The Red Hand

Nasah's guide to practical Necromancy - 5
Chapter 2: Necroversatility (Part1)

Of Necromancy and Men?

I must apologize if the following will shock or even repulse some of you but I do believe it is a necessity to expand your mind and reach fringe necrotic arts. I have mentioned before my travelling companions, and Samir in particular. Being a particularly resourceful individual, several weeks back, he found a way to teach me about necromancy in ways I had never envisioned. He/she actually was able, using a simple ring to transform himself into undead state, then with the use of a scroll sculpt his corpse into a crude yet disproportionate voluptuous feminine version of himself: Samira. Needles to say I was filled with a mix of arousal, genuine scholar interest and disgust…

The point in all this is the transformation was convincing especially when recuperating his/her mortal form once the transformation complete. Necromancy can be used in very versatile ways given the gift of imagination especially with resourceful individuals.

There was a flaw in his plan, he did not have the means to turn back. I would have offered my help in molding him back to his original shape with the use of a simple spell; however I think this would have crossed the threshold of discomfort our group could manage at the time.

Nature of the beast

I am writing these words freshly out of an encounter where we were forced yet again to destroy imperfect undead creations… Due to convoluted circumstances involving crucial mission, long concluded deals, half-kept promises and deals with witches, I am currently finding myself in a dream-world. Heck, I’m not entirely convinced these writings will make it out of this “dream dome” realm. Yet I recently met a creature who’s not from here, just like us. He mentioned he was able to trade with outsiders and whatever was created here was able to persists outside. But for how long?? There are two types of creatures in this realm, Sentient beings, and puppets made out of a wax-like substance that keeps re-enacting the same “scenes” over and over.

This preamble brings me to the undeads. I was not expecting to see any undeads in this place, so most of the spells I had memorized were not aimed at affecting undeads at a basic level there is therefore some aditionnal experimenting t do to confirm the following theory. What I notices, is the undead came out during an eclipse… The sun & moon are actually metal props revolving with the aid of iron arms, and today they happened to crash together and the moon was obscuring the sun. This caused Ghouls & Skeletons to sprout from the ground. I have to say, they were very terrifying (for minor undeads) and they seemed to be influenced by the eclipse. Les and less sun there was, more aggressive and lethal those angry beings were. Surprisingly enough, Samir (the male version) happend to cast an illusion of the sun over the moon, this directly impacted bot class of undeads rendering them weaker. Once the eclipse was over (well the moon got destroyed), things came back to normal and we were finally able to rest.

I absolutely need to repeat that experiment back home!!! I am so close to be able to animate the dead that I feel ready to finally do some REAL WORK!!! Once I get home I will need to see diviners and find out when is the next eclipse, or even if we can trigger one. I’ll find myself a nice quiet village with a cemetery, raise the corpses. The common folk should be scared enough of the eclipse that I’ll be able to work uninterrupted. I cant wait to see if the undeads are truly ‘beasts’ of a different kind and influenced by environmental factors or astronomic events. Perhaps I might be able to make the undead more docile during a Lunar eclipse, perhaps even friendly??? How awesome would it be to be able to keep Granny at home forever and bake cookies every day!!!! I could bring so much happiness to the world!!!

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Orphée Quaaltz lament

Well my friend, this feathered serpent was a power charm on my soul and I am sure on some of yours. It terrible to be consumed by guilt and not finding a true friend to help you in these moments of terrible self inflicted pain.

I thought a little and I have composed a small essaie… let’s see if it is good enough for this poor Quaaltz:

Désespoire et tristesse inconsolable,
Traitrise et méfait impardonnable,
La mélancolie a envahit son coeur,
Maintenant dans une torpeur.

Cherchant avant tout le réconfort,
Oeuvrant à trouver une âme pour confirt,
Qu’elle pourrait abuse et charmé,
Ainsi faussement son mal partagé.

Traïssant la confiance sans remord,
Attaquant gentilment mais à tort,
Obligeant le douleur d’être donner.

Accepter le rejet, n’a d’autres choix,
Seule elle devras rester, accepter sa foie,
Son sort d’être seul à jamais est lancer.

Orphée Kur Samfund

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Samir's adventure log - dream on! - Part 4

Well…
This dream world is something else, I tell you. Pear-searching goblins with unicorn masks, a brave knight who got naked to give his stuff to Mavrikos, who’s now a walking tin can, a cockatrice-wearing snake-lady diva wanting to act with Nasah (of all people!), a lying crocodile man that drinks tea, a paranoid chick that wants to make deals with everyone… Let’s just say that it’s getting weird up in this bitch, even by Samirian standards!

So we’re on the dream road, heading for the Demon Fens. The Fens are basically a lake with an island in the middle, only reachable by a suspended bridge we see over there. After advancing, we hear a sorrowful song, mixed with exaggerated bouts of sobbing. Of course, three quarters up the bridge, there is a Coatl who is sobbing its heart out for some reason. Our resident doting grandmother, Orfée of course runs towards it to console the poor, deadly creature, with Nasah in tow.

Turns out this Coatl was one of the conspirators that killed Sonnorae and it (she? xe?) bitterly regrets it and is simply inconsolable. Between sob sessions, we learn that it gave its treachery token to the Barrow King. The rest of the party waits at the beginning of the bridge, ready to attack at the first sight of treachery… So of course the gods decided to have a little fun at our expense, for instead of a fight with this dangerous creature, we get to see a… group hug. Yep, you’ve read it right. A. Group. Hug.

As I approach the platonic orgy, I hear that the creature warns us not to go to the Barrow up ahead, as only the dead and the mourners can go there safely. Is there anything my trusty ring can’t do??? Ha! I activate my ring of undeath and try to pass them through, with success! I can go ahead without any opposition from that sad bucket! Of course, the rest of the group cannot, as the Coatl wants to keep them (or at least a shoulder to cry on) forever. I try to make them believe that I’m the dead one and these are my mourning posse, but the creature won’t budge. And after Orfée fails her hundredth attempt to reason with this story kin, the group loses patience and the fight is on!

Yep, weird fight, that. The creature first tried to put a sadness spell on me. Twice! On me, Samir Goldentongue! Samir, the optimist! Samir, the happiness incarnate! Ha! Of course that didn’t work!

I also tried my mudball wand again. I really think this spell is good to help our glorified fighters to make our enemies easier to hit and this time I was about sixty percent sure I wasn’t dealing with an illusion, so that was as good a place as any to test out my new strategy as the “support” guy.

I hit the creature right in the face! It worked! It… damnit! The timing sucked! The creature was able to shake off the mud before Hasdrubal could make use of the distraction! “Samir” and “timing” doesn’t seem to like each other, based on my adventuring life so far. (sigh)

Second try was right on time though! The creature is reeling, blind to its surroundings! Hasdrubal (using a flying spell) is swooping in for one of his trademarked super sword hit of wonder. Yesss!

Aaaand his attacked was foiled by none other than Mavrikos, our resident spell recipient, who’s trying to defend his newfound friend from his other friends, so at least he’s not trying to kill us. So instead of an attack from it’s scary polearm, he simply swatted at Hasdy with the nonlethal part, thus giving the Coatl enough time to shake off the mud from its eyes.

Damnit!

Nasah was the hero of this encounter though. His Steal Voice spell prevented the Coatl from casting its spells at us, which greatly diminished the threat it posed to our merry band of (boring) rascals. Orfée’s words finally sunk into the creature and the fight stopped. The Coatl was happy to get rid of us and wanted to resume its mourning, with a charmed Mavrikos refusing to leave his new companion’s side, and the creature refusing to let Mavrikos go.

Oh bloody hell, the talking. And the cajoling! And the theological arguments! All of that to free Mavrikos from the Coatl’s clutches! Gah!

From what I can remember, here are the attempts OTHER than the endless diplomatic attempts from Orfée and Nasah:

Orfée tried a charm person spell on Mavrikos (failed)
I tried to do the same thing (failed)
I tried to convince the Coatl to ask Mavrikos about our secret mission in order to make Mavrikos pass out and shit his pants (thus hoping to break the spell). The gods didn’t understand my intent on this one I believe… Oh well.

Orfée finally was able to brake Mavrikos from the geas by casting a spell that protects against evil, allowing Mavrikos to have another go at fighting it, which worked (finally!). By that point both Hasdrubal and I are gnashing out teeth at the delays we are submitted to by our (too) well-meaning friends (thank the GODS that Rhea isn’t with us today!) and we trigger the fight before Orfée can speak. The fight is on again!

As we are fighting the Coatl, I spot a humanoid howl, with a needle, at Hasdy’s feet. He’s trying to steal something, but I have no idea why he’s attempting to do it with a needle though. No matter. I was able to throw a binding darkness at it and I hit it partially. My lashing could not entangle it to the spot, but it did stopped it from stealing whatever the critter was after as it ran away towards the cliff and jumped.

Meanwhile, we are fighting the Coatl and after I stuck it to the bridge with yet another hit of my binding darkness ability, the Coatl simply… gives up, too depressed to continue the fight. My gloomy glob of goo was the final nail in the coffin. Finally!

Ok, so we make our way to the island and surprisingly enough, it’s a barrow! We see gravestones everywhere and in the middle is a stone sarcophagus with two lit candles on it. Right beside it stands this scary-looking fighter. As he sees us, he screams something at us and sweeps the candles off the sarcophagus. Looks like the candle lights was keeping the dead from rising… This will be fun…

Wow! Just… WOW! Mavrikos and Hasdrubal made REALLY short work of that fighter! Seriously! In the space of 10 heartbeats he was killed! Dead! Stomped to the ground! It was a thing of beauty! Well, at least from where I was “standing”, in the clutches of groping undead hands.

We find the token, along with some loot, and head back to the bridge, ready for a repeat (sigh) of our encounter with the Coatl. This must be our lucky day, for the “melanCOATLy”, as Hasdrubal calls it (damn him and his quick wit! I should’ve thought of that! Wait… Hasdy has a sense of humor!?? Well well well… this will be useful in the future!) pays us no attention, so we’re free to go get another token before Rhea comes back to us and tries to deal on deals that makes other deals non-deals.

So off to the annoying rabbit’s home we go for a good night’s sleep and to replenish our depleted spells.

So we decide to go to the Tic-Toc Man’s home to get his token. Of course, before we enter his home, the scribes start to bicker about what to do. By that time, Hasdrubal is gnashing his teeth with impatience, nearly matching my own, and whispers to me to draw Tic-Toc out with a pouch filled with gold (he wanted a ten thousand gold pieces bribe for the token, which we didn’t have) to make him come out of hiding. Another great idea from our nerdgladiator. The bastard’s on a roll lately!

As Tic-Toc count the gold, Hasdy and I attack him, forcing the other scribes hand into joining the fight, to the great relief of the gods I’m sure.

The fight miiiight have been our demise if we believe Orfée’s reaction during the fight, screaming about some type of Angel/Demon in-between entity of some sort (she even made a great “doom!!!” impression of Rhea). Tic-Toc first started to charm me into going to get him his precious grubs from the Ant Queen and when that didn’t work, it tried to cast a hold spell on me, which did work (dang), so I was stuck there like an idiot during the whole fight I instigated. Good ol’ Samir, that.

Hasdrubal levelled the playing field quite a lot by casting a spell that toughened his skin and ended up wedging Tic-Toc’s sword on himself, leaving the neutral angel type thing weaponless.

Mavrikos made the final killing blow to the creature and we got our hands on yet another token!

While looting the place, I was struck with quite a bit of luck, as I founf the Delithium Matrix that teleporter guy kept pestering me about (something about a debt to him I keep forgetting about), so that leaves me with something less to not worry about. Quite a relief!
We are to harvest Tic-Toc’s eyes, for they belonged to Sonnorae (we have the heart and eyes! We’ll only need to remove the tongue from Bernadette and we’ll be able to make our end of at least one deal in this mess, which should make Rhea happy (if the notion is even familiar to her. Ha!). So I use my magic fork to remove the eyes and I also cut off his head because we’re going to head out to the Ant Queen’s lair to get her token from her (we had a deal to kill tic-Toc in exchange for hers).

Oh oh oh! And we found a hand with keys on Tic-Toc. After careful study, we found out that it acts as a Chime of Opening which can be used around five times per day! So that loot definitely has my name written all over it! Yesss! Another doodad for me!

The meeting with the Ant Queen goes well, so we are now with six tokens and two body parts in our possession! We’re near the completion of our mission, meaning we’ll go back to the Academy soon, with a bigger budget to buy stuff for our next endeavor! Ka-ching!

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Orphée's dream walking

Well, the last thing I truly remember is not giving up my self up to that witch or entity that control dreams. When I woke up I know I was in a dream world with my companions. We were investigating a way to get the prize of our mission.

Well I am nor sure exactly what we a re looking for but I know we have part it done. WE have succeeded is being better actors than a professional Lamia. We have convince a Paladin that his mission was doomed to fail and he should help us but he donated all his items to help us. This was bizarre and unexpected.

We are now marching to our next challenge, which I am unsure what it is be will try to do my best to support my colleagues as best as I can in this dream world…

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Pithic Okelak's first day as an Academy disciplinary advisor

“Please take a seat, Journeyman Goldentongue”

Pithic Okelak uttered, his eyes not leaving the generous stack of parchments that comprised Samir’s disciplinary file. His head was still reeling at the things he had read while perusing the history of the rascal’s extracurricular activities within the walls of the Academy. He sighed again, perhaps for the hundredth time since this morning, trying to see how he would approach his functions as a newly promoted Academy Disciplinary and Academic Advisor.

He was proud of himself, to be truthful. More amazed, really. He was sure he had failed the tests put before him, and miserably. More than once he thought he would never go higher than an academic scribe, condemned to live the rest of his days as a copying slave, entering teachers’ notes into students’ records day in, day out. He was resigned to his fate when one morning, he was summoned to the Headmistress of the Disciplinary Office’s quarters for a private interview. Pithick was ecstatic, yet terrorized at the “honor”. This was unheard of! The Headmistress never deigned meeting prospective case workers in person, as the position, while holding great prestige for such as Pithic, was still very low in the Academy’s pecking order. Had he screwed up THAT much, he wondered?

The meeting would have felt weird to Pithic had he not been so nervous and fidgety in the presence of such an important woman. The Headmistress never addressed the results of the tests he had completed. She was more interested in Pithic’s… personality? His penchant for diplomacy and self-restraint while in stressful situations were the main points of discussion brought forth by Eadneyth. No matter. His demurred posture during the interview seemed to have had a positive effect upon the Headmistress, for she nodded and simply said “You’ll do” before waiving her hand as a way of dismissal.

At first, Pithic was curious to be given a single case to deal with, but he rationalized it by thinking that there would be some sort of a progression to his workload… In the end it didn’t matter to him. He was so excited to start helping troubled students attain their true potentials! He would work with those who had personal problems that impeded their academic scores, he would find solutions to students’ horseplay during class. He would actually make a difference for once! And who knows? Maybe his name would appear on day on an historic arcane treaty, in the dedication page, having been a positive (and vital!) influence on a future archmage. He could dream, could he?

So as soon as he had received his file, he quickly found out that three previous case workers had been assigned to it in the past few months, but he thought nothing of it at first, aside from vaguely recalling each names related to some rumors he’d heard. Didn’t Edmugh got demoted (Pithic had heard that it was per his own request, no less!) last fall? And Athir… didn’t she desert the Academy and was now a wanted elf? Oh my, and Thrinainn was assigned to this case, too! Poor dwarf, what with going insane, ranting about seeing things no one else saw and accusing everyone of moving his personal possessions around in his quarters and such nonsense…

But Pithic was nonplussed to it all, so eager was he to start his new career.

It took about three hours of reading to change Pithic’s outlook on his new position (and life in general he would later say over drinks at the case workers’ mess hall, a hobby he would pick up in the following weeks). This was madness, simply put. He could see no pattern to understand, no chink in Goldentongue’s “armor” for him to exploit towards a positive academic or disciplinary outcome. Nothing. He wracked his brain around all the reports he had read, the majority simply suspicions or conjectures from teachers of high-ranking officials. He could see no way to approach his new protégé.

He was soon left with no other option than meeting this Goldentongue. Too many sleepless nights were beginning to take their toll on him already, so he decided to have an introductory meeting with him in the hopes of getting a better understanding of Samir or, at the very least, something to put on his report to his superiors.

The young man sitting in front of him seemed to hold no malice whatsoever in his eyes, which was a good start (Pithic was a hopeless optimist after all). His smile, though… More an amused smirk, really. Like he was laughing at a private joke constantly. Now that made Pithic nervous for some reason. sigh. “Ok, here goes” he muttered between clenched teeth.

“Journeyman Samir, he started. Nice of you to come see me on such a short notice. I know you are set to leave us for a mission soon, so your presence is appreciated.”

“Bah! My shopping’s done already, although I am still waiting on the approval of more… particular items that I requested. I was told I needed the approval of a Committee before I was allowed to proceed. Any words on that? I do believe that I’m starting to be targeted by the bureaucracy, you know. I believe I’m the only one requested to go through such an elaborate approval process to simply get magic trinkets from the Academy’s coffers.” Samir lounged in his chair, putting his feet up Pithic’s desk.

“That may be true, Journeyman, but the nature of your request are somewhat troubling, to say the least.”

“How so? Cursed magical items are technically cheap as hell! The Ring of Gaxx is coveted by no one and is accumulating dust in a coffer somewhere! It is worth is four thousand gold pieces, within the price range such as myself is allowed! And there are others I’d love to get my hands on… for science of course.”

“But it is cursed, Samir! Why would you want to subject yourself to such a sad fate?”

“Curses smurses, I say! So what if I get butt ugly? We’re at the Academy. I’m sure a few old farts here know how to remove the curse for cheap, eh? ANd if not, good ol’ Samir will manage, don’t you worry your pretty little head, Officer. Anyway, It’s not like I’ve never changed my appearance before.”

“The Academy is well aware of your newly endowed… I mean, acquired… appendage you’ve kept before your master removed the shape-changing ability from that ring of yours. In fact, we will need to address your erm, pride in it.”

“Ok, I’ll admit I may have gone overboard with using it as a cane to walk around the Academy’s grounds –“

“You may??? You were caught, strutting around the east towers, dressed as a Whadi pimp, no less! And using it as a cane!”

“Well, who would notice it in a big crowd, eh?”

“Oh I don’t know, said Pithic. Perhaps by the fact that it was fully erect and, by the nature of its existence, you had to levitate upside down to make use of it as a cane!”

“Well, how else was I supposed to use it as a cane, Officer Okelak?”

Pithic’s eyes were twitching by this point. And it was only the most pressing issue to deal with. Never mind the numerous other instances of public nudity, shaming pranks and gross negligence on this student’s part.

“Hey, you do make a great Thrinainn impression by the way” Samir smirked, imitating the eye-twitching.

“Well, I have received no words from your approval committee yet, aside from banning you from consulting our cursed items’ inventory until further notice and that the restricted shelf will soon be guarded by quite a few dweomer guardians in order to discourage any further attempts to not listen to orders.”

“Now who would do such a thing? I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you!”

“I’m sure you are…”

“While I await the decision to let me do what I want with my own body, is there anything else I should be aware of?”

“Aside from telling you there’s an open investigation about funds being used to build an enormous tavern somewhere that no one has even heard of?”

“Don’t look at me! I’m sure there were forms filled and permits approved and whatnot”

“Of course there were. Some of them were even signed by mages who died more than a millennia ago!”

“We have liches in this place! How cool! I’ll have to ask Nasah to show me where their quarters are. For science, of course.”

“And there were some complaints about your actions during your missions. Complaints from some of your teammates about conducts unbecoming of an Academy representative”

“Such as?”

“Oh, you know which ones. Basically all of them to my reckoning”

“That bad, eh? theatrical sigh I guess I’ll try to act more pretentious if it’ll make the scribes happy”

“You… you’d be willing to do that?”

“Of course! I’ll even use a fearsome sounding name, with lots of Gs and Ks in it. I’ll even talk in the third person! You guys will be proud of me, I swear!”

“Now, let’s not go over-the-top with –“

“Gargark the Gark heard your pitiful request and he shall consider it, plebe!” Samir intoned, changing his appearance to a caricaturized wizard you’d see in a bad romance novel.
Pithic simply sighed, watching Journeyman Goldentongue make his exit, and grabbing the first student he saw in the hallway, still in character.

“The gods help us” he said, rubbing his temples.

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Samir's adventure log - dream on! - Part 3
Samir's underwhelming fight performance

[META: too long since last session so lower quality post for me this time I guess hehehe]

Ok, so we arrive at a mansion, where we soon see some weird-looking little faerie arguing with an animated violin. While the violin plays, Hasdrubal, Rhea and Nasah suddenly start to dance, unable to stop.
This was a sight to see I tell ya! I even clapped to the beat, laughing like a little girl at the three scribes dancing while wearing either a confused look or an angry scowl.
Of course, our dear Hasdrubal wouldn’t go down that way, so he instead of fighting the geas upon him he decided to murder it with the best dancing performance I ever saw (and I’m kind of an expert on dancing, although admittedly of the girl-that-undresses variety). He danced so well that the animated violin stopped, depressed at being so outperformed by our gladiator-turned-magus.
The faerie, now on good terms with the violin (they were having an argument for some reason. Can’t remember what for), suggests to Hasdrubal to go see the directors inside to get a job in the arts. Ha!

..

Once inside the manor, we see that we are in a theatre. We can see two men (one very small – and loud! -, another tall and stoic-looking) who are in the middle of a crisis of some sort. As they spot us, they immediately set their sights upon Nasah, the little one praising his looks and claiming how good he would be in their play. Nasah… the most awkward student of the entire Academy. I see that Nasah doesn’t seem to like the attention, so I use my hat of disguise to take Nasah’s form and offer to take his place, but the “directors” will have none of it, gushing over Nasah like he is some famous bard of something. Oh well.

..

As they are explaining the part he will play, my curiosity is drawn towards a pile of mannequin on the far left of the stage and decide to investigate.
Some beautiful lady comes out and starts berating the directors on their choice of actor, hoping that Nasah will be “more fitting to [her] talents than the previous hacks [she] had to work with”. Funnily enough, she was wearing cockatrices as a scarf.

..

Yeap… those aren’t mannequins, but dead bodies. Probably the failed actors that diva is complaining about. I should tell the scribes to get ready for some action, or at the very least be shocked at finding dead bodies for some reason I never understood…

..

Who am I kidding? Ha! Like I was gonna tell them when there are fresh cadavers to loot first!
Anyway:
Hasdrubal is ALWAYS ready for a fight;
Orfée would simply ignore my warnings and try to calm the situation with “words” (not of the magical kind mind you);
Nasah would wonder if his death would be interesting of some such;
Rhea would know already, but would simply scream “doom!” at no one in particular;
Mavrikos would probably fall on his ass somehow (poor sod is really unlucky lately).
And that is in a best-case scenario, too! They’d probably think I was pranking them anyway.
(sigh) such is my lot in life.

..

I’ve found a few lousy coppers and silver pieces… Methinks I should get drunk and go carousing the night again, like in Whadi. Apparently that’s the only way I seem to find interesting objects lately. All those efforts put into looking for stuff and the gods reward me with paltry findings. Quite discouraging for Samir.

..

Oh, a play is about to start and Nasah’s in it!

..

Nasah NAILED his first lines! Wow!

..

Welp, that didn’t take long. Nasah blundered his next lines and the diva is raving mad now. Oh shit, she sent her cockatrices to kill our awkward scribe. Time for a fight!

..

I’m ashamed, really. This fight did NOT made Samir shine. It was blunders over blunders for me:

The fight started with Orfée trying to prevent the fight from happening. The diva turned out to be some type of Naga or something. You know… very EVIL creatures, but hey, you can’t blame Orfée for her optimistic humanism I guess.

Rhea hasted the lot of us and made the serpent bitch fall down one of her pits, thus giving us time to fight off the two cockatrices (and two others coming from backstage).

At some point, the Naga cast a powerful suggestion upon our unlucky Mavrikos, making him run outside (and hasted!) to get medical help.

..

Ok, for my part in the fight. The highlight for myself was to… activate my ring of undead, making me immune to the cockatrice bites. That’s it.
As for my blunders:
- Once the Naga levitated out of the pit, I tried to blind her with mudball spells, figuring that thus blinded, she would be unable to target any of my scribes with her spells. Missed. TWICE!
- Created a minor image of a smoke globe over the Naga’s head in order to achieve my goal stated previously.
- Did NOT figure out that I was wasting my spells over an ILLUSION (Naga was still in the pit). ME, the illusionist of the bunch, did not figure out I was being played like that damn violin we encountered. A shame I will carry to the grave…
- Tried to conjure up an illusion of myself in order to “flank” the Naga with Hasdrubal, thus giving him an edge for his deadly sword. Turns out it doesn’t work! That’s the last time I spy on the “Secret brotherhood of illusionists” meeting at the Academy. Bunch of inexperienced mental masturbators the lot of them!

..

We’ve finally defeated the bitch!

..and we are set to play yet another scene, this one from the murder of what’s-her-name, the chick who created this plane. We suddenly are outside, in a storm, dressed in robes. I guess we are playing the conspirators or something (I really should pay more attention – or be less bored I guess).
Ok, so we are to fight the two “directors”, one of which it turns out is a golem (the big one).

..

Rhea once again kicks ass, casting her black tentacles spells and ensnaring the little one, which leaves us with the golem to deal with. Divide and Conquer, bitches!

..

My performance was yet again subpar. I failed to immolate the golem, but was able to prick him with a few magic missile spells… What a fearsome warrior I am…

..

We’ve defeated them! They surrendered and want to negotiate! Orfée must be wet with pleasure over that! Teehee.

..

We’ve got the token from these bastards! We’re now with three such items.

..

Now what?

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King's Sacrifice, Queen Sacrified

The Václavák Salon has something of a reputation within Coldspire Academy. Serving as the home to the chess club founded by Vikkard Broju, its membership is generally limited to the organisation’s higher rung. Exquisitely decorated by ornate glass chandeliers, gilded guéridon and walls of pure white marble, the venue is an ostentatious display of wealth and power. At all hours of the day players can come to test their skills in the tranquility of its halls while semi-translucent servants offers choice of delicacies and fine wine. The salon has something of a otherworldly aesthetics to it, which should not come as a surprise as its design had been inspired from one of Master Broju’s many extraplanar escapades.

Chess was a distinguished form of entertainment, that Althea herself sometimes indulged with her acquaintances. She had recently arranged for Master Broju to teach the game to her pupil. Hasdrubal figured that it was a way to rear him to more sophistication. After all, his teachers of today would be his equals of tomorrow, it was time to adopt a past time befitting his station. Hasdrubal’s mere presence here also served this very purpose. The Václavák Salon was a proper place to show oneself, spending time with someone of Broju’s position served to elevate his stature.

Hasdrubal surveyed the puzzle before him with a furrowed brow. He was anxious, as he, uncharacteristically, seemed to hold the upper hand in this particular game. Hasdrubal was trying his earnest to close the deal but he knew full well that he had a tall order ahead of him. Master Broju had been the Academy’s best chess player during his youth and remained an extremely talented player. Hasdrubal, on other hand, had never played the game before joining the academy and showed no inclination or particular affinity towards it.

This abstraction of war did not play to his strength. Chess rewarded those approaching it with patience and a methodological approach, two things Hasdrubal sorely lacked. The man had become a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield by drawing on his primal instincts, and he approached many aspects of his life with the same reckless abandon. This translated into his play, trading pieces tit for tat, making them clashes in a violent and chaotic display, if rarely a successful one. Master Broju quickly realized that his only hope in making a decent player out of him was to teach him a chess school befitting his predisposition. He settled for the «Dorian school» characterized by brash gambits and an open, tactical game. A style focused more on artistic expression, rather than technical mastery or long-term planning. For its practitioners, winning was secondary to winning with style.

-«You have something on your mind, yes?.» inquired Vikkard, breaking Hasdrubal’s train of thought.

It was true. Something else was weighting on his mind. Something he wouldn’t dare share with Althea… But a door had opened, an opportunity to get it off his chest.

-«After we retrieve what is sought…»

-«Yes?»

Hasdrubal moved a piece forward, not leaving his eyes from the board.

-«…what will be expected of us?»

Spending eternity as an archangel for the new arbiters of life and death held no appeal for him…

Vikkard leaned in, lowering his voice:

-«You and I… We cut of same cloth, yes? Then no need to worry. Just enjoy creation… perfected… Yes?»

Vikkard straightened himself and nodded, smiling reassuringly to his opponent. He looked certain that he had shared some grand revelation.

The cryptic reply did little to assuage Hasdrubal’s apprehensions. Where did he and his companions would fit in the grand scheme of thing one it would all be said and done? Their mentors might be confident to prevail in doing a deed many times attempted and failed, to catastrophic repercussions, but he was not so. This whole endeavor filled him with dread and yet, against his better judgement, he could not stop himself from going forward. At the end of the tunnel glimmered a sliver of hope that kept drawing him further…

-«Would it… Will it make it possible to bring someone back? Someone long gone?»

Vikkard stroked his chin, processing the question.

-«Ah, from the other side, yes? It would be but trifle.»

The cat had played with his prey long enough, it was time to spring the trap. Master Broju reached for his knight and slid it into position. The piece now threatened both of his opponent’s King and Queen. Hasdrubal grunted in frustration, his fortune had done an about-face, his situation was now hopeless.

-«You wish to concede, yes?»

Hasdrubal slinked his king out of harms’ way, looking at Vikkard square in the eyes.

He would fight to the bitter end.

Vikkard spared no time responding, picking his knight and toppling Hasdrubal’s queen, seizing its place on the marble board.

-«Very well. Let’s keep playing, yes?»

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Samir's adventure log - dream on! - Part 2

All right, ladies and gents. Sit tight, ‘cause it’s gonna be a complicated retelling of the events following our encounter with the Tengu clowns we just beat up to a pulp.
I will try to give out as much insight as I can (understand) into our conundrum, because even though we’re stuck in the dream plane with no way out until we find the thingy of power Babagava threw in there (she will be the one bringing us out if I listened enough to make the proper inference. Helloooooo, backstabbing! It’s not like she’s an evil Dream Hag or anything like that. Can totalllly trust her!), we’re kinda stuck at the options we are now facing in order to retrieve the tokens necessary to meet the big boss man in charge and kill it (or recruit to become an Academy professor of Tarot cards if Rhea has any say in it I guess).

..

So we’re in a dream bubble and we’ve just saved some chef from a band of bullying Tengus and our dear Mother Goose Orfée proceeded to heal him. The other scribes find his appearance and demeanor… exaggerated somehow? They even make parallels to my short life as Samira, appearance-wise. No idea what they’re talking about.
So the chef, still agitated, repeatedly asks us for our help in what I could only understand as making him cook again.
The short of it is around those lines:
- His mistress, Sonoré, was killed by something like nine conspirators and each one of them took a piece of a kepenia (some type of scarf) and separated the current dream-bubble plane into nine different realms, each one of them becoming its masters.
- Bernadee-tee, or whatever that name is spelled, is the conspirator/master of our current location.
- The chef cannot be calmed down and wants to wander around, looking for other adventurers to help him cook again. For who, I have no idea, and apparently so does he. He seems kind of stuck in a loop in that regard, which I find really strange… and seem to be the only one thinking it. Since I have a tendency of listening to half of the scribes’ tedious conversations anyway and missing out on some irrelevant information that the scribes usually label as “important” or “vital” or “Samir doesn’t need to know or he’ll do X”, I decided to shut up, as their tolerance of my antics seems to chafe them more than usual lately. They want to appear important and freely forewarn enemies of their might so that they can better prepare to kill us for some reason. They all must have noble blood either inflating their egos or clouding their brains I say. Bah! I can’t wait to go the entrepreneur way and be free of the lot of them, even though I’ll miss them, quirks and all. Hmmm, maybe I’ll make a room for each one of them in my domain someday for when they’ll visit.
- The big bad guy is a dragon, and we’ll need to get all the tokens in order to meet him. Or is he the last one to hold a token? I don’t remember. (shrug)

So we’re off to enter this little marquee over there. We cannot see what’s inside, but I can hear distant fare/circus music coming from inside somewhere. Orfée, afraid that the Chef will wander around until he gets attacked again, decides to remain in place to take care of him for the time being. Fortunately, she loans her precious wand of healing booboos to Nasah.
Oh, Rhea and Nasah split a deck of tarot cards the Dream Hag gave them and in which they plan on throwing cards at things or people randomly for some reason…

..

Well, what do you know, the interior is a lot bigger than its outside representation. I’m shocked. SHOCKED I tell you, that such a thing is even POSSIBLE in a dream plane!
We seem to have made our entrance directly inside the stage where a show is being performed. At the opposite end of our location is a round cage too dark to see what’s inside. On each side of the cage are bleachers filled with an audience, sometimes cheering, oftentimes jeering at the show presently being performed. The performers are a stone giant, juggling a bunch of different items while four big bears are riding awkwardly around on unicycles, to the delight of the crowd.

As our presence is detected, the crowd starts to jeer at us, throwing insults. The performers, hungry for the crowd’s approval, turn toward us with violence in their eyes. The fight is on!

..

The fight was a weird one. Bears kept falling down their unicycles and awkwardly trying to get back on, to the roars of laughter from the crowd. But these little fuckers kept zigzagging between us, striking us with their paws. And they were FAST!
My performance in this fight was subpar. I first made the illusion of a wall of smoke, cutting off the view of our party from the giant and two other bears, but nothing came out of it. They just ignored its possible dangers and ran straight through them. It’s possible that the illusion had no effect whatsoever on these creatures, because even the crowd, blinded to the show going on further than this wall of smoke, kept cheering/booing at the event going out outside their field of view. Weird, that.
We soon found out that their will to fight was directly related to the crowd’s attitude toward them: the more they cheered them or laughed at their antics, the more violent their intents were; inversely, the more they laughed of cheered at OUR actions the more apathetical they’d become.
Hasdrubal was in his element. His sword maneuvers, once out of Rhea’s black tentacles (who grabbed poor Mavrikos solidly in its grip) was the stuff of legend (I really should sneak into one of her master’s little soirée one day…). He killed a bear if I recall, and his sword moves made the crowd go wild in our favor. A bear became so depressed by Hasdy’s showmanship that he picked up his broken unicycle and left the tent, head bowed in shame, in a “Screw you guys! I’m going home” kind of way. “Hasdrubal Thesh. So good with the sword, he once made a bear cry” shall be what’s written on his headstone, should he ever die one day and I have any say in the matter.

..

After the fight is over, we go toward this dark cage and see some type of a crocodile humanoid, sitting down among a bunch of chairs and tea-pots. The crocodile is sipping tea and seems to be waiting for us. He’s even wearing a top hat and everything! I have no idea why, but I’m secretly disappointed that there is no Hare with him and that they’re aren’t celebrating someone’s un-birthday for some reason…
So our head arcana nerd, Rhea, takes charge of the negotiation. We soon ascertain that Bernadee-tee is one of the conspirators and in possession of one of the tokens we’re supposed to look for.
Rhea ended up playing a game of “spot the lie”, with five chances, to win the token without the use of violence. If we were able to spot a lie from the crocodile-man AND be able to prove it, we’d win the token! As I was trying to get Rhea’s attention to the crocodile’s hands (his left hand was in his right arm and vice-versa! Looked like we were dealing with the image of a mirror or something. Really weird. I kept wondering when we’d see a rabbit, scrambling about, late to see a queen for some reason).
Rhea won the contest of wits by asking Bernadee-tee her name, which it replied with “Samira”.
Well, that was easy! And here I was, wracking my brain, trying to find a question we could ask that would make it impossible for the creature NOT to lie… zero for two so far for good ol’ Samir…

..

On our way to another realm (forgot which one. They all have weird names like the “machine candelabra” or “the vast void of terror” or silly things like that. Ok I wasn’t listening when the names were discussed), we encountered an annoying Rabbit King, pissed off about the lawn, thinking it was out to “get him” and prevent him from escaping or whatever. Turns out he was one of the conspirators, too, and Nasah tried to win his token with a game of paper-rock-scissors. He lost. But Rhea tried her luck and won. Boy was that one easy. The rabbit was an idiot, and decided to play a game (multiple times!) instead of exchanging the token for a lost piece of his blade that he lost (probably still in Sonoré’s corpse… you know, from all that backstabbing these fuckers did. That notion is surprisingly out of my scribes’ minds for some reason. I’ll NEVER understand them I tell you. When Samir acts inappropriately towards bad people their eyes roll behind their heads in exasperation, but those same holier-than-thou hypocrites politely discuss deals with murderers or enlist human-eating monsters to the Academy, where CHILDREN live! It’s. The… BAH! I really think I’m starting to resent them…).

..

Ok, so we’re at the door of the Tic-Toc Man’s realm. At the base of some stairs. We see Fire-Dwarves, armed with hammers. As they see us, they start taunting our group. Rhea (or was it Nasah?) tries the diplomatic/friendly way as a retort, to disastrous consequences. The politeness of their words only serves to anger the four dwarves further, who then start hammering at the columns flanking the stairs our group is on. Each blows threatens to make the whole place fall on our heads. Hasdy and I, quickly cast a fly spell and start going up in order to evade anything coming out. Fortunately, the scribes figure out what’s what and throw insults of their own. The dwarves LOVE it, and let us pass through.

..

We decide to enter an inn that we soon find out is ran by a grumpy giant that is refusing to serve us, since we aren’t giants ourselves. As the scribes negotiate, I spot a big key, lying on the counter and try to palm it with my ranged legerdemain ability. This key surely is the one that opens the back door of the establishment (which the giant tells leads where the Tic-Toc Man resides). No luck. The giant spots the key, floating above his head (no scribes tries to get the giant’s attention away from us, so I’d be able to finish the “borrowing” of… with my limited successes with this trick, I’m starting to think I should’ve went either the Veiled Illusionist or the Shadowcaster way… oh well), grabs it and tells us that either we pay one thousand golds per head to frequent his business or we should leave, and quick. As we slunk outside the place, I propose that I combine my hat of disguise’s ability with climbing on the shoulders of one of the fighters in the group, so that we’d appear giants (I’d just have to craft an illusion of a very long robe after all), which seems to AGAIN make the scribes queasy at the idea of looking ridiculous. Such a weakness… tsk.

I soon grow tired of their debates (irritated, really) and just tell them to throw a void pellet at the wall, thus bypassing the damn door of the inn and we wouldn’t have to hurt our precious images to deal with an angry giant. Hasdrubal provides his pellet and I throw it at the wall, creating a HUGE, gaping hole in the wall… where we see a Fire Giant standing, confused at the wall. I quickly cast the illusion of the wall back, confusing the poor sod even further. Before planning the next step, our “leader” Rhea steps through the illusion and introduces herself, probably wanting to make it another one of her pets.

That giant turned out to be even angrier than the innkeeper! He’s ranting against the Tic-Toc Man and how he transformed his buddy into stone (we can see a HUGE stone face in the corridor. Guess that’s him), that he is a “size-ist” (whatever that is) and so forth. He’s also on a hunger strike for some reason…
I soon grew bored of the conversation and stopped listening, but we ended up with a new companion following us into the Tic-Tic Man’s lair. Off we go I guess.

..

Wow, I’ve never seen so many machines in the same place in my life! There’s EVERYTHING! It’s really the machinest machine room to ever exist!

Hey… what of that thing Kohl Meanie wanted from me again? A Delithium Matrix thingy, right? What if… THERE! There’s one! That Ranged Legerdemain better work this time. Let’s see.

[META: that wasn’t addressed in the game, so no idea if it worked or not]

..

Ok, so we’ve negotiated the Tic-Toc Man’s token in exchange for 6 “grubs” (some type of material needed to maintain his machines here) that another conspirator possess. We can’t kill that guy, because the whole realm would destroy itself or something? Or at least, that’s what the Tic-Toc Man says. How convenient!

..

So after dealing with the annoying rabbit king on our way to the other conspirator’s place (forgot the name again), we arrive at a building where there’s lots of wax statues of bearded mental masturbators that were alive hundreds of years ago. While searching the two adjoining rooms I was able to find a secret door, then another within that secret door. Anyway, we end up in a big room with a giant ant, some dwarf lady and three big globs of wax. Before even introducing ourselves, the ant shrieks that we are here to kidnap her babies, which are worms, writhing on the table nearby (three total) that are apparently the “grubs” we are after.

Boy do these globs of was fast AND hurt! Before we could even draw our weapons we were attacked and our fighters were badly wounded! Not a good sign…

Rhea and Nasah were able to calm her down with soothing words, which stopped the attack. Before getting kicked out, we were able to strike a deal: her token for the Tic-Toc Man’s head.
We’re kinda getting swamped with deals here!

..

Aannnd that’s where Rhea decided to have a moral crisis about dealing with assassinations and darks dealings with murderers. She began sweating and hyperventilating out of nowhere. She had to take Mavrikos aside to have a discussion about the faith of Phos, which she took up when dealing with the Hag as a price for something I’m not entirely sure I understand at all yet.
(shrugs)

..

Since we don’t seem to have enough problems yet, the group decided to go to yet another place to get a token. We are soon faced with a bizarre show: a unicorn, a pear on its horn, is having an argument with a goblin wearing a unicorn mask, desperately trying to eat the pear on the horn. The unicorn refuses to give it to it, stating his hatred of lowly, dirty goblins.

Nasah tries to calm both parties down and offers solutions to both parties, but neither will bulge. The unicorn refuses to give the pear to filthy goblins; the goblin refuses to eat the other pears, because they are dirty and all have “fear not” written on them.

The lack of action from the scribes is really annoying me lately, so I decide to take charge, from the shadows, so to speak. I palm a “dirty pear” and use my ranged legerdemain ability to snatch off the good pear from the unicorn’s horn. Success! I then quickly cast a figment on the dirty pear, making it appear “clean”. When I tell the unicorn that I have the pear and make both see this fact for themselves, I quickly give the “dirty” pear to the goblin, who happily run away under a tree and starts munching on it. The unicorn is really pissed off at me for that though and calls me “an asshole” (never thought I’d get “called an asshole by a unicorn” off my bucket list though). I urgently whisper to him and ask him to calm down, that I have the real thing here and I give it back to it. Win-Win, right?
Nope, that fucking unicorn proceeds to scream at the goblin and telling him of the ruse, thus resuming in taunting him.

All for naught.
The creatures inhabiting this realm are so weird, almost like they are empty beings, forced to live a pre-written script of someone’s making… (shrug).

Well, the uni-douche relents and gives me 5 “dirty” pears for my trouble, so I hand one out to each of our group (might come in handy).

All right. We arrive at another of those realms. Yay… more things we’ll owe murderers for tokens they STOLE from a CORPSE they KILLED! And I’m the rogue without a conscience in the group. (spits)

..

We come upon a book written in a foreign language none of us is able to decipher. On closer examination, I see that the quill’s point is made of obsidian! This might be the token we’re looking for! So of course, I ask my new buddy (screw those scribes! I’m making my own friends! With blackjack and hookers!) to grab it. (Forgot to tell you! Casted my first Mud Buddy spell today! He’s AWESOME! Helps quite a lot! The other scribes makes light of my choices of spells, but they can’t hide their relief when my buddy enters rooms first, thus triggering any traps there would be in there. Suckers…)

As soon as the quill is picked up there is a telepathic voice inside our head. It’s another conspirator!
And guess what!? No no, guess!!! You’ll never find it I swear!
Give up!? Well, the ghostly hag wants…. A deal in exchange for her token! Mind. BLOWN! Right? Right!?
(sigh)

Of course the scribes want a deal. We should save murderers for the good of a higher power, who’s probably watching us through fingers, both hands on its face in stunned exasperation…

So the deal? We will need her eyes, tongue and heart back (other conspirators have them) OR the same items, but from a mortal (not a dream puppet of whatever form of “sentience” “live” here).

Tried to exploit the spell “sculpt corpse” to sculpt pieces of myself (my ring of undead makes me immune to pain when activated) into those parts, but we came to a consensus that the “sculptures” would not be working as proper organs. Oh well, because trying to exchange the token then running away before the fraud was found out would be a terrible idea and would probably go against the group’s fucked up moral compass, right?

I hate feeling this irate towards those damn scribes lately…

So we have to steal the babies of a murderer (grubs) for a token, kill a murderer for a token (remember, WHICH IS BAD!!!!), find a piece of broken sword for a token we already have (if I recall properly), steal the organs of a murderer from other murderers, OR steal them from an innocent sentient being (dead preferably I guess – the scribes’ ethics is confusing to me).
I can’t wait to see what else we’ll need to do to get out of this nightmare realm. Yay!

… (sigh) I miss Orfée’s level-headed thinking right now…

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Second Letter to Priam Khassit
Dated 16 of Eleint 342 AF

Your protege still lives, Priam. Please pardon my tardiness in providing you with tidings. I recently realized to my surprise that it had been more than two years since I last sent a missive your way. Time at the academy can sometime seem like a dream when we are toiling in our studies without the benefit of a sun regulating our lives. However, this is more than an simply an impression, I suspect. The academy itself feels like it operates along its own timeline irrespective of the world surrounding it.

We long concluded our passage in Wahdi, which ultimately was brief but intense and impactful. The intervention of our group, known under the name of «the Howling Kings» (althought you might hear us being known under a less tasteful nickname, I assure you this is due to the slandering tongues of some jealous, less successful adventurers) saved the city from being overrun by the undead of its necropolis. So central was the group’s role in the crisis’ resolution that the grateful citizen of the city graced one of their public square with a monument depicting my person. I promise I will share with you the tales of our exploits in greater details when we meet face-to-face.

I now write to you from Arazi where my companions and I are the behest of our mentors to fulfill another of their errands. I can hardly contain my anticipation at testing my mettle against the colossal lizards that roam the island, said to be amongst the most dangerous creatures in all Lyria.

We are now two members short since I penned my previous letter. Much to Nasah’s chagrin, Rhialla chose the life of a renegade, forsaking everything to cast her lot with some extra dimensional warlock. Eydan suffered an even worst fate, falling victim to the capricious and sometimes lethal manner in which the academy professors provide education to their pupils. His death was a reminder to us all of the precariousness of our station. To the common man outside we might be giants but at the academy we are naught.

Luckily the rest of my peers have fared better.

With Eydan’s passing, Rhea became the most accomplished caster of the group. Rhea as picked up this mantle with aplomb and worked hard into supplementing her arsenal with evocation magic. She is no longer the liability in combat she used to be. Now it is quite the opposite, to be exact. While she is incontestably our senior in the academy’s pecking order, she has not sought to lead the group, which maintains a collegial structure mirroring the relationship our mentors have with each other despite the differences in stature of their respective office.

I encouraged Nasah in following the path of the arcane archer and he was quite receptive of my counsel. I am happy to report the elf is blooming into a superb archer. Sadly, he lacks the killer instinct that would make him truly exceptional. He is clearly more at ease hitting targets on the practice range rather than his enemies on the battlefield. Poor Nasah, sometimes the sheppard must kill the wolf to save the flock!

I recently learned that Orphée is of Samsaran stock. I wonder if those of her race all share her particular outlook on life, pairing the serenity of a monk and the curiosity of a child. Orphée successfully petitioned in taking Eydan’s vacancy under Master Therin Skalag. While I can applaud the wisdom in abandoning the teachings of the lesser school of enchantment in favor of the school of Evocation, I sincerely hope she has not signed her death warrant from one of Master’s Skarlag failed «experiment».

Mavrikos has so far failed to live up to the promises I had seen in him when we had first spared. As I predicted, his insistence in using a lucerne hammer despite his scrawny physique has proved ill advised. Verily, if stubbornness was a virtue, the man would be the holiest of all! Mavrikos has the physical attribute to be a warrior of renown provided that he practiced a style that catered to his strength, favoring agility over brawn. Despite the man being of a different faith, as such I wish him no ill will. If he swallowed his pride and asked my for assistance, I would endeavor to make him my equal in combat and do so gladly.

I have to confess I have a bit soured on Samir‘s antics. His odd and sometimes crude demeanor reflects badly on his the rest of us and to some extant, the academy itself. However, if putting up with his shenanigans is the price to pay to keep my neck firmly on my shoulders, then it is a price I have no problem paying. Having faced many danger with the man I can honestly say he is without a doubt the most resourceful member of the group. His quick, out-of-the box thinking saved our skins more than once. Samir always keeps his cool in combat and, after an early brush with a trapped sarcophagus, has rarely, if ever, put himself in a precarious situation since. (He does have a knack at attracting trouble outside of combat however…) I had wrote him off as a mad genius, but I learned since that he has more ambition than the dissolute rogue image he projects. Maybe there’s a method – and a reason – to his ‘madness’…

As for myself, I am satisfied with the strides I have been making in my studies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the path of warrior was threaded by relatively few amongst those gifted in the arcane. Consequently, fewer spells have been devised to further such pursuits. I am not merely content to simply ape the great masters of old and took it upon myself to leave a mark in my own right. I use every set-back as a inspiration to devise new spells to provide for contingencies. Let it be known that Hasdrubal Thesh will not fall victim to the same perils twice!

As our magical ability grows, so is our standing within the Academy. The leash has loosen somewhat and we are now offered a certain autonomy in taking our assignments. I was given a chance to return to Sekunta and I hope you will forgive me, but I passed on the opportunity. Truth be told, I considered it premature to do so. While I am confident I could now run roughshod on Sekunta regional gladiatorial circuit and make a good account of myself in the capital’s Colosseum, know that I am will not satisfy myself in merely being good or even great.

I shall walk home a hero and leave a legend.

Ananrath prevails!

Hasdrubal Thesh

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Samir's Adventure Log - Dream on! - Part 1

“More grapes, Samir?” she murmurs, nibbling at my ear.
“Of course, Sweets” as I open my mouth to be fed by that gorgeous creature I had a fling with back in Whadi; the sister with the hair-limbs.
“So tell me, what would you fear losing most in your life?”
“Huh? That’s not sexy thoughts… Me want sexy thoughts! A narrative to make even Mavrikos melt with desire! And you know Mavrikos, yes? He’s…”
“Soon, love. But my curiosity must be satiated” she purrs, her hand slowly rubbing my chest.
“Well, impotence would be a major ‘downer’, if you know what I mean” I lightly reply, making my trademarked eyebrows ‘move’, my ever-present grin growing wider.
“Don’t be silly!”
“Ok, so I guess I’d go with my trusty undead ring here. It saved my ass countless times, and stabbing myself while laughing and running around naked to make the Academy students sick makes it my most prized possession” I lazily reply, popping a grape into my mouth.
“Samir, this is serious”
“Eh? But I am serious, Mindy”
“My names’ not Mindy”
“Really? Huh. Ok fine, by ‘most important’ I’m sure you mean something like the rest of the scribes would say, some deep philosophical concept or something to do with that holy morality of some ethical ethics of morals thingy?”
“Errr, something like that I suppose”
“Well, if I had to pick something that’s not more important than the ‘trivial’ present that I actually DO think is more important, I’d have to go with my freedom”
“Interesting” she murmurs, to herself.
“Yeah, sure. I found that out when it was removed from me by that damned Academy. Indentured to a bunch of scheming scribes! Pah! When I become powerful enough I’ll own the world’s largest information market that will make kingdoms fall, should I ever wish to meddle for fun. And I’ll know things that will make the Academy loosen its leash on me so much as to make my ‘servitude’ irrelevant, in name only. You just watch me, sweet cheeks!” I vehemently rant, surprised at my own seriousness.
The sister smiles, triumphantly, reaching to her face, her nails digging through the skin. “That will do” she says, her smile growing darker.
“I’ve made plans, you know! There’ll be golems that will roam my inn as security measures”
“Samir, look at me”
“…of course, they’ll be dressed as flamboyant whores, painted faces and all…”
“Samir?”
“…and you know why? Because NOBODY would risk getting killed, or worse, beat up, by ‘constructs of the night’, if you know what I mean…”
“Samir… I’m trying to show you something”
“…they keep writing me off as this mad fool, but there’s a method to my madness you see, the absurd stumps the self-righteous, for they foolishly imagine scenarios of reactions to their epic moves and whatnot. Really silly puppets the lot of them I say”
“SAMIR! Look upon me!” the voice, enraged, guttural, snaps me out of my mental masturbation session.
“Eh?”
As I gaze upon my inconsequential lover, I see her dig deep into her face with clawed hands, ripping it off completely. I now look upon this horrible creature with blue skin and tangled white hair, rising up to tower above me.
“I name my price!” the creature shrieks, pointing a bony finger towards me

..

I wake up with a yelp, cold with sweat. “Holy shit! I nearly shagged a hag!” I say, incredulous. “Hehehhee… ‘shagged a hag’. I’ll make sure to tell the bard to add this to one of his Whadi songs”.
As I sit up, I look upon my trousers, now adorned with a generous wet spot. “Well, guess I shagged it after all… Oh well, it’s not like I won’t do worse one day” I muse to myself.
I look up and lock stares with Hasdrubal, looking at me like he’s having a stroke. You know, the face they make before kicking the bucket? “Hey Hasdy. My turn for the watch? No? Awesome, g’night, mate!” I lay back down and close my eyes. Ever the optimist, I’m simply happy I didn’t shit myself like all those times I did, trying to find a loophole about those pesky gremlins inside our heads.

..

So our journey is uneventful for the first week or so, aside from Orfée who woke up one night, screaming her heart out. (shrug) Probably broke a nail or something.
Rhea is adamant that we continue our journey to see Babagava without sleeping and under the Keep Watch spell. I don’t ask questions and spend the extra waking hours practicing on my ranged legerdemain skills.

..

We come upon a small hill overlooking a river. Across from it, we finally get to see small herds of dinosaurs roaming about. Those are big ass creatures!
As we make out way to the clearing, we see a wounded dinosaur, running away from something. Instead of passing us by, it goes directly to Mavrikos for some reason. However, there is some kind of symbol on the creature, shining with light. From Mavrikos’ reaction, I’m guessing this symbol is from his godling, Phosphorus or something like that.
We feel the earth shaking a little. Something BIG is coming. Oh, it’s Samir Time!

..

I quickly cast an illusion of Mavrikos’ new friend and put it directly between us and whatever wants to eat it in order to buy us some time.

..

And it’s a success! Soon after that an enormous T-Rex crashes into view, hungry for its prey and pouncing into my illusion, affording our group more time to deploy and hurt it.
The fight is on!

..

Hasdy is becoming quite the warrior. Aside from Rhea and Nasah’s light scores on the creature (and my missed mudball spell to blind the creature…), Hasdrubal took care of this huge monster quite easily. He first ripped its lower jaw, thus freeing Mavrikos from its maw, intent of killing the beast with holy food poisoning or something. Then, as it tried to flee in humiliation, he completed his job by ripping the whole lower jaw and slicing its aorta clean through! It was majestic!
Here was Hasdrubal, covered in blood from head to toe, making his little victory dance. I would definitely pickpocket a ticket to see that again in an arena, that’s for sure!

..

The creature slain, we take a moment to collect our thoughts. Well, THEY take a moment to collect their thoughts. I, the scrounger of our company, am too busy slicing away to get that the stomach, as I’m sure the monster ate a few stupid adventurers.

..

Gold! Bull’s eye! Akunamatata! I’ve found treasure!
Of course, the cool stuff (scrolls and wands) are too damaged by acid to be useful anymore, but I found more than enough gold to be worth it!

..

The gods hate me! My boots of Plan B are destroyed by the stomach acid! I’m cursed to end up “flush”, am I?

..

We finally arrive at our destination, guided by a hillbilly bullywug. A hillbullywug, if you will. Ah, clever me!

..

So it turns out that the hag in our dream is actually Babagava. And she’s no common hag, too! She’s a DREAM hag, with powers of stealing dreams and destroying minds and whatnot.
Still ugly as a troll, but that power… hmmm…

..

Rhea takes charge of the negotiation for the return of that ‘thing’. It turns out that the thing we named in our dream will be the price we will each have to pay in order to get the item.
For some reason, Rhea paid my portion instead of me, which is nice of her. The paranoid shut-in is even bargaining to pay the price of others in our group, too! Surprising, as I thought I was annoying her more than anything else with my antics. I owe her big time I suppose…

..

As the negotiations stretch, I soon grow tired of pestering Hasdy on who he was doing the naughty with in his dream with the hag (I bet it’s that master of his) and I start exploring my own options.
The seed of an idea slowly forms in my genius of a brain: since I want to be a broker of information and intrigue, such an ally would sure make me take a huge step towards my goal, so what if… what if I seduced this powerful creature? She’s not THAT ugly, if you close your eyes that is.
Fuck it, I’m going for it! Teehee.

..

Nooo idea if it worked or not. I just woke up, sprawled on the ground, and nobody wants to answer if I scored or not. Frustrating, really.

..

So the thingamabob is inside a dream bubble, in a dream plane. And Babagava simply dropped it somewhere in there. Guess we’ll have to go fetch it ourselves.
Something’s weird in our group though. Many cast suspicious looks at Mavrikos, and Mavrikos seems to have inserted a bigger stick up his ass, too. What the hell did I miss? Seriously, I missed something here. Hope it was when I was passed out so I’d have a good excuse to be in the dark. Huh…

..

So we a brought to hammocks in Babagava’s shed and put to sleep. Off we goo!!

..

We arrive at this weird-looking carnival, big tent and all. There are four Tengus present, bullying this poor caricature of a chef, asking for gossip. Orfée, ever the soft-hearted, approaches them, then enters into a shopping stall for some reason. She entreats them to appeal to their good hearts and stop hurting that poor Chef that looks so much exaggerated that I’d be willing to bet that he’d live at the corner of, say, a Sesame Street and another random name of a street, like Swedish. Of course, this only serves to draw their attention to herself and she soon receives a few pecks of her own.
A battle has started.

..

Again, my skills with illusions helped my compadres. They wanted gossip and were ready to bully the weak for it? Then how would they react if a fucking Ettin would appear to them, asking THEM for gossip?
Didn’t work as good as I wanted, but I still managed to draw two of them little bastards towards MY bully, which helped the others take care of the isolated Tengus.
I’ve also immolated one of them, so I have that going on for me, which is great.

..

Fight is over! We won! And none of us are badly injured! Now to talk to that Chef… Børk

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