Sleepless in Starsong
Session 1 - Genesis
Day and month unknown, year 4388
I must profess, despite my faith in Vash’s instructions, however vague they were, I could neither expect nor appreciate the place we found ourselves in as soon as we left the Rift for Mas-Goda, specifically, the castle of the Last Baron. I deem it unfitting to describe the locale’s gruesomeness, but the name ‘Corpse Pit’ should suffice.
Venture deeper, reach a library, find and retrieve ‘it’. That was the mission. Points for brevity, immediately deducted for ambiguity. But our job is a job, after all.
Speaking of “job” I suppose I should mention who I am working with on said job.
I am Eniko of Siam, a Conjuration Wizard with a problem. I’m a revenant. Not undead, but not alive either.
I’m joined by a Gulumash, a Half-Orc life cleric of the Dark Princess, obsessed with wine, women and the Princess’ greatest champion, Mungorg.
The other members are Thunder-in-the-Sky and HAL. Thunder is a Tabaxi storm sorcerer, blessed (damned?) by the Storm, so he’s figuring out what that means.
HAL is a mysterious Human (?) male (?) samurai-knight who is always hiding his face, and capitilizes his name. Is it a name or an acronym?
Regardless, we’ve only joined the Handymen recently and Vash, our new handler, decided we should work together. Hurrah.
Back to the job.
After gaining our bearings and finding safe passage up a stairway in poor condition, we soon reached a hall draped in unnerving red light, with cages with inward spikes stuffed with people and other disturbing implements.
But most importantly, ‘torturers’ (though I am far more inclined to called them the ‘tortured’.) roamed the halls, seemingly animated undead tethered by chains and a caged head bound by a lock.
I had no shortage of sympathy of their condition, given my own, and managed to unlock one via conjured lockpicks after some effort. Its face was a gaping hole (which had been a recurring theme prior, come to think of it), with a single lit candle in it. Which it promptly snuffed out; I can only hope he finds peace in this pseudo-suicide.
One of the other torturers proceeded to take one of the bodies freed from their cage via lockpick, and hauled him to a table up ahead and.. Proceeded to carve out the corpse’s face. A gruesome shock, and perhaps my sympathy clouded my judgement, but I (nor the party) stopped them.
It would have likely led to violence, anyhow, as not all the Torturers shared in the first’s mellow disposition.
Our rummaging soon brought the attention of a curious ‘man’, named Dog, diseased and riddled with pustules, vaguely resembling a rat, who picked at the lock of a cage, and after a bit of shepherding and negotiations, we worked out the following:
We helped him open the cage, and bartering with a conjured diamond (I still feel a little guilty about it.), obtained 20 gold crowns and a magical breastplate, though its properties are still unidentified.
He warned us that the ‘they’ in the next room weren’t friendly.
There was another rat-man, Rotfoot, who’s entire vocabulary seemed to consist of ‘fuck off’ and ‘thank’. What a rude one. Regardless, Gulumash combed through the surrounding crates, and made him happy via an offering of clothing. We also found 26 gold crowns.
Oh, the ziggurat in the centre of the room had this inscribed on it: ‘[Blank] has only ever been good at two things. One was holding those as they lay dying. The other was granting them their vengeance’. Far too esoteric for my tastes, and I can’t recall anything that would pertain to this, so we moved on.
In the next room, there were floating platforms, with hanged man affixed to the ceiling. Heeding Dog’s warning, and with the aid of dear Pez’ scrutiny, I fired a shot off at one of them, and sure enough, several of them were animate, and they soon attacked.
The fighting was fierce, but I have to make a special note here about dear Gulumash, while I have absolute faith in my companions’ abilities, Gulumash let loose a beam of black light that disintegrated the unfortunate enemy, and promptly disposed of another with his warhammer with wicked ferocity soon after.
Was this the strength of his faith in this Dark Princess? And to think he handed me this when we first met:
Regardless, after the skirmish, we pressed on. The sight that greeted us was yet stranger from the last, more floating platforms floating over void, with no discernable floor or ceiling; and even more peculiarly, a giant bird made of clockwork blocked the entrance of an ivory tower.
I was never good at athletics even before my condition, and I swear I took quite a literal leap of faith as the platforms slided and shifted in reaction to our movement.
One of the platforms had inscribed on it: ‘Do not get distracted.’ Suffice to say, we got very distracted, in no small part to the giant obnoxious clockwork bird, but eventually, we pushed the door open.
And so we were greeted by the sight we wanted to see at long last, the library, reaching high up. A quick cursory scout revealed a floating cage with a woman inside, and a pedestal read the following, after we perused the library expeditiously:“The Gift could not bear to witness his beloved in pain.”
“The Lady only had intentions for the sinners and sinless.”
“The Dreamer wanted her for himself to set her free.”
“The Doomed begged the Gift for help, but he could not even look at them.”
Which no doubt referred to the four statues in the room. Brief investigation revealed that they were on a swivel, and we rotated them in accordance to the inscription, causing the cage to lower and open.
Upon closer inspection, the woman was made of candle wax.
Eniko of Siam