Monday, November 12, 2012

Thistletop. 18 Rova, 4707 AR.

Sometimes, a goblin riding a frog knocks you unconscious and you forget stuff.  It happens. I'm not saying that it happens often, but it happens.

I remember fighting the goblin and the tiger, but then it gets a bit murky.  We musta made our way through the rest of bramble tunnels, because the next thing that I remember is walking down the hallway of a fort.  I don't really remember what we were doing there, but I do remember opening a door and finding a buncha goblin dogs ready to rip out my throat.  (My memory gets a lot clearer from this point.  Go figure.)  I remember Garridan and Signe springing into action here, taking down the dogs in fairly short order.  However, I really remember the new guy finding a warhorse in a small building inside the courtyard.  He has a way with animals, I guess, because he managed to calm down the horse a lot.  In fact, it really seemed to take to him, though I think that it helped that he fed it mosta his rations.  (Signe made clear that she wasn't sharing hers.  Shocking.)  Since we couldn't exactly make our way through the rest of the fort with a warhorse in tow, though, we left him there.  (We were pretty sure that he could fend for himself for the time being.  The new guy said that he actually seemed eager to meet some goblins.  Better them than me.)

Other than a few goblin guards that Garridan dispatched in that disturbingly efficient way of his, we didn't really encounter anyone else until, with typical skill, we stumbled into Ripnugget's throne room.  Ripnugget.  What a freak.  We found 'im sitting on an enormous frog surrounded by a few guards.  Needing a moment or so to collect ourselves (it was a sight, let me tell ya), the kid did his best to try to reason with Rip.  But, as it usually does when we leave it to the kid to talk to folks, things went downhill pretty quickly.

Ripnugget was a real problem, since he was able to flit around the room on toppa that frog of his while the rest of us were trying to take down the guards.  Although I wouldn't exactly admit it to him, the kid did the most damage against Rip.  He used some sorta scroll that he had tucked in one of his pouches to create a ball of fire that he apparently could control, since he kept hurling it around the room at 'im.  Brein and I managed to drop two of the guards pretty quickly, but, when one of 'em sprang to life again, we realized that it wasn't gonna be a simple fight.  Signe identified their spellcaster pretty quick, but he was apparently good, since he shook off the spell that she used to try to hold 'im.  The kid, however, used that fireball of his to nail the spell guy, so at least dead goblins stayed dead after that point.

Even as we were dropping the guards, though, Rip was getting in some hits, hitting Garridan so badly he had to use a potion.  Brein managed to take out the final guard just as the kid's fireball expired, so it was time to go big against Rip.  Of course, my attempt to do so failed miserably, and everything is hazy after that point, since Rip dropped me good.  I'm told that the new guy was responsible for healing me, making me hopeful that he'll at least balance out the damage that the kid usually does to me with his bombs.  I was also forced to burn a potion that Brein lent me, but at least now we were all able to focus on Rip.  Garridan slashed 'im good at one point and the kid went for one better, nailing 'im with a magic missile.  Rip mighta been done then, but, for safe measure, Signe and I continued our attack.  After we dropped 'im, Signe then took care of the damn frog.

Of course, now that I have a moment to think, I'm realizing that we mighta wanted to have been a bit more careful with Ripnugget, given that the whole point was to get some answers from him.  Probably need to start thinking about that a little sooner in the battle...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thistletop. 17 Rova, 4707 AR.

It's amazing how a little food, ale, and, um, companionship can really refresh a guy's view on life.

Anyway, as I mentioned in my last entry, Signe took down the three-armed goblin freak and we managed to limp back to Sandpoint, with no spells, dented weapons, and no clue.  So, basically, a pretty standard outing for us.

I shouldn't really complain, though, since I did get a new axe from it.  I practiced with it this morning and it really sang, like it knew where I wanted to strike before I did. Makes sense, since the kid seems pretty sure that it's enchanted.  Plus, since we found it on a goblin in a secret cavern, we're pretty sure that the three-armed goblin was actually that Koruvus character that Shalelu mentioned a few days ago.  After all, how many goblins lurk in secret caverns carrying around human-sized axes?  (Actually, don't answer that.)

The problem is that this revelation only really confirmed something that we already knew.  The caverns hadn't given us any new ideas about Tsuto's lover's plans.  We were hoping that Father Zantus would be able to piece together some details, particularly given the demented fairy, but he unfortunately didn't have much to add.  (Signe senses that he was telling the truth, and she's usually pretty good about spotting that sort of thing.)  The revelation that a quasit was lurking in the tunnels underneath the glassworks seemed to rattle him, but, again, he didn't know anything more than we already knew from Tsuto's journal or Shalelu's chat.

At this point, we decided that we could start looking for the lover's lieutenants in an attempt to sort out whether they were still planning on attacking Sandpoint or if plans had changed after we interrupted their initial foray.  Our options were basically to track down the crazy bugbear or find this Ripnugget character.  We opted for Ripnugget, since we at least had a pretty good idea where to find him.  (In retrospect, I'm still not sure why I agreed to this trek.  Although the Father expressed his faith in the Guard, I'm pretty sure that we're going to return to find that they've accidentally burnt down the entire village.)  So, the kid made some more of his Asmodeus-cursed bombs and we headed to Thistletop, where Tsuto's journal said that Ripnugget would be.

The journey here was pretty quick and I managed to find a trail to a gate made of brambles.  Since it seemed to shout, "COME THIS WAY," I hacked through it and we made our way into a series of tunnels that the brambles formed.  

(Having just spent a good while plucking brambles from my clothes and arms, I'm again haunted by how stupid we seem to be when we decide what we're going to do.  "Obviously, we need to plunge into the poorly-lit, sinister-seeming bramble tunnels."  The best part is that we decided to stay AFTER the gate reformed behind us once we were all in the tunnels.  Did any of us mention that brambles that close on themselves are generally a bad omen?  No.  Did any of us suggest that maybe we should return for reinforcements?  No.  I mean, at least we could've used some of the guards as cannon fodder.  It's not like they're good for much else.  But, no, here I am with three people I don't even really know trying to track down someone named "Ripnugget" in the hope that he can tells us something about a failed plot against a town that I barely knew existed a few days ago.  When we make it outta these damn tunnels, I need to seriously reconsider my options.)

Anyway, I saw some signs that something had been dragged through the tunnels and, since we didn't exactly have any better leads, we followed the trail.  Unfortunately, we got sidetracked and found ourselves taking on four hungry-looking goblin dogs.  I managed to rush one and take it down pretty quickly, but the others rallied fast, getting in a bunch of attacks.  One of them bit me and I still feel woozy from it.  Don't know what it did to me.  You know what also hurt?  When the kid hit me with one of his Asmodeus-cursed bombs AGAIN!  I swear to Gozreh, the next time he does that, I'm letting whatever thing is trying to eat us just freaking eat him.  At any rate, Signe didn't help matters when she managed to get herself disarmed by a damned dog.  Seriously, the girl falls of roofs, tumbles off stages, and gets disarmed by dogs:  we're just lucky that she mostly does more damage to our opponents than us.  (Unlike the kid.)  Needless to say, It took us longer than it should've, but we did managed to bash them all unconscious.  Signe healed us up a bit before we then resumed following the trail.

We got to a fork in the road but, before we could decide where to go, we were attacked by some huge cat and another goblin.  (I am so over goblins.)  The first few rounds didn't go so well.  They used the tunnel against us, pinning Signe and the kid in front.  Then, the goblin cast some sort of spell that made the brambles around us come alive, forcing Garridan and I  to struggle constantly to keep from getting entangled.  The kid once again managed to hit everyone with a bomb (though, remarkably not me this time), but did later manage to do something useful, casting some spell that sent a ray of color or something at the tiger.  I'll admit that I was going to make a smart-ass remark at the time about the usefulness of firing flares at a tiger, but the tiger spent the rest of the fight totally disoriented, so his ray of color obviously did something to it.  Garridan took advantage of the opening, too, doing his flippy thing and using that crazy hand dagger of his to take down the tiger for good, driving the blade deep into his neck.  It wasn't pretty, but, damn, it was effective.

The goblin wasn't as easy.  He got off a few bursts of fire before disappearing into the bushes.  He then managed to get in a few hits against the kid, who happened to be standing where he appeared.  You'd think the kid would've retreated and done something useful defensively.  Instead, he threw another of those damned bombs, barely hitting the goblin but TAKING DOWN HIS OWN DAMN SELF.  We're going to have a talk about those things when we're done here and he's not going to like it.  Eventually, the three of us left standing (though singed) got in enough hits to take down the goblin.  Signe healed all of us, though I'm still feeling a little dazed from that dog bite, something that Garridan also complained that he's feeling.  When the kid could finally stand upright, we went through the goblin's equipment.  He found a few wands that excited him probably too much to be healthy and we got a cloak that should help Garridan to shake off some of the magical attacks that seem to affect him more than the rest of us.  The way things are going, we're going to need all the help we can get.

We plan on interrogating the goblin, but, right now, I just need to close my eyes for a minute and get some rest.  Maybe Gozreh will bless me with the reason why I'm putting my ass on the line for this town...

Sandpoint. 10 Rova, 4707 AR.

Damn.  I want to write all about the crap we faced in the caverns, because I know it might matter at some point.  But, I am just too damn tired.  Bad-ass fairies, rats, zombies, three-armed goblins:  it was a helluva day and I just want a decent bed and about a year of good sleep.

Here's what I remember.  We had learned that Ameiko's sketchy-ass brother and his half-human/half-demon lover were trying to hustle some sorta army through the caverns under the glassworks to sacrifice Sandpoint to the lover's demon master.  (Yeah, I have a hard time following that, too.)  Anyway, we decided that maybe we should poke around the caverns a little to see what we could learn about the lover's plans, particularly now that it seems the army isn't quite as strong as she thought it was gonna be.  We geared up a bit (and finally buy some damn rope) and then made our way to the caverns.  I'm gonna be honest:  the next few hours are a blur.  A lot of stuff came at us fast.  We eventually made our way to a room with a huge set of doors.  I remember that part.  On the other side, of course, is trouble, in the form of some demented fairy hovering over a creepy ass lava pool.  (The kid later identified it as a "quasit," but I think "demented fairy" is definitely a more accurate description.)

Before we could really do anything, the "quasit" summoned some crazy ass thing that flies straight at us.  We managed somewhat miraculously to take it down pretty quickly, but we then proceeded to make fools of ourselves trying to get the fairy herself.  The first problem, of course, was that she was about a foot tall.  Do you know how hard it is to hit something with a battle axe that's about a foot tall and buzzing around your head?  (I eventually switched to a long spear, which at least helped a little.)  Plus, she could turn invisible or teleport or something, so every time we got close to cornering her, she disappeared.  Awesome.  Given that we have trouble hitting things we can see, you can imagine how well we do against things that we can't

The only good news is that we weren't as badly prepared as we normally are.  Someone, I can't remember who (probably the kid), knew that these sorta demons are often only really hurt by weapons made of cold-iron, so we had each gotten our hands on some cold-iron equipment.  Turned out that Garridan's cold-iron arrows were the most effective because, man, every time he hit her with one of them, she positively freaked.  However, the problem is that she managed to paralyze Garridan for a good long while right away, making the rest of us basically chase after her like she were a rabid dog and we were dog catchers with holes in our nets.  She was also occasionally pelting us with some sorta miniature knife, which didn't do much damage but also didn't do much for my mood.  Oh, plus, did I mention the dire rats?  Yup.  Dire rats.  Basically, it was a bad scene.

But, Garridan eventually shook off the paralysis and got some revenge in the forma those arrows.  Plus, he gave his cold-iron dagger to the kid, who got in a few hits with that spell of his where he throws a weapon and it returns to him.  Kid also got in some hits with magic missile (though not his damn bombs, which continue to do more damage to ME than our enemies).  Signe?  She had less of a good time.  Although I'm pretty sure that she took out a rat or two, she also managed to fall of the stage.  After the roof incident, one of us is going to have to convince her that acrobatics aren't really her strong suit.

Anyway, one of us, I can't remember who, managed to strike the final blow and the whole place got real quiet.  Like eery quiet in a way that only a secret cavern with demented fairies and glowing pools of lava can get.  We made our way to the other parts of the caverns, where we got surprised by a buncha zombies.  Freaking undead.  You'd think zombie would be the worst part of the day, but we then suddenly found ourselves facing down a three-armed goblin.  Yup.  A three-damned-armed goblin.  Honestly, by this point, I was ready to drop my axes, return to the Dragon, pack up my stuff, and leave this town, without even looking over my shoulder.  Thankfully (or, maybe, unfortunately), Signe suddenly found her footing and took down the thing with one damn mighty swing of her greatsword.  I don't know if I would've believed it if I hadn't been standing right there.  Exhausted, we managed to gather up some stuff off the goblin and stumble back to Sandpoint.  We've clearly got more questions than answers at this point, but I'm gonna worry about them tomorrow.  For now, sleep.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sandpoint. 9 Rova, 4707 AR

She fell off the roof. I mean, seriously, everything you'd ever need to know about how today went can be summarized by: she fell off the damn roof.

All right, so, we headed to the glass factory that Ameiko's father owns (or, well, owned, but I'll get to that), since she apparently decided that meeting her shady-ass brother there at midnight sounded like a decent idea. Not surprisingly, the place was locked tighter than a drum. We went door-to-door, but none of them opened. (I write that like it's unreasonable for someone to lock up his place at night so that any group of idiots like us can't just wander through it looking for a missing girl with a spotty record when it comes to making safe decisions.) I'm pretty sure I was somewhere else when this decision got made, but, for some reason, Signe and not Garridan wound up clamoring onto the roof after spotting some skylights up there. I put "clamoring" there because she was wearing all her armor at the time that she made said climb. Sounded like pots and pans clanging together in the Dragon's kitchen. (Of course, nothing we've done so far has been particular subtle, so I don't know why I'd expect it to be any different at this point.) Anyway, she muscled her way on up there and scouted around a bit. But, shockingly, one of the goblins working down there heard her and looked at her through the skylight. (Yup, goblins. Remember them? All starting to come together, innit?) Signe panicked a bit (pretty reasonable, given the angry goblin pointing at her), causing her to lose her grip and slide off the roof. Lesson #1: don't send a cleric to do a thief's job. At any rate, we realized that goblins meant bad news, so we eventually got one of the doors open (after I damn-near broke a shoulder trying to do so) and went about finding them.

Place was a mess, full of bodies of the workers that the goblins have hacked to pieces. It wasn't pretty. Kid looked pretty green, though he'll deny it. At any rate, goblins started coming at us, little bastards. Throwing glass, bouncing all over the place. It took us a while, but we finally managed to take out a few, inspiring the rest of 'em to pull a runner. We followed, and, man, it's in the next room where this story takes a turn for the dark and creepy. Before now, I thought that we were involved in some sort of family dispute. Brother has Ameiko locked in a room or something until she sees his side of whatever it is causing them to argue. I mean, we already know that family ain't exactly having heart-warming moments around the fire. So, I figured it was bad, but nothing too grim. It was when we saw Ameiko's dad encased in glass that I realized we were possibly in a little over our heads. From the look on his face, you could tell that he was still alive when the glass was poured over him. Man, even I'll admit to feeling a little green after that. Took us a minute or two to collect ourselves, but then we finally found the little bastards.

I managed to make it after one of them as it fled down a corridor, but it was then that we realized that we had a bigger problem, in the form of Ameiko's brother. I'm not really sure how it all went down, since I was 'round the corner fighting the goblin, but the kid tells me that everything went bad quick. He thought at first that they were going to have an easy time of it, because the brother was unarmed, but then the guy took down Signe in one fell swoop and brushed aside one of the kid's better spells. Bad scene. Garridan apparently got a healing potion to Signe and he and the kid were able to drive the brother back a bit so that she could get to her feet. I finally took down the goblin and stumbled down the corridor, figuring I could flank him from the other side. (Or, at least, hoping I could. Place was darker than midnight.) Guy was smart, though, must've heard me coming, because he fired off an arrow or two my way before I could get to him. Kid got in a hit with what even I could recognize as magic missile and the guy stumbled a bit. I decided that it was time to try some new tricks, realizing how easy this guy was playing us, and went at 'im with both axes, something I'd been practicing for awhile. Managed to nail him with my battle axe and stun 'im a bit more. Signe realized that I was struggling after the fight with the goblins and healed me. Helped a lot, because I was able to nail 'im with both blades next time. Guy was definitely hurting by this point and Garridan slid past 'im, dropping him with that knife thing he does. Garridan and I probably would've ended him there, but the kid pointed out that we might've needed him to find Ameiko. 'Course, we didn't have any rope (need to remember to buy some), so Garridan wound up binding him with some string. Felt like an idiot watching Garridan spool him in string like he was a damn house cat. Turned out we didn't need 'im to find Ameiko because she was just in one of the rooms off the corridor. Pretty bad shape, I have to say. Bound, battered. Signe grabbed her and Garridan and I grabbed the brother. By the time we got outside, crowd of townspeople had gathered outside the factory. Helpful lot, these Sandpointers. Didn't offer to help or nothing, just gawked at us while we lugged the two of 'em to the garrison.

We decided to leave the guy with the Guards. However, since we weren't confident that they could guard the ONE DAMN PRISONER that they had in their entire prison, we left Garridan and the kid to watch over Ameiko's brother while Signe and I took Ameiko herself to Father What's-His-Name. Man, suddenly, it all really went from bad to even worse. Turns out her brother's involved with the daughter of the former priest, the one who allegedly died in that fire. She's apparently not only "not dead" but also some sorta bastard "celestial being" or something. We regroup with Garridan and the kid and it turned out that the kid found the brother's journal that more or less confirmed this story. Ameiko's brother and this girl were working with some pretty nasty demon or something, planning on sacrificing the whole town to her. Ameiko told us that the brother was decent enough to offer to hide her, so she wouldn't get hurt in the attack, but she refused. (Just to note, I'm not giving a guy who encased another living being in glass too much credit. Sure, the father was a prick, but even he didn't deserve that.) Kid and I were talking to Father So-and-So about it, trying to get some more information, when Garridan suddenly just blurted out that Ameiko's father was dead. Seriously. I mean, I'm not saying that I'm great with this sorta thing, but, given that the kid told that townswoman that goblins ate her husband's face off and Garridan being all, "Congratulations, you're an orphan,' someone around here needs to learn how to deliver this sorta news better. (You'd think Signe could do it, as a cleric and all, but she seems to get distracted by the thought of supper too often.) Ameiko was pissed (not that I blame 'er), and I think I'm just lucky to have a room for tonight to write this entry. Made some sort of comment about her hospitality as we returned to the inn.

'Course, to the surprise of NO ONE, guard entered a little while later, when we were trying to relax, telling us the brother offed himself. Seriously. One prisoner and they let 'im kill himself. Guard tried to blame Garridan, since he tied the knot, but we weren't buying it. Seriously, I need to have a talk with the Mayor about why she's paying these idiots to do ANYTHING. If our group is going to have to start posting our own damn watches just to keep prisoners alive, we might as well get the money for it that the guards get paid. Signe and I checked out the body, realized that his lover, the possible half-demon/half-human chick, paid a little visit before he died after we found her hair in his hand. (Creepy, I know.) Not sure what sort of secrets the guy was holding that made 'im decide to hang 'imself. I'm thinking it's not good, particularly since we now know we've got some half-demon/half-human chick out there with a demon master and goblin army, wanting nothing more than to take out this town. It's certainly not something that I need to be in the middle of resolving. Of course, given how successful I've been so far in keeping my nose outta this stuff, I'm thinking I'm going to find out the answer sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sandpoint. 9 Rova, 4707 AR

Seriously, I have no idea how I wound up stuck with these people. I mean, I do. But, damn, I'm a fool for staying with 'em. OK, sure, I wasn't going to let a goblin horde eat some village kids at a fair. I mean, come on, what sort of guy would just let some goblin maul a kid who five minutes ago was enjoying some spiced potatoes and waiting for some loud fireworks? Was I going to just shrug and say, "Not my town, not my problem?" No, of course not. I mean, yeah, a lot of people would've. Most people, probably. But, then again, a lot of people are assholes. But, a lot of people are decent. My companions, as annoying as they are? They're decent. So, we lent a hand. Would I rather have been taking down giants instead of goblins? Sure. But, sometimes, life works that way. Ask my folks.

It doesn't mean, though, that I'm going to start doing the job that the Guard should be doing. Me? I'm enjoying the free comfortable room and the occasional complimentary beverage. I don't need no shrine dedicated to me. When I've overstayed my welcome, I'll leave My companions? Yeah, they're decent, but, man, they're too decent. All these people keep coming out of the woodwork wanting the "heroes'" help. Want us to find everyone's lost dog and solve everyone's old family mystery. Of course, the place sure does seem to have a lot of mysteries for a small town. Take that Ameiko girl or however you spell her name. Her old man is crazy. Burst into the place screaming about us interfering in the Guard's work. Told 'im that the Guard clearly wasn't doing its work if we had to take down the goblins ourselves, but old man is more the ranty, rather than the listening, type. The kid thinks that he was behind the goblin attack, but I just don't see the connection, Guy just doesn't like adventurers. Lots of folk don't. Makes sense, particularly if you've got a hot daughter who you'd prefer not consorting with guys like Garridan and running her own inn. Can't say I blame him, exactly. But, given that his manor isn't overrun with goblins right now, also could've been a bit more respectful. Crossed a line when he started abusing Ameiko. She's been good to us, so we were all a bit peeved when he got in her face, screaming in that language of his that even the kid doesn't speak. All thought that we were gonna have to step in, but girl can handle herself. (The fact that Garridan hasn't managed to sleep with her yet proves that.) Sent 'em packing with a ladle to the head.

Anyway, the woman who came in after that certainly couldn't handle herself. Crying about her asshole of a husband screaming at her kid or something. Goblins in the closet. I felt like we should leave well enough alone, but the kid decides we're some sort of investigators or something and offered to help. Of course, I'm the one who had a crazed-ass goblin leap from a closet at him, so I feel like I should start getting more votes in these matters. I mean, sure, I felt bad for the woman, but, seriously, you have too many goblins jump from a closet at you, one of 'em is going to get lucky and land a blow to the head that ends you. I just feel like we should be a little more, I don't know, choosy when deciding who to help. (I don't know even know why I'm talking about a "we." Obviously 'ave been hit in the head by too many goblins already.) But, no. We're just here to help. When the sheriff asks you to just stroll around town like you own the place so people feel safe, do you ask him to pitch in something for the trouble? Apparently not. (I'm not asking for, like, the keys to the town's vault or anything, but a tab at a place not forcing me to eat kippers three times a day wouldn't hurt. Maybe he could just dock the Guard's pay since it's clearly not doing anything all day.) But, no, kid wants us to be heroes. (Garridan just likes the ladies' attention. Signe just likes the free food. At least those two motivations make some sense to me. Kid, though. Delusions of grandeur.)

Of course, now, we're going to go look into Ameiko disappearing. Sure, besides the kippers, she's down right by us, as I said. But, anyone meeting some mysterious half-brother at glass factory at midnight? They're asking for trouble, in my book. But, here we go, asking right along with her. That's the kid at the door. Gozreh only knows where tonight's gonna go.