma alma sequer escutasse-os gritar e berrar por ajuda. Pensaram em sua mãe, que muito se dedicava para mante-los a salvo, protegendo-os com regras e proibições para deixa-los longe do perigo, lembraram do lindo sorriso de Ayesha, irmã que estes deixariam sozinha agora, sem poderem protege-la, não eram sequer capazes de protegerem a si mesmos. E por último, viera em suas mentes a imagem de seu pai, Majeed, forte, imponente, nascido guerreiro, criado para governar, tinham certeza de que, se o mesmo tivesse acontecido ao pai na idade que tinham, este conseguiria matar o monstro apenas com as próprias mãos.
  Enquanto viajavam nos pensamentos de suas mentes, a criatura mais e mais se aproximava, e mais e mais eles se distanciavam. Omid sabia que aquilo era culpa dele, a idéia de sair do castelo fora sua e o irmão só concordou após muita insistência. Não podia deixar que o irmão morresse por sua causa, a família já fora boa demais em recebe-lo de braços abertos, não era justo causar a eles um mal que poderia facilmente ser evitado pela simples inexistência do garoto.
  Omid desde pequeno foi um bom garoto, destinado a ser grande, temendo ser pequeno, em suas veias corria mais do que sangue, corria força de vontade e foi isso que os deuses haviam visto quando colocaram o bondoso Majeed em seu caminho e o salvara de uma vida destinada trapaças e desonra.
  Naquele momento, Hajama deu-lhe bravura para salvar seu irmão e Najm coragem para enfrentar a fera. Omid se colocou na frente de Bajen e gritou para que este corresse, mas o mesmo se recusou, foi apenas no atacar da criatura que este resolveu obedecer o comando do irmão. O enorme ferrão atrevessou o peito de Omid, em instantes o veneno entrou em seu corpo e atacou cada órgão e músculos lá presentes. Muitos diriam que Bajen foi covarde, mas se surpreenderão quando disser que o irmão retornou; não havia corrido para se salvar da criatura, não tinha medo de morrer, mas sim de perder o irmão, buscou não o conforto das paredes de seu castelo, mas sim ajuda para que Omid não morresse naquele dia.
  Em minutos, uma tropa de soldados chega ao local, a criatura estava alerta e próximo de Omid, este estando no chão caido e paralisado, com um enorme sangramento em seu peito.
 Os soldados, arduamente, deram conta da besta, matando-a, e logo levaram Omid para o curandeiro mais próximo.
 O garoto estava a beira da morte, o sangue fervia dentro de seu corpo, ele usava toda a força que tinha para sobreviver, lutando contra a morte.
  Dias se passaram e o garoto não parava de sofrer, os gritos vindos do castelo podiam ser ouvidos de todos os cantos da cidade, a agonia era sentida por todos membros da família, por Bajen, que se recusava a deixar o quarto do irmão, por Ayesha, que por dias ficou sem mostrar o sorriso mais lindo de toda Zakhara, por Sadira, que incessantemente caminhava pelo castelo, ansiosa para que a agonia de Omid parasse, e por Majeed, que não pregava o olho por um minuto sequer, quieto e observador, para um homem forte como ele, não havia nada pior do que se sentir impotente, vendo mais um filho seu a beira da morte.
  Até que após quase um mês de sofrimento, Omid não mais gritava, todos temiam que o pior havia acontecido, até que do silencioso quarto, um grito de alegria é ouvido, Bajen chorava de emoção ao lado de seu irmão, que estava consciente e sem apresentar os sintomas que antes apresentava. A família toda se reuniu naquele momento, a noite foi de comemoração, um enorme banquete foi feito, com direito a música ao vivo e especiarias de difícil preparo.
  Quando Omid se recuperou por completo, tanto ele quanto seu irmão sabiam de uma coisa: já havia passado o tempo de aprenderem a se defender sozinhos, sem dependerem de soldados e guarda-costas. Falaram isto para seu pai e o mesmo concordou e então Sohrab, o maior e melhor guerreiro de toda a região para que este treinasse os dois garotos na arte da luta. Ambos se saíram bem desde o começo de seus treinamentos e se tornaram exímios guerreiros, "os irmãos de ferro", como eram conhecidos entre os soldados. Desde então, Bajen e Omid juraram entre si jamais deixarem um ao outro, o que unia eles podia não ser o sangue, mas sim uma coisa mais forte, a coragem, o combate, a bravura e a determinação, juntos eles seriam imbatíveis e  impenetráveis, era o destino deles, destinos de irmãos verdadeiros.
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Epic!
6 Month Summary through Sarenith 4716
1,200pp kingdom wages for each of us. This is much higher than usual. I withdrew more BP during 2 KTs because our treasury is overflowing and I was about to build a bunch of Unrest-reducing buildings.

Abadius, 4716. The Greenmark takes advantage of an unusually mild winter to explore and trade. The Circle of the Acorn claims the remaining southern marches of the Greenmark. We encounter the giant Munguk, who joins our army for the promise of dwarven liquor.
     Greenmark renews its luxuries trade route with Absalom. From Absalom, merchants trade our dwarven single-malt whisky, juniper mead, fine fur garments, mirrors, and magic items throughout the world.

Calistril-Pharast, 4716. Construction begins on Shrikethorn's Artisan District. A local council of arts patrons, backed by the Doss bards, requests that we build an opera house in the Green District. One of the patrons offers to donate her noble villa to the cause. It is converted to the Greenmark Opera House.
     Issa grants patents of nobility, with accompanying grants of land and gold, to several members of the Circle of the Acorn and their allies:

Greyfeather, Patriarch of the Greenmark and Lord of the Temple of the Elk
Ganelin, Palsgrave of Candlemere
Corax, Margravine of Heathwick and Constable of the Realm
Bede, Lord Marshal of the Realm
Fang, Lord Sheriff of the Realm
Kesten, Lord Captain of the Realm
Oleg and Svetlana, Margrave and Margravine of Leveton
Galrin, Margrave of Trollgrad

Gozran, 4716. Continued research results in the amazing discovery of _____!
     Greenmark renews its raw materials trade route with Cassomir. Grenish barges laden with timber and ores ply the Sellen southward.

Desnus-Sarenith, 4716.
A coalition of zealots in Shrikethorn plots both openly and covertly for the ouster of poor Minister Kini! "She's been minding the fey too much, and the people not enough!" they say. The Queen shames them into submission while Ganelin and Corax hunt for the instigators, but popular sentiment still runs against the Minister.
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8 Month Summary through Kuthona 4715
400pp kingdom wages for each of us.

Desnus-Sarenith, 4715. The Grenish War of Independence. Issa is crowned Queen.

Erastus, 4715. Troll warbands raid the southern marches of the Greenmark. With great sacrifice, the Queen wins a pyrrhic victory against the trolls. The Circle of the Acorn tracks the trolls' leader, Hargulka, to an old dwarven hold, from whence the Green Lady sent him to pillage the realm.
     Greenmark continues its trade in beef, moon radishes, and other foodstuffs to Caliphas, though growing demand among our own populace may soon limit our ability to export food.

Arodus, 4715. A huge owlbear attacks Shrikethorn, breaching the western walls and destroying several building in the Hammer District before being driven back by the dwarves. The Circle of the Acorn tracks the owlbear back to its lair beyond the Little Sellen. A gang of cutthroats had been using a magic ring to send the owlbear against us. I suspect the ring to have been made of the hair of the Green Lady. We captured the owlbear and constructed a menagerie in the new Green District to house it.
     Our depleted armies reconstitute and train new recruits.

Rova, 4715. Following the recent troll and owlbear raids, the brave Tanyons veterans of the Grenish War of Independence request permission to build a fort to protect their homesteads. The Queen appoints a new Marshal, Kini, to oversee construction.

Lamashan, 4715. Construction of Fort Tanyons is complete. Greenmark renews its arms export agreement with the rebel government in Tamran, Nirmathas. Fine Grenish steel remains in high demand throughout Avistan and beyond.

Neth, 4715. Olomanteion researchers make a breakthrough discovery about the First World!

Kuthona, 4715. Construction on a new military garrison district, the Spears District, begins in Shrikethorn.
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Mitchell
Posted by the GM
Jingle Bomb Rock
Jingle Bomb Rock Session 1, Part 1: The Sunshine State
There's a heat in the air of Florida, not like back in Lanta. It's searing, it's alive, and it's stark mad.

In that heat budded the hopes and dreams of a man named Dean Earl Armistance. Nedich Prospectors had put him with two other Georgia natives, Sarah Augustine and Bill Forsythe, and sent them on the nearest road south, with all the others that had signed on after prospects started to dry up in Georgia. They had their clothes, their company store weapons, food and water for a day or two, and the promise of good pay should they return with pre-War salvage.

They picked up the trail again some time after lunch, a crumbled highway that had cut through miles of dead grassland. An old sign that used to be brilliant green welcomed their passage into the Slough Wasteland, though it pointed the way to places called "Tampa" and "St. Petersburg". Noon was fiery, yes, but the Slough was wetter than most of the Wasteland; the prospectors knew they were getting close to the colossal, irradiated marsh for which the region was dubbed.

They were approaching the slope of an overpass when a rumbling sound overtook the brush of their boots on gravel. In the distance ahead of them, a pickup truck, moving by some feat of wasteland engineering, crested the peak of the overpass. They saw the passengers, at once acutely aware of the fragility of their mortality; the strange riders were tall, hulking, green-skinned. Super Mutants. Three of them, at least one armed.

The riders had every means to spot the weary prospectors and fire with abandon, as is their kind's custom. They did not.

"They might be waiting 'till they're close. We oughta get the drop on 'em while we..."

Dean cut Bill off. "I'll talk with them. You two, find some cover and back me up."

He looked to Bill, and to Sarah. Their approval was stern. Dean made sure to savor the breath in his lungs as he marched forward to meet the Super Mutants.

He came closer, and another sound welled up over the truck's rumbling engine: music from a radio, featuring a nasally-voiced man singing, "Jingle bell time is a swell time, to go gliding in a one-horse sleigh..."

As he suspected, the truck was crammed with a pilot with bizarre ripple marks in his chest, a passenger wielding a minigun, and a third, unarmed passenger standing in the truck bed. The one in back was, with utmost certainty, the leader of the band.

He wore a traffic cone on his head, painted in a glaringly bright crimson that shone in the muted yellow and brown of the scorched earth. His patchy coat, apparently stitched from several human-sized shirts, was drenched in the same color. Beyond that, he had one of the Super Mutants' chain-bags full of various gore tied around his stomach, and a normal, if large, burlap sack slung over his back.

The truck crawled to a stop at Dean's left. His shadow covering Dean almost entirely, the adorned Super Mutant waved his great arm and shouted "HO HO HO! HELLO LITTLE BOY, HELLO SAYS SANTA CLAUS! YOU MUST TELL ME, ARE YOU NAUGHTY OR ARE YOU NICE?"

Dean was unabashedly agape. It struck him now that the Super Mutant resembled the fat, flamboyantly dressed man that he saw sometimes in Lanta, on pre-War billboards and posters advertising Nuka Cola. He tried to stammer out a timely response.

"I'm... nice."

"VERY, VERY GOOD! WELL, SANTA BRINGS PRESENTS TO NICE BOYS AND GIRLS! I HOPE THIS BRINGS YOU JOY THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON!"

Dean was fairly certain the current date was some time in November.

"Santa Claus" flipped his burlap sack over to his front and dug around in it briefly with one hand; then, he flicked it out and two toy cars and a box of snack cakes skittered on the pavement at Dean's feet.

"Thanks."

"SAY, LITTLE BOY, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP SANTA? DO YOU WANT TO COME TO THE NORTH POLE AND HELP SAVE CHRISTMAS?" He attempted to smile, though the vats had taken his lips long ago.

The driver turned to Dean. "HE MEANS ELMORE COURT. IT'S A FEW HOURS SOUTH OF HERE, YOU'LL SEE IT."

"YES! SO WHAT DO YOU SAY?"

"I, uh... maybe we can talk later."

There was a hard silence between them until Santa's almost-smile turned into an almost-frown. "YOU DISAPPOINT SANTA." He ordered his driver to keep going; Sarah and Bill regrouped once the truck passed by.

Bill shook his head. "RADs done somethin' foul to this place, didn't they? What in the hell was that?"

"They weren't shooting at us, and they gave me dinner. Good enough for me."

Sarah wiped hew forehead and reflected, "Waggin' the finger ain't gonna get us no closer to town, either. Let's keep movin'."

An hour or two more of stories and jokes passed among the prospectors. The humid musk of rotting plant matter grew stronger by the minute.

Bill suddenly jerked his head around, seeming to scan the yellowed patches of grass surrounding the highway.

"You see town?"

"No, some of that grass moved." He cupped his hands in front of his mouth. "We know y'all are there! We're armed, and you better not try nothin' slick!"

Another patch of grass moved, now some thirty feet off the road. Dean and Sarah drew their shotguns, and Bill drew his pistol.

The rustling advanced towards them regardless of the warning. Mere seconds passed and slowly, gently, a cluster parted in the middle, right on the edge of the road.

"The hell?..."

The grass snarled.

Dean blinked and a brown blur ripped a swath in his shirt. Bill ducked out of the way of a second shape pouncing at his chest. Before he could turn around, a set of claws dug into his back.

Sarah and Dean both took aim at the attackers. Their buckshot only tossed more dust into the air.

Bill grunted and lurched forward to throw off his attacker. Pistol ready, half-blind, he fired two shots in front of him. The scrambling creature howled; one of the bullets lodged in its stomach.

Its comrade made another dive at Dean, caught this time on his boot. It looked to Dean somewhat like a lynx, with wildly discolored eyes and scales along its back. It stuck to him, batting at his knee with paws that made jagged, dirty cuts. A boom sounded beside them; Sarah's shotgun painted the side of the creature a deep red.

Drained and weary of the quarry's resistance, the creatures bolted off back into the grass. Bill sent a few more rounds after them for good measure, before reloading.

The prospectors kept their arms handy for the rest of the journey.

They had marched. They had trudged. They had drooped. The sun was now as low as they felt. Heat bubbled under their skins in place of blood. That was when they came upon a wooden sign welcoming them to the frontier town of Slugg. The odor of wet animal fur floated on the atrophied winds, blowing east from the storied Slough marshland.

"Lord above," Sarah said before she took a swig of dirty water and gasped. "Payday's that much closer."

The town was mostly wooden shacks suspended above the waterways and reservoirs that formed a web in the earth there; scrap bridges and catwalks traded skillful design for stability. The framework was broken in places by pipes and hanging cloth and skins.

Dean thought for a moment on where he would start looking for prospects... then, he found, he preferred to think of what he would ask for his scrap metal.
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