Frozen Trek: Part I
Entry 8, 9th month of guild duty.
As written by Risk- field physician.
Travel back to the hammer and anvil proves only slightly easier than our trek into the dark lands. More hybreds pester us, enraging the party, who only want to go home. For once i agree whole heartedly with the humans.
We set up for the night in a cavern we’d previously discovered but not explored. Watches are set and we discuss what our next step is. Bugeyes informs us that he is going deeper in the cavern to take care of something and that we are not to follow. His retinue goes with him and we are left alone.
In the night we recieve a strange visitation that seems able to slip through the earth at will. The group suspects an earth elemental, though i am not so sure. I am unable to detect the creature using my earth sense. It either left very quickly or is not an elemental.
The following morning Bugeyes had not returned. Ever a soldier, Striker followed orders and informed us we were not going after him. No one argued, all confident that Bugeyes would be fine. Our mission had been completed, and we had been paid in advance. We continued our journey out of the darklands.
Few at the hammer and anvil questioned our return with out the holy warrior. Apparently he’d left instructions to care for us should he not return. We were given lodging and rested for several days.
Excited and anxious to return home, and to see what Quarter master had made of the quilds issues, we packed our travel gear and prepped for the long journey. At this point Striker told the party he was going north. He’d promised to help the grollens with thier civil war and must be on his way. No one wanted to go, and he did not ask…. but no one would leave him behind.
Instead of going south, we booked passage aboard a river vessel to ordney, where we would resupply and travel west, hoping to follow that only path morth Striker was familiar with. It took us months to get from home to here… this journey will likely take 6 months or more just one direction.
Frozen Trek: Part II
ENTRY 9, 9th Month of Guild duty,
As Written by Risk: Field Physician
From Ordeney we chartered another ship down river, to the west. Striker says we will stock up in Karolak, apparently one of the last posts of civilization before you enter the wylds.
For some reason after the negotiations with our captain striker and Calin came back slightly bloody and laughing. The only explanation the offered was that the crime in the town has been significantly reduced.
In ruary we picked up a young “adventurer” some local rich kid who thinks the outside world is better than city life. We saved him from some thugs and cleared his debt, but striker says he is indebted to us. He admits to sme magical training.
I hate ships….. just death-boxes over a watery grave. I spent 3 weeks hiding below deck.
The 24th day of our voyage we hit a customs inspection. Bribes were given to expedite the process and keep our captain happy, though Striker was only aware of the tax paid for the valuables on board.
Shortly after customs we were bogged down for 3 days due to storms. The Magus and his newfound ‘friend’ go out into the storm to search for plants……humans are odd.
Only a day out from the break of the storm we were caught in a trap. River pirates swarmed the ship, with a few supportive archers along the shore. They nearly tucked tail and ran when the encountered Daron at the front of the ship. In Chain wielding a great sword he reaped havoc on the nearly as fast as they could come up. With nor armor, and nothing heavy enough to punch through the chain, Daron eliminated any hope they had of taking the ship. The rest of us joined the fray slightly behind Daron, wiping the deck clean. One of the Sailors held his own fairly well. The rest of us were impressed and we drank with him often afterwards.
No more mishaps occured on our voyage, and nearly a month of sailing brings us to Karolak.
Jimmy Wharf, the sailor we drank with, has asked to join us, simply stating that he’s good outdoors and that he believes he’ll be better off with people who know what they are doing in a fight. No one objects to hi joining.
Frozen Trek: Part III
ENTRY 10, Month 10- 12 of guild duty.
As written by Risk- field Physician
Tensions are high. Traveling for this long is not good on any ones spirit. I have taken to pranks that keep everyone on their toes and distracted from the truth of our situation. The truth being that our lives are kind of shit right now. Chance and lucky have been very active in this time. Allowing them to plan the pranks keeps them somewhat content. Thankfully the guards left by Ves’Tuul have kept them within the recesses of my min where i can contain and control them, but i cannot bring myself to suppress my brothers on a constant basis.
Karolak is amazing, easily the largest and richest city any of us have ever seen. Even Striker, who has been here before,is out of place and obviously just trying to make it by. I sold off a bottle of rare whiskey I’d bought ages ago and gave the silver to Striker. It covered many expenses, including arctic survival kits and our stay at an above average inn. There have been a few drunken nights and i will not deny some general debauchery. All necessary. Lucky is very fond of our budding thief Fudashi: he was put under the charge of Daron by Striker. This has resulted in a quite comical display of Fudashi deliberately trying to get Daron into trouble. He’s not very subtle, but Daron is too straight forward and honest to realize, and I think he is so far beneath everyone else notice that they just don’t bother to pay any attention. I really only see it due to having watched Chance and Lucky my whole life. Though odd and chaotic, the mischief bodes well for the group.
Light fighter and Saleh (Bowser remind me of your character names in a private email please) encountered varying Magi and made some extreme purchases. The kid puts me to shame with his talent,but I’m certain i have a stronger knowledge of what i"m dealing with than he, especially with the help of my brothers. He is utilizing varying components to turn his spells into portable potions. I believe Saleh has spent whats left of his fathers money on these components.I cant think of how else he got the money. Light fighter has finagled THOUSANDS of silver from the party to commission a magus to make him more vital,more ‘resilient’ if you will. The magus fulfilled his end of the bargain, Light fighter is obviously more vital and has demonstrated that he it will take much more to take him down than it would seem: but i have to wonder at what cost. He doesn’t seem to look beyond the transaction and result, but what others don’t seem to get is that ALL magic comes at a price, regardless of how benign or simple the effect. The Magus used SOMETHING to empower the effect or make the change in Light fighter, i am very curious as to WHAT.
Striker met with some local wealthy man, agreeing to run an errand or him. In exchange he gave us a guide for a certain distance through the wylds and offered us a ‘favor’ on our way south. We must take the guide and a box to the pine tribesmen and then allow the guide and a hostage to return home. It is on our way and we know little of the area so the deal seemed good.
Striking out is odd. I will miss the streets. The woods get thicker, the air grows colder, and the rains come more frequently. I am less affected than the others, but I will state again: I will miss the streets.
WE encountered a band of pine tribesmen, the guide barely managed to negotiate and get us through.
Another encouter,our guide makes clear our intentions.
The forest is thick, we cannot ride any longer and are forced to guide our animal train. It is good that we did not attempt to bring quarter masters wagon.
I have recently learned that while i was unconscious in the darklands striker left our 3rd in command, Daron, in charge and stayed behind to ensure my safety.
A rogue band of tribesmen have assaulted us just before we stopped for the night. They were dispatched quickly,though we were much more badly bruised and battered than anyone expected. The others apparently see these Pine tribesmen as ‘savages’ and i guess from a human standpoint that must mean they are inferior fighters. I find it amazing that they have this opinion of ‘un- civilized’ beings when they have been fighting and dying against the orrish for thousands of years, and those creatures are the epitome of savages.
We have dropped off the package and retrieved the hostage. Though it was explained that we were attacked first, the tribes leaders are not pleased with the death of their kinsmen. Striker used this period of rest and negotiations to convince/bribe the guide to take us all the way trough the wylds. Chance is very adamant that Striker should request his help with these negotiations, but refuses to let me offer his services until Striker asks for them.
We leave the Tribesmen and very quickly realize we are being followed. The guide spends much time hiding our trail and keeping us from being overtaken before we can leave the territory. He proves expert in his craft and we avoid the band.
By some miracle or stroke of luck the band following us caught us at the very edge of their territory. we could even see a semblance of a road in the distance. Striker was drawn off by 2 scouts who baited him away from us. Daron rushed those who attacked us from behind. The rest of us set up a line while Calin fired shot after shot into a concealed figure in the woods. Within seconds the figure in the woods disappeared and what was obviously a magical suppression went with him. 3 men, one who was obviously superior to us in combat, surrounded Daron. He fought valiantly,slaying 2 and wounding the last, but the superior skill and vicious tenacity of the tribal warrior rendered Daron a sliced, poisoned, and generally thrashed pile of chain and flesh. Meanwhile our front line struggled. We were onset and held by these ferocious warriors, 2 of whom flanked us and embarrassed Calin within seconds. Saleh intimidated them with use of his magic for a short while,and was forced to run when they overcame thier fear. Light Fighter struggled to get behind the enemy, and was hit from behind himself when those who dropped Daron joined the fray. Light Fighter dropped. I Tried to push past my opponents, but was forced to focus my attention on staying alive while 2 archers attempted to shoot my side when i blocked the assaults from those in front of me. My comrades were falling, we were out flanked and being annihilated… we were going to die. From my peripheral i saw Jummy wharf. Panicked and trembling he blocked a blow with his club, causing the weapon to snap. He stared at his weapon handle and then hurled it at the face of the man in front of him. the man dropped like an unbelted loincloth. JImmy then lunged forward and cold-cocked on of the attackers on me. The skilled tribesmen rushed jimmies back, but was stabbed from behind when Light fighter sat up and buried and odd blade into his back. What happened next cannot be placed in these annals, butI will document elsewhere so there is witness to the atrocity. With the tides starting to turn to our favor I attacked my last opponent, and without realizing it relinquished control of my left arm to Lucky, who kept my shield in position to defend against the archers. We collapsed on the remaining enemies, causing the archers to run away. I quickly ensured that Calin was not going to die, then rushed to Daron. I nearly lost him, his wounds and the poison in him too much for my skills,but the combined effects of my medical skills, the salves in my pack, the benevolent touch of Vees’tuul placed upon Daron, and my fervent prayers to the Lord under the Mountain, he was stabilized. Looking at his wounds and what he did to the 3 he faced, i realized that Daron was the hardest human ive ever met. He could put Ducateon warrior caste to shame with his resilience and devotion to the group. I did not realize humans were capable of self-sacrifice for the sake of the group. Once that was finished I patched the others wounds. Thankfully no one was hurt as badly as Daron,and we were able to continue on, just as Striker returned bloody but unharmed. Not even his armor was scratched.
When asked about his combat Striker simply stated “it’s the same as always,any time i get near enemies they die!”
Frozen Trek: Part IV
Entry 11, 1 year and 1 month of Guild Duty
As written by Risk- Field Physician
We have stopped at a few other settlements since out final run in with the Wyldmen. Nothing huge, but enough to re-supply and to slowly adjust to the ever dropping temperature. Snow is frequent now.
Before making it to the blood river we were assaulted by a ghoul and a few animations. They must have thought we would be easier prey, between our gifts from Bug eyes and Strikers experience with the undead we made short work of them. Even the Ghoul was less threatening than it shuld have been. Striker is concerned that the undead were this deep into human territory. Apparently they are NEVER south of the river.
An undead hunter of the church of Merkaine has apparently been waiting for us to arrive. He seems to revere Striker and was sent to protect/ escort him. He has 2 companions, one a common enough soldier while the other is clearly a young umbakian, though his white hair makes him seem much older. We Learn nothing of the umbakian, but it turns out the undead hunter is an Exilion. Only striker seems to understand what that truly means, and is very closed mouthed about what he knows.
With the arrival of the exilion Striker decides to go into the altain mountains to petition the Church of Merkaine for some assistance with our travels. He speaks of healing and provisions i believe.
The journey into the mountains grows even colder, but much of the chill fades as we draw upon the Holy ground of the church. The goddess of Fire is clearly present. Though her followers are not. It is not until we are nearly to the door steps that we see fallen bodies across the church yard, both those of the church and those that were clearly undead or animations. The front door is barred and no one responds to us banging on the thick, metal- bound wood.
Movement is noticed around the south side of the building and we advance in formation around the corner. The sight we see is quite horrifying. A line of ghouls backed by 3 skeletons atop what look to be zombie horses. In the very back a chain armored figure with his hands raised, pulling darkness to him. Both lines react with a semblance of professionalism (theirs a bit more so) and the clash begins.
Calin looses 4 arrows in rapid succession, firing through 2 lines of combat to bury head and shaft into the chest of the armored figure. Though trying to stay covered by the zombie cavalry, he drops in moments, spitting curses and blood at Calin. The darkness in his hands flashes and seems to enter the bodies of the undead. The front line is hard pressed as the ghouls seem to grow twice as strong, thrashing and biting, even chewing through armor. Daron is on the end of the line, holding off 3 ghouls on his own. Striker and The Exilion Taume hold the center while i hold the end next to the church. The line of ghouls is held back, some even dying, but after firing a wave of crossbows the mounted skeletons roll our flank, using thier speed to dive into our back ranks and scatter the lights and supports. I could have sworn i heard one of them scream that the front line was useless, but i was busy with the ghouls in front of me so im not sure.
The screams and panic from the back line continued, and with a few quick glances i could see my allies being scattered and falling quickly. A couple of them were scrambling to draw attention to themselves so the others could live, but none were prepared or trained to take on mounted opponents, let alone mounted undead augmented by some unholy power. The ghouls in front of us started dropping, unable to stand toe to toe with the combined powers of light and fire. Daron was killing them in nearly one blow each, the light from his bond with Ves"Tuul causing the undead to shriek with pain. Taume and Striker were striking in conjunction, causing the ghouls to drop writhing with flames consuming their bodies. I simply refused to get bit by shoving my shield into the ghouls mouth. With the front line dropped, we rounded o the mounted skeletons. I quickly began dragging fallen comrades out of harms way. The Others rushed as on unit, systematically dropping what was left of the undead.
The battle over i tended to the wounded, while the others convinced those in the church that the threat was gone. From what i gather this church has NEVER been assaulted this heavily before. It does not bode well. Nearly all of us were hurt, aside from myself, striker and Calin. It seems once the line was compromised he ran behind the others, and they did what they could to stop the undead from reaching him. Light Fighter and Fudashi were nothing but wounds it seemed, the Umbakian and his companion little better. I tried to help Saleh but he doesnt seem to trust me after my little joke the last time we were attacked by ghouls. I had told him he was infected and we’d have to cut his leg off…. he believed me and panicked. It took a while to calm him down, and now he doesn’t trust me. Lucky thinks it’s hilarious.
While i patched the others Calin and Daron had some kind of dispute. Daron was trying to put the chainmail from what i assume had been the leader of the undead onto the pack mule. Calin asked him what he was doing. Daron said to him ‘how else am i supposed to repair my armor?’. In response to this Calin informed Daron that the items on the armored figure belonged to him. Daron asked him why he thought that and Calins reasoning was that he’d killed the man so all the stuff was his as trophies. Daron was confused and refused to accept that. Striker was called in as an arbitrator and informed the two that even though Quartermaster wasn’t here all gear would still be treated as it always had. It goes with all the party gear and thats that. Daron didnt argue but refused to touch anything. Calin said to him as he walked away “youd better watch your back!”. Daron turned around and asked him what he meant by that “That’s waht you want the armor for isn’t it? To watch you back for you?” Nobody missed what he meant. I later spoke to Daron to see if he was going to do anything rash. His response was that regardless of Calins ill wishes towards him, he would not violate his own oaths by turning on a comrade. Even if it’s the death of him, he will still defend Calin with his life. Kind of a wierd one that Daron…… Most would have just let the next ghoul get through the line…. Different approaches to life i suppose.
The church was thankful for the assistance, but refused to apologize for not opening the doors when Striker pounded on them. They explained that they had been assaulted for days and that the undead had tried everything to get in. Striker seemed to take this as a personal offense and did not do well with the church representatives. They healed us all, fed us, gave us some healing potions and provisions, and herded us out the door.
In Thurlow we repaired armor and took a needed rest. A grollen from the northern tribes met us there and is going to show us the way to his people. Shortly before we left Saleh disappeared, i assume the multiple scrapes with undead were too much for him. Along with that news we heard rumors that the Church of Merkaine had been robbed, that the offering box had been pilfered. Striker and some of the others suspect Fudashi… I have to wonder if Salehs sudden disappearance is related.
We set out and were almost immediately halted by a blizzard. 3 days buried in the snow.
Shortly after the blizzard we came across a pilgrimage of the church of Aerina being beset by undead. We rushed into help, Taume screamed out “VAMPIRE!”, causing many of us to grow uneasy. We saved the Pilgrims but the undead ran off, taking 3 children with them.
We made it to a grollen out post, escorting the remainder of the pilgrimage. Waiting for us there was a message that we assumed was from the vampire. He claimed that the leader of the pilgrimage had something he wanted, and that if it was not returned he would kill and animate a child per day. Dire news, and something the party does not take well.
What in the name of Aerinas cunt does a follower of the PACIFIST goddess have that a vampire would want that badly?
Frozen Trek: Part V
Entry 12: 1 year and 1 month of guild duty
As written by Risk; Field Physician
It turns out that the item the vampire wants is an ancient artifact of Dejurdith, from before he was enslaved by the Lich Kings. Nobody knows what it does, but it was apparently used in every notable raid of the undead into the civilized lands. Some theorize it was responsible for the fall of Dundaria. The leader of the pilgrimage explains this to Striker and the Grollens.
The object was captured long ago and rather than keeping it in a fortress it was kept in a church of Aerina, where it’s presence could not be sensed by any undead or magic. Hiding in plain sight as it were…… The object has become a status symbol, those guarding it being known as the “spine of the north”. Apparently this has become a big deal. With the Grollen tribes in civil war the undead have grown bold, and this pilgrimage set out to give the artifact and therefore the title to the Grollens, if they promised to end thier fueds and return to guarding against the undead. With it leaving the church, apparently the vampire we ran into sensed it and set out to take it for himself.
Chance knows something of the Artifact, but refuses to tell me. Both he and Lucky have taken to this of late. They withhold information until they can use it to bargain with me for control of our body. I think they are searching for cracks in the protection Ves’Tuul gave me…. they both are impatient for bodies of their own.
The Grollens take the artifact, our guide claiming that his brother is the rightful heir to the chiefdom and therefore the artifact is his to protect. the other grollens back him.
Striker seems not to care, stating that he would not trade the artifact for the children anyways. As much as it pains him, the entire north is not worth 3 children. He says he came to help our guides brother unify his tribe, and he must see that done for the good of the north and his word. Light fighter, Calin, and Taume all agree with him. Light fighter (light), seems reluctant, but it is obvious he is reluctant to face ANY undead, let alone a vampire, without striker. Jimmy Wharf is conflicted…. but not enough to contradict his superior officer.
Daron declares that he WILL save the children, and he will annihilate this vampire to do so. Fudashi says that he would rather negotiate, but he agrees that the children MUST be saved. apparently even that scoundrel has some morality. I say nothing, but I agree with both of them to an extent. Striker says that any who wish to leave may, but that he and the rest of the guild members will be finishing the mission.
I speak with Fudashi and Daron. Negotiation is out of the question, and 3 of us cannot hope to kill a vampire and whoever else he has following him. Long into the night we discuss our strategy, and before the others awake to head further north, we were gone.
I was able to convnce the Grollens to give me the box the artifact was stored in, and upon grabbing my pack i saw a note and 4 bottles filled with orange and red liquid. The note was from Taume, telling me what the substances could be used for. Apparently he wished to go with us, but was oath bound to follow ‘the burning wolf’.
It’s a suicide Mission, but we know what we must do. Darons militaristic mind proves to be a valuable tool. We engage in EVERY trick we can possibly muster, and are thankful for what resources we’ve been given, particularly the rings and amulet from Bugeyes.
Fudashi serves as bait, lit up with my light spells holding the box. We Chose to attack at night. Between Darons Light attacks and my night vision we felt we could maintain equal footing with the undead while keeping them from expecting attack. Who is idiotic enough to attack undead at night?
An average looking man approaches Fudashi. Words are exchanged. From the hilltop Daron and I see Fudashi drop to his knees to grab the chests lid. We unload a barrage of crossbow shots into the man. Assuming that it is the vampire or at least some form of undead, Daron infuses his bolts with True-light. The man, obviously the vampire now, screams in pain as the light explodes in him. He back peddles and begins chanting and forming handsigns. MAGIC! We never expected a vampire with knowledge of the occult……
Fudashi runs and disappears in the snow. Daron and I rush down the hill, and 3 ghouls rush from a snow drift to protect the vampire.
We blow past the ghouls in a mighty charge, invoking every ounce of skill and mystical power we have to smite the vampire, who has obviously imbued himself and the other undead with obscene amounts of mystical power. I can only assume he burned Vitae to cast his spells faster, possibly using even more to augment what spells he did cast. Despite his shields, Darons great sword, imbued with inspiration from Ves’Tuul and True-light, cleaves throught the vampires collarbone and thrugh its heart and chest, leaving its left arm and shoulder barely attached. My own blow caught the monster in an uppercut fashion, slicing through its belly and nearly severing the spine. Despite the ungodly resilience and magical shielding of the beast, it rattled a death shriek and collapsed. Unfortunately he’d had time to imbue armoring shields and additional strength to his comrades.
With our backs to the ghouls, we could not stop them from latching onto us and ripping armor and flesh with their teeth as though both were softer than veal. Screaming in pain, the both of us turned. I did everything i could to occupy 2 of them, and landed what attacks i could, even using my sword to defend when i had stopped the first with my shield, burying the blade in the creatures mouth, only to see it crack as the filthy beast bit down on it. The 3rd attacked Daron, ignoring my attempts to draw its attention. Ignoring the savage bites and slashes to his person Daron attacked all out, throwing blow after blow with his 2 handed sword, seeming to only care to strike as fast as he could, and not concerning himself with accuracy. Just as well, it doesnt matter where you strike a ghoul, they cant feel it anyways. His opponent fell, slashed 3 times by Daron and stabbed once by myself.
Behind us Fudashi snuck into the snow cavern we believed the children to be hiding in. He encountered 4 zombies and was re-buffed by them, unable to kill them all. as he fled he noticed they would not leave the cavern. Seeing this he decided to help Daron and I. Brave fool….He ran behind one of the remaining ghouls, and buried his 2 small blades into it back. The creature, enraged, lunged at me for what would have been the killing blow, but at the last second turned around and buried its teeth into Fudashis throat. The attack was so savage it nearly beheaded Fudashi…… I cannot repair ateries, or windpipes….. or spinal columns……. Fudashi was dead before he even realized he’d been attacked.
The creatures back to us Daron and i both cleaved large amounts of undead flesh from its flank. The 2 ghouls both attacked, lunging for my throat. I shoved my shield into the mouth of one, and in a blind shot of faith thrust my sword directly into the mouth of the other. Snarling and desperate to kill the creature bit down on my sword, breaking the already damaged blade, the majority of the steel stuck in its throat.
Daron decapitated the ghoul trying to chew through my shield, and tried to end the other as well. It dodged his attack and grasped for his throat. I threw myself in the way, taking a vicious knock to the head. I could feel blood and what felt like brain matter splattering as my skull was crushed. Daron swung madly, screaming, blood from his wounds making his chain mail seem to be glowing red. Madly rushing the beast he let his helmet absorb a blow and seemed to ignore a thrust to his stomach through sheer force of will as he cleaved downwards, nearly splitting the body of his foe in two.
I watched from the ground as this happened, confident that my wounds would bleed out and that i would die shortly. Thankfully there was no pain. Daron dug out the 2 healing potions from my pouch and forced them down my throat. I have warned the group not to use potion to stabilize a comrade…. but apparently he didn’t trust his own medical skills to stabilize me. I could feel my skull repairing itself, and took in a deep shuddering breath, just before my heart stopped. Panicked Daron slammed on my chest, trying to get my heart restarted after the shock of such rapid healing. Somehow i pulled through.
Daron insisted we finish the job, and we rushed the zombies. Me tackling 2 of them and holding them down for Daron to kill, while he made VERY short work of his 2. Compared to the ghouls and vampire, zombies are nothing.
We gathered the children together, Fudashis remains, and what little supply’s there were, and got ready to set out. We burned the remains of the undead, lest they return, but Fudashi would be given a proper burial and last rites.
Personal Journal Of Risk (Sandvitz Latson)
Section V of Frozen Trek- Prior to the assault of the Vampire
Written in Dukat with every 3rd word in Gladnorean and every 6th in Valdasean
All things must come to the light eventually, let this be how our sins are discovered. Should I perish this Journal will be passed on to the current leader of our band. (The talents of Chance and Lucky have assured this) Our victory over the vampire in the frozen north was not so simple as it seems. Our sins are laid bare in the following pages….
We new it was a suicide mission, but we were willing to do anything to save the children. Long ago when we exited the fiend manse of the Lady De’Wynther Chance had a small scroll slipped into his pocket. He had been unable to identify it but with the help of some research after his entombment in my mind we deciphered it.
The scroll allowed a individual to bind a very powerful being in a manner that forced them to grant a favor, so long as you bargained. The bargain was one of unequal exchange, favoring he who invoked of the scroll. I was reluctant to tell the party of this for over a year due to it’s source, but as I said: we were desperate to save the children.
Fudashi and Daron both understood the risks and my reluctance, but decided that the scroll should be used. Chance and Lucky were thrilled, and for once offered only helpful assistance.
The ritual complete, the scroll activated, we experienced a cloud of smoke that revealed a baboon who spoke to us directly. He called us by many obscure names, some of them seeming almost poetic to our natures and personalities, and accused us of abandoning the wits our parents gave us. He said that as a price we would go on trial for our crime of foolishness.
We were transported to a court room, where an orca whale sat as judge, but was not suffering out of the water. The prosecutor was a badger sporting rimmed glasses and our defense attorney was a suited duck billed platypus . The Jury consisted of all those who had been killed because of and despite our efforts, while the witnesses called were everyone we’d wronged and ourselves.
The badger manipulated us well, making fools of us at the stand. Our defense attorneys sympathy based case stood no chance. We were found guilty, and punished to suffer the wrath of our own foolish decisions for a year to come. While the punishment may not seem severe, I could feel my mind being pressed and weighed down…… I cannot think quite as clearly, and even the others seem slower than I thought possible.
Our price paid, the baboon granted us the favor asked, which was to be able to hide from the undead. He gifted us with a bottle that was labeled oddly. It was supposedly made by “Malek Bottle Works INC”. It also said othe things such as “Gauranteed to cure all that ails you! (Except Chronic Itis)” and “More fun than a Missouri boat ride!” followed by “ Packed full of BOOM BOOM!…. Your not afraid of a little BOOM BOOM are you?”
We utilized this bottle several times (about 7 total) in our encounter with the vampire. It holds up to our request, it hides us from undead, as well as all other forms of visual detection. It also seems to heal virtually any wounds over the course of 24 hours….. But it is powered by entropy. Imbibing this drought exposes you to the chaotic effects of all probability.
We suffered very little thankfully. Though I can now materialize a scale skin that is snake-ish in nature and offers more protection than leather, and Daron has developed a strange strength enhancing mutation himself…… there are undoubtedly other effects we are unaware of. Maleks schemes are always convoluted.
After all of this….. I’m Hungry. I hope there is plenty of meat at camp……
Frozen Trek: Part VI-Final Chapter
Entry 12: 1 year and 1 month of guild duty
As written by Risk; Field Physician
Those of us who Left in the night are warned by striker that failure to communicate will result in people being sent away from the group. No one argues.
The group is somber from the news of Fudashis’ death, but at this point it seems losing comrades is a blow we’ve grown callused to.
Meeting with the Grollens we learn that the combination of a foreign Grollen and a necromancer have wrested control of the tribes form the rightful chiefs. The magus uses his arts to create zombies from the fallen grollens, a severe offense in the Grollens eyes. Should one ore preferably both of them fall then this could be rectified.
We convince the leader of the ‘rebel’ grollens to act as bait for the targets, while we pose as adventurers and mercenaries out for a reward. We also decide to use the artifact from the pilgrimage to further entice the Magus, though we only bring the box, leaving the artifact itself behind.
Striker sets out to deliver the word of our ‘prisoner’ to the false chief. It goes rather well and he agrees to meet with us.
When the false chief and the magus arrive we are in place on a bluff overlooking the meet point, ready to ambush them. There is much haggling over the reward, but it all serves as a distraction while we assault them.
Combat ensues, arrows from the rebel grollens flying, and our party wading into the middle of the false chiefs entourage. Spells fly, shades appear, and even an elf is in the fray against us. We never did learn why.
We prove victorious, though it turned out that the entire scheme was the work of the Necromancer, who had been animating the and controlling the body of the Grollen chief. It certainly explains why a Grollen tolerated his own kind being animated and turned against the Rebellion.
The body of the elf decayed quickly, the soul gem no where to be found, this disturbs the party.
The loot from the ‘bounty’ is divided between us and the rebel grollens.
There is some question as to the home of the Necromancer, but after much deliberation about the risk vs the rewards, we decide not to loot it. Many of us just want to return home.
We begin the trek back to the grollen camp, and it becomes apparent that a dream is becoming recurring the party: a dream of a dice-eyed primate shaking a dice cup and offering it to us with a grin. Everyone refused the cup so far it seems.
On the last night with the grollens, after a hefty celebration we all have the same dream, but this time together and the creature (Later identified as a chimpanzee…. some strain of monkey I guess) rolls the dice.
The dream world changes, becoming an impossible landscape, terrains from all ends of the realms merged together in a chaotic mountainous bowl.
The chimp speaks, seeming to insinuate that he is HELPING us, but he is very confusing and laughing a lot. After much deliberation it is made clear that we will have to play the creatures game if we ever wish to return to our world.
6 patrons of the realm are ailed by some form of chaos, and we are to alleviate them of it in any manner we can. Every interaction in this realm results in chaotic effect, ranging from the energies of radiance, shadow, elemental effects, entropy, chaos…. virtually any possibility in the dimensions.
The patrons have us perform errands or take on the effects of their personal chaos, each time we do so creating a chance of ‘appeasing’ them. The patrons are as followsa ducateon smith An elven entertainer a human silversmith a human barkeep a human mayor a humanoid raritys collector
We do not escape completely unscathed in appeasing any of these patrons, though some benefits are gained through purchases, trades, and odd effects of the realms. The details of this are the domain of those effected: their stories of gains and losses are their own to keep or share.
On particular gain is the master piece of the smith, dredged up from the depths of a lake AFTER we had appeased him. He declared that our willingness to return it to him for no gain was a sign that we may be the best hands to bestow it to…. though it is wrapped in mystical chains that refuse to break. The ducateon seems to be under a mystical constraint that keeps him from giving us ANY details on it, though another creature of the realm reveals to us that Malek, The ducateon, Ikrubu, Everdark, and Kalek (????) are the only ones who know the details of this weapon and its chains.
The world slowly dissipates…. and we awake in the barracks at home, the guild hall…. thousands of miles from where we has fallen asleep.
Personal Journal Of Risk (Sandvitz Latson)
Section VI of Frozen Trek- During and after the assault of the Grollen usurper
Written in Dukat with every 2nd word in Gladnorean and every 5h in Valdasean
Daron and I are sharing dreams of this ‘Chimpanzee’ nightly. I fear it is a byproduct of the entropy potion or the pact with Malek we made. We did not inform the party of this, only of the dreams themselves. I am very concerned that this is a aspect of malek that we have gathered the attentions of. We did witness others in the party accepting the dice cup…. resulting in us being pulled into the dream world or pocket dimension… whatever it was. Even Chance and Lucky are confused about this. Excited, but confused.
The Ducateon smith is Kayle Rockheart…. the crafter aspect of HIM, the lord under the mountain… and my god. He greeted me as his child and requested that I not tell the party who he was until our paths had parted. Whatever his masterpiece is, if we ever unbind it, I cannot allow it to be shamed. My oaths to my brothers and comrades may be at odds in the future.