Shadow of Tyr

Day 11 - The Crown Shard and Yarnath

Okay, a lot of shit just happened.

Though admittedly pissed off about ‘Z’ hiring another group to ride on our success and then take the crown for themselves, we all agreed that we’ve come too far to turn back now. We thought we were getting closer to the artifact we’ve been sent to find- the crown shard- but wanted to make sure we weren’t missing out on anything else, any other artifacts or “other old shit” as Rhamon so elegantly put it.

So we went into this room full of mold. By we, I mean they. I stood in the hallway keeping watch behind us for more unexpected visitors, and keeping a watch on my allies with my mind’s eye. There was a big pit in the middle of the room and we’ve had bad luck with pits and cauldrons, and other things we can be push, pulled, or thrown into. This was no different.

Lucien got away from the rest of the group and was pulverized by some mold spores that attacked the group while some massive mold arm thing wrapped around Rhamon and tried to drag him into the pit. Long story short, Rhamon ended up unconscious and dying in the pit, Lucian unconscious and dying next to the pit, and Onk unconscious and dying in the hallway leading out of the room. Fortunately for the rest of them, Kla and I were in top form and finished off the mold and spores. We have GOT to stop getting crushed like this every single fight. I mentioned that to the group that we need better tactics and need to think first before rushing in all the time. I couldn’t believe what happened next. They called me a coward. For standing in the back all the time. WHAT THE FUCK? Smarts does not a coward make. I stand at the back to save their asses again and again and they call me a coward? This job cannot be over soon enough.

So taking my advice to heart, perhaps overly so, we continued and ended up in a large room with lots of statues and fresh flowing water. I was so excited I stopped for a sip. I was so fresh and cold! Anyway, there was another pit in the middle of the room, and after the last battle, gave it a wide berth, moving in a close defensive formation around the edge of the room. Using my mind’s eye I saw that the crown shard was IN THE PIT! Rather than climbing down there, Lucien told us he could move it with his mind. A useful skill, indeed. Unfortunately, as soon as he touched it, a massive shadow creature appeared and a number of small floaty creatures with it.

Rhammon yelled “Little horns, fuck him in the mind.”

Guess what happened next? Lucien, Rhamon, and Kla all ended up in the fracking pit. I was so pissed off, I psychically grabbed the beast threw it about the room, killing one of the little floaties, and then sent IT falling into the pit. Rhammon liked that. Not that I could see, cause all the little floaties swarmed me. I killed all but one of the floaties and then Onk came and smashed the other one. Good times. By then the creature- Lucien kept calling it a “Dragon”, I wonder if that is similar to a Drake? – the creature was pretty hurt. It was easy enough to “fuck it in the mind”, so to speak, and finish it off. Rhammon got really, really angry that he couldn’t cut off it’s wings to make a cape – I guess it partially moved into another dimension, so Rhamon’s knives could only cut so far and he couldn’t tear them or anything. Too bad, I think Dragon wings would really add to his ensemble.

Then we had it! We were done. Everything but the journey home. However, on our way out we bumped into a group of elves with a pet lizard who each wore the brand of Yarnath the Skull on their foreheads. I was tired of having the shit kicked out of my party, so I quickly wove a story about how we were sucked into a desert twister and couldn’t get out, so ended up wandering through the halls here to try and find another way out; when the going got too rough, we turned back. They started asking a bunch of questions, but fortunately for me Lucien was quick with his silver tongue saying that we were security for a caravan that had gotten lost and then we had got sucked into the sandstorm. He put their fears at ease and Kla was quick to stomp on Rhammon’s foot anytime he tried to open his mouth.

Eventually they agreed to verify our story by sending half their numbers (and the dog-lizard) down the hallway. Then Rhammon slammed the doors shut and held them closed while we slaughtered the group that was meant to be guarding us. It worked out pretty well. When we were done we opened the doors and fought the remaining raiders. They were pretty slippery and I had to use my new tripping power to stop them from escaping. It felt nice to use it in a practical situation.

Once that was done, we decided to check another branch of the cave “for more old shit”, while Rhammon talked the whole time about eating that “dog”. Stupid. Us I mean, not Rhammon. There was a whole bunch of those little stone-walkers from when we first entered the cave and they rang a gong that summoned some river-creature to come and aid them. Lucien was cut off and they started to stab his unconscious body. Frakers. With Kla and Rhammon busy with the river creature, it was up to me and Onk to save Lucien. So I proved once and for all what I coward I am NOT. I rushed into the room drawing their focus from Lucien attacking anyone even remotely near him and yelling stuff that Rhammon would say like “over here you stone fucker” or “your mother was a pebble and shat you out”. That really got them going and they rushed me leaving Lucien alive. Onk and I had the fight of our lives until Rhammon and Kla were able to join in and help us out. Another close, close call there. To make matters worse, they had absolutely nothing of value. No “old shit” at all. Frak.

So exhausted, blood-covered, and limping, we left that back part of the cave and headed to the entrance. And what did we see? We saw Yarnath the Skull’s massive mobile fortess bearing down on us like a fraking castle on wheels. There’s was some argument on whether to hide, fight or run. Rhamon wanted to barricade us in the cave with dead bodies so that he could cook that lizard-dog and eat it and then rest for a few hours. I was all for that, if it meant staying to fight Yarnath. Unfortunately, Kla, Onk, and Lucien all wanted to run for it.

Then a strange thing happened, my tattoo began to ache again. Ache and then smoulder and then burn. An image of a man with a Lion’s aura came to me, and I could tell to Lucien and Rhamon as well. It was the Sorcerer King of Urik! He said “well done” and to bring him the crown “my servants” and that we would be rewarded. As much as I HATE those guys that tattooed me, I have to say it sounded like a really good idea. Plus a sorcerer king could pay us WAY better than that asshole ‘Z’. Frak that guy.

After some debate on whether to stay or go, and which direction to go, Lucien realized that he had the crown and so he just started to run for it with Kla and Onk following him. As much as I wanted to stay to face Yarnath, I’m no idiot. Facing him and his huge fortress and legion of minions by myself would be suicide. And I’m not quite ready to face my Masters yet. So I went with them, running through the desert. Some guys started chasing us, but the fortress proved less manoeuvrable and it came down to us running from a few raiders. We probably could have taken them if we weren’t already banged up to hell, so we just kept running. When it got dark we stopped to rest for the night.

It’s morning now and we’re about to set off across the salt flats. Hopefully we make it across before midday or we will fry. No sign of pursuit. We are heading north. Toward Urik. Toward our master.

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Day 10 (part 5 – Delicious Lizard Dog)

So we headed out. After killing that winged lizard dragon thing. Got back to the entry way, only to find some group of elves and this lizard dog, coming into the cave. Trader and little horns told them that we were running away. This was a lie though, so I started to tell them that we killed everything and had the crown thing. But then trader jabbed me in the side. And then Kla did too. And then I realized that little horns was trying to trick these guys. I don’t like being tricked. But then I kind of caught on that maybe little horns had some sort of plan. Sneaky little little horns. So tricksy. I could barely contain my laughter, watching him trick them so good. He got some of them to go back into the cave behind us, while the others stayed behind. It was sneaky. I’m glad trader and little horns are my friends, because I would not want to be tricked by them.

So once a few of the elves and their lizard dog went behind us, I slammed the door behind them and held it shut. Little horns and the Onk and trader and Kla then started smashing the rest of them good. They took them down quick. It was a good plan. All the while, the two elves were trying to pull the doors open. But I am too big and strong. HA! I got in on the tricking too! I yelled about how the elf’s friends were beating us in battle. And that I could not hold the door for long. This was a trick, because what really happened was that my friends were killing the elf’s friends quickly and easily, while I easily held the doors. HA! I am so tricky!

So then I opened the doors. The elves rushed past, trying to get out, but little horns stopped one with his mind, while Kla stopped him with her axe. It was quick, and bloody. Once I’d taken down the lizard. I couldn’t stop thinking about how hungry I was. I wanted to eat it. Seeing it there, dead on the ground. I wanted to eat it so bad. I wanted to roast it over a fire. And see its fat dripping down its toasting flanks. I want its sweet sweet lizard dog meat. Oh… I’m drooling again, just thinking about it.

It had to wait though. We went and checked part of the cave we hadn’t been to before. Found a little stream. Water was fresh. We could probably live for a long time in these caves if we needed to. Then we looked around more. Found some more of those lightning creatures. The Onk and trader rushed in. And got real hurt. Nothing special though. Once we rallied together and fought like a team, they could not stop us. It was a bit harder because the trader had gone down, but we did it.

Now I’m going to eat that lizard dog. Will write more later. I’m starving.

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Day 10 (part 4 – Dragon Cape)

Man, I’m so mad about shadow dragons right now. So we went into the next room, where we saw an altar, and a pit with glowing light, and some dragon statues with water, and all these metal chains. And no other doorways. So this is where we were supposed to go. And we all had a pretty good idea that whatever the hell we were looking for was in that god damned glowing pit. And I was really damned sure that something was going to get between us and that thing we wanted. So we went carefully. Along the wall. Away from the pit. Seems like whenever there’s a pit, something tries to push us in, or pull us into it. I don’t know who the hell keeps digging all these pits. Seems like it be an expensive thing to do, you know, digging all these friggin’ pits.

But whatever. Long story short, we circled the pit. Trader can move things with his mind, so he tried to the get the thing that we could see in the pit. I thought it was pretty clever. I was holding on to him, making sure nothing pulled him into the pit. But then when he moved the thing, I think it was like a little girls’ crown or something, this big fucking lizard with wings showed up, along with a bunch of little ghost things. Quick as hell, me, trader and Kla were in the pit, pulled in by that fucking shadow dragon. On the plus side, me and trader were together, and I was pretty sure that the two of us could put up a good fight. He makes me tougher, which makes me soak up hits better. But I was kind of worried about little horns and the Onk, who were up above us. Those guys are pretty weak, and I couldn’t protect them being in this pit. Also, this dragon was flying, and even though I’m pretty tall and have a big flail, I don’t think I would have been able to reach him.

Problem was solved though. Something grabbed hold of the flying lizard thing and seemed to throw him around. It was neat to watch. But even better when he got thrown into the pit with us. Which is when I started laying some hurt on that son of a bitch. Pull me into a pit will you? You’ll fucking regret that.

Long story short, dragon thing is dead. We put some hurt on that guy, even though he made it so I couldn’t move my legs. I didn’t need to move to kill that son of a bitch. Smashed him good. Everyone ended up being okay, too. Little horns took out the ghosts. Onk seemed to be fine too. And I protected Kla and the trader.

So here’s why I hate those shadow dragons. It’s not because he pulled me into the pit. It’s not because he threatened to kill me and my friends. It’s not because he got in the way of what we were looking for. All that stuff is part of the fight, part of the game. You know why I hate him? It’s because he went all shadowy, like, right before I smashed the living shit out of that guy. And then because he was still shadowy, I could not cut off his wings. I WANTED TO MAKE A CAPE OUT OF HIS WINGS! IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO AWESOME! But instead, this son of a bitch lizard had to go all shadowy, and I couldn’t get my knife into him proper. Fuck that pissed me off.

Hey. So I just noticed I wrote friends to describe little horns and trader and them. I guess that’s how I’m feeling now. That they are my friends. I think I’m going to protect them even better now. Because they’re not just on my team, they’re ALSO my friends. Bad guys better look out! Because I will punish them if they touch my friends!

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Rhamon Day 10 (part 4 - feeling wierd)

Day 10 (part 4 – feeling weird)

Good news and bad news.

The bad news first. I have the worst taste in my mouth. It’s like I drank a tub of piss that someone farted in. And I’m drooling like crazy. I need some real food. Clear this disgusting shit out of my mouth. It seems like there’s spit and drool all over me.

Now the good news. In addition to drool, I’m covered in blood. My own and my enemies. And it feels good.

After catching up with little horns and the trader and them, we kept checking out the cave. We came across some urns or something, with drawings on the ground, and some words or writing or something that only little horns knew. It seemed like some sort of trap or puzzle or something. Everyone else looked like my mouth felt (except Kla, she looked fine), so I figured if something went down, I’d try and put myself in the way. Normally, I would have pushed over the urns. See what’s inside. But everyone else seemed to give off a vibe that maybe this stuff shouldn’t be messed with. Also, the writing was talking about a dark lord or something and being obese to it. I thought obese meant fat, like rich traders get, but trader (our not obese one) said it meant being a slave, which is the opposite of being a fat merchant. I didn’t like the idea of being a slave to a dark lord. I offered up some suggestions about what we could do about it, but I think everyone just ignored me. It was all probably over my head anyways. I’m here to protect these guys. Little horns and trader are here for their smarts and figuring stuff out. I’ll just stick to what I do best.

And boy did I ever.

We went into the next room. There were a few big braziers. I thought they might have been like the ones that pulled the others in. So I got real close to it. I was pretty sure it couldn’t pull me in. I’m too strong. I think I must have intimidated the urn with my strength, because it didn’t pull me in. If only I was there earlier, to intimidate that other urn, and stop it from grabbing trader. HA.

So there were all these bones and stuff on the floor. Even I could guess that these things were going to get up and attack us or something annoying like that. So I stepped down into them. And as expected, a bunch of lizard creatures and some sort of zombie thing got up and attacked us. And this big symbol started glowing in the middle of the floor. I quickly called the strength of the mountain and thunder anger power, and engaged with one of the lizards, while Kla took on another. I thought the symbol on the ground might be some kind of lightning trap or something, so I put myself between it and the rest of the group. It wasn’t lightning, but it was doing something. It stopped me from moving around, but I didn’t care, because I was happy where I was – in the front lines, between the enemy and my allies. It was glorious. Kla and trader and the Onk quickly took out the other lizard guy, and the one next to me dropped soon after. Then we finished off the zombie wizard thing. And then little horns disabled the trap, as we all smashed it up. Take that, trap.

So afterwards, we searched around a bit. And everyone else was now looking even worse than my mouth felt. So we were kind of trying to figure out a plan. I was raring to go, because I’d basically been resting for the last while. But before we could really come up with a plan, we heard some voices coming from the hallway behind us. Some weird guy appeared, drooling worse than me, followed by a mul and a half giant lady. They started talking all big about how we were fools and cleared the way for them or something. I didn’t like their attitude, so I started going after them right away. I called thorns out of my flail and pulled the drooling guy up close, where I could smash him better. It was pretty good. Little horns and the Onk and Kla and the trader all followed up, smashing him up real good. He was tough though, and was still standing, when he sent out some kind of psychic burst that hurt our heads. He tried to run away after that, but Kla caught him in the back of his head and took him down. It was sweet seeing his fancy psychic brain being splattered all over the place by Kla’s hit.

We then engaged the half giant and mul. I’ll give them some credit, they were some tough guys. Maybe even tougher than me. And they could take hits as good as they could give them. Which was pretty good. I stood toe to toe with these guys for a long time. Kla went down. Then got up. Then went down again. I didn’t go down though, and fought on, delivering blow after blow on the giant, but taking worse. I could feel the trader’s words inspiring me. It kept me going. Longer than I think I have ever lasted, taking hits like that. It was incredible. But it wasn’t enough. I remember the giant giving me one last mighty blow that dropped me to my knees. I sort of remember taking a final swing, trying to take her down with me, but I blacked out before I saw if it connected.

When I came to, Kla was standing over me, wiping bloody drool off my face. She had a look on her face, like she was worried I was going to die or something. No one’s ever looked at me like that. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been this beat up before. Or maybe it’s because no one’s ever cared if I was going to die…

When I cleared my head and looked around, the bad mul and the giant were down. Little horns looked near death, and the Onk and trader were even closer. Little horns said it came down to just him and the dwarf, and he beat him. I was going to call him out on his bullshit, but Kla said he was telling the truth. Good on little horns. He must be getting tougher from hanging around me.

Funny thing. Like a minute after I just took the worst beating of my life, I felt fine. In fact, I felt almost stronger than before, like I’d be able to take even more of a beating. Kla looked good too. Can’t say the same about the rest of them though. They looked like a bunch of mashed assholes.

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Reyic Journal - Day 10 - Deeper we go

I was glad to see Rhamon was recovered. After that last battle I was going to insist we return to guard him until he was feeling better, since we were nearly ended whilst fighting short-handed. Lucian is tough and a great warrior, but a front-line soldier he is not. With the number of times Onk has been unconscious, I doubt he would have fared much better, and I am certainly not one for prolonged punishment.

It turns out Rhammon ate something that he found in the cave since his trail rations have not been sufficient to sate him. Poor guy. Big, dumb, poor guy. Sounds like he had an experience worse than when the Zabri twins took turns licking that spotted lizard. Ha! Good memories. Not for them of course. I wonder if they are still with the clan or if they ventured forth in my footsteps? I shouldn’t spend time worrying about such things.

Despite our being completely exhausted and in moderately bad shape, Rhamon insisted we continue onward, stating that he “had rested enough for one day.” Fine.

Down another passageway, we went, then discovering the cased remains of two powerful, ancient beings. The right had an image of a snake painted around it in a deep charcoal colour, the other in a vivid green, with writing on both. The writing was in Primordial, which is fortunate, since that is the language the elders believe the Dark Ones speak, thus all of my people are fluent in it. The words around the alters stated that we must show proper obeisance before continuing. For my people that means a gift. The greatest gift in our clan is that of blood. With no enemies to offer, I suggested we spill a small amount of our own blood in respect for those that rested within. My comrades, unfortunately, decided that was not in their best interest and thought that such obeisance involved scratching at the writing and images with their weapons (Kla), smelling and prodding the urns (Rhamon) , and even suggesting opening the urns to examine their contents (Lucien). What a disgrace! What a joke! I convinced them it would be better to do nothing at all than to risk insult.

As they continued down a set of stairs into another room, I sliced open my hand, and offered a thanks for letting us pass safely and stated that we meant no disrespect through our intrusion. Nothing happened, so I assume that did the trick.

The next room there was a large snake sigil in the middle of the floor, and as soon as we set foot within, it activated. Two snake guardians and a zombie attacked us, but we easily bested them and then together we diffused / destroyed the sigil. A brief search of the room found some gold and an old dusty ORB! Oh, I have waited for something like this for ages, it seems. Next time we make camp I will attempt to determine its function.

Almost immediately following the fight, we heard voices… from behind us! Was this Yarnath finally caught up to us? Was it truly time to send him to my Dark Gods? No.

It seems ‘Z’ from Tyr thought he’d give himself twice the chance for success and sent a second group to accomplish our task. A mul, a goliath woman, and some drooling freak that looked like he’d been knocked out more often than Onk. Unfortunately for them, they were a bunch of evil as hell bastards and choose to attack us. Oh, what a battle it was! We held them in the hallway and Kla quickly killed the drooler, with help from the rest of us, but was, herself, bested quickly. I revived her with a potion only to have her fall again. Damn. She rose a second time thanks to Lucian, but was driven back by the mul. With our ranks broken, the fighting intensified. Onk flew like cloth on the wind, smashing both remaining assailants. Lucian jabbed and stabbed with his long spear, encouraging us with word and inspiring through action. Rhamon smashed and swore and spat and smashed again only to fall under the weight of the goliath’s club. What a massive blow! Lucian had a go at the Goliath next, again trying to play the roll of a front-liner. He fell, but managed to weaken the beast enough for Onk to swing and a deliver a fatal blow. Even as he did so, however, she lashed out an knocked him to the ground. The two muls were exchanging blows and the severely weaken Kla was next to fall.

Then there were two. Myself and the mul. Using my mind to fortify myself, I invaded his thoughts with images of despair and doubt and then ran up to Kla, my final healing potion clutched in my left hand. Despite my fortifications the mul managed a hit, one of his two blades catching me in the shoulder. Frak, I hate being sliced like that. My fury set fire to his flesh as I fed the potion to Kla and then attacked one final time, using a mind trick to distract my foe then delivered a mighty psychic blow, crushing him to the earth. Victory! Kla, seeing the fatal condition of our comrades, rushed to their aid, tending to their wounds and healing each of them. That was very, very close.

We will camp here for the night. Now all of us, including Rhamon, are too exhausted to continue. It’s odd though, I feel somehow stronger than before. Perhaps now I am powerful enough to master that tripping attack that I have been working on. Poor Rhamon must think he’s going crazy since I’ve been practicing it on him as he stalks around at night. I even got a full stumble out of him earlier, though admittedly he was intoxicated from that filth he ate.

Even with my comrades nearly being destroyed utterly, it was a good day.

Three more evil souls on their way to my masters. A new orb in my hands. Perhaps new powers at my disposal. And the certainty that Yarnath is near. A good day, indeed.

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Rhamon Day 10 (Part 3 - Deeper into the Cave)

So after getting around the corner we decided to take a break. Onk was looking pretty roughed up, as was little horns and the trader. I was good to go, but I figured I should wait for these guys to rest up. So we sat. And sat and sat and sat. And lay down. And I napped a little. And I think Onk was meditating or something.

So I was sitting there, eating some of those shitty travel rations. Telling the trader how god damned crappy they were, and about how I’m going eat a whole skewered goat when I get back to Tyr. With a pile of roasted potatoes. And a whole cauldron of leek soup. And some curded blood milk with spirits. And a sweet bean cake… Anyways I noticed a kind of lichen or moss or mold or something on the wall next to me. I thought maybe that would spice up my rations, like, give it some flavor. So I kind of rubbed my hunk of dried meat against it, getting it good and coated with the spores. I gave it a sniff, and it seemed fine. Maybe a bit pungent. But at least it was different than the same old crap. So I took a bite. Wasn’t so bad, so I finished off my rations. Then lay down for a nap. When I got comfy, I realized I was staring right at the wall where the lichen was. And I was sort of hungry still. So I kind of licked it a bit. Just to see what it was like without the rations.

And I think I might of fell asleep licking it. I don’t really remember things clearly after that. I remember people getting up and we were moving on. And then I was standing, and the room changed a bit. Then I needed to sit down for a bit. And then there were like these little people who were whispering to me. They started climbing on me and stuff, like massaging me. But I couldn’t do anything. And no one else really noticed them. And there was a white horse with a long silver horn on its head. And everything was really colorful. Like, beams of red, orange, yellow and purple light. I remember being okay with it. I like colors. And the massage felt nice. And the horse thing was friendly.

But then things got weird. At first, the colors got darker. And then there were more shadows. And the little creatures on me started biting and pinching instead of massaging me. And they were yelling, which was annoying. And the horse. Well, its skin started to fall off. And it started walking around me. Like it was hunting me or something.

I was pretty sure that this was all in my head. Because when I tried to hit the little creatures, I couldn’t touch them. And the horse sort of walked through me. And I could barely move. And no one else was around. So I sat down and tried to calm myself a bit. I wasn’t angry. But I did the same thing I do when I’m angry. Holding the rose and Brienne’s hair. Remembering when we’d sit together in the gardens. The feel of the grass. The sun in her hair. It was okay, as long I stayed focused on it. So I sat there for a long time. I don’t know how long.

I think I fell asleep a bit. Because when I woke up, everything was much better and the little people and the zombie horse were gone and all the colors were normal. I looked around for little horns and them, and found a bunch of bodies of skeletons and stuff. No zombie horses. So it seemed like everyone else had moved on without me, and had had some fun without me. I heard some sound of fighting down the hall. So I ran that way, flail swinging and ready to go. It seems like I was a bit late for that fight though. I was all worked up and ready to go too.

I felt pretty bad about missing out on all the action. It looks like little horns, Onk and the trader all took quite a beating without me there. The lichen wasn’t even that good… definitely not worth it. Remember that next time Rhamon. Don’t eat stuff growing on cave walls.

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Reyic Journal - Day 10 - Part 2: The Cave

As I had suggested earlier, we roped ourselves together and proceeded into the desert twister. Good thing, too, because I got completely turned around and would have gotten lost if I hadn’t had two ends of the rope leading me out. We emerged into the eye of the storm to find a cave in the side of the cliff wall, carved to appear like a face. This was it.

We proceeded inside, but were immediately attacked. Little earthy creatures that could pass THROUGH the stone walls set about attacking us. What made things complicated were the rocks carved to look like teeth in the face began to shoot bolts of lightening at us. Despite this, we formed ranks quickly and fought our way through the guardians, though there were a few moments where it was touch and go. I felt the searing jolt from the electrified teeth, and one hit nearly ended me. Thankfully, Rhamon placed himself between us and the zapping trap as we dispatched the last of the guardians ordering us to make a run for it. Even with both traps assaulting him, he stood fiercely and unflinchingly. It was awe-inspiring to say the least. Awe-inspiring and necessary, since I don’t think the rest of us could handle further injury. We raced around the corner, away from the teeth and Rhamon followed after a moment, fur still smoking from where he was scorched.

A door set into the stone lay before us, but we were exhausted from our previous two battles, plus I was still tired from my stint in the desert twister. We rested for a few hours, taking turns watching the doorway and the hallway behind us. After 6 or 7 hours, Kla was anxious to continue, but had the piece of mind to examine the door for further traps before proceeding. It was a wise decision as such a trap did exist, and we had to rely on Onk to disable it. Brings up a few more questions, doesn’t it? A monk that can disable traps as easily as I can breath or see is pretty strange. Or perhaps it isn’t, I have not had many dealings with his type.

Behind the door was a passage containing three new doors, two leading to rooms with basins filled with strange, colourful liquids. One basin was full of a maroon liquid and the other an aqua-green liquid. No one in our group was able to identify either, unfortunately. Lucian suggested we utilize a couple skulls we had found to carry the liquid, but I am not certain what good it would do. If we don’t know what the liquid is, what is the purpose of carrying it around in a couple skulls? Perhaps he was skill waking up from our rest and not thinking too clearly. Speaking of not thinking too clearly, something was wrong with Rhamon too. Maybe one too many zaps to the head, but he was wandering about like a drunkard while we examined the rooms. I thought he might just be really, really, angry about something, so I just tried to stay out of his way.

The third door lead us into a large room with an alter on one side, a fire burning in each corner, and the skeleton of some large snake-like creature lying on the floor. Lucian enter the room first, triggering some sort of trap that caused several salt-covered zombies to appear around us and skeletons, alight with flame, to materialize in two of the large fires. Kla yelled for us to form a defensive line in the hallway, but as Lucian tried to rush back to the rest of us one of the zombies latched onto him and started to bash the snot out of him and the other zombies quickly closed on him to join in. He hit the ground before we could intervene, but Kla was the closest and smashed her way through one of the zombies attacking him. Onk and I followed closely behind to assist our fallen comrade, me crushing what was left of their minds and Onk pummelling their disfigured bodies. The combination proved potent and the zombies were defeated before they could do more harm to Lucian. Unfortunately, it was at this point that the skeletons began to lob orbs of fire at us, particularly at Onk and Kla. To make matters worse, the large snake skeleton in the middle of the room started to violently whip its tail at us. After both Kla and I failed to revive Lucian under this barrage of flame (I admit I’m more of a breaker than a fixer in the best of circumstances) Kla did something to wake him and he seemed pretty pissed off, using his spear to strike at the burning skeletons from afar. Unfortunately (again!) the skeletons had some sort of aura about them, that burned our melee fighters when they got too close. This left me to do much of the heavy lifting, as it were, and finish off them both with some powerful mind-fraking… er… mind-thrusting. Well, either way really.

When things calmed down, Lucian found writing on the alter and luckily could read it (I had never seen writing such as that before — perhaps it is the language of the guardians?). The script referred to a crown and alluding to its ability to control the sands. I can see why Yarnath would want such an item. Perhaps that is what causes the sand twister that shelters this place? Lucian revealed that while interrogating the captured raider after our rescue of that dwarven caraven, the raider revealed they were looking for something called the Crown of Dust. And now we know what it is we are seeking, but still can only guess at its appearance and properties.

It was at that point we realized that Rhamon was missing, and we returned to the previous room to find him sitting alone with his hand under his shirt. At first we thought he was hurt and he was holding a wound, but it swiftly became apparent that he was in some sort of trance and was grasping something contained in his shirt. I remember him doing something similar to this back in the market in Tyr when he was very, very angry about being branded, so I suggested we wait with him until he was, well, finished. Kla had a very bad feeling and Onk seemed to agree with her— he has been much more forth-coming with opinions of late, maybe he just takes a while to warm up to people? They both seemed to think we were too vulnerable here, and that we should continue to find the next danger before it found us. Reluctantly, I agreed and we left Rhamon to recover alone.

After a couple more trapped doors and some small, empty rooms, we came to a pitch black room and the trouble that the others had sensed. With lit torches, Lucian and Kla entered the room. Suddenly, there was this great rushing sound like a gusting wind and Lucian went flying through the air and into a large cauldron at the end of the room. The room burst alight with torches revealing four identical statues— from which it seemed the wind emanated— a large black cauldron with a desert creature next to it, and at the other end of the room and large bony figure rose menacingly from a massive throne. Lucian was struggling in the cauldron, but couldn’t seem to get himself out. Before we could aid him the bone creature attacked us, literally throwing sharpened bones on Onk, Kla, and I, instantly knocking Onk unconsious. I immediately regretted not waiting for Rhamon to recover as I found only myself and Kla still able to fight. I think I let my anger get the best of me, as the desert creature was suddenly hurling through the air like a projectile and then both the bone creature and it were on the ground. I think Kla enjoyed that a bit as she started to lean into the bone creature with her battle axe.

I rushed over to assist Lucian then was overcome by a sudden feeling of weakness, just as a small dust creature appeared next to the cauldron. I was able to lift Lucian from the Cauldron as Kla fended off the bone creature, but didn’t have the strength to lift a healing potion from my belt. Fortunately, Lucian was back and in business. Not only feeding me a healing potion, but also reviving Onk from a distance. My comrades reformed their rank against the bone creature and, fighting side-by-side, began to beat the creature back. Meanwhile, the small dust creature grabbed me and threw me against one of the wind-statues, which activated throwing ME into the cauldron. I was immediately enveloped in howls and screams from beyond the grave, deafening me and assaulting my mind, like having my life blood violently sapped away. I’m not sure what happened next, but suddenly Onk was there pulling me out of the Cauldron, TWO dust creatures were dead next to it and the bone creature was dead. The desert creature was still alive, but immobilized and in a fit of rage I smashed it against one of the wind statues until they were both no more.

That is when Rhamon appeared in the doorway, failed swinging, eyes wide with anger, shouting “Who the fuck is next? Bring it on!”

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Rhamon Day 10 (Part 2 - through the storm and into the cave)

So after trader and little horns finished interrogating the last raider, and those ungrateful sons of bitches had packed up and left, we decided to enter the sandstorm. I said I’d go in first and check it out. I’ve been in plenty of sandstorms before. This one didn’t move though, so I told little horns and them to let me check it out first before they went in. I had a feeling that little horns might not have been able to handle a regular sandstorm, much less a magic one. So I roped up and headed in.

It was fine. Lots of sand. Sort of invigorating. Did a good job of cleaning the raider blood off my horns and face. Reminded me of the sand baths my mother and aunts used to give me when I was a kid.

When I got to the centre of the storm, I saw the mouth of a cave in the cliff face. There were these two stone pillars at the base of the cave, sort of jutting up like my lower teeth. I could also see some sorts of creatures hanging out in the cave. I wasn’t really sure if this is what we were looking for, but thought I should go report back to little horns and them before checking out the cave. Back into the sandstorm again.

The way back was much easier. I just followed the rope. Let my mind wander, thinking about S and R. Wondering how they are getting by in Tyr. I need to check in on them as soon as I get back to Tyr. Something about them calms me. Especially when all the noise and smells and crowds of Tyr have been making me angry. It hasn’t been so bad out here in the wasteland. I think this is what I’ve been missing. Being out in the desert like when I was smaller, with the sky, and sand, and sun. But this isn’t my home anymore. I don’t have a clan. And the wasteland is not a good place to be without a clan.

When I got out of the sandstorm, I told everyone what I saw. Little horns seemed to think that the cave mouth and stone pillars were something to do with the riddle. So we tied ourselves together and I lead the way back into the storm.

Good thing too. I had no problem getting through, and neither did Kla or the trader. But little horns and Onk had a tough time. We ended up pulling them through in the end. After three times through that sandstorm, my horns feel nice and smooth. I should take better care of them. Maybe get a cloth or something to rub them down every now and then. And I think all the walking through the wasteland and sand has been good for my hooves. Maybe I should get a file for them. HA! I’m like a pretty little princess. Though it has been a while since I cleaned my teeth… One of the big back ones is starting to hurt a lot.

Once we were all through and untied, we headed into the cave. We saw some creatures hanging out in there. Kla and little horns and them commented on how the creatures had “aggressive stances” and “hostile intentions” and some other bull shit. I figure anything that was hanging out in an evil looking fucking cave in the middle of a magic sandstorm twister that is where we think the thing we are looking for is can just suck it and get smashed with my flail. So that’s what we did.

That Onk guy is too quick. As soon as we are ready to go, he runs his nimble little ass right in there. Yes, he punched a bunch of guys. And yes, it looked like he punched them real good. BUT, after he’s done his punching, three of them converged on him and surrounded him, and he was looking pretty beat up pretty quick. He’s got to dodge and jab. Hit and run. He always tries to fight toe to toe, and his toes are too small for that. That’s a job for hooves like mine or armored feet like Kla’s. Also, it turned out that those two pillars of rock were some kind of magic lightning trap things, and they were zapping us pretty good. I thought I’d try to knock one out of commission right away, but my flail didn’t do much against the thick stone, so I left if alone. After that I got right in there and started smashing these creatures left and right, trying to make me seem like as much as a threat as possible so they’d leave my guys alone. But that didn’t work entirely as planned. They kept skipping and sliding around me, and one of them even walked through a damned wall.

Anyways, after we’d taken these creatures down, the lighting pillars were still zapping us. I put myself in between them, so they’d hopefully zap me instead of my guys. That seemed to work, and it gave the others a chance to get cover down a hallway. After getting shocked a bit, I headed after them.

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Reyic Journal - Day 10

It has already been a day of supreme greatness and it is only just past noon. At first light, I lead the party toward the object that I had seen last eventide. It turned out to be a massive, twisting pillar of sand, somehow stationary – rotating dangerous on the spot, as if anchored by some unseen force. As we approached the sound of the thing was deafening. Before we got too near and lost all hope of communicating, I suggested that we should try to penetrate the twister and find the center. It would almost certainly hold the face in the stone and thus the artifact that we are seeking. I further suggested, once we reach the sand twister, that we tie ourselves together so that no one get lost or turned around. Rhamon, possibly due to the noise, possibly due to his meagre breakfast, threw a massive tantrum saying it was ridiculous to tie ourselves together until we had looked around for trouble. Shit, thanks for the suggestion, grandpa. Obviously we should look around first, I said “before we go into the sand storm”. I should buy him an ear horn when we get back to Tyr. Or at least a kebab. Maybe both.

When he finally settled down we went to investigate the area, coming around from behind a massive rock just in time to see a group of raiders throw a bound and gagged man into the desert twister. Now these are my type of people. Rotten to the core, violent, ruthless. The perfect gift for my dark masters. Oh, the slaughter was incredible, blood soaking the sands like the tides of old. The raiders managed to throw one more captive into storm before I used their leader as a projectile and ended both he and one of the raiders doing the cold-blooded killings. I felt like an unstoppable force. Every enemy I glanced at would burst into flames or drop to the ground, clutching their temples in agony. We all fought well, and at times, worked as a team. Onk proved himself for the second time – the first time in combat. He flew – quite literally, in fact- through the air, snapping limbs and crushing ribs as he went. The minotaur physically used his horns to gore people and looked terrifying after the battle. I thought Lucian did quite well as he was the first one to the captives (other than the living missile I had sent hurling over there) and was able to protect the rest of them very effectively. Kla got into a bit of trouble when the few remaining raiders, cornered against the desert twister tried to throw her into the storm, but she was tough enough to fend them off. A glorious battle, indeed.

One raider lived after the fight and I revived him long enough to question him. Lucian was very persuasive and managed to get a good deal of information out of him, before I determined he had served his purpose here and should now go and serve my masters. He told us that he works for Yarnath the skull, as did his now-deceased comrades. They are looking for the artifact. At last, some good news. Once Yarnath learns of his men’s failure, he’ll have no choice but to come and find the artifact himself. And then he will be destroyed. The first of seven.

Rhamon walked the surviving captives back to their waggons, insisting that they take the raiders weapons to protect themselves in the future. I think they were frightened by him, since they gave us a good amount of food “for our troubles” then raced off into the desert. I would be surprised if they make it wherever they are headed, with or without the food and weapons.

Lucian noticed that the raiders each bore a tattoo on their wrist, much like ours, except it was the image of a snake – apparently Yarnath’s symbol. That is good, it will be easier to determine who works for him in the future, and then send them to meet my masters.

Rhamon entered the sand twister and successfully returned, telling us that he found a rock with a face on it. The final piece of the puzzle is in place now. He also said that we wouldn’t be alone in there. I am certain that the guardians of this place will not look kindly on our intrusion. I am going to enter the sand now. Hopefully this is not my last entry.

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Rhamon Day 10 (Part 1 - Sandstorm)

Little horns said he started sensing the same thing as Kla. So he lead us today. I thought maybe he was just saying this to make her feel better. But then later in the day I could see it too. Like something was almost pulling the clouds down to the ground.

We got closer, and it was like a twister in a sand storm, but it wasn’t moving. It was big though. Definitely not natural. Little horns started talking about how we should tie ourselves together and head into the storm. I wanted to tell him that was dumb. Because we hadn’t even looked around yet. Instead I just said that we should look around first. Should have told him it was dumb. I don’t know why I didn’t.

I’m glad we looked around first. As soon as we walked around a rock, we could see a whole bunch of armed desert raiders surrounding some tied up people. It was like a fucking present. I think I was kind of itching for a fight, because as soon as I saw them I channeled the mountain, then lowered my head and charged the leader, ripping him open with my horns, lifting him up, then throwing him to the ground! I love doing that! I know smashing people with my flail hurts them more. But nothing excites me more than my enemy’s blood dripping down my horns and through my fur! And I’m pretty sure it scares the hell out of my enemies. HAH!

So compared to our first fight as a team, this went amazing. Onk was like a dervish, spinning around punching and kicking everything near him. And this one time he jumped, and like swooped through the air like he was a bird or something. It was awesome! And Kla was a good ally on the front lines. She could take some good hits, and seemed to dish some out too. Little horns held his own too. I saw one of the raiders burst into flames after hitting him with a javelin. HAH! But the trader. Something about him. It was strange, seeing Kla and little horns and Onk fight near him. They almost seemed inspired and stronger when they were close to him. Usually when I fight, the only things I say are taunts and threats at my opponent, but hearing him encourage us. It was… encouraging!

The only bad thing about this fight was that even though I kept trying to stay between my team and the raiders, Kla and them kept running past me. I think I need to talk to them about that. I’m pretty sure they aren’t as tough as me. So the safest place is behind me. Or at least at my side. The trader though, when he ran past me, he at least went to help the people. So I guess that was okay, even though he got stabbed a bunch as a result. He lived though, so that was good.
So after finishing them off, I started letting the people free. They said they were part of a caravan trying to find a dwarf village or something to trade something for something else. This reminded me of how dumb traders can be sometimes. These guys walked out into the desert, without any guards or anything, and get lost. And then when they got lost, they headed for this sand twister, where they were captured by the raiders. What the hell traders? You’re lost, poorly armed, unguarded, and dumb, so you head towards an obviously unnatural sand storm? After hearing this, I though that maybe traders aren’t actually cheats. Maybe they are just bad at adding shit up! Bunch of dumb assess. I even offered to help get them back to Tyr, but they said, no, they’d rather wander around the fucking desert undefended and lost. And then I offered to get their companion’s bodies out of the sandstorm, you know, in case they want to honor them or give them to the families or something. But they said no. Well, I’m glad they left, because clearly they don’t even care about their companions, and I sure wouldn’t want to travel with assholes like that. Bunch of dicks.

I’m glad that I went and checked out their caravan before sending them on their way, because I bet these ungrateful shits would have run off with the raider’s equipment, even though we killed the raiders and it was rightfully ours (wasteland rule #4). Also, WE SAVED THEIR FUCKING LIVES!!!!! Ungrateful trading dick shits. If I run into them later, maybe I’ll kill them and take all their obsidian or something.

So trader, like, the one that travels with me, not the asshole traders. He’d started questioning one of the raiders that we’d taken down. Seemed to be doing a good job too. The guy was pretty much telling us everything he know. Didn’t even have to cut off any fingers or anything. Not that I’ve ever had to do that. Usually I just smack people around. Or stab them with my horns. Or, when, like there’s two people, and you rip one apart in front of the other. Like ripping off their arms and legs and stuff. That usually gets them talking too. Good job trader! Much cleaner.

It was odd though. I seemed to remember like 4 or 5 of these raiders still breathing and gurgling when I walked away. But when I got back, only the one was still alive. I guess their wounds were worse than I thought. Oh well, no loss. Not like I wouldn’t have put them out of their misery anyways.

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