Lost City

Meanwhile...
Marros and Rust travel north, Alanna sleepwalks into a forest, and the party is accused of being kidnappers.

We cut back to Marros and Rust recently, who had already begun following the magic hum of the compass. However, in a completely anacronistic way, the compass starts vibrating similar to a mobile phone. Marros examines the compass. Instead of how previously, the compass’s needle was lazily rotating in circles around the face, the compass is now pointing due north. In opening the lid of this banged-up compass, they can make out some indentations that look like letters, but cannot make them out due to age. Marros and Rust decide to follow the compelling nature of the compass…

Meanwhile…

Pax and Alanna are now in the city proper. The Port of Wendir is mostly made out of bright, polished luminescent gemstone, but due to night falling and the shops closing, this is never examined further. Alanna knew of an inn right in the entrance to the city called The Gilded Steed that offered a small bar and rooms for the night. While in the bar, Pax overhears two raucous drunken elves talk about a small string of kidnappings and dismemberments of young female persons. Pax brings it up to Alanna, but she doesn’t pay much attention as she gives Pax his key to the room. They settle in for the night.

Meanwhile…

After crossing a small strait, Marros and Rust reach the island that the Port of Wendir is located on. The Port of Wendir is one of the largest elven settlements that currently exists as there is only the city proper, with its gates, on this tiny island and the rest that surrounds it is deep forest. They are able to set up camp in a copse of trees less than half a mile from a beautiful gemstone wall.

Meanwhile…

Pax receives a knock at the door. He knows it immediately as Alanna. Disgruntled, he opens it, to find her standing in a long, white Little-House-on-the-Prairie-esque nightgown, hair down in waves down her back. Her eyes are open completely and she’s holding the compass at arm’s length in front of her.

After getting Pax’s attention, she turns around and goes down the stairs, out of the room. Davis is nowhere to be found (probably at the gritty bar The Three Titted Mermaid). Pax tries to stop her, but she is undeterred as she exits the tavern and goes to the street at around 3 AM. Pax grabs his weapon as he follows her. She walks out into the nearby woods, Pax on her heels.

Meanwhile…

Rust is sleeping and Marros is meditating, as Goliaths do not sleep but meditate for four hour increments. A rustling is heard in the bushes, and he goes and investigates. What steps out of the bushes is…a bunny.

Then followed by a human girl with crazy sleep hair, holding a compass and walking straight into his camp. She walks over to sleeping Rust, who is awoken by the compass vibrating so much that he is woken up by it. At his stirring, Alanna collapses to the ground. Pax enters the clearing to see Rust next to Alanna, who is now unconscious on the ground.

At this precise moment, as the three are taking each other in, a small “Aha!” sounds from one of the bushes. Three elven guards jump out, one with a bow and two armed with both long and short swords. The tiny one with a bow shouts “My gods, I can’t believe it, we caught the kidnappers!”

As they look around, the realize the incriminating nature of how their situation looked. But rather than trying to explain it, they immediately get the jump on the elves. Rust gained concealment in a bush, Marros took center along with Pax, who did not notice Marros at the time. The battle begins and it is fierce. Rust, in a stroke of genius, tries to strangle one into unconsciousness with his belt, but it fails when he got shot in the hand with the archer’s arrow and he loosens his grip. Marros cuts a guy open with his own sword and tears him in two. Rust shoves his arrow in the prey’s eye, and Pax helps Marros finish some guys off. Marros tore an arm off of a guy and beat him to death with it. Pax is horrified by Marros’s bizarre appearance.

In the last moments of battle, the one with the arrow in his eye tries to pick up Alanna. As soon as he touches her, she punches him in the face, thus shoving the arrow through his eye socket, killing him instantly.

At the end of the battle, after some wholesome body desecration, they main combatants pick their pockets. Rust and Pax find some gold, and Marros finds a turban that modifies appearances. After the hubbub has died down, Alanna asks Rust for the compass and asks if he had anything to clean it with. Taking his potent moonshine and a bit of a dead elf’s garb, she is able to clean enough off of the compass to read it and exclaims “It’s…you.”

On the other side there is life—and there is death
Truth in the now should be given proper breadth
All speak truth, all speak lies
The three must be given the proper eyes

Driven by stone, driven by moss
Driven by loneliness, driven by loss
He needs them all to truly know
The way by which he needs to go

She tries to convince all of them that the prophecy, now depicted on the Agire compass, is referencing them. All are disbelieving, but Marros understands enough to convince Rust that this is what they should do. Alanna tells them that she has a feeling that they might have to traipse into Elanoar… She then tells them that they should keep camp here until she could figure something out to get them safely in the city …to be continued.

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It was not a kracken nor an albatross.
Pax continues sailing on the Deth Proofe, Alanna comes clean, and we learn why Davis hates potatoes.

We catch up to Pax who is a month in on his journey on the pirate schooner the Deth Proofe, under the watchful eye of Alanna, commandeered by Captain Skippyjohn. Skippyjohn has a soft spot for Pax (despite him always getting underfoot), which is hypothesized due to his experience with children before this point. The whole crew in general thinks Pax is an abnormality, but treats both him and Alanna with utmost respect. Due to some situations in the past (namely Alanna losing her temper with Pax and punching him in the face) she has been rather withdrawn, outside of what Pax calls her “babying” him. Nicodemus, Nico, the cook had been teaching Pax how to craft some meals which ended in a horrible pot-roast-in-face of the mostly stoic pirate Davis, giving him potato shaped scars a couple weeks ago. Alanna interrupts the crew’s breakfast and wheels Pax into her cabin in order to give him a serious talk.

She apologized for being so withdrawn lately but it was due to her uncertainty if he was the one that she was sent to find. She almost begins telling him the whys that he had been asking for, when the door slams open, the youngest crew member Dion the perpetrator. He asks them both to come quickly and grab their weapons. Dion points up to the sky at a flock of birds in formation around the crow’s nest. Dion said these were hyper-intelligent eagles who have a proclivity for damaging ships and sails. Sure enough, as soon as he said this, one eagle tears off and rips through the largest sail on the ship. A combat encounter begins, with the first thing Pax tries to do is climb up to the crow’s nest in order to mount one of the birds. He successfully does so as the rest of the birds try and attack the mates on the deck. Eventually, Pax is knocked off the eagle, but successfully grabs the ledge. After watching the head eagle dive and critically attack Dion, ripping off half of his nose in the process with its beak, Pax uses his spear as a lever to spring back on the platform, performs a front handspring, then a whirling attack that kills three of the eagles in one blow. Davis moseys over to Dion with a flask and starts pouring pure alcohol on his nose after Alanna fails in her ministrations to Dion, who is now visibly frustrated. Between Davis and Marcus, the rest of the birds were killed, all except one.

Capt. Skippyjohn and Nico decide to get in the rowboat to go to land in order to fix the sales. After helping Dion and the other injured people, Alanna then decides to call Pax in with her so they can finish their talk. In essence, Alanna told him everything: that the goblins are after them because of how she stole the compass from them (which elicited swears and broken objects from Pax), that she knew of him through the prophecy on the compass, and how—yikes—she actually hears a voice in her mind that tells her what to do. Alanna admitted that she thought she might be crazy, but she thinks after following the voice’s instructions for long enough, that she is probably turning into a prophetess. She also breaks objects due to the fact that she hates this idea.

Alanna reads Pax the prophecy from the compass, which states:

Rebirth is the force from the beginning
that may, in time, keep the planet spinning
However, off its path if planet goes
Words to heed before it slows

North begets south, east begets west
Yet what comes is fear in man’s dark breast
Peace will come and will betide
In whom about it was prophesied.

She said after reading this, she knew it meant Pax. Pax inquires what is next. She told him of a port city, Port of Wendir, that is controlled by the elves, yet isn’t as hostile to humans as the rest of Elanoar is due to its location of being a port city. She said there was an elven temple that was generally friendly to humans. She said she was going to ask the leader of the temple for some insight into the compass as they had to find more of them. The compass continues to point to the west.

Dion breaks in the room, this time with a ridiculous bandage on his face. He announces there are more of them, and Alanna gives Pax supplies to fix his weapon and they join Dion on deck, along with Marcus and Davis. Three more birds circle the crow’s nest, however, one looks absolutely minuscule as compared to the other two. The small eagle brought its parents. The parents take no time and immediately begin dive-bombing Dion and the rest of the mates. These birds are the size of hippogriffs without the horse bodies. Dion takes a chest full of talon damage and is brought to his knees. Pax takes the opportunity to climb to the nest and use his strategy of riding the birds again.

He successfully mounts the birds and hits them, as he watches the crew on the deck below get hammered by the rest of the attacks. Alanna successfully heals Dion, but then becomes maimed herself. This prompts Davis to climb to the top of the nest with Pax.

Like before, Pax is knocked off the eagle. However, unlike before, he misses the ledge by a hair. Davis runs over, tries using both hands, and again misses him. This is the perfect representation of this happening.

Dion, on instinct, post-heal from Alanna, runs over arms upstretched to catch Pax. Pax successfully lands on Dion, automatically rendering him unconscious. Alanna tries to heal him, and is again, unsuccessful. Pax drags Dion’s body out of the line of sight of the eagles and climbs into the crow’s nest again. By the time Pax is on the nest, an eagle attacks Alanna. She collapses.

Pax is beyond enraged as he watches and can do nothing to help his one friend. Marcus tries to help, but Pax and Davis finish off the birds, leaving bits of their brains and guts in the wood. Pax screams for Marcus to grab Alanna’s pack, and he finds her healing kit. Marcus saw this before and administers the EPI syringe into her leg. Alanna is shocked awake. She has her bearings long enough to show Pax how to give it to Dion and he obliges. Dion throws up all over Pax after he stirs.

At this point, Skippyjohn and Dion arrive back with the fixed sail to find a ship covered in eagle guts, blood, shouting “What the hell happened?”

The next day, Pax checks on Alanna and finds her sleeping. After going through the rest of his morning ritual, Capt. Skippyjohn beckons him over to present him with a pirate token. He said that he would receive safe passage on any pirate ship because he had demonstrated that he was a friend of the pirates due to his bravery. Alanna, upon her awakening, said that she knew that it was truly him after all that the prophecy was about.

They reach the docks at the Port of Wendir a couple days later with the rest of the crew finally warmed up to Pax. As they get on the docks and tell their new friends goodbye, Davis told them flatly that the pirate life was not for him anymore and that he would join them for a time.

Eyes full of a new, sleek city, full of hope and promise, they walk up to the entrance and enter…to be continued.

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Fire the beetles!
Rust and Marros decide to part ways only to be united again after Marros encounters living stone gargolyes and Rust is threatened by a fire beetle.

Marros and Rust split ways. Rust goes about settling the rest of his camp whereas Marros decides to go to Erif castle. He follows the signs and finds his old home. He finds it overgrown, yes, and continues to wander around, finding Grainger’s Weapons Emporium. Door ajar, he finds that strangely, despite its abandoned state, not many weapons are gone. He wanders to the back, to find Grainger and his son still collapsed on the floor, both have turned to stone. He hears rustling in the outside in the front of the shop. He enters to see two gargoyles wandering around the shop, and both try to attack him using psychic means. One is successful with an invisibility meld but their luck runs out whenever Marros smacks the hell out of one, and kills the other with an opportunity strike. Afterwards, he searches a cabinet they seem to be protecting and found two potion bottles. He leaves the weapons shop, to see a cloud of smoke rising from the Lo woods….

Meanwhile…

Rust buries the bodies away from his camp and tries to put things back in order. Things go alright before two armed guards arrive, one named Clyde, the other Hershel. Hershel has a fire beetle on a harness. The men tell Rust to clear off before he makes him. Rust decides to fight. The beetle smokes as a threat. The fight begins, and eventually Marros happens upon them. Marros sees that the smoke and runs to Ben’s camp. In this fight, he kills the guards and the beetle. He speared Clyde into the ground, watching him gaping like a fish as the last lights dim out of his eyes. He killed the fire beetle as well. Due to it never combusting, even though traditionally fire beetles self-combust at the end of their lives, the beetle’s shell cracks open to show a firestone. Like Rust’s thunderstones, these can be thrown to generate small versions of the elements in a particular area.

Rust, whose life has been life has been saved by Marros on two occasions, accepts his help and decide to travel together… to be continued.

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Pax...or not.
We meet Pax, he encounters some goblins, and meets a mysterious strange paladin.

We are (finally) introduced to Pax, the sixteen-year-old monk hailing from the order of the Laughing Peace, almost directly on the Djerak/Agire border. At the start of his tale, Pax is forcefully removed from the monastery at about the dinner hour with nothing but a bracelet of prayer beads and the clothes on his back. His master, Brother Telemachus closed the gate on him after the debacle of Pax kicking an elderly monk in the throat—which unfortunately happened off-camera. Raining and with no where to go, he does have his bearings enough to realize that he should not go east, for that was direct goblin territory. He instead goes north. After traipsing through close copses of trees, he comes across a shape fishing at the pond…in the rain. He approaches him to inquire why he was fishing in the rain, to which the man replies “Shh! You’ll scare away the fish!” The old man figures out that he was an escapee from the monastery (due to his outfit), and he called them “a bunch of laughing freaks.”

Some dialogue occurs where the old man gives him a piece of his mind enough to warm up to Pax, who has similar views on racism and other matters. He said that he would take him in for the evening, since he was so cold looking and hungry and introduced himself as Arthur. They make their way to the small town of Monarch, more north of the lake. Along the way, he explained why he was fishing in the rain. The elves, referred derogatorily as “de poins” were controlling almost all the waters surrounding the Agire continent due to the fact that they were areas of worship for the elves. The humans had overfished the waters they were allowed to be in, which was hard on his own fish and potatoes shop. He made it to the fish store and introduced Pax to his wife, Martha. He got Pax set up with some battered fish and some potatoes and regaled him with stories, since Pax new nought of any of the local history. There was a great inter-country war where many of the “freaks” (half-breeds, weird races) were against all of the normal races. Then, one day, they all vanished. Martha and Arthur’s son Bartholomew died fighting for the “freaks” and Arthur said that Martha hadn’t been the same since.

Arthur hypothesizes they have them all in a concentration camp in Northern Genedem, but no one knows for sure since the dwarves disappeared underground. After the food and conversation, Martha and Arthur offer him their supply closet in the store to sleep on flour sacks with a blanket. He searches the kitchen and finds nothing of interest, so he settles down into his “room”—ignoring his monkish training to perform a bedtime ritual. He goes to sleep. He’s awoken by Martha in the morning, around 8:30 or 9 o’clock. She offers him breakfast and asks if she can do anything for him. He replies that he needs some shoes, and she provides him some old work boots of Arthur’s (he doesn’t say thank you, but he is regretful of this fact later). She pays him 10 gold pieces to sweep the floor and help her get started for the day.

Around noon, Arthur comes running in to tell the both of them that goblins were on the way to Monarch, and that they were after Pax. Bewildered, Martha pays him the gold, packs him a lunch, gives him a map of the continent with Kwype Stronghold on it, and tells Pax to follow her. As Arthur watches the front door, she makes him promise that he not tell Arthur, but allows him into the weapons cupboard with a small armory of basic weapons. As he takes a spear, he runs out the back door and she directs him in the direction of the Kwype Stronghold and advises him take a boat to get away from them all. He goes through the forest and comes to the Kwype Stronghold. The outside citadel is made of black rock and has an open portcullis. There is a guard standing out-front who seems to be giving Pax the eye, to which Pax flips him off.

Inside the citadel, he can see the bay from the gate’s entrance. The homes have the thatched “Stratford-upon-Avon” look to them and periodically, Pax ducks under flying chamber pot contents. He makes his way to the bay and talks to one of the king’s soldiers, Capt. Stern Pax asked if there were any boats that would take him to the other continents. Stern laughed him off and said that he couldn’t officially tell him of such. He said there would be boats that could take him there, if he had a deathwish, but he was unable to divulge their location. Stern directed Pax, as the night fell, to the Eagle’s Claw, a local tavern where he could get a meal and a good-night’s rest. He entered the bawdy bar, with the stereotypical bar-maids and booze flying. A waitress by the name of Belle waits on him, being unintentionally Irish and sexy, serving him a plate of bangers and mash with some mead.

A small fight in the center of the tavern breaks out, which is broken up by the foreman, and he escorts half the bar outside. In the commotion, three small figures sneak in undiscovered. These three are goblins, who converse in goblin with Pax, trying to get him to come with them. He refuses and a brawl ensues. The rest of the bar patronage does not notice due to watching the can-can show on the tavern’s stage. The goblins corner Pax, but after injuring one so badly, it moves away from him. One has a preference for throwing rocks at him from across the room. He runs to this goblin and is surrounded by his boss. After performing the spinning laughing peace, he kills one guy and has another continue throwing rocks. At this point, the bar (realizing the presence of goblins and blood) clears out except for one hooded patron in the corner. Pax passes out after the last rock.

After what feels like an eternal slumber, he awakens to find himself in a white, bright room and in a comfortable bed. A figure arises, a heavily armored female. She introduces herself as Alanna and begs him not to rip his stitches as he tries to get out of bed to challenge her. She explains herself to him that she followed him from the Brotherhood’s temple because she knew he was the chosen one—the one who has a prophecy written against him. After divulging information about the nature of her quest, to unify the entire world again, she asks him if he would join her on the quest.

He said he would provide an answer after he sees the woods again. They traipse out into the forest. A few moments quietly sitting amongst the trees yields him the inner peace and answer he wants. He gives her an affirmative response, and asks about the safety of Arthur and Martha. She said that she was able to protect them from the goblins. They go to the tavern again, preparing for travel. They make their way to the docks, pass the captain, and they find the Deth Proofe (pirates are not very good spellers) with Capt. Skippyjohn at the helm. Alanna leaves Pax to the male quarters, where he puts a chest in front of the door, secretly crying in his bunk….. to be continued.

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A Bit Rusty 2: Electric Boogaloo
Rust gets jumped by a thug and Marros awakens to scare everyone shitless.

For the second time, a bunch of men come through Rust’s camp, this time in the middle of the night. Rust stealths himself successfully into a bush right in front of the two men’s faces. The merchant demands that the man crack a sunrod, and he does so. It turns out that it is the merchant slaver and a thug-looking guy. They talk about how the merchant is displeased that Rust lost him “his merchandise” (the boy). The merchant states that he wants to get Rust caught for what he did to him, as well as because he is a dirty half-breed. They start collecting stuff from his camp, and Rust springs upon the merchant, knife to his throat. The thug draws his warhammer. Rust demands why they were doing this, and the merchant tries to justify. Rust then decides to incumber the merchant by slicing his achilles tendon, and to go after the thug. They get in an altercation, and Rust gets down to half health, and uses second wind to return him to his normal defenses. The thug decides to bull rush him and he pushes Rust into a large stone boulder behind him.

At that precise moment, the air turns thick and humid, despite it previously being a cold night and the boulder behind him starts to vibrate. Clouds start overlaying a previously completely clear sky. Out of the stars, a sharp radiant beam of white light shoots from the middle of the clouds and into the center of the boulder. It is…a man. No, a goliath. An eight feet tall figure of stone and clay. He draws his weapon, and leaves everyone on the field stunned. Rust runs out of the line of fire, as Marros draws his falchion and stabs the thug through the chest. The thug drops to his knees and falls on the blade. Marros runs to the merchant, who is trembling at the sight of him. Rust tries to kick the merchant in the face to impede him, but Marros ends up taking his bare fists and caving his head in. After the fight’s conclusion, Rust and Marros are still unsure of each other, so then decide to part ways, Marros to the town, and Rust to clean up the dead bodies.

Rust finds nothing on the thug but blood, but the merchant had 500 gold pieces, four thunderstones, and a miniature golden cask of endless ale. He also had a beautiful and ornate gold/platinum compass, which Rust discerned was magic, due to the slightly vibrating and thick-air nature of the artifact. Rust takes the evening and stride and decides to be on his path alone… to be continued.

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A Bit Rusty
We meet half-elf Rust, learn that all nations are in a cold war, and witness him saving a slave boy.

It is now 100 years in the future. The situation between all the races, especially the humans and elves, is at a breaking point. Cold war is upon all of the nations. Before, where there was wariness, there is now distrust and where there was dislike, there now is pure hatred. We meet Rust, a thirty-something half-elf who has lived in the Lo Woods (human side), almost on the border of the Hye Woods (Elven side), since he was four years old, without incident. Elves think half-elves are an abomination, but are not worth the trouble of trying to kill them. Humans, on the other hand, think that half-elves should be stamped out as they are an impure addition to the human race. One day, out of the blue, a merchant wanders into Rust’s camp. Rust hides immediately and listens to the merchant cry for help. Rust throws his voice across camp to ask him what he was needing help with. The merchant, Cedric, replies that his son has gone missing and ran into the woods, and he also admitted that he was a slaver. Rust was not moved by this plea and told him to leave him.

Two days later, another visitor stumbles upon the camp. This time it was a small boy, around 11 or 12. As Rust hides again, the boy pleads for someone to help him find his father. Rust came out to offer his services, feeds the boy (who looks half starved) and begins the journey through the Lo Woods. After a handful of miles, another group traipses through, this time soldiers from New Erif. Rust takes the boy behind a bush and clamps his hand over the boy’s mouth. The boy, however, wriggles free with a shout of “Daddy!!” One of the guardsmen embraced the boy, and Rust revealed himself. The soldier said that he had always heard of a man in the woods, but now he knew it was true. He thanked Rust for his assistance with his son and Rust leaves the men to go back to his camp. Things settle down for a couple of weeks until… to be continued.

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The Flashback Episode
18-year-old Marros is kicked out into the human world, breaks a door down with a human male, and is sentenced to working in the Erif guard.

We received a flashback into Marros’s past before Black Widow or Draelos. This memory started in Marros’s clan and the surrounding ones, who live on Bald Craig [on the island of the Citadel of Ridebal the Elder] (the only mountain in the area with no snow). Marros’s grandfather, Aroutelus, tells the 18-year-old Marros that it was time for him to make a name for himself in the outer world and return to him with adventures to tell. He leaves and traipses through the woods until he comes across a sign, which said Forden Keep if he could read it. Entering the town, he spies a woman beating laundry on a line as it grows more and more dusky. He approaches the woman, who has never seen a Goliath before, but does not try to call the local law enforcement. She rushes inside.

Marros walks further into the town and comes across a smallish figure wearing an Assassin’s Creed-esque outfit, standing outside of a door with one foot propped up. Marros approaches him and asks him if he has an adventure. The man says that he could give him one. The men enter The Golden Earring, the local tavern of Forden Keep. The bar is raucous now it is after dark. Two men on a small stage play the keyboard and a windchime type instrument. While Marros gets funny looks, no one starts anything with him. They continue to the bar, where the man makes conversation with the bartender and tavern owner, a flamboyantly gay man with two pierced ears named Curly. Curly calls over a barmaid, Ambre, and another man at the bar, Frank. James, our suspicious man, talks to the group about raiding the nearby citadel’s city hall in search of plans for advanced weaponry. He said he had a man who would pay them 10,000 gold pieces for them. James insisted a 60% cut, whereas Curly, Frank, and Ambre would split 40%, and that this did not include Marros. Marros, while not able to follow all the nuances of the conversation, could tell that James was a bad guy who was going to not include him on any of the profits. Marros decided to bust the group, but to pretend to play along with their plans. Curly puts him up in the cellar overnight.

The next morning, the group gets together again in one of the back rooms. James tries to insist that Marros take a weapon, but he shouts “NO WEAPON” at him. At this moment, James was visibly afraid for the first time ever since he was a little boy. They set Amber up with lockpicks for inside the citadel’s main courthouse and Allan gets the plans for the city. They travel to the Citadel of Ridebal the Eldritch, James and Ambre bickering the whole way about their former relationship. In the center of the citadel there is a white stone hall that looks like the city’s town hall, with roman style pillars. On the ground floor to the east is a wooden door. Before James could command Marros to do something, as he was still fighting with Ambre, Marros picks him up by the neck and feet and throws him at the door. The door breaks and James is unconscious. Ambre is screaming, Frank very surprised, Marros turns to the both of them and yells for them to “GO HOME.”

Ambre runs away and Frank shrugs and leaves. Unfortunately for Marros, the noise has attracted three guards of the Citadel. Coming to him, Marros tries to demonstrate that James is guilty. However, he rifles through James’s pockets only to find a package of medieval weed, illegal but not incriminating him of a potential heist. The guards demanded him to follow them into the hall. The captain of the guard, Flannigan O’Shenk, tells Marros in a holding cell that he can either pick to go to jail indefinitely for his crime, or join the guard, as they were impressed by his feats of strength and Goliath race. Marros decides to join the guard and is shipped out to Erif Castle to the slight southeast where adventures await him until he encounters a certain witch…. to be continued.

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Getting Lucky
Marros is sucked into another astral plane, meets a dragon, and solves a riddle.

Marros wakes up in the middle of a beautiful, serene, unblemished valley. In this valley he can see for miles and miles. It is quiet but not unearthly still, as birds are chirping and there is a slight breeze. He decides, in seeing a pool of water to the south, to make his way to it in order to take a drink from the pool. When he sticks a hand in to do so, a rock outcrop in the middle of the lagoon disappears and reappears in front of him. It turns out it was not rocks at all but a large white dragon. At first, Marros cannot tell if the dragon is going to act antagonistic towards him but it turns out the dragon is confused. He asks him what he is doing here ahead of his time. Marros replies that he was sent here by a witch named the Black Widow who put him under a sleeping spell. The dragon, Draelos as he is called, replies that he should try and get out of this plane and that he could do so by retrieving four keys held by elemental guardians. Draelos told Marros to return the keys to him so that he could be released. Draelos told him they might not understand his purpose, as many try to escape (only two have) in order to live again, therefore might attack.

Marros goes to the woodland sector, the ground shakes and rocky outcrops fly out of the ground to form an entity. Marros successful intimidates it in order to get the first key. The earth elemental told Marros that he would have to piece together a riddle and answer it in order to leave and that each guardian held a piece of it. Marros received the riddle piece “The force from the Beginning.” Next, he traveled to the lava quadrant. Here he tried reasoning with the elemental spirit but was unable to make himself understood nor intimidate him. Eventually, the elemental-lava fire spirit was defeated when it fell to the ground and Marros stabbed it through the back with his falchion. The fire spirit had enough cognizance to know when it was defeated, and triggered the vents to spell out the next clue “Like the legend of the phoenix.” Next elemental being was that of the wind spirit, who took the form of a giant vortex. As it began to swirl around Marros, he tried appealing to its intelligence.

Marros said that Draelos told him that something was wrong on the outer realm if he was able to be sent here. This spirit seemed saddened and gave him the piece of his puzzle “What keeps the planet spinning.” Lastly, was the water spirit who looked like a lake-wide water canine. This spirit knew of Marros’s quest and gave him the key, “All ends with beginnings”. He returned to the center of the world to give Draelos all the information and was met with a new issue—this was a riddle. Draelos asked him, simply, what was the force from the beginning. Marros asked if there was a right answer, to which Draelos mystically replied “it is whatever is correct for you.” Marros then settled on the answer of “Rebirth being the force that keeps the planet spinning, the force from the beginning.” Draelos nodded sagely and bits of Marros started started to dissolve into small pieces of light.

One hundred years later, a half-elf pinned by an angry mob in the corner awakens what he originally thought was a particularly large boulder….to be continued.

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Rip van Goliath
We meet Marros, he cons an old man out of a cool-ass weapon, and he encounters spiderwoman.

We were introduced to Marros, the barbarian Goliath ~18 at this time (50 in goliath years), who works for the palace guard due to paying for an offense he made when he was a younger man. Marros works for the Erif castle guard as a soldier. In a skirmish, he broke his falchion. Therefore he went to Grainger’s Weapons Emporium to buy a new one. He examines a rage blade that helps channels his emotions whenever a crash resounded from the back of the room.

Grainger and Marros go to investigate, and turns out it is Grainger’s son on the floor, in a dead sleep, units of shelving fallen off the walls. Grainger also mysteriously falls into a deep sleep mid-sentence. Marros decides to pay 50 gold pieces (versus 600) for the falchion and leaves the shop, to run into Captain Rolf of the guard who invited him to a meeting with the palace war council, which was unusual as normal foot soldiers weren’t invited to those. As he enters the room, the earl is discussing des Poins to the north (the elves) who seem to be preparing an attack over the Hye and Lo Woods. Warchast Conkle is already asleep, but sleeps into the mysterious deep sleep, Rolf follows suit. The Earl says, as he is beginning to fall uncontrollably asleep, that the Lo Woods have the answers to all the questions to save them.

Marros goes back to the weapons store before he leaves, noticing how everyone has fallen asleep, and takes back his 50 gold. He makes his way out of the stronghold and into the Lo woods, noticing the trader’s route and a secondary side-path. He takes the sidepath, noticing the unearthly stillness of the surrounding area. He hears the snapping of twigs behind him and he calls the thing to show itself, out come to adolescent monstrous spiders and one slightly larger looking spider, who leaves almost immediately to summon the largest spider he’s ever seen in his life. The two small ones keep attacking Marros, who is unable to hit them (despite his brute strength) because of their agility. The largest spider spins a web and sits on it, beginning to start the process of eating her mate. After the two adolescents die, she summons a swarm of abnormally large house spiders. Marros deftly deals with them and proceeds to charge the big spider, blooding her in one blow. To his astonishment, the spider starts to molt and a naked woman steps out, introducing herself as the Black Widow. She says the eternal sleep faced by Erif was merely payback for what they did to her people. Marros asks why he hadn’t been affected, and she gives him a kiss and tells him he already had. Marros slowly falls into a deep eternal sleep in the middle of the Lo woods…to be continued.

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