Post Apotheosis

Meditations on Static Magic
After the slaughter...

I’ve discovered my journal again, only because of the exhaustive search through my luggage now that I am out of wine. We really should bring porters when we leave the horses.

I sit on the rubble of this forsaken keep watching over my followers. I fear my destiny is no longer as clear as flame and as fate has turned against me, their souls are now in danger. Innocents, potential citizens of my new realm, lay slaughtered around us, and my friends squabble over baubles.

The secrets of my ancestors I have pried from the fires are now turning against me and deliver nothing but failure. All but the simplest flames themselves.

I instilled Goat Face Killa with a humorous bit of my soul and sent him to bang the last pot and pan in my mess kit from a half click out, but now I see him in the moat much closer to the keep. Why didn’t he follow the instructions? Why didn’t he move through the moat like the undead we have faced?

I use the eyes of my forefathers to spy out the keep, a new and powerful magic, but the band’s champions all remained hidden from my site.

I lead my followers against the keep, willing the stones themselves to part and let us through, but I am abandoned by all but faithful Symon. Only the spark of soul I hide in Symon met with any real purchase in this conflict, allowing him to sacrifice his own to smite Oppacca. No bane and no magics I possess had any real effect on the outcome. Why? Rather than defending their leader, the band slaughtered their captives without any parlay. Why? What did they fear from their survival? What secrets did they keep?

My companions won the day with powerful illusions, transforming into beasts, infesting the keep with spiders, pulling down the very towers on the enemy, while our warriors waded through the foe. Yet, here they are rifling through the gear of the orcen dead.

We need every tool at our disposal to re-forge the realm of my ancestors, but true magic comes from the soul. These objects that freeze dead magics within them seem a perversion to the true, magical living fire.

As I sober up, I notice that my followers are covered with these foul trinkets, while I have none. It must be that they lack my righteous instincts. I must meditate upon this before the sacred flame when we return to the Roost. I won’t forge my dominion by endangering their souls.

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New Dawn, New Day, New Life
Feeling Good, Still Ready to Die

This morning Tybalg, son of Tybalg, wake up in warm mud and shit of pig pen, feel like young Uruk Hai again.

Even after see looks on faces of women and children at Roost when return from North and Tybalg still covered in Oppaca blood from face to waist.

Ever after see poor little Ronnie ride Muxelnux spider home, crushed leg wrapped and held high on back.

Even with pain in bones and scars on flesh still healing from pounding of the Bone Crusher, poking of Mirsha’s spear, and burn of tiny blade in hand.

Even with strange dream of Tybalg, son of Tybalg, as Ancient Beast with Oppaca dead body in jaws.

Even with terrible vision of so many dead hostages and ferrorcs at Bloodhound Keep that we fail to save.

Even with all that still feel good this morning.

Also feel grateful to friends for help freeing all of Bones from Oppaca, including Tybalg, son of Tybalg, who was not free until now.

Grateful to Muxelnux the combat medic for keep Tybalg and Ronnie alive to fight and for sacrifice so many spider friends to distract Oppaca from kill us.

Grateful to Odda for saving as many of the weak as possible from Bones and still let old Bones reform at Bloodhound Keep with Dumon and Saela to show them new ways.

Grateful to Ronnie for so brave and so little at same time. Many orc, even Uruk Hai, not so brave in face of foe so big and strong.

Grateful to Jiro for show up not too late and make Ancient Beast Tybalg and Simon move faster than Oppaca, even if Jiro friend try to kill us all first.

Grateful to Quarterjack for make almost dead Tybalg into Ancient Beast Tybalg and for help with Muxelnux to get everyone to witch on tower before she stop us get to Oppaca.

Grateful to Simon for letting sword eat his soul to chop down Oppaca like tree and for not executing friends in the Bones or freed ferrorcs.

Grateful to Shield of Sacrifice for teaching Tybalg how to protect friends. Tybalg knows how to do it now even with Skull Shield.

All of us back at Roost and not sure what next, but Jiro flame skull friend who try to kill us also invite us to games in Beastman City. So far Beastman we meet only know same games as Oppaca.

Tybalg not want to play those games anymore. But Tybalg, son of Tybalg, will play blood games against Beastmen. For Simon. And to protect Roost.

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Rattling Bones
All's feral in love and war

We leave Roost to find Bones knowing they are near Bloodhound Keep. Go north around swamp where we killed water demon. Get to Cinder Break where everything dead like burnt from heat.

Not everything at Cinder Break dead. Trees not all the way dead. Burnt half-dead trees try to kill us. Junior ask Quarterjack if these are what humans call Ash trees. He says that’s a different tree that’s all the way alive and not burned. Humans not make much sense as they think.

We survive the ashy dead not-Ash trees and sleep in Muxelnux web tent.

In morning, we walk toward Keep and Quarterjack puts tricky magic on us so we look like ferrorc pack. On way we find dead beastmen. Junior talk to crow friend eating dead beastmens and ask who kill them. Crow says elves were here on hill between us and Keep and made rain from arrows.

Odda makes one of the beast men only half-dead. We name him Goatface Killer. He doesn’t say if he likes the name. He comes with us as we go to the hill to find the elves. But they’re gone already.

We walk to an hour away from Keep. Odda uses holy man powers to look around the keep from so far away and tell us where to raid the raiders. We decide to sneak around back corner by tower while half-dead beastman goes and knocks on front door of Keep.

But Bones laid traps and Junior stepped on one while sneaking around Keep. Big sound alerts the guards on the walls with the arrows. Junior run forward to draw fire and let rest of party get away. Dumon and Saela run forward with me but end up falling through thin ice of frozen moat around Keep. I get hit with arrows while helping them out of ice, then run and jump over moat and start to climb wall.

Odda thinks his half-dead beastman is probably in the moat by the front door, but says it’ll be OK because half-dead beastman doesn’t breathe or get cold. We will fish him out later maybe.

Quarterjack turns into a giant birdie and Muxelnux summons his spider mount and makes it magic at climbing walls. Quarterjack shuttles Odda to the wall and then he and Muxelnux take Simon and Ronnie to the top of the tower. Odda makes a hole in the wall beside the tower and goes through it while everyone else heads to top of tower.

Oppaca’s witch is there. She is calling storms and has already called so many locusts we can’t see her in the cloud of them at the top of the tower. Ronnie and Simon and Muxelnux fight her blindly through the locusts while Quarterjack the birdie comes back for me. I am busy climbing and running along Keep walls knocking down archers on the way to the tower when Quarterjack the birdie grabs me and takes me to top.

I get to top as Muxelnux’s earth spiders have been shattering the tower beneath the Witch’s feet. Ronnie doesn’t fall because he is nimble, but the Witch falls to her death just as I arrive. Simon has also fallen down, but Muxelnux shoots web from his bum so he glides gently to where Odda is fighting ferrorcs at the base of the tower.

Mux and Ronnie still facing off on tower top with a ferrorc and my old friend Falco. Junior not smart, but sometimes in fights things slow down and Junior see very clearly. This time, Junior sees that if we kill Oppaca and free ferrocs, Bones will need new leader, smarter and not as mean as Oppaca. Falco wise and tough, can be that leader. And we can make deal with him for safety of the Roost. So Junior only knock Falco out instead of killing him, then shove ferrorc off tower on way to running down tower stairs looking for Oppaca.

I am sorry ferrorc and ferrorc archers that I push off tower and Keep walls.

At bottom of stairs in narrow hall, Junior find many ferrorcs and member of the Bones. Simon comes jumping from top of wall onto ferrorc in front of me. They both fall down, so Junior step over them and kill ferrorc before it hurt Simon. Can smell Oppaca now. He is close.

Maybe Junior only have to hurt a few more of my people to get to Oppaca. Please forgive Junior. I am sorry. I am sorry to hurt you, but is for good of all our people to get rid of Oppaca. It is for freedom for orcs. Hopefully Quarterjack can keep the rest from fighting. I can see the lights from his mesmerizing pattern up ahead so maybe they stay out of way.

Now is time to kill Oppaca. Simon gets up. We make our charge…

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Too Many Dead
(Again)

Just get home from go with Odda to talk to King and we find beast-man in prison for kidnap and hold hostage a villager while we gone. Simon and little magical friends took care of it even without Junior and Odda to help. Somehow no one die. Maybe all the beautiful nature at the Roost is starting to calm down Simon finally.

Not long to rest before we spot a wounded villager limping for his life toward north gate. I run to help him right away. He is chased by dogs. Not right dogs. Kind of dogs Junior cannot talk to even after feeding them meat. A pack of them, half dead or more already.

I get to hurt man before dead dogs and carry him back to safety. Odda cures the dead dog disease that is already spreading through the woodsman’s wounded leg.

Then we all rush to top of woodwalls around north gate, shooting bolts and arrows and magic fire. Dead dogs can still die again and they do, but not all before giant dead beasts come from the woods after them along with dead feral orcs.

More fire. More bolts and arrows. Crazy magic man is flying out above the dead beast horde as if he could never fall, dropping magic fire like rain on the way.

But two of the giant beasts make it to our woodwall and knock down that section like made of paper from Muxelnux scroll. Cannot let dead dogs and dead giant beasts into village even though Odda already sounded double alarm to get villagers to safety in the keep. There are small and weak in the village. They cannot be harmed.

Junior jumps down to stop beasts from getting through hole in wall. Junior also a beast. Junior not dead even with dagger on fire in left hand and beasts hitting him over and over. Beasts soon dead again. Then come the dead feral orcs. They dead again, too. Living Junior beast is strongest beast.

Junior look up and crazy magic man knocked down by three-headed magic dead giant with flame for one head that came out of forest after giant dead beasts. Muxelnux calls the underground spiders to break the earth and stop dead orcs and three-head dead giant from getting to crazy magic man. Then he calls so many spiders to fight the three-head dead giant and die protecting crazy magic man. Such brave spiders. Junior remember you.

Then Quarterjack makes crazy magic man come back to life with a word and then turns him into a giant jawtooth monster and crazy magic man jawtooth monster fights back against the three-head dead giant.

Odda makes it quiet to stop the flame head on the giant from making magic as the spiders and the jawtooth monster chomp away, but the flame head comes off the giant and now it only has two heads! The flame head flies up above the quiet and makes unmagic magic to get rid of Quarterjack’s pretend version of Simon and also turn crazy magic jawtooth monster back into wounded crazy magic man.

Then the flame head talks about talking and how he wants to talk after fighting and that means no more fighting, but even Junior not very smart but still know that talk only means no fighting when you talk before fighting. When you talk after starting fight, you have to be one who wins fight or no one listen.

Flame head says it knows crazy magic man. Not surprise Junior. Crazy magic man keeps talking skull in his room. Not want to know what they do together in there, but not judging. Crazy magic man no judge me and my turtle friend Buckler.

Still, crazy magic man does not care about flame head anymore and flame head just try to kill little people in village with dead dogs and beasts. So Muxelnux used his webs to bring flame head back down to earth and into the quiet area. And then I smashed flame head to little embers.

Crazy magic man flies around village to see if any trouble and finds and kills more dead dogs who got in through other gate. Eventually, we get village cleaned up and set to work patching the woodwall where the beasts knocked it down. In mean time, Caerydail can maybe fill it with thick briar.

After the fighting, Odda ask me to keep looking into Ball of Omens to get sight beyond sight of old boss Oppaca. Usually just Oppaca walk through woods, Oppaca pee on dead bodies by road side, but nothing to know where Oppaca is. This time different.

Junior never like what Band of Bones do to women, sometimes to children. This time Oppaca has feral orc woman in his tent. Like the ones Junior just kill again that were already dead. Like the ones that the slimy swamp monster had underwater. Junior know these orcs come from northwest of Roost.

Now Junior know where to find Oppaca. Now Junior free feral orcs from Band of Bones. Now time for Junior become hero to his own people, not for smell-like-flower humans with soft hands and weak backs and big words.

Will need more muscle for this than just Junior and Simon. Bringing Saela and Dumon along to prove they are strong like they say.

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The End of the Beginning

When I woke two days ago I said to my best friend and mentor, “Buckler, we are heroes in the big city and now we will go back home!”

Of course, Buckler said nothing and just kept eating the smoked fish I’d put in my belt pouch from the King’s feast the night before. Maybe he was wise not to share my optimism and just focus on tasks at hand. Or he just knows when nothing more can be said.

We spent the morning and part of the afternoon running errands in town. Everyone had someone they need to talk to, buy from, or hire. We hired our first patrolmen for the road from the Roost to Sanam, six of them to work in shifts and share two horses. And little Ronnie bought us some magic potions for staying alive from his secret friends who want to start a business at the Roost where we look the other way.

We listened to many rumors in the city. We heard that the Band of Bones sacked the Mill nearest to where we saw them last. We will find them and put a stop to them before they get to our people.

By early evening, we were returning to the Roost and welcomed by the sounds of a commotion. Some might have called it a fight, but it was more like drunken centaurs expecting royal treatment and meeting our zealous castle guard who we forgot to tell about the unannounced visit from our rude new friends. Quarterjack hypnotized one. Simon grabbed the other and I knocked it down before Muxelnux put mindfire spider poison in his head and turned him stupid. After that we tied them up and brought them inside to drink with Odda away from the settlers until they passed out.

While I was watching them sleep off the drink, Caerydail came to visit and told me the Great Druid wanted to see me, in the wilds beyond Hawkhunt Mill. We would have to be wise and not seek or respond to conflict with nature on the way because we would be tested. I told the team and they were willing to go and see her to discuss the safety of the region and our relationship with the natural life around us.

But first we had to escort the drunken centaurs back to their people to seal our pact with them. And we did so without incident. They were upon us by the time we saw them, but seeing that we had treated their men with respect instead of violence and that we had brought the head of the dead dragon, they agreed to honor our pact and leave our people and travelers on the roads free from their harm. Simon tried to convince them to behave better when they visit, but the best we could agree was that if they show up drunk or unruly we are allowed to beat them into submission as long as we don’t actually injure them too much.

From there, we returned to the keep to drop off the rotting dragon head and prepare for a longer journey. We stopped again by Sanam, passing our new guards on their patrol, so that Ronnie could sell loot and make payments for keep improvements, then headed to Hawkhunt Mill to pay respect to Sir Revan there who had invited Odda for tea before or something humans do like that.

When we got to Hawkhunt Mill, we found that Revan had been hiring new fighting men like us to protect him and his lands from scary monsters like the dragon we killed. I guess now that Odda is doing it and hanging out with the King, all the humans want to do it. We watched the last of the fighting for the right to die getting paid by Sir Revan.

A half-ogre I knew from the Bones had just lost a bout, but clearly had already made the cut. We exchanged greetings the way we do. He was not scared enough of Simon nor Simon of him so they decided to fight to see who was the mighty one. I should have warned Simon, but his honor wouldn’t have let him back down anyway. He needed much healing afterward.

We eat this time with Revan and discuss matters of the Kingdom. Find out that all the human lords are hiring killing men like us. They’re afraid of scary things in the dark and beyond their walls. Revan wants someone to kill giants in the west. If his new band of killers don’t do it first, I suspect it will fall to us.

We also find out that Revan did not agree with the elves like Odda did. He cares about his great grandchildren still living in old house on old land that belongs to elves. He will have trouble soon.

I go to tell the half-ogre what I have learned, to warn him that elves are coming. He says he will not die for silly soft human man. Half-ogre just here to take the human’s money for killing. I guess it beats bandit life. The food is better anyway. He also tells me that he hears the real money is not coming from Revan. Someone else is hiring up killing men for the human lords, but not our lord. Our lord doesn’t hire killing men, he shares the spoils with us because we won him his keep and he could not hold it without our help.

Still, I begin to do what I am worst at doing and then think all night, but I am slow and I need more time to understand what is happening. Do not have that time then because in morning we go to see the Great Druid and find the path barred by two huge tree branches carved with faces and a spoken warning from a crow that we must “Cleave to the wardens as the shadow tail in a gale. Ride out the storm to ride in.”

But I am still not smart and I decide this warning from the crow means I am supposed to hug the carved faces in the big branches as I try to squeeze past them. It did not work. The branches grabbed me and I was quickly pulled away from my friends to where I am now, where it is dark and quiet and I cannot move, but there is much time to think that I did not have last night.

Now I have had time to think about things more. I am reminded of conversation I had with Aurum the Tanner at the Roost. I ask him to make my backpack into a harness for the goblin and the gnome to ride in combat and he scolds me very serious about history of our people. He says not to let anyone make a slave of us again and that I must show strong example for freedom. At the time I do not think of it much because I am not good at thinking, but now I have nothing but time to think and this is what I think about the things I have learned from the humans in the time since I left the Bones and what Aurum told me and what the half-ogre told me about the human lords:

I think humans are using us. I think their lords hire all the not-humans as killers like us and then send them to danger to kill other not-humans who don’t want to give up land to the humans. And I think they will be happy if us not-human killers die making the land safe for the humans while killing the other not-humans who don’t want to leave. And I think if that doesn’t work, they will make their hired killers kill each other, including us.

I do not know how we stop this. First, we have to help the Great Druid protect the small and weak animals and plants. And then we have to kill Opaka. But maybe the others of the Bones can be redeemed as I have been. Maybe these other groups of hired killers working for the human lords would also rather live freely among others like us who treat them as more than fodder than to keep working for the humans who want them dead and gone. Maybe the humans would not even survive without us. Maybe we should find out.

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A page from Ronnie's Ledger
  • TO DO LIST
  • ItemPurposeEst. CostEst. Time
  • SilversmithsIncome?1000 GPToo longGave them 1000 GP statue and they use it to feed themselves…
  • Rebuild KeepHousingAsk masonAsk masonIn progress?
  • Keep upkeepHousing100 GP/day50 skilled, 50 unskilled servants
  • Rebuild Zombie VillageHousing5000 GP6 months
  • ApplesCentaurs100 * 1 CPBy request of Lord Odda
  • CarrotsCentaurs100 * 1 CPBy request of Lord Odda
  • Palisade WallDefenseAsk masonAsk masonIn progress?
  • Dig moatDefenseAsk masonAsk mason
  • Dig latrineSmellAsk masonAsk mason
  • Dig pits, coverDefenseAsk masonAsk masonLots of iron spikes to put in holes. Note to self, restrict the area so idiots don’t wander in
  • CauldronsDefenseAsk goblinsAsk goblins
  • 1000 pints of oilDefense1000 * 1 SPCan be low quality; just needs to be hot, really
  • Make spearsDefensetimeCheaper pit traps, attrition
  • Nets/snaresDefense20 * 1 GPAsk mason
  • BellsDefense20 * 1 GP2 daysPrimitive alarms
  • Siege equipmentDefenseAsk masonAsk masonCatapults, ballistas, trebuchets. Ask mason
  • Healing potionsSurvival20 * 50 GP1000 GP worth = 20 (only basic ones?)
  • 1000 chickensQuarterjack1000 * 2 CP2 years??One of his schemes
  • Wine cellarLord Odda5000 GP
  • LibraryLord Odda5000 GPMaybe appropriate lord oyster’s?
  • PerfumeLord Odda5 GP * 10Keep away from the orc this time
  • SoapThe orc10 lbs * 2 CP
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the bones, the dragon, and the last of the dragonmen?
or: how many more must i kill before i rest?

when we came dragging our sorry butts home to the roost from chasing the dragon out of its tower, a messenger was waiting for us with an order from the boss’s boss in the big city for us to go there right away. but we didn’t go right away because our boss says his boss is an idiot and can wait. in the morning after a full night’s rest, after our boss read the big book again, we went to see the big boss.

or at least boss odda and ser simon saw the big boss. when the rest of us got to big city and found it on fire and panicked with the guards conscripting volunteers, we stepped in to help because that’s what we do. i liked helping with the fire more than i like fighting dragons, but i was probably the only one…everyone else was anxious to finish the dragon off before it got away.

boss odda’s boss told him we were in big trouble for fighting the dragon because it attacked the big boss’s big city after escape from us. and we were going to be in bigger trouble and not allowed to go anywhere anymore unless we killed the big blue monster for real this time. boss odda asked for help and all he got was a location from big boss’s magic lady. that’ll do i guess.

and off we went southeast of the city for the first time. but on the way we found something very bad. i know it when i see it: the band of bones had been through and left a trail of death and terror behind them. so we follow their trail a long way and not surprised it lead right to where big boss’s magic lady says the dragon will be.

very confused feelings for junior. not like to kill, usually, but really want to stop band of bones making horror times for peasants and travelers. except odda says kill dragon first, then only fight bones after if there’s time. he worry bones make us too hurt to fight dragon after. maybe he right. i hope we can still find bones later.

so we send the little sneaky ones to scout ahead and make sure we can get around the bones and to the ruined god building where the dragon is hiding on top of the hill. it take a while and i worry about the little sneaky ones coming back ok, but quarterjack came back first and said we could go other side of hill away from bones to approach the god building. ronnie meet up with us there.

from the other side, we sneak to god building through thick thorny brush. hurts the little and soft, but junior barely notice and also thorns scratch some hard to reach itchy spots. when we get to god building, there are walls to climb but is ok because i can climb them with help from spidermux throwing ropes down and i can even carry my buddy quarterjack because he is so little.

as we are were climbing up to main part of god building, they come for us again, the dragon and his dragonfolk. first the one with the big sword who killed me so much before. then the one who climbs walls like spidermux. then the dragon again and with the holy dragonman on its back, protecting it with dragongod magic blessings.

but this time we are healthier than last time and we know what to do. first we try to kill the dragonmen and they have to run away a bit. and we try to stay apart so dragon can’t breathe lightning on us all at once. but i am shame to say i was scared the whole time. even anger and wanting to save my little friends can’t help how scary big blue dragon monster was. so i focus on killing the dragonmen. and run around trying to keep myself between them and my little friends.

my little friends and odda and the crazy magic man (who showed up when we were in big city) and simon with a new very big sword…they were not scared. they fought the dragon while i could not. and simon and odda and quarterjack kept us all alive.

again, like last time, we all almost died, some of us more than once. only the holy magics kept bringing us back from the end. but this time we kill the dragonmen one by one. and things start to get a little easier without them. and spidermux again kept the dragon from flying away with tractor beam webs. which is how this time, we killed the dragon for real and got boss odda out of trouble with his boss.

but after we were too hurt to carry on, so we slept in a spidermux web tent again. and that, little buckler, is why we are still here by the ruined god building with the dead dragon and dragonmen outside the tent instead of back home with the other animals at the roost where we are happy and safe with our friend the druid.

i hope she is not upset at us, though. we have not heard tell of more of these dragonmen and i am worried we might have killed the last of them anywhere in the world. the others probably celebrate that, but maybe it is not their fault the dragonmen and they were only bad because of the dragon. maybe we could have saved them and made little cute dragonman babies and teach them how to be good little dragonmen. we never know now.

now, all is left is to kill bones before go back to big city and roost as big heroes and get praise from big boss of boss odda. maybe even druid will be proud if we stop the bones on the way. but only if we can find them. we are coming for you, bones…

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We should be dead
Or maybe we are?

After too long lost and trapped in the shifting tunnels beneath the dragon’s lair, we emerged into the light of day with the huge blue dragon circling overhead and his minions waiting in the tower above us, weapons and spells prepared and aimed out of arrow slits for us to come into their line of fire.

I tried to find a way up the tower aside from the obviously dangerous free climb, but couldn’t find one. As I was running around the tower, two of my companions were felled on the other side of it by the dragon’s deadly lightning breath. By the time I made it back around to our fallen leader, he was still prone and the dragon had blinded us with a dust storm, but Odda managed to reach out and tried to ward me with holy magic against the dragon.

That magic kept me alive long enough to stay between my companions and the dragons when we were foolishly distracted into trying to fight the dragon in the open, having received false, fleeting hope of a chance at victory by Muxelnux’s second web tractor beam tying the dragon to the ground. But the lightning came fast and furious. From the dragon. From his priest in the tower calling it down from the sky. From the tower itself out to little mini-towers that draw lighting to them.

By this time Mux was half-spider and halfway up the tower. The rest of us scrambled to and fro in the open, trying to help the fallen back to their feet and, in my case, take as many shots in their stead as possible. Thankfully, the bow I got from the elven slavemaster proved useful in Simon’s hands, keeping the grounded dragon somewhat at bay and wounding it slowly while the rest of us struggled just to cover the crumbled, rocky terrain left behind by the dragon’s roar.

By the time we gathered around the tower to assault the minions therein, we were all on death’s door except the holy bowman. Ronnie, perhaps too late with the right idea, started throwing around pixie dust like it was going to get us high. And it did for me with my goblin friend on my back (although in hindsight maybe some for the paladin and priest might have been better used than for those of us more able to get up on our own).

Then it all went wrong. I should have tied my rope then to Mux’s rope from the top (where he was now running from the thief minion dragonborn), so that the others could climb up faster. But I had Quarterjack with me and wanted to get him involved in the fight immediately, so I tried to push my way through where the goblin had already blasted one of the arrow slits to a width I thought would fit me. Big mistake.

I misjudged the opening and got stuck. Next thing I remember I’m back on the ground at the base of the tower barely alive. Q-Jack said I died and got pushed out, fell the whole way and then someone healed me. That made me very mad. Sure, kill me, but push me out the window with Quarterjack on my back? What if Q-Jack had been hurt by the fall? Did this monster care nothing for my cute, little friend’s well-being?

Meanwhile the ground forces had driven off the dragon (although I’m not sure why the dragon didn’t just keep flying around above us and breathe lightning death on us every so often like he had been to that point unless he was just feeling generous or full of pity toward us) and were now headed up. Q-Jack gave me giant’s strength and we raced back up the tower with him on my back a second time. Odda throwing fire from below, Quarterjack and Simon trying to kill them with ranged attacks despite the angle and the enemy’s cover.

When I reached the room again, still mad as hell and feeling no pain, I swung wildly, making solid contact twice, and thought I’d killed the dragonborn minion with the big sword that killed me and pushed me out the window before, but unholy magic from his priest kept him alive. Long enough to kill me again and, this time, he killed my little friend, too.

Muxelnux tried to keep fighting them from outside the room, still clinging to the wall of the tower, but was forced to back away from the fight outnumbered. By the time our other companions scaled the tower and got to our bodies much later, we should have been long dead. The minions, like their master, had also fled despite seemingly having the fight in hand and the advantageous position.

Who knew dragonborn and dragons were so merciful? Why didn’t they cut our throats or stab us while we were down? It’s just common practice among us murder hobos, I thought. These minions were clearly never trained by the Band of Bones or whoever taught my companions about murderventure.

They even let us have their loot. Feels like when you gamble with a hustler and they let you win before taking the rest of your money. What’s your game, dragonfolk? When are you coming back to finish the job? And what blame will befall us now from Sanaam for the dragon’s attack on them?

I know only this: I should be dead. (Again.) If my enemies keep choosing not to kill me and spare me the shame of my weakness, I may just have to do it myself.

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under pegasus hill
(no pegasus)

we hiked out to pegasus hill today because odda says we need treasure to feed all the mouths at the roost and maybe that’s what pegasus was trying to tell us was under the hill. jiro stayed at the roost because he couldn’t find his pants or shoes. i was just hoping pegasus would be there so i could talk to her while the others looked for treasure. i even brought carrots. she wasn’t there. simon wanted to go home, but i needed his help digging, so odda made him stay.

we brought shovels this time. and my hole from last time was still there! simon and i made it a bigger hole until we found some bones with a pretty stone ring on them. good luck because the ring is magic and moves earth much faster than me and simon and shovels.

that’s how we made the hole much much biggerer. so much bigger that we hit smooth stone floor with big tiles. except someone smart said that’s no floor tile…that’s a roof. and then simon and i had to lift it up so we could see the dark room below.

at this point, simon got scared and warned us all not to go in the dark hole under the dead body by the standing stones, but going home isn’t going to feed the mouths at the roost is what we said.

the littles and i could see into the dark room below, but the humans could not. (sometimes nights talking to chuckler and buckler we wonder how humans survive so soft and blind and scared and picky about food and shelter. must be the magic.) room is empty but has stuff carved on walls and floors.

we tied rope to stone on pegasus hill and climb down. ronnie first, then me. stone floor has deep footprints in crazy dance pattern. stone walls have scary faces with open mouths. ronnie checks out the dark corners and the faces on the walls. i do the dance of the crazy footprints.

then i am alone in a field with a blood red sky. in the distance comes an army toward me. from behind floating slowly closer is a giant cloud made of flesh and body parts and eyeballs and squid parts. there is nowhere to hide or run. i prepare to die as soon as i know who needs my protection more.

i never find out. the flesh cloud gets to me first as it gets near all the plants and rocks begin to fly up toward it and soon i am pulled with it. i am ready to die and, by the looks of the mouth it is pulling me into with its magic and squid parts, this death will be all i deserve for my past. instead i wake up with a head like a drinking night before.

everyone is back on the hill, sick and resting. while i was getting eaten by the flesh cloud the scary faces on the wall breathed sickness on them and only ronnie turning off the sick breath saved everyone from dying. that’s what ronnie said when he came down the rope to check on me.

while i was gone they also tried to go through the door next to the footprints, but odda got stuck between falling stone walls. (we should get some of those at the roost, but better ones because they broke one of these pretty easy it looked like to me. and the other one simon and i were able to lift up, so if we get falling stone walls like that, let’s make sure it takes more than just two of us to lift them. i bet when bad guys come there will be at least two of them.)

simon said we shouldn’t go past the falling stone walls down the stairs. mux said it’s ok we’ll protect you simon. but he was still scared. even with so much armor and such big sword.

at first landing down stairs is a door on the left and we go through it. there is a room for torture and dead bodies. there’s a table covered in tools of pain and a dead body hanging on the wall by a bunch of stakes. simon says we should definitely go now. mux starts taking the body off the wall for decorating his web in the tower. maybe he’s going to wrap it up in web and hang it from the ceiling like it’s food for winter.

there’s also a blue potion on a table that someone dared me to drink. i’m not scared like simon so i pick the potion up to taste it and that’s when the torture tools start flying around and trying to kill us and then the body mux wanted decided to jump off the wall and kill us, too.

but we are pretty good at fighting. and i don’t even mind killing things that aren’t supposed to be alive. some got hurt, but we were ok. simon believed that the attack of the torture tools and the dead body was a bad sign and we shouldn’t keep doing down the stairs, but you know mouths to feed and treasure and stuff, so we went on.

(oh yeah the blue potion was for keeping alive things from all the way dying so i guess that makes sense the things that aren’t supposed to be alive were hanging out with it.)

the next room down the stairs had three statues standing on a white slab, which didn’t seem much like treasure, but we went in anyway despite simon telling us not to. then the shadows from our lights jumped out from behind the statues and started trying to kill us.

but we are pretty good at fighting even when we’re sick and tired. and even though the shadows made us weak just by touching us. i was almost as weak as a human by the end of the fight, but we still survived. one shadow didn’t die, it just flickered about and ran away.

i tried to touch the statues and immediately got back my drinking head pain and saw the flesh cloud in the blood red sky. i’m not sure if that makes it treasure to feed mouths, but they still have to be fed is what odda says, so we spent the night in the shadow room inside a web tent that mux spun up.

simon says we’re the worst at finding treasure and not getting killed, but odda says we’re all still alive and look we have a ring, so maybe simon just needs a good night’s sleep in this web tent. i think it’s pretty nice. thanks mux.

goodnight ravens roosters. goodnight buckler. goodnight pegasus wherever you are.

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Raven’s Roost Rough Riders Rap
(Redeemer's Remix)

curtains rise on a little green pimp

cue the beat, maestro

sit down muthfuckas, here comes the main act.
q-jack in the house, and that’s a fact.
keep yo honeys close, unless you want’em ransacked,
cuz it’s time to introduce the rest of the pack.

the first you’ll notice is an orc named junior.
all day lovin pets, the better the punier.
is he brain damaged, or is it just a rumor?
if you axe, he just say ‘it’s not a tumor!”

next is a knight who answers to simon.
if he see you prayin, he’ll say, “why, man?
rise from your knees, or time to die, man.
show me your god, and i’ll bust his hymen.”

lordy lordy, that’s the leader of our squad.
a family man who never spares the rod.
unholy holy-man some would call odd,
cuz what’s odda than a preacher who ain’t got no god?

this shifty trickster has many a name.
fencing hoods in the wood, always ready to maim.
fencing goods in the hood, he feels no shame.
keepin ledgers black, always runnin some game.

then there’s the wizard named muxelnux.
gets sticky bout webs, so everybody ducks.
when it comes to summoning, he’s deluxe.
but if it ain’t got eight legs, he gives no fucks.

and let’s not forget the forgetful jiro:
wondering, wandering, wild magic weirdo.
may be mad, but have no fear though.
(this crazy fool thinks he’s the hero!)

so trust in the goblin who ain’t nothing but true,
if you fuck with q-jack, you fuck with his crew.
and that ain’t nuthin you wanna do,
cuz if you fuck with us, we’ll fuck with you.

drops mic

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