After the excitement of the battle, we had a nice boring day of walking through jungle. I haven’t decided whether this place is better or worse than the middle of nowhere farmland countryside. At least here we have the benefit of interesting scenery. Although it’s probably trying to kill us; some of the animals here are poisonous.
One thing did break up the monotony, however…around midday, I spotted a warforged following us. The others noticed as well, save for Cedric—I really should mix him up something to improve his eyesight; that man’s going to get us all killed someday. Further research needed. This sparked a debate about whether we should attempt to speak with the warforged in question; Cedric, of course, was all for going up and making friends, while Deth and Gareth seemed more inclined to simply kill him. I wouldn’t have minded having a word with him myself—such behavior was, to say the least, unusual, and I was curious about his motivations. Unfortunately, he ran away before we could question him.
Cedric took the opportunity of our dull day to question Deth about the dream world. Deth was characteristically unhelpful, aside from informing Cedric he was wrong about everything. I’d managed to gather that much for myself. Really, the man is quite fanciful in the most surprising ways. He also mentioned that he’s been having “nightmares.” I had a feeling I knew what that meant. He indicated to Shel that he’d tell her more later, so my course of action was set.
When we stopped for camp, Cedric and Shel crept off to have their chat, and I followed. It was clearly apparent that Cedric was not all right. He kept alluding to nightmares, dancing around the subject. First he explained his reaction to my prank. He said that there was someone in the crowd that he recognized…a “friend” that he made it a point to mention he’d known long before he met Shel. I smell ‘former lover’ all over this girl. If you could change yourself for each one, Cedric, you wouldn’t get yourself in these messes.
After much stopping and starting, he said that he felt like he’d done something wrong. Apparently, the night he’d stayed in the temple, he’d had a dream. About Shel. At first I thought that was it, and I was about to pop out of the bushes and whack him over the head. Then he went on. The dream wasn’t just a product of Cedric’s imagination…it was Fahrezz. Fahrezz as Shel.
So that’s what he’s been up to. The rest of what he’s been up to. That individual—
But in order. My notes must be maintained.
Shel was quite touchingly understanding, insisting that it was still “just a dream.” Oh, honey. It’s okay, Cedric isn’t the brightest either. Some days I don’t know who’s worse, him or Gareth. Gareth, bless him, has a head like a brick, but at least he isn’t so nauseatingly naive.
Fahrezz threatened to visit Shel or someone else the next night, so Cedric decided to take one for the team. I don’t know what he’s fussing about; it’s not like Fahrezz is awful in bed, and there’s a certain appeal to hate sex. (I suppose we’ll find out, won’t we?)
Morning. Prepared: 5 bombs, 1 shield extract, 1 cure light wounds potion. More walking. Nature is dull.
white Paw stopped in mid-morning, saying that we were almost there, but there was a problem. A giant problem. A literal giant problem. Three of them, blocking our way into the ruins. Fantastic. Pneu went out to scout while the rest of us unproductively debated our options. She came back having noticed that the giants were snacking on some elf corpses. Wonderful. I had to pick now to decide to be an elf. I am full of endless regret.
One entertainment point to White Paw for effective negotiations. We finally decided that we’d attempt to bribe the giants with food. I thought this was likely to end in disaster, as the giants would more than likely be pleased that their food was being delivered by more food.
Nonetheless, we set off hunting. And found a sleeping dinosaur. An allosaurus, to be exact. Pneu estimated that killing it would be “risky.” I took that as code for “we’re all going to be dino food.” The thing was a hardy bugger. The others wanted to fight it; Pneu tried to talk them out of it. One usefulness point to Pneu for good sense. I headed up a tree as the plan was set, crossbow at the ready. Not that I planned on sticking around if they didn’t kill it right away. My concern was for naught; Pneu felled the creature in one blow. One usefulness point to Pneu.
We began dragging the meat toward the giants. Somehow, I was chosen to be the emissary. How do I let myself be talking into these things? I told the others I was going to disguise my ears and went behind a tree, then became a human. No need to appear any more tasty to the giants than we already did.
I attempted to talk to the giants, without much success. They didn’t seem to understand what I was saying, and without my comprehend languages extract, I couldn’t understand them. I was just becoming convinced that we were about to die when the sleeping giant woke up. Luckily for us, she could talk. She understood our offering, and didn’t seem immediately hostile. A relief.
When we indicated our interest in visiting Harruck Nagos, she said it was death to go up there. Apparently, there was some sort of monster or god—she was somewhat unclear—in the ruins. She referred to this creature as “Chak chak chak chak chak.” No one has ever seen him—at least, no one left alive—only heard the noise. She said that he was an evil god who came many years ago.
They agreed to let us pass, thankfully, although the leader made it clear that she thought heading up there was suicide. Anna seemed determined to make friends with the giants. One entertainment point to Anna for exuberant hugging.
We headed into the ruins. Deth and I flipped up the stairs together. One entertainment point to Deth for being my acrobat buddy.
AND THEN WE FOUND SPIDERS. GIANT SPIDERS. SON OF A BITCH. The big ones were quite obviously poisonous. The smaller ones—I say ‘smaller’; they were our size—were babies. Not quite as poisonous. They looked somewhat like ogre spiders, but not exactly.
THEN CHAK CHAK—fuck it. Then CK5 showed up. He was, predictably, an even bigger spider. Horrifying. QUIT. Drank 1 shield extract. Used 1 bomb. KILL IT WITH FIRE. Gareth became a giant again. One usefulness point to Deth for top-notch click click boom. One usefulness point to Anna for also trying to KILL IT WITH FIRE. Pneu had slipped me some arrows when we’d gone in—odd bolts with red tips—and I took the opportunity to try them out. THEY EXPLODED. One usefulness point to Pneu for her excellent taste in gifts. One usefulness point to Gareth for badassery. Research note: Make tar bombs. Quite useful. One usefulness point to Anna for the idea. One usefulness point to Pneu for badassery.
And then Cedric got kidnapped by a spider and then he fell off the wall and then they were all dead and bits of flaming spider fell on everyone in the way and all the spiders were dead. THANK THE FUCKING GODS. Since the others were considerably worse for wear, we headed back to camp.
The giants were very impressed to learn that we’d slain a god. I was fairly certain that CK5 was not actually a god, but I wasn’t about to tell them that. That would have made us look less impressive. One entertainment point to Anna for playing children’s hand games with a giant. I decided to roast some marshmallows with the leader. (Still haven’t gotten her name.) Manufactured: 1 tar bomb.
Fahrezz visited. It was quite fun, at first. He chatted about the fun he’s been having with Ced—he showed up as what he envisioned Ced’s kid looking like. Said that he’d made Ced sleep with him like that. That individual has a twisted sense of humor. We had a most enjoyable interlude—I requested that he use his original form. He’d requested mine. It was only fair.
I got some more information on the endgame he sees. 1. Dream ends and all the Quori die. 2. They win, Fahrezz is a big damn hero, and then he dies of boredom. (Unsure if that can actually happen or if he was exaggerating for effect.) 3. They win, and Ganatari’Ran finally decides to off him.
I would not have expected him to be so unimaginative. Hinted that he might want to swap sides. I could have saved my effort. The important thing I did learn is that Ganatari tends to keep her word.
He suggested that he’d showed Cedric the first form. The original form. (Why tell me?) I’d known that it was dangerous, the Quori knowing the secret. Perhaps I would do better to end their dream after all, let them all die. They cannot threaten me if they are dead.
I should have killed him. But I was not sure if I could do so, and failure would have been inconvenient. Choose a side.
I have. Mine.
Morning. I woke. Manufactured: 5 bombs. 1 extract of detect secret doors. 1 cure light wounds potion. We headed back to the ruins. Found: warforged parts. Potentially useful. I took them. You had better sort out a way to snatch this contract, idiot, or it’s my name that gets a black mark.
Investigating. Down the stairs. Runes on the wall: “They came from our nightmares. We fought them hard.” Context of engravings makes it clear that they’re speaking of the war between the Quori and the giants. There is potentially useful information down here. Perhaps if we found out how the giants defeated the Quori…
Giant pressure plate in floor. Arrow slits. Traps. Researched by Pneu. Moved along together. Giant lock. Couldn’t open it. More runes: “Those who fell slept forever more. They dreamt only the one dream.”
The one dream. Concept keeps popping up.
Back through other corridor. Next room. More runes: “Of our glory, our nation is great.” Large key on hook. Ghost of a giant. Very large and not my problem right now.
What does Cedric know?
Fahrezz lies like—well, like I do; it’s entirely possible that he invented the story to trap me. He is quite capricious. But there is no way to be sure, no way to inquire of Cedric without betraying myself. (That’s what he’s after, isn’t it; this trap.)
Courses of action:
Talk Ganatari’Ran into killing him. Unworkable. He’s more valuable to her than I am. Besides, she knows too.
Kill Cedric. No. Someone will notice. And he MIGHT not deserve it. Who cares? I have had about enough of you, you amoral bastard. Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the cassock this morning.
Let them all die. They’re too much of a threat. Fine, but what to do in the meantime?
You have a weakness, Fahrezz.
Cedric trusts you less than he trusts me.
I can manage this without asking any questions at all.
All I have to do is go on the offensive.
Day 38: Mostly dull.
Day 39: Spiders. And disaster.
Morning 40: Investigation. Damage control.
Money obtained: None.
Loot obtained: Warforged parts.
Ranking of companions:
Pneu: Usefulness- 4 points.
Anna: Usefulness- 2 points. Entertainment value- 2 points.
Deth: Usefulness- 1 point. Entertainment value- 1 point.
Gareth: Usefulness- 1 point.
White Paw: Entertainment value- 1 point.
Ranking totals to date:
Pneu: Usefulness- 24 points. Entertainment value- 29 points.
Gareth: Usefulness- 27 points. Entertainment value- 14 points.
Anna: Usefulness- 20 points. Entertainment value- 17 points.
Jaela: Usefulness- 9 points. Entertainment value- 7 points.
Deth: Usefulness- 18 points. Entertainment value- 18 points.
Cedric: Usefulness- 21 points. Entertainment value- 9 points.