Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Adventures of Krinsblag: It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

Entry Five:
Well, the situation has gone from bad to worse, and if I'm going to be honest it's pretty much entirely my fault. However, to explain how we've gotten to our current situation I shall have to recount the events of several days, beginning where I last left off.

After putting Palaveen in charge of No Fun and seeing him make definite progress on the wall, we decided to take a few days to rest and see if Tallcrippler would let us just walk out of the place so we wouldn't have to kill him. In one of my more good-natured moments I deigned to assist the gnomes in constructing the wall which turns out to have been the first bad decision in what would become a series of bad decisions, as I have mentioned. As the wall neared completion Palaveen informed us that the contract explicitly stated that the gnomes would be the ones to finish the wall, which had made him concerned. Asmodeus, being the diabolical stickler for technicalities that he is, may interpret our assistance with the wall as a breach of contract and make everyone stay in this gods-forsaken hellhole, and Palaveen asked us to depart so that our presence would not affect the contract.

We quickly pointed out to Palaveen that we'd very gladly depart from No Fun and would have done so much sooner, but all plans to do so peaceably had been thwarted by Tallcrippler the gatekeeper. If Palaveen wished us to force our way past the gatekeeper we welcomed him to assist us in this endeavor, to which he replied if we simply went to the outskirts of town his fears would be satisfied. So with absolutely no regret whatsoever we left No Fun for what we fervently prayed would be the last time and waited in a tunnel for about four hours or so for the gnomes to finish the wall.

To tell the truth, we will never know if the gnomes finished the wall. They may be down there still in No Fun, constantly trying to build a wall to fulfill the obligations of that infernal contract. What we do know is about four hours after we left town there was a tremendous rumble in the direction of the exit which Meda said sounded much like a cave-in or a collapsing building. This was followed by a much louder rumble in the direction of No Fun. Worried that our avenue of escape had been cut off we ran towards Tallcrippler's house to discover it had taken considerable damage, and rubble littered the floor of cavern. Worst of all, the only known tunnel to the surface was completely blocked with slabs of rock not even Grovetender could hope to lift. We interrogated Tallcrippler to find out just what the fuck had happened, but he only answered that everyone would remain here until the wall was finished. In hindsight we probably should have tried killing him and getting the hell out a lot earlier, but it's no use complaining about squandered opportunities.

We decided to head back into No Fun to try and rescue anyone trapped under rubble and find some answers, and at least we made some progress on the latter by finding out what, or rather who had caused the cave-in. When we entered the cavern containing No Fun a portal opened in the ceiling and out of it came a great black devil wielding a sword and axe, followed by an elf woman wielding a mace and a rose. The talked at each other for a while in languages I couldn't even being to hope to understand, knocking each other into buildings and causing a general ruckus before disappearing into another portal. Soma informed us that they were Moloch and Milani, two minor deities who were talking about a cosmic struggle or balance or some such thing, usual nonsense gods are always going on about.

Palaveen soon emerged and asked us what the fuck we had done, to which we explained it was very unlikely any of our actions had caused Moloch and Milani to appear and mess with his wall. This only further confused Palaveen who sat down and kept going over the contract as if it'd somehow explain why two demigods had decided to crash his town in a very literal manner. The party contemplated what we should do now that our only route of escape had been cut off, when yet another portal opened near us. Looking through it I recognized the Starstone Cathedral and concluded Absalom would be a much better place to be than this desperate fuck-hole. I told everyone to follow me and jumped through the portal, landing more or less safely in Absalom. Before the portal closed we saw Moloch and Milani continuing to fight in No Fun, unaware of the devastation they caused. I suspect no one survived the collateral damage of their battle and I pray they're in a much better place because it seems we sure as hell aren't.

Here's the funny thing I hadn't been aware of which may have changed my decision to jump through the portal. It turns out that Absalom has been the location of Moloch and Milani's fight for nearly four hundred years. You'd think even demigods would get tired of fighting after four centuries but it can't be said they haven't gone halfway. We found what had once been a vibrant and thriving city abandoned and mostly in ruin. Determined to make the best of a bad situation, we salvaged whatever materials we could find and headed off on the western highway, determined to find even a fishing village that would help us get off this damn island.

The folly of my decision became yet more apparent as our progress was halted by what we've decided to call Blight. The very ground itself appeared decayed and the stench of rot permeated the atmosphere. Unwilling to continue blindly into a very clearly bad thing, we decided to stop at a watchtower and try to determined how far the Blight extended. Based on our observations we concluded that it appeared to actually get worse to the north and west, the general direction of our travel, and no living thing could be seen, but it seemed to stop before the coastline to the south. To the north we espied a recently used campsite and as it wasn't too far from the road we decided it was worth investigating.

The campsite, unfortunately, only confirmed our worst fears about this place. We did find a corpse in the middle of the site, but my adventurer sense told me it was better to be safe than sorry so I poked it with my sword before I let anyone near it. Lo and behold I was proven right and it turned out to be a zombie which we quickly dispatched. Actually, Soma tells me it's technically a Cadaver because it got back up again and started following us, but we cut its arms and legs off and left it moaning impotently in the middle of the field. Deciding that the ocean seemed to be our best bet we headed south towards the coast and away from the Blight.

It was nearly dark by the time we reached the cliffs that separated us from the beach, and Tidingston noticed a small campfire down by the shore. We decided to climb down and investigate, hoping whoever had started the fire could help us or take us to someone who could help us get off this cursed island. By the time we had all reached the beach, however, the campfire had been put out and an investigation of its general location revealed what could generously be called a campsite but really was little more than a bedroll under a rock ledge. We decided to light the campfire to show our peaceful intentions and wait until whoever was staying here decided to come back. Meda and Feron went to try their luck at fishing so we could avoid dipping into our scant reserves of trail rations.

Eventually the owner of the bedroll, a man named Winifred, decided we seemed peaceful and returned, although we gave him quite a few scares and he passed out at least once. Mostly he was babbling and incoherent, but we discerned that he had been part of a previous expedition to the island to try and recover artifacts from Absalom but something had made the expedition turn on each other and they were all now in the Blighted area. Despite our attempts at interrogation he revealed little else and we determined he'd been here for quite some time. As the night continued I developed a certain pity for Winifred and wished I could help him, although considering we seem to have a hard enough time to help ourselves it seemed there was very little we could do for him.

At about midnight a voice began calling for Winifred at the top of the cliff, going back and forth trying to find where he was. Winifred was very clearly disturbed by this voice and only reluctantly admitted it was one of his former crewmates. We decided to see if we could wait him out but the voice soon revealed that he knew at least one other person had come down there as well. A quick conference concluded that if whoever was up on the cliff knew we were down here it was better to challenge him to a fight quickly than die slowly of starvation. Meda dissented, and again I probably should have taken her advice, but my brasher more impulsive nature got the better of me and I decided to go forth and issue a challenge. The owner of the voice revealed himself to be Ado Corrister and after shouting a few insults at him and doing the big tough warblade routine it appeared he had buggered off. Unfortunately for us he had simply come down to the beach so he could carry off Winifred for whatever nefarious purpose he has in mind  and then sic his lackeys on us. I'm beginning to suspect I should just kill anyone who can form a coherent sentence on sight because all of them seem determined to dick me over.

- Kalpar

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