Friends and Foes

Daemon's Prayer #4

Lord Pelor,

Hello, this is Daemon Stonehearth, you know that cleric that is always pestering you. Well, I have some news for you! Guess what!?! I have joined the legendary ranks of the Mystic Theurge! Bet you never would have thought that I would be able to accomplish this feat. So, not gonna lie, I am pretty bad ass! Haha, no but really, this is awsome!

Well, the real reason why I have come to you this fine evening is to ask your forgiveness. You see, a while back I had some sort of stomach disease and could not accompany my fellow do-gooders to help out the town of Marrek. Unfortunately, while I was umavailable we had a fatality.

Brinke Pilwicket was a fine gnome if I might say so myself. At times I felt just a little disconnected from her, get it a little… because she is a gnome and they are little… haha. ok that was a bad one, I know as a cleric I should not be making fun of other races and their minute issues. haha, minute. Well, she was definately out for herself and yet has helped the team grow to become what it is today. There was something about a snake too, but I dont care much for snakes… personal issues with them you see. I wonder if the snake was larger then her??? oh well.

Oh lord Pelor, If you could find it within you to grant her eternal rest and to embrace her as one of your loving followers to bask in your light, this I pray.

Thank you!

Your Neighborhood Cleric,

Daemon Stonehearth

P.S. If you could find out if that snake was larger then her that would be fantastic. Its just one small thing that I would like to know. hahaha, small thing get it??? or would their thing be normal size except on a smaller body… oh god, I went there… I appologize, I will say the lords prayer 100 times for penance.

Are You Kidding Me

Upon passing near the temple grounds, Jasper overheard a conversation between two of the clerics, “It’ll be great! Pelor will certainly smile when he sees the joy on the townsfolk’s faces!” Said one of them, “Indeed, the carnival will be just what is needed to get everyone’s mind off of it,” the other replied.
“A carnival?” Jasper thought to himself, “Sure the town needed a pick-me-up after the incidents of the previous week, but this seems almost disrespectful…at least…I feel my sacrifice is being portrayed as simply something that needs to be forgotten.”
Jasper thought of his sister and how she’d probably disdain the thought of a carnival during these dark times. He thought of the group…“Shit! they’re gonna drag us into this!”
2 days later, Jasper’s prediction came true; as the group, after being reunited with their fallen companion, were the first to line up for the festivities at the carnival.
Jasper decided he might as well take advantage of the situation and get good and drunk so at least the event was bearable. He bought what he thought would be enough tokens to drink himself to unconsciousness, only to realize that the tokens were for games, and not for booze…he drank anyways, but not before making sure to win the highest prize available; Gnomish Army Gloves.
“Camile!” She pretended not to hear him, “CAMILE!!!” Jasper yelled at his sister. When she turned around, he said with a clearly proud and smug look on his face, “I won.”

1 fish, 2 fish, red fish, blue.... bees?

“Wow, Slinky, look at all these colors! Have you ever seen anything so bright?”

Brinke had never been to a carnival before and was unbelievably excited to be at one now. She was so glad that the rest of the group decided to go, too. She marveled how he was able to win at almost every game. It really didn’t surprise her, he seemed to master anything, including her. He was the only one who could understand her. When she went off on one of her rants, he seemed to understand what it was really all about and in just a few words, could calm her. The rest of the group just seemed to help piss her off more.

She seemed to be good at one game, Go Fish. Placing a ‘Lure’ charm on the hook of the fish pole, she was able to ‘lure’ 2 fish plushes, one red and one green. She was even able to sell the green one for 10 gold to Cyrus who has seemed to have developed a fetish for these plush fish. “Hmmm” She sighed, “to each his own, I guess.” She was debating on whether to change the red one to purple and try to sell that one to Cyrus for 15 gold when that familiar pressure below her stomach hit.

“Come on, Slinky. Gotta find an outhouse.” There were 3 outhouses on the carnival grounds. All but one had an outrageous line. The one didn’t even have ANY wait at all. It looked deserted. “Hmmm… I wonder why no one’s using that one. Oh well, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go, right Slinky. Besides, the only thing that people are afraid of in outhouses are snakes and if there is one, we got that covered.” Slinky’s tongue trills, a sign that she’s getting excited at the very thought of a possible battle with another snake. Slinky has been the undefeated East Louran Snake Champion for the past 3 years and with the competition date closing in fast. She welcomes any opportunity to practice.

The outhouse was normally small but seemed clean at least. Brinke quickly closed the door. By now the pressure was so intense that she thought she was going to explode. “Can you imagine if I pissed on myself?! He would NEVER even look at me after that.” Managing the many layers of her gown, she was finally able to let go and right there in mid stream, she heard it. A hollow buzz with a faint metal tink sound every few buzzes. She knew too well what exactly was making this noise…Crystal Bees. These horrid bees were pure black in color with a stinger on both ends. One sting and their venom will spread rapidly through their victims blood, crystallizing the blood along the way.

Brinke’s memory flashed back to vivid and horrific images of Trin, her only friend. Trin was an amazingly strong headed elf who taught Brinke that if weakness ever settled in her heart, she would die. Brinke admired Trin’s courage and grew strong because of Trin’s guidance. The damn dwarf had shoved Trin in a crate as punishment for coming back 2 days late from a hunting trip. That’s when Brinke heard the odd buzzing sound for the first time.

“I’ve added something extra to keep you company.” The dwarf laughed. Trin answered with a very pain streakened, “Nooooooooo!”

Brinke ran towards the crate. “You can join her if you’d like.” chuckled the dwarf before returning to the cottage. Brinke threw open the lid and found Trin with an expression of pure terror. Her veins turning a deep blue right under the skin, solidifying in seconds and then Brinke was looking at her cold empty eyes that stared into nothingness. One large black bee, stinger and all, was sticking out of Trin’s neck.

The buzz in the outhouse was slightly different… faster, sharper, louder. Brinke couldn’t see it, it was too dark in the tiny room. Quickly, Brinke casted ‘Prestidigitation’ to turn the bee florescent blue. Panic began to creep its way up her spine has she stared at not 1 but 3 large, blue crystal bees. Slinky automatically started striking at them. “Slinky! No! Stay away from the stingers! You can’t bite them, they have to be smashed!” Brinke threw ‘Ray of Frost’ at one. It became encased in a block of ice and crashed to the ground where Slinky threw her full weight on to it, smashing it to iced pieces. The second bee charged at Slinky. Slinky counterattacked and they met in mid air before falling through the outhouse hole into complete darkness.

“Slinky!!!!!! Nooooooo!!!!!!” Brinke concentrated and felt for the connection. The comforting connection she shared with Slinky was still there. She was still alive but for how long, Brinke didn’t know. A gust of wind slapped her arm as the third and final bee missed. She carefully noticed that this bee had black stripes where the other two did not. The Boss! “Come On! Bring it!” Brinke screamed.

The Boss charged, going for Brinke’s neck. Brinke dodged but the Boss was ready for it and dodged with her, barely grazing Brinke’s skin. After using the ‘Resistance’ spell on herself, Brinke charged, casting ‘Acid Splash’ on the Boss. The acid seemed to drip off him with little damage. The Boss charged, managing to get the tip of a stinger into Brinke’s shoulder. Horrified, Brinke saw a vein appear under her skin, deep blue in color. The pain was excruciating and she fought to keep her shoulder moving. The resistance spell started working immediately and Brinke watched as the deep blue vein turned purple before turning red and disappearing under her skin. Seizing the moment, the Boss attacked again. Brinke only had a split moment before she realized that he was there, not enough time to move out of the way. Brinke braced for the sting. There was a mucky splashing noise and a very brown and black Slinky flew out of the hole, wrapping her self around the Boss and squeezing tight. Brinke heard the ‘pop’ has the Boss’s body exploded.

Breathing hard, Brinke picked up Slinky. “Great! Now we smell like shit! Let’s go.”

Outside, Brinke spotted a barrel of water by the Go Fish game and started washing herself and Slinky off. Two women dressed with what looked like very expensive gowns looked at Brinke in disgust. “What?! Haven’t you ever seen a girl washing her snake before?”



What a weird word and yet, such a new and different kind of power is intriguing. The young red robed boy from this lumber town has such untold powers. Never, in all the books that I have read, has there ever been mention of this Psionics.

My teacher of the arcane arts, Athelwin, never told me of such power. This is troubling. The power that I saw coming from the guard captain was glorious, however I could not feel from where the power was coming from. Neither the Divine or the Arcane knowledge that I posses could define this Psionic magic. I can guarantee that Athelwin would have alerted me of such powers if he had known of them.

What troubles me is that with this power I can pretty much know that we got lucky with this guard captain. He would have destroyed us for sure if we had not worked together so well as a team. There must be more information that is available about psionics and we must find it. Greenman might know of such things…

All I know is that this power could be used against us and the rest of this land if used by the wrong person.

We must find an effective way to counteract this!

I will be spending much time in quite prayer to see if Pelor can shed any light on this matter.

Daemon Stonehearth

A Message Not Soon Forgotten

The ferocity of the battle was obvious. Bodies scattered, weapons clashing, people screaming, all hell had broken loose, and here Jasper was, “…once again, god dammit.” His expertise in combat was apparent as he nimbly maneuvered his way behind the large blue humanoid. Jasper’s location was precisely where he would be able to strike a finishing blow, but he was wreckless…
“Beautiful day!”

Jasper looked around for the location of the voice, utterly confused by his new surroundings. He finally spotted an elderly man in radiant white robes sitting on a stone along the side of the road; the road which he was now standing on.

The old man gave a smirk at the suspecting look on Jasper’s face.

“Always, priceless,” the man laughed for a moment then stared deeply and directly into Jasper’s eyes and said, “Welcome…to HELL!!!”

Jasper gasped as flames leapt up all around, replacing the beautiful scenery that preceded it.

“What the…!” Jasper yelled, “Who are you! Where am I!?”

The old man sputtered as he glared at Jasper, “You’re…pfftt…” the old man broke out in a fit of laughter and the scenery changed once more. They were now in a great, white hall. Massive and beautiful marble pillars rose around them. The floors were also immaculate and of the same masonry.

After somewhat regaining his composure, the old man said through tears and chuckles, “I’m just fuckin’ with ya! I’m a messenger of Pelor.” He looked Jasper up and down while whiping his tears.

After a few moments of awkward silence, Jasper tried to speak.

“Uh…” Jasper couldn’t think of what to say. He was confused beyond words.

“Spoken like a true orator!” Said the messenger.

Jasper took a moment to compose himself, though he was still lost.

“What the fuck is going on!?” he finally exclaimed.

“Look,” said the old messenger, seemingly annoyed, “you’re dead, but the church wants to bring you back. Now the guy upstairs wouldn’t normally even approve of someone like you entering the church grounds, but he loves his followers more than anything. So, we’re gonna let you return!” The messenger held his arms out as though he had just delivered a message of great importance to an awaiting crowd.

“Um…thanks?” The same blank look still occupied Jasper’s face as he replied.

“Don’t thank me just yet!” The old man wagged his finger at Jasper, “We’ve also got a requirement of you. We’re gonna show you the light, and you’re gonna follow it, whether you like it or not! Though…you do have a choice…a few…well a great deal many, but only if you accept our terms! We let you return to life and we get to show you the light, or you can stay here with me and I can show you what real eternal flames feel like.”

Jasper swallowed hard…“not much of a choice, eh?”

“It’s still a choice…I have to tell you though, you’d really like the flames, they burn!” the old man replied.

Before Jasper could answer the room started to fade into pure white, brighter than he had ever seen.

“Okay,” Jasper finally said.
Jasper heaved and coughed as his lungs filled with air for the first time in over three days. The clergy around him quickly rushed to his aid insisting that he stay in the bed where he was laid.

“You mustn’t move, you’ll need at least a couple of hours before you’re fit to even walk! Your companions are expected back anytime, you can leave when they arrive.” The nearest Pelor cleric stated firmly.

Jasper struggled for another few moments until the exhaustion overcame him. As he passed into unconsciousness he sighed “Fucking…Pelor…”

The Solution to the Problem

Camile stood on the edge of the ledge peering down at the darkness below. Just minutes earlier the last of her companions, save for Cyrus, descended into the abyss, completely unaware of where it would take them. She thought they were counting too much on chance. Just because one unexplained darkness took you to another location safely does not mean that they all will. They were such idiots. She looked towards the other end of the pit. She could see a door floating in the middle of the wall, yet there was no clear way to get to it, but she had a plan.

She turned to Cyrus, who was still staring into the abyss. He had dropped a pebble off the ledge a few moments earlier and was waiting expectantly to hear it reach the bottom. After a few minutes with no sign from the pebble he decided to try it again, this time with a larger pebble.

“So easily amused. At least he wasn’t daft enough to throw himself into the unknown like the rest of them,” she thought. She was slightly pleased that the rest of the group had jumped. This way they wouldn’t bug her to get them across too. She wasn’t going to be able to get everyone across, and didn’t want to hear anyone complain about it. A hippogriff could hold about 300 pounds and make it to the door safely, no more than that. Luckily, Camile and Cyrus would have no problem getting across. If it was anyone else she most likely would have convinced them to jump, had a good laugh and then left the place by herself. Cyrus was ok though, for now at least. He could still end up to be a douche bag. But for now he was on her good side.

“Ready to leave?” Camile asked nonchalantly.

“What do you mean? I’m not jumping down if that’s what you’re thinking!” Cyrus retorted. He had opened his mouth as if to say something else, but found himself at a loss for words as a hippogriff appeared before his eyes.

“Hop on.” She commanded. Cyrus stood dazed for a few seconds, but when Camile repeated herself with a hint of annoyance in her tone, he jumped on the back of the animal and rode it to the other side of the pit with Camile. When they reached the door, Camile opened it with ease and they both made their way through it only to find themselves at the entrance to the shrine. Camile was happy, but noticed a hint of worry over Cyrus’s face.

“Don’t worry. We will wait here for them. I’m sure they will make it out any time now,” she lied. She had no clue whether any of the others would make it out, but she thought she would amuse him and offer to wait. She could care less about the majority of them. She might miss the cleric and that sorcerer, but didn’t think it would be that terrible to ditch the rest. Camile had just begun to relax, when a sudden commotion was heard from the entrance to the shrine followed by someone crying about a lost spellbook.

“Sucker,” she said slightly amused under her breath.

The black hole

I can not leave my friends to their doom in that deep chasm. The black hole did not look promising yet if I lower myself down maybe it will be ok. “I am going to go follow the others into the pit, try to get out of here if you can get across and if we do not follow shortly leave for town.”

Hammering the piton into the stone floor was easy, this stone was soft yet it held the piton well enough to know that it would not waiver when Daemon was to climb down. His father had taught him much about rock and stone work before he had started to train in the monastery. His brother always badgered him about the different types of stone that would be good for things. Next was the knot that needed to be tied to hold his weight so he could climb down the rope. This Daemon had picked up while in the military. Many a night of setting up trip wires so that the camp would be notified if any intruders were approaching under cover of darkness. However, towards the end of his military career the mighty “Alarm” spell had been used instead of trip wires so he was thankful he had learned when he did.

Now came the hard part. The climb down could be treacherous if Daemon was to slip off the rope. Dried blood smeared Daemons hands, obvious perspiration was washing over his brow, and the weariness was starting to over come his physical abilities yet he needed to help the others. Slowly Daemon lowered himself down the rope and towards the black pit that ate his friends.

The climb down was not as hard as he would have thought under the same situations, Pelor was definitely keeping a close eye on him. Stopping just above the black void, which his sight could not penetrate, Daemon took a deep breath and built up his courage to continue into this climb.

Daemon lowered himself down into the blackness that was the unknown, whispering a quite prayer to Pelor for forgiveness and protection. Forgiveness because he did not have the strength to carry the group over to the other side of the great chasm and he must see to the others that had fallen or jumped into the hole.

Falling was definitely not a sensation that Daemon was expecting to experience, yet that tingly feeling washed over him. Screaming was a natural reaction to such a fall so the deep rumble of Daemon’s voice echoed for a time unknown to him. Until he hit the ground with a loud THUD!!!!

When Daemon woke from the fall he stood wearily and saw his friends, some standing and some laying on the ground around him. Eric was badly injured, which was obviously apparent from the blood that coated his body. Crewed bandages were wrapped around him, which could have been better, “I will need to teach you people proper ways of bandaging people sometime.” Taking a Bottle out of his pouch, Daemon poured the liquid into Eric’s mouth and suddenly the Wizard woke up and was breathing easily again.

Yet another soul saved… Thank Pelor!

Bardic Music #1 - The Arrival of the Eight (sung to the tune of "brave sir robin" by Monty Python)

the peaceful village of loggan
has fallen under siege

terror fear and hopelessness
has taken place of ease

the townsfolk now are at a loss
so what is it they should do

but call upon the marric eight
they’re the greatest, it’s true
upon the eight’s arrival
to the village of loggan

quickly informed they were
of the dire situation

so what should the eight do
but do what they do best

to the tavern they went quickly
to drink with all the rest
the following day was met
with true investigative wit

to the site of one of the crimes
was decided so off they went

they arrived at the manor
that was old and decrepit

and inside what should they find
but of course a halfling with a quest
“I’m headed into the forest,
to pay homage to the shrine.”

“why not tag along with me
some company’d be divine.”

“we must head through the forest
’tis not too far indeed.”

“so if you’re coming along
get up and follow me.”
in the forest of loggan
now even the bravest fear to tread

and still the eight adventurers
carry on ahead

and though the odds against survival
are simply slim to none

the eight go on and on
despite all logic and reason
now the halfling led the eight
to a clearing of the woods

and though their skills were great
not discern their way, they could

but upon further inspection
a statue they did see

’twas a halfling bold and brave
hiding a trap door underneath
the eight entered the dungeon
with no clue what to expect

and quickly lost did they become
despite their foolish attempts

eventually they found a way
to proceed to a room

where mimics did kick their ass
and nearly did they meet their doom
they took a rest to catch their breath
before attempting escape

but what should they find in the next room
but a casm deep and great

and after a few futile attempts
at magical success

the barbarian did throw himself down
well, what did you expect
quickly the eight followed
the insightful lead of him

and all did pay the price
of severe bodily harm

but at least they were out
of that great room with the casm

or at least that was what they thought
they were back in it again
the eight finally made their way
out of that hellish place

and though their will was strong
the hardship they endured was great

so off it was decided by them
back to the town to rest

and all but the alcoholics
did collapse into their bed

A New Beginning
Ravens have trouble with details and have a thing with dramatic flair.

“Has anyone seen my spell book?”
They all turned and looked at Eric in astonishment, especially Daemon, for this intrepid group of travelers knew exactly the terrible event that had just befallen my poor confidant. A wizard without his spell book is like, well its like a wizard without his spell book. All the time and energy spent filling that book with his bread and butter … and now it seems as though it was all for nought.
I remember how it started.
It was after ridding the world of another genie that Eric and his merry band of miscreants headed off on a job for the military. I remember the conversation with Fangeye, the sometimes dim but always daring and good intentioned Barbarian, “Fangeye we’re heading out and doing some work for the military.” said Cyrus in his most confident and proud voice.
“So we’re soldiers of fortune.”
“Well kind of we have a contract to do some military work.”
“… So we’re soldiers of fortune.”
“I dont know if thats what I’d call it we’re more like Heroes working for the betterment of the world.”
“… So we’re soldiers of fortune.”
Before we left there was the ghastly business of Jasper, a great hero lost in the fight against a 12 foot nervous wreck. Camille of course was heartbroken, her brother was her whole world. Camille and her brother had become closer then any siblings Ive ever known. She kept up a strong and stoic front but we all knew she was suffering a great heart ache. Cyrus was always there to console her, in all of his failed attempts at whooing the vixen I think this was the first time he was ever really genuine with her. Having just saved the city from near destruction though proved to be a blessing, as General Kip along with Daemon put in a good word with the local Pelorian worshipers to bring life back to their newfound fallen hero. I could see the pain in Eric’s face as these events transpired, for as much he dreamed and aspired to someday be the best help in this situation, at this turn he still had much to learn and there was really nothing he could do.
Back on the trail of adventure we headed to fulfill our deal with the defenders of the land. We were escorted by a drunk, no worse then that, this man was a, how do you say Frenchman. The minstrel weaved along the path to the town where some children had mysteriously vanished. We came to find the town scared of their own shadows, militia included. Youths of the city had been disappearing at an astonishing rate with no rhyme or reason.
Our search led us to an old mansion, where inside we came across a Halfling who had been squatting in a cabinet. He told us he was on his way to an old shrine in the forest. I saw no reason to follow this vagabond into the dense trees but who would listen to a Raven, there again who would be reading the adventures of a Raven, Why is the Raven on the Writing Desk?
As we came to the shrine, everyone seemed to be in a bit of a daze Eric and myself included. Someone noticed the inscription on the bottom of the statue it seemed to be a riddle, a puzzle we solved with little trouble. The weary travelers lit a torch and made their way down … into a very plain hallway which ended with three doors. When opened all of the doors opened to blackness. We made our way to the door on the left where we found ourselves … in a very plain hallway which ended with three doors. When opened all of the doors opened to blackness. We made our way to the door in the middle where we found ourselves … in a very plain hallway which ended with three doors. When opened all of the doors opened to blackness. We made our way to the door on the right where we found ourselves.
It would appear that our group found themselves in an endless cycle of hallways and doors. There appeared to be no end in sight. During this time I could see the wheels turning in my companions brilliant mind, the other thing I saw was Fangeye growing angrier by the minute as we stood in front our current set of three doors. The party droned on, and on, and on, and on, until finally it was too much frenzy to control when the daring little guy charged into the door on the right. The party was confused, Eric, was having a breakthrough, as he charged with me perched on his shoulder through the door in the middle. The group was now split. People went in all directions Eric and myself charged on through random doors eventually there came to be six of us back together. Eric did some quick thinking and it was agreed that something should happen if each of them headed through different doors at the same time, and boy did it.
The group was in a large room with six chest, and being the greedy bunch that they are most headed for a chest, regretfully Eric included. As they all attempted to collect their bounty arms sprang from each of the chest, Eric was grabbed and stuck to this filthy Mimic. He attempted to beat away the Mimic but in the process of doing so was knocked out cold. My dear friend was dying until the life-giving Cleric came and my friend arose, instantly being knocked out again. I wish I could say that my friend fought valiantly, but he was really at his worst in this fight the bard this time came and brought my wizard back to health this time, he stayed laying in the fetal posistion.
The battle ended around us, a drum was found, and gold was split. What happend next, well, lets just say it wasn’t my proudest moment. Eric was woozy as the party discussed the chasm that they had just come to. It was about 200 feet across and the bottom was darkness. They shot an arrow down and found out nothing of how deep it went. Across the split was a door just a single door. The party all turned to Eric who in turn, turned to me.
So I flew across with instructions from Eric to tell him if anything was amiss or extraordinary about the door. As I approached the door I noticed, that it was just an ordinary door. Nothing special about it. I flew back and relayed the news to my Draconic speaking associates. So after some more debate and looking down the hole, the group again turned to Eric, who in turn, turned to me.
I was told to fly down 100 feet making bird calls the whole way down, and then report back when I found anything. Well, I got about 50 feet when I found myself … in a very plain hallway which ended with three doors. I floated gracefully to the ground I looked up and knew I could not go back the way I came. At this point I felt immense worry, not my own, but that of my best and only friend. I knew what he planned next and it frightened me, a fall that far in his weakened state could kill him.
I was sure he was dead. I was sure I had lost my best friend. I was sure … I was sure Eric would have at least thought of his decision for a moment, I didnt think he’d rush down so quickly. Then he got up, all 3 feet of him. It was Fangeye who had come down first. But wait, the last time Fangeye did something stupid was—
This time it was indeed Eric, and he didnt take the fall nearly as well as the scrawny Barbarian did. Eric was on deaths door once again, the 3rd time in just under an hour. Suddenly there came a familiar cry.
It was the Bard whom I found out later thought he would be clever and climb down. No such luck for him although he was nowhere near the condition the my traveling companion was in, though he was concious, he was still quite defeated by gravity. Luckily for Eric, and not so luckily for our next victim.
It was our fellow Wizard but more importantly also a Cleric and he was awkwardly holding a small section of rope. He gained his composure and as soon as he saw what was happening he rushed to the aid of my ally and brought him back to us. They all stood there dumbfounded at the scene around them those same three wretched doors. But they would have the scene interrupted one last time. With this time an audibly louder.
It was Brinke the lady, if Gnomes are indeed ladies, whom we’d joined the crew with at Greenmans shop. Fortunetly for her her fall was broken by the oaf of a man, the half-elf. There were now again six of us in the hallway and though we were battered and beaten there was really only one thing we could do.
So after we all scattered in different directions we found ourselves outside the dungeon where we found that Cyrus and Camille had majestically ridden a Griffin across the pit. It was at this point that Eric noticed his bag was much lighter … and not just from the potions which Eric had consumed all of. It was much lighter. Shortly he realized it was not just his bag which was lighter … his heart was much lighter too.
“Has anyone seen my spell book?”
He searched everywhere but he knew that his search would come up dry. The dreadful maze had claimed all the incantations that he held dear. The party continued the search for the children, however understandably so Eric mind was on another search. A search for an identity, a search for a new being. He knew there was no way to replace all of the work he had put into those pages. He doesnt have much in his coin purse, and besides it felt somehow wrong to simply copy the work of other Arcane Artist. No Eric would have to devote himself to a new way of life. Things needed to change.
Later that night after a much needed trip to the Tavern Eric came to the barracks where his comrades were sleeping. He stared for a long time at Daemon. I myself had always admired this wizards dedication to his God Pelor. Eric would sometimes talk to me about how no one in the town understood his fascination with the Goddess Wee Jas. About how people almost feared him, merely because they couldn’t understand. It was this lack of acceptance that eventually drove him to leave and begin this great quest for, well he didnt really know what he would tell me but that when he found it, he’d know. After what seemed like forever, Eric went out into the night, he looked to me … he looked to the Heavens … and then he dropped to his knees.

It's all in the eyes...
by Brinke

“Is he MAD!? How can he be so careless with his own self!?” I slowly lower myself to the floor, trying desperately to make sense of it all. Anxiety scorches every inch of my being. Slinky gracefully slithers over to me, bringing her head up to meet mine. Her eyes sparkles over and she tries to entrance me into a state of calm. It’s a routine we both know only too well. She’s unbelievably mothering, she always has been.

My real mother is not even a spark of a memory in my head. The earliest of my memories are of that horrid dwarf’s hut with the stench of moldy food, stale brew, and encrusted body fluids. There were others with me, all timid and scared, weak. I despise weakness. He tried to break me, but I refused. They have long since been broken. I did my chores, kept my keep, but would not touch or be touched. The first and last time he forced himself on me, I managed to slice a piece of his grotesque, warted nose off with a carving knife. For a brief moment, he let loose of his grip and I ran. I ran so fast, well…fast for my legs at least, I was almost safe in the comfort of the trees, just a few yards away, when he finally caught up. That’s when I saw her for the first time. Her sleek, smooth body moving ever so gently down a tree, watching with incredible eyes. The eyes. They were filled with beautiful colors intertwining, changing, even dancing! They gave me courage and knowledge. Knowledge that I needed her as she needed me. I clawed at the earth trying to grasp a hold. He was dragging me, on purpose of course. At 45 pounds, I was light enough that he could just pick me up like one of his large clubs. It is obvious that this is a part of my punishment, as my stomach is ripped across the rocks and thorns that lay embedded in the ground. She starts to move towards me and I’m shocked and impressed with the swiftness of her movements, since she is not equipped with any arms or legs. She reaches us in 3 heartbeats and launches herself at my arm, fangs digging deep. I let out a cry of pain and horror before being filled with POWERHer power! She is me, I am her and he will die! At the sound of my cry, he stopped dragging me and turned to watch this horrific scene of this snake trying to sever my right arm. A look of confusion sweeps through him as he realizes that he is our main focus. Before he is able to take action, I meet her eyes and order, “Haffesssss”. His eyes fly open wide with fear. She lets my arm go and with a flash of black speed sinks her fangs into his neck, wrapping her large black body around and around. The light fades from his eyes and he sinks to the ground.

I did not return to the hut, there’s nothing I wanted or needed from there. All I need is Slinky. Until now….

I focus on the present and blink away from Slinky’s entrance. It’s not soothing me now like all times before. This scares me and I wonder for a split moment if I’m going crazy. “How could he? How could he just throw himself off that ledge? Doesn’t he know? Doesn’t he see how he changes everyone who meets his eyes?” The eyes. Warm, compassionate eyes, so filled with hope. I’ve never known eyes like these. I’ve only known eyes of hatred and tolerance. Even in this group of mixed breeds, I am only tolerated. But he is admired, adored, maybe even loved, I think. That word is an unusual, strange word. One that I do not really understand. I’ve only heard stories. At first, I thought that they were only stories, that it’s not possible to be so desperate for another’s touch, feel, safety, awareness. But after meeting his eyes, I’m not too sure that they were completely made up stories. Maybe…just maybe.

Anxiety turns to anger and I grab the worn out filth of a pillow that I’m so grateful for off the bed and burying my face in it, completely aware of Slinky’s body wrapping around me in a comforting embrace.


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