We are on break for two weeks since we scattered across the US. We'll pick up afterward.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
We return to Hohonare to give the people back their holy relics. After being surrounded with highly armed elves, we are drug off to a small town and party like it's 1999. Sultrani is told hello by the six southern masters of the Hohonare, a great honor indeed. They spar for a bit, (to Twink's horror, this is how they give respectful greetings), and Sultrani does so well against them, they offer to make her one of the masters.
After the ceremony in Kain's honor, the Hohonare elves leave to an unknown place to perform a ritual, leaving the town mostly deserted. Raol, the old, crotchety elven herbalist, is quickly found by the cheery, chubby hobbitt herbalist chef. As Twink prepares to wow her with her amazing cooking skills and creates a delicious meal outside her house, Kain and Sultrani go to the waterfall for training. All our heroes are busy and distracted, therefore, when the village is attacked.
Twink holds a dish of her soup up to her little face, pleased as punch with her meal, when an elf stumbles into her and breaks the dish, soup sprawling all over. A distraught Twink looks at the elf as she staggers to the ground, and sees that the poor elf has been gutted. Twink grabs the wounded elf and bangs on Raol's door. They are quickly transported inside the house by some lively greenery, and the plants and Raol go to battle as Twink works desperately to help the dying elf.
Twink is then halted in her tracks by a vision—battle 18, a throon. Ironic that Kain, in that very moment, is grappling a throon under the waterfall. (How romantic!) Kain, surprisingly, out-wrestles the monster—all that bed play finally paid off, eh? He gets past some self-inflicted damage to defeat his mighty foe, and charges headfirst into the melee before him. Sultrani, in a truly awesome move, knocks down a huge array of foes in the area with her amazing speed.
Twink has another vision of a very pale woman with pink eyes, mobile hair, and a cloak that seems to have a life of its own. She has an eldarin rune burned on her tongue, and she appears to be fey. The very air around her is charged with atmosphere. She turns to Twink and says, “I'm in the forest. He can find me later, if he follows the trail of milk.”
Sultrani, meanwhile, is doing battle with a warrior holding a burning, serrated blade. He quaffs a potion when he discovers his attacks aren't working against her, and his eyes begin to burn, as well. When she attacks him, small beads around his neck explode, and it appears he takes no damage. The elves that had left to perform the ritual now return, and they are pissed as hell and battle worn. Apparently, someone found out about their ritual's timing and used it against them. The masters that Sultrani bested earlier quickly get to work. Kain, however, is encased in ice from an enemy spell and is quickly losing air. Sultrani, seeing this problem, flies to the air and delivers an earth-shattering punch to the ground, causing a minor quake in the area, knocking over many foes, and freeing Kain partway from the ice in the process.
After Twink plunks some stones into enemy heads, and Sultrani uses her crazy speed to knock over innumerable foes and end the battle... and Kain hacks away at the ice around his legs... Twink and Raol work to heal the wounded, and trade herbs. Raol also gives Twink a flower imprinted with Eldarin, so it always stays in its beautiful, fresh form. (It also slowly changes color.) Twink puts it in her hair proudly. The Hohonare then vow to go to war against the Zurahane for this ambush, offering to let Kain join the fight. He politely declines, saying, "As much as I like fighting, I have other stuff I have to do. Sorry." Always eloquent, our Kain.
We find the White Ghost is the name of the fey. She is a wild fey that helps with the arts, and artistic, friendly, social souls are the ones who normally approach her.
While Twink and Sultrani indulge in some sock puppet theatre, imitating Kain and his imagined attempts to try and call to the White Ghost through some form of performance, Kain keeps plowing through in a poor soliloquy. On his second attempt, Kain finally gathers the Ghost's attention at a still, calm lily pond by reciting this poem:
“There once was a ghost named Whitey,
Who was so quite awfully flighty,
Then Kain came and wooed her,
To show him her cooter,
And showed her that he was quite mighty.”
Miraculously, she showed up. Kain basically keeps what happens next a secret. He does inform us that she said he has to make a choice between butchery, honor, and intellect. She also tells him ancient elven lore; each of the three paths discussed are represented by three warriors—the original founders of the rite. During this trek, they are given choices by the three spirits, and the one on the journey must choose one of the paths.
As our heroes exit the forest, Twink's flowered brooch starts buzzing. It's our old friend Jari of the three brothers! (We've met them in battles long past, having traveled to the wreckage on the misty sea with them.) The brothers are in deep trouble, and ask for help. The party agrees--or should I say, Twink enthusiastically agrees to come to their aid--and we are transported to a dark, oppressive area underground. Two of the brothers are on the floor, out cold and really beat up, but they are in a circle of protection thanks to the one brother up and about. We discover that we are in an unholy temple, complete with huge snake statue. We battle five trolls, basilisks, ogres, shadow wolves, and even a death ogre. After we kick some major ass (Kain most especially--badassery incarnate, he was!), Jari tells us that we are in Skull Tower. The huge stone snake, homage to the god Set, begins to animate. We proceed to run for our lives. As we run down the hallway, Jari babbles, “Don't channel! Don't try to transport! This area is like a magnet!”
We find refuge in a trapezoid-shaped room and roll a stone in front of the door and rest.
Also... "My name's Kain! I like swords!" "My name's Twink, I like you!" We're just a mismatched, lovey-dovey, grumpy/happy, hobitt-wolfee couple out for adventure, OUT FOR ADVENTURE!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
We begin this session with a triumphant, dramatic swan dive from Kain carrying our bubbling hobbit. A cloaked Sultrani has jumped from the back of the airship and proceeds to ground the lightning for us as we traverse the clouds together. We eventually come upon a golden platform, the strong scent of ozone permeating the air. Blind and deaf from the all-encompassing storm, we take a second to get our bearings and then Sultrani's paranoia perseveres and we leave the unknown area. As a storm elemental approaches, Sultrani uses her storm and water-based style to chase the magnetic current, sending us on an Arduin version of hell's rollercoaster and bypassing the horrible foe. We are gravitating to the center sphere, and it is very difficult to move. As Sultrani tries to lighten gravity and jump from the ariculum sphere, we hear a voice in our heads that says, “Mine.” We are then sucked into the sphere.
Twink and Kain immediately pass out, and Sultrani tries not to panic and slurps her tea shakily. Gravity is normal when we wake up, and a grassy plain rolls into the distance around us. There are many exits apparent, but when Sultrani tries to reach the nearest one, she is slammed back down. Her mile step leads her right back to where she started. Some very large, multicolored spiders drop from the sky. “We shall test you,” the disembodied voice announces. During the battle, Kain seems to have rotten luck, and Sultrani (in a cartwheel of blades and movement) saves his life from his own steel.
Kain, tired of the charade, decides to stab his sword into the sphere, burning his hand off in the process.
We all pass out from Mark doing his stabby trick. We wake up on a spongy, warm cloud, face to face with a reptilian, draconic-looking creature. He bears a staff of indeterminate wood with a crystal on the end, and looks at us with featureless, opaque eyes. Twink, ever the cheerful, friend-making sort, introduces herself. He, in turn, introduces himself as Machivell. After a conversation, Twink feels the inexplicable urge to stay there with him. Sultrani, after trying to talk her out of it and failing, knocks Twink's ass out and attempts to run. We wake up in the middle of the storm, and haven't yet made it to the sphere—it was all a dream. Goddammit, MOONNNTTYYYY!!! Silver serpents, called IO twirls, have wrapped around us and drained our life force slowly while making us dream by changing our perception.
Sultrani brilliantly decides to drop to a different atmosphere, hoping the change in pressure will cause the IO twirls to leave us the hell alone. We then decide to go up higher to get our bearing. We start to see some silk-like strands, and Sultrani starts walking on them. We pass a huge chunk of rock that has been ripped out of the ground, and as it passes, we see a doorway. Paranoia again wins out, so we don't mess with it. As we walk the strands, a pitch resonates down one, and Twink responds in kind. We follow the pitch to a spider sack with a fey residing inside. We have some interesting conversation with good ol' Ricardo Bob (we named him), but in the end he wasn't much help... probably due in part to Kain and Sultrani's distrust of the fey.
We reach the top of the storm and Sultrani's little pet storm elemental allows us to rest up above, where Kain and Twink get into an argument about the women he's slept with and when... and when he tells her it's none of her business, her little chubby face gets red with tiny but mighty anger and her jaw drops in shock. She turns her back and refuses to talk to him. We are taken to the nest of the Fifth Reaver the next morning.
Kain enters by himself, as Twink isn't talking to him and Sultrani believes in letting people handle their own quests. After he gets sucked in by a gravity well and valiantly pushes his way out, he gets to the junkhold of the nest. It has masses of stuff, so it'll take him forever to sort through it all. Twink finds some Iron Water and Magenta Earth. Kain, while trying to get the artifacts, sets off a trap. One of the Fifth Reaver's offspring emerges amongst lightning and thunder, and ferociously attacks our horny hero. Kain releases all the lightning he absorbed into his sword from the first trap, and the offspring explodes. In the backlash, Kain almost disintegrates—the Battle Soul herb Twink gave him earlier saved his life and kept re-incorporating him. Twink uses a tarot card to transport them to the square in Talismonde, where they quickly take him to the temple of the Silver Lady for healing. Twink invokes the name of Sotineln Moonwalker, a saint of the goddess. She prays so fervently that he comes to their aid, and she feels a hand on her shoulder. He comes to speak to them, and offers Kain healing for being the lady's supplicant. He bids Kain think about taking a stand for law and order, which the Lady stands for, and then gives him a year to think about it before his mark from her is taken. Then he sends Kain to his deity, Cerrunous, who is currently in his child phase, and then the saint distracts Twink by talking to her about organizing a bake sale.
Kain appears before Cerrunous, who is giggling up a storm and gambling with Puck. They invite Kain to take a seat and gamble to determine his fate, which he decides to accept. He chooses the game, fortunately, and decides to use military strategies in a giant game of civilizations. After taking out the child, Puck narrowly beats Kain.... and who knows what this will mean?
Kain wakes up the next morning to Twink pounding on his door. He is naked, sans fur, and without any marks of the gods. And if you look closely, you can see the blank space between his scars says, “You got owned.” Puck left one last parting gift—his wolf pelt, in silver (so he can't touch it.)
We head for Ho'Hanari to return the rods.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Note: Apparently my writing style changes based on what mood I'm in. When I took notes, I must have been feeling like a smart ass. So don't expect any wondrous prose or heart-wrenching literature, ha!
We begin at Oosla Dawn after Kain recovers from his latest battle. He is a bit more torn up than usual, but under Twink's gentle care, he soon resumes his customary gruffness and vitality. After discussing their options, the party decides to go to the storm god's pillow so Kain can get his little sword enchanted. And of course, by discussing, I mean Sultrani and Kain talked about their various options while Twink bounced from the kitchen to the gardens, then happily agreed to whatever the two decided.
They use Twink's tarot card to transport to Talismonde's town square. Unfortunately, they end up in the middle of a military funeral--the funeral of the five mages Tai-Kyrie killed. As the group awkwardly, painstakingly passes through the Marines, Twink protests Tai-Kyrie's guilt, claiming that he would never do such a dishonorable thing. However, she learns from a friendly Marine that the five mages supposedly jumped Tai-Kyrie at once. (He must certainly be a bad ass, if he took them all down, eh? Twink has the coolest friends.) Twink, in true Twinkie fashion, rewards the kindness with homemade cookies.
As they are almost out of the depressing--and monotonous--military funeral, a message is pressed into Twink's chubby little hand that says, “I'll be at your restaurant in three days for the dinner you owe me for this.” (He speaks, of course, of interrupting the funeral and getting them out of there.) The message is from the House of the Grey Stallion.
As our heroes finally enter the safe and homey-smelling Twookery, Aurie--a blast of sunshine in the form of an executive hobbit assistant--quickly waylays Twink, telling her all the things they have to do. As Twink gets pampered and pressed, Sultrani stands guard over her. Kain goes in search of information, meaning to seek out a library and begin plans for his upcoming quest. Twink begins her evening at the restaurant and is soon overwhelmed with all there is to do.
Soon, Kain gets lost in search of a library. After travelling for a time, he realizes he's underground. It's getting dark, and he decides to cautiously approach a light source up ahead--and in doing so, becomes acquainted with a goblin-human mix who introduces himself as Havisham, to which our hero responds, “They call me Kain.” (Insert bad ass hero music here, or maybe some old spaghetti western melody.) He then proceeds to ask Havisham for directions, since he is hopelessly, stupidly, and miserably lost. Kain then plays nice and makes friends with the hobos, which is quite a sight. He even *almost* gets Havisham's name right. (Happersnatch? Hindenstitch?) They have a small area that is lit, and a shaman drew a circle around it to protect them from things that go bump in the night. However, as they were eating, several pairs of glowing red eyes shimmered menacingly in the darkness. Havisham, his eyes glowing crimson, explains that those eyes belong to the wolves of the night, who probably smell Kain's--uh--wolfiness(?) and perceive him as a challenge. Kain goes to meet them, and instead of challenging the leader, as he planned, the leader offers to let Kain hunt with them. Kain agrees, and the two share blood. Kain can now (temporarily) see in the darkness. Together, they hunt.
In the meanwhile, Sultrani follows a disguised fey descendant to find out his business. She was eyeing him suspiciously as he came into the Twookery, disguised. When he confronts Sultrani, however, he explains that he just “observes.” They have tea together, (I smell a date night!) and Sultrani hears from him that after the five mages were killed, a couple of things were stolen from the royal treasury, and there is much talk of political intrigue. He also tells her that the “purple mage” has been spotted in Kurahane. She gets a crap ton of information out of him, because he also warns her that the head of tarotteers—Maaton Quill—probably isn't happy with Twink's blatant use of the tarot cards. It tends to be a secretive thing. (Wait, what—Twink isn't covert?? No way.) She also, very subtly and usefully, discovers that a ship named the Dixie often flies to the storm god's pillow—you're welcome, Kain—and he'll also have to deal with lightning, rain, and wind that tears you to pieces. There is supposedly a sphere in the middle made of ariculum. You're doubly welcome, Kain. Yeah, that's right—while you were playing with wolves, Sultrani got business done. BAM!
As the sun shines once again over the city, Kain awakens with his face pressed against a hard surface. He's on top of a shattered tower overlooking the city. There are a lot of bird feathers around... and no birds. Hahahahahaha! Kain ate some birds. Mmmm. And he reeks. He tries to traverse down the tower, but he trips and falls, careens into a doorway, and interrupts the awkward lovemaking of starstruck teenagers. Mortified, they scramble to cover up and he exits the tower... but not before locking the door shut behind him on the poor, now-trapped lovers.
Twink meets with Kalabar to discuss the upcoming adventure, and on his way back Kain gets into a street fight with some motherfucker. He kills the poor SOB outright, and soon is arrested and chained. Luckily, the guards that came to arrest him are Hyrkallen, so they try to resolve the situation as easily as possible. However, he is taken into custody. Soon, a hobbit comes into the cell with him (from Kalabar) and offers him a deal: he keeps Twink safe, and Kalabar helps him out. In a moment of rare compassion and solemness, Kain swears, “God help those who harm her, because you won't kill me before I get to them.” So the hobbit (a big, burly fellow named Nike) helps Kain escape. (You're welcome. Again.) Kain trims up, changes his appearance, and gets a tattoo on his head. I'm sure it increases his already debonaire appearance.
Sultrani, in the meantime, goes to see Simik, who owns a bad ass sky ship made from the Yggdrasil tree. He offers to have dinner with her so they can discuss possibly taking our lovely heroes to the storm god's pillow. She also wheedles out of him some information on equipment that would help them with the lightning. (Takin' care of business, it's all right! Takin' care of business, and workin' overtime...)
In the preparations for the journey, our group (with the help of Kalabar) learns about the storm god that used to reside at the storm god's pillow. He was put to sleep, supposedly, and some say the northern god Eru and Borius came together to birth the storm god. It was an old elven god originally, most say. There have been dozens of attempts to fly through, but most are utterly destroyed. Watchers of the Mist is an organization that has humans that can sense their way through the heavy fog of the Misty Sea. There's one of the Watchers that has reputedly traversed some of the storm god's pillow, and his name is Abdopale.
Through gathering information, we discover the beast we're looking for has four wings, flies quickly, and eats lightning, and it is one of two beasts: either a relquin, which is pale blue hairless creature that uses tech to absorb lightning and attacks ships, or a singular being known as the Fifth Reaver. It eats lightning, and it's a mix between a draconic being and a plumed bird. We need to retrieve the artifacts, some rods of the Ho'Hanari, that the creature stole. We decide it's basically the Fifth Reaver, and go searching for the sage named Aegan to give us more information on the beast.
Kain travels to the home of Aegan to set an appointment, and is waylaid by the stuffy doorman--who we discover later is actually Aegan's son. He tries to prove that he is interesting enough to see Aegan, and bribes the doorman with information about Mearoc and one of the firstborn of the dwarves. He agrees to let Kain see the sage under the condition that he brings proof of his tales, and that he brings his two companions.
Twink keeps arranging things in the shape of a horn or a shell, and she also forms dessert into a mountain range. Clearly her visions are speaking to her subconsciously.
In the morning, Twink happily and busily bakes some muffins while Sultrani slurps her tea, and the group travels to Aegan's tower. As they climb to his room, Sultrani's little secret friend tells her that every element is present in the room, guarding the sage. The sage tells us that the visions Twink has been having are signifying the Schorchar Horn over the Prismatic Mountains, which delights Twink as she absentmindedly fondles the pure golden strands in her hair. Kain tells the sage his stories, and he in turn tells us of the Fifth Reaver. It is very individualistic and fickle, and takes trophies to remind itself of historical events it was part of. While he learns of the creature, Twink goes to look into the two mirrors, which are the Time elemental. They show her possible futures of herself. In one, she has an eye patch and is surrounded by brownies.
(The brownie pirates be very feared in some parts of the world, arrr! Eat me brownies—I made them with me booty! But 'twas so hard to bake with me hook!) Ok, so wrong brownies. Twink kind of has a one-track mind when it comes to food.
Aegan tells them each about something important. To Twink, he gives advice to find all the metal waters; she may be surprised when she does. To Sultrani, he says, “The steps of Vritz are in the north, and follow the path that is only apparent to you.” He also says, “Do you know that your mother betrothed her firstborn as a pledge to someone?” Sultrani raises an eyebrow and sips her tea. She refuses to look into any of the mirrors in the room.
Twink asks Aegan about Dead Elf Hill, and how she can help. She needs to remind the ghosts of war and battle what it is like to be home. Yet, she needs to improve her skills before she attempts this quest. She sulks a little at this, but is making plans to research these ghosts and find a way to help them.
Aegan also explains to Kain that soon, he will have a tough decision to make--to walk on the path destined for him on his own feet, or keep the marks of the gods...
After many thanks, they leave and prepare to board the ship. They take a couple of days and fly to the storm god's pillow after some heavy preparation, and Twink spots a web-like pattern of lightning in the clouds...