The Journal of Belrin Vard

Campaign: Ruins of Arth

What a day!
So we killed the lich, or re-killed him, or whatever. We followed Jack and Tessel, just in time to fight some crazy shadow versions of us. I got to finish off the shadow me, at least, so hopefully Valicus will get that out of his system. We weren't able to save Jack, but we finally got to catch some shut-eye (not helped by the crazy dwarf's nasty fur pile, or the dead Jack nearby).

Anyway, we got back to town, and something was clearly wrong. I mean, we were already attracting more attention than I preferred last time, but now we're like the circus or something. We had no luck finding Azagoche, but we found a cookie lady... which is better to my mind.

Next, we moved on to the temple to call in a favor for Jack. I saw more of the temple's labyrinth than I've ever had the opportunity before... makes me glad we never went ahead with that crazy caper Eddie had planned there. They started preparing for the ritual, and everyone got really nervous all of a sudden. No idea why... how often do you get to see that sort of pageantry up close? I did feel bad for the slaves, of course... again, REALLY glad we didn't go ahead with that caper.

Sure enough, once the whole mess is over with, nobody is dead but the slaves (due process and all, I'm sure). Best of all, Furry Jack! He's apparently got this whole super-cold thing going on now, which brings up interesting possibilities for pranks involving water flasks.... later!

Finally, I'm dealing with a perfectly normal shakedown by the guards when suddenly Jack and Adric are starting a fight. Before I know it, I'm encouraging the last one to take a nap, and we're hustled off to join La Revolution. I'm not really sure what the whole thing is about, but I never really liked the Overlord anyway. If the people have spoken, then the law must change, I suppose.
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I thought...
I thought I was just here to support my new friends: to pick locks and disarm traps, and leave the glory to the glory seekers. I was content to follow behind Clive as he scatters skeletons left and right with a stern word; to watch in awe as Adric brutally skewers a dangerous maleficar with his arrows; to pull Jack out of the mess of a miscast spell (ok, not every day can be glorious).

We finished the fight, retrieved our gear, and I heard talk about a phylactery. I saw Tessel smash it, and nearly fled in fear at the roar of rage that went up from the crypt atop the pyramid. My friends rallied against the new threat, and I took my customary place to the rear... the better to hide and toss a dagger or three.

Then he pointed a bone finger, and poor brave Talaithla was snuffed out like a candle in a whirlwind. I'm not sure what came over me, but I found myself actually in agreement with Valakis... this murderer must die! My nervousness cost precious seconds, and the monster continued his feast on the elf maid's life while I fumbled with my armor's straps. Finally, I centered myself and struck true... which hurt me more than it injured him! He turned, raised his finger, and I could do nothing to escape my doom.

His fel ray struck, I fell, and the world dimmed as I felt my memories, hopes, and dreams being stolen. I'd forgotten so much of my childhood that I never would've expected this, but when my lost family came to mind, I just couldn't let go. The happiest time in my life, and he wanted to steal that from me? NO!

I opened my eyes, saw the blazing spectre before me (a burning arrow in one eye socket) and thought... "so it can be hurt!" I hucked an oil flask at it before sliding back down the pyramid... desperate to catch my second wind. His ray broke off, and his attention shifted to my allies. More crazy ideas began to run through my head:
  • He's around the corner! Quick! Throw Valakis at him! A solid hit!
  • More arrows are striking home! He's tossed the sword aside and gone after my friends!
  • His hand sizzles at Valakis' touch! Pick it up and throw it again! Another hit! He's reeling!
  • He's vulnerable! Sneak behind him and drive the blade home! Again, and again! He's down!

I thought I was just here to support my friends, but I was wrong. We've slain a great evil, we've recovered the second half of the rod, and we're all of us heroes. Wait a tick... where are Jack and Tessel? Through the teleporters; more heroics await, no doubt!
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Dear Valakis and all my stuff... how are you? I am fine.
So I'm naked as a jaybird, huddled under a shield, doing my best impression of a pile of rocks. These skeletons probably have rocks rattling around in their skulls anyway, so I don't imagine they can tell the difference. Speaking of which, do I have enough rocks? I have a feeling I'll need a fair number of rocks before this is over... or maybe something resembling a blackjack.

I'm waiting for Reverend Doubletree to make his way over and ask his Lady to please knit me up yet again. Seems like it would be easier to cut out the middleman, but I'm not really on a first name basis with any divinities... that I know of. I will say that his sermons are interesting… vaguely nostalgic, though I surely don't remember much of what worship was like in my old village. I don't really know what to think about it, but it's not an unwelcome sort of thing. It's common courtesy to listen respectfully, anyway.

Considering that I've already been brought back from the brink twice more than my guildmates would have done, I'm inclined to think over my loyalties for a tick. I've always taken comfort in the structure and order of the guild… giving thrill to my life, with slightly less risk of the noose… but maybe mercenary work with a small group like this is a better fit. I seem to have fallen in with a goodly enough lot, so that's a start.

I think back to those children slain in the street by the local 'authorities', and while I don't thirst for those guards' blood like a certain pointy implement, I wish I could have at least considered doing something about it. The fact that I accepted it as a matter of course… not something I was afraid to oppose, but just the way the city works… bothers me. I'll have to listen a bit harder (no, not to you... to that holy stuff), and see where my conscience takes me. Maybe I should just tender my resignation and see if my new comrades would take me on full time… always assuming I'm still breathing at that point?

After all, they clearly need someone to spring traps for them, and get around where they can't. I can't imagine we would've gotten through that room with the rats so easily without my little dance through the vorpal pendulums, and that trick with the rope bridge. True, it took me two tries to find the 'safer' path out of the room with the demon-doors, but no one actually got squished by the falling ceiling. It's certainly not my fault everyone else is so tall!

I guess you could say the room with the ochre jelly was my bad also, but it was quite heartening to see the others come down after me. I certainly wasn't having much luck with my rocks. I think I need an enchanted sling, or a dagger that comes back to me when I throw it… or a sword that doesn't hate me… but I digress.

Anyway, I hope you're doing well. Maybe you're off enjoying yourself, murdering folk who murder other folk, stopping them from doing any further murder upon the persons of others. Tell my stuff I said hi, and I miss them; especially Lucy… she's my favorite knife.
Session: Mists of Madness Part 2. - Wednesday, Jun 06 2012 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
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