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!