Foreign Guardians

Saz finally meets us, but does not meet our blades (sorry , Guy)

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While we are contemplating the new information regarding a terrible beast that has been terrorizing the town, news reaches the Mayor’s ear regarding a new attack. We decide to follow, in hopes that new information about our foe will present itself. As we follow the Mayor we learn from one of the citizens that a young lady was attacked and it was quite gruesome, and this attack was unique in four important respects: it happened during the day and far too soon, there were witnesses, the chosen victim was indoors at the time, and the residence was ablaze. Not the beasts typical Modus Operandi. While we are busy investigating, Harkonan took the opportunity to endear him to the masses, and they seem to take to him rather well. Hmm good for him, it must be a nice change for Harkonan to be liked by other people. On our way back to the Mayor’s manor, Moriel pulls Teb aside to discuss her suspicions about Harkonan. It would seem that his actions directly following the attack seemed quite odd, and she has reason to distrust him. We will have to bring this to his attention later to sort out the details. We catch up to the rest of the group and begin to discuss the recent happenings with the Mayor. It would seem that she has hidden powers and knows a bit more than she is letting on. Prior to the attacks it seems a hag came to door and threatened horrible things should the town not relinquish their first-born children. Well we must put a stop to this now.

We travel off into the wilderness after we are ready and, nothing seems to happen for a while. We make good progress, while in our travels I get a vision of a table in the middle of the forest plentifully filled with food. Teb’s not sure what this means but it should prove interesting. Soon though, we come across the very table. Most prefer to walk around it but a voice calls to us to join him. A curious fellow with wings and a tail is fluttering about and he wishes to have words with us. M’Lady takes her seat and Teb stands by her side. Guy seems uncharacteristically cross, but shouldn’t be too much of a worry. In talking to this strange creature he seems to want to help us for mutual gain. Teb can’t say he trusts them explicitly as well, but that does not mean he cannot prove himself useful. But before Teb realizes it, Guy is on the rampage. Probing his mind simply shows that Guy is after Saz for being an Imp. Saz has yet to do anything to lose any trust (although not doing anything to gain it), and can yet be useful in either case. Teb must stop this, he is behaving so… so…Harkonanly! This will not do at all. Teb protects the creature until this could be sorted. His bubble may be protecting the imp but it also will prevent him from escaping, provided he doesn’t have one of those ruddy teleport spells. Guy, tries in vain to burst Teb’s bubble, but he should know better, nothing has been able to get though before and nothing will get through now. Teb tries to reason with him, but it seems best to just let him run out of steam. When he trudges off with the rest of the party it gives Teb a chance to speak with Saz. He tells Teb that the creature we seek will be found where we are heading, seems rather convenient.

When we join back up, we walk in silence. It seems we are at odds with each other. When we finally stop for a rest we discuss the recent events. It comes out that Guy has good reason to hate demons, his prejudice is not unjustified. He has had quite a sorted past. What is worrying is the completely unjustified prejudice he has for changelings. I do not want to see our party divided. How would guy react to find out a very trusted, or a very UNtrusted member of our group were one of these creatures he fears so much. Teb knew this secret was important but Teb never knew how important it was. M’Lady calls Teb away; she fears what I will say next. She worries so much, she is kind to Teb. But while we are waiting she decides that it is time to check with Harkonan on the mysterious events a few days ago. Other than making it clear that it Harkonan was not there when the events took place but instead was characteristically inside a woman at the time, M’Lady also succeeds in driving a wedge between herself and Harkonan. She is ruining everything I have worked so hard for. I order Moriel to stay behind while Harkonan and I have private words. It seems he now trusts none save me, and even them I am not sure how much I am trusted. Harkonan sits and meditates, and I decide to join him. As we meditate through the night.

To Be continued

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Deal or No Deal.
Cuz you wanna know all the secret things that were said...

Dnd demonss
Moriel watched Harkonan feeling like the world had gone mad. How could he stand up there and actually appeal to a crowd? How could Harkonan appeal to ANYONE besides the crazy squaters who screamed about the world coming to an end? And yet the people were listening, soon even cheering. She shook her hear and turned her attention to where the rest of the group had gone. They were standing around the burnt out house, where she had seen those other things that had made her feel like she was going mad.
Rigel stood next to her for some reason insisting to the others that he needed to stay outside to protect her. She listened to Teb, as curious and determined as ever, ask question after question. All questions she could answer…and yet she didn’t. It was probably shock from seeing Harkonan embrace a woman, enter her home, and then to find her naked and dead and him gone. At least she was 95% sure it was Harkonan, he’d changed his appearance but not his clothing or his faithful dogs. The hounds had gone running after that flash of light.
But why hadn’t she explained it all to Teb? She watched him looking about the house from the doorway, then make his way outside to ask the witnesses more questions. Following Rigel to where Teb and the others stood listening. Guy was looking at the blood trail she’d already followed to its abrupt end. He seemed to have lost the trail, she contemplated pointing out the trail to him to see if he could discover more than she had. Shaking her head she turned back to listen as the farmer said,
“My companions were chicken and ran off when she began levitating.” I snickered, remembering how he’d run-just as chicken-only moments afterwards. What was he trying to prove?
“So you didn’t run?” She asked, trying not to smile.
He hung his head, “Well…I did. It wasn’t my proudest moment.”
“Can you carry me and show me where she levitated?” Guy asked the farmer. The thought of guy being carried by the burly farmer was quite amusing.
“You look to heavy, perhaps she would be better?” The farmer pointed at Moriel. She looked about, the others looked at her, probably expecting her to bite the farmers head off. The shock must have been worse than imagined. She shrugged and leaped into his arms.
She grinned as Teb got that sour look on his face, “No funny business…” He said and the farmer promised that there would be none.
“Oh come now Teb, he’s kinda cute.” She said grinning mischievously. She didn’t know why she was asking so weird, when she’d just witnessed a murder. She tried to convince herself that she was just trying to gather more information. Harkonan hadn’t been so forth coming when she’d confronted him. Just moody and dramatic as ever. Trying to pull a knife trick to get his blood probably hadn’t been the best move, but didn’t he know she meant him no harm? Especially since she could sense how important helping Harkonan was to Teb. That had been what had stayed her hand when she’d been so tempted to fight him for his blood. Teb was better for her than she’d thought.
It was amusing to think that at one time she’d been bent on killing Harkonan for being such a liability…among other things.
After all questions had been answered, Moriel decided she needed to tell Teb what she’d seen.
She took him aside and explained. "
“I saw the event” She said.
Teb look like she’d slapped him with a fish, “You did!?!!?!”
Moriel went on solemnly, getting it all out before she changed her mind, “The body floated into the air, the men ran off, and then the body was yanked over a roof and out of sight. There was no one about.” She paused, remember how Harkonan had rejoined her as she walked back to town. He’d tapped on her shoulder and she’d turned to see no one there. She hadn’t know he had the power to become invisible.
“That i could see.” She ammended, “The strange thing is,…i saw her walking normal and unharmed a while later.”
“Was harkonan with you? Did he see the same?” Teb asked, frowning.
Moriel hesitated. She didn’t want Teb going after Harkonan, at least not until they’d gotten to the bottom of this. "Don’t do anything yet, but no. He went into the house and did not come back out, but when i looked no one was there. And another thing, he knows I know who he is.
Teb looked thoughtful and unhappy, “Hmm. this worries me. have you had a chance to talk to him since?”
Moriel grimaced, “I did, we…weren’t exactly civil.”
“What did he say happened?” Teb prompted.
“He wouldn’t say. He just told me to trust him basically.” Moriel paused, “And a part of me does.”
Teb looked at her with a serious expression, "I know he means well but he has not earned the trust he wants.
Moriel sighed, “I know he’s an idiot but think we should wait and see what happens…and if they can find a body.”
Teb said, “It is likely, without any other explanation, that he may have masqueraded as the girl and thats who you saw walking about.”
Moriel smacked her forehead, feeling idiotic herself, “You may be right, I don’t know the extent of his powers…he IS a changeling after all.” She thought back then held up her hand, “Wait…that doesn’t seem possible. I saw her, and she spoke to me and as she walked off Harkonan spoke from behind but was invisible.”
“What did she say?” Teb asked.
“I was too surprised to really recall but she was angry and…” Moriel was interupted by the group calling at them to rejoin them.
“Should i talk to harkonan about it, i have more of his trust than others?” Teb asked as they walked back to the group.
“You can but perhaps we should tell no others until things become more aparent.” Moriel said, worried things might spiral if anyone else found out.
Teb nodded, “Agreed. Guy seems suspicious enough as it is.”
“He does…” She said.
“He does what?” Someone asked her as they all fell in step to go see the mayor.
Moriel smiled casually, “He DOES know how to dance.” She pointed at Teb.
They went to see the mayor. Madam mayor explained that the curse of the beast on their town might be the result of not giving into a sorceress’s demands and then where she thought said sorceress might be.
They set off, towards the next town. The forest was thick and their journey was long. The company kept mostly to themselves, not very talkative around the camp fire. This was fine by Moriel, talking too much had gotten quite a few people killed where she’d lived.
Day after day was more travel and more of the same forest. Moriel began to grow bored, thinking the island was just a lot of walking. Then the next day they stumbled upon a huge banquet table in the middle of the forest. Moriel felt watched. Everyone was confused and wary. But Harkonan of course, felt the need to go inspect it.
“I don’t have a good feeling about this.” Moriel informed them.
“We should go around.” Guy insisted.
Then they saw him. A creepy looking being with wings sat at the head of the table. He beconed them to the table, telling them that he’d been expecting them and had information.
“Please, sit and eat.” He insisted, smiling his unsettling smile. Moriel looked about the forest. Some information was better than none. Everyone refused the food but sat at Moriel insistance.
“Why should we trust you? What information do you have?” They asked him. He insisted that they had to make a contract with him, and even had one ready made, that he held out. Moriel rolled her eyes, she was not about to sign anything. And Rigel confirmed her suspicion that it’d be a bad idea, explaining that in all his research a contract from a strange being never ended well.
Then Guy went crazy. He grabbed his sword and went at the creature. Teb was able to step in and protect the creature man with his magic shield. Guy went mad, insisting the little man needed to die because he was a murderer.
Moriel was unimpressed by the show from Guy but wondered what had caused the generally logical man lose it now. Zog tried to grab Guy and calm him down but Guy dodged out of the way. Eventually, Guy calmed down enough to stop. Biterly though, he insisted that if they were going to protect the creature, he was going to leave. Shocked silence greeted this and Harkonan, of all people, was able to convince him to stay.
The little creature man tried to insist on binding them in an spoken contract. Moriel was getting tired of this. They were not stupid enough to be trapped by the creepy little fairy and obviously this meeting wasn’t good for the group. She got up and left, followed by Rigel then the rest of the group-all except for Teb.
When he’d caught up with them, he informed them that the imp had told him that the sorceress would be at the temple. Moriel thought that this was not very helpful news since they were going to go there anyways and could have discovered this information for themselves.
They walked on until nightfall, when they made camp. Around the campfire that night, Teb asked Guy why he’d attacked the creature and they discovered that Guy’s family had been killed by demons like the imp and that he was on a mission to rid the earth of all demon kind.
Teb, as nervous as she was at this revelation she was sure, inquired further into why ALL demon kind had to die.
Guy went on to extol all of the evil that demons possessed and strangely enough, Harkonan just kept agreeing with him as Teb continued to try to change Guy’s mind about demons. It was a strange affair.
The talk was changing to Tebs history when Moriel decided Teb had spoken enough. There was no need to blab about her family or his, not when Guy was so determined to discover and kill all demons. So she ordered Teb back to their tent, telling him that she had important things to discuss. When they got to the tent, she merely sat down and started sharpening some of her daggers. After a few moments Teb asked,
“Did you want to discuss anything m’lady?”
Moriel looked up at him and realized that perhaps he HAD wanted to tell the others about himself a bit. And why should she stop him? It’s wasn’t like he couldn’t handle himself in a conversation or like he didn’t know how to keep a secret. She didn’t want to be too careful at the moment though, she’d given him a good excuse to avoid a potentially dangerous conversation. There would be other nights to speak of himself when tensions weren’t so high. “You know why i called you away.” Moriel muttered, turning her attentions back to her daggers.
Teb looked a bit miffed but tried to remain pleasant, “Not particularly. I thought I was making some good headway.”
She ignored this and nodded at the cinamon sticks sitting on top of his bag.
“What are those?” She asked him.
“I took that from the imps table.” Teb replied hastily, “Why’d you call teb away?”
Moriel raised an eyebrow at him. Sure, they’d spoken of something that should have been but did Teb not see the danger here?"
“The chat was…enlightening.” Moriel assured him. Then paused and said, “Guy can’t be trusted, he’s on to harkonan, he could be on to you. We have to be careful around him.”
He shook his head, “He is not onto harkonan, he treats Harkonan presently as his closest ally.”
Harkonan was keeping his enemy close.
“I suppose…” She conceded.
“At least he does not hate them as much as demons.” Teb said, thinking, “I could test the waters and simply erase the knowledge if it proves to much.”
Moriel watched Teb scheming. He was a quick one.
“But i will wait until I save his life or do something to more fully gain his trust before i try that…” Teb said, then he seemed to freeze. After a minute he seemed to come to. He looked at me and said, “Just had a vision. Saz made a deal with the hag to send her to the temple.”
“Uh oh.” Moriel said with dread.
“He told us that’s where we would find her and he is making sure that he wasnt lying.” Teb explained.
Moriel frowned, was it a trap for us or her? “Or should I be celebrating since it will lead us right to her?”
“Exactly.” Teb said.
“Should we tell the others?” Moriel asked, wondering how they’d react, “They are already sorta expecting it…”
“I, just don’t know, i’ll leave this to your wisdom.” He replied, looking hesistant.
“I say we keep silent for now.” Moriel said.
“Agreed.” Teb said.
Moriel had a thought, “Go and get Harkonan. I think we need to have a chat.”
“About?” Teb inquired.
Thinking of their last encounter and hoping Teb would be of use finding out what she could not she grinned and said, “Stuff.”
Teb left and returned with Harkonan following. Moriel was suprised he’d even consented to join them. Perhaps he was growing as bored with their long trek as she was. They headed a ways outside of camp to ensure they weren’t heard.
“Yes?” Harkonan demanded, looking at Moriel suspiciously. Moriel smirked.
“He’s here.” Teb announced drily. Then after a few moments of tense silence, “So m’lady told me there was some suspicious activity in the village. I dont want to arrise suspicion to the others that isnt warranted.”
“I can say the same.” Harkonan huffed.
Moriel frowned and looked at Harkonan. Maybe he’d be more forth coming now that Teb was present, “Was that resurected lady you?” Then realizing she was on the attack again and that it probably wasn’t the best strategy here, pulled back a bit and said, “I just want to know what happened.”
“As do I.” Teb agreed.
“Resurected lady?” Harkonan asked.
“The red head.” Moriel said flatly. When he didn’t reply Moriel sighed. So he was going to play dumb. Fine she’d bring out the big guns “I followed you harkonan, I saw you enter and leave her home. what happened?” She demanded.
“No it was not me.” Harkonan said, sounding irritated.
“I don’t know what happened with that lady.” Harkonan insisted. "Now…
Teb interupted, “Moriel saw her walking around the town after she was already killed.”
“…why were you misleading me?” Harkonan asked Moriel.
“misleading? How so?” Teb asked, as Moriel grew more irritated. Why was Harkonan always assuming everyone was out to kill him? She thought about it and realized it was probably because everyone WAS probably out to kill him.
“I dont know who the girl was, only the girl i was with.” Then he glared, “Go ahead tell them moriel, she shows a good jesture but hides a knife.”
“Just relay the sequence of events as you saw them, thats all im asking harkonan.” Teb said, trying to pacify him. But Moriel was on the attack, temper rising, “You know my motive for that, I wish you no harm harkonan, though admittedly i did once.” She felt like strangling him to get it through his head that she meant him not harm.
“Im not accusing or anything, just a free exchange of information.” Teb went on.
“I was doing the same shit I always do, in every single town when the beast attacked” Harkonan snapped, "Look at it in my shoes, so far everyone but the new guys has tried shafting me. And you, "He said, pointing at Moriel, “Put me in a position to trust you with a knife at the end of it all.” Moriel looked away, miffed that she’d done it. Aparently force was not the way to get Harkonan to share information. She hadn’t trusted him to tell her if she’d asked straight up anyways…
“So tell us what happened from the moment you entered the house. No ill will, just trying to piece what happened together.” Teb said quietly.
“Yes.” Moriel agreed, trying to get her temper under control.
“Enterd the house?” Harkonan asked, puzzled.
“Did you not go inot the house where the dead girl was?” Teb asked.
“No i actually wasnt.” Harkonan informed them.
“Wait.” Moriel said as Teb said, “Now, Im confused.”
“I saw you hug the red head, looking like another man, and enter the home. your dogs were there. You were in the home for a while, then there was the flash and the dogs ran off. The villagers found the girls body but no one else inside the burnt hut. I learned later that this girl had a lover that lived a ways away.” Moriel told him, hoping the telling him that she knew what had happened would make him confess. “Did you seduce her and kill her? And if so why the hell would you?!” Moriel demanded, temper flaring. Why was Harkonan such a cruel one? How could he do this?
“Moriel,” Teb begged sheepishly, “No accusations, please!”
Moriel looks disgruntled, “My apologies, I just want to have my teams back.”
“I already told you, I slept with a red headed women! out in a field, my dogs were off, I dont know where. I was having sex.” Harkonan looked furious, “So you tried to knife me and now are throwing accusations?” He demanded, “Is that why you wanted my blood??”
Moriel tried to calm down and explain, "I found a trail of blood and took some, i wanted some of yours to compare it to.
“And you fail to mention this?” Harkonan snapped.
“I didn’t know how much to say.” Moriel said.
“The truth maybe?” Harkonan said.
“If you dont mind I will sense to make sure you are telling the truth harkonan…?” Teb suggested.
Harkonan shrugged, “Go for it.”
Teb concentrated, then nodded to Moriel, “He is not happy, but is not being deceptive.”
Moriels expression softened, relieved as she looked at Harkonan, “Then did you see who did it?”
“No.” Harkonan said.
Moriel sighed, This is troubling. I saw everything but Im left with no answers except that it wasnt you."
“You got what you needed, dont expect me to be so trusting to you Moriel.” Harkonan said angrily, “Now i dont have any answers, just distrust.”
“Why? I told you I meant you no harm, and told you my reasons for wat i did.” Moriel said, bewildered. Hadn’t she just explained her motives? Why did he still not trust her?
“Yeah, heard that one before.” Harkonan muttered.
“Do you have distrust for me?” Teb asked him.
Perhaps if she let Harkonan sense her mind like Teb had done to him. “Do you want to sense my mind like Teb? Or do you not know how to do that? I do not know the extent of your powers…”
“Im done with this.” Harkonan snapped, turned on his heel and walked away. Moriel watched him go, thoroughly confused. Why was he such a drama king?!
“Stay here.” Teb told Moriel. She noticed he’d told her, not asked her. Moriel looked unhappy but could understand and nodded, muttering,
“Sheesh, men…”
Teb followed Harkonan out of sight. Moriel sighed, talking to Harkonan was like trying to take honey from a bee hive. Moriel went back to her tent after a few minutes.
A few days later, in their tent, Moriel noticed the cinnamon sticks again. The rations they’d brought had been dull-besides the plum wine and cookie Rigel had conjured for her, those cinnamon sticks were looking really good.
She mentioned them to Teb. “We should test them on someone or an animal.” Teb said. Moriel, feeling reckless and restless from the tedious trek through the forest, picked them up and ate them, Teb looked horrified. Moriel finished them and they both sat there, waiting for whatever was going to happen to happen. When nothing did happen, Moriel shrugged, “Guess the imp’s food was harmless.”
They went to bed and the next day, they came upon the temple….
To be continued…..

La!

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Hunger for justice. Hunger for adventure. Hunger for Burgers?

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Some of the group still seems baffled by the sudden change in location. Teb has removed them from the current threat, but that does not mean that there is no current danger. After all is clear the group asked to split up for Reconnaissance. M’Lady goes off in one direction with Guy and leaves Teb to handle Harkonan. As Harkonan and I travel we discuss possible tactics.

It is a strange thing, to talk to Harkonan in private. He makes no effort in self puffery, and he seems quite compliant towards wise and subtle points of strategy. He did not make crude or rude comments, and sought approval for his actions. I am curious whether the transportation spell used on us went horribly wrong and Harkonan mind was altered, or He simply likes to show off and act up when others are around much like M’Lady did as a child. We travel to a small village. But we know to be cautious. It’s hard to tell what it is about the village that we are picking up on that is causing us to be so cautious. Could it be the large heavy doors on all the buildings? Or is it the fact that none of the buildings have windows? Or is it the palpable air of fear that permeates this place? Harkonan suggests that he infiltrate the village and scout for hidden dangers. This seems uncharacteristically wise of him. It is incredibly useful to have someone who can become invisible, whereas I can only convincingly pretend to be invisible. Upon Harkonan’s return, at least I believe it was his return; he remained unseen for a good portion of our conversation. He commented on the air of danger but also said that the villagers did not seem to pose any danger. That we should be able to walk throughout the town with relatively little trouble

Harkonan suggested that regroup with the other members of our party. At is at this point I knew I needed to probe his mind. Harkonan might be under the control of some mysterious unknown entity, A mysterious rational and wise entity, but an unknown entity none the less. My probe revealed that it was actually Harkonan. He is even wise enough to recognize that any plan that he might put together would likely be immediately rejected by the group, so he asks that I present the idea of Harkonan taking the forefront. Just when I start to think that there might be a permanent change in Harkonan, we arrive back at the group. Lo and behold the old Harkonan that we all know and hate returns, rude and crude as ever. Teb then notices that M’Lady is on a horse. Where’d she get a horse? It seems old habits are harder to break than Teb had previously thought. Well this is far from the worst that M’Lady is capable of. When we make it into the village, Harkonan marches ahead and then summons us to the inn. The Innkeeper is very friendly, and explains a bit of an unknown danger in the town. We divide up rooms and each have a good meal, Harkonan is once again pressured to partake in alcohol. I try to assist him in swaying the others away from this line of questioning, but Harkonan insists on answering Rygel. Making up some crude story about being raped by his drunken father, which is an obvious lie. Harkonan and I are assigned to bunk together. It seems that even our other companions have noticed that Teb has at least a moderate amount of tolerance for the Whelp. I take the moment alone to have words in private with Harkonan. He is still quite shaken about the recent ordeal. We discuss in great detail why he was behaving so oddly. And he did not want to talk about it. Teb looks into his friends mind and seems a glimmer of truth in what he had stated. Teb feels that these thoughts are making Harkonan uneasy. I attempt to settle his mind, but to no avail.

We do get awoken in the middle of the night by our companions that also seem to find Harkonan’s behavior suspicious. They do not seem to trust him. M’Lady isn’t even sure what is going on. Teb returns to sleep and awakes in the morning and goes down for a meal. The Innkeeper presents us with another meal, but informs of a strange consumption competition. M’Lady for whatever reason wants to attempt the challenge. Perhaps it’s simply her pride wanting to be victorious, or she may see this as a self redemption for losing the previous wager. Teb doesn’t think she would be pleased with loosing again. Teb waits to see if she can accomplish the goal on her own, and when it seems that her loss is inevitable Teb stepped in. He makes all men see the meal being devoured completely until it is gone. Only one man sees that the food is on the plate still, but nobody is listening to him. Teb has done well. The one man with clear vision of the truth is being a bit stubborn, oh well. Teb simply grabs the plate and holds it above his head in victory at the same time teleporting the food elsewhere. I must remember to explain to Rygel why he has a mound of ground meat in his pack. But no matter we have earned free lodging for a week and M’Lady has earned at least some degree of honor and glory, however unusual it is.

At the Innkeepers suggestion we will visit the Mayor who will be able to shed some light on the terror that is wreaking havoc on this place. When we visit the mayor’s manor, a servant answers the door. Ahh, my people, Teb should be able to handle this fairly easily… that is… if Harkonan would shut his fat mouth. He nearly ruins everything. Moriel elects to bite the bullet and remove him from the situation; we all will owe her for this kindness. As Teb waits in meditative silence outside the mayor’s manor, a group of guards show up. This does worry Teb slightly but no ill fate befalls Teb. The appointment arrives and Teb finally has a chance to get some much needed information

In the end we learn a few things. Not much about the creature, but this terror seems to come from the forest if not the mysterious temple that is said to be within the forest. It may be in fact the very guardian that is said to dwell within the temple. We also learn that there is another village that also is haunted by this mysterious torment. Rygel uses his vast aptitude of learning to try to discern some information about the creature. But little is known. The only sign that can be visibly seen is that there are claw marks. It may be the signs that aren’t there that may truly give the information we need. The creature never shows prints on the ground after an attack, and does not make any loud noises during an attack. The creature is fast and swift and likely does not walk upon the ground.

We make preparations to visit this other town. Time is of the essence.

To Be continued

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Guy Has Something To Say

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Mom and Pops,

I know that I will not be able to physically deliver this letter to you, but it helps me to imagine that you will be there at home to receive it. How the afterlife works, I do not know. Perhaps you are reading this over my shoulder at this very moment. I just wanted to take this time to tell you a little bit about what I am doing here, you know… to help me cope with what has happened. Do not worry, I have not forgotten about my mission and the entirety of my life is dedicated to your vengeance. That said, I love you very much and you are in my thoughts every day.

Zog and I had a run in with one of the locals on this crazy island. Turns out his name is Hans and he and his brother Franz are archaeologists. Long story short, they were interested in our “old coins” that we had from Timiro and we agreed to take them on an expedition with their crew to the old tower. I was a bit worried how they would handle finding out that the expedition was a deception, but we decided to tell them straight up what was going on and they were fine with that. They decided to join us and help us look for clues regarding our mission.

Once back at camp, we met with General Rezan, along with our new experts Hans and Franz. As Shinzon’s replacement, the general also introduced us to our newest party member Rygel. He was a dark skinned elf conjurer. He seemed to be very much a gentleman and I was pleased to have his company. During the meeting, the archaeologists reported on an ancient temple in the lowlands that may be related to the tower that we had found. Maybe it had similar runes or other clues that we could investigate. Illandra was gracious enough to give us a blessing before we departed.

We had a bit of downtime in the camp, and it had been a while since I had had a bath. Oh how I love my rose petal baths. Rygel had mentioned that, as a conjurer, he could help out and summon the baths for us. What a spectacle that was! Curiously, he mentioned that he could turn the water into wine and I thought to myself, “what the hell, why not?” Zog had recently gotten me onto his pipe weed and I think I was a little more open to suggestion than usual. Anyway, it was a good time. I noticed Harkonan had taken Rygel on a woman hunt that turned into a man hunt that turned into a little bit of grab-ass with Kyle. I just shook my head and chuckled. The Zog/Kyle arm wrestling match was also some great entertainment. I placed my bet on Zog – who in their right mind would bet against a troll his size? And of course he won.

It was finally time to depart on our next expedition to the lowlands. For some reason we had four of us leading the party, which included Zog, Rygel, Harkonan, and of course myself. Everytime Harkonan helps lead, we end up going in the wrong direction. I swear, for some reason we ended up on a cliff at the coast and Harkonan must have clouded my judgement! Well, since we were lost we were trying to find our way any way we could. Teb tried clairvoyance to no avail. Harkonan attempted to talk to some seagulls. After a while Teb and Zog had realized they both had the same visions or dreams of some chalk drawing in the middle of a battlefield. We decided to head inland towards the east and eventually found our way.

After a while of travelling, Zog had spotted some armed men that seemed like we should avoid them. We decided to go around the long way, even though it would take a bit of time extra to reach the lowlands. Having safely avoided a nasty situation, we set up camp for the night. Moriel and her partner’s watch went smoothly and they awoke Rygel and me for our round. Everything was quiet, like most nights, until we heard the sound of someone behind us in the cover of the forest. I drew my bow and shouted “Who’s there?” while Rygel ran to awake the others. There was a mage and his henchmen there to kill us and they instantly attacked. Two of them ended up being a couple guys we had help earlier on named Phil and Steve and tried to alleviate the situation. The mage, however, was relentless and had us all trapped in some sort of… circle… The one from the visions! During the whole thing I must have been hit on the head. I vaguely remember Teb’s voice, trying to organize our group to get out of the situation. He was vigorously erasing and drawing on the ground where all the symbols were. I had passed out and awoke in a field with the rest of the party. We had made it safely to the lowlands! The rest of our journey continues…

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Trust in Teb

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Teb is glad to be amongst friends and Harkonan. And with the loss of Shinzon, it seems that General Rezan has found someone else to round out our team. A Dark skinned Elf named Rygel has joined our ensemble. Rygel I’m certain will be most baffled by the strange array of companions. The group does get the small pleasure of a friendly wager between friends. A battle of strength between Zog and Kyle. Should be a simple enough wager, but M’Lady has wagered on the side of Kyle. M’Lady does not like to lose. Should she be expecting Teb to “assist” as he used to do for her back in more familiar times? She Mind whispers in confirmation. Teb lifts with Kyle but alas Zog gets tremendously lucky and wins. Well as the day progresses Rygel is exposed to more of our group, including Harkonan. I’m not sure if Harkonan is acting up to show off in front of a new companion, or he is genuinely this sadistic. He has embellished his armor with human remains. I can barley hold my disgust, and it seems that others are just as furious at this. Keeping Harkonan not only alive but part of our group may not be as easy as I thought.

Teb is informed that we are likely to find a clue to the mystery of the tower at a Temple in the Lowlands. This should not be a problem especially considering the fact that Guy, Rygel, Harkonan, and Zog all seem to have a good idea of which direction to go. So Moriel and Teb follow. It is a short time until they lead Teb to what it clearly not the destination they intended. Harkonan attempts his usual trickery with birds. Maybe one day it will work. Teb will try to see if his visions can give some sort of clue. Teb sits and Teb sees. Teb sees a Circle and Teb’s friends in the circle then the word “Mines” which is erased and replaced by the phrase “Nettle Lowlands”, and then some chaos and a net. Well it may not have told Teb much about where we are headed but it must be important, especially considering the fact that Zog seems to have had the same premonition. Once the sad navigators have an idea of which direction to travel they lead. Zog then tells of an ambush awaiting us ahead. It seems someone has a major grudge against Teb or the group. I ask Harkonan if he wishes to charge headfirst into this ambush. I will allow him to, but he is to understand that I will not be following this time, and neither will any of the others. He declines. Ahhh, so Harkonan can learn and grow it seems. Good to know.

The trap is easily avoided, and Teb feels safe as camp is made for the night. That is until a sneaky little man is caught around the outskirts of out camp. He is definitely up to something. When Zog summons a light to see our enemy, there are some familiar faces. It would appear that Stephen, Phillip, and one of their archer friends have returned and intend harm. Upon seeing Teb, Phillip and Stephen do not wish to fight. Can Harkonan see the value of Mercy? Two men who could have just as easily been enemies, are trying to come to our defense. Oh and that blasted Archer. The torments that he gave Zog during the last encounter cause Teb to make his isolation a priority. With him Teb traps Steve and Phillip. This may be for the best, it will protect them from the most unpredictable of our group. Teb is pleased. But then the enemy mage stick each of us to the ground and tries to throw a net on Zog, but misses. Even in this disjointed group Teb and company are still formidable. The mage mutters something about sending us away. That’s when Teb sees it, a circle of magic on the ground, he means to teleport us to…the mines?….THIS WAS WHAT TEB’S VISION MEANT!!!! We not only can escape these determined assassins, but we can skip days of travel and being lost. Teb is clever. Teb subtly changes the destination. Now it’s just a matter of waiting. But No, Harkonan has to screw everything up. They are all trying to slay the Mage that is going to send us to our goal. Harkonan doesn’t listen. Teb repeats over and over “Get in the damn circle”, “leave the mage alone”, “Trust in Teb”. If all would simply listen to Teb thing would be so much simpler.

Harkonan finally obeys me, but does so in his own style. Deciding to slay the one opponent left in the circle. I cannot control Harkonan entirely. As long he is not killing the mage my plan will still work. But Zog does not like it, and Teb knows he is right. Zog tries to save the man’s life but Harkonan takes it as an attack. Harkonan responds how one would expect Harkonan to respond: Badly. He traps Zog. I’ve had enough of Harkonan’s misbehaving for today. I isolate him to stop the issue. We just need to wait to avoid trouble and they can’t even do that.

But in the end Teb’s plan comes through. Has Harkonan become closer to being cured? Has he learned from the many lessons of these past days? Can I still save his life? Will our group know to Trust in Teb? Teb can only wonder.

To Be continued

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Harkonan's new puppies

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So, my companions and I had just defeated the worthless scum who ambushed us. Two of the archers had got away, and all that remained were the two cowardly bounty hunters we had captured. Oh how I wish I could have exacted my true justice on them, but the troll was protecting them. I did, on the other hand, claim the ears and spines of my victims.
As we were claiming the spoils of battle, it became apparent that Moriel had stormed off, so my companions split up. Zog and I made plans to deliver the prisoners to the general. I was hoping to find an opportunity to exact my justice on the prisoner, but the troll was most vigilant on the protection of the pitiful cowards. Teb and Guy went off to look for Moriel. I cared not were the two others went. My main purpose was to exact my justice. So the troll and I finally made it to the camp and delivered the cowards to the glorious General Rezan. I pleaded to the general to have the opportunity to execute the prisoners but was told he had more important plans for them.
I was depressed about my situation, I was allowed to take slaves, yet the people I captured I was unable to own. So I used the loot from the last battle to trade for two incredible war hounds. Their names are Nerro and Caligula. Fierce names for fierce companions. I went around the camp to look for some equipment for my war hounds. I had the smithy fashion my hounds some jaw clamps, I have never in my life been more happy and pleased.
It was not long before my comrades finally showed up. Everybody reported to the general and we rested for the remainder of the day. The following morning we received instructions by the general to take the prisoners back to the city…..this did not sit well with me. To add insult to injury, the fools were asleep and we had to carry them. Zog being the cleverest of the group took it upon himself to carry the prisoners himself. The only way I would have carried them would be at the tip of my spear. We were about half way to the city when the lazy fools wake up. The fools remembered nothing. Their memory was completely erased. No matter though, their ignorance will not save them. We made up a lie, and had the fools lead us into the city. We found out that the city was full of pasty skinned racists; they looked down on the Low-Landers. I wonder if they will look down on me with my spear pointed between their eyes. They lead us to a tavern, I’m not sure what the purpose of being there was, but this made no difference to me. I took it upon myself to find the most attractive and lustful women in the tavern. I did a wonderful job of seducing her and took her from her father’s company to go on a walk with me. I was having a swell time, and I was so close to robbing her maidenhood, when I felt a sharp cut and my magical essence fled from me, I panicked and turned myself invisible. There was a crowd and I could not see who was casting these spells. I an attempt to flee, I casted thunderclap and ran out of the city as fast as I could. I left my companions with my trusty hounds.
I ran for miles and miles when I heard a strong powerful voice shout stop. I turned around and saw a man in skin tight plate mail. I thought to myself “I am not in any condition to fight this powerful foe”. He told me he was a judge, and asked me why I had performed a spell in the public. I, of course, told him the truth, that there were some cowards I could not see attempting to murder me, and I only cast the spell in my own defense The judge asked me to allow him to read my thoughts to judge whether I was lying or not. I showed him I was in fact not lying, and I truly was under attack. The judge then asked me to return to the city to assess the situation more closely. Of course for fear of my life and not knowing how the people would react to the fact I am not of the land, I lied. I told the plated fool that I was in a hurry to return home. Of course he asked me why, so I told him my wife was giving birth and was alone and needed me quickly. The fool believed me, and told me he was going to follow me to my situation………I’m not sure how I‘m going to get myself out of this situation……….

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Energy Vampires can suck it Part 2
PsiStalkers REALLY SUCK!!!

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After resting up, Teb prepares to meet with the mysterious Energy Vampire. It’s a risky move, but if they are ever going to make any progress in this land they should start forming allies. Should these allies form an underground society it could be incredibly useful as well. They would be able to lend wide support in secret and be able to respect the secrets that our party wished to keep. It would also help that Teb has something they want. Teb waits in the predetermined alley and around noon, the tattooed man shows up. But he is far from being alone. He is accompanied by a dozen or so men who are also hairless. Teb is glad Teb had the forethought to take a position atop a building. As Teb talks to the man, who Teb comes to learn is called Slylief; Teb gets a bit more information and tries to set a dialogue of trust between the two. But they do not wish to trust Teb when Teb is not sharing what he agreed to give him. Teb is a man of his word. After confirming that they will uphold their agreement and leave Teb with some power, Teb comes down to meet them. Teb then lowers himself to the ground to meet the PsiStalkers as they prefer to be called. A disheartening name to be certain, But Teb cannot make assumptions about people blindly based on their race or abilities. Teb allows Slylief’s companion to consume a portion of Teb’s power, but not before Teb obtains an earring from Slylief and adds it to his bag of trinkets. Teb inquired more about the Psistalkers, the Judges, and this land in general. Teb gets few more answers before the companion consumes the entirety of my power. Teb doesn’t want to assume that this is an outright betrayal of trust. Teb gives them an opportunity to do the right thing, but they foolishly squander this opportunity. This saddens Teb. He seems like just another person who foolishly overlooks the value of trust and friendship.

They offer to take Teb to their lair, an offer that is nothing more than a lightly veiled threatening demand. Teb cordially gives them a chance to save themselves from the retribution that will surely follow. But they refuse. This will not end well for them. How regrettable. Teb very politely opts to walk calmly with the men without the need to be bound. They might be untrustworthy brutes but that is no reason to be uncivil about the whole thing, even if he’s being hooded and carted away. This gives time for Teb to reflect.

Teb is fully aware of his peculiarity towards proper manners and politeness. It is one of the unavoidable marks of his station. There was on time when Greyber the reputable merchant was invited to the Strom manor to stay in hopes that a business deal might be struck. Teb had the distinct displeasure of learning how incredibly drunk and rude Greyber could be. Teb played the role as Target for the throwing of empty wine bottles, Groom of the Stool, and had to hold the bedpan for Greyber’s poorly aimed piss. All the while Teb smiled and thanked Greyber for the opportunity to serve. Teb knew better to displeasure his house. Until in one drunken stupor Greyber not only announces to Lord Strom that he will not be entering a business contract but intends to enter Lady Strom instead. At this point Teb, with the slightest of nods from Lord Strom and as much courtesy as could exist under such circumstances; Teb ushered the chair out from under Greyber, introduced his forehead to the underside of a platter, added some color to his pale cheeks by use of a butchers blade, allowed Greyber to feel the lush imported rug as he was dragged across it, and gave him the singular genuine experience of momentary flight as he exited a window. All the while Teb thanked Greyber for allowing Teb such pleasure of company, insisted that he need not apologize for the blood stains he was leaving, and apologizing for having used such large words in his presence.

Teb then realizes that they are leading him down a set if stairs. They are being very careful with Teb warning him of potential missteps. It would seem that they do not wish any physical harm to Teb. This could be useful information. As the reach the bottom landing they instruct Teb to take ten steps forward and then remove the hood. Teb is polite but not stupid. He removes the hood to see a large cage in front of him. It would appear that passivity was lots on these men. They wished to jail a man who followed them willingly, and steal from a man who had offered to give? Teb informs them of their errors to no avail. He refuses to be jailed futilely and stubbornly. When they try to force Teb into the cell, they find it far more difficult than they would have originally thought. Teb is able to dodge them and avoid the onslaught of attacks fairly well. But it is only a matter of time before they finally grab hold of him.

Sitting in the cell Teb makes quick friends with Teb’s neighbor, who goes by the name Ornaught. Ornaught told Teb of many things. The PsiStalkers come down in groups of generally 8 or so to feed and such the energy every few hours. This could give Teb enough time to store the energy for one massive trick but it would be difficult to do alone. Teb then learns that there is already a resistance brewing. There is a mystical jewel that they have among them that can store massive amounts of psychic energy for later use and they are pooling their energies into it to coordinate a rebellion. Teb has just then plan on how to use the energy. After half a day of meditating, storing, and feeding; it is time for the plan to come to fruition. The combative Psychics all grab energies for themselves and are ready.

Unfortunately for this feeding we have more PsiStalkers than ever. 12 of the brutes are down to feed. This might get tricky. One such man approaches Teb’s cage and demands Teb come closer to allow the beast his ritual. Teb does let him close but then does something he does not expect. With a graceful touch of his skin Teb inhabited his body, and watched as Teb’s own body crumbled to the floor (Teb knew Teb should have placed some sort of padding on the ground there). Teb looked around and saw the cell keys on the waist of a neighboring PsiStalker. This should be easy enough. One more gentle touch and the keys are now in Teb’s borrowed hand, and unlocking the cage before him. Teb notices another Psistalker at the other end signaling to him. This must be another captive who has also borrowed a vessel. Teb makes his way to him and unlocks the cage of the unconscious form that must be long to this man. Then Teb unlocks the cage of the man he is told is a very powerful man, who Teb learns is called Wev. Teb then formulates a plan. The Other possessed man should cause a distraction to draw the PsiStalkers together where Teb can summon a shield trapping them. The plan goes off nearly perfectly, albeit with a few alterations. Wev actually is the one to cast the bubble, and the young man causing the diversion actually does it at the cage door of one of the captives causing the bubble to block his only route of escape. But this is still a relatively successful escape.

Teb instructs one of the other captives to continue unlocking the cage doors. Teb then makes his current vessel toss down his weapons walk into an empty cage, lock it and then releases control of it so that he may join Wev upstairs. Teb runs up the stairs and readies his weapons. He discovers six PsiStalkers already engaged in battle. They strike Teb and strike him hard. When Teb is outnumbered like this he cannot hope to win in direct battle. Teb used the nearly remainder of Teb’s power to pick up the three men attacking him simultaneously and clash them together over and over and over again until they expire. We then grab a chest of goodies and join up with all the rest of the freed captives.

Now that there are 30 some odd Psionicists waiting outside a bubble of 10 PsiStalkers, the bubble is no longer protecting from the PsiStalkers, but a protection for the PsiStalkers. The Psionicists want blood, which is understandable as some of them have been there for about 3 years. Teb is torn, He cannot allow the Psionicists to commit what is tantamount to genocide, which is the most despicable notion Teb has ever learned. But at the same time Teb had already offered forgiveness and peace to the PsiStalkers and they already refused it. They choose instead for lies, dishonor, captivity and rudeness. They have already shown that they will say whatever they need to say in order to get what they want. Teb feels his compassion being drowned out by righteous vindication. They should feel the torture they have imbued on others, especially those that have been captive for more than 3 years. The hunters will be hunted for once. Teb demands the PsiStalkers disarm and then they will be allowed a small head start whereby the Psionicists will give chase and hunt and do whatever they wish to any PsiStalkers they can catch.

Teb then goes back outside to talk to Wev. There is a small bit of chatting and Teb obtains a pendant for his trinket bag. Then a stampede of PsiStalkers erupts from the Lair and charge towards them, fearing for their lives as they righty should (after all some of them have been captives for 3 years). They yell at Teb to get out of their way. Teb cannot stand such rudeness. Teb will not be moving. Teb has bowed to your demands enough. Teb will move aside no more today. Placing one foot behind Teb’s self and his two trusty magical swords in front of Teb’s self, Teb lets the Stalker run himself through. Whether this was a statement to the world or simply himself Teb doesn’t care. Teb is exhausted and eager to relax.

All the Psionicists meet up and divide the loot that Teb found. Some are rather displeased with their share since the spent 3 years in captivity, but considering a rather small portion of them did any real work. They should be allowed the lions share. Teb may not have been expecting such events, but in the end he did make several allies, and that was in fact his end goal.

To Be continued

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Hurray, Friends!

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Zog picked up both of the prisoners, setting them down on his shoulders so he could carry them back to the camp. Up on his shoulders, they should hopefully be protected from any violence directed toward them by Harkonan.

On the way to the camp, Harkonan asked Zog if he knew where any sheep were, or where he could get some wool. Zog shrugged his shoulders and replied “I don’t know”, and then Harkonan looked around for a moment. Spotting a bird, he offered some food out for it. The two stared intently at one another for a moment, but Zog didn’t know what they were doing.

“What’s wrong with your friend?” One of the prisoners asked Zog,

Zog shrugged and then replied, “I don’t know.”

“Does he always act like this?”

“As long as I’ve known him.”

Harkonan continued offering the bird some food and staring intently at it. Eventually it started to fly around overhead, and Harkonan asked Zog “Do you like my bird?”

“Is nice bird.” Zog replied.

“Hey, prisoners.” Harkonan said.

“What?”

“Do you like my bird?”

The prisoners were not amused.

Soon enough, the party makes it back to the camp. He went to speak with the priestess, asking her what she thought of his bird, and to ask her for healing. She healed Harkonan of his injuries. Harkonan began asking around the camp if anybody had any hunting dogs, or anybody capable of capturing animals. He found little luck, and after Illandra handed Zog a letter for Rezan, the four began heading back to the camp.

Zog and Harkonan began talking to the prisoners. Zog apologized for scaring them, since they said earlier they were just defending themselves from the charging, shouting persons. Harkonan began to argue with them and taunt them, but discovered that they were hired on to follow a bounty hunter seeking Tim, after being promised gold. Zog told them he and his companions had only recently arrived, and wanted to ask them some questions. They seemed surprised that he had arrived from some place else, and that they hadn’t come from the lowlands. Harkonan seemed offended that they’d think he was from here. They commented that Zog was rather pale, and looked like he’d be a native, even if he’s fairly strong. Harkonan got into an argument with them about their god, who seemed to allow them to kill without any moral qualms. They said they were just defending themselves. “Zog would have attacked Zog too.” He replied.

“What do you know about Tim?” Zog asked the prisoners. They only seemed to know that he was some sort of conjurer. Harkonan corrected them and told them that he was a diabolist, and then got into an argument with them about Tim and the morals of capturing somebody for a bounty. He began to threaten the prisoners, and the prisoners seemed to take solace that they were being protected by Zog. “Tim said that bounty was because he didn’t respect Benuvian god. Is that true?” He asked. They figured that would be an appropriate reason, and that the bishop had seemed to want him for some reason. “Does bishop have much power in Benuvia?” Zog asked the prisoners. They replied that the bishop was the right hand of the king, and had much power for that reason. “Is it king who has power, or bishop?” Zog asked. They replied that some thought the king had the power, but it was more likely the bishop who held it, in truth.

When they got to the camp it seemed that many of the old tents had been pulled down. Some survivors seemed to be coming ashore from the ships that had crashed on the rocks in the seas. Zog asked the prisoners if they had seen this place before, hoping they might have known what the old camp was, or who inhabited it. They said that they had never been out this far, as many dangers were in the dark forest, such as quicksand and large wolves and the like. Harkonan taunted them for being cowards. It was discovered that the water warlock was able to save many of the people from the water. Harkonan began gloating of their capture to the people in the camp.

They went to Rezan’s tent and found the general wearing his full plate gear standing around a large map, with the water warlock beside him. Harkonan told them that he had brought prisoners who attacked them, and brought them ears and spines of the fallen. Rezan told him that was not a proper way to take care of prisoners, and offered the two prisoners some seats. Zog told Rezan of Tim, who was an old and frail man who said he had left Timiro when King Gedrow was still in power. Harkonan said the men were trying to kill Tim, but Zog spoke in defense of the prisoners, saying that the people here were very religious and had accused Tim of heresy, and that the bishop had offered a bounty for the capture of Tim. They talked about the possibility that time might pass more slowly in this place, and that this Tim might be the same Tim, a young boy, who had set out with the previous expedition that left only seven months ago. Zog suggested that Rezan should meet with Tim himself.

Harkonan asked for some time to speak to Rezan in private, and Rezan stated that he would first like to speak with the two prisoners in private. Zog went off to get his leather armor repaired. The man seemed intimidated as Zog approached, but Zog asked if he’d be able to repair his ragged leather armor. He said it seemed a bit worse for wear, and that he’d have to get a few guys to help him. Zog asked him if he could have it done in six hours, and the man seemed hesitant but said he could try and get it finished that quickly. As Zog was leaving the leathersmith, he saw Harkonan approach with several dogs. Harkonan shouted to Zog, telling him to look at his dogs, and telling his Zogs to say hello. They barked at Zog, and Zog offered but a wave to them before heading off to go cook and eat, and perhaps to rest.

While Zog was eating, Moriel came to him and gave him a list, saying that she wanted him to find the various plants listed there. Zog told her that he could not read, but she told him that Teb would help him to read them. He asked her what the plants were, and when she listed them, Zog recognized some of the components as being poisonous, and asked her what she needed them for. She said it would help her in case their journey were ever to become more dangerous. Zog hesitantly agreed to help her find and mix the components as they were listed.

Guy asked the group what their task was, and Harkonan informed the group that they were to take the two prisoners back to the city and allow them to return alive. Teb provided Harkonan some additional healing, bringing him to a healthy state once again. Harkonan thanked Teb, then asked him what he thought of his attack hounds. Teb politely told him that he looked forward to seeing them in action, but hoped they would not become as blood thirsty as Harkonan was. Harkonan said they weren’t yet, but he hoped they would be soon, and that he had already fed them the ears of the fallen bounty hunters. Harkonan and Guy set off to the tower the group had discovered some time ago, to deliver an axe to Kyle. During the evening, the leather-worker came to Zog and gave him his armor. He said that five men worked to repair it, but they got it done. Zog thanked him and offered him a peach, in return.

After resting, the party awoke the next morning. The group went to speak with Rezan, who told them that the prisoners were unconscious and would need to be carried back, until they woke up. They talked for a while about how time seemed to pass differently here, that the full moons would seem only to appear every seven years, as opposed to once a month. They also took note that the wolfman was still missing, and Teb declared that Shinzon appeared to be captured, after having a psychic vision. Rezan told them that they could help him so long as it didn’t disturb their mission, but that they should otherwise leave Shinzon to his fate. Rezan also said that he had not heard word back from Illandra, and the group decided that they should visit her and make sure she was okay on their way to take the two men back to the city.

When the group got back to the tower, Zog discovered that he forgot to give Rezan the missive that Illandra had written him. He gave it back with an apology. Teb, Illandra and Harkonan had a conversation among themselves, flirting with the priestess and making their odd human mating calls and competitions with one another, but the priestess didn’t seem to respond well to either of them. The group continued to talk amongst themselves and with Illandra for a while. Kyle approached Harkonan from behind and gave him a strong hug, and then Harkonan introduced his dogs to the man, and shared words. Harkonan and Kyle began to brandish their weapons proudly, and Harkonan’s wolves began to howl as well. Illandra backed away, and Zog just shook his head a little.

The group moved off toward the city, and after a short while the prisoners awoke. “Did we get them?” The prisoners asked. Zog asked if they were alright, and they replied yes. He asked what they remembered, and they said that they probably drank too much the night before, and didn’t remember much. They had been hunting for the bounty on Tim, but couldn’t remember much of what happened since then. Zog assumed that Rezan had their memories wiped somehow, and figured they would be safe to release. Harkonan, however, did not seem to get the hint. He began to harass and taunt them. Teb interrupted and asked them about their customs, such as things they should avoid doing to offend persons in the city. They told the group several things, and then Zog asked how they could avoid offending the bishop. The men told him that if they avoided offending the god, then they should be fine. Zog asked them about their god, and they said that they had several. Benru, god of justice and power. Zandrege and Rhada were others. They said it would be smart not to speak the name of Thisis, for to speak it would be to wish death upon oneself. Harkonan took this as a challenge, and began speaking the name as often as he could, challenging the men and asking them what was wrong with saying the name. One of the men seemed offended that his companion would even say the name to explain to them not to do it.

They continued to talk with the two men as they walked back to their city. They talked about the judges, who seemed to be men with psychic powers who acted as law enforcement in the city. They learned of Calima, a city in the distance that made ships and structures, and traded with others. The lowlands were a land of savage persons, whom the Benuvians sent their armies to help defend. Eventually they came upon the scene of the fight the other day. Harkonan said that his hounds smelled blood there, and asked if the men recognized the place. Teb and Zog tried to politely avoid the topic by directing the men onward.

The group would make it to the city walls soon enough. There was a gate leading into the city, and the gatekeeper allowed them to enter after asking them why the Benuvians were traveling with the lowlanders. The men they traveled with asked if the party had found their equipment, and Zog offered it back, as well as the gold they said that they’d had. He told them he was sorry for taking it, but the men looked to be dead when they found them. The men joked that after drinking as much as they had, they couldn’t blame him for thinking as much. On their way into the city, the guardsmen saluted Zog, and Zog saluted them back. The people seemed to stare down Zog’s companions warily, but looked to Zog almost admirably. They seemed to mistake him for one of their own, due to his pale skin most likely. Several kids ran up to him, saying they wanted to be as big and strong as him, when they grew up. The two men offered to take the group to a bar to drink with them, but Teb broke off from the group, wanting to find one of these judges to see how they acted.

They headed into the Noggin Floggin with the men, which they said was one of the few places where Zog’s companions could drink with their own kind. Guy walked over to a table where one pale skinned person and several darker skinned persons were sitting, to talk with them and order them a round, in order to fit in. Zog was drinking with the two men when Guy asked Zog to come to the library with him. Apparently one of Guy’s drinking companions recognized one of the gold coins from somewhere, but didn’t remember exactly where from. He wanted to go to the library to look up the coin himself. It had apparently been worth at least ten of the coins they had here.

When they got to the library, the man had begun looking through a book. Eventually he got to a page with a number of coins drawn upon it, coins that Zog recognized. They were all coins from the world that Zog and his companions came from. He asked Guy where he found the coins, and Guy replied that he hadn’t remembered the exact place where he found them. The man offered to buy them from the man, or to trade with him, but Guy asked that the man merely offer them information and guidance both now and in the future, in return for the coin, rather than any item of value. The man agreed. The man became interested in finding more coins of these sort, and began looking at various books and stating his interest in doing an archaeological dig at a tower, the same tower that Illandra and Kyle were inspecting. When he went to check out the books, the librarian told him that he could only take three books, as was the rule. He had Zog and Guy both sign up for library cards so that they could check out all of the books.

Heading back to the man’s house, Zog noticed that some of the books had Oghrune writings in them. He was curious to inspect some of the books himself to see what the writings held. He wouldn’t be able to read any of the other writings, as the druidic runes were the only sort he knew.


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Energy Vampires can suck it.

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Wondering through the woods alone gives one time to consider many things. Our team seems to become more and more fractured as of late, and the fact that we all left the battle separately only goes to solidify this thought. Even M’Lady seems more distant as of late. My first thought it is Harkonan’s fault, as most things usually are. But it seems that if we are not together it must be all of our faults, and not the fault of any single person. I am still trying to bond myself with that repulsive brute Harkonan, though quite a challenge it is turning out to be. Though Teb can’t help but feel that Teb has been neglecting the group as a whole. These thoughts seem to lift the heavy baggage that Teb has been carrying inside. Teb then realized that the lightened weight was not his thoughts, but the fact that somewhere in Teb’s trudging the dead body Teb had been dragging back to Moriel had torn off at the soldier, and must be lying somewhere along the path sans its left arm.
Teb finds Moriel at Tim’s place she and Teb make haste back to camp, but it is clear she is still withdrawn. Back at camp we find Harkonan and Zog and in approaches Guy as well. Teb is pleasantly surprised to find the two captives still alive. Teb does not know whether to attribute this to Zog’s guidance or Harkonan’s possible decency. Either way Harkonan followed as he was instructed and that pleases me. I will reward the descent behavior and heal Harkonan to his fullest. It seems Shinzon has not made his way back, this is very odd. He usually is quite swift of foot. Teb uses Shinzon metal spike to find out where he is. An image quickly comes to Teb’s mind, it would appear he has been captured and is currently shackled in some dungeon. This saddens Teb, but it will make it a bit easier to keep Harkonan alive. Teb then learns that M’Lady wishes to stay behind, Teb is not sure what her motivations are, but she gives Teb a look that tells Teb that it would be useless to argue. I wonder what she is playing at. I am quite tempted to mind read, but this would be very rude. It’s best just to fulfill her wishes
We then travel towards the town making a stop back at the tower to visit Harkonan’s burly friend Kyle. While they play grab ass and such Teb goes to find Illandra. She is busy deciphering the walls. But she seems pleased to see us. In talking to her she asks about Teb’s wife. This shames Teb. How is it that nobody can understand Teb’s actions where M’Lady is concerned? It would seem that everyone either thinks that Teb is a copulating partner for M’Lady, or is a slave with no free will of his own. Teb thought the illustrious Illandra would understand more than others. After all, much like Teb himself, Illandra chooses to serve others. Teb simply chooses to serve a much smaller population. There is no shame in devotion to service. Quite the opposite, there is great pride in it. The Stroms’ have done so much for my lineage, it is the least Teb can do to serve and protect what will likely become the greatest of all Stroms.
While traveling, Teb decided to strike up a conversation with the now waking captives. It would appear that whatever happened in the camp. Their memories have been altered. It seems they cannot recall the attack or anything. This would appear to be quite to our fortune. Teb decided to try to understand their city and culture a bit more. It turns out that the people of this land are completely unaware of any notion that there are lands outside their own. Teb doubts that they will react kindly to such a revelation. In fact this could be the cause of the current situation surrounding Tim. We must be careful. It would also appear that appearing as we do with much darker skin than these two is often a sign of coming from a much lesser area that we later discover to be called “the lowlands”. This could be both to our benefit and to our detriment. Teb also inquires as to the view of this country’s citizens on the use of mind powers. It would appear that there are a group of people in the town that have mind powers like Teb, they are incredibly feared and wield a heavy amount of influence. As we approached the great city the guards make it clear that Teb will indeed be viewed as a lesser being due to the current hue of Teb’s skin. Zog however is met with an inordinate amount of respect. This too can be used to our edge
The rest of the party want to and have drinks. How unprofessional. M’Lady has commanded Teb to be her eyes on this place and Teb thinks it best for her eyes not to be doing anything as useless as watching Guy and Zog guzzle down a Tankard or two of Ale. Teb decides to go off in search of some information, and as in most large cities, there must be a center of information, and Teb intends to find it and use it to his advantage. Teb walks towards the library unhindered by his companions. A sharp pain occurs, and then a cold feeling sweeps through Teb…No, not THROUGH Teb, it came FROM Teb, OUT of Teb. Something is pulling Teb’s mind energy straight from his body. And there is Harkonan it is clear he felt something too. Teb adjust’s my eyes for the unseen and notice that there are a number of unusual people, one of which seems to robbing Harkonan of his energy, and then Teb notice’s the one that has robbed Teb of his, but only a second too late, and just as Harkonan runs screaming like a small scared child. Teb must admit that this is a side of Harkonan that Teb does not dislike seeing, a child can be taught. But now Teb is defenseless. Teb chases after the being even though he makes it clear that he does not wish to be chased. The energy vampires must have found Teb delicious, because he agrees to share more under the condition that Teb meets him for another feeding. It may be draining but given time Teb can always make more. Information however does not diminish nor regenerate. Teb must learn more. He continues to the library but with a definite purpose in mind. Teb sees Harkonan and Guy with another man, although they do not see Teb.
The Library does little to aid Teb in his quest for knowledge. So it seems that Teb must rely solely on the source himself to reveal the information that Teb seeks

To Be continued

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Harkonan Slayer of Woodland Critters
Is anything safe with Harkonan?

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Act 3
So, after exploring this empty tower, with no treasure might I add, my companions and I simply waited to hear from our fearless General. After some time I noticed that my friend the brawler had arrived to the tower. I was most pleased by this visit! I quickly shouted, brawler my friend how are you!? He replies in his usual strong voice, “My name is not ‘The Brawler’.” despite all this time I was shocked that I had not known his name yet. The brawler tells me his name is Kyle, a simple name for such a strong man. Doesn’t matter, he will always be The Brawler to me! He tells my companions and me, that we had freedom to go and explore. As if that general has to tell me I have freedom to do as I please! Guy and the Wolfen wanted to go hunt, as for Zog he wanted to go look for berries. I was hoping we would come across some more exciting pray, but we only found some berries and mushrooms.
We returned a short time after to find out that Guy and the wolfen had not yet returned! We decided to wait for some time for the two before we continued our adventure. Several hours had passed and we had still not heard a word. I thought it would be best to use the wildlife in the area to help us search for the two. I saw a crow and spoke to the bird. I ask the bird to go and deliver a message I created out of a part of my blanket and some barriers we gathered. The crow’s main focus was on food, so I believe the crow failed or didn’t even attempt to complete his task. I should have just murdered the crow and ate it. We grew more impatient and decided to go looking for the two. While I we were searching for them in the forest I noticed a little squirrel. I asked the squirrel to get closer to me, I offered it some berries. I asked the squirrel if it had seen any of my friends. It replayed that it had not and just kept begging me for nuts. Pesky rodent, I was about to impale the beast with my spear but the troll literally fell to the ground and begged for its life. So I spared its life. It would have made a tasty meal. While we searched my sweet Moriel detected a trap! The young beauty reaches out to disarm the trap. Rather than disarming the trap, she triggered it and ensnared her inside of the trap. Realizing this could be an ambush I conceal myself using camouflage. I was disappointed that no witless fools attempted to attack us. Once we were free a handsome old man with a very dashing horned helm busted out of the bushes. He threw a spear at the tree next to us, and then called it back into his arms! I complemented the old man such an interesting trick. Teb, being his usual self drew his sword getting ready to attack the man. Fortunately due to my clever words we avoided a fight. All of a sudden we spot our two lost companions! They told us of their meeting with the crazy old man named Tim. He takes us back to his home, which was a crap hole cave. I searched for something valuable for me to bargain or steal, but the old man was insane and poor. The group decided to make a big feast with the food they have gathered; I did not want any of it. Though I’m sure Zog is a great cook, I’m more afraid of the salt. So I went outside and captured a blue jay. I brought it to my sweet Moriel, but refused the bird. She instead told me to set it free as all birds should be. Unlike the lap dog, I don’t just follow blindly. I killed the blue jay away from sight, and cooked the bird outside. While feasting on my captured prize I heard a horn off in the distance. I quickly entered the cave and told my companions what I just heard. Tim goes outside and saw that I had a fire going. He became angry the fire was going right outside his home. Hot air, the old man cries for nothing. I believe he was only angry because he did not get to taste my bird. We took turns keeping watch; just to be sure we were not murdered in our sleep.
I had to keep watch with Teb…..we had a long talk, and now I don’t feel the need for him to die.
The following morning we searched for who could have triggered the alarms. Moriel could sense an ambush spot. They spent some deciding on what to do, and how to approach it. I got tired of all the wait, so I rushed into the fray! As soon as I started rushing those three men with bows revealed them and took a stance to fire. Zog took the lead on the fight and was quickly struck with arrows. 6 more weaklings showed up, one man in plate wielding a huge battle axe and the others in mail. Teb placed some cleaver shield walls which gave us time to win the fight!
We captured 2 of the cowards, and I threaten to end them if they got too carried away. As a trophy I gathered the ears of the fallen and all of their equipment. Zog and I volunteered to escort the prisoners back to base.

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