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 Old Red Eyes Is Back

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Number of posts : 761
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Old Red Eyes Is Back   Tue 17 Aug - 8:38:53

Old Red Eyes Is Back

Well we planned our escape from Tombstone to the nth degree: Guard distraction ploys involving local harpies; the old sneaking out under the large cloak draped over Silver Strine; burning down various buildings; engaging a local thief to steal something off a guard and set off a hue and cry; pretending to be escorting prisoners out of the village for punishment… Whilst all these plans were considered, reviewed, refined and contemplated, several off us simply paid our taxes and left. The wizard, somewhat worryingly becoming more and more fixated on our doomstone, had meanwhile escaped by some unknown magical means. It appeared that his powers had increased considerably somehow. What possible cause could there be for that?

We reunited outside town, a little poorer but unscathed, and discovered that the drunken Snorri had picked up a halfling hanger on. The little chap, seemingly short on good judgement as well as every other department had been so impressed by Snorri’s tall tales* that he had decided to throw his lot in with us. Go figure.

*Quite tall

We made good progress back northwards, sticking to the safer west side of the river. It proved so safe that even the wandering bandits that stumbled on our camp were unable to resist a savage barrage of threats form Getz. You just can’t get quality bandits any more. Of more concern, the wizard has failed to pay his colour licence fee and is now seeing everything in tones of red, occasionally heightened by witch sight, which is causing him to hallucinate, things like us turning into beastmen. Nothing to worry about there then, even if he thought we were beastmen it’s not like he could blast us out of existence with a barrage of devastating doomstone powered fireballs.*

*Oops, Digger has not been paying attention

He meanwhile has developed an unhealthy doomstone fondling fetish and when sleeping clearly dreams of it, mumbling sweet nothings and glowing faintly himself. During one vivid nightmare, we were treated to an impressive pyrotechnic display worthy of the great fire of Nuln in ‘51 when the entire south side of the city was devastated in the memorable gunnery school accident that led to the compulsory addition of the words ‘and stand well back,’ to all Imperial Gunnery School manuals. In the same dream sequence he almost vaporised the elf who made the mistake of flicking some water at him.

Getz meanwhile was growing increasingly assertive, and forbade us to take the very sensible precaution of checking to see if we were being followed by any interested party from Tombstone. Instead, in a brilliant display of inspired leadership, he ordered craftsman extraordinaire Snorri to manufacture a raft to re-cross the river. We were fast approaching the distantly glimpsed triple peak shown on our map as the location of a dwarf shrine.

The raft was a narrow success and we crossed near the tower we had looted a few days earlier. Scouting ahead, the elf and I somehow became separated and he was suddenly attacked by a giant trapdoor spider. Rushing to his rescue,* I was dragged underground by it and only by a miracle did Getz the elf and I avoid serious injury.

*Screaming my famous Oz war cry of cooee!

For some reason the hitherto quite helpful elf seemed to take umbrage at my efforts to assist him after that, but hey, these elves ar always getting their tights in a twist. He also started asking some awkward questions about Oz. We forged on for the shrine, entering the mountainous region where it lay and quickly beginning to experience the harshness of the unpredictable climate.

Poor old Silver bolted in a storm and I spent an unpleasant time in the rain recovering him with great difficulty. The cold and damp didn’t help my navigation skills with the landscape proving deceptive. The wizard meanwhile was reluctantly parted from the doomstone after his tendency to display glowing red eyes finally convinced the rest of us that the new powers the stone seemed to be bestowing liberally on our mage might not be worth the accompanying maniacal side effects – just ask Torgoch after all.

We then found a mountain shrine to Taal where I made an offering to the feral priest who lived there. We now approached the area where I felt sure the shrine must be and picked up a couple of trails which seemed promising. Following one, we came upon what appeared to be the entrance, guarded by a pair of ogres, heavily armed, and even more worrying, equipped with a horn. Now you don’t carry a dirty great horn like that for no reason: Could it be:

a) Our ogre friend enjoys a hornpipe from time to time
b) He is actually a keen fox hunter
c) The slightest hint of sound from it summons thirty more highly irritated ogres.

We were betting on option c) and decided that a non violent approach might be the way to go. We went hunting for some food to offer the ogres and were able to observe that some comings and goings to the shrine were taking place, both humans and others; seemingly the place was a place of religious significance still? Another interesting fact we learned was that the stone dwarf heads still positioned at the entrance shouted a magical challenge to any who approached.

We girded our loins and decided that as everyone loves a homely halfling* we’d let our newcomer do the talking. We boldly essayed up the path to present our gift of freshly slain goats. Snorri answered the challenge of the heads and after a shaky start we engaged successfully in discussion with an ogre shaman who appeared.

*They’re so cute

The ogres seemed unconcerned at our appearance and accepted the goats as a suitable compromise between halfling and human meat, even indicating that they had a use for us if we were up to assisting with a goblin infestation problem that they had. They also mentioned a human, possibly a reference to the mage Yazaran? We were reminded of the dead dwarf in the waterfall complex; perhaps we would find his old friend in similar straits? We entered, following an ogre guide, and immediately the claustrophobic dwarven passageways closed in. This would be a difficult environment for any kind of fighting or manoeuvring, how the ogres coped was anyone’s guess. Only our new halfling seemed comfortable in what seemed perfectly spacious surroundings to him. Our hidden doomstone meanwhile was glowing ever stronger as it sensed proximity of its kin.


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