Awake and Dreaming

...and we ended up in the prison
Adventure Summary

Further into the jail the two traveled after Dez excused himself to catch up with an old friend. The lower level proved to be horrible when they encountered a former guard who had removed his eyes, ears, nose, tongue, sewn his mouth shut and removed both of his hands. Through deep rumbles in this throat he spoke of being “enlightened” before lunging at Tzipporah. The short combat that ensued caused them to end up in a place they were not familiar with.

Crossing over into a large, seemingly endless prison the two made their way from floor to floor, room to room looking for answers. One room trapped them inside, forcing them to see the truth of themselves from all angles and tearing at their sanity. After locating a copper ring (with the inscription “To my beloved Lillian, Love Victor”) they regrouped outside on the deserted walkway to plan their next move as Tzipporah was confronted by the illusions of people they had once lost (or are still alive?).

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Its off to jail we go...
Adventure Summary

Tzipporah, Hila and Dez traveled outside the walls of Sanctuary to investigate where a strange (but seemingly harmless) currency had come from. The influx of refugees fleeing north has set up an almost “Second City” outside Sanctuary’s walls with all manner of housing and shops.

After encountering a merchant with a strange dialect Hila found the sylables and intracasies irresistable, and began unkowingly weaving it into her normal speech (unbeknown to her and quite obvious to both Tzip and Dez). On their way out a very public display by a dwarf lead to the discovery of a text which seemed to do strange things to the reader. Curious they decided to pursue the dwarf as he was being escorted to the city jail.

The jail itself proved to be a cake-walk for both Tzip and Dez as they bluffed their way inside, with Hila assuming the form of a rat to make it past the guards. They continue further down into the bowels of the building to question a prisoner who might not be all there.

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Happy Birthday

At six o’clock in the morning Larry sprang from his bed and ran downstairs towards the kitchen. Outside the bird were chirping, the sun was shining, but today wasn’t just another day. Today was Larry’s birthday and his parents were here to celebrate with him. Vaulting off the last creaking step he flung himself through the kitchen door to see both of them waiting for him at the kitchen table.

“Hi Mom, Hi Dad! You remembered it was my birthday! You guys are up early!” Larry belted as he whisked dirty dishes from the table into the sink. A birthday cake baked just two days before was sitting in the middle of the table with 34 candles precariously placed on its top.

“How’s the shop running pop?” Larry said as he elbowed his father in the shoulder. He knew Dad was getting older but he looked a little more tired today. Maybe it was the lighting. “The frosting tastes wonderful Mom, even better than last year!” He bounded over and gave her a big hug which nearly knocked the old woman from her set. Sitting her back up he made his way to the cupboard and pulled out three plates then sliced each one of them an equal share of cake.

“Happy birthday to you…happy birthday to you…happy birthday dear Larry..” he belted out in unison with his parents. Their words were slurred in with his. He paused for a moment, changed his hand gestures and muttering a few more words they suddenly sounded a bit more clear.

There, much better than last year. I must be getting better!

Cleaning up the plates he pulled out and old worn checkers set, one of his favorite games. All afternoon and into the evening Larry played game after game and chatted with his parents. It was so good to see them again. Although they weren’t around much since the accident any time he got to spend with them he treasured…and they were especially punctual on his birthday. They hadn’t missed one since.

The evening grew late and Larry’s eyelids began to get droopy. “Well I guess its time to get ready for bed. Thanks for the best birthday ever! I love you guys!” he said as he threw his arms around both of them. Then, standing up he twisted his arms into a strange gesture and both his parents slumped over on the table.

He looked at them for a moment before carrying them out into the backyard. Father first, then mother were put back into their grave plots and covered with dirt.

“I’ll see you guys again next year and it will be the best birthday ever!” Larry whispered before turning and skipping back into the house.

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Transplant
This may or may not be true...

The small stone was shaped like a human heart. The longer he stared at it the more he felt compelled to pick it up. In the crowds of people walking through town square he was surprised he was the only one who noticed it.

I could have sworn it wasn’t there before…is my mind playing tricks on me? When was the last time I ate?

The drifter moved out from the alley and swiftly scooped up the heart rock in his hands before disappearing down an adjacent passageway. It was much lighter than it appeared and very warm to the touch. As he cradled it against his chest he could have sworn he felt it beat. Maybe it was just his own heart, maybe his stomach was growling. All he knew right now is that he needed to get something to eat and the marketplace wasn’t much farther down the street.

Placing the heart in his front pocket he moved down the street and through the crowds of people. Several hours, and one satisfying meal later, he had completely forgotten about the little stone. He patted his chest and found that the pocket was empty. Maybe he imagined the whole thing. It had been three days since he last ate and delirium had set in.

The next morning a little boy was heard screaming as he came out of an alleyway, yelling for his mother. Dragging her back to the now gathering crowd he pushed his way through and showed her what he had run from. The body of a drifter lay sprawled across the stones, a large gaping hole where his heart should have been. Laying next to the body was a small, heart-shaped rock.

The more the little boy stared at it…the more he felt compelled to pick it up…

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Rats in the Walls - AP Completion
Loot and Wrapup

Torn limb from limb with his head severed, the elf fell to the ground. His laboratory in shambles, his pets scattered, and his “Old Voice” now silent. Gathering up what valuables you can find, along with the Rat Kings head, you leave the foul-smelling cavern and head across town to claim your rewards.

You are able to salvage the following from the Rat King’s lair:

  1. The Staff of the Rat King
  2. Four Vials of Acid
  3. Three Potions of Cure Light Wounds
  4. Two Vials of Alchemist Fire

Returning to Captain Rubix she gives you another pouch with 750g and thanks you for bringing back her dockmaster.

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Journal of the Rat King #1

Found and disciphered from a small, leather-bound journal located on a barrel in a storage room:

I have finally perfected my potion of rat domination. Unfortunately, the ingredients must be harvested from the fungus chamber, and it’s impossible to identify the deadly violet fungus hiding there. Many of my minions have perished collecting what I need.

My genius knows no bounds! My latest creation, the mighty rat-bear-pig, is a complete success. Its keen snout can safely sniff out the violet fungus so I can avoid them and collect my ingredients unharmed.

Potion of rat control ingredients: yellow puffball and weeping wig, both found in the fungus chamber. The ingredients are then distilled and mixed in my lab to create the potion. Don’t forget! Always forgetting! Damn that Old Voice’s buzzing!

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And they called her Captain (p3)

Bursting through the doors and onto the deck, she was met with silence. Not a single crewman could be found as the ship drifted through a sea of endless fog.

At first frustrated by the lack of her crews initiative while sailing through a dangerous situation she quickly began to realize she was the only one left on the ship. All the bunks were empty, the hold was still filled with supplies, even meals were left uneaten on plates. Its as if the crew had all vanished in an instant leaving everything exactly as it was…without signs of struggle or an explanation why.

Collapsing to her knees she began to weep as the ship drifted on into the endless nothing.

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And they called her Captain (p2)

The impossibly black fragments seemed to draw all light in from around. Three shards tumbled out of the bag and came to rest in her outstretched hand. Instantly her whole world went dark.

Visions of nameless, shapeless creatures from the Nothing filled her head. Rising up from the sea, emerging from deep within mountains, closing in on a round blue and green sphere surrounded by millions of twinkling lights, all swimming in a sea of darkness. They were all coming for her. They could all see her with their lidless gazes and indescribable forms.

She tried to run but instantly fell back on the dock. All she could manage to do was curl up in a ball and try to shut them out.

There were too many to count. Like a plague of locust they washed over all the life of the world. Civilizations fell, species were entirely consumed, the very gods themselves stood powerless as they were ripped from existence, thrown away into the great Nothing from whence nothing returns.

She could hear all of them, the countless, the nameless, all speaking to her in unison, uttering one single phrase over and over and over again:

We see you now.

Everything disappeared. She was in her own bed, no bag or shards to be found. Sitting up she turned her head to look in the mirror and horror took the breath out of her lungs. Where a living, healthy brown eye had been was now a gaping scarred void. A brown leather eye patch lay on a nightstand next to her bed. Grabbing it she ran for the doors to the ship deck in a panic.

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And they called her Captain (p1)

15 years ago a pirate sailed the seas in search of money, adventure and everything she could get her hands on. Being a woman made things a bit more difficult (as they were viewed more as property rather than captains) but the challenge excited her. It drove her and she excelled.

Her crew was made up of ex-guard, former sailors turned to a more lucrative lifestyle, and convicts who would rather die than go back to the death sentence known as Overreach. They worked well together, for pirates, and plundered many a merchant vessel (as well as the occasional navy ship through the use of trickery and guile). She became quite famous and garnered a fearsome reputation…one that attracted the attention of a peculiar customer.

The Winds of Fate blew her direction and she soon found herself accepting a transport quest backed by a substantial amount of gold. Too good an offer to turn down, she inquired why the payment was so great and what was she transporting. For a normal merchant discretion and ignorance serves as a comforting blanket on cold dangerous journeys through uncharted territories. Sometimes It’s better not to know what you are transporting…only that it needs to make it to the intended destination quickly and safely with no interruptions. She, however, was not a merchant.

The Stranger laughed from beneath his hooded robe and spoke with a raspy voice.

“I have been around for a long time and this world has been around much longer than I, but there are some things that have been around even longer than the gods and the universe. Some things have been there before the Nothing and will be there after everything is gone. Some things always were.”

Forcing out a harsh, wet cough, he extended a smooth, slippery and tentacle-like hand to the pirate Captain.

“Do we have a deal?”

Shaking the creatures hand, she instantly regretted the decision. With that brief gesture she had set in motion plans which dated back millennia. Chills ran down her spine as the creature crumbled away, laughing, into a pile of rags and rotting crustaceans. Something told her there was no going back on this deal.

Then she did the one thing she would regret doing for the rest of her life; She opened the bag the creature had tasked her to transport and gazed upon its contents…

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Bob the Necromancer
A story heard while frequenting a local tavern.

He was a cheery man. Whenever anyone asked his name he always responded the same, “Bob, and your name?” He lived by himself on the edge of the town running a good business incinerating people as part of the local tradition of cremation. His house was of moderate size at the front of a large lot backed by a high earthen mound (none remember a time it wasn’t there). Rumors wandered the town; that he was secretly rich, that he collected magical objects, and that his furnace was magically powered, etc. however no-one could confirm or deny them (another elusive piece of information was his age). On days when he wasn’t preparing a body he could be depended upon to watch the local children, and from the word of the children he was quite the accomplished storyteller. On those rare days when no-one died and no children needed watching (and sometimes even then) he could be seen practicing with a massive longbow sending arrow after into target posts he’d driven into the ground near the great pile of dirt. Occasionally he would host archery contests or carve hunting bows for sale in the market. Among Bob’s oddities, one often struck many as the oddest, when merchants came to town he’d always buy up large quantities of cloth as well as all the iron, copper, bronze, and other raw metals that the blacksmith couldn’t afford or just didn’t buy. It was never very much at a time, for the village was far from any mining settlements, but the odd purchases were are regular as the sunshine. When asked about them he’d just smile and say, “its for a little project of mine…”

One spring a merchant drove his cart in with the new of a massive band of orks wandering through the land pillaging and razing whole villages to the ground, and that the band was working its way in the general direction of the town. This was immediately the subject of much discussion. A week passed and they started coming, a steady stream of refugees filed through the town one way and some eight-hundred soldiers of the local noble the other. News reach the town a fortnight later of the staggering defeat of the soldiers in an ambush, along with three survivors.

When the local children spoke fearfully of this news to Bob, he told the children wait outside while he went and got some things. When he returned he had belted an old looking sword and a quiver of arrows. With the children in tow the man walked to the home of the town magistrate and knocked upon the door. The magistrate himself answered.

“What is the meaning of this?” his gaze took in Bob’s weaponry, “are we under attack, WHAT IS IT!?!?!” It has been a trying time for everyone, especially the magistrate whose duty it was to see to town affairs.

“This business with the orks is causing problems and I don’t like it. Its scaring the children.” The magistrate looked confused by this odd statement and was about to speak when Bob cut him off, “I’d like to put a stop to it, but i’ll need the cooperation of the town.” The civic leader looked at him silently for a moment.

“You, a lone old man? What can you do, or do you have an army hidden away?” Bob just smiled and said, “Open the main road out of town an hour before dark, then you shall see.” He turned and left the magistrate standing at his door, dumfounded look and all.

Later the word was given that the road be cleared for important town business. At his house the children watched Bob walk to the back of his lot and start digging out the front of the mound he and others had used as an arrow backstop for years. By evening he had uncovered a large door of aged wood bound in steel. He opened it and disappeared inside. When he reemerged what followed him was a sight that would live forever in the minds of all who saw, for he lead a great horde of undead warriors.

First came over a hundred ranks, ten abreast of preserved undead wearing spotless plates of steel armor, in each rank was adorned with its own symbol of fire inlaid in copper on their breastplate, or of a silver star, each carried a hand-and-a-half sword and shield. Behind them came the skeletons, over two thousand of them, each one reinforced with banding of iron along the spine and limbs, all of them carried a longbow and quiver loaded with black arrows as well as a menacing hammer, behind them trotted some ten “horses” reanimated pack beasts loaded greatly with more quivers of arrows. The last and smallest group numbered no more than three dozen, undead again, clad in cloaks of black patterned in silver, from within ebon shrouds darkened plates of armor glinted faintly, and slung about them was an array of implements of death, all of which glowed faintly even to the eyes of the mortals watching.

At the end of town the magistrate stood awestruck at the sight of “harmless old Bob the fixture of town, the guardian of children, and the dead” marching while surrounded by laughing children and followed by a legion. “See” said one child loudly to his parents, “his stories ARE true he even let me help with some of these.”

“Look it’s great grandpa” said a little girl as one of the undead, without missing a step, drew and waved his sword in salute at the little girl and her family, who promptly fainted. The magistrate looked at the child then at the man and then back again. The necromancer halted his army before him, bow in hand.

“The eternal Legion, at your service. All volunteers accounted for and awaiting your leave to depart and do what must be done…”

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