The Red Hand

A chink in the armour...

Spirits were high around camp. They had finally acquired the last token, getting ever so closer to retrieving the Stone of Serenity and escaping Sonorae’s grotesque dream realm. The only thing standing before them was Zassrion, the dragon. The leader of the conspirator and usurper of Sonorae’s former seat of power. While their greatest challenge had yet to be bested, for now the group was taking a well deserved rest, breaking bread and sharing a fire.

Orphée and Nasah were having a discussion on the philosophical implication of story-kin assassination, while nibbling on dried fruit. Mavrikos was polishing his new plate armor, attentive to the debate being conducted next to him and occasionally shimming in. For the first time in a long while, the paladin would not spend the night in doubt or in prayer.

Samir was gesticulating widly while humoring Hasdrubal by meticulously running the details of the next prank he had in store for his archrival Theophyr. A little to their right, Rhea was brushing her long green air a subtle smile on her lips. While seemingly lost in thought, the elf was ever attentive to everything happening around her.

Yes, spirits were high… but for one.

Caught up in the telling of the «prank to end all pranks» Samir had just now realized Hasdrubal not cracked not so much of a smirk during the entirety to his exposé. His friend might have been reflectively nodding but he had not listened to a single word.

«Hey ho, you’re still with me?» A bit miffed, Samir clicked his fingers repeatingly in front of Hasdrubal, snapping him it out of his torpor.

With a grunt, Hasdrubal slapped Samir’s hand and stood up defiantly. The rest of the group, taken by surprise by Hasdrubal’s outburst, suddenly stopped their conversation to watch the stand-off.

The rogue, uncowed by the warrior’s annoyed scowl, stood up getting within an inch of his face.

«You alright, buddy?»

For only reply, Hasdrubal gave him a forceful shove, sending the rogue to his backside.

Looking up at the warrior towering him, Samir did not skip a beat:

«Well? Spill the beans, will ya?»

Maybe his curiosity overrode his sense of self-preservation, but since the rogue had little consideration for social more he likely didn’t care for the cue not to push the issue.

In any case, Samir bluntness had its intended effect.

Hasdrubal gritted his teeth, letting out a long sigh, recomposing himself.

«Alright… Let’s have a talk. Rhea… please come also.»

Samir gave a puzzled look to Rhea, who, unflustered by the altercation, kept her inscrutable mien.

The rest of the companions exchanged confused and apprehensive looks while the three mages left for a private talk…

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Samir's adventure log - dream on! - Part 5

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!

Hasdy’s
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!

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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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