Traps and a surprise goblin

As recorded by Tillous, as the Cactus-Slayers explore the courtyard of the House of the Beast:

Ahhh the fragrant smell of burning dog/gnoll things that we’d just killed fills the air as we move in to loot the bodies. They have some not too bad gear, if a bit smelly. Composite longbows, poisoned arrows, potion of cure moderate wounds, scimitars, Leather Armour. Tefiya chugs the potion after assuming that Kiva has actually told her the truth about what it was.

minaretsHeading further into the compound, there is a set of 3 minarets with no ground level access, the western one appears to have webbing over the windows, and a couple of the party spot a big spider up there. We figure (eventually) that leaving them alone is the best option and check out the other building, where we only find some troglodyte bones so it’s onward to the main building.

Approaching the building from the west, we find a dais with columns and lots of coloured glass sparkling away in the sun. I spot something wrong with the steps and point out that there is a trap of some kind. After an initial idea to just mark off the ones that are triggers ends with an accidental triggering of the bottom step, a caltrop goes through my foot and managed to poison me. Before I get too weak I disable the trap for the others and let them go up the steps, giving a shout when I notice something and shout that there are gnolls ahead.

Qusai spots, lines one up and boom, there goes its head. While I come up the stairs to join the main group, one of them steps out and throws a javelin at Tefya. She doesn’t seem too happy about this and takes the few steps forward and power attacks its arm off.
Kiva chugs some potions and a tiny, floating Kiva jumps into the air, or a tiny Kiva floats into a jump or something. While another gnoll steps out to throw a javelin at me, another shoots and also misses, then one comes out, slips in the blood and guts of its friend, before his mate pretty much does the same.

Qusai takes out another one with one shot before I shuffle round Tefya, stabbing the one that slipped in his friends guts before Tefya stabs him in the heart. Kiva throws one of her bombs at the archer, burning him up and splashing it onto the remaining one who in anger throws his spear at Qusai, landing at his feet so he shoots the last ones head off.

I am very weak by this point with the poison and I go to take a seat while Tefya checks my foot, and the gnolls get looted.

We get ourselves moving again and after a quick check of the door, Tefya opens it and we step though into a hallway, a set of barred doors are in front of us and a corridor goes round what appears to be the central dome. There are beetles and blood all over the walls and the doors around it that are all barred from the outside. A set of stairs goes down at the far side of the area, which Kiva scouts out in her tiny levitating form. There’s bones and big gnolls as well as a barricade and a broken wall.

blobogTefya’s spidy senses aren’t really tingling so we check the door to the south and find an antechamber, with some holes in the floor that go down. Kiva goes down to check it out and it all goes really badly from there. Kiva finds a goblin and her racial hatred kicks in, there’s bombs and things go off and the others decide that they’d better try and go help. I, who really should be pretty good at wriggling through small spaces, am just too weak and it takes several attempts and a brief rest to let Qusai down before I go again. Kiva is trying to kill the goblin, it’s begging for its life and Tefya is trying to talk Kiva out of it. I’m pretty sure Qusai is as ambivalent about it as I am, he just wishes they’d keep the noise down so they don’t attract any more attention!


Arrival at the House of the Beast

Field report from Tefya, Paladin, currently in the field approaching the House of the Beast.

Apologies for the brusque nature of this report but current activities have left me little time for writing.

Following on from the previous report, we approached the passageway that we had been directed to by Lissar. At first the fire snake thing tries to tell us that the way through to him is not accessible this way but we recall his own words to him and gain access. It seems more and more likely that Lissar is not to be trusted.

Lissar’s main concern appears to be that Thrapniss is dead but the giant electrical spear we claimed off the body serves as enough proof. We make our way towards the chimney which is a promised exit route from the House of the Beast, feeding some small bits of information regarding the gnolls, a tribe of Rovagug-worshipping Troglodytes nearby.

He draws a symbol in what almost seems to be fire on a piece of parchment and advises us to look for that symbol once in the House of the Beast as it will lead us to the exit route. Once there, we can press a pressure plate which will open a door back into this cavern complex. No-one in the House of the Beast currently should know about the secret exit.

He advised us to approach the House of the Temple from the Northern, least-guarded side rather than the East to avoid detection.

Because of our general mistrust of Lissar, we decided to check out the passageway outsides. It became narrower and narrower and required a climb which some of my companions managed with easy though I struggle some myself (See: Appendix T1 regarding the unfortunate limiting properties of our armour). At the top of the passageway, it appears something weird had happened to the air and just breathing it in was enough to cause a person to pass out (something that I am glad we found out before trying to make an urgent escape).

I’m not entirely sure how Qusai resolved this as he was the only member of the party still conscious but I did wake up to a loud boom noise and a burning smell in the air. We found the remains of a halfling that Lissar had mentioned as a previous explorer, unfortunately the body seemed rather singed and his effects (a cloak and what looked a bit like a shotgun). There was a pouch of pellets that Qusai has got now for future shooting.

We found some lines on a wall that would seem to indicate that Lissar was telling the truth there and there will be a door. Tillous took some sensible steps to secure the passageway back down using ropes and climbing pitons. Even I managed to clamber down safely (See: Appendix T2 regarding climbing in armour and it’s shortfalls and sometimes long falls).

We returned to the village to great applause and a generous donation to our mission from the Mayor, some of which I returned to him for improvements to the village. We had a feast which seemed to be mostly goat, I guess vegetables don’t grow that well up here.

The next morning we set off up the mountain and after a good hike, we reached a large complex with domes and minarets and an easily visible eastern gate as well as several places where the walls have collapsed. There was no sign of any movement from inside.

Mistrusting Lissar, we decided not to approach either the North or the Eastern gate however Tillous locates a gap in the wall and sneaks through. The place inside looks like it might have once been beautiful but has now fallen into deep dis-repair. Tillous catches the sound of some barks in the distance but not the direction.

We follow Tillous steathily into the structure. Well, I attempt to follow steathily but erm (See: Appendix T3 regarding the fact that armour is really not bloody stealthy!) end up attracting some of the guards to our location. We attempt to hide behind a pillar but the gnolls seem to spot us quite easily. The attacking force is two gnolls, riding upon a pair of very large hyenas.

Our first volley of attack does not go too well! Kiva clambers up a pillar with a sensible strategy to fire bomb from above but the bomb slides out of her hand. Tillous attempts to use his short bow but it appears he has not been practicing as the arrow just kinda falls off the bow. I make a valiant attempt to hit the hyena but it hops out of the way. Qusai is the only person to actual land a shot against the hyena’s shoulder.

carrion-guard(Content warning for sensitive members of the church of Sarenrae). It appears the gnolls have come up with ‘interesting’ weapon as one of them lobbed what turned out to be a grizzled human head, hollowed out and full of stinging vermin. I can not ably describe just how disgusting it was but I did manage to hold my fortitide and not vomit everywhere but it was a challenge. The gnolls here seemed to have many of these things to use as weaponry which suggests some horrific acts have been going on.

Fortunately the battle turned in our favour with Kiva’s fire bombs striking their mark and Qusai’s bullets striking down targets with ease. My own efforts were somewhat poorer and I will resolve to practice my swordplay more than I have been.

Here ends the field report for now.

Clearing out the Salamander Lair

On we go to the something evil lurking around the corner! There’s a room with a stone desk, a stone chair and a stone bed. As we enter the room we hear a voice coming from the bed and suddenly a salamander pops into view. His name is Lissssssssaar and he comes from an elemental plane of fire, or something. He says we are important and strong and should be dealing with more important things than goats. I tend to agree.

salamanderBut he says it’s their leader who is killing the goats, named Drachniasssssss, and we have to go fight snakes to get to her. He wants to know if we are going to the house of the beasts. Sounds like a zoo. But he says gnolls live there and so does the carrion king. The salamander just wants to go home. I tend to agree. It’s hot in here and smells like goats.

This salamander just keeps talking and it’s really very boring, something about the five winds and — oh, he wants us to kill Thrapniassss. No. Drachniasssss. Thratniaaassssss. Prapniassss. Oh, fuck it, whatever. He offers to tell us about Pale Mountain. Now there’s more talking about goats. Tefya thinks we need to know what he can tell us so we try to trick him into telling us.

Now he’s sniffing Kiva suspiciously. She sniffs him back. I can smell him from over here – all acrid and brimstoney – so I don’t know why she’s doing that. Come to think of it I can smell Kiva, too. All dwarf-y.

He doesn’t believe that Kiva can open a portal for him so our trick isn’t going to work. He’s just going to stay here until his master Jarvul comes back. Whoever that is. I’ve got them all mixed up.

Tefya offers to kill the salamander lady in the central lava area if that’s what Lissssssaar wants instead. I have no idea where she got that idea from but, wait, is that who Fratniassssss is? Anyway she has a spear with electric powers that we should watch out for.

Now there’s talk about a magic scroll map or something in the House of Beasts. Which I guess is where we’re going anyway? And the map leads to treasure? Okay, I’m in. And in the bottom of the temple there is a stone you press to get back to this den. But it only works one way, it’s like a chimney.

So this salamander lady has a mate who we have to kill too. But we’ve already killed salamanders so no big deal. We head off.

Now Tefya is talking about the five winds, something with templars, and Tillous has pointed out that our paladin just agreed to assassinate two beings on the bidding of an evil creature. I’m a little worried especially since she is still kind of green slimy but she’s persuasive. We’re going to check the salamander lady out first anyway.

Phew, it stinks like sulfur here. There’s fire coming out of holes in the wall and there are two snakes sticking their heads of out the same holes. Augh here they come!

We react, and I shoot one of the snakes in its little tiny head. Nobody else is having much luck and here come more snakes. Augh!


Kiva and Tillous have got most of them over there so Tefya and I are trying to finish this one off. She gives it a huge smack and it’s just snake guts now. I shoot through Tillous’ legs at the nearest one and hit it – of course. Nice bit of shooting there if I say so myself.

Tefya just dropped Tempest on the floor and is just sort of standing there frozen. Did she suddenly turn out to be scared of snakes? Everyone else is just sort of flailing at the snakes, I don’t know, maybe their year off didn’t do them any good. At least I practiced!

I poke Tefya in the shoulder and she just falls over. What… the… I don’t even know. I shoot that snake again and it splatters Tillous’s trousers. Two down.

Three down! Tefya is still on the floor and the others are still flailing. I dunno what’s up. Maybe they had something bad for breakfast. Oh, there! Kiva finally maced the one right next to Tefya’s face. That startles me so much I miss my shot. Oops.

I make up for it and my next shot flings the snake against the wall where it bounces off onto Tefya’s head, but it’s already dead so no harm done. It takes Tefya about half a minute to wake up and boy, is she pissed.

While Tefya’s ranting about whatever, Kiva is doing something weird with the snakes, kind of bonking vials against their teeth. I may have chosen the wrong party to adventure with. At least Tillous is cool.

The next passageway is really warm and steamy, it opens up into a room with boiling mud puddles on the floor. That’s… really not something anyone needs. OH CRAP MORE SNAKES. They storm us!

We get into defensive positions, but my gun misfires, what kind of luck is that, but I clear it up and shoot again. It’s so steamy in the room that I have a hard time seeing what everyone else is doing. I hear Tefya screeching, but I don’t know what happened. Kiva is right next to me and she is doing some sort of fancy spin which does nothing to cure her inability to hit things today.

This is not a problem I have: the snake closest to me is dead. Tefya is still yelping. I move forward until I can see the snake next to her – I don’t know what her problem is – and I shoot it dead.

It seems like the other snakes were killed, I’m not sure by whom, and we hurry out before more can appear though Kiva stays behind to milk the snakes, which I don’t want to think about much at all. Unfortunately the next cavern is enormous and full of lava so I immediately have something else to think about anyway.

There are islands in the lava and a statue to the south. We have to jump between the islands to get anywhere. Given Tefya’s jumping record, Kiva decides to levitate her. We tie a rope to her ankle and toss it to Tillous and off we go! First we go to the solid land to the north, but as we’re jumping we see two salamanders rise out of the pool.

I wave to them and they swim towards us. I call out “Hello, Frapnis! — Sorry, Frapnissssssss!” She replies that she’s going to kill me so I go to shoot her but my gun misfires again! She swims out of the lava and slithers straight towards me. Her mate follows and now they’re positioned on either side of me. The party moves in to attack but I don’t have a lot of confidence in them today….

Kiva manages to tap her shoulder with the mace and it distracts her slightly while I shoot her, but the bullet goes through her with no obvious effect. She strikes at me and I forgot about that electric spear and holy shit I think she burnt my arm off!

Tefya does some paladin stuff and I feel somewhat better. Tillous does some slicing and dicing while Kiva spins uselessly again, I would smack her if my arm felt better. My next bullet does just as little damage and I step back, unfortunately she’s right after me, she is hissing angrily and misses as she swipes at me. Her mate tries the same thing and whew, he misses too.

A mighty smack from Tefya sends her mate slamming to the floor into death! Okay, she just jumped into the first position on my list of favorites. I think that’s fair. Kiva drinks something down and she starts bulking up with muscles and I think she just drooled a little. I duck down behind her since my bullets are doing nothing. Flapnisssss goes for Tefya – finally! – and I breathe a sigh of relief.

Tillous is flanking with Tefya and takes the opportunity to skewer her like a lamb sandwich. Slice! Dice! Slice! Then I hear “KIVA SMASH!” and the wee dwarf maces her in the what would be a knee though it has little effect. We seem to have Clapniss on the run now as she flails at Tefya then Tillous without hitting anything. Tefya disembowels her with a frosty Tempest and she screams as she slumps to the floor.

We collect the electric spear and I inspect the lava. There’s that metal statue on the other side so I take off my armor and start to hop across the islands. The statue is snakelike with a female torso. A very big female torso. This is a really big statue. I mean, its attributes are large. The important parts. Come on, you know what I mean. There’s a big, engraved bronze disc that I pick up and look at – it’s got gnoll writing all over it and a map on it. I can recognize this cave and there are directions from the cave to some big building.

I yell to the party whether I should pull the lever, they don’t understand but Tillous comes over with me and we decide to do it. A door opens to the south. There’s a room with alcoves, flanked by icons of jackals and humanoids snakes, the air is very thick and there seems to be a form in it. We back out and pull the lever to close the door again. I study the amazing artwork that is this statue while Tillous fetches the others.

Tefya has borrowed Kiva’s boots so she scurries over the walls to me, though Kiva has to jump and doesn’t seem to be as dextrous as usual. I point them to the lever and Kiva pulls it….

The misty object is clearer now, it has red eyes and claws, it’s floating, and Tillous moves towards it and takes a swing at it. So does Kiva – and the mace goes through it. This is going to be hard to beat with actual weapons especially since the creature turns into smoke with eyes and drifts onto Kiva. She breathes it in. It’s… gone. Oh, yuck. Tefya reaches over to her and tries to drive it out with prayer or whatever, nothing happens so I go to punch her in the stomach. The thing doesn’t reappear.

Kiva manages to cough it out and we go back to trying to smack it. I shoot it in the wing and it does actually appear injured so it wasn’t a waste of a bullet. I make sure there’s a wall behind it in case it turns into smoke again. Which it does – and goes into Kiva again – and I punch her in the stomach and see if she can cough it out again. Which she does. The thing attacks Tillous with claws and biting… I’m not entirely sure it has a mouth, but it looks like it’s biting.

I shoot and get a really great hit in, disgusting gross blood flies everywhere, but unbelievably it’s still in the air and now it’s looking at me so I duck behind Kiva. Tillous makes a quick double slice and the creature plops to the ground, no longer looking smoky.

We have a look into the alcoves, which thankfully are not filled with more of the weird creatures. There is stuff covered in rotten linen, like gemstones and things made out of human skulls and rams’ horns. In a corner niche there’s a necklace made of jet and a petrified monkey hand and a couple black beads.

We head back over, but Kiva is really having trouble making the jumps this time, she dips her heels a couple of times but no lasting damage done. Tefya uses the spider climb boots again then gives them back. I still can’t believe she wouldn’t let me borrow them to climb up to that status’s nipples.

Oh well, up the stairs and back to Lissssssaar.

For the goats!

Thought record
Being a true and accurate recording of the mind of one Kiva Ograddam, Dwarven alchemist.

<Note from archivists – once again the memory crystals appear to have several gaps. These have been filled as well as possible, and are indicated as such, however they should be treated as potentially incorrect.>

Sareneth, nice and warm. Off to Tiahama, wheee. Mountains. Wonder if we can send Tefiya into the mines, bet she’d squish the things in there, then we could take over again. She’s good at cleaning things out. Lady Almah sure has added to the guards around here, will be nice to get away. Qusai’s walking funny, I should make him a cream for that, shouldn’t get involved with harpies.

Mountains, mountains. That one’s pale mountain, over there’s the lake, why’s everyone so slow. Tefya really should take off her armour. Not sure it comes off to be honest. It must do. But I’ve never seen her without it. Oooh flowers. Oops, should be looking for gnolls.

Tillous spotted something. Oh haha, stupid human. Babboons. Right. Erk. There’s definitely something there. No more monkeys! *twitch* Oh dear. Oh dear. Qusai can shoot two at once! Tefya won’t let him, she’s mean. Oooh, shiny rock. She likes me! Waaaaaait a minute, is this a distraction? Sure is pretty. Underneath the shiiiiiiield la la la. Not sure this’ll distract them but I don’t know monkeys.

Picnic spot, um…. ooh look a weevil. Here’ll do! Tillous is putting the tent up. Nap time? Should really get out of the sun for that, silly human.

Urf, I don’t think we’ll make it to town. Now I have to sleep with them all. In the tent, not… ew. Maybe I should take first watch then I can get the best sleep. Oh Torag one of them’s snoring already. Maybe I should wake Tefya. I’m bored. Boredboredbored. Going to go kick Tefiya. Sleep time!

Tefya lights Rachel and spots tracks almost immediately, a large group of something had passed in the night and not been noticed. Something with lizard feet, how on earth could that have been missed? There’re at least 3, might be as many as 5, all heading towards Kelmarane. At least things are quiet again.

Tillous’ watch passes uneventfully.

Qusai’s watch doesn’t start well, first unable to wake up and then disbelieving about the lizard men. His inspection of the tracks reveals… yes, definitely lizard men.

Ugh, morning. Why do we even have mornings, they’re so early. Qusai’s being eaten by the tent. Is that even possible? Could burn him out, but then the others would be mad at me. Oh okay Tefya’s got it. Nope, now she’s tangled too. Tillous has got it. He just touched it and it fell apart. Wonder if he can teach me that trick.

Lots of walking, but we’re going well. This is fun! Nothing bad at all, just lots of mountains and goats! Oh, we must be here. Really? Tefya baaaed at them. And they think I’m strange! Oh hey another small person! Oh… nope, a child. Bah. It ran away from Tefya. Hahahahaha. Don’t tell them who we are. Oh great now they think we’re special and we have to go see the mayor. Like that ever ends well. At least this woman’s talking about beds. A real bed. Tefya’s getting all religious again. Booooring.

That man has crazy eyebrows! Wow! Don’t stare, don’t stare, don’t stare. He’s a bunny? Oh, maybe he means his name. I think Tefya has a headache. Something’s been killing the goats, but it’s not gnolls. Do babboons eat goats? Hey another bunny! She’s TALL!! And huggy… ew. Ick ick ick I’m covered in human. These people are seriously obsessed with goats. But if they pay I guess we could look after them for one night. Good Fart! Wow! Tefya has a new talent.

For the Goats! No, that sucks as a war cry.

We definitely need to get some goat pelts and pretend to be goats. Okay the others aren’t really up for it, but it makes the most sense! Humans. Why is Qusai flirting with the tall woman. Maybe that’s a thing with humans.

These village people dress very strangely. And that native dance… interesting. Didn’t think they’d have a navy up here, but apparently some of them are in it.

Qusai’s not sharing the hurt with us. If he gets eaten I’m not saving him! He lived!

Oh well we have a map now. This guy really loves his goats. No wonder his wife’s a bit weird.

Why don’t they want to dress us? Ugh, if they die I’m not carrying them back to town. I’m going to go get a hide. Not stealing if you pay for it, I’ll leave them a gold and they’ll be fine. To the cave! Burned patch looks like snakes. Weird. Oooh, I bet it’s a dragon! I always wanted to see a dragon. Oh wait, maybe Empanadas. No those are pies. Something like that. Big snakey fire things.

Windy up here. Definitely steam coming from the cavern though, really sulphury. Wish I could remember what those snakey things are called. Oooh it’s hot in here. Ick. Blue flames again, weird. And how is that table not burning. Wait… what was that? It wasn’t me!! What is that thing? It’s cute! His name’s… Andro Granax. He’s seneschal of the coils. Whatever that means. I think that makes him a stone Garavel. Heh. Why doesn’t he speak common. I guess when you’re made of stone you mumble a lot. Ericky Gourana didn’t like perfume. Seriously what’s with the names, they’re stranger than humans. Goat pelt! Nope. He wants a shiny thing! Tefya’s rock!! Wow, they’re eating it. That was my rock. I wonder if Tefya has any more. We’re to talk to Lesha, okay we can do that. Maybe. Oh but of course there’re more guards. Salamanders! That’s the firey things! And we need to avoid Thracia. Seriously I’m confused now.

Down the corridor, Tillous walked into a wall. Hehehehe. Oh wow, that cauldron decoration looks almost real. Stinky though. Tefya can do the talking this time, I sorted out Garavax or whatever his name was. Ooops, one of them just tried tried to stab Tefya. Guess we know they’re hostile. TILLOUS JUMPED THE CAULDRON!! Oh yeah, hit the thing. Um… missed it. Meh. That jump though! Why can’t anyone hit these things. Stoopid wriggly things. Tip the cauldron. OWOWOWOWOW Stupid idea! Heeheehee that one fell over right at Qusai’s feet. Can’t miss from there! Owie! Owie! Owie! Enough with the cauldron already! When did Tempest get frosty??

Tefya says there’s two more, but she won’t make Tempest all frosty again. Ugh too hot. We could all cluster round her sword but noooooooo. Paladins!

For the goats! Seriously, need a better war cry.

Okay fire helps fire things, you knew that… idiot. At least Qusai can kill them. OWWWWW Burny! Burny! Tillous chopped it’s head clean off!! My hero!

Something’s hissing, further down the corridor. Tefya thinks it isn’t friendly. I could have told her that! Oh Torag my neck hurts.

Tefya’s Year Out

Tefya’s Year Out

Return to Solku

The dust had barely settled on the corpse of Xulthos before Tefya started getting itchy feet. While many of the group started finding their way in the rebuild of Kelmarane, Tefya could be found sat by the grave of Kardswann, staring at the green mold that speckled her right arm.

It wasn’t a great surprise when Tefya agreed to act as a guard for the first caravan heading back to Solku for building supplies though she promised Lady Almah that she would be back within a month or two. The home journey was pretty uneventful apart from a scuffle with a hungry, desperate hyena that ended up limping away alive but more wary of armoured people.

As soon as Tefya arrived at the temple, she made her way to see Amatiri, her mentor, to both deliver her reports and to explain about the whole moldspeaker/ Kardswann/ Vardishal thing, at least as little as Tefya knew. It was rather a long meeting that ended up in the monastery library as the dawn sun rose. Sadly nothing that either of them could find shed more light on any of it.

Of course, Tefya being Tefya, she didn’t manage to be the most studious. There were just a lot of distractions, old friends dropping in for a chat and a gossip though most of them seemed to believe Kiva or Dashki must have been made up.

Tefya also stopped off at her mother’s stall, handing over 500 gold pieces from her personal adventure profits to help with running the stall. Sadly her little brother was off at another treasure finding trip but Tefya left him a note warning him to be careful and letting him know where to find her if he needed her.

In all, Tefya spent about two weeks in Solku, renewing her connection with Sarenrae, with her friends, her mentors and her family. She managed to concentrate long enough to write a brief essay about a previously unknown creature known as a Pugwampi and whether they could be of Rovagug.

Perhaps Tefya’s greatest success or failure was her somewhat accidental acquisition of Jeska. Tefya was taking a break from the whole ten minutes she managed to spend in the library, half-dozing in the gardens when she felt a thump on her body. Instinct from her recent adventure made her snatch and she ended up with a hand full of Jerboa. She released it apologetically but over the next few days, Tefya saw the little long-eared Jerboa several more times, it becoming more courageous each time.

Eventually, though the offer of several sweet treats from the kitchens, the little Jerboa that Tefya named Jeska spent a fair amount of time perched on Tefya’s shoulder. Tefya bought a small cage and a harness for it anyway, just in case things became more dangerous later on.


Jeska the Jerboa – Isn’t it awesome?!

After that, Tefya joined another caravan of building goods bound back to Kelmarane and arrived home.

Back in Kelmarane

Tefya returned back to Kelmarane happier and in need of a bath after the dusty journey. Already the progress made on the buildings was amazing and she joined the group on the bottom floor of the old Wharfmaster’s house in the simple accommodation set up there.

A lot of her days were spent with the crews working on Sarenrae’s temple, lending a strong arm where she could and helping the new high priest where she could. Her pet Jerboa quickly became a favourite amongst half the building crew and a cursed nuisance to some of the other half.

She did stop off for a few visits to Undrella, giving the harpy a polite warning that she had an eye on her. She promised to honour the original deal and she would leave Undrella alone unless anything evil started happening in Kelmarane then Undrella would be Tefya’s first point of call.

Tefya spent lots of time with Tempest though she didn’t get any further flashes of knowledge. It was one fateful afternoon working on the Church when she realised she left Tempest behind in her rooms. She was just taking time sitting out by Kardswann’s grave again when she pictured Tempest and suddenly the mold on her arm manifested even though she wasn’t holding the sword then it was like the mold around her arm leeched forward and shaped itself into Tempest. In her shock, she dropped the sword where it scattered to green dust and disappeared.

She spent the rest of the day trying to retry the feat but to no avail, eventually deciding she must have spent more time out in the sun that she thought.

It was several days before Tefya left Tempest behind again, the city beginning to hear stories of gnolls raiding, even though Kelmarane’s city boundaries were beginning to get reinforced. There was a call that someone spotted a couple of dark furred gnolls on the outskirts and Tefya charged down, belatedly realising she’d left her sword resting on a rock. Grumbling and about to turn back, Tempest once again manifested in her hand.

This time Tefya kept hold and went out to do her part in battling the stray gnolls. To her surprise, this strange green moldy Tempest acted as well as the real sword. She headed back to the church after the minor skirmish but found the mold sword vanished from her hand as she approached the place she’d left the real Tempest.

Over the course of the new few months, Tefya mastered this strange talent though she found that the mold sword would disappear after three hours no matter what she did and also that it only ever seemed to work once a day and not around the real sword itself.

She hasn’t told anyone else about this strange facet of being the moldspeaker yet apart from the new cleric of the church and a letter back to Amatiri that she hasn’t posted yet.

City life was never really the life for Tefya and fortunately it was about the time a tall gentleman made his way into the Haleen games that Tefya was about ready for the next adventure.

Kelmarane made safe again!

As recorded by Tillous, as they descend further into the catacombs underneath Kelmarane’s church of Sarenrae:

Large work chamber, 5 marble columns, low curved stairs on the far side of the room leading up to a throne type thing.

Kardswan appears to be sitting on the throne gazing at the door with his great axe in hand, waiting on us. As we ponder what is going on amongst ourselves he starts to laugh. Qusai tries to shut the door again while we figure out if he has an evil twin brother or if something else is going on. Unfortunately the door doesn’t shut and he gets to his feet wandering slowly down the stairs asking which of us is going to be his slave as the rest of us will be dead.

The group steps into the room to face Kardswan, Tillous pushes past, moving in behind some pillars when suddenly a swirl of colours appears in front of his eyes which he wants to just stare at… and does.

Tefiya runs over to Tillous and gives him a slap to bring him out of it and gets ready to smite evil on Kardswan.

Kiva dons her slippers of spider climb (Having drunk a shrink person potion earlier) and climbs the wall behind Haleen.

Haleen moves forward and brushes past one of the pillars screaming out that it’s all slimy and stuff which breaks the illusion for everyone else, showing some weird insect thing in place of Kardswan, it has lots of pincery things and it’s pretty gross looking. But she engages it anyway.

Quasai moves up and shoots at it, Phut and it’s a jam.

Feliped moves forward a little bit and starts to sing a nice courageous ditty while getting a crossbow ready.

Tillous moves in behind it and stabs, but has no real clue where to stab it.

Beast starts to beat it’s wings causing most of the party to become confused.

Tefiya power attacks and smacks it up side the chitinous bit with a strong blow.

Kiva is confused and gibbers on the wall.

Haleen is confused and wants to attack something, fortunately the creature is there.

Quasai shows no appreciable difference thanks to the confusion,

Feliped rams a crossbow bolt into his shoulder.

Tillous tries to stab it and fails, he just can’t find the right place to poke it.

The creature attacks Haleen with pincers, bite and tail. almost killing her

Tefiya, power attacks and Kiva bombs Feliped, lots of fire.

Haleen cries for her mother.

Quasai tries to shoot Feliped, but thankfully his gun is jammed and Feliped spends the rest of the action trying to put the fire out.

Tillous finally manages to find a chink in the armour somewhere and does a little bit of damage.

The beast rips out Haleen’s heart with its bite, overpowering her.

Tefiya power attacks again.

Kiva recovers and throws a bomb at it, missing.

Quasai clears his jam.

Feliped heals himself.

Tillous manages to find another chink and stabs it a little.

The creature tries to move away, but it gives the opportunity to Tillous and Tefiya to strike, he misses but Tefiya cuts it in half lifting the air of evil from the place.

Tefiya and Kiva rush to Haleen to check on her, Feliped goes over as well and despite Kiva’s demands that they fix Haleen it obviously doesn’t happen other than a promise from Feliped to write a song in her honour.

Tillous has a really really really good look round the empty room!

Quasai reloads just in case and then hacks off one of the creatures legs as a trophy to take back to Lady Alma.

Tefiya picks up the body and we make our way back to the battle market. The caravan is already there and starting to set everything up as they take over the battle market again.

Quasai tells his tale to some of the guards, before we drop Haleen off in her room before the meeting with Lady Almah.

Stuff happens for a year.

New guy in town that we meet in the battle market while watching one of the Haleen tournaments. An old cleric of Sarenrae that has come in as a traveller and asks to speak to the rulers of the town before leaving for the Inn.

Once Lady Almah has been made aware the group follow her to the Inn to meet the mysterious traveller. He brings a tale of woe from the desert that the tribes are starting to unite under the carrion king.

We agree to go and clean it up with the probable death of the carrion king as the goal.

Descending into the temple

Field Report on events of 4709, day <redacted> – Report 724-12

Filed by: Tefya
For the Attention Of: Amatiri, Temple of Sarenrae, Solku

Key Involved persons:
Qusai. See appendix A, B, F, F1, H, H1, H2
Tillous Borde. L1… Wait, I had it! I had it a minute ago!
Kiva: See appendix A, F, F2, F3, F4, G, I, J, K, Z, Z1, Z2, Z3, Z3-A, Z3-B. Also Hazardous Materials form I-445-1 and Flammable Risk Assessment F-722 and F-714

Other Involved Persons:
Lady Almah, head of this expedition. Devout follower of Saranrae.
Felliped, Bard, Companion of Oxnard
Haleen, Gladiator in the battlemarket, friend of Kiva.
Dashki, erm… see below?
Harsk, gnoll of the Three Jaws Tribe
Jester, annoying goblin from battle market

This report continues from 724-11 and is a true and accurate picture of events as noted

Part I – Gnolls on a hill

So we reached the bottom of the hill towards the monastery and began to ascend when we saw Dashki looking very friendly with a group of gnolls. My companions were able to quietly ascend the hill but unfortunately my armor so far proves somewhat hard to move quietly in. Fortunately the gnolls and Dashki were friendly to us as much as gnolls ever can. It appears there is some lingering tension in the region between the gnolls of the Three Jaws and the Kuldis gnolls who were formerly led by the fallen Templar of the Five Winds, Kardswann.

It appears that Dashki spent some part of his childhood among the gnolls and had brought them here to aid in the battle against the Kuldis. We pointed out that the Kuldis were little threat anymore and Qusai attempted to redirect them to investigate the Temple of Nethys instead but they seemed determined.

Before we could resolve the situation, the tinkling of bells was heard and at the bottom of the hill, the jester from the battle market had gathered a group of surviving gnolls and hyenas to launch an attack. The element of surprise was somewhat lost by my armor once more.

It is worth commending the Three Jaws gnolls effort in battle as they stood steadfast in attacking the Kuldis gnolls.
The same cannot be said for Dashki who hit cowardly at the back of the battlefield.

Fortunately we were easily able to finish off the gnolls though there was a mild incident around our friendly alchemist and a potion that had a strange effect. Let’s just say I got a new view on things.

The greatest danger came from one of the hyenas determinedly trying to savage our dwarf, probably owing to them being about the same height. Fortunately Kiva’s companion, Haleen, rushed to her defence and one of the friendly gnoll archers provided cover.

Dashki’s cowardly actions attracted the ire of our gunslinger who landed a mighty blow onto his nose, leaving it somewhat flatter than it was. The Three Jaws Gnolls didn’t seem to mind and in fact left Dashki behind as they left to a fortress, taking with them the hyena bodies. One of them did make a strange gesture over the body of the Kuldis gnolls: kinda squatting over its face. Perhaps some facet of gnoll culture?

Part II – The Monastery

We returned to the monastery to find it untouched by the gnolls and were swiftly escorted to see Lady Almah though the guards did seem amused by Dashki’s nasal predicament. Unfortunately when we arrived, Dashki was telling untruths to the Lady regarding his heroics in freeing Kelmarane and in defeating the remaining Kuldis gnolls.

Qusai’s temper got the better of him and he pistol-whipped the coward unconscious. I must confess that I did not attempt to stop him but in the circumstances, I felt his dishonesty was too much to bear.

With Dashki rendered unable to further disrupt things, we related the freeing of Kelmarane to Lady Almah including the unfortunate but necessary death of Kardswann and the mysterious locked door in the temple. It appears that Lady Almah had been keeping some secrets though as she knew more about the loss of Kelmarane to the gnolls that she previously admitted.

Kelmarane fell about 20 years ago when the priests of Sarenrae fell under the sway of a foul creature from the great beyond. It took control of the high priest and the people of Kelmarane turned to madness. The pactmaster soldiers tried to pacify the town and left it in ruin but were unable to get rid of the evil. They left it locked in the crypt. The pactmasters said that the evil must have waned and would be possible to defeat once and for all. Almah has a key to the door.

Various members of my party did seek a reward for cleaning the city but I believe I was successful in convincing them that good deeds are their own reward… Lady Almah did say she would offer various positions of power to us once the city is reclaimed. I am not entirely sure that is sensible given the time I have spent with my companions.

During the course of the conversation, Qusai sought sanctuary for the harpy to remain in the city. I’m not sure if a harpy has ever been redeemed but it seems like I may have the opportunity to try. Kiva’s friend, Haleen, was also given freedom to remain and Lady Almah said she would look forward to seeing Haleen set up the gladiator fights. I trust her a lot more than the harpy.

The evening passed quietly after that with Qusai and Tillous engaging in a game of ruk and a good night’s sleep.

Part III – To The Church

It was an early start in the morning with a somewhat disappointing breakfast. It appears Hadrad and Hadred are upset with us about the loss of the camels outside Kelmarane. They were also unable to provide further camels so we had a long hike back to the church, joined by both Haleen and the bard Felliped. Lady Almah entrusted me with the key and upon reaching the door and pressing the key to the plate, it swung open to reveal steps down.

The steps led to an oval room with a well in the centre and a large gong to one side. Qusai immediately banged the gong (and people think I’m not stealthy) and a door slid open to the north. There was also a grinding sound coming from the well. Before we could even head north, three fire elementals emerged from within the well though they took the shape of Sarenrae’s symbol. This suggested to me that they were once guardians of the temples, this was near confirmed as I held up my holy symbol of Sarenrae and the elementals stopped advancing.

Qusai touched one of the elementals and barely dodged away from getting burnt. Fortunately they did not attack him.

We backed out of the door towards the north and found a large room that had the funeral urn of the first priest of the temple in the centre and several niches. The fire elementals followed which was a little problematic as I had no wish to harm them but we couldn’t risk them attacking us. We managed to lead them around the room, including a bit of time when my companions explored a store room full of offerings to the temple that I’m absolutely sure none of my companions were even slightly tempted to take.

We circled back into the oval room, Tillous using his wits to jam the well mechanism. Kiva had located another holy symbol and she threw it in front of the fire guardians, causing them to halt in their tracks.

Qusai struck the gong again, much to the annoyance of Kiva, and the door shut leaving the fire guardians harmlessly kept away through the door. We then descended down into the well, most of my companions finding the climb easy but my new armor tricked me again and I almost fell, just grabbing onto a hold and clanging my elbow against the wall. Other than that, we got down without injury.

Down beneath was a rough chamber blocked with a rusty portcullis. My strength aided by that of Qusai failed me but our new companion, Haleen, seemed to lift it without much difficulty. We walked through a long chamber with several recesses occupied by several priest corpses, we were almost to the end when three of them sprung to life. I wielded Sarenrae’s energy against the undead which seemed enough to fell one of them. The other two were seemingly taken down by a shot from Qusai and a blow from Haleen.

I say seemingly because as soon as we breathed a sigh of relief, they sprang back to life. This strange event was enough to unnerve many of my companions and Tillous, Haleen and Qusai were all stricken by fear and fled from battle. The knowledge that Sarenrae stood with me I believe shielded me from the same fate. I called to them to stay back which our dwarf, unafflicted by fear, took heed of.

I managed to destroy two of the resurrected monsters by which time most of my companions had shaken off their fear and returned to battle, just in time to destroy the last of the strange corpses.

Now all that is left is to go through the last door where I believe the monster, possibly a spawn of Rovagug, lies in wait. In case we do not survive, I have hidden this record beneath a rock under the temple. If we die in battle, I hope that another Paladin of Sarenrae can come back and destroy this beast.

Cleaning up the Battle Market

The Fifteenth and the Sixteenth of Erastus, 4709 Absalom Reckoning

As written by Qusai:

After we’ve killed Kardswann and his sidekick, the hot harpy shows up and wants to go tell all the patrols that they’re dead. We’re not fast enough to stop her and Haleen is a bit confused about why we are friendly with the harpy, but since I’m together with Undrella now, it’s all good.

Beneath, the goblin starts freaking out and running around loudly. Probably all the gnolls are going to show up and attack us in about five minutes. So we search the bodies.

The flind has a Potion of Expeditious Retreat which Kiva recognizes, a masterwork breastplate, a masterwork flindbar, five daggers and a fancy-ass ring. Kardswann has a couple health potions, a breastplate, and a really great axe. Oh, it’s a *greataxe*. I think it’s a great greataxe. Haha. I’ll have to tell Undrella that one.

Tefiya says the greataxe is named Fury, which seems fairly unimaginative. At least Tempest has more letters.

We decide to check out the rest of this floor of the battle market, though I think it’s just about time to find some food and maybe rest up before Undrella comes back. There’s a swanky apartment up here with an awesome bed. I test it out for later, but it doesn’t bounce right so I look underneath and find a chest.

Ha! It’s money, lots of coins, and a pouch with four garnets. This is the most money I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Kiva says it’s about three and a half thousand in gold and the gems are worth 400 gold each. Okay, I might have seen more money before, but this is totally enough to buy a new gun.

Haleen wants us to give her 2000 of the gold. Kiva thinks this is a great idea… I’m not letting the chest out of my sight. Haleen helps me carry it, which seems like the best way to keep an eye on her, plus when she bends over like that the chest really stands out.

Anyway there’s not much else on the second floor because it overlooks the first floor mostly, so we go back downstairs. Stairs are tricky carrying stuff. We look around, there’s an empty shop, it might have been a food shop cause there’s a barrel of pickled cactus. They’re supposed to… erm… give men extra strength so I eat three, that should be enough to last me through the night. I wonder when Undrella will get back?

Next we find a strange room that Kiva gets all excited about, looks like an alchemy laboratory. Some of the stuff looks really weird, but whatever floats Kiva’s boat, I guess. There’s even a device to inject potions straight into the blood. Kiva decants them into an empty perfume vial that I give her though she spills one on the floor. I’ve never seen her so excited except maybe about Haleen. Who keeps eyeing the chest. Grrr.

Haleen points out it’s Undrella’s shop. Uhoh. Kiva is gonna be in trouble. I leave right away but I can hear Kiva rummaging around in the office. That’s so not a good idea.

Next we find a maps store and Tefiya picks up a painting of what Kelmarane used to look like, trying to get in good with Lady Alma. Who is not nearly as hot as Undrella.

We come around to the benches and OMG THERE ARE DRUMS. Kiva and I race for them, man they have a great sound, they boom out loud and echo around the whole battle market, how totally awesome is that!?!?!? Kiva and I make a great team.

Tefiya and Haleen make us stop. Whyyyyyyy. I can’t hear anything now, it was maybe a bit loud, but Tillous seems to be agitated about something. I look over the railing and the ogre is down there yelling up at us, or at least his mouth is moving. Haleen is yelling at him too, did I hear something about nuts? Kiva makes an exceedingly crass gesture so I think that was a good guess. The ogre slinks off. Wow.

Another store. Boring. Hardware. Who buys screws at a battle market? And pottery next door. Yaaaaawn.

We go downstairs and run into the little weird goblin again but he runs off screaming, well, I am pretty intimidating. Kiva just runs off after him and so does Tefiya and so does Tillous. I’m not leaving this chest unguarded so Haleen and I follow slowly.

We put the chest down and I stand on it, where I can see that Kiva has tackled the goblin and is sitting on him. Or her. I don’t know how you tell with goblins. She hits it in the head and it goes limp.

A couple people look around the corner and want to know what’s going on. They are very swear-y. The gnolls promised them business, but the business they are in is probably smuggling. Kiva is talking to them which seems like a really bad idea but I’m too far away to intervene and I’m not leaving this chest. She tells them to change business or she’ll kill them. She picks up the unconscious goblin and shakes it at them.

Suddenly they don’t want any trouble. In fact they just leave. Haleen says they were just drunkards and drug dealers, anyway.

I stand on my chest while the rest investigate the stores around the lower floor. Most of them are empty but the druggies had one, there’s also a gear store which I might check out later and a store with alchemical goodies.

We get a bear trap out of the store and are planning to use it on the ogre. I’m not entirely clear on how this is going to work but that’s because I’m over here, standing on the chest. Because Haleen.

Tillous hears something through the guard room, maybe in the dormitory hallway, so we gather in there (I have to drag the chest behind me) and discuss plans. We’re going to lure them back through the door and then kill them. It sounds like a pretty good plan to me. Tefiya sets the trap; I stand on my chest beside the door and wait.

Haleen unlocks the door and informs us of her evil plan to kick the ogre in the nuts. She opens the door and yells said plan to Hurvank, who yells back and we hear him heading for us. Whoa! He’s big and cranky-looking!

Haleen tries to stab him but misses – maybe she did it on purpose, since we’re trying to lure him into the trap. She steps backwards and here he comes….

And WHACK! He steps right into it! His scream is nearly as deafening as the drums were and it looks really disgusting. Tefiya takes a swing and misses, but I shoot his head off – it explodes, mostly all over Haleen. Huh. She looked prettier before.

As I am celebrating my amazing kill, three bugbears sneak up behind me and one barely misses my head swinging a morningstar. Yikes! Haleen steps up and slices it, good for her, Tillous comes around the corner and surprises another one. Now the bugbears are attacking them back but they don’t seem to be very good, they totally miss, until the third one lands a blow on Haleen. Ick, she really was prettier before.

Tefiya steps up beside me and I reload while pretending not to see how she totally missed hitting that bugbear, though Haleen can’t seem to hit either. Tillous at least stabs one of them though it looks like it was a glancing blow.

The fight continues, one nearly takes Tillous’s head off! Kiva attacks the one that just hit Haleen, I think she’s got a crush on her or something. Interspecies love, ew.

Tefiya finally steps up and slices off a head. Of a bugbear, notably, not one of us. There are two left and I barely miss hitting one of them, Haleen rapiers the other one straight through the heart and it collapses. Tillous is off his game and misses the bugbear, which misses him right back!

Kiva and Tefiya move up to surround the last one while I reload, it’s Haleen who hits the next time, then Tillous finishes him off with a really elegant dagger stab.

We search the bodies and find some gold, then split up to sleep. I take the guardroom and put my bell net over the chest so that that Haleen has no chance to sneak in during the night. I mean, sneak in and steal the money; she could sneak in and have some exercise, if you know what I mean.

It’s morning.

Haleen comes into my room and offers to help carry the chest. I can see right through her and I tell her no very firmly.

I offer to leave the chest in Tefiya’s room but she says we should go back to the monastery, so we go to gather the others and discuss. Haleen is a terrible, insulting, ridiculous person and Kiva is stupid for siding with her. That is all I’m saying about that.

We sort through the loot and settle for trail rations for breakfast and try to decide what to do. It’s off to the temple. At least Tefiya is carrying the chest now – she won’t let Haleen steal it. And I feel stronger than yesterday; I must have built up some muscle lugging it around.

This is a temple of Sarenrae and there are dead people laying around wearing red chitin livery of Packmaster guards. Others were clerics.

There’s a stairwell leading down but there’s a weird red glow down there. I’ve got a funny feeling about this… but down we go. There’s a heavily barred door with strange runes. I offer to shoot it open but nobody is listening to me, as always. This door is super scary.

Original art by Anthony Foti on DeviantArt

Haleen says there’s a rumor about a creepy guy in the graveyard and we all agree that has a higher priority, so we go upstairs and outside to the graveyard. There are five headstones around a status of Sarenrae and a high cleric kneeling among them and praying.

Tefiya says hi, he looks up, it’s an older guy with a smile and then his FACE MELTS OFF and he laughs and says “Welcome to my church!” And the undead huecuva lunges at Tefiya, smacking her with a claw.

Tillous gets behind him, but he already is attacking Tefiya again. I shoot him and Kiva throws a bomb somewhere that is not at the undead thing. Great. Tefiya heals us as she takes a step backwards. Haleen gives him a good one with her rapier – at least she’s not useless in a fight – and Tillous follows up with a shortsword stab.

But it follows Tefiya and slashes her again, she can’t counterattack successfully and it’s not looking great. Haleen lands a blow, and Tillous totally fucks up the huecuva with a double blow of swortshort and dagger, pretty much slicing and dicing it right in front of us. Nice.

Tefiya is worried about corruption in the area but then she tells us she’s a mold speaker. What. What. What. What. What. WHAT??

She insists on burying the undead corpse but nobody thinks that’s necessary so she starts digging it by herself. Eventually Haleen helps. When they’re finished Tefiya prays and kind of glows all halo-like, kind of pretty but also kind of worrisome, I mean who wants to run around with an actual gods-touched priest of Sarenrae? You couldn’t even burp around someone like that.

We’re going to head back to the camels and hope we can take out the rest of the gnoll patrols along the way. But the camels are dead! I guess we walk. There are gnoll tracks around the camels and they lead back towards the monastery!

We head off as fast as we can and our worst fears are realized, a bunch of gnolls are standing around looking homey with … Dashki. THAT FUCKER!

The Battle in the Market

Thought record
Being a true and accurate recording of the mind of one Kiva Ograddam, Dwarven alchemist.

<Note from archivists – while the dwarf seems to have been diligent in her use of the memory crystals this record appears to have several gaps. These have been filled as well as possible, and are indicated as such, however they should be treated as potentially incorrect.>

Goblins. It had to be goblins. Ugh. They won’t let me kill it. Need to get to the prison. Who cares about a carrion king, I need to get Haleen. Tefya tried the key. I think I like her again. Maybe. She shouldn’t have shouted at me earlier though. Ugh they want to go on. Why are they being so stupid. I’m going left. Haleen!!

<further into the battle market> Clearly things are setup for battles. Tefya and Qusai ponder going back for Kiva, but decide to bide their time at first.

The first door is open. HALEEN!! Flying hug. She’s not a prisoner? She’s paid to fight. But…. Ugh. Who cares, she needs to come with us. The others are going to be so happy. Oh maybe not Qusai. I should warn her. Weird, creepy, and strange. Is that the best way to descibe them? Not sure. Can we not play twenty questions. Why don’t they trust her. She’s mine. Qusai can’t have her. See! I told them it was a trap! ugh they weren’t listening, as usual. Why is Qusai trying to hit on her! Stoppit! Mine!

Qusai is really obsessed with breasts. The comment about his mother might have been mean but… at least he’s being honest with her. Unlike Tefya. Maybe I don’t like her after all. Haleen’s going to help us! HalleenHalleenHaaaaaaaaalleen! Mine!

Kardswann is upstairs somewhere with some gnoll and the harpy. That harpy. I still don’t trust that harpy, she’s going to try to kill us. Haleen says we need to kill the rest of the gnolls. I agree. Of course I do. She’s always right. An ogre hurt her, it needs to die. Him and his bugbears.

Tefya’s going to sneak. Haaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha. At least some of the fighters are armoured she might fit in. Qusai wants to be a gladiator. He’d die, he’s not like Haleen. She made Qusai shut up! She’s so perfect.

We need to be quiet. Hah, that’ll be a first. Ugh bugbears. They should die just because they’re bugbears. Wait, there’s a bar? The keys don’t fit, damn. We’re going to kill things. Haleen in action again. Maybe this time /I/ can save /her/.

Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky, CLANG! Teifyaaaaaa! Ugh, she’s speaking to the ogre. Wow she… actually did it. Maybe she’s not all bad. Then again ogres are stupid.

We’re going on a gnoll hunt.
Going on a gnoll hunt.
Going to kill a greasy one.
A big and ugly greasy one.
Dead gnoll.
Dead gnolls.
They’re all dead.

Qusai! Stop shooting. Ugh, that human. He has no sense.

At least Tillous can hit things quietly. Two of them gone.

Can a table be cursed? Maybe they made it out of pugwampi skin!

Torag, that hurts! Haleeeeeee….

<In the room> Qusai, in a sudden inexplicable fit of niceness, manages to stabilise Kiva and administer a healing potion. Haleen goes berserk and manages to jump on the table and smashes the gnoll. Tefya takes a massive hit from a gnoll but stays standing. The gnoll barks at Haleen and attacks. Qusai shoots again, but it’s Haleen that kills it. The last one falls to Tefya’s blade.

Oh Torag that was awful. Where did I put my potions. Ew, that must’ve been one of Zastoran’s it tasted awful. He needs to learn to put in some mint or some fruit or something. It helps.

Wow the Lions had some nice things. Ours now!

Can’t rest, have to kill things. So sleepy. Wand things, magic things, I don’t care. Can’t we leave? Can’t leave, gnolls will kill us. Ugh. Tillous found some foreign coins. Devil coins.

Magic stuff. Okay it’s not all bad. Upstairs now. Ugh, still hurt from that spear. Stupid gnolls. Wish we’d found something that made madam clankypants quiet, she’s going to let everyone know we’re here! Was that a door? Oh <content removed by archivists> where’s Tillous gone. Oh he was killing things, that’s okay then. Ugh, another table. Not going to jump on this one. Well maybe. If I’m careful. Then I can kick one! Oooh maybe I should go on the table.

Haleen’s gone rushing in. No! Need to help her, she can’t run off like that! Dead gnolls everywhere. Why can’t we do that all the time? Are those pugwampi ears? On a necklace? Ewwwww.

Tillous is going up the stairs, he knows how to not clank. Might not come back though. Oh. He came back. Okay then.

Bomb time!! Ewwww, gnolls stink when you burn them. Haleen got one! The dream team back together at last! Tefya and Tillous found something, guess it must be important if she wrapped it in a blanket but someone should tell her it stinks. Maybe she can borrow some of Qusai’s cologne.

It’s kinda pretty up here.

Tefya seems to think we’ve forgotten we’re here to kill things. Paladins. They’re weird. She’s counting things. Well whatever keeps her happy.

Where did I put that potion of enlarge person? Should I tell her first? Meh. She’ll figure it out.

Chaaaaaaaarge! But not too quickly.

Tillous dropped his sword. Humans!

“Kardswann, you are a disgrace to the order of the five winds and I, Vardishal, am here to stop you.”

What? Vardishal? Tefiya’s gone mad! And she never drank the potion. Paladins! You can’t trust ’em.

Where’d Haleen go? Dammit. I need that potion back. Bomb to the FACE! He cannot hurt her! MINE!

Tefya’s going off again about him knowing her and that he needs to repent. She’s lost it. Drink the damn potion and hit him already! Stop talking at him.

Beware Haleen for she is small and mighty!

The gnoll! Oops, forgot the gnoll. Bomb to the face. Ewwww, he stinks worse than the others.

Tefya’s still talking. Just hit him!!

Qusai! He’s annoying but he’s mine! No shoving him off the balcony!

Tefya’s talking agaaaaain. Ugh. Wait… he’s shaking? He’s scared of her? We need to kill who? Under the what? Oh, he wants us to kill /him/, we can do that.

Tillous killed the gnoll. Well, good for him, I killed 4 with one bomb.

Tefya killed Kardswann. Too much talking. Djinn are weird.

Approaching the Battle Market

The Fifteenth of Erastus, 4709 Absalom Reckoning

As written by Tillous Borde

Qusai gets his cologne out and splashes a bit on ready for his meeting with the Harpy, Tefiya gives him a despairing look, Qusai glances back knowingly and the conversation with Felliped ends up with him coining the title of his next top 10 hit “I’ll make her mine, despite the slime.” Tefiya doesn’t seem quite so impressed with Felliped’s questions though.

A quick discussion on etiquette results in Qusai knocking on the door before going in to see the Harpy. Kiva wanders off investigating the cauldrons and stuff while Qusai hands over the mamba head. Qusai is left to do the talking and Tefiya takes the key before Qusai can.

Undrella tells us that there are 2 more patrols out in the hinterlands trying to find us. The Schir demon is still patrolling the town, and to try and take it by surprise so that we don’t get gored by it, Cold Iron works better on them. Further up there is a guardhouse with a gnoll and his hyena pack, he has a warning horn that he can summon aid from the battle market.

Kardswann usually has a Flind (Big nasty gnoll) with him at all times he usually stays in the upper levels of the battlemarket. He’s a large man with a big.. axe.

There’s a discussion about whether or not we should go back and warn the camp about the two patrols hunting them. In the end we send Feliped back to the camp with a spare waterskin and Qusai’s camels.

The Party makes their way to where they found the dire boar and peer along the road that curls along the base of the hillside. Tillous takes up a scouting position and fails to hear anything until they get right up towards the corner. Hearing what sounds like stomping something crashes and a cloud of dust rises up, everyone scatters for cover and we hear a voice saying “4 humans”.


The Schir Demon, or was it Tit?

Kiva is rooting around in her backpack and doesn’t notice it first that the demon has jumped up and landed on top of the building that her and Qusai are hiding at the base of.
Tillous gets up and wanders forward asking “I hear you’ve got some openings for slavers or gladiators?”
Qusai tries to shoot it in the face, hits and grazes it.
Tefiya says “That we are here to consider business on the behalf of our lady” It was really very convincing.
Kiva steps beside Tefiya,
The Tit Demon jumps down and smacks Qusai
Tillous steps round behind it and slices into it with his short sword.
Qusai steps back and reloads
Tefiya steps into the place where Qusai used to be and tries to punch it.
Kiva hesitates a moment and them throws a bomb into it’s face, right into it’s face, but it looks like the fire is fading out on it’s skin.
The Tit demon turns and gores Tillous who has really hurt it apparently it gets him in the stomach.
Tillous slices it up again
Qusai takes a step to the side, he shoots and misses everyone though something is up with the musket.
Tefiya hits it with Tempest and it doesn’t seem to do too much.
Kiva yells and charges in and tries to smack it with her mace.. and misses
The Tit demon looks panicked and it screeches in it’s own tongue, probably spellcasting.
Tillous is having none of that and slices it again, doing his best to bewilder it, successfully apparently and he interrupts the casting.
Qusai pistol whips the demon with his musket.
Tefiya tries to hit it again and misses.
Kiva smacks it in the nuts and it goes down in a bleating heap, Tillous and Qusai both taking a step away from Kiva with a wince.

Hearing gnolls howling in the distance, the group run up the hill round the corner into the cover of the buildings and pause for breath, checking up the road there doesn’t seem to be anything coming so the party start to make their way along the road. Making it to the end of the road we find the end of the cover and no more buildings. Tillous picks the lock on the door of the last building, an old trade office. They find a few things.

Small pouch, old coinage 46gp 24sp 75cp
Fancy hourglass, gold inlay.
Potion of detect secret doors
Potion of dissolving adhesive (3 uses)

kelmaraneDeciding on a plan of action we decide to just brass neck it and wander up towards the gatehouse, claiming to be smugglers to keep the gnoll distracted while Kiva and her shrink person potion sneak away and up to the door of the gatehouse with a little help from Qusai and his swagger. An unwitting comment regarding slaves and Kiva reacts badly and she batters the door down. The gnoll runs down the stairs shouting at the Hyenas which start to attack.

Kiva throws a bomb at the old ballistae and sets it alight.
Qusai, Tefiya and the Hyenas all run towards each other, Tefiya calling a prayer as she goes. Tillous runs towards the wall, hoping he can climb it and get in the way before the gnoll gets to the statue.

Qusai shoots a Hyena
Tillous fails to find a way up the wall.
Kiva hits the same Hyena and breaks it’s muzzle.
The Hyena’s try and attack the women, one of them breaking a tooth on Tefiya’s armour.
Tefiya takes her longsword in two hands and beheads one of the Hyena’s in one move.
Tillous makes a start up the wall.
Kiva misses a Hyena with her tiny mace.
Tefiya breaks away in an attempt to run up the stairs for the gnoll but the hyena takes the opportunity to jump on her back and knock her down.
Qusai shoots and hits
Tillous makes it to the bridge
Kiva Misses,
Tefiya is shaking of the hyena and getting to her feet she takes another double handed grip and slices the Hyena in half.
Qusai shoots and kills
Tillous still can’t get up to the horn on the statute and falls on his arse instead.
The others having finished off the Hyena’s run up the stairs to confront the gnoll who seems surprised that the Hyena’s didn’t work!
Qusai stays to guard the door
The gnoll switches weapons
Tillous eventually gets up onto the statue,
Kiva hits the gnoll
Tefiya slices the gnoll with her new found style, taking it’s arm off.

With the gnoll disarmed, Tillous removes his scarf and disables the horn. the others search the building, but it’s amazingly clear of anything other than a pile of stinking meat, hopefully food for the Hyenas. Kiva is all for going on but wont say anything more about the woman we know to be in the cells.

We decide to carry on regardless and see what happens so with Tefiya scruffed up a bit we saunter off, somewhere off to the south there is another intact building, it might be a temple of Sarenrae but the Paladin has no clue. Opposite the entrance to the battlemarket is what is likely to be the old Packmaster palace but there are no doors on this side of the building.

30e8cdb650913568620dc95241cb2660On entering the battlemarket we are greeted by a goblin jester who tells us to come and speak to “The voice of the Carrion king”