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May 2, 2008

Negative Reinforcement

Fortuna's Journal

Reaping 26, 594 CY
A desert temple

We did a quick head-count— six humans (including one adept from a different temple and one town guard) and the four, make that three, of us. I didn’t see Keth anywhere, but tried not to worry too much about that. We had plenty of other things to worry about— as we peeked out one of the church’s shuttered windows, we could see a horde of undead shambling towards the doors and windows. We quickly got some of the pews pushed up against the openings, but they did very little to help. The adept seemed unable, or unwilling, to cast even the least blessing or protective spell. I saw Fash head towards the altar with some of the humans while Holli and I attempted to fight two skeletons that were gaining entrance via a window. I looked over my shoulder to see if we could get help when I saw the altar overturn, and heard a loud clap of thunder above us as the red clay roof of the church collapsed.

We all must have been knocked out. Actually, it was worse for the humans— they did not survive the attack, or storm, or destruction of the building. Holli, Keth, Fash and I came to— it was still night, but we were alone except for a few bodies of the recently dead. Being practical, we searched the bodies for anything that might help us against the onslaught, and as we did so, we realized a few things. There was no storm, but we still could not see the sky, even though the roof was gone. And what was left of the roof and temple was sandstone, and the remaining walls were covered in strange glyphs that none of us could read. The yard beyond the perimeter of the temple was blowing sand dotted with crumbling plaster columns. At least the undead army appeared to be gone.

We all become conscious how exhausted we were, and decided to camp right where we were. Let me amend that— Keth had to do some “investigating” first. He followed the columns to some steps, which in turn led him into an opening in a wall not too far from where we were attempting to rest. He came back soon to tell us that he’d found another dead human that had been poisoned (rather than crushed) and had looted that body, finding a curved dagger and some waterskins.

After a few more hours of resting, we studied our situation in the light of dawn— desert as far as the eye could see, at least from our vantage point. We opted to follow the steps and see what we might find beyond where Keth had searched the night before. We determined that the dead human had been poisoned by a dart that had shot from a wall when he stepped on a pressure plate, so we decided it would be best not to step on any of those.

We did find an intersection with a floor covered in runes flanked by four columns. We could also see that the way was blocked by four very desiccated, bandage-covered creatures in bronze armor. Keth and I snuck up to one each and attempted our usually-efficient back stabbings, but mine at least appeared to do no damage to my foe. It did cause it to notice my presence though. We took a few more moments to smack at them while Fash and Holli joined the fray. I would hit one of the undead guardians as hard as I could with no result. Keth called over to me, “fire!” and as luck would have it, fire did quite a bit of damage to the dry creatures— while my companions whacked at them a few more times, I lit two of them. Eventually the four of us were the only ones still moving.

Carefully avoiding the runes in the middle of the floor (which Holli believes to contain some sort of necromantic spell), we started down a hallway flanked with sphinx statues. At least, that’s what we think they are called. We have no idea how we got here, or where “here” is!

Posted by Kristin at 17:14 | Fortuna’s Journal

May 15, 2008

Rotten Luck

Fortuna's Journal

Reaping 27, 594 CY
A desert temple

We probably should have headed outside after the run-in with the undead guards, but we didn’t. Instead, we wandered around following Fash, and eventually found a room, empty save for a well in the corner. As Holli peered over the side, Fash decided to check it for critters by tossing a rock in, nearly hitting Holli in the process (he did yell “move!” first). She, in return, stormed past him and gave him a pretty good slap. I ran after her to see if I could explain Fash’s lack of, well, tact, and found out that she’d heard a splash at the bottom— I took a bucket from my pack for Fash to fill with water. We then caught up with Keth who was in a room with two altars and many wall carvings of humanoids with animal heads. We also found some weird wax-sealed jars, wax, and the strangest “surgical” tools I’d ever seen. I was discussing the possibility of an ancient dog-headed race with Keth when I heard Holli and Fash screaming different things— turns out Fash had set off a trap on a door, which in turn had sprayed him in the face with acid. Ugh— he was already somewhat painful to look at. Things got worse quickly as a bandaged creature, which I’m told is a “mummy” wandered out from the now-opened door. Fash and Keth were momentarily frozen in place, and I managed to shake off a feeling of dread long enough to grab the torch from Keth’s unmoving hand and throw it at the mummy. I put a flask of oil in Keth’s hand, hoping he’d snap out of it and throw the oil, which he did. All we had to do was keep away from the mummy until it fell into a pile of ash, but unfortunately it managed to touch Fash and me.

I’m not feeling well, and I’m told I’m not looking well either. Fash looks absolutely terrible— if we wrapped some bandages around him, he could probably pass for a mummy.

We decided to rest, and so went into the room beyond the acid-spewing doors. There were three sarcophagi in the room, one of which was open. We found a small red clay box in the open one (presumably where the mummy had rested). It contained some gold and gems, a scroll in a bone case, and a vial of black liquid. Holli said the scroll is a spell to hide from undead— how useful!

We rested for quite a while, but I actually feel worse, and judging by Fash’s appearance, we’ve managed to get some sort of disease or curse from that mummy. I have a bad feeling about that. I hope I have more time with these three— as awful as things are right now, I have a strange feeling that I’m where I’m supposed to be, and the more we compare backgrounds, the more we all suspect that we share a common history.

After our uneasy rest, we learned that Fash should probably not be checking stuff over for traps— he just doesn’t have an eye for that sort of thing. We did learn that the two other sarcophagi contained plain old dead skeletons, but after opening one, the chamber’s doors slammed shut, and after the other, the ceiling started to come down. As luck would have it, we found a staircase inside the one sarcophagus though, so we quickly descended through that.

We found ourselves in a new room with four stone statues and a door that we simply could not open. I suggested that we attempt to turn the statues. Of course, the first time we did it, the door we came in banged shut (which hardly mattered since the room above us was crushed!). After many, many attempts, we had the statues in the specific order that apparently was required to open the next door out. As the door swung open though, we could see the outline of a bandaged figure shambling toward us….

Posted by Kristin at 17:49 | Fortuna’s Journal

May 28, 2008

Pyotr's Bio

Pyotr's Journal ~PC Bios~

Born on the coldest day of the year it was obvious Pyotr was different. His ice blue eyes matched with hair that looks of pure silver; he was sure to stand out. Time passed and when his sorcerers powers manifested it wasn’t the usual levitating items, or sudden bursts of fire. No, he turned a glass of water into a solid block of ice.

Although different, it was very use full in the heat of some regions’ summers. Cold never bothered Pyotr as much as it did his friends and family members. And a large family it was: two aunts, three uncles, two brothers, four sisters, and numerous cousins, not counting extended family, his family was large and well-versed in many areas of life. Learning to harness his abilities helped a lot and it didn’t take long for him to realize that not everything is hurt by cold, so he added a bit of variety to his arsenal.

Life wasn’t always easy though. There were times when the clan fought different creatures that lived in the mist. These were deadly and many times his closest friends were mortally wounded. It was the way life sometimes took you from heights of glory to the depths of pain and despair: defeating your enemies only to turn around and have a close friend dying next to you. Or being sent on a mission to find an artifact that might not even be there, only to wake up and find your companion had left you to die in the desert. It was obvious this giorgio Mickehil, he called himself, didn’t have the stomach to kill, but he apparently didn’t have any reservations on leaving someone to die. Good thing the elders had the presence of mind to give him a spare map without the betrayer’s knowledge. Taking his staff in hand he headed out towards the ruin hoping to get there in time, and as he walks his mind wanders.

Pyotr remembers how he found the staff leaning next to a tree almost five years ago. Just standing there, its light barely noticeable in the sun. and how his father showed him the secret compartments that his eyes were untrained to find. That’s one of the reasons Mickehil was allowed to go with him, that and the betrayer owed his father a favor.

Pyotr thinks of the time his mother gave him the symbol of The Morninglord and a gift for his 18th birthday. She told him that as long as he wore it The Morninglord would keep him safe. Memories of his family would always make him smile. He thought for a second of how his family would feel if he never got home, or was found dead. Mickehil would pay for this, pay with his life as soon as Pyotr caught up to him.

Standing outside the ruined temple Pyotr pauses a moment waiting to see if anyone would exit, and noticing the charred bodies on the ground he wonders who they were and how that happened.

Pyotr Malov, image (c) Kristin Johnson

Character sheet: Pyotr Malov [Half-Vistani Sorcerer]
Companion sheet: Volos [Dread Cat Familiar]

Posted by Fred at 21:50 | Pyotr’s Journal | ~PC Bios~