What Comes Around Goes Around

I Hate Gnomes and Wierd Animals

So there we were sitting outside the home of Fizzle the gnome who stole my book. The idiot and Theros tried to open his door which was locked. Numerous knocking on the door proved unsuccessful so I went through the clear door on the side of the building more commonly referred to as the window. As I was walking to go and open the door Ashe decided to try coming through the same opening, I think because he eats to much of his own product he got stuck, so after dragging his big fat but in I went and opened the door fore the others to enter in much more dignified way.
A search of the house did not find the little gnome piece of **** however once I drank a potion of see invisibility I found the little ****. I managed to capture him despite not being able to walk upright in the building because of its low ceilings. Holding him by his leg and shaking him did not make him visable to the others so I tried more shaking and some gentle lowering of his head onto the floor he still was not visable.
Some police turned up and while we were discussing the terms of their surrender to us Fizzle became visable. Because Theros and Nugg decided that we needed to go with them and the fact that they were detaining Fizzle also we went with them peacefully to the jail. Where Theros did everything in his power to piss of the Gnome police chief dude. I take my hat off to him for that but may need to talk to him about when it is appropriate to piss off people and when to try and win them over. Anyway despite Theros the police chief took a liking to me and believed my story. When Nugg piped up that Fizzle had tried to kill us in Hexagon and was wanted for attempted murder things quickly turned in our favour. 24 Hours later and with a little pacing on my part guarding the book Hexagon confirmed our story and Fizzle was arrested. Because the Police Chief liked me he let us keep the book on the promise we returned it to Hexagon. I had it reserved next at the library so now I have it out on loan. We were asked to leave the city as soon as possible.
That Imagica lady couldn’t remove the curse on the ring or the sword so that hasn’t changed. The book was full of maps which I have copied so we have an extra set should something happen to the book.
We felt compelled to go to the locations on these maps and Imagica helped us travel a vast distance in a short period of time.
We reached a little village which we stayed at to rest. The whores here were clean so I had two. We travelled on to our destination however were rudely interupted by animals that wanted to attack us. Once we killed them they came back to life and we had to kill them again!!!! We killed numerous beasts and rekilled them. The last one being some creature that lived underground and trapped its prey in quicksand. We are currently having a break to rest. I HATE BEING SOBER!!!!

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Travel Journal Entry 9
Defenestration is as awkward as it sounds

“Never trust a gnome in the dark.” – proverb.

Theros discovered the door to Fizzle’s abode was locked, so Barney decided to take a direct route in through a window. It looked fairly easy so I tried to follow. It turns out that diving through a window in heavy armour is actually quite difficult. I think I’ll wait for the gentleman to open the door for me in future.

I’ve also learned to not hire a gnome architect. Their houses are way too teeny and I’ve still got a crick in my neck two days later from having to stoop constantly.

Fizzle had hidden himself somehow and as we explored the house we thought we could hear him but there was nothing we could see. Then Barney seemed to grab something in midair and hold it aloft. It was Fizzle, he was invisible.

Barney attempted to reason with Fizzle, mostly by bouncing him, as the local guards turned up. We thought we would be in trouble as they didn’t seem to believe Theros’ complex explanations. But then Nugg remembered that Fizzle has actually hired thugs to kill us. An actual crime in an actual city that we reported to the actual guards.

They held us for a short period while they contacted Hexagon to confirm our stories. Rust backed us up of course and the gnomes, somewhat reluctantly, let us go and arrested Fizzle for his crimes.

We finally got to have a look at the book, which I suddenly don’t know why I even wanted in the first place. Instead I now really want to go to a cave that I’ve never been to but I kinda know where it is. I’m beginning to suspect that magic might be at play here.

After a quiet night, during which Nugg wandered off for some personal stuff, Theros told us that he’d arranged us some transport… or a sort. He’d hired Imajica, the elf we meet in the tavern, to magically transport us some distance in the direction we wanted to go.

It’s a good thing I’m an optimistic sort, cause in hidesight being magically moved by an elf we met at a pub might have been a little foolish.

It all went fine though, and we started the rest of our trip on foot. It seems a slow way to travel, but at least we shouldn’t get lost since we all instinctively know which direction the cave is in.

We arrived a small village to rest a recuperate. While there some of the party partook in the local delicacies.

The delicacies were the local woman. They had- you know what, I’m not explaining it.

I put my time to more useful endeavours, stocking up on scrolls, though hopefully we won’t need them.

We heard some disturbing rumours about the road ahead. A scary fog, animals acting crazy, and some magician raising undead.

Well it was all true. As soon as we entered the foggy area we were attacked repeated by the local animals. These weren’t all scary beasts like in the jungle. Some were ordinary little creatures, usually harmless, but driven mad by something. Once killed they seemed to be reanimated by the fog and attacked us once more. The sooner we are out of the fog the better.

I managed to fall down again too. As I tried to rescue some sort of big deer from a sandtrap, only for it to turn out to be a more elaborate trap than that. I prayed to Desna to protect me but she mostly just sniggered at me from the corner. I’m probably supposed to learn a lesson from this. Maybe something about the difference between being brave, and foolhardy?

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The beauty of complexity

Excerpt from “My Adventures – The Life of Theros Vitalstatistix, vol.1”

Getting past the gnome guards was one thing, but getting into the house would prove to be another. Theros and Ashe walked over to the door as Theros cast a simple spell to open the door as they approached. It didn’t open.

“Weird. It must be locked. Do people not trust each other in this city or something?”

Theros resolved to knock on the door and politely ask to come in. before he got to the door, a less than subtle tinkling of glass, and cracking of wood and the thud of a heavy body hitting the ground dragged his attention to the window on the side of the house.

Barney had simply thrown his massive meat sack through the window. So much for subtlety or doing things legally then. Ashe quickly followed suit, although he looked more like a sack of spuds being draped over the window sill as he failed to gain entrance. With some help, he was pulled mightily through the window, grazing himself in the process on the broken glass in the window frame.

“Barney? Could you open the door please?”

Theros figured he be about as graceful as Ashe, so resolved to use a more refined method of entry. The old walk through the open door trick. The only problem was the large number of astonished gnomes around. Luckily, they seemed to be vacating the scene.

Theros let out a large, loud audible sigh.

“It’s okay folks. We’re here at Gyro Maximus’ command. There is a fugitive in this house resisting arrest.”

Turns out gnomes don’t pay as much attention to non-gnomes as Theros would have liked, as this comment simply sent the remaining few scampering away, likely to get help for the beastly humans in a restricted area, breaking into some poor gnomes domicile.

Finding Fizzle McWatson became a time precious priority. The place was empty, but some of the group heard movement, and after a short moment, Barney glugged back a potion of see invisibilty (amazing what happens to a magic fearing drunk, smelly fool of a meat sack will put up with once he’s stopped drinking and had a bath) with no complaints about magic whatsoever and chased around something only he could see, pretty much on his hands an knees. If the situation wasn’t so serious, it would have been hilarious.

Barney caught something and started shaking it round like a baby with a rattle. At his point, those very conscientious gnomes who had raced off earlier had managed to find the local constabulary, who burst onto the scene, demanding entry to an already open building. Sharp bunch these ones!

A minute of back and forth that went nowhere, Theros sat down and simply awaited the result of the phone call to Gyro…
.
.
.
It didn’t go well…
.
.
.
If a gnome sigh could be heard from a distance, it was possible that we might have heard it back in Hexagon, along with the earth shattering rolling of the eyes that was bound to have followed.

“Bring them back. All of them. And throw them in the cells while we work out what is going on.”

Back in the comfort of the gnome cells, Theros made a concerted effort to get his groups side of the story out, but Gyro was having none of it. Until Barney started talking. And kept talking. And followed lie after lie, tangled within a kernel of truth just big enough to be believable. And believe it Gyro did!

“So Barney can talk, and quite well, but doesn’t think to try that BEFORE diving head first through a window?”

It wasn’t until Nugg reminded the gathered peoples of Fizzles attempted murder of the humans in the room that things really got interesting. The story could be collaborated by John Rust thankfully, and within twenty four hours, this mess would be sorted out.

Free to go until the story was straightened out, Theros headed to the inn, with most of the others, minus Barney, who thought pacing outside the police station was the best way to go, and Nugg, who took his wolf for a leisurely stroll around the boundaries. It took him a while, so it must have been a good walk.

The next morning came and it turned out that neither the sword or the ring could have the curse removed, making both objects dangerous and frustrating. The sword would have to stay in the bag of holding and the ring on Barneys finger for the time being.

With little else to occupy them, the group made their way to the viewing platform and Imajica created a portal that would take the group to the most distant point Imajica could see. As people were about to step through this portal, Imajica started struggling and appeared to be forcibly removed from this plane of being. Stepping through hurriedly, Theros didn’t wait in case the portal shut down.

A short walk through some fairly pleasant country side led the party to a small hamlet. It was here they rested some not particularly weary feet and heads. Some rested more than others…

Theros crawled out of bed in the morning, remembering with an almost unmatched fondness for those blissful times of getting up well after others had eaten lunch and wished such days would come again.

As Ashe performed magic and created scrolls that would aid the party, they discussed what he and Nugg had apparently found out the previous night while Theros had been otherwise engaged.

“There’s some kind of mist further up that makes animal go mad. And apparently there is undead around in there too!”

This sounded awful and like something Theros could happily avoid, but the cave the map pulled him towards was going straight through this fog.

A day later after Ashe had finished his magical creations, Theros led the group from the hamlet and towards the cave, and this dangerous fog. It wasn’t far away, and it immedaitely made its presence felt on Nugg, with his finely tuned farmers nature sense picking up something wrong. Or at least that’s how it looked to Theros.
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A squirrel came out of the fog, and for some reason, it blindly attacked Nugg. Nugg looked helpless as the only recourse was to kill the poor thing and put it out of its misery. This was swiftly done, but only resulted in it somewhow getting back up and attacking Nugg again. It was destroyed quickly again, but this fog was diabolical!

“What the hell is this Nugg? Ashe? What kind of fog makes animals crazy and then raises them back from the dead?”

With the pull of the cave leading ever deeper into the gloom of the fog, Theros had no choice but to lead the group further in. And the deeper the group got, the more likely it seemed that they would stumble across something else that would attack them. With nuggs sad blessing, each animal that attacked was put down, and then put down again before they had the chance to get back up, as long as Barney had time to cleave the head from the body to ensure the animal didn’t become an undead.
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The group had the odd sight of seeing Barney with his pants around his knees for some strange reason, apparently pulled down of his own volition. Arlen detected something trying to claim his mind and this put Theros on high alert, spotting a small insect like creature than appeared to be messing with peoples minds. A few arrows later and it was dead. And then destroyed wholeheartedly by Ashe.
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The fog would not let up and deeper into it, the party came across a bear and a porcupine. Two animals that would likely not stay near each other if they were in full control of their animal senses. Barney and Theros took control of the bear, while Ashe, Arlen and Nugg dealt to the porcupine. Again, heads would roll to ensure these poor animals would not rise again.

Ever deeper, and something strange wandered near the party.

“Oh gods. That’s a cockatrice! It’s bite can turn you to stone. Kill that thing first, and kill it fast!”
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A brutal few seconds followed as the party followed Theros’ instructions quickly and carefully, leaving the accompanying snake to it’s own devices. Which, unfortunately for Nugg, meant that it would try and eat him. Apparently, druids and this fog don’t mix well!
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The snake was less of a worry as Nugg was able to hold it off as the cockatrice was destroyed. Barney saw something resembling an opportunity…

“You know, snakes have heaps of meat on them! We could eat this!”

The horror on both Ashe and Theros’ faces must have told a story.

“I’m not eating something that was probably undead the moment we killed it! Trail rations will be fine thank you!”

Ashe was certainly not slow to make his stance clear.

The fog was not finished with the party yet though! The fog was getting so thick it was hard to see any further than thirty feet in front of his own face. A lowing noise could be heard and shortly after, the source was found.
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An antelope was trapped in some kind of quicksand. It was crying out in frustration and fear, which led to Nugg and Ashe wanting to rescue the poor thing and Barney (and scarcely believably) Theros wanting to leave it since it was likely to turn on the rescuers and attack, and then be killed, rise as an undead, attack again and have to be destroyed, again.

There was a vote of sorts, if you count Ashe simply wandering into the quicksand with a rope to tie around the antelope.

This was when Ashe realised this was no ordinary quicksand. It was actually a trap of some kind, and both he and the antelope fell through the sand to the bottom of a pit and landed near some large insectiod creature, which Nugg quickly identified as an ant lion.
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This thing was larger than Ashe and the antelope put together. And it moved quickly! In one swift movement, it stepped up to the antelope and quickly snapped its neck and killed it, before turning to look at Ashe, who responded by calling on Desna to protect him.

Apparently Desna’s fortune is not only fickle when it comes to luck, but to protection as well, as every time something tried to hit Ashe, it succeeded.

A rope was let down and Ashe was assisted up the side of the trap while Theros rained arrows and Arlen let loose several magical missiles at the large ant lion. All this seemed to do was cause it to ignore the easy meal of antelope in the pit and nimbly climb out of its own trap straight after Desnas’ most faithful.

The ranged barrage of arrows and magic missiles weakened the creature enough so that when Barney, Nuggs wolf and Ashe combined to slash, bite and poke the thing, it sustained enough damage to fall to the ground, bleeding out of a large number of rents in its carapace.

Leaving Barney to his now familiar, yet grisly work, Theros shot the antelope again until it stopped moving a second time, as the foul fog had forced it to rise again as well, after the ant lion killed it.

Out of magic for Arlen and Theros, low on magic for Ashe and Nugg and Barney, tired from his many rage fueled exertions, slump to the ground, resting briefly, wondering how much further they need to go while running on nearly empty.

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See you later Gnomes its been fun
From God

The party set of to get the book back from the fiendish Fizzle.

They broke into his house alerting the authorities so they had better be quick.
Fizzle had equipped himself with a lot of potions if invisibility and was trying to evade the party luckily they had its opposite and the Drunk quickly found him and proceed to keep dropping him on his head as to get the info of where the book was.

“Get on the ground” they herd as the fine members of the Gnomeroplex’s police squad barked their order at the party.
After what seamed an eternity of negotiations the party was sent to the holding cells along with fizzle.

More talking and a few hours later the party and fizzle were set free told to come back on the morrow to hear their fate.

Nugg set of on his quest to save the two factions from war alone and to his knowledge has succeeded.

The rest of the party were keeping a close eye on the book overnight.

In the morning they tried to remove the ring from The Drunk and de-curse the Great sword to no avail.

They were all cleared of most crimes to the city expect breaking and entering and Fizzle will be moved to Hexagon for his trial of attempted murder of the 3rd degree.

A few hours later they met Imajica atop the viewing platform of the Gnomeroplex and he sent them as far as he could towards their destination with his highly skilled magic.

After a few night rest at a small developing town they had herd a few rumors of a strange mist/fog and animals going crazy in the direction they were going sure enough a day later they came across the fowl mist/fog only to assaulted by a crazed squirrel.

Many more creatures tried to down the party to no success.
The fog is growing more dense and the creatures more formidable.

Will they prevail ? Time will tell.

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Travel Journal Entry 8
Between some rocks and some hard heads.

“Sometimes the best choice is to do nothing.” – Until Dawn, a Desnian tale

The treasure monster (apparently a mimic) proved to be little trouble for us. Again Desna protected me from being caught by it, which Barney wailed on it until he found his sword, and then himself, caught by it’s sticky hide. Theros used some alchemical items to foul the creature, while the rest of us poked it till it gave us our drunk back.

We experimented a little with the hourglass and the time fields, but couldn’t work out how they related. Barney decided to stay behind and fiddle a bit more as the rest of us got bored and left. And ran right into ourselves.

It’s seems we were leaving the day before we went in, and ran into ourselves as they were about to enter. Luckily we are a party that favours curiosity over suspician, so the encounter was a pleasant and informative one. And I might have slipped the day younger version of me some extra information. Not sure how that’ll change anything as I don’t remember running into myself on the way in.

We made it to the plant people’s grove and it was as amazing as I expected. Unfortunately the people themselves weren’t. In fact they were just as stubbord as the gnomes and flat refused to talk it out. Instead they provided only their own ultimatum, and a way to sabotage the gnome city that I’m worried Nugg seems quite keen to go through with.

On the way back we fought and defeated the largest snail we’d ever seen. Barney’s eyes lit up at the sight of the magical sword stuck in it’s shell. Upon it’s defeat he quickly grabbed his loot, only for it to cast a spell of rage upon nature on him. Seeing Barney attempt to cleave Nugg’s new companion in two, Arlen quickly decided to subdue Barney, before Nugg decided to do something horrible to him. He’s very protective of that big dog.

When we reported back to the gnomes they were predictably, and frustratingly, stubborn. And of course accelerated to their own threats and ultimatums. It’s amazing that individuals so blind to what’s going on in front of them find themselves in positions of authority.

So we went back to the actual reason we were here. Having delivered the message, the gnomes considered our contract fulfilled and gave us limited time access to the gnome-only areas of the city.

We headed straight for where we felt the book’s location to be. It turned out to be a house guarded by some bored, but well armed, gnomes. Theros had a plan, as usual. He took my mechanical compass and was somehow able to cast a befuddlement spell through it, confusing the guards such that they agreed to let us in. I must found out how he did that, and what other capabilities the compass has.

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The One Where Barney Stayed Sober
and man did he not like it one bit.

OK so we left the Gnome city to go talk to some tree thing to ask them to stop attacking the gnomes. As we travelled we came upon a cave. I am not sure why we went in because I was distracted looking for my wine skins. We worked our way through the cave complex attacking some Skellingtons that came to life and rekilling them. Then some crab thing attacked us as we went past a pool of water. We dispatched that aswell. One room contained some sphere things that appeared to slow things down in them like timewise. We finally entered a final chamber. Oh yeah before that we killed a giant frigging centepede some batty winged thing and this big blob of jelly thing. Actually the batty winged thing ran away like krill when they see a whale. But in the final chamber we came across this thing called a Hydra I nearly killed in with one hit but nearly is not good enough its 5 bloody heads (yes 5!!!!) each attacked me and when I woke up it was dead. Anyway we found a chest with treasures in it which took forever to identify. The the next chest attacked us. Yep it attacked us!!!! So we had to kill that and it was a sticky piece of shit chest or mimic as Theros called it.

We finally went to leave after the idiot played around with an hour glass that appeared to not do much. When we got to the cave entrance a wavey shimmery thing appeared to be at the cave entrance. Some of the braver? or more silly of the party went on out and there before us was….. well…… us but from the day before. I thought fuck this shit its something to do with that Hour glass so I went back and turned it over. When I got back everything was sweet again. Maybe I am the true brains of this group.

Anyway we travelled onto meet the tree people and our new leader Nugg (I enjoyed giving Theros grief about that and will remember to bring it up every now and again if he gets to much like his old man). The tree people asked us to sabotage the gnomes which I agreed to even though I have no intention of doing so because they were protecting us for the night and I didnt really want to say no and wake up dead. Unbelievably we managed to get back to the gnomes with only one little incident regarding a giant snail with clubs for eyes. It had a nice looking sword sticking out of it but it was an evil sword that made me attack Nuggs Wolf. Luckily the idiot managed to do his magic thing and I was subdued and the evil sword taken from me. It did take 24 hours though before I realised what I was doing and had done. We told the Gnomes the trees refused to stop attacking unless they buggered off to wence they came. So there is going to be a war now but we are going to get the book and bail anyway so who cares about this place, it sucks.

The gnomes true to their word have allowed us to go into the gnome only area to find the little prick who stole the book. His guards cowered at our might and we are about to go and apprehend him.

I never see shit like this when I drink If this is what being sober is like I don’t like it at all!!!

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we meet again but now i am the master
From God

The party emerged from the cave to find themselves coming towards the cave entrance ( someone has been playing with time gain must remember to punish them … again )

this did not make the party feel too uneasy as i would have thought it would have.
they talked and exchanged notes and carried on their merry way.

They arrived at the tall tree and the Druid talked with the Voice of nature.

Nugg talked with her and he accepted her offer to disable the Gnomes city.

The next day they set off to go back to the Gnome City only to be assaulted by a snail.
Victorious against the poor snail Barny helped himself to a great sword sticking out of the snails shell WOOPS its a cursed item one that make him not to friendly with animals

He attacked the nearest animal that just happened to be the Druids wolf he was quickly subdued and the sword was removed from his sight.

The got back to the Gnome City and told the Council of 6 that they delivered the message but it looks like they do not accept the conditions. To war in 5 days was the reply as the party walked out of the chambers.
After a small talk with a stranger to the world the party set off to find the book they are so wanting.

i do hope nothing bad happens to them they are become one of my favorite groups to watch.

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Will the voice of reason please exit stage left?

Excerpt from “My Adventures – The Life of Theros Vitalstatistix, vol.1”

The second chest immediately came alive as Theros cast a simple cantrip to open it. Another foul creature like the pot in the attic no doubt!

“Ah damn it!”
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Theros would have cursed more loudly and long, but time suddenly became precious as the creature he awoke started moving towards the party. A sticky substance seemed to be excreted from it, tentacles acted as legs and the chest lid acted as a mouth with deadly looking teeth.

A quick decision led to Theros tossing a tanglefoot bag at the thing, which a memory tugging at his self conscious was telling him was a mimic, in a bid to slow it down. A direct hit led to the underwhelming reaction of the bag simply sticking to the things side and not erupting. A second alchemical formula in the shape of alchemist fire was lobbed next, burning through the tanglefoot bag, effectively trapping the creature where it stood.

But not before Barney had charged it, smashed it mightily with his sword, got his sword stuck and then proceeded to get stuck to it himself! With some assistance from the rest of the party, the creature was slain, and the attention was turned to what should have been dealt with first…the treasure!

A couple of cloaks, a bag, a pearl, a ring, some gloves, a heavy steel shield, a short bow and some potions rounded out the loot. Most of this was identified and parceled out to the most deserving person and then the group looked at the hourglass.

Not really comprehending what it did, tests were performed with no discernible outcome. So a consensus was reached and the party started travelling back through the caves to the exit. Reaching it, a shimmer was seen by Theros and Nugg, and the bid the group stop for a moment while they examined it.

Not seeing anything dangerous, Arlen and Ashe happily wandered through and turned to look back, seeing their own party looking back at them. Turning back away from the cave, they saw their own party looking back at them! Including themselves!

Somehow, Theros and his men had traveled through time and appeared to be back at the time they arrived at the cave, yesterday. A confused conversation was to be had between the two groups, and after much discussion, one group entered the cave and the left. Not before Barney had reset the hourglass however.

The trip to the tree was largely uneventful and it was reached in good time. Getting closer, the group was approached by a creature with the body of a man and legs of a deer…a satyr! A mythical creature bound to be wise and fair. By it’s side was a tree. Literally, a walking tree.
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“My life is ssoooo weird.”

Theros couldn’t help but take stock of his current situation. Seeing a motley group of villagers, deep within an ancient forest, on a mission to save a technological marvel of a city from the wrath of the very forest itself come alive. And what was even more weird? Everybody seemed to be looking at Nugg as though he was the leader!

Introductions were made and the group was asked to follow the satyr to his leader. The trip wasn’t long, and again, Nugg was talked to, excluding the rest of the group. For some reason, Theros could feel his heart beat faster, his face grew flushed and his fought to control his breathing from becoming more rapid. This was HIS job. He was born to lead!

Nugg was led off towards the tree, and around him, leaves started swirling, wind blew, until he could no longer be seen, and the sound of the wind was almost deafening when approached. What felt an age, but was probably only moments, and Nugg re-appeared from the leaves and approached the group.

“Uh…we’re helping the plants now.”

Nugg looked sheepish as he told of the plant leaders plan. Tell the gnomes to cease and desist, stopping destroying trees, plant some form of seeds in the gears of the city and the gnomes would be allowed to live in peace. Otherwise, it was war.

“So, we have two powerful factions, neither willing to listen to reason, both demanding the other stop on pain of war. Would that about sum it up?”

Theros looker round the group, gauging reactions. Nugg, Arlen and Barney were fine helping the plants. Ashe and Theros were of the same mind. Leave both parties to their own fate if they couldn’t see any sort of reason. The group decision made, albeit with the compromise of letting the gnome leaders know their message was given and declined, allowing them their own time to react, then Nugg could plant his seeds if he desired.

The plan then, was to get back to Gnomeroplex quickly, deal with the fall out and leave as quickly as possible since there was only going to be five days since everything went to hell in a hand basket.

The trip back was largely uneventful…if you don’t count being attacked by a giant mutated snail that served to sow discord among the party.
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Nugg was on watch, and hearing a noise near the perimeter of the camp, he woke the party. The first anybody saw of the source was a glistening mass about thirty feet from the camp fire, leaving the foliage. A massive thing, with four eye stalks, that would later prove to be vicious clubs that the snail would attempt to beat people to death with.

Stories of a creature such as this had been told around campfires, and Theros remembered a couple of random details.

“That’s a flail snail. Fire doesn’t hurt these things! And watch out for the trail it leaves behind, it’s dangerous as well.”

This warning would have been useful if Barney had not caught sight of the hilt of a large sword embedded in the shell of the beast. A charge, a mighty swing and naught! The snail was able to retract back inside its shell and many attacks that would normally hit, missed, even Theros’ own arrows!

The luck of Desna was on them however, and enough blows got through, although Nuggs wolf was laid flat and in danger of being killed (partially thanks to some magic of Arlens being rebounded off the shell and hitting the wolf. Who knew it could do that?) before Ashe and Theros combined to heal it back to health.

There is a school of thought that hindsight is useful. It proved so in this case regarding the greatsword in the snails shell.

Barney grabbed the sword from the shell of the giant snail, and something changed in that instant. He turned on the wolf and immediately tried to decapitate it. The wolf, under orders from Nugg, retreated while the rest of the party tried to work out the best way to deal with Barney.

A cascade of colours burst from Arlens hands and Barney was stunned senseless. A respite! Summoning a magical servant, Theros bade it place the now dropped sword in the bag of holding, newly aquired, and out of reach while Nugg helped Ashe tie Barney up.

About a day later, it was finally safe to untie him…

Arriving at Gnomeroplex, the party was greeted and led almost immediately up to the Council of Six in their chambers. Asked along the way if the plants had agreed, Nugg could only suggest that the message had been delivered.

The Council were quick to ask the same question, and Nugg was only able to relay that the group had been successful in their task of delivering the message, but it was unlikely the plants would stop their actions, instead, demanding the gnomes stop destroying trees and settle peacefully in the forest.

As expected, this went down badly, and amid cries of start the transformation process, the party were given their rewards for delivering the message and given two days to look through Level 5.1 of the Gnomeroplex for Fizzle McWatson and the book.

First port of call was the tavern and finding the elf, Imajica. He was happy to provide the services required to remove the curse on both the greatsword and the ring, but would need to study the spell overnight first.

While the others in the group were relaxing, Imajica and Theros struck up a friendly conversation, that led to Theros warning Imajica that it would be a bad idea to still be in Gnomeroplex in five days time. As thanks, Imajica suggested Theros and his party meet him during the evening the next day as he had a quick way off the city.

Once this was taken care of, the group made their way over to the lifts and headed to Level 5.1. A slight delay was in order as an overly protective gnome custodian had to check the clearance levels of Theros’ group before letting the pass.

The book was pulling Theros forward, leading him directly. It was though it WANTED to be found!

A house with three heavily armoured gnome guards standing in front of the door was the clear destination. One of the gnomes stepped forward and suggested the group leave the vicinity. Some talking, some diplomacy, and nothing. All that happened was the guard getting more and more forceful.

Theros turned to Ashe and whispered.

“Can i borrow your little magic compass thing please?”

Ashe looked a little confused and he handed it over. Theros simply looked at the lead gnome, looked at his hand, flipped the lid of the compass and talked through it as though this was the most natural thing in the world.

“Gyro? We’re at the house where we believe Fizzle McWatson is, along with the book. Three gnomes are currently telling us we can’t go inside. What’s that? Send one of them down to you immediately? I will do that right now. Thank you Sir.”

Theros flipped the lid shut, gave the gnome a little inclination of his head and hiked a thumb over his shoulder…

The gnome gave up. He parted before the group, pointed inside and gestured to the others to stand aside as well, and when questioned, simply told them that they weren’t getting paid enough to deal with this sort of thing.

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Travel Journey Entry 7
Welcome to the jungle

For a people able to create such wonders, Gnomes really aren’t very smart. Theros tried to explain that they were asking Nugg to perform a task he wasn’t capable of, but in the end he gave up in the face of their unrelenting stubbornness.

I must come back here when I’ve got some money and see what of their wonderful technologies they’ll sell me. Today I was able to afford a small mechanical device that is able to always point out the direction that is north. What a treat! There’s so much else here that I’d like to take home with me, like the moving pictures that show what is happening in other locations. Although imagine if Theros realised he could set it up so everyone was able to see him all the time. You know he’d do it. And then “accidentally” get caught naked.

We spent a couple of days loading up on supplies and helping Barney recover. During this time Nugg went out to find himself a new pet, and managed to find the biggest, scariest looking dog I’ve ever seen.

The forest was a lot less interesting that the city. The trees here are a massive carpet of unremarkable wood and green, except when they’re attack you of course. Once we were away from the city I was quite sure I was going to be bored when Desna again reminded me that every trip is a chance for adventure.

We found some ruins. Not just a broken down building, but the barely recognisable frame of some ancient structure. Realising this was a chance to liven up our trip, we paused our journey to see what we could find.

Inside the the area we found a tunnel leading down into some caves. Now this looked interesting. So off we went. Theros was reluctant, but once he realised I was happy to leave him behind he suddenly decided he was going to lead us down there.

What an interesting place we discovered down there. There was a cave filled with bubbles in which time seemed to be slowed down. I was fascinated with the effect they had on objects passing through them. It will be interesting to further experiment with them. Perhaps they could be used to preserve food. Or if the effect could somehow be increased to the point of reversing time, could they be used to reverse the affects of old age?

The caves have proven to be quite dangerous too, with all sorts of horrible creatures inside. What I thought were badly malnourished people, turned out to be quite dead people who were little more than animated skeletons. Further in we found a large cube of jelly that aggressively tried to slime Barney, followed a not very friendly imp, and a giant centipede. The final cave held the scariest thing by far, a large multi-headed reptilian creature, that very nearly sent Barney to the great road in the sky.

It seems we are becoming quite practiced at dispatching threats though, as we worked our way through the threats as they presented themselves to us. Our reward at the end is a strange hourglass (possibly linked to the time bubble room?) and two chests that I am sure are full of treasure…

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There is a reason they say "curiosity killed the cat".

Excerpt from “My Adventures – The Life of Theros Vitalstatistix, vol.1”

Luckily time passed, as it does, at the same speed as light. That is to say, like treacle flowing across the bench of life.

Theros was woken from a daydream by Gyro Maximus and ushered out of the bar, along with his followers, to meet with the Council of Six. These are the pre-eminent members of Gnomeroplex society, the pinnacle of political and social achievement. Theros felt a surge of honour course through his body as they ascended the lifts to the top of the city.

A magnificent room awaited, with moving pictures on the wall, a stunning desk, behind sat more moving pictures of the Council. Ashe was sidetracked by the surrounds, Barney couldn’t care less, Nugg seemed to want to be somewhere else and Arlen…well, Arlen was, engaged somehow.

The Council greeted the group, but they obviously had some facts wrong as they continued to try and talk to Nugg, instead of Theros, even when Nugg clearly looked over at Theros for help.

The conversation was somewhat one sided.

“So let me get this straight. You want our farmer, who knows pretty much nothing about talking to people, to go and talk to plants, to stop them attacking your city, with a message that effectively says, stop attacking or we’ll destroy you, simply because you’ve decided he’s a druid?”

Theros rubbed his temples.

“If we made the assumption that Nugg is indeed a druid, and he’s just told you that he has no idea how to talk to plants, can it not be understood that perhaps he has yet to learn this skill you so obviously prize?”

It turned out that talking to plants was probably easier than talking to the Council, so Theros agreed (via Nugg) to the task and led the group back down to the lower levels to catch some form of transportation to the forest floor. Not without querying the Captain on his understanding of what a novice was.

The floor of the forest was lush and green, and clear enough to travel through without getting attacked by the plant life as they focused on the legs of the great city, hundreds of feet apart each.

Ashe had the sense to purchase a device for telling reliable direction, and had set our direction in mind while the group could still see the destination. in this case, the biggest tree ever seen by the group was to be the target.

Setting off, Nugg quickly got sidetracked. he seemed at ease here, unlike Theros, who felt unsure when not surrounded by large numbers of other people to interact with. Nugg took off by himself and came back a remarkably short time later with a large shaggy creature that looked like a big dog. Apparently, this species was actually a wolf.

It looked hangry…

With Nugg guiding the group, and Ashe keeping a close eye on the correct direction, they made reasonable progress, and a days travel, stumbled upon a small ruined area, with fallen walls and the like. Of interest was an entrance to a cave system of some kind, possibly previously used as a cool storage.

A unanimous decision was reached almost immediately, and the Theros led the party forth, using the light from Nugg’s spell to see into the gloom, and soon, the inky blackness. It wasn’t long before noises could be heard, just out of reach of the light.
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Shambling forwards were the bodies and bones of fallen people. Knowing nothing more than the fact that these things were dead and should stay dead, Theros decided archery was the best method of dealing with them, and the group followed suit, and quickly and efficiently dispatched them. But not without learning that these things showed some resistance to arrows and bladed weapons.

The tunnel system was fairly uniform and led on a straight manner…directly into something, at once, both disgusting and fascinating.
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A cube of jelly like substance, taller and wider than a man was somehow slurping its way down the tunnel, moving over everything in its path. Detritus and the like floating in the viscous mass in varying states of disrepair.

Knowing no better, it was either move past it, which would mean destroying it in some fashion, or retreating. Wisdom would come in later years, but the ignorance and confidence of youth won out and the creature was met with steel, tooth and spells.

While this thing did get destroyed, fairly easily in the end, Barney learnt a harsh lesson. One that nearly saw him swallowed whole by the mass. He was incredibly lucky to step out of the way at the last moment!

Taking a moment to savour victory, it fell to Theros to guide the group further into the caverns, only to find that this whole place was like honey to a bear, finding yet another creature of nightmare!

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Chancing upon a room with globes of something unknown floating in the air, of varying sizes, the group paused. Except for Ashe. Who decided in Desna’s infinite wisdom, that throwing a rock through one of these globes was the best way to check them out, and acting so fast that nobody else had time to react, proceeded to lob a stone…and watch in sheer fascination as it slowed down considerably as it hit the globe, and speed back up once leaving it. And alerting the rooms guardian!

A strange wee thing, flying with odd little wings, carrying a book or scroll of some design, descended and attacked! Ashe was closest and was first in line. By now, the familiar pattern set the group through and apart from Arlen making lights and bolts fly from his hands in wonder, the flying creature had to retreat to save its own life.
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Following it led directly to a giant centipede dropping from the ceiling and attempting to eat the nearest person, possibly Barney, since he was almost ALWAYS the nearest person. Disgusting as this may have been, it was simply a large bug and dealt with accordingly, and the flying thing was taken care of shortly after. Later years would drive Theros to research this, and it seemed to fit the descriptions of a magical creation called a homunculus.

Another room, much the same size followed. Although Ashe had to be dragged out of the previous room after wanting to spend time lobbing rocks through the time distorting globes and rushing round to the other side to catch the same rock as it left the globe, in very obvious glee.

This room had some of the globes as well, although not as many, but it did have a large pool of water in the corner, that only Arlen showed any interest in. For the rest, getting past some, likely to be, tepid and stale water was the desired goal. Only for that goal to be torn asunder as Arlen cried out in shock and looked to be getting dragged into the water by something!
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By the time Theros noticed, most of the party had moved past the pool of water and was leaving the chamber. With luck on his side, Arlen was able to break free of the sticky strand emerging from the water and tell everybody.

“How do you always find the most disgusting things Arlen?!”

Theros had his bow out and an arrow nocked, waiting for the right moment. His moment was stolen by Barney who charged towards the water, only to find himself attacked by some form of strong sticky tentacle and pulled towards the water himself!

Arrows, spells and spears were thrust into the water, and what looked like a giant lobster with excessively long tentacles was retreating before the fury of the party, before being felled by a final blow.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Theros took a moment to centre himself, breathing slowly and deeply, calming his mind and nerves.

“Shall we perhaps, NOT, go looking into things on our lonesome now Arlen?”

Moving ever deeper, the air seemed stale and chilly, until at last, a large chamber revealed itself. Immediately noticing the large cavern had no visible exits, Theros’ eyes were drawn to two chests and what looked to be an hourglass on a pedestal near the wall of the one side.

“What the bloody hell is that!”

Theros was pulled from his reverie at the cry, and looking around the room further, he laid eyes on a massive beast, five serpentine heads weaving a hypnotic pattern around each other.
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Barney had but one idea. Charge! And with one mighty swing, he smote the foul beast a fearsome wound, near cleaving it in twain. A mighty roar of pain and anger erupted from the beast, a five headed hydra, and in retaliation, it buried fangs into Barney, sending him to the ground, a broken man, unconscious and dying.

Were it not for the quick work of Ashe, and his faith in Desna, Barney would not have survived.

The terrifying hydra howled and even as it moved, its wound had begun to close up. Loosing arrows hurriedly, Theros backpedaled in shock, even as Arlen, Nugg and his wolf and Ashe closed in on the beast, determined to smite it from this very existence.

Desnas’ will pervaded, and the mighty wound already inflicted slowed it enough that the rest of the party was able to kill it quickly, with not more injuries to anybody else.

Shock turned to elation as Barney was healed and treasure was remembered! The first chest was opened and a number of magical goods (according to Arlen that is!) were found inside. It only remained to work out what they were. Arlen and Theros got to work looking through the items, and at Arlens bidding, Theros cast a minor opening charm on the other chest so the rest of the group could look through there.

Theros would live to regret following any suggestions from Arlen, starting at this very suggestion, as the chest seemed to come alive…

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