So, two days in the swamp and I never want to step foot here again.
The day started rather miserably. In a boat. A small boat Harlan let us have to make our way to the goblin village. Course, I assumed someone in the party would have some proficiency in navigating a small boat through shallow waters. Instead, we run into the shore multiple times, crash several times into trees, and almost overturned at least once. And to top it all off, one of the trees we crashed into contained a snake. Another bloody snake. And this one bit me too. So two days in the swamp and already multiple snake bites. I'm still woozy from the other night and I'm subjected to this hell.
If that was the worst of the day, I'd still be fine. But no, the day only gets worse. We finally come to the goblin village, and the place looks deserted. The front gates, if you can call them that, have suffered what looks like a massive frontal assault. Just inside the village is a burned pile of goblin bodies lying in a pit. Of course none of those ears are salvageable. So, as we're poking our heads into buildings, looking for any surviving goblins and their bloody chief, Ameiko's little brother, I think he wants us to call him "Heron" now, the fool, lets out a yelp. He had climbed a short ladder leading to one of the dwellings, and the goblins were apparently cowering inside. The battle was engaged!
We all quickly clambered into the small dwelling, which was connected via a series of hallways and platforms to the rest of the village, to have goblins pouring in on us from multiple directions. While Harlan and Lesedi mopped up the initial room of goblins, "Heron" walled off one hallway with an illusion the goblins had trouble piercing, and I disabled the goblins trying to flank us with a vibrant spray of colors that blinded and overwhelmed the senses of that lot. Next thing we know, fireworks are flying into the room from the illusionary wall, which helps convince the goblins that they can freely pass through it. Heron greased the hall, which had the goblins slipping and sliding into our blades. The battle ended with Harlan sliding down the hall atop his shield, crashing into the last goblin and pinning his body against the wall.
After collecting the ears of the slain goblins, and tying up the one goblin prisoner we secured, we set out to explore the rest of the structures. On the other side of their small village, we did come across a locked set of rooms. A goblin on the other side of the door called out in heavily accented common to go away. Knowing that there was an extra bounty for the chief, we had to investigate further. Circling the building, we came across as weaker door that was easier to batter down. We had discovered the goblin's treasure trove!
Although most goblin treasure is honestly just trash in disguise, this set of goblins actually had some success in raiding the caravan routes between Sandpoint and Korvosa, and we found an elaborate red chest decorated with cranes and frogs with a definite Minkai influence. This was instantly of interest to Jirou, uhm, I mean Heron. He instantly claimed the chest was a family heirloom, and who am I to say that it wasn't really Ameiko's. Other than the coin, the chest obviously was from Minkai upon further examination of it's contents, which included 3 Sky Rocket fire crackers, 6 high quality shuriken, an ornate hairpin, and a gold and ivory fan decorated with a gecko walking atop cherry blossoms. On the back side of the fan was a crude map, probably drawn by goblins, depicting the Brinestump Marsh. Several areas of the map were marked, two of them with symbols that Heron surmises depicts ship wrecks, and a third that I have to assume is a cave of some sort.
Having looked through the treasure room, we still had a locked door between us and what must be the goblin chief's throne room. Using a bit of bluffing and some minor illusion magic from Heron, we were able to trick the goblins into opening the door for us. Lesedi rushed the door as soon as it was opened and managed to force her way into the room. Several goblins were arrayed before us, and in a second chamber, several more were ready for us armed with bows, the largest and ugliest of the group must have been their chief, Gutwad. Using some magic to systematically daze the goblins, Lesedi and Harlan were able to brush past most of the initial troops. I was able to put most of the goblins in the second room to sleep with a single spell cast from my ring, but Gutwad resisted, and starting shooting fireworks at us. But, unlike the previous fireworks, this one was a particularly large one, and we were in a small space. The results were devastating. And goblins that were still standing were instantly knocked unconscious, and the four of us were badly injured. Then Gutwad opened fire with his bow, showing a particular hatred toward the three human members of our group. Harlan dropped first, and then Lesedi. As Heron and I closed in on him, he pulled out his spear and charged me. The last thing I remember before losing consciousness was being pinned to the wall with a spear in my gut.
When I came to, the others explained to me what had occurred. Apparently Harlan used a ruse and was only faking his defeat to goad Gutwad into attacking us. When Gutwad charged me, Heron slammed the door shut behind him and locked him out of his own throne room. Harlan then used his healing magics to quickly tend to Lesedi and Heron, and they were able to surround and defeat Gutwad, who waited patiently on them to let him back into his own throne room.
Obviously I'm upset. Even though Harlan tended to my grievous wounds, I'll have a scar on my belly for the rest of my days. Ameiko only adventured for a few months before she had earned enough to buy the Rusty Dragon, but I don't know if I'll make it that long. A simple goblin was almost the end of me. We've made camp for now in the goblin village since it's safer than sleeping out in the swamp, and Harlan has been tending to our wounds. I think tomorrow we'll end up checking out those shipwrecks, if that's what they end up being, and then hopefully we'll be able to get back to Sandpoint and collect our reward. I also want to bring this goblin we've captured to Shalelu for interrogation. Some parts of the puzzle don't make sense to me, like this beast that managed to inflict so much damage to the goblin village, why the goblins burned their dead, and where the goblins have been getting all these fireworks. Just need to make it through this night. Even worse case scenario, we should be out of the swamp by tomorrow night, even if we don't make it to Sandpoint before dark.
So, we set off today, the four of us, to the Brine Stump Marsh to kill us some goblins and claim their ears. 10 GP an ear... meh. I hope Ameiko appreciates the things I do for her affection. This better work.
Got bit by two snakes tonight. Funny story, that, not really. So, we're trekking around this god forsaken swamp, and it gets dark. We really didn't want to backtrack in the dark to dry land, so we decide to make for the new fishing hole, thinking that it'd be the safest place to camp. Sure enough, there's a cabin there. Walthis's cabin, that halfling druid of the marsh. I knew of him prior to our visit here. He's another friend of Ameiko's and occasionally comes into town for supplies. Stops by the Rusty Dragon.
Instantly I realize that something odd is going on. He's acting weird and won't let us into the cabin. Turns out, he claims his snakes (he loves snakes, apparently) bit him. Harlan offers to heal his wounds with the divine grace of Pharasma, which grants us entry and some tea. Walthis tells us we can set up camp for the night in his garden, but I can tell that there's something he's not telling us. So I Charm him. Maybe a bit much, sure, but I just had this feeling. Well, the asshole pulls me aside, as if he's going to tell me a secret. And then his face warps into this sideways mouth slit and snake tongue, and tells me that Walthis is upstairs and he's keeping him alive for later. The fuck! Terrified, I marshal everyone outside and fill them in. Before we can formulate a plan, I feel a sharp, stinging pain in my ankle. Walthis's damn snakes bit me! Twice!
Well, shaking the snakes off (Walthis will have to understand), we formulated a plan to free the halfling from what I believe is a faceless stalker. The bastard still being charmed, it was easy enough to get back in the house on the pretext of wanting some more tea. Harlan snuck upstairs and found Walthis while Lesedi and I distracted the beast. When Harlan came back down, we jumped on him. My spells were useless against him, and Lesedi's weapons weren't much better, but Harlan's connection to Pharasma allows him to do some scary things. With just a touch, blood burst from the creature's body. While it was distracted, I conked him on the head with my quarterstaff, and the beast bled out.
Walthis was obviously overjoyed. He explained that the creature came from the swamps and surprised him, but his snakes inflicted enough damage on the stalker to allow Walthis to escape to what he calls his "safe room". He was saddened by the loss of his snakes, but grateful enough for our timely intervention that he allowed us to stay in his cabin for the evening and even let Harlan keep a magical cloak of protection he possessed. The faceless stalker is likely a descendent of those that served the Runelords of old. They've been known to crop up here and there around Varisia. This one looked like he had a stunted growth and had been living in the swamp for a while. Still unusual, but probably not unheard of.
Still woozy from the poison, but Harlan is giving me some attention, and says I'll heal up fine before the week's through. I hope I'll feel well enough in the morning to continue on to the goblin village. Walthis has pointed us in the right direction, so we can be there and done. Back in Sandpoint by tomorrow night if things go smoothly. What can go wrong? They're only goblins.
I don't much care for playing in mafia games, but it is fun to create them. I've got one for Arkham Horror, based on HP Lovecraft, but I don't think the mafia itself is very good, so I haven't posted it. Gonna have to work on it some more.
This one is based on the Pathfinder RPG.
Alahazra, LG Human Oracle
[Clouded Vision - Passive]
When using her abilities, Alahazra has a 50% chance of targeting a random player because she can't see anything beyond 30 ft.
[Burning Hands - Active]
Alahazra can cast Burning Hands because of her flame mystery. It attacks 3 players with the chance of targeting random players due to her Clouded Vision. One Shot.
[Divine Magic - Active]
Alahazra casts divine spells, and can use them to cure her allies. She can protect one player every cycle. Unfortunately, she don't see too good.
Alain, LN Human Cavalier
[Order of the Cockatrice - Active]
Members of this order are selfish, and Alain is no exception. Alain can target one player every phase, and all actions that are performed on that player are performed on Alain instead. If Alain or the player he targets is attacked, the targeted player takes the attack instead.
[Steal Glory - Passive]
If the player Alain targets with his Order of the Cockatrice ability performs an action, Alain steps in, enhances that action, and takes all the glory for himself.
Amiri, CN Human Barbarian
[Rage! - Active]
Amiri can attack one player every cycle. Because of her innate rage, however, she has a 50% chance of targeting a random player instead.
[Damage Reduction - Passive]
Barbarians are hard to fucking kill. It takes a super kill, a lynch, or two attacks in one phase to overcome Amiri's damage reduction and put her down for good.
Balazar, N Gnome Summoner
[Eidolon - Active/Passive]
Balazar has a constantly evolving eidolon companion. It grows in strength the longer Balazar is alive.
Day 1 the Eidolon sacrifices himself if Balazar is targeted with a lynch or attack. If this is the case, Balazar becomes a generic.
Day 2 the Eidolon gains a 50% chance of killing the attacker. If this fails, the Eidolon sacrifices himself as above and Balazar becomes a generic.
Day 3 if the Eidolon would sacrifice himself, there is a 50% chance that the Eidolon recovers and is not sacrificed.
Day 4 Balazar becomes bulletproof, with a 50% chance of killing attackers.
Day 5 the Eidolon picks up an attack every cycle.
Day 6 the attack becomes a super kill and bypasses protection and bulletproof status.
[Speak with Animals - Passive]
Gnomes can cast a number of spell-like abilities. Balazar can communicate with animals. Balazar is immune to attacks from Lini.
Damiel, CN Elf Alchemist
[Bomb - Active]
Damiel throws a bomb at one target player, and one random player, attacking them both. One shot.
[Mutagen - Active]
Damiel can make mutagens to enhance his physical stats. He can use each of these once, and only one per cycle:
Strength mutagen - Damiel beats the shit out of someone, attacking a target player.
Dexterity mutagen - Damiel becomes nimble and hard to hit. He becomes a nexus for one cycle.
Constitution mutagen - Damiel becomes hard to kill for a cycle. He needs to be targeted with two attacks, a super kill, or a lynch to kill him.
[Elf - Passive]
Elves are resistant to magic. If Damiel is targeted by a harmful spell or spell-like ability, there is a 50% chance that effect will fail. Regardless of the spell or spell-like ability, Damiel also has another 50% chance of learning the identity of the caster.
Ezren, NG Human Wizard
[Spells - Active]
Being a wizard, Ezren casts a variety of one-shot spells, limited to one per cycle:
Fireball - Ezren throws a ball of flaming fiery death attacking one player, and catching two random players in it's midst.
Detect Magic - If any magic is used this cycle, Ezren has a 50% of learning the identity of the caster.
Interposing Hand - The first attack against Ezren, regardless of it's strength or source, is foiled for the cycle.
Hideous Laughter - Target player spends the entire cycle laughing hysterically. Their vote doesn't count, and are effectively roleblocked.
Lightning Bolt - Ezren attacks with a little more precision. He targets a single player.
Disintegrate - Superkill. Player is reduced to ash and cannot be revived. Targets one.
Feiya, CG Human Witch
[Hexes - Passive]
Hexes act like spells. Any hex can only target a single player once. Only one hex can be used a cycle.
[Slumber Hex - Active]
Feiya targets one player. That player falls asleep for the cycle and loses all bulletproof status. That player is roleblocked. Fails against elves.
[Ward - Active]
Feiya protects one player for the cycle.
[Charm Hex - Active]
Feiya charms a player. That player cannot target her with harmful effects, and must target her with beneficial ones. That player also votes the same way as Feiya does during the day phase.
Harsk, LN Dwarf Ranger
[Track - Active]
Every night Harsk can follow a target player, learning all players that that player visits.
[Favored Enemy - Passive]
Harsk chooses a creature type (dragon, giant, etc) during his first night phase. If Harsk ever tracks a creature of that type, Harsk superkills that creature. All actions creatures of that type take against Harsk fail.
[Dwarf - Passive]
Dwarfs are hardy, and start with 2 lives.
Imrijka, NG Half-orc Inquisitor
[Detect Alignment - Active]
Imrijka can take a look at one player a cycle, and learn that player's alignment.
[Orc Ferocity - Passive]
Orcs don't die pretty. If Imrijka is attacked and killed, she slays her attacker(s). If she is lynched, she attacks the last vote against her. Doesn't work against spells.
Summaries will have less detail from hence forth
Ok, long night of mourning. Surviving party members get back to town, drink away their sorrow, Sydney tries to hook up with Ameiko, everyone ends up getting laid by someone. Everyone is hung over the next day.
Erok is actually reincarnated as a halfling, but that's another story.
In to town rolls the two new PCs (when people die, new people need to step in to take their place). Drew, who was playing Erok, now controls Gerald, a holy warrior of the goddess Iomedae. Nick, who was controlling Michael, brings in a ranged bard that has absolutely no combat ability.
Sydney was convinced that everyone on the island was dead as goblins weren't smart enough to repair the bridge. Everyone else pointed out that the bridge didn't make itself.
Anyways, the survivors thought the new guys were useless. They decided to take them back with them anyways. They rented another boat and sailed back to Thistletop. Corrin proceeded to climb onto the island and help the rest of the party climb up.
Much time was wasted exploring the dungeon. All the goblins were dead, minus the few in the Throne Room. In the central courtyard the party talked at length about whether or not they should open this door and let a large animal out of some sort of pen it was nailed into. Sydney was all for letting everything on the island die. The rest of the party had a heart. So they ignored it temporarily.
In the throne room they found Ripnugget, goblin warchief, and his mount, a giant fucking gecko. No one was impressed. Corrin rushed into the room and started dropping goblin guards left and right, but the goblin chief was a proficient combatant and surprised everyone by critting Gerald, almost immediately killing Drew's new character. Corrin did the sensible thing, then, and grappled Ripnugget off his mount, pinned him down, and let Gerald stab him repeatedly until he stopped moving.
Going back and freeing the caged beast, the party discovered a majestic war horse half dead from starvation. Several ideas were presented on getting the horse off the island with no bridge, and it was generally decided that pushing him 80 ft into the rough waters below was probably a bad idea. Eventually everyone just said fuck it, it's better that it dies free in the courtyard than locked in a tiny closet.
Heading downstairs into the dungeon proper, the party quickly got the jump on a young spellcaster who was super hot, but also a total bitch. Cerrik inflicted third degree burns to her chest, and she was promptly tied up. During interrogation, when things weren't going his way, Corrin decided just to punch her in the face a few times to knock her out. Since this almost killed her, Gerald backhanded Corrin, busting his lip. Corrin tried to jump all over Gerald and beat the shit out of him for this, but the rest of the party intervened. Threats were made, and the two separated from one another.
Delving deeper into the dungeon the party discovered some fucked up shit, fought a squid monster that liquefies your insides, and discovered a room that served as the goblin harem. In said room, Cerrik cast his first Burning Hands spell and incinerated four goblin females, and pissed off a bugbear, which promptly knocked him unconscious. It was here that Nick's bard found a use in the party. He could heal with a wand. Much healing with said wand was done. The party is so happy to have a shitty version of a cleric following them around.
What trouble will our heroes get into next week? Where is this Nualia bitch? Is the party willing to spend the time and effort to rebuild the bridge just to save a warhorse? Find out, or not, next week.
So, the interrogation of the Quasit didn't go so well. Although intimidated and bluffed into believing that it's safety was determined by how much information she would give, she was less than cooperative, offering little information the PCs didn't already know. They did learn for sure that the Quasit, Erylium, was Nualia's mentor, and had trained her.
Not being happy with the progress the party was making with the quasit, Corrin stuck his finger in her face, prompting the quasit to bite at it, nearly removing his finger from his hand. Deciding this was enough interrogation, Corrin went to snap the quasit's neck. He failed. She wriggled away, with Erok chasing after her trying to behead her with his axe. Finally Sidney managed to slit her throat.
The deed done, the party left the dungeon and returned to town. They went their separate ways, got healed, sold some loot, and tried to gather some more info from some local sages.
Knowing that they now needed to go to Thistletop and root out Nulia to end the goblin threat, the party hired a boat to take them close to the island. After arriving, they decided it would be best to attack from land, and took the boat to a suitable location up coast to let them out. Two hours and a patch of poison ivy later, the party was outside the defenses of Thistletop, ready to begin their assault.
To reach the island the goblins had set up their lair on the party first had to manage the maze of briers and thorns to the bridge. They dispatched a dozen sleeping goblins by taking them by surprise, but the dying goblins made a lot of noise, and alerted the rest of the inhabitants of the outer lair to the presence of intruders. One of these inhabitants was a goblin druid who prepared himself to ambush the party. Erok, having the ability to pass through briers as if they weren't even there, was sneaking through walls and trying to scout, not expecting to find a creature with a similar ability.
The goblin druid got the jump on Erok, kinda, and launched a ball of fire he had prepared straight into Erok's face, knocking him unconscious immediately. The druid and his pet firepelt, something like a mountain lion, then jumped through the wall and ambushed Cerrik, who had come to aid Erok. The party was having real trouble fighting in such cramped spaces, but they did manage to corner the druid after killing his animal companion, and prevented the goblin from using his restorative magics.
Having fought their way to the rickety goblin bridge, Michael, now understanding a bit about architecture and feats of engineering, determined it was unsafe to cross more than two at a time. Sydney and Corrin made their way across before goblins ambushed the party. The rest of the group managed to cross to offer aid, and with the goblins being clumsy and falling off their goblin dog mounts and out of towers while attempting to fire bows, the group was not in any real threat.
Now inside the small fort, Thistletop, that the goblins called home, the party was faced with doors everywhere. Which way were they supposed to go? Erok had seen some pickles on the ground outside beneath one of the guard tower windows, and decided that that was a good place to start, and so they did. Clearing the fort to an open courtyard, the party was beset by three MORE goblin dogs. Erok, Runner, and Corrin had all been inflicted with mange from the dogs, and with this minor irritation being too much for the party to deal with, they decided to retreat back to the maze of thorns to rest for the night, but not before first lighting the fort on fire.
Surprisingly, nothing attempted to gank the PCs in the night, so the emerged rested, minus Sydney, who had gone back to the boat to inform it's captain to wait for them.
Creeping up to the bridge, the remaining party members saw that the guards had been replaced with more goblins on their goblin dog mounts. Erok launched an Entangle spell across the bridge, preventing many of the goblins from attacking right away, and digging the thorns, now bending to his will, into goblin flesh.
As the goblin dogs broke free and rushed across the bridge to engage, the goblins that broke free hopped on their end of the bridge and launched arrows across at the PCs. Michael and Erok stood upfront and fended off the goblin dogs while Cerrik threw Magic Missiles from his wand and Corrin used a borrowed crossbow. Erok took an arrow to the throat, that would have been fatal had it not been a goblin arrow, and while Cerrik tended him, Michael and Corrin chased the goblins back across the bridge. Michael, having imbibed a Potion of Cure Light Wounds, was eager to get back into the fight. And that's when he and Runner stepped on the bridge.
So... yeah. The bridge, as the party learned yesterday, was not meant to support the weight of anything much bigger than a goblin. With so many PCs on the bridge, the bridge was going down. Runner managed to leap back to shore before the bridge gave way, and Corrin was quick enough to grab a the bridge as he was falling, but Michael and Erok were not so lucky. They plummeted 80 feet into the rocky water below, and both quickly drowned. Two dead PCs.
The goblins had all been defeated. Corrin and Cerrik needed to retreat and get Sydney and regroup in Sandpoint. Obviously this was not what anyone was expecting. Cerrik was on one side of the bridge, though, and Corrin was on the other. Corrin told Cerrik to go for the boat and have it come around to pick him up, and he'd try to gather the bodies of his allies. He did not anticipate the current, though, and an undertow swept him into an underground sea cave where he was quickly beset upon by a bunyip, the cross between a seal and a shark.
When Cerrik returned, he saw Erok's body washed up on shore, but saw nothing of the body of Michael, or what had become of Corrin. Fearing the worst, Cerrik went looking cautiously for Corrin, Sydney in tow, and found him down a hole that opened up to the sea cave from within the goblin maze. Corrin was perched on the wall, out of reach of the bunyip, but without the ability to outswim him or to climb out. A few long pieces of rope solved that problem, and the party, minus the body of Michael and the soul of Erok, returned to Sandpoint, defeated.
What do they plan to do now? Next week will see the answer to that question.
Start of the session, the PCs were left with a dead villain figure, his notes on some disgusting shit, and his unconscious sister whom most of the PCs had a crush on.
Reading through the journal again, the PCs knew there was a secret passage underneath the Glassworks, and knew that they needed to explore it before taking the fight to the Thistletop goblins, where Tsuto's girlfriend was holed up planning a massive raid against Sandpoint.
But first, loot. Tsuto was the first NPC that PCs had killed, and he had some fat loot, including a Ring of Protection +1. After some deliberation on what was to become of the ring, Erok finally convinced the others that the best course of action was to sell it and buy a Wand of Cure Light Wounds. And so the party did.
Finally ready to enter the passage under the Glassworks, the party left instructions to collapse the entrance if they weren't back in a few days. Expecting to find goblins, the party was surprised to learn that the passage seemed to be heading under the town, not out toward the beach. Taking a side tunnel, the PCs found themselves in the campaign's first dungeon crawl.
Cautiously moving forward into the dungeon, Corrin stuck his head around a corner into a room, and was frightened by what he saw. It was a horrible monster of a man, called a sinspawn. It struck out at Corrin, and managed to bite him, inflicting Corrin with a madness that left him impotent. Corrin managed to kick the sinspawn in the nuts, though, and while it's combat capabilities were hindered, the party surrounded it and made short work of it.
Many strange things the party discovered. They came across a statue of a woman wielding a polearm, and took it for their own. They entered a large room that the party at first thought was part of the dungeons under the town garrison, but was an ancient prison. Here they fought and defeated two more sinspawn.
Further down this wing of the dungeon, they came across a room with several torture instruments. Next to this room were several cells where skeletons of deformed humans had lain for several thousand years. As if foreshadowing, the very next room they entered contained a deformed goblin with four arms, and an extra eye on it's stomach. This was one of the goblin champions they had learned about from Shalelu, but it was here, under the Glassworks. Why? And why was it deformed?
The last room of this wing offered more questions and less answers. It was spherical, and made from a weird red stone. Inside this sphere several objects were floating. The room had been enchanted with a levitation spell. Cerrik cautiously entered and retrieved the items, including a wand, a scroll, and an odd book full of pictures of horrid monsters devouring innocent creatures.
Confused, the party backtracked and went down the second wing of the complex, and entered a well room. There, Corrin was attacked once again, this time by a disembodied head with wings. The party rushed in to help him, but the creature, a vargouille, let out a screech that stunned everyone in the room except for Sydney and Cerrik. The vargouille seemed to kiss Corrin, shoving his unholy tongue down his throat, and implanting something within him. Sydney managed to get around behind the beast and stab it through the back of it's head moments later, but the damage was done. Corrin doesn't know it, but unless he seeks help he'll be a vargouille himself in a matter of hours.
Having defeated the terrible beast, the party passed through a temple to some unholy god and entered the final room of the dungeon. There, they met a quasit who was infuriated to see the party in her "kingdom". She sliced her own wrist with a dagger and dripped her own blood into what looked like an orange pool of bubbling liquid. The party rushed forward to engage as a sinspawn crawled out of the pool and attacked the PCs. As the Sinspawn emerged, however, Corrin took note that the quasit seemed worried that the pool of orange radiance seemed to lose some of it's luster.
The fight was a tough one. Corrin was overmatched by the quasit, while Michael engaged the sinspawn and Erok, his wolf, and Sydney fought the quasit's summoned allies. Corrin fell, unconscious and in pain, after being inflicted with moderate wounds, and Erok's choice to buy a wand of Cure Light Wounds turned out to be a sound one.
The quasit hovered out of range in the center of the room, launching attacks at the PCs that stung with an enchanted dagger that returned to her hand after she threw it. The PCs tried to return fire, but her magical defenses prevented anything but the most well aimed shot from landing, and she was immune to Cerrik's fiery attacks.
Frustrated that she was whittling down the party's resolve and stamina, Corrin finally tried something novel, reckless, and highly effective. He leaped off the ten foot ledge at the back of the chamber, out over open space, and grabbed her, yanking her to the ground with him. The party then overpowered her, pinned her, and Michael tied her up.
And next week, the interrogation begins.
Ok, so, that night, after the drinking, and after the almost sex, the PCs retire back to the Rusty Dragon, minus Michael, who was getting along too well to leave the Hagfish. In the middle of a late supper, the PCs are interrupted by an elderly halfling woman who works as a maid at the tavern, telling them a woman in the street is crying and asking for them by name. Rushing outside, they meet Amele Barret and her two children, Aeren, a 9 year old boy, and Verah, a baby girl. Amele says that for the last couple of nights Aeren has been yelling about a monster in his closet, but every time his parents rushed in to check, they've found nothing. Tonight, though, when they ignored his cries, they heard Aeren's dog, Petal, yelp in pain, and Aeren himself started yelling in fear. Upon rushing in, they see a goblin trying to eat Aeren's arm, and Amele's husband, Alergast, chased him back into the closet. Amele grabbed the children and ran here where she knew the PCs were staying.
The party follows Amele back to her house, and cautiously enter. Erok had Runner sniff a coin purse they took off a goblin in hopes he could sniff out where the goblin was hiding. Sydney crept into the boy's bedroom and saw the dead dog, Petal, and the body of Alergast in the closet, his head down a hole. The party crept in the room, and Corrin pulled Alergast out of the hole. Sure enough, his face and upper torso had been chewed off. Following the body out of the hole was a ravenous goblin with human skin in his teeth and a jagged shard of metal in his hand. Corrin leaped back in front of the goblin and easily dispatched it.
The captain of the guard was alerted to the commotion, and once the PCs finished with cleaning up the mess, checking the hole for goblins, and covering the bodies of the deceased they met with Sheriff Belor Hemlock, who thanked them for their work and promised to look after Amele. Sydney broke the news as gently as he could. The party somberly made their way back to the Rusty Dragon and retired for the evening.
The next morning Sheriff Hemlock sent summons to the party to meet at the City Hall. Upon arrival, the PCs sit down for a meeting with Sheriff Hemlock, Mayor Kendra Deverin, and an elven ranger named Shalelu Andosana. Shalelu has been a thorn in the goblins' side for years, and has dedicated her life to ensuring that the goblins don't get out of hand. She tells the party that there are five goblin tribes, and despite the fact that these tribes don't work together, all five participated in the raid on Sandpoint. She warns that the goblins are likely being led by a stronger power who likely has larger designs on the area. With that, Sheriff Hemlock announces that he is taking a few guardsmen and traveling to the nearby city of Magnimar, patron city of Sandpoint, and trying to enlist aid. He asks the PCs to remain in town to be a presence that will help the citizens feel safe with him out of town.
After the meeting the PCs had a lunch with Shalelu where they drilled her with questions about goblins. With the rest of the day free, the PCs broke up to pursue different activities. Erok, having more money now than he's ever had, decided to buy a few things for his home in the woods. Sydney and Cerrik tried to heal their reputations from their previous meeting with Ven Vinder. Cerrik went to the lumber mill where he charmed Banny Harker, who was in a relationship with Vinder's eldest daughter, Katrine, and tried to convince him to talk to Katrine on his behalf. Sydney disguised himself as another halfling and went around making up all these heroic deeds the party has done to try to sway people to their favor and ignore Ven's ranting about Cerrik. Corrin and Michael went down to the beach where Sandpoint dumps all their trash and spent the afternoon looking for goblins and making ineffective traps for goblins.
The next morning, coming down for breakfast, Sydney, Corrin, and Cerrik are met with a flabbergasted Bethana Corwin, the elderly halfling woman from earlier. She says that Ameiko wasn't up to make breakfast this morning, and when she checked Ameiko's room she found that the bed hasn't been slept in and a note on the floor from Ameiko's brother, Tsuto, who had been out of town for several years. The note asks Ameiko to come to the Glassworks, a glass making factory in town that is owned by the Kaijutsu family. Tsuto claims that their father had something to do with the goblin raid.
Not waiting for further information about the complex relationships of the Taijtusu family, the PCs gather at the Glassworks. There was some small deliberation about what door they wanted to go through, and they finally decided that they'd just go through the back door. Sydney picked the lock, and the party walked right in. It sounded as if the glassworking room was in full swing, so the party thought it was a good place to start their investigation. Sure enough, they found a shit ton of goblins inside playing with the dead bodies of the glasswork employees. Despite taking a heavy blow from some red hot tongs, Corrin kicked the shit out a several goblins, and Cerrik blasted two of them with rays of fire that burned straight to the bone. Michael tripped one goblin with his flail allowing Sydney to plunge his tiny halfling shortsword in the goblin's chest. The last two goblins tried to make a run for the exit, but Erok downed one with a heavy hit from his sling, and Corrin chased the other one down.
Prominently displayed in this room was the body of Lonjiku Kaijitsu, father of Tsuto and Ameiko. He appeared to have been tortured and killed by pouring molten glass on him. An ugly way to die. The workers themselves had been mutilated, limbs having been sawed off and then burned in the furnaces. The party tried to gather the bodies and reverently cover them. They then set out to explore the rest of the Glassworks, looking for Ameiko and Tsuto. Passing one door for later, they managed to not find anything at all. Returning after their exhaustive search, they decided to check the only door in the building they passed, which turned out to lead to a basement.
In the basement they finally confronted Tsuto, who was asleep in a drunken stupor. Tsuto started telling a story about how he didn't know what was going on and he was unaware that there were goblins in the Glassworks, but Corrin saw straight through it and confronted Tsuto about his lies. Tsuto then surprised everyone by attacking with a flurry of blows. Corrin returned with his own flurry, and Tsuto realized it was hopeless, so tried to flee. Cerrick's flaming hand was waiting for him, and he badly scorched Tsuto while Tsuto was trying to escape, and Erok stopped trying to pull his blows and landed a hit with his greataxe to Tsuto's fleeing back. The party rushed to tend to Tsuto's wounds hoping to keep him alive to interrogate, but it's hard to heal greataxe.
They did, however, find Tsuto's journal, which detailed plans for a second goblin attack several times larger than the first one. It also referred to Tsuto's lover, a woman undergoing some sort of transformation into a demon. The journal told of a dungeon under the Glassworks that the party hadn't discovered yet, and directed the party also to Thistletop, home of a goblin tribe that live on a small island that looks like a decapitated head. These Thistletop goblins took part in the raid and absconded with the body of the previous high priest, which Tsuto's lover then burnt in sacrifice.
Opening a few of the other doors in the basement, the party finds Ameiko bound and gagged and severely beaten. Tending to her, they show her Tsuto's journal, which she can't really make heads or tails of.
What waits the party under the Glasswork's basement? Who is Tsuto's mysterious lover? What was the purpose of the burnt offering? Does Cerrik have the herp? What about Corrin? Is Aldern Foxglove gay for Corrin? Is Erok gay for his wolf, Runner? Will Michael ever be able to finish the Hagfish challenge? Is it worth it for less than 10 GP? Tune in next time for some of these answers.
So, I decided to use my blog again for personal, non-Naruto, non-forums based whatever. This time I'm going to talk about the Pathfinder game I'm running on Sunday nights. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Pathfinder, it's basically Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. Anyways, running the Adventure Paths that are released monthly. PCs start at 1st level. Ect.
Anyways, the group:
First we've got Urok, played by my roommate Drew. Urok was the product of rape. An orc raped a human woman of the Shoanti tribes, kept her alive long enough to rear the boy, and then killed her. Obviously this had an effect on young Urok, who left the orc tribe just about as soon as possible, and spent much of his youth traveling and surviving on his own. He eventually was trained in druidism by Varisian druids, and this has kept him alive to present. He currently lives just outside of the town of Sandpoint, in Tickwood, with his wolf animal companion, Runner. He occasionally trades herbs for supplies with the local herbalist whom travels close by his camp every now and then looking for medicinal herbs.
Drew's little brother is playing Michael, a fighter from Korvosa. Michael was a street urchin who ran afoul of the law few years back and spent some time in a Korvosa prison cell. A guard took pity on him and arranged for his "rehabilitation" by getting him work as a sailor on a merchant vessel. Michael didn't really get along very well with the rest of the crew due to his free job, so the captain allowed him to jump ship when the ship docked at Sandpoint.
Ian is playing Corrin, a Shoanti warrior too proud to use weapons, making him effectively (as far as game terms go) a monk. Corrin happens to be passing through Sandpoint in his jouneys.
Finally we have Cerrik (played by my roommate Matt) and Sydney (played by Jared). The two have known each other for a while now, and seem to get in trouble with each other a lot. Cerrik is a sorcerer who claims that his grandfather or great-grandfather was an Ifrit. He has a strong affinity for fire and has the word fire tattooed on each of his fingers in a different language (at least he hopes some of those words are fire). Sydney is a halfling from Korvosa whose family works doing menial tasks for the Chelian citizens of that city. Sydney, not liking the idea of being a second-class citizen, decided to up and find his own freedom, and moved to Riddleport for a few years, picking up skills as a rogue. He met Cerrik when Cerrik's Varisian caravan passed through town. The two became friends and Sydney liked the free spirited lifestyle of the Varisians, and so joined the caravan, which has only recently stopped at Sandpoint.
So the PCs are all in town, and it's a good thing, too. They're in time for the Swallowtail festival which is held every year on the first day of Autumn. This Swallowtail festival is extra special because it also serves as the dedication and consecration of the new temple in town. The old temple burned down five years ago during a period of time known as the Late Unpleasantness, which also included a string of murders perpetrated by Sandpoint's resident woodcarving artist.
Everyone is having a great time at the festival. Urok is even visiting due to the Temple having a shrine to Gozreh, the God of Weather. Sydney and Cerrik try their hand at conning some of the locals. Important citizens give speeches. Many Swallowtail butterflies are released into the air and flutter around town all day. Then, just as the new high priest, Father Zantus, begins the consecration, goblins attack the festival. The group bands together, despite not really knowing each other, and repel the initial assault. They faced off against another group led by an absolutely hideous goblin female. Cerrik is absolutely enraged as goblins hate dogs and Cerrik loves dogs. Another dog falls to a goblin mounted on what looks like the cross between a Greyhound and a rat, and the PCs rush over to save a young noble hiding behind a barrel. Urok impresses the party by commanding the grass itself to entangle the goblins, and Corrin impresses the noble, a man named Aldern Foxglove, by just about singlehandedly dispatching the "goblin knight" with a massive flurry of blows, despite being dealt a grievous wound from the "goblin dog". Urok too was surrounded by a throng of goblins, but was able to fight his way free with help from Sydney and Michael. Cerrik managed to annoy the goblins, mostly, by singing their ears.
The battle mostly over, Lord Foxglove invited the PCs to the Rusty Dragon Inn for dinner so he could properly thank the party. Sydney and Cerrik decided that they needed proper compensation from the guard for their help in repelling the attack, and headed off for city hall for their due. Michael decided to go with them. Urok wanted to go check on his druid mentor, an old Varisian woman who lives in town, as well as his wolf, who was absent throughout the combat.
Syd and Cerrik had no luck at the city hall. A noble named Scarnetti seemed too busy directing the militia to pay them any real mind. Feeling slighted, the pair made plans to rob the Scarnetti estate later.
The party met back up at the Rusty Dragon where they met with Aldern, who paid them a bit of coin for rescuing him, and invited them to accompany him on a boar hunt the next day. The party agreed, and they met again the next morning at the Goblin Squash Stables. The owner had quite the collection of goblin ears tacked all over the rafters, and showing some interest, he took Sydney, Michael, and Cerrik into a back room where he showed the the preserved corpse of a goblin hero he had personally slain a few years back. Foxglove bought the party horses (and a riding dog for Sydney) and they entire group, Aldern, the party, and Aldern's manservants, headed to the Tickwood to hunt boar. A few hours later they returned successful, and the owner of the Rusty Dragon, a pretty smoking hot Asian woman by the name of Ameiko Taijutsu, cooked the boar. Throughout the hunt and meal, Aldern seemed obsessed with Corrin. It got to the point that the rest of the party started thinking Aldern was gay for the Shoanti monk.
The next day was an interesting one. Corrin spent the day with a barmaid from the Rusty Dragon that he had spent the night with. Maybe a little jealous, Cerrik, who fancies himself a ladies man, decided he was going to hook up with someone as well, and was actually approached by Shayless Vinder, the daughter of Ven Vinder, the owner of the General Store. Shayless claimed there were rats in the stores basement and that Cerrik should come and help clean them out. Cerrik, knowing that he was about to get a piece of ass, went along with it. Shayless actually already had a cot set up downstairs, and immediately disrobed. Dropping trou, Cerrik waddled over to the nude Shayless. So intent were they on each other, neither heard Ven's heavy footfalls as he walked downstairs. Needless to say things almost got violent, and now Cerrik, Michael, and Sydney are unwelcome in the General Store.
Michael decided to spend the day at the Hagfish, a popular dockside tavern. Being a sailor himself, after a fashion, the locals there greeted him not only as a hero, but also as one of their own. Michael attempted the Hagfish challenge, which involves drinking an entire tankard of water from Norah's tank, Norah being the tavern's namesake. He failed, spewing nasty water all over the bar to much laughter from the crowd. Telling his story to the others, both Corrin and Cerrik decided to attempt the challenge. Corrin took a sip and knew immediately that this wasn't for him and politely spit it out. Cerrik attempted minor magic to disguise the taste of the water, which worked until he got to the more solid dregs near the bottom of the tankard which caused him to vomit and gag for many minutes afterwards. Needless to say, the locals at the tavern loved the entire spectacle, and even Jargie Quinn, owner of the tavern, was happy that the famous heroes from the goblin raid were giving his establishment this much attention.
And on this high point, we ended the session.
It works right now, and hopefully will continue to work in the future.
To all those that I haven't added to my new MSN yet, it's because I only looked at who was on my MSN two years ago.
You can add me if you want, though.
firstname.lastname@example.org.... I think.
A month or two in Spring 2008
I moved into my mom's house for a while until I found work, which I did almost immediately with a company called Schlumberger. I'll go into greater detail in part III of this blog. Most of this time was waiting to start my job so, since I had nothing else to do, I sat on my ass and was online a lot. This really pissed off my little brother because I was staying in the game room off of his bedroom
The rest of Spring 2008-Summer 2008
The job was near Houston, so I decided to move down there with my aunt for a while. Stayed a few months, I guess. She's something else. I moved into my little cousin's room, and she was kicked out into sharing a bed with my aunt. My aunt was going through a bad divorce, and her new job had her traveling a lot out of town for days, so I was mostly there to babysit. But my aunt is also fucked up in the head. She pretends as if she's got a lot more money than she does. We'd go out to eat every night, and she'd spend hundreds of dollars on clothes for me that I might or might not wear. It was frustrating to watch. She'd also call early in the morning for no fucking reason except to wake me up. And my cousins are little bitches. The youngest is Satan spawn, I swear it. Luckily I started work before too long.
Three weeks in the early Fall 2008
Lots of training when you just get hired and before you go on location. I was in Houston for a week, Tulsa for a week, and then Lafayette for a week. That last week in Lafayette, though, Mary came to visit for the first time. It was pretty much love at first sight. I no longer wanted to work 90 hour weeks. I wanted to spend my time with Mary. So I quit my job. More on that in the next blog.
One month in Fall 2008
Having no where to go, I spent a month living with Josh and Diana again (Diana decided she really liked me again for some reason) in Houston. Their apartment there was one bedroom, smallest place I've lived yet. It wasn't too bad, but I couldn't put up with it for long. They had two dogs, and neither is potty trained, so I'd wake up and all around me would be piss and shit everywhere. Hanging out with them was fun, but I didn't like intruding so much, so I moved in with my aunt again for a week before returning home.
And that brings us up to speed. I'm looking for work again, living in my mom's house in Fort Smith. My eldest little sister has left for college, and I'm back in her old room. Different house, same circumstances, really.
Fuck it, I'll do a part IV instead of trying to update this later. Part IV to come soon.
If there seems to be continuity problems with my blog, reread the first installment. I've had to move some things from this blog to there to get everything to fit, and I still have to make a part III.
Anyway, from where we left off last time....
January 2004 - Fall 2004
A friend of mine, a 39 year old married woman with three natural kids and a dozen adopted ones, told me that if I ever needed a place to stay, she'd help me out. I finally took her up on that offer. I moved into her garage in January.
She had a three bedroom house, and now 15 kids living there. She and her husband had a bedroom to themselves, of course, and her two eldest kids, both high school students, shared a room in the garage, separated from mine by a sheet of dry wall. Her daughter shared a room with three other little girls, and five little boys slept in the last bedroom. The last three of her adopted brood, the youngest three, slept in the living room, on couches and in a crib.
Living there wasn't bad. Course, it was this semester that I realized how much I didn't really like chemical engineering, and it's emphasis on distillation columns, that I decided I'd rather study physics. So I went about trying to figure out how to do that. So I dropped out of college for the first time.
It was this woman's two eldest sons that introduced me to Naruto. And it was around this time I started watching the anime and then, when I caught up, reading the manga. Man, I loved Naruto when I first started it.
The woman also introduced me to her younger sister, Amanda, who I started dating that summer and lost my virginity to. This was a huge mistake because when I broke up with Amanda, I decided I couldn't live with Rhonda (the woman) anymore. I dropped all connections, turned my back on all my friends, and moved away from Fayetteville.
I moved in with my mom in her new house she bought that summer while trying to figure out what exactly I was going to do. I decided to return to the small University my father taught at and try my luck at Engineering - Physics, a program not offered at larger schools really. I figured I could even double major in Engineering-Physics and Chemistry, and take two extra classes and pick up a minor in math. My plan at the time was to try to get into a graduate physics program back in Fayetteville, and I felt this would make me marketable.
Winter 2004-Fall 2005
I moved back into the large house my family owned in Magnolia. Since all my siblings followed my mom back to Fort Smith, I got a room. Well, my sister's old room. Lived alone with my father, which really wasn't that bad. He had me raking leaves everyday, and he didn't like wasting money turning the heat on that winter, so we lived huddled around a space heater, but I convinced him to pay for internet access for me, and this was when I joined the forums.
We did things together, my father and I, so I didn't bother making new friends in Magnolia, because people of Southern Arkansas sorta suck. Because of this I was on the forums a shit load those early days, it being the only form of contact I had with the outside world.
That fall my father decided to sell the house and find an apartment to move into. While we were waiting, one of my father's colleagues, Dr. Shan, my Programming II instructor, moved into another of the spare bedrooms. These were an awkward few couple of months. But, finally we sold the house, which sucked.
Fall 2005-Spring 2006
The apartment we got sucked ass. It was a small two bedroom place, with bad carpet, on a street prowled by southern niggers. Yes, I can use that term because I've experienced it. The walls would shake when they'd drive by with the bass turned up, and at 1 AM they'd be outside walking up and down the street yelling at each other.
The landlord would sometimes come in unannounced and check to make sure there was no beer in the fridge. She had strict rules. She was a bitch, and broke the law like crazy. A streetlamp outside the bedroom window kept me up at night, so I moved into the large walk-in closet and slept on the floor in total darkness. This backfired because of my odd hours and the fact that the closet wall bordered the wall my dad kept his tv on. He'd sit up and play Parcheesi and watch Sci-Fi channel, which always kept me awake at night.
I failed Biochem that semester. Or the one before, it matters not. What matters is that summer I got in contact with a friend of mine from Fayetteville who was moving into a new place to start college. I decided I'd get a job and move in with him. That's when I dropped out of college a second time.
Summer 2006-Fall 2006
This apartment was a huge contrast to the one I left in Magnolia. It was large. 1600 - 1700 square feet, three bedrooms, three baths. Great location in the middle of Fayetteville, pretty close to everything. Got a job delivering pizzas for a place, which was pretty awesome at first when I got the hours. Drew and James and I. They threw great parties, and I reconnected with all the friends I left, several of which were getting married. Life was great for a while.
And then reality set in. I couldn't afford this apartment. James had a pretty good internship from his civil engineering course work, and Drew's family is rich, so they paid for everything, but my pizza delivery job wasn't up to snuff. It would have been, but I was only getting 10 hours a week or so, which wasn't enough to pay the bills. I had to move out, which pissed off both Drew and James. I hooked them up with a new roommate, a mutual friend of ours, Phillip.
December 2006-mid January 2007
I spent about a month living with Jared and Katy, two more friends of mine. At the time they were staying at Katy's uncle's house. Her uncle's wife had just died and her uncle was taking a year off to travel the world. He had a few extra bedrooms, and the house was large enough to support three people, so they didn't mind, I don't think. They got married in the middle of December, so they let me stay in the house while they were gone for a week on honeymoon. I fed the cats. This was probably my all time favorite Christmas. Katy really loved the Christmas spirit, and Jared didn't really get into it, so it was awesome!
I had decided to go back to college, again, and just get a single degree in Engineering-Physics because I aced all those classes. One more math class would give me a math minor, so I decided to take one for that as well. In January, right before college started up, I moved back into the small apartment with my father.
January 2007-Spring 2007
Believe it or not, I only needed 21 more hours to graduate, so I took all the courses in one go and graduated that spring. I had to move again, though because my father was moving into Dr. Shan's house, so that May I had to get the fuck out again.
Summer 2007-October 2007
Now that I had my college degree, in something, it was time to start a job hunt. I had given up on graduate school as soon as I realized that it was impossible, pretty much, to afford to go and to take all those undergraduate physics classes I needed but didn't have from my engineering-physics degree. I moved in with Jared and Katy again, this time into their small starter home. This place was smaller than Katy's uncle's place, and smaller even than the apartment I shared with James and Drew, but it was still a three bedroom house, and the bedroom I had was separated from the one Katy and Jared shared by the living room and kitchen, so it wasn't so bad. I spent tons of time on the internet and playing the video games that Jared had. This was the time when I wrote my blog on the highs and lows of wife hunting.
While out job searching, I stumbled into a National Guard recruiting station and got recruited. There were many reasons I thought this was a good idea at the time. They'd pay for grad school. I'd be an officer. I'd start off as a Provost Marshall and would be quickly promoted to Captain to fulfill that position. My experience in the National Guard might allow me to pursue the childhood dream I've had of joining the CIA or FBI. *sigh* I didn't consider that recruiters lied.
October 2007-December 2007
Basic Combat Training. I don't really want to talk about it. I will say it was in South Carolina, and late November/early December is fucking cold as shit.
December 2007- early Spring 2008
James was moving out of the apartment he shared with Drew and Phillip. He was failing out of civil engineering and despite working his ass off he just couldn't seem to pass Cal II. There was a spare bedroom, so I moved back in. Again. For a few months. I had a bit of cash from Basic, so I thought I'd pay for a few months and move out when they found another roommate. Drew is a douche bag, though, and decided I'd be permanent, even though I told him I was not. Fuck him. I moved out again to spite him and force him to find a roommate. He claims I still owe him rent for the month where I was moved out and he hadn't yet found a roommate.
A few weeks in the Spring 2008
For a few weeks I lived with my friends Josh and Diana. They lived in a ghetto house in the country, but they were fun to be around. Diana decided, however, that she couldn't put up with me, and even though I was looking into getting a job and moving down to Houston with them, sharing an apartment down there, they decided that they hated me for a few weeks, and I was out in the cold again.
Fuck, text is too long, I'm gonna have to come back to this later on and finish in Part III. There might be a part IV now.
I'm a loser.
Yep, you heard me, a total fucking loser. I'm 25 years old and living out of my sister's bedroom at my mom's house. My sister started college, moved out, and I moved back in.
I've lived in some pretty fucked up places over the years. It all started when I dropped out of high school. That was back in 2000. Let's take a look back at how I got to where I am today.
Fall 2000-Fall 2001
At this point in my life I hadn't moved out yet. I was but a lad of 17 years of age, and a recent high school drop-out. My big plan was to attend a full year at the local community college, taking some freshman classes like English, calculus, and chemistry, and transfer the next year to the big state university and study chemical engineering like my father. Boy, did I fuck up.
First off, to get to school I had to get a ride from my father, who was a professor there. That doesn't work, really, since I sorta didn't have to be there as much as he did and that's a lot of time to kill, so I told him I wanted my own car. We started looking around, and they bought me a cheap ass Kia Rio. It was like $13,000 new. I was excited, but part of the deal was to help pay for it, so I got a job at the Wal-Mart Toy Department in late October planning on working 15-20 hours a week. And that's when the trouble started.
Wal-Mart sucks. You say one thing on your schedule, then everyone else in the department quits, including the department manager, and all of a sudden you're working 30-40 hour weeks while trying to attend college full time. At the age of 17. I'd be in the store sometimes until after midnight trying to practice good zone defense. I missed Thanksgiving that year because I was the only one scheduled to work. And they had me working alone in the toy department the day after Thanksgiving. Oh, and I worked an 8 hour shift on Christmas Eve as well.
Needless to say my grades all dropped, and by the second semester I dropped a few courses. Half my minimum wage paycheck went to my parents, and then I discovered how expensive car insurance was. One of the worst years of my life.
Oh, and the GED is a joke. They make you train for it, and I swear these are the stupidest people ever. Eventually they just let me come in and play Minesweeper for a few hours every day. I took it, scored 3rd in the state that year, and got a scholarship I didn't apply for. Third out of some 17,000 people.
Fall 2001-Winter 2001
That summer my father got sick and tired of small college politics, so he transferred to a smaller university, Southern Arkansas University. And since tuition is waived for children of faculty, and there's a 50% discount off book costs, and I could live for free with my father in faculty housing, which was free for him as well... I didn't get to go to my big university to study chemical engineering. I instead got to sleep on a couch in the living room/dining room/kitchen of an efficiency apartment. Total square footage of this place must have been around 500 or so. Maybe a lot less.
This actually was my best semester. Being away from friends and a comfortable environment I had no distractions. Not even cable tv. It was just me and the books. And so I studied hard. My only 4.0 semester in college. Not that I was taking tough classes. Physics I, Cal II, Chem II, Intro to Computing, History I... shit like that.
Also got reacquainted with my love for reading. I was always in the college library since it stayed open late and was the only place I could reach on foot. I took a job as a tutor for College Algebra and tutored four different classes. Not so bad for a semester spent sleeping on a couch.
My father moved up to an actual faculty house, with bedrooms and more than one bedroom and all sorts of shit. I still had a pretty good semester, considering, but now I had distractions. He moved because my little brother, John, teh_Choji for anyone who was on the forums back in early '06, came to stay with us.
The room was nicer. I had a bed and hardwood floors, and my father allowed me first pick of the rooms. But with comfort... Not a bad semester. The most I remember from it, really, was reading the Dune prequels from the town library.
Summer 2002-Spring 2003
For reasons I've discussed at length elsewhere (a certain girl), I didn't want to leave Magnolia just yet, so I stuck around for another two semesters. The rest of my family followed my little brother soon after, and we bought a real nice house on two plots (like 5 acres) of land. It was a nice place, 4 bedroom, 2.5 baths, a huge living room, a huge shed/garage in the back yard not connected to the house, a wrap around patio/porch, outside of town with tons of privacy and a beautiful grove of trees in the backyard. Unfortunately for me, I have four little brothers and sisters, and they all got real bedrooms, so where did that leave me? Poor Oliver, who was there first, was shunted outside to live in a shed. It was a big shed, more like a garage, with two huge garage doors, but it was still a shed. No running water, no heat, no air, tons of bugs... I placed my bed in the center of the room.
I didn't really mind living in a shed, though. Tons of privacy once we got the curtains put up over the huge garage door windows, and in winter in was bearable due to the space heater, as long as you didn't mind staying pretty close to it.
Summer 2003-Fall 2003
My mom couldn't stand Magnolia, so she took a job back in our home town and moved away from the family. She rented a small apartment in Fort Smith (my home town) with two bedrooms, and since it was time for me to actually start studying chemical engineering, I moved up there with her.
Living with your mom is sorta fun, I guess. I got to know her better, she never bitched at me the way my father did about small things, and she picked up after herself. She sorta spoiled me as well. Unfortunately, the university I was enrolled in was in Fayetteville, AR, and that was an hours drive up there and an hour back. It was tough waking up for 9:00 AM classes in Magnolia, but now I was having to wake-up for 8:30 classes in Fayetteville, which meant I had to be out of the house by 7:00 AM, and up usually around 6:30. Fucking hell. And what do you do for two hours between classes?
I told mom that I had to move to Fayetteville, and she said I'd need a job up there first, so I went about finding one. Got a job through my best friend, Josh, who got it through his friend, Jared, working at Willis Shaw Express, a trucking company, where I was a log analyst. It was like $9.00 an hour, which was tons of money to me then. So I started working there, living in Fort Smith. I went about looking for apartments, but one weekend when my dad was visiting, he found me one and I didn't have much say in it.
This apartment that my parents found me has been, to date, my favorite place to live. Hardwood floors, great colors and location, and antique fixtures. It's something you'd see in a movie, really. The guys below me smoked a lot of pot and that bothered me, and the couple I rented it from lived above me and their daughter loved to clomp around in high heel shoes on their hardwood floors starting at 6 AM every day, but otherwise it was a great place.
The apartment was exactly an 8 minute walk from my first class of the day at the university. It was down some side streets, though, so the traffic wasn't too heavy, though you'd have the occasional car pass by. The living room windows overlooked some other apartments and it was fun to watch people go about their lives. The bathroom had one of those deep claw footed tubs. The only tub I've owned that I could really submerge myself in. I'd take three baths a day, seriously. I'd sit in the tub for hours reading. There was a window in the bathroom too, so taking a bath after dark, when it was raining, with the lights off... *sigh*
Course, I was also going through a deep depression at the time (I might have explained the reasons why elsewhere). I was drinking lots of gin, straight, and don't recall much of that semester. And even working this pretty good job, the rent for the apartment was something like $550 a month, which is a lot for a one bedroom place for a 20 year old making $12/hr taking 18 hour semesters going through a depression. And the job I had was a good twenty - thirty minute drive from my apartment, so gas was starting to get expensive as well. I just couldn't keep up with it all. This was when I started realizing how much my parents had failed me. They said they'd pay for half of my apartment costs. They didn't come through with that. I had to move.
Because of length, I'm going to have to split the blog into three parts. Part II is up, and Part III is coming soon.
Chapter 2 begins. After a year of non-game action, Isolde leaves the knighthood, disillusioned, and becomes a monk instead. Ladd, now with me and not the mercenaries, follows his dream of becoming a mage, with Parnella being his teacher. Alicia and Lavian decide that they want some incestuous, hot twin action with Isolde (who is now scantily clad) instead of Agrias. Finding armor confining for their sexual purposes Alicia becomes a chemist and Lavian downgrades to archer as well.
Anywho, seeing how I want to keep the band together, I'll ignore the new comers for now. In this next battle (I wonder where everyone not in the battle have run off to) I'm gonna take Myles the knight (who kicks ass still), Simond the archer, and Parnella the Burned-Beyond-Recognition-as-a-Human.
With the power of Garffgarion and Agrias on our side, I hardly think this battle is worth mentioning. Two thieves, two wizards, and two archers. Not much of a threat.
Battle starts with a thief throwing a rock at Gaffgarion. A fucking rock against this stone cold killer? Ha! The wizards take aim against the two party guests and one of the archers tries to peg Parnella but she deflects it (she knows the Parry skill now).
I mean, Agrias almost died from the enemy ganging up on her, but the only real other thing of note in this entire fucking battle was Parnella's ability to parry attacks. A thief tried to attack her from the side and she parried it. With a fucking stick. I mean, fuck! Oh, and Oliver landed an attack for 98 points. That's the highest damage we've seen so far this game. Immediately afterward Agrias blinded Oliver, which was fucking weird to see. I mean.. why?
The last archer jumped on the rooftops where none of my party could reach and even Simond couldn't shoot. I had to blast her down with Parnella. While she stayed up there, healing herself with potions so it took forever to kill her, I took the opportunity to start raising people's bravery with Oliver's Steel ability. I need Myles, my knight, to have more than a 53 Bravery. When the stones started dropping Simond picked up Steal Exp and used it quite liberally against the likes of Parnella. I do it all for the JP.
As the battle wore on, Parnella ran out of SP and the enemy archer wouldn't come off the roof, choosing to stay there, out of range of the remainder of our attacks, and pop potions. Time for new strategy. Simond would charm her down using his Steal Heart ability. If it would hit. With a measly 41% chance, it missed 6 times in a row. Oliver would stick around and use Tailwind on them both to raise their speeds. When the time was right, we'd fuck her up. Finally, on attempt #13, the bitch was charmed. 41% my ass. We lured her down and struck, felling the whore in two blows. Ha! Never trust a pretty rogue.
Team Oliver wins (though it took fucking forever).
After retreating back to Gariland to upgrade equipment, it's finally time to put an end to this madness we call the first chapter. And finally time to beat the snot out of Argath, who, in a short amount of time, has become one hella a powerful character. Man, he sucked ass while he was with us.
Once again, in this battle they split the team up into two squads. Isolde the knight, being as brave as she is, shall accompany Delita and Oliver in the first squad. Myles, our second party knight, and the Norse Alchem... uhm, Chemist, Thrydwulf, shall be the second party.
Argath brings to his side three knights and two wizards. Apparently he's been knighted over the last few days too. And traded his sword for a coward's crossbow.
Argath has Auto-Potion equipped. I know Delita is angry and all that for having witnessed the death of his sister at the hands of Argath, but it does not bode well when he thinks the best solution to the problem is to peg Argath for 8 damage with a rock, which Argath instantly recovers from using Auto-Potion. Nor is it good tidings to watch as Oliver takes massive damage from a fucking Blizzara.
On the other side, Myles charges the lone knight and hits a crit, knocking the knight off his feet. Thrydwulf must abandon his side, though, in a mad rush to get to Oliver and use a Phoenix Down before his ass dies. Good thing I gave him Battle Boots. Sure enough, Oliver falls, taking the one wizard with him.
Delita keeps shouting that Argath will die by his hand, and yet keeps pelting him with rocks, while Argath is shooting a fucking crossbow at him. Damn, Delita, when did you start sucking so much? Argath leaps into the fray (he's still an idiot), right in front of Isolde, and is rewarding with a fucking smack from her sword.
Myles, meanwhile, is roasted alive by the second wizard, who manages to roast the knight Myles was fighting with him.
Thrydwulf, the good little chemist he is, quickly gets his phoenix downs to Oliver. Argath, instead of putting a bolt in Oliver's back, knocking him out again, instead closes the distance to Delita... and shoots him with his long range crossbow. Delita puts his stones down, draws his sword, and uses it. Finally there is a chance Delita is going to make good on his promise.
Argath is smart enough to clear out of reach afterwards, and the line is rushed by the last two knights and the wizard. The three cut through poor Isolde and Thrydwulf, leaving just Delita and Oliver to tackle Argath. Argath hops back down and we finally discover why he keeps jumping into melee: he knows monk abilities! After roundhousing Delita in the face, causing him to retreat (like always), it's up to Oliver to kill Argath before Myles is sent to the underworld.
Even though Delita is on the other side of the god damn building, the remaining black mage shows us some clairvoyance and targets him anyways. Then there was one. Acting at the speed of fucking light (bitches!) Oliver attacks. Then he attacks a second time before Argath can fucking move. Argath's feeble Auto-Potion cannot save him now. And the squire topples the new knight. That'll teach him to bring a crossbow to a sword fight... I guess.
Team Oliver wins! Barely, though, with but one standing man, and Myles being seconds away from death at the end.
Damn, the PSP dialogue and cut scenes are so fucking cool! Delita embraces the dead Tietra in his arms as the castle begins to explode. Later on he'll say that Tietra saved him. Here's my theory: Tietra turned into a crystal as the fireball engulfed them, and Delita didn't die, but was restored to full HP and SP (or MP, whatever). And, I guess maybe Tietra was hiding the fact that she was a holy knight or whatever, and maybe that's where Delita got all his Chapter 2 powers from!
Regardless, I was in tears listening to Ramza (Oliver) give his closing Chapter 1 comments. Damn, this game is too much! I'm gonna need a minute.
Finally, the first face-off against Wiegraf. For this battle I've decided on using the all girl team. That's Isolde the knight, Leofwen the white mage, and Parnella the black.
Honestly, I don't think we've got much of a chance. Isolde and Leofwen pretty much suck, and I don't think Parnella is going to survive long enough to target anything. Maybe Delita will buy us some time, I guess.
Against us is Wiegraf, two monks and a knight, and an annoying, piece of shit Chocobo which heals everything and, even if we defeat it, it'll still fucking come back in the next chapter and demand to be saved. What a fucking bitch!
So Delita rushed forward, did nothing, and took the blunt of the attacks on the first round of combat. Luckily we were able to heal him enough for him to survive. Parnella got off a spell on Wiegraf that hit a monk and knight as well, and Oliver and Isolde were able to bring the chocobo within range of a single fire spell from Leofwen, showing that she can be useful at times. Then Wiegraf took his second turn. Parnella barely survived the attack.
Oliver rushed Wiegraf, hoping to end the battle early. He missed, even from the side. Isolde tried to hold the stairs against the monk and knight from coming down. She actually is holding her own now. Maybe new equipment, or else she's getting better at being a knight, I guess. Parnella got a second spell off on Wiegraf, now having done about 72 points of damage to him by her lonesome. I'm sure he's gonna exact revenge pretty soon. The monk facing Isolde let out a flurry of blows, doing massive damage.
Wiegraf acts again! Instead of knocking out Parnella, like I think he should have, he targets instead the unhurt Leofwen, who was trying to cast Protect on herself for lack of anything better to do. Yeah... she died. A monk and knight took Wiegraf's place fighting Oliver. Does Oliver stay in place? Of course not! Wiegraf's back is turned! Time to end the fight! ...oh poop. Counter attack. Oliver is out. But not so Isolde! Despite the injuries, Wiegraf stands just below her! Leaping from the stairs, she manages to catch him unawares, causing him to retreat! Oh valiant Isolde! You may not be much of a knight, but you come through when we need you to.
So Wiegraf gives his retreat speech and then uses a teleport power that it's impossible to learn in the game but every important boss seems to have. Whatever. And then, I guess his allies, the three remaining, also teleport? What the fuck? Whatever, we win, and that's the important part. Go Team Oliver!