A Coming Age of Dark

Session 13.
The End. The Beginning.

Five years. That crazy stunt sent us forward five years.

Something was wrong. Everything was wrong. The moon. It sat in the sky like an eye, staring at us. Watching us as we scrabbled around, looking for answers. Ryll took us to the Swamps first. Guy Ed hanging there like meat in a window, suspended in a red light. Left a note for Horns on what used to be our ship.

The demons. All there were now were demons. Rockdale was next. It was Ferenzio that met us there, told us what happened. Told us how he suspended as many as he could, kept their souls from being swallowed into the Abyss. Nice of him. Seemed to have cost him a few years.

Pretty lady on a dragon’s skeleton came flying in to fill in the rest of the gaps. Said she was the Fallen Guardian. Said the boneship she rode was Bahamut. Praise be, huh? Told us the moon was an egg. Told us the darkness was coming. Thought I’d feel snide. Thought I’d feel cold, like I always did since then. But I didn’t. I felt mad. I felt hot. Wanted it to end. Wanted it all to end.

She took us up. Dropped us off on the moon with the mage and a shadowcloak. Wished us luck as she flew off to fight off the Souleaters. A good death.

We went in. And we met them. One by one, we met them. The hanging Demon Lords, and with them, our pasts. Ikos’ parents. Ross’ wife. Kava’s Elder. Ryll’s dad. Lance’s folks. My family. My family.

They all asked the same thing. Was it worth it?

It was the heart of the egg we were searching for. Mysterious stranger was the one who stepped up. Asked us all if it was worth it, everything we did. There was no other answer.

Jerry took off his cloak. Made the shadow real. Paid the price to bring Astaroth into our waiting hands. And we beat him. We beat that demon god like a rented mule. We beat him with our weapons, our spells, our hands and our hearts. We beat him because there was nothing left for us here.

And he died. And it ended. It all ended.

At long last. It ended.

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Session 11a.
Well, that was fun.

Should have known trying to blow up a tombship would send us back to the Abyss. Everything seems to send me back to the Abyss.

Me and Ikos vlorped out of the ship. Yellow sky, black trees, lots of moans of agony. Kind of wish it weren’t familiar. DIdn’t take long for one of those hunters to find us. Didn’t take long for us to kill it, either.

But they never travel alone, huh. Pack of them, led by some kind of honcho – let’s call him the Predator – showed up behind us. Horns is pretty handy, coming up with that vultureman sound. Gave us a window to make a break for it. We made it to a river, ran ourselves across quick and easy. Mageface followed it up with a Grease spell on the log. Pretty funny.

Found a little settlement of refugees. Friendly faces are rare as stars around here. Nice bunch, Honor, Wexler, some crazy old broad. We asked if we could pitch in. Only fair in a world where we’re just waiting to get dead. They sent us on the hunt for some fish monsters.

Didn’t take us long to find some of the little buggers – Ikos made quick work of them with a fireball. Tasted like fish. Made me feel a little spinny. We took their heads for a scare tactic and kept on keeping on.

The scout, Jan-something, got us to a fucked up little temple. Jerry, the little bugger, showed up just in time for us to feed him some fish head and send him screaming in ahead. He’s useful when he’s taking the lead. We strolled in, and everything’s a little fuzzy from there. Lots of fire and death. Lots of stabbing. A demon asking us to avenge his bloodline or something. I don’t really care. Everything dies when you stab it enough times.

Turns out Sanctuary was grateful for killing off that demon. Threw us a nice party until the hunters showed back up. We managed to escape through a tunnel under Crazy Broad’s bed, but not many of us. Ran into the Predator on the way out. Killed the fuck out of him.

Seemed like a lot of running from then. Found ourselves another temple, one crawling with that ritual magic I remember from the last time I got stuck here. Asked for a sacrifice. We paid it. We got home.

Lost that tombship. Damn. Would have been nice to hold on to that.

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Session 12: Testicle Monster

Dear Log,

I helped fight a testicle monster. A testicle monster, with a handsome face, a face, no doubt, made for the theater. Yes, that face could’ve been the lead in Hips, Legs, and Ankles. I’m surrounded by dicks. Literal dicks. Mosquito monsters have dicks. I have seen dicks chopped off. I have seen dicks restored. How does one fight giant testicle monsters? I’m not a fighter. I learned fighting for the theater! I can’t even fight a mosquito monster without getting fucked!

I’m thankful I’m part of a group that can fight and defeat giant testicle monsters, which they did about forty five minutes ago. We had to defeat the Trumpets of Revolution first. They spoke a hard, violent language, but when pushed and engaged in a fight, they went down easy. The leader, for instance, this grotesque person tinged with deep orange, was killed with incredible speed. Our biggest threat came from an archmage. I threw my newfound fancy magic weapon at him. It looked totally cool the way it soared, but my accuracy needs improvement. Fortunately for the group, I was a non-entity throughout much of the fight. I considered swimming in the lake. Fortunately, I did not, for the lake was the realm of the handsome giant testicle monster.

Our group defeated the Trumps. Our victory was short-lived, for out of the depths of the lake came the giant testicle monster with the face of an angel. He threatened us, boasted about how evil he was, namedropped Carcosa, which is never good, so Icos decided he needed to die. Again, I contributed little to the fight. Sure, my magic astounded the theater-goers of the majestic production Giants Have Feelings Too but it’s no match for demons, testicles, and dicks. The more adept magicians and fighters in our crew defeated the handsome giant testicle monster.

The water drained from the lake. At the bottom sat a black amulet. I investigated the amulet. It radiated dark, dangerous magic. We debated destroying it or hiding it deep within the underground. We attempted to destroy it. It did not work. We were transported to this desert place. I’m writing you from it. It’s strange that I found the time to write you, Log, because of the aforementioned temporal shift.

I think I’m going crazy,

L. Jawn.

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Session 11: Feel The Burn
I was fucked by a demon yesterday.

As the tomb ship blinked out of existence on our plane, the human known as Lance appeared on the ground where the portals had just been. The others pestered him about where he had been, but I could tell he had seen dark things he did not want to speak of. Soon after, the wizard, the blood thirsty gnome, and the human child reappeared out of a portal. or most of them did. The three were covered in gore and blood and the young one seemed to be shorted than I last saw him. Or it could have been the missing limbs.

We moved towards a nearby town, I had never been there but apparently the others had. As we approached we saw that the gates were closed and a demon like a giant mosquito stood outside the gates. The one with the paper wings shouted up to the guards to open the gate for us, but they refused to open them while the demon was outside. With no other choice we engaged the demon in combat.

He was a savage, flying beast with a sharp, proboscis. He attacked Lance and violated him with his giant, face penis. Many of our party were injured, but we defeated the demon scum and were allowed into the town. We were greeted by a handsome (by human standards) man who appeared to be the leader of the town. He told us of the problems that their town was having with the influx of refugees from the surrounding area. The refugees themselves were not the problem, but a group of human supremacists who called themselves “the Trumpets of the Revolution”. They had been attacking and killing non humans and burning down their homes and businesses.

The human leader pointed us towards the elvish encampment, where he thought we could find some information about the “Trumps” as they called themselves. The encampment was made up of all wood elves, though it did not surprise me. Few of my kind stray into the green spaces. We prefer the Northern mountains and tundras. A few young elves, full of bluster and drink began to shout racist slurs at me. It seems the Trumps are not the only bigots in this place. They tried to provoke me, but after years of training, I know better than to respond to empty threats and anger. Their taunts did nothing but make me numb to their plight.

These “tough” elf warriors reluctantly told us of their defeat in a fight against the Trumps. They could tell us little about their numbers or their location, but they did inform us of a gnome who’s shop had been burned down by the Trumps who might be able to point us in their direction.

The gnome’s name was Peter. An inventor of sorts, who’s home and business has been destroyed by the Trumps. We found him sifting through the burned rubble of his shop. He was depressed by his loss and wanted no part of our work, until one of the fools I’m traveling with offered to get the money to rebuild Peter’s business for him. The gnome directed us to a set of local caves where the Trumps had apparently set up camp.

We sneaked into the caves before promptly meeting a set of guards. They stood between us and the only bridge across what seemed to be a moat. I attempted to jump clear across the narrow moat, but I was stuck by a giant tentacle. I made it all the way across, but not entirely unharmed. Our group had trouble fighting in the tight quarters of the cave entrance. Sometime more fighters is not an advantage.

Eventually we defeated the guards and heaved their bodies into the moat. I peaked my head over the side, hoping to get a look at whatever monster lay within. I was promptly grabbed around the neck and thrashed within an inch of my life by the giant tentacled beast. It tossed me aside and sunk back into the depths of the water.

We explored deeper into the cave and came across what seemed to be cells. There was a room housing two adults, and another room full of dirty, malnourished children. In a rage Ikos stormed into the barracks full of sleeping Trumpets and torched the entire room with magical fire. Action made out of anger, but very effective actions none the less.

We sent the prisoners out of the cave to safety with Fuck Jack the Panther. We decided to rest and lick our wounds before entering the larger chamber of the cave, where we knew something darker waited for us.

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Session 10
VLORP

Sweet baby dragonbreath, my dear lord Bahamut, I thank you for your guidance in my most holy quest. I had my doubts about the band of heathens I travel with, but I should never have doubted. What they lack in beauty, what with their gross, slimy, delicate, blemished skin, they make up for in bravery and ferocity. You have truly placed me in the necessary camp to complete my quest. And you bestowed unto me two of the greatest gifts I have ever received; my Sunlight Spear and my steed! I feel as though I am becoming the Paladin I always knew I could be. I feel the power of a hundred dragons within this spear, and I promise you, dear lord Bahamut, that I will wield it in your name. And now, my mount. The sweetest, little, cutest baby boo boo kitty pants I ever did see! So ferocious, so dangerous, so… soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur, happy kitty , sleepy kitty, purr purr purr. Our bond is strong, our minds connected. I no longer feel so alone, as I now have a telepathic connection with this fine beast. And she speaks Draconic! What a smart kittypants.
Anyway.. It has become clear to me what it is my elders wanted me to accomplish. I share the quest now with this band of misfits. We all have different reasons for taking on this quest, but our end goal is shared. We are finally in possession of the phylactery needed to capture demon souls. The vampire, Lord Vikernes cleansed it and it is ready for a fresh helping of demon juice. With great clarity we began to plan our attack against all the great demons who plague this land. We were on our way to hunt down the first of the demon lords, when a portal emerged. I will never get used to that sound. Nothing good ever follows the crinkle crinkles. It was our old companion, Delg, who emerged from the portal. He did not look great, and he warned us not to trust the Mages. After today’s events, I now realize he was most likely not Delg, but some twisted, possessed version of the dwarf we once knew. Bye Delg. I pray for your soul.
Before teleporting (oh, that’s right, the half-elf Ryll can teleport us now) to find the first demon lord, we stopped by the spellsword camp. It was a good thing we did. Commander Stolas was in great need of our assistance. Over half her men had been sent to fight off an attacking tombship in Rachdale. Reports cited the tombship came from a portal near the village Sen’s Rest. Stolas desperately needed all her men. We offered to take their place in Rachdale. There isn’t an elf, gnome, human or dragonborn in our party who would say no to killing demon scum. The demon lords can wait, we will get to them. In the meantime, I kill the damned to serve you, oh mighty Bahamut.
We used Ryll’s daily teleport to take us to Rachdale. I had never seen a Tombship before, and I never want to see one again. Demons were pouring out of the ship and decimating the land below. We defeated a demon wielding a whip and another made of bones. Kittypants was seriously injured. It pains me to see my best friend injured, but I am comforted to know she will always be with me, no matter how grievous her wounds.
Soon after defeating those demons, we met Evil Rook. Err… Eviler Rook. He came down from the Tombship (already a clear sign he can not be trusted), and palavered with his twin. I did not like seeing double Rooks. I think one is enough, perhaps even too much? We do not need more evil in this world. At least the evil little man is on our side of the battle. But the same can not be said of his doppelganger, who convinced our Rook to join him inside the damned tombship. I cannot speak for Rook’s intentions in following his twin, but at least it granted us access to the ship. Ikos Misty Stepped onto the ship and dropped a rope down for us. I dismissed Kittypants, but she will be back with me again.
Onboard, Evil Rook tried to convince us to take down the mages. It is shameful how much time we spent listening to his lies. He said the mages were the evil ones, creating this grand construct that we live in, masking reality. I would rather live in a construct, fighting demons, then live in reality among them. Once his allegiance became undeniable, we decided to attack this little shadow of a man. The Sunlight Spear served me well in this battle. It may have blinded a few of my comrades, but its radiant light banished our foe in a great show of power. Praise be.
Rook bravely took command of the ship by mentally connecting himself to its controls. He was able to land it, but then we were faced with the question of what to do with all the demons on board. Not to mention the ship itself. We cannot risk such a powerful asset landing in the hands of the demons again. In answer to our question, Ikos decided to cast a fire bolt on the “brain” of tombship. After the rest of us, minus Rook, evacuated and retreated to a safe distance, the brave fool cast his spell. VLORP …. and they were gone.

Praise be,

Kava

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Session 9

When the adventurer’s came across Ross and I we had already been surrounded by the living dead. We had the situation under control, but some scaly lady started yelling about Bahomelettes or something and all 10 of the zombies just crumbled to dust. I don’t know how it happened but I wish she had done it before one of the zombies got a bite out of my shoulder.

We all stood around looking at each other for a few minutes like idiots. A small, loud one tried to take command of the situation, but was quickly put in his place. He clearly had been raised with no discipline. I remained silent. I’m not sure if this strange party can be trusted yet. They have a half elf tossed over a horse like a side of meat. Dead or unconscious I’m not sure.

Ross, more trusting than I, was happier for the conversation. I guess traveling with a panther and me wasn’t much for stimulation discussions. The beast took a shine to them too. Rubbed up against the short, bloody one like he was a scratching post. Typical. That cat is more pet than predator.

The skinny, horned one tried to get some information out of us about where we were going or where we were from. Ross offered her own story up, but I didn’t see a need. Shouldn’t make a lick of difference to them who I am. I’ll be out of here and back to the monastery soon enough.

While everyone was gawking a group of rich looking vampires sulked in behind us. Their leader was wearing black and red. Vampires love to fulfill their own stereotypes. He offered us a greeting, telling us that his master wanted to invite us to dinner and had an offer of some kind. I don’t have any interest in closing demon portals, but a place to sleep tonight was not an unwelcome idea. Those who sleep outside in Shadowvale tend to sleep much longer than they intended. The scaly one had cast a zone of truth, so we took the vampire at his word. She may be useful to keep around, as long as she’ll stop babbling about her lord and savior.

The castle we were brought to was cool and stone, a welcome reminder of home, but the damn vampires surround themselves in velvet and gems. Needless opulence. I am offered a plush bed, but I use the stone floor to meditate instead. Soft living makes soft men.

The human bard seemed infatuated with a servant girl. She seemed very plain to me. I do not understand the attraction. The young one who travels with him started some rhyming chant. I wonder if he was attempting to cast a spell.

At dinner, the fools stuffed themselves with rich, heavy food. All they’ll be ready for now is a nap not a fight. The master of the house, Lord Vikerns, seemed content to watch my companions stuff themselves like pigs being fattened for the slaughter while he drank some poor sap’s blood from a crystal glass. I have gone days without food before and I will do so again. I will not fall prey to these temptations.

Vikerns told us a story of his rivalry with “Frampt the Betrayer” a local Lich king. He wanted us to kill Frampt for him. I was curious. Frampt seemed to be a powerful being. Perhaps powerful enough to help me in my battle. He also possessed some sort of containment device that my strange companions were looking for. The wizard tried to haggle, unsuccessfully, for a large amount of gold, but they eventually accepted.

We were told that only magical weapons would harm the lich, so our host had all of our weapons enchanted temporarily with some sort of fire spell, even my claw. It felt strange and hot against my wrist. The Vampire Knights escorted us to the entrance of the caves where we were told the Lich “lived”. The Vampires quickly vanished, afraid of some kind of “sunlight spear”. The cowardly dead that fear death have no place with us anyway.

As we walk down into the cave we notice that there are scrapes and gouges on ground where large objects have been dragged into the cave. Further down we find burned books and boxes of old magical materials. They seem to be ruined, but the wizard wastes time digging around them anyway. I cannot imagine power requiring all these frivilous objects and materials. If a power does not come from inside, what use is it? I supposed those without the patience and willpower to harness their ki must resort to other less. . . desirable means.

Once the darkness fully engulfs us, we see a large room with four sarcophagi on raised platforms on either end of the room. We stand on one platform and a pit full of gold, armor, and other offerings separates us from the other. A raspy voice commanded us to leave at once. The voice didn’t sway anyone’s resolve. As we pushed forward all four sarcophagi slid open and 4 decrepit undead soldiers climbed out.

We fended them off, but I blacked out at once point. I saw black, a flash of light, and then felt the life return to my body. No matter, the fight continued. The zombies were defeated. My fury of blows slayed the first. A blow from the Dragonborn’s radient hammer smashed the second. The third was torn to shreds by a Chromatic orb of fire from the Wizard. And the final one was pierced with flaming arrows from the Rogue.

Our party trudged through the see of metal in the middle of the room towards the platform on the other side. There was a door there, which we discovered had a poison trap on the door handle. Unconcerned I opened it with my claw. Sometimes no having a fleshy hand is helpful. Inside the small room we found another, larger sarcophagus. While we struggled to open the lid, Frampt the Betrayer appeared behind us. The tattered robes and tattered flesh hung from his body. He offered us our lives to leave the place. The rogue stabbed him before anyone could respond.

The Lich was powerful, no doubt. But he was no match for my companions and myself. He stunned, he blinded, and he cursed. But when all was said and done, the Dragonborn took his head clean off with her hammer. An inspired strike if I ever saw one. Many of us were wounded, but as a group we lifted the lid off the sarcophagus. Inside we found a black orb which cast no shadow. His spirit seem to reside inside the orb. He was trapped. We also found the spear those Vampires were so afraid of. The Dragonborn decided to take it, though it seemed to be made from the bones of her ancestors. Not a squeamish one, that’s good. A powerful weapon is worth having on our side.

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Session 8
Durga sure gets around.

So we lost Delg.

Heard that ’portal’s opening’ noise coming from below decks. Got down in time to see old Fancypants getting sucked in. The kinder parts of our little cadre tried to hang on to his legs; wound up cutting the stonesucker in half when the gate shut. Pants got less fancy. It was kind of funny.

Besides, if he was headed where I wound up going, the less of him headed there, the better. Jerry went running off, of course. Terrible reactions. Found him next to some other human. Like rats. Keep finding them everywhere.

Least we didn’t keep this one for long. Brain spiders came back. Tried to take Ryll. Wasn’t happy about that. Came downstairs, watched one of them turn New Human into a squidhead. Made some holes. Died the same.

Old Human got us to the borders of Shadowvale. Some kind of keep filled with some kind of Spellswords. Horns turned me invisible, had me scout the place out. Seemed spooked, jittery. Got the lay of the place, came back to the party. That what we are now, a party? Huh.

We rolled in right and proper. Like usual, the brands got us attention… and passage. Met with Stolas, another hornhead. Ikos got a little happy at that. Turns out there was a murder on the grounds not too long ago. Sounded fishy. She asked if we could look into it. May as well.

We all had our jobs. Strings put on a show. May be a human, but he’s got his uses. Ryll and Teeth went to interview the survivor. Horns stayed to chat up the Commander. I went to look at the killer’s bunk. Suits me. Don’t have to talk.

Didn’t like what I found. Demon stuff. Carcosa stuff. Put all the pieces together, and it all pointed in the same direction. Figured it was time to talk to the murderer.

These other guys, they wear the brand. They don’t know what it means. Not like I do. They heard about Carcosa from that yellow bastard. They don’t know what it’s like. Not like I do. Not like half of Delg does. I saw this killer, he knew.

We talked. Talked Carcosa. Talked Durga. Showed me another angle. Shined another light.

I get it now. Kill, get stronger. Simple. I get it. What’s coming is strong. We want to stop it, we need to get stronger. We need to kill.

I like it. Simple.

Left the human where he was. His part’s done. We’re all playing the game now. Time we keep playing. Make some holes.

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Session 7
Convert the Heathens!

Oh, praise be! Praise be! Thank you dear lord, the almighty Bahamut! You are Great!! You are Good! I live to serve you, and I am humbled by your being. I pray that you are pleased with me. I have been spreading your Word to the masses. I find that many people are eager to hear of your greatness. They have been more than willing to commit themselves to you. A whole town found themselves to be born again Bahamuthiasts! I bet you’re wondering how I managed such a feat.. I’ve been traveling with this group of wingless heathens. We came upon this strange town, where all the people were worshiping a false idol, the “King in Yellow.” To make a long story short, we ended up under the town’s temple on a quest to free the town of it’s yellow madness. We fought a yummy looking squid fellow who was torturing a nice lad, Daryl Free. We helped Daryl live up to his name by defeating his captor and welcoming him into our merry band of ….heathens (I promise you Lord, I am working on converting them, they would make worthy servants to your greatness).

We continued through the tunnels under the Temple and came upon a library. Strange place for a library, if you ask me. Seems a bit moldy. The books were being kept by another squidman. This one seemed a bit nicer than the last. Perhaps he is just indifferent. Either way, we did not have to battle him. Instead, he pointed us in the direction of the Yellow King. We entered the king’s hall, where we found two rows of enslaved beings undergoing water torture. At the end of the room stood the King in Yellow. Most of the travelers in the party had the instinct to free the poor captured souls, and we noticed the Yellow King weakening as we did this. Unfortunately, the evil little man Rook thought it’d be faster to kill them instead of freeing them. This had the negative effect of granting the King in Yellow more power. Foolish Gnome! Doesn’t he know it always pays to be good?! Perhaps he is a lost cause. But not as lost as the one they call Ikos the Weak. He is truly a strange, demonic one. He spent most of the fight with his fingers up one of the poor soul’s arsehole. Try as he might to free the man, his finger just kept going deeper. As he was fulfilling some sort of sick, dominatrix fantasy of his, the rest of us surrounded the King in Yellow and successfully defeated him. I was the one to lay the final blow, smashing the fool’s head in with my warhammer.

With the king down, our perceived reality seemed to melt away, and we were back in the temple again. The floor tiles, yellow when we first arrived, were back to their original marble white. The townsfolk were free of the Yellow King’s enchantment. Everyone, especially the priest who had devoted himself to the yellow son of a bitch, seemed lost. Before they could fill the hole the Yellow King left in their souls with their old Sun God, I stepped in and told them of your Greatness and Warmth. That is how I converted a whole town to serve you. And who better to lead these new worshipers, than my loyal Ricky. The lord taketh away his manhood, the lord giveth it back, and that’s how you make a true believer (perhaps I should not convert too many subjects in this way, even if it is wonderfully effective).

And that’s when she came back into my life. Sweet Sister Justice, with her majestic wings. Real wings. Real, beautiful, functional wings. Can I get an amen?! AMEN! She came from my temple to check in on how I was doing. I am very pleased she saw me convert a whole town. The elders in my temple must be so proud, and surely not at all shocked. They picked me for this mission for a reason. They knew I would get the job done, and spread the good word of Bahamut.

I must go now, I believe it is my turn to row. We are currently traveling down a river in the Marshes of Madness, guided by Guy Ed. I do not trust this place. So far we have seen statues with obscene expressions coming from their nether regions, and one eyed, brain spider creatures who fear the fire. Thank the Good Lord Bahamut that they fear the fire.

Praise be! Your devoted follower,

Kava

Amen.

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Session 6
Turning Yellow

There I was working out the last kinks of my sleep spell; watching Lance talk to himself in his sleep. That’s when I heard the sound, a sound I’ve heard far too many times. A sound that pulled me back to childhood. An abyssal portal opened over Rook’s sleeping body and pulled him through before he knew what was happening. It all happened so fast, there was nothing any of us still awake could do. We did our best to track down an animal for sacrifice, a key component in the ritual to reopen such a portal, but without Rook’s hunting abilities even that simple task was too much for us. All the animals fled the area, terrified by the horrible sound of the portal opening. Delg did his best to complete the ritual, but I knew none of us had what it takes to open up a portal of that magnitude. Reluctantly we moved on, hoping to find another way to pull Rook from the abyss.

While making our way south, we came across the band of slavers we had heard tell of the day before. They had blockaded the bridge we needed to cross to continue our journey. Upon seeing them, we realized there was going to be no diplomatic resolution of the situation, especially with Kava’s well documented zeal to bring evil to justice. We made quick work of the enemy, with the exception of their chief, who had a penchant for rude hand gestures. Also remaining, was their magicker, whom we were hoping would shed some light on the abyssal portals appearing around the area. After the chief was finally cast into the raging river below, we turned our attention to the magicker. He received a grizzly wound to his manhood, courtesy of Kava’s javelin. In exchange for a gentle “lay on hands” to repair his dick we found out that his band of slavers was in possession of a boat in the nearby town of Dunwich. Despite some of the group’s reluctance, he tagged along with us as a new disciple of Kava’s weird ass dragon religion. We made hast for Dunwich, as a ship could come into great use on our journey south.

After arriving in Dunwich, we made our way to the port to inspect the ship. On our way their, we came across a group of sun worshiping Paladins. They told us of a new splinter religion that had taken over the town, pushing them out. We agreed to help investigate this new religion that had turned the town upside down. Upon arriving at the docks, we spoke with a peg legged man in charge of the ships. He was a zealous member of this new religion, and invited us to attend a service at the temple. We left our captured slaver and that little shit Jimmy on the boat and made our way into town.

We were told that once the temple was of white marble, but had turned a bright yellow through some sorcery. As to not raise suspicion within the congregation, I cast invisibility upon myself to keep an eye on our ragtag party. The service was run by a charismatic preacher named Father Chambers. Other than the odd insistence on all things dandelion, he did not seem any more dangerous than any other local demagogue.

After the service, away from the prying eyes of the congregation, we did a little investigating around the temple. When Delg made the Sigil of Sacrifice, a tunnel appeared. We followed it into the underbelly of the temple. The chamber we discovered seemed to defy the laws of physics. Staircases littered the walls and ceilings. As we traversed the area we lost sight of what was up and what was down. We came upon a bridge and while crossing we noticed another group of travelers in the distance, crossing a bridge similar to our own. As we continued deeper into the cavernous space, we came upon a most horrific looking creature playing a dissonant sort of music. We attempted to communicate, but could not reach an understanding. We began to suspect this creature was the cause of the town’s obsession with yellow. When Delg showed the creature a sigil, the creature lost its mind and began to attack us. Thankfully, my companions were able to defeat it before I was suffocated to death. Upon the creature’s death, several statues and paintings on its likeness fell to dust.

We were eager to reach the surface to see if perhaps the town had regained some normalcy, but as we made our way across a set of twin bridges, we were attacked by two terrifying creatures. It made me reveal my most shameful, darkest secret from childhood. We were just able to defeat the creatures and remain standing on the bridge, when an army of the same creatures appeared behind us, blocking our way back. So we ran, with the bridge collapsing beneath us. For now we rest, still remaining in this forsaken labyrinth.

Ikos

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Session 6a
Well. That took a turn.

Woke up to the sound of a portal opening. Must have been one of those spaceholes Ryll was talking about, one of those holes we sent Gary through. I feel a little bad. It wasn’t pleasant.

Woke up to a dark forest with a yellow sky. Two suns, two moons. Whole place smelled like rot. A lot of prisoners chained up to the trees, left for dead. All of them branded. Asked one of them where we were, who had done this to them. Mentioned Hunters. I traded him an arrow for his time.

Didn’t take long for one of these Hunters to show up. Rough, ashy skin, human-sized. Had a brand on his chest, little different from ours. Found a tree to hide in while he plucked one of the gibberers and dragged her out to a cliffside. I waited until he’d split her and started sorting out her innards before I started putting holes in him. Another portal popped open while I was putting the Hunter down; spat out a halfling brandbearer named Yvette. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one new in town.

She was handy with a sword, but not handy enough to put up against the hounds and Hunters hot on our heels. I spiked a couple of ropes down the cliff, cutting ties before they could get to us. Problem was, only way down was into a lake. Wasn’t pleasant. Thick. Smelled like mold and a rat, three days dead in a sunny swamp. We made it across, just barely. The halfling pulled me through at the end.

We took the time to rest up before setting into the city. Odd place. Didn’t feel right. Lots of tall towers with flying ships up above. Lots of vultures circling the joint. Not a lot of action in the streets, just bodies. Old bodies, fresh bodies, more with the brand than I could count. Yvette and I, we stuck to the shadows, picking our way through, looking for answers. Or maybe just a way to get the hell out.

We found an elf instead. Chained up around a bunch of bodies, skin split right off ‘em. Locks were easy enough to pick. Said she’d been taken by vulturemen. One of them came after us, so I guess she was telling the truth. Took his spear after we poked a few holes in him.

Tatiana had the Touch, so she was our best bet at finding a way out of this sulfur-smelling bonepile. We posted up for a few hours in the baseline of one of the spires, resting up for what was bound to be a hard climb. The elf said the place was named Carcosa, that she’d been stuck here a couple of months. She was branded, just like us. Hunted, just like us. Wanted out, just like us.

The three of us made it to the central tower well enough. Had to sneak around some giant reptile thing and a bunch of vulturemen to get there, but between me knowing how to keep a head down and a little darkness on the elf’s part, we made it to the door. Halfling stumbled a little, but I pulled her through. We were even. Ring of corpses kept the birdmen out. Seems like corpsemeat’s the running currency on magic ’round these parts.

Meat and blood. Took a little smear of mine to get the door open (having a magicker around’s handy for all this eldritch shit), and in we rolled to the tallest spire in Carcosa. Bunch of glowing runes in the wall, some familiar, some not. Brand started itching. Levitator worked just fine, though.

Caught some skull-headed knight on the way to the top. Seen a lot of things on the road since we left Sen’s Rest, but they all seem to go down if you hit ’em enough times. Tin Can was no different.

Brand started bleeding once we got to the top. Lots of whispers, lots of crazy. Yvette couldn’t handle it for a minute, needed Tatiana to talk her down. Couldn’t really go back now, so we climbed some stairs and got to the roof.

Found out what’s been causing all these wormholes. Big mad-looking god chained up at the top. Looked like a turtle bird. Didn’t have long to admire the view before the elf turned on us. Took me longer than I wanted to get clear of her blindspot, and when I did, she was elbow deep in Yvette’s face.

Needed us for a ritual, she said. Going to summon a tombship and travel home, she said. She was sorry, she said.

I wasn’t.

Poked a couple holes, she stopped trying to get up. This one was a good one. Felt that hotness at the back of the neck, the ringing in my ears. Skin popped right off her at the end, something funny this toothpick does when it offs someone. Made it easy to trim off her face and finish her ritual. Big floaty ship swung in, door started screaming at me, and poof, here I am.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. What’s been up with you? And who’s the new robe?

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