Friday the 13th D&D Part III

The party arrived in Diocese a few hours earlier, handing their would-be elf “assassin” over to the proper authorities for detention.  Before the elf murderer (he did kill Leonardo) was handed over, he surrendered a room key to the PCs.  This room key led to a room in the People’s Pub, a run-down tavern near the residence quarters of the village.  This tavern was used by Searos as a meeting place between him and his associates.  Searos would hire people to murder.  Anyone and anybody counted, as long as the body was given to Searos.  Searos would, in turn, pay good money for an effective kill.

The PCs became aware of the fish epidemic as they passed by a group of the city watch investigating a barrel full of the “laughing fish”.  The party is more curious than scared.  To the PCs, the fish do nothing more than smile.  The city watch bring them up to speed on the news, giving the PCs much-needed information (even if it was sparse) on Nebin, the notorious, mass-murdering gnome.

Before the PCs talk to Enal Clearwater, they decided to check out the People’s Pub.  Unfortunately, Searos was not in the room.  Here, the party divided for a temporary time.  Tharivol would wait in the room for Searos for a short time, before heading outside of the village to hone his combat skills.  Sigmund and Lord Freman decided to investigate the “laughing fish” epidemic.  Their first stop would be the Kraken’s Seafood Pub, the village’s seafood restaurant.

As the duo of Lord Freman and Sigmund approach the elf, they notice he’s unnerved.  Why, they don’t know, but Enal is still frightened by his encounter with Nebin an hour or so earlier.  The PCs take some time to calm down the elf.  The elf then relays his encounter with Nebin that morning, though he omits some details because he doesn’t want to recall too much of that horrid event.  Enal doesn’t talk about the threat on his life either, since the city watch will (hopefully) be able to protect them.

Sigmund looks over one of the fish while Enal tells his story.  Being a cleric, Sigmund is quite familiar with magic and is particularly skilled with spellcraft.  However, he notes that these fish have no magical properties.  Sigmund concludes that this gnome did not use magical means to alter the appearance of these fish.

“Where’s the most logical location he could poison these fish?” Sigmund asks, putting the fish down as he’s done examining it.  “Why,” Enal clears his throat,” the fishing area along the river, just north of here.”  Sigmund and Lord Freman leave, now that they have a bearing on the killer’s location.

As the adventurers leave, Enal has to wonder if he’s unknowingly leading the PCs to their deaths.  It is logical that the gnome would use the docks to poison the fish.  However, the gnome would be too easy to find and the town guard, who also probably suspect the docks as the gnome’s base of operations, have probably sent someone to investigate.  Fearing the worse, Enal leaves to notify the guards…after having one last beer for good luck (and to hope this series of unfortunate events is just a side effect of alcohol, thus he still attempts to drown his misfortunate luck).

Lord Freman and Sigmund meet up with Tharivol and journey towards the fishing grounds.  Fish is a common source of food in the area, and many villagers commercially fish in their spare time to bring food home for the family.  These fishing grounds, however, are for commercial use.  Diocese’s semi-profitable fishing industry is the result of hard-working, laboring peasants that work weekly in the plant.

Unfortunately for the PCs, they are not greeted by the sight of diligent, hard-working commoners.

Instead, the PCs come upon a grotesque scene at the docks.  Bodies of commoners lay strewn across the field, their blood soaks the soil, the river is darkened with the blood of the peasant bodies that float in the waters, the windows of the building are shattered, the door is splintered, with blood dripping down in little droplets because a body lays slain on the roof above the door.  “Yesch,” Sigmund says, describing the scene in one, fitting word.

The PCs decide to be bold and brave, entering the dock building.  Surprisingly, the scene is calmer here.  A long table lies in the center of the room, with several chairs seated around it.  On the other side of the table, opposite the PCs, is a lone halfling.  He cowers behind the table in fear, his eyes wide with whatever horror he’s experienced.  “Don’t come any closer!” he warns.

The PCs do not heed his advice, and soon pay the price.  To the amazement of the PCs, the chairs in the room suddenly come to life and begin to charge the PCs!  Tharivol and Lord Freman take hits from the chair (though Freman overcomes the damage, thanks to his scale mail armor).  Tharivol quickly catches his breath, and turns the chair into firewood with his scythe before fleeing the building.  Lord Freman and Sigmund dismantle the other chairs before heading over to the halfling…

<cue next session>

And that’s what’s happened so far.  Now, other news…

We got to see a dress rehearsal for Les Miserables at school Tuesday.  Of course, the people performed like it was an actual show.  I liked it, I loved it, and I might actually consider going to one of the shows.  I was just geninuly surprised at how well it was done.  Props to Mr. Hartzler and whoever was involved in production.  Even though everyone did great (seriously, even the extras stood out), I have to give extra props to Ian, Tucker, Marilea, Nate and Rachel (not necessarily in that order).  I still got some songs stuck in my head…much to the annoyance of whatever brain cells remain in my head.  My only criticism of the play is the second half of the play isn’t as good.  After Valjean adopts Corsette, the rest of the play feels…weak.  I could say why, but we’ll leave it at that for now.

Of course, the Coby Curse comes into effect.  If something good, enjoyable, etc. happens, something equally bad, annoying, etc. must happen afterwards (usually immediately).  This week, it was just things to annoy me (senior homeroom, missed senior seminars, that EMU woman who came to “guide” us, among others).

I’m especially pissed I missed senior seminars.  I can’t wait until I get out of this damn house, provide myself through college and live the rest of my life alone.  I’ll probably end up having to stay here though, since I’d save money but…I’d like to get out of here asap.

’nuff said.

Home, sweet Hell.

Friday the 13th D&D Part 2

Diocese (based on this geographic location) is a village in the elven forest-country of D’ourden.  Once a major hub of trade, the village has seen better days.

Formerly known as Ceske, the village was founded 1,194 BCE (years Before the Common Era).  Originally developed as a trade hamlet along a road linking D’ourden to the dwarf country of Moradin and the (then) human land of Carpathia, the elves eventually settled around the area and developed a small village amidst the forest.  The village was developed on prosperous grounds, as the elves found the area was suitable for brewing wine and beer, growing grain and fishing.

Ceske gained its current name, Diocese (translated from elven to the common tongue means “end of gods”), from the numerous tragedies that have befallen the village.  In 337 CE, a vicious skirmish between Alliance and Scourge forces destroyed the village.  During the skirmish, a Scourge mage called down the sorcerous art of the black rain upon the land.  While the black rain falls, divine magic is suppressed (clerics/druids/paladins/rangers can’t cast spells, for example).  This was an effective tactic of the Scourge, suppress divine magic so the Alliance couldn’t heal their fallen troops…handy, especially when the Alliance relied on healing to keep their numbers relatively even to the overwhelming numbers of the Scourge.  One soldier who survived the battle recalled the horrible struggle,” Its as if the gods themselves had failed us, as if they had abandoned us, as if they had died.”

In the dark times that followed, Ceske spent most of its time being rebuilt.  Of course, as fate would have it so, the village would be destroyed again in 873 CE.  A massive battle between Xar Ascalon’s forces and a combined alliance of Moradin, Byzantine, and Azure forces resulted in the black rain appearing again (Xar Ascalon conjured the magic), as well as the destruction of the forest east of the river.  Currently, Diocese is undergoing repairs.  This time, the process has quickened, as Moradin, Voron, Latium, Carpathia, and Azure have pooled resources together to get D’ourden back on its feet.  Of course, the village still faces its fair share of problems.  One such set includes the spike in the murder rate around the village.  The escape of Nebin, a gnome serial killer, from prison has not quelled the common people’s fears that they may be next.

As the PCs head to this god-forsaken village, sinister events began to unravel.  Sinister events that involve the aforementioned gnome serial killer.

The harsh storm of midnight begins to taper off, as five fishermen (two elves, one human, one dwarf, one halfling) gather at the river’s edge to look over their catch of the night.  Each of the fishermen have permits allowing them to be up past the town-imposed curfew.  For their own safety, the fishermen are being watched over by two town watchmen, as well as an elf druid some distance away.

“Okay, let’s see what we got,” one of the fishermen, a halfling, says as he holds his oil lantern over the net of captive fish.  As he holds the lantern over the fish, all of the fishermen elicit sighs and remarks of disgust.  The halfling fishermen gasps,” Ugh…  It’s impossible!”  “Me thinks me gonna be sick,” another fisherman, this one a dwarf, mutters.  “All of them,” a human fishermen reveals,” with that psychopath’s, smiling, laughing face!”  “Looks just like him!” one of the elf fishermen exclaims, as the other elf goes for the guards.

The fish, most of them being trout, have lost all their identifying features.  Now, the fish have a pale yellow, anchovies-ish appearance.  A name is soon coined for the fish, “laughing fish” or “smiling fish”.  This is because all of the fish now “smile”, with red, ruby lips and sparkling, white teeth.

That morning, the village is alive with the news of the “laughing fish.”  The population fears the fish are another of Nebin’s ingenious ploys of mass murder.  How or why he “poisoned” the fish is not yet known, but it doesn’t take long for the village watch to impose a quarantine on these fish until further notice.  A few individuals, mainly druids and rangers, take some fish to see if they are, indeed, edible.  Without fish to eat, a great deal of the village’s source for food is cut off.

Such a quarantine is ill news for the village’s seafood restaurant:  The Kraken’s Seafood Pub.  The restaurant, located in the southwest corner of the town square, is deserted today.  The only person inside is the pub’s elf owner, Enal Clearwater.  He fills his mug with beer, attempting to drown out the bad day.  Unfortunately, his day is only going to get worse…

“Look alive, feudal slave,” a jet black-haired human woman robed in red and black carols,” presenting the antic assassin, that killing kibitzer, the comedic cutthroat, the one and only, Nebin!”  She moves to the side, as a servant would do when a king appears.  Into the room walks a short, pale-skinned gnome whose skin is tinted with a hue of yellow.  He belts out a maniacal, bone-chilling laugh as he removes the wide-brimmed black hat that rested atop his golden locks of hair..  This is Nebin.  He wears a lavish, purple suit trimmed with silver under his black winter overcoat.

“Good g-gods,” Mr. Clearwater stammered, horrified by the reality that killer gnome is here in his office!  “Where!?” Nebin asks, turning around quickly before adding,” Oh, ha ha ha!  I see, that was just an expression of…admiration?  Mr. Clearwater, please, I have no time for flattery.”  “I-I wasn’t trying,” Enal tries to add before Nebin cuts him off, “We merchants of business and trade have arrangements to discuss.”

“A-arrangements?” Enal nervously asks.  “For my fish, of course,” Nebin explains, calmly,” this has all been worked out weeks in advance.  You are merely the last, tiny obstacle in my plan so don’t speak to me again,” Nebin’s voice rises angrily before soothing again,” ‘kay?”

“Now, what has everyone in this sterile village been gossiping about,” Nebin asks, imposing a question on Enal.  Moments pass, the seconds seem like hours to Enal Clearwater.  Nebin begins to drum his hands on the table, gazing at Enal and smiling.  Uncertain of whether to answer, Enal replies nervously,” Y-y-your fish?”  Nebin’s face changes from being very calm and relaxed to anger.  He brandishes a fish from his coat and smacks Enal across the face with it.  “I told you not to speak!”

As Enal rubs his right cheek gingerly, Nebin continues,” As I was saying, since every fish along this area of the river bears my famous,and quite frankly, fabulous, face, I should be getting a cut of the profit of every fish product sold!  Hundreds, if not, thousands of gold pieces a day to fund my happily, hedonistic lifestyle!”  Nebin jumps into a chair across from Enal and props his feet up on the table before adding,” So, how much longer do we have to negotiate?”  A moment passes before Nebin rectifies his mistake,” Oh sorry, good sir, you may speak now.”

Enal’s eyes and voices reflect his nervousness.  “N-n-n-no one can g-g-get a profit on f-fish by c-c-copyrighting them, they’re a n-n-natural resource.”  Nebin’s calm, smiling face turns into one of dismay as he states,” But they share my unique face!”  “I-I-I can’t help it, it’s the law!” Enal tries to explain the situation to Nebin.  It’s all in vain, as Nebin’s face turns into one of disgust.  “Hm, trying to cheat me, eh?” Nebin asks, baring his teeth before calmly smiling again.  “That’s okay,” Nebin asks,” we’ll see who has the last laugh between the two of us.”  Enal gulps as Nebin rises from his chair and points a finger at Enal and threatens,” You have until tonight to change your mind, Enal, or you’ll be the poorest fish of all!”  Nebin places the hat upon his head, emitting the same bone-chilling laugh he made when he entered.  His associate, the human woman dressed in red and black, blows a kiss towards Enal as she leaves.  “Buh-bye,” she expresses cheerfully.

“He’s crazy.”  The only words Enal can bring himself to say.  The poor elf prays to Corelleon Larethian that this encounter was all just an influence of being drunk.  He remains in this state for another hour, when the PCs enter the pub…

Helluva introduction…  Part III (final part until next session) coming soon.

Big Brother is watching you!

Friday the 13th

There are reasons why Friday the 13th is considered to be an unlucky day.  Reasons like my car breaking down on me as I was driving home for school.  Engine or battery trouble, I’m not real sure.  So, now I’m deprived of transportation I like.  I have to drive my mom’s car indefinitely (she said it wouldn’t take too long to repair the car, but she said that when it broke down the first time…two years ago…).  Her car is a little massive for my tastes, but I don’t really have a choice.  I can only imagine the awesomity of just sitting at home, having all my homework/notes/tests appear on Edline, being free of people that don’t care for me (and vice-versa), and just having school at home.

…Anyway, on with better news…

I’m really surprised with how well D&D turned out yesterday.  Ian didn’t show, but everyone else really enjoyed themselves.  The players (minus Ian) met up at a wayside shrine to Fharlanghn (the god of roads), all on the way to the same village.  The PCs weren’t going any further for the night because they’d been traveling all day (or in Lord Freman’s case, six years) and the weather was awful that night.  Besides, the married clergy couple that were maintaining the shrine were very welcoming and had plenty of food to supply our would-be heroes.

Things of note: comedy and light-hearted mood.  When Lord Freman entered the tent, he saw the other PCs…Sigmund (David’s PC) and Tharivol (Steve’s PC, whose name I incorrectly gave last time).  Since Tharivol has a poor charisma attribute, so he was described as having horrible table manners.  What a great description…”On one end of the table, you see a human cleric eating with etiquette.  On the other end, an elf is wolfing down soup at an alarming (but amazing) rate.”  Another good scene was Sigmund hitting on the woman who ran the shrine, right in front of her husband (though, in Sigmund’s defense, he didn’t know).

Anyway, the PCs stay and since Tharivol is an elf, he only needs to sleep for 4 hours.  He wakes up, and hears something moving in the trees.  He walks out into the woods as a young, beautiful elven woman walks in.  Tharivol ignores her and follows the sound to its source: an elf, armed with a crossbow, scoping out his target in the tent just some yards away.  Tharivol was so quiet (impressive, since the ground is soaked from last night’s storm), he has the jump on the elf.  He takes aim with his longbow, fires…

…and misses!  The arrow whistles through the tree’s leaves, pelting the elf “assassin” with drops of rain.  This does not deter the elf from his mission.  He fires a crossbow bolt that penetrates through the tent’s cover and hits his target, the male cleric of Fharlanghn.  The cleric and his wife were preoccupied with talking to the elven woman, so they didn’t expect this event in the least.  The crossbow bolt punches through the man’s left lung and heart.  He collapses to the ground, dead.  The wife lets out a scream that awakens Lord Freman (Sigmund lets out a loud snore) falls to her knees and tries to see if she can heal him.  Before she can even check the pulse, however, the elven woman takes out a mace and smacks the now, single wife in the back of the head, killing her too.

The party is incredibly pissed now, and Tharivol seeks to redeem himself.  The elf “assassin” (I’m using quotes because he’s actually a low-level rogue), having been spotted but killed his target, attempts to flee the scene.  He jumps out of the tree, but on the way down, he’s hit in the leg by one of Tharivol’s arrows.  Crippled, but still quick, the “assassin” still attempts to retreat.  Tharivol will have none of it, and another arrow in the back sends the “assassin” to the wet ground.  Tharivol then humiliates his fellow elf by dragging him, through the mud, back to the tent.

Meanwhile, Lord Freman and Sigmund decide to subdue the elf woman.  Before the two of them can act, however, the woman waves her hands and speaks in an alien tongue, conjuring up a mist of fog.  This fog effectively conceals her from the PC’s sight and frustrates the party’s attempts to hit her with melee attacks.  The woman is pleased with the execution of her plan, and is about to make her escape in the woods when she sees Tharivol shoot down her companion.  Her escape attempt blocked, she attempts to run the hell the other way, praying to her deity.

The gods did not favor her that day, for as she runs, Sigmund hears her and even anticipates where she’s going.  He intercepts her, charges at her with his spear drawn, leaps, and his god-given powers assist him in impaling the elven maiden in the ground.  With both killers rendered helpless and harmless, the “interrogations” begin.

The elf cleric is the first to be questioned.  She refuses to answer, prompting Lord Freman to lose patience.  He takes his greatsword and severs a couple of her fingers, in an effort to intimidate her into talking.  The cleric, stubbornly, refuses to talk (or maybe she can’t because she’s bleeding to death, but whatever).  Freman gives up, and puts his greatsword through the cleric’s skull, splintering its fragments across the wet grass.

Tharivol, however, takes a kinder approach.  He attempts to heal the “assassin”, but can’t seem to stop the bleeding (that, and its incredibly difficult to calm and heal someone bleeding to death, while they have to endure the agony of listening to their friend getting her fingers severed or skull splintered).  Sigmund, however, uses his spells to magically close the wound (though, still leave the rogue in a dying state).

The killer talks, spilling the beans on whatever the party needs to know.  The two killers were hired by an elven man named Searos, the local town priest for the church of Corelleon Larethian, god of the elves.  He recently resigned a few weeks ago for unknown reasons.  He has been hiring criminals to murder victims.  All he asks in return is for loyalty, secrecy, and the victims’ bodies, presumably to build an undead army of skeletons and zombies and the like.  The killer talks, but then asks for a request:  that the PCs do not kill him, and instead, take him to jail and let the law decide his fate.  The party agrees (with Lord Freman even asking his god for forgiveness because of what he did earlier, and possibly realize diplomacy is a more rewarding tool than intimidation).

With that settled, the PCs took the criminal to the village of Diocese.

Part II coming later…and I like how I switched from a reflection to a narrative of the session in mid-entry.

It’s Halloween, everyone’s entitled to one good scare.

Senior Trip

The Good
+ The bus ride to and from D.C. wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
+ Lunch on the first day wasn’t too bad.  Especially when we trying to KO the birds with carrots.
+ Going to the Native American Museum and buying this really cool rattler that wards off evil spirits (though it looks more like a satanic wand).
+ Seeing monkeys and reptiles at the National Zoo.
+ Paying $4 for food and getting extra.
+ Getting Batman, Batman Begins, and Ozzy’s Diary of a Madman for about $20.  Maybe I should start buying things used?
+ Watching TV while the rest of the class was ice-skating.
+ Pizza Hut!
+ Getting back to the hotel in time to watch the new South Park.
+ The World War II/Korean/Lincoln Memorials (and getting a WWII vet badge for my dead grandfathers).
+ The FDR Memorial.
+ Having one of the coolest outfits at the dinner theatre (John’s Blue Brothers outfit was good, Matt had a weatherman’s coat, and a bunch of people liked what I wore, so I’m content).
+ CATS (Rum Tum Tugger and awesome maneuvers).
+ The Holocaust Museum.

The Bad
– We were late to just about everything (why do we the students need to be prompt and meet deadlines if the bus drivers themselves can’t?).
– Lunch, on the other days, was horribly expensive.  Didn’t help matters that we ate…a lot.
– The Cathedral tour.  Going to a service would’ve been more exciting.
– The Dinner Theatre’s food and service (chicken was too marinated for my taste, and they seemed to rush me while I was eating.  I’ll take my time, thank you very much.  You’ll be here all night anyway, and getting a 15% tip from me so leave me alone!).
–  CATS (weird is good, but they mispronounced a bunch of stuff.  Its “jellicle cat” not “gelical cat,” “angelical cat,” or “gelatin cat”).
– The “mall” we ate lunch at on the third day.  It had, maybe, five stores…

The Ugly
– Waiting outside the Supreme Court for over an hour, just so I could sit in on a three minute hearing.  Yeah, that’s not a waste of time or anything.
– Security at the Supreme Court.
– I hate pictures and people who try to take pictures of me for no clear, logical reason.
– Paying $150 for class dues, and realizing they went to this rundown, slummy hotel that was run by thieves (Gabe left some spare change on a counter on the morning of the second day, then he came back that afternoon and it was gone, and our room just so happened to be cleaned up…).
– The tour through the Capitol building.
– The tour guide herself (she pissed me off).
– Security at the Capitol building (according to the awful tour guide woman, being interested in the tour makes me a terrorist).
– That one woman and man we listened to in the Methodist building on the third day (just because they were idiots.  Gun violence?  Our crime rate is at its lowest point in thirty years.  Even so, taking away guns won’t stop crime.  Nothing will.  People should only seek to lower it.  Taking away guns won’t do that, we’ll have the Prohibition thing all over again, only with guns this time.  Violence doesn’t solve anything?  That’s wishful thinking.  Violence has solved more problems throughout history than anything else.  I wonder how these people look at the crucifixion of Christ…  If violence doesn’t solve anything, then I guess Christ being nailed to a cross did nothing for the rest of mankind.  And don’t get me started on what they said about the Iranian leader…).
– Security at the Holocaust Museum (I actually lost my patience with this guy.  He heard a few choice words from me and we’ll leave it at that).


I had fun, but it wasn’t the great, memorable experience I was told it would be.  No thumbs up or down.  I’m right in the middle on this one.  I could’ve stayed at school for three days, and the class wouldn’t have missed me (regardless of people telling me otherwise).  Oh well…I went for the Holocaust Museum, the only reason that kept me from not going.  The Holocaust Museum was a worthwhile expierence, but I had to wait two days for it.  Almost makes me wonder if it was worth it…

I needed someone I can trust.  I had to settle for you.