So we’re now two tokens short of a scarf and one body part short of a full, pissed-off ghost gypsy. Not bad for a bunch of scribes!
to-the-hells-with-this-talking-endlessly-shit-let’s-ROCK! attitude seems to have given us the momentum we needed to not die of old age before we saw this quest through, so he took the lead of our merry band and we set out to go see Bernadette the crocodile liar in order to part him from his (stolen) tongue.
On our way there, we lost Mavrikos, who probably wandered off to go see the crying Coatl or something. A loss we will feel should we fight the crocodile-man… On the bright side, Rhea decided to stop whatever conspiracy she was planning and joined our group, which will help in future fights surely, although her deal-making schemes should slow our (i.e. Hasdrubal’s) KAPOW! progress somewhat… sigh.
As we made our way to the circus tent, we saw the same show with the unicycle bears going on, a testament to the repeating nature of story-kin entities permeating this realm (there is even deep philosophical discussions about the sentience of these creations among our group, parsed with sarcastic barbs involving Phos for some reason. Ha!).
Once again in the presence of Bernadette, Rhea and Orfée set out to talk to the creature to death. In the endless dialogue that had me bored to tears, I had enough willpower to tear my attention away from whatever I was doing at the time to get the gist of the conversation: Our resident mother gooses were attempting to make a trade for the tongue. Bernadette was saying (well, if we assume that all it says are lies of course) that in order to give its tongue away, it would need a tongue in return. That’s where I was struck by an idea of genius proportion, and by this time my readers should know the modesty of Samir Goldentongue, which is saying a lot about the level of awesomeness of my idea!
With my trusty ring of undeath, since I wouldn’t feel a thing while it was activated, I could cut it out easy, no? It’s FOOL PROOF!
Welp, of course there’s a catch… The “transfer” would need to be paid in “pain coins”, so the trade would have to be performed without Samir’s ring… Dang. Not something I’d be interested in now that I thought about it.
Another good point, brought up by Orfée, was that having no tongue meant the healing spells at our disposition would NOT make my tongue grow back, which is problematic for me, what with being a disaster with sword poking activities and all… So we’re back to square one.
We’ve finally made a deal! How? Nine Hells if I know, but apparently Bernadette would be inclined to give us the tongue to if we:
Get the second-to-last token from the Peddler first, so that we would have all the tokens to take on the dragon after we traded the tongue for the last token. So I guess the Croc have trust issues in our ability to survive fights. I was quite taken aback by this. I mean, look at us! We look… oh.
So off to see the Peddler we go!
Peddler seemed to live in a desert of some sort at the edge of this dream plane. Not a desert of sand though. Almost like the creator of this plane didn’t have time to, well, create that part of the landscape. THAT kind of desert. Looks like we’ll have a lot of walking to do!
Ok, we’ve been here for 3 days now, and guess what? Nobody thought of buying food for the trip, Except for Nasah! Nice going, guys! That means that they have enough rations to last a few days at most and that’s counting Orfée’s use of her spells to create food!
“They”, you ask? Why, with my trusty Glutton Fork, I can turn anything (non-magical) into edible food (that heals, no less!) , so I’m quite safe in the starving department. The poor scribes though… I even heard them discuss in desperation the option of purifying their own feces with magic in order to survive! Ha! Guess who’s gonna make a visit around Whadi to spread the tale of the Great Hasdrubal, Shit-Eating Leader of the Mewling Quims! The song will write itself!
Four days in now, and we FINALLY saw something on the horizon. Looks like a wounded centaur, running away from a tornado. Looks like the tornado was chasing him/her/it, too. Weird.
I tried to get the tornado’s attention away from the centaur by making an illusion of the same centaur appear right beside it and making it run slightly away (and slightly slower) that the original one. My plan seemed to work, as the tornado gave chase to the false centaur.
Yay illusion magic!
Ok, turns out the centaur is running away from some drunk guy who can transform into a tornado or something like that. Didn’t quite listened to that part, but I do know that the drunk tornado wants to… dance. Looks like if the tornado is happy with a dancing partner, it will stop trying to dance-kill people it meets.
Rhea volunteers to be the dance partner before we discuss options and is quickly sucked into the tornado, only to be spit out soon after, way up in the air. Seems like a life of scroll-making and paranoia doesn’t make one a great dancer. Rhea was optimistic for once, as she screamed “I regret nothiiiiing!” while falling down. It’s Samir’s time to shine
Illusion magic is once again used to conjure up a giant Cyclop, wearing a pink tutu and ready for a dance-off with a drunk tornado (ain’t life grand?). And of course, with little effort, I’m able to robot-dance, twerk and moonwalk my way to a brilliant performance with the drunkard, who soon leaves us alone to tend to a very grateful centaur.
Turns out the centaur is a merchant of some kind, and is either jealous of the Peddler or desperately wants to make business with him (not good at listening to details when the scribes drone on for some reason).
Anyway, the centaur invites us to spend the night in his tent, which we eagerly agree to (after buying food supplies to survive our trip back, meaning no excrement ingestion for the scribes. Damnit!), what with spending the past few nights in the desert. Hasdrubal and Rhea decide to take a swig or two of some kind of Efreet Spirits. Hasdrubal is soon drunk and Rhea passes out after one shot. Pffft, rookie!
…aw, man! I didn’t study the mage-mark cantrip today! So no drawing invisible, yet magically detectable phalluses on Rhea’s face today… sigh
Ok, we spent a great night, in great company. Now to see what the settlement behind the hill looks like.
Well will you look at that. It’s a slave shop! The Peddler is a dealer in sentient flesh. Not gonna lie, Good ol’ Samir usually is indifferent to the plights of everyone not named Samir Goldentongue (or a few of the scribes I’ve taken a liking to. Don’t tell them!), but slavery holds a special place in my sphincter, what with being a slave to the Academy myself and all that.
So an idea (I do get those a lot, don’t I?!!) sprung to mind: since I get a shitload of loot money that I end up giving up to the Academy every time we get back, why not give them a symbolic finger by spending some of it to help those poor souls? That way I’d help fight slavery (how noble of me!) and I’d also get to wave a giant (although metaphoric) middle finger to the Academy in the process. So yeah, I was now the proud owner of fifty short swords that I kept stashed away in case we’re able to make a slave revolt work to our advantage. The scribes are good for making Plan A’s. Samir is the best Plan B guy in our group. No competition!
Funny that Orfée and Rhea look at me strangely on this though… I’d think they would be the first to be opposed in human trafficking, what with them being such bleeding hearts and all. I’ll never understand those two.
So let’s see who the Peddler is and how much of a despicable thing he is…
The Peddler turned out to be quite a nice fellow. Out of all the conspirators, he’s the more likable one and seems to be truly thirsty for companionship. He is surrounded with bodyguards made out of chains. They look impressive/hard to beat. So while the scribes weretrying to convince the Peddler to part with his token, I got up to him and ask to see the slave pens in order to purchase a few of them, shutting up my partners on the spot.
I couldn’t savor the moment of silence though, as I was rushed to the pens by an eager Peddler. Of course, I chose 5 of the angriest slaves there was and quickly brought them to our quarters. As expected, they were happy to learn that I had weapons stashed out close. They were even happier to learn that we would deal with the Peddler once their revolt started. Funny thing, though… the scribes decided to wait until AFTER the slaves scattered to deal with the Peddler. It meant we were to wait for the slaves to draw the chain demons away from the camp, making our confrontation against the Peddler an easier one. However, it also meant that the chain demons would get to catch a few of the slaves, and kill some, too. I guess the scribes thought it was ok this time, because story-kin aren’t completely sentient (even though some were arguing the opposite earlier)? Who knows? One things’ for sure though: thank the gods that Mavrikos was crying with the Coatl right now! Ha!
So the revolt is underway, and we were waiting for our turn to shine. Aaaany minute now.
We confronted the Peddler. Are we fighting him? Stabbing him? Hurling nasty magics at him? Nope! We’re… talking. Again. Sigh
Orfée took the lead and tried to intimidate the Peddler into relinquishing his token to us. He seemed to agree and approached Orfée to give it away.
POW! Right in the Kisser! Orfée took a claw to the gut for her troubles. A fight it is!
First thing the Peddler did was to cast a hypnotic light spell right in the midst of us. Since Mavrikos isn’t with us at the moment, Nasah was nice enough to take his place as the guy-who-is-always-affected-by-spells and became fascinated by the dancing lights. The Peddler quickly moved behind Nasah to kind of feed on him with his tentacle mouth.
And guess who saved the day YET AGAIN with his “puny”, “lesser” illusion magic? THIS GUY!
I cast a minor image of black smoke surrounding the light and it has its desired effect: Nasah woke up and took revenge on the pitiful creature. It was a thing of beauty, really, Nasah quickly put three arrows into the Peddler, wounding him greatly. Hasdy finished the job with a might blow of his sword.
I quickly cut off the Peddler’s head and ran to loot all the money I gave him for the slaves and some other things, too, like three grubs!
We bring the Peddler’s head to the Ant Mother, along with her three grubs. She was quite happy and agreed to craft a replacement tongue for Bernadette.
On our way to the tongue trade, something weird happened. The (mechanical) moon passed the (mechanical) sun over our heads, creating an eclipse. I don’t know how to explain the change we saw and felt; the “mood” of the whole place turned… sinister somehow? Anyway, we had no time to ponder about it as multiple skeleton warriors erupted from the ground and attacked us. We were caught off guard on this one. I was hit at once by one of the skeleton and it hurt, bad. I was able to cast a fly spell and get away from the skeletons, but another wave came out of the ground soon after. The scribes were surrounded! And outmatched, even!
Orfée threw a Harrow card to the ground and the moon started to break up while hitting the sun.
Since the eclipse made the whole scenery change the mood of the whole place, I figured that making an illusion of the sun OVER the moon might change the scenery back to “normal”. It worked! Samir’s illusions saved the day, again!
Really funny that the illusion school is seen as “lesser”, eh, Hasdy? Eh? EH?! Bwahahahahaha!
Anyway, to get back to my ramblings, As soon as I plastered a fake sun over the fake moon, the skeletons’ appearance looked more fake, almost like props from a play actually, meaning that the eclipse definitely had an effect on those bad boys. I had no time to gloat though, as the scribes had their hands full at the moment. I let the illusion run its course while I blasted a fireball into a group of the skeletons, wounding quite a few of them.
I had no time to gloat over my handy work though, as my illusion was starting to dissipate. So I threw another illusion spell of a fake sun to resume my general hindrance of the encounter.
We made it! It was a tough fight, but we survived! All of us did! We got the hell out of Dodge and went straight to Bernadette to get our tongue.
Soon after that, we went to Sonnorae’s ghost to give her the parts. She was thankful and gave us the last token we needed in order to face the big bad dragon.
So here we are, about to face the dragon and get whatever the hell we came here to get. We will probably sleep on it and replenish our spells to face this dragon, who shoots lightning apparently (can’t remember which of the traitors told us that).
What an adventure we’ve had the last couple of days! Sigh
I think I’ve got everything I remember written down. Yes.
Oh, I forgot: Illusionism rules!
And may the gods favour our next challenge!