The Red Hand

Little personal journal of Orfée

Moving to the edge of the group while relaxing before the next day and fighting a dragon, Orfée sits down, take a small book and start writing.

“Ha my goodness, I am puzzle by this realm. It is at the same time interesting and completely insane. I have only a limited understanding but now I am concerned that my friend Rhea as taken the price for this reality. I know that my price was high and losing myself was not an option, but seeing this insane and purposeless place is beyond me. I am very anxious to leave this place. I know now that I cannot really stand it much longer. Do we really need this thing that we came here for? It is worth our sanity and very core essence of living? What about the other objects, what will be the price for the vanity of a few master that wish to defy the natural order of the livings?

Anyhow, we have nearly broke the basic rules of etiquette with the slave master, murder without second thoughts, exploited some flaws and make sure we get out on top. I am grateful that my friend can do such things as I would be here forever and would eventually die of hunger and thirst.

Next step is to go kill that dragon so we can get to the next stage of our quest. I hope I can support my friend succeed and finally we can get out of here….”

Once written, Orfée looks at the sky, sigh and then lay down to get a few hours of sleep.

Pithic's fall into the rabbit hole

Pithic Okelak
was not sleeping well lately. The past nights were spent tossing and turning, unable to sleep.

After the initial shock of learning that his work entailed dealing with only one student, he began to suspect that his newly appointed position was not a blessing after all, but a test that Lady Fate had thrust upon him.

This case… Pithic was simply flabbergasted at the amount of interest the Academy took upon his new protégé. Surely there was a reason to it, for the Ritual of Binding all students took before entering these walls showed clearly that all its members were but chattel (they killed an apprentice for each cohorts passing being taken in) to them. So, why this as-yet-unheard-of tolerance on their part? What was so special about Journeyman Goldentongue to merit spending so much resources on him instead of simply throwing his mutilated corpse to the dogs? Pithic made it his mission to know, as something did not quite add up.

To his surprise, perusing all the Academy’s files pertaining to Samir yielded little to no information. Certain parts were mysteriously missing, making Pithic suspect that the trickster was involved in something important for the Academy. But what? Dangerous as it may be to investigate the dealings of his masters, Pithic was simply too curious to stop.
So he set out to interview all of Samir’s relations in order to extract details he could then piece together, but not before making a serious mistake in starting with the young man himself…

The interview did not go well, of course. Samir’s notorious lack of concentration with the mundane made the conversation a jumble of non-sequiturs and typical Samirian nonsense. Pithic had to resign himself to failure when Samir, probably sensing the defeat in the old man’s voice, decided to throw his case worker a bone.

Something important was brewing within the high circles of the Academy, for they had “forced little bastards into my head to keep me from spilling the beans, you see”, Samir had glibly told him. As Pithic sat back in his chair, pondering if the student’s words were to be taken literally or symbolically, Samir proceeded to make a demonstration and settle the matter. With a bounce Samir had risen from his chair, pulled down his trousers and proceeded to sit on Pithic’s prized scrying bowl. Before the Old man could utter a gasp of astonishment, Samir laughingly exclaimed “We’re on a secret mission to…“

Right then, Samir’s eyes rolled back into his head and a seizure took hold of him. It was only later, when Samir had woken up, smiled and brightly exclaimed “See!? How cool is that!??”, leaving with a spring in his steps that Pithic found out that the seizure also involved defecation…

Interviewing Samir’s friends was a slow and convoluted process, for Pithic had to sneakily insert questions relating to their mission throughout an interview related to Samir’s behavior, which was no easy task.

Mavrikos replied to questions with short, concise answers that did not betray anything regarding their whereabouts. Concerning his friend’s behavior, nothing was said that Pithic did not know already: a stream of confusing and shocking actions that made the Academy look bad, but in the end made things done nonetheless.

Rhea was a hard one, for her skills at knowing everything (she was some kind of a prodigy in the divination arts) made Pithic’s task an impossible one, so he decided not to ask questions he should not ask with her. She did mention a sacrifice she made to a hag to help Samir though (a debt repaid or some such), but the way she looked at him while she said it made it quite clear no further details would come forth. Pithic was left wondering if Rhea knew of his misgivings and was just playing with him, feeding him nonsense.

Orfée clearly had a soft spot for Samir (or everyone around her, really), but in a way a mother would towards her mentally-challenged child. She was the worst Samir apologist of the bunch. “What was the reaction of the priests when Journeyman Samir tried to excuse himself to go ‘urinate violently’, Orfée?” he had asked. “Oh, you know Samir. He likes to shock people, that silly-nilly! The priest were taken aback, of course. But who wouldn’t when faced with such a crude, yet personal need to leave their presence?” she’d reply. “And why were you there exactly? A context would help me better understand my… burden if you will.” “Oh, he is a handful, isn’t he? Well, Mavrikos needed some closure from his past, so we went there for that, you see. We are a tight-knitted group after all” Again, little information was provided.

Nasah’s interview was an uncomfortable one, for Pithic was always leery around necromancers. Nasah though… Pithic had never seen a necromancer like him. Nasah’s obsessions towards the dead was a completely innocent one; no thirst for power or world domination (typical necromancers, those) could be detected. Nasah simply liked to explore the anatomy of corpses. ANY corpses. Pithic found out that Samir had spent a lot of time helping Nasah out in his experiment (that ring of his was a subject of unhealthy obsession on Samir’s part. Lots of book loans on spells relating to the undead. Pithic was suspecting that the young mage was trying to exploit loopholes of being an undead through that ring), even volunteering to be the “part-time corpse” for Nasah to “explore”, which puzzled Pithic somewhat. Samir’s general flippancy towards everything made him think that he simply did not care about anything (or anyone) other than immediate hedonistic pursues. Was Samir’s attitude some kind of front for something else? Was he actually able to care for others? Samir, having a soft spot for others? Mind-boggling, that. He’d have to dig further into that at a later time.

Hasdrubal’s interview was a short one, for as soon as he stepped within the interview room, the runes carved into the floor activated, making all magical properties flare up (a necessary precaution when interviewing wizards to know if there are any magical means to lie through an interview). Hasdrubal’s back lit up like a lighthouse beacon, surprising the young gladiator. Taking his shirt off, he was able to see the multiple graffiti magically marked on his clothes. Pithic could see multiple slogans about a great leader of “Mewling Quims”, which did not make any sense to him. Before he could utter a word, Hasdrubal swore and screamed “I’m going to make that little bastard eat his own fingers and reattach them to his hands once he shits them back out!” and stormed out of the room.

Resigned and about to admit defeat, a student entered the room, an arrogant sneer on his face. “Do you want to know more about this mongrel mutt you are cursed to oversee?” he asked by way of introduction, sitting down without prompt.

Pithic had learned a lot after the hours-long interview with Theofyr. Quite a lot, actually. Maybe even too much. The potion-maker had taken lots of steps (and spent a fortune, apparently) to spy on Samir in the past few months and learned things he should not be privy to. And now Pithic knew about it, too. A cold dread began forming in the pit of his stomach. “I think I went too far in my investigation”, he murmured, rubbing his eyes. He decided to forget what he’d learned that day and instead concentrated to the task at hand.
Samir was back at the Academy after coming back from a mission on a dream plane, having fought some kind of dragon in the process. Pithic was charged with regulating Samir’s magical items purchases before heading out to do gods knew what else for his masters. Delaying the decision to allow him to buy cursed items on the cheap was a great victory for the old case worker, something that rarely happened when dealing with the ever smiling illusionist. However, Samir was now able to happily craft his own wands, to the horror of many within these walls.
Samir often went out of the Academy on “rogue missions” (Theofyr had provided him that information) to enact dealings with various bards and engineers around Whadi for unknown reasons, but now he seemed to have recruited his friends Rhea and Hasdrubal on one of his outings. His grocery list of magical items made Pithic raise his eyebrows in bewilderment. So many low-charged wands… and the trigger words he wanted for them was baffling: no words at all, but funny sound combinations that made no sense, other than what a deaf and dumb peasant would utter, as if he did not have a tongue…
Pithic sighed for the thousandth time that day, ordered a tea from his orderly, then set to work on writing his report to the headmistress of discipline.

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 batted 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…


Not turning to face his companions, Hasdrubal begun: «You were right Samir, something does weight on my mind. I have been mulling things over… and I can to the realization that this is not a matter I can resolve on my own… nor a matter in which to involve our mentors. I'd rather not let them have more leverage on me than they already have. This is why I am turning to you. I am about to share an episode of my life I am not proud of, so I trust your discretion in handling this affair.»

Hasdrubal briefly collected himself before continuing his story. «Fate had it that I was to be three times a slave. I am slave to the Academy, like all of us are, and I made no secret that I was a gladiator before that. I have not resented these pacts of servitude for the benefits they provided me vastly outweighed the vexations… Unfortunately this was not the case the first time I lost my liberty…» A perceptive ear couldnt help to notice that a certain melancholy permeated Hasdrubal's voice.

«Little over ten years ago, my father owned an olive orchard, on the coast of Bithia, where I lived with my step-mother and my half-sister. We lived an honest and comfortable life. I was too young to know at the time but my father's gambling and my stepmother's expensive tastes had already pushed my father to take a number of loans to maintain our lifestyle. My father first used our livestock as collateral for his loans, then the orchard, and ultimately the family's very freedom.»

Hasdrubal voice would harden at each mention of his parents. «We were finally brought to ruin when our estate suffered two severe consecutive drought. Before long before Massylii Abilgan, a prominent Sekuntese senator, came to take his pound of flesh. My entire family became his property and we were forcefully relocated to his mansion. In Sekunta, slaves from debt bondage are usually spared corporal punishment, a privilege not afforded to other slaves… but we lived Bithia on the frontier-land, far away from the civility of the capital. The cruel yoke of the Abilgan proved rapidly unbearable. My parents had brought down this fate on themselves… but my sister and I, we lost our freedom through no fault of our own. I refused to resign myself that this would be our lot in life. We tried escaping together… but she got caught. As it is sekuntese custom for fugitive slave to be put to death… I had resigned myself to the fact that I had lost her.»

Hasdrubal turned to face his friends looking them square in the eyes, the warrior's expression a mixture of sadness and renewed hope. «But Baba Gava… the witch told me… she lives. Anya lives. I don't have much to go with. It's been so long, she could be anywhere. I need your help. I need to find her. Rhea, you are a gifted diviner. Your kind has ways to peer through the impenetrable and find answers. Samir, you once confessed to me of your ambition to become an information broker. I know you are a resourceful fellow, you could see this as an opportunity to see if this is a life for you.»

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!

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!

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!!!

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

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

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.


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!

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…

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.

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!
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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