Monday, April 23, 2012

Twink's Journal

Game Session, 4/20/2012


I love being on this skyship. I have a new patron, which means a new friend, and I'm cooking for my best friends in the world. I hum to myself happily as I cook, listening to my friends make plans to gather information on the Amberjack and its murdered navigator. We make plans (I'm sure they're good plans and will work, but I was only half listening). Then we all prepare for bed. I grab my teddy bear and doze off...
And am soon startled awake by the ship teetering and tottering. I run on deck, huffing and puffing (will my little cute chubbiness ever be in good shape again?!) and a huge, flaming bird fills my vision. I can feel the heat from the deck of the ship, although it is 300 feet away. Holy flaming turds of Hurkallah! It's a phoenix!
Sultrani, in glorious bravery and humility, bows low and begs favor from the magnificent being. Towards the end of her small speech, Kain rushes onto the deck, gasping and saying, “Ok, I'm here! I've got my armor on—HOLY CRAP! IT'S A PHOENIX!”

I stand on the deck, marveling on how pretty and overwhelming the creature is, and the being speaks in our heads in the language of fire—which sounds weird, and we don't understand it (I mean, who speaks fire?? What is that?)—and so it switches to Arduinian. He asks our names, gives us his common name (Octokao), then inquires as to why we're passing through his airspace. “Four god-touched pass through my space... and I am curious.” After some small talk while I didn't really listen and stared instead, Octokao gave us a warning: “Someone has opened up the veins of the world and is sailing through them, from the chaos this has caused something new will arise.” Octokao offers to give one of us the phoenix's spark—a piece of his hardened fire. Are you kidding me?? That's awesome!

“Oo! Oo! Pick me! I want to! I'll do it!” I say excitedly, jumping up and down and waving my hand frantically through the air. The phoenix seems surprised and appears to nod, then passes through the air what appears to be a raw chunk of crystal that laces into a necklace around my neck. AWESOME. I bounce around excitedly, dancing with my new toy. I HAVE MADE A NEW FRIEND!!! HUZZAH! He's pretty and fiery and huge and all-knowing and maybe we could play games sometimes.

As I cook breakfast and hum to myself, I hear commotion about some sort of castle in the clouds. Castle of Him? Hymn? Who's him? I don't know. Back to cooking. I'm sure it's fine.
Kain comes charging into my kitchen, yelling, “Harpies! I need something to block my hearing! Quickly!” I look frantically around the shelves and find some of the wax I use to top my bottles and vials. We pack it into his ears and he rushes up onto the deck with me trailing right behind him. Hmmm... nice view. I'll think more on that later. Why are butts attractive? It's so weird. Oh, right, harpies! Need to focus! I feel my face blush furiously. I can't help it—his behind is eye-level! Twink, FOCUS!
As my little feet plop onto the deck, it buckles and I feel energy and cold flash through the air. My jaw drops as I see Sultrani in the middle of the powerful attack, her eyes full of icy determination as she stands slowly and proudly on the deck. I hear her murmur to the air around her, “Let's have some fun,” as Kain leaps to action, running full pace off to the end of the deck and diving off in full Kain show-offery. Her little air friend catches him, and Sultrani and Kain shine in the morning light as it reflects off the clouds and they appear to run on the sky itself. Tears fill my eyes as I look at my friends, and I'm so proud I can barely stand it. Those harpies are going to be sorry! I giggle to myself and plan a victory breakfast. The stone around my neck starts straining, and I'm zapped to the present as Sultrani uses a gravity wave to suck the six harpies in towards her. They make a sickening sound as they all crunch together into a ball. A harpy ball. I giggle again. Clearly, the phoenix wants a ringside seat to see how they fight. I hurry to the side of the ship to give him the view he desires, moving my neck around to try to get the best perspective. “Aren't they awesome?” I whisper.

Kain then lunges forward, fist high, and hurtles toward the mass of harpies. His shouts echo across the sky as his fist lodges there, dissolving the mass into a shell-shocked flurry of feathers. The harpies begin to fall and I whoop out loud with my congratulations.

The four furies that I didn't notice before because I was busy doing something—probably thinking of cooking—start to fly away in fear. One of them, however, turns back to hurl a spell at Sultrani. One of her death breaker runes shatters—yikes, the spell must have been a doozy—and that fury plummets to its death. I guess Sultrani wants to make sure it dies, though, because she uses her gravity fist to plow the unfortunate fury straight down into the ground. Wow, Sultrani must be mad! Her gravity fist makes a crater in the ground. Mad Sultrani is scary, I think.

They return to the ship. Sultrani looks bad. Her eyes have a bunch of burst blood vessels due to the sound damage. I patch her up and she goes to take a nap. Kain finds a harpy feather snagged in his armor and decides to hold onto it (dang it I want one.)

As I anxiously peer over the end of the deck at our destination (we had to fly to Khurhane to get maps or something, I don't know) I can see that the city is on fire! Oh no! A member of the Arduinian special forces lands on our deck and draws his weapons, demanding, “Friend or foe?” I immediately respond, “I'm always a friend!” and he sheathes his weapons. He tells us to land, then explains that a religious cult has tried to start an uprising, and has set fire to the water itself using an unknown ritual. We land and are told to stay on the ship. I sneak the guards cookies as we wait, and it's hard not to notice that the other landed ships have like two guards and we have at least half a dozen.

After a little while, we're able to move but cannot stay for very long due to martial law being in effect. It turns out my old friend Ariadne has a dock here, and a bottle of her famous rum (that I helped her create) is waiting for me! AHH I'm so excited! I will share my rum with my friends tonight. We'll have fun!
Sultrani goes with Inereal to meet the cartographer. As soon as they're gone, Kain and I begin to drink the rum and I decide to cook something with him. This is such fun! Wow, I think I'm crunk... uh... drunk. Yep. Yep, I'm definitely drunk. Oo, that looks good! I'm going to start throwing stuff into the pan. Wait—I think the phoenix crystal around my neck just sparked into the food. Innnnteresting. Hehehe this is great. Except that Kain burned the scrambled eggs he was trying to cook. Now my kitchen smells like burnt eggs. It was nice of him to clean it up, though. Even if he did just spit on the pan to clean it. As the dish begins to take shape, I notice that it looks somewhat like a casserole... and I have no idea what I put in it or what it does.
And then... guess what??? KAIN AND I DID IT!!!!!!!!! Well I think we did, anyway. I think that's what “it” is. I lost my virginity! Oh my goodness! It finally happened! ...But now what? Do we get married? Should I ask him? I think I should wait for him to ask me. Oh gosh. Oh golly. I don't know what to do. This is so wonderful. I'll have to ask Sultrani the procedures. She knows everything. I can always ask her about what to do!

Sultrani comes back onto the ship, and we spend the night all together, eating the casserole, drinking, and looking up at the stars. Her only comment on my less-than-innocent new self is, “If he had your consent, he lives.” All in all, an excellent night. I am so happy.

Kain goes into town to meet someone who wants to see him for some reason. I am concerned at first, but Kain says he's only going to talk, so I send him off with some muffins.

Life is good.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kain, a tragedy and an epiphany

a day in the life of Kain, as seen through the eyes of Kain:

(note: the following story is an account of the day Kain lost Pitchest Black, his black long sword. The story is told through his eyes and, quite honestly, is pretty jaded and not likely the whole truth according to anyone but him. Take it with a grain of salt.)

Dear Diary:

Damn it all! What a horrible day(s?)! It started out so nice. We had a goal. Travel a bit. Find and salvage some parts of some crashed airships to build our own, and then go gallumping off into the horizon battling and drinking and whoring and looting! Oh, victory smelled sweet in the air, but it was not to be. Not quite.

The plan was simple. We would hitch a ride on a skyship out to each crash site, collect the goods, and use Twink's Tarot cards to transport us, the salvaged parts, and our...other acquired goods back to Talismonde. First however, Twink had to pay a visit to some Headmaster of the Taroteers to get her cards reactivaed. Sounded easy enough: Go to a forest in the north, find the headmaster, cook some food, and be on our way with his blessing.

So we acquired a ride on a ship with Simek's daughter, who is a pretty cool cat. We landed on a mountain next to the forest and bid the dwarfette ado.
Upon approaching the forest, Twink bid us farewell and made her way inside as we waited. After a bit, the snake decided to head inside to look for her, not adhering to our patented "let them figure it out themselves and only step in to save them from certain doom" approach. Sultrani decided it was time as well, and upon concentrating for a bit, disappeared. Yet another damn trick she didn't tell us about. Of course she can disappear, why not! (I would find out later this was not her doing. Oh well, she can keep the coolness points anyhow).

Fearing for my comrades, I called into the forest, shouting some encouraging words that they may be brave, stay the course, and remember honor dignity, and all of that crap (I'm working on that whole honor thing--not very Hyrkhallian, so it's kinda foreign to me.) I was greeted in return by said forest that sent several technicolor skeletons (did i mention the trees were multi-colored) to attack me. They were rather pathetic, and I dispatched them quickly. A few more groups came out, but I ignored them as they attacked and instead tried to decipher where they came from and the source of their power. Right as I figured this out (or so i thought) Sultrani came crashing out of the trees and landed most ungracefully on one of the skeletons (return the cool points).

However, before we could establish more than "you ok?" and "what happened" I was whisked away and found myself on a barren, many-paletted plane. Uh oh. (I'm guessing I probably disappeared much like Sultrani).

I figured I was either a.) in another dimension (not uncommon) or b.) in another damn illusion (also not uncommon). First, I tested the dimensional theory by once again attempting to ascertain the source of power nearest to me. I found nothing. THe only source of power was myself. I deduced (correctly, I might add) that I was not prisoner to an illusion. Indeed, when attacking me with shitty rainbow undead didn't work, the forest, clearly behind all of this, chose to imprison me instead.

I elected to deal with the situation much like I did all illusionary magic. However, this was a mistake. Typically, illusionary spells and powers of this nature are easily destroyed by absorbing some of all of it with Pitchest Black. Thus, I attempted this same feat once again.

It was a horrible mistake. The energy powering the illusion was extremely potent. Before I knew it, I had absorbed more than my sword could handle and it melted in my hand!

Distraught and outraged, I gathered the now pieces of my sword, hoping to somehow discover a way to reforge it.

Electing this time an alternate approach, I sat down and meditated, closing my eyes and concentrating on various things: first nothing at all, just to calm myself; then on Twink, sweet beautiful Twink and her smile; then on my sword, I wanted to will it back together! Finally I meditated on escape and finding an exit. Opening my eyes, I found myself still trapped in this Endless Illusion.

Pissed, I began walking. Judging from the count of my pace, I imagine I walked several miles before I noticed the reflection in my armor. Good old Simek, proving himself once again. Looking in the reflection, I saw the forest, and realized what had happened.

I removed my breastpiece and, looking into it, guided my way through the forest until I eventually found an exit.

Immediately after exiting, I was attacked by a giant flying snake that elected to keep it's distance and spit venom at me from afar. It was here I came upon a great epiphany. At first, I moved in to close the distance between us. But he continued to move back, and flew just out of my reach. I discovered...I wasn't interested in fighting him.

Not only did it feel wrong not having both blades in my hand, but really, it didn't seem worth it to really even engage. So i told the snake he was worthless and walked away. It followed for a spell, and amassed a gang of followers. Eventually, I met up with Sultrani and we headed back towards the others. The annoying snakes eventually left.

When I got back to camp I learned some interesting facts: that the Headmaster of the Taroteers was a hive-mind that essentially comprised of this forest; that the little bits of my sword I picked up now appeared to be bits of tree branches; that the hive-mind controlling the forest call themselves patrons; and that even worse, one demanded that Twink call it Master and serve it!

Twink, on my behalf, ventured back into the forest and requested that the patron return that which belonged me. The patron, claiming to be the soul of the world, told her that the sword was destroyed because I attacked them by calling into the forest. Ha! How interesting to hear my opponent's side of the story.

Anyway, i gave Twink the parts of the blade/branch, and we left the place. For now, the white sword will remain sheathed. I'm not sure how I intend to proceed from here. Perhaps I'll (gasp) meditate on it, after eating a hearty meal. I wonder if the snake will le me have one of it's goats...

P.S. I realized while writing this that I'm writing in Amazonion. That's because Hyrkhalla has no written language. I think this is a major deficiency. We could be much better warriors if we fought intelligenty instead of brutally. And being intelligent is much easier if you can read. I think I'm going to start trying to piece together a Hyrkhallan written language. I hear the simplest languages use pictures, so I'll start trying to piece something together using pictures (probably best to associate the pics with war and warlike stuff). And from there, I can translate some good strategy books into Hyrkhallan and teach them as well. Even if I have to start small, a small army of tacticians is better than a large army of morons.