RoundTable Adventuring

Gretchen #04

I know some gods smile upon us; clearly they do. Our current situation obviously is important enough that, while they cannot directly aid us, their help is the only clear explanation for some of the outcomes we’ve seen. As a practical, grounded mind, I am intrigued by this; I am not enough of a fool to ignore the only logical explanation, even though godly intervention is, by definition, illogical.

Some part of me knows that the daemon we faced, the one running that giant machine with those golems in the alcoves of his room, was beyond our power, but I cannot put it into words to describe how our victory happened… I know myself to be intelligent but sometimes it seems that the mind alone cannot comprehend things; indeed, the creature also seemed completely taken aback by our victory, as though he was unable to comprehend our fortune even as we killed him and unmade his victory before he could simply turn the key on it. He was of potent enough power to draw the very liquid from us without effort when we’d only just breached the barriers of his lair, killing our allies but, thankfully, none us in the RoundTable guild (I must remember to note the sacrifices of Kirrahe, Jerkins, and, uh… Vinegar Tom when we get back to the guild headquarters (if we get back, something I keep wondering)).

Still, that was literally all it would have taken; a simple activation of that which would have unmade us, I am sure of it upon examining his machine; we seemed to catch him with his pants down, as though he only needed a moment that was somehow denied him! I am humbled; the knowledge that we are in the middle of a much larger game is not comforting, as I understand how powerless I can be, but at least the fortunes have (thus far) smiled upon us. Sometimes providence throws a bone, and I will not consider it beneath me to bite it and be a part of their plan! I must only remember that sometimes their plan will demand I be ground in the very wheels of fate that I run atop…. still, even then, I will struggle. I struggle with the flow, and I may struggle against the flow.

Wow, am I becoming wiser? It feels like I possess a bit of perspective suddenly, to realize that there is a much larger picture. I’m… kind of excited by that possibility, instead of my normal reaction! This has been a learning experience! Squee! I can’t stop my excited wiggling even as I write!

… I really must take a moment and rest. Thankfully, Axis is restful, in spite of my normally non-relaxed nature.

Also of fortune, I sat and looked at all of the scrolls I was carrying and realized that yes, I did have a solution to the problem of separation from Paracelsus, but it took some abstract thinking; always a strong point. Utilizing a spell I know is normally only for hostile intent (as mother regularly used a variation on it in the past), I was instead able to bring Paracelsus to me as though he were an outsider whom I would be forcing to bend to my will and aid me, but then I simply freed him from the summon circle. It’s hard to describe but I knew what I accomplished was within the parameters of the spell, though outside of the normal uses… it’s wonderful when a solution is available, but normally not expected. I still wonder in which capacity he is with me; is he actually present or is only an aspect of him? He assures me we are together, and I suppose since I cannot myself know as I am not the one affected, I will take his word for it in lieu of being unable to experiment on him to determine whether he is currently a soul, a stand-in projection, a body missing a portion of a soul, or some other combination.

The research I collected scratches at the back of my mind, though. If I wound up looking into it, I may just find some portion of what I was able to accomplish covered within…. or perhaps not. Have I attempted (and succeeded?) what no others have? I find that unlikely; that was a known magic. Paracelsus doesn’t detect as magical or anything but that which I have always known, but arriving at the solution I have through means not normally used fills me with an anxiety that the notes “tell me” they may contain. It’s a feeling thing, not a known thing. Maybe I’m just uncomfortable with the solution working despite my assumptions to the otherwise? Maybe I should just accept it and move on, but it’s in my nature to ask why.

Perhaps time and my own research, aided by this data, will help. Obviously I’m not going to be working with souls on my time, but I may be able to do some work with this data without hitting the dark, evil stuff done to acquire it. Why waste good research, right? I mean, that stupid wizard we met at the start of all this is an example of a fool out of his depth, but I think there’s a common ground I could work from that would satisfy curiosity and morality.

Yes, I do possess a moral compass! haha….

… Oooh, speaking of which, it might even help me solve what’s going on with Tomoe… well, “solve” is a bad word; I don’t actually want it to stop, hehe… it just will be good to comprehend what’s happening so I can prevent her from being under the sway of an evil being (and no, I’m not evil!). I honestly have no idea what is happening, but I can tell it’s not entirely of her own doing; signs do point to outside influence, despite magical detection failing to provide data to back that up. Nobody gains weight that fast. Understanding her issue may help me with mine, too…

… Come on, evil soul research, solve these problems!

… Okay, time for some alcohol, I am clearly way too high-strung to be relaxing, all of this flow-of-consciousness writing and all. I should go find Varro, he always seems to have alcohol close at hand and the situation in perspective. He’s likely seen what I’ve already noted vis-à-vis what just happened and the broader picture we’ve been drawn into, so he probably also has realized just what a boon alcohol will be in the moment.

… He usually seems to feel it’s a boon in any moment.

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Gretchen #03

A family reunion would have been preferable to what happened. Separated from Paracelsus… to be honest, I’m taking this far better than I expected, though I suppose I haven’t had time to fully process what happened. Or how colossally stupid I was. I imagine next time I want to prepare spells I’ll be faced with that reality…

I’ll be frank with you, diary: Varro seems foolish. Like, dangerously unwise… my knowledge of other monks suggests that there’s a certain level of wisdom among them; they all speak in riddles and allegory, but he seems like he just kind of does… things. Maybe he’s a monk who learns with his body and not mind? Or whatever? Tomoe seems more wise than him, and that’s Tomoe I’m talking about. Little miss “I’m going to eat all of the food”.

Hm. I’m missing her, suddenly. I’ll have to get a ham for her or something when we get back. IF we get back… I hadn’t considered that things could go so wrong so suddenly. We considered contacting that halfling friend of Varro’s who Tomoe has talked about a few times herself (can’t remember his name… it seems that everyone likes him, though) with our scroll of Contact Other Plane, but cooler heads prevailed, saying we would likely get the opportunity to get something done when back on Axis. Honestly, you’d think I would have received some kind of advice from someone wiser than me, but obviously we’re all idiots. Maybe that halfling is smarter; should bring him along so I can at least see what all the fuss is about.

I think in the future I’ll do a little more magical detection. I’m sure Paracelsus won’t let me forget that. I think another problem is that I am unable to invoke any temporal magic as of yet, or at least, any of a power level required to plane shift. I’ll have to focus my studies further. I’ll try to figure out in-plane teleportation first, then move on to extra-planar travel… sigh, and I’ll need to figure out how to resurrect people too, apparently, given the general foolishness on display… Sooner is definitely better.

I think I’m just going to demand Pharasma recall him or something. She’s a damned goddess, she should be able to manage her own minions at the very least! … Barring that not working (I won’t hold my breath), I’m going to have to try something a little more potent in the arcane arts… possibly getting into the “wish” terrain.

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Nekoko #5

Shiny new claws. I like it. They are really good at cutting daemons, and now that I think of it Aria had a grudge against daemons. I think it was because of all the energy drain. I think the next time I’m back home I’ll pick up another set of them and start calling them Daemonbane.

There were a bunch of priesty guys who wanted to resurrect Aroden. I don’t exactly know how to feel about that, but the group is against it. I mean why chance the return of a fallen God against the end of existence. What if Aroden can’t stop the apocalypse? Then what? Too much to risk for too little gain.

It’s a shame Nadeshiko died. I had plans for her, I might have to work on getting her brought back to life. It leaves a gross feeling in me that she died after only just being freed from slavery. The Sisters of Battle or Battle Sisters, I haven’t fully decided on the name yet. Go figure, I’m terrible at names.

Also the River Styx, that was there too. Glad the old dog man finally became useful.

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Screech #1

This journey has been a challenge to say the least and has expanded my knowledge of good and evil.

I was very untrusting of the very first demon we meet, a babau walking to the same town. I wanted him as far away from us as he could get, but that distrust almost killed us. I see now that if I had tried to speak with him he might have told us about the bebilith. We could ‘ve planned to fight it, been ready for it. His actions weren’t even evil. He was merely trying to survive.

And the babau in the tournament, I should have urged him to flee. He could ’ve teleported and never been seen again. The Abyss is a big place. And that act of kindness could have been the start of his
redemption. But that opportunity is now lost.

I wish I knew why Pharasma chose these companions. Nekoko
almost attacked a Glabrazu to prove she could win. If she had I would ve let her die. Pride truely is the greatest sin. In hindsight I also regret giving part of my winning to the dog and witch. “Your deception is its own reward,” should ve been my response. I wonder what good things I could’ve accomplished with that extra money. In the future I must remember to do what is truely right, not what is ‘fair’.

I have to be more careful with my actions in the future and remember that it is not enough to stop evil, one must do good.

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Gretchen #02

Well, the Abyss has been interesting, to say the least. I’ve done some planar traveling in the past with various allies but I’ve never had an interest in the evil-aligned planes (with good reason, apparently).

For some reason we kept encountering these bebiliths, but I’m pretty impressed with the group Marrok and I have joined up with; there’s a lot of combat prowess that was displayed when we got working together. Varro the halfling seems to enjoy combat, and no matter what he faces, I gather that he attempts to fight it from as close as possible. Tomoe was right, he’s absolutely mad, but I think I like that the most about him. The old man is, conversely, made out of glass, but his heart’s in the right place. I’d hate to have to baby him just to prevent his untimely (or maybe timely; how old is he…?) death, but I suppose that’s what I’ve trained to do. Still, you’d think an old man would have less of a death wish.

The cat girl has stopped discussing her girlfriend long enough to show her skills in fighting, and I would count myself impressed with what I saw! The final battle in the arena saw us fighting two bebiliths at once, but the strix, cat-girl and Varro all dealt with the one while the old man and I solved the other, and as soon as the cat-girl got going it was spraying fluids all over and stumbling around. Good to have a problem-solver around.

I quite enjoyed my fights in the arena, especially when those babaus attempted to get me apart from Marrok… I had never called the void before and had only prepared that spell on a whim, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything. I don’t feel any particular affinity for such “astral” magic, but I can see its utility: it was almost an “absolute cold”. I think I suffocated those two who attacked me. I’ll need to make certain to monitor my allies while using it in the future.

Then, we were attacked while resting by some dancing vrocks, and wound up going to deal with the gem almost without a plan. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why we wound up going to the arena; it may have been part my idea, but I was hoping it would open a door for us in terms of finding the gem… thankfully, that problem solved itself, in a manner of speaking, though I have the feeling that things very nearly went completely awry. Back to the vrocks, though… I wonder if there’s any ancestry between them and our paladin? I might ask him.

We’re on our way to Abaddon next in our little vacation. My “father” is from there, apparently (as I’ve been constantly reminded of throughout my life)… I have no idea what to expect from this. I suppose I’ll get at least the opportunity for a sort-of family reunion?

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Nekoko #4

Winner! Take that ugly spiders! They weren’t really all that, though the grandpa-dog-man didn’t seem to fair that well against them. Must be because he’s a senile old weakling who’d probably turn to dust in the wind if not for his animal form. Good on him that he’s still trying to be useful despite being ancient. I hope I never grow old.

Anyway, still really don’t understand why we entered the arena, I just went with it so I could scratch stuff. If I don’t stick my claws into something on a regular basis, I get rather agitated or tired, I get sleepy on boring days too. Nadeshiko seems to be fine, I’ve explained that she won’t be a slave for much longer. I’ve also offered her a place to stay at the headquarters I’ll be building. I didn’t expect her to accept so quickly, anyway, it won’t be for a while but Nadeshiko seems trustworthy enough.

And just because I can’t go a whole journal entry without mentioning Aria. (Or at least I could have but decided against it.) I’m going to become Aria’s herald once I’ve established the Sister’s of Battle and find someone suitable to run it in my place. Preferably someone more similar to Aria and not a bloodthirsty kitten like myself. Aria hasn’t contacted me since before I started this adventure, I assume because she doesn’t want to distract me, but it is worrisome nonetheless. Who am I kidding, even as a mortal Aria could take care of herself. She’s fine.

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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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