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Ellywick's Journal

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DAY 1 (9/25/16)
Ellywick
Sunnydale
Summer

Today while playing strip poker in a tavern on the West district of Sunnydale I overheard an interesting conversation. While the game was interrupted by the bartender (Asshole.) I did meet several very interesting people.

The first, Asger, is a drunk druid with a wolf named Lord Slashington The III, of all things. Originally I offered to buy him a drink, and pay his tab, in order to swindle him out of his money but I quickly learned he was absolutely broke.

The other three were apparently all friends. I managed to convince them to let us sit at their table, they were apparently very trusting or very drunk, with the intention of starting a poker game. However, the Elf, who at the time was bench-pressing the Halfling, decided to grab me and try to bench press me as well. Instead of wiggling free like I might have, I allowed him her? to grab me but decided to take something from the Elf as compensation. (I believe the Elf is a man in body but he was dressed like a woman. I am not quite sure how to handle this.)

Unfortunately, the others noticed and the Elf threw me against the wall, over the fireplace, causing the bulletin board to fall off the wall and on top of me. I hit my head rather hard, probably cracked several ribs and got several deep cuts and minor burns. He She? is very strong, and needless to say I had a ringing headache and could not walk very well afterwards.

We were then kicked out of the tavern for brawling (the bartender saw me try to take my mug so I had to return it). Outside the tavern I heard the Halfling mention someplace called the Tower of Rhalabhast, that supposedly had a wizard with a thousand eyes at it. It sounded interesting so I followed them, instead of working over the marketplace like I had planed. I was hoping they would lead me to the tower. Asger continued to tag along.

However, before we could go to this tower, the paladin (Tavrin I think) insisted on going to the church of Pelor to receive a blessing. Curse him. What type of sadist would bring me to such a palace of gold and finery when I am so injured? I did not need to get into a fight with every paladin in the place. So, to try and keep my hands busy, and away from all that gold , I tried to carve Olidammara’s face into a candle. I don’t think it turned out so well.

Asger, the drunken fool, brought a paladin over to me. I would have been mad, but I suddenly remembered that these religious nuts had healing abilities. I asked the paladin if I could be healed. I followed him all the way to the high cleric only to discover that the price of healing was one more gold than I possessed. Apparently they don’t offer healing out of the goodness of their hearts, go figure. I went back to my corner to sulk.

There, Asger surprised me greatly by offering to heal me. He knew healing magic!?! Of course I immediately accepted. Almost instantly I felt as good as new. I was so filled with euphoria that I hugged Asger, the Halfling, and even the Elf, who didn’t look too pleased about it, but didn’t make a fuss.

At last, the Annoyance (Tavrin) was finished getting blessed and we could be on our way to the Thousand Eye Tower. At least that’s what was supposed to happen. The fool of an Elf decided that now would be a great time to get his her? good deed of the day out of the way. The fool decided to go looking for a lost dog, a white Boston Terrier with a sparkly pink collar that apparently answered to the name of “Lucky”.

After visiting the owner’s house, an upscale place in the northern district (I must visit it again when the Annoyance isn’t watching...), and some brief negotiations with the house’s butler we acquired a sample of the lost dog’s scent, and set Asger’s wolf on the trail. After an hour of searching, the wolf, who I will now refer to as Fluffy, appeared to catch the missing animal’s scent. We followed Fluffy for nearly fifteen minutes before he lost it. We spent the rest of the day trying to find it again.

As it got dark we decided to split up and find places to sleep. The Annoyance went crawling back to her church, of course, I think the Fool and the Halfling went to an inn, and Asger followed me to a Rogue’s nest. I believe, despite his lack of money, I will keep him around if only for the free healing, perhaps I can even convince him to fight for my benefit. I will buy him a few more drinks and then bring it up.

I swear to Olidammara himself, that if we are still searching for this dumb dog by noon tomorrow I will swindle them of all their supplies, replace their goods with stones, and go to this thousand eye tower myself!

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DAY 2: Part 1 (10/2/16)
Ellywick
City of Sunnydale, in Faerun (Located in the middle/west of the realm)
Summer
6am-8am

6:00am

I was glad when Asger woke up this morning, he had been quite drunk yesterday. Not surprisingly, he not only had a bad hangover but barely knew who I was. Thankfully, he remembered my name. It would have been quite awkward, to try to explain everything in the middle of the rogues den. As it was he asked where we were and what had happened. I explained about the damn dog and asked him to help me ask around about dog, before leaving for the meet up. He agreed but we had no luck.

Just as we were going to head to the meet up, Asger had a brilliant idea. Why not get another dog and try to pass it off as Lucky? After checking around the den for info on a white dog, we learned that none of the dogs in the area were pure white.

Sad at the missed fun and about to give up on the whole thing, Asger again had a great idea, “Why not just paint one white?” It was a wonderful idea in theory, and in that moment I decided that I liked the man a lot more now that he was sober.

After some fine tuning (we decided to use chalk instead of paint) we headed out to gather the necessary amount of chalk (200 pieces) and a passable dog. As there was no way I was going to pay 2 gold for that much chalk, we came up with a plan to steal enough. Shops on average kept about 20 chalk on their front desk, so Asger would distract the man and I would take the chalk.

6:30am

Asger is a terrible liar. If I had known how absolutely horrid he was I never would have agreed to the plan.

At the first shop. I admit that was my fault, but in my defence the shopkeeper had inhuman hearing. He swung around just as I was about to take a piece of chalk and asked what I was doing. I lied of course, said I was admiring it and thinking of buying some for my brother. Thankfully, he believed me, but I had to buy the stick I was holding as proof of my good intentions.

That would have been the end of it, the man would have turned back to Asger, I would have taken the rest of the chalk and it would have been done. However, Asger had other ideas, he decided to try talk the owner into selling him 200 pieces of chalk for only a copper piece. He’s ballzy, I’ll give him that.

Not surprisingly the owner didn’t bite, and threatened to call the city guard on us. I was ready to go, but Asger continued to try and negotiate. I ended up having to grab his arm and drag him out. A confrontation with the city guard was not worth it.

On the way to the next store we looked about for a usable stray but saw nothing of interest.

At the next store we changed the plan a bit. If Asger couldn’t lie, then maybe his wolf could. We decided to have Fluffy steal something, and when the shopkeeper ran after him, it would leave me alone with the chalk. Unfortunately, Asger’s dismal ability to lie fucked that plan up as well.

The shopkeeper didn’t run after Fluffy and instead started calling for the city guard, calling Asger a thief. I immediately backed away from the counter trying to escape notice. Unfortunately, Asger decided to run up to the counter and grab the two boxes of chalk there. As he sprinted out the owner’s eyes fell on me.

He asked if I knew Asger. Of course, I said no. Unfortunately, the man didn’t believe me. He told me to wait for the guard to be questioned. Whatever, it wasn’t like the guards were all that smart.

7:00am

The guards showed up, asked their stupid questions, to which I barely had to lie and then told me to be on my way. I waived and gave them a pleasant smile. That seemed to make them mad. >:)

Anyway, now that I looked around I didn’t see Asger anywhere. The last I had seen he was being followed out of the store by four city guards. Honestly, there was nothing I could do. So I decided to head to the meeting place and see if I could convince the goody-goodies to help him.

7:30am

I arrived at the meeting place to find only the Halfling and Fool. There was no sign of the Annoyance. I suppose that was probably for the best. I would have hated having to explain why Asger was in trouble to him.

I explained the situation to them, leaving out the bit about trying to swap the dog, of course. I needed the Fool’s help for this and I didn’t think she’d be too pleased with our idea.

Surprisingly, the Fool decided to just give up on the lost dog, Asger and the Annoyance. I tried to persuade her against that, but to no avail. Instead she decided to head for the tower of a thousand eyes. As that was my original goal and I really had only just met Asger, I decided to go along.

After a bit of arguing about stealing chalk, I finally caved and explained why we had needed so much chalk. Not surprisingly, the Fool was mad at me, and proceeded to give me a lecture both about the poor, lost puppy, and wasting time on an “art project.” I really did not feel like being lectured by a Drag Queen about doing art projects! So, we got into a bit of a fight.

While, we were arguing (and walking) one of the upper windows of an inn opened and a head popped out telling us to shut up. I immediately gave them the finger and continued yelling at the Fool, the window snapped shut.

8:00am

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DAY ???: Death to all Rivers and Giant Vomit Cats! (10/9/16)
Ellywick
The Wizard’s Tower, Boulder Cliff, Staircase to Death
Summer

I am not entirely sure how to start this. So much has happened in the last three days. As I am writing this I am walking next to the Annoyance on a stairway, that seems to lead forever into a pit. It has been somewhere between 7 and 9 hours since we started our descent, judging by the number of torches and amount of oil we have used getting this far. Behind me all I see are stairs and darkness, in front of me my view is no different. How did I end up on an endless stairway of boredom into a dark pit? Well it started a little after the Fool had finished her lecture.

We had decide to go get some rations, just in case, since the three of us only had one ration each. I actually bought mine and the Fool’s, but that was only so the Fool would agree to carry them. I am so encumbered as it is that I would have been far slower with the weight of the three rations I bought added in. Then, as the Halfling and I were arguing over the price vs size of rations, a giant banana came whizzing around the corner, scooped us up and carried us out of town.

I’m not making this up. A giant banana whipped around the corner, floating two inches off the ground and made off with all three of us.

Zipping around on the banana for about twenty minutes was amazingly exhilarating, even though none of us could figure out how the heck it was moving. It deposited us in front of a highly enchanted, tall tower with ten foot double doors, then disappeared in a poof of dust. The Fool was extremely disappointed by this and said loudly that she would have liked to keep it as a pet.

As we picked ourselves up I noticed the half-elf that had yelled at us earlier standing outside the door as well. The doors of the tower opened majestically, and the four of us went inside. A bearded man, standing on a stone dais, greeted us and introduced himself as Rhalabhast. He did not have a thousand eyes. :(

Anyways, the Annoyance was unconscious at his feet, and when he woke up, the Wizard told us he had brought us here to fetch some box, from the waterfall at Boulder Cliff. I think he said it was Nekros the Grotesque’s. He warned us not to open it and that it would need “Lawful blood” to keep it closed. I vote we use the Annoyance’s. Anyway, he said he would pay us 240 GP to get it for him. He gave us 23 rations and a potion of cure light wounds each. Instead of giving up my potion, I gave the Fool my other ration and water skin. It occurs to me I could have thought that one through better.

We traveled for three days to get to boulder cliff. The entire time I did my best to be good as I was surrounded by the Fool and Annoyance. It was so utterly boring!

When we got to the cliff we discovered the bodies of six male hunters and a bear. All appeared to have been dead for quite some time but were not decomposing properly. There was a fifteen foot alcove behind the waterfall but nothing of use. While we were discussing where the entrance to this supposed cave was the Bard (the one who yelled at us for being too loud) remembered that the Wizard had said something about the “the way being opened when the dead were looking to the sky.”

We decided to turn the bodies. So, while the Annoyance turned the ones on this side of the river and the other three balked at the idea of touching the corpses, I decided to go across the river to turn the four on that side. Fucking rivers! Almost immediately I began to be swept downstream. After being swept fifteen feet I managed to claw my way out.

The Fool yelled across not to touch the bodies so I used my Gnome Hooked Hammer to flip them. On the way back across the river I was swept nearly a hundred feet downstream. It was so far that the Fool grew worried and came to pull me out. Just as she was about to do so I managed to drag myself out of the water, exhausted and soaked to the bone.

When we got back to the others I discovered that a secret door had opened in the side of the cliff near us. Thankfully I did not have to continue on soaked. The Annoyance was also wet and, as it was a warm morning, we decided to wait it out and go into the pitch black room after drying off.

When we were half dry, about an hour later, the secret door closed and all the bodies flipped back over. We decided to deal with re-opening the door once we were completely dry. After another hour, the Annoyance got to work on flipping the nearest dead bodies and, as I was not about to go back into that river, the Fool decided to strip and then wade across the water to flip the rest.

That is an image I will not soon get out of my brain. Though I can happily say that my suspicions were confirmed. Though she may dress as a woman, she is most definitely a man under all that clothing.

The secret door reopened and the Fool redressed, we headed into the abyss. The stairs were 15 feet wide, without banisters and dropped off at shear edges into a black pit. I very carefully stayed close to the wall, at the back of the party and away from the edge, I would not have put it passed the Annoyance or Fool to have punted me into the pit. The Halfling was walking next to me and the Annoyance and Fool led us.

About two-ish torches in we were suddenly attacked from behind by man-sized, hairless, toothless, clawless, emaciated cats. The one closest to me attempted to vomit on me. Vomit!!! Thankfully it missed. However, the Halfling was not so lucky. She was covered in a thick layer of foul smelling vomit.

Seeing us under attack the Fool rushed to our aid. I must come up with a better name for her, she is proving quite useful. She only got one hit in before the Vomit Cats fled back up the stairs and we were left with only a foul smelling halfling to remember them by. I used a spell to clean her up, if only to get rid of the smell, and then moved to the front of the party. I would be damned if I was snuck up on again! The Annoyance took the back, as Star (the Fool) had the torch. We then continued on.

Eventually, the torch ran out and we switched to the Annoyance’s lantern. He and star switched places. After what seemed to me an eternity of only hearing our steps and breaths I noticed that something seemed wrong with stairs. They looked crumbly and far weaker than the section we were on. I warned the others and asked the Halfling to tie a rope around me since I was the lightest. I knew from sneaking into houses that the area closest to the wall would be the most stable, so I started edging along the cliff wall. The steps crumbled leaving only the five foot patch I was standing on. Thank Olidammara I knew to walk close to the wall.

After getting across the others followed and thankfully the small patch of stairs held. That is how I ended up on a never ending staircase next to the Annoyance. I am so bored. I am so very bored. I have been trying very, very hard to be good so as not to incur the other’s wrath, but I am so, so bored. If these stairs do not end, or if something interesting does not happen soon, I may have to do something drastic so as not to die of boredom...

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DAY ???: I will burn their bodies and put their heads on spikes! (10/16/16)
Ellywick
Staircase of Death
Summer

I am writing this from on top of Fluffy. A lot has happened since I last got the chance to write. First off to stifle my aforementioned boredom I decided to hide just outside the other’s field of vision and see how long it would take them to come looking for me. Funny story, they never did.

Anyways, about an hour after starting my game, the party paused and I decided to throw a lit candle off the side, to see if I could tell how far down the staircase went. In retrospect, like many of my other ideas, I probably could have thought this one out a bit better. The candle only fell for about ten feet before flickering out.

After another hour the party stopped again. I could see the Halfling fiddling with something and after a moment I saw her throw something into the abyss. They stayed still for about three minutes, listening, I think. At the end of three minutes I heard the Halfling telling the others that she had heard the coin hit the ground. Three minutes, it took the coin three minutes to hit the ground. Well, I suppose it’s good to know that this infernal staircase has an end.

Another hour passed, and this time when the party stopped I could see them beginning to bed down. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I curled up against the wall trying to make myself look as small as possible, in case the cats decided to return.

Several hours later I was shocked awake by the freezing cold. Sitting up, I immediately looked over to where the party was sleeping to see that the Annoyance looked like he had also been woken by the cold. The Halfling, curled in Star’s lap, didn’t look like she had noticed. Eventually, I decided to go back to sleep, surely whatever it was wouldn’t strike twice.

Several hours later I woke up to the sound of a boulder rolling down the staircase towards us. Below me the entire party had also woken in a panic. I quickly put my armor back on and moved to rejoin them. Star greeted me briefly and then we all started moving as quickly as we could down the stairs, sleep forgotten. We slowed down after a few minutes of no longer being able to hear the bolder.

An hour later we ran into Asger and Fluffy unconscious on the staircase. The Halfling went to wake him, and I hurried over as well. Star walked past us, saying something about not wanting to associate with him, and the Annoyance asked her why. While Star was explaining what had happened in Sunnydale, Asger woke up. I asked him how he was and he flipped me off. I suppose I shouldn’t have taken it personally, because he basically flipped everyone off, but I did. I really do like him, he’s funny. I slipped back into the darkness behind the party to sulk.

After sulking for a while, I went back to my game of hide and seek, this time flirting with the shadowy areas in an attempt to get the others to do something. That’s when I heard it, the horrible pitter patter of pawed feet. I spun around just in time to see three Vomit cats come down the stairs toward me. My first instinct was to press up against the wall and try to look small. The one closest to me lashed out, striking my forearms twice as I tried to curl up into a ball to protect my head and neck.

The second one also lashed out. It managed to hook one of my arms with its first strike, wrenching it away from my head. I screamed. It’s next strike hit me squarely in the head, causing a stabbing pain to shoot through my skull and everything to go black. I am going to find where they live, burn their bodies, and put there heads on spikes, as warnings to any others who might want to terrorize this stair case!

When I came too, Asger was kneeling over me and Fluffy was attempting to beat off one of the Vomit cats. For some reason just seeing him made me really happy. I have never really had anyone who cared enough to look out for me before, and, even though I can still feel the pull of several scratches on my arms and my forehead is still pounding slightly, just knowing that he healed me when he didn’t have to makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I think I want to repay him for this somehow, but I need to figure out how. Just paying for his drinks seems like too little. I will have to come up with something better.

Anyways, the others ran up to fight the Vomit Cats and the Bard cheered us on with some inspiring words about how we were going to win, and for some reason, it made me feel as if I could take one of these fucker’s legs off. Unfortunately, before I got the chance, they had all run off into the darkness again. I am really tired of them attacking me and then running off before I get the chance to even try and hurt them! If it is the last thing I do I will find them, and kill them. Horribly. They are all going to die horrible, agonizing deaths.

After we had all picked ourselves up, Asger once again surprised me by offering to let me ride Fluffy. I quickly accepted. Fluffy is sooo fluffy!!! I spent several minutes just nuzzled up into his fur. It was sooo soft! We’ve been traveling like this for about two hours.

Wait a moment, I think I can see the end of the stairs. The bottom is lit by a soft oranges glow, that seems to be coming from the middle of the death pit, despite no other place except the bottom of the stairs being lit by it. The light looks familiar somehow. I know I’ve seen light like this before. That’s it, I have seen a similar glow once before, back when I was running a long con on a couple of Dwarf miners. We were “inspecting” one of their mines and the entire place had the same type of glow. Lava. That mine had been lit with lava. This is going to be so much fun. >:D

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DAY ???: Unconscious Again *Sigh* (10/23/16)
Ellywick
Staircase of Death, Giant leech room
Summer

I made a quick search of the doorway and then we sent the Annoyance ahead incase I had missed something. He reported that the next room had a webbing of bridges and was lit by glowing, sulfur-smelling liquid that sat ten feet below the bridges. Every now and then something would breach surface of the liquid. The Halfling informed us that they were leeches. In the center of the room was what looked like an adobe room. We decided to head for that. After taking a few minutes to decide how we would get to the room. The Annoyance was in front, Star took up the rear and I was in the middle towards the back.

We hadn’t gone fifty feet when the Annoyance came to a narrow section and slipped off. Asger crossed safely, having nothing that could help the Annoyance and I followed, snickering at the Annoyance’s predicament. The bard, upon attempting to cross the narrow patch slipped and fell in as well.

Suddenly, while the Halfling was trying to get out her rope and I was still snickering maniacally, I felt something slash across my chest. I could feel myself falling and then everything went black.

Kira (OOC)

Ok so at this point Ellywick was knocked out for the rest of the session. I will be going into next Sunday’s session with -5 health. I’m not quite sure how to handle this with the journal, so incase I don’t remember to add this into next week's journal here's a quick summery of what happened after Ellywick fell unconscious:

Tavrin (played by the DM as his player wasn’t here) managed to save Ellywick and after several minutes of all of us arguing amongst ourselves Starleaf and Mirla managed to pull us up. Meanwhile Asger was reduced to zero health by the same thing that knocked me unconscious and Aerith sunk under the water. Thankfully, the DM was rolling low today and so the giant leeches kept missing.

Aerith was halfway out of the water when they finally got a hit in. It hung on for a bit starting a brief tug of war until Aerith managed to slip free. The Leach looked “really sad” but none of us could tell. Now that we were all up we still had to cross the stupid narrow part.

Asger who was still across waited to help us out. Aerith’s turn was up first so she decided to tie the rope around herself, twice. Starleaf didn’t want to wait till her next turn and was confident in her dex. So she tried to cross and crit failed. Then Starleaf “did a graceful swan dive off the side” into the liquid. Thankfully, everyone else managed to cross (Mirla you “skip and dandy and do a couple of flips across” --DM). We then pulled the monk out and continued to the next balance point (number 2 of 3). Aerith, who went first, fell off immediately and we decided to call it a night.

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DAY ???: Bleed for the Box (11/7/16)
Ellywick
Giant leech room, Guano hut, Giant leech room
Summer

I am sitting, writing this on the other side of the first balance point of the bridge back to the stairs of death, while we decide what to do about Aerith falling in again. Asger has already jumped in to get her but if what they are telling me about last time happens again, we could be here a while…

Anyways, I am told that after I was knocked out, I was carried across the rest of the bridge by Star and the Annoyance. Everyone then rested eight hours against the door of the hut and woke up feeling a hundred percent better. Also, about the hut, on approaching it we realized that it was not made of adobe as we previously thought, but guano (bat poo). Which was pretty gross. Who would build a house out of bat poo? Why?

Immediately after waking up I felt so good that I started to celebrate finally not hurting and jumped up and down, and sung about not being unconscious excitedly. The Annoyance was, of course, a buzz kill and made me stop. I wonder if she has anything on her worth stealing…

Anyways, I checked the door for traps and finding it not trapped and locked, I unlocked it. Star suggested we throw a banana peel in to check for traps just inside and Asger graciously volunteered to open the door first. The banana peel didn’t explode, which was good.

The room inside was star shaped with a silver pentagram inlaid into the obsidian ground. There was a platform in the middle with an ivory cylindrical container on it. Blood was dripping from the ceiling onto it. Around the room were wooden closet doors. We could hear breathing coming from inside somewhere.

I wanted to know where the breathing was coming from. My curiosity almost immediately outweighed my caution and I strode inside, finding the closet door that had breathing behind it easily. While I was searching the closet door for traps, everyone except the Halfling who decided to stand guard outside came in. Asger and Aerith came up to the closet door, while Star and the Annoyance checked out the box on the platform.

Sadly, Asger beat me to opening the closet door. Inside a man in rags was hooked up to copper pipes and looked like he had been bled. With his dying breath he said “Bleed for the box or it will escape.” Creepy…

The box almost immediately started to gurgle menacingly. I ignored it. Not lawful, not my problem. Asger and Aerith are both felt the same. So, while Star and the Annoyance argued over who would feed the box, we searched the body and looked around for potential loot. Sadly there was nothing easily searchable…

While I’m on the subject of this box, I have had to ask myself if whoever is inside is really so bad. I mean whoever trapped him killed the guy in the closet and potentially could have killed people in all the other closets as well. That doesn’t sound like a good person. I wonder who is in the box and if he is really all that bad. Maybe the wizard was leading us on and he’s really the evil one. I would love to check my theory but the Annoyance has forbidden me from going anywhere near the box and assured me that the box is definitely evil.

Anyway, after several minutes of arguing, the Annoyance got fed up with Star and just fed the box himself. Aerith also, having gotten bored of the room and the bickering, convinced us all to get along and start going back. This time, we apparently had a strategy for the bridge. The Annoyance tied the rope around her middle and then tied the other end around both Star and the box.

The Annoyance went first, pulling the rope taunt on her end making a sort of hand rail over the narrow part. It worked nicely, except when Aerith fell in. Again. And then started to sink. Again. Asger jumped in after her as neither the Halfling or I are very good at swimming and the Annoyance and Star were still tied together.

This fun little turn of events brings me here about fifty feet into the bridge waiting for the others to figure out how to save Aerith. Again. I’m kinda glad I was unconscious the first time we crossed...

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DAY ???: I HATE Water!!! (11/14/16)
Ellywick
Giant leech room
Summer

Alright so it got… interesting after I wrote last. A lot happened very quickly and, to be perfectly honest, I am actively repressing the events of the last eleven hours. So where did I leave off?

Right, Aerith had just fallen in and Asger had jumped in after her. So… I don’t exactly remember how but Asger started to drown and Aerith ended up having to rescue them both. While we were still mulling around trying to figure out who to untie to pull Asger, Aerith and Fluffy, who had jumped in after Asger, up a giant swarm of grapefruit sized undead things attacked us. They had many eyes and mouths and bat wings. They looked undead and positively made my skin crawl.

Quickly I pulled out my hammer and everyone else on the bridge readied their weapons, except Star who was still tied to the box and the Annoyance, which gets to be a problem, but we didn’t know that yet. So anyways we were swarmed by several hundred gross little grapefruit things. We almost immediately discovered that Mirla, the Wizard, had absolutely no range spells and understandably that made us panic a bit. Still, I had a brilliant idea. We had oil, empty pouches, we could make a bomb! So in the midst of the nauseating buggers, with the Annoyance swinging her mace overhead, I started to work on my improvised bomb.

I was nearly finished and just waiting for the Annoyance to get out of the way so I could light it when Mirla went down. Mirla, the person with the closest health and size to me. I stopped thinking straight. All I knew was that we needed to get out of there! So I ran, climbing over Star, who was nearly unconscious but too heavy for me to take and grabbing Mirla by her arms. I started dragging her towards the exit, but in my haste I tripped over the narrow part of the bridge and fell into the yellow liquid below. Star thankfully managed to stay balanced on the bridge for someone else to pick up but that was little help to me at the moment.

Now, I’m going to say this in case I haven’t before: “I can’t swim!” I found this out at the river and certainly didn’t need to have it reaffirmed by foul smelling water. It was at this point that Aerith, who was dangling from the bridge near the door, and Asger explained what they had been up to. Apparently, after nearly drowning Aerith had convinced the leach, in aquian, to take them to the wall with the door. The leach, now infatuated with Aerith’s blood, had done so. She then asked it to breach with her on it’s back so she could get a hold of the bridge and pull herself up.

However, after one failed attempt at a pull-up that nearly dropped her back into the water, Aerith had decided to wait for rescue and just hang from the edge. It was now Asger's turn to attempt to get on the bridge. He managed to grab on but he lost his grip when trying to pull himself up and fell back on top of the leach. Just as he was righting himself Star who had just then become unconscious, fell into Asger’s arms. Aerith tells me the leach was not happy about getting fallen on twice.

So, the only people still on the bridge were the Annoyance and an unconscious wizard. If the Annoyance could get to Mirla and then pull Aerith up we may have had had a chance, but it’s not like things were going to suddenly start going our way. The Annoyance promptly fell into the yellow liquid with us and then we, everyone except Aerith and Mirla, spent the next eleven hours not drowning and trying to pull ourselves up. After getting up we discovered that only a couple more well placed whacks would have dispersed the swarm. We were not happy.

So, what did I learn? I hate swimming, I’m bad at it, and water makes me slow. I have now spent eleven hours attempting to swim. If I never step into another body of water it will be too soon!

Chapter Text

DAY 10?: The only sensible thing to do. (11/22/16)
Ellywick
Staircase of Death
Summer

After I took a moment to clean off my clothing and while everyone else was discussing who would get watch, I decided to study the box a little closer. I was very careful to not touch it as the Annoyance was glaring daggers into my back. I wanted to see if I could tell how it was opened. It appeared to be a solid box but I didn’t have time to check more thoroughly because it was time for bed and frankly I was exhausted.

Then the stairs yelled at us again? Probably. I don’t really remember, I think I was woken up by them but I was too tired to care and turned back over. In the morning I discovered that Asger, Fluffy and the Annoyance had disappeared and when I asked where they were Starleaf just handed me a scrap of sac.

On it, clearly legible and obviously written in blood was:

Please do not panic about the blood; I am simply short on writing supplies. Asger and I are sleeping upstairs. Please join us upstairs when you awaken. Best regards --- Tavrin, Asger, & Lord Slashington III.

Needless to say I just about died laughing.

We packed up and headed up the stairs to catch up with the other two. When we got there something truly surprising happened, Aerith wanted our opinions on opening the box. She said she really wanted to and thought that the box may have contained an angle. I wanted to agree with her out loud but didn’t dare with the Annoyance staring me down.

I should mention at some point, that the Annoyance has sworn to be a thousand times scarier than whatever was in the box. So, I am being very careful not to touch the box. As interesting as it would be to see the Annoyance mad, dying by paladin sounds way too boring and actually, a little too easy.

Anyways we traveled for what was probably a day and then decided to sit down and rest again. Watches were set up the same and I once again took the opportunity to stare intently at the box. Despite my best efforts I cannot piece together how the thing opens. My best plan so far, should I put it into action, would be to incapacitate my two lawful companions and wait five hours. Sadly, unless I kill them, that is five hours that they can try to kill me. Not to mention that Asger and Mirla would definitely try to stop me. Aerith and I cannot take them. Also, not ready to make the leap into assassin…

So, I went to bed with those thoughts swirling in my head. I was woken up by the stairs at least twice. The first time it was cold and the second some loud ass voice was saying he could see us and describing us. At this point I was so done with being woken up by the fucking stairs that I got up, walked to the edge of the stairs and flipped off the direction the voice was coming from. I was so done with being woken up.

As I was about to fall asleep my eyes snapped open. I wanted to open the box. I wanted to open it so badly that I stood up and started walking towards it. It would be so fun, a voice in the back of my head whispered. Just imagine what could be inside.

Aerith was also migrating towards the box. I wanted so badly to see what was inside. In this type of situation there really was only one thing I could do.

I walked over to the Annoyance, Tavrin, shook him awake and asked him to punch me. He said, and I quote, “I hear that whenever you talk, but usually it’s subtext.” Then he punched me, in the face, not hard thankfully, and put my head back on straight. I am not ready to become an assassin.

Aerith was immediately distracted with trying to heal me and keep Tavrin from punching me again now that he was more awake. Now, the box almost completely forgotten, we went back to sleep.

Chapter Text

DAY 11: I need to go die in a hole... (11/28/16)
Ellywick
Staircase of Death
Summer

Tavrin is going to go kill me. Tavrin is going to legit kill me! I am so dead… I feel so horrible. I want to curl up and die… I’m going to need to get something nice for Starleaf. Maybe some cat bone earrings…

I should probably explain what happened… We all woke up and started walking up the stairs again. Everything was going smoothly, Tavrin’s armor was loud, as usual, and we were only a few hours from the surface when the Vomit Cats appeared out of nowhere. I rushed to attack, still mad about last time and Starleaf and Tavirn quickly followed me. This time they didn’t run. After a missed strike and getting thoroughly drenched in vomit, I realized I would be more helpful from behind sniping with my crossbow.

I got out of the way and let Asger take up the front line, pulling out my cross bow. At this point Aerith had started up singing an inspiring battle song, Mirla was the only one to hit a vomit cat and Tavrin was bent over throwing up. I took aim at the cat in front of Tavrin (the one Mirla had just hit) and fired.

In my defense I have no freaking idea what happened. One moment everything was going fine and the next moment Starleaf was on the ground bleeding. I don’t know how I missed. I mean, how is it even possible to miss that badly!!!  I feel so horrible. I like Star! I’ll have to do something nice to make it up to her. I wonder if she’d like bone earrings? Or a bracelet? I could have someone in the Sunnydale make them for her, you know assuming I live that long...

I’m almost certainly going to have to spend the next few days finding clever ways to hide from Tavrin. He has been just looking for an excuse to kill me and he probably won’t believe me when I say it was a mistake, that I missed by accident.

Anyways, we managed to beat the Vomit cats (Mirla took one down on her own and Asger one hit KOed another) and I did my best to hack off their tails. It was a bit of a bloody mess but I think I got some usable bits. Aerith briefly considered slicing them open to see what was inside but decided not to after seeing how much trouble I had. We are now continuing up the stairs, battered and a bit worse for wear, but alive and hopefully free of enemies.

Chapter Text

DAY 11: Daylight at Last (12/5/16)
Ellywick
Staircase of Death, Boulder Cliff
Summer

So, Tavrin was absolutely livid and spent the rest of the walk out lecturing me. Thankfully we made it out of the lair without incident and were able to set up camp next to the base of the waterfall. We all immediately decided a wash was in order and despite my apprehension about the river, I decided to take a bath too. After all, prestidigitation can’t clean everything... Mirla and I ended up rinsing off in the shallows, while the others went deeper into the river by the waterfall to wash.

While everyone was getting ready for bed I spent some more time staring at the box and trying to figure out what was in it. I still can’t see any other way of opening it unless I kill Tavrin and Star and wait five hours. After the cats and what I did to Star, I am certain I don’t want to do that.

DAY 12: Tripping Balls (12/5/16)

This morning while we were packing up camp, we suddenly noticed six small, rotund beings with sharp claws and teeth coming towards us. They were carrying what looked like an unconscious human. A voice, the same as the one from the stairs yelled out “KILL THEM!!!” and the beings attacked, dropping their unconscious prisoner in the process.

Tavrin yelled out that they were evil, and then charged, braking the formation we had just assumed. He swung with all his might at one of the beings and missed.

While Tavrin tried to fight off two of them in an effort to get to the fallen man, we tried to repel the others. Once again Mirla was the MVP hitting and bringing down a being all on her own. I whiffed six arrows trying to back up Tavrin.

Star fell in the first six seconds. Asger ran up to check her and said she would be paralyzed for an entire day. Then Fluffy went down. At this point it was five against four. I was starting to get really worried. We had lost half our battle power and I had yet to hit anything.

Angrily Asger who had been hanging back in order to heal us moved forward and took a swing at the one who had took down fluffy. He missed, allowing the creature to strike out and paralyzed him. Then only several feet from the fallen man, Tavrin went down. Thankfully, Mirla took out the being in front of Asger.

It was now Aerith, Mirla, and myself against four beings. It didn’t look good. I was getting really nervous and contemplating running into the woods. You see, Mirla was out of never miss spells, I had whiffed four arrows in a row, the group as a whole had been having trouble just hitting those things.

Out of nowhere Aerith pulled out her staff and splattered the closest being’s head all over the riverbank. Mirla took out another and the two together manage to take out the remaining beings, while I whiffed another two arrows. My aim is starting to get me really depressed. You would think I could have at least hit one of them!

Anyways, somehow we managed to survive. That left Aerith, Mirla and myself up and responsible for the rest of the group. I could practically feel Tavrin glaring daggers at me the whole time. We decided the first order of business was to find more food, as we had eaten our last bit at breakfast. Then we would work on draging everyone into the woods where we could have more cover if we were attacked again.

Part of the way through the day, around lunch I think, Aerith found a strange mushroom and decided to eat it. She spent the next two hours “tripping balls” and muttering something about how everything looked yellow.

A little bit after Aerith stopped tripping the Being’s prisoner started to move again. We learned he was a Cleric of the deity Choranus and asked that we take the box to his temple to be destroyed instead of the 1000 eyes wizard guy. We told him we would have to wait to make a decision about that until everyone else had regained movement.

In the meantime we asked him to help us move the others into the woods so we could have some more cover. By the time we managed that, it was time to set up camp for the night. While we were setting it up, Aerith took me aside and we planned what to ask the Cleric over dinner. Among other things we wanted to know why he wanted the box and more about his god.

It is taking all my strength not to put Tavrin into a funny position. You know picking his nose or something. Just a second… Aerith is calling me to dinner. I’ll write more afterwards.

Chapter Text

DAY 12 to 20: The End. (for now...) (12/8/16)
Ellywick
Boulder Cliff, woods, Kelli
Summer

So, over dinner we quizzed the Cleric on his deity (Choranus, Figurehead of law/ lawful neutral), where he was from (a small town called Kelli, that was about 3 days away), why his temple wanted the box (to watch it until it could be destroyed) and if her could heal us (yes, but not till the morning when his spells recharged). After that we ate a pleasant dinner, set up the watch schedule and went to bed. The only other interesting thing was trying to figure out how to feed our paralyzed members. Sadly, I don’t actually know solution the other three came up with. I was banned so that I wouldn’t harass Tavrin…

In the morning, just after breakfast, Starleaf and Fluffy started moving again. We were finally able to heal all the damage done by the Vomit Cats and then spent the rest of the day hunting for rations and keeping watch.

Two days later Tavrin and Asger started moving and we were able to finally make a decision about where to take the box. The four of us (Aerith, Star, Mirla and I) were already leaning toward taking the box to Kelli when they woke. After a quick explanation Tavrin and Asger agreed and we started on our way.

On the way there Tavin said he wanted to get an offering for Pelor which slowed us down a bit. Finally after two days of searching he settled on a fox pelt. Thankfully he managed to skin it alright, despite not having skinned one before. I don’t actually know how he skinned it because at the time I had a flashback of what I had done to the Vomit Cats and decided to look away.

The next morning Aerith excitedly told us all that while on watch she had heard Aquan coming from in the woods. Apparently when she had gone to investigate she discovered the Giant Leech hanging out in the river near by. She then ran back grabbed one of our fresh kills and gave the blood to the Leech.

After that the rest of the trip was kind of boring. We spent another three days traveling and finally arrived in Kelli. The Cleric took us to his temple (much less gold and finery than Pelor’s) and sat us all down for lunch with the high priests. Thankfully the priests didn’t argue with what we had negotiated back by the waterfall and we were given the agreed upon gold, a set of banded armor, half plate armor, a chest and an emblem of protection from the temple, that showed we were friends of Choranus and would allow us to get help from other members of the faith. (We were a little worried about 1000 eyes getting mad at us for not completing his job...) I can not wait to see Tavrin walk into a Temple of Pelor with it on!

Tavrin exchanged the Half Plate with his Scale Mail armor and we sold the rest. In the end I managed to go from 9 gold pieces to 83. I am so excited for the coming shopping spree!!!!