Fate Comes to Call

Damn you ugly
Baby got rot

As we make our way through the swamp after the death of the lightning dodging T. rex. Next we encounter this blood sucking eels, fucking Ravenloft…even the animals are bloodsuckers, it’s like this whole plane was constructed with atheme or something, like cruel intelligent design. The sooner I escape this place, the sooner I wipe that smug look off of Danny’s face. Let’s go climb a cursed mountain, no big deal. I feel like I forgot something..oh fuck that bitch was ugly! Why am I just remembering this?!

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Report Harvesterrrrrrr
I feel woozy

Jusst get out of surrrgeryy, it hurted really bad but Jolias said if I drank it would make the hurt go away more better

So the meanie vampire guy made my FAVORITE thumbkin fall offff. That was NOT cool. Then again, we were trying to steal his bossess power from the swampy place. That was not cool of us but his boss is not cool AT ALL.

My poooooor raven got hit by rocks in the sky and died. I liked that one too. (Julianah pauses to pour a bit of drink out for Raven #4) The rocks also killed weird vampire magic guy too.

Then Dakrrrs got dragged by a crab bug thing. Chuul. That’s what it is. Chuul. But then a bush attacked us. Then BUTTERFLIES BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLIES. Then a big ugly TREX. BAD TREX. It also dodged LIGHTNING.

Then found ugly eye lady. She was like, REALLY UGLY. So ugly half of us stared and did jack squat. I felt kinda bad bout it but oh well. Maybe she was so evil because she was ugly.

Then once she dead we found a tooth. Axe took it and was like more happy in swamps. Also Dakr killed treez.

Then we went back, and I just woke up with thumbkin back on my hand. It was cool and all, but it hurt like alot. Then Jolias gave me this drink.

So yeahh. Ima go sleepy time nowz.

Laterz.

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Curious is the Trapmaker's Art
All the RNG items will be mine

That Rod of Chaos is certainly a dangerous item. When Dakras and Antonio told me about the set that this wand belonged to, I couldn’t help but be curious. This item made me feel something I haven’t felt in a long time: curiosity. This item piqued my interest in the Rainments of Wonder. I can definitely make an impact with a wand such as this one. It’s a fine specimen of what primordial magic can be like in it’s purest form. Maybe once we get back to Fiveport, I will research into the set. This curiosity is dangerous. Most of my party would attempt to derail me from my newfound obsession with the set. Dakras would not care. Maybe I can ask him to help me.

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The empty mind
Not referring to Max (for once)

Gentle reader, when I was just a young lad begging for my mentor to regale me with stories of his travels in the wide world, I always requested stories from the Jade Empire the most. As some of you may know the Jade Empire is the common name of the landmass that many refer to as “The Southlands” in this day and age. This overwhelmingly bland descriptor does not do this realm of mysticism, martial arts, and ancestor worship justice. The culture is so varied and unique that I could spend several lifetimes documenting it all and still know nothing about it. This land. its people, and its philosophy on life are so different to our own as to be completely alien in nature to us.

Yet similarities can be found.

As a lad on the streets of Tescana I could not even fathom the idea of wielding a ranged weapon. Thrown rocks often call too much attention from the guards and if you actually came across a blade that could be considered some sort of dagger the last thing on earth one would do is throw it at anything. But my mentors stories of the marksmen of the Jade Empire convinced me to pick up a bow in my service to Royal Exploration Society. While I took to the mechanics of it well enough I never expected to reach the “empty mind state” needed to be an exceptional archer.

Until now.

Faced with a deadly prehistoric beast long thought extinct or driven into hiding in the remotest parts of the world, I finally found myself in the “moment of perfect tranquility” that my mentor talked about so often. There was no thought, only action. There was no fear, only certainty. There was no chance to miss, only a shot meticulously aimed as if the gods themselves had launched it for me and placed it directly in the great beasts eye.

The beast BLINKED. Not a magical effect of spell, but just a normal reaction that all of us have that happens multiple times per minute. I confess that I do not know if this creature actually has an eyelid or if its pupils are protected by an extra membrane in front of the eye such as frogs do, it matters not as the effect is the same. In the one moment of prefect clarity and unity I have ever achieved with a bow my target was only slightly affected by a twist of fate amazingly cruel to behold.

I barely remember what happened afterwords.

Twice now I have experienced a state of perfect unity. Once drinking wine with the drunken priest, and now with the bow. Only this time the perfection was lost by an action so common as to be insignificant to most of us in daily life.

The laughter of the gods I serve is still ringing in my ears.

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A Hero is Born
Can ya Dig it?

Maximilian and his party face off against a T-Rex, all mouths agape, all eyes wide in shock at the newest calamity that the priest has wrought with that wretched wand. Max musters his courage and draws upon a power deep within himself. The clouds darken and rain begins to pour relentlessly. He takes careful aim, charges his bolt to the Maximum and beyond, burning out the rest of his energy and threatening to turn his mortal coil to ash. With a cacophonous thunderclap he fires his bolt…and misses the monster completely. The bolt sails off in the direction of a lone wagon with a very familiar and not so loved scum of a Merchant. The wagon, his over priced shovels, and general filth is completely obliterated. The blackened scorched skull flies towards the battlefield and lands with squelch in the swampy water nearby. Max collapses to his knee before the beast completely drained, all hope is lost. As the beast sets his predatory gaze upon the lightning mage, his rows of dagger like teeth now visible as the creature opens its all consuming maw, a blur of a blade like object launches through the air and severs the creatures’ tail just like an Ogre’s head being sheared clean off his shoulders. A moment later the object returns through the air back towards the wielder with the same speed in which it flew. Max can’t believe his eyes, in the hands of his Savior…of all things…. A Shovel! The man is dressed in the garb of gravedigger, wearing an armor of bone that would make the Necromancer green with envy. The top of his face obscured by a mask made from the face of a skull. His cloak is long and resplendent, a symbol of a Skull with two crossed shovels emblazoned on it. In his left hand he wields a second shovel and across his back yet another pair. All of them of incredible and unfathomable quality, no doubt created by true masters of craft. Razor Sharp, beautiful, and extremely deadly. He speaks, his mannerisms full of energy and vigor.

’"Fear not brave heroes! For I have arrived! The one and only, Skull Diggery! You have all fought bravely, but rest now, I will handle this."

He stares down the beast as it roars defiantly at the Shovel wielding man.

The beast lunges at him teeth first, but Skull effortlessly sidesteps the attack and smacks the monster twice over the head with his shovels like a Matador taunting a bull. The monster tries bash him with an uppercut using his massive head to try and launch him up into the air, but Skull is too quick and backflips out of the way, as he does throws both of his wielded shovels into the feet of the monster, piercing them to the ground. As the shovels connect their magic activates and encases the T-Rex’s legs in manacles of stone, sealing him to the ground.

He draws his second pair of resplendent shovels and his air of bravado fades into a more serious tone, with a flourish and crossing of the shovels high over his head, he settles into a stance.

“The time has come monster…to Dig your Grave.” His theme song “Dragula aka Dracula” by Rob Zombie begins to play. He springs up towards the beast in a flurry of motion and shovel blade slashes quicker than the eye can follow, even the most experienced combatants in the party lose track after the 4th pair of slashes. As he slashes at lightning speeds, words emblaze themselves across the screen (Kill la Kill Style)

GRAVEKEEPERS SECRET SLASH TECHNIQUEGRAVE DIRT AVALANCHE!!!”

As he buzzsaws his way up the creature cutting him into more pieces than Raiden from metal gear rising cuts things into he kickflips off of the creatures skull into a corkscrew flip, he begins to spin rapidly like a drill and lunches towards the ground shovels first. He slams into the ground (Super Hero Landing style) thunderously causing a seismic wave to generate into the ground and towards the monster. As the vibration hits, the creature explodes into a cloud of T-Rex shaped blood and viscera and time freezes. More words appear (Kill la Kill Style)

SHOVEL MASTERS ANCIENT LOST BLADE ART- THE 100% GUARANTEED KILLING TECHNIQUE- EARTH SHATTER BURIAL!”

Moments later there is a torrent of blood that explodes forward parting like a red sea around Skull but covering the party in viscera.

He sheathes his shovels and his other pair fly back into his hands. He approaches Max and helps him up.

“You don’t recognize me do you? I am the man you sold those magnificent shovels to in bilgerath’s shop. I came there that day simply needing some tools to tend the graves as has been my family’s lot for eons, little did I know that I carried a bloodline of great destiny that awakened both my inner power and the true power of the Shovels. It’s all thanks to you, I can be a hero now and protect Barovia, worry not for Strahd, I will deal with him soon. You all want to go home right?”

Waiting only for a moment for confirmation, he plunges his shovel into the thin air and with a motion similar to throwing dirt over his shoulder he tears a hole in the planes to the Home Plane of the heroes.

“You can all go home now, I will send you what you came here for shortly.”

And so the Heroes returned home and Skull Diggery the Gravedigger of Great Destiny, slayed Strahd once and for all.

The End

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Journal First Week of the Harvester: A Year Later
Jumping on the Parody Bandwagon

It has been nearly a year since the day I ducked tail and ran.

Much has changed, some for the better, some for worse. I was cleaning out the old spare room for the baby when I came across my adventure pack, dusty and still caked with the mud from the swamp. I flipped through the pages of these “Mission Reports” a younger, more naive me was fond of writing.

Lets write one more.

We were ambushed in the swamp by a creature that dragged Dakras under the water. I don’t really know much about what happened next, beyond Jolias using that cursed wand. It started out innocent enough. Butterflies. Butterflies everywhere.

Yet then as the butterflies faded an ominous roar pierced the air. We stared, dumbfounded, at the giant dinosaur glaring in anger towards Jolias.

Max started angrily growling as the skies parted around him. The growling, however, ended once he was blown to bits from his own overcharged lightning bolt(s). He did not come back. It seemed as if fate was no longer on our side.

Antonio was only briefly visible before the t-rex was summoned, but when I looked across the river for him he was gone. No where in sight.

Axe dropped Dakras and started charging towards the beast, clanging his axe against his shield. Well the taunting worked – the t-rex crushed him under his foot.

I’m not positive what happened to Dakras. He stood up in the water after Axe dropped him, went paler than usual then got a wicked smile on his face. I saw him start casting something and his scythe glowed with a black darkness. That is, until the chuul also came to and snatched him under water again.

Jolias threw his arms up in the sky screaming “SAVIOR TAKE ME NOW” before he disappeared in the beast’s gaping maw.

I was filled with rage. I summoned Sassy so I could charge the dinosaur. I knew I wouldn’t escape alive. But I didn’t care. I began to charge up a smite when suddenly, all power seemed to drain from me.

It seems the Austere Lady did not think that charging the beast was a tactical decision.

Looking back I don’t blame her. I deserved the fall from her grace – clearly all decisions we had made up to that point lead us to summon a party-killing dinosaur.

My rage was gone with my divine favor and my party members. I was lucky I still had Sassy. We ran. The t-rex chased us for a minute before finally disappearing. I slowly went back to look for Antonio and Dakras, but even after waiting and searching for an hour there was no luck. I mournfully grabbed what I could carry from what remained of my team and made the long trek back to Barovia.

Once there I figured I could wait and help out the next group that tried to go up against Strahd – I certainly couldn’t do it alone. To pass the time I decided I would work the forge since the town was lacking a smith. Weeks turned to months and no one showed up, and Strahd largely has left the village alone.

Now a year later I’ve met a man (a farmer who jokingly calls himself the 26th richest man in Barovia) and have a child on the way. My husband wants me to name him Jolias. Im not sure – I dont want my child to be a drunken idiot like he was

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Third Week in the Tyrant's Stomach
The Tyrant's Trilogy

Day 15: Ever since I sacrificed Billdraft to the Acid Pool of Torment, I’ve felt different. I’ve start to feel much more Ravenous. Aah, yes. I can feel it. Becoming one with the Tyrant. I have acended. Becoming a Ravenous. I followed my god and I have been rewarded! YES! VICTORY IS MINE! I’LL GET MY REVENGE YET ON MY PARTY MEMBERS.

DAY 16: WITh tHe traNsformation compleTE, I SHOWED the two original TeEtH the RESULTS. BUT THEY WERE PieCEs Of WOOD. I StAYed in my HUT All day to write PRoperly.

Day 17: I stayed in my but to write. Getting used to these claws is hard. I ponder what made me transformed. I showed my transformation to the other Teeth. They were not pleased.
“It’s hideous.”
It’s disgusting."
" You’re not human anymore."
How dare they doubt the gift of the Tyrant. With overwhelming strength, I hurled the acoytes that do not appreciate the gift onto the Acidic Pool until the screaming stopped. Anyone else who cares to spew blasphemy will meet a fate worse than death.
Day 18: When I was sleeping, I felt something go through me. Something insidious and feral. During prayer, I’ve now keep my appearance hidden through hoods, cloths, or a glove. Something eventful happened. I blessed a Tooth. He transformed into something. He became a Ravenous. This Tooth, if I remember, was named Bradley. He did have a wife until he was eaten. Now he’s like me. Except, he started to eat his fellow Teeth members. He was put down immediately and thrown into the Acidic Pool of Torment.
Day 19: I realized that the Tome of the Ravenous is gone. Except for a Stray page. It was written in a strange language. Reading this consumed me with hunger. I don’t remember much of what happened but I was covered in blood the next moment I regained my senses. All the Teeth are dead. Except for me who transformed into much more of a beast. I’ve started to drink that expensive Dwarven ale that Antonio and I found. I don’t know much of getting drunk in this form but hopefully I can just forget.
Day 20: Unfortunately I did not forget. I felt much more Ravenous. I feel the Tyrant’s presence. It detected some prey. I applied a Prayer to the Tyrant and applied a Haste to it. Battle is about to begin.
Day 21: Jolias did not see the end to his journey. The beast man I saw as my brother was no more. My brother was not human anymore. He was possessed by some sort of Dark Power according to Antonio. The Jolias I knew was gone. I feel like it was somewhat my fault. I couldn’t protect him. But now he’s gone. I must fight Strahd for my brother and anyone else who fell victim to his dark influence.

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Another Week in the Tyrant's Stomach
All Hail the All-Consuming Maw

Day 8: The religion of the All Consuming Maw has spread to another acolyte. His name is Soren. Soren joins Tammy and Bill in becoming an Tooth. This is what I call the acolytes of the Maw. They are Teeth. These tooth shall form the foundation of the Maw. With me as the Head Priest, the Tyrant shall achieve ultimate victory. Later in the day, the Tyrant swallowed another animal. We made sure it wasn’t undead so it would not upset the Tyrant. If it’s not, we sacrifice it to the Acidic Pool of Torment so that the Tyrant will be fulfilled with its meal.

Day 9: I can still sense my sister’s energy. My companions are still alive and out there. By their actions of leaving me in here, I have come to the conclusion that they have abandoned me. Their treacherous actions made them enemies of the Maw and the utopia I desire. But their demise won’t come from me, it will either come from Strahd or the Tyrant.

Day 10: Another human was eaten by the Tyrant. His name was Billdraft. That slimy shopkeeper in Barovia. How did he end up in here? Did the Tyrant ravage through Barovia and eat Billdraft? Interesting…. I invite Billdraft in to go ahead and make himself home. I shall convert him into a tooth later. Maybe he knows where my companions are. At “night,” I asked Billdraft on where the party went. Of course, he doesn’t know since he got kicked out of town. Maybe we can have our revenge after all. Or not. Let’s test his devotion to the Maw.

Day 11: In the morning, I have Billdraft go through a test of the Maw so that he may become a Tooth. If he does not comply, I’ll simply toss in the Acidic Pool of Torment. He just needs to sacrifice something of his. Be it money or limbs. Anything. But for Billdraft, it must be his money. It’s too precious for him to have. Just as I lost my companions, he must be apart from something dear to him. He resisted. I gave him three chances. Thrice times he refused. So, in he went. With one fast kick, he went into the Pool. Dying from the acid, he’s probably regretted it. He had too much pride. It was tied up in that money bag of his.

Day 12: Since the sacrifice, the Tyrant blessed with me a bunch of gifts. More wood for the Church, more animals to feed upon, and more humans? There are some villagers from Barovia who are eaten by the animal. They think this is Strahd’s doing. I told them that this is a chance encounter with my god and that you being here is a sign. These look like the villagers I usually preach to when I come back from my voyages safe and sound. Converting them should be easy.

Day 13: I’ve amassed about 13 Teeth of the Maw. These teeth have come along nicely, since they kinda saw what happened with Billdraft. Construction of additional huts have begun. Luckily, the Tyrant ate some construction tools so that we can do this. I’ve started to write the Holy Script of the Tyrant’s Maw. Hmmmm. What should I call it? I got it. The Tome of the Ravenous. I shall start on the Tome immediately.

Day 14: The villagers have grown accustomed to living in the Tyrant’s Stomach. I have made it a blessed place. I placed the insignia of the Maw everywhere I can go. The punishment for not obeying the rules of the domain shall receive the same punishment as Billdraft. The rules shall go as follow:

1. No one shall ever speak the Tyrant’s name in vain.
2. Be kind to your other Teeth. No Teeth shall betray one another.
3. Everyone shall share everything. The only possessions a Teeth may have is their hut and their personal belongings. Wealth and food is shared amongst everyone.
4. Everyone shall have the same number of meals per day. Anyone caught eating more is seen as gluttonous and shall perish within the Acidic Pool of Torment.
5. No secrets shall be hidden. Everyone will share everything. The Teeth of the Maw is a welcoming community of everything.
6. No violence is to be committed by other Teeth members. This is a utopia.
7. No one shall desecrate the insignia of the Maw.
8. Everyone shall come to prayer. No one is left behind and no one shall be doing anything else during prayer time.
9. No one shall do harm to the Tyrant. Those that do are signed up for a death sentence.

These are the rules for now. I need to think up of more to cover everything. But we have a small community right now. So it shouldn’t be too hard to give them these rules to abide with.

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No, this is what REALLY happened!
Now we all have to do it

There was silence in the moment that the giant prehistoric lizard was summoned. Confused, it defaulted on its deepest, most ingrained instincts.

It ate Jolias.

This spurred action in the rest of the party. Antonio cursed Max’s wind wall as he dashed to the side. Max began to channel a gigantic amount of magical energy. Julianah screamed in rage and charged at the dinosaur. Dakkras continued to be unconscious.

Axe stood there, and a strange kind of madness came over him. He opened his mouth to give a battle cry.

“No! Bad Tyrannosaurus!” he shouted, surprised at his own words.

in another world, a dice came up 20 on a handle animal check. Then 20 again.

The mighty beast, an apex predator with a bite force of 12,800 pounds and skin that could turn aside bullets, inexplicably looked ashamed. Everyone else stopped.

“Spit him out!”

The T-Rex looked away.

“Do it!”

The giant beast’s head lowered, its mouth opened, and Jolias slid out onto the ground, wet but no worse for the wear. Axe stepped up and patted the dinosaur’s side.

“Good…” he looked for something on the animal’s underside. “Girl. Good girl. You want a treat?”

He pointed to the water.

“There’s a tasty evil lobster-thing in there.”

And that was how Axe became the most powerful person in the party.

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The Hunt
Everybody's doing it

It’s been a week since… the incident. Dakras wasn’t quite sure what happened as he was unconscious at the time, but when he awoke he found the remnants of his group. Some had giant holes punched through both their armor and bodies, most mostly they were crushed inside giant footprints that littered the ground, it was unclear if they were trampled as they attempted to flee or as they stood paralyzed by shock. What was clear though, was the snap that twisted his mind. While he may not have counted most of the group as as friends they were companions and had spent much of the last year together. An obsession of vengeance consumed him, if he was to kill the monster that stuck down his group he would need more power, and more combatants.

Set in his path there was a new battle of wills between Dakras and the ancient scythe Thanifex. With the madness that was slowly devouring him fueling his attack Dakras forced the scythe into complete servitude, or perhaps the scythe was simply amused with the turn of events and allowed itself to lose? Time was lost for a short while, was it two weeks, a month, or more that was spent in that swamp? What was clear is that Dakras rarely roamed farther than 100 ft of where the party fell. In this time creatures pursued what they viewed as an easy meal, until they too were converted into unresting guardians of the area, eventually even the most mindless of creatures stayed away. When the time finally came the new group ventured out to find the cause of their deaths.

The tracks were ancient by this point but that was no concern for the new Axe. He appeared to be an odd mix of zombie and plant, small balls of moss now sat in the sockets his eyes once rested and a small sapling was pocking out of one of the many holes in his chest. One of the more drastic deliberate alterations to his form was the fusing of his axe to his otherwise destroyed forearm. He once said the Axe felt like it was a part of him, now it truly was.

During the travel whisperers of what they hunted filled the ears of Dakras. Little of Antonios body was recoverable so there had to be special circumstances to bring him back. The end result was a semi-solid shadow, what he lacked in substance he made up for in a substantial retention of mental prowess. His knowledge would be a supplement to his masters along with his new ability to slip through tiny cracks and manipulate what lay beyond.

Eventually the trail led them through and open area of land near Borovia leading to some peasants coming to investigate the oddly different traveling group. When they approached the group and looked upon their bodies the peasants panicked and fled. Shortly after the encounter a horde of them approached the group seeking their destruction. Dakras was unable to convince them they meant no harm and still intended to free the town but it fell upon death ears. The town attacked and began to damage the new group, Dakras commanded Jolias to heal the group. Jolias was little more than a skeleton, he had been devoured by the beast and his bones were found not too far away from the initial battle site. Aside from the lack of flesh the real difference to Jolias was that he retained much of the divine powers but it was now fueled by the powers of undeath. Obeying the orders he was given Jolias sent out a wave of dark energy that poured into the rest of the group repairing what little damage the peasants did. Screams filled the air as the same energy pulled the life from the mob as an unintentional side-effect and a long figure stood amongst their ranks. Sir Orrick shouted that he knew the group couldn’t be trusted and the undead must be destroyed.

Orrick charged the most normal looking member of the group, Dakras. A suit of plate moved between them which stood as a substitute for Julianahs body. Yellow orbs of light burnt in the slit of the helmets visor and on the inside an unseen rune layed on the back of the helmet. Little of her body was recoverable as well, most of it was ground to dust after being stepped on by the giant creature. In exchange for a body of bone or flesh she instead had her soul bound to a set of magical plate, some of the remaining blood used to create the rune used to bind her soul. To counter the rush Julianah reached down to retrieve the Sun Sword which still laid at her hip. The blade hissed at being pulled forth and wielded by an undead but it remained in her grip. Black smoke and ooze began to pour from the sizzling hand, the ooze poured downwards and eventually covered the crystal blade fully. When Orrick grew close enough Julianah whipped the sword forward, slinging any loose drips of black off the blade before it found itself deep within the mortals chest. When pulled out the clear crystal blade was gone, replaced by a dark smoky blade made of gem.

When the beast was finally found a lone zombie was shoved forward. The zombie has glowing yellow arcane runes running across its body. Gone was any emotion or impulse from the body of Max, it was replaced by an empty stare. Max was returned with by far the least amount of intelligence and personality, if any at all. There was just enough to cast spells on command and restore the stores of magical energy that the body stored, which was sometimes tapped to restore his new masters pools. Once the attention of the beast was gathered a command came forth and the zombie obliged. The fog that constant there began to rise and condense until it formed a giant storm cloud from which a lightning bolt that the gods would be proud of struck forth. The amount of light that was generated would have blinded them all if they had needed eyes to see.

Dakras strode forth from the group to get a closer look at what remained of the body. The time spent in one area doing nothing but altering the corpses of his companions had done a number on him. The lack of food or drink had left his skin pale and shallow, there was little evidence that separated him from one of the undead around him except occasional shallow breaths and a heartbeat that decided to thump in his chest every now and then. He would have died long ago from exposure and hunger if it weren’t for the dark energies that seeped into him during the intricate and powerful casting that left him somewhere in between alive and undead.

Now that the beast was dead the group turned their heads to the castle, they still had a mission to do.

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