Okay, I took notes about what happened last night and I hadn’t been drinking rum and we finished at a reasonable hour, so this should be a top notch entry. But I had a dreadful bout of acid reflux last night between 2-4am so I’m knackered. If you’ve never had this shit happen to you, maybe because you haven’t ordered the $2.95 Fried Meat Wontons, it’s like your throat filling with vomit the second you fall asleep. That’s not even the worst fucking part. The worst part is when your throat tries to compensate by producing more mucus, which then takes on the flavour of burning barf, which you then spend the next half hour trying to clear from your throat and then trying to get the taste out of your mouth. Let me be clear – I would rather have barfed. Puking is so much nicer than that shit. Goddamn it. And it makes you terrified to fall asleep and Bonham/Hendrix/Scott-off this mortal coil with lungs full of barely chewed fried meat wontons. So – I’m very tired and what I remember is now probably all wrong.
Okay, every once in a while I’m reminded that other people read this blog (although probably not after that sleepvomit story…), so I asked the players a question to go with the little “Dramatis Personae” list that I’ve put at the start of each game. That’s actually already proven useful, not just as a way for me to make jokes about people’s characters, but to see who was around when. Anyway, the question was “How are you liking your new character?” which, after years of playing one character (for the most part) in Rise of the Runelords, I was interested to find out. Some players seemed to immediately find traction with their new class, others… I’m sure it is on its way.
Rolland – playing Floki Blodvin, is enjoying the usefulness of the Ranger class. And while he enjoyed playing Halvard, he is getting a lot of mileage being useful outside of combat, as his skills are applicable in a bunch more situations than were Halvard’s.
Ben T. – playing youthful Paladin Victor Glorington, is the only person who stuck to the “one sentence rule” everyone else ignored, but he is enjoying being cheerfully ignorant and sanctimonious.
JIM – playing Orny, is enjoying the Witch class a lot. The role of 2nd line/caster and debuffing is fun and the cantrips are incredibly useful tools so far.
Mike – playing Uun Cleng, is enjoying the robust nature of the Barbarian class. Previously, he felt like he had little room for error with Dagfinn, but with Uun’s big Hit Point total and plenty of physical skills, he feels Uun has a lot more room to fuck up and therefore experiment more. He also thinks Uun is a nicer or at least more honest guy than Dagfinn.
Sean – playing tiefling Gunslinger, Nobody, has yet to put rubber to the road with the class. He just sucks as a gunslinger just now. He is looking forward to the mid-levels. Part of that, I’m reasonably certain is that Sean has been rolling like ass every time he fires his gun, yet rolls pretty well with his back-up weapon.
Noe – playing Malicia the Rogue, is having a harder time quite getting used to the role. Arradin had a very clear role, but Malicia hasn’t quite carved herself a niche yet. Noe said she is having fun playing a misanthropic character…
Matt – playing Percy the Cleric, is enjoying playing a misanthropic character too. Both Tengu went with misanthropy, which is funny. Matt is enjoying the Cleric class, which has quite a bit of breadth too it, and is enjoying being able to get into physical combat.
There was a casting change without anyone fucking crying about it. GOOD JOB!
Okay, we started off with the retelling of the expedition, which had kind of been happening by the campfire while Aerys and Orny had been having their therapy session. Victor gave a rousing retelling of their adventures, assisted by others when appropriate. This seemed to do wonders for bonding the group together. Jask, obviously, is entirely on board with the people who handed him the means to prove himself innocent, but Sasha, Ishiro, Gelik and even Aerys now feel like part of a group and spirits were high.
Some concern was whispered about Ishiro, specifically, about why his sword smells of onions. Which was specific, but wrong. He hasn’t been moonlighting as a hibatchi chef. His treasure map smelled faintly of onion and that made Uun suspect something fishy going on. Percy, observing Ishiro’s body language notices that he still remains slightly apart from the Sasha/Gelik/Jask/Aerys and that every time he has talked about the map, he has been careful not to include any of them in the discussion. I think by-and-large this has been lost on the PCs who have more or less wandered around talking about Ishiro’s treasure in front of everyone they’re surely not going to give any kind of cut to… Anyway, Ishiro has been discreeteru!
Anyway, Ishiro took watch on the watch rock and everyone piled into their huts; the women (all three of them) into their comparatively spacious room for all the pillow fights and hair braiding they get up to and Gelik, Floki, Uun, Orny, Jask, Percy, Nobody and Victor all piled into the other hut for another suspense filled night of “Whose sleep-boner is sticking into my back?”. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Sasha brought her own pillows.
Uun awoke suddenly. He had slept for a few hours and there were sleeping forms all around him, but the noise of a yelp woke him. He got up, and exited the men’s hut, making his way towards Ishiro kicking a sleeping form as he went. Whispering, Ishiro confirmed that he had heard a yelp after Gelik had gone to use the latrine. Uun rushed down the newly cut path towards the latrine, pounding the beams of the men and women’s huts as he did so. Orny, woken by the Barbaian foot to the face, had slipped from the hut and was peering into the darkness of the jungle He cast Dancing Lights, illuminating the night.
Uun ran right into a barbarous savage and could see more reacting to the Dancing Lights spell and two in particular dragging a limp Gelik into the Jungle. The northern hemisphere barbarian stepped up and struck this southern hemisphere barbarian, and as his opponent reeled from the blow, sank his teeth into the man’s flailing arm. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the fight. Lots of biting.
The savages gave a piercing cry and leapt into enraged combat with the castaways now pouring from the campsite and into the confusing terrain of the jungle undergrowth. Floki made a run for Gelik, grabbing his ankles and hauling the surprised savages back a little, they regained their pull on the gnome, wrenching joints horribly. But one of the savages was set upon by Malicia, who had slipped into the foliage and circled around behind him. The wounded savage dropped Gelik’s elongated arm and whirled to face… Victor, who appeared, having abandoned plans to don his armour. Furious at having been backstabbed by this young, very clean looking guy, combat was joined. Victor traded blows with Gelik’s abductor, but the furious axe blows laid the Paladin low. Nobody dashed in, fired off his starting pistol to let everyone know that they could start, then got stuck in with his axe. The other abductor dropped Gelik and focused on killing Floki. That plan didn’t work out too well, but Floki also had time to stash Gelik’s body below some low fronds. Other than that the fight in the jungle ground to a deadlock.
After initial success on the path, with one savage brought down quickly, Uun was beset by more and hacked down by their crude axes. Orny stayed a respectable distance and slung some Hexes, sending – eventually – three savages to sleep with his Slumber hex. Percy stepped in and viciously beaked Uun’s attacker, opening a vein with his Tengu natural weapon. As soon as he got a free moment, channeled some healing energy that got Uun back up. There were some hilariously bad coup de grace attempts as what should have been deathblows resulted only in the savage leaping back up to his feet in anger.
This is what a good Coup De Grace looks like.
Eventually there was almost no-one left standing on the path and the jungle fight had reached a point where any next swing may be anyone’s last. Nobody, pulling his tiefling racial ability out of his butt like a terrified squid surrounded himself in magical darkness. At this point, the two remaining savages turned and fled, hotly pursued by Nobody and warmly pursued by Uun. Crashing around in the near pitch dark anyway, the savages raced away through the jungle, plunging into a nearby river, sprinting through the lair of some weird sloth thing, ploughing through a patch of gnarly mushrooms. Regrettably, the spores of the mushrooms caused Nobody to lose his breath and the disturbed jungle drowned the sound of the passage of the savages; they escaped.
Meanwhile, one of the Slumber Hex’ed savages had taken advantage of the jungle to slip away after he woke, leaving six dead savages and a bunch of Castaways really needing healing. Back at the camp, Ishiro had fended off a pair of the barbarians long enough for Aerys to soften them up with a few arrows and Sasha to arrive and finish them off. The savages had attempted to set fire to the huts, but Jask and Aerys had stifled that, so that just a small corner of the women’s hut was burned.
Percy, Malicia and Nobody examined the bodies: there were a number of features about them that stood out. A) Stupendously ugly. Like maybe sporting an intriguing number of chromosomes ugly. B) Deeply sunburned white guys. C) Covered in ritual scarring and tattoos that Percy identified as being diabolic in nature, most likely some sort of Asmodean ritual. D) Uniformly long artificially-sharpened teeth. There then followed a brief period of healing before we engaged in one of the timeless D&D debates: Do we burn the bodies or mutilate them?
A compromise of sorts was reached – Victor had been keen that the bodies not be mutilated but they should be burned, lest they creep back as undead as dead bodies on this island are wont to do. Floki and Sasha were more interested in taking trophies to use as warning signs. Floki took the heads, while Sasha went for the more tender parts, reasoning that once one has lost ones head, one has nothing less to fear – but that most men would think twice about crossing a boundary marked by some other dudes sliced-off dick. That speaks of a more profound horror.
They threw the bodies on the signal fire and set it alight, burning the corpses, hopefully beyond recyclable potential. They fell into an exhausted yet wary sleep and slept a little longer the next day. Then they set to fortifying their encampment. Ishiro was overcome with shame for not setting defensive snares targetting man-sized attackers and so led a party to do that. Then there was some talk of building a moat around the camp, and hacking back the jungle. The party found their fellow castaways helpful and engaged, although it is clear that Aerys and Gelik are now seriously concerned about everyone’s chances of getting off the island prior to being abducted and whatever… savaged.
Sasha, on the other hand, is just happy this place livened up a bit. She was ready to track down the barbarians, an option that was strongly considered. Jask was down for whatever, but in the end the party decided to head down the coast with Ishiro to indfay ishay easuretray, working on the belief that it may contain something to help them fend off the savages. Like piles of gold.