Fate Comes to Call

Bwahahahahahahaha!
*Insert Evil laugh here* *Not actually happening*

Ah yes my master!
The fools have of yet not caught on to our delicious deceptions! The dark magic spells you gave me make them sleep so soundly it is child’s play to collect their precious blood at night. I drink it the next day in front of them all and call on your power right out in the open and no one is the wiser! You were so right my dark lord! Their blood is such a sweet elixir!

All praise the dark lord MacFuddy! Long may you reign! Bwahahahahahahahaha!

http://vintagesodacompany.com/products/macfuddy-pepper-elixir
MacFuddyLarge_large.png
NOT ACTUALLY HAPPENING!

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Sidequest time
hopefully the evil stuff in the real world waits patiently

As we traveled we bickered amongst ourselves and realized… something was stalking us. Through sheer luck we ended up back at the ruins and axe caused our guide to fall down the ramp. Once everyboy else was done i sent my zombie down then myself, I was aumused when it fell directly onto antonio but that ended when it got a dagger through the head. I realized this was probably for the best since it wouldn’t require us to explain anything to the guide so I let it go. As we proceeded once more Max decided he wanted to explore the remaining area despite us being in a hurry. As my turn to cross the puzzle approached I heard trouble so I went to investigate, goo cubes surrounded Jolias and Max fell down a hole, I quickly got rid of the goo but then fell into a trap myself. It appears the old mirror man was waiting for me to enter and quickly snatched an entire handful of my gold and hurried away. We figured out the solution by chance and I ended up getting all of it back. I admit my reaction to the theft may have been a bit overbored but it was incredibly possible he could have stolen hundreds of gold in that one go.

We eventually made our way through with Max continuing to be angry and unpleasent but he eventually calmed down and I took it upon myself to offset some of his loss since we were able to recover my gold. We spent a day marching through the forest and I realized not even my magic can get a message to the outside world any longer. During the night an odd event occured, our guide disapeared without a trace and there was a talking owl instead. At first I worried it could be a familiar for the other group but that was dispelled as it told us information. It told us of a road we could follow to get to humans so the following morning we followed it.

At the end of the road we found a run down tavern… that was populated. I was hesitant to approach but did anyway, the inside was cozy, the food delishes and the people… interesting. Their coin, garb, and stories are odd… as if from another time. Have we been sent back in time to when this forest was once populated? I am unsure but we have been given a new quest and it seems we will not be able to return to our own time, realm, or whatever we have left until after we complete this new mission

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In which Victor talks about tropes
I'm not even sure if this should go here, but here it goes.

Some of you know I spend way too much time on Tv Tropes. Some of you don’t even know what that is. I’m sure some of you don’t even know what a Trope is. I will explain.

Tropes are defined as a figure of speech by Merriam-Webster’s English Dictionary, but most writers know them as repeating elements or patterns in fiction— things like the occupational hazards of mentoring a hero or the tendency for heroes to beat people only for those people to become allies shortly afterwards. Tv Tropes is a wiki that identifies the tropes present in different works (It’s also a bigger time-waster than Wikipedia. Those that click on the links I provide should beware).

In essence, this begins a project where I will attempt to identify tropes in our own adventures— mostly when I don’t feel up to writing a journal entry. To begin with, the very structure of our party: The Five-Man Band! (Yes I’m aware we have six members. I will explain)

The Five Man Band is made up of a collection of five (or sometimes six) characters, each bearing specific archetypes— it was very popular in old cartoons. The five roles are the Leader, the Lancer, the Big Guy, The Smart Guy, and the Chick. (Yes, I know that sounds sexist, but let me get to it).

First, the Leader! The Leader is, obviously, the person in charge of the group. I considered Antonio for this role, as he is often the voice of reason in the group, but he fits far too well into another role (guess which one). In fact, this is the role that I’m least confident on my choice.

Jolias is that choice. He is often the one to provide direction through his prayer and is constantly improving the whole party through his liberal use of buffs. Though he does not often show it, he is supposed to be a strategist, and it’s common for the Leader to be a strategist of some kind.

Next, the Lancer. The Lancer serves as a counterpoint to the Leader— often the second-in-command, but not always. The Blue Ranger to the Leader’s Red Ranger, if you will. The Lancer serves as a contrast to the Leader— if the Leader is military and strict, the Lancer will be laid-back, and visa versa.

Our Lancer, I believe, is Dakkras. Who better to contrast the priest than the necromancer? There are other points of comparison. While Jolias is prone to excess at times and pettiness, Dakkras usually maintains a composed air. Jolias grants his allies wide-effect buffs, but some of the Undertaker’s best spells are single-target debuffs. Not to mention one raises undead and the other is very good at putting them back down.

The Big Guy is the next on the list, and his (or her) role is very easy to explain. They hit stuff. They are very often stupid.

Axe is perfect big guy material. Big, prone to putting his foot into his mouth, and prone to tanking.

Next on the chopping block is the Smart Guy. The name says most of what you need to know. Usually physically weak, the Smart Guy is usually the most intelligent member of the five-man band. The role is commonly filled by younger people, and is often the domain of tricksters, hackers, and nerds.

Though Antonio is certainly not younger, and definitely not socially awkward, he is our Smart Guy. As the resident Knowledge skill master and part-time rogue stand-in, Antonio is way too much of a Smart Guy to take the Leader position (though really I would consider him the party leader).

Finally, we have the Chick. The Chick is a binding force in the party, usually the one to deal with aggression on the part of other members. They are often the Heart of the group. Also, TvTropes states that the Chick must be female. Personally, I disagree with this notion, but by coincidence our Chick is actually female.

Well, that kind of spoiled Juliana for the role. In truth, Juliana has quite a few traits of the Leader (strategic knowledge, being heroic) and the Big Guy (being strong and tough), but her tendency to try and stop in-party conflicts and remain cool-headed makes her an excellent Chick (who could still probably kick my character’s ass) (I’m sorry Marlia but it fit too well please don’t hit me)

So where does this leave Maximillian, you ask? Like I said before, I will explain. There is a trope borne of Sentai shows called the Sixth Ranger. The Sixth Ranger is a character that is added to an established team after its formation, usually a somewhat antisocial loner or someone whose personality clashes with the group at large. Also, soon after being introduced they usually do something really awe-inspiring to make the audience think they’re awesome.

Thus, Maximilian! A man with a bit of a temper who a few sessions after his introduction proceeded to emulate a thunder god. A man who has often had clashes with party members over his own desires.

I think I put way too much thought into this. Learn from my mistakes! Don’t go to TvTropes, it’ll ruin your life! Look at me, I just wrote almost two pages on how our party resembles common group compositions as seen in children’s television!

(Thus said, I post the link to the TvTropes page for your viewing pleasure: The Five-Man Band)

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Report 11th of the Goodmonth

We struggled to find our way in the forest. Lost with a large enemy approaching, we dove into deadfall to hide. It went away and we decided to double back, luckily finding the entrance to the ruins where we were to meet our guide.

Our guide, once we found him, slayed Dakras’ undead, which was perhaps for the best to avoid any unfortunate misunderstandings. This was too much to hope for; Axe revealed our party’s uncanny knack for reviving after mortal blows. After some blundering, while I walked one-on-one with him I appeased his thoughts with honesty. Someone needs to talk to Axe about being too open with others and using discretion. No matter.

After taking advice from a friendly owl (which, in retrospect, is probably not the wisest thing to do), we came across a road which led to a previously unknown town. Our guide was no where to be seen.

Despite other’s research into this area, there was no mention of a road, let alone a populated area in this region. During our week’s rest in Five Port I figured it was better to specialize and let others spend their time researching and have them fill me in on what I needed to know later while I train harder to protect them. I figured in doing this and working together, we would be better off than trying to cram research, training, shopping, and repairing my breastplate into such a short amount of time. Perhaps I was wrong, and need to allot more time into this instead of relying on others.

Regardless, we are now in an unfamiliar town with strange coin and from what I hear, an even stranger ruler. I pray we continue on our mission as quick as we can knowing what evil is waiting for us. The Austere Lady’s vision of darkness on the horizon still weighs just as heavily on my mind as it did those weeks ago.

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Herding cats
Ohhhh...shiney! *cursed*

Gentle reader, it should go without saying that to become a seasoned explorer one must train hard, learn many areas of study, and have more than a few less than legal skill sets. The Royal Exploration Society offers up and coming explorers a background in all these things, but first it teaches the two most fundamental of skills when exploring an unknown ruin or location.

Conservation and patience.

By the gods themselves do I find these things lacking in my companions! Arthur Dent the famed explorer once noted that traveling with people who do not share the explorers mindset is often like herding cats. It can be difficult if not impossible to keep random party members from touching everything they see that strikes there fancy, moving into suspicious or even obvious traps, and trying on every item they find in a chest somewhere without checking to see if it is cursed beforehand.

Conservation is using mundane items or skills before magical power or limited use ones. Casting light before using up torches or oil. (One torch or lamp should be lit by someone in case of sudden anti magic effects however) Using a rope instead of featherfall. Firing arrows instead of magic missile. (the author has been guilty of this one once or twice) There should always be a conscious thought as to “Do I need to cast this/eat this/drink this now or am I just showing off?” before using it.

Patience is not running off from the group and realizing that some things may need to be explored again at a later time. It’s also not touching everything you see. Especially when the item in question has already been proven to be cursed in some form or fashion. Exploring old ruins can be extremely dangerous and being hotheaded or impulsive is a great way to have an overly short adventuring career. sigh

At this point I hope that my companions will burn themselves enough with their rash, immature actions to learn from the experience. If they manage to survive it.

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Report 9th of the Goodmonth

All climbed down the hole one by one. Max skillfully placed a windwall to slow our descent, which would have landed us on a death trap. I jammed the mechanism for those behind me.

I fear for our group dynamic- we must see how Dakras will respond to Antonio airing out his unconventional abilities to Max, without asking or gaining permission. Axe, blunt as always, escalated the situation, and while bluntness is not normally a problem this was a delicate issue. I pray Dakras can brush off this slight, at least until we are done- the last thing we need is lingering feelings and festering rage during a fight.

Perhaps at Five Port I should get my sight checked. Thinking Antonio was pointing to a different spot on the wall, I unwittingly stepped into a trap that left me paralyzed and the trap’s creature dead. Not sure if it was the dim light or my own vision, but I would have sworn he was pointing to a different spot. This happened a few more times- I must learn to be more aware of my surroundings.

Through various hallways there were multiple traps and magical puzzles. Through a mithral plated door was a time sensitive trap which eviscerates those who cannot figure it out. This trap claimed the lives of our enemies who charged us and Axe, who tried to cover our retreat not realizing we didn’t need it. Like others in our group, gods saw it fit to resurrect him.

After dispatching an orc and an archer, the enemies were cleared out and we saw an exit. The orc did mention they were fighting “for her” in the heat of battle, which may be information we can use later.

We decided to hole up for the night in what looks like a study in order to rest and recover. It is no use to fight the enemy exhausted with sore bruises and sore feelings. This morning we can regroup and get this job done.

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Another one bites the dust

As both sides finished sizing the other up we slowly approached. Antonio and I both tried to end it without excessive bloodshed but it didn’t work. As the fighting broke out a horrifying orc charged forward and punched a hole straight through Julias shield and into his gut. Seeing this horrifying strength made him my target. I sapped his strength and sent my zombie forward to attack his previous comrades.
It was at this moment that Max came charging forward in a frenzy and started attacking seemingly at random. With his effort along with our actual enemies the zombie did not last long. The scuffle lasted a little longer but was ultimately ended by Max making a stray shot that hit the tail of the metallic dragon. In reaction the dragon stood and started spinning, shredding everything in the room, luckily MOST of us got out in time. Axe was not one of them, he was turned into a fine mist after being struck, but as expected he solidified back into one piece on the ground. He crawled into the hallway with the rest of us and began freaking out about the experience. I attempted to break the tension with a few jokes but either I am not well versed in comedy or he was too shocked to allow it since he instead threatened to strangle me if we were not already in a fight.
By the time it was safe we crossed the room to where the enemy escaped, Julianah once again lacked foresight and got shot in response. Axe activated his rage ring and began to fight the orc. He nearly died once again after being lifted off the ground by the orcs spike in his gut. Luckily (i suppose) the frenzy made Axe ignore the pain and ended up killing the orc.
As he was laying on the ground dying he tried to order me to go after the remaining enemies, I thought this was a stupid action so I simply ignored it. I instead searched the box to grab the book they were after then the bookcases.
After everything was settled and Axe could once more walk it was decided I would raise another zombie in case there were any more traps and we would leave as one. Since the zombie was their suggestion I made a comment about the expense that they cost me. Antonio volunteered a few coins to offset it but the manner in which he did it furthers my suspicion. He said he would cover my cost for the next luck ritual, that he would make this his contribution instead of just giving me gold makes me wonder if there is a secret agenda behind this ritual instead of just giving the participants a bit of luck.
Once we got outside we founds tracks but decided the safest move would be to return to the library to sleep and venture forth when we awoke. During the night Julianah did a bit of snooping and found a hollow in the wall. Once antonio got it open they found a large gem which max detected as magic, and necromantic at that. This of course led them to ask me what I could learn from it. I walked over, misunderstanding what exactly they wanted, and reached in to grab it in order to examine it. Once again it appears I have fallen prey to a violent item. It latched spikes into my arm and began to absorb the blood that drained into it. We eventaully got it off my arm and it returned to normal, I stowed it in my pack for closer examination when we get time and sent a message to our guide to meet us in the ruins to help us follow the tracks. Hopefully we can return here at some point, so much knowledge and power to be gained here.

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In which copious collateral damage is caused, a number of bandits are punched in the face, and Axe learns the importance of appearances.
I wrote a thing.

See a landscape of prairies and hills, dotted with clusters of forest. There is a small plume of smoke rising into the sky. All is peaceful.
Look closer. The small plume of smoke is a group of people. There are walls surrounding a makeshift village. All is peaceful.
Look closer. The men are not villagers— they wear armors and carry weapons. They, like the village, are not of professional make. In the middle of the camp, there is a crest that declares the group to be “The Bludy Wulfs”. It has a freshly painted look. Clearly, these are bandits. Even so, all is peaceful. But soon it will not be.
Look closer. In the nearby woods, a group of twenty hides. They all wear well-made armor and carry good, strong weapons. On each of them, somewhere, there is the crest of a silver sword.
To the side, three of them gather. One is a slim man in travelers clothes, bearing a rapier. His hair is a shock of bright red, like fire. One is a man with dark skin, almost made of lean muscle. He wears a long blue robe and carries a book on his belt. The last is a large man, wearing leather armor with plating of bone, a helmet that resembles the skull of a beast, with an axe at his side that has a handle made of bone. The word axe is carved into the handle.
The man in the shiniest armor turns to the three. “Alright, you three. You know your part. Move quickly.” The rest of the crowd follows him as he runs out of the cover of the forest. The three move as well, but they have a different target.
The plan was to strike the main gate with a large force, while using a small force to strike at the side gate, which will hopefully cause enough chaos to distract attention from the main force.

Squintin’ Charlie squinted at the three men who had run up to the side gate.
“Oy! Boss!” he shouted.
“Wot?” came the returning cry.
“I think we got some troublemakers!” called Charlie.
“Wot they look like then?”
“Well there’s some bloke with a sword, and one big bloke covered in bone stuff with an axe, and some darkie ponce with robes and a book. They’s just standing by the gate. One of ‘em’s wavin ‘is fingers—”
Squintin’ Charile was no more, as rushing flames engulfed the barricade. Those that were there and survived what was to come would swear he was such a squinty bastard his eyes didn’t even open in surprise as he was encompassed by the roaring flames.
Small Dave was in a panic. Not only was someone attacking the base, they had a mage! A mage! He didn’t sign up for this kind of danger, the only people Small Dave was supposed to be attacking were fat old merchants with nothing more than a token guard. Even so, he rose to the occasion.
“Form up! They’ve got a mage and one of them tribal barbarians! Stay clear of the man covered in bones and charge the man in the robe!”
The three men stood in the charred and smoking gateway. The man in the robe stood behind the two armed men, who readied their weapons.
“Get ‘em boys!”
The “Bludy Wulfs” charged. There were only ten in all. There were the daves— Big Dave, Quick Dave, and Slicer Dave, who charged the man in the robe right out of the gate. Steve the Deadeye stepped back and aimed his trusty bow. Cacklin’ Georgie and Roger “Jackass” Robertson charged at the barbarian, despite Small Dave’s instructions, followed by Oswald “can’t remember his nickname” Ludd, because he tended to follow crowds. Big Terry and James the Knife approached the mercenary-looking bloke with red hair cautiously. Dave shrugged and observed the battle.

Slicer Dave grinned. Mages were his favorite kind of target, all slow and clumsy, and admittedly users of phenomenal and terrifying powers but who could focus on that when they were having their skin peeled off? This one didn’t seem scared. Cocky darkie bastard. Dave would show him! He shouted, lifted his curved knife, charged, and was met by a surprisingly hard fist aimed directly at his nose on the way it. Another blow thumped him on the ear and Slicer Dave knew no more.

Small Dave watched, mouth agape, as the man that he had previously believed to be a weakling wizard proved himself to be a force of pure destruction, punching out Slicer Dave and Big Dave in rapid succession, and then proceeding to catch an arrow from Deadeye. To his left, he saw the actual mage channeling electricity through his sword and jabbing it into Big Terry, while James the Knife’s corpse sat there charred and smoking. Several nearby shacks and tents were on fire. But he couldn’t run… if the boss had figured out he’d run then Dave’s hide would be on a shack wall in short order. With all that was happening, the Barbarian looked like the best target.

“Deadeye! Switch targets to the barbarian! Georgie, Roger, with me!” Cried the small man who had hung back until now.

This confused Axe, given that they were moving towards him. He parried aside a clumsy blow from the big, stupid looking one while he briefly noted Marius bashing another bandit’s face in with his bare hands. “Wait, hold on a second.” He said, driving his axe into the big man’s side. Just like the last three time he had done this the man refused to fall down. “You guys think I’m a barbarian?” He asked, vaguely insulted.

His attackers stopped. “Well.. ain’t you? You’ve got that skull helmet and all those other pieces of bone armor…”

Axe looked down. “This? This is just… alternative armor materials!”

The particularly ugly one slurred. “Nah, I don’t buys it. See, you’s got all those tribal dee signs on the armor. Plus, you looks kinda stupid.”

Axe’s eye twitched. “I…” He ducked under the thrown log from the man he had been fighting, which flew directly into the man who had been trying to flank him. “Fuck you!” He shouted at the men facing him, completely ignoring the skill-bleeding enemy on his other side.

“Oh, shit boys! He’s raging! Stay back and dodge!”

Axe growled, but he was interrupted. “Hey Axe! I can’t help but notice that your opponents are still up! Want me to take care of that?”

Axe turned, face turning red. “No, Erik, don’t you dare I just grew my eyebrows back!”

Laughter came from the red-haired mage. “Too late, already casting!”

“Fuck y-”

There was an explosion of flame, and then pained cursing from a certain axe-wielding non-barbarian, who had only barely managed to dodge in time. He no longer possessed eyebrows.

Where are they now?

Axe later threw away several pieces of bone armor, claiming “stupid as hell bandits” as his reasoning. He would eventually travel to Siendart and then shit would seriously start to go down.

Marius later joined a fighting ring. He punched many more people in the face.

Erik continued to gleefully set things on fire. They say you can still find him by tracing the path of collateral damage.

All of the bandits died. Most of those that fought our heroes died while on fire.

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A miraculously unharmed journal
Literally 1 in 8000 odds

I died today.

I’m still in shock, really. I died. I fucking died, and I’m still here, writing in a journal that just about a day ago was reduced to nothing more than strips of paper. Yet, here I am and here it is, both whole and undamaged— though my skin is now covered in scars, reminders of my

there is a long series of angry scribbles here. Curse words in fae and human can be discerned

I don’t even know what my life is anymore. Just months ago I was looking forward to (well, dreading really) working with the Crimson Crows here in Siendart. I wonder if I ever really woke up from that storm.

I… I need to take my mind off of this. We’re working to try and find our way through the forest, since apparently following the obvious tracks wasn’t enough for the rest of the group.

I miss home.

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Tisfipca's curse
3 Freaking Nat 1's in a row!

Gentle reader, the most ardent of Tisfipca’s supporters claim that she will come to end all conflict between humanoids, the Gods and creatures both beastly and otherwise. That violent death will be cast aside forever. That there will come a day when all life will sit in contentment and peace in her great hall and feast on nuts, berries, and drink nothing but deeply from the clear waters of life that bubble up from a great pool in her throne room. Death it is said shall loose its sting in her halls of the undying and the world itself will know nothing but peace and serenity for eternity.

What her followers call “Tisfipca’s blessing” others have been known to call a curse. Specifically when told that there is no ale or roasted meat to be found there. While it may sound harsh to you gentle reader, I am slowly learning through this quest that coming back from the dead and being unable to truly die may be slowly driving my fellow traveling companions over the edge of sanity. It may be what lies behind the dark brooding of our resident priest, and I see its echo now in the eyes of my fellows who have lost their duel with the gods of fate on this quest. So far four have fallen only to be sent back to this world for a purpose we have yet to decipher.

Only the holy warrior and myself now have yet to meet this figure beyond deaths door. The descriptions from my friends who have fallen all have matching experiences with details so alike it chills the blood to think upon it for very long. Why do the Gods jest with us as they do? I have no idea, but I would like to find out.

It may just be that this dreary forest has gotten to me at last. The grey forest is aptly named, for it is very very grey. Grey mist closes in from all sides, and the condensation from this murky soup makes writing my journal difficult. I fear that we are lost and given this forests difficult and shifting nature, we might be very fortunate indeed to walk out of it.

There are tales of those called “Farstriders” in the old legends. Men and women who could always find the path wherever they walked. Even if that path led to the outer planes themselves. Perhaps it is time I investigated these old tales to see how much truth lies within them.

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