Rise of the Forgotten Kings

Session 57
Blue Balls!

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As the crowd finishes gasping at the dramatic death of Vlad, Team Trust springs into action by hiding under tables, running out the door, and doing a bunch of Knowledge checks. Yu’in manages to fire off a subtle little lightning spell which (once again) disintegrates Mad Moodeey, while Jil and Rayne stand behind a barrier created by Count Varick, who promptly turns into a bat and attacks the newcomers. The witches, meanwhile, go mostly into hiding as well.

Led by Sebastian, this group (known as the Dark Hunters) represents the remaining living creatures in Barovia, who feel that their lands have been overrun by the forces of the undead and have made it their mission to destroy Varick.

The fight rages on while Team Trust hangs back, until suddenly, Sebastian leaps up and puts a sword to Jil’s throat, allowing for the safe egress of his men and himself. In pursuit go Itto and Yu’in, the former of whom is slipped a map by Sebastian himself with a whisper of “We could use a Paladin like you”. The map leads to the Nightmare Spire, home base of the Dark Hunters. Slink and Gayher go to Tser Camp to discuss matters with Madame Eva and the witches, and Rayne and Jil go upstairs with the Count, where Jil inadvertently gives away the location of the Dark Hunters (and her friends). Varick goes in pursuit to destroy them.

Oh, and it should be noted that Jil, during the heat of battle, allowed Varick to bite her. She isn’t full vampire yet, but she may be beginning the transition…

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Session 56
The Black Ball (or, Vlad the Impaler'ed)

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After meeting with Valicia of the Lycanthrope Pack, Rayne and Yu’in learn that they would let Rayne join their ranks if she went on missions for them, and went through a sort of “initiation”, which was a little vague at best. While in Barovia, she would also be better suited to talk with their kind in the meantime.

Madame Eva summons her two hag sisters (a water hag and a half-hag; she herself is a normal hag), and Slink escorts them all to the Ball. One of the hags in particular seems very focused on the exact nature of how and why she was summoned and what the hell is going on…which makes sense, sort of.

Team Trust (minus Jil) arrives at the Count’s Ball, and Slink tells them all to play it cool and not start a fight. Not like they have ever done anything like that ever. They do, however, notice a strange pink light emanating from the top of Crow’s Keep (or wherever the ball is being held). Much merriment is had…until Mad Moodey shows up and attempts to instigate a fight with Rayne, who promptly stabs out his Archie-Eye. She is quickly escorted out, but Jil eventually demands that the Count let her back in (which he does).

Jil and Varick descend the steps majestically, and Varick announces that there is to be a dance-off, in the tradition of his ancestors, and the winner will be allowed to join him and Jil (his love) to the top of the tower to see the source of aforementioned pink light. After a heated dance contest, Rayne is declared the winner somehow, and the trio journeys to the top.

Once there, the Count reveals his new “weapon”/invention: The Dayheart, a heart-shaped pink crystal which will allow his vampiric kin to roam free, night or day. Its power will grow, and allow Varick to create a vampire army that will, with Jil by his side, take over all of Tarragonia. This is, it should go without saying (yet somehow needs to be said), kind of a big deal.

Just as Jil and Rayne are recovering from this new info, a fight breaks out downstairs (because of COURSE it does!) and Vlad is impaled by a strange skeletal figure, sort of a " Victorian Pirate ". Several other party-goers remove disguises to reveal that they are part of his crew.

Will Team Trust aid the Count in throwing out these party crashers and help him bring his Army of Light-and-Darkness to the four corners of Tarragonia? Or will they turn on the Count and maybe try NOT to encapsulate the world in 5,000 years of horror and doom? Hey, the Lesser of the Two Evils, right Itto?! Surely they’ll do the right thing, because they always do!

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Session 55
Three! Three Terrible Attempts at Diplomacy! Ah! Ah! Ah!

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After Itto vanishes into the Tree of Revelations or whatever, Team Trust discusses their next steps. Upon receiving some sagely advice from Old Neb Obi, they decide that none of the three factions of Barovia are truly virtuous, but all have their own selfish motives that will never allow them to work together.

Out of the mist appears Quinn, fresh from rescuing Archie and the Everyman from the clutches of Blackheart (rumored to be Rayne’s long-lost brother Crestus) at his stronghold which Quinn says is called The Fist, AKA the Church of Hextor. Also imprisoned were Lutervoc, a human woman calling for Itto (presumed to be his love Ellay), and finally: Prince Rhegan, brother to King Rhegar! However, this mission will have to wait…

Finally, Itto emerges from the Tree, his Paladin beliefs shaken to the core, and the group decides to pay a visit to each of the three Barovian groups and try to gather information and perhaps get in the inner circles of the three warring factions. Rayne and Yu’in (poorly disguised as a werewolf) travel to Valicia the werewolf’s cave; Slink and Gayher go to the Tser Camp where Madame Eva resides; Jil accepts her vampiric invitation to visit Count Varick von Strake (followed by an invisible Quinn and a super-inconspicuous Itto for backup).

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Rayne make it to Valicia’s cave, and are greeted by the ferocious Pack, who quickly see through Yu’in’s disguise and, despite some magical suggestion on his part, refuse to let them see Valicia unless they help on a “Bat Hunt” to murder some vampires. It seems the wolves are interested mainly in roaming the lands free. Rayne refuses, recalling Jil’s warning not to hurt any of von Strake’s minions, and after a brief scuffle, the beaten Lycanthropes agree to bring Rayne to see their leader…

Meanwhile, Gayher gets Slink into the Tser Camp, a New Orleans-style orgy-fest which Slink decides is the best place ever. They make their way into the Madame Eva’s tent, where she reads Slink’s fortune and tells him that he must confront his corrupt father Scroopel in the Gnome Kingdom, who is somehow in league with the Black Dragon! Only by doing this will he be able to make peace with his lost love Myst and perhaps gain the love of Lady Loraaga. Madame Eva further says that she had been meeting with Mad Moodey to try and overthrow Varick, but that Moodeey is nothing more than a pawn in her schemes to rule Barovia for the magical power pervading the land.

Finally, Jil follows a vampiric agent of Varick’s (Kavin the Grim) to the Crow’s Keep. Quinn and Itto are discovered and are forced to slay several vampires before finding their way to the Keep. Jil enters the Keep and meets Vlad, who poses as the Count, and asks her if she would be able to put aside her own vengeance in order to serve the “greater good”. She says yes, and Vlad reveals that he is not the true Count, whereupon the true von Strake emerges. He is a handsome man, who explains to Jil that they knew each other in a former life.

5,000 years ago, the von Strake family ruled Barovia (long before the Halflings settled the land), and Varick’s older brother Roderick was set to marry Jileena (the past life of Jilqwyn). However, his younger brother (the current count) was in love with her, and strangled his brother on his wedding day, tossing him off a cliff. In her grief, Jileena jumped off the same cliff and died. Riddled with guilt, Varick sought the help of Madame Eva, who informed him that his love would return but he would be long dead. Not liking her answer, he had her killed (although she seems to be very much alive) and burned her home, the Nightmare Spire, to ashes.. He fled Barovia in grief (during which time the Halflings settled the land) and sold his soul to give him eternal life as a vampire. He then waited for 5,000 years, re-conquering his family’s former homeland and turning it into a land of undead, in preparation for the eventual return of his long-lost love.

Jil, seeing the opportunity to use Varick’s love to save the world and her friends, agrees to join with the Count if he will go along with what she wants. He appears to agree, but just as they are about to seal the pact with a super-sexy kiss, Quinn and Itto barge in like morons and start beating people up. Varick is about to Force-choke them out until Jil screams at him to stop. He obeys, and allows the two gate-crashers to enter his abode. Pretty nice guy.

Before he retires for the day, Varick tells Jil that he would like to have a ball this evening in honor of her return. When Jil asks if Moodey will be in attendance, Varick assures her that there will be no violence tolerated at the ball and that Moodey will have to be on his best behavior or will be removed immediately. Jil consents, and requests that invitations to the ball and the castle be sent to her friends, which the Count sends off with some of his minions.

Having now infiltrated and met with the leaders of the three camps, who will Team Trust decide to ally with? Will they even be able to agree amongst themselves?? And if so, how will they do away with the other two groups and restore “peace” to this war-ravaged land? And what the hell about Lute and the other prisoners of The Fist?? And most importantly, will Jil and the Count EVER get to bone in the night? Get it? Bone? Like Bone Knight?

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Session 54
It Was A Graveyard Smash!

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Awaking after their holiday revelry, Team Trust discovers a magical golden apple in a wrapped present box for each of them, courtesy of their new friends. Biting into each one, they are endowed with extra power!

Also present (pun intended) is Rayne, who had returned with Wolf after tracking him to the lair of the were-crocs. Somehow, they had all been massacred, making her job of rescuing him much easier.

After Slink contacts his Red Knives contact Badger, the group decides that the best course of action is to head East to the old Halfling region, now a veritable graveyard. Badger tells Slink that they had sent a Halfling to the realm years ago, but he had disappeared…On the way, they camp for the night and hash out some of their issues, attempting to reestablish a sense of trust and understanding in order to fight for the greater good. The next day, they stumble upon the old Goblin Cave from months back, which is now a metal mining facility of Dracarys. The group sabotages the operations by murdering a bunch of dragon shaman and Gelid City guards before moving on.

A week of traveling leads the party to Barovia, the newly-renamed kingdom of the undead, and eventually to Barrow Village, former main town of the Halflings. Upon entering, they are met with a strange fog, which clouds their senses. Only Jilqwyn seems able to stave off its effects.

Barrow Village is a sad, desolate village populated by ghouls, lycanthropes, vampires, witches, skeletons, and zombies. They seem intrigued by Team Trust entering their mists, but do not engage the group…save for a lone mindless skeleton who delivers an invitation to Jil before disintegrating. The letter, which Jil does not share right away, is from the leader of these lands: Count Varick von Strake.

Eventually, Team Trust find themselves at the only place with any “life” to it: an inn with an assortment of undead and monstrous creatures. Some fact-finding reveals that the Count lives in the nearby Crow’s Keep, while one of his underlings, the Woodwitch named Eva (and former ruler of these lands), is holed up at the Tser Camp in the swamps. Rayne goes off to talk to a group of lycanthropes, who invite her along on a “hunt” against some vampires, their hated enemies. It would appear that the Count’s vampire army is widely disliked by both the witches (who live in the Tser Camp) and the lycanthropes (led by Valicia), although neither group gets along with the other. This has created a subtle three-way “cold war” between the groups all vying for power, but not openly.

Alone in a corner of the tavern is a small figure, who eventually reveals himself to be the Red Knives Halfling spy, Gayher Thanyu. Having witnessed the demise of his people at the hands of the undead army, yet unable to escape the region or even send word to the Red Knives due to the inescapable fog, Gayher has been living a sad existence in Barrow Village, working under Eva the Woodwitch, who he confirms can see the future and locate people, and who herself has been secretly meeting with Mad Moodeey to overthrow the Count. It is then that Team Trust realizes that they must meet with her in order to garner the whereabouts of their missing party member Lutervoc. Gayher announces a plan to attempt to pit the witches and lycanthropes against one another, although the Team is reticent to get involved in the action since Jil was told “not to harm any of the creatures in the Count’s realm”.

Following Gayher to a swampy marsh that night, the team meets the last of the Paladins of Heironeous (besides Itto), named Old Neb Obi. This originally-named character has been living in isolation for years, having watched his order be betrayed by Dracarys’ Finger known as Blackheart, who he confirms was once a Paladin of Good and was seduced by the Dark Side of the F…aith. Itto and Rayne worry that this may in fact be Crestus, and Itto vows to (eventually) investigate the Church of Hextor and reveal the traitor.

Resting for the night while Itto takes a mysterious journey into a Cave (er, tree) of Insight, Team Trust must now decide who in this odd land of monsters they can trust, and how they can find Lutervoc and defeat Roken once and for all…

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Session 53
Kill It With Kindness: A Very Special Holiday Adventure

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Having escaped the siege of the Elven Kingdom at the hands of Dracarys’ army, Team Trust was beaten, broken, and defeated: they had lost the three dragon eggs they had acquired, and Wolf and Lutervoc were both kidnapped by different forces. They had been decimated by Dracarys despite their best efforts, and had failed to save the Elves. Then, upon arriving at Archie’s camp, they discovered a battle that had left the camp in ruin, the Everymen and Archie missing. Itto was on the verge of leaving the team for good, and Rayne was adamant about going off on her own to find Wolf. Even Quinn was distraught, and left on his own to find Archie. Team Trust, it seemed, had been broken.

As the attempted to salvage what was left of their mission, a terrible blizzard began to take over the area. Squirm, who had defected from Dracarys and then been rescued by Team Trust, vanished before he could give them any information. Escaping into a magical dimension to hide from the storm, the team centered around the one lead they had remaining: the mysterious new Finger of Dracarys who they had captured.

Pulling off the stranger’s cloak revealed a blue-colored half-Orc hybrid of sorts. His cold yellow eyes sparkled with electricity and glared at Itto, claiming that the Paladin had murdered his mother. Jil noticed the tattoo of Cas on his neck, and attempted to reason with him. Eventually, the boy broke down and confessed that he was Malavar: the love-spawn of Itto and the Blue Dragon (who had disguised herself as Itto’s long-dead love Ellay and convinced him to do the “Blue Waffle Shuffle”). Before more could be learned, the boy escaped into the blaring winds of winter.

Meanwhile, Yu’in transported Rayne back to the Elven jungles to find Wolf (on the contingency that she would signal them when she was close to the were-croc hideout), and noticed that the snow was falling there as well. It seemed that the storm was a powerful spell, meant to bring about a new Ice Age and freeze the world. However, it was unclear what the origin of the spell was.

Hearing a strange sound and seeing a red light in the distance, Team Trust knew that they had to keep moving forward, as losing any more time would surely prove disastrous. They trudged through the snow, barely able to see, until they came upon a magical winter village which Jil identified as being on the Water Plane.

Entering into a strange workshop run by magical gnome-elves with pointy hats, they were directed to the shop-master Bernard, who informed them that the blizzard was caused by Old Snowbeard, an avatar of Pelor who lived in an ice mountain and, in the past, had created a yearly snowfall which would heal all Good children. The gnome-elves, on their end, would read the minds of all Good children and create gifts for them all, which would be delivered to every Good child in the land. This year, however, it seemed the snow was proving harmful, and the gnome-elves suspected that Snowbeard was no longer trying to heal, but to hurt.

Team Trust agreed to help, and the gnome-elves stated that they could provide directions to Snowbeard’s mountain, in return for their help in fixing the magical “Present Producer”, which was not working, The team united at last, working together to fix the machine, and were soon on their way to the mountain. They defeated a pack of Sabre-toothed Tigers, and soon found themselves at the base of the mountain, witnessing a battle between an Evil Dire Polar Bear, and a Good Woolly Mammoth. Even though the mammoth would have yielded quite a bit of money on the black market, Slink decided to do the right thing and kill the bear. Itto then healed the mammoth, who broke through the mountain for them and pointed them up the stairs to Snowbeard’s throne room.

Upon arriving in the room, Snowbeard arrived and announced that all the love and goodness had been stolen from the world, and he was now on a mission to freeze the planet and wipe out all life, so that it could begin anew. Some tearful pleading on Itto’s end about hope and goodness and all that Christmas-y garbage actually managed to convince the withered old man to give Team Trust a shot: should they complete his three trials, he would consider ending the eternal winter.

The first trial saw Jil trapped in a wall of snow. Thinking quickly, Slink threw an orb with fire inside it at the wall, freeing her. The second room was shrouded in blackness, and only by “identifying their friends” through a series of riddles could the team progress. In the final trial, the team had to match themselves up on a metaphorical chessboard against Dracarys’ Fingers. It was through this (and process of elimination) that it was discovered that Rayne was meant to be match with Blackheart…leading the team to wonder if, perhaps, he was actually Rayne’s long-lost brother (and Itto’s adoptive Paladin brother) Crestus Sunwhisper.

After surviving the trials and learning the true meaning of friendship and trust or something lame like that, the group was confronted by Old Snowbeard, who said that he still thought that the world was irredeemable. He sent a giant snow-yeti monster against the group, and despite their best attacks, they were unable to hurt it. In fact, anger and violence seemed only to make the monster stronger. It was then realized that the only way to defeat the beast was with the Power of Love. So they sang some “Huey Lewis and the News” at it and hugged it a bunch, and the monster became gentle and loving.

Seeing these acts of kindness, Old Snowbeard too transformed back into his jolly old self and proclaimed that if this shifty team could learn to love, perhaps the world could too. He then ended the winter and returned Team Trust back to the Material Plane, but not before they had a good old holiday party to celebrate the holidays!

…But while this distraction may have temporarily rekindled some of the feelings of trust amongst the team, their greatest obstacles still loomed threateningly overhead. Would Rayne be able to find and save Wolf? Would the group locate Archie? And what of Lute and the dragon eggs, who were in the clutches of Roken somewhere unknown? With their list of allies growing ever thinner, it seemed the only ones the heroes could rely on…was each other.

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Session 52
Ninjas and Robots and Demi-Gods...Oh My!

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Our adventurers flashback to the fall of Arashne. As before, they manage to free one of the ostensibly good metallic dragons; in this case the Bronze dragon, who grants all present electrical powers.

Snap back to reality. Ope, here comes tragedy.

Having freed Itto, our heroes flee the elven tree house. Before things get interesting, Hannah-Bar-Bear-A flees into the forest, disturbed at the sight of the Half-Orc Paladin.

And… now we’re caught up…

Victus and his ninjas surround the group and inform them that he’s the real lobes of the elven kingdom and that any deal they made to free Itto was invalid. Itto claims that their half-century long feud should come to an end, but his words only inspire Nick-tus to make an example of him in single combat. The battle is a stalemate: Victus lays blow after blow on Itto, with each draining him of vitality, but Itto gives as good as he takes despite being unprotected and exposed. The two are left battered and weak when Team Trust steps in, resulting in a brawl with the ninja horde. Which is when the humans attack.

Team Trust manages pretty well to put up a resistance and it looks like things might go their way until Roken and a not dead Moodey show up. Also, Dracarys. Can’t forget about him. Roken steals away the bag of holding that housed the dragon eggs. Lute attempts to stop him, but Roken teleports away, taking Lute with him. The others do even worse, barely managing to escape with their lives from Dracarys, leaving the elven kingdom to suffer the demigod’s wrath.

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Session 51
The One Where We All Fight

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Sadly, this is where Bal’Quinn parts way with the lame-a-zoid hot losers of Team Trust.

Emerging from the waters of wondrous power, Bal’Quinn suddenly was looking just as tight as Keiran. After making yet one more plea for Team Trust to wake up and join the winning side with Arashne, they continued to ignore reason and decided to mercilessly attack their former ally and the sovereign ruler of the land that they were in.

Terrorism? Yeah, we’ll call it terrorism.

Anyway, Team Trust, despite not having been attacked or provoked, attempts to murder these people. Slink uses some sort of meta-power to alter time and prepare different actions once his original plan failed, allowing him to deliver grievous blows against his former ally who had yet to do anything hostile. The rest of the team joins in on the violence until Bal’Quinn mercifully knocks out Quinn and teleports Rayne out of the fray, sparing her from further harm. However, eventually the bloodthirsty nature of Team Trust led to Bal’Quinn being stabbed repeatedly, burned until he passed out, and then irradiated with negative energy until his heart gave out.

With her acolytes slain, Arashne awoke and engaged the foreign terrorists. It would have gone pretty bad for them, you know since they were fighting a huge green dragon, but a strange girl rushed into the middle of the fray, apparently on the run. When the green dragon clearly became a threat to her, this girl transformed into some kind of War Beast, a giant bear that slashed deeply into the dragon. With the dragon occupied, Team Trust was able to turn the tide and slay the green dragon.

Team Trust looted the area and found the Copper Dragon Egg, then returned Keiran to the Elf Kingdom along with the desecrated corpse of their fallen ally. They were able to revive Bal’Quinn, who went off with Keiran to work out. They also were able to free Itto, who was initially reluctant to end his prison sentence without an official pardon.

Before being able to leave to find the missing Wolf and continue with their quest, they were stopped by the front gates by Victus, who announced them as freeing the fugitive Itto and sent his ninja-elves against the heroes. He also said that Madame Zow “had not survived the night”.

Oh, and Jil was totally making “fuck me” eyes with Keiran. Hot.

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SESSION 50!!!!!
Extradimensional Napping

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After scouring the secret room to find the bones of a high priest of Arashe and some tree-scarecrows, Team Trust decided to summon the mysterious dungeon-salesman Murk, who sold them some awesome scrolls in exchange for some gold and….nothing else.

Using one of Murk’s newfound scroll spells, Yu’in created a magic rope which, when climbed, transported our heroes into another dimension where they very excitingly…went to sleep. Healed and rested, they set back out to the next main room, to discover 8 masks in a circle, which Slink ascertained would shoot off arrows if not activated in the proper order.

After a lot of knowledge checks and arguing and failed attempts, the group once again climbed into another dimension and let Jil’s were-croc-zombies take the heat and figure out the order. Their sacrifice was not in vain, however, as they were able to uncover the secret. The group continued on to the final door…

…which led into an outdoor forest glade, complete with a bubbling acidic pool with a dragon-ish-shaped tree jutting out (HMMMM). Suddenly, from the pool, a figure emerged, which Bal’Quinn quickly recognized as his long-lost pal, the missing elf prince Kieran Cortellos. Except that the prince had undergone a change…he was looking dope as hell, much like the other followers of Arashe: The “Awakened”.

Despite Team Trust’s flawed arguments, Kieran persuaded Bal’quinn to pull a “Team Trust” on his new “allies” and undergo his own Awakening, submerging into the bubbling pit and coming out looking even more amazing than before, if that’s even possible. The rest of the group foolishly refused, coming to the boneheaded conclusion that this was a trick.

Suddenly, as if in the wind all around them, a female voice announced that they were soon to meet their doom, and the dragon-shaped tree began to move and come to life…

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Tales of Itto 5 The Bond

The light burned. With that, an instant froze and was permanently etched into Itto’s mind.

Itto’s feet dug into the sand. He braced himself, unsure of what was transpiring. Surrounded by allies, Itto felt fear for their safety. He worried about this mixed lot of outcasts. While in one sense, he hardly knew them but by another reckoning he had fought beside them for a quarter of a century.

“What now?” he wondered.

The light gave way to darkness that clung to his eyes. Reflexively, Itto’s hands clawed at the ethereal veil that obscured his vision. Slowly, the darkness dripped away, revealing the moon-lit sands. Itto expected to see the same monster that had drilled them with riddles and questions. The creature was there, but different, smaller. The creature was there, but no longer a colossus towering over them. It was more real now. The head of a hawk and the body of a great cat, the creature was still large, but not the gleaming spectre that dominated the horizon that it seemed to be before. It looked older, too. The fur of the feline body was graying. The feathers on its head soft and mottled. The creature was there, but weathered.

“Itto.” A voice rippled through his being.

“You have passed our challenge, Paladin,” came words out of the heavens, “so we grant you an ally to share in your burden.”

Itto’s eyes locked with the creature’s.

“Moonstalker.” The word sprung across his lips. He just knew its name.

“Yes.” The answer reverberated across his soul.

Memories swarmed Itto’s thoughts. Memories of stalking creatures across the sands. Memories of wrestling monsters to the ground. Memories of flying…

“Your back…” he mumbled.

“Yes, upon her back you shall ride in your quest.” The heavenly voice boomed.

Itto’s shoulders burned. He pushed one foot forward and extended his hand.

A half-orc, barely a child, reached for the scraps of rabbit flesh beside the camp fire. As his hand wrapped around the strips of fat and skin, each finger was cracked by a heavy hammer. “Whoresblood eats when we’re done,” a voice yelled. A boot struck the boy’s jaw. Blood splattered on the ground.

“She will serve you faithfully.” The voice said.

“Master…” whispered the creature. Water pooled in her eyes.

Itto felt the freedom of the winds and instantly knew the pain of his wings being plucked. First his left. Then his right. He felt the adrenaline welling up, pushing his arms to drag him away from the thing that had ripped his wings off.

“I am no master. I am only a servant.” He wanted to say.

Thoughts echoed, “Only someone who knows serving can lead.”

Itto recalled crawling along the fields. Blood poured from his back. Hunger gnawed at him.
Then finding a dead horse, riddled with decay, and closing his beak around the rot and swallowing the bitter flesh.

A young half-orc, in the prime of his life, returned to his home in defeat only to find his family and his friends lying dead on the ground.

“You doing alright there, big boy?” The gnome chimed in.

“Fine. I think.” Itto muttered,

“Whoa, don’t let that become a habit. I’m supposed to be the one doing the thinking.” The gnome responded.

Ellay… Crestus… Pratantus… Rayne… every victory and every failure was felt tenfold. His feet carried him to the creature. His hands grasped the soft feathers. Good. Purpose. Itto felt for once that things were right.

“Climb on,” she seemed to say Itto.

He swung his leg over her back. It felt right. He couldn’t tell where he ended and Moonstalker began. For the first time that he could remember, the one called Itto felt at peace. A life of violence and sorrow was forgotten for an instant.

Itto felt the pain in his back subside. He felt a small weight right his posture and knew that Moonstalker was also at peace.

“Shall we proceed, master?” Moonstalker asked, aloud.

“Um…did that thing just talk?” the more obnoxious Half-Elf asked.

It didn’t matter. All was right. Moonstalker’s paws sunk deeper into the sand from the increased weight. Her muscles flexed and the two were off to confront the future. Together.

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Session 49
Make like a Bug and BEET-le it!

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A vicious battle with Squirm ensues, with the vermin mage summoning many various swarms and bug creatures to devastate the team. With some well-placed hits and solid teamwork, Team Trust is able to vanquish the Finger, who flees as a locust swarm and vowing to meet back up with Arashne.

Meanwhile, Bal’Quinn Twinroars, using his tree-stride to quickly travel in the forest, occupied his time waiting for the slower members of Team Trust by eliminating the numerous vicious real threats to the team that wandered the forest. Many Bothans of appropriate challenge ratings died.

With their way cleared by the dashing duskblade, Team Trust was able to proceed. Using Rayne and Wolf’s tracking abilities, the group finally manages to find their way through the Darkwild. On the way, however, the group discovers Slink’s newfound addiction to a pain-numbing drug called Sannish. After a brief intervention, Slink “agrees” to give up his stash, but secretly keeps some for himself…He also steals Rayne’s evil doll and starts to examine it, as it whispers dark secrets in his ear…

Happening upon an Arashne Temple entrance surrounded by a moat, Team Trust canoes across the river, using some spells to block off the cursed waterfall pouring from overhead at the mouth of the temple. Floating along the river into the dungeon, they encounter a group of were-crocodiles, protecting 6 croc eggs. Not wasting any time, Slink burns 4 of the crocs to death, leaving the other 2 licking their wounds and open to some “diplomacy” from Rayne, who says they would leave them alone if they helped them out of the room. The were-crocs direct Team Trust to the correct egg, under which lies a lever to the next room. The group absconds with the 4 corpses (one of which is eaten by the now undead Lute, while the other 3 are turned into zombie slaves by Jil).

There, Yu’in is tempted by a mysterious magic pull from a priceless Arashne idol. Before he can grab his new precioussss, Jil holds him back and Slink discovers a boulder trap which would spring if the idol were moved. Quickly disarming the trap, Slink sees a door on the opposite end, which is locked. A “secret door” check by Rayne and Yu’in reveal a side door, but this is also locked. Finally realizing they need to use the boulder trap to smash their way through, Slink rearms the trap and sets it off, causing the boulder to go pinball’ing off the walls, hitting a few of the team members before Quinn is able to use his magic to angle the boulder into the two doors, smashing both open.

But what lies beyond these two doors..? Stay tuned and find out! Same Bal’Quinn time, same Bal’Quinn channel.

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