Searching for a nice picnic spot


Michael,

Forgive me for not writing sooner. I have … I have been down a strange road.You may have heard rumours, that I was dead, that I was alive, that I had changed. Many of them true, it grieves me to say. But at the end, I could not betray my friends, and the god had no further use for me. From it all I have learned little, I think, but an abiding respect for those who deal with the gods. Many mages dismiss those who dabble in the holy and profane. Not I, anymore. I have stared over the lip of the abyss, nearly fallen in. Such beings – it awes me that any mortal could traffic with them. And yet so many do. I will leave them to it.

As to Freedonia, the tale is more simply told, if no less dire. We seem to be the epicenter of a major incursion from the first world. And no mere planar concurrence, soon to pass; but an organised attack by a powerful noble among the fey. The duchess, or queen, or whatever is fated to die by a certain sword which we have in our posession. There have been large scale occurences around the kingdom – vast whirlpools in the lakes, armies of small twig men. Every night our capital is buffetted by nighmares, and these nighmares pull summoned creatures into our reality (I belive it’s a gate rather than a summoning, as the corpses of the creatures are left behind if they are slain, but this is a technical point).

As the nightmares seem to attack the more prominent citizens, we the court have taken to sleeping in the arena, that the commons might not be harassed by what our dreams pull in from the first world.

But we have hope from a curious quarter.

We have found a children’s book – Zutteger’s Picnic. Although oddly dreamlike and altered, the events in the book match the events in the real world. That is: this author seems to have written out some sort of prophecy. The childrens book descibes the whirlpool, describes the army of twig men. It describes an icy graveyard, which we found in our mountain range. Most of all, the book centers around a hunt for a crow (who had stolen his spoon). In all of these dreams we have been having, the image of a crow, or great black bird, is always in the backgound. I believe that this bird is she herself – the fey queen (or duchess, or whatever) that we face.

So we have been traipsing around the kingdom, trying to match locations to the events in this children’s book. Happily, I have grown skilled enough to cast spells that makes this a great deal easier.

These days we Shadow Walk to a hex on the overland map, and Teleport back to Fort Tuskwater. Switch teleports half the party, and Kevin (not his actual name – Bevis’ paladin) uses a Helm of Teleportaion to teleport the other half. If we need to move around, Rainor rides Rainen, Kevin rides his Kirin, and Switch does a Phantom Steed for everyone else, which flies and lasts 28 hours. Getting from A to B is not a challenge for a 15th level party.

If anyone follows my blog, we have missed out a bunch of real-world stuff. Scott has gone to Wollongong, Bevis has returned. But in game they were both playing paladins, so it has been pretty seamless, there. Andrew has switched from playing Duke Jope to playing a sorcerer and a cohort dwarf oracle of Desna. Switch had been looking for a cleric of Desna for some time what with the whole Zon Kuthon business. Currently Andrew is playing Jope again, as the large-scale narrative kinda centers around the duke.

So. The book describes a waterfall, and we have tries a couple of locations in the kingdom to find it. We went to the Shrike Cascade, which were inhabited by these odd centaur-fey things. I used my new spell: “Freezing Sphere”, and it was most fun. These things were quite nasty, actually. Not a problem for me, as I was Flying at the time, but they nearly killed Fiver (the Oracle of Desna).

This party is juuuust about getting to the point where D&D becomes a little silly. Everyone seriously kicks ass. Switch dropped two Freezing Spheres (14d8), a Chain Lightning (14d6) and a quickened Fireball (10d6), oh and then some Scorching Rays to mop up. Remeber – Arcane Trickster with sniper goggles. Three scorching rays, each one doing 4d6+6d6 sneak attack +12 if the target is within 30′. And a rod of Quicken Spell, so she ges off two of those.

Meanwhile Rainor is smacking these things with the Bow of Herne (bane human and fey), Jope is being Jope, and Kevin is using a lance with Spirited Charge and some sort of abilty that effectively transmutes it into cold iron.

These things were aquatic fey with some nasty, nasty abilites, but the Freezing Sphere turned the entire waterfall to ice six inches thick. Which kinda fucked it up for them. Oh, also they conjured a mist granting them concealment, but both Switch and Fiver have Greater Dispel Magic.

To give them credit, they did nearly kill Fiver with some sort of poisoned wave of water ability.

After this, we were thinking of visiting the other falls upstream to the north, but really these fey would be doing something more spectacular. So went instead to the river that feeds Lake Silverstep. Pretty, but nothing there. We went to the waterfall behind Vordakai’s tomb. Not as pretty, and nothing there either.

But we had another lead. Up at cloudarc is some sort of portal to the fey realm, and Zack Jackson (Have you ever heard of him? Professional vandal pretending to be an archeologist) saw something inside that matches one of the scenes in Zutteger’s Picnic. So we headed there.

The mythal still defends the place, so we had to ascend on foot. I had never been there, you know. It’s a temple, a monk temple. Plain food, and people practising martial forms. There are creatures here (I am writing this from the temple) which, well aparently there’s a bit of a history. They were evil things under the control of the fey when his Majesty cleaned it out, and now it seems they are not. I don’t know what they are. Insectoid, but not Thri-Kreen. They tend the plants and practise the monk fighting forms, but they and the Kobolds are not able to communicate at all. I’m making a speaking-stick for them (tounges once per day – should take me about two days to do). Perhaps its not actually a good idea, maybe they’d be better off learning to coomunicate in their own way. But, well, I’ll make it anyway.

Rainor is hanging about, doing monky things. Koans and whatnot (what do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?). The other two, I’m not sure. I imagine Jope has found some alcohol, and Kevin is busilly trying to convince the monks to be fanaticlly dedicated to a god, which just isn’t going to work, you know.

Oh, I should mention.

I have finally done as I have been meaning to do ever since our heirloom fell to me to bear. I have added an enchanment on top of the other enchantments he bears – Freedom of Movement. I would have loved to add to his power to grant additional spells to his wearer, but honestly it’s a bit beyond me and all things considered this enchantment might be a better choice. Since the first Verdant was – well – like me, it seems that whoever of us bears this ring will always be getting into scrapes. Dimension Door twice a day would have been an option, too (always pack two – one to get into trouble, and one to get out of it). But I think I have done the right thing.

You honour your house, Verdant-daughter. You honour me. I shall bear this gift of your power for as long as I and your house endures. When the time comes, pass me to another. I am not yours to keep forever.
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One Response to Searching for a nice picnic spot

  1. BrettW says:

    Nice writeup! You missed the insanity of the T-Rex, but that was just crazy.

    While those freaky riders on the Shrike Cascade went down pretty easily, they managed to knock off like 2/3rds of Rainin’s health in the first round o_O

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