The Left Hand of Osiris is now ours, we will be making best speed now to place the artifacts we have in the proper reliquaries, so Lord Osiris can help protect himself better, and maybe avert a war while we are at it. Surprisingly (or maybe not) I am writing this from Sekti-Abtu as we wait for the Golden Horned One to make good his escape from the Isle of Cyclops, but not only him, but also the Great Jidian Kulder. Tyvernos of the Titanic Tornadoes also joined us as did a WolfMan of great stature from the Great Northern Wilderness, and he is high up in the military so with his help maybe we can avert a war from starting between his people and the easterners.
Raulf joined us just as we were leaving the Western Empire to come to the Isle of the Cyclops, so he fell victim to the strange magical fever dreams we had as well, and we came out of those fever dreams with a part of Lord Osiris yet unlooked for, so It seems he is good luck for us.
We were a few hours out from the island discussing strategies to get the hand and out of nowhere Jidian Kulder, Hero of the north appears to help us, I immediately felt gladdened by his presence and I hadn’t seen him for a while so we all greeted him, I was surprised that he knew of Raulf but I shouldn’t have been. Wherever there is trouble he’ll be there, and as Raulf is an Officer of part of the Wolfen Empires Legions so Jidian would likely have met him in his official aspect The fact that Jidian knew, and approved of him bodes well for the party that has been hit hard by the loss of Overkill and the leaving of Azariel. We discuss and discard a few strategies as the Captain informed us that the – dare I call them people – of the isle of Cyclops can have a long memory as they live as long as Dwarves, if not longer, and that the Captain himself get ribbed about things his grandfather did.
Asher came up with a brilliant plan to Scout the docktown Invisibly to find the Jotan Necromancer , doing an Astral walk. He hasn’t mentioned this aspect before but I think that might have been because of Jadeir hammering home the dangers of Astral walking, but as he thought he could do it we thought any information he could find would be worth it, and that he shouldn’t engage the enemy if discovered and should flee. He got himself into a comfortable position and immediately his breath slowed and his whole body relaxed as Ashers will left his body.
The other plan was to let Lady Caminata explore in her animal form, because the Druid magic she used to do this doesn’t show up the same way, and while we were discussing this Jidian noted that he had been here a while ago, and there might be a chance that he could be recognised. Carting around that miracle cream and magic disguise ket finally paid off, and we used them to disguise Jidian and myself. I went as a Barbarian Fighter, Oathbringer actually decided to become part of the show and turned into a nasty looking two handed sword.
We all picked a fake name to go by and we practiced it a little before we got there, I chose Mudd, in honour of my friend, Jidian called himself Jayz, Burlap chose Jagatta and Raulf chose what I believe to be his rank – Quingia, and Xerx’ses would take his Sir Osric form, but he hadn’t returned yet from returning the rune items, and I will have to talk to you about that later, as some of the magic concerns me. Asher believed that they would barely take notice of him as he was a Kobold, and he was correct, much to their detriment.
After Asher returned he said he had a good idea of the layout of the place but didn’t find our target, which was a bit worrying but we still had plenty of time ahead of us.
It start snowing which was good and bad, it would drive people indoors but make it a lot easier to track once we had landed, and as the Harbour came into view it was partly occluded again by the heavy snowfall, and as the Ship tacked the last time and headed expertly towards the dock Xerx’ses re-appeared and he and Jidian greeted each other enthusiastically just as the ship stopped. The Captain warned us that we should take shelter in a Tavern sooner rather then later so we grabbed our things and headed off the ship. The harbour had ice and snow all over it, and it hid the ugliness beneath, but right now it looked peaceful.
As we were walking down the docks I was surprised to see, waiting for us at the end of the docks was Tyvernos, and I was immediately sure it was Tyvernos because not only was Otto there, but Otto was dressed as Tyvernos, and Tyvernos was dressed as Otto. This heartened me even more as Tyvernos, as irreverent as he is, is a powerful force for light. We all ran up to him and greeted him, but he mentioned we might want to get out of the snow as it was cold out (he was mostly . . well naked being dressed like Otto) and I started worrying about the task at hand. We had been sent Jidian and Tyvernos to help us, this necromancer must be a being of great power.
The friendliness of the reunion got broken by Xerx’ses getting into his character here and ordered Asher to find a tavern for us, just n case unfriendly ears were listening, and even though I was expecting it, it was Jarring to hear Sir Osric acting the part of a Noble by being ignoble. Isn’t it funny, we don’t expect nobles to be noble anymore, we just hope and aren’t surprised when they are not.
Tyvernos fell in beside me and said we’re back together again huh with that crazy little smile of his and I replied I wouldn’t miss it for the world (except Az and Overkill were missing of course) So Tyvernos asked How we were doing so I replied Pretty much same as always and he gave me a bit of a sour look and said that bad huh and I just smiled until I noticed that as we walked along Raulf was walking as he was a Noble, well respected Leader of people and comfortable in his own presence, rather than looking like a whipped dog, One of the people on the street seemed to take notice but when Sir Osric stopped to ask for directions he dressed Raulf down, there was a tense moment when I thought that Raulf might have responded, but he put his ears back and his tail between his legs and accepted the dressing down with a disconsolate look on his face, which heartened the person we had stopped to ask directions of (who thought that Wolfen always needed to be put in his place, I understand why Wolfen aren’t particularly happy with Humans if that is the general treatment they get).
This seemed to really please the person we stopped and he gave us directions to what I think was a porters guild.
We headed of there at a good speed through the snow and eventually arrived, and under the watchful eyes of the locals Osric gave Raulf another dressing down just before half of us went in. Inside it was warm and cosy and the Flinty cold slowly eased from us in the warmth. Unfortunately the so called monster races of the party had to stay outside, which turned out to be a boon as Ashers sharp eyes picked out a street urchin who seemed to be watching just a little to carefully, so Asher and Raulf went and explained a few of the rules of life to him. Burlap lamentably seemed to be missing his bells, so he came inside to ask if he could put them back on, so Osric had to be harsh to him to, but did say that he could put them on we we arrived at the Windswept because he would like some entertainment. Osric talked to the owner and ordered a porter for our things and directions to the best inn, which we found was called the Windswept Inn. The trip up to the windswept inn was uneventful, due no doubt to the biting iciness of the snow that was blasting through the streets. Eventually, frozen and sweating we arrived at the Windswept Inn, Its 5 stories of elegant snowy white marble with elaborate gilded scrollwork fading in out out of view through the snow, it was almost serene.
The ugliness of the place became apparent the closer we got, with the attempt at hidden slave pens and kennels for the slaves, I have seen dogs get better treatment then people were getting there. Worse still I noticed that little tic that Xerx’ses gets when things are really bugging him, and It only got worse as he engaged the concierge and the concierge said that animals aren’t allowed in the Inn and that his pet wolfen would have to stay in the Kennels, for a split second there I thought Xerx’ses was going to pull out Callandor and slay the man where he stood, but his hand went to his pouch instead of continuing to his sword and he then remembered what he was doing and ordered me to pay the man. I wonder if the concierge realised just how close to destruction he had come, but if he did he hid it well.
The evening passed quickly, with Jidian expertly talking his way through the servants of both the Windswept Inn and the visitors who have come for the festival of set, trying to find any scraps of information to give us an advantage in the upcoming events.
I slept ill at ease, even though we were in a very secure location , and as there hadn’t been any sudden fires, nor did any of the staff behead themselves overnight I thought the day might bring better winds than the day before.
We went downstairs and had ourselves breakfast, while Osric was busy with the concierge trying to organise a guide, Jidian noticed an unsavoury type (he must have good eyes, they all looked unsavoury to me) slip out and he followed him quietly. By this time Osric had organised for a guide called the peach. One of the servants reacted badly to this name and Osric staying in character mentioned it to the Concierge . . . and the concierge slit the servants throat just in case of insult.
The man almost died there and then but I managed to rein in my temper by thinking that if it was hard for me it must be hell on Xerx’ses. I tried to bargain for the body pretending to need the blood, but the concierge signed his own death warrant by refusing and saying the body was already claimed by another. One day, when this is all over, im going to have a long conversation with him why that wasn’t a very good thing to do, then I’ll hang him.
This place is evil, the price of life is almost non-existent and we are in the nicer area, Im going to see if Tyvernos has any Water aligned friends who wouldn’t mind Tidal Waving this island off the planet. This place breeds evil, and converts good to evil just by its environment, and that was just going by what Xerx’ses had to do to try and keep ourselves hidden.
Meanwhile Osric had finished cajoling the Concierge and we had moved outside, but we ended up with a guide called the pit, because he was such a peach of a guy maybe.
Our guide lead us on, and Osric, using the finger was trying to steer the guide in the direction we wanted to go, yet the guide was deft in keeping us away, it was a small game that came to a head when Jidian caught with us. Apparently the guy he saw slip out went straight to the ‘watch’ and blew our cover wide open. With some luck and some magic Jidian made it back to us as we returned to the inn, after Pitt decided that Osric was an easy mark (Bad life choice that was). Jidian then brought us up to speed about the watch and that the only thing keeping where they were was the weather and the magic he used. If they had wanted us to play it soft, we’d have played it soft, however if they wanted to play it hard, we would play it hard. Jidian was at the door waiting for us to go. Cammy mentioned that she met another druid who knew that a lot of the people here were from the Middle Kingdoms and they might not be fully happy with Emperor Itomas’s plans, but I could understand that, I wasn’t happy with his plans either. I must say I wouldn’t want to be him if it turns out that the current troubles between the Wolfen State and the Eastern Territories are because of the Western Empire then I doubt that much could stop the Drums beating out the Inexorable march to War.
We quickly talked and discarded strategies as we had no idea of what we were going to meet, especially with the watch alerted. We quickly moved into the town, avoiding everyone, which still wasn’t hard as the weather was still a nice accommodating blizzard until the finger pointed out our destination. We then had a quick tactical meeting about what to do. As the place was likely warded up the wazoo I voted on Tyvernos bringing down a tornado on top of the place and then using the finger to find the hand in the rubble. Tyvernos was immediately obliging, as he loves his Tornado’s but the others thought that it was likely that innocents could be injured in the storm that would arise. I disagreed, mostly for the fact that this place would kill the innocents off as they wouldn’t be able to survive the hostile environment. My case in point was even if Crisis had been innocent coming here, we certainly weren’t now, we were party to a murder that we did nothing about, we didn’t even avenge him, but calmer heads prevailed, especially when Asher came up with the Asher assault. What you do for this is find an object of high durability, say a dagger that is indestructible, go up a few hundred feet, and then make the dagger weigh the same as a couple of elephants and drop it on the house of the person you don’t like. The results can be spectacular.
After the dagger came crashing down onto the roof Caminata released a spell that locked the Watch houses doors and windows so they couldn’t get out very easily, Raulf enthusiastically kicked the door in and we moved quickly in, after a quick search we noticed that the place was deserted, Osric consulted the finger and our target had teleported away, but not too far away. We thought abut cutting our losses and running, as this place was starting to get very dangerous, but what were the chances of Jidian and Tyvernos joining us again, so again we risked the streets of this trade port to find our target, after running through the streets in the blizzard Osric pointed out the building, Caminata muttered some words underneath her breath as we ran towards the door, and then suddenly a giant beetle of some sort appeared in front of us and with a high pitched skittering noise charged the door. The giant beetle smashed though the door like it was paper, but then was rendered down to Selleons special street stew as magic tore it apart. Then Raulf came through at full charge as well, and we heard him roar in anger as magic smashed into him, and then we heard something else inside rage. I followed 3 steps behind going in, as did Jidian Asher and Tyvernos. Caminata and Osric sprinted around the back to stop the necromancer from running.
Unfortunately running seemed least on his mind, I ran in and the size of him almost stunned me, I barely came up to his thigh, Raulf deep growl got me moving as he feinted forward, the lunged to the left and gash him across the side of the knee, I darted to the right and unleashed Oathbringer, and wasn’t she happy to introduce herself to him, her cries of anger and exultation at rending his flesh almost brought me to my knees, but she smashed into his hip, which made him wobble, there was a bright flash of light and a boom and a smell of burning hair (Jotans are pretty hairy) and the Jotan stumbled, somehow Jidian had slipped past him and there was another boom as an arrow exploded into its back, and blood sprayed across the roof and it went down to one knee and one arm, Asher’s attention was riveted to him and it screamed again, then again when I smashed the arm that he was using to keep himself up and he went to his knees, but swung his sword viciously around, swinging at a large bear, Cammy had snuck in from the back door and it look like it had been trapped too as it looked like Osric had taken the blast. Another of Tyvernos’s enchanted arrows smashed into the creature from behind, and the Necromancer forward onto his face, as he was falling an expert blow from a heavily injured Raulf half severed the Necromancers head from his body. We stared for a second at the body as blood gurgled up and the hate crazed and blood soaked face of the Necromancer grimaced in anger as he tried to bring his power to bear, his remaining tendons in his neck strained as he started his incantation, and then he exploded as an Unfazed Jidian Kulder released another of Tyvernos’s arrows into him. Just below his neck there was a hole the size of a goat. The Necromancer stopped moving, Raulf wisely decided to finish the beheading to stop any sort of comeback, and then separated the hand from the necromancer, and the sword it was using as well. I reverently picked up the Hand of Osiris and cleaned it off. Even though it seemed like hours had passed since we had went on our tour id guess it was no more than half an hour. We had to get moving, leaving by boat was out of the question, we had caused to much trouble for that. Eventually we decided to use or Amulets of teleport to Sekti Abtu, and Osric would return to the Windswept Inn and get his remaining gear and return with Jidian and his own magic.
Now we are sitting here in the meditation chamber that we return to, waiting for our guides to take us up into the city and rejoin Xerx’ses. We have the hand, and we can now return the pieces we have to their rightful locations.
What distances from our morality must we travel to return these items, are the things we do in the name of our gods an excuse for the devastation we bring to the places we go to. We are at war with the Dark, but where are the lines drawn, who are the non-combatants. Are the civilians who feed the army, make their weapons and generally keep the fighters going classed as enemy to be stopped as well. I was willing to be part of a tornado destroying many buildings and maybe hurting other people in the process, eben if they are bad people do they deserve the destruction we bring down on people. I might have to talk to Raulf, as he has probably worked on this issue, giving the command to take a castle, knowing that civilians and other innocents will be hurt, injured and killed. Wolfen are known as an honourable people, so do they class this as acceptable loss and part of the war, or do they worry about it.
Xerx’ses must be feeling bad as well, the things he had to say and do to complete our mission were worse than any other had to do, but he put his quest before his own wellbeing. Is there a line we will not cross to return Lord Osiris, should there be a line we won’t cross. Is Asher’s life worth more than someone else’s, would I be forgiven if I let Asher die because I didn’t do something that caused the death of an unknown person, would I be forgiven if I did something that saved Ashers life but cost that of another. Would I be cursed if I caused the death of many while trying to return a part. Is there something the My Lady of the Moon will think as unacceptable as we try to get the parts. I don’t know, all I know is we can only take each situation as we get it, every situation we are in seems to have both good and evil mixed into it.
At what stage do we become the bad guys?
Sent during the month of Od byIndaris Excellar
PRayer in the light found atTimothy Ponds Blogspot
Otto and Tyvernos by Daily Mail UK
Coal Porters fromThe 17th Century
The magnificent Gresham Palace, Four Seasons hotelThe Telegraph UK
The hotel as it really is from Roleplaying Gateway
Fight the giant byJohn Petersen