Mezla Mezla

Elven Bard

Description:

Mezla Mezla stands tall and heavyset for an elf; a trait he accentuates in his use of bright, garish clothing and an elaborately plumed hat. His pale, almost gray skin and amber eyes give the eerie effect of seeming almost human, yet distinctly alien. He has a penchant for the theatrical, and is especially fascinated with the cultures of other races, who’s mannerisms and affectations he emulates and adopts with unabashed relish. However, his undeniable Elven nature is revealed when he performs, drawing deeply from his internal well of knowledge and communication, resulting in enrapturing tales, invigorating songs, and dances conveying more than any single race’s language may lay claim to.

He was born just over one short century ago, on a small influential island off the coast of a larger, more influential island off the mainland. His parents remain venerable specialists in their fields to this day, important members necessary to maintaining the continuity of the world from their influential island helm. Mezla, however, was not one to study ad-nauseum, and fled his island prison directly to the mainland shy of his 100th birthday, determined to find out exactly how large the world really is, and what happens past its limits.

The barding life came to him naturally; a traveling elfling must be quick with a good story and even quicker with a good lie to survive, and Mezla’s jovial attitude and streak of wit made him comfortable, even welcome in taverns of various disposition. He lives the life of a jolly traveler, going nowhere in an extremely intent manner, as long as it is not exactly where he is at the moment. Few penetrate the dazzling affectations and glimpse the depths of the mysterious elf’s quest to truly find the borders of reality.

Wanderers are often acolytes of Fharlanghn, and Mezla might be inclined to leave a respectful offering before a particularly important journey, but his god is the unknown. Mezla worships the incompleteness of experience and knowledge; a few pints of ale and a little information might buy you that, like any good elf he trusts in Corellon Larethian, but Corellon Larethian called on Kord to defeat Gruumsh, and the two have always stood still with Boccob. This indicates even the gods have their limits, and behind him stands Olidammara, the bard’s friend, whispering of Vecna, and the answers to the limits of space and time and self. . .

Mezla carries a rapier invariably named Sengar, a name dramatically passed from old weapon to new in an elaborate ceremony involving both a pre- and post-burial speech. His passion for exploration of the world is pointedly counter to his choice of weapons, which reflect an inward study of devoted elven values. In addition to the rapier Mezla carries the traditional elven sap and whip, which he is getting quite decent with. A light crossbow on the ol’ rucksack rounds out his personal gear. It gets little use beyond critter hunting, and privately he wishes he could trade the thing for a much more delicate stringed instrument. Alas, the rigors of traveling alone prevent the luxuries of music, but thats what friends are for. . .

Bio:

. . . Dear Diary…….

Hah, well, thats the right of it anyway. You don’t care anyway; just take up space in my pack.

What I wouldn’t give to be illiterate. Is my quest for knowledge my limit? Perhaps I ought strive to become stupider, and be dulled my pretentious positions perforce pummeling my person to pneumonia perhaps?

Anycase, I’m simply exuberant to have purchased parchment and practice precise predication. Recording my pastimes will provide elucidation on present preponderance. Maintenance sharpens blade and mind most of all.

Speaking (hah!) of presence, we are currently on our way to a small retirement community by the name of somethingoranother. Rumor has it that children are being taken by wolves, but I have reason to blame the parents. Something about Peter Piper of Hamlin or some such stories from my sordid (HAH!) childhood. Once the wolf finishes all the animals in the forest off, what does he eat, after all?

If my hunch is correctly I should intercept some strong, strident, serious searchers bent for distraction and dismemberment and death, if not spiritually then in the anguish they suffer surmising the situation sufficiently.

Heroically, I shall swoop in and save the situation and surprise everyone with my poignant perception. No doubt there will be rewards. Ale, women, throngs of adoring fans, all directing their delightful diligence on discerning my desires while they whisper their secrets to me. Heavy fighters are always ripe for exploring the unknown. It just takes a little push to get them over the edge. . .

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Entry 2

Might as well record recent events while I recuperate; a bit miraculously if I do say so myself.

Dear Posterity: Today I saw an emerald the size of an average gnome, which wasn’t even the strangest part of the day since someone had to cut it out of the corpse of a bigass orcman.

Mission complete far as I go. Jherico’s holdout is taken care of and I don’t know much about magic but the Basilisk’s Eye looks like nothing more than a yuge piece of mundane loot worth about a fortune and one half. If our honest criminal overlord is worth his word we can bribe/exchange/return w.e. it to him and get an audience with Kirin, although I have my doubts about that whole thing. Deliver a fortune to a guy strong-arming around so he’ll arrange an audience with a person I’m pretty sure we saved from that very guy’s men (after she escaped on her own but no matter that part!); great plan, regardless how much people seem to revere him.
Whatever, we could take that whole fort.

Long as the magicians get to their healing magic… I’m a little banged up. For a while there I was struggling on the edges of consciousness while someone stopped the bleeding, and it was only the conclusion of battle and the prospect of unattended goods that seemed to spur me up off the ground to collect it. Sadly all I could scavenge was some gold and a tiny emerald fragment. Glittery and shiny as it was, I promptly traded it to the dwarf for a fine silk scarf or sash type thing he had found that was threaded with fine platinum wire. Its quite comfortable dwarves are such simpletons

Oh, and bottles of acid. What am I going to do with poisonous or corrosive acid? Shits heavy, being liquid-y

Anyway, if Prince of Theives Jherico and Kirin are truly indeed friends we should return to him with this emerald in order to ask her (privately, but i doubt that too) about the insane book.
However, the leader of the Black Skirts repeatedly called for reinforcements, and appeared to be going for more before we silenced him rather effectively. This leaves me to believe that there are more waves of angry, leaderless soldiers waiting impatiently in the wings and we should abscond with this giant heavy chunk of loot before they realize whats been going on.

On the other hand, if this place really a guild hall, raiding it could prove profitable. . .

winces

We should probably focus on the mystery text.

Anyway, helping an ex-con prison king kill a rival and steal his giant emerald by killing a bunch of dumb half-orcs only makes for a so-so story, and not one people will be telling around the campfires or to their children.

Meeting a mythical hero and learning from a book of madness on the other hand makes for a much better tale, and one I’ll wager’d go on for at least a year or two.

Oh yeah, another dirty human has joined us on our adventures. He stayed with us our first night at the fort and despite appearing to be a rather swashbuckling rogue he resisted his nature and didn’t try to stab any of us in our sleep, so I guess we can get along. Categorically speaking though rogues are shifty and dangerous and always looking to slip a knife into your ribs… from the back.

Today, I guess I’ll settle for anything that comes in a bottle (besides the acid, obviously) or some food and maybe good old-fashioned R&R. Back at the bar we heard these rumors that I’d like to investigate. apparently theres an elf princess trapped on the other side of a portal, and that makes an even better tale than the last one!

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ENTRY 3

Day. . . Whatever ???
Who cares, I’m alive, and maybe even a little richer for the ordeal (especially if Kirin lets us sell these horses)

First and foremost, I was right. (I should keep a tally on these things) The exchange went more or less exactly as I predicted. Honorable Jherico, prince King of Thieves graciously accepted the prize and offered to reward us, once we provided a writ of execution or some such whoreshit! Obviously he had never written us a royal writ, and we were knocked out and imprisoned by his goons before organizing an effective personal defense.

Waking up naked (well, clothed but feeling very naked) was the most terrifying moment of my life. I found myself stranded with strangers in what was obviously an inescapable dungeon with only the cleric to keep me company in my cell. Luckily the human was tending the tiny folk in the adjacent cell. Unfortunately the dwarf Garil seemed content to sit in his cell and await “trial” which seemed to me like some special dwarven fantasy where things happen different from the way the king says; so he was less than useless (hows that for a poem for you!)

How did this come about, as if I have to ask? Last we reminisced I was sitting on Rasp’s ‘throne’ looking pompous and regal while the less refined discussed how to find Jherico again. Noting the pattern he likes to follow everyone but Garil and I left the guild hall to be collected at the cloak and stagger, while we remained in our fortified position with the emerald under Garil’s ‘watchful’ eye. We drank some of his ale while I composed a tale of our excursions. It was rather good. The dwarf has a surprisingly poetic mind when it is entranced by the simple crystalline structure of the gem. Maybe they resonate at similar wavelengths or something. . .

A short while later Glim returned to fetch us. I’m sure theres the heart of a good joke in here somewhere, but to get it you’ll just have to imagine a small dwarf and a tiny gnome having a conversation through the orc-height opening in the front door. Lots of jumping.
Turns out they were intercepted at the bar by some lackeys who let them know that Jherico would meet them in his usual manner tomorrow, provided the party and emerald were all together. Glim rented out our basement again, and when we return to the Cloak I happily order hearty rye biscuits and cheese with another pitcher of ale. The earlier half of the party left to go shopping again leaving Garil and I to eat in peace. We had shared a bottle at the guild hall, he while masturbating staring into the emerald, me composing a rhyme to Jherico’s future trickery (hah!) and by the meals end were very jovial to be back in town indeed.

After eating, Garil and I headed to Algid’s potions (although for different reasons i wager). She was willing to take the acid flasks off my hands in exchange for some healing potions that i was still desperately in need of, and as the dwarves were flirting we found our gnome also speaks dwarven, which put a damper on things between our valiant bdf and shopkeeper.

Kuldrie has a bunch of expensive magical things available, but they’re both too expensive and too specific for my blood, and I get back to the Stagger ahead of the party on order to ejaculate on the open pillows before claiming the cleanest bed.

The next morning Thiles provides his regular gruel and has trouble understanding why I want a raw egg with my morning ale. After he brings out an entire bowl [hey, at least they’re still in the shell] of raw eggs I select a delicious, luckily unrotten, egg and crack it into my beer ala Stannik and chug it down. Afterwards I explained Stannik and the origins of the drink. It turned out that Thiles and Stannik used to travel together, although he didn’t seem to recognize the drink. I’m actually regretting this a little after the fact; Kirin, who we eventually meet in Jherico’s cell (spoiler!) mentioned being worried for Stannik’s safety. I hope the odd clue doesn’t provide any nefarious leads. . .

Anyway, the freaking Tiefling comes in his usual fashion; surrounded by thirty guards and . . . surrounds us. At least he asks us to hoodwink ourselves, although he won’t even let me step outside the bar with some dignity before being led a long and circuitous route eventually leading to Jherico, lounging on his chair. Before we simply hand over the emerald and wait to be betrayed I buy some time in a suitably bardly manner, reciting my poem of our adventure, which I’m rather proud of. Jherico was predictably boring, only appearing interested when it was clear we were successful, and had killed people. Frankly, he looked as surprised as I felt when Garil revealed the emerald and even handed it over (Dwarves right? ’never understanding them). Jherico takes the emerald and ensconces it behind him and offers our rewards if we produce a permission slip for killing Rasp. He says that without a signed document allowing the death of a citizen we are guilty of murder and treated as criminals; for the sake of order of course.

Like I said, we were knocked unconscious before being able to mount a coherent defense.

When I regained consciousness (a sensation I’m getting uncomfortably comfortable with) in my cell with the cleric I couldn’t help but bask in my Rightness. Here we were, stripped of our possessions, imprisoned, just like I predicted after having assassinated a “guy” and delivered the treasure (a YUGE emerald he freaking ate to protect) to THE FREAKING KING OF THIEVES! It almost made me feel better, like my rightness could heal my injuries or at least the ache on the back of my head. I had no idea what potential was in store.

In an adjacent cell is Kirin “friend” of Jherico. While excited to find her, it appears she was also under the impression her and Jherico were friends when he imprisoned her. Asking her about the book now would be useless without the reference itself, much less knowing if we were going to live out the night. Being in jail together can make for close friends or sharp enemies, and I’m shooting for the former. Our dwarf friend seems complacent enough to wait around for the winds to change, maybe that will put her at ease.
Before we can get into discussing our situation a group of guards tromps down to my cell and “invites” both of us to another room down the hall. They take rather extreme precautions against our escape, and usher both of us, Sadron and myself, into a room filled with guards. One of the guys explains/instructs us to fight. In my memory he is wearing red and everyone else is wearing black. Remembering the black scorpion death cultist I protested that I could not fight my healer to the death, because of my good conscience. I was laughed at! It turns out that these guys were just bored guards looking to bet on entertainment. Probably weren’t allowed to let prisoners kill each other without the proper writ (HAH!)

Learning this, I take advantage of the situation by quickly (eagerly?) punching Sadron right in his cleric face. Now, this was satisfying on simultaneous levels. First, on the lowest humor level was the slapstick fun of it. He wasn’t ready, and was surprised to be punched. Apparently he hadn’t been following the tone of events; probably fantasizing about the existence of his deity, which I’ll get to shortly. Second, come on, who hasn’t wanted to punch a cleric. I assume it comes with the profession, and I’m here to tell you it feels good. All those times I lay dying, bleeding, injured, slashed seemed just a tiny bit more bearable with that first connection. Thats pretty low level humor too.
On a more cranial note it was satisfying because of a conversation we were having on who was responsible for the magical healing powers he possessed. Magical intention can be honed into almost any power. I’m learning how to heal my own wounds magically, and so I worship myself. The cleric tries to take credit for the magic, but deserts himself from the responsibility as the source of power. Makes me want to put his god to the test by punching his dumb face. If I get how this works he’ll be fine, unphased if he pious enough.

Apparently he’s plenty pious, because he didn’t go down and make me a hero to the longshots who had bet on me. After a rather brief scuffle (I was still pretty messed up from our fight with Rasp’s men) I blacked out after Sadron leapt like a freak and punched me in the head like a flying jackass in a nightgown. A punch like somehow above human, it must have been.

Again I wake up in my cell. As I come to consciousness yet again I try to explain what happened to us. All in all, it wasn’t that bad really. An opportunity of sorts. Before I can spin the story in my favor our second round of thin gruel is delivered, this time directly into our hands by the Tiefling himself. As he reaches my outstretched “bowl” he mutters to me to “get the key” which I consider while carefully and ravenously devour my share of glop. Thinking there might be a key hidden in the gruel I passed the cryptic message down the line once the guards were out of earshot. Nobody found a key, but Sadron remembered noticing a conspicuous peg in the fight room which might hang a key. Thinking back now it seems so obvious, but I would have never made the connection. Maybe getting knocked out made me forget seeing it hung there on fight night. The plan is that next time we are forced to fight one of the fighters pockets the key, ideally somehow without notice, and we use it to escape later.

I fall asleep to the ignorant wails of a fellow captive, apparently under the stress of heinous torture. Its clearly Son, who “doesn’t know anything” over and over and over like a mantra. He’s the only one of us not imprisoned in the cells. The dragonman wandered off; as he is wont to do. In the ‘morning,’ I can’t remember if there was stale bread, we sat around until the guards came back. Unfortunately for us they didn’t choose either winner or loser from last fight, instead electing to let the little people fight, which I imagine would look hilarious I must say. Apparently they made a great big show of wrestling around and tried to snatch the key right off the post or from the warden himself or something and were beaten into submission and returned to our cells. Not very smooth. As they are deposited Kirin jeers the guards, implying they are too scared to choose her to fight because she could take on our entire prison group at once.

The next sleep cycle brings more stale bread and another round of fights. As the only newcomer not yet tested, the huntsman Thrash is chosen. After some discussion among the guards Kirin herself is also chosen. It appears there are factions within the prison-city prison, and apparently the new Warden outranks even Jherico in this redefined region of the city. They are taken out to fight . . .

. . . aaaand I don’t really know what happened from there. But were here, obviously, meaning someone snagged the right key and let us out of our cells. I bet it was all Kirin’s doing. Turns out the fight room was just down the hall. Bastards must have had fun spinning us around, walking all different directions. There we found chests full of the most spectacular treasure I’ve ever laid eyes on; my own possessions. As I gather my goods a twinge of guilt falls over me thinking of all the chests of possessions I’ve happily pillaged. I was about to claim an especially fine set of daggers before Kirin swiped them away protectively. The pommel stone of one of those swords was downright breathtaking. . .

The discovery of Son’s gear was made doubly poignant when we heard the cries of a prisoner, and quickly rushed towards the voice; bursting in to find the warden and his guards, five or six of them. As we barge in Glim casts his glitter dust on the group, dazzling most of them with fabulous sparkles. Garil also appears to cast some kind of magic on the warden, visibly shaking him. Cleric Sadron summons his celestial companion while I give a rousing speech about the nature of courage.

Inspired by my speech, the dog proceeded to absolutely eviscerate the nearest guard, ripping him to hell even though he was the one that could see through the glitter. Garil rushes a guard and impales him with the spike on his shield, right in the butthole, killing him on the spike right there, fixing the corpse to the shield. I bravely challenge a guard of my own but he jumped out of the way as soon as he saw my sword. I see Glim kill the warden rather un-magnanimously, by spiking him with a crossbow bolt. Kirin killed a guard with her bare head, and Sadron, or maybe his god, fireballed another one to death. His dog devours the final guard from the dick up. It was weird how the body seemed to disappear into whatever dimension is inside of that animal.

Everyone safely dead, we loot the place. Everybody seems to have gold on them, but nothing much more of any value. I found a small coral gem and pocketed it. The real treasure turns out to be on a table in the room near where Son was carefully un-hung. It was a map of the entire continent and more, maybe the whole world. The thing was as wide as Glim is tall and made of the finest vellum. It rolls around a sturdy dowel and ends with a leather wrapping segment for protection against the elements. We take it with us and head out, through what can only be described as Jherico’s loot room. We stand awestruck for a moment before Kirin begins to pocket items, and have our way with the place. Gold for Everyone! I also snagged an ivory drinking horn with some skillful bronze inlay and a vial of what looks like oil that just screamed valuable. Hopefully more valuable than acid.

I feel like we killed Jherico. I seem to remember that happening, but I can’t place the specifics. That might be important later, but I don’t think he had anything very grand on him. Nothing memorable at least. Next thing I know were outside of the armor merchants house at the darkest part of the night. His light seems to be on and he’s oddly satisfied or relieved to find Sadron come back for his armor, even at this ridiculous hour. Working on the armor livened the guy up a little apparently, he chattered the whole time he got the armor strapped onto Sadron. Next we trudged over to Kuldrie’s who was also, to my surprise, awake at the insane hour, and collected Garil’s tabard, which had been quite expertly embroidered with his important sigil. I almost blabbed that we had killed Jherico, but remembering how people in town appeared to worship him my mates thought better of letting me brag and shoo and shushed me out of the shop to head to the gates.

The gates into, and thus out of, the city were closed and guarded by the two men who had extorted the silver from us on the way in. In our rush, Garil hastily explained we needed to get out of the city quickly, and began throwing platinum pieces around to encourage the soldiers to unbar the doors, which they did surprisingly quickly and without complaint. As we saunter from the fort, Son propped between our strongest, Kirin comes charging through the gates on horseback, with a bunch of horses in tow! Looks like we can ride in style to. . . wherever it is were even going now!!

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Entry 4, who even cares about dates anymore; you could just say ‘that time I was right’ but it wouldn’t help with any specificity, because I’M ALWAYS TOTALLY RIGHT!

Let me scratch out a record of the past few days while we get a much needed rest from our rather enjoyable gratuitous march through the country.
It all started like last time, riding out of the thieves town a little richer and slightly more equipped. Somehow Kirin had acquired coursers of a fine calibre, and the heavy beasts were worth their weight in gold pieces, and I could hardly imagine what I was going to spend all that gold on when we rode them into the next town and sold them to a castle squire as a delivery for the palace or somesuch.

note to self, were on the way to a Holy city called Aleford (hah!) following a follower of Pelor name Rin

After hours of trotting out of the city the trail slows down the farther it gets until we are walking these fine goldmines through the forest. The farther we get the slower the going because these city horses become increasingly hard to convince forward. Eventually, as I’m watching Sadron try to control his flinching horse, leading the animal to throw his annoying ass off his back, I laugh. The rich fine sound of my voice apparently startles my own horse, which in sympathy with his brother needs to gtfo and the beast throws me as well!
Good thing I wasn’t using it as a pack animal; I’d bolt the beast to get my gear back in a second.

In short, we lost our chance at riches as the horses bolted, seemingly at random into the woods. Thrash the huntsman busied himself constructing a stretcher for Son, who wakes up, probably as he hits the ground. I’ll drink to forget the sight and sound of his guts tearing open as he tried to get up and walk, all those torture wounds reopening. After some bandaging by Thrash Son seems to be alive, but isn’t much help. He babbles about a map, probably the fancy piece of work we found as he’s carried on the stretcher on foot like an egyptian mistress.

We finally find a suitable location to safely bed down and after an awkward bit of politicking we even managed to start a fire without any magic. A wolf companion appeared from the woods to Thrash; apparently he can talk to animals or something and assured us the wolf would keep watch at night and howl when it caught alert.
But that wasn’t even the craziest thing to wander out of the woods that night! We’ve added another elf to our merry band, however addled this one may be. He thinks we’re still in the woods outside the Hare of the Dog! He babbles like a maniac, is totally incoherent, and even vomits up some black shit that eerily doesn’t look like blood, but eventually passes into a silent stupor and I for one, despite the weirdness, fall asleep soundly under the stars.

Now this next bit is weird for me, because mostly I remember falling asleep content, but no so exhaltantly right, which used to be pretty much normal. Suddenly I’m startled awake as vines entangle my bedroll and I deftly spring to my feet awake and utter a hilarious draconic curse, which proves ineffective against the thing I saw suddenly menacing our camp.

And let me tell you diary, the fear I felt was insignificant next to the deep, soul cleansing joy I felt celebrating in my rightness. It was such a religious experience I thought to understand the cleric if this is what their worship feels like. I could get used to this. Sadly the transformation happened while I was sleeping, but when I was tickled awake by those vines that morning, before my baptism in enlightenment and rightitude of foresight, I was looking right into the face of a full blown Werewolf. I even looked up to check the moon, as if I didn’t know. Of course it was bright, but some clouds were swiftly blowing in and when the moonlight was obscured the form was replaced by our mental new friend who has another S-related cleric name.

Using the time to use my brain, I remember that a lycanthrope should bear a mark of the beast on a limb directing it toward its next victim. Analysis of our new friend indicates he must kill everyone and anyone around him; the compass mark spinning wildly, resting only moments before moving on, or reversing. As the cloudcover increases he is subdued and tied safely. Since everyone is awake and nobody is sleeping with a werewolf on a full moonnight, we throw the case into Son’s stretcher and while he walks unloaded, I get roped into carrying the stretcher and the animal like some kind of . . . animal.

After more long hours of trudging (sensing a theme here!?!) we hear the sound of trees snapping growing in the distance, making a beeline for our party. Anything that approaches an armed band carrying what can only smell like a werewolf is not something I may not want to tangle with, so it was with mixed emotions I we encountered an enraged Troll thrashing (hah) into our position.

I say ‘I encounter’ loosely because more of what happened is Garil stalwartly charges the monster, presumably to hit it with his shield, ask it for gems, or something stupid. Miraculously he makes a mighty swing with his hammer and takes a hard hit in trade. It must be a significant hit to have that strong an effect on our sturdy dwarf. While the beast is engaged Brotrillisk the Dragonman pulls a javelin out of his ass and throws it into the eye of the troll, which will certainly lead to infection eventually [it wont last that long]. Tiny Glim waves his jazzhands in excitement and glitterdusts the Troll with shiny confetti, drawing its attention from Garil, who he turns from to wallop Glim harder than I’ve ever personally seen a gnome take a hit from a giant monster and survive. Impressed, I summon my only, single new healing spell and use it on someone other than myself despite my low health.

Cleric Sadron finally finishes summoning his weird celestial beast which bites on its own, and throws his god’s fire at the creature. Brotrillisk draws his mighty sword and swings down rendingly, burying the sword in the body of the Troll, which uses the exposed opportunity to sink its claws through the armor of the dragonman and deep into his chest. I use all my power to bolster the party by inspiring their greatness, convincing them of their skill and prowess with my enchanted tongue that I usually save for the ladies. Who would ever think an old kid’s song about killing trolls with fire would ever be helpful. I never really thought I’d see a troll, even though I figured they’re real. Thanks to my inspiration the beast is quickly dispatched.

Cautiously we move on. I keep to myself that our clearly legendary guide seemed notably absent in our last encounter. After seeing the wounds our G-men sustained I couldn’t fault someone for taking a little cover, especially knowing what they’re capable of, but it wasn’t much of a showing for someone proven to be so adept, not to mention supposedly ‘unscathable.’ If I had that moniker I’d be fighting dragons for kingdoms or gods!

A cawing from above informs Glim that another threat is approaching and in short we hear the now familair snapping of woods as something large barrels directly to our position. This one seems have an accompanying conversation and I try not to think about what two trolls could do to our party as I mutter a spell to make myself faster and more nimble.

Somewhat to my relief(?) a single, two-headed troll bursts into our position. In classic troll fashion it appears to be arguing with itself. More astonishingly, Glim uses his magic to start listening to the thing and even tries to communicate with it! The simple beast becomes predictably enraged, and I’m forced to stab it with my sword; to little effect. I took some hits in exchange, but managed not to lose consciousness this time, but for the life of me I can’t remember seeing Kirin in the fight again. I’m starting to get the feeling that these crazy monsters are heading straight towards her and shes using the confusion of encountering our party as both cover and safety . . .but what do I know, I’m paranoid right

Anyway, we kill the twoheaded troll with magefire and swords and I manage to lift a mysterious scroll from the body promising magic; at least its lighter than gold. As we get some time to both move on and rest I can relax and take this account, no doubt leaving out plenty of mentions on how fantastic I performed.

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Entry 5

Luckily for me it turns out dwarves can actually write letters without etching them into stone, so you will all get to hear the wondrous tales of my valiant adventure!
It occurs to my studious self that my last account was rather winded, so the name of the game these days is brevity. An orator capable as myself should ably manage concise . . . banter?
Our first errand, while we waited to be assessed by the holyman leader of this city was altogether rather domestic. Upon leaving the estate we went to the market districts for shopping, and after a hard couple rounds the more pious were feeling guilty about good commerce and headed to the temple district for prayer. Finally, after, well something I imagine, it was finally appropriate time to go TO THE BARS.

But these things can never be that simple eh? Easy Peasy in an urban community right? Just head to the pub for some ale, pay the girl, no hassle to anybody. Don’t get me wrong, I’m never against naked humans, especially in the tavern! But when she’s dangling from the balcony trying not to draw a scene its only mildly attractive.
In a flash of college wit Glim mystifies our newest friend, a half-elf friend of his from wizard university, and doubles the man in size, just to make sure the scene is now truly the center of attention. The stranger seems slightly confused and Glim manages to communicate his intent to have him save the girl, for which he receives gratuitous kicks to the face area as she falls onto Sadron’s astonished blushing . . . holy symbol.
Altogether rather funny, until the madame of our estate comes screeching to a halt, her carriage stopping suddenly as she passes through the square and basically chews our Sadron for behaving inappropriately, which I think is a total stretch given the possibility of the situation. She rescinded our invitation to the estate! Apparently her reputation was so that the saving of a person did not outweigh the saving of that person being naked. Classic piety!

But don’t you worry dear reader, everything works out in the middle. The naked human led us back to her husband, a rare half-orc bard with a penchant for lust (the artist’s name is TUSK for nerul’s sak!) who invited us to stay for his performance later in the evening. Since we are looking for fresh lodging, I opted for one of the free [open, though i forget the price] rooms here at the Fat Minstrel, for its pretty rare to be in the presence of an orcish bard, and I’d like to examine his style.

Now this is where my story gets interesting. Tusk told a long story about himself that culminated with his possessing a spent deck of many things, which I quickly finagled. Despite knowing the dangers, I chose five, one for each limb and my head. I figured if it was in the cards (heh) that I lose a limb or two it would make my adventure all the more memorable, until I inevitably die or get left behind!

Well, I’m not dead, but the astute reader may gather that I have lost all my worldly possessions except for this magical book on exercise, my ring from the werewolf-children-demon things, Glim’s bearskin and some gold Glim spared me. Honestly this card thing is awesome. The first one I drew felt like a wash of hot power flowing through me, and poof, this exercise book appeared on the table. The a second card and a sudden insight, like I could use my traveling knowledge as a bard not just to know details and history, but like a clarity to actually see the solution to any problem. I wonder if this is what wisdom feels like? The third card granted me presence of mind and confidence (as if I, Mezla Mezla, lacked that!) and I could feel my minds fortification intensify. The fourth was another hit of epiphany or inspiration, whatever you want to call my strokes of pure genius.

None of those are very bad! None of the equate to the loss of an arm or a leg, and I feel no weaker or more damaged than before drawing. I don’t feel the desire to kill my friends or do evil things in general, so I’m glad my mind didn’t get turned inside out (I didn’t think of that one!) The final card I drew was ‘ruin’ but the destruction of all my nonmagical items at this point was a small price to pay for the trill of these cards. I managed to get Glim to give me his bearskin and 100gp for that scroll he swindled and made it to the market before they closed in time to purchase the only clothes they had on hand, leaving me looking rather like a destitute jester pretending to be a bear.
But no rest for the weary, and so dressed and armed as such we headed to the Temple of Pelor to meet the Deacon and prove our Stalwartity!

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Entry The Si6th – TO THE TOURNEY

Oh man I don’t even know how to tell this story anymore!

The muses told me I was the man!!

Actually it was a bit of a scolding. You’d think they’d know that just getting off that island is thrill enough, but life indeed must have a purpose. Being a mediocre orator these days, and blessed with the arcane fortification from the deck, they reminded me to seek purpose of my own, but to trust my fellows.

I had mentioned that I thought I could take them, individually, except perhaps the dwarf, but after seeing his reaction afterward I’m feeling rather more confident.

I don’t think much of the captain’s wheel scar brand emblazoned into my chest; I pretty much always knew I was a Stalwart anything. Probably shouldn’t go flashing it around just yet, and maybe it’ll prove helpful eventually.

After the vision quest and the scarring we basically got keys to the city. I feel like Orin was almost disappointed we’d want to do something so trivial as the feud after being recognized as so legendary. I entered nonetheless, as did the dwarf (to redeem the crying I assume).

Afterward I was able to purchase new weapons and armor for the sets that had been vanished by the cards and summarily retired to my room to get stronger by reading about exercise.

Its all I can do after a shenanigan of a day! Stealing delicious chocolate booze from a quarantined ship in the middle of the light of day in a busy city is exactly the type of brash plan I hope to enact on subsequent missions! It was lucky our accomplice was a degenerate gambler, or maybe simply happy with a rather substantial gold extortion.

After completing the task the men provided wager services for our first round of the feud. Garil got 1:1 like a chump, but I pranced around and bet on myself at 3:1 odds. He fights us all in a row so I’ll get to see, and I’m sure the dwarf wants to take first shot.

Glad to relax and get a nights sleep before this tourney starts, but I’m feeling pretty confident about round one, and those odds will help my net worth considerably!

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Entry:
The Honourable Feud

At last the honorable feud is finally upon us!
Overall, this event reminds me why I stay out of residential politics!

After dispatching the fist ‘champion’ with the greatest of ease despite his dirty smokebomb tactics the tournament was reorganized because the rounds were taking too long! Apparently not everyone had such an easy time of it, and in the end our group was only allowed to send one representative per day, who would be forbidden for the following two days even when successful. Luckily failure would simply disqualify one player and allow the group to progress to the next day’s champion.

I was waking up that morning before the first fight feeling extremely strong and fresh! I’m getting into this magical exercise book and some of the pointers and tactics are already starting to make my life easier. The Deck’s powers augmented my natural abilities and I was excited to try them out in battle, but there would be no flexing of my newfound powers as Leo’nel unfortunately learned.

The moral of the story is, as always, I should be less conservative. Each round of the tournament I placed a good 2/1 wager on our man (aside from the insightful rounds which our magicians tried their hands at mundane combat, although Glim and his magic staff of recent nakedness [for he had his own similar encounter with the Deck] fared unexpectedly well. But I should have doubled up every time instead of making some weak ‘losable’ bet. Especially in the last round. Garil the dwarf at like 10 to 1 or whatever could have made me almost a literal rich king. My safe betting leaves me as an uncomfortable duke at best imagination. Maybe I do owe him that poem. The lesson may be that he should always be bet on at 10/1, especially if he isn’t unduely morally troubled.

But first the less depressing tale of my Valiant Vanquishing of the Voracious Victim!
This asshole, thusly entitled The Voracious must have indeed been hungry, for steel! The way he gobbled my sword was downright erotic. You might say I punched this asshole full of holes. But that sword of his was sharp; I’m happy to still be having all my arms. My rapier is more of a sticker, but I should remember to try to cut more people’s arms off. Its an effective and easy method of disabling and moving onto more dangerous adversaries. Honestly the fight was so fast I barely remember. The fool sketched a circle in the sand with his blade, which I promptly vacated him from before stabbing him through the throat. It was strange to kill a man so violently safe in knowing we could share a drink later that night were it so desired.

Anyway, I won (obviously) and due to the new format didn’t have to face the next champion, who ravaged Sadron with his spear. It was rather hilarious, and I was sad not to get to show off my athletic abilities. The spearior would simply stab with his spear, generally clang off Sadron’s armor, and step back to wait for the blade. Brilliantly, Sadron will close the gap by batting away the spear with sword, or shield, or simply taking it straight to the body and hacking with his cleaver. After he does his work the spearman stabs him again, steps back, and takes more punishment. We progressed through the day with a win, surprisingly.
There were more champions; a guy with some sort of chain weapon, and other things I’m sure but I can’t much remember. Our squad performed well and between celebration drinking and learning about how to do exercise I can see what the people are going for when they get into this whole festival celebration thing.

Which is what made the last bit so disturbingly political. This feud seemed like all fun and games, what with the whole ceremonial combat and harmless revival aspect so cavalierly taken in obvious stride. Garil’s odds were something like 10 or 12 to one, and like a coward I didn’t bet the farm on our m-n Dwarf But that was enough to make me think he may not stand up to Alder and that the guy might be able to take care of himself. He seemed so confident and capable when I talked to him the other day!

I was pretty beat by the last round and Garil will once again have to go without a poem commemorating his victory in the arena. Its glory was besmirched the following day when we learned of the second, post festival ceremony.

In which the final champion, the venerable Alder, is to be ceremonially and sumarilly killed by our own champion, for the glory of the sun to keep on shining or some nonsense! In the end I debated even going to the execution or bettering myself through reading, but I’m secure in having gone to see Garil bungle the affair so colossally. How hard can it be to cut off somebody’s head with a sword that looks like its been designed from the ground up to do no other useful cutting!? Result of a weak will, I always say. Garil didn’t want to kill this guy I imagine; would he have even fought so well in the final round had we known this would be the cost. Who wants to come back to this community of religious hillbillies to defend that title knowing the risk!?!

I don’t think the deacon was pleased. What of our werewolf? A drunks legend of ghost dragons might prove legendary in all the wrong ways, but this vampire queen debacle has already paid good coin, which I have timidly but effectively multiplied into a small forturne, so it may prove fruitful to go on another head collection and get some air out of this stuffy town of preists. I say we get out of here quickly. There’s gotta be a small village or somethign nearby in need of a heroic figure to slay a demon and seduce the milkmaid, and I’ve a mind to test the limits of my newfound arcane musics.

Mezla Mezla

The Awakening nbuser42