The Family

Ilikan's Journal (3/3/2010)
We continue up in the tower. I think it’s up, who the hell can tell with teleporters? Bulwark mentions that we don’t really know how to get out. That seems bad, but I got over it. Wherever we are, there be some more beasties to stick:
Battle assessment: Two of the bronze constructs, but they are in a limited space due to pillars. Their reach will make that less useful. Looks like there are two rooms of reinforcements. All of them are little orc thingies, but some have real teeth. I try to get access to one of those and I am able to charge it (yay hat!). I got some new gloves that are pretty cool when I’m all pissed off.

You should focus more training into your rage.

I can train to be pissed off? Awesome!

Yes, but it isn’t what you think it is. Now focus!

The mage orc thingy runs away. I’m not able to follow, so I start working my way back to the melee. Looks like Bulwark figured out how to get out of here, that’s good to know. Every time he comes back he looks angrier. I’ll tell him he can train it later.

He cannot, he does not commune with the spirits as you do.

Too bad, ‘cause right now he is really pissed off. Any way, while I’m working my way back I smack on the bronze construct. Those things can take a beating, can’t they? Some of the other orc thingies have gotten behind Bulwark while he was testing the ‘porter. Again. Have to get there to help. Make it back, get them cleaned up and then return to the constructs. Die. Die. Die.

We find a whole bunch of rooms filled with boredom. People who care play with the lab and books, I don’t. We also find the next portal. It goes to a small room with 3 doors. When we open the front door…
Battle assessment: 2 brusiers, 2 mages, & 2 slingers. We engage the brusiers while the mages and slingers pelt us with crap. They aren’t very good. Bulwark forces his way through the door so I can get through to use my sword. We start the beat down, but a statue has started shooting some kind of stun ray at us. We aren’t moving a lot, so it isn’t a big deal.

There is a lesson here for you to learn; include the environment in your battle assessment. Sometimes it is your true enemy.

Right. Reinforcements come from one of the side rooms, another mage and 2 of the constructs. One of the constructs attacks us from a side door in the entrance room. I was afraid of that, its beating on Kutok & Gurdis. Between the stuns and my current position it will take awhile to get back there. The new mage is shooting lightning, and, um, it hurts. Alot. I go down, but a heal from Kutok gets me back in the fight. Owe him another beer. Gurdis is about done, so he takes off. Kutok has to follow. One of the constructs chases. Before we can follow everybody else, Bulwark goes down. I grab him and start dragging. In the next room Kutok is able to heal Bulwark and we finish off the construct, eventually, and escape.

Bah! I still hate it when we run…

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Kutok's Journal

We step on the teleportal that the d’orcs were coming through and find ourselves in a strangly twisting hallway. There are rooms to either side, one of which contains a strange set of devices which Gurdis says likely control the bronze warders. We have unfriendlies in the next room, and at the end of the corridor another teleportal.

That teleportal takes us to a room with three doors. One door is obviously the way so Bulwark opens that onto a temple of Vecna. A couple of casters, shieldy guys, and throwers are standing in the way of our loot. A statue of vecna near the door prevents Bulwark and Illikan from moving very much which is a problem when a bronze warder opens one of the other doors and starts wailing on Gurdis and me. Just then Palidorc shows up and starts in with the lightning. We’re all pretty much beat down at this point so we make a hasty retreat through the teleportal.

At least we know where Palidorc was, but he’ll have a whole day to respond as we must go back to the Hall and heal up.

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Ilikan's Journal (2/24/2010)
As we get our bearings and search the remains I see what the primal warned; a dead druid. I was just getting to like that druid. The door that was previously locked had opened to show a foggy room. We push through the room and find a whole set of bad guys…
Battle assessment: 4 demons, large undead minotaur, another rockfist construct, and a gnoll with wings and a tail. There are also two non-combatants that need saving. Bulwark shields our front, I provide support by blocking the rockfist and helping to cut down the flanks on bulwark. Battle bogs down for me, no place to charge w/o exposing the fleshies.

Whoa! Where did that come from. Somebody snuck in a new fleshy! This one seems to be helpful, and isn’t purple. But she isn’t part of the Family… She is helpful now so treat her as the other fleshies for this battle, worry about affiliations later.

The new fleshy has thrown my sword play off. Takes me awhile to get some good swings in. The gnoll-bat is killing his hostages – bet nothin’ good is comin’ from that. He keeps givin’ me some kind of cursed eye that makes chargin’ him difficult, but while I’m stuck here it really ain’t important.

The new fleshy has a friend among the captives. As she gets between him and the gnoll-bat it finishes its spell and kills him. A little later the kettles start boiling over and tentacles come out to play. There’s a new minotaur to fight as well. They don’t turn out to be too much for us though the tentacles try to drag the new fleshy into the pots. I’ll just keep outta range of them thingies. The minotaur keeps backing up to charge, just makin’ him easier to kill.

Looks like a good battle, maybe the new fleshy, her name is Sugar, can be of use. She was here. There is an idol of baphomet here in the room. We swipe it and Kutok’s new buddies come in useful to unload the merchandise. Think I’m gonna by me a new chargin’ hat!

Next day we follow the map we got off the gnoll-bat. Kutok has a key that kinda jumps into its keyhole. If they can make a key that finds its own hole, why can’t they make a key that fins me when I can’t find it? Anyway, very spooky lookin’ guy behind the door. Except that all he wants to do is talk, which is really boring. It definitely ruins the spooky. Everybody talks back, it lets us through, though it makes me a little queasy. On the other side is some action…
Battle assessment: puny lookin’ ‘oids. They are backed up by the pillars in this place. What the hell is it with the pillars in this joint?

Focus, idiot

Charge! Like the new charging hat. I hear from that drow guy in 7 pillars that there is a charging weapon too. Gonna get me one of those next.

I said focus!

Right. The little orc thingies die pretty easy, but the pillars hurt if you get next to them. It appears that there are three more of the orc thingies in one of the rooms off the main one. They go down easy as well. But they’ve opened another teleporter. Lots of orc thingies incoming! These are even easier to kill than the first ones though. As we finish them off we get to the other room off the main hall. It has mages in it. They were controlling the pillars, so down they go.

To be continued…

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Kutok's Journal

We step through the newly opened portal, even though there is obscuring mist hanging eerily just inside the door. A few feet further in is another door. Beyond this is a ritual ongoing in a room full of deep spiritual meaning—to followers of Baphomet.

Several creatures are defending a priest who is chanting some ritual. In the deep recesses of the room are two apparent sacrifices, struggling as some magical barrier saps them of their life essence.

The defenses are tough, skeletons just out of reach of my turn undead, and in front of them several other creatures including a rock smasher which we encountered with the gnoll yesterday. We form a defensive line and start trying to work through them, one slips past momentarily but Bulwark smacks him and puts him in his place.

Suddenly from behind me a shrill cry and arrows!!! ... aimed at our enemies??? Someone is taking advantage of the confusion to snipe some of our enemies. It’s some kind of elf, but it doesn’t look anything like our druid whose body we left in the other room. As long as the arrows don’t hit me on the way by, any extra damage to these guys is welcome.

The enemy defenders are too strong to just push past. When Bulwark finally makes a hole he thinks he can squeeze through to get to the caster he realizes the terrain is suddenly precarious, too difficult to move through. Something the archer has done has made it nearly impossible to get through to attack the cleric. Meanwhile the cleric has killed one of the sacrifices. I’m beginning to wonder what side this archer is on again. At the very least her help is a mixed blessing.

After a time with Illikan, Bulwark, Gurdis and I pounding on the defenses we finally get through. But not soon enough because as soon as Illikan engages the cleric he finishes his ritual, and the last of the squishy sacrifices dies… the strange archer cries out and tries to hold the old man, calling him something like dunce. If she calls me dunce I’ll punch her in the mouth, but this old man is too busy dying to care..

The cleric finally goes down, as does a minotaur he manages to summon to annoy us. It turns out the ranger’s name is sugar tits, it’s not clear if skulking around in dungeons is her day job or something she does to take her mind off being groped in the kinds of establishments she must work at night. Either way we look around and find a valuable statue of a minotaur that Illikan and Bulwark pry free of the altar.

On the way back to town we sell the statue to the Duergar but then continue into the Hall of Seven Pillars to rest and get ready for the next day.

The cleric yesterday had a magic key, a map, and a note from our buddy Paldimar. Apparently this guy is getting in all kinds of everybody’s business. I’m sure the family will want him out of the way to ensure the safety of trade relations with the locals, so we head out to follow the map. The map says there’s a turn where their ain’t one (and it’s disturbingly close to the Ho7p). The key, however, tries to jump out of my pocket so I take it out and see if it will lead us somewhere…. yeah, a wall, how interesting… but wait, it moves my hand around until it finds a completely hidden keyhole, it slides into the hole and a part of the wall moves away to reveal a cooridor.

We travel down the corridor a bit and find a dead end with some kind of scribble in the stone floor. As we investigate an apparition appears, he’s missing his left hand and eye, but otherwise looks like a ghost of a ghoul. It appears he’s a follower of Vecna, and he demands stories and lore to let us pass. I tell him of our great deeds thus far, including living through the hall of demons and the temple of Baphomet, and that seems to entertain him for a moment. Bulwark tells him of the crocodiles we found a few days ago, and when the strange ranger speaks up about crocodiles the apparition is obviously bored out of his one-eyed skull. Gurdis recovers nicely with some Baphomet lore we discovered in the Temple. Unfortunately our best storytelling and digging deep into our travels for stories of our daring and might aren’t enough to assuage this spectre’s hunger, but he agrees to let us pass for a price.

The circle of runes is a teleportation circle, it will cost us part of our life essence to cross through. We go ahead and pop out somewhere else, in a room with some d’orcs, they’re ugly like orcs but smallish and pinkish, and squishyish. There are quite a few of them, however, and the strange pillars in this room alternately smack us with necrotic and shoot something out to make us forget stuff. In a little side room are two casters who also like to make us forget stuff, we thought momentarily that taking them out would turn off the columns, then we forgot about it and just sent their spirits to face Kord.

There’s another teleportal that these d’orcs are coming through, we’ll have to investigate where that goes soon…

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Kutok's Journal

We head back into the well of demons to retrieve the items (book, mask, knife, bell) and we find them. This time the blood room that guards the knife is easier—we should have tried flying the first time.

The bell attaches itself soundly to Bulwark’s hand when he picks it up. The room is full of skeletons, so it’s a bit of a mess. The columns in the room are alternating between spitting out new skeletons and radiating some kind of noise that’s really fearsome to hear.

Dayze is a little dayzed, I think she’s been drinking. She runs around a corner into a room with the book on an altar. Instead of the book she grabs…. a candle? Weirdest druid ever. She runs back out and to another door and before we can stop her she’s associating with some gnoll—fortunately the gnoll isn’t her type or else we’d be reliving the sow incident from yesterday. Either that or Dayze is tired of humping as a boar. Naw.

The gnoll keeps her busy, so Bulwark goes in to grab the book only to find the room isn’t actually empty—a stone golem chases after him as he retreats with the book. At this point everyone (except Dayze) is talking about leaving but we’re engaged with a gnoll and a golem, so I don’t think that’s wise. Illikan takes over for Dayze on the gnoll, meanwhile Bulwark and Dayze go after the golem. We get both down eventuall, but bulwark is upset about not retreating when he called retreat, the big baby.

We now have all four items, and we go to place them on the runes. Illikan coordinates from the corridor with the brown stain on it. We open several doors to make him easier to hear from all the four corners. When he calls out 1… 2… 3… we drop the items onto our respective circles and ….

nothing happens

at least not immediately. I run out into the corridor just in time to see a big spikey ball of energy roll by. I hear struggles from the direction Bulwark should be and it sounds as though Gurdis is taking a bath and not liking it very much. The ball of ick is impervious to my attacks, but as it rolls past my comrades it seems that it’s just pushing them around a bit. The bigger danger seems to be the traps in Gurdis and Bulwark’s room (I can see them now, some skeleton arms on the ground near me are reaching out).

Following a cold growl from the pit comes a black dragon, straight at Illikan..

Dayze and I rejoin the rest and pelt at the dragon, trying to stay away from the ball of fuzz. The dragon engages, but eventually flies up to make Illikan switch weapons and Bulwark switch tactics. We chase the dragon some more, trying to avoid the ball but when he’s out of sight and reach of Dayze and me Dayze runs around the corner.

I hear a few thwacks and her groan as she collapses. I race around the corner to find the dragon in the hallway, the ball racing at me in the distance, and Dayze, in a side room, full of crossbow bolts. I throw a heal her way but she’s too exhausted, too spent, too… yep… more crossbow bolts and I can tell even from here she’s dead.

I’m stunned there as the ball rolls right over me, but around that time the dragon falls and the ball disappears. The traps seem to subside in the other rooms, the splashing from Gurdis’, the bones in Bulwark’s, and the unseen until now crossbow turrets in the ceiling of Dayze’s room (I wonder what would have been in store for me had I stayed in my room?).

A stone door, previously locked, opens for us as the dragon is defeated. We take Dayze’s body back to town to see what we can salvage, but we will be back.

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Ilikan's Journal (2/17/2010)
One more artifact to go…
You do this one

Yeah, I know, battle assessment: Lit druid is steeling candles, not the book we need. She runs into a gnoll that is cornered. As we start the beatdown it conjures a rock golum. I take the gnoll with Kutok in support. The rest of the team takes on the stoner.

Stop editorializing

I don’t even know what that means.

They don’t need a name because you’re just going to kill them. Not stoner, golum.

sigh The reast of the team takes on the golum. Happy? Bulwark grabs the book and calls for retreat. Evidently nobody else listens to Bulwark, because I’m the only one retreatin’.

It’s not a retreat if you aren’t getting your ass kicked. Definably not the case here. And following the squad out is a good tactic when you have to conserve resources. I have it on good authority that the lit druid will pay dearly for that in a little bit.

Um, what does that mean? Do I need to warn her?

Don’t worry about it, you fix it later. Somethings you just have to clean up afterwards. Get on with it.

I disengage and take up a charge position to cover the rest of the squad. You know, you never did tell me what the f#;k a ‘squad’ was.

It’s your group, your team. That’s the military word for it. Now no more questions, just finish!

No body else retreats. Kutok finishes the gnoll. Bulwark engages the golum and I help uh him?

Well we have all the artifacts, now we have to distribute them. The brain trust which ain’t me think that the order doesn’t matter. So they line up at the circles and I coordinate placement. Then promptly get ran over by a big black ball…
Battle assessment: Ball of energy spikes. Hah! Bet you didn’t expect that! May I suggest that you stay out of its way in the future? And a dragon. More importantly a black dragon, which does poison damage I believe? Best. Amulet. Ever. Never underestimate the importance of the right equipment for the right job. It’s all about planning. If you plan for enough things and bring enough equipment then it will even pay off for the things you didn’t think of. Why would anybody plan for a poisonous dragon to be only be flying 10’ over your head? They wouldn’t. There is no way to imagine a strange scenario like this. But you have made plans to attack from behind your front line defenses. And the best amulet ever for fighting in this particular dungeon. So beat the crap out of this dragon. Then take the dead lit druid back to town. Her plan included hiding in a turret trap. And dead is what a bad plan will get you.
Hmmmmm…....

To be continued…

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Ilikan's Journal (2/3/2010)

Can’t get this primal outta my head. He’s all like stand up straight, eat right, more combat practice and I’m all like get the f#!k out of my head. He’s killin’ me. I need more sleep, but he’s started invading my nightmares. The huge-a-gator was bad enough without him in there too!

Back to the demon rooms. No ghosties this time, can’t say that I mind that. This time we go to the glass room first.
Battle assesment: Glass pillars are teleporting your squad. Smashing isn’t working. Think of something idiot. YOU CLOSED YOUR EYES? Afraid you’d wet yourself? Ah, they can’t attack you with your eyes closed. You might have some form of intelligence after all. You can still beat those mirrors with your eyes closed, but I don’t think it’ll do you any good. Incoming intel about a pit and a curtain. Combatants you can beat down behind the curtain, get their. Can fight with your eyes open now. Much better, only three. You and the AFV will not have any problems here. Look under the mask, there is a place to put your hand. It’ll get your squad back. Tell them to close their eyes! I thought you were the dumbass here. No, you can’t just leave them there. You have to go back for them, you’ll need the support.
Ha, don’t know everything do ya! Ow f# I didn’t think a primal could actually smack me while we weren’t fighting together. Kord, please don’t let it drive me crazy. It’s impossible to fight something already in my head.

On to the next freak room in this joint. One with a bunch of pools. That they want me to jump in. And taste? Umm.. I’ll pass. It’s too much like taking a bath, and I don’t drink my bath water. Nothin’ to fight here but deranged squad members. When did I start calling them ‘squad’ members? And what the fuck is a ‘squad’?

Well shit, more pillars, at least these want to fight.
Battle assessment: More belligerent pillars. Once again, no mobile combatants. Well accompany the defender in the search for the next artifact. You provide the offense if he needs to escape and he’ll provide the defense while you dish it out. There’s the bell we’re looking for. Ouch! That looked like it hurt. Remember not to pick up strange objects in the future. And now the pillars are spitting out combatants. You will be useful after all. You need to reestablish contact with the support team. The squadies are under attack. Nice charging tactics; both to damage you enemies and protect your support. You might be worth my trouble yet. The druid provided some nice cover there, gotta love that. Makes your job easier by both slowing down and bleeding the enemy. Looks like you’ll be able to open a path of retreat. Good job, for once.
Um… why is the primal complimenting me? I think it’s a Trap! The stupid demon rooms stole the dagger back when we headed back to town. Now we gotta go get it again. Come on asshole, lets get this over with…
Battle assessment: we’ve been here before. Oh look, you have a plan; let the girl do all the work. Well at least get your ass out there and provide support. A bunch of those blood-demons are going to try to eat her, and you know it. Don’t go that way fool! She’s moving a lot faster than you and you’ll just get caught… ah well, I guess you provided a distraction. Helping by being an idiot isn’t going to work all of the time, you should try thinking. You should plan your battles as a group more often, this one went pretty well. Nothing like good intel is there?
Intel? What’s intel? You mean getting info about what were getting ourselves into before we actually fight it? That seems like a good idea, but why call it intel? It’s short for intelligence? Ah, that word has too many syllables for me too. Ouch! What did you do that for!

To be continued….

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Kutok's Journal

We decide to explore a little, with our handy map having all kinds of unmarked areas to explore we head west with our new friend Bulwark and come to a complex of snake worshipers. The first room is mostly humanoid types but one of them pulls a lever just before we take him out—did he just warn someone? We tactically withdraw and catch our breath before continuing.

In the next room there is water over the entire floor making it treacherous, there are also four very large snake things. Two of them are literally boiling the water where they touch it. The other two are larger and like to grapple. We tousle with them for a while, meanwhile Dayze moves to the far end of the room and throws up a wall of thorns. Great idea, just question the efficacy of intentionally separating yourself from the rest of the party on that one… Ahh, well, that’s nothing to what she did yesterday with the pig, so we’ll move on.

The snakes eventually are dispatched and we start looking around the room. There are some gems in the alcoves which are nice, and a curiously deep hole in the floor which was previously covered with water.

Bulwark explains that he doesn’t need to breathe so can easily explore the hole. We tie a rope around him anyway and down he goes. There are a couple of violent tugs on the rope and then it goes slack. Illikan pulls on the rope and thinks Bulwark is still attached, but can’t pull him free of whatever he’s doing. We figure he’s just doubling back or found something shiny.

Dayze takes a peek into the darkness and can see he’s actually found a pet. You know that water lizard my brother caught years ago and I wanted to set it free in the town drinking well but he said we couldn’t do that because it would grow up to huge size and come out of the well after us. Well, that’s what had ahold of Bulwark. I can’t be sure it’s exactly the same one, it kinda looks like little ‘sticky’ but all grown up and huge. It’s also a long way from Crag’s End, still all rivers connect to oceans and all oceans connect to each other so it’s possible he swam all the way here, he’s had quite a few years to do it.

I move closer to the lever on the wall, but hesitate to pull it because I don’t want to trap Bulwark. Just about then he manages to free himself and comes shooting out of the water. I figure that’s a good time to pull the lever, and sure enough a stone door covers the hole in the floor so that giant thing can’t come get us.

We rest up again and tackle a door at the end of the room. There was some chanting we could hear through the door and sure enough it’s full of those humanoids again and some deep water runs through the room and around a central island. This time they’re concentrating on one humanoid. Before we get a decent battle plan ready illikan charges in and skewers two of them in the blink of an eye. As the rest of us move closer to back him up the damn alligator jumps up and latches on to Illikan.

It’s a tough battle, with the humanoids running around and one in the corner throwing magic at us, meanwhile the crocodilian is threatening to drown Illikan and/or Bulwark. The caster turns into a large snake at some point and Dayze must not like snakes because she pushes him off the ledge into the water with the croc. That doesn’t seem to phase him much though, as he continues to cast at us. The rest of us work on wearing down sticky who is very tough, he’s grown up so big and strong. Even the little bit of damage we seem to be able to do is slowly healing on its own.

Bruised and battered, we manage to finally kill sticky and the caster doesn’t have the sense to run away, so we kill him too. That gives us a bunch of snake skins to take back to town so we start skinning.

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Ilikan's Journal

The primals are making me write this. They say it ‘helps my understanding of the world’. I say it makes my head hurt. I was able to ignore them for awhile, but then they started making my head hurt. So in the end it’s a wash. Meh

Paladin the Gay and our Invoker wussed out on us, so we decided not to try the demon rooms again. It was fun to do all that jumping, but not fun to lose the knife. F#;king demons.

Koutok pulls out our trusty map and we pick a new spot. I wanna go beat them ugly dwarves, but Koutok still keeps telling me maybe later. sigh

We travel to the new spot, and what a long boring walk it is. When we get there the fun begins. I seem to be seeing what’s going on during combat better, wonder if that’s what the primals are talking about? Trancing for details…
Battle assessment: Targets 7 snakemen. Terrain is ~50% obstructed floor. Targeting first snakeman, easy kill but no secondary target in charge range. Think dumbass, planning for a secondary attack is important on all attacks. Next target is slammed into another enemy providing secondary damage. Very nice, here I thought you were ignoring me all that time. Alert! Target moves to healer, charge and kill it, secondary target available for charge. That’s how it’s done recruit. Next target is surrounded by allies and is an easy kill. Contact report complete.
Well that’s a first, never had a military primal before. Heh, he’s like all serious and stuff. Showed me a bunch a new tactics though. Hmmm Rest and on to the next room. The last guy in the first room pulled a lever. Looks like it flooded the floor in the next room with its Big snakes and Fire snakes. Trancing…
Battle assessment: We have achieved surprise. Floor is covered in ankle deep water Target 2 large snakes grab/constrict probable. 2 fire snakes, spit fire and provide own concealment. It is important to know your enemies! You have an assignment: determine what these creatures are and learn all about them in town. Your contact for selling the skins should know something. Able to cover the distance between entry and first large snake by jumping. Remember that for yourself next time, idiot. Snakes are hard to hit and grab when they hit back, that looks like it’ll hurt later. Fire snake spits its fire and leaves its self made smoke screen. Grab from large snake not too difficult to escape. Switch targets to fire snake as it is easier to hit and appears to do more damage. Allies are moving enemies around and changing the battle zone. Druid attack shrubs are nice, use them! Maybe you need to learn to move your enemies? Switch from target to target. Notice how you failed to get a kill? Switching targets a lot will do this, private. You need to concentrate your damage better. You did provide distraction to the flamer attacking the healer, which is always a good tactic.
W T F, I’ve never had the same primal twice in a row. Home work, really? He can’t do that can he? I hate school, F*#;k me. Rest and head into the next room. Lots of snake dudes need a smack down.
Battle assesment: 6 snakemen, and another snake man which is obviously a leader. Terrain is made up of 3 platforms the middle surrounded by water on all sides. The platform to our left is split into two levels. The leader is at the upper level of that platform and has been designated main target. Charging the first target provides an easy kill allowing a secondary charge which is also an easy kill. But you forgot that a running start is needed for easy jumps! If you were’nt lucky you would have been swimming, and I would have been laughing my ass off. Alert! Huge alligator attacking from the water. Switch main target! It has bitten and grabbed us. Ally provides escape from grab, remember that! That is some very tough armor, all of our main attacks are just bouncing off. Charging is helping, but not enough. The cleric debuff seems to help. You’re teammates can make you stronger. Remember that asshole! It even helped you get the kill.
Back again?!? This primal is really pissing me off. I’m gonna go back to town and drink enough to forget it.
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Kutok's Journal

We decide to follow Dayze back to town so that she doesn’t get lost and decide to create a love nest with her lesbian in denial love friendly pig.

Along the way some Ghoullies decide to play in traffic. We were traffic. Traffic always wins. Traffic, in this case, doesn’t get rich enough running over ghoullies.

After Dayze waves a tearful goodbye to her pig lover (with a painfully discordant smile… and why is she clutching her purse like that) she buys us all lunch, which takes Merroc a while to consume, he sure does enjoy food products.

We carefully proceed back into the depths, past the pig pen and look in on some corridors that lead us to a “well of demons”. We’re confronted by some ghosts of adventurer’s past, but they were snooty and gave us some cryptic warnings about four objects, four circles, one moment in time. I took some notes while they were talking—I think my apparent lack of interest while I was writing may have made them angry because they disappeared. I wasn’t doodling again, I promise. One of them was an arrogant son of Kord, I ran into a few of them at seminary training, Kord appreaciates the strong, no matter how small their minds.

We faced our first challenge shortly, one of the four objects was a knife, and in a room with two pits full of viscous blood there was a knife and its hilt on separate pedestals in the far corners and in between were these giant statues of minotaurs.

The blood stuff was poison as Merroc was quick to point out when he made a majestic leap from one of the statues and fell just a few feet short of the stairs on the far side. The minotaur statues animated and some kind of blood loving demons sprang up from the ooze and attacked (just in case the poison wasn’t enough to kill ya).

The statues were swinging some kind of long bronze chain which would grab ahold of you and pull each time it hit, so getting out of its way was first priority. Unfortunately there was a lot of distance between the safety of the door and where Merroc and Illikan got themselves to. Gurdis and myself took shots at the statue while Merroc, Illikan, and Dayze dealt with the demon somethings. The near statue went down, crumbling and inanimate at last, so the three who were close enough took shots at the far statue. Once it was down Illikan leapt onto its pedestal to get closer to the knife pieces…

And found some more demons were waiting. He was too far away to me to be able to help, but I tried getting close enough—when the statue on our side reformed, and I knew it was going to begin swinging again soon, so I made a beeline for the doorway.

Dayze was not as quick, and the statue was actually swinging much faster this time, hitting her twice as often so she decided to bug out too. Gurdis was frantically trying to take the statue back out, meanwhile Merroc and Illikan were still trying to get rid of the pesky demons.

The demons eventually submerged under the blood, freeing Illikan to make a dash and grab for the pieces of the knife. The demons came back, however, just as he reached the middle of the room and was preparing to jump back to us. Merroc was still there to help and they dissuaded the wee out of that demon, so they could both jump back. I was standing ready with Kord’s strength to lend to them as we all made it out of the room, beaten and bloody.

We reassembled the knife and it snapped back together like it was getting impatient. It turns out it was a very nice dagger. While Illikan was holding it out of Merroc’s drool covered grasp we crossed the threshold of the Hall of Demons and…

the dagger disappeared.

We were tired and outwitted by the hall of demons, so we went back to town to get some rest, we will be back tomorrow to try again.

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