Kingmaker

Journal of Ser Bannon White, Volume 17 Entry 2
Session 1

1 Calistril, 4720

We arrived at the trading post at midday, and in the subsequent preparations needed to defend this site against the impending bandit party, I have found it useful to catalog the general state of the buildings and their function. In providing a thorough accounting for the sake of posterity, I will record all useful information below.

Fort sketch The post is a simple affair, run down with age and neglect. This is not to be a slight against the proprietors, Oleg and Svetlana, as life on the frontier has historically been quite demanding, and with frequent raids by thieves and robbers, it is no small wonder that the palisades still stand at all.

At present, the geometry of the fort lacks the ideal star shape, but at least the corner towers protrude from the rest of the walls, allowing archers to fire against any foes adjacent to the structure. Should this fort ever be expanded, I must make careful note to Oleg of this better shape such that the fort will find itself in time as a comforting beacon to future settlers of these Stolen Lands.

Within each tower sits a catapult, all in varying states of disrepair. The northeastern engine is most damaged – in time we may be able to salvage serviceable parts for the remaining three from its corpse.

The fort itself contains only a stables, guest house, storage shed, and a home-inventory combination for the Levetons. None of these structures are built out of anything more sturdy than wood and thatch. This, too, will need to change.

[In the margin is written a small note: quarry and laborers needed long-term. Captured bandits to serve as penal labor? Supply line will require guard patrols.]

For now, however, we prepare for the more immediate: A bandit party, expecting their monthly dues, will arrive tomorrow at dawn. We are expecting a party of four to eight, who in turn will not be expecting us. In order to 1. Discern the location of their larger camp, and 2. Ensure no one is able to escape and alert their superiors, the greatest matter of importance is ensuring we can entrap these brigands. To this end, Jac secured two suitable logs, hidden near the front gates. He and Liluye shall remain hidden outside, until the bandits enter. At which point, they will shut the gates and brace the logs into two small divots Jac and I dug earlier. I pray this will be enough.

Of my companions, only Delrus seems to be looking forward to the morn. Whether this is the truth or simply a mask for our benefit, I cannot discern. However, should it be the former, and be it not borne from naivete, I will be concerned. Never have I met a man of suitable character who relishes the prospect of killing. His past as a highwayman makes more sense, in that regard.


Abadar, Protector of the First Vault, I write these words so that they may be read again by whoever holds this book, and in thinking of you, find your Word spread. Grant me the strength to protect this family; calm my mind such that I shall not falter in the recitation of the martial forms; and should I fall, let these pages find safe harbor and give succor to those who come after.

View
Beaten by Mites?
2nd Session

Deep in the dark of night, beneath the trees of a wood on the north-eastern edge of the River Kingdoms, a blinding light flared suddenly; as though a star had arrived on the earth of Golarion. Jac Steele swiftly dropped the glowing rod he held and rolled back out of the clearing. He sprang to his feet and drew an already loaded crossbow in one fluid motion, turning to face the glare just as the three blue-skinned goblinoid creatures scurried back towards the broken log from which they had first emerged. Each of the mites had covered it’s bulging eyes, shielding them from the glow, and one had even left its small flint knife buried in the flank of the horse lying in a pool of its own blood, breathing raggedly, it’s eyes rolling.

“Zon-Kuthon take you bastards,” Jac swore quietly as he allowed himself to feel the pain from his own wounds. One of the creatures had stabbed clean through his left wrist and the surge of agony nearly caused Jac to drop his crossbow. “Why’d you do dat t’ Calathes? I jest bought dat gods damned horse. He’s new!” The man stooped, still watching through the tree line, and picked up the rapier he’d dropped, gritting his teeth against the throb from his wrist as he did so. The lean, dark horse was clearly still alive, though badly wounded and unable to move, and Jac wasn’t about to let those things kill it if it could be helped.

Daring to glance away for a moment, Jac located a large oak whose roots held a recess large enough for a man to lie in. In the light from the sunrod, Jac could make out a small den beneath the tree. His skill as a woodsman and a smuggler told him that it had probably belonged to a badger or other large creature, but hadn’t been used in some time. It would make an excellent hiding spot until Jac’s allies arrived.

With both weapons hanging uselessly from his hands he backed slowly and stealthily toward the tree. His foot struck the roots and he tossed the rapier in the hollow before sliding, feet first, in after it. He braced the crossbow on a root, aimed to cover his wounded horse, and pulled leaves and detritus in to cover him. With some of the natural groundcover balanced carefully on his wide-brimmed hat, Jac settled down and blended almost perfectly in with the rest of the woods. Only the steel glint of the bolt’s head and the shine of Jac’s amber eyes gave away his position. From here he could act as a sniper while his comrades took out the vile creatures below.

He had ridden out a little ahead of them to act as a scout, a natural fit given his experience. He’d carefully left a trail for them to follow and only hoped they’d arrive quickly. The group had set out several hours ago on a mission to disrupt the operations of a group of bandits in the area. Though Jac, himself, had little interest in bringing the men to justice, Svetlana had asked for his help and the gods knew she and her husband, Oleg, deserved better than to be constantly subjected to thugs and petty thieves.

Jac smiled as he rememberd the kiss he had stolen from Svetlana just that morning. He and his party had handily defeated the ruffians who came for their tribute, even capturing three of the four. The kind folk at the trading post had been duly impressed and delighted to have received his help and Svetlana had moved to kiss Jac’s forhead after Oleg ran off to thank the others of Jac’s group. Jac couldn’t resist and had moved to catch her lips with his own in a brief peck. Svetlana may be a motherly sort, but, as Jac was fond of saying, every woman is a flower; some may be more shapely than others, but they all have their beauty. She had not begrudged him the act.

At least I have that to keep me warm while I wait, Jac thought. His mind wandered to the lips of Lilu and her brother, Delrus. The brother was quite handsome, but was also the source of Jac’s suspicion, while the sister had already developed a special report with Jac. Where are those comrades of mine, anyway? he wondered, thinking now of Ser Bannon’s steel sword and the barbarian child Kelak’s well defined muscles. If they’d kept pace with him, they should have been less than a minute behind him and Jac was starting to get concerned. He’d been very careful in checking the path for dangers to his allies. That was how he’d gotten into his current predicament; by checking the broken log near the mushroom fairy ring in the clearing in a hollow in the haunted woods. An obvious jeopardy made more obvious by the chittering noises coming from the fallen tree. When he’d dismounted to examine the precise nature of the risk, the varmints had attacked him, leaping from the darkness with their knives and babbling something in undercommon. Jac was unprepared, having expected, in all honesty, spiders, and the mites had managed to stab him and his horse repeatedly, badly wounding them both.

Still, the rest of the wood had been quiet and without any peril more serious than the thorny bushes he’d passed an hour ago. Jac could think of nothing that would have slowed the group. Not unless Kelak had killed another horse. That kid and horses did not get along.

Something shifted in the clearing, interrupting Jac’s thoughts. His attention swiftly focused on the log and his finger tightened on the crossbow’s trigger. Three full minutes went by without further sign of movement and Jac relaxed slightly, his mind returning to its wanderings.

He was sure that Ser Bannon would have stopped Kelak from doing anything foolish. If not him, Lilu certainly wouldn’t stand for it. She had some strange notion that Kelak’s totem animal was a horse, though Jac couldn’t see why in the names of the gods that would be true. What could possibly be holding them up then, Jac didn’t know.

Maybe Delrus decided I was too much trouble, after all. He and Jac had gotten to bickering a bit over the interrogation of the prisoners. It seemed logical to Jac that everyone be involved in the questioning so that no information was lost and so that multiple avenues could be pursued. Delrus had seemed to disagree and had sent the party away. True, a couple people, Jac included, had pulled weapons on one of the prisoners…

Jac’s concerns had been further aroused when Delrus began offering one of the bandits a position in a new band of brigands, serving under the former pirate. While he had no overt objection to joining a band of benign outlaws, Jac would at least like to be asked, so he took his concerns to Lilu. Delrus had seemed to develop a dislike of Jac from early on, perhaps because the smuggler was so flirtatious with his sister, and had been resistant to engaging with the man. Jac hoped that his report with Lilu would allow him to get some information on the de facto leader of the group and help him set everything in context. What Liluye would reveal would only worry Jac further.

The leaves at the base of an old ache rustled as Jac stirred beneath them, his joints now beginning to ache with sitting still so long. It was now well past midnight and still no sign of his friends. He cautiously moved to set his wounded hand over the pouch strung on his belt. He had stored a piece of paper in that pouch, on which he’d traced the copy of a strange symbol. According to Lilu, that symbol was carved into the hilt of the dagger that was found amidst the slaughter of Delrus’s last crew.

The sister had confessed to Jac that her brother was here, exploring the Stolen Lands for the mayor of Restov, because he was running from the mysterious evil that had killed so many of his friends. While Jac could sympathize, Delrus had put the whole band in danger without warning and it now seemed that he may be genuine in his desire to recreate a gang subservient to him. What purpose Delrus would use such a gang for, Jac could only guess; theft, murder, and revenge all seemed viable options.

Liluye, too, had seemed concerned that this may be the case, claiming she felt she had been tricked into coming along. Jac only hoped she now felt the trip was worth it. After all, she would never have met him, if she hadn’t. He smiled beneath his concealment at his own arrogance.

Of course, Delrus had denied any malicious intent when confronted and had promised to send the captives north to the authorities. Whether or not he really would have done so was made irrelevant when a contingent came from the capital in answer to the requests for aid sent by Oleg and Svetlana.

Jac shivered as he realized he’d begun to lose focus. The sound of hoof beats and a low roaring roused him from his mental meanderings. His gaze shifted to the track he’d left as he heard someone dismounting. A sigh of relief escaped him as he recognized Ser Bannon’s tabbard through the trees. The cause of both the delay and the roaring became immediately apparent as Jac spotted Kelak riding a horse. In customary fashion, the boy threw himself bodily off the animal as soon as it came to a stop, the roar dying as he did so. Stealth would not be an option, even if Jac hadn’t already alerted the mites.

Jac Steele burst out of the treeline and into the path, leaves still falling from his hat and blood dripping from his wrist and soaking his clothes in several spots, his heavy crossbow hanging from his hand.

“What in de hells took ye so long?” he demanded, smiling all the while. Lilu’s gaze fixed on the blood while her brother, Delrus, asked what had happened.

“There are dree mites down der,” Jac pointed to the clearing. “Ah thought you guys’d be right behind me.” Kelak was already running for the clearing, Ser Bannon following at a more practical pace.

“The horse we borrowed for Kelak is already exhausted,” explained the former pirate. Lilu stepped forward and spoke a few strange words, reaching out to touch Jac’s wounded arm. Glowing vines of green light twisted out of her hand and enveloped Jac, burrowing into his wounds before withdrawing, leaving healed flesh in their wake. Jac shuddered involuntarily. It wasn’t the first time he’d been healed by magic, but it was always strange. “Thank you,” he said, tipping his hat to the druid. “Calathes is down der, unconscious.” The elf was the one who had told Jac his horse’s name, so he knew he wouldn’t need to elaborate. Her concerned gaze shifted to follow Kelak.

The child was already in mid-leap, his axe raised over his head. With a thunderous crash, Kelak brought the weapon down on one half of the log, shattering it. One of the mites scurried out just as the tree exploded and tried to stab at the barbarian. Kelak’s axe came up in a back swing and the blue-skinned creature’s body fell away in two pieces.

The other two creatures were now hissing and screaming in their fell language as they braved the light to avenge their comrade, each shooting a dart from their blowguns at Kelak. The boy dodged the first and the second struck him clean in the forehead, bouncing harmlessly off.

Jac’s bolt took the second mite through the chest as it began to charge Kelak, causing the mite to fly across the clearing and pinning its body to a tree. The third was reduced to pulp by the might of Kelak’s blow and the wood fell silent.

“Ah guess Ah jest needed de help of a few good friends,” Jac said.

View
Liluye's Decision
Session 3
Adventurelog1
Liluye takes the time to speak candidly with Kressle.


The boys were done interrogating Kressle. In Liluye’s opinion, they had done a poor job. The elf took it upon herself to speak with their prisoner.

Kressle was very willing to talk with the druid. This could have been due to the fact that she was a woman, or that she was an elf, or simply that Liluye radiated sincerity. Kressle valued her freedom more than anything else. Imprisonment and death were one and the same to the tough-as-nails human. It had to be execution with the Charter’s blessing. But Delrus’ brief intervention added another element to their conversation.

Kressle was willing to exchange a wealth of information regarding the ominous mark in exchange for her freedom. The human swore on her freedom that she would not return to the Stag Lord’s keep until three months passed… which would give the group sufficient time to plan their attack.

Liluye debated on whether or not to make the exchange. She could sense Kressle’s motive; the woman did not believe they could defeat the Stag Lord. The ranger would keep her word and lay low for the agreed upon time. There was no time to explain to the group; it was take the deal now or leave it forever. To discuss this decision with the other party members would nullify it and, most likely, result in Kressle’s death – and with her the pertinent information regarding the ominous mark. Information that could help solve the mystery of who killed her brother’s men. Information that could possibly help keep her sibling, and by extension the party, safe.

But to set Kressle free would certainly confuse and alarm Ser Bannon and Jac and Kelak in the meantime. How could one explain a gut feeling with credibility? Sometimes, Liluye just knew things.

In the background, Liluye could hear her brother’s cheery off-tune singing.

“…Three months.” Liluye agreed.

~
View
The Darkness Beneath the Sycamore
Session 4

It was raining.

Lightly, at first – a fresh shower. But the sky would soon darken, and the heavens deliver a torrent upon the already soft earth of the rolling hills and forests.

The boy stood and turned his face towards the sky, fat drops of water smearing the ash and the animal-fat pigment caked there from days ago. He ran a hand through his hair – still choked with mud, filth, and twigs from the morning – making a half-hearted attempt at removing the larger clumps. These he tossed casually onto the ground – landing near the corpses of some small reptilian beast and some of the blue-skinned beasts like at the Bright Clearing. These were too old for food, and bore no valuables for taking, but Chief Bann’ohn had deemed them important, and so the boy waited.

The other hunter was crouched in the dirt, over a jumble of animal tracks, the steadily-increasing rain already beading off of the large, strangely-shaped helmet of leather to pool in the paw prints before him. With his leather drape trailing behind him on the grass, he looked well-at-ease, and as the boy suppressed a shiver in the early spring rain, he could not help but respect the hunter. Tracking beasts was a skill he had never learned from his father, although the old man had tried to instruct him in the rudiments of the craft.

Crouched beside the Hunter was the tribe’s Wise Woman, an Ahlf, Chief Bann’ohn had called her. The boy knew that this meant she was not like him, but different, and that she had long, blade-shaped ears, like a fox. It may also be that all Ahlf were women – of this the boy was not sure – it seemed to be a subject none wished to discuss. The Wise Woman was consulting with the other Hunter, Jak – no doubt advising him in his hunt. Perhaps the boy would speak with Jak later – although the Wise Woman was often helpful, and it was important to have one in a tribe, she was not always right, and a warrior should trust himself as well.

At last some decision was reached, and a direction chosen. After much travel, with the others on their horses (Still no accounting for why, though. At this rate, they will always be slow) the tribe broke into an open field, in the distance of which could be seen a great tree, mightier and taller than any the boy had lain eyes on.

Advancing into the clearing, the ground was littered with more corpses, both of reptile-beasts and blue-things-that-scream. They are small, and frail, like Kellid lamb-girls, but with scales, or blue, and hideous faces. All are dead of battle-wounds – a mighty battle for such little warriors.

The tribe finally crossed the battlefield, arriving at the tree, and after tying up their horses, found a muddy hole which Chief Bann’ohn said must be the lair of the blue-things-that-scream. Where he knew this, the boy did not know, but perhaps the cheif knows these things, which the boy had never seen before. The rest of the tribe seemed eager to agree, and so the boy pushed himself into the hole, ready to crush the tiny bodies of more blue beasts.

Before he could get down the narrow chute inside, however, a pair of thin hands grabbed the boy’s ankles, holding him fast, and muffled words echoed behind him. Tugging his head out of the dirty tunnel, the boy found the Wise Woman clasped on to his legs, as she counciled Chief Bann’ohn not to enter the lair of the blue-things-that-scream so hastily. She may have been wise, but this was not her time. Now was the time to destroy the enemies of the tribe, and get vengeance for the attack on the Hunter Jak. Now was the time to slay blue-things-that-scream, and take back the ring of the good wife of the warrior Oh’lehk, and make a good allegiance with their tribe (who had many strong warriors) by returning what was stolen. The Wise Woman was good, but did not know all. Now was the time for warriors.

The boy threw himself in to the tunnel, proud to take blood for the tribe. Strangely, the Wise Woman did not let go – she held tight to his ankles, arriving down in the same dirt-walled chamber as he. Perhaps Ahlf Wise Women are also warriors? This is not unheard of, but never end well. “A wolf should to strive to be a wolf. A wolf shaped like a cow hurts the heart.”

Chief Bann’ohn slid into the chamber as well, clad in clothing of bright iron. This was good in a fight against men, but the boy did not think it would be needed here. The blue-things-that-scream had small, stone blades which hardly broke a warrior’s flesh, and were of little worry. Advancing on into the tunnels, the boy’s confidence caught in his throat, however, as a cold chill ran down his spine – from around a bend ahead could be heard the unmistakable sound of ratcheting clockworks, cold steel spikes sliding across each other, and tensing machinery.

The boy froze in his tracks, and turned rapidly to look at Chief Bann’ohn, who showed no fear. Inspired by his leader’s confidence in the face of great danger, the boy leapt around the corner, saw-toothed club waving in defiance as he screamed;

NAVASKE!

View
Delrus's Journey
Session 4, Side Story

Sensory Delight

Somewhere, voices echo across the technicolor menagerie
“This is AMAZING. Why haven’t we done this before?!”
“I DON’T KNOW BUT THIS IS AMAZING HA HA WHOO
“Does this last forever?”
“I HOPE NOT OH MAN ANIMALS ARE AMAZING
“Why are the knight’s genitals a horse?”
ALLEGORY
“Why is Jac bleeding?”
WISHFUL THINKING
“Really?”
“AH DAMMIT IT’S wearing off.”
“He IS bleeding”
“Shit… why’s he alone?”

View
Assassins, The First of Many
Session 5

Dear diary,

Why would anyone have sex ever. It’s supposed to be joyous and wonderful, right? So where did that abomination come from? Ugh. If only I could have looked away. It was gross and icky and bodies are weird.

Let’s start at the beginning. The Knight was in a bad way when the magic wore off. I think I’m making some progress finally with the Numarian, and the sister seemed distant despite an apparently grave injury. I think I overestimated the value of gold with the Faeries as they gladly swiped 50 from the purse when offered. In exchange, they told us not to enter the grove I’m keyed to. Something about Grig sisters? 4 of them? Bad times. Anyways, the Numarian and I are apparently their friends. Hopefully that means they won’t mess with either of us in the future. The Smuggler was supposedly quite brave despite grievous injuries! My heart goes out to him because I know what it’s like to try too hard. Oh and I added a new quest companion to the party roster! He’s a kobold, I think, and really brave! He seems to have taken to the Numarian like a companion.

I returned to camp and tried to do the right thing with the dwarf’s horse, but everyone was asleep except the Half Orc. She seemed nice at first. But I was waylaid by some assassins! They didn’t seem like much, and there as only one, but he must have been a master at arms the way he swung that hammer! When I came to, the sister was bawling, the kobold was near slain, and this guy who sounds like he’s from the Acerage Deep was healing us. Also the shark pendant the sister made looks totally awesome now. It apparently saved me!

The party seems to need to rest, so I won’t push anything for now. But I really want to get to the bottom of this Daggermark conspiracy!

View
Journal of Ser Bannon White, Volume 17 Entry 10
Session 6

9 Calistril, 4720

The script is slanted and hastily scrawled, quite unlike the exacting penmanship found throughout the rest of the journal.

I have been poisoned.

Victims report an incredible sense of fitness and wellbeing for several days, followed by an immediate and severe descent toward death – survival is unlikely without potent bolstering agents. Even then, it is up to the gods.

This cannot be my end, not like this. I have come too far to be felled as collateral damage in a petty squabble between bandits.

We will make for Bokken.

View
The Shrine of the Elk
Session 7

Liluye’s memory of the purification of the Shrine of the Elk came in fragments. She remembered seeing the bear for the first time:



The blighted monster hurtled out of the shrine in a shower of rubble. The beast was gigantic. Its enormous paws tore the earth open where it trod; its hulking shoulders smashed trees into toothpicks where it passed. Its eyes were like fogged glass marbles. The ursine abomination roared; an earth-shaking bellow that sent out a shower of gray spittle.



Liluye remembered how nature obeyed her call.


The behemoth lunged forward. The ground shook as it charged – Liluye reacted. The bear needed to be restrained, to be slowed down. In Druidic she called upon nature and it responded more powerfully than it ever had before.

The vines in the area erupted into action, slithering to life like black-thorned anacondas. The radius of the vines awakening was tremendous, ensconcing almost the entirety of the visible battle field. A maelstrom of ivy seized the blighted bear. The bear jerked to a halt. A moment later a crossbow bolt from Jac thudded into its flank.

Liluye had been shocked by the ferocity of nature’s aid in response to her plea. Never before had nature given itself so freely to the elf. In the past, the most Liluye had been capable of doing was make leaves twitch of their own accord… and that was when the new druid was concentrating so hard that sweat dripped down her brow.

Something had changed.



Liluye remembered her animal companion’s will.


“Wander! Rhoi’r gorau i!” shrieked the elf to her animal companion, commanding him not to approach the viral bear. Liluye was terrified for her friend; if Wander engaged in melée combat with the diseased bear it would surely rend him to pieces.

Wander ignored her.

The stag tossed his antlers proudly and let out his war cry; a bugle that came from deep inside his chest. The megaloceros’ muscles rippled under moon-pale fur as he reared up and charged into the fray. The vines did not discriminate. Their thorns sliced crimson ribbons into the elk’s pallid fur. Wander ignored them and stomped gustily through the difficult terrain.

As he charged, a golden halo surrounded him.



Liluye remembered seeing evidence of her god in the battle:


Jhod‘s bow glowed with that same golden aura and his shot was truer than any Liluye had ever seen. The cleric’s arrow pinned the bear’s broken arm to its own ribcage.

Wander glowed with shimmering light and when his antlers struck the bear they sent out a shower of faint gold sparks. Similarly the blighted bear’s blood was black ichor. Shadows poured like vomit from its unhealthy maw. Wander’s white body was soaked with black and red blood, a flag of battle. The elk was badly wounded.

The bear’s neck was strangled by toxic vines. Bannon and Kelak were flanking it (Kelak was actually standing on its shoulders so he could more effectively chop at it). The eagle she had summoned screamed as it harried the bear’s back. The diseased bear slashed into Wander twice with its claws and then sunk its teeth into the elk’s shoulder. Wander’s furious bugle was cut short and the companion fell into unconsciousness, slumping in the bear’s jaws. Black toxic slime oozed out of the ursine monster’s mouth and onto the fading symbol of Erastil.

Purest gold light began to pour out of Wander’s wound. The light from Erastil was at war with the bear’s evil… but Wander was dying.



Liluye remembered how it felt to see the stag she’d raised from a fawn dance on death’s doorstep.


Liluye dashed forward, calling upon nature’s power in the hopes of healing her beloved companion. Mikmek and brother were within the bear’s range for its next attack. Jhod, from behind the slight elf, roared, “FINISH HIM, LILUYE!”

The druid reacted immediately. Instead of raising her hands in preparation to heal, the slender blonde skidded to a halt and hauled aloft her antler bow. If her friend the elk was to die, then this sick abomination would at least go before him.

The audial world, for Liluye, became muffled. Everything but the bear blurred in the elf’s keen vision. She could see thumping pulse in the animal’s straining neck, a tiny window revealed between the clutching vines she had summoned earlier. The elf whispered in Druidic: “Gadael iddo fod yn wir, Erastil.” In response, her arrow lit up like an ignited sunrod.

Liluye fired true.

The bear’s head separated from its shoulders as though a giant’s axe, not an arrow, had cut through it cleanly. Its body collapsed into the vines, dissolving away into the form of a decayed man which in turn transformed into ashes. The bear was felled.



Liluye remembered Jhod’s solemn suggestion that it was Erastil’s will that Liluye be the guardian of these woods. But more than anything else, Liluye remembered the incredible strength she felt inside of herself.


Liluye ruminated on her newfound power. She was growing exponentially in strength in only the short period of time she had spent pursuing this charter. Nature responded to her call with a ferocity she could only imagine in her dreams. Beasts rushed to defend her. Healing energy came from the earth through her hands. The very earth rose up to restrain her enemies.

This power was… intoxicating.

View
Poison.
Session 8

One more step. Just one more step. Another step. One last step. I can see smoke. We’re near the crazy kook’s hut. Just a few more steps and we’ll get to the top of the hill. My legs hurt. My feet hurt. One more step. Again. Another. Almost to the top and then we’ll just lie down and roll all the way down the other side. Step. Step. Have to reach Bokken before the poison gets me. Told them the temple wouldn’t help. Nothing’s coming from Brevoy. Ow. Rock. Keep walking. Only hope is Bokken. Delay poison. So tired. Almost. There. Need more time. There! I can see the hut. Oh…

OH DEAR GODS! HELLS AND THE ABYSS, I’M ON FIRE! MY INSIDES ARE MELTING, LIQUEFYING FROM THE HEAT! SOMEONE, FOR THE LOVE OF THE GODS, STOP SCREAMING AND HELP ME!

I was screaming. It was me. The pain is unbearable, even with the medicine. Oh gods, this is incredible. And not in a good way. I can’t see straight. I can’t control my body. Oh hells, I’m going to pass out, again. “Bannon!” I hope he can hear me. I can barely hear myself. “Bannon! Wait a day for next medicine. Don’t waste…”

Laughing. I’m laughing and dancing. She looks so beautiful in that dress. I’ve never been happier. This is the party! This party goes so well. I remember it. I remember Sable talking to me about Theo. Why did it get dark? The base? Why is the party in the base? What party? We never have any parties here. Well, Theo does. “Sable, you have to listen to me. We do all the work for that money and then Theo goes and blows it all on those ‘friends’ of his.” The door opens. Theo is in a bed with a red-haired girl. I’m just a kid. I’ve never seen this before. She looks so strange sitting on top of him like that, but I can’t take my eyes off the bouncing. Theo yells and I…

I’m screaming again. Bokken is trying to smash my head open with a rock while he sets my body on fire. Bannon robs me. I’m dreaming. Bannon’s the only one I trust, besides that Lilu…

Lilu smiles at me. A white lily is in her hair. Her hair turned black. The smile is Malia’s. Malia’s lovely lips, ruby against her bronzed skin. Her eyes shine, the way they always do. We’re dancing again and her fingers twine in mine. We’re lying on the grass. A hill. With a tree on it. Its sunset. We only ate half that picnic. All that food’s going to go to waist. Malia leans over me and suddenly I don’t care. Blond hair falls across my face. Blond? How did I get to Oleg’s? I’m behind the stables and this isn’t Malia! This is… what’s her name? I can’t even remember all their names. Not since Malia… Delrus is screaming for help.

No, I’m screaming again. Was I awake before this? Was there a moment when I didn’t feel like I was already in the hells? I can’t… I can’t remember anymore. Gods, please let it end? Take me! Let me die! I don’t care anymore! Just end it! What good are you if you can’t kill a man when he begs for it?!? I’m so tired…

Everything’s on fire. The rooftops burn, but I’ve been in this position before. I’ve got my gold already. I still remember how to get in and out of Galt, even though its been years. I haven’t done this since I met Malia. Smoke like black clouds. Clouds hang over crowds. She’s speaking. No. No. I won’t watch this. I’ve seen this too many times. She brings them too much hope. Silver flashes. Its an eel. Oh gods. Not the pools. I won’t go into the water. Not like they did. Get away. I have to get away. Run. I have to get safe. What am I talking about? That’s why I’m here. This isn’t safe. This got me poisoned. Here got me killed. I’m going to die. I’m dreaming again. The poison is going to finish me. Bokken was no help. Listening to the others was no help. Cleansing the temple fixed nothing. Jhod couldn’t help. Lilu couldn’t help. There’s nothing in Restov that would help. We should have used our time better. My time. Oh gods. I’m about to die. Bannon is holding my hand. There’s a ring in it. The ring. Malia. I wish I could see you again when I die. I’m so sorry you won’t be there. Mother, will you be waiting for me? Is father still alive? Is Sable? I’d even take Theo. I don’t want to die. I’ve fought hard not to die. Gods, why? I don’t deserve this! I’ve helped people! Ok, I took a lot for myself, but I saved people! That should be worth something, right? You couldn’t save her though! You deserve to suffer like this forever!

Suffer? The pain… Its less. I’m sweating. I feel like stretched leather, like hells, but I can feel! Not just pain, but my body! HOLY HELLS, I’M ALIVE?!?

I SURVIVED!!!

View
Full Synch
Session 8

We rode for an age.

The Healer and the Sister went ahead.

The Men went to the Mad Alchemist.

People were dying. With a worg stalking us, I offered to help. We’re a team, and I can help more if Delrus would be a team player. But he has control issues, I suppose.

Sasha found us. We got married. Well, Delrus did.

Delrus blamed himself for the dying people at the Fort. I offered to help. He agreed. So now instead of watching, I’m driving.

And everyone lived.

Except Bill.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.