Fate Comes to Call

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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Passed away
Parody

Gentle reader, I write this missive to you hoping that someone is left alive to read it. It seems like just a short time ago we were doing so well! Killing vampires, putting down Demons, drinking fine wine, saving kittens from trees. Where did it go so wrong? I’ll tell you! It was the drunken priest, again.

This time he decided to use a magical wand of absolute chaos to summon the most gigantic dinosaur that any of us have ever seen. They were, as far as I know anyway, extinct for several generations. I could write flowing words about how courageously we battled this horrible beast and won but let’s not sugarcoat this.

We all got eaten. It wasn’t pretty.

Due to some kind of dark luck of the traveling people I alone survived the experience. I believe that AO himself was so exasperated with us appearing before him so many times in succession that he delayed my final return from the great beyond. Did I reappear in Ravenloft in a glorious flash of light? Did I come back in a great cloud of godly magic that ordinary mortals would die from if they saw it?

Not so much. I awoke some time after the gigantic dinosaur “loosened his bowels” many days later.

I was surrounded by the bones and gear of my fully dissolved comrades. Picking through what was left, the undertakers scythe teleported itself away from my grasp with an audible rebuke in the tongue of my people. It seems he stuck around just to let me know how much our deaths amused him. I collected the rest of the gear from the remains of the others and proceeded back to Barovia.

There wasn’t much left.

It seems the dinosaur has…evolved. Somehow by eating all of us it absorbed our life force, our ability to cheat fate, our abilities. In short, it has become sentient and the master of the castle…well I can freely call him Strahd now, has been consumed by the dinosaur as well.

The last sighting of the beast that the few survivors I have come across could tell me was that it had ripped open a portal through time and space to some futuristic world named Flor-eda to consume a man named An-drew and absorb his power.

I wish him luck. He will need it.

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A Week In the Tyrant's Stomach
If Jolias survives being eaten by a T-rex

Day 1: I have been eaten by what I have dubbed “The Tyrant.” Hopefully my companions will save me before I am digested.
Day 2: None of my companions have entered the belly of the beast and I am still here. The incoming food signifies that I have not been saved and that either the creature killed all my allies or they let the creature escape. Hopefully, they will come for me.
Day 3: I have lost hope of my companions finding me. I’m now thinking that they possibly left me to rot in the belly. That’s fine. I didn’t need them anyway. I have these sticks of wood that are better companions anyway.
Day 4: My alcohol supply is diminished. At least my new companions, Tammy and Bill, have not found themselves in some sort of trouble. Unlike my old companions.
Day 5: I am lucky to be eaten by the beast while I have Merlin’s spoon. I have been using it non-stop to fulfill me. Every so often, the Tyrant swallows a whole animal, still alive. I Searing Light the beast so I can get my fulfillment of food that doesn’t taste like cardboard.
Day 6: I have been grateful to my companions and the Tyrant for being there with me. I have started a new religion called the Tyrant’s Maw. I have a prophecy that the Tyrant will keep growing, slowing consuming the entire world. For there is no better utopia than being in its stomach, free from the confines of the gods. Because my old Goddess hasn’t heeded my prayer. I predicted that the Tyrant will soon enter the Realm of the Gods and eat them too. This I wish for because it is most certainly peaceful, especially right now, where I see no undead and Strahd in sight.
Day 7: With what the Tyrant has eaten, I have created some sort of hut structure to make both a home and a cathedral for the Tyrant’s Maw. Tammy and Bill have become great acolytes of the All Consuming Maw. One who does not obey the Tyrant shall be eaten in great haste and be sent to the Acidic Pool of Torment to where they will drown in their sorrow and soon become a part of the Tyrant.

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Spellbook

The spellbook that I had so anticipated turned out to be a disapointment. Considering the source I hoped for a few spells that would aid me in raising stronger undead or causing others to falter in combat. The spells that it contained are still useful but not directly in my field. One spell that may prove invaluable in this area was mages private sanctum which I set to learning immediately.

Another useful spell contained within was permanancy, this would be quite useful when applied to death watch but may take getting used to after. Never again would I see the world the same way, from that point on I would be seeing the life force of every being.

I should ask thanifex to teach me a spell to raise more powerful undead as it still owes me one, and I feel I am powerful enough to cast such spells now.

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Report 1st Week of the Harvester

Living in the light of day made me realize how off-track my calendar has gotten during our visit to lovely Castle Ravenloft. Its hard to mark the days when there’s no sun, moon or stars to tell you what time it is. I’ll have to go back and update my journals.

We decided to take a few days and rest in Barovia before tackling the Fanes. It was a sorely needed rest – I repaird my helmet, helped Max with his forge and met with the burgomeister. The helmet patch job should do until I can afford a better set of armor.

We completed the second step for the Sunsword. Now only one more remaining – defeating a powerful undead. I wonder who that could be.

It breaks my heart seeing Ismark stressing so much. Its vital to tell him about Irina, but I still don’t want to stress the poor man out any more than he already is. As much as I want to tell him that his boarding up is most likely useless, if poorly nailing Irina’s windows shut gives him peace of mind I’ll gladly do it.

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The interregnum
The pause that refreshes

Gentle reader my companions and I having successfully evaded the clutches of the master of the castle once more decided to retreat to the town of Barovia. We arrived to actually find it in a better state then when we left. Fortifications were being built, new guardsmen were being recruited, and the burgermeister had actually convinced Sir Urick to act as the towns constable. Sir Urik blames me for this predicament and I cannot find fault with his accusation.

We requested a meeting with both of them to get a sense of what has been happening in town in the weeks we were away. News issued forth of werewolf attacks and ambushes by a dwarven vampire. The last one we were all to familiar with having stumbled blindly into one of his “surprises” on the way into town. We in turn relayed to them news from the castle and the dire portents spotted within. One of those involved the burgermeister himself which caused a small amount of trouble when it was revealed.

After this we have had something that has been in lacking in our travels of late.
Time.
Time to take a bath. Time to resupply. Time to repair and purchase new equipment. Time to write (mostly just by yours truly). Time to meditate and plan to figure out where we go from here. We are as of this writing still at loggerheads over what direction to take now.

But every day we delay gives the master of the castle time to grow stronger. His plots and plans, his foul schemes seem closer to fruition with each passing day. How much time do we have left to stop his sinister intentions from succeeding?

I fear we may have given him too much time already.

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The Blade that pierces the Black Heart

Max is Standing in the Bilgerath’s shop

“Bilgerath! My friend! Have I got a deal for you!”

Max drops a pile of shovels onto his front counter, knocking several things off and not caring in the slightest.

“For you today I have the greatest of deals! 4, count them 4 exotic shovels, handcrafted by skilled craftsmen of distant lands using distant techniques never seen before! The wood is harvested from far forgotten forests in locales you can only dream of! The Steel is tempered in the fiery passions of all the craftsmen knows and loves! A single shovel takes near a decade to create and a team of no less than 12 Master Smiths who must swear off crafting for the rest of their lives after the shovel blade is complete! The blade can effortless hew Adamantine ore from the ground like melted butter, the blade is so sharp that a peasant can decapitate an ogre at 10 yards with nothing more than the strength of his throwing arm and the ludicrous sharpness of this blade! The wooden handle of this magnificent tool has been blessed by a circle of druids making the wood as durable as iron and completely resistant to fire! This blessing did not come cheap my friend, the craftsmen had to swear off all further wood work and lumbering for him and his entire village! What’s that you say? You thought the craftsman had to swear off metal working too and that they would be too busy with the blade for this to be possible? Ha ha ha, I see that you still do not yet understand the grandeur of this fine instrument of manifest destiny! The Blade and the and handle are created separately, each taking near a decade of dedicated work by a team of no less than 24 Master wood workers and metal workers. That’s 12 Master crafters for each component of this wonderful tool! After the decade has passed and the two components have been masterfully created the 24 gather atop a volcanic mountain and toss to two pieces in, here they wait for 3 years with no sleep, water, or food, sustained only by their prayers to gods of forging, the gods of nature, and their own steely will and determination to fulfill their final masterpiece! Once the 3 years have passed, a great and powerful Ifrit rises from out of the volcanic mountain and rewards their collective group with a single all powerful wish! They of course wish for the completion of the greatest shovel this plane of existence has ever seen! While the Ifrit is truly powerful their wishes do not come without a cost, The Ifrit is cruel, he tells them that he will complete the shovel, but only if they all agree to irrevocably surrender their sight and sense of touch forever, so that they may never see nor touch the fruits of their labor, that only those who do not understand the gravity of what has happened here this day and the 13 years leading up to this moment. They of course agree and the shovel is completed in all of its grandeur! This is what must be done to forge merely one of these blades and I have come to you today, my friend, at great cost to myself to offer you the greatest offer you have ever received in your life! Not merely one of these miraculous works of craftsmenship but a complete set of 4! The only 4 EVER made! Their secrets have been lost to all but myth and legend! Also if you look right here on the bottom, it even has a makers mark.

Let’s make a deal my friend!

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A night of relief
Party Party Party

After arriving into the town we split into different directions to do what we wished. I tagged along with Antonio and Max to see which way Max planned on harassing Bildraft. It was amusing at first when Max attempted to sell the newly acquired shovels at near the same price as we were asked to pay nearly 3 weeks ago. While it was humorous watching the merchant squirm and attempt to get Max to leave it grew old after a few minutes of it and I took my leave.

I went to the tavern to wait for Antonio to decide it was time to visit the burgermeister. After seeing the gloom mood of the place I decided to play my lute to liven people up. It was slow to work but before long I had the bar acting as if it was in a land that is not Ravenloft. All at once drinks after drinks began to pour in from grateful patrons. Unable to drink them all myself I recruited Jolias to aid me in the endeavor. Once Max arrived he asked for a sea shanty, I panicked slightly as I could not think of any in that field but as I began to play it came as second nature, the six month boat trip served some good it appears. At some point Antonio appeared to collect us but we were so far into our cups we refused, partially because if we stopped there may have been a riot.

I do not recall much after this but hopefully it helped to raise the spirit of not just us three but the town as a whole.

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