I am sure you are keen to read what has most recently befallen the group, dear reader, and I am (as always) your humble servant and narrator in the fantastical tale of
Theren and his band of gay followers - Theren, and his nearly competent gang! - The Easily-Mislead Eleven! (if you count the mad chicken) — The New Adventuring Company and their Brilliant Leader, Theren! This is their most daring tale yet!
The Tale of the Terribly Complex Puzzle, Wherein the Eladrin Bastian Plays a Key Role in Defeating the Black Game Pieces, and the Human Amos Befriends a Foul Fowl.
We soon left the cursed catacomb, taking Lev with us. It took some time, but when the others had finally finished hauling Lev out of the foetid ghoul hole, and to safety (they were as slow as an old woman with lead shoes) we moved a safish distance away, attempting to hide both Concorde, Lev, & Yawn’s corpse in the same place. At the time I wasn’t really listening to their plans, but clearly this only goes to show that I’m the brains of the outfit here – when I looked up from an important heart to heart with Polly (my loyal creature companion that is required for all true adventurers) on the subject of why we don’t eat feathers, everyone had buggered off without me. They had left (get this) Lev, with Yawn’s body, and Concorde. NOTHING COULD GO WRONG. I mean it’s not as though Lev had earlier expressed an interest in turning Jorn in for the cash reward or anything, or is a traitorous lying sneak-thief who wouldn’t know what honour was if he looked it up in the dictionary*. To assist Lev in remaining calm, collected, and honest, I bound him before I left, and took his journal with me. If he wants it back he will have to wait for my return, which might dissuade him from taking off. In hindsight I should have left a note or something, but being the natural master of knots that I am, I am sure that Lev will not break free of the ropes.
So we (or should I say ‘I’) entered the keep again. It was extremely clean when I got in there, but what do I care what Fenstrom gets up to in his spare time? He’s probably finished with sewing on his sequins by now and has moved on to some house cleaning just to keep himself busy. No – I didn’t think it was Fenstrom because there were no spiteful messages left behind. He’s probably just given up on us arriving, or maybe he’s just upset because we didn’t write back last time? Maybe he ran out of fancy scented writing paper? Who knows. On entering the place I discovered that everyone had left me behind, presumably they simply forgot to wait for me. I am not sure how they managed without my hilarious and insightful comments. In any case I caught up with them as quickly as I could, but alas at precisely the time I was about to ask if the floor looked funny to anyone else, it crumbled under our weight and dumped us into a cellar of some sort not too far below. It was a game board. I’m starting to think the person who designs keeps and castles takes the term ‘game room’ far too literally. Anyway the architect who made this game room must have had a stroke of inspiration, because we were trapped in there by some sort of forcefield, as if they realised that’s the only way they could get someone to play this game with them.
Well I had a bit of a look around, as did everyone else, and the general consensus was that the keep hadn’t been particularly fond of this game, as the room had been turned into a kind of communal attic, in that it looked like everyone in the keep had taken to storing their junk in it. On the board itself there were fewer bits of trash, but they included a live rat, chicken and snake. There was also some sort of desk with a skeleton on it. Bastian jumped onto the desk and kicked the skeleton off, but it seemed to activate something, and the platform rose to the ceiling. Reading the notes, Bastian discovered that he was in sole possession of the controls, which required quite a thorough knowledge of magic to operate. He also discovered we could make gold on this game or something. I don’t know about you, gentle reader, but I’m not one to fall for the old “Play one game! EARN $$$!!!!” Still it seemed the only way out. From his perch Bastion controlled the white game pieces, of which there was a veritable army.
Well the game progressed. I have to be honest we made what seems like a fair amount of gold. I ended up with the bundled remains of the vendor’s corpse (apparently he’s called Michelevi), and Swiftblade came away with a psychotic chicken hopped up on mushroom. I got the time to see the new member of our group – DTIS. He used to be around the village a long time ago, when I was a boy. I don’t really remember much about it except that he was driven out viciously by the townsfolk. He used to train people how to fight, and he used to be good friends with Zumtleheath.
and now onto a new tale!
The Tale of the Two Stupid Guards who Unwittingly Allow the Group to Gain Access to a Large, Important Room Filled With Many Under-dressed Vampires, and One Useless Priest, Wherein The New Adventuring Company Slays Said Villains.
After we escaped the board game Amos and I grabbed cages for our various pets, and the whole group was on its way. We soon came to a new area. There was a medium sized room – probably a waiting room, which adjoined to a larger court via a tall archway. The large room beyond had glowing pillars, and there was the strong scent of blood with its unmistakable oily tang. There was an imposing column of darkness in the middle of the room stretching from floor to ceiling, in a seething sea. High above a loud many bladed device that is much like a pin-wheel created a vortex of air to suck up the darkness. It is somewhat beyond even my comprehension, although I looked at it for some time. On an alter at the farthest end of the room was a goblin, laid out and cut open. It was clearly still alive, but only in that it had a pulse. That’s where all the blood was coming from – mind you even though I say ‘all’ there was a damned lot of blood.
At the archway there stood a pair of guards. Above the noise of the pin-wheel we heard them arguing between themselves, and using some cracks in the wall we crept closer. One of them (apparently someone else was using the family brain-cell at that point) wanted to sneak further into the room, abandon his post, and stand on top of some glowing powder. His friend seemed to indicate that this course of action would be unwise, and that there would be a punishment most severe. The banter continued until the stupider of the two couldn’t resist the powder in the end. As the New Adventuring Company moved to keep pace with the idiot guard, we noticed a flock of vampires inhabiting the room further back. They looked as though they’d only had enough money for one set of leather clothes, and had been forced to share it between themselves. Let’s put it another way, there was a lot of vampire and not a great deal of clothing. One in particular looked as though she belonged on the front page of Lev’s reading material – she was clearly the boss. The stupid guard made it as far as the pile of powder, which obviously had some sort of effect on him, but that vampire lady strode over and dug her fingernails into his parts with which he did his thinking – and I am not talking about his head. Obviously it was unpleasant, but hey I guess we always knew Fenstrom was into some kinky stuff. I can only hope this will dissuade Zephyr from joining him. When she let the guy go he ran off to his partner in more than crime, and the two had a heart warming cuddle. Meanwhile the New Adventuring Company was busy with killing vampires.
The battle was short and brutal. Although we had a plan to separate the vampire group and gain the advantage of the power powder, it seemed as though we needn’t have bothered. The vampires fell quickly to our attacks, but before they did they scratched up DTIS’ paintwork pretty bad. I’m really glad that it wasn’t anyone else out there ‘cause I don’t think we would have fared quite so well. Luckily Zephyr dived in and killed off a few of the buggers. Steak joined the attack with the two knuckle-head guards, and we found out they were made of tougher stuff (physically) than the blood suckers. Naturally I dived in to help Steak, as did Bastion, and together we fought to tip them into the hole in the middle of the room. Almost as soon as we accomplished that, some kind of shadow apparition attacked me, and boy could that thing hit. Anyway, the others had troubles of their own in the priest, who seemed determined to attack with his whip, although he could probably have benefited from not having such a stupid ill-fitting hood over his head, because every attack he made seemed to miss.
Anyhow, the battle ended with Zephyr cutting the vampire twins into itty bitty pieces with his cloud of daggers spell, with the priest being shot through the neck by none other than your humble narrator (that’s me), and with bozo and bozette being knocked out. We gave them a ration and a note telling them to run free and whatnot. Let’s just hope they can read. We are currently contemplating getting down to the next level by slipping through the red hot coals at the bottom of the pit. I don’t know how the blood is supposed to get through if they are hot without … drying up or something. Still I’m not going to back-seat evil magic ritual drive. I do know now that apparently Fenstrom is “still reviving” the Pelor cleric (I can only assume this means Ercullen) but really? I think he’s just putting off the final step until we arrive, so that he can dramatically have his ‘creation’ come to life before our very eyes. I mean you have to admire the sense of the dramatic. There’s no style to some people, but at least Fenstrom has a touch of the theatre to what he does. I appreciate that. I’ll write again after we crush him into a fine paste and use him to decorate the dungeon a new colour called ‘shade of internal organs’.
*Which is unlikely in any case, because the dictionary lacks the large fold-out pictures that Lev holds essential for the inclusion of a literary work in his personal library. The Nentir literary canon, according to Lev, starts with the limited edition magazines of Girls in Full Colour! and ends with the works of a bard called Orgoo the Ravishing Libertine Lover. Visitors to Lev’s room note that you need a small step ladder to get into his bed these days due to the extent of his devotion to collecting scholarly works such as these.