25 October 2009

KotS Session ...4? 5? I forget.

In the latest chapter our party continued their exploration of Shadowfell Keep. We witnessed:

1. The recovery of a magical gimp suit from the body of a hobgoblin torturer, everyone agreeing it seemed like Axis' size and style;

2. The recovery of a halfling sorcerer from the hobgoblin's gaol who insisted on being fed steak. No one obliged him so he grilled himself up three goblin burgers with a rogue-b-que as a side item;

3. A new deck of cards with hand painted Goblin girls on the back;

4. Zombies, zombies, zombies;

5. Record time, a milestone, 3.5 encounters in 5 hours of play;

6. and Dustin not throwing a single die, another milestone.

18 October 2009

Specks of sunlight flitter down through the dappled forest leaves. The autumn wind has just kissed their branches and they shiver with a flurry of color. Leaves unhinged from their natural homes upon the limbs of giant forest oaks glide silently down and dance upon the whimsical kiss of this chilly wind. I pause to collect my thoughts and to formulate a plan of action. Autumn caresses the long black stray hairs loosened above my elvish ears with her soft breath. The voice of my mentor soft in my ear, 'My roots are flesh and blood, but supple as the soil they
suck.' The forests mysteries unfold before my senses.Supressing a shudder, I gaze diligently into the forest and open myself to its mysteries. It speaks and I listen ever the diligent scholar. Seeking enlightenment in the twist and sway of a bent blade of grass or twig the forest gives unto me its secret gnossis. A sharp biting wind disrupts my current course of study and my mind leaps to memories of her. She lies out there somewhere; for the nonce she is safe though in what condition I know not. The gods shall not defy me in this. I have not travelled lonely from the halls of our fathers only to be denied our destiny. I have not shed blood upon the stones of Kier Dunnow, nor lain wasted and left for dead upon the moss carpeted floors of Mith Drannor only to be denied now. I will find her and assume my rightful place as her protector. Corellon Larethian guide my endeavors. All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

It is with much hope and trepidation that I have agreed to undertake my current task. The wife of a wayward man named Duvenstall has enlisted my talents as a scout and tracker to uncover his current whereabouts. She fears the worst for his condition as she has not had word from him for many a day. A moon and a day upon his path the road leads me to Nentir Vale. From conversations and information gleaned and gathered upon my journey it
seems my quarry has moved north to conduct some form of business in a town named winterhaven not many days past. I have followed him from Fallcrest. A secret meeting in the forest outside of town not many days before.

Branches and leaves make no sound as I tread lightly through the domain of moss and fern. My feet float in the effortless dance of the hunt. At one with the forest and my quarry, the unwieldy tread of his boots emerge from the forest floor and guide my direction of travel. His city ways leaving a trace in my domain as easily followed as if he were magnetized and I a compass. A heavy and sharp crack behind me, cloak spinning and blades drawn, brigands hoping to catch me unawares. There are three men now before me. Feral and evil is the gleam of
their eyes. Wicked and sharp is the glint of the sun off the swords in their hands. The steel of my drawn knives is cold where it meets my lips, a kiss before the dance of death. Flesh and steel meet, flesh giving way to the power of sharpened steel. My steel is sharp, my skills keen. The veins of my foes offer up their sanguine gifts. A shifting foot, a spinning slash...a wonderfully macabre dance in which my skills surpass those of the wastrels moving higgledy-piggledy before my stinging blades. A slight shift of the weight to the ball of the left foot, right hand flashing down. A spin following to the left, bow to your partner(wind breaks the reeds) and up slicing in a silver flash the steel in my right hand. Poetry....

Quickly now moves the right,
jugulars part
bright red delight.
Crimson drops
like rain upon the eaves...
falling down on forest leaves.

And the task is done. Bending down I cleanse my steel. Your rot shall not pit my blades. There is an awkward silence now. All the woodland creatures have fled from the sounds of slaughter. A moment more to regain my bearings before the hunt resumes. She is out there and I will find her. And him...I will find him as well. One task before the next. She is safe, for now...and in that I must take comfort.

Ahhh...Winterhaven..what secrets dost thou hold.

11 October 2009

Scraps of Parchment


I do not even know where to begin, so I’ll just start with an apology. To say that I am sorry would be a huge understatement. As I set quill to parchment, I realize that you probably have already forgiven me a thousand times over, but nonetheless I am genuinely sorry for all the trouble I have caused you personally. I think of you often and wonder how you are. If P had allowed me to bring you, I would have, but you know that it was probably for the best that you remained home. When I decided to write this to you, I had no idea how I could possibly get a letter to you. I think the simple task of sitting here contemplating all the things I want to ask you is more therapeutic than anything. I can actually see you sitting here with me as I write, or at least I can vision the woman you have become. Hopefully these ramblings will shed some light on my life at the present. Why not spill the whole sordid affair of my life since I left home? Silly, I haven’t got that much parchment, and you surely do not wish to read an entire book about me.

Who have I been traveling with? I had spent so much time wandering around alone, it seemed rather odd to find myself with actual companionship for a while. It was probably a combination of luck and boredom that brought the group together. Upon actual reflection of those events, it seems by some sort of fate that set our group along the path we are recently traveling. You know how much stock I put in gods and their plight, but I can’t help shake the feeling of some divine hand dabbling in things it shouldn’t. Yes, of course you would approve of them. For the most part they strike me as the “adventurous” type of people you were fond of. We did have a short run with a dragonborn. When I met him and actually found out what he did for a profession, I could not believe it. Having never seen an actual warrior of faith or a dragonborn… to say the least, I was quite amazed. All the tales we were told of their savagery were not entirely true. Savage… Like the land I used to live in. Are you still there, or did you leave as I did?

I miss the harsh cold sometimes if you can believe that. I miss watching the winter wolves in their endless migrations back and forth in search of prey. I miss watching the moonlight illuminate the snowflakes as they gently fell from the night sky. I miss hearing you laugh. I hope you still think of me.

Anyhow… where was I? My companions: Dwarves! How we always had a good laugh with our beloved U. Everything she said was true, by the way. I am positive that my new dwarven friend would love to share a meal or two with her… not to mention several tankards of ale and then her bed. As I mentioned earlier, faith and divinity and other such matters have again intertwined in my life. This fine example of dwarven kind is a truly righteous force to be reckoned with. His short stature is belittled by the enormous amount of conviction and faith that emanates from his presence. No, he is nothing like our ancient T. T was indeed a great man of faith and conviction, but did he ever venture far from his own chapel? Clangeddin Silverbeard’s justice is served mightily to all those in need. I owe my life to my new friend. Times are dangerous in the realm, but do not worry about me. You probably are more aware of the cruelty and slanderous ways of our times. Our father’s informants are second to none, but I digress… Let me speak more of my fellow adventurers.

There is an eladrin that is traveling with us that will one day pen the epic tale of our journey that will be told a thousand years from now. We’ve seen our fair share of traveling performers at the keep, but none could hope to have as much talent as this charming individual. He and I get along like a house on fire, and then we have a drink as the ashes rain down from the sky! I’m sure you would fancy him. Most females do. Most men do as well! Strange times we live in… You should hear some of the yarns this guy can spin. He could convince royalty to eat their own children and then shit on their remains! Seriously, I’ve never seen him pay for anything. Somehow he just does as he pleases an no one complains.

We also have a multi-purpose killing machine that we use to slay our foes! This guy is like a walking armory. He should have probably taught us combat skills instead of M. I hope M is still doing well. Saying his name out loud makes me remember that time I sparred with P. Do you remember? That day will probably stay with me until I die. That day I decided to put on a suit of our finest chain mail in hopes of impressing her. It’s funny looking back on that moment knowing where things stand today. I still feel the surge of power and invincibility as I did even back then, but I have seen the bloody turns that battles can take at such short notice. Experience is something that every adventurer of every class thrives on. Without it, we are simply overzealous students that are eager to prove our stupidity. I remember she was smiling and laughing at me as I donned each piece of armor. “Do you want to lose a toe today?” she asked. I didn’t understand where she was coming from with such a question, so I just shook my head. This made her laugh even more as she chided at me, “We shall soon see, my strapping young warrior.” She gave me a playful cuff on my shoulder and sent me to the practice yard.

A large crowd had gathered around the practice yard. It seemed as if everyone was eager to see what P wanted to demonstrate. Everyone cheered as I exited the armory and placed myself in the midst of things. I pulled my short sword and riled the crowd up. Echoing in the small practice field, their rallying cries boosted my adrenaline even more. Trying to remember each exercise with Marklin, I began to put myself through my lessons to show-off my extensive training. She seemed to only be wielding a small iron rod as a weapon, but I knew she held something else concealed somewhere. I wasn’t entirely stupid, but then again, I’d never faced a female opponent before. My mind was a mix of emotion. Should I make light of the situation? Would she have me come at her with everything I have? I really did not know how to play against her, but that would soon change.

Our match lasted less than a few seconds, yet it seemed to stretch for hours in my mind. Calculating within my mind that I should disable her mobility somehow, I lashed out with my sword in a broad arc towards her leg. In one fluid motion, she evaded the blade, drove the iron rod through the toe of my mailed boot with her right hand, placed her left hand on my head and shoved me along the rest of my attack towards the ground with my own momentum sending me to my doom. As events played out in slow motion, I kept wondering if Marklin had set this up or was it really an attempt on my life. I felt gravity as I had never known before. It was as if my own body had betrayed me. I was stuck in a crouched heap of useless armor with no means to retaliate. I heard the crowd gasp as I felt the blade pierce the mail on my back. Before P or myself could act further, M tried to take the situation into control. “Release him at once,” he shouted at her. “Do not worry, boy,” P purred in my ear, “You are safe with me.”

I actually shiver as I recall those events. Well, I have bored you enough for now.

All my love,