Souls of Destiny!

Back in Veldraine

Fireday, Sarenith 4, 4707 AR. It’s morning after our second night at the Chained Pirate in Veldraine. Neal and Justin are still asleep; I’m still the early bird among us, even after getting as drunk last night as I have in a long time. It’s weird; alcohol doesn’t affect us as much here… I mean, we still get drunk, but hangovers are not nearly as bad. I’m usually a lot less functional, and only have a slight headache. Which is the only reason I can write this…

So… the last thing I remember talking about were the bugs and zombies in the cave, and how we interrupted the coitus of the queen mother and her king … or whatever. We were taking a break before heading (hopefully) out on a raging underwater river.

We stuffed all the thasallmoss that we’d been gathering in some barrels we found, as there was no room for it in the large canoe that barely fit the four of us.

An empty post sat beside the canoe, which hopefully another boat was tied to. So we had at least some hope that most likely, while dangerous, this route was an exit route of some sort.

Once we were all in and the barrels placed and linked to the canoe, we were off.

Now I had never been through rapids. Justin gave me some tips, “watch out for rocks beneath the surface”, “if there are falls, don’t get sucked under”, etc., but there was only so much we could do as the entrance was not that large … maybe 10 feet wide, 7 feet tall?

I had one pole, and was in charge of keeping us on the right track ahead. I already had my lightEmUp spell going, sending out the four lights to in a runway lights fashion. Justin was behind managing the barrels to make sure they didn’t snag on anything or break on the rocks we passed. Neal would watch out for rocks and tell me which way to go. Grimmik, being a dwarf (apparently) was not really a sea-faring sort, so he just held on, “stabilizing” the boat.

We didn’t start off well, as I was trying to do too many things at once. I hit my head (leaving a nice-sized bruise in the smack center of my face) and my lights went out. Neal took up the light show, leaving me to just push off the rocks. After that it went fine. Justin had no problem looking after the barrels.

Until the falls. We emptied out about 20 feet high above a pool. I’m not sure what happened between then and when I surfaced – all I know is that Neal and I were scrambling, Justin was treading perfectly, and Grimmik was farther down with the boat (triumphantly telling us that we should’ve stayed with the boat).

After gathering ourselves, we began the long trek back to town. We decided that while it might take a bit longer, it’d be safer to travel by the shore.

At around dusk, we came upon a fishing village. We had some freshly cooked crab while Justin told the story of the “Cave of Stirges”. He told it pretty well, and made us sound like heroes. Maybe we were…

After dinner and story, a fisherman named Brul offered to take us the rest of the way (as he apparently had “nothing better to do”). We arrived in Veldraine around midnight, exhausted. Grimmik got the moss to Val and the church, while we just relaxed at the “Chained Pirate” inn. We had a drink or two … then immediately crashed.

Next day was a blur. We had an “official celebration” for the elite which started around noon. Merchants, the church, everyone high up seemed to be there. Could tell the merchant representatives were forced to be there … they put on a show and clapped, but they dismissed us when I tried talking to them. Most others were happy that we came back, and we did our part to play the heroes. Though it felt very political.

Justin decided that would be the best time to put on a show, as he zipped up in the air … flying. As surprising as it was to see, we kinda expected it. He’d heard stories of a flying spell and told us over and over again how much he wanted to fly. We just didn’t know he could actually do it.

Lord Mayor Clemente presented us as the “Talons of Markleonin” … Justin’s idea. We’ll see how it takes – not sure what the dog-headed paladin (or whatever he was) would think of it, but whatever.

He gave us some kinda “gifts” … those for the team of three that he had hear: a warrior, archer, and mage; so armor for me, a longbow for Neal, and a nice robe for Justin. Only one of us who got any use of it was me, who traded in the (much too) heavy plate for a half-plate.

After that, we skipped out of the party and went back to the inn, where apparently the real festivities were. From what I remember, there was lots of drinking and dancing. I remember Justin going off with an elf chick. Neal was still up when I crashed.

So here we are. I think we’re still planning on going to these ruins that Justin theorized about…

Advancing to Fourth Level
We survived Korvosa!

We had spent a little over a week Korvosa exploring different parts of the city.

First, as a group, we dropped off our worldly treasure at the Bank of Abadar. We have a key and a bill of deposit that must be used to regain these items. We also sent to the Three Rings, a very swanky inn, to spend our first night in the city. After the first night, we moved over to the Whitecaps, an inn that was much more within our means.

Both Justin and Emily spent most of their time researching in the library at Theomanexis magical college. Justin was studying magic in this realm. Emily was learning about the history and prophecies of Korvosa. They made friends with Ewis Ferry, a student at Theomanexis. Ariel, the librarian at Theomanexis college, and sort of the unofficial Headmaster, is an acquaintance of theirs as well. They also stopped by the Gold Market to upgrade their wardrobe.

Dave spent a bit of time in Bookmaker, looking for maps of Korvosa. He then joined Neal in his quest for citizenship.

Neal developed several alter egos. First, as “The Hawk” he went around the city wearing a hawk mask given to him by the Shoanti mystic. He visited the Temple of the Eternal Flame and made friends with the priestess of Sarenrae, Bryla. During this visit, he also agreed to go to the jail, Citadel Volyshenek. He met a thief, Ebed, who informed him about the thieves’ guild in the area.

Second, he developed an alter-ego as an applicant to citizenship in Korvosa. He decided to pick up these papers so that he could make copies of citizenship papers for the entire group. “Hawk” also made an appearance at breaching day, where he and Justin made contact with the Czarny, the Varisian mob by bumping into the Korvosan mob leader- Rowill. They also made friends with Neleazor, a local half-elf adventurer looking for places to put her sword to use.

During Breaching Day, Emily and Dave also attempted to make contact with wealthy Korvosans who were looking for adventurers to send on quests. They only succeeded in meeting the courtesan of a local mobster, Lyka, and Dave made friends with Bawd, a captain in the city guard.

Both Lyka and Rowill indicated that the Czarny would have work for the adventurers. The group decided to pursue this lead, and landed a job carrying unknown cargo through the Vaults of Korvosa. Neleazar latched on to our group, and joined us for the Vaults mission.

While going through the Vaults, we encountered the ruins of the old city and a beggar city. We also ran into a Sphynx that offered to transport us back to our own world, but we would have to pass her test.

After that we encountered, and neatly dealt with a Troll that appeared to be guarding death row prisoners under the judicial building of Korvosa. Dave proved extremely handy with his shield. We were able to get a small pouch of gems for our effort.

Following the map, we managed to avoid most trouble, outside of a brief encounter with a succubus and Incubus. We were able to drop off our cargo with an eccentric, but incredibly powerful Enchanter.

After that encounter, we all felt as if we had really learned a lot about the city and ourselves. Emily decided to learn a bit more about Sphyxes. Neal picked up his citizenship papers. And the rest of the group pursued ways of getting adventures outside of Korvosa.

Transition to 3rd Level - David

So over the course of those days, my mind went a lot of places. I was updating the code for my shockSaber spell, cleaning it up, trying to reduce it’s casting by a few milliseconds, etc. when I decided something – I was going to write my own spell.

It wouldn’t be a spell in my spellbook (as that requires a special procedure and materials), but it would just be something for me. I opened my compiler and started typing. It was to be called “helpingHand”. Just something small to help me practice my swings – help me spar, etc.

At first, it didn’t do anything … then, given the language, I started to get somewhere. I would cast it, and I would see my sword wiggle (was actually pretty cool, when you think about what I was doing…). Just like the compilers I’m used to, it would start predicting what I would want to use. Eventually, I got it to the point where if I just thought about my sword swinging, it would do so, without any input from me!

While dragging the canoes, I came to another realization – that I should trust my reflexes. This body is (will always feel weird to call it that) used to this land, used to using a sword. It knows what it’s doing a lot more than I do.

Once we got back into town, I took the time to enter two new spells in my spellbook… all by myself – stareDown, and jubilee. Should be interesting…

Day Nine: Back in Town
Lessons Learned

Sorry it’s been a bit. We’ve just been exhausted from taking the canoes up the river back to the fort. That and I’ve been thinking a lot. I think we all were, as there wasn’t much talk during that time. When we rested, we’d eat fish or rations. Then we kinda went into our own little worlds to wind down for the night.

I’m not sure what they did for those few hours, as I was trying to understand my abilities a little more. It’s weird, I have my memories, but the muscle memory of the me from here… Learning to trust it more, especially since this past week is the first time that I’ve really swung swords. Ironically, I thought throwing my shield would be more natural, as I equated it to playing disc golf… but the muscles were foreign to the movements – like throwing a ball with your left hand when you’re a rightie.

For the rest of my story, click here.

We got back to town on the afternoon of the third day. From there, it was just finishing up. We talked to Jared and convinced him that we had killed the Duke of Roses. Somehow we convinced him that, because we had killed a dragon which was about to take up residence outside his fort, he would pay us an extra 100g a piece!

Then we went to tell the merchants that we had gotten all their stuff. Just as they promised, they gave us 25g each for returning all their stuff., Overall, a very worthwhile 3 days.

So, to sum up, we got:

  • 100g each from killing a dragon
  • 25g each from getting back all the merchant’s loot
  • 200g from the eight bags of gold we got from the Duke of Roses’s stash
  • Wand of Fear w/ 20 charges (which Emily loves)
  • 1 potion of invulnerability (stoneskin)
  • 1 potion of spider-climbing
  • 2 cure moderate wound potions
  • 5 cure light wound potions (in exchange for a clerical scroll we’d have to get looked at elsewhere… wasn’t worth it, especially for some healing potions)
  • scroll of protection vs. magic (as 6th level anti-magic field w/in 5ft) – That’s all Justin…
  • scroll of abjuration (5 spells)
    • protection from arrows (2nd level)
    • magic circle vs. chaos (3rd level)
    • dispel magic (3rd level)
    • dispel magic (3rd level)
    • break enchantment, transmutations, and curses (5th level)

On top of all that, we have a chest of gems which we need to take into the city to get appraised. From the feel of it, we’ll be okay…

…as long as this Korvosa is on the up-and-up. We’ll see.

Day Six: We're Alive!
Killed the Duke ... and got a nice nap out of it, apparently.

Long story short: we killed the Duke of Roses! He didn’t say he was it, but dammit, I’m making that little shit royalty. Didn’t even get scratched, either… then again, I was asleep for half of it.

So I guess they let me sleep in. Woke up to see Neal’s hole fire having long since gone out. Justin was already climbing up a tree, holding a bag with his stuff. Everyone else did likewise, so that no animals would mess with anything. Once we were all set, we swam over to the big island, trying to stay quiet.

Came up on the east side of the island in a swampy/muddy area. Lots of brambles, but we eventually found a good spot to climb on at. Made our way inland, trying to be quiet. As usual, I was not successful (sigh).

Came across an open area in the center of the island with some small tiki huts, each about the size of our shed. In the distance, the grassy area sloped up to what I assume is the peak of the island. Off to the left, there was a beach or landing, presumedly how they get off the island. Couldn’t see any goblins.

Emily and Justin went around the right side to get a better view, hanging just out of sight of the tree-line. Still nothing, so they came back. We went down to the landing to see if there was any evidence of them being gone. Nothing there either.

Justin went up the slope to peak over the edge, and immediately got shot by some arrows, so he came running back. I was midway up the hill and started running forward. Swore I heard Neal saying “Grass of Aginoth!”, as a grass corn-maze type thing suddenly appeared in front of me. It was perfectly placed to give Justin a way back, arrow-free. I went up to meet the charge, but didn’t see anything.

Learned someting about illusions, by the way. Here, they’re no David Copperfield trick of the mind. I tried making my way through the grass but had a tough time. It was so real! Kept telling myself that it was one of Neal’s illusions … finally it worked.

Saw a glimpse of the goblin archers going down some zip-wires from the tree-tops they were in and ran back on some path leading out of the grassy area back there. We knew it was a trap, but this is what we came here for. However, we weren’t going to just waltz in … we’re not that stupid.

We snuck through the forest to the left of the path … however, there was one flaw in our plan – me. I still have no idea how they keep so quiet.

The path opened up to another grassy area, filled with black rose hedges. They were all neatly trimmed, manicured, and looked like something out of the Renaissance. We could see the two goblins hiding behind some of the bushes, one on either side. In the middle was a rose bush, which I think turned into the 3ft dark elf who was the Duke of Roses.

Next thing I kow, I’m on the ground with Neal screaming over me “Wake up!”. Looked over to see Justin asleep too, but more importantly, I see one of the goblins in front of me. I get up, quickly engaging, but the drowniness keeps me from getting many solid hits.

The Duke of Roses and Emily are battling it out in the center. She casts her fan of flames around the entire area, and the elf screams. Guess he has a weakness…

I wake up Justin, and tell him to help Emily, as Neal and I (eventually) take care of the goblin. Neal breaks away and yells “Apache Chief!”. His scorpion grows to become giant and charges out there. In response, black mist pours out of the elf, obscuring the entire area, along with Emily and Justin.

As we finish off the goblin, the Duke appears out the left side. I’m about to charge in, but he sees us and tries to negotiate. I laugh, but then Neal tells me “he’s not such a bad guy”, that “everything he did is understandable”, and “why don’t we just take the stuff and leave”. I tell him how insane that is, but he keeps trying to convince me. Eventually, I say ‘screw it’, and just charge in (with of course Neal yelling at me from his place at the forest edge “we could all be friends!”).

He tried to cast an illusion of goblin reinforcements, but I keep trying to tell myself it was an illusion. Luckily, I was right. We battled in melee for a bit, but then I got a lucky hit, practically gutting him with one my shockSaber program. By this time, the mist was down.

As the mist cleared, I swore I saw Justin concentrating on a rose bush, but I’m not sure. In that split second that I look away, he makes a break for it. I couldn’t get to him in time, so I do the next best thing – throw my shield. Miss him by a few inches, but I have to admit it was a decent throw. He falls. I didn’t see who did it (though I know it wasn’t Neal… who screams “Nooooooo” as he falls).

So there we were, having killed the Duke of Roses. Everyone looks pretty beat up… Emily got to have the healing potion. I think it’s safe to say that everyone had a sense of mortality during that fight… seemed to make this whole journey more real.

Emily started searching the area. Eventually we all came to the conclusion that she did … anyone who would have a pristine throneroom such as this would want to remain close to their valuables. Neal eventually dug under the rosebush, found a secret room underneath – the kings stash! We found everything from the cart! And some extra too – guessing it was stash taken from other carts.

Neal would hand stuff to Justin to take up. Justin would then bring it up using his teleport ability, then I would organize it into groups up top. Emily was off trying to figure out how we could get it outta here.

Once that was done, we spent much of the afternoon taking it to the dock so we could load it onto the goblins canoes. We had gone over quick to the other island to grab our stuff and the one canoe we had taken.

However, as we were starting to pack the canoes, we had a visitor. A little cat-sized black dragon (yes, I said a dragon!) hovered before us, though the head was more skull-like with sunken eyes. Said his name was “Ritaxis the Magnificent” (or whatever he called himself), and demanded payment for him sparing our lives.

Of the eight bags of gold we had gotten from the goblin’s treasure-trove, he only saw two. He would’ve seen only one, but Neal didn’t hide the one he was carrying the best.

After paying the damn dragon, we started off. Since we were now in boats in the lake, we decided to straight-shoot it to the river entrance. Was going to take us a little farther and longer, but it would save us a lot more time in the long run, especially if we had to haul these canoes up the river (which we were not looking forward to…).

The dragon had other plans though. Guess he figured out we had more gold… He attacked us in our wooden canoes. Guess I’m glad he didn’t breathe fire… We kept him at bay for a minute or so through a distraction that Neal and I prepared.

Then we learned dragons can swim (seems really odd to me still, thinking back on it). He came shooting out of the water and attacked Justin. As he was attacking him, I was able to slow down my canoe. As Justin teleported away, the dragon started to become off-balance with the removal of weight, and started falling into the water.

Just as I got there. Not sure if it was a lucky strike of not, but I shockSaber’d my sword, and hit him in just the right spot, electrocuting it and frying it’s insides.

Needless to say, we were exhausted by the time we got to shore. I stayed up all night, wanting to get this story told. Hoping when we get back I’ll use it to write a book, as I think this story would sell.

We’ll see how tomorrow and the journey back goes…

Day Five: Found their hideout...
This isn't as fun as it is in video games...

And I thought the floating head crunching on my side was bad… man that hurt.

So, long story short, we found the goblins. We got up, and followed the river south until we got to a big lake. Not Michigan-sized … I doubt it’s even Lake Geneva-sized, but not small though. Emily used her apparent eagle eyes to see smoke coming from some islands on the western side. So we circled around to get a closer look.

Once we got closer, we tried to come up with a way to deal with the goblins. It was the first fight which we were intentionally getting ourselves into, but then again, that’s why we came out here in the first place.

The best idea we could think of was to lay a trap. We “made camp”, lit a fire, etc. When several goblins came to investigate, Neal even made the sounds of us sleeping. Neal and Emily hid in the bushes and trees immediately by the camp, while Justin climbed a tree and found the apparent perfect perch. Meanwhile, I took a position about 30 feet away from camp so I could charge in.

There were five goblins which came in (of which we only saw four). They came in and started stabbing the cots when we attacked. Heh, by the time I charged in, two were down, and one was writhing in pain.

So of course when charging, I ignored the ones on the ground, so got tripped when one tried to take a hold of my foot. Kept my balance, but my sword swing was off. He went down quick, but then we had the one in the distance to worry about who took off. I chased him a decent amount in the night-time woods. Neal did his “flames of aginoth” wall of fire across its path, which stopped it in its tracks. As it tried to run around it, I was able to catch up to it. Spent a few rounds of me trying to fend it off, but it successfully slashed me across my chest on in my leg. Eventually, Neal finally reached me and stabbed it in the back.

Guess this is what I do now…

With Neal’s help, I limped back to camp. Justin was trying to talk to one. He tried to convince it we were friends, but we have no idea if we actually did or not. We eventually let it go, but put Neal’s scorpion in it’s pouch before it left.

It definitely went back to the islands. The scorpion apparently told Neal that it found the camp, and is hiding on the big island (there was one island bigger than the other two).

What to do next? Attack now, with surprise on our side, but have us still exhausted from the last fight? What if they can see in the dark? The one I chased certainly wasn’t struggling to find out where to go… Or do we wait until morning. They’d known we were coming, but we would be better prepared for a fight. And who knows, they could stay up all night waiting for us…

So we agreed. Of the three islands, we went over to the first one. Swam (not great for my gashes, but it’s not like we had a choice), while we used one of their boats to keep our gear dry.

Set up camp. Didn’t want to have a fire in case they saw us, but Neal had the idea of a “hole fire”. Dug two holes, linked em together underground, built a fire in one. Worked like a charm. He and Emily are going to stay up the night.

Big day tomorrow. Have to raid the goblin village, and they’ll know we’re coming. My leg hurts like a bitch still, and we’re intentionally going INTO battle??

Such is life, I guess.

Day Four: Venturing out...
To complete a quest, no less... and yes, I'm being serious.

Having spent a single night in the closest thing to civilization (Fort Thorn) that we’ve found, we have decided to return to our forest homeland. The cot in the inn was too soft, too comfortable for our liking. The food and ale too tasty.

In truth, we’re poor. We ‘accepted a quest’ (a phrase I still feel strange saying honestly) from Sir Jared to rid the region of some fairies. I know I alluded to it before, but we’ve taken it on. In concert, we’re also going to try to get the gear back from some merchants (Barnell Vesk & Simin, from a place called Chillax) who got ambushed on the road up to Fort Thorn from Corvosa by some “Roseblood” sprites, or fairies.

Before you start to giggle, these fairies(according to Barnell) aren’t like Tinkerbell – from the sound of it, the seem to be more like gremlins (like from Gremlins the movie), but with wings. They may not have wings, I don’t know.

They are led by a fairy called the Duke of Roses (who apparently took over from another fairy or gremlin called the “Rose baron”.

In exchange for us completing this ‘quest’, we get gear to go out and do the quest (weird, but we got nothing, so we had to ask) and free stay for as long as we’re here (presuming though, we don’t stay too long). From the merchants, they will give us 100g if we return all their stuff, and 50g if we provide at least half. It’s a start, but at least if we do this, we’ll actually have some room to prosper, or better yet – find a way home.

So here we are. A few hours away from the fort, we found a dead body – presumedly the guard which Barnell and Simin said was useless. Apparently when they were attacked, he chased after them. Then when they stole the now unguarded cart, he chased back after them, and got killed. His death helped the merchants to survive, so I’d like to think his death is worth something.

We found the tracks to the cart, and followed them back to a bridge we had just crossed. The wheels to the cart were taken off … I’m guessing so it could float down the river? River wasn’t too wide, maybe 20-30 feet across? Couldn’t be more than a few feet deep usually.

We ended up following the river for a ways (staying on the east side) before making camp. Neal and I kept watch all night. I saw a gorilla (or large … nevermind, I’m gonna stick with gorilla) in the middle of the night. We got ready to wake everyone else up, but it went its own way down the river so we let it go. Will definitely keep an eye on that area though, but I think we’ll be fine.

Day Three: Fort Thorn
This ain't no Sunflower Valley of Rainbows...

Well, we found civilization – a “Fort Thorn”. Personally, it doesn’t look all that fortified … at least compared to the forts and castles that I’ve imagined for this time period. The buildings do look like something out of Skyrim, though, so at least there’s some I can kinda recognize. Main hall, barracks, an inn, towers with guards… Hey, I’m not complaining, especially with the nights we’ve had so far.

Speaking of, we ran out of food the morning after the first night, so we had to get some of our own. Justin’s actually pretty good in the wild. I caught some fish using a net, some silvery-looking giant minnows! Not only that, but it’s a net that Emily made using her twine (man that cloak has been useful). Felt kinda proud of that moment… Water was sooo cold!

The terrain around here reminds me of Turkey Run state park – rocky, hard to traverse at times, more deciduous forest now instead of the evergreen pines we saw before. Have made our way slowly but surely, but no-one’s twisted their ankle, so that’s good. Then again, I’m not sure how much that would hurt here. My side’s itchy now, and its all scabbed over (thank God it’s not on my leg, or somewhere that I can scratch – then it wouldn’t heal for a while longer).

On the second night, I got to have a glimpse of the sun set behind the mountains. So I think we’re going North, since they’re on the west of us. So that night I got to use another one of my spells called Keep Watch – I’ve programmed it (for lack of a better word) using the command “performAllNighter”. Icon’s currently a crescent moon, but I’ll perfect it later.

Then I learned the downside of it – I stayed up all night … or at least most of it. Emily and I stayed up chatting while Neal and Justin slept. She wanted to make cloaks, beds, a tent, etc. for everyone, but twine holds up only so well. We decided on mats, as anything is better than the rocky dirt below us.

Middle of the night (guessing 2am or so), some giant centipedes decided they wanted a midnight snack. We were able to get everyone up and ready for the fight in time though, with Emily’s cat’s help. Man they were disgusting, like those freakin’ millipede thingies that come out of the drains! Gonna have nightmares about that for a while. One came after me and one after Neal – he was as disgusted as I was, probably more so since he was first hit.

Emily threw a flames at it and burnt us, but it helped to drive them away. That hurt almost as much as the centipedes did. She said sorry, but everyone’s still getting used to their “powers”, and with how fast we’ve been healing, it’s no big deal. At least I hope not.

Neal and Justin, having just woken up to a fight, we’re not going back anytime soon, so Emily and I let them stay up the rest of the night. Had a nightmare about floating heads jumping out of the water like salmon.

Then today we found three woodsmen – Jeff, Innis, and Barry. They were not real chatty, which was understandable. I tried to befriend them as much as I could. Neal stayed safely in the shadows though. I tried to tell them that I was alone, but used “we” too much. I’m not good at bluffing.

They eventually took us to here, Fort Thorn. It seems well guarded, even if the wall is probably weaker than some of the richer house walls in Evanston. We met with Sir Jared Tolgrith, who tested our story – eventually believed us, but I think both parties are skeptical, understandably so.

Looks like we may get our first quest – there’s a “Duke of Roses” fairy who’s banded a group of them against us (I know, this is crazy). Them and some goblins are bothering the fort. We’ll see – not sure how much I want to go out there, but we’ll run out of money soon.

Oh yeah, and it turns out we’re in a place called “Bloodsworn Vale”. I know, right? Why couldn’t we be in a place called “Poppyseed Forest” or something. Tomorrow’s going to be very interesting.

First Night
Justin's here ... so it's raining. (Dave)

It’s somewhere after 3 in the morning. Oh god, that’s the witching hour, right? What a time to think of that. I’m supposed to, well I am, keeping watch with Emily. We can hear the rain coming down somewhat, all of us scrunched under a pine tree. We’re staying dry, so that’s something at least.

Emily’s knitting from her endless cloak of twine … looks like a bag at this point, but it could be a hat. Either would be helpful now, though I doubt she’s doing it for practical reasons. Neal and Justin are sleeping a few feet away. Every so often Neal makes a sound, and Justin snores a tad.

My back hurts from sleeping on the ground. Lord knows I was tired … still conked out quickly, though it might be from the blood-loss.

So here’s the thing. I know I told you about getting gnawed at by floating heads. Hurt like a bitch at the time, but now its just itchy. Feel a bit better, though how some bandages did that is beyond me. Feel a bit like I’m in Last Action Hero where if I fire a gun it’ll blow up a car… kinda hope that’s true, but then again, I’m not sure if I want to test it.

We got into another fight after the floating heads. While I was still recuperating, some man-sized things (swear they were orcs, like from LOTR, but uglier and 7ft tall!) came upon us. Justin hid real quick (surprising), and Neal used some spell to hide us in a fake column. Justin caused them to hear some sounds way back the way we came from, so the two orcs started running that way. Probably saved our lives.

But then we met up with two other orcs, and there was no column or sounds to keep them from noticing us. Neal casted some spell “Flames of Aginoth” or something, causing this fire to appear between us and them. Was pretty cool, even if they did jump through it. I fought one of these giants, but I was really really lucky, cause he couldn’t fight for crap. Maybe he has the luck that I do… Neal stabbed him in the back eventually.

It’s good to know that when push comes to shove, I did try to be the protector. Anyways, we quickly made our way out of there. We went up lots of stairs and ended up midway up a mountain. Not the tallest mountain, definitely not like the Rockies. We could be in the Black Hills… in some twisted parallel universe, but it might be Earth.

Lord Byron’s tower lay in shambles way up on top of the mountain. Which is good because it means that we are probably not a priority at the moment. We followed a trail down to the woods near a waterfall. There’s some fort or town or something a day maybe … 50 miles away? Hell, I dunno. We just saw some smoke.

And so here we are. Neal says there’s a tortoise-sized hermit crab by the waterfall, but I didn’t see it. Several more hours of night left… wish I could see the stars … that would be a good indicator of where we are.

Time to look at my spellbook, see what I can figure out…

Where am I?
(Have no idea what time or day it is...) (Dave)


I don’t know where I am. If I’m to take the word of dog-boy (german shepard head, I think) named Markleonin, I’m in another dimension. I could still be on Earth, kinda hope I am – at least then I have something, that keeps me grounded. Neal, Justin, and Emily are all here too, so at least I have that. Jeez, if they weren’t here? I don’t even want to think of that.

So from what I understand so far, a lich (basically a really evil, really powerful undead wizard) named “Lord Byron” ripped our souls from our bodies in our dimension, replacing the soul of this one. I think it’s gone, I can’t sense another presence or anything… though I’m not sure how that would feel. I have no idea what’s happened to my body there. I’m not sure if I’ll ever find out… though I obviously hope that I do. I just hope you don’t think I’m dead.

I know magic here. Like, actual magic. Ironically (or not, I guess, since I’m still me here…) it’s a lot like code, so it comes easily. Neal and Emily know magic too. Justin knows psionicis – he’s real happy for that. There’s also monsters – like goblins (at least that’s the closest thing I can think of how to describe them). I killed one of them … it was disgusting.

According to a bounty hunter who prefers to be nameless, we were each kidnapped from “far and wide” and brought together to die (before the dog-boy rescued us). We were real angry at him for kidnapping us, but he seemed like one of those people we shouldn’t mess with. He left, having taken some stuff that I’m pretty sure wasn’t his. Bounty hunters… go figure.

Then it got scary. We went down a long hallway and came to this giant cavern. There were these floating heads which attacked us. One was gnawing at my side for what felt like hours but was only about 15 seconds. Man that hurt. At least it wasn’t on fire, like one of them. But of anyone here, I guess I’m glad I took it.

I lost a lot of blood, so I think I’m going to sit down for a bit. Not sure if I want to dream of home or not… will I even be able to sleep?


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