The Red Hand

Never deal with a "dragon"

Valsoth boldly walked towards the old abandoned storehouse that stood on the outskirt of the Sewers District. His steps had a spring to them, as if they had finally found a purpose long-sought, making the waddling of the little fat man all the more comical, if not pathetic to the few onlookers still up this late in the night.

His contact’s rendez-vous point was a great choice, the necromancer thought. The place had become feared among the locals since a few months ago. Until recently, the facility had been rented by an insane, ever-grinning old man that the locals of this small, innocuous city-state soon slapped him with the monicker Rat King.
Indeed, a day after settling in, the poor fool set the local urchins on a city-wide hunt for rats and other vermin, paying 3 coppers for each kills the orphans brought back to him.

None knew what the King was doing with his cache of dead rodents, but the smell of death and decay emanating from the place soon contended with the pungent air of the open sewers nearby, making all but the most courageous (or foolhardy) adventurer give the storehouse a wide berth.

The city officials were alerted, of course, but the drastic reduction of diseases among the poor, coupled with the (modest, yet not insignificant) money injected into the city’s economy and, of course, the unfavorable location of the storehouse made the bureaucrats turn a blind eye to the problem, deciding instead to delay their intervention for the day the old fool would stop pissing his money away into their coffers.

It turns out the problem solved itself, for the corpse of the King was found in an alley behind a popular tavern one cold, misty morning. The corpse had been brutally murdered and left naked to become rat food (if rats still lived in the city, that is), but there was no doubt in everyone’s minds: this was indeed the corpse of the Rat King.

The news of the murder was the gossip of the week among all the social strata of the city and soon after an enterprising band of thieves broke into the storehouse, looking for the remnant of the King’s seemingly endless horde of copper coins. The expedition proved disastrous (some rumors even say deadly for some of the burglars), for soon tales of ghost sightings made the place feared by all.

The owner was unable to rent a haunted place and soon had to sell the building for a pittance to an anonymous buyer.

Who was it? No one knew, but the consensus was that the new owner must be foreign, for no one who knew of the place would be stupid enough to buy it.

Yes, a perfect spot for this transaction, Valsoth thought, grinning in anticipation.

His crew had arrived before him in wagons and had scouted the outside of the building, reporting the place safe and secured.

Nodding to his trusty lieutenant, he knocked imperiously on the huge door with his staff and opened it, walking inside smugly, accompanied by his bodyguard and a few trusted henchmen. The rest stood guard outside.

Their steps soon faltered and came to an abrupt halt at the sight before them. There was no question about what they saw. All knew what they had just witnessed. This was no man standing before them, but a huge blue dragon, for they had come inside just in time to see the beast transform into a human form.

All of Valsoth’s lackeys looked nervously towards their chief, unsure on what to do. No words needed be exchanged between them though: the plan of killing the seller and making off with the loot was now out of the question.

“Now now, Valzy, have you left your manners in that shitty swamp of yours you call your ‘domain’?” Zassrion playfully said, grinning.

The Necromancer shook off the cold, creeping fear he felt tightening his lungs and resumed his imperious poise. “My apologies, Zassrion. I’m simply too eager to make this deal. 50 gold pieces for a zombie is a great deal. The going price in Geb is usually 90 gold pieces. You’ll forgive my suspicions on the quality of the merchandise, yes?

“Of course”, Zassrion said, still grinning. “The goods are stored in the next room. You are more than welcome to inspect them. Once you are satisfied, we can talk payment”.

And with that, Zassrion slid himself into a nearby chair and put his feet up, waiting.

The Necromancer soon came back, excitedly smiling. “These specimens are of incredible quality, Zassrion! The corpses are all of fighting quality! My army of the undead shall conquer Taviros within a month! I shall wipe the priesthood of Phos from Lyria!”

Valsoth was spluttering in excitement now, gobs of spit flying everywhere.

“Of course they are of quality, my friend. How could it be otherwise with me? I will forgive the impertinence of your doubts about the price of my goods, as you’ve seen my true form and I assume you are smart enough to know that my kind has a lifespan that makes a lower profit irrelevant when accounted for a few thousand years of living. ‘Slowly but steady’ as the saying goes, eh?”

“Anyway”, the dragon continued, “I took really good care in selecting the best human corpses I could find and I’ve magically enhanced them with an ancient spell at my disposal. They should prove more than a match for the conquering campaign you are soon to launch on those Phos followers.”

“Yes! They shall rue the day they banished me!” Valsoth exclaimed.

“So it’s settled, then. 50 gold pieces per corpse. And the wands to animate & control them yourself are included, of course. Say, would you be interested in acquiring the Onyx of the Lich? Perhaps a demonstration would be in order, yes?” Zassrion, holding what looked like an ordinary black-painted rock, jumped to his feet and shoved it in Valsoth’s hands. “Come with me and try turning a bunch of undead so you’ll see what I’m talking about”

“This artefact is amazing, Zassrion! I usually can animate between five and eight zombies per spell used. But while holding the Onyx of the Lich, I can animate thirty of them! I want this item, even if it will ruin me!”

“Ah, I see that I am dealing with a smart man. Who cares about your fortune if you’ll have the gold of a whole kingdom once you’ve conquered them all? I knew I put my trust in the right man!” Zassrion cheerily said, patting Valsoth amicably on the shoulder. “Now, about the price of that artefact…”

Zassrion” waved the thugs goodbye.
Once he saw the last corpse-filled wagon turning the corner, he closed the door of his storehouse, smiling.

“Well, that’s that!” he said. “I’m now the proud owner of a storehouse in Taviros and I now have the funds to build my own tavern back in Whadi. Oh, and a shitload of cash to inundate the surrounding region with tales and statues of our dear Mewling Quims Leader! Maybe I should give him a nice gold necklace to add to his collection as an added gift to a safe place for his sister to live once we’ve saved her. I hope she’s cute!”
He inserted his port key into the huge door, hopped on the gold-filled wagon he was able to add to the deal with Valsoth, and “tchk thck” the horses forward, towards the portal leading to the Academy.

“Say, I wonder how much it would cost to make a necklace that magically shows random slogans of my choosing to passersby, but to be invisible to the wearer…”

“Welcome, Samir. Please sit down.”

Pithic sighed inwardly. His casefile kept getting thicker and thicker, with no solution in sight and nothing to show his superior in matters of progress, making the case worker cranky as of late.

“I see that you are unaccounted for vast swaths of time since your return to the Academy. We’ve talked about this, young man. You are supposed to fill your presence form for each moments of the day that you are present within these walls”

“I know that, dear Pithic. Not being INSIDE the Academy does not warrant me filling this stupid form, yes? Ha! Checkmate, bureaucrat! Hahahahaha!”

“I… gods damnit! That was not the intent of this disciplinary exercise! You know damn well that we need to know your every moves!”

“Doesn’t look like this is what’s written on my disciplinary slip, yes? Not my fault you are making loopholes so blatantly obvious”

“ENOUGH! Now, where were you the past few weeks?”

“While I was here? Well, check the form and you’ll…”

“You know damn well what I mean! There’s been a report of a failed invasion in Taviros by an idiot using an army of sewer rats sculpted in the shape of human zombie warriors! What have you to say for yourself? You ARE known to favor that spell above all else, you know! And the confession of that Valsoth fellow pointed to a person matching your… facial mannerisms…”

“Honestly? I think calling this thing an ‘invasion’ is stretching it a little bit. I mean, the first village attacked boasted 500 souls and they MASSACRED this so-called ‘army of the walking dead’ numbering over 20 000 defective zombies. And dear Pithic, as an intelligent person, you know, of course, that I do not hold a monopoly over smiles. I assume that by ‘facial mannerisms’, you mean smiles, yes?”

“Indeed… I’ve seen the wands workshop list of check-in names and you’ve been in there for a mighty long time. What were you doing in there?”

“Probably wands, I guess?”

“I KNOW DAMN WELL THAT YOU MAKE WANDS IN A WANDS WORKSHOP!” Pithic screamed, froth coming out of his mouth. “What I want to know is what kinds of wands were you making? Where are they?!”

“Well, it turns out I suck at wand-making” Samir nonchalantly replied. “They were all duds, you see.”

Pithic’s shoulders dropped and he let out a long, overdrawn groan.

Samir's Adventure Log - Dream On! - Part 7: Final Chapter

So here we are, at the end of our quest. We’ve defeated our foes, yet one remains: a big-ass blue dragon…
So, with our spells depleted and our wand of cure booboos nearly spent, we look towards the steps with juuuust a little hint of apprehension showing on our faces.
Here goes…

“Guys! Guys!”

Huh? Oh, it’s that hare king fellow that won’t stop annoying people with his nonsense and endless talking. How annoying is that?
So from what I can make out of his ramblings, he’s grateful for helping him find his way into the castle and gives us magic carrots, eats one, Screams something and charges up the stairs.


Doesn’t take long to hear a ZAP! though. Oh yeah, and we hear a piece of metal tumbling down the stone stairs. It’s the little bastard’s…. bastard sword
Gulp. Thank the gods we can rely on Hasdrubal’s stalwart stoicism in the face of such a horrible task ahead of us

For once the scribes don’t argue with each other and they start to eat the carrot. Even Rhea! No fear whatsoever that the carrot simply gives you a stupid amount of courage and will kill all of us! Nope! Nothing! I’m starting to think the scribes only argue among themselves when the solution is evident or too easy…

Turns out the carrot eases our worries… and replenishes our spells! Somebody up there must like us! I like our chances now!
Let’s DO THIS!

We cast a few spells in preparation to help us in the coming encounter. Some blessings, prayers, speed… stuff like that. I personally chose to fly, along with Hasdy. So off we go!

We arrive to this big library, filled shelves, tables and high backed chairs facing a fireplace. Sitting in one of them is a human, or so we think. We can see only his hand, holding a glass of brandy.
A booming voice beckons us to come sit with him and talk. Orfée being Orfée, she sits by the man and starts negotiating the release of the artifact we came for, which can be seen hanging by a pedestal close by. The others have mixed reactions.
Hasdrubal seems pissed that by talking instead of hurting, our spells are slowly being expended (damn him and that common sense of his!).
Rhea follows Orfée’s lead.
Nasah slowly places himself to have a good shot with the deadly arrows of his.
Yours truly nonchalantly flies over to the artifact and makes to lean my arm on it, but a violent shout from the “man” stops me from touching that piece of rock.
…and Mavrikos who is sure that we are actually talking to an illusion (by loudly proclaiming his suspicions of his… in front of said “illusion”) and decides to lightly… poke him with his polearm. Nothing violent or anything, just a liiiight prodding of the (possible) illusion with the pointy end. Y’know, what we usually do in polite society

For a reason that to this day escapes me, the dragon somehow felt threatened and decided to end the illusion (ha! One point for Mav!) and attacks us! The galls, good Sir! The temerity! Ha!

Ok so the fight is on! The dragon starts the fight with a breath weapon of lightning and happens to select Mavrikos (what a coincidence!), of all people! Good news though, as Mav survived the jolt and smashes into the dragon with his polearm, inflicting pain to the blue bastard while Hasdrubal moves within striking distance. Nasah peppers it with his arrows and even Rhea is able to confuse the wyrm with her never-ending supply of spells. The fight is doing great, but we’re not out of the woods yet!

Me? What did I do? Well… it didn’t start too well for me, for I flew within spell distance and prepared myself to blind the creature with a well-placed mudball spell… only to remember that dragons’ eyes aren’t the only thing they rely on to strike at their foes.
What am I doing? I…
Oh shit! I was right there! The dragon SHOUTED when I was about to touch Baba Gava’s pleasure bead! He clearly didn’t want me to touch it! And I, like a silly, well-behaved CHILD, did as he was told! What the hell is wrong with me??? Thank the gods my conscience (who suspiciously sounded like Hasdrubal’s voice coming in through our telepathy link we had) hit me in the face at that point! Samir was back, with all of his quick wit back in his noggin’! Phew!

So I flew back to the orb and before I grabbed it, a moment of clarity hit me in the face like a ton of bricks.
“Maybe that thing’s dangerous”, I told myself. Yeah, that’s right. ME! I said that!
So guess who activated his ring of undeadism before touching that baby? THIS GUY!

As soon as I grabbed the rock, something happened. The first thing I felt was an immense sense of peace washing over me. It basically felt like I always do first thing in the morning actually, so it did not felt weird to me, even though I knew it came from the rock. When I telepathically told the scribes that I held the artefact and we could now retreat / run away, nobody answered me. How rude! They always talk! ALWAYS! It never ends! What in the hells is going on?!

Oh… I think I know why they’re not answering. It might have a correlation with the total absence of any combat noise I’m now erm… not hearing.
Yep, found the problem. It seems the plane is experiencing a lack of time flow at the present moment. And I seem to be immune to it somehow. Hmmm… quite the mystery!

Well, I guess time will resume its regularly scheduled flow. Any moment now? Aaaannnnnyyy moment…? No? Huh…

Wait…. Oh! I’m holding the thing that stops time! Maybe if I stopped touching that thing time would resume?
What am I doing?! I can actually HELP the group while time has paused! Let’s DO THIS!

First things first. The dragon is there, attempting to bite Mavrikos’ head off (even confused, it’s still pissed off at the poking I’d wager). Let’s pepper that bastard with snowballs. I’ve always dreamed of an overkill… Now how many charges have I left in my wand again? Something like 48? Hmmm… let’s go with 47 charges, “just in case”. Here. We. Go!

Ok, as soon as I trigger my wand, a huge snowball appears in the air, and just… stand there! What the…?
Oh… OH! Does that mean when time resumes the spell will speed towards the dragon? Oh, the scribes will have one HELL of a show coming their way! Hahahahahaha!!!

Ok, I’ve angled the snowballs to literally bury the dragon in icy goodness when the time will start back up. It’s a sure kill, that’s for sure!
Now what? Hmmm, Mavrikos might get crushed under the dragon if it falls towards him. I’m gonna have to move him out of harm’s way.

So uh (clears throat), I discovered that I can modify the posture of my scribes if I wanted to, so uh… I MIGHT have done some things to amuse myself for a little while. Yeah…
Oh, with all that work, I really should take a break, as all that stress is doing something to my innards. Oh, hey! That dragon’s mouth is opened… Teehee.

Alright, I think I’m about done with my spare time on this plane… Wait. Did I study the arcane mark cantrip today? Oh yes. Yes I did!! Oh, Hasssddyyyyyy…!!!

(Sigh), I think I’m about done here. So I’ll just go down the stairs and resume time, just in case the dragon survives (maybe it’s immune to magic and/or snow? I really should start listening in class…) and wants to chase the artefact thief. My not being here might make the (confused) dragon… confused (yeah, not too smart thinking, but it’s not like whoever reads this would be surprised at this point in time, yeah?).

So, here goes…

WOOSH! I can hear an avalanche upstairs and confused cries from the scribes. I should be proud of myself for so easily defeating a dragon, but something occurred that put a break on my typical enthusiasm. I seem to have aged QUITE a bit when time resumed. A quick estimate would be around one year for each ten seconds lived while time has stopped.
Thank the gods that I activated my ring! Otherwise I’d be dead for sure! Not being dead is awesome! Watching your skin going PUFF! in a cloud of dust though? Not so awesome. I can’t even talk! I’m a skeleton now! I’m being kept “alive” by the power of my ring. I have but about half a day before the ring starts to take its toll on my body and slowly drains me of my soul, which is not good.

I telepathically call out to the scribes so as not to surprise them when I come back up and after a brief explaining (and waving aside questions of weird body tastes some of them are having in their mouths), we quickly pocket the dragon’s hoard.
We found some cool stuff, but Rhea is the lucky one on this: she found a spellbook of dyslexia! Meaning she can create ad hoc spells by changing one letter in the spell’s name!!!
Think of the possibilities!!
For starters, I’ve always wanted to be able to summon an Air GEEZER! “Get off my lawn!!!” Ha!
I could also Alter my WANDS to be even more powerful!
I could torment Mavrikos with visits from his self-righteous ancestors (Ancestral GUILT. Get it?) during the night (has his application for a room transfer away from mine been accepted yet?).
I could have an army of animated housing deeds, willing to wrap themselves around my enemies’ faces! Or it could be poisonous lead? How about rapists? Just think of the possibilities! Argh!!!
Wouldn’t it be cool to have your own ale walk up to your mouth instead of drinking it using your limbs?
I could lick Hasdy’s face in his sleep and atone myself by offering him a night out in town and drown him in ass
I could become beer and revert back into Samir once I’m ingested by an enemy!
Why not transform ennemies into bubbles?!!
Need an answer? We could easily locate a sage to answer our questions.
I could activate my ring and see if it’s possible to breathe in a mist of stones
How about screwing with Theofyr’s potions with well-placed shit projectiles???

My head is spinning at the possibilities!!! It’s… I…
Stupid Rhea and her trustworthiness…
Hey! I’m sure Rhea wouldn’t mind lending me the book when we’re in-between adventures, right? And I can now craft wands!

(evil laugh)

Alright, so we’re back in the real world, said goodbye to Baba Gava, and we’re off to the Academy!

No time to fool around for me! I throw the Delithium Matrix to Kholm Meany as we arrive (no more debts for Samir!) and I drag Hasdrubal with me to be my translator, as I need to speak to people in order to exploit my present condition asap. (Nasah was good enough to offer me to cast the spell Restore Corpse on me, which would solve a few of my problems, but that’s a plan B for me, as it is but a bland and boring solution.

So our first stop would be to see Mistress Althea and see what she can do with my exposed bones. I’ve read about transmuters being able to change bones into steel, but only on corpses, which I’m not. I wonder how many bones I can remove from myself before undead-dying in the process…
Next stop would probably be to see Ogma and ask her about necrografts
Well, that’s it for my adventures so far! Can’t wait to get a little break from people wanting to kill us. I have BIG PLANS ahead of me. Hope Hasdy has spare time for me right about now. Ha!

Letter from the first Martyr of Sithrak
This scripture is said to be from the first follower of Sithrak after he received his punishment

To my three brothers,

I am overjoyed to write you my last letter as tomorrow, I will die. Tomorrow I will die but on my own terms. I was able to convince the jury to be tortured, unbound I shall remain for the whole session. Only sheer will and self-control will demonstrate I am freely accepting this agony. When I can no longer bear the pain and be ready to forfeit my life, cold-iron nails shall be driven into my eyes.

Blessed be the one who suffers.

I am overjoyed as I will endure suffering and make the final sacrifice in reminiscence of Sithrak himself. I do not expect all of you to understand, but be aware I am doing this to ease the suffering of others. I am innocent, I have committed no crime but willingly commute the sentence and amplify it to assuage universal pain.

Blessed be the one who suffers.

I am overjoyed as tomorrow I suffer and I die. No child should have to endure pain, no child should be punished to try to feed their family, no child should be flagellated for breadcrumbs. It is not I who shall judge the sins of others, but I to take away their ache.

Brothers, do as I did and take away the pain of others. Brothers, follow Sithrak’s footsteps.

Blessed be the one who suffers.

Yven, devout follower of Sithrak

Samir's adventure log - dream on! - Part 6

After a good (moonless) night’s sleep (and an episode with a pissed-off Hasdrubal), we are fresh of mind and body and ready to go!

But first, let me tell you about something that happened after we retrieved all the tokens and put them back into the scarf: a robe fell off it. A robe of MANY sparkling colors! A robe of FABULOUSLY sparkling, dancing colors! A robe! Might as well call a spade a spade: a fucking colored dress! And guess who gets to wear that beautiful thing??? Mavrikos!!!

Of course, I can’t keep my face straight at the sight of our paladin walking around in a dress. Nearly pissed myself, too! In all seriousness, I’m kind of disappointed that Mav got to wear the thing, as his vows of celibacy kind of ruins it; Not much shame can come out of attempts at attacking his masculinity since, y’know, he doesn’t have one to begin with because of his faith and all of that. I think Hasdy will be wearing the robe in the growing myth surrounding him around Whadi.

Ok, so we’re all physically fit (Ha!) and our spells are replenished, so here comes the time where we bag ourselves a blue dragon! Where the hell is he though…?

Mavrikos tells us that by virtue of wearing the dress, he seems to have a connection to the dragon’s castle, so he proceeds to call it forth.

Sooooo, a castle, walking around on mechanical chicken legs, pops up on the horizon. I wonder if it’s that one…

Since no other castles are coming, we shrug and begin planning how we’re going to climb up that thing, since Mavrikos can only make it come here, but not control it to stop or come down in any way. So we have a randomly moving, sixty feet high problem to solve.

Hasdrubal and I end up casting a fly spell to go up. Hasdy drags Rhea up first and with the help of flying wizards and a little bit of rope, we manage to be all up in the chicken thing. Now what?

Rhea has a great idea! By now you should know that we are not the tactical bunch, choosing to boldly run forward without any idea of what is ahead (to disastrous results most times). Not this time, though!
Rhea decides to cast an Arcane Eye spell and scout ahead. So ahead of us, in the outer courtyard, Rhea sees some kind of gnome thing, giving orders to a bunch of ogres (this is gonna be an easy fight for once!). Further inside she can see:
A bunch of naked ladies taking a bath (sweet!), a Marid and an Efreeti having a couple’s fight, a bunch of shadowy clerics doing whatever shadowy clerics do, a prisoner inside… a prison and of course, a blue dragon with patches of skin sewed all over him, reading a book inside a library. Now we know what we’re up against! What could possibly go wrong now?!!

Welp, looks like Rhea’s INVISIBLE eye was spotted by every damned creatures inside the castle, except the naked ladies (of course), so we’ve lost the element of surprise… and numbers.
Poor Rhea, she looks so ashamed of what she did. Oh poor, sweet summer child. Don’t you get it? If we survive this, guess how much leeway I’ll have to get us into trouble without repercussion? THIS MUCH, baby! Rhea, I could kiss you right about now! If we survive, that is.

Oh, look! Ogres and evil genies are coming!

The fight is not looking good right now. The angry gnome, riding an ogre, takes a swipe at me and hits me square in the chest with his flails. He even manages to make some kind of Hasdrubalzy (ha!) move with his weapons that shakes a lot of us to our core. We are thoroughly intimidated.
…by a three feet gnome, no less! What a day to be alive! (sigh)
The ogre mount does the same and good ol’ Samir drops like a stone, at death’s door. The gods smile upon me, for Orfée and Mavrikos are able to heal me in time and let me go back into the fight. I’m able to throw one hell of a snowball into an ogre, felling the brute.

After burning a scroll to throw a Scorching Ray at the Efreeti, he returns the favor by hitting me with three of his own, which throws me back at death’s door. Again.
Well, not really. I could still stand up, but barely. A single action on my part and I felt that I would faint, so I decided to fake it and drop to the ground.

There is fighting around me. Screams of pain from my lovable scribes enters my semi-conscious mind.
While lying on the ground, soon to die of my wounds, a voice booms inside my head.

“You will not die this time, heathen. You still have your part to do.
For He who walks alive and dead shall be my prophet.
Your madness endears Me, mortal. The Knight Demise will have use for you. You shall deal in betrayals that will shake this world for centuries to come.
Now get up and join the fray, for a time shall come when you will meet my envoy.
Look for the one who is of two, like you. Now GO!”

I shake my head and open my eyes. What. The. Fuck. My wounds are healing by themselves!
So a god has plans for me? Gods damnit! Not one of those meddling fools!
No time to piss and moan, for I need to help my friends now.

Well, I wake up just in time to face a Wall of fire, which hurts a lot (and I’m about ten feet away from it!).
So we’re sandwiched between a sixty foot drop behind us, Rhea’s two Wall of force spells (helped preventing a gang rush on us at the beginning and prevented the Marid from joining the fray right away, which helped us a great deal at the beginning) to out left and now a burning wall brought forth by the Efreeti. Great.

Rhea, ever the resourceful one, makes a pit under the wall of fire, allowing us to run under it and attack the Red & blue couple.

Thank the gods that the Marid is not it its element (water) or she’s be stronger!

… the damned bitch cast an obscuring mist spell around her, so she’s got plenty of water droplets around her to be the badass she truly is.

Oh great, now the two genies have grown the size of giants…

…and the Efreeti has dropped Rhea! She’s in even worse shape as I was a few seconds ago! That doesn’t look well. Hello, God thingy? A little help for her, too? No? Of course not…

I chug a potion of fire breathing and vomit a dragon’s breath on the Marid, burning her good. Orfée does her goody magic and makes an area of healing around her, thus saving Rhea’s life, healing a good portion of our party, but the Efreeti, too. Dang.

Doesn’t matter! Orfée killed the beast with a magic missile!

Fabulous-Mav helped dismissing the Obscuring mist by ordering the castle to run in a random direction, which allowed us to see the Marid and attack it.
And yours truly finished her off with a snowball to… the ear! Went in one and exited the other, of all things! That was one “critical” hit to the face I tell you what! Ha!

We’ve somehow survived this fight! Thank the gods that the castle’s courtyard roof was opened that time though, preventing the shadows from joining the fray outside, where the sun shone, for I think that would’ve been too much for us. Thank the gods for small favors.

Now we can enter the castle proper. Let’s go see the prison Rhea spotted. We find an old man in the prison, delirious from malnutrition and terror. He keeps rambling about the dragon, Zassrion, wanting to rip his skin off & sew it on him. Try as I might, I can’t get the answer if he rubbed the lotion properly on himself of if he was hosed… I’m disappointed (pouts).
Turns out the prisoner is a real, live person, just like us! He was a member of an exploring party out in the jungle looking for plants of some sort or something like that. They were ambushed by trolls and all were killed except him, who was brought to a witch (Baba Gava maybe?) and transported to this dream plane. Looks like Zassrion kidnaps self-aware entities to rob them of their skins for some reason. Maybe he plans to become “real” enough to leave this plane? (shrugs) Let the scribes figure that one out.

After Orfée heals him and asks him to wait for us at the castle’s entrance, we go further inside the castle and loot a little of this and a little of that (yay looting!)

We soon arrive at the naked chicks’ room. They’re in a pool and claim that they are chained, unable to get out, so they are asking for out help in freeing them.

Ladies: Oh, free us! Please!
Samir: We’ll come back once we killed that dragon thing, ladies
Ladies: But should something happen to us before you come back, what then?
Samir: Dear pretty ones, I promise I won’t sleep well for a night or two should that happen.

Well, I was outvoted on this one. The scribes want to help them right away. (sigh)

Hasdrubal steps forward, planning on breaking the chains with his adamantine sword of his. As soon as he enters the pool, he becomes electrocuted. It’s a trap! We’ve got some Succubus to kill!

The fight is not going well. First, Rhea succumbs from a compulsion of theirs and is forced to go under the water, which electrocutes her pretty badly. Then she is asked to remain in the pool and to make out with one of them. It took a lot of willpower on my part to tear my gaze away from this “horrific” scene and continue the fight.
My trusty snowballs doesn’t seem to hurt them much and so is all the weapons we are using against them…
What to do?
I know! Time for some illusion magic to once again save the day!
I quickly summon the image of a blue dragon with skin patches on it outside the room’s door and make it intone “Leave them be! They are to be mine!”

The spell seems to have convinced the lot of them to go away, for they disappeared soon after. We survived, once again with Samir’s great help! Is there anything I can’t do?

…don’t answer that.

Ok, so we’re a little worse for wear, but none of us died, which is miraculous to be honest. None of the scribes seems to have witnessed my miraculous recovery, which is good, for I’ll have to investigate this god thing further…

And now we have a dragon to kill. Onward, fellow wizards!

A Change of Heart
The Journal of Rhea Amelia Namtab

– Previous Entry -

I saw a dream and it made me fearful; and these fantasies as I lay on my bed and the visions in my mind kept alarming me.

Amid disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men, Dread came upon me, and trembling, And made all my bones shake.

Then a spirit passed by my face; The hair of my flesh bristled up. It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance; A form was before my eyes; There was silence, then I heard a voice.

He said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it.”

And he said to me, “What do you see?” And I answered, “I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits.”

Now I lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming forth from between the two mountains; and the mountains were bronze mountains.

I awoke in trepidation, yet heard the voice from my dream speaks anew: ““Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams”. I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands.

I am an accomplished Dreamwalker and can tell apart dreams mundane from dreams prophetic. This is the latter. Yet, I find myself unable to resist their lure, changing my heart in ways I would not have believed possible. Is it the hag who mires me in deception, or is my heart truly opening to Phos? Who speaks to me in my dreams, in these visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds, …

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!!!


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