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NeoRebel

Preparations...

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Day 1:

Magic missiles hit a boulder. And another. And another. And another. Emeralds, rubies and  rough diamonds. Catch. Rinse. Repeat.

Luckly, Staves of Missiles are in good demand. I needed to mine those gems, but in a way that I could save my strength for what's yet to come. And shooting magic at boulders proved to be quite effective. I grab whatever I can and hasted to the jewelry. Lente, the jeweler, was quite abashed with the amount of shiny stones I brought. ... and a bit concerned. If there are too many, their value starts to drop, so he said.

At least I could grab enough coins for my side project. Time to rest for a bit, and tomorrow, gonna visit Amberflame Castle.

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Day 2:

Very few people know, but I'm actually trained in magic and wizardry. Nowhere near the level of dedicated super-spellcasters like Zamboni, but I know the basics. And more importantly: I know how to use magic scrolls.

At Amberflame Castle, Mr. Silig was quite scared, because I was buying half of his stock in magic scrolls. Of course, the ones I could carry and the most important ones for my mission, but still a significative number.

And about the chosen spells... again, I'm not a dedicated caster, so I didn't pick quite the number of damaging ones (but I still got some of those just in case). Instead, I chose ones that could help in supporting, either enhancing my friends or disabling my foes.

I'm not the best at dealing damage. My business is being annoying.

Tomorrow is time to work the steel, be it covering me or the one I'm going to wield. Next stop: Erelhei-Cinlu.

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Day 3:

Vampires. Pit Fiends. Hook Horrors. And, of course, Drow. This is the city of Erelhei-Cinlu, deep in the Underdark. Many got lost in the endless tunnels, trying to reach this place, or were devoured by the Kuo-Toans in the way. And many would expect the City of the Drow to be a place of pure and ancient evils. Well, they are right and wrong.

Most of the guys who live there are pretty chill and lively... Lolth cultists notwithstanding... and live their lives like anyone else. I was actually chatting with said Drow, Vampires, Pit Fiends and Hook Horrors about one nice barbecue in the next few days (the vampires are out. My fault. I shouldn't have mentioned garlic).

As much as the social gathering is nice, I was there on a purpose to fulfill. I went on to look for the best blacksmith I've ever met. And boy, he doesn't dissapoint. After all, when you're a Fire Elemental Blacksmith, everything regarding molten steel becomes a masterpiece. And lemme tell you, for a fire elemental, he's pretty chill. Ok, bad pun, you can kill me now.

Anyways, I told him of my urgency and we worked on some stuff. ... Maaaan that place is hot. And whenever my fiery friend saw me sweating like a pig, he let out a strange noise that I think it was a chuckle.

An elven friend called Lire took care of the design. I let her know I wanted to mean business. Well... Lich King Masterius, eat your heart out! My fashion is edgier than yours!

But, of course, I don't intend to engage my hellish opponents in melee combat. I'm still a kid and I would be whacked like one. Super spiky armor or not. My best weapon is still my bow. And I need some fitting arrows that I can't craft.

Time to visit a certain archer family that I know. On my way to Halfling Heaven!

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Day 4:

Ah, Halfling Heaven. No matter how many times I visit this place, I always feel at home here. Sure, the Halflings here enjoy a normal, simple life where, if not for Slick, the most exciting event in the year would be the snail races.

They are also a bunch of overcapable guys whose the most normal villager would give any outlander adventurer a run for its money.

Case in point: the Fletchers. They do what their surname makes you think: fletching. Their arrows are legendary, and some are so unique you can only find with them. To this day, I still don't know how to make what they call "Parasitic Arrows", so I came straight to them to get a bunch. A big bunch. Mr. Fletcher even advised me those are not for hunting, because the meat would be... not good to eat.

I looked at him with a "?" face and he said the tips of the arrows leave a... not so good smell in their victims. I smelled one of the ti--

... I woke up at Nurse Fleetfoot's house right before she'd put me inside the "thingie". That smell knocked me out. Just like a certain Steinhammer dwarf always does... ...!

I think I found the missing link.

I pack my stuff, said bye and thanks for everyone and zipped to the ship. Time to do some smelly research, and I know the perfect place to do it.

With Parasitic Arrows in special quivers, and with my essay about Grit and Grime's smells in mind, I head to Arkham. Time to visit the Miskatonic University.

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Day 5:

I spent the whole night at Miskatonic U, ignoring the claims of ghosts and apparitions in the already dark corridors. I don't know if those were true. Nor do I care right now.

I was at the alchemy classroom, preparing some special  (and nasty) weapons. The amalgam of two researches: the Fletchers' and mine's. I look at them, not knowing if they'll do me good down there or not. I also don't have time for testing. This will have to do, me liking or not.

I also made 5 (five) runes of recall, just in case we have to make an emergency retreat back to the surface. It's unlikely we gonna use them, but I read somewhere that "a good strategist antecipates the worst and proceeds with the best". In Hell, there's no such thing as being "too prepared".

I left the University with dark circles in my eyes, but I don't have time to rest. In the same day, I got the ship back to Tharbad, then the ferry back to the Shire.

Spent some time in the kitchen. I still workship St. Marcus after all. And I was trained by the best cook in all worlds. And I mean it. I actually have been in other worlds and I still didn't find food that could match the one cooked by Ms. Peony Brewer!

Pies, pies, some deer meat, cookies, more pies... after all, I'm counting we're gonna spend a LOT of time down there. We need some things to keep your sanity intact and our stomachs full.

After all of that was done, I collapsed in a nearby chair...

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Day 6:

I woke up with rays of sunlight coming through the window.

I slept! I shouldn't have to! I still got things to do and time now is running shorter than ever!

I rush back to Annakol City. Time to summon the heroes!

I'm not important enough to use the Annakol Gazette. Perks of being a rogue: good ones are usually unknown. And I don't like the idea of being known. ... as if I have a choice in the matter. And since I can't use the Gazette, let's go to the next big thing: the message board. Time to write a message.

Call to Arms! Looking for extremely experienced adventurers to rescue The Horselords!

Hear ye, hear ye, adventurers. The legendary Horselords were imprisioned in the ninth circle of Hell, thanks to an evil scheme that came from a servant of Loki. Veteran warriors, mages and healers are needed in this dire moment to rescue our protectors! However, I can't stress enough that only highly capable adventurers can survive Hell, or even keep their sanity intact. And even to those veterans: this is not a mere trip. Most of us might not come back. That is a place of overwhelming evil.

That being said, I am going alone if I need to. But if you are capable enough and kind enough to help me, then meet Dimestus Timalar, in 5 hours, at the Feisty Chicken Inn.

And may the Gods bless us all.

Done and done. Just then a voice echoes behind me.

Prime, my older brother, sounded... quite abashed: "Dime... what's the meaning... of this?!"

I sighed a bit: "It means exactly what I wrote."

"The way you wrote this... I might be a bit oblivious sometimes, but I do know you. You don't have hopes of coming back, do you?"

"..."

"Then I'm going with you. Until the end of--" - "No. Galandar still needs you. And I need you too right now."

Prime nods: "Speak, my brother."

I... hesitantly hug my brother before continuing: "I need you to continue a task I started. Some good friends of mine need protection. Otherwise, the world is doomed, regardless of our success or failure in Hell. ... I need you to go and meet Hero Sharpe, Darla Drowbane, Professor Valence Cogg, Daisy Meadows, Ikaro... and Piety Helback. She's going to tell you 'the truth about Tyr'."

Prime looks at me with a shine of doubt in his eyes: "The truth about... Tyr?"

"Sorry, brother, but I don't have time right now. ... Forgive me about everything."

And, with a last hug, I give Prime a map and then I head to the main gate.

Everything is in place. I did everything that was in my power, and now I can only pray it was enough.

In my personal rock-spot, I rest a bit. Gazing upon the horizon until I sleep.

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