What Comes Around Goes Around

I'm back from the future in the past
From God

So i noticed a disturbance in the fabric of “Time” as the party i have been keeping a close eye on has ended up in what they call their “past”.

One of them (the most devout one) had a little something strange in him.
He was carrying a little bit of myself within. This did perk my interest and as soon as his thoughts wandered to me i placed himself and his party in front of me to explain what was happening with them.

They told me that my power had disappeared and for some reason unbeknownst to me or them they could still heal and cleanse.

But with this information and the part of myself returned i righted the wrongs and all is well and never happened…. swell. I then returned them back with a little gift for returning me to me.

Now the only thing that bothers me is why can i not sense this group and influence their actions like i can with everyone else …. well nearly everyone else.. must look into this some more.

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Headaches of the past

Excerpt from “My Adventures – The Life of Theros Vitalstatistix, vol.2”

The past should remain where it is, lest your whole world comes crumbling down around your ears. Dear reader, please take this advice to heart and DO NOT time travel. It leaves a lot to be desired and provides more questions than answers.

The time spent at Ziggy Beckets was a strain that Theros had not had to endure previously. Constant questions, ever evolving, with no seeming right answer, repeated over and over for days on end started to take its toll on the young bard. For a man used to the freedom of choice and the ability to go where he wanted and do as he pleased, being cooped up in a small building talking about highly theoretical scenarios and the philosophy of time travel made Theros twitch and a strange urge to murder people that breathed began to develop.

It was almost as though fate had heard his inner most thoughts and granted him just such a chance at a reprieve. In the middle of yet another long, in depth discussion, the bell to the shop rang, making Ziggy pause in frustration and sigh as he adorned himself in his disguise and made his way to the shop to serve his new customers.

Moments later, thumps, crashes and some yelling could be heard.

“Put him on the counter now! Sacrifice him, quickly!”

These words, along with Theros’ newly acquired sense of boredom having been finely honed, led the young man quickly into the shop…almost getting himself caught in a massive rush for the door as the rest of the group, obviously afflicted with a similar ailment, all rushed at exactly the same time.

A large curtain obscured the shop from sight, but Barney could see past and immediately charged the closest person he could find.

“I think you should stop right now.”

A sentence one would utter when giving said person a chance to stop. Not Barney. The chance to stop was issued at the end of his falchion and stop the person did…as he crumpled to the floor, dead.

Theros moved to the curtain and drew it aside while extolling his party to greater feats of heroism with his astonishing voice.

“Urk!”

Something was wrong with his voice! He had tried to draw on the power granted to him by the man in chains, and instead of aiding, he felt his will being sapped instead. This was disastrous, and Theros genuinely feared for his voice. Stopping immediately, he watched as Ashe stunned the woman holding a dagger over Ziggy with the power of Desna and saw Arlen wrestle with his inner greed about casting a highly destructive fireball at the rest of the enemies, while potentially destroying volatile magical items. His sense of self prevailed and the goods were spared a fiery destruction.

The curtain pulled back, the others sprung into action. Nugg moved forward and gently pounded the held woman on the head with his new club while Barney, Wolf and Arlen moved towards the door to intercept the other attackers. Ashe meanwhile, buoyed by the success of his initial spell, decided on a second attempt on a different assailant. What Desna took away during the mighty battle with the giants, she gave back in this battle as yet another attacker was held in place against their will.

A massive discharge of electrical energy from Arlen nearly decimated one opponent and the continued ministrations of Barney and his falchion, along with the gentle teething from Wolf eventually took care of the other (along with some extremely well place arrows, of course, dear reader).

Ziggy seemed genuinely surprised on two counts. One, that these people had found him at all. These Time Lords, as he called them, had forced him to fake his own death and retreat to this ramshackle store in Circle. And two, that the group had dispatched them so easily when Ziggy himself had been caught so completely unawares.

Theros made his way to the office of the City Guard to explain what had happened. It sounded a little far fetched to the guards, so an investigation was duly launched. The investigation was concluded extremely quickly once the guards realised that Desna (or her avatar, in the form of Ashe) had played a part and they deemed the matter closed, and disposed of the bodies quickly and efficiently.

Days would pass and Theros would get ever more frustrated. He had no desire to travel into the past, and it was only be sheer necessity that he was in this situation at all. Thankfully, it ended as suddenly as it started.

“Ohh…that’s new.”

Ziggy pointed out something while the group was in the store (if only to get a break from being cooped up in the back room. Something attracted him to Barney’s ring and as he touched it, the group saw themselves appear in the front of the shop by the door. Ziggy rushed up and tried to interact with them and the world went white…

Only for the world to return as Theros was standing by the door of the store with Ziggy now next to them and the now original group further back in the store.

“Oops.”

This sounds bad at the best of times. But when a miscreant mage, intent on mastering a power such as time travel, which had never before been mastered, unintentionally makes a mistake when casting a spell that had not been tested, on a group that was unaware said spell was being cast on them, it changes to cataclysmic.

The world went white…

…Theros found himself looking at a familiar sight, from an unfamiliar angle. There was a man, seemingly Vigeo Cellerdoor, standing in front of a wagon that the newly evicted Theros was currently riding in the back of. Knowing the outcome of this battle didn’t change the pure fear and adrenaline that spontaneously coursed through his body however, and the urge to save his past self from humiliation was strong. Very strong. Only the knowledge that this was not a fatal mistake, and in fact ended in meeting allies, stayed his hand.

The world went white…

…Another familiar scene from a strange angle. This time, the fight against the strange bird headed creature, but from behind a bush where a long deceased body lay, next to which, a javelin. Again, knowing that this fight went well, and that somehow, the javelin would be thrown, Theros restrained himself, the words of Ziggy burning through his mind, warning him not to mess with time.

The world went white…

…A new scene. A dark, damp and undeniably squishy cave. Nugg cast light and not much stood out other than a large pod a short distance forwards. Barney made his way towards it and discovered that inside were their own bodies, inside smaller pods. Barney, fearing what would happen if he freed himself, instead cut free Arlen, not realising that Arlen was standing right next to him at the time, or simply not caring, and therefore subject to the very same issue Barney himself was trying to avoid. Arlen hurriedly moved away as the Arlen in the pod burst free, gasping for air.

The world went white…

…And the sky was falling. Or rather, Theros was falling. The fantastical gnome flying machine could be seen falling to a fiery doom not far away and suddenly, a memory burst, unbidden, unwanted, to the front of Theros’ mind. The dragon! Looking around, while flailing madly as he fell, the dragon bore down on the group, terrifying mouth agape, about to breath death.

The world went white…

…Another wagon, cart really, and the group riding on it, with a man sneaking up behind. The ambush where the wagon was stolen, broken and all for the wrong target. Again, knowing this didn’t end in death or serious injury, Theros restrained himself, but seeing his old battles replay themselves was proving hard to resist.

The world went white…
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…A good bard learns to read people. Including, and especially people they spend a lot of time with. Arlen swears nothing happened, but he had magically appeared to gain a stunning dagger. But while there must be a story there, no time could be taken to explore it further as Theros looked around and realised they had been dumped in the middle of a phenomenally large battle, and right in front of them, a large contingent of kobolds had formed up and were marching towards them. Although, unlike the bandit camp, Arlen had something special planned and launched a small orange ball, the size of a pea towards them in an almost disdainful manner, and as it landed in the middle of them, it blossomed into a huge fireball, incinerating the kobolds instantly. Even vicariously, that was one of the most satisfying moments of Theros’ life.
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The battle was most definitely not over and flying towards them was a creature of nightmares. A chimera with the scaly green head of a dragon, which immediately caused Theros to yell a warning that this would breath a cone of acid if it got close enough. It did. Theros was unable to leap out of the way in time and could feel the skin being seared from his flesh. Through the pain, he saw Ashe work his magics, Barney work his anger management issues, Arlen cast something and Nugg, with his Wolf, retreated a safe distance. His voice had always provided help in the past and he called once again on the gift from the man in chains. Again! The gift proved a curse and Theros vowed to never call on powers he didn’t understand again. It was mere luck that this didn’t cause the party some serious harm. The foul creature fought valiantly, but the combine might arrayed against it saw to its downfall.
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What looked to be an exceptionally shiny dragon had focused its attentions on Theros’ group. It could only be a fabled crystal dragon, and going by its size, it had to be a juvenile. Being attacked by a dragon is never beneficial, but at least it was fairly young by dragon standards and was not yet at its full power. And its power was tested by Arlen, as he yet again unleashed a fireball into the distance, slamming into the dragon, causing it immense pain, just as Nugg unleashed a bolt of lightning into it as well. Somehow surviving, it flew closer, only to be met by arrows and more fire. In a mercifully short combat, the dragon was unable to leave much in the way physical destruction on the party.

Through all this, Arlen appeared to be talking to somebody. Again, he swears this wasn’t the case, but again, Theros was able to read the man and saw something amiss. Something to followed up another time.

The world went white…

…Theros was able to recount what happened next, but it was substantially quicker to explain than when Barney recounted the event, as he spent most of the time laughing. Apparently he had appeared behind Fizzle McWatson, just as the gnome was preparing to race towards the cave. He got, as he put it, the best seat in the house to “watch the little bastard fry a second time!”

The group had apparently split, and in between moments, Barney had experienced something else before joining the group again, standing next to a sign stating “Hexagon, currently under construction”. Looking around, Theros could see this was in fact, very true. Hexagon was a mere hamlet and only just beginning to take shape. A certain stick looked alluring to Arlen, calling to him and he stooped to pick it up, recognising it as a wand, but not able to tell what kind. Proffering it to Theros, the young bard took a quick glance and realised it was identical to several others the group carried.

“It’s a wand of cure light wounds.”

This was quickly pocketed and the group moved towards the newly formed township. Something strange happened and a massive city of green superimposed itself over Hexagon.

“is that…”

The world went white…

…Another scene, this one also familiar, but one that brought some warmth to Theros as he recalled this particular battle. A mercenary group, similar in make up to his own group, challenging them for their equipment and being told he was an inferior bard. It ended with the enemy bard lying in a pool of his own blood, arrow through his throat, floating away with the river.

The world went white…

…Another room, this one painfully familiar. Two butchered children were strewn around the room. This was the attic of the father who lost his child and pieced together other children to make his daughter whole again. Theros gritted his teeth, never wanting to be here again, but now he was, there were innocent lives he could save.

He immediately looked to the ceiling, finding the trapdoor in the roof that hid the doppelganger last time. Intent on finding the horrid monster, he found instead a room full of used wands and devoid of monstrous life. Knowing where the creature got its wands, he started to move towards the ladder, only to find that he had been beaten down them by Barney.

The past was obviously supposed to be repeated as Barney cleft the mans head in twain. Again.

“We could have killed the doppelganger instead!”

The world went white…

…Arlen insists nothing happened. Theros knows he lies. A small game of cat and mouse around the seed of truth.

Regardless, the group appeared in a deep and dark forest. In front of them were a large group of cultists that immediately bent to their knees, started chanting and proffered up a wand. They never looked up and continued chanting, even as Nugg and Arlen reached for the wand, it ending up in Arlens hand. It turned out to be identical to the wand of magic missiles Arlen already had.

The world went white…

…The base of the tower where the lich created itself. The place of necromantic nightmares. Hearing sounds of combat outside, Theros couldn’t think of anywhere to go to get out of sight. He also knew they would be successful in defeating the beasts outside and be coming inside momentarily. Frantic, Theros started considering going up the stairs…

The world went white…

…A large lake, with some form of people in it, gesturing towards a large dragon, carrying a large stone, light beaming from it as it flies away flash before Theros’ eyes.

The world went white…

…A sign. Again. This time it stated that Circle was being built. Through out the whole ordeal, a slight sense of nausea had sat at the bottom of Theros’ stomach. Suddenly, upon landing in Circle, that nausea dissipated.

Theros immediately went to Ziggy’s shop, hoping against hope, that it might be there and Ziggy could answer his questions. The shop wasn’t there. In fact, Circle hadn’t grown enough to have that part of town. Dejected, The group headed to the tavern, Barney going to one (The Lions Head, which was still in Circle in present day) and the rest of the group, to the Goats Bollocks, just to see if this was different.

Some friendly banter with the barkeep resulted in learning that the Green City of Wonder traveled around it’s kingdom and Hexagon and Circle were two of the new outposts. Magic was both plentiful and used in abundance and Ashe appeared to be deep in thought. So deep in fact, that he disappeared, leaving Theros to gasp in surprise.

Theros himself then disappeared. And reappeared. On a cloud. Looking at the divine being that was Desna. She turned to Ashe and spoke, questioning him on why he felt out of sync to her, and also reading his mind, finding that in the future, the people couldn’t speak to Desna. Something about Desna being absconded? She gave a slight smile, thanked Ashe and told him that particular issue was resolved. Apparently, she had put part of her own divine spark inside Ashe to save herself when this had happened, so Theros nodded sagely, as this proved what he had been saying all along. Ashe was an Avatar of Desna. Finished querying the group, Desna clapped her hands and a wash of light bathed the group and Desna’s radiance filled Theros. He appeared back in the tavern again, filled with a sense that he had been blessed by Desna a second time.

A couple of days would pass as Theros waited impatiently for the Green City of Wonder to arrive. Some of that time was spent shopping, and magical items were both plentiful, and cheap in comparison. Theros found himself a pair of magical spectacles that aided in noticing fine detail and a positively divine hat that would allow him to disguise himself at will as another person, of either sex. Fun, and potentially very useful. Theros left the shop a happy man.

When the city did arrive, the guards proved troublesome, not letting them through. No amount of coercing would work. In fact, the more Arlen talked, the more confused the guards looked, declaring his possibly insane.

Theros tired of waiting for others to get the job done and strode up to the guards, deciding truth to be the most valuable and appropriate option.

“We’re here to see the Dragon Stone.”

Admittedly, it wasn’t as simple as that, but the guards believed the truth, and why shouldn’t they? They moved aside to let the group through, but a large construct stood in the way, baring access to the city. Frustration that their goal was so close, but blocked, began to mount, until a regal elven woman practically floated down.

“Let them in darlings. Give them level three access. They are my guests. I’ll see you after the Council discussion. Mwah.”

With that, she left Theros and his group to her personal construct, who led them through the city, informing them they would have their own rooms. The entire city was green. Everything was a shade of green. It was both awe-inspiring and disorientating at the same time.The rooms would prove to be splendid. Although there wasn’t time for a proper bath to make themselves presentable to the Queen (for this is who was expecting Theros, dear reader) there was time to sponge off the dust of the road. In fact, it was Barney that requested the bath. Theros felt a small flush of pride as his obvious good work in teaching the former drunk some semblance of culture was sinking in.

The trip to the Queen would prove to have an interesting side stop. A fascinating room that was full of weapons for the Royal Guards was shown to the group. Apparently each weapon was intelligent and crafted specifically for each guard. Arlen asked about a dagger for some reason, which immediately garnered attention from the man who ran the store.

“We just had a dagger stolen! Why would you ask if you were not the one who stole it?”

The seneshal construct duly informed the man that this group, was in fact, here at the behest of the Queen and could therefore be trusted. Still, something about Arlen rang off to Theros. He’d ask Arlen later.

Arriving at a green pillar, the group was instantly teleported to their destination, much like the way the group moved up and down the shafts at the mine. Theros’ mind began to whir…

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Don't be a Square, man!

Excerpt from “My Adventures – The Life of Theros Vitalstatistix, vol.2”
Hill_Giant.jpg
The six Hill Giants were assaulting the walls of the fortified village. Somehow, in the several months from when Theros and his party had cleared the mines and now, Vigeo had not only recruited more people, but managed to fortify his hamlet as well.

And right now, it was all that was keeping the people safe. Along with two ballista and several archers on the parapets, raining arrows and large bolts at the enemy.

With all six of the giants occupied and facing away from the party, this was the best chance for some form of surprise attack. As was the norm when Barney was in the party, the surprise attack was prefaced with a mighty roar as he charged directly at the nearest giant…

Desna had clearly forsaken her avatar as Ashe spent long moments casting a spell and having it bounce right off the very low brain density. He then repeated the same spell moments later, only to have the same result occur. Lost the ability to cast a spell, Ashe has. How embarrassing.

Theros cleared his thoughts and filled the air with his mighty voice, spurring all his allies to ever greater heights of heroic actions. Of course, some actions are less heroic and more suicidal, which Barney found out to his chagrin, as two giants swung massive clubs at him, almost rendering him unconscious after a couple of connecting blows. If that had been anybody else, they would have fallen…Ashe proved this to be so as he was attacked by a single giant, intent on crushing the cleric saying something about a “puny god”.

Desna was able to help however, and before Ashe fell, he provided Desna’s blessings, also impeding the giants blows somewhat. Nugg called on his formidable allies, those denizens of the forest, and animals of all sorts came to his aid. Arlen flung spells of arcane might towards the giants, causing mayhem and pain in equal measure.

With Ashe going down, Theros could only think of one appropriate action. He had to save the man! Moving carefully towards his fallen comrade, he implored Desna to save her favoured son and the power of light brought Ashe back from the very brink of death.

The Ballista and archers were having some effect, but the walls were ruined in two places, and it was only the heroic actions of Theros’ group that stopped the giants stepping through the twin breaches and decimating the villagers. Barney, on his last legs, charged again, holding off one struggling giant. Theros cast a spell of mirror image, and moved into range of another giant, willing to risk death to ensure that Nugg could continue to summon his animal allies. Ashe called on the power of Desna while laying low and drawing as little attention to himself as possible and Arlen continued to rain balls of fire at the giants, scorching them to both distraction and severe pain.

As the last of the giants fell, a sigh of relief could be heard issuing from all the combined forces arrayed against them. One archer had fallen from the walls when his section had collapsed, but otherwise, the villagers were mostly unharmed, and for this, Vigeo was very grateful.

In his rage at the loss of his family and home, Theros did something that he would look back on with regret. Each of the giants had a tattoo on them with the symbol of Square, and Theros cut the tattoo from each of them, threading them together and storing them in his backpack.

Entering the camp, the party collapsed on logs and rested their wounded and weary bodies. A nights rest would prove beneficial, but only once Desna, through Ashe, Nugg and Theros, had aided all those who required her tender ministrations.

Vigeo promised to take in any he could help if Theros found any stragglers looking for a place to be safe. He also suggested that should another force like this one come against them, the fortified camp would most likely fall, so he would send out scouts and make sure they were warned early so they could fall back and escape, rather than fight to the death.

A restful night was required by all, and Theros awoke early, as the sun rose.

“A few months ago, I’d never seen a sunrise. Now, I’ve seen every sunrise since I’ve left Digon.”

Theros sighed as he reminisced about his simple life from only a few short months ago. Pain, loss and responsibility weighed more heavily on him now, but for all that, he would change but one thing…the loss of his family. Otherwise, this whole chapter of his life was a time of growth and experience.

The letter said only one man could help. Ziggy Becket. And this letter from over 2000 years in the past, delivered at one fateful moment in time, said he could be found in Circle. With a clear destination in mind, Theros led the group from the camp and onwards towards their destiny.

The trip had proved fairly uneventful, primarily because they had traveled this way before and anything that had been troubling travelers had been dealt with. The only exception came from a lone traveler on a horse, apparently heading the same way as they were.

Slightly suspicious, but a lone traveler could harm their larger group overly, so it was decided that he could rest the night with them, but he wouldn’t be required to stand watch.

It was during Barney’s watch that their generosity proved ill-founded. While Barney watched outwardly, the man had somehow managed to disappear, and along with this discovery, the voice of something large, and potentially threatening could be heard.

Moments before the voice echoed in the darkness, Ashe found a disgusting, smelly, foul blanket attached to his belt. Horrified and unsure what it was doing attached to his person, Ashe disposed of it in the fire.

“WHERE’S MY BLANKY!”

A thick, deep and guttural voice rang out and the trap became obvious immediately. Hurriedly, Nugg fetched the blanket out of the fireplace and a couple of mending spells and a prestidigitation spell later and the blanket looked and smelt better than it had before.
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Barney moved to stand between the group and the giant, intent of cutting the giant down at the first sign of trouble. Thankfully, Theros was able to converse well enough with the giant and, using mage hand, transport the blanket directly to the affected creature. With the return of his family heirloom, he retreated away and the party breathed a little easier and got back to sleep, but not before double checking the ground for any other signs of trouble.

A couple of days would pass before trouble would befall Theros’ group again. A massive dark cloud rode over the horizon and towards the group faster than should have been possible, accompanied by the sound of continuously rolling thunder. It was Nugg that recognised the sound first.
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“It’s a stampede! Find cover!”

Nugg was quick enough to cast entangle on the ground in front of the group, providing cover and slowing the herd down somewhat.

The group split and headed for the side of the road they were traveling on, but Theros was a little slow and couldn’t avoid the edges of the huge group of bison fleeing down the road and rolled under a number of hooves, taking a significant amount of damage before he was finally able to get away.

The danger didn’t pass there though. Four woman, flying towards the group looked to rush past until they caught sight of the group and then they started singing. This triggered something in Theros’ memory.
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“They’re harpies. Don’t listen to their song!”

A dangerous idea coursed through his mind. His singing had aided the group previously. Perhaps it could again? As he thought about it, Arlen fell under the sway of the harpies, too far away for Theros to immediately do anything about it, but he started singing, a discordant song with a jolting tune to disrupt the harpies song, knowing that he would be calling all their attention onto himself should this be successful.

The plan worked and Theros moved into range to help Arlen. His song broke Arlen free, but while under the harpies influence, he had gotten himself tangled in Nuggs spell. Thankfully, Nugg was able to dismiss the spell, allowing Arlen an easier route to escape.

A bank of fog formed over the group with Ashe floating above the rest, looking out of the top of the fog to see what was coming. He didn’t sound happy to declare that a dragon was flying towards the group! Apparently this appeared to be the cause of this stampede and the harpies fleeing.
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The final harpy was seen off, as the other four had failed in their attempt to control the group and continued to flee away from the dragon. A slightly eerie silence descended as the herd thundering died away and harpies song stopped, and all that could be heard was the flapping of wings and then nothing…until a roar sounded and a large spurt of acid spewed through the fog, hitting the wolf and bringing it down, burning fur and flesh, leaving it howling in pain.

Theros called on Desna for help and healed the poor beast, as it had saved him many times in the past and was as valuable companion as any of the other people he traveled with. Barney moved outside the fog cloud, along with Ashe to see what manner of creature attacked, and again, Theros could feel knowledge pricking at the back of his brain, as he caught sight of the creature. Some form of unholy union had created this half dragon-half basilisk, and it was truly dangerous.

And also a little mindless thankfully as it charged towards the former drunk. A spell of devastating power coursed forth from Arlen, rendering the half dragon temporarily blinded by sheer pain as electricity flowed through it, followed quickly by a spear point and a massive hammer. The beast was unable to survive the repeated assaults and perished, the group thankful they were able to take down such a powerful creature.

The rest of the trip back to Circle was fairly uneventful, but the reasons to set a giant on the group was roundly discussed. Reaching Circle, the now familiar sight of petitioners to Desna greeted them, and Ashe was immediately accosted. No matter what he said, he simply helped prove that he was indeed, the avatar of Desna.

“Man, it’s amazing what people will believe, even when you tell them conflicting information.”

Theros tried to make Ashe feel better, but the once cheerful baker seemed more withdrawn than ever.

Finding a guardsman, Theros asked for directions to Ziggy Becket.

“Wadda ya want with that crazy guy? His shop is shit and he’s crazy. Anyway, he’s down the shit part of town.”

Directions gathered, the group made their way to the shop of Ziggy Becket. Opening the door led them into a ramshackle, run down store, one which had seen better days. A strange man, seemingly talking gibberish to himself greeted them, wanting to know what brought them to his neck of the woods.

“This letter, sent to us over 2000 years ago, specifically stating that you were the only one that could help us.”

Handing the letter over to Ziggy, he read it and grew animated. Strange questions started flying round the room, directed at each party member, and as each question got more random and strange, the group looked at each other in askance, wondering what they had got themselves in for.

Looking back up, Ziggy had changed. Instead of the ramshackle man, a neatly dressed, well presented man now stood in front of them, apologising for the deception, explaining that this was his way of keeping people from bothering him. It turned out he was a wizard some time ago, and in the process of training, he stumbled onto a way to travel through time. He was ridiculed and sent from the magic school in disgrace and had spent the years since trying to find a way to recreate the time travel spell. So far, with no success.

“But you’re here! With literal proof that I must succeed. Come. Come into my workshop and we will make this happen.”

Days would pass in the workshop as all of the members of the group strived to add their knowledge to Ziggy’s, in the hopes of saving their world…

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The square shows its sides..
All puns are welcome

Who knew the world of Geo-metric shapes could be so violent… As we arrive to help Viggo and his companions we find their sanctuary assaulted by giant stupidly brutish humanoids. Preparing ourselves we pause a moment to focus our strengths on these hapless cretins but in fact our rage is the culmination of the previous two weeks.

The Caverns were the marvelous insane creation of a crazy man who called himself Lord Doomington. His perverse imagination formed an arena of infernal creeps stylizing himself as their gladiatorial savior. As for the person directly while he was limited in attack his defense proved that only patience would win the day. Once his auras had changed in hue his vulnerability changed with it. Luckily our group had enough variation which ensured victory was ours.

Upon leaving we were greeted with the adulation that only heroes like ourselves deserve. While reassuring the smelly masses that indeed we were better than they Jon Rust and his Mighty Minions surprised us all by showing up in urgency. His tale of coming to our hour of need smacked of some Machiavellian plot operating past his awareness. Luckily so was our perception for trouble. Within minutes Jon and his retinue had turned to head back home. We quickly followed. Our nose for trouble started running..

Hexagon was lost. Its gates and peoples left to the whims and control of Square and its heavily conforming soldiers. The true suffering we could only imagine, the walls holding the truth behind its stone. Abruptly the condition of Daigon and its inhabitants came to the fore. Not so much for the drunk and I, we had no simpering attachment to that hick of a hamlet.

They were dead. All distributed in that murdered macbre way. No matter the lay out of the bodies, the message was the same. We care not for you or your kind. We are uncaring to what you are and what you hold dear. We will make them pay. All of them. Some of us in the name of revenge and retribution. Meh as for me Ill do it for the fun…

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The Caverns of Fun With Nugg

Excerpt from “My Adventures – The Life of Theros Vitalstatistix, vol.2”

The Incubus stayed about fifteen feet in the air initially, but once it’s repertoire of charm spells had run out, he decided to destroy the party in a violent manner, using only his bare hands.
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His first target was the supposedly soft one of Nugg. Alighting on the ground next to him, multiple swipes of his talons pressed the druid back. Unfortunately for the Incubus, this put him in range of the entire party, this time, led by a drunk holding his two month sober chip…and a large falchion of course.

Some mighty swings of the sword, a stab or two of a spear, some arrows flying through the air, teeth and club combining from the Wolf and his master, and finally, Arlen’s patented magic missile slamming home again and again. While most attacks did very little, and the Incubus was clearly planning on his innate toughness to gain him a significant advantage, he didn’t account for the magical force in the form of Arlen. He shone as only one can when a situation demands that person stand up and be counted.

This had the potential to divide the party, and it was only the quick thinking of Ashe that saved both Theros and Barney from an ignominious fate as the slave of a demon.

The next door led to yet another puzzle. There were seven small pedestals, each with a circular metal device on top, clearly meant for being turned. Each pedestal had it’s own colour, two red, two blue, two clear and one green. An inscription was on the wall with a cryptic message suggesting how to bypass the trap.

The devices needed to be activated in a specific order and a glimmer of a memory teased the backs of the parties minds…

“First blue…”

It was clearly only part of a message, but the man in the portal had bee trying to tell Theros something important and this was the only part that wasn’t garbled. However, with the logical baker stepping in and coming up with an order (ably assisted by Theros of course!), it was up to somebody to turn the devices.

Earlier lack of success weighed heavily on Thros’ mind and while the party was trying to decide who should start, he stepped up and twisted the first device. Blue was apparently meant to sap the users fortitude, and Theros felt himself weaken. Knowing the second blue would likely do the same, he centred himself and repeated the action, suffering the same result.

Feeling physically ill Theros continued with the designated order, while the others had stopped and watched. There were no calls to stop, and in fact, it was suggested that since one person was already paying for the puzzle, it would make no sense to have the others suffer. Theros could find no fault with that argument, but it certainly didn’t make him feel any better about the situation!

Green was next, and this was clearly releasing a poison into Theros’ body. Another weakening effect born with a stoicism that few knew Theros had, let alone Theros himself, he moved onto the first red device and felt the heat of a forge burning him, right through is clothes and scorching him badly.

A clear device was next and for the first time, a positive effect occurred. Some of the physical ailments troubling Theros eased. The clutch of cold, heat and poison on his body lessened and he moved to the last red device, mentally preparing himself to be burnt yet again, praying to Desna that he survive and get to the last clear device.

Theros braved the devices and came out the other side feeling slightly worse for wear, but better than he thought after such a demanding and physically painful examination. To his immense relief, the final door clicked open and the party made their way through.

A large chamber awaited. Huge bones loomed overhead, keeping out a massive crowd of demons sitting in the tiered seats, looking over the amphitheatre, baying out for the blood of the challengers.

“Lord Doomington is gonna kill you!”

A heavily armoured man in plate, resting casually on a large stone throne, a warhammer resting by his side, waited, apparently bored.

“I should make my challenges easier! I like killing you people, and not enough make it through to me.”

He stood to raucous calls of his name and twirled his warhammer in one hand, belying strength that could prove troublesome. He then flitted oddly and changed colour. And then charged.

Taunting, shouting, rude guestures and insults flew from the crowd. Theros urged his party onwards, telling them of the great renown they would earn by defeating this powerful foe, and Barney met the charge head on with a might swing of his sword…

…and did precisely nothing…

…and Lord Doomington laughed at the puny humans…

“He’s immune to physical damage!”

Seconds flashed by as magic erupted, arrows darkened the room and mighty weapons clashed, and while this occurred, Lord Doomington changed colour again and again, each time, some different form of attack proving to be ineffective.

Arlen and Theros made for the rear of the room behind the throne to find a locked chest that magic and force wouldn’t open. Arlen took the chance to climb onto the throne, enraging Lord Doomington.

“You puny insect! You dare sit in MY throne? I’ll kill you where you sit.”

Unfortunately for Ashe, he was in the way of the large warhammer and paid the price, slumping to the ground unconscious, several blows crashing into his body and shattering bones.

Arlen decided discretion was the better part of valor and nimbly slipped over the top of the throne, avoided Lord Doomington’s grasp and fled to the edge of the chamber. This action drew the evil lord of this domain after him, allowing attacks aplenty from the rest of the party, most doing almost nothing.

Nugg’s wolf had other ideas though and managed to get a paw between Lord Doomington’s legs, tripping him only a few feet from the unconscious Ashe. Theros snuck around the side of the throne and beseeched Desna for aid and healed the baker before death could claim him.

The trip seemed to set off a lucky chain of events. Blows started landing and telling wounds began to appear on Lord Doomington.

“Argh! I’d forgotten what pain felt like!”

Before he could haul himself off the floor, he felt the full force of the party, raining all kinds of attacks down on him, and he expired amid curses and threats. As he died, the crowd of demons watching suddenly decided to disappear as well and there was a strong smell of sulphur as they teleported out of the Caverns of Doom.

The chest was able to be opened and a large number of magical goods awaited the group. Theros found a cloak that shimmered brightly and claimed it immediately, along with some rather fetching bracers for his wrists. They appeared to impart some knowledge of archery unconsciously, and Theros hid a wry smile.

Nugg, meanwhile, seemed to be grappling with the nature of the universe. Apparently all the power of the Caverns of Doom settled on him and he froze, not wanting the power, and not knowing what to do with it. A substantial amount of advice from the drunk and idiot (well, to their credit, the are currently both former drunks and idiots), leading to a very convoluted scenario. Thankfully, a simple exit was eventually made and Theros led the party outside.

The reception was something of a muted affair. Shock, awe, silence and a hastily aborted groan from the frantic death insurance salesman was all that initially greeted the group.

“Who has the number six? We need to put a six above the door now!”

The group hastily made their way over to the death insurance salesman and he was packing his bags in a hasty manner, clearly intent of leaving before paying out the victors of the Caverns of Doom. A short conversation resulted in lie after lie spewing from his mouth and it wasn’t until the thunder of hooves and the arrival of John Rust occurred that the salesman was forced to make good on his contracts.

John was frustrated to find the group well and apparently unharmed. He had come as fast as he could, with his best men, on the information of one of his top informants that Theros and his party were in dire trouble and in need of assistance.

“We have never sent any request for aid John. You’ve been lied to!”

John went pale and bid the party to catch up to him as they could. He flew as fast as his horse could carry him back towards Hexagon, a week and half’s ride away, dreading what may happen in the time he was away.

It was established that any who entered the Caverns of Doom first would now have the entire Caverns subject to their whim. Unable to destroy them (after several different attempts), Theros found the man from the Guild of Grudges. He had been honourable in a very strict way when he declined Theros’ money for a different type of contract, and Theros trusted him enough that he felt the Caverns would be at least as safe as they were now, if not safer with this man in charge.

A simple performance in front of an already awestruck crowd resulted in the passing of power (both figuratively and literally) to the Guild. This done, Theros leapt onto his horse and bolted after John Rust.

They caught him by the evening break and made their way as one large group back to Hexagons climes. Nearing the edge of the farmlands, large amounts of smoke could be seen coming from both Hexagon and beyond, and the large group made their way carefully towards the city gates.

The banners of the warlike city state of Square adorned the walls and guards in the Square livery waited at every entrance. Getting in was not going to be possible, but must be attempted regardless. John hung back for fear of recognition, and Theros and Arlen struck up a very one sided conversation with the guards before beating a hasty retreat, the threat of being turned into a pin cushion full of arrows became a fast reality.

Riding around the city, the group made their way several hours past into Diagon home territory, the smoke guiding them and making them fear the worst.

And the worst was there to greet them. Every man, woman and child, every animal slain and left in terrible, awful piles. everybody lost somebody they knew, with Theros, Ashe and Nugg losing families and entire lives as they surveyed the carnage. With Square flags draped around the town, it was obvious what had happened.

As those who lost people coped with the death and restored some measure of dignity to the dead by preparing them for funerals and the afterlife, Barney took off, yelling something about Vigeo.

Several hours would pass before he would return and Theros had managed to calm his raging emotions enough to think a little more coherently. Even so, he was unable to make any sense of the massacre, other than to put it down to a violent and bloodthirsty people carving a bloody swathe through the countryside.

Barney’s return resulted in a call to action.

“The mine! Vigeo thinks that they are going to get attacked as early as tomorrow! We gotta go!”

Spurred to action after the atrocity of Digon, the party rode towards the mines, minus John Rust as he rode to his own destiny, searching for allies from his past to aid him in Hexagons time of most dire need.

It was nightfall as Theros finally laid eyes on the now fortified mining colony. Large shapes lumbered towards the battlements, giants all, intent on crushing yet another of Theros’ links to his past.

A look of utter hatred crossed the handsome face and a single command issued from his hoarse throat.

“Kill them all!”

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So long Caverns of Doom

Well Caverns of Doom/Nugg done and dusted for now. However I doubt its the last time we will hear of them. So this is how it all went down. We killed some demony thing that was not much of a challenge with the mage mostly taking care of it. We then had to solve some puzzle. The bard stepped up for that, well I think he was guilted into it more than anything. We then had some cocky demon to kill which took a wee while but we eventually dispatched him and took his stuff.
Nugg with the killing blow suddenly had the power over the caverns and spent an age deciding what to do. When he eventually created a quick way out for us I stepped through and out while everyone else still argued about what we should be doing.
An argument then insued with the Death Insurance guy who didnt want to pay us out.
While we were discussing the situation with him we hear horses approaching and ho turns up but Top Man John Rust. Turns out he was tricked into coming to our aide by someone. We agreed that we would return with him to Hexagon to check everything was ok. Instead of just caving in the caverns like I suggested, control was given to some guy that the bard trusts. (yeah thats why I reckon its not the last time we will hear of this place). Turns out that if the controller of the Caverns leaves the next person in gets control.
So we headed back to hexagon and it turns out square has attacked and taken control. They have also attacked and killed everyone at Diagon. So Mr Bard is now mayor of a ghost town. I decided to take of and check on Vigo since the mining settlement is now my home. Thank fully they are all ok, however they have been spotted and an attack is expected anytime. So I took off and alerted the team so we could come back and aid Vigo.
As we turned back up we have arrived in the middle of a battle. Lets go kick some arse.

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That idiot is no idiot.

I noted with interest the repeated happenstance of our musician scribbling away into a tome of some sort. The matter normally wouldn’t cause me to give any notice of something trivial and therefore beneath me. However catching words like ‘leader’ and ‘im awesome’ muttered under his oily breath while doing so piqued my curiosity.

While the party was slumbering away, foolishly trusting their safe guard in my hands, I had time to innocently peruse his book of ranting. Oh dear. For his own sake he needs to be gently informed how insignificant he is. Hmm perhaps being so diplomatic I should be the one. I will endeavor to be gracious when I point this out to him. Delusional he thinks he leads this group that I choose to be part of. Yes readers it is that serious. I mean how does he lead, when truth be told it is the drunk that is in the front. As for assuming the mantle of spokesperson I didnt think he was serious, as he rambles even in his sleep. A matter to be resolved another day.

The caverns of distraction has managed to slow the group down some what. The area thwarts my power and as we are getting a running commentary by an obvious illiterate pleb it becomes more apparent that this stage is all engineered. Probably a gnome. God I hate gnomes. They deserve to just sit on the ground and watch plants grow. Hey I could propose some scheme to that effect with our farmer.

In the meantime these rooms underground still require our attention. This included a fight
with some creature that our singer rambled on about but tbh i wasn’t listening. The highlight to focus on is that at last I am starting to fulfill my potential. I let go of my inhibitions and let loose my elemental power on this creature. A tap from the barbarian and a few energy missiles and it was over. All that was left was to mop up the cretin in the corner who was its bitch.

It hasnt all been my way. New challenges slow my progress and disturbingly I have experienced the reality that some monsters are immune to my primary power and need to fall back on fire. Theros pointed that new information out to me. Turns out it was quite useful so keeping the rambling encyclopedia around makes sense. I just wish he stop telling the ignorant unwashed that our baker is some aspect of some dude called Desna. Who the fuck is Desna because he has lots of fanboys…

God this group is tiresome, but I need some witnesses when I envelop myself with the mantle of …well im not going to let everything out of the bag at once am I. Luckily the group is diverse and interesting enough to continue on. They even provide much needed services like food and healing. Hell even the wolf is entertaining and gives me an appropriate volunteer when I learn to polymorph.

I look forward to furthering your enjoyment reader and your education.Not just to be exposed to words from a crazy man.

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Making Friends and Influencing People

So here we are in the Caverns of Doom. Puzzles, bloody puzzles I hate puzzles, however the Baker comes into his own with them. He points me in the right direction and tells me what to do. So far it has worked.

A lot of the so called bad things in here are actually good blokes. At least they don’t accuse me of being smelly and insult me. <<mmm>>. Theros take note, you make more friends by being nice than insulting them. I may have to go and have a bath next time I am needed to jump between him and something trying to kill him.

The guy I tried to stop going into the caverns is obviously dead although a nice demony type was helping keep his memory alive. Unfortunately we had to dispatch him.

Interesting thing as a group we all seem to have grown and are nothing like when we set out together to guard a caravan. The idiot not actually idiotic and infact some sort of magic user, I get on with him really well. The farmer seems to be a druid of quite some power, I like him and his wolf. The baker seems to be either the Messiah or a very naughty boy, but again I seem to get on ok with him. The rich boy likes to sing and dance a lot. The stories he tells are not always 100% accurate. If he stopped calling me a smelly drunk he might actually be tolerable. Myself I have not had a drink in an age. I am actually enjoying life so don’t need a bottle or tankard to help me get through the day anymore. I am enjoying being clean and sober.

Oh well lets see what is through the next door.

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The heat gets turned up

Excerpt from “My Adventures – The Life of Theros Vitalstatistix, vol.2”

This is NOT a play on words dear readers…the temperature of the Caverns of Doom were literally raised, the deeper we went into them…

Ever deeper into the Caverns, Theros led his brave adventuring party. So many thoughts careened through his head that he had trouble slowing down enough to focus, but focus, he was forced to do, as another door appeared in the darkness nearby.

No test for this door. Just a simple open and shut as the party shuffled through.

It was here that Theros’ soon to fabled adventures relied upon another to succeed, at least temporarily. In front of him was a well crafted stone room, about thirty foot in each direction, broken up by a door on the far side, with writing on it, and a pillar. The pillar stretched from floor to ceiling, and, while well crafted, was fairly ordinary. Except for the five buttons nestled at different heights. The ceiling was about thirty feet up, and the buttons were spread up the length of the pillar, with the top button almost at the ceiling.

Moving past the door, Theros had a good look at the door. Arlen followed suit and gazed at the door, seemingly unable to decipher the script on the door.

“All 4 1, 1 4 all. Wonder what that means?”

Theros silently thanked Desna for his new circlet. Within mere days of being purchased, it had proven its worth, as it increased his capacity for languages. Indeed, before putting the circlet on, Theros wouldn’t have known draconic was a language, much less be able to read it as though it was his native tongue.

Relaying the information on the door to the party, Theros made his way back a few steps as Arlen began casting spells at the door. According to the laughter from a disembodied voice in the room, Arlens knock spell would not bypass the tests. It did, however, allow the group to converse, at least sporadically, with some form of master of the Caverns.

Ashe showed a side that Theros wasn’t aware bakers had. He started applying logic to the description and the pillar.

“Push buttons four, then one, then one and then four again.”

With the aid of Desna, Theros cast a minor cantrip called mage hand, allowing him to press the button a long way from the floor with little difficulty. This clever plan failed, but Ashe wasn’t done.

“Push all of the buttons at the same time.”

So with the help of a monkey (Nugg can apparently shape change into things other than bears) at the top, a mage hand from both Arlen and Theros, a spear tip from Ashe and Barney at the bottom pushing the lowest button, there was a solid click as the door swung open.

Theros almost wished that he could go back the way he came as he led the group ever deeper.

The Caverns were starting to get seriously warm. The source of the temperature increase was found shortly afterwards as the party filed into a small cave with large rocks reaching up ten to fifteen feet in the air, interspersed with several large, glowing red rocks. Glowing from heat, with pulsed out of them.
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A sight most unwelcome also waited for the party. The flying undead, known as a berbalang was there, just waiting for a juicy morsel to devour, and Theros his party strode right into the chamber. One of these had caused some serious trouble on the way to the Caverns of Doom, and Theros was none too pleased to see another one.

One would have thought that being confined to a chamber in a cave would hamper the foul thing, but its flight still gave it a decided advantage as it flittered to and from party members and hiding behind the large rock formations so that the party could focus on it.

The berbalang cast charm person and attempted to swipe at people with its paralysis inducing claws. What followed was a horrible example of fighting in caves. Luckily for the group, they were able to wear the creature down slowly, as its tough hide protected it from all but the most grievous blows, and even then, it reduced the impact substantially.

Theros resolved to learn more of these things to ensure that should they surface again, he was well prepared to defeat them.

“Desna, I implore you…what kills these things?”

It turns out SILVER. Simple, lowly silver kills these things. Theros wasn’t to learn that for some time sadly.

Another door and another chance for Theros to lead the way bravely into challenges ahead…

…except this time there was a small room with no creatures, just lines on the floor and hanging blocks of rock, dangling from the ceiling…

…and Theros went blank.

This was not one of Theros’ most treasured memories dear reader, and he professes to have forgotten what transpired in this room. However, the pieces have been gleaned from the other party members and some description has come to light.

Lore will tell you that Theros was instrumental in saving world, but in this chamber, he was helpless. The rest of the party were able to get into the room after examining it from out side initially. Walking along the lines on the floor, walking where there were no lines, walking and ignoring the lines, standing in the squares formed by the lines, climbing onto the dangling rocks, all these were tried while Theros stood forlornly to one side, understanding that he would not always be able to lead the way to victory.

A flash of brilliance from on high provided the solution. There were five separate lines on the floor and five party members (not counting the wolf, of which, still, had no name, but thankfully came to the call of “here boy”). Each person standing on a separate line seemed to do the trick as the door opened and Theros gratefully rushed out, preferring to face whatever was out there, rather than spend one more minute in the trapped room.
Ceberi.jpg
Another chamber, and more super heated rocks and large rock formations scattered around. There was no hiding a loathsome canine beast however, and a name sprung immedaitely to Theros’ well trained mind. Cerberi. The tales describes the thing as a mythical watchdog of Hell, cerberi bear the bodies of terrible, powerful hounds combined with the essences of fiends. The descriptions did it justice as every strip of this three-headed hound’s hide has been peeled away, leaving wet sinew and bulging tendons exposed.

The lore also suggested that its bite had the ability to transmit some kind of curse, anchoring people to this reality, supposedly stopping people teleporting. Luckily, this wouldn’t prove to be too much of a problem for Theros.

This potentially could have been a challenge, but for once, everything went right. Attacks hit, magic landed and arrows lodged deep into the beasts flesh. As the creature died, far quicker than Theros had any right to hope for, a cry of rage and anguish shattered the air, and a halfling stood at the far end of the room, anger radiating from him.

“You KILLED my pet!”
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Unfortunately for him, he was not much a threat and barney cut him down with a masive blow of his falchion.

The next door led to the fourth test. A room with a concave ceiling, and the entire room was absolutely covered in buttons. There was almost no space between any of them and they ranged from small to large, placed in a haphazard manner. And every single one of them had “push me” engraved on it.

Pushing one button would set the roof moving downwards, threatening to crush the party, and as soon as another button was pushed, the roof would move back to it’s starting position. As the roof moved down, it flattened out ad was not longer concave. Confusion built quickly.

Arlen tried his knock spell again. Theros was sure that the spell was being cast correctly, but for the second time in as many attempts, it was thwarted. In fact, the only effect was causing the disembodied voice to laugh at Arlen, telling him such simply magics would not work in his Caverns.

“What is the point of this? The room can’t crush us because as soon as it gets low enough to hit us, we’ll trigger one of the buttons and the ceiling will go back up. This is weird.”

Nugg, fortunately, had a simple, but extremely effective remedy.

“I can cast stone shape and cut a door for us.”

And so he did. The door was pushed through and fell over, and the party simply walked out of a new exit.

HEY! Stop destroying my Caverns!”

The disembodied voice was back, but this time it was displeased.

Theros led his party through to yet another chamber, but this time it was mostly empty, save for a demon. Lore suggested this was a Schir demon. This goat-headed humanoid was covered in a mangy gray hide that only partly covers its gaunt but muscled frame, and it looked frightened.
Schir_Demon.jpg
It thrust its halberd out towards the group in what could only be described as a non-threatening waver and quivered as it told as his master had commanded him to kill all of us. With all the conviction of a limp rag, Theros and Ashe looked at each other, knowing the thing was both evil and sent to kill them, and could help but feel this was a situation that could be used to their advantage, while showing an evil creature what good looked like.

This was a fine theory, but it has been proved time and time again that nothing can plan for Barney. While Theros was crafting a suitably inspiring speech to gain the trust of allegiance of the Schir Demon, Barney simply screamed in anger and charged, slicing his falchion it a wide arc, causing a substantial amount of damage to the demon and any possibility of a diplomatic solution.

Theros and Ashe refused to help Barney destroy what amount to essentially a helpless combatant. This didn’t hinder Barney in the slightest as he slew the creature with little more than an inarticulate grunt.

The demon dealt with, the group made their way to the only exit out of the room and came into a room with five other doors in it, for a total of six doors, including the one Theros just came through. Three doors on each opposite wall made for a number of choices, but apparently, there was a clue.

“To go forward, you must sometimes go backwards.”

Ashe looked almost serene as he appeared to choose a door at random and simply walked through it, disappearing. Quickly following him, he was spotted walking through another door in what seemed like an identical room, and then turning and made as though to come back through, but disappeared!

Attempting to recreate the surprising incident, the rest of the party walked through one way, and then made their way back through the same door…straight into a tunnel filled with devilish, sharp and dangerous plants with large thorns on them, completely covering the corridor, leaving no easy way through.

Ashe could be spotted further ahead, and as he heard the rest of the party traipse through behind him, he yelled out.

“Move REALLY slowly. You won’t get hurt if you take your time.”

Theros heeded the advice since he didn’t really have many other options. Nugg however, did seem to have another option, and the sight of living plant life, no matter how demonic it was, seemed to leave him giddy with happiness and he literally danced his way through the vines.

Once through, the party made their way into yet another chamber. These Caverns were proving to be very large. Of course, this didn’t make it empty! The young man Barney had attempted to loudly persuade not to come into the Caverns appeared before the group, but he looked to have aged thirty years.

There was shock, and no little pleasure that he had somehow survived, even at the cost of his youth. Apparently, he had been trapped here for years. This was a surpising and potentially dangerous development, because Theros might come out of the Caverns and the world as he knew it might have moved on, without him!

It was at this point that Theros noticed him casting charm person on Barney. This seemed odd, but not particularly threatening, but he pointed it out to Ashe and Arlen, just to be safe. Barney was bade to come to the mans side, and Theros too felt the need to move to his side.

“Barney! Theros! You’ve had charm person cast on you! Snap out of it!”

Surely this couldn’t be true? Theros had a renown willpower, and it was obvious that this man was his friend. A diplomatic solution was called for… of course, the man did appear to have transformed into a darkly handsome man with batlike wings, curving horns, and bestial legs. Perhaps there was more to Ashe’s comments than previously thought?
Incubus.jpg
The incubus (for this is what it proved to be) cast another spell. This time it was crushing dispair, though how Theros recognised this, he couldn’t tell you, even to this day. Ashe pulled out a wand in response and touched Theros with it, and then moved to do the same to Barney.

“I’ve cast protection from evil on you! Snap out of it!”

The spell did the trick and Theros felt his mind clear, as though a fog had been lifted from his mind. Seeing the creature for what it was, his voice rang out loud and clear, countering the crushing despair that was lingering over the party…

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The Caverns of DDDOOOOMMMM!

Excerpt from “My Adventures – The Life of Theros Vitalstatistix, vol.2”

The berbalang taken care of, Theros led the way towards Circle. Circle promised to be a safe haven, with less superstitions around the use of magic as well, and Theros was looking forward to finding out what some of his hard earned gold might buy.
Ettercap.png
The roads were obviously not safe though. The remains of a wagon and some people, and even a horse were scattered across the road. A hideous purple creature with the face of a spider was feeding on one, and the horse was being mauled by the biggest wolf Theros had ever seen.
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The ettercap was the first to be targeted. Nugg had dealt with animals before, so Theros left him to look after it while he concentrated on putting arrows into the humanoid spider. Luckily, it went down fairly quickly, because they were known to have a poisonous bite.

Turns out Nugg had no idea what to do about the huge dire wolf…

Arrows, swords, blessings, summoned creatures, magic; all were used to try and defeat the dire wolf. The 800 pound behemoth was substantially more vicious than a standard wolf, although since Nugg had a somewhat tame one, the sample size was not large. Barney was able to cut the beast down, and its death cries could be heard of the druids whimpering and a forest creature passed.

This should have allowed the party to carry on, but for some reason, Barney and then Ashe stopped moving, and Barney even attacked Arlen. Admittedly, he’s an idiot, but he’s OUR idiot and he hadn’t done anything wrong at that point. Fortunately, Arlen was able to take care of the problem himself and put Barney’s notoriously low self control to good use and sprayed him with a rainbow, stunning him, followed by Nugg’s wolf tripping him.

The summoned creatures (including some form of spinning blade Ashe keeps calling forth) hovered near a tree to the side of the road. The summoned wolves and crocodile (yes, Nugg thought a giant salt water crocodile was safest bet for some reason!) made their way over and immediately stopped.
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Ashe’s spinning blade was the only thing allowing Theros a sighter on what ever was causing this. A brain shaped mass of quivering ooze, co-incidentally known as a brain ooze, scuttled away, zapping people with dominate person, trying to turn the party on each other. It was tough wee thing, but Theros rallied the troops and ensured they didn’t fall prey to infighting and vanquished the ooze.

The rest of the trip to Circle was uneventful. Arriving in Circle proved to be the last chance for peace that Theros had however, as his fast mouth finally got him into trouble. Claiming to be the herald for the Avatar of Desna, he was arrested and questioned about the whereabouts of the Avatar. not knowing exactly didn’t help and he was taken into custody and marched to Inn to wait for the Avatar to return.

He did manage to make a small detour into the magic shop however and casting his eye over all the trinkets and treasures, a small circlet caught his eye. The shopkeeper claimed it would help him understand and speak more languages, and as he grew more attuned to it, his control over languages would only grow. What could be more useful for a travelling bard? He immediately bought it, haggling only a little, leaving the shopkeeper a happy man.

Once Ashe returned to the Inn, Theros had no trouble in pointing him out and allowed himself, Ashe and Nugg to be led to where the sick and injured townsfolk were kept. Healing the sick proved a rewarding experience as the town paid handsomely for the services of Desna’s most trusted lieutenant and his herald…and Nugg.

With the blessings of the town folk, the group made their way to the Caverns of Doom. Apparently this cavern was something of a blight on the area, leaving many family missing loved ones as they died trying to the complete the caverns.

Alas, the trip proved a little too eventful.
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Standing in the way was quite obviously a ghoul. And right behind it, something that no tavern stories could describe. The creature has a split-jawed mouth, a hoodlike growth on its head, and two hideously elongated fingers on each hand. Disgusting.
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Barney charged and immediately dispatched the ghoul. But apparently this was all part of the other creatures plan as it moved towards him and laid a hand on Barney, draining some of his very life energy from him with a spell called vampiric touch.

Singing a jaunty song to bolster his parties resolve, Theros began the process of raining arrows down on the creature. It was surprisingly difficult to hit, and with the stolen health from Barney, it also proved very resilient. Magic, arrows, spears, swords and more summoned creatures finally took the creature down, but for what was essentially a lone creature, it provided a few scares for the party.

Arriving at the Caverns of Doom would have caught the party by surprise had John Rust not informed them of the small town that sprung up to service the needs and wants of the people trying their luck at the Caverns.

Theros found himself drawn to one vendor who sold the opportunity to gamble money on the participants own lives. If they died, any money they bet stayed with the vendor, but if they lived…well…riches would abound! Theros knew that clearing the Caverns of Doom was his destiny, so he parted with a hefty sum of gold, almost feeling bad for the vendor, and the vendor grinned, knowing that he had never lost a bet.

While Theros was gambling money on his life, Barney had apparently discovered a latent spark of humanity inside himself and tried to convince a young bravo to give up his foolish quest to cleanse the Caverns on but a dare from his so called friends. When barbaric diplomacy didn’t work on the young man, guilt proved to be the weapon of choice on the friends. While this was ultimately unsuccessful, Theros could appreciate the sentiment and approved of his formerly drunken friends attempt.

Through the Caverns it was! Cheering, chanting, laughing and promises to return were casually tossed away, like so much litter.

A long, wide passage, stretching into the darkness, offset only by the light of Nugg’s magic, led the group to a door. John had described this test however and all of the group knew that they had to prove themselves to the door to get passed. Theros sang and proved he had a voice of an angel. Apparently the others didn’t suck too much as the door opened and let the group through.

Another large chamber awaited on the other side. But, luckily for Theros, he heard some movement above and looked up, to see some creature skittering down the walls and into combat!
Asura__Adhukait.png
Tales spoke of a pair of spiked fiends, interwoven through bodily cavities and impaling limbs, spin in a dance with their twin curved knives, called Asura, but also known as Ashukait. These vicious things are warriors and moved with surprising grace, only really harmed by holy weapons, channeling the power of good.

Ashe was well prepared and cast a spell allowing Barney to channel goodness through his sword. This would have been a superb way to end the fight quickly, but the foul evil creature evaded Barney with ease, and it was left to the rest to try and end the creature. It proved resistant to Arlen’s magic, Theros’ arrows and Nugg’s summoned creatures, but Ashe was able to summon the whirling blades of Desna and between the group as a whole, it appeared as though the fight was well and truely in hand.

Until a second one appeared right next to Theros. Quickly summoning some illusionary doubles of himself as cover, he was able to throw the creature off his trail just long enough for the original one to die.

Looking around, Theros suddenly understood that there had only been one, but it had instead teleported to a different location, clearly intent on focusing on the most dangerous member of the party, Theros himself.

The Asura defeated, it was time to move deeper into the Caverns.

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