Fate Comes to Call

not so calm before the storm
It's on bitch

Well, I have finally apologized to Antonio and he in turn apologized for hitting me, but his tone makes me unsure if he actually meant it. Regardless we shook hands and agreed to leave it in the past. As we waited to set sail I sparred with Julhiana and although I highly suspect she was going easy on me I am pleasantly surprised at how well I did.
We were not long on the open ocean until I spotted a dark fog in the distance… and it looked suspiciously like ducks smoke. There is no way he could have done it though as it was far in the distance and somehow moved and expanded on it’s own to engulf us. I was below deck when it happened but apparently as we entered the fog the entire crew and any belongings that weren’t are vanished. We heard a large bang and split the treasure in a hurry so we didn’t loose it. In a somewhat joyous note I believe I got more than my fair share as I got a few large coins but I have no way of knowing if the gems the others got overshadow my coins.
We emerged on a beach that was declared to be pure evil , as we approached the entrance of a tunnel, the only dwelling on the dessert island, something odd happened. A skull shot out of the sand suddenly and began speaking about not having visitors and having fun. Another surprise is that i didn’t even sense it until it was in front of me. It is my belief that it is a demi-lich, very bad news for us. I spoke as it flew away in our language and it seemed surprised and agreed to give us a small advantage… a sand timer. It is now my belief that we would likely be timed no longer what but with that we at least knew how much we had left.
We made it through the treacherous maze filled with vague puzzles and deadly traps. unfortunately due to my magical ability I was chosen to undo any and all magical traps while Antonio took care on the mundane ones. I even had to undo a rune of death, it is likely that the lich made the rune easy to dismantle as he could have easily made one so complex I would have no way to undo it.
In the end we got to a chamber to find Duck standing on a platform next to some kind of demon and emitting that grating laugh of his that signals he is up to no good and intends to harm anybody for whatever reason. This is likely conformation of every doubt, every plot, and every plan I made against him. If only the others had taken my advice of removing him from our presence. But no, they were adamant on giving him another chance, let him travel with us to five ports, but he saved us that one time, Even a broken sun dial is right twice a day. Recent evidence shows duck has somehow greatly improved the strength of his bombs, hopefully we find a way to avoid them or they may lay us low. As a final stroke of bad luck I find myself low on magical energy right now, having used a good deal to dispel traps or casting defensive spells as we entered the unknown… I suppose at least those are still active. If only I had some undead to aid us in this fight, I would enjoy watching them rip duck limb from limb, but unfortunately while I may enjoy these inner thoughts I would not stoop to actually act on them out of a moral sense of right and wrong. Even so, I sincerely hope my visage is the last thing he sees before I end his life and allow Thalratas to toss him to the hellish pit he deserves.

The duck's final diary entry?

I’ve come this far, and have suffered the company of fools long enough. The shadow has given me money, power, and promises me more. What I thought was the Austere Wench was something else… something far more powerful. I have played my role, and now he has given me my stage.

For all the indignities they have dealt to me… well, they shall finally know what occurs to those that besmirch me! Possessing this much power, I can’t quite decide what I want to do. Half of me wants to slay them slow and torturous, and the other half of me wishes to humiliate them, toy with them, and force them to live with the horror! Regardless of what happens, I want all of the treasure that they seem to have rudely split without so much as consulting me first.

I cannot help but fantasize about their punishments.

Since I last lamented my obsession with Julianah… I’ve nearly all but given up. I’ll never possess her so long as her brother lives. When he was poisoned weeks ago, I should have allowed him to die. Pity he survived the sea scones as well. For a priest who claims to know tactics and austerity, I see him as little else than… what is the word the guttersnipes say these days? Ah, right. He is what they would call a “Fuck boy” or “A weak as bitch that ain’t about shit.” He hides behind the skirts of dearest Julianah. I wish she would show him true austerity, and slay him. He drags her down, he is a prison, he is a rival… I’d like to kill him.

Julianah may again hate me, curse my name, and attempt to murder me, but I shall free her from the fuck boy! And then perhaps only then shall I be able to possess her. If she lives. I hope she lives, I don’t actually wish to hurt her… she has been good to me. I hope she listens to reason. Well, if enough of her remains, perhaps there is alchemy that can repair her well enough after I sample her flesh. If not, well, I suppose she is not the first woman I disposed of for spurning me! Perk up Mallard! There is plenty of fish in the sea! Fish that you actually can eat!

As for the gypsy… well, they say back in Tescana that the only good gypsy is a dead one. And while I am inclined to agree, they make fine tools. If I need violence done, they’re cheap. If I need a test subject, their children are cheap. They are simple creatures. However this one is different from all the rest, unusually bookish, and long winded. The filthy upstart has been a thorn in my side this entire time, what with him sneaking around my back with Dakras plotting unknown things and likely touching each other in places most tender. I think death would be too easy for a gypsy like him. I’d like to beat him within an inch of his life, and then watch him squirm from my experiments. Regardless of what happens to the others, I shall enjoy humiliating him and allowing him to immortalize his horrors in that little journal of his.

Strange as it sounds, although I hate the gypsy and Jolias most… Dakras perhaps possesses the most troublesome powers. His powers worry me more than whichever drivel he attempts to slander or question me with. If he can speak into my head, can he see my thoughts? I fear him nearly as much as that mage Hawg-something or other… I will need to be careful of him. However, he seems to be a coward, I can use this.

And Axe? Well, since he seems mostly capable of only tripping over his own axe… He should have taken my offer of employment. Poor fool, if he sees his death, it is well deserved from his utter stupidity.

But alas! I dally too much, I must go back to making plans as to how I can best ensnare the fools.

Fun and Good Times in Hammer's Point
OR Why we should never listen to Duck

“So, what’s this potion again?”

Axe was eyeing the flask that Duck had handed him with suspicion. It glowed with a verdant green light, and looked entirely unappetising. Jolias stood beside him, looking at his own vial with a much less focused gaze. Since he was currently on his fourth mug of ale, this was to be expected. Axe’s own head was slightly swimmy, which was odd since he could usually hold his ale quite well, and he had only had two mugs.

“Well, you remember the potion that shopkeeper gave you? The one that had the… interesting effects?” Duck responded.

Axe glared at him. “The one that caused me to hallucinate Juliana as a rabbit. Yes.”

Duck elaborated. “Well, this is a refined version of that potion. I discovered in my examination of the remnants that it was indeed meant to be a cure for intoxication, but instead it enhanced and warped the effects of the alcohol to produce hallucinations. This version should do what the original potion was intended to do.”

Jolias slurred his way into the conversation. “Are you schure it will work?”

“Yes. Entirely sure.” said Duck, with a 40 on his bluff check.

Axe and Jolias looked at each other. They looked back at Duck.

“Well… if you’re schure” mumbled Jolias. They uncorked the vials, and each took a sip.

Axe immediately collapsed into a boneless heap. Jolias leaned against a hammock, it being the only thing keeping his body from contact with the floor.

“Ah. An unexpected result, but one I can work from.” Duck walked over to Jolias, who was swaying unsteadily with glazed eyes.

Duck adopted his signature bedside manner. “So, Jolias! How are you feeling?”

Immediately, Jolias surged forward with surprising speed and dexterity for a man who was previously standing only with the assistance of a hammock. Duck flinched backwards, but he was unable to dodge as Jolias’ arm snaked around his neck.

Jolias pulled Duck to his side and leaned on him, slurring into his ear.

“Hey Dave! I’m feeling pretty good, man. I feel like I’ve been drinkin’ all night! Hey, what are you doing in Hammer’s… err… this place?”

“Oh… yes… hello, Jolias. It’s me. Dave. Your friend.”

“Yeah, we’re friends!”

Jolias grinned at the universe. He was not perturbed when the universe grinned back.

“Jolias, do you think you can tell me more about how you’re feeling?”

“Oh, pretty good right now, but thing haven’t been right since you’ve been gone. Juliana’s been all protective of me! She told me I couldn’t go see my buddy Duck just ‘cause he’d killed me, but I snuck out and saw him, and we drank alllll night. Man, I should intro… intro… introdicate you two. You’d like him, he’s a cool guy.”

“I’m… I’m sure I would.” Duck responded, taken aback. What was this feeling in his chest? It was… warm.

“Yeah… Hey, Axe! Dave is here! You remember Dave right?” Jolias exclaimed.

“Wha… Dave? Oh, that’s nice. I can’t really see right now though. Everything’s all… Purplegreen.” Axe slurred from his place on the floor.

Duck shook the odd warm feeling away. No time for unexplainably pleasant feelings, now was time for science!

“And how would you describe this… purple-green color?” He queried Axe, crouching down next to crumpled companion.
“No, not purple-green. Purplegreen. It’s like… it’s like purple and green. But not separate. United as one. ‘s all I can see.

“Well… that must be… difficult.” Duck responded.

“No, it’s okay. I’m a radish right now, so there’s no use getting worked up.”

“Hmm…” Duck stood up, and moved over to his pouch. He pulled out a glowing green vial, opened it, and took a sniff.

Then he took a sip.

He collapsed, mumbling incoherently about the nature of the universe and how it related to dice games.

Juliana entered the cabin, and took in what she saw before her.

Vulgar yet flowery words rang out through the ship, and when Duck awoke he had several more bruises than he had before.

Dazed and confused
Duck didn't use fire this time!

Gentle reader, it occurs to me that my traveling companions may be a hazard both to themselves, others, local wildlife, small children, free standing wooden structures, and life in general. Why the harsh criticism my friends? Because so far in our adventures together we have (and please note I do not stand apart from this as I have my own part to play in our little tradegy) done our best to negatively affect the lives of everyone around us to little or no personal gain.

To follow up on a link from my last note, it would appear that no one cares about the secret I revealed about one of our traveling companions. Not one man or woman sitting at the table so much as blinked when I broke the news. The secret itself is dark and terrifying to most common folk and I found myself thinking that I might have to defend the poor man. Especially from the priest and holy warrior in our company. But nope. Not at all. Just a casual “That’s nice.” and it was stuffed back under the rug from whence it came. I still harbor doubts about this man however, and i will continue to keep an eye on him if no one else wants to bother with it.

To be honest a larger problem has surfaced, and this one may cause some more deaths before it is all over. Our alchemist is a drug addicted fool with a mercurial temper, dangerous affinity for fire breathing potions, and a love of poisonous oysters. The oysters are a new thing evidently. Something he picked up recently and wanted the party to experiment with for him.
I cannot describe how badly this went for all of us.

Still the priest, who claims to have died from this misadventure may have unwittingly announced the presence of a far greater presence in all of our lives. His story has an uncanny similarity to that of another companion who felt the hand of death come to claim him. Combine this with the warnings and bits of odd conversations with powerful beings in this new world and it adds up to a feeling that the hand of fate lies very heavily upon us all.

Perhaps this is why we are all acting so damn strangely.

Note to self: This journal entry is never going to be believed by the Society. Do not send this back until heavily edited with something more realistic..

Jolias died
Get rekt son.



Who cares about a little necromancy

I am thoroughly surprised by the lack of interest garnered when my secret was finally brought to light by Antonio. It has now been several days since my powers were announced and I expected a loss of trust, suspicion and a great deal of attitude changing but none of that has come. Perhaps the new world truly is that open… or my friends are just that careless.
Anyway we made it to Hammerspoint and it is not at all what I expected. I thought it to be a simple rock formation on the coast that would bring amusement to the long days at sea but instead, it was a hollow in a sea cliff that housed a city. Despite Ducks typical whining and veiled attempts at manipulation we elected to stay on the ship for the night. The next morning we got up for a trip to the city, but oddly enough Duck instead wanted to sleep in. Not trusting this I rounded up all the contents of the chest and cataloged them so any theft would be noticed. Once that was done we headed into the city. Jolias found a stand of etched rocks and offered the clerk a gold piece, which he took, flipped the stall, and rand. Jolias took two rocks and returned to the ship.
Myself, Axe, And Joliana continued our roaming and found a forge they wanted to try. The metal had an odd shine to it that the smith claimed was from the process he uses. Needing nothing else they both grabbed daggers and bought them for exhorbinate prices without even asking why they cost so much. Next we went into a store with great stained windows and saw it was ran by an odd fellow. this trip ended when Axe drank a small vial that caused him to become intoxicated immediately, I bough the rest to give Jolias and we left.
Duck returned with an armful of oysters and offered one to Jolias who ate it and then two more before becoming deathly sick. Accusations were thrown before Johliana came running up and started to beat on Duck.
The night ended with Duck going to the city for the night, us making plans on what to do with him and Jolias saying he now believes we should keep him for some odd reason.

Axes Ruminations Part 5
Eventually I'm going to have to retire this title

Jolias died today.

I’m not sure if I’m reassured by the fact that he’s alive right now.

Now that I think of it, I have a really bad habit of starting these… thinking sessions? Whatever I’m going to be calling them, but I have a bad habit of starting these with single-sentence declarations of something that shocked me recently. It’s not really my fault, given that since I’ve joined this unnamed adventuring party my life has gone insane. People are coming back from the dead. That is not supposed to happen.

I guess I should go back and explain. To myself. This whole enterprise is getting confusing. I need to get a journal or something.

The day after our struggle against the cursed ship was rather ordinary. I took a closer look at the bones of that giant zombie that knocked me out, and they are rather strong. I’ll probably need some special tools to modify them. As it is, I continued my previous project of making myself a set of dice from fish bones.

We arrived at Hammer Point the next day, and I was treated to another example of how insane my life is. Hammer Point is inside a cliff. There’s no hole in the cliff, until you approach and suddenly there is. I am not mentally equipped to deal with this kind of thing. We spent the first day there on the ship, much to Mallard’s dismay, but the next day we traveled into town. I joined the group of Jolias, Dakkras, and Juliana, as Mallard could not be roused. Jolias gave a vendor who was selling some very poorly crafted rock souvenirs a whole gold piece, at which point the vendor tipped over his cart and ran off laughing.

I’m still not sure how Juliana found a jewel in one of those things.

Our next stop was a weapons vendor, who claimed to smelt his steel in a special fashion, which caused all his weapons to have an odd sheen. I bought a hunting dagger— it had excellent balance, and all I have to do is replace a wood end piece with bone before I start using it.

Then we went to the curio shop. We met an odd little man who in the course of a few minutes caused me to be flung through a window at high speeds and drugged me. The only reason I have not responded in kind (at least for the window incident) is that I am fairly sure both events were on accident.

My time spent drugged is not clear in my memory. I remember a rabbit that sounded like Elm, and sky fish… I think I may have discovered the secrets of the universe, but I could not gain endless power as I was a river reed at the time. The whole event has left me slightly shaken up. I was carried back to the ship and cured by Mallard, and then we went on to make lunch. We were gearing up to spar when Mallard returned from his exploration of the town, an armload of oysters in hand. Jolias took several of them and ate them. Then he passed out, and as I later learned, died. He woke up immediately afterwards, through methods I cannot even begin to comprehend, and began to vomit violently. I am told that Juliana rushed upstairs and began to assault Mallard for his part in Jolias’ death, while I stayed downstairs and attempted to aid her ailing brother. At this point, Mallard has been kicked off the ship and is staying in some unknown inn (at least I presume) while we debate ejecting him from our group. This is going to be a long night of arguing.

Captain Vodica's revenge
Scurvy dogs o death!

Gentle reader, the legends tell of a brave and fearless explorer by the name of Captain Drake Vodica who sailed the seas of the old world in the earliest days of the age of sail. A proud and courageous man, the good captain was beloved by his crew and sailed to many far flung locations in search of adventure. His skill at diplomacy was said to be as sharp as his skill with a blade, a skill which was needed many times in the line of his duty to what in time would become the Royal Exploration Society.

As the old world grew more and more settled however, our fearless captain found himself venturing further and further from shore on his quests for new locations to find and lay claim to. All too soon he found himself increasingly at odds with his crew whose “baseless” superstitions were keeping him “confined” to the old world even though the “new world” was at the time not even in existence. As far as his loyal sea dogs were concerned the good captain wanted to sail off the edge of the map into oblivion. Such a fate was not shared by the captains men and eventually they walked off the ship in the town of Freeport to make their way back to the old world or take up a life of piracy there.

Captain Vodica grew despondent and then angry. In hatred and rage he swore “on his blood” that if a band of fearless cutthroats would but swear their lives to him that he would cast aside his lust for adventure and turn his skills with a blade towards tracking down and killing his former crew and take up a life of piracy. It does not take much skill in diplomacy or intimidation to buy oneself a crew of bloodthirsty scurvy ridden sea dogs in the pirate isles. Captain Vodica’s lust for revenge sated his hunger for exploration for a time and the whorehouses and pubs of the city of Freeport groaned under the weight of the “good” captains blood stained gold.

For a time.

But Captain Vodica’s heart was always set for adventure. He could never resist the temptation of sailing into the great unknown. It is the curse that effects all of the traveling people to some degree or another. His bloodlust cooled and his crew found themselves sailing further and further from the richest sea lanes and undefended coastal villages. Unlike the crewmen that he had so callously hunted down for years however these wild men were feral and rabid jackals who had no mercy when their captain was deemed “too weak” to lead them properly.

The captain men waited for the perfect moment to strike and when a sudden storm broke over the rails of the Krakens Kiss they struck their former captain a lethal death blow. Several times if the documentation is to be believed. But there is one thing to know about crossing one of the traveling people gentle reader. It is known that the Gods of the travelers protect their cursed children. While they rarely if ever intervene in their affairs they do have an overly fond affection for them and the curses that they spit upon the ones who dare to wrong them.
It is said that the Krakens Kiss was never seen again after that night. It is only seen by the very unfortunate who report of their ship being attacked by vengeful spirits of the undead led by the captain that they chose to murder on that unfortunate night.

Why such a morbid tale at this juncture gentle reader? Well it would seem that the curse of the double eagle led us directly into the path of a ship eerily similar to the Krakens Kiss. The hilt of the cutlass that I now hold bears a striking resemblance to the unfortunate captains weapon of choice and it was indeed pried out of the captains hand by one of my traveling companions. I’m not sure if I should share this tale with them or not.

It may not matter however as there was another turn of events in this battle which may effect the feelings of our companions towards one another. I go now to reveal my findings to my friends, and I fear what their reactions may be.

Blessed Departure

the last few days have certainly been exciting. We awoke to muffled yelling from the deck and went to check it out. There were giant tendrils of… sea ooze? at the side of the ship attacking the crew, I quickly got behind cover and did as many defensive spells as possible, I couldn’t be too careful with all the bad luck going on. I recalled enemies of this nature had a few weaknesses and set myself to exploiting it and attempting to help any crew that appeared to be struggling or suspended in some kind of cube. Somebody in their panic asked how you fight these things so I filled them in and they rejoined the fight… All in all the fight took a sizable amount of the crew and a few injured.
I later asked the captain if my help could be used and she set me to watch on the front of the ship. which is good because I later spotted a ship following us. we attempted to speed our trip by adding as much sail as possible and in my hast I attempted my new Overland Travel spell to quicken us even more. This of course backfired and launched my onto the ground, de-hinged my jaw and bounced me far off the ship. I was quickly rescued and healed. I may attempt to modify the spell at a later time to better suit sea travel.
We later found that the ship following us was not a typical pirate ship as I feared but instead a haunted ghost ship… which I had mixed feeling about. It stood to reason undead would be found on a ghost ship and I appreciated that as I could better deal with the mindless dead than living swashbucklers. Eventually they caught up and rammed us after the captain blew up the front of their ship.
A great battle happened, it started with two large spirits of vengeance, one material and one phantom, and a number of large crabs charging across. Axe took to fighting the material one and was quickly layed low, Jolias while not in much danger from the crabs was slowed by them. After a lucky hit we discovered the crabs had a second form. Once the destroyed their shell they somehow erupted to a large humanoid crab. one of them charged Antonio and I at the back of the ship and went after him. He must of thought I was simply leaving him open as he commented I would be next if it killed him and I let him know I was aware. I was instead busy doing battle of wills with the mindless dead that later boarded the ship. In the end I remained in control of two incorpreal beings and commanded them to sit and allow themselves to be destroyed. One obeyed and one did not, but it made no diference. As we peered about we noticed a large chest and charge over to grab it, adventures as we are. The Eagle let out a final caw as we carried it back and pooped on the lid and we could feel the inside suddenly get fuller. The chest had a great deal of wealth and should have more than enough to pay off the damage Duck caused. Now that we are the luck I shall go about studying my scrolls, look for hamers point, and perhaps try to make amends with Antonio… we’ll see how far this luck can carry us

Axe's Ruminations Part 4
Thank the freaking gods

For the first time in what feels like weeks things are looking up again.

The bird is gone! None of us even had to kill the blasted thing.

Perhaps I should backtrack a touch. When I last had time to properly think about our situation, I was steadily going mad from a lack of things to do. That changed when we went above decks the following day and found that what looked like animate sea water was attacking the crew. I was somewhat tired from a poor nights rest, as unfortunately the ship rocked often during the night, but I am no stranger to tiredness, and I jumped into combat, despite my unarmored state. Fortunately Juliana, tactically minded as she is, managed to alert me to the fact that the tentacles attacking the ship’s crew were duplicating whenever split, and as such she stopped me from making the problem worse.

Or rather, she did on one front. When the large cubes appeared on deck, I foolishly believed that only the tentacles would split when struck with a slashing edge. I was wrong. Thus, Juliana and I ended up facing off with two animate cubes, instead of one. I switched to fighting with the blunt end of my axe— difficult, but not impossible— while I saw Juliana smashing her foe to death with her shield, though at one point she too split her foe with the spikes she had added. Unfortunately for me, my foe had more tricks up its sleeve than simply trying to hit me with its fluid tendrils, and shot me with an acid that burned worse than the time Erik misjudged his fire spell and caught me in its radius. I didn’t have eyebrows for an entire month.

But I digress.

We pushed off the foes, though with no small loss of crew. After the fight, I attempted to aid in repairing the ship, but everything I tried ended in some unfortunate accident, and I was told to go aid the chef. Given that the chef had vacated the galley to aid up top, I was at a loss for what to do. Later, I found Jolias cooking a gruel for the sailors and offered to help, but he declined. Given that he almost burned down the kitchen I feel somewhat vindicated.

The next few days passed somewhat uneventfully— I was even distracted from my lack of things to do by the captain asking us to aid in the running of the ship. I fished, and had much more success in doing so this time. I also took over the feeding of the eagle, and I apparently impressed the captain enough that I was allowed to do it from then on out. That is, until we were attacked.

A ship with tattered sails had begun to follow us after the first day, and we were all understandably worried. Given that we later found that it was a cursed ship filled with evil beings out for blood, I feel we were justified. When we were assaulted, I came face to face with a giant beast with fists the size of hams. He hit like a mule kicks, and I soon found myself outmatched, as I was later told that apparently the bastard had five layers of spells on him. He knocked me out and left me inches from death with a lucky shot, and though I was later revived I was not much use for the remainder of the conflict. Odd, though. I saw no support coming from our back line— I did not expect much from the crew, but Antonio and Dakkras did not seem to contribute much. I am told that Mallard took out a good half of the enemy forces. I do not understand why some members of this group of ours seem to hate him so much— at the very least, he is extremely competent in his chosen path.

There was much treasure gained in the aftermath of the battle. The others looted a massive treasure chest from the sinking cursed ship, but I am far more excited by my find. I have carved the corpse of my ham-handed foe and retrieved several of his bones, which are long and very strong. Though I do not use the bones of humans or other sentient races in my crafting, I do not believe this being counts. Also, he tried to kill me. I am a little upset about that. I have also gathered shell pieces from the massive crab-giants, and I think I may attempt to work these into projectile heads or various trinkets. I may have to upgrade my carving equipment when we make landfall. Soon, I will begin work on one of the armbones. I think I need some kind of hammer…


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