The Red Hand

Afternoon at the Penthru's mansion
Finishing up our second site

Dear Journal,
So our afternoon fared better, not so difficult after the morning we just had even with 2 missing companions. Walking through the dead city a 3rd time, we arrived at the merchant mansion without any further ado. We finished exploring the East courtyard. There were a few buildings that we did not have time after our visit this morning. In the outdoor kitchen, we were surprised by some more large spiders. One over our shock, we quickly dispatched them. Before proceeding into the mansion, we decided to clear the outer courtyard to have safer avenues of escape from the house. So we then proceeded to the West courtyard. There we passed an old dead garden, we found a dry pool in which a giant centipede was living. After attracted is attention, I summoned an Ant worker to blunt it charge and distract it. It worked beautifully for the first few seconds. We concentrated all out efforts and dispatched it without issue. Finding nothing of not outside on this side, we entered the mansion from the west door. There we encountered a sandstone statue in a central courtyard clamming to be a hearth of the house. While we are distracted by her, a dozen flying skulls attack us from the left. I was a little zealous in dispatch them with a new spell I was trying, unfortunately my burning hand also caught 2 of my companions. I apologize to them. In the future I’ll try to minimize the collateral damage. We dispatch the Flying skulls easily. We then talk with the statue of the house. She is lonely and wants news of the world. We start figuring out that she may not be what she said she was and she attacks us with potent sleep attacks. After a difficult fight were many were put to sleep, we dispatch her. Then a Rhea tries to verify that she is destroyed, our focus breaks down. Samir goes after a ring he found and starts another haunt, Orphee and Hasdrubal pick up a magical crossbow and armor, while Rhialla continues exploring the house and starts a battle with some skeletons protecting the front door and starts another haunt. As we are badly out of position, we are not very effective and distracted, the sand elemental raises again and attacks us. While keeping the skeletons at bay, just as we manage to defeat her and a pair of vargouille descend the stairs and paralyses 4 of my companions. With just Samir and I active, I cast my mightiest spell Flaming Sphere and dispatch our remaining foes. While we regroup, 3 more flying heads descend the stairs. One which is the leader offers us a truce, leave the house and no more blood needs to be shed. We leave, regroup, and heal up. Rhea suggest going back in to destroy the 3 vargouilles, but we decide to leave them to the house and explorer the Mausoleum. Once down the entrance stairs, we encounter a troublesome pair of misshapen humanoids, then exploring the tomb, we encounter a hoard of undead cats which almost end us. Then Hasdrubal attacks Rhea who leaves. I figure out that Hasdrubals attack is caused by the Vargouille leader. We pick up a few more treasures from the tomb and make it back to the city.

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Samir’s Adventure Log – Part 4

Getting preeeetty tired of licking wounds. Another day or two of the same regimen and we could set our sights on becoming the rulers of womenfolk, if you know what I mean. Eh? EH!?
Bah! Forget it…

It’s time to go back. I volunteered to be the scout this time. No more disorganized mob of scribes clumsily walking about. It’s Soldier Time!

And yet again, none in the group questions my bravery in walking a path ALREADY cleared by our own damn selves not an hour ago. Mages. So smart in the Art, yet so clueless in oh so many other areas… I feel like Brave Sir Robin with these scribes sometimes.

**

Our venture back to the mansion was uneventful, thanks to my great scouting skills, and we quickly start to explore the rooms around where our previous battle took place. It didn’t take long before we were attacked by those giant spiders, hidden in the pantry. We dispatch them easily though. In fact, so easily that “overkill” would be an understatement, as the spider guts on my face can testify.

After clearing the area, our group decides to clear the outer courtyard.
Why, you ask? Well, considering our Kill to Oh-My-Gods-We’re-All-Going-To-Die! ratio, we figured securing multiple retreat options would be advantageous to our group, allowing us to flee in panic whenever AND wherever we wanted! Turns out Chaos takes a lot of planning, ironically enough.

**

I resume my role as the party’s scout and I quickly find out that there’s a giant centipede chilling out in the empty pool. Again, we fare well against it, to my great surprise. Time to explore the manor!

**

I stealthily enter the complex and take a look around. I smell death on my right, which doesn’t bode well, but our attention (yes… some in our group entered before I gave the all-clear… AGAIN) is turned towards the statue, that talks, raving about a lack of visitors in a girly, pouting way (you know the kind, gentlemen: the ones who sound dumb, childish and conceited, but whose beauty makes it worth the hours of suicidal thoughts required for the courting process).

The statue’s tantrum awoke flying heads from their slumber, who comes at us in a swarm. Most of them go outside to attack the core of our group though. FINALLY a little luck come my way! The fight that ensues is suddenly interrupted by a big WOOSH sound. I smell burning hair for some reason. Too much friction from getting head? Ha!

We dispatch the heads without too much trouble and are left with the statue (along with burned eyebrows for the victims of Eydan’s Burning Hands spell outside), who wants news of the outside world, having been isolated for centuries in this ruin. She even wants to cure us of our ills by gathering us together to perform a healing spell. Ha! Like we’re too stupid to figure it’s a trap!

**

A lot of us are stupid, it seems.

**

Of course, the statue turns out to be some sand spirit or something to that effect (I really SHOULD pay attention to our monster lore studies) and another fight starts! The being seems to have an aura of sleep around it, as the face-plant of Hasdrubal, followed with light snoring, seems to indicate.

But no matter, Hasdrubal wakes up in time to knock the bitch out with one mean gauntleted hook! Yay, Hasdy!

**

While Rhea is busy dusting off the remains of the pouting “statue”, a bunch of skeletons are awoken from their eternal slumber near the main gate (dead defending their lord’s life I’d wager), and the fight continues, but my mind is drawn to something shiny near a corner. Yes! A ring! Looks… precious, too!

Since no threats are near me, I quickly pick it up before returning to battle, but upon touching the ring, it triggers a haunting scene about lovers from a distant past, having a conversation about a re-engagement. I still can’t decide what was more eery between the haunting or the poor guy’s awkward flirting.

While occupied with the new threat, nobody saw the “statue” reforming behind us. The bitch was faking it (never seen THAT before. Ha!)! Rhea barely turned around before getting knocked the HELL out. Fortunately, a well-placed snowball to the face by yours truly turned it into future cat litter for good this time.

**

I should point out the great success my balls and Eydan’s cold shafts are having in this endeavor of ours. Hehehehe

**

Speaking of sexual innuendos, you won’t believe what happened next: the fight drew the attention of gargoyles from the upper levels, who came down the stairs to join the fray. Gargoyles attack in weird ways it seems, because one of them kissed Orfée like a dwarf does its tankard! The scene was surreal, to be honest.

One thing’s for sure though. When Orfée gets over this trauma, I’ll be having fun waking her up with illusions of that episode in the not-so-distant future!

**

We are getting our asses kicked right now. In fact, I’m starting to think this one’s our final moments in life. We are all going to die here.

**

Eydan to the rescue! His mastery of deadly magic saved our hides once again with his flaming sphere! I owe that lad a beer, that’s for sure!

**

Gasping for breath and wincing at our various wounds, we look at each other, certain that the place is FINALLY free of stuff trying to end our existence. But Lady Luck is not on our side (Maybe Hasdrubal slept with her sister and never wrote her back? Or maybe Mavrikos gave her a morality lecture once in the past?), as three other gargoyles, one of which bigger than the others, comes down the steps. As we brace ourselves for an all-out retreat, the head of the floating heads offers us a truce: leave the villa now in safety or die a horrible death at their hands (or mouths?).

(Great quip from Rhea there, calling the foul creature the “Head of the house”)

We choose the option of living/leaving and quickly made our way outside to plan our next move.

**

What we lack in brawn and battle acumen, we sure make up in cleverness. The floating head said nothing about what’s OUTSIDE the villa! And there’s a crypt right there! Yay for bureaucratic loopholes!

Even in our state, we believe we can face a few more monsters before calling it a day and boldly enter the crypt.

**

We get attacked by glue creatures, one of them even attaching itself to me in a sticky embrace. I managed to unstick myself before Hasdrubal cut off its hand.

Kinda disappointed at Hasdy for not having quipped “Hand’s off my friend!” though, but I’ll work on sharpening his tongue later.

**

Aaaand of course, yet again, we faced hardships against pitiful opponents, this time in the form of mummified cats. We simply do not have the magical means at our disposal to deal with swarms of little critters.

**

Turns out Hasdrubal is quite unlucky at fighting magic that affects the mind. First by sleeping on the job and now by succumbing to the suggestive whispers of the invisible head-of heads, who followed us into the crypt and asked Hasdrubal to kill Rhea, which Hasdy complied with near-fatal efficiency…

**

We survived! We were able to dispatch the Army of Purrs with holy water and Eydan’s magic powers.

Rhea ran away to the Academy, accidently bringing with her the “Head of the House”, who was following close behind. I pity its existence at the hands of our masters.

I don’t know about the others, but I plan on getting drunker than yesterday this time. Being always this close to death sure gives me thirst!

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Orfée's nightmare

What a sight! A handsome men walking slowly in the inn corridor, smooth and shiny dark hair, pearly eyes looking at me, muscle well balanced with agility, his movement like a prey eying his target and coming toward me. He stopped a few steps away and elegantly bow and give his regards before taking the last steps between us, folding his arms around me, murmuring small tidbits of nonsense before gently touching his lips to mine starting a most passionate kiss, then I heard his laugh, dark, guttural and malevolent…

Jerking awake from my bead, sweating all over, I took a few moments to realized where I was: the Tooth and Hookah inn. Now I recall, this I the second time this nightmare visit me tonight. Well I must say that I was all existed to experience life adventure and add it to my knowledge for future use and passing along. But, I must say I did not expect that much experience in such a short timeframe. I guess this is what most adventurers call adventure. No wonder many die young or not many people will take farming over adventuring.

I am not sure which was worst, yesterday or today. My guess is today should be put forward as worst of all so far and I sincerely hope it will stay the top bad day. After the first few hours and getting inside the house, our second site of exploration. We killed more of those desert spiders outside and decided to go explore inside. Well we meet with a statue that in fact was an evil elemental trying to increase his dominion over us, but failed to some degree. Then, skeletons and various other things fly and moving fast like small skulls trying to leech upon us, a well-placed burning hand took care of them. But the top most was a group vargouille. These foul best attacked us and paralyzed me. While my companions were fighting them, one came near and kissed me… I still feel it’s ugly tongue down my throat and mouth and understanding his protection over me so I can joined them in this decadent state. Non wonder I have issue breathing and have this nightmare…

Well, these monster dead. WE made an agreement with this thing, a dorudive I think, to leave the house. We went exploring for the funeral crypt. Killing a giant centipede we got access to the crypt and explored. In the crypt, beside a few small thing there was yet another swarm, I think I don’t like these monster as all. They can’t be controlled or charmed to your side, you have to use powerful destructive spell to put them to rest. Which I do not possess yet, I will most certainly ask my college for one of these spells. That went relatively well until our master swordsman, Hasdrubal decided to quit on us and leave – I was at lost. He came back a few seconds later only to plunge its sword in the back of our friend Rhea! What is going on here? Of course Rhea fled out of the crypt and Hasdrubal seemed to recover his mind. I think he was charmed by that dorudive thing spying on us invisible. Well this called the day and we finally made it back to the inn. All diseased, hurt and abuse by this house. I hope tomorrow will see something a little more smooth so we can at least hope for a triumph of perseverance if not of exploration and arm…

I will add to my list of experience being diseased, kiss by an abomination and burn by friends…

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Letter to Priam Khassit
Dated the 15th of Kythorn, 340 AF

Your protege still lives, Priam. And for the first time since I have joined I have been allowed out of the Academy. I do not know how often I will be granted this luxury so I am taking this opportunity to pen you this letter, which I hope will find its way to your hands.

You might not be surprised that we do not get to choose in which magic school we are to study. Our mentor chooses us rather than the other way around. Fortunately for me, my mentor ended up being Althea Guezult, the head of the school of transmutation, a specialization which compliments my martial pursuit perfectly. I quickly found out that I joined the academy latter than most but I’m doing my best to make up for lost time. I already picked up a few tricks I am eager to show you.

I am currently in Wahdi with seven of my peers. We are here to loot its necropolis, at the behest of our mentors, in what I imagine a way for them to test our abilities. It seems these other students will form my particular cohort. Each of us represents a different school of magic, which I assume is not a coincidence.

Rhea Amelia Namtab (School of Divination):
The elf has a way with words and the power for forsight, a skill set more fit for court intrigue than dungonneering. She’s a bit out of place for our current task but she managed to repurpose the powers her mentor taught her and find ways to earn her keep. I’m careful about commenting her overall combat effectiveness too harshly however. After all, the halls of power can be as every bit dangerous as a battlefield… Should future assignments have us engage in political intrigue, I would have to defer to her.

Eydan Stormmane (School of Evocation):
Eydan is an introverted, unassuming guy, but when hell breaks loose, he always seem to step up his game to bail us out of trouble. He came to the group with the reputation of being some kind of prodigy and he lived up to the hype so far. Eydan and Rhea are the highest ranked member of our group, although neither showed inclinaison to assume an official leadership role. I hope in time to add more evocation spells in my arsenal so having Eydan around is a great learning opportunity for me.

Nasah Torah (School of Necromancy):
An effeminate elf with an unhealthy fascination with corpses. Surprisingly, he has shown himself a bit of a wiz with the bow. There’s still hope to make a decent warrior out of him. I will see if I can take this one under my wing…

Orfée kor Samfund (Lesser School of Enchantment):
A peculiar one. She’s not from a race I know and she is the only one of us who hold an innate power of magical healing. I’m usually wary of those who learn to play with people’s mind but this enchantress has done much to allay my misgivings. She seems always eager to help, sometimes up to the point of carelessness. It is not an understatement to say that she has a real knack to get in trouble.

Rhialla Maudril (School of Conjuration):
Much like Orphée, Rhialla seems to have to have a motherly streak to her, rushing to assist anyone under duress. Unlike Orphée, however, this aasimar lady has the grace and mannerism fit for a uncouth sailor. She still managed to catch the – unwanted – attention of our colleague Nasah… Well, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Mavrikos Garfas (School of Abjuration):
I had the opportunity to spar with this Paladin of Phos and he proved a very capable fencer. Given our group composition he really should be manning the front line with me, but in practice, once a battle breaks out he tends to favor the self-preservation that fighting with his lucerne hammer provides him. To make things worst, he hasn’t shown any particular aptitude for fighting with a polearm. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem like the type that would listen to reason, so there’s hoping he comes to this realization by himself eventually, Phos’ willing.

and last but not least…

Samir Goldentongue (Lesser School of Illusion):
Samir is the group’s fearless daredevil and would be trap-expert. He might come off as being a bit too mischievous and unfocused for his own good but I won’t lie, his antics humors me. In any case, his sharp wit and devil-may-care attitude makes for the perfect drinking buddy. It is a real shame that he’s been stuck with one of the lesser schools of magic…

You might be interested to know that I am now practicing fighting unarmored, relying exclusively on spells for protection. This was initially done to facilitate my spell-casting but I quickly learned to appreciate the extra mobility fighting unarmored provides me. However, as I found out today, it does leaves me particularly vulnerable when caught by surprise.

Fighting as a cohesive unit with a group of stranger is proving challenging and makes everything harder than it should. That said we did not lose anybody yet and brought back some treasures for our trouble. All is well as we prepare for the third and final day of our investigation of the necropolis. I expect we will be recalled to the academy immediately after we are finished.

I do not know when I will be granted enough liberty to allow for me to fight for you again. I haven’t heard anybody getting being granted a furlough and it seems that only members of the highest rank have complete freedom of movement. I imagine that by the time I am in a position to return, I may be a wizard of some renown, rich enough to buy my manumission many times over. I want you to know that I still intend to fulfill my end of the bargain. There is not a day in which I do not dream of the sands of the Colosseum.

Ananrath prevails!

Hasdrubal Thesh

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Journal of Rhea Amelia Namtab - Part 2
Game 4: Return to the House of Fear

– Previous Entry -

With many of our number injured and weakened, our little group returned to civilization in order to exchange some of our hard-earned treasure for the services of the local clergy. Socialized medicine at its finest. As I had been mercifully spared in our last series of engagements, and as both Nasah and Mavrikos had indicated their desire to return to the Academy, I took this opportunity to escort them, and the kobold Xiao Hu, out of the city and back to the Academy via portkey.

I had hoped to learn the Disrupt Undead cantrip from one of my colleagues prior to heading back to the haunted house, but their errands took much less time than I had anticipated. We hence returned to our old haunt (see what I did there?) and proceeded to the western courtyard, where a giant centipede had established domicile. It felt a bit surreal as Samir and I pelted this out-of-place abomination with Rays of Frost and Snowballs while Hasdrubal and Rhialla‘s summoned giant ant kept it at bay. It seems our team really can handle itself when we act as a coordinated whole. Too bad it didn’t last.

After a round of supporting spells from Orfée, we entered the house from the west gate. Samir was the first into the breach, encountering what initially appeared to be a sentient statue in the middle of the inner courtyard. Hasdrubal followed, and disturbed the rest of a dozen of so tiny flying heads, which quickly surrounded us. Thinking fast, and acting ever faster, Eydan cast a Burning Hands spell that fried most of our enemies, and singed a number of our friends.

Having dispatched the immediate threat, our group turned to the inner courtyard, its inhabitant, and its hidden treasures. I noticed too late that the creature was not the spirit of the house it claimed to be, being made out of sand, not stone. It let out an aura that would have us fall into a mystical slumber, but my brethren and I remembered our lessons and managed to focus our will to counteract this effect. All but Hasdrubal who, thinking the danger had passed, rushed headlong into the affected area.

With our front line gone, with me still uninjured, and with my prescient level of understanding of sleep effects offering me a bit more defense against this particular foe’s ability, I attempted to gather her attention. Conveniently, I seemed to remind her of someone she had disliked in a past life, and she focused all her attacks on me. This allowed my companions to wake Hasdrubal, summon a mighty eagle, and concentrate fire on the sand elemental. Hasdrubal finished her off with a mighty punch. And then, everything went to hell. As usual.

While I attempted to scatter the remains of the elemental, and collect a sample, our group scattered throughout the house. Samir picked up a strange ring, Orphée and Hasdrubal picked up the magical crossbow and armour in the inner courtyard, while Rhialla followed her summoned bird into unexplored parts of the house and woke its inhabitants.

The next bit is a bit of a blur. I see Rhialla run back towards us, with a half-dozen skeletons on her tail while two news hauntings take place almost simultaneously: something about securing the front door, and something about a couple of lovers stuck in a story of Capuletic proportions. I think there was something there about the young man being sick. I do not trust my memories here, as it turns out our little elemental friends was simply playing possum and takes this opportunity to blindside me. I am dazed, I am blinded, my concentration snaps and I fall into Morpheus’ arms.


I awake only to be paralyzed by an inhuman shriek. It would seem I owe Samir a great deal of thanks both for dispatching my attacker, and for allowing me to be conscious for the next little bit. It seems a pair of winged heads (I sense a theme) has joined the fray. In front of me, I see Rhialla on the ground, bleeding and Orphée, who seems to have suffered the same fate as me. From behind, I hear only Samir and Eydan. I would later learn that Hasdrubal and Rhialla had also been paralyzed. One of the flying heads approaches the immobile Orphée and kisses her in manner both intimate and gruesome. I try to scream, but no breath leaves my lips. I see the creatures fly towards me, slowly, slowly….

We all owe our lives to Eydan, but I am doubly grateful as he allowed me to be spared the fate which befell Orphée. Gathering his remaining strength, he cast a near-perfect Flaming Sphere which dispatches our remaining foes with supernatural ease.

While we regroup, three more flying heads descend from the top floor – one of which is clearly their leader. It offers us a truce: leave the house and no more blood needs to be shed. We exit, regroup, and heal up. I propose going back and finishing the job, but am outvoted. We hence turn our attention to the crypt.


At the bottom of the stairs, we are ambushed by a pair of misshapen humanoids, one of which grapples with Samir. Orphée has the right idea in casting her Sleep spell, but mistakenly includes Samir in the casting area; fortunately, he saves. I follow her lead with a scroll, but encounter unexpected resistance. I burn a second scroll to get the desired effect, leaving us with but one foe. Dispatching this second threat is humiliatingly difficult, but the universe finally takes pity on us and we succeed.

We continue to explore the crypt, only to be beset by swarms of undead mummified cats. And I thought the giant long-tailed centipede had been a ridiculous foe. They have the advantage of numbers and we can only thin the herd a few kitties at a time. We might have met our match: the Mewling Quims defeated by a bunch of meowing pussies.

However, the killing blow comes from an unexpected source: Hasdrubal. My companions have turned against me! Fortunately, my powers of prediction allow me to turn a killing blow into one that is merely debilitating. I cast a spell of Invisibility I had kept in reserve and return to the entrance of the crypt, where I use my portkey to make my escape back to the Academy.

– Next Entry -

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Of to a bad start
a poor start to the second day of exploring the walled city

Dear Journal,

Today is a disappointing start to the day. Not even 2 hour after receiving our second site to explore, we had to drag ourselves back to the city gate for aid.

So we started the day in good spirits after a nice relaxing evening at the Tooth and Hoopkah Inn. Last night was an enjoyable evening after a hard days exploring. We meet up with the other professional explorer. We seem to be part of those who faired better then others. I spent some fun time with the Daughters of the desert. The leader of this all female group is a chronicler call Sigrun Fairehair who claimed to be decedent of genies. She is accompanied by 2 twin witches, a barbarian(ne?) from a desert tribe and a cleric of Iomede. They explorer a pawn brokers house and found a lot of traps and nothing else of interest. What ever. Sigrum is searching for epic tales and is working on a manuscripts of adventures. I had a great time carousing with them and later with Hasdrubal and Samir.

After a delicious breakfast, we presented ourselves for the ceremony and the daily draw for assignments. We were assign the exploration of the merchant house of Penthru in the South end of the walled of city. We were half way to our site when we wore ambushed by a dozen brigands. Poor Hasdrubal and Mavrikos were hit hard by the surprise attack. As we wore finishing up battling the brigands, a group of ghouls arrive and it went from bad to worst. We finally defeated the ghouls, captured a few of the bandits and returned to the city gate for aid. There we turned over the 2 bandits over to the city guard and explained what had happen. An important priest was called and we explained the situation to him and that we wore unable to retrieve the other bodies. While interviewing the 2 brigands we discovered that they had been sent to kill our group, unfortunately there leader was killed and we couldn’t find out who had hired them or why. We somehow ended up with a kobold from the fight. It’s a little unclear what he was doing there, but it seems to have something to do with pie. Rhea seems to have taken a shining to him.

After a short rest, we set off again to our assignment. We past the same route and noticed that the leader (Diep) body was partial still there. We quickly searched it and found a pouch of gold with the brand of the clergy of Nethys. We speculated that it may be related to the abuse Mavrikos received from of the other explorer groups. We continued on to the house Penthru.

So I was keeping an eye on the street while the other entered the walled yard, when suddenly Rhea and Rhialla scream of fear. They were assaulted by a haunt (a hazardous area created by unquiet spirits that react violently to the presence of the living) and Rhea ran to the far end of a second courtyard. As we followed her, we wore attacked by a pair of small poisonous vipers. Rhea ran into a storage shed for shelter, there she encounter a dozen skeletons and ran back out with them hot on her heels. Then once melee was engage, two zombie dogs also attacked us in the flank. We took a beating and several of use ended up greatly weaken from poison. We returned to the city gate for aid … again. I starting to think we should all just go back to the Tooth and Hoopkah, but that would not work with my mentor. So back into the breach dear brothers.

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Orphée's 3rd digression

The sun was getting up and the smell of cooking was great. I rose up from my bed and enjoy the promising day of new exploring. Getting our new assignment was our morning chore, receiving the instruction and blessing of the priests seemed the perfect segway into more adventure.

As we went towards our mission, I must confess being surprised at a group of men with a kobold attacking us out of some ruins. Well, they were very nasty and almost kill our poor Hasdrubal with an arrow to his head. Very nasty men, they try to kill us more, and especially that big one of them capturing Mavrikos in his net, slashing him with his big sword. Well, Nasah manage to kill this brute and turn the tide in our favor, until ghouls appeared and started feasting of the bodies.

The ambush and the ghouls were no fun and joy at all. I must that this event was not on our planning and it gave us something to reflect upon in our further exploration. The culminating point is that I was paralyzed and first on the menu choice of these foul creatures. I must thank my fellow wizards to run with me paralyzed because I surely did not look forward to the experience of being eaten alive by an undead creature.

After escorting the survivor and delivering to the authorities some of the ambusher, we came back to our mission. The mansion is big, surrounded by an old wall. Upon entering I was subject to a powerful fear aura that made me lose my mind and just want to run away. That is where things got for bad to worse, snakes, venomous with a fine selection of skeleton and some angry undead dogs. Well, if I were a body shield, then I would have successfully accomplished my mission on this day. I got bitten a few times, losing my health rapidly and plummeting down towards death again. Again my companions that are more combat savvy than me killed the snakes, the dogs and the skeletons leaving me and Mavrikos in very hazardous healthy hindrance to everyone. I think we need to get powerful healing to restore our health and try again this place…

In all, my accumulation of life experience is increasing dangerously fast toward some I don’t care to know that much: paralyzed, poisoned, and feeble in my body. I hope the next few one will bring back balance and positives points.

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Samir's Adventure Log, Part 3

What a terrible headache. My mind is still groggy from yesterday’s festivities.
There’s always a price to pay when too much of a good thing is experienced. That is our lot in life, us poor mortals. But no time to contemplate on the virtues of hangovers, for we have some loot to liberate from the clutches of cadavers!
Anyway, who cares! Hasdrubal and I got BUSAYYY last night!! No, not together, you perverted simpletons, but with some witch sisters of stunning beauty and indescribable skills in love-making, especially with their hair, of all things! Hair used as limbs to caress in ways to make a man lose his sanity.
…although I’ll never understand why women of all ilk think it’s a great idea to erm, stimulate men’s ass cracks during a tumble in the sheets. I wish her a prompt hair wash though, especially after the day I’ve had.

**

As I’m being gently pushed out the door by the Dhavoran sister, I come face-to-face with Hasdrubal, who can’t keep a dumb smile from his face, as I’m sure I have as well, despite the goblin war drums pounding every inch of my skull. Damned cheap wine.
We discreetly make our exit and meet the rest of our group in the common area, ready for the day’s lottery.
At the city centre, all surviving members of the previous day’s loot festival are present. A good fifth of them a missing, meaning quite a few of them ended up as undead meal; a grim reminder of the dangers awaiting our merry band of fierce scribes.
Before the lottery starts, High Priestess, Septi the Crocodile, Party-Pooper Extraordinaire, brings forth prisoners to the chopping block for execution, a clear statement to us all about the dangers of failing to respect the cadavers we are sent to kill and rob. Message received, loud and clear!

**

This time, we are assigned the villa of a merchant fellow named Pentheru, which bodes well for our group, since merchants, by their very nature, should theoretically have possessed vast riches… and also traps… and otherworldly guards… and more traps. Sigh.
Still, it’s not a brewery or a latrine complex, so I count ourselves lucky.

**

As we are walking towards our allotted spot, again ignoring Mavrikos’ pleas for strategy, we are suddenly ambushed by a group of thugs.
The first arrow hits Hasdrubal right in the face, a brutal poke I sincerely hope matched his similar attempts with the Dhavoran sister last night.
(To this day I still can’t shake the feelings of guilt I have over that arrow, as if I was the shooter…)
One thing’s for sure, this handsome young man will heed Mavrikos’ words in the future, though with my luck, he’ll be smart enough to send me as a forward scout ahead of the group. Samir the Lightning Rod doesn’t sound as sweet as Samir Goldentongue in my mind.
Aaaaanyway, a mere second after Hasdrubal’s pirate makeover, another thug gets Mavrikos in a net and starts pounding him to the ground. With our two greatest “fighters” out of commission, we were off to a bad start.
Arrows and leg traps are flying all around us, often finding targets. Two of us reverts to a tactic that proved successful yesterday: summoning monsters to our aid. The thugs were clever though, so they peppered them with arrows, with partial success. Turns out the summoning spell takes a long time to complete, making the caster an easy target. Something we should’ve known.
We managed to summon a dire rat to our aid, thus shifting some pressure from us. Rhea was successful in casting a sleep spell against a few or our enemies, but we were still in deep Dhavoran-hair-after-a-night-with-Samir.
That’s where Uncle Samir saved the day, with a simple illusion cantrip, no less! Suddenly, an otherworldly voice scream-whispered “Desecration!” for all to hear. The added stench of death I managed to add to the spell convinced a good chunk of our enemies to flee in terror like the pansies they are and no one knew I did it! Even Miss know-it-all Rhea was oblivious to my involvement. In your FACE, Septi the Croc of shit! In. Your. FACE! Just like Hasdrubal! Arrr dee arr arrrrr!
(Ok, I shouldn’t laugh at Hasdrubal’s situation right now, I know. Well, until I know he survived that is)

**

We should be able to get the upper hand on the remaining thugs, if Mavrikos can get the damn net off of him. Every attempt he makes is met with bad luck: the net got caught on his shield at his first attempt, the next his scabbard was the culprit. I saw him shake his head at his ridiculous streak of bad luck, which I sympathise with. It won’t stop me from playing a prank on him involving a net in the future though. A man’s gotta stick to his principles after all.
I can’t WAIT to brag to our group when the fight is done. Samir, the saviour of scribes! WAY better sounding than Lightning Rod! I’m in awe at my level of ingenuity. I’m simply a genius!

**
Ok, maybe I’m an idiot after all. The kobold I saw running in my direction, screaming “ghouls!” in draconic? Well, turns out he was running away from REAL ghouls that probably came investigating the sweet smell of rot-bacon I created. Oh, look: a ghast is tagging along, too.
If I survive this, I think I’ll keep my involvement on the down-low for that one. I’m sure another occasion will rise to make me look the savior.
While the ghouls are busy eating some sleeping thugs, the ghast charges me, but I’m able to retreat to safety and start my own casting to summon help.

**

Looks like Samir will remain Samir for the time being. My companions quickly dispatched the ghouls and by the time my dire rat appeared, the ghast had ran away, making a joke of my saving-of-asses attempt.
Sigh

**

A little worse for wear, we survey the scene around us and, of course, start debating our next move.
We got ourselves three prisoners. Mavrikos is adamant: they are not to be killed, tortured, or to be used as disposable trap fodder. I think Mavrikos secretly hates me.
So, fearing other bands of marauding ghouls, we quickly make our way to the Necropolis’ gates and surrendered the assassins to the city’s authority.
Rhea took an immediate liking to the kobold and pleaded for mercy. The official reluctantly agreed to spare him, but refused to leave it in our care for the day. Too bad, a dunce mascot for our group would have lighted things up a little.

**

Because of our unfortunate encounter, priests were fetched to patch ourselves up and we quickly returned to our allotted villa.
Most of the dead thugs were long gone, dragged away to Ghouls’ lairs. We had a little luck though, as the legs of the assassin’s dead leader… detached from the body while being dragged away, leaving most of the corpse on the ruined street. A quick search produced a bag of gold marked with the symbol of Nethys, god of magic, an ailing god popular in the past. The same god worshipped by the company of the Scorched Hand, in which members had an altercation with Mavrikos the night before at the Tooth and Hookah, which makes them suspect in my mind. I’m undecided as to the reason why though. I mean, Mavrikos wasn’t THAT bad in his paladinning around them, but nothing positive can come up when dealing with two zealots of opposing inclinations.
Regardless, it is something to think about when we get back tonight.

**
We arrived at the villa to partially opened doors, swinging slightly with the wind. Not having learned our lesson, the lot of us barged in into the courtyard together like children at a menagerie. The place, long abandoned, revealed to us a dark past: we started to hear the sounds of an angry mob, clamoring for blood, and the desperate cries of what I presume to be the merchant’s wife, giving orders to her servants. The door shook, reminiscent of being battered with a ram. Such a sad event.
This haunting memory of the past shook our group to various degrees, but Orfée and Rhialla took it the worse. They panicked, and ran away in terror in opposing directions: Rhialla to my left, Orfée to my right.
Rhialla quickly calmed down in front of the courtyard’s door, shaken, but recovering. Orfée wasn’t so lucky. She barged into the house, running, screaming like a hysterical housewife with smudged makeup.
As I normally deal in stressful situations, I couldn’t help but quip something out loud, asking her to trigger the traps inside if she could while she was in there. That tongue of mine will get me in trouble someday.
Yet again, everyone rushed after her, leaving me with my wand of armor in hand, with no one to use it on. I sighed, closed the door Rhialla had opened (not without having taken a look inside) and followed the Kamikaze Bunch inside the house.
What I found was a scene of chaos. Orfée was being bitten by snakes (again!), still in the thrall of terror, One-Eye Hasdy was being throttled by death dogs, the works.
Having triggered the wrath of all these foul beasts, Orfée wasn’t yet satisfied with her work, as she crashed into the room at the end, filled with corpses of the animated variety. The gods smiled upon her though, as the beds the skeletons were lying on, rotten by time, ALL caved in, saving Orfée from an immediate death. How convenient!
We were able to dispatch the ad hoc gang of monsters in the end, and we are now taking a small break, catching our breaths. I took the opportunity to use my wand of armor on ARRstrubal and I. Better late than never!
Now for some looting!

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SHITTY DAY

Ouin bin 2e journée de recherche et a peine 2 heure de passer et que nous somme submerger et devons retraiter vers les gâtes. On est même pas arriver sur le site encore … somme nous vraiment a la bonne place, i sooo miss the library …. et retourné a l’école, maitre Broju vas surement me le faire payer.. **** SOUPIRE **** allons continuons …
A Boy encore de la merde … on vas-tu finir par passer une journée relativement normale…
Bon bin let’s try to not use all the spell …
…..
“After the last fight” GOD THEM!!! What are we doing here … we soo need some pawn to take the front line, the day is not even half way and we didn’t we had to go twice at the town , we look like wimp…..
…Je me demande vraiment qui veux nous voir échouer, est-ce nos maitre qui essayer de nous tester ?? Est-ce encore un de leur tour tordu???

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Dha-No the Merciless
short biography of a hired thug.

Three months now. It’s been three whole months since my wife and children left me. What turned out to be a great business opportunity ended up being a nightmare for me and my dreams of acquiring wealth.

Back in Sekunta, I made a drinking companion at the Docks’ tavern who came from Whadi on a merchant ship selling mirrors, window glasses and beautiful ornaments made of glass destined to the city’s rich.

After striking a friendship with Lumir and getting quite drunk with him that evening, he accidently let slip that glass-making ingredients were very cheap to buy if you removed the middle-man from the equation and anyone who’d import the “Whadi gray grains” himself would become a rich man indeed.

Immediately after uttering this he looked up sheepishly towards me, regretful of this careless slip of what seemed a trade secret.

Sensing an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I started buying more and more drinks to Lumir and his companions to ingratiate them towards me. My plan worked marvellously!
After some coaxing, Lumir finally caved in and, out of earshot, explained how someone could, with 500 gold pieces, buy enough Whadi gray grains to make twenty times the investment in one trip! Twenty times! You simply had to buy this mysterious spice there and then rent artisan slaves for a pittance to make whatever you wanted in glass. Prices were so high in Sekunta because the merchant ships made a fortune charging ridiculous prices for them. So the trick was to go there, buy the ingredient, make what you wanted and come back here to sell at half the price the Whadi merchants were selling, eventually running them out of business and getting a monopoly on the trade. After all, Sekuntians would much prefer dealing with one of their own then with strangers from faraway lands.
Poor Lumir came back the next morning, begging me not to tell anyone this secret, as he could get hanged for treason should someone in Whadi find out. I reassured him that his secret was safe with me. Even so, I did not have any contacts in Whadi for this gray grain he was telling me about, that I would have to bribe people there to get permits and the like. I knew immediately that my lure worked, as I saw greed in Lumir’s eyes.

His fear of hanging was soon overcome with his desire for money and he casually mentioned knowing someone in Whadi that would help him forge the proper permits to buy gray grains. Of course, his price for the information was steep, but the rewards awaiting me made it pocket change once I made it rich in the glass trade.
I paid 600 gold pieces for the privilege of Whadi connections, all my savings from my bow-making business and left a grinning Lumir, who called me “Khaffit”, which he says means “dear friend” in Whadian.

Needing money for suppliers and transportation, I sold my business to that weasel-faced Shentry and set off to Whadi with my wife and children.

After a long and hard trip, we’ve finally arrived to Whadi and I set out to find my connection of Whadi gray grains. It turned out that the name provided and the location of my contact did not seem to exist.

After a week of frantic searching and constant nagging by my now pissed-off wife, I resigned myself to the fact I had probably been swindled by Lumir, if that was even his name. No matter, I told my angry wife, no need for connections here, I will use what little remains of our travel funds to bribe an official.

It did not take long to get a corrupt official. The first one I approached in fact, perked up when I casually enquired for a Whadi gray grains permit. He discreetly pocketed my gold and went on a long walk outside the city to show me the gray grains mines, accompanied by two guards.

**

My life is ruined. Turns out that “Whadi gray grains” is a euphemism for… sand. Yep, glass and mirrors are made with sand, something prevalent in Sekunta already. You should’ve seen that bastard official’s smile when he showed me. I was livid, but unable to extract revenge on him, due to the two guards present. I know now the general meaning of the word “Khaffit”, as the official kept calling me that.

**

When I came back, my wife had left me, along with the wagons, supplies and my five hundred investment gold. She only left a note about leaving me for Shentry.
The next couple of weeks were miserable. Now destitute and too poor to travel back home, I had to accept any jobs offered to me in order to survive. Within a month I accepted my first thug job for a fellow named Dieb for more coins than usual, so of course I ended up being a member of a gang. My rage repulsed any moral outrage I would have felt in the past. I was so good at dealing out violence that I was soon known as The Merciless, which gave me pride, something I thought I would never get back.

**

Dieb approached me with a dangerous assassination job inside the Necropolis. I accepted readily, indifferent to the sinister beasts that were reputed to prowl there in the night. It seemed irrelevant to me, since the job would be taking place in the morning.

So early in the morning of the second day of the Necropolis’ admittance of adventurers, Dieb, myself and 8 others (including a kobold of all things) set out in the direction of our ambush location. How Dieb ended up knowing which lot our targets won is a mystery to me. Probably the priests were in on it? No matter, I get to kill successful adventurers and let their corpses rot under the damned sand, which is enough to feed my lust for blood.

The party arrived as anticipated and our trap worked perfectly. My first arrow flew right into their point man’s face and put him out of commission. Dieb successfully entrapped their warrior and proceeded to beat the living snot out of him. Our archers even shot a wizard in the midst of his spellcasting, thus fizzling whatever spell was coming our way. The plan worked marvellously! We were going to kill them all easily… until an eerie whisper came from the underworld: “Desecration!” it whispered in a snarl. The stench of a thousand corpses soon followed this doom prophecy.

The shock it created in me soon gave way to panic, and I ran away as fast as I possibly could without a look backward. I ran and I ran until my heart was about to explode and hid myself into an old ruined building, catching my breath. I could hear nothing but the rush of blood in my ears and my heavy breathing. I could stand it no more and closed my eyes, hoping the darkness would protect me.

I soon heard a low growl near me and before I could react, felt the cold embrace of steel caressing my throat. I slowly, fearfully opened my eyes and saw the huge maw of a war dog, inches from my face.

“Nice morning, isn’t it?” a casual voice said, presumably from the owner of the dagger at my throat.

“Seems to me”, the voice continued nonchalantly, “that you are our new scout today, hmmm?”

The face of a Hafling gradually appeared in my line of sight, smiling. A quick look around showed other hardy Haflings, small but well trained by the way they stood. Other war dogs were there, too. I was terrified, yet resigned to my fate.

“I guess so, Sir”

“You meant Master, right, scout fodder?”

“Yes… Master”

“Good. Now up, Meat bag, time to earn your life back”

I slowly climb to my feet, resigned to my fate. “Master?” I ask, dejectedly.

“Yes, darling?” the leader replies.

“What does ‘Khaffit’ mean?”

“Idiot man, my trusty meat-shield. In fact, that is your new name, yes?”

“Yes, I guess it is… Master”

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