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Saturday, 30th of July
3rd day of the center rule in the State of Dominance.
Day of Charity (continued).
Aquariel heals us all. We haul the Jabberwoky out of the caves and the water as Aquariel sings. The bloody water gathers together and she moves it slowly to the beach.
I ferret the loot from the Lair. Sir Toves, Chryseis and Ludvik move the bodies out. They find 4 or 5 gnomen (in pieces) and many more animals 1/2 eaten and left to rot in the lair. Eki gets naked and starts to dredge the muck pond.
Something bubbles up out of the muck. It’s a head with tentacles and wings, but no body. It launches itself at Eki as soon as it clears the tar. Ludvikd drops the load of dead and pulls out his sword, attacking it quickly. It slams into the wall and sticks there. Another comes through and starts screaming. Its voice is ear-spitting and loud. Eki, joined by Sir Toves, starts to try and slay these things. Eki identifies them as Vargoyles. A third comes out of the muck.
Together they are able to defeat them, but not before Eki is bit. Apparently some catacombs in the dead district get infested with these things. Dustmen pay a bounty of 2gp/head for them.
Eki returns to dredging the tar pond, but it’s obvious even to me that his wound is infected. Sir Toves tries to heal him, but the pestilance remains. Aquariel kisses him… I mean heals him, but still the poison remains.
When Eki is done dredging the tar pond, the heftier people bring in rocks and fill up the pond. The task takes up the better part of an hour. Outside we build a cairn for the Jabberwoky’s victims. By the end of the afternoon we are all weary. Aquariel invites us into her pond. She also calls the birds to her and tells them the news.
After a long soak, we’re clean enough and decide to head back. Sir Toves calls forth a dire badger as his mount. We gather up Gallumps-a-lot, say our goodbyes and get going. We take along the Jabberwoky’s head as proof, and a handful of the jubjub bird’s feathers.
We travel back to the Borogroves farm. Mr. Borogrove is taking to three armoured gnomen on the road. The armoured gnomen are each riding a dire badger. One is a woman, the second a younger man, and the third an older man who bears a strong resemblance to Sir Toves. We are introduced while the woman runs up and yells at Sir Toves.
The younger is Kilwald, Sir Toves good friend. The woman is Belwin and the man is Borhold the Slithy. We learn that Sir Borhold is a reputed Snark killer. It seems Sir Toves was supposed to depart with a group of gnomen to find and kill the Jabberwoky; and not go off alone. Unfortunately, Sir Toves can’t recall why he left on his own and uses the lack of memory as his only defense.
We have a nice dinner outside with the Borogroves. Chryseis tells our tale and we have a mellow evening. We sleep in the barn (The only place big enough for the humans). And it gives us a chance to go over what we gleaned from the cave:
* 4 Silver trade bars (each weighing about 1/2 a pound) worth 25 sp/ea.
* 13 amethyst chips (royal purple) worth 10 gp/ea.
* 7 gold nuggets – 50 gp each.
* 120 gp misc coins
* 340 sp misc coins
* broken jewelry (5 lbs gold) or 250gp in broken bits.
We give 3 silver ingots to the Borogroves to help pay for the pigs that the Bandersnatch ate, and divide the rest by 5 for even shares. It works out to 178 gp and 8 sp per person.
4rd day of the center rule in the State of Dominance.
Day of Diligence
We return to Whisperleaf that morning. The people are out in numbers. Forest gnomes com out to greet us. As we approach the settlement more and more gnomes come out to greet us and see the Jabberwoky’s head. Eventually our way is blocked by gnomes. And then the party ensues. It’s amazing. People, total strangers, offer us drinks, food, a place to stay–you name it.
As the crowd presses around us – an illusionary display starts to form. At first it’s just the Jabberwoky swooping in and a mile-high tall Sir Toves cutting off its head. The illusion repeats, each time subtlety different; and eventually we appear in supporting roles in the tale of Sir Toves. We use this time to escape.
Eki’s injury is healed by a dozen gnomen druids all trying something different at once.
Ludvik is given a lot to drink and is pressed into dancing with buxom gnome women, and offered many places to sleep.
Chryseis gets nervous as many gnome men gather around her and start poking curiously.
Local raccoons are glad the beasts are gone, but are anxious to flee the party; but like us they are boxed in by the crowd.
Somehow we make our way through the crowd and into Whisperleaf’s shadow. We travel up the tree via the basket to the branch with the portal. It’s easy to laugh (especially after drinking so very much), and then it’s only a few crawling steps to home.
We arrive back in the late afternoon. There’s a light haze and the visibility is about 3 miles.
Since we’re already in the Lady’s district, we go to the mint to get our money exchanged.
When we return home we learn that Dirk;s forge was robbed last night and Dirk was killed. It’s got the neighborhood riled up.
Over the next few days I stayed at home and helped out. Chryseis embeds the gem in her helm with the feathers of the jub jub bird.
A few days pass.
7th day, Center rule, State of Dominance, 127 FHR
Chryseis dreams for the first time.
I see the dream reflected in the pool in the Ever forest.
Chryseis dreams of the time before waking where she sees herself facing a quickly angered Athena. She turns and falls onto a table in a room where children enter via the cold hearth. Ludvik sees the same scene in the quicksilver of his knife.
We all hear Svana’s voice, but only Ludvik can understand it.
She is frightened and confused.
“Am I awake or am I dreaming? If I’m dreaming, tell me – I don’t ever want to wake up.*”
(*Translated from the Celestial by a very gracious GM.)
“Svana! Where are you, I can’t find you.”
The room fades away into a sea, which resolves into a white face which pulls back and we see Svana as she was when we last saw her, perhaps younger.
“Ludvik! Is that you”
“It’s me Svanna. I need to find you.”
“I can help you . I need you to beleive in me.”
“I never stopped.”
“If you believe in me — if you ask for me, I can help you. I can find you.”
“Where are you?”
“Harbringer house. Mother’s here. She says you sent her.”
“Mother doesn’t look right. She’s scary. She says terrible things. She talks of the others. The ones we’re not supposed to. Use the shard I gave you. The gray men are coming. Follow the shard and believe in me, but don’t listen to what mother says.”
The figure turns away. The pool froths. Ludivik tries to keep talking with Svanna, but hte blade reforms and contact is broken.”
Out on the street yesterday (on the 6th). 3-4 Dabus showed up to paint the two-story tenement building white. This morning there’s some upset women at the well. The Dabus are now repainting the building blue. The paint’s not even dry yet from the first coat.
We gather together and chat; trying to figure out the dream. Ludvik tries to concentrate on the knife but it doesn’t seem to point in any particular direction. He explains that Svana refers to the dagger as a shard. Mom was made out of shards, could the dagger be part of Mom?
As we’re talking, Chryseis sees Aurelius fly into the Athenium. She goes to check it out then returns to tell us that Linni’s been murdered at the Ascension drinking hall!
Saturday, 24th July 2008
3rd day of the center rule in the State of Dominance.
Day of Charity.
And the momraths outgabe.
We speak with Sir Toves the Slythy, who feels positively offish. We learn that the flat table with the spiky bit is a sundial that works with the positioning of the sun on lawful planes. It’s an inter-dimensional time keeping device with symbols for Mount Celestia, Arcadia, the Elysum, and the outlands.
Sir Toves thinks someone named Nebulum made it.
We head off to find the Whimsy falls, while remaining wary of the jubjub bird. As we approach the pool before the falls, we hear a beguiling sound. Eki goes to the edge and meets Aquariel. She looks like a naked human woman, but seems to be a creature of the water as she remained hidden in the water for quite some time as we approached warily. She tells us that the bird took the sword into a cave beyond the falls.
Ludvik searches for an opening into the caves behind the waterfall while Aquariel tells us that the caves were taken over by dark gnomes. She keeps the Jaberwoky asleep with her songs.
Sir Toves tells us there’s an inquisition set to try and catch these evil gnomes.
The dry entrance to the caves is behind some loose ruble which Sir Toves, Eki and Ludvik shift easily. We enter the caves and find the first cave is filled with a tar pond and a charcoal drawing (on the floor) of the digger below. Beyond that – is the Jaberwoky’s cave where the beast lays sleeping. Ekikos jumps into the tar pond and begins pulling things out of it. Most of the stuff is broken or sundered. I move into the Jaberwoky’s cave and slowly start searching for the sword.
Suddenly the jubjub bird arrives and starts making a horrible racket. Aquariel sings more loudly, trying to keep the Jaberwoky asleep. Ludivk, Chryseis, Eki, and Sir Toves all race out of the caves and attack the jubjub bird. I just hunker down amidst the bones and refuse that litter the Jaberwoky’s cave and hide until the racket is done. The beast moves a bit, but doesn’t wake up.
After more searching, I find the sword. It’s behind the dragon’s tail. Rather than try and climb to get it – I use my magic to lift it carefully and send it to Ludvik at the tight end of the cave, away from the waterfall. I slwoly head back out. Ludvik rushes and gives the blade to Sir Toves. Then he and Eki make their way into the cave through the waterfall.
By sheer bloody-mindedness, Eki makes his way up the falls. The noise they make in climbing wakes the dragon. Ludvik and Chryseis attack from the far side while Eki, Sir Toves and myself attack from the front. It burbles at us and does great damage. Ludvik peppers it with arrows, Chryseis uses her javelins, and Eki attacks the beast head on.
To hear Eki tell it – the digger below caused the mouth of the waterfall to collapse at that instant, taking me, Sir Toves, Eki and the Jaberwoky down together in a heap. Sir Toves had mostly killed it by then and with a snicker-snack – he cut the beast’s head off.
Saturday, 7th July 2008
Day of Temperance.
We’re in the upper plane of Bytopia, in the golden hills of Dothan, in the shadow of Whisper Leaf, where the gnomish gods dwell. Three evil creatures have infested paradise. They were sent by the evil gnomish god known as the Digger below. They are loose and hunting in the Thilgey wood. Our arrival (through a portal on the branch of Whisper Leaf’s daughter) brought us to the upper branches of Whisper Leaf herself. To get down to the ground we take a basket-elevator some 800 feet to the to of the hill. Below the hill lies a picturesque gnomish village. Most of the gnomes are hidden inside their houses. We spot only about half a dozen gnomes as we descend the hill, and even these gnomes seem harried.
At the bottom of the hill stand the sentinels of Flandal Steelskin. They ride badgers and dress in field plate armour. Our guide gets us passage into the woods. The guide also warns us that in the Whimsy caves magic can go awry. We gather together and Chryseis leads us in a prayer. Then we say our goodbyes to our guide and trek off into the woods without him. We’re not exactly sure where we’re going. None of us have ever been in a “wood” before. This place is less dense than the forest on the island on the plane of Earth, and far thicker than the trees in the forest of the Infernal and Divine in Sigil. Everything here is verdant and alive, but somehow stilled too. There are no loud animal shouts (as on the island), but we’re not exactly sure what’s missing. There are trees of all sizes, bushes, and ferns. Where the earth is bare of growth it is covered in well colored leaves and tree bits.
Eventually, after some walking, I smell water. We head towards it. After a bit we come up to a very pretty house situated along a gnomish track. The house has a barn and well-tilled fields. Beyond it is a small river. Ludvik and I head up to the door while the others hang back. We’re worried about scaring the inhabitants.
The inhabitants appear in the window and seem to be waving frantically at us. Before we can figure out what they’re trying to say, the giant rock near the stream leaps at us! It’s an 8′ frog. It has a wicked tongue that it uses to entangle its prey and drag it into its maw of teeth. It attacked us quickly, focusing on Ludvik while I scrambled away. Ludvik fired several arrows at it, but many bounced off the things tough hide. Ekikos rolled into the fray and hit it in the eye with his very fist strike. Chryseis menaced it with her javelin and eventually impaled it. It died slowly at the edge of the stream.
A gnome came out of the house. He is joined by a woman and three children. They tell us they’ve been trapped in the house for 2 days. He is Thomas Borogroves. His wife is Hilda, and his children are Petal, Clover, and Lucky. We learn from them that Sir Toves came by here 3 days past and headed down stream. They provide us with rations while we tell our tale thus far. They are interested in the news we bring regarding the evils, and promise to remain wary. Ludvik and Eki cart the toad to the midden pile and return the cart to Mister Borogroves.
They ask us to keep an eye out for the mule, Galumphs-a-lot, who ran off when the boundersnatch arrived.
We go back into the forest, following the river. Along the way Eki tripped over the roots of an ent. When we ask for directions to the Whimsy caves, they reply in rhyme:
Look ye for the tum tum tree
The tallest tree upon a hill
Its trunk is slick with moss & thick
Stand ye on the highest bow but 3
And the whimsy caves you’ll see.
They admit, albeit reluctantly, that they saw Sir Toves (or at least a gnomen matching his description) passing this way.
We are warned that the tum tum tree can take your thoughts.
Following the river, we come across the clearing with the tum tum tree standing int he middle. Eki head us the tree while we stay well clear of it. Amidst its lower branches is the Borogroves mule. Mr Gallumps-a-lot can now talk. He’s been eating the leaves of the tree and seems to think he’s Sir Toves. Gallumps-a-lot doesn’t want to go back to the Borogroves, or share his moss.
Eki has no problems climbing hte tree. He sees a waterfall int he distance. As he’s calling out the directions to those of us on the ground, the jubjub bird attacks and knocks Eki out of the tree. The bird quickly flies away before Ludvik can get a bead on it.
We gather up Gallumps-a-lot and head towards the falls. The jubjub bird haunts us from a distance. When night falls we make a small fire and settle in. The sounds of the forest in the night mixed with the knowledge that a monster stalks these lands leads us all to have very little sleep. Ludvik is sure he saw a human-sized figure at the edge of his vision during the night, but no one approaches us and nothing comes of it. Sleep is fitful at best.
3rd day of the center rule in the State of Dominance.
Day of Charity.
We arise at dawn. Dark clouds roll in, threatening rain. Chryseis prays and we break our fast then head towards the standing stones in a clearing.
A gnome and four small mammals stand near a flat-topped stone with a spiky bit running down its center. There are menhirs around them. The gnome introduces himself as Sir Toves. He seems confused at first, uncertain why he’s in the clearing, or even in the area. But he quickly becomes cantankerous and Eki gets cranky as Sir Toves becomes plain old mean. The animals with Sir Toves are affecting his mood.
Chryseis and I kill most of them and chase the rest of them away.
May 10, 2008
In my visits to the raid in Whisperleaf’s daughter (a giant oak in the park of the Infernal and Divine in the Lady’s ward), the raid travels through a portal opened by laughter into the branches of Whisperleaf herself. The portal leads to Whisperleaf, nestled atop the golden hills of Bi-Topia. Weekah-Tegalega (Sect totem of the Rosebringers. Lead priest of Chikitkka Fastpaws in Sigil.) learns that there’s a monster in the woods. The people of the golden hills need help, and Weekah-Tegalega is willing to negotiation to see if I can bring friends along to help.
1st day, center Rule, Month of Dominance, 128 Yr FHR
Day of Chastity
The weather in Sigil is nasty. There isn’t much light, and the air is filled with a heavy smoke smelling of roasting or burning meat. The air isn’t moving at all.
The wealth that Ekikos provided his family has allowed his mother to purchase a loom. The neighboring women bought the old wash tubs, and have set up a local laundry in the halls of the nearby tennament building. At first the family sold raw bolts of cloth, but as their reputation grew, they were able to begin selling workmen’s shirts.
Kastor is now working in the clerk’s ward with a new master and learning how to draw. His time as an illuminist was not to his liking, but it did give him creditable skills. Yougros’ cough has gotten worse, forcing him to reduce the amount he works. Nestor is putting in very long hours trying to replace his father. News of the girls’ dowry has had an odd effect: Kalliope and Aella are being courted by well placed men. Aella loves a pennyless 1/2-elf, which is why she’s not married.
Chryseis has had two promotions so far and very good reviews.
Eugene has been absent for months at a time, he’s finally part of one of Gina Ellie’s expeditions into the Beastlands.
We gather at Ekikos’, and I tell them about the monster in the golden hills. They agree to help and we travel together back to the Park of the Infernal and Divine. We meet up with Mourns for trees, and he guides us to the foot of Wisperleaf’s daughter.
Weekah-Tegalega tells us that the Crawler below has launched an attack on the Golden hills. He believes that the beast is merely a minion or a pawn. The Whimsy caves were initially dug by the Crawler below, and rumor has it that the beast has taken residence in the caves. Magic doesn’t work in the Whimsy caves. The gnomen god Steelskin has sent forth a champion: Sir Toves, the Slythy. He set out to kill the beast two days ago, and now the locals are worried.
Weekah-Tegalega promises to get us permission to enter Bi-Topia and travel over Whisperleaf. We agree to return in with the dawn.
Overnight, it starts to drizzle. By morning, it’s a full0out storm!
We pack up and head out. On our way we pay tribute to Niki and Artemis along with Athena. Hyzik gives me three crystals at Whisperleaf’s daughter. After a good laugh, we go through the portal.