The Journal of E'kai Komataree

Campaign: Echoes of Carcasia

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Stupid bloody fights.
Lots of blood. Deep pit. Can't hit anything worth shit. What a terrible fucking fight. And this blood is getting into all of my armor creases, can't move through it without it splashing every damn where. We did find a bag of holding from the last fight though, and I grabbed it to store my javelins in. I'm tired of having to grab them from the Ranger before every fight, and if we get surprised, then I don't have them...


And we have to drop through the pit to get down. Think I should just throw Eldaar and Corrina down there and listen for the screams and or crunch as they hit bottom...
Session: Game Session - Monday, Dec 19 2011 from 8:30 PM to 11:30 PM
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Curiosity nearly kills the Callista.
The moment we realized we could hear the faint noises associated with a dungeon again, the rattle of bones as insects picked them clean, the scurry of rats across the floor, Eldaar was spazzing out and dashed down an unknown hallway, past a surprised Callista (who had chosen that very moment to finally grace us with her presence), and immediately got himself sucked through a vortex. For one who is constantly expounding the virtues of precise movement and action, the Ranger has a hefty impulsive streak. I wonder if he is possessed by a demon that splits his personality in someway…?

Introductions were briefly made between Callista and Kkestral. It brought a smile to my face to note that her circlet appeared to still be embedded in her skin. We waited for several long moments to verify Eldaar wasn’t going to reappear, before starting down the same hallway he'd disappeared along. Reaching a crossroad of rooms we picked a door at random, it opened into darkness. Peering into the visible nothingness, E'ee spoke softly and made a small gesture, and gradually the room brightened to reveal a stone statue of a warrior in the center of the room that rose 20 feet upwards. Along one side of the room were two statues of dragons, and across from us stood 4 cherubs holding vases, standing guard around the other exit to the room.

I stepped around E'ee into the room and made my way to the statue, carefully stepping around signs of disturbed dust at the base. I craned my neck back to inspect the well preserved face of the statue, and noted the similar facial features to that of LORD PADARIG. Behind me, E'ee, Callista and Kkestral moved into the room, but before Callista could step into the room, the door we'd just entered through slammed shut, the bolts rammed home.

Before we could even finish turning to look at the slammed door, Callista and Eldaar appeared simultaneously, stumbling out of a vortex that opened between the two dragon statues. As we were wheeling around to look at them, a horrendous grinding sound of stone on stone was heard and the statue behind me began to move, winding up it's sword to strike.

We encircled the statue's base and as I pulled back, I observed a panel on the back of the statue that looked slightly loosened. I pointed it out to Corrina and she nodded decisively, tumbling through the statues legs and prying off the panel, went to work on the exposed gear system, claiming it would take only a few minutes.
Before the statue could turn to attack Corrina, we committed to throwing our best at the statue, dodging the swinging sword as necessary. Several minutes later, Corrina let out a whoop of success, and with another bone grinding sound of stone on stone, the statue came to a stop, the sword an inch away from me.
E'ee threw a last bolt of magic and the sword shuddered, dropping to impacting the ground beside me with such force that I could feel the reverberation through my very bones; I staggered back a step.

Callista and Kkestral drifted towards the cherub statues, and Kkestral leaned in close to inspect the runes inscribed on the vase held on the cherubs shoulders. "Water...in arcane." Her curiosity satisfied, Kkestral wandered away.

Turning from the sword I observed Callista reaching out to touch the vases and I went to move towards her, arm out stretched as if to stop her. "Maybe we shouldn't …" I couldn't even finish my sentence before a force field had snapped up, separating Callista from the rest of us, and water began pouring from the vases. I released an enormous sigh and clapped my previously outstretched hand to my face. "Yup. Told you so…"

Kkestral, thinking perhaps to cut a hole in the force field, stuck her sword into it, but found it got stuck. I moved forward to stand beside her, and aimed a javelin at the closest vase, ramming it through the field but shattering the vase successfully. The javelin remained stuck in field, and water poured slightly faster from the three remaining vases. The water level had already risen to Callista's knees.

Kkestral bravely stepped through the force field, to help if necessary. Or more likely die beside Callista. She wouldn't exactly float with all that armor.

E'ee took aim at one of the far vases, cracking but not shattering it. Callista and Corrina each smashed two vases in quick succession, with the water level now up around Corrina's chest and getting close to Kkestral's neck. It fell in an endless torrent from the remaining vase. Eldaar took aim but missed, only chipping paint. With his next bolt of energy, E'ee smashed the final vase. Immediately, the force field dropped and the contained water rushed out over our feet.

Crap, I have to go. I turned away from the others, my claws scrabbling over my armor to find some way to release it. Almost without noticing, one of my claws found purchase on a piece that felt slightly differently and with a little extra pressure, released. A sudden WHOOSH of escaping air, the front of my armor moved forward as one piece, then split down the middle and moved to each side, shifting me forward slightly, to stand on the ground in bare feet.

My jaw dropped and I was suddenly very glad I was facing a corner. What the hell had happened to my shift? Wrinkle was a perverted old man. I shifted back and the armor closed around me again. Uh…well that was going to require some serious inspection later.

I turn around to confused stares, shrugged and ignored them all, striding to the door between the cherubs and throwing it open. I'd have to deal with it later when I was alone and could examine my armor better. At least I wasn't feeling so tired anymore.

~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~

As soon as we moved through the door, we were immediately attacked by stupid skeletons. Awesome. Moar undead. I freakin' hate this place.

We committed to battle and my companions began throwing magic willy-nilly. In quick succession I was shocked and then burned - magic and close quarters is never a good recipe. E'ee launched a fantastic crackling ball of magic, electric shot through my feet, traveling up my body and clicking my jaws together. If I managed to survive my companion's idiocy, I might just survive the rest of this stupid place...
Session: Game Session - Thursday, Sep 08 2011 from 9:00 PM to 12:00 AM
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Tupperware, Rollerskates and a whole lot of WTF.
I groaned and rolled on to my back, and stared up at the ceiling. The rooster crowing outside the window had about 2 seconds to shut up or else it was going to be stuffed and served as an amuse bouche.

I sat up stiffly. Damnit, I'd forgotten to remove and clean my armor last night. Splug sat in his corner, sniggering. One look from me had his jaw clicked shut. I stood up with minimal difficulty and attempted to pry off my breastplate. My claws could find no purchase beneath the metal, they slid off of it, the metal refusing to give. I frowned and tried at my left elbow, with the same lack of result. I peered at my cuffs and could see no joints - where two pieces had previously joined was now one smooth piece. I thought furiously for a moment and then tried removing my chest piece again. Where my claws had previously succeeded, they now epically failed. I stopped with a huff and realized I was panting. What had that idiot done to it last night?! It occurred to me that perhaps a tool of some sort would be able to release me. Maybe Corrina…
Oh HELL no. I would not even finish the thought. She would get entirely too much pleasure…

I huffed in frustration. I'd deal with this later. Certain needs were not yet...pressing, and I was just too bloody tired and frustrated to do anything at the moment. I made my way downstairs, refilled my travel rations and purchased a similar pack for Splug, for him to keep whatever in. As I stepped outside, the rooster opened his beak to crow once again. A piercing glare from me had the noise dying between his beak.

As I made the short trip to the stables, I noticed Wrinkle's tent was gone, his space now occupied by a vendor who claimed to sell ancient magical "Tupperware". The vendor called after me, claiming it was found some place called The Dead Sea. Dragonborn have no need of this "Tupperware", dead or otherwise.

I saddled my horse and by the time I was I finished, the others had trickled out to the stables and were readying their own horses. We rode out within the hour, with no further delay.

~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~

Upon reaching the Keep, we observed no trouble as we passed through the areas we'd previously cleared. Returning to the mysterious area where we'd foubd Kkestral, we carefully skirted around the floor runes, which E'ee assured us were teleporters of some kind. Reaching the end of the room, we opened a pair of double stone doors and filed down the revealed flight of stairs.

The fight we next engaged in can be summed up in the following statement:
Fucking multilegged insects on roller skates. That can jump across a room with a single leap.
Stupid thingy. With stupid legs. On stupid roller skates.

Through out the entire fight, I felt as though my strength was being sapped away. As though I'd gotten no rest the previous night, even though I had slept soundly. Whatever the Elder had done the night before clearly was not up to snuff yet, and the fight was a closer call then I was going to admit to any of the others. I'd actually had to get my claws bloodied at the end of it.

And, as if that wasn't enough to suffer through, *someone* who is blue and shall remain nameless managed to break the ONE artifact in this whole joint that appears to have the ability to stop time. AND I STILL CANNOT GET THIS STUPID ARMOR OFF.
I swear, if I ever see that crusty old man again...

~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~

Six. Damn. Hours.
I really have to pee.


Session: Game Session - Thursday, Sep 08 2011 from 9:00 PM to 12:00 AM
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Technically, No Satisfaction.
When I entered the tent that night, Wrinkle stood at a bench, covered with gears, springs and other metal bits. Books were spread open everywhere, physiology of several species visible, some I recognized, some I did not. I waited for several moments, but he continued to work, ignoring me, or perhaps oblivious to my entrance.

"Elder Wrinkle, you are a hard individual to locate."

Startled, he dropped the metal thing he'd been working on, and a spring went shooting across the table and bounced across the floor to my feet. I bent down to pick it up and placed it back on the bench beside him. "Am I? Oh, you're still here, excellent!"

"I'm not the one who's tent keeps loosing it's door, although on that subject, where do I get one of those?"

"A planet of snow and ice. I like this one better, less death."

I smiled indulgently at him, then dropped the journal on the desk. To business. "This was an interesting gift."

"I thought so. Did you find it interesting?" Wrinkle asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Truthfully? No. I've taken to summarizing our journeys, but I can't see anything useful that will come of it."

'Perhaps not for you, but others might learn from it."

"Oh yes, the insipid ramblings of bumbling idiots, very educational."

"Long lived or long journeys, both need to be recorded. They serve as examples and help to those that come after...and maybe a bit of vanity."

"Well, we Dragonborn are a long lived bunch, but I cannot believe that notes describing the chase of some idiot who messed with magic beyond his comprehension could be all that interesting - or useful?"

"No, but what he's chasing might be. There is only one story, the story of All. Everything plays a part, but all those parts must join together before the overall can be seen or even begun to be understood. The calf is born, is raised to cow, is milked by a farmer, who sells his milk to the inn, who bottles it and sells it to the lord, who drinks it and becomes ill...did anyone know that calf could change the entire life of a city?"

"Apparently LORD PADRIG does.

"Yes, I heard."

"Had he explained earlier I could have eased several hours of pain."

"Indeed, the smallest event can change the course of history." He flickered. I frowned.

"Do you need to...recharge or something? Gain energy?"

"This is the last time I'll speak to you."

"Speak is an interesting word, you don't exactly satisfy curiosity."

"I don't give answers, I lead you to where you're most needed."

"How can we possibly be needed to clear an old keep, to lose an idiot Paladin only to gain a half-witted Elemental who doesn't know what a horse is?"

"Do you know what is at the bottom of the keep?"

I snorted. "Do you?"

'There is a Gate, you need to close it."

"Ah, gates again. And exactly how are we supposed to do that?"

"The Elemental."

"How can she possibly help?"

"She is from my world."

I raised an eyebrow. "She is. And would that be from that before or more recently?"

"Before."

"And how can she possibly help?"

"She closes Gates."

"Well that's handy. Any other magical tricks I should know about?"

"No idea. She was taken to the labs before I could learn more. They were trying to use her to close a portal there. Unfortunately, they discovered she gets stuck on the other side."

"And how exactly could you know that if you've been here for a millennium?"

"Time is relative -"

"Oh not that stupidity again!"

"The Universe and Time itself do not care what you think of it. I've been here for such a very long time, waiting for something to pop out."

"We're fucked, how are we supposed sort our shit, you-"

"You think you have it bad? I haven't seen my daughter in seven thousand years. Her spaceship flew away and hasn't been seen since, in this time or any other."

I straightened up under his verbal assault, momentarily chastened. "I apologize Elder, I lost my temper."

He peered at me for a moment, then his gaze sharpened and he gestured at my armor. "My power suit quit working after 700 years. But I could probably repair yours."

"What are you talking about, it's just a set of armor - nice, old, but still just metal."

He continued to peer at it, moving closer and walking around me. "It looks like your neural interface isn't working right, and your powercells have been depleted over the years, or perhaps in battle, either way I can't fix those with what I have, but I can fix part of it."

"The what, the what and the what?"

"Never mind, just turn around."

I complied and could feel him pulling at the armor after a moment. "What exactly are you doing?"

"Fixing, this might hurt."

Suddenly it felt like all the muscles in my neck twinged at once, followed by an unsettling feeling, as though ants were crawling up under my neck scales. I pulled my head away from him in reflex and he bopped me. "Stand still!"

"So...why can't you fix yours exactly?"

"Volcanoes."

"Huh?"

"This world was once covered with Volcanoes."

"Oh." How had I forgotten?

He tugged and pushed and prodded for a few more moments, the creepy-crawly feeling spread out across my body. It took all my restraint to not go dancing away, throwing off bits of armor as I went. Finally, he was finished and after a last surge of the horribly uncomfortable feeling, my body stilled. No more ants.

"There, best I can do at the moment. It will take some time, and some serious energy, but your suit will awaken the mental concepts of 'loadout,' of how to be two things at once. A hybrid."

"Wait, what?" I must have been more tired than I'd previously thought: as he settled the last piece of armor on my back again, I yawned, cracking my jaw. What had the old fool been trying to say to me?


"Never mind. Sleep. You'll begin to understand in the next day or so." I yawned again, took the journal he offered to me and bowed, then left him. I trudged back upstairs to my room and barely remembered to lock the door once I was inside. I tossed the journal on to the table by the bed and crashed heavily on to the bed. Cleaning my armor of undead bits would have to wait until the morning, I was just...to...tir…...
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We Don't Need No "Stinking" Healer...
The last ocher beams of sunset were sinking below the western forest of Winterhaven as we remounted for the short journey back to town. As we rode, I informed my companions that the KALAREL from the note we'd just found on the Elf in the graveyard was likely to be the same KALAREL whose name we'd seen in missives found in the keep. It was agreed that we should seek out LORD PADARIG upon our return, and ascertain just what he might know about this KALAREL character.

Town guards cheered us from atop the walls as we rode through the gates, proclaiming us their saviors and thanking us profusely for our help. I acknowledged their cheers with an incline of my head, and rode straight to the stables. For once, Eldaar did not remain to "care" for the horses, instead he pushed his way into the taproom and demanded the Rogue buy him a drink. Corrina snorted, took a multifaceted rock from her pouch and tossed it upon a nearby table. Eldaar laughed, tossing his own rock to the table, then grinned triumphantly. Corrina grumbled all the way to the bar, but returned smirking, and placed a tankard of cold, refreshing milk in front of the Ranger. A new argument ensued.

Turning my back on the two imbeciles, I approached the bar wrench to ask where LORD PADRIG might be found, as we had not observed him on the walls to welcome home the conquering heroes. Before she could produce even the smallest of sounds, a thudding thump sounded from over our heads, drawing the attentions of the bar wench, Corrina, Kkestral and myself to the ceiling. I frowned.

Corrina and Kkestral moved towards the stairs. Kkestral paused after a few steps and turned back to raise a brow at me. I waved her off, calling to her that I would join them in a moment. I chose not to hear the grumbling a moment later as she continued to the stairs.

I turned back to the wench. "Now, I believe you were telling me were I might find LORD PADRIG?"

"Indeed. He has been taken ill."

"And what has he has come down with?"

"It appears to be a case of tainted milk." She cast an amused look to Eldaar, greedily sucking back his 'winnings'. "He suffers from fevers, hallucinations and appears to be quite delirious."

"How long? We parted from his side not but a few hours ago and observed no such symptoms."

"He complained of headaches yesterday and took to his bed just after you left. You'll find him in the keep, conscious, but I'm not sure how coherent."

I raised an eyebrow. This tavern wench was certainly privy to her Lord's business. I continued: "Is anyone else affected?"

"No, of course not."

I wondered for just a moment if there was indeed more to it than that, and looked her over. Then mentally shrugged - she had no reason to conceal it if other townsfolk were indeed ill. I thanked her for the information and passed her a silver piece for her trouble. I turned and made my way to the bottom of the stairs where Kkestral was trying ignore a leering Corrina.

As we climbed the stairs, I realized I'd forgotten to ask E'ee to ward the door to Callista's room. Frowning, I took the last six steps two at a time and pushed ahead of the others, suddenly unsure of what we'd find once I unlocked the door. Opening it slowly, nothing appeared to be amiss: Callista was still sleeping, sprawled out on the bed on her back, snoring. Corrina and Kkestral went prowling around the room while I stood over the sleeping Callista, contemplating the situation. My arms crossed, I tapped a claw against my armor and thought back. Had Callista been wearing her circlet properly when I'd removed it earlier? No, I decided. It had been completely tangled in her hair when I had dropped her onto the bed and removed it, a result of being tossed around on the ride back to Winterhaven. Again, I wondered…

Nodding decisively, I strode out of the room and returned downstairs. Eldaar was still enjoying his spoils in the bar. I snickered at my mental choice of words, and dug through his pack, and casually mentioned, "You know, LORD PADARIG seems to have become ill after drinking spoiled milk…"

I laughed as the Ranger's face turned a shade whiter than the milk he had been imbibing and he proceeded to spew the imbibed liquid across the table he sat at. A moment later I triumphantly pulled Callista's circlet from the quiver. As I pulled it out, a decidedly nasty scent of rot wafted to my nose. I grimaced and inspected the circle grasped in my hand. A drip of...something...splatted on the floor beside my boot. Ew.

I walked over to the bar, grabbed a bottle of liquor and upended it over the circlet. I summoned a lick of flame and let it engulf the circlet. As the flames raced around it, my eyes grew wide - the circlet had sprouted THORNS. One second it was smooth, the next it had shimmered, almost shivered in my hand and silver thorns grew to sharp points, attempting to poke into my thick hide.

Eyebrows raised, I returned upstairs to Callista's bedside. I glanced back and forth between the circlet and her for a moment, then shrugged once and plopped it on her head, and ignored the squawks of surprise and alarm that came from the general directions of the Rogue and Elemental. As they rushed towards the bed, the thorns on the circlet moved - turned inwards and sunk into Callista's head, causing her to twitch. I pushed aside a lock of hair - no blood. Huh. Interesting.

Corrina back peddled out of the room to call for the Wizard. Kkestral's mouth hung open for a long moment before she managed to sputter: "WHAT are you DOING?!"

I shrugged. "She's a Tiefling."

She stared at me, mouth agape again, then clicked it shut. "Well, where did you get that?" She gestured to the circlet. It took me a moment to understand why she even had to ask. Interesting that in less than a day, Kkestral had managed to insinuate herself so completely within our group. "We were gifted them."

"From who?!"

I shrugged again. "We don't know."

"AND YOU WORE THEM!? You're a moron." The last part, she at least had the intelligence to direct towards the unconscious Callista.

"To be fair, we didn't have much choice."

Kkestral went on a verbal tirade, lashing out at everything and everyone she could think of. I stopped listening after about five minutes, cleaning gunk off one of my hands (it had better not have been whatever was rotting in the Ranger's bag…) and tuning back in when she pointed at Callista's head, saying "She shouldn't be wearing that on her head."

"Well, where else would she wear it?"

"No, I mean SHE shouldn't be wearing it. Period."

I rolled my eyes. "Well, would YOU like to take it off her?"

"Oh don't make this about me. You put something thorny on her head!"

"Yes, it was her item."

"So if something of yours turned into a Tiefling, we should give it back to you?"

"Sure, I'd pop it's head off, and see what I could do with the bones."

Kkestral made a shrill sound of frustration and elbowed me out of the way. I resisted for a moment then stepped aside, amused. She bent closer to examine the circlet. "How did it get thorns?"

"I pulled it out of the elf's bag, it smelled funky, so I doused it with alcohol and lit it on fire."

E'ee ambled into the room, Corrina hot on his heels, and inspected the circlet for all of 10 seconds before pronouncing that we wouldn't be getting it off her head easily. With that settled, I marched a protesting Rogue out of the room, Kkestral and E'ee following. As I locked the door, I asked the wizard to ward it. He took a knee, gestured, then stood and wandered back downstairs. I momentarily considered tossing Corrina at the door to test the ward but decided the resulting gore would get into the armor creases. I picked up a vase that was at hand instead and chucked it at the door. It bounced off, clattering to the floor. The ward shimmered visably for a moment after impact, before fading again. We returned to the tap room downstairs, hustled E'ee and Eldaar out of their seats, and made the short walk through the town to LORD PADARIG's manor.

~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~ ~-~

LORD PADARIG's manor was easily found, dominating almost an entire wall of the town. We made ourselves known to the household staff and were ushered into his lordship's bedroom without delay. We found him propped up against his pillows, tucked neatly into his bed, nattering on about buying peanuts and crackerjack, and not caring about going somewhere. In other words, hiiiiiiiiiigh as a kite.

Corrina approached the side of the bed and leaned over to inspect LORD PADARIG. "How are you feeling?" LORD PADARIG blinked at her for a moment, his eyes wild. Before she could protest, his lordship's hands shot out and grabbed her chest. She squawked and backed away quickly. Once she was out of groping distance, she repeated her question. "I said, how are you feeling?"

LORD PADARIG giggled. "I like blueberries!"

Great. E'ee snorted and left the room. I rolled my eyes skyward and dug through my travel pack for some supplies. I approached him, tilted his head back and poured a thick, viscous fluid down his throat, 'encouraging' him to swallow by holding his nose and mouth shut. He sputtered and choked for a moment, then swallowed. I released my hand from his face and waited. Within minutes, his eyes were clearing and he met my gaze, utterly embarrassed. "How do you feel now?"

He swallowed, glanced sheepishly at Corrina then nodded at me.

"Excellent, we have some questions. When we first arrived, Corrina over there lost some gold to an Elf. Who was he?"

"NINARAN? He's an Outlander." I glanced at Corrina, she nodded: it appeared LORD PADARIG spoke the truth.

"Does the name KALAREL mean anything to you?" He shook his head. Another nod from Corrina, truth again. Apparently LORD PADARIG was trustworthy. Stupid, but trustworthy. I momentarily regretted saving him - his manor house was quite pleasant, I could easily see myself enjoying its full retinue of servants...

I gave LORD PADARIG a quick update on our progress through the Keep and the resolution of the undead issue in the Graveyard. He was pleased and paid us for our work thus far. We confirmed that we would continue to clear the Keep, and would check back with him when the task was completed.

We took our leave of him, so that he could rest, and made our way back to the inn. As we passed by Wrinkle's tent, a flap was visible for a change, flickering lights danced across the doorway. I would return later, after I'd eaten, the Elder and I seriously needed to talk.

An hour later, belly full and tired of the endless nattering of the Elf and Halfing, I excused myself for the night and headed upstairs. Leaving my pack and weapons in my room, I slipped back downstairs and out of the inn, through the darkened town to Wrinkle's tent.
This chat was long overdue.
Session: Game Session - Thursday, Aug 18 2011 from 9:30 PM to 1:30 AM
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