RoundTable Adventuring

Nekoko #3

Alright, never again will I take a cat nap while on an adventure. Too much goes on without my knowing. Like how in the 7 hells did I end up in the Abyss?! Anyway, I managed to vent my frustration on an unfortunate demon who thought he could beat me in a claw fight. Seems like he kept getting distracted with my tail, funny how useful that thing is.

Anyway, onto more important manners, Aria is going to kill me. I bought a slave. I had little choice if I wanted to save her, but I’m pretty sure Aria is not pleased. I’ll have to kill that slaver at a later date. As for the girl I saved, it actually works out for me. Nadeshiko won’t be a slave anymore, but she’ll be working for me. I’m sure being a barmaid at a guild of all females, could be a much better fate than a harem slave to a demon. I’m thankful my slavers were naga, and not interested in that in the slightest. I will say that I’m jealous that she actually had a decent name. When I was a slave, heck, even now I get called the dumbest things. “Whatever the fuck that thing is.” Terrific. I should start getting mad about it, but my current name, given to me by Aria I might add isn’t all that good either.

Also, I’m sick of being called mysterious! God damnit, if you want to know something about me, ask! I’m not going to give a long autobiography that someone may or may not be interested in, and waste my breath. I’m a ninja, I can’t exactly become famous. (At least not until I become Aria’s herald.) There’s a difference between being mysterious and having no presence. A ninja with a presence, is no ninja. I mean sure there’s a type of ninja that hides in plain sight and uses feminine wiles to assassinate her prey, but I prefer a less repulsive approach, actual stealth.

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Marrok #2
On Sleeping

=Spoken while travelling around the plane of axis=

You guys just don’t get what its like to be old. I need my sleep you can’t just expect me to go on an adventure half an hour past my bedtime and have me at my peek. For that matter I don’t understand why some of you aren’t fatigued having been up now for nearly 24 hours. Perhaps the young are more resistant to fatigue that then the old. I can’t remember whether I was the same at your age, I do not remember pulling any all-nighters but that was 50 to 60 year ago. Speaking of sleeping is making me tired could anybody go for a 1hour power nap right now?

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Gretchen #01

Hm. What to say since the last time I collected my thoughts…? It was on the ship to Andoran where I met several people, and… wait, I should start again.

Marrok is quite strange. I am aware that he’s a human druid, but he seems to deny that part of himself, if not in words than certainly in spirit. I would guess his intent is a complete cleaving from what he was; he denies his basic form and seems to feel that his wolf form is his true body. Whatever happened must have been pretty traumatic.

I personally don’t care. I mean, he has a hangup, yes, but I can’t solve that for him any more than I can convince my would-be captors to leave me be. He seems to not really have a direction in his life but is okay with our working relationship. That works for me.

It’s funny, I never had a father… he kind of… I don’t know, gives off a “dad” vibe to me. Obviously I could use someone around who actually wants to keep me alive. I’ve only known him for… a little over a month, yet he’s reticent to tell me anything at all about himself, seeming to prefer just staying nearby and making sure I’m okay. He’s fairly gruff, and some of the things he says are hilarious in hindsight, like when he told me I shouldn’t slouch, but I wonder what has caused him to retreat from his people and become this stoic wanderer? I wonder if he’ll let me help? I don’t figure we have any reason to not work together, so I hope he’ll come to the same realization sooner or later.

… That, or I’ll eventually drive him off by sheer force of personality. Bleh. I realize I am grossly familiar with him, which may be weird for him. It’s just his personality; it makes me too comfortable, and I just want to… I dont know! I’m embarrassed sometimes when I consider some of the exchanges we’ve had; I need to treat the old dog wi- uh, I mean my elders with more respect. Or at least with less uh… yeah.

… He’s still fun to pick on, though.

As for the others…. the halfling Varro I met on the boat. He’s kind of funny, and seems to have some clear ideas about what he expects from life and what he’s willing to do to get it, which is admirable, but he seems to have no time for others, and wants to maintain his aloof distance from them. Why rely on anyone, right? I’ll try to build something there but he seems to have challenging perceptions to overcome, and possibly some trust issues. I sometimes feel a bit of a sneer from him when I’m doing things. Maybe he doesn’t like women?

A paladin, as well. I didn’t meet the one named Screech until just before we left; when we literally ran into each other in the hallway, while I was on the way to the bathroom. He actually snarled at me! He seems sort of ill-suited to the path of a righteous champion of… whatever. Paladins. He’s pretty jerky, and hasn’t had two words to say to any of us. Not sure what to make of him but I think I’ll avoid him. He doesn’t seem like he’d be willing to help me if things went sour, anyways. Lots of humanoid hate there… maybe that’s a point to agree on? I’ll try it out next chance I get, maybe he’ll be less sour.

Cat-girl… nothing to say about her. She kind of just hangs around, which… yeah. Whatever. She seems too excited to kill people, and she keeps going on about some friend of hers, which I’ve largely ignored (who cares?)… I mean shit, she acts like her friend is a god or something. Paracelsus said to not take the presence of anyone for granted, but I guess some people just rub me the wrong way. Maybe I just don’t like cats?

I like several of these people, though. The masked tengu inquisitor is the opposite of what I considered an inquisitor to be; he actually said if the Blackravens took another run at me that I could count on him – “the lady has you in her eye”, whatever that meant. He offered to Harrow me, and kept making these interested noises throughout, but then just said “oh, you’ll have an interesting life” when we were done… who was that performance for, me or him?? Then there is that wonderful pancake-maker, Jak… he said he has an inn – named “Jak’a’napes” or something – in Falcon’s Hollow, a town further inland, and agreed to open another “branch of the franchise” at several of the guild members’ behest; Varro and another halfling. Then there’s Amarro, who apparently was another other halfling… I would say it will be difficult to keep them separate in my mind, but they have very distrinct personalities. I can’t say anything about the third halfling at this point… but apparently there’s yet another one who I also haven’t met; some kind of fire sorcerer (named Dimple? Or something?). He’d probably make an interesting conversationalist, too.

Regardless, they all seem united by a common purpose, but there is at once both more camaraderie and more diversity of personality than the Pathfinder Society, for good and bad, respectively. These people seem to not discriminate in their methodology or personal leanings, winding up with some pretty varied attitudes… though some of these people make me nervous just to be around. Still, there’s a pretty clear idea of trustworthiness between members; even the more “evil” spectrum of the group seems to hold to that idea.

So we wound up in Cheliax suddenly, after some guy showed up, asked for several of us by name, and then made the door open onto a road in Cheliax, just outside of… whatever this city is. I found myself concerned about whether the Hellknights knew of me at all or if I’d arouse any suspicion, but besides the Order of the Gate, I should probably be considered beneath the worry of them (I am a tiefling, after all. Apparently they love us here). I guess tomorrow we’ll take another run at getting into that tower… for now, I’m going to bed. Marrok’s right, it’s too damn late to be up this early.

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Nekoko #2

Alright girl, you got a hopefully high paying job that involves saving the world. Or at least working almost directly for the god of the afterlife. Well no matter how this end at least I’ll be able to meet another god before becoming a herald. I wonder how many mortals will be able to say they’ve met with 2 gods.

That aside the group I’m with is… well.. I don’t know how to sum it up well in this language. Firstly, there’s a senile grandpa wolf, who’s more obsessed with sleep than I am. I mean, if I have nothing to do, I’ll sleep, but this guy is all like, “I need 8 hours sleep or I’m useless.” Next we have the twig riding her, she feels like a pushy arrogant caster-type person, can’t say I’m going to get along with her. Then there’s Varo, the halfling. Some of the things he does to people with his hands, I can’t even do, and I have claws!

Anyway, the tower where the 5 gems were exploded. I’ve never seen an explosion until then, and man have I been missing out. They are awesome! It’s like kaboom! Then a blast of heat, followed by debris. Watch out for the debris. Anyway, I climbed to the top to face the people who held the crystals, (Who I assumed where enemies at the time.) But apparently they are just stupid people who like to toy with forces so great they do not fully understand them. If you know you have something that belongs to a god, give it back. I mean if someone where to go and steal Aria’s Muramasa, she’d bring all kinds of divine wrath to the poor fool.

Lastly, now we are in some underground city on a completely different plane. Speaking of planes, which plane does Aria reside in? I never went and asked her that. I’m sure she probably went and made her own plane with alcohol and gorgeous landscape. Man being a herald will be exiting, but I have the rest of eternity to experience that, I have work to do as a mortal first. Mainly, creating an organization for Aria to influence the mortal world through. Secondly to get myself recognized as a new and unique race. I’m not fully human gods damn it! If other half-breeds like half-orcs and half-elves get their own race, I should too! Though that’s for later because I have no clue how to go about that. Who decides what is and isn’t a race? Eh, I’ll find that out eventually, someone will hear of me and seek me out probably, once I get well renowned.

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Screech

Traken from his home as a fledgling Screech no longer remembers his name. His early memories are of hate and pain.

In one of countless skirmishes between Humans and Strix a human hunter took a strix child as a slave to use as a training device to better teach his sons to kill strix. But at the same time the hunter was training his sons, he was also training the young strix. And after years of daily beatings, near starvation, exposure to the elements Screech learned a simple lesson; the difference between right and wrong.

With his new found rightious fire he rose up and killed the hunter and all of his sons, sparing only his infant daughter. But upon his return to the strix colony no one knew who he was. Too many children had been massacred and too many parents who could claim him had died in battle. Screech avenged himself by hunting down all the others with Strix blood on thier hands and brought them Judgement. Now he uses the name the humans used to tease and torment him with as his own.

Screech HATES humans, but knows this irrational hated is wrong. He doesn’t judge others based on thier race and is just as likely to fight on the side of kolbolds or orcs as against. In a situation where many are inequal danger, he helps the humans last.

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Marrok #1
On high jarl Gnargorak

The great frost giant, the high jarl Gnargorak, stands 16ft. tall with blue skin and white beard. his cap and mantle adorned with horns, prizes from deadly combats against giant adversaries. Hung from his belt the skulls of dissenters. Clad in mithral armor and wielding Winter’s Heart, an intelligent bastard sword made from ice that can’t be melted.

The sight of the master hunter strikes fear in the hearts of men. He hunt’s mammoth lords for sport, hardly ever returning to his cloud giant harem in Bos-phargrumm instead picking up the trail of the next closest mammoth lord. When he came to my village I assumed the end was near I sat in my hut awaiting his slashing blade, but it did not come, it never came. when he left I had two choices die or leave. I left.

You ask do i wish revenge? revenge for what the slaughter of my family, my friends. I had none. If I ever meet the high jarl i would do two things I will first thank him. Thank him for freeing me from my stagnation, thank him for giving me life, thank him for the experiences I have been granted. Then I will die. The jarl adores combat and I would wish to give him the battle of his life in return for what he has given me. But ultimately I will fall as every man and giant has to the high jarl. That would make me happy.

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Nekoko #1

The front and inside cover of this journal has various scrawlings of blueprints for what appears to be an inn or headquarters of some sort.

To me,

Should you ever lose hope and give into despair, just remember what you are fighting for. Because what you need ain’t cheap.
Building stuff:
-Alter and Statue to Aria 270 gold
-Armory 290 gold
-Bar 250 gold
-Bath 130 gold
-Bedrooms x8 (1 for me, 3 for my chain of command, and 4 for my key members.) 2400 gold
-Common Room 300 gold
-Kitchen 160 gold
-Lodging 430 gold
-Lavatory with Sewer Access 230 gold
-Laundry 120 gold
-War Room 300 gold
-Vault 300 gold

It’s going to take some time to gather up the 5000 something gold needed to get this done. But I have a feeling Aria will help me out and make my next adventure a huge payout. Hopefully after that I can hold off on adventuring for a bit and recruit members while my… not sure what the word for it is in this language, adventurer’s guild? Anyway, words are not important. Recruit members while building is being constructed. Hopefully with a few members like myself, (Personality/ideal-wise, I don’t think people who are human-catfolk halfbreed are commonplace.) I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have a few other allied businesses, I mean I want to help everyone, other mercenaries included. That way, should a job not be what my guild would like to do, or my guild lack the members/resources to complete a mission, I can forward it to another group. And hopefully vice versa.

Enough of that, let’s rewind to when I heard about Aria’s ascendance. That was pretty sudden and shocking. I mean I knew Aria was a mercenary like me, we did meet once or twice after we left Minkai together. But I had no idea she went and attempted the Starstone. She’s as reckless as ever. Like after that she appeared before me and was like, “Hey, I’m a god now. Wana be my herald?” She’s never been delicate with her dealings with me. Doesn’t she know I’m fragile? If she just up and asks me out of the blue, I’m not going to accept. I still have things I want to do. I have this group I want to start. Ugh, back to the group again, let’s change the subject. I mean maybe in 10, 20 years I’ll take her up on her offer, but before then? I like being mortal. Should I die before then, I’d like to be her herald, I mean resurrecting me shouldn’t be hard for a god not matter what unpleasant fate I meet.

Well that’s not a good note to end on. What else can I say so it’s not ending there? I’m almost out of page to write on. Nope, I’m at a loss. Don’t die a horrible painful death me!

-From, Yourself.

P.S. The Sisters of Battle will be a force to be reckoned with.

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Tomoe's Journal, 13

=The following page has some Tien words interspersed in it, as well as some stains, some of which appear to be eggnog, and others being pudding=
Well, that’s done… I buried Wilhelm on the riverbank near where I buried Mishka. It took some doing, and I had to convince Varro to not come with me, but… well.

I kind of feel weird about the whole thing; we fought that hag but I didn’t really get to ask her anything. I know that that kind of resolves the whole thing, but I figured she would have something to say. I’m left with more questions about Mishka and her life, but now everyone who knows is dead. I hope Mishka will be able to tell me, I intend to return to the riverbank late tonight, then leave town in the morning. Oregent calls to me, but so does this task. I guess I can be a little too tenacious when something vexes me.

What else about that land… spent some time in jail, learned some more things about the world… uh, put on a bit more weight……

To be honest, when I ran into Senseis Quinlan and Berenfoodle in Falcon’s Hollow when I arrived today, I was embarrassed when Berenfoodle commented on how fat I’ve gotten. Quinlan spoke more cautiously (he always was more soft-spoken and, dare I say it, wise than Berenfoodle), stating that I was running too hard away from my former strict adherence toward avoiding excess; that I must “find the balance”. I found myself laughing nervously and feeling…. well…. deep within, I felt a voice saying that it was no business of theirs. I mean, in hindsight I feel that my immediate reaction was way out of line (thankfully I only thought it and held my tongue), but at the same time, am I not allowed to enjoy food and life? I feel like I’ve been restrained for so much of my existence!

I dove into a pretty big meal afterward, I’m afraid to say (still feeling pretty full)… I’m just not sure what to do, now. Sensei Quinlan doesn’t know the half of it; I am aware I am eating a lot of food…. I’m not entirely sure what’s an appropriate amount, though. Actually, a lot of those sort of things are still unknown to me. I’m simply eating an amount my body is telling me to eat. I don’t really think it’s fair that I be expected to eat so little that I’m constantly hungry just because others feel I’m fat. Sure, yes, I am heavier. I also feel a lot healthier! I mean, let’s just see if an assassin vine can wring my neck now! And really, where were my allies, so quick to judge me now, when that happened?? They just watched me die; Leon especially! Not even a word of thanks, he instead goes off and gets into trouble! I just kind of let it go, but I’m starting to wonder why? Nobody had a damned thing to say!

…. You know, since returning here, I’m going to look into where he went. He disappeared during Drazmorg’s siege, but the last thing I heard was that he was found in town while we went back to deal with Merlokrep, then went missing again during the shakeup with Kreed’s little regime falling. … I will inquire where he was last seen and see if he isn’t still skulking about. Sheesh! It’s just… you buy someone’s life with yours and they act as though it were something they deserved, casting aside the meaning such an action carries!

To be honest, I didn’t realize it bothered me this much until now. If I find that kid I’m going to have a few words with him!

=The next page, she seems to have arrived back on point after a paragraph or two of complaints about everyone from Varro to Amarro (though she has very little negative to say about him, mostly grousing about how she seems to be invisible to him)=
…. the cold of that country Irrisen… ugh, I never want to feel that cold again! If I was as skinny as I used to be, I don’t think I would have survived that; the others seemed absolutely frigid by comparison to how toasty I was feeling at times.

You know, since discovering that pudding stuff and that, uh… “rumboozle” on the trip, I’ve really been craving more! I think I’ll see if Jak has any when I return to the inn tonight. Yes, that’s what I’ll do: I’ll have a big supper, go see if Mishka is still on the riverbank later tonight, then return and have some pudding! Oh, I’m so excited!

=The following day’s entry notes how she didn’t get the opportunity, as she over-ate at Jak-a’-Napes and fell asleep at her table. This resulted in a young girl on the staff having to move her to her rented room when they closed for the evening, as she proved difficult to wake in her food-stuffed exhaustion (she skims this explanation, talking about the exhaustion of a busy day as a likely reason). In the following week, she never seems to actually get after tracking down Leon, her entries becoming more and more focused on some astoundingly big meals she’s eating – discussing the flavors of the exciting new foods – and the paranoia she’s descending into, culminating in her eventually seeming to forget about the scolding she’d wanted to give Leon and heading back to Oregent to have some sort of “discussion” with Amarro… it seems likely that she was drunk while writing said entry.=

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Tomoe's Journal, 12

I find myself learning a lot about the way the world works. Corruption seems a constant in this land, though in a different manner than my homeland or Andoran: here, it is overt, and endured because the people have no rights and keep their heads down. In Andoran it often wore the mask of the liberator and hero, a charlatan secretly getting ahead on the backs of others. In Kasai…. well, it was at once both overt and covert, but justice’s reach depended on two factors: money, and influence. Unfortunately, my master had both.

My mind feels constantly clouded, in a sense of the word. Yes, I can relax. Yes, I can sleep. But do I rest? Is my mind at peace? I feel as though I were…. I don’t know how to describe it. The world feels strange, my connection that I used to feel to it missing. Yes, I have access to my ki, but I don’t have that inherent feeling of connection to people and the world. It was based on compassion, and while I still feel naturally compelled to not mistreat people and have compassion for them, I also feel a distance from them in my heart, as if I’ve begun to hold them at arms’ length.

I’m reminded of something Sōjōbō the Far-Sighted said the last time sensei and I visited Ikawagakusa no Sato… as they moved off to converse, he’d stopped me and said that I walked around “with eyes closed”, his feathers sticking out and eyes clouded, as usual. I figured he meant that I was not seeing something obvious to the world at the time, but never was able to ask the old tengu what it meant (though sensei stated, when I asked about it: “move in the way of no way”). I’m still not sure what it means, but recently I truly have felt as if my eyes are closed. I need to clear my chakras… I was never good at that though, and my recent trouble with meditation…

I recall hearing that the Jade Regent has been removed from his position within the government, replaced by the Amatatsu heir… I can’t claim to be familiar with the politics of Minkai, though (slavery makes one somewhat unsuited to studying current events). Still, the word is that she is a kind and adventurous person, so I wonder what sort of ongoing power my master would continue to have in her government… his reach was apparently quite long during the reign of the Jade Regent. I would hope that she could oust the corrupt aristocracy, but apparently the province has been on the edge of civil war for the last decade or so… I would guess that her hold on power is as tenuous as the Jade Regent’s apparently was, and she would probably make moves to change things slowly so as to prevent the collapse of her rule…. likely meaning my master is still active. It will likely be some time yet before anything changes there. I sincerely hope he’s not actively plotting against her government, if it is indeed just and good, though there is a mercy in his condition making him loathe to be outside of the manor. His savagery and connection to darker powers makes me nervous, though… he could easily begin to push for some assistance if he indeed felt the need to move against anyone, and woe to those who are victim to his “thirsts”.

… Of course, this is all conjecture, and while I have no reason to return “home”, I must admit a certain nostalgic longing for the upland bamboo forests of Kyojin (and Kosakasan in particular), as well as putting my past to rest, seeing as I fled my home there without warning…. I wonder if anything remains. Perhaps some day I will return, when I know it is safe, and see to the proper burial of sensei, though I imagine the tengu in Ikawa have likely discovered what happened and dealt with his burial. The fact that I can’t know for sure continually plagues my mind, though; for such a great master to be so disrespected will eat at me for a long time. I suppose for now I must continue my journey in the rest of the world, though. He would likely say to put aside my desire for him to be put to rest properly and to wait for the time to present itself, but I’ve always found patience difficult.

“In fact, the truth of Zen is the truth of life, and life means to live, to move, to act; not merely to reflect.”

yet,

“When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness. What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations?"

…. I will get some sleep, I think.

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Ali #5

So the group has become more confronting about my secrecy. Where I come from, secrets are worth more than life. You never know what information can be used against be it something as simple as your name. However due to my secrecy, the group has trouble determining my presence. I have used this to my advantage today, hopefully my actions today will have presented me the opportunity to redeem myself. They know I’m useful, I want them to see just how useful. Of course there are quite a few flaws in my plan and a lot of it is based on it going exactly as I want it to. There a couple gambles with it that could make the whole thing turn horribly fatally wrong, but you know, that’s what makes gambling so fun, risking everything on favourable outcomes.

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