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Edited the first post.

Unless someone else wants to DM, yes next session 4/3.

I'm looking forward to it, been missing you guys.

May 1st
May 8th
May 15th (probably)

Next session is April 3rd?

May 8th
May 29th
June 12th
July 3rd
Sept 4th
Sept 11th

March 20

Our baby is due in May, so assume I'll be out for a while after that.

March 27
June 12

March 27
May 8th
May 29th
June 12th

Out after baby in May

May 1
May 8
May 15

Ost stands passively as the mindflayer’s tentacles start applying pressure to his skull. A tiny spark of resistance tries to make him move, but it is smothered by the creature’s own mind prowling in his brain. A cracking sound, louder than he would have expected – if he had the capacity to expect anything – and the universe is taken away from Ost.

For an undefined time he floats, bodiless, in space devoid of features. He has time to ponder the twists of fate. “What happens next? Should I have worshipped a god after all? I wonder if Zefer and the others will try to bring my back, surely it’s been too long now. How long has it been?”

Then, without transition, Ost finds himself somewhere else: He is lying on a smooth, cold, stone floor. Above him a tunnel of light – ice crystals, as thin as a finger, as long as a giant’s arm, grow from every surface. They cross, merge, and re-radiate, occupying all the space of the shaft extending above.

Creatures line the edge of the room, he looks at them without fear, he is dead already after all, and recognizes giants, elves, orcs, every kind of creature, even mindflayers! Soon he sees them for the statues they are and starts up the stairs…

The figure lies on the top of the tower, gazing at the sky with the single-minded intensity of a lizard. Gradually, slight changes steal over its expression speaking to the return of sentience, of intelligence. The face twists into a frown of confusion. There is light but it is sourceless, “no … sun?”

The figure sits bolt upright, and scans the sky – nothing. It grabs the brooch pinned to its cloak, “this, this was up there … once…” Suddenly the memories of every time he’s been here flood into his mind. Every night that he has spent climbing the tower instead of dreaming. Every time the city landscape beyond the tower unfolded before him. Every half-understood message that his patron had tried to get across…

“No! Oh no! Please! No! “

He springs to his feet and looks around wildly, there are statues up here too. That was never the case before. Unlike the ones at the bottom of the room, these statues do not all stand, they do not all gaze in one direction. Most are crouched against the low wall skirting the top of the tower, facing inwards. They have their eyes screwed shut and their faces express anguish and fear. Others stand facing beyond the walls with an expression of resignation or hesitation. He rushes up to the parapet and takes in the city. It is changed too; it extends to the horizon now, and it is in ruins. The buildings have crumbled, the trees are ashes, some spires stand crooked, others have fallen, all are soot-stained. Just below the edge of his tower he sees another statue, floating face down, apparently unsupported but not falling – no escape that way.

Ost screams at the sky: “Why did you do this? I can’t help anymore! I died, you must know I died!” There is no answer, he didn’t expect one, but even so, he was hoping for darkness to fall one last time … for one last chance.

He looks at all the other statues on the spire, he thinks of the greater number left at the bottom of the spires, he imagines the endless numbers that must be in all the other spires dotting the city.

“They’re all like me. How many have you destroyed? What is it you from us? What does the symbol of Thassilon have to do with any of this?!” He rails and pleads for endless time, “I beg you, let us go. I did the best I could. It serves no purpose to keep us here. Please…”

Eventually, a change in the light makes him look around. A figure wreathed in a golden light floats just out over the edge of the tower. It is a bearded human, dressed in clerical robes, clasping an amulet in its hands, “Is it you?” Ost asks.

The figure hesitates, then reaches out a hand, “Ost Ice-Dreamer,” it intones, “By the grace of Abadar, and at the behest of your friends”, an interruption, “I mean, at the behest of your allies, I come to offer you a choice: Do you wish to return to the mortal coil, or will you stay …”

Release! Ost grabs the extended hand with both of his, “Yes, oh yes! Let’s go! Take me away!”

The priest looks surprised but quickly recovers and he chants out the rest of the spell. The golden glow spreads and surrounds Ost.

Ost quickly starts reciting to himself, “Thassilon, the city, Ice, Thassilon, the city, Ice, don’t forget, don’t let me forget, Thassilon, the ci…”

With a flash, the sphere of light collapses upon him and the priest.

Ost’s eyes snap open, blurred figures stand around him, he half hears one talk to the priest.

“…tired for a few days, but back to normal soon.”

Ost gets up on one elbow, he looks at the group.

"I won't forget this, thank you!"

Shoanti Gratitude by Rincewind SmithRincewind Smith, 05 Mar 2016 14:26

"The first book? Wait… you can't read?"

Gil blinked at the other man in shock, but quickly recovered.

"There are some spells that could help, but let's look at it together."

For the remainder of the voyage, Gil spent most of his time teaching Arturo the basics of the alphabet, word formation, and sentence structure.

Re: The Voyage Home by JoeHaybaleJoeHaybale, 22 Feb 2016 14:59

Ever since being slain and returning from the afterlife, Ekfel was filled with a renewed focus on his priorities. Under a cloudless ocean sky, he sat and stared at the Thassilonian soulbox, waiting for its mysteries to become clear to him.

He'd fucked Captain Gallows three times a day since returning, happily reveling in being alive, as he always did. The gods taught that life was a celebration of the soul, and life itself was to be celebrated. He drank with his friends, he lost at games to Heggun, he gave his love to a woman, he worked on the rigging to help the sailors, he healed his wounds and he lived his life as much as he could. And, he stared at this damned box.

And he remembered to be grateful. He'd died for his new friends, but they'd earned it already, risking themselves for him in turn. Living by the sword honorably was a risky venture. His friends had owed him nothing for his sacrifice. But they'd diligently sought to return him to release him from this soulbox, return him to life, and then allowed themselves to be persuaded by him to go rescue the other trapped souls in the soulbox. They owed him nothing, and risked everything. He was ever grateful to them. But now, he had to make all that work and risk and effort worth it. He had to release these souls to continue their journeys. He had to get this box opened.

It was magic like his own gods used. Like he used. He was the high priest of a line of holy men that had practiced soul magic for thousands of years. But this box was just different enough to perplex him. He'd figure it out eventually, and release these souls, but for now he was stumped.

Re: The Voyage Home by candlepaladincandlepaladin, 20 Feb 2016 04:37

"I'm sure it is, in fact I do believe it will be the best book I've ever read. Unfortunately, it will also be the first."

"It's not that I never wanted to learn or anything, I just never got around to it."

"You haven't heard of a reading spell by chance have you? Something quick and painless?"

Re: The Voyage Home by endersworldendersworld, 20 Feb 2016 03:50

Gil grinned as the man neared him. As Arturo neared, Gil saw the book under Arturo's arm.

"Oh, had a chance to read that yet? I've heard it's magic is very powerful. Fascinating, isn't it? A book that changes you physically.

I've read some page-turners in my time, let me tell you. There was this one I swiped from a seller down by the docks once, turned my ears red! If you know what I mean."

Re: The Voyage Home by JoeHaybaleJoeHaybale, 19 Feb 2016 15:10

Arturo stared at the book. Full of words and magic and he knew nothing of either.

Words hold back my physical progression He couldn't stand it, this had to be some sort of joke.

He finally gave a big sigh and grabbed the Manual of Bodily Health, covering it with some linen. He made his way to find Ekfel but when he did, the large bearded man was intently staring at that big box we had found with the Thasalion thing on it.

I tried, hes busy As Arturo retreated back to his bunk, he saw Gil-Garrand walking alone on the deck. Before he could decide what to do, Gil-Garrand had spotted him and was waving him over. Arturo looked over his shoulder and clutching the book under his arm, headed over to join Gil-Garrand.

Re: The Voyage Home by endersworldendersworld, 18 Feb 2016 04:46

Home was such a strange word to Gil-Garrand. He had spent all of his childhood on the streets of Magninar, but even now, it never felt like home. When he was away from the city, he never felt homesick. And now, even as the Oceanic Explorer finished its trek back to Varisia, it still didn't feel like home.

He leaned over the ship's railing and peered out across the sea.

This recent adventure had been a profitable yet deadly excursion. But more importantly, to him at least, it was a welcome distraction from the chaos of Magnimar. Now that they were returning, he felt a certain dread come over him.

What new dangers await us? He thought and his mind turned to the strange, large box now in the ship's hold. He remembered the pit in his stomach the moment he saw the Thassalonian symbol carved on the box. He still felt as if he knew nothing of Thassalonia and it's history but trouble always seemed to follow that symbol. His memory flashed to the same symbol carved into the chest of Banny Harker, the Sandpoint wood worker.

He sighed and whispered, "Almost home."

The Voyage Home by JoeHaybaleJoeHaybale, 17 Feb 2016 21:59

"It's family Arturo, family and tradition. My people are counting on me. My forebears, my ancestors, my brothers and sisters and their children. I'm the Holy Knight, High Priest. The gods and the city are my responsibility… and I failed," Ekfel said.

His huge shaggy head lowered in shame. "I love my homeland, and my family. This place doesn't feel right to me. It's hard to explain. But mostly it's just my duty to make things right. I have to avenge the gods and restore them if I can. I took the oaths, it's my duty."

Ekfel seemed to realize that he was speaking a lot about duty and responsibility and obligation and not much about his own desires, which is probably what Arturo was actually asking about. But Ekfel's duty was everything, in the end. He didn't matter compared to that.

"Sorry for getting too serious mates. You both sound like your lives are largely at peace, and I envy you that," Ekfel said.

After a week at sea, Arturo and Ekfel had gotten used to Heggin mostly winning. The luckiest halfling in history, he must be. Though, the bets had gone down in amount over time as well. Ekfel felt he learned a lot about his two companions as the nights went on. The party worked out an excellent attack strategy, and Ost actually had some magic that allowed them to walk on water for the final furtive night-journey onto the island. The party worked its way through the beach and then a hillside forest toward the pirate stronghold, when they encountered some goblinoids. What made the battle significant was the magical devices the creatures used. They went off almost immediately after being activated, and seemed to devour the life around the ensuing explosion. However, sometimes the devices actually stole the soul itself from the creatures around it.

Ekfel was horrified. He was very familiar with this type of magic. It was a perverted version of the divine rituals he himself performed. Ekfel had been taught that harnessing the souls of volunteers was a blessing. In his homeland, citizens frequently volunteered for the great sacrifice. His gods valued and rewarded such sacrifice. And, of course, foes slain in honorable combat were worthy sacrifices to the gods. But this.. trickery, was blasphemy. These repugnant devices missed the entire ritual of the deed in favor of simply gaining power quickly. But they also should only be used after an honorable battle, not during. Ekfel knew he had to hunt down the foul practitioners of this dark magic. He felt the bile rising in his stomach from his disgust as he cut apart the goblins and continued into the forest.

"I hate the sea" Arturo thought to himself.

Sure, it can be calming and there's a great many opportunities there but compared to the lush green forests and open land of Ravenmoor, who would choose this or even worse the dry barren desert of Rahadoum. Still, it was a chance to earn some money. He had always felt like he wasn't doing enough to help out. Linene never complained but he knew she didn't need him to make ends meet, he couldn't help her keep the books and there was only so many things to fix around the store.

Arturo was more than happy to play some games and drink. Having free time on a ship was a new experience and had already begun to change his old feelings about traveling at sea. Ekfel and Heggin were good company and much more experienced drinkers than Arturo, so he only brought out a small amount of gold to play with. Ekfel had made Arturo nervous the first time they had met, religion always did that. But he had not seemed interested in converting Arturo into anything, so Arturo wouldn't have to start plunging knives into anyone's chest it seems.

Time went quickly and though he had lost, Arturo felt like he was getting the hang of things if only Heggin wasn't so damn lucky.

When Ekfel asked about the future, Arturo once again thought back to life in Ravenmoor. "I'll return home, hopefully with a decent amount of coin."

"How about you? I mean what's so special about going home, sometimes where you are is better than where you were. I never want to go home to Botosani."

Sailing is so boring, Heggin thought. Looking in all directions he could barely see anything but water on the horizon. He didn’t think much of getting to know the crew, what’s the point really. The plan of going after the Pirate Queen’s Pearl is pointless. Putting lives on the line for a couple shiny pieces… there are much more entertaining ways to make some gold.

“That’s it!”, Heggin exclaimed out loud. Startling himself and the others around him, Heggin made his way around the ship to his Witless companions, tugging at their sides for attention. “Who wants to win some gold, huh?” Arturo seemed to be the only one, slightly interested.

“Tell you what, lil man… go fetch some grog for 3 and we’ll entertain your thoughts of winning some gold.”

Heggin ran off doing just that. “For 3”, Heggin wondered who the third would be. No matter, more chances to win some gold. Returning with the drinks, Heggin noticed who the third player would be… Ekfel. This should be easy enough.. get these 2 drinking and the prize will be mine, Heggin thought.

Ekfel explained the rules of this game. Easy enough. The 3 continued to play for hours, Heggin winning, of course. Then it dawned on him.. the sneaky rogue, winning like that. Crap, I’ve got to let these guys win some back, Heggin thought. Maybe tomorrow.

Then Ekfel, not caring much that he lost, started with talk about the future. Heggin never really thought much of what he would do next, he just always went with the flow of what the group wanted to do next.

“I haven’t thought much about the future, Ekfel”, Heggin replied. “Maybe settle down, start a family, who knows?” “Until then, just make some gold, pay some debts and hope to make it through another day.”

“Wait, wait.. you mean after we land on the island?” Heggin looked confused, or maybe all the grog was clouding his mind. “Following your lead to get in and out of that place as quickly as possible.”

With that, Heggin gathered up his coins, added them to his coin purse and retired for the night. The sleeping quarters were adequate and it didn’t take much time to fall asleep with the ocean rocking the ship.

After two days at sea Ekfel was getting boisterous. This group, these traveling Witless Wanderers, constantly seemed to come across devices from ancient Thassilon. Apparently that old empire had its remnants everywhere in this part of the world. Ekfel and his crew had searched the cities along the coasts of this continent for years, looking for any sign of the yellow robed bastard and the creatures from Leng. Thassilon was a dead-giveaway. Its symbol was all over the ships and devices of the Leng-folk. That was his only lead, and Ekfel felt certain that chasing down Thassilon devices was how he'd eventually get his revenge on the Leng-folk.

The thought filled his heart with aching, both for vengeance and home. His mission was justice. To kill the Leng. He was heartened that his small sacrifices along the way seemed to strengthen his gods bit by bit, but did he really ever hope to somehow get back home? To restore his gods fully, to see his family and friends again? His mission was revenge in the name of the gods and his people. He'd concern himself with his own personal desires when that was complete. But… to see his city again.. to look upon the great Jastorf Temple. He would get his revenge. He might even regain the sacred Ousia crystal and restore his people, after somehow returning home. Wherever that was from here. But he would definitely avenge.

Speaking of desires, Captain Grace Gallows sauntered by again, shaking him from his bloody reverie. Nice thighs. The observation came naturally to the tall man. Sometimes Ekfel used sexual escapades, drinking, and fighting, as a way to remind himself that he hadn't died along with his religion and culture. He was alive, full of sorrow but also full of vigor. The savvy Captain saw him appreciating her without looking directly at him, and smirked. "Not until business is concluded, big man. And only then if you're lucky," she said, still looking out to sea.

"Lucky? Who is more blessed than me?" Ekfel said. Grace snorted and continued walking away. "Indeed," Ekfel said to himself.

The Oceanic Explorer was a nice vessel. Of a size with his own ship. Ekfel wondered where Captain Ase and the Naglfar sailed now. He said a silent prayer for his kinsmen, on the same errand as himself. Looking for signs of Thassilon devices or other leads on the Leng-folk. Though Ase's search took the ship from port city to port city in the south, Ekfel had took to the countryside to find some leads. They were due to meet in a few months' time. The crew would be so excited by Ekfel's discovery that Thassilon devices were all over this Magnimar region. He meant to have more to tell them when they arrived. Maybe even a location for the Leng-creatures themselves.

Smiling and lost in his own thoughts again, Ekfel walked down the narrow staircase to the crew quarters belowdecks. Arturo was already there, setting up the gameboard. Ekfel was excited that his new companions were interested in this game of his homeland. Ekfel sat across from the young man, nodding approvingly at the gameboard preparation. He noted that Arturo was setting up space for a third warchief on the board. He looked up at Arturo, but his question was answered before he could ask.

A high-pitched voice shouted down from abovedeck, "Make way, grog incoming!" The agile halfling slid down the narrow staircase without spilling much of the three huge foaming mugs he carried. It was an impressive feat, and Ekfel exclaimed his amazement and made three quick claps. "Hah! Well done, master halfling! And thank you for the booze. I am pleased you are joining our game."

Heggin nodded, passing out the drinks. "Happy to play. Five gold each, is it? All fifteen to the winner? Let's hear the rules."

Ekfel looked at Arturo. "The others remain uninterested then?" he asked. The young man shrugged. No matter, Ekfel thought. I'll win them over eventually.

Two hours and three games later, Ekfel was pretty sure Heggin was cheating. The sly halfling kept winning in unbelievable ways. That only made Ekfel like the rascal more. And Heggin kept the trio pretty ossified - another bonus.

"A bad rower blames the oar," Ekfel told his companions after his third defeat. "Well done. You are skilled, halfling, and you have earned my coins this night. Let us play more tomorrow. Tell me now, what do you two plan on doing after this journey, my friends?"

I will be away 12-20, 12-27, and 1-3 as well.

Re: Holidays - Day's missed by JoeHaybaleJoeHaybale, 10 Dec 2015 20:59

I will be away the 20/12, 27/12, and 03/01

317 Langatīnaz

The creatures from Leng attacked the city in force, as the gods had warned they would. From their great fire-ships, the spiders and their yellow-robed mangod. They breached Urheimat and battled the Immanent Gods in the skies above the city. Some of the spiders had some strange devices which.. it's painful for me to put this to parchment. It's almost impossible to even understand. The Leng-spiders' devices began slaying our gods, right before us. Ripping them from the skies. The Urheimat nobles rallied, and I led my fellow high priests to defend the Great Mother at the Jastorf Temple. The goddess hovered above the structure, crushing dozens of the spiders and other tentacled horrors from the beyond, and we ran to her. Along the way, I saw Three Eagle slain over the promenade, Leng-spiders crawling across his vanishing corpse. The Bearded Hunchback saw this and disappeared in a mist of god-magic. Our gods and goddesses were dying!

We humble high priests killed two of the beasts in the streets and approached the Jastorf Temple with all haste. As we arrived, the yellow-robed mangod, the Leng-spiders' leader, stepped from the temple holding the Ousia crystal. Yellow-robe held our most sacred crystal aloft and shouted, sounding like an ocean tearing, and twenty spiders teleported to the Great Mother above and activated their abomination devices. The goddess screamed ten thousand deaths into our heads as she too vanished.

I fell to my knees and retched, my stomach wanting to burst out. For thousands of years my ancestors had worshiped our gods safe in our city. My own line had been high priests in the temple longer than any other. My life's work had been to preserve and strengthen these Immanent Gods through ritual meditation and sacrifice. And now we were losing them, had already lost them? And the creatures had the Ousia. What hope was there for our world?

I will never forgive myself for that momentary weakness and despair at the loss of my gods. In those moments the yellow-robed creature and his spiders hastened to their fire-ships and began to leave Urheimat. By the time I rallied my men in the chaos and set sail after them, they were far ahead. My men too despaired. "What hope have we against them? They killed the gods!" Their resolve wavering, I grabbed the chief instigator and sacrificed him right there on the deck. I called a prayer to the Great Mother as my holy blade slid home, and the goddess whispered back to us! A tiny and almost helpless form of her, but enough to provide some speed to our sails.

We immediately became solid of heart and purpose. We would gain our vengeance on the Leng creatures and retrieve the Ousia. We would re-form our gods through the power of sacrifice, no matter how long it took. As the gods tell us, you do not have to put out the fire when all is ash.

As we closed on the fire-ships and prepared our attack, the clear skies were suddenly filled with squalls and lightning. Normally this would be the work of the Sea-Lord, but he was surely dead as well. Gods, like men, can die. They just die harder, and smite the world with their passing.

A portal, two hundred feet in diameter and lined with purple fire, opened before the creatures. We chased them through the storm and into the fire portal. We held on, and left our placid isle-world to go into the midst of the black seas of infinity into which we were not meant to voyage. We glimpsed the fire-ships ahead, and I saw their yellow sails and seven pointed stars across all their cannons. I saw their webrope. I saw the yellow-robed bastard himself, looking back at me through the blackness under his cloak. I felt his smirk in my soul. After what seemed ten thousand years, or ten gasping breaths of wonder, everything flickered three times and became blue again. We sailed seas. Empty blue seas, with no fire-ships in sight.

This was a week ago. We finally struck land yesterday. We never saw the Leng ships again, though we fought off three pirate attacks. We sailed east and found strange locals who name this land Garund. Is this Leng? Today we begin our holy quest for vengeance. I will hunt them down.

4701 28 Desnus

We have been sailing these seas for six years now. We cannot even find our home again, much less any sign of the monsters from Leng. We continue to investigate everywhere in the world. By now I have sacrificed hundreds of pirates to the gods, and I hear most of them whisper to me when I pray. The gods are tiny distant versions of themselves. I hear them as though they are two inches tall and whispering at me through many layers of cloth. But I hear them. And after sacrificing I feel their power, and may call upon it in their names. These years have not led to word of the monsters, but they have been a bountiful harvest for the gods. I fear pirates will not be enough, however. More meaningful and powerful sacrifices will be called for eventually.

4707 11 Pharast

Finally, at long last, a lead. Captain Ase, Lord Asger, and the crew remain as committed as I to our cause, but we needed some sign.

We all miss home dearly. Sometimes I long for home, for my family, more than the return of the gods. Very often, I long for this, though it is difficult to admit to myself. Being home is not more important than the return of the gods. No matter what I need.

And now we have a sign. I have been told by a scholar to travel to a distant city named Magnimar for some more information on the seven pointed star symbol I glimpsed on the Leng-cannons. She said the star may have a connection to some empire or artifacts near there. I pray this lead is fruitful. But I am cautious against hope, for we have only faced setback on top of setback. As the gods tell us: There is seldom a single wave.

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