Souls of Destiny!

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.

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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.

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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…

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

Arrival

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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The beginning...
1st night (Justin)

Or was it day? I’m not certain because I awoke in a dungeon. What first seemed like a terrible dream has proven all too real. A lich (we think) abducted our minds and forced them into parallel dimensional duplicate bodies. It seems the former minds of these new bodies have been transferred to our old bodies. My guess is Kara will ultimately prefer the confused but more chivalrous ‘me’ she has just inherited. Before he could exact his ‘revenge’, the lich was obliterated by a dog headed Egyptian god thing named Markleonin, who told us that basically we could be awesome in this new world of magic or go home and return to our loser selves.

If that was the intended choice, then the decision point never quite manifested itself. Now we are trying to escape the dungeon. So far we’ve battled goblins and shit eating floating heads. We also talked for a moment with a jerk-store ranger whose name I cannot recall but apparently played a big role in bringing our bodies to the lich. If i see that guy again I am going to mind slap him.

The goal for now is to figure out our place in this world, and ultimately how much we belong here or whether our efforts should be focused on going home. Personally, I intend to break the time space continuum with my new mental powers and return home (with lots of gold) to the night I left so I can be rich and see my son grow up.

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