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No time to bleed, just tickle
It smelled awful in here, he thought to himself. That’s saying something considering Drag’os would go weeks without a proper bath. He was inside of something, something moist and disgusting. He could barely move and his sword arm was useless as it was pinned against his body. Feeling doubt creep into his soul he stopped thinking and just reacted.

Using the pommel of his sword and the fingers of his free hand he started rubbing the soft fleshy meat that surrounded him completely. To his amazement, it seemed to be working. He felt the crushing flesh loosen and before he knew what had happened he was in a heap on the cave floor.

Then came a sound he had heard before but never as loudly. BRRRRRT!! And then the smell came. Oh, that smell. Worse than before by several magnitudes. Drag’os though to himself, “hmm, I thought they smelled worse on the inside.”
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Tags: Drag'os , fart , stink , survive , tickle
Epic!
Slip sliding away.......
The pushed deeper into the caves beneath Vor Rukoth. Before long, they were in narrow tunnels barely wide enough for two abreast. They were moving fast, trying to keep up with Eravor, but they tried to stay together for those without darkvision. They felt a gust of wind that was uncharacteristic for tunnels this deep. Then again. Then it was on them. A MASSIVE Lurker decended upon them before they could react. They attempted to damage it from the inside and out. Little worked until Drag'Os found it's T spot. He tickled it until to spit them out. Then he tickled it some more, causing it to fart and sniff it which was more than it could bare. It decided to leave these nasty monsters to their own devices.

Then it was into the underground river. The party was sliding along rapidly, struggling to avoid underwater curves and boulders. They got separated but eventually found their way back to each other just before careening down a large underground waterfall and group feather falling to a waiting Eravor.

Once again above ground, the smell of brimstone was pervasive. They approached the Ruby Court grounds cautiously and inserted wax into their ears to protect against the wailing spirit. They investigated the area and found their way into the guard station before they were found out. The Banshee wailed and things went sideways. Vick was on the ground choking out when he was suddenly released from the full body convulsion. Zevron had asked the Banshee how could he help.

Now things were about to get interesting.
Session: Game Session 1903: Into the Ruby Court Part 2 - Friday, Dec 21 2018 from 10:30 PM to 2:00 AM
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Epic!
Great addictions to the Great Race
The party has chosen to retain Eravor the Sly in order to guide them through The Outer Ward, skirt the Blood Grounds and eventually enter the sea caves of Vor Rukoth. Not everyone wanted to go that way. In particular, Vladyn seemed intent on visiting the bloodworm caves. And Vick seemed to want to go to the nightmare forges. Eravor has explained that things might get weird in the caves. But he says little more about it.

On the way through the outer ward, Eravor makes a pit stop in a shambling building. He takes a break, has a smoke and Vick bakes some tasty biscuits. Everyone partakes. During this time, the group ask Eravor what he knows about the Ruby Court. He shares several tales of woe. The first is that there is an armory and it is still well stocked. But that one would have to be very brave or stupid to risk the defense mechanisms designed to protect it. Second, he tells of Taru Maaj, an ancient library and repository of knowledge of the ancient Tiefling empire. That it is tucked in a pocket dimension, outside of space and left in time. It is rumored that Arkosia's last would like to bring it back into the world in order to see it destroyed.

Drag-ass attempts to change the subject to the Crimson Marauder, but Eravor continues talking about the mission at hand, the Ruby Court. He explains that he has heard a strange keening wail emanating from the grounds, though he has never gone near to investigate. Just the meerest sound was enough to push him to irrational fear. And lastly he tell of a rumor of a great guardian that watches over the court, and that under no circumstances should it be engaged.

After the short break, smoke, and snack, the party moves along the edges of the blood grounds and avoids any entanglements. They eventually make it to a large cave entrance. They take cover behing a stone outcropping while Vick investigates the cave. But after a time, they hear a gut wrenching crack. Drag'Os thinks it's a broken branch, but Enna is quite sure it is the sound of gone cleaving against bone. Then there is a squeak and a roar. Within moments, a bloody Vick races from the cave, feet barely touching the ground and he collapses near Enna. Drag'Os and Zevron take immediate action and charge the cave mouth, just in time to see a massive Cave Giant preparing to exit. He sees them and charges but the transition from darkness to daylight confuses him and Drag'os is able to avoid his attacks. Vladyn attempts to open a maw near it but the giant senses it and grabs Drag'Os and shoves him in just in time.

While this is going on, Enna heals Vicks worst wounds and Vick is back on his feet. Drag'Os opens a vortex beneath the creature and it disappears. This gives the group a chance to catch their breath and get into position. In a moment the giant is back and prone andDrag'Os walks up to him. But before he can even draw his weapon, Vick goes to work on its face. He cuts and stabs and slices until he is literally out of breath, collapsing near the giant. Drag'Os waits patiently and then says a few words and everyone disappears, leaving him standing alone in front of the giants head, staring it in the face as he takes the life from it.

Before they have time regroup, Eravor is on the move. He leads them to the back of the cave where they slide down a shaft (lol) to a lower section of caves. Vick notices some animal claw marks on the walls as they slide but its dark and he's moving to fast to tell more than that. When they reach the bottom, Eravor quickly takes cover and bids the party to do the same. They are in a massive set of caves and they can hear water rushing nearby, an underground river that travels under the Ruby Court to the Mightnight Sea.

While sizing up the situation, Vladyn has some tremors from a lack of fiendsblood and makes a noise. Nearby they hear something sizzle and then a blinding flash and explosion. Eravor has a look of panic and tell them to split up around a natural stone wall. THey do so and find themselves looking upon a creature of floating tentacles and slime. The smell is pungent and putrid, like the rotting cavity of some alien carcass. They engage and finally defeat it but not before it has a chance to sample the taste of Eladrin. But in doing so they draw another creature through the vortex. A member of the great race, seeking knowledge and understanding of this realm. The party smartly avoids this, but the stench and flash have left Vladyn blind and weak. He attempts to float to the ceiling but the creature is massive and approaches him immediately grabbing and crushing him with large pincers, and emitting a substance to initiate a mental transfer before seeking to probe his mind. In a last ditch effort, Vladyn instinctively teleports away just moments before complete transfer. The creature is left blue tentacled and furious. Vladyn may have escaped, but the creature was able to consume enough genetic and mental material that he will always have a connection to Vladyn no matter where he goes.

Once again, Eravor was on the move, leading the party away through a set of tunnels that would eventually place them very near to the Ruby Court, the subject of their travels. But would the rumors be true?
Session: Game Session 1902: Into the Ruby Court - Friday, Dec 14 2018 from 10:30 PM to 2:00 AM
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Tags: Recap
Out of the Frying Pan, into the Fire
After negotiating a truce with Golgon Steamshanks, the party must traverse the Elemental Plane of Fire, in order to get back from the fortress. They pass through two sequential wormholes before being deposited somewhere southwest of Coyote's Refuge. It doesn't take them long to realize they aren't where they hoped to be.

After a quick assessment of where they are, they move in the direction of the trade road and see a caravan moving past. They double time it towards the road and approach the caravan. The guards take them for marauders or madmen and take defensive positions. After a few words are exchanged, the caravan guards decide it's best to attack and ask questions later. Uncharacteristically, the heroes do not return fire and are able to gain the caravan guards trust. So they meet Reniss, a cranky old Ranger, Vaegould a valiant warrior and Durud, a combat healer. But all is not as it seems. Zevron gets the impression that these guards may be overstepping the trust placed in them by Gerroll.

After the caravan arrived in the Refuge, the party went to the Dancing Lizard and reestablished themselves in town. They got to see the eponymous Lizard and Terris Halfjaw. Zevron met with Taleen Quirrelle. Vladyn and Enna noticed the people of the town didn't look well and after some investigation realized that the entirety of Coyote's Refuge seems to be suffering from a drug exposure and addiction problem. In trying to "understand" the symptoms, Vladyn made the poor choice of trying the drug and became hooked.

While this was going on, Drag'Os went out to locate a guide to take them back into Vor Rukoth. He attempted to visit Nocmas Ashwalker but then decided to find Eravor the Sly. When he found him, Drag'Os was perturbed and set Eravor's tent on fire. But it turned out Eravor was in Dunlor's tent waiting for him. As the fire grew, Dunlor returned and was not pleased. But after a heated discussions with Drag'Os, they came to terms. It looked like they might even be willing to help each other.

Dunlor explained that he and Shileena had made several excursions into Vor Rukoth and there were 3 main routes. Zevron heard from Taleen that the White Lantern Consortium had uncovered evidence of a powerful suit of armor located in the Ruby Court. Eravor verified the rumor. Now the party must decide, whether to go straight to the forges and confront Snurre as agreed with Golgon, or whether to take a side trek to acquire the armor. And if so, which of the 3 routes will they take?
Session: Game Session 1901: Return to Vor Rukoth - Friday, Nov 16 2018 from 10:30 PM to 1:30 AM
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Tags: Recap
Saying goodbye to Enna's father
Welp, that was quick!
No sooner than Sir Jameson uttered the words "Kill Meeeeeee" then we see Enna bend down to kiss her father goodbye. But it is no ordinary kiss. It is the kiss of death. She opens her mouth to release a swarm of locust like beetles that rapidly enter and devour her father leaving a deflated husk behind.

It seemed time stopped, as everyone looked on, even Golgon Steamshanks was slighly repulsed at what he witnessed. But he would be lying if he didn't feel a bit of respect for the young druid even as he was about to slay her and all her companions.
Session: Game Session 1805: Enna's Father Pt2 - Friday, Apr 06 2018 from 10:30 PM to 1:30 AM
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The Barony of the Emerald Blade
The party gathers itself and leaves Fallcrest. They travel south and east to Therund, visiting Gerrol on the way to The City Of Silver. After checking in on the newly expanded Copper Piece Gang in Therund, they locate and board the infamous Crimson Marauder, reuniting with her Captain Joccande. Joccande explains there are 2 options. the northern route skirting the Shatterkeel reef and eventually around the Amilian Sea. Or the southern route through Sahuagin Passage. The north is clean sailing, with good wind, but rumors speak of an awakened Kraken recently hunting the area. To the south lies a massive colony of Sahuagin and Iron Circle shipping lanes. The party chooses to go south and encounters a Sahuagin raiding party, but narrowly evades the Iron Circle privateers. A close call with a scavenging Dragon Turtle and two Marindaelion pirate ships punctuates the trip. The party eventually lands on a small island to prepare for the eventual landing in Marindaelion. There they find a marooned pirate of ill repute. From him they learn about The Baron of Marindaelion, as well as the pirates who left him there. What will be their next move?
Session: Game Session 1602: Sailing the Ocean Blue - Friday, Oct 06 2017 from 10:30 PM to 2:30 AM
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Awesome Tables Turned... Again and Forever!
Drag'os
“Not…!” he said under his breath.

It was gone from sight! Drag’os watched the creature vanish in to the brambles of the overgrown vines all around his feet and then a moment later felt the thing's tentacles reach out and grab him. It wrapped around him tight from 30 feet – but he was ready. Looking over to his Eladrin companion a few feet away he smiled.

“So…!” He continued.

With just a thought he slipped the bounds of reality and appeared beside the devil plant. Now free of the strangling tentacles of vine he grunted and unloaded a tremendous cleave with his sword. Connecting with the creature’s flesh his thoughts went back to his longtime companion, Zevron, knowing he was still standing in the same place he had been when the tentacles made their initial attack – and he curled a wicked grin.

“Fast!” he finished.

Now both he and the devil plant? were standing next to Zevron. The creature was shocked and could do nothing to prevent what it knew was coming. Gone was the safety of the brambles. It had no choice but to simply take it and hope it could outlast the barrage of blows it knew were coming until it could regroup.

That opportunity didn’t happen, and a moment later the weedy villain tasted permanent oblivion.


He awoke from his slumber and smiled. The anxiety he recalled feeling just before that moment had washed away by actions he took over the following few seconds. Now more than a year away from this epic moment where HE had made a huge difference in the fates and lives of his companions, he found himself on a boat headed to some land he had never heard of in search of something... for someone... the arch nemesis of his dear friend and companion Zevron. This memory only served to steel his resolve, to insure that Zevron's honor would be restored, not only in the eyes of his people, but in his own eyes. He would go to ends of the multiverse to serve that purpose. He was ready and so were the other members of the group, he knew. Bring on the Barony of Emerald Blade. The baron, or whoever they faced in this land, would regret ever crossing Zevron and would not soon forget the names of Drag'os, Enna, Vladyn and Vick - for we are coming to avenge the honor of one of the finest Eladrin ever. And we will not fail.
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Epic × 2!
Zen And The Art of Influence: Foundation
Before we can even think about building our power we need coin. Gold is the foundation of an empire. Without it you are stuck right where you are. Nowhere.

Odds are you are in the same position I used to be. Scraping by every day. Never knowing where the next meal is coming from. Don't worry man. You do not need to be some butchers apprenticed to build a bankroll.

However, the start is the worst part of our journey. You will do things that you will regret the rest of your life. You will hurt people that don't deserve it. You will do things that will earn you more enemies than you can keep track of.

That is the price you pay to have a different life than fate handed you, get through it.

To start building a foundation look around for the easy money.

Where I am from drunks littered the streets. It is not hard to lift a few coins off a human so drunk he has to crawl to get home. Practically free coins. Besides that loser likely beats his wife and kids when he gets home so you don't even have to feel bad about it.

Charity boxes are another easy target. Does not take long to get good at dropping one coin and picking up three from a collection plate. If you want the whole stash they usually lock it up in some far flung room, don't even bother puttin' it in a safe. You can always play up how bad off you are to and get some coin from the bleeding hearts that way. Whatever skill set you got, there is a way to get coin from charities.

Nothing wrong with being straight forward either. Lost track of how many times I cut the coin purse off a passing merchant. Everyone you meet out on the street has a few coins on them, it is up to you how you get those coins inside your own pocket.

The key is to hold on to what you take.

Don't be a loser and spend it all on pointless things. We are building up a war-chest. This discipline is what separates you and me from the rest of the cattle out there. They get their grubby hands on some coin and spend it on drink and fancy meals. We get some coin and starve.

Why?

Because you need a storefront.

I never robbed a house or knocked over a store because I never knew a fence I could trust. Having your own store allows you to BE the fence. You are not cutting out the middle man, you are taking his place. Let a few people know your willing to buy items with less-than-perfect records and now other hoodlums will bring you wares to sell for coppers on the silver.

If you have been diligently grabbing every coin you can and saving every coin you get then it is only a matter of time before you hit this leverage point. It is a big deal. Leverage is the key to everything. Leverage is how you are going to build wealth beyond measure and become the envy of every man you meet.

Congratulations, you are a player in the game now.

Now it is time to grow.
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Zen And The Art of Influence: Intro
You there. I know you, I used to be you. People walk all over you just because they can, don't they?

I know how that goes. Been small all my life, so small all the other gnomes called me names. You know what it feels like to be bullied about your size by a bunch of tiny people? Of course you do. There is only one reason you picked up this tome up and that is because you need respect.

Some sally tongued loser may say you merely want respect

I know the truth friend.

In this course I will teach you everything I know about building influence. Commanding respect. Having your voice heard and living the life of a high lord. If I can do it so can you.

Born a poor wretched nobody. My parents were nobodies. Hell my whole line of folk were a bunch of good for nothings. Once they died, they died. No one sung their tales. There was nothing to sing about. Not a good starting point to be sure. Can you relate?

Add to that the fact I am less than two feet tall and always been undersized for a gnome and you have the recipe for yet another born loser.

But we are not who we are born, we are who we choose to be and I chose to matter.

Right now I have five servants. Do you have any servants? I have a different home for summer, spring, fall and winter. That is right. Four homes, four of them. Do you even have one house right now? I have got two race horses, I have got a live in cook, I have got three lovely companions, and I have got enough gold coins to buy your life right now.

Not saying all this to brag, no sir. I need you to know what is possible if you put everything you are about to read to work. You can change your life.

Influence is power, power is money, money buys respect.

Now I want to be very clear here. When I started I had nothing, less than nothing. If I had two copper in my pocket for lunch - Germet Wilkins would beat me 'till I handed it over.

You don't be needing any coin to get started. Just the willingness to do what other will not. You have to decide here and now whether you are going to be another muck belly fool or the next lord on the rise.

So which is it?


P.S. Germet Wilkins is a beggar on the streets now. Someone went off and took his hands. Funny how life works out some times. Germet the handless beggar. Poor guy... Watching his face light up when I flipped a platinum piece in his little tin can one day while walking by... that is a moment I will cherish forever.
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Epic!
Zen And The Art of Influence
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Epic × 3!
Unfinished business
Tryn.... Dragos..... escape with your lives! Come on demon! I have a date with the Raven Queen!

I guess I never will face that human warrior so many years ago the best of me. . . .
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Epic!
The Pits
Sweat ran down Thump Thump's face. He looked out across the fighting pit and saw a pompous human decked out in armor that could pay for a missionary trip by itself. He looked down to his old and dented armor. It fit poorly, but he had taken it off of a dead body while he was working as a mercenary earlier that year. He grunted as he put on his new gorget. That was the way of the fighting pits. People wagered their lives and possessions for the entertainment of the crowds. Most fights were not to the death, just until the judges ruled the battle was over and the crowds were appeased.

It still rankled him that he had to wager his entire suit of armor for just a piece of his opponents, his greaves. Slowly but surely he'd take enough pieces off of young fools and he'd have a complete set.

Thump Thump put his visor down and said a silent prayer to Kord to not let him down this time. He sprinted to the middle of the ring and the battle was joined......
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La Cotorra
"I trust jour chackels aren't too tight?" I ask the old Dwarf.

"Ah, yes, although they do hinder my ability to move my arms freely..." crowed Aldrick from behind rusted iron bars.

"Jour chackles?"

"Yes..." nodded the Dwarf matter of factly.

"... hinder jour ability to move your arms freejy?"

"Correct..."

"... but that is the point of the chackles, my friend."

"Oh?! Ah!! I see!!" a wicked grin of understanding spreads across the wrinkles of the weathered Dwarf's face. "Then they are preforming their duty most splendidly!"

The Crippled Main rocks gently, soothing my soul as I watch Alrick examine his chackles with a renewed interest, as if he was seeing them only now for the first time.

"There are times that I envy jou, Mr. Spayce."

The elder Dwarf raised one bushy eyebrow.

"Oh? Is that so?"

"Jes, my friend. Jou remind me of a magestic, magnificent bird where I am from. Beautiful plumage."

"A 'bird' you say? Go on..."

"Ci. La Cotorra. Like other birds, La Cotorra goes away for the harsh, cold, bitch mistress of winter and we welcome her back into our warm, supple bosom of summer. However - and here is the interesting part - when La Cotorra comes back, she does not behave as she did before she left. She is still La Corotta on the outside, but no longer La Corotta on the inside. She is known as Pájaro Malvado. I see in your eyes the Pájaro Malvado, but when I look closer I believe I see La Corotta."

"There are BIRDS in my EYES?" Aldrick's hands fly to his face, feeling around for something that isn't there.

"No, no, no, Mr. Spayce - be at peace, my friend. There are not real birds here... well, maybe a seagull or two depending how far away we are from the land..." I feel myself getting lost chasing a silk thread of the tapestry of madness. With a quick breath, I refocus on the point at hand.

"Jou are not a bird, Mr. Spayce. No... jou are a Dwarf - a Dwarf I feel who has lost sense of who he is and where he has came from. This spayce business where jou are from, this is who jou were, yes? Jou are now who jou choose to be today. For when the Pájaro Malvado comes home to roost, we work as la familia to protect this national treasure and nurture La Corotta back to the beautiful bird she is."

"For every bird? An insurmountable task, surely."

"I did not say every bird, Mr. Spayce."

"What happens to those birds?"

"Let us just say that there are no Pájaro Malvado - or, how you say, "Bad Birds" - in my homeland for long, Mr. Spayce. Where I am from, there are people who stay and do what must be done to rid themselves of the bad birds..." suddenly the weight of memory hits me, pulling my gaze to the floor "...and there are people who can't... do what it takes... and must leave the paradise of home..."

Attempting to gather my composure, I meet Aldrick's eyes.

"Tomorrow brings another day, my friend. Let us make the best of it for the sake of us all..."
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Epic × 2!
Not So Private Journal 7
Dear Unknowable Master,

I find my body in a cage again. What is this, the second time? The creatures I travel with seem a little perturbed by what happened. I suppose pushing a flesh thing off a boat is different than walking into your own home. Just wanted a sandwich after being away for so long. Seems wrong to lock away a living thing for that.

It pains me to remember that I was once one of these meat things.

You taught me to do what is required. Now I sit alone in a cell. No company will keep me.

These creatures are confusing. One life has value while another does not. They cheer me on as we rip the soul from one fleshy thing and seem enraged when we do so with another. Murdering a creature defending its home? Acceptable. Murdering a creature to further the goals of the team… unacceptable? For a place made of such simple dimensions this is surely a confusing boundary they have erected in their inferior minds

I know you sent me here for a reason. That reason continues to elude me. Right now it seems you are having a laugh. Have I been sent here for your entertainment?

In the silence of this cell I do have a frightening thought.

Perhaps they have a point. Somewhere in my mind is the memory of a simple morality. I can feel it. You said I would never be like them again. You made me better. The more time I spend in this existence the more I wonder how true that is.
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Epic!
They won't let me keep them alive.
I felt no satisfaction in leaving this group. Before, abandoning those with a lack of respect for Vor Rukoth, it had felt like a relief, and at times, justice. But leaving a group, any group, to fend for themselves in such a place is the last thing I'd want to do. The last thing any self respecting guide would want to do. But they ignored every warning, refused every opportunity to save themselves. Perhaps, this is how heroes live. But in my experience, this is how fools die.
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