War of the Burning Sky

Entry #61 -- Wherein We Try To Be Sneaky
I'm sneaky! Why can everyone else be sneaky?

So, we finally made it to the outpost WAAAAAAAAAAAAY out in the middle of nowhere, after riding like a super-long time. It’s on top of this hill, and they got another one of those lizard-bird things… (Why-ferns! I still dunno why they’re called that) We tried to be sneaky and tip-toe up the hill. I probably coulda done it super easy myself, but then I’d be a sittin’ duck inside a barrel with fish with the biggest target on my back yellin’ at everyone to shoot me… I’d rather Breora to do that instead.

We didn’t get that far up the hill when they spotted us, so we got to hoofin’ it. I jumped up the road, but I didn’t think Rylik could climb up right past me so fast! I guess all those biomagical stuffs are good for somethin’… shame it makes him look super-creepy.

The guys on top of the tower started shootin’ at us and the why-fern even started flyin’ about. It picked up Laurya and threw her down part of the hill! They play dirty, that’s for sure… But then again, bad guys always play dirty so I guess it’s normal.

Oh. I guess this is the last page, Mr. Book! I’ll keep you around since you know so much stuff and it’s good to keep ya around. Don’t worry, I got another one so I can keep writin’ and it’ll even give you company in my pack! Maybe it’ll even be a Mrs. Book? Eh? EH?

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Entry #60 -- Wherein We Ride even LONGER
I'm beginning to hate horses, I think...

So, we killed all the Steppenguards and the knights took us to Mr. Gallow’s place. It’s pretty swanky, with all sorts of places for sneaky archers to shoot and everyone’s carrying around a sword… If you were gonna try to do some tricksy stuff here, you’d have to be REALLY good at it and not get caught or everyone and their mother would kill you.

We talked to Mr. Gallows and he said he had a plan. We slept in this big manor (or at least I tried to. I’ve not got a lot of sleep…) and woke up in the morning. He was playing with some dolls and a big toy table that looked a lot like outside. I guess we have to go to an outpost, kill some Ragesians and bring some people alive to Dashgoboom and Timor so they’ll help us? I kinda slept through it, to be honest. Don’t tell, Mr. Book!

We’re already close to the last outpost. Maybe we’ll have fun soon!~

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Entry #59 -- Wherein There's a Lot More People Than I Thought
Don't worry, it's a good thing. Mostly.

Hello again, Mr. Book. Sorry I’m not super enermegetic, but I didn’t get much sleep last night. Or the past couple nights. Ugh. I suppose it didn’t really matter anyways in the long run.

Breora and Birdlady said we had to leave like super fast, because I guess the King figured it’d be easier to deal with us if we were dead? I didn’t get a lot of it, but I guess we’re framed as traitors or spies… It kinda sucks: we didn’t even do anything wro— okay, maybe SOME of it was kinda wrong, but still. Ball’n said Mr. Gallows was probably the best guy to go to help, and I guess a lot of other people thought that too. Some drunk guy warned us and said to go to him for help, there was a sir-gent guy at the gates that gave us horses and told us to go to Mr. Gallows… Yup. I smell somethin’ fishy, and it ain’t fish. At least I’d have somethin’ to eat.

Either way, we had to leave the city super fast. They were bustin’ down doors and stuff, searchin’ for us. Anywho, we left Bresk to see Mr. Gallows, who was like a few days away. We crossed the border to his lands, and these guys who were tailing us all the way were like ‘Yup, they be traitors, all right’ and chased us down. We got some back-up from some patrollin’ guards and they were like ‘We knew you were coming, we got your back." I guess they were nice and all, they just think the King’s gone a bit over-the-top with this spy stuff.

It was a pretty tough fight, Mr. Book. They would’ve mobbed us with their stupid horses and that giant ‘sphinx’ (That’s what the others called it. It looked like a bird-lion-sheep, but it’s not the weirdest thing I’ve seen so I guess they can call it whatever), but Mr. Gallow’s patrol kind of evened the odds a bit. Heck, after I tore off this guy’s face, Rylik even got him to move again and fight the bad guys! Bre and Laurya were kinda iffy about it, but Dead Ned is one of us! Except dead… and that’s okay with me. Between Ned, Birdlady’s new pet bear (It’s got a really long name, so I’m just gonna call it Bear until I can figure out how to write it), Breora’s other self (It’s like her, but like a super-awesome knight! Esme calls it an ‘imperfect dream self’, but she looks pretty cool to me)… We got a lot more people than I thought.

I’ll write again soon, Mr. Book. I really need a good nap…

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Entry #58 -- Wherein We Do A Lot Of Talking
...I need more ink...

I’M SORRY MR. BOOK. I’m gonna be writing a lot. Make sure you get it all, okay?

So, we talked to the halflings, and they said that the Talon (Steppenwolf’s ultimate guards) were being jerks to everyone looking for spies and assassins! I guess the king’s entire family was killed. He had like a bajillion kids! They must’ve been really angry at the king or something to kill everyone.

We had to talk our way into Bresk, since the Talon was questioning people going through the gates looking for spies. My cunning disguise as Mr. Mustache worked without a hitch! Shame everyone else just told them we were doing diplomatic stuffs with the king.

Mr. Ball’n wanted us to dig up some dirt on all of the nobles for our big talk with the king, so this is what we dug up. It’s a lot, so I kinda made it bite-size.

Lord Gallow is probably the nicest guy we’ll meet, since he doesn’t want Ragesia to ruin his place. Lady Timor wants help with magic stuffs and is a nice nature lover. Lord Dashgoboom is a big history buff and likes beer, so maybe a trade could be worked out. I don’t really like beer, so he can have the stuff.

Lady Dene doesn’t want people messing up her land with war, so a trade route, talking about flowers and not fighting sounds good. On the other hand, Lord Iz likes fighting and war and stuff, so Mr. Foebane and him would get along.

Lord Megapop hates the fishmen that are messing up his boats. He wants Seaquen to give him some help, either by giving him magic or killing the fishmen. Lady Namin really wants to be queen, and likes people calling her pretty. I think she might be evil, but I’ll just keep my eye on her for now. She also likes the Shahalesti people, so maybe we talk about how awesome they are? And Lord Ringo is a jerk. He just wants money so he can stop being poor.

We also heard some stuff about the king’s advisor, a gnome named Nina Gummerg Glabberg Something. She’s not at all friendly to Seaquen and I think she might be evil too. BUT she’s also the person in charge of the Talon now, so we should be careful. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I found out she’s been doing secret stuffs with alchemy. I dunno what, but it can’t be good.

ALSO, we learned a bunch of stuff about the Book of Eight Lands. It’s basically a magic book that tells people the noble lines of everyone in Dassen and who’s next to be king and stuff like that. It also protects the biggest ones from being stupified or pushed around by talkings, so diplomacy is the only way to go when talking to them. ALSO, I read in the last few pages something called ‘Mindhaunt Affliction". It’s a nasty disease that needs some pretty hard-to-get stuff to cure… like the magic Brightstick that the red dragon kidnapped awhile ago, as well as a dream seed (I still got the ones from the fire forest, so go me!)

After all of that, we felt ready to talk to the king and the other noble people! So the next day, we walked on in. I guess there was a trial already going on, because the gnome Nina was confusing this guy (who’s like a clerk to Jeenius, the guy we have to deliver the letter to, who’s ALSO in jail) and pretty much setting him up to hang. The king was ready to kill him on the spot, but wanted to follow the rules and threw him in jail to. We finally got ready to talk, but Mr. Ball’n got a nasty nosebleed and fainted.

It looked pretty bad. I wasn’t NEARLY good at talking as I am at lying, but Laurya took his place! We managed to talk down the nobles into helping us and givin’ us their support….

But King Steppenwolf was super paranoid and angry, and pointed at me and said ‘No one will lose an entire family in someone else’s war’. He kicked us out, giving us only three days in his city before we have to go away. The people talking for Lady Timor and Lord Dashgoboom were nice and told us to stick around to see if the King changed his mind, or maybe go talk to Lord Gallow to see if he can help us.

We also talked to the Ragesian diplomacy guy and his mook, Serrimus and Torrax. THEY WERE JERKS. JERKY JERKS WHO WERE NOTHING BUT JERKS. I really wanted to stab ’em, but then Rylik taunted ’em with his own inquisitor mask that we took from a dead guy a while back, and one of them grabbed Rylik by the neck! I got ready to fight, but there were lots of royal guards around and told us to stop that. So we left and came back here, to the Golden Griffon for bed.

My hand hurts from all of that writing, but HEY, at least I didn’t run out of ink.

Good night Mr. Book! I’ll write again later!

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Entry #57 -- Wherein I Teach People How to Count
...That's why it's called a body count!

I broke all the pens, Mr. Book. THEY WERE ALL USELESS.

So I …borrowed one. Without intending to return it. Hehehehe~

Where was I? Oh yeah, the ‘Remorhaz’. It gobbled up Breora and Nadia! His buddy was trying really hard to gobble me up too! But I out-wriggled the worm and stabbed the one that ate everyone to death! It took the rest of what I had left to run for my life to the shore when the ice broke underneath everyone’s feet! It looked really bad for a moment, but everyone managed to make it back in one piece and uneaten by giant bug monsters.

Laurya healed a few of the guys that were running from the bugs, and they were really thankful for saving their lives and stuff. They even made our sleighs super fast! They were apparently leaving Lord Ringo’s land, because he was being a jerk to them for being Ragesian? Refugees from the war? I dunno, but it wasn’t too nice of him. Either way, we thanked them and headed off on the trail again!

We figured we’d save a bit of time by taking the frozen river up the rest of the way to Bresk, so we did! Except we hit a snag and the sleigh flipped over and broke Mr. Ball’n’s head. He’s still alive, but he’s taking a long nap. Either way, we had to catch the horses and fix the sleigh to get back on track, but we found out what snagged us: a dead body frozen in the ice! I was hopin’ he had some nice loot on him or something, but it turns out he and his two buddies were killed and hanged by some horsemen, then frozen in a cold grave. It wasn’t even actual dirt! Breora felt a bit worried that we might run into these guys later on the road, but I wasn’t scared. They were sloppy! Either way, Lady Dene probably would be missing these guys after a while… so maybe we should keep it under wraps?

Anyways, we continued on our journey (that’s what Nadia called the trip. Journey. Makes me feel like it’s a super huge adventure, but it’s just a bumpy sleigh ride. I. Hate. Sleighs!) and we saw some Steppenguards searching a cart with some halflings acting all fussed over it. I figured, ’King’s guards are supposed to be nice guys if we’re gonna talk to the King’, right? So I waved and asked ‘em if they needed help. Then the guards got all suspicious, thinkin’ we’re spies looking to sneak into the kingdom and do evil stuffs. They must’ve been off their rocker, because no matter what Laurya, Breora or even Nadia said, they wouldn’t hear none of it! In fact, their boss took the letter that one kid gave us to deliver (Junior, I think) and said it ‘obviously a coded message to Duke Gallows’ and ordered his flunkies to kill us!

You’d think that the King’s guards would be a lot sturdier than they were. It only took a LOT of magic from everyone else and a lot more stabs to take ’em out… and we were barely scratched! I even made a little counting game out of it. I got up to five! Pentakill!!!

One of ‘em DID get away though. He’s probably already tellin’ everyone to watch out for the band of elves (all three kinds) and those other two people. Me and Nadia should be fine, but I think we should find some disguises or somethin’ for the others…

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Entry #56 -- Wherein We Do a Lot More Traveling
And fight some giant bugs!

Hi again, Mr. Book! I managed to get Laurya to meet everyone! I had to drag Breora out of the library (she was looking kinda out of it when I got her: I think she was tired from all of that studying) but it was worth it when she met Nadia for the first time. Seein’ two of me must have really shocked her good! (Well, me and a …. more ‘shapely’ me. Grrrrr…)

Anyways, we got summoned by the Headmaster and Vortbeard for a super-important mission (or at least that’s what Katrina says). We gotta escort a pudgy guy named Ball’n to Bresk, so he can ask King Steppenwolf (who we should not call Steppenwolf) if he can help us fight the Ragesians instead of letting them walk though his kingdom so they can smash Seaquen to tiny bits. Not sure about the details, but from what I wrote down a long time ago (Thanks, Mr. Book!) I guess it’ll be a hard time to convince the other nobles to go along with it. But if we convince the king, the other guys HAVE to listen to him, right?

Before we left, some kid who stuttered a lot asked us to give a letter to his dad, a guy named Jeenius who’s a ‘proxy’ to Duke Gallows. He said he was scared something might’ve happened to him, since it’s been a while when they last talked. I wanted to read the letter, but he paid us to do it, so that makes us like official deliverers, so we shall be as official as possible!

We got some horses (after talkin’ a guy down from a huge price! 750 gold!? The sleds would have to be made of jewels for that much!) and managed to make our way towards the King! We were makin’ decent time when a bunch of people were runnin’ as fast as they can from these giant bugs. Rylik says they’re something called ‘Remorhaz’, and they’re pretty mean. Still, we don’t run from giant bugs: we’re heroes! We got out on the ice river and got to savin’ people and killin’ stuff! It was kinda scary, seein’ as we’re fightin’ these HUGE things on some slippery ice, but it sure gets the blood pumping! It even ate Breora in one gulp! So t-e— th— – (The curse of the dry pen strikes again!)

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Entry #55 -- Wherein Asha Makes a Speech
...and we reunite with a friend!

Whoever made these pens totally needs to get stabbed. Just sayin’…

Anyways, we managed to fight off all of the Ragesian troops! They may have tried to ambush us, but we’re super sharp and eagle-eyed! Asha and Breora held ’em down while the rest of us stabbed them to death… Although I guess Rylik more-or-less spookified them to death. Close enough!

Soon, it was just us and the shadow knight. He thought he could take all of us on, but that was a big mistake! It didn’t take long for us to take care of him after Rylik magic’d him in place, and the others just smashed his face in. I think I even ripped out some ribs, but he teleported away after he died… somehow. Either way, I think he’s out of Seaquen’s hair for now.

When we got back to town to celebrate our win over the Ragesians, Asha was kinda sad. I guess she’s a bit iffy about Rylik’s arm (it’s so weird, I’m not even kidding) and some other stuff, and couldn’t stand being around us anymore. I said I’d cut off Rylik’s arm and stop stabbing people if she’d stay, but Asha said that wouldn’t be possible for us (I may have lied about stopping stabbing people… man, she’s good). BUT she also said she found a friend of ours in Seaquen…. someone from Gate Pass.

It took me a while to figure it out (also Asha told us) but it could only be one person: LAURYA! I ran as fast as I could to talk to her about everything and she was busy with some guy’s hand and I hugged her and she was super confused but happy to see us and I took her to meet everyone but everyone was lazy and wanted to sleep and I could only wake up Rylik I think he was studying some magicky stuff but that wasn’t important since I got birdlady back!

She’s great. I TOLD Esme she wouldn’t just ditch us, and I was right. Hehe~

Oh, right. I should tell you what happened when we talked to Torrent again. She partied with us when we came back, but she was hanging off this Eril guy’s arm like they were a thing… y’know, together ‘n stuff [Blech]. They were kinda sad that they were being split up to do some missions for Seaquen elsewhere (Torrent to Shahalesti for diplomatic stuffs, and Eril to Ostalin for…. rangery things). Torrent said the Headmaster and Vortbeard wanted to talk to us, so maybe we’re gonna do our OWN mission soon? I bet we’ll take on the Ragesians HEAD ON! (Esme says that’s a dumb idea, but I bet we can take ’em!)

Talk to you later Mr. Book! Esme said that Laurya’s gotta leave, so I gotta hand you over to her so she can catch up on all the amazing stuff we did so far!

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Entry #54 - Wherein Rylik Gets a New Arm
...and it's weird.

Stupid feather. I had to get another one.

Anyways, we managed to kill a bunch of those Ragesians, but Rylik did something… weird. He grabbed one of ‘em by the throat and started to crush it in his tentacle-y grip. I didn’t make that up, Mr. Book — He had a tentacle-y claw for an arm! He was a squidomancer!

I guess he was always a squidomancer, learning from his teacher and stuff… but he decided to put that learning to practice and made him…. something other than Rylik. He’s a lot more ‘kill-stab-bleed-death’ like Esme, and I dunno if I like it or not. I bet Asha and Breora don’t, from their faces when they saw that. Still, he’s on our side, so…. that’s something I guess?

We went deeper into the tunnels and met this shadowy knight guy. He didn’t say much… just attacked us and ran. We nearly had him pinned thanks to Rylik’s fancy magics, but he’s a slippery fish. Walkin’ even further, we had to be careful, because they put all these trip-wires everywhere under the fog coverin’ the floor. Nadia sure hates it — She tripped on the first one we came across! Still, we made our way further, when we got ambushed!

So w- th- (scribblings of a dry pen — once again)

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Entry #53 - Wherein People Ask Us To Kill Things For Them
...and not get paid for it. Is this really 'Heroism'?

Hi Mr. Book! It’s a good thing you got so many pages: You’d be super full if you weren’t so fat! (I’m sorry I called you fat, but still, fat is good sometimes)

After the whole ‘monkey’ thing, we spent the next morning helpin’ Crystin and Torrent make a tent super-fancy. Since Laurabec got herself killed, Crystin’s been takin’ over for her (like a friend would, not like how a jerk would) which is pretty hard, since we haven’t gotten the Super-Temple built yet and it was all Laurabec’s idea. While we were helpin’ out, Torrent and her friends in the War apparently found a Ragesian hideout somewhere, and wanted us to kill ‘em. Nadia (or Natalie? Nadine? Natasha? She hasn’t figured out a secret identity yet for when she’s not a changeling, which is silly. I got like five names and it’s really cool!) asked for some payments, because killing people is fun and all, but it’s still pretty hard, especially if they holed up in an abandoned mine or someplace and had time to lay down all sorts of traps. I didn’t really worry about it, mostly because I knew they were gonna stiff us sayin’ ‘Heroes like yourself do this all the time for free, right?’ (which is true, but that don’t make it right) and because I was gettin’ bored without somethin’ to stab. The monkeys don’t count; stabbin’ animals always makes me feel sad inside.

Where was I?

Oh, right. Torrent and Vortbeard and everyone was like ‘Go kill those Ragesians’. So we went in with the help of a secret map, and managed to surprise a bunch of ‘em, especially with the help of some foggy steam. I guess it’s really close to the squidomancer’s tomb, so it’s pretty hot in here and there’s lots of steam. Esme says it’s ‘like a sauna’ which she says is a place where people go to sweat. Why would anybody go there? Sweating isn’t fun at all!

Anyways, we nearly finished killin’ them all, when one tried to get away. Breora chased him down and ran deeper into the caves, and found WAY more people than she wanted. Asha somehow knew it (Bre said she mind-pinged her about it) and told us to help her out. And we did!

So— s- W- n— l~ (scribblings of a dry pen — again)

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Entry #52 - Wherein Monkey Dance
Also, Nadia also became a changeling? Or was always one?

Hello Mr. Book! Sorry about all the scribbles. Esme and I fought, but I got my way in the end.

So, what happened was that everyone knows about Esme now, so there’s no reason to have to be sneaky about it now. Everyone was …kinda okay with it? I think Asha and Rylik still don’t understand, but that’s okay.

We went to this fancy-schmancy dinner on Mr. Headmaster’s dime, and we had all sorts of tasty stuff! I really liked the fish, but I think everyone else hit the drinks pretty hard. Esme says that stuff makes you less sharp, and I like my dagger super-sharp. Either way, Nadia REALLY got deep into her drink and changed into an elf! Everyone thought they were really drunk or something, but it was Nadia: she was actually a changeling (at least that’s what she said she is, which sounds easier on the tongue instead of doubleganger). Kind of a shame she didn’t find out before; I wouldn’t have had to carry her so much! It’s kinda weird, she looks like a creepy doll with twigs for arms and stuff… but she’s still Nadia. And that’s all that matters.

After the dinner, we napped and went to see Doug that morning. He was super-excited to show us the box thing we got for him earlier: the Duodenum! I guess it’s really a library in a box that can be used to dominate stuffs. I thought it was like a weird music box that made the monkeys his friend, but it was really EVIL. Mind-warping stuff like that is NOT GOOD. Worse, the monkeys got a hold of the box and knocked Doug out! We were gonna be MONKEYFIED. It was a good thing we got the box back and shut it off before anything bad happened. Doug said he was sorry, but I didn’t like the box thing. At least it was just monkeys that had the box and not the Ragesians. Blech!

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