Hawkes Bay Kingmaker

Learien Tanaster last will and testament

Letter sent by magical bird to the leader of the centaur by Learien Tanaster.

To our faithful allies the Centaur.

I first wish to thank you for your friendship over the past few years. Your great tribe has stood with our budding Nation in its most dire of times with little in return.

You tribe held the defense of town at great cost to your own forces, again with little in return.

And now I ask one more favor of you.

Please deliver the continence of this letter to Ekho Tanaster at Shrike City one week from receiving this letter.
If I am there at the Time of you delivering this I shall to the best of my ability try to see that your tribe is adequately reimbursed for it service to our nation and see that you are noted in our history books and state in our law that the sovereignty of your lands shall never be touched by our nation or any other and if that should happen Elkland shall come to its defense.
Should I not be there Ekho I task you with this honor and our two nations will need to band together once more to face its most dire of threats.

Private letter to Ekho Tanaster:

If you are reading this we have failed and I and the rest of our group have perished.
I wright this at the time of our combat with Narrisa the Nymph. Obviously she was too powerful and all knowledge we have gathered has been lost with us, so I am letting you know what I at least can remember.
She is based in the 1000 Voices region.
In the now restored castle of Knives.
We managed to somehow rip 1000 Breaths into our plane of existence.
We have cleared the keep / castle of knives and found that she is in some pocket dimension with very specific way inside.
there are four objects in the keep with some sort of magic surrounding them.
tree outside, A bed, A shallow well of water near the rear of the keep upstairs and the throne.
I am unsure if we need to do in and order but from what our mage is saying it looks like we can do one at a time.
You can apparently access by one person touching the object and others wishing to go through as well touching them, and thinking of an image.
Hopefully these do not change.
Well = lying in the grass looking up at the sun.
Throne = sitting in the throne with a big crowed in front of you.
Bed = two people having sex in the bed
Tree = TO COME ( possibly a bird trees on gaming table at bobs place)

I’m am unsure what we are going to face in there so I am of little help to let you know what to expect.
My advise is expect anything. The only help I can pass on is If she is a spell caster use what ever protection you can find for that, if she is a warrior do what you can. Maybe a mix.
One thing she can do is make you blind. Take people that can fight without sight.
And take a lot of people.
You will need people that can detect magic.
Take one or two of our army’s if need be.
If we fail again she could take over our lands.

If you are successful and recover our body’s I leave you my Great sword and my Fey Bane Great sword.

To our little one I leave my Teleporting helmet may she use it to get in and out of trouble some day.

To Jubilost Narthropple I leave my mapping supply’s

To Durz I leave my codpiece my it forever protect that witch he holds most dear.

To my brother James Tanaster I leave my Armour may it protect him as it did me.

Top Oleg Leveton I leave all my alcohol as the one who helped us first many years ago.

And finally I impart some words of wisdom from my time on this Plane of existence

( hit your enemy harder and faster than they can you and you shall prevail )

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In which we continue to move towards our goal, room by room

Once I opened my eyes, the fight went much more smoothly. Not for me, you must understand, as I swung Briar to no avail, but I could at least see my valiant companions cutting down these evil fae as though they were stalks of wheat.

Learion kept his eyes down and swung lustily, Rafe, blinded by the fae, but somehow as precise as ever, pierced defence after defence and Oret, nimble Oret, moved through the throng of women like quicksilver and bludgeoned them senseless.

Our casters were more sensible and simply hung back, knowing there was very little they could add, and they only risked being blinded for little reason.

Once the blinded nymphs were dispatched, we searched their room thoroughly. There was a little bit of magic, but only Imajica seemed interested in it, as it was a magical dress of some form. Oret did managed to grab a beautiful dress for his bride to be as well. And a strange collection of tiny musical instruments was also collected, one of which was a magical horn of some description.

There was plenty more searching as we moved from room to room, expanding our search for Nyrissa. It was becoming more obvious that she might not even be here in the castle, which left me confused as to where she might be.

It was at this point that we walked into a good sized room that looked to have been converted into a water clock that size of the room, with a small library around the walls. A blue imp creature was inside, busily fluttering around.

It wasn’t sure we should be there, but between Imajica, Learion and Rafe, the group was able to get it to provide us with some information. But while they were talking, something about this nagged at my subconscious…my dream! This was the creature and room in my dream!

Suddenly, the imp clasped its hand over its mouth and I recognised this immediately and ducked behind my shield. Before I could warn the others, the imp exploded and covered the room and any nearby with the blue watery fluid of its demise.

We did learn that Nyrissa was likely to be in her own pocket dimension of sorts. This could only be reached by touching certain objects in the castle in a certain order. Four objects in particular. The imp expired before we could be told what and where the objects were and what order they needed to be touched. But at least we had more of a clue than moments prior.

More exploration followed and we ended up stairs on the third level. This whole level rundown and walls were crumbling, holes through everything and there was even a flitter of movement.

Learion immediately called out for his father and got a response. He wisely asked a follow up question, but this wasn’t answered, so we assumed the worst. Well, most of us did. Imajica betrayed a lack of patience that we have seen on occasion from him (and somewhat unusual for an elf at that) and he stalked straight through the very door the voice came from…

…and was immediately turned to stone.

Looking around, it was suddenly obvious that many of the stone things around the place were, in fact, statues, and probably were once alive before coming across whatever foul thing was in the room.

Imajica wasn’t the only one to fall foul of the power. Rafe stepped into the room as well and immediately turned to stone as well.

Io provide the statue of Imajica with a semblance of life, animating the stone and directing it to attack what it could see. Khan filled the room with fog to protect the others from seeing her, as I flew over the rubble, looking directly at a snake headed woman, the snakes in place of her hair, waving around, ready to bite.

I felt the love of Iomedae wash over me. Clearly I had been protected from something, likely the very affliction that hampered Imajica. The foul woman disappeared into the fog, but I had spotted her moments before so I was able to follow her easily.

While I had little success killing her, I was able to guide others to her location. Learion stumbled along carefully averting his eyes from the woman, and Rafe practically skipped over the rubble after Io had managed to break the enchantment over him. Oret rushed forward as well and between us, we cornered her.

She was trapped!

And she died. Sword blows landed, fists and knees hammered home and she slumped to the ground, dead within seconds.

Still, she was dead, but we had a statue to try and restore into an elf. How are we supposed to do that? Io explained he only had one spell that could fix the problem and he had cast it on Rafe. The situation looked dire.

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In which I realise that fighting with my eyes closed is a bad idea

The worm man simply disappeared! Again!

Imajica and Khan were able to confirm that he had actually teleported rather than simply going invisible. Since we had no idea where he could have gone, we decided to get our group back in close proximity for any required healing.

While we did that, Imajica decided to check out one of the doors below the bridge we were all currently standing on. Healing done, everybody who could move (which turned out to be everybody since the paralysis had worn off) went downstairs to check out the door with imajica.

Thankfully nobody else was badly hurt with the area of reversed gravity wore off.

Of course, not everybody could simply fly down, so those that couldn’t made their way to the stairs and began their descent. I was carrying Io and about to fly down when the whole area was suddenly covered in a foul smelling mist, causing us to try and flee the area, or risk vomiting uncontrollably. The worm man was invisible and while we reeled back in shock, he moved through to the dining hall.

Or so I was told.

Carrying Io back to the bridge, I moved through the now open door, only to find numerous spells going off. While I couldn’t see the enemy, our casters spells helped at least locate his general position.

Of course, I never got close to him. Io cast a large zone of silence, forcing the enemy mage to retreat, right into the charge range of Rafe, who gleefully stabbed him as quickly as possible after Khan had cast yet another valuable spell on the creature.

Of course, Io finally decided that this combatant was too dangerous to let continue alive, so he cast a spell he has only talked to me about, but has resisted casting due to its awful power. The worm man exploded into wormy dust, his clothes and equipment dropping to the floor, completely unharmed.

I got the distinct impression the others were a little shocked at Io’s power, since all they had really seen prior to this was him healing and magically assisting them.

After clearing up the items (and Imajica gasping in excited glee), we continued on our way through the castle, looking for more of Nyrissa’s goons to cut down to size.

Realising that we had left an enclosed area back in the tower where Oret was unable to break through some vines and climb into a loft of some description.

We also needed rest and replenishment of spells, so that room seemed like a likely place to safely barricade ourselves.

Learion and Oret managed to break through the vines and a number of us stood under the trapdoor eagerly watching to see what Oret would find. Turns out he found something like a dirt dragon. It wasn’t really a dragon, but it was certainly shaped like one.

It vomited a huge amount of dirt over us while Oret was punching, kicking, elbowing and headbutting the thing as fast as he could as he was virtually trapped up there with it. I had stepped back to give the others some room and pleaded with Iomedae to grant me the power to heal my injured comrades. Thankfully she granted me a portion of her power to do so.

The next thing we knew, the dirt started streaming through the tiny opening in a veritable landslide, right over the only one left standing in its way. Rafe. Rafe bravely held up his blade in the hopes of harming the creature as it flowed past him. it appeared in conjunction with whatever else had harmed it in the preceding few seconds was enough to see it slice itself to death on his razor sharp blade.

A long rest later allowed everybody to recuperate a touch and Imajica to study his spell books for some more spells. I, along with Khan and Io, however, had to wait until their respective gods bestowed our daily allotment of spells back upon us.

While resting, I had a strange dream. I dreamed of some strange imp like creature in a room of watery something. It then exploded in a haze of watery essence. I have no idea what that means, but I jerked awake at that point.

Rested as well as we can be, we continued to travel through the castle. We stumbled on a lone fae, her eyes clearly removed from her hear, blood streamed down from her sockets. Rafe, Learion, Oret and even Khan managed to squeeze into the small room with her, cutting her down, but not before she screaming in agonizing fashion and exuded an aura of sickening horror.

Imajica quickly plugged the door behind us with an extremely powerful spell as several more of the same creature (nymphs of some description I’m told). With no way past the door, we had to wait until Imajica could dispel the effect and let us pass. That said, it sounded as though there was a huge amount of magical power being expended outside, so perhaps the portal served a valuable purpose in the meantime.

The door cleared again, I rushed through to try and provide cover for the others, but they screamed again and I shut my eyes in preparation of the worst….blind! I carefully opened my eyes again and everything was blurry. Focusing hard, I was able to blink away the haze and stared directly at the cursed women again, ready to defend my friends.

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how to increase your cardio

I come out of my induced non movement state inflicted by the wriggling worm man, ON THE CEILING!!!

He had disappeared and I decided to leave the upside down state on my own terms and stepped out of the affected area and quickly descended to the ground with a large thump.

Not long after that Imagica stated he was going to open a door downstairs . Wait I said let me get down there!!

No I cant wait… so he opened the door a few seconds later people come rushing up the stairs saying Worm Man up stairs!!!!

I could not see any worm man but Imajica could so I followed his spells. I ran to where his spell went… as soon as I got there his spells were going to another part of the room…. Fantastic i’m running after a invisible man a great way to increase my cardio!

After running around a bit our swashbuckler put and end to the worm man with a flick of his wrists… Thank God.

We looked around a bit searched some rooms and then we came across a nymph with no eyes she screamed and the fight started.

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What goes up must ..... umm stay up?

So we are in the keep and Imagica starts showing an interest in Flora and Fauna so I decide it my be best to stay with him for a bit in case he did something he shouldn’t to the trees. Eventually we return to the room with the pool of water. As we head on in further things look decidedly familiar. These are the halls I say in my vision when I Scried for Poppa Tanister. So the guys decide we should head up stairs to try and clear out as many of the Fey Bitches Minions as possible. The trouble is these halls look exactly the same. A few small empty rooms later we find a couple of Wyverns having a bit of a chat in the dining room. We quickly dispatched them but not before some of us took a bit of damage. We all thought we were in for something cool when we found a secret door. Unfortunately it only lead to servants quarters which were all empty aswell. A bit later we come upon an Angel, he seemed to be saying stuff that didnt make sense and it was as if he didnt really want to say it. Before the confrontation became deadly I cast Greater Dispel Magic and poof he was gone. But then we got attacked by a mage with the worst case of worms I have ever seen. Interestingly he cast anti gravity which caused a bit of an interesting combat. Just when we were getting on top he vanished… To be continued.

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In which all corridors look like Khan's memory

We tried to make our way further into the castle, but Imajica and Khan decided a quick look around the courtyard and the trees there was in order first. Knowing that those two had plenty of ways to deal with any situations that might come up, the rest of us waited, some more patiently than others, in the pool room.

They came back with little additional information, so we moved deeper into the castle. Khan immediately recognised these passages as the ones he saw when scrying on Learions fathers. Knowing that this meant we would be lead to the last place we saw Nyrissa, it was suggested that we take a different route to ensure that we had cleared out the castle of any potential help she might have.

Up the stairs it was then.

Khan immediately recognised these corridors as the ones he looked at while scrying for Learions father…hmmm…something of an issue here then, since apparently all these passages are going to look similar.

Some searching around found bedrooms, store rooms and a large, run down, dining room. Which happened to be populated with two large wyverns. Having fought them previously,, I stood in the doorway to allow the rest of the party to get their spells and weapons ready.

Unfortunately, the wyverns were quicker to react than us and bit, raked, and stabbed me with their tail stingers and one of them then grabbed me with its large claws and pulled me closer to its mouth, saliva and halitosis bearing down on me.

At least the other wyvern was quickly dispatched. Realising that its companion was dead, the one that held my, not so tenderly I might add, in its strong claws, let me go and attacked any who came near it. Including Io! He had stepped into the fray to heal me as I looked to be bleeding and in some serious difficulty. He managed that, but suffered a frightful wound of his own and was poisoned for bad measure.

The final wyvern died quickly after that, but it came down to an unlikely source to cure the poison and save my son. Imajica was able to convert his arcane magics into something resembling divine power and removed the poison from Io, much to everybodies relief.

A secret door was found, and a short exploratory trip later revealed nothing of urgent importance, so we made our way over a bridge adjoining this dining hall and the next room. But not before Oret had ventured downstairs to ensure the sounds of battle hadn’t drawn in more opponents. He advised us there was nothing there, other than a sense of him being watched.

We stepped onto the bridge and were stopped in our tracks by an angel! Who claimed to be protecting Nyrissa! Some foul magics were afoot here, and I tried to find a way to talk to the angel and see if it was being held against its will.

Khan took a more direct route. He attempted to dispel any protective magics the angel might have, but instead, it winked from existence. Imajica has been trying to explain to me ever since that this was not actually an angel, but simply a summoned creature and therefore was not acting on the will of the heavens, but I’ve had trouble following the extremely academic explanations, since all I can really understand is that an angel appeared, it was an angel, it acted like an angel, it certainly wasn’t evil…so under the slightly less academic argument…if it looks like a duck, it sounds like a duck, it acts like a duck…surely it’s a duck? Angel? Sigh…too complicated for me. Either way, Khan used the right magic at the right time.

Suddenly spells went off, and we hadn’t cast them. Several members of our party went completely still and the man made of worms was floating off to one side. What followed was a frustrating game of cat and mouse as the enemy went invisible and moved while casting spells. Thankfully, Khan was able to highlight where the creature was and we could now follow it.

The creature reversed the gravity in the area, but that actually worked more to our advantage as those who were stuck on the bridge out of reach were suddenly able to walk on the ceiling and charge at the mage as it was floating within reach. Several strong strikes later and the mage was reeling back in pain, but it’s not finished yet…

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Who lets wyverns sit on the table?
What wriggling man?

Standing at the next set of doors waiting for the rest of the party to ready them selves took muck longer that I was expecting. Our mage decided to go on a grad tour of the courtyard inspect every tree and blade of grass before finally coming back and continuing on our path.

We opened the door and found our self in a corridor that our druid said look similar with his vision looked in a few rooms and then decided to go to another floor not in keeping with our normal search pattern but meh!

Up a flight of stairs and a few rooms later we open a door and are greeted by two very large Wyverns lounging on the two dining room tables. They flared up and attacked. The pally took a few blows and then ran on in and got picked up by one of the beasts.

I swung my sword into one of the Wyverns and felt like I hit a vulnerable spot on the evil creature and did some serious damage to the beast. It was finished of seconds later.
The second on was alone and was holding the pally and licking him in spots where even a Wyvern should not dare to lick. It decided to drop the pally as it was being hit from every side by the party. It bit poor Io and then fell to its wounds.

Io was poisoned and was fading fast. Our mage swooped into action and saved him with a well times spell.

We found a secret door and I used my key to get past the lock. more bed rooms and stuff nothing to interesting.

We went to go across a small bridge over the top of the throne room into next part of the upper castle and were greeted by a angelic being telling us that the Nymph was protected by god!!! WHAT!! the Nymph?? we talking about the same thing here???
Suddenly the druid cast a spell the angelic thing dissipated in a puff of smoke and all I can remember now is not being able to move hearing chaos all around me then floating or falling into the ceiling. Lets hope its not permanent!!!

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In which we learn the Linnorm was named Bad Jelly

The fight was going badly and we were being forced onto the back foot. At this point, Learion gasped in surprise as he slapped his hand into his full plate armour’s back pocket (yeah, go figure that particular accessory out).

_It was dingle mouse. He had forgotten that he had put him there the day before.
Learion started to cry and told Dingle mouse that the Linnorm is going to eat us all up with peanut butter!. But then suddenly Dingle mouse cried out “I got-a Idea! I know a big strong eagle called Jim. He is my friend and he owes me money!. Ill go try and get him” Then Dingle mouse jumped out of my pocket and ran off to find Jim.

Learion yelled “Please hurry, Hurry the Linnorm is going to eat us soon.”

So Dingle Mouse ran, he ran as fast as he could, he ran so fast his tail caught fire and he had to sit in a bucked of cold water to put it out. piiissshhhhh!!! “That’s better” Dingle Mouse said.

After a few more attacks on the Linoorm and Dingle mouse had reached the Tree where Jim the giant Eagle was asleep.

JIM! JIM WAKE UP!! JIM WAKE UP!!! JIM YABBA DABBA DOO!!

Dingle mouse looked at Jim and he still was the same old Jim. Jim was a beautiful Eagle, he had brown feathers on his body, white feathers on his head a big yellow break and blue eyes and he was nearly as strong as god!

“HURRY UP JIM! The Linnorm is going to eat the party soon with peanut butter!”

So Jim the Eagle quickly took off his pajamas. Dingle Mouse jumped on Jim’s back and away they flew.

“Faster Jim Faster the Linnorm is winning the fight HURRY HURRY” Dingle Mouse said.

Still fighting the Linnorm Learion yelled out to the others " Can you see anyone coming to save us?"

“No No we can’t” said the party. “Look” Learion said “The Linnorm is about to breath on us again!!”

The Linnorm let out and Evil and very long cackle " I’m going to get you" with another Evilly long cackle.

“Look” I said “in the distance its Jim the eagle, Jim the Eagle is coming!”

The Linnorm was inhaling for its final death breath on the party and then Jim the Eagle flew up to the party and said “quick get on my back, Hurry” the Linnorm was starting to breath out “STOP THEM” screamed the Linnorm “ahhhhaaaa Stop them!”

But the party was on the mighty eagles back and away we flew away from the terrible Linnorm.

The linnorm was so angry it screamed “STINKY POO!!! Stinky Poo Stinky Poo knickers knickers knickers” and then started to chase after the party. It said “I have some magic powder that I’m going to chuck on you and turn you into china-mans legs!”

Jim the eagle flew up and up and he hid inside a cloud and the Linnorm flew around and around, around and around the cloud it flew waiting for Jim and the party to come out.

Just then God came along and when he saw what the wicked Linnorm was going to do to the party he told the Linnorm “GO AWAY!” “NO I WONT, I WONT” said the Linnorm and tried to scrach Gods eyes out. So God pointed his finger at the Linnorm and zap, thump he had made the Linnorm Burst like a balloon and disappear like smoke.

When Jim the Eagle saw that the Linnorm was dead he flew the party back down to the castle entrance. We then said our goodbyes._

That ended possibly the most bizarre event of our already very strange adventuring careers.

We were confronted by some massive portcullis gates. A little gentle ribbing towards Learion saw he not only attempt to lift the gate, but succeed! It’s amazing what some reverse psychology can do…

The sight that greeted us was terrifying and straight from Learion’s nightmare. It was the fabled jabberwocky. Huge, terrifying and moved to attack us as soon we moved further into bailey.

The fight was confusing, dangerous and we had significant trouble harming the beast. However, Briar was determined to see the end of it and seemed to be sneaking through its defences slightly more often than I would normally do on the creature of this magnitude.

Magic rained down in the form of summoned creatures as Imajica and Khan found directly affecting it was supremely difficult. In the end, the mighty beast fell.

The previous two fights had taxed our spellcasters greatly and Io, Khan and Imajica were looking forward to some much needed rest. Unfortunately, the last rest was less than a couple of hours ago and we are in the middle of the enemy castle.

Searching for somewhere that might be suitable, we stumbled across some undead horses in the stables. Not sure what to do about them, Imajica discerned that these were likely summoned creates rather than undead, so we left them alone for the time being.

The last place to look before going into the castle proper turned out to be a pool room, surrounded by thousands of tiny demonic statues, all frowning or crying, with the exception of one smiling statue that a sharp eyed compatriot spotted.

We removed the smiling statue and the room, previously dull, musty, and diseased room suddenly changed into a pristine, sparkling room with beautiful clear pool in the centre.

I had a drink from the pool, and it was both delicious and extremely refreshing. We decided to leave the rest of the water alone in case we needed some extra healing later on.

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A good story helps
Thanks Jim

We approached the castle gate and as expected the Green Dragon we spotted the day before rose up and attacked.

I was told It was a linnorm Dragon but with two heads this made very little difference to me as it did not effect how I was going to deal with it.
I hit things as hard as I can when I can reach them and if I can not I fire pointy things at it from afar.
This case it was the latter. It seamed to shrug off all the attacks that hit it, it was going to be a long fight.
But just as it looked as though all was lost something surprising happened. And this is as best as I can recall what happened.

As I was sending sharp pointy things flying at the two headed Linnorm I felt something in my Trouser pocket move.
It was dingle mouse, I had forgotten that I had put him there the day before.
I started to cry and told Dingle mouse that the Linnorm is going to eat us all up with peanut butter!. But then suddenly Dingle mouse cried out “I got-a Idea! I know a big strong eagle called Jim. He is my friend and he owes me money!. Ill go try and get him” Then Dingle mouse jumped out of my pocket and ran off to find Jim.
I yelled out Please Hurry, Hurry the Linnorm is going to eat us soon.

So Dingle Mouse ran, he ran as fast as he could, he ran so fast his tail caught fire and he had to sit in a bucked of cold water to put it out. piiissshhhhh!!! “That’s better” Dingle Mouse said.

After a few more attacks on the Linoorm and Dingle mouse had reached the Tree where Jim the giant Eagle was asleep.
JIM! JIM WAKE UP!! JIM WAKE UP!!! JIM YABBA DABBA DOO!!
Dingle mouse looked at Jim and he still was the same old Jim. Jim was a beautiful Eagle, he had brown feathers on his body, white feathers on his head a big yellow break and blue eyes and he was nearly as strong as god!
HURRY UP JIM! The Linnorm is going to eat the party soon with peanut butter!”
So Jim the Eagle quickly took off his pajamas.
Dingle Mouse jumped on Jim’s back and away they flew. “Faster Jim Faster the Linnorm is winning the fight HURRY HURRY” Dingle Mouse said.

Still fight the Linnorm I yelled out to the others " can you see anyone coming to save us?"
“No No we cant” said the party. “Look” I said “the Linnorm is about to breath on us again!!”
The Linnorm let out and Evil and very long cackle " I’m going to get you" with another Evilly long cackle.
“Look” I said “in the distance its Jim the eagle, Jim the Eagle is coming!”
The Linnorm was inhaling for its final death breath on the party and then Jim the Eagle flew up to the party and said “quick get on my back, Hurry” the Linnorm was starting to breath out “STOP THEM” screamed the Linnorm “ahhhhaaaa Stop them!”
But the party was on the mighty eagles back and away we flew away from the terrible Linnorm.
The linnorm was so angry it screamed “STINKY POO!!! Stinky Poo Stinky Poo knickers knickers knickers” and then started to chase after the party. It said “I have some magic powder that I’m going to chuck on you and turn you into china-mans legs!”
Jim the eagle flew up and up and he hid inside a cloud and the Linnorm flew around and around, around and around the cloud it flew waiting for Jim and the party to come out.
Just then God came along and when he saw what the wicked Linnorm was going to do to the party he told the Linnorm “GO AWAY!” “NO I WONT, I WONT” said the Linnorm and tried to scrach Gods eyes out. So God pointed his finger at the Linnorm and Zap thump he had made the Linnorm Burst like a balloon and disappear like smoke.
When Jim the Eagle saw that the Linnorm was dead he flew the party back down to the castle entrance. We then said our goodbyes.

Well that is how I remember it the rest of the party may have a different view point.

Next we had to get into the castle so I was bet by the pally that I could not lift the portcullis “right ill show you” and it was a struggle to lift and the party standing around having a chat wile i was holding it open was more that a challenge but i was not going to show any strain on my face and as soon as they had eventually walked through I let it go, Ha! take that one you Pally.

Smugness was soon replaced with terror as I saw what was waiting for us.
There was a jabbawockee !!!
It was easily the hardest fight we have ever done. It was flying all around the castle, confusing some of us, eye beaming us, clawing us, biting us but in the end we prevailed.
Most of the magic users are now not looking forward to continuing on as I think they are nearly spent.

We looked around a bit and found a stable of undead horses we are going to leave them alone at the moment as they could have a curse on them that could be lifted if we Kill the Nymph.

Up stairs we came across a small room with many many statues of little unhappy demons and one happy demon. We removed the happy one and the room transformed before our eyes.
A pool of water formed in the fountain and plants grew to full bloom. The Pally took a drink of the water and felt fantastic but this left us with only about two more drinks worth. We decided to leave the rest there encase we need it.

On to the next room.

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In which acid baths are found to be overrated

A jet black crone, standing taller than me, hunched over, with massive long talons for fingernails ambled over to us. The dragon we had just killed lay still, oozing from a multitude of wounds and she seemed not the slightest concerned.

In fact, she wanted to chat and have a cup of tea. She was so polite, but Iomedae practically screamed at me that this creature was a great evil. My moral dilemma was that she was making no threatening moves, not trying to attack in any way, simply offering us a cup of tea back in her hut.

Nothing made me comfortable and moral compass veered wildly between smiting the evil being to letting her live because she posed no threat currently. With no ability to make a final decision myself, I popped back into the faerie ring and asked Andromeda Niska if she knew anything about this sort of hag and if they could be left to their own devices.

“Why aren’t you already killing it?”

It seemed to me that somebody who knew a lot more about hags made the call, and I was willing to trust her judgement as she had more than earned it over the past several years.

I stepped out of the faerie ring and immediately attacked. Within seconds, the evil crone was on her back from magic slamming into her and several large gashes graced her, courtesy of Learion, Oret and I.

Before we could finish her off, a large stone golem lumbered out of the forest, intent on protecting its mistress. Immediately trapped in a pit, it ceased to be a threat, but by the time we turned back to the hag, she had teleported to who only knows where.

The magical pit finally wore off and the stone golem re-appeared, but it was no match for our now mighty party. An ancient black dragon, this thing was not…

With little other options, we headed in the direction the tracks the hag had made led us in. This eventually took us to her hut, which was conspicuously empty. No other leads jumped out at us, so it was decided to head back to the castle.

This was a lengthy trip and Andromeda had decided to come with us.

Arriving at our destination, we were greeted by the castle, restored back to its full glory. It looked exactly like the illusion of it did, but this was clearly no illusion this time. The castle was back and looking formidable.

Lying at the front of the gates was a large, wingless, two headed dragon. imajica informed us this was a similar creature to the linnorm we had fought previously, but was unable to provide us with any other pertinent information.

With little other choice, I moved towards the great beast, only to be greeted by it flying towards us and unleashing a violent gout of acid over me. While I am more resistant to acid than most, the pain was immense and I called on Iomedae to heal me as I brought Briar to bear on it.

Khan unleashed some of the most concentrated weather and summoning spells I have ever seen him do, and still, the great beast not only with stood it all, but simply moved away. Four giant rocs, one of which was even larger than the linnorm itself, a typhoon whirling above our heads and other magical effects flew at it, only to be dismissed with scary ease.

And on top of that, it was able to use both heads to breath more acid on me, two streams colliding and inflicting as much pain as I recall ever feeling. Io called all the melee warriors in our party back to him and I have retreated at his urging.

Iomedae preserve us!

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