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To First Mate Corus

From Captain Zanzibar

 

Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Drink and the devil had done for the rest

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

The mate was fixed by the bosun’s pike

The bosun brained with a marlinspike

And cookey’s throat was marked belike

It had been gripped by fingers ten;

And there they lay, all good dead men

Like break o’day in a boozing ken.

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

 

Fifteen men of the whole ship’s list

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Dead and be damned and the rest gone whist!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

The skipper lay with his nob in gore

Where the scullion’s axe his cheek had shore

And the scullion he was stabbed times four

And there they lay, and the soggy skies

Dripped down in up-staring eyes

In murk sunset and foul sunrise

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

 

Fifteen men of ’em stiff and stark

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Ten of the crew had the murder mark!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Twas a cutlass swipe or an ounce of lead

Or a yawing hole in a battered head

And the scuppers’ glut with a rotting red

And there they lay, aye, damn my eyes

Looking up at paradise

All souls bound just contrariwise

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

 

Fifteen men of ’em good and true

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Ev’ry man jack could ha’ sailed with Old Pew,

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

There was chest on chest of Elvish gold

With a ton of plate in the middle hold

And the cabins riot of stuff untold,

And they lay there that took the plum

With sightless glare and their lips struck dumb

While we shared all by the rule of thumb,

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

 

More was seen through a sternlight screen…

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Chartings undoubt where a woman had been

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

‘Twas a flimsy shift on a bunker cot

With a dirk slit sheer through the bosom spot

And the lace stiff dry in a purplish blot

Oh was she wench or some shudderin’ maid

That dared the knife and took the blade

By God! she had stuff for a plucky jade

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

 

Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Drink and the devil had done for the rest

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

We wrapped ’em all in a mains’l tight

With twice ten turns of a hawser’s bight

And we heaved ’em over and out of sight,

With a Yo-Heave-Ho! and a fare-you-well

And a sudden plunge in the sullen swell

Ten fathoms deep on the road to hell,

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

 

The golems started moving. Arthemis did what he does best, -using his swords, and attacked one of them. He managed to give a certain amount of damage, but didn’t manage to put it at ease. Ottamata thought for a split second before disappearing hiding in plain sight, and slowly made his way to the Anthrax entrance/exit. Anthrax didn’t do anything, -to everyone’s surprise. Mokferusu changed into his dragon form, gave everyone more AC and entered air space. This time he actually managed to remember his sacred shield, to protect his vulnerable skin. It turned out that this was a clever ability to remember. Arazaka changed into his alter ego, a 6 meter tall brown bear, before becoming invisible and on his way to the Anthrax entrance/exit. Knarg went the same way.

The golems finally moved and attacked Arthemis with limited success. Some started, for some sick reason, to throw spears at Mokferuso. We still haven’t made it clear what went wrong in Anthrax’ train of thoughts. Suddenly he opened a portal to the Plain of air, and a big motherfucking wind element entered the library and started to attack us, throwing almost everyone into the air.

The golems still attacked Mokferuso, providing severe blows to his chest. The ancient dragon armor took the blows, but they actually managed to give him some damage. The rest of the pack was helplessly circulating around the air elemental, unable to move, fight or cast spells.

Arthemis slew a golem, and we didn’t manage to register what happened next. Ottamata , Romana and Anthrax were still captured in the whirlwind, so Mokferuso had to do something. First he made a “stoneskin” to himself, followed by an “Otto’s irresistible dance” and a “Disintegrate” spell at the wind monster, and to no one’s surprise, it vanished in thin air (sic.).  The flying circus fell to the floor. Satisfied with his brave deed, Mokferuso rested the rest of the round. Anthrax came to his senses and attacked the golems.

“This goes surprisingly well, and it’s all because of me!”, Mokferuso though. The golems had a different idea, and 4 of them started to merge into a super golem. To our surprise, so did the rest. Anthrax tried to attack them, but in vain. Anthrax was gone in a “poof”, and Mokferuso thought it, as always, would be up to him to finish this battle. An “improved invisibility” spell was performed, and he almost blew his lungs out when he spew a cloud of chlorine gas at a super golem. He got some second thoughts when he observed the super golem, and it was not affected at all. The super golem attacked him, and once again the sacred shield took some of the damage. But a blow made it through Mokferuso’s armor, giving him damage.  

We flew. All of us. Even the bravest understood that it would be madness to fight these golems. Impervious to magic and unable to hit.

We regrouped at a rendezvous point directly below the library and decided to wait until the next morning before reentering the library. Mokferuso and Arazaka went, hidden by invisible spells, outside, trying to get an architectural overview of the area.  But they didn’t succeed in finding something interesting, so they went back to the group and spend the night underground. This resulted in no heal during the night.

Inspired by yesterdays limited success, our group of heroes decided to reenter the library. Multiple invisibility spells were thrown, and we all flew up and into the room of super golems. Nothing happened, so we went to the pedestal in the center. Mokferuso hit the top button, it started glowing and a word came to sight; “Sky”. Now, after the first trial, the rest of the group also wanted to play the game, and in the end 8 words occurred. Mokferuso easily stacked them into a readable sentence; “Travel to the divine sky castle of Dragons”, and pushed the buttons in the right combination. An 8 edged star started to glow in the middle of the buttons, and Mokferuso pushed it with a gentle touch. A portal opened…

Mokferuso took the first step into the portal.  Suddenly it went cold, very cold. The sky almost surrounded him and the air was a bit hard to breath. The rest came through, and we suddenly realized that we were 30 000 meters up in the air. Flying was impossible here. A 300 meter high dragon mouth, carved out in the mountain was the only entrance we saw. The skeleton of a long dead 450 meter long dragon in chains guarded the entrance. Due to the cold, the tunnel sounded tempting, and we travelled 200 meters into the mountain. A huge gate structure was located at the end of the tunnel, and it had some kind of hole in it, fist sized.

In a split second, Mokferuso heard the weak sound of air being breathed in and then out, but had no chance in avoiding the effect; He just screamed “dragon breath”, before an intense fire hit the group from behind. Some were immune to the fire, other used their evasion ability. Arazaka had neither, but Romana used her ability to take group damage and ignore it, thereby saving Arazaka’s life. She has actually become a valuable member of the group; her abilities are unique. When they turned around they saw a 450 meter long Draconic Red Dinosaur Dracolich with a fist sized glowing object in his forehead…

The seniors in the group understood the seriousness of the situation; that was a pretty colossal big fucking dragon and probably the largest monster we had met: 450 meters long, MR of 650, immune to critical, 200 HD +++. “Impossible to kill!”, you say? It happened so fast;  Arthemis sped towards the dragon, but didn’t reach him. Anthrax casted a “Hemisphere of force” around Knarg, Ottamata, Arazaka and Romana, in order to protect them from whatever the dragon could come up with. He concluded with a “Greater ruin” spell, and hit the dracolich pretty good. Mokferuso thought well and ended up with one of his Dragon Mage spells, made especially for dealing with undead; “Fook’s sunray”. He hit the dragon even harder. It seemed like the group had the upper hand, but the Dracolich had other intentions. He rushed toward us, but we were just outside his reach. Now he threw a “Morderkainen’s disjunction” at us! And this was serious business, because the soon-to-be dead monster was a 200 HD creature. Anthrax really saved the day and dispelled the spell before it could do any harm. What happened the next second, I’m not sure, but Arthemis started to strike the monster, and suddenly it just fell. Nice one!

We studied the beast for a while and took the key to the portal and pushed it in the key hole. The door opened, we entered, and the gate closed behind us. We had entered the Garden of Eden…

We had stumbled upon a green valley, with trees, berries, fruits, birds and mammals, and some nymphs welcomed us. We saw the sky, but it was obvious to everyone that this was some kind of magic. A river ran towards us from the west, and in north we saw a lake. An interesting place, but where the hell are we and why?

 

Mokferuso, Arazaka and Ottamata

The Hero Party

 

The Draconic Red Dinosaur Dracolich

The Draconic Red Dinosaur Dracolich

 

Arthemis in the garden of eden

Arthemis in the garden of eden

 

 

After resting that night, Mokferuso woke up and felt a bit odd. Slightly confused and slightly dizzy, and now the world was slightly reddish as well. “Probably just a bit uneasy after spending some time here at this wild place”, he thought. He got to his feet, exercised a bit, and went to see the others. He was a bit shocked when everyone looked like zombies, and he felt an urge to kill. Kill someone. Kill everyone. He managed to control himself, and joined the other in their heated discussion.

Ottamata didn’t say much, but everyone understood that his red rash on his hand somehow upset him. Arazaka didn’t have any, and nor did Arthemis, but both Romana and Mokferuso had the same symptoms. “A bit disturbing”, Ottamata said quietly. The ancient plague had once more entered the world, and we were the cause of it. A “remove curse” or “cure disease” spell would temporarily halt the symptoms at ease, and although a miracle spell, which we presently don’t have, would cure the persons infected, -but not remove the parasite from spreading, a demand for a permanent cure will be necessary. In that case, the innocent whale demigod has to be transformed into an antidote.  Not an easy decision.

Mokferuso took the hint. The evil dagger demolished in Dreamlands was the cause of his situation; -the evil spirit had finally entered his body. Mokferuso did what he had to do, and performed an exorcism ritual. The evil spirit screamed in vain as he was towed outside Mokferuso’s body, and utterly annihilated.

Mokferuso felt quite normal again and casted a “Hero’s feast” spell. The party gathered in this feast and got clenched from the ancient plague for one day.

Knarg came and joined us in the feast. He told us what he and Anthrax had experienced during the last night. He told a story about stupidity and bravery, of crocodiles and a vicious monster with tentacles, how he almost died and how Anthrax’ skills in medicine had saved his life. After wiping away drops and bits of the excellent wine and the chicken breasts, we followed him through a system of tunnels and a newly prepared hole in a floor, to a huge library. 72 gold golems with wings and spears somehow guarded the site, but didn’t move. “Just a matter of time”, Arazaka though. Anthrax was reading in a huge tome, and didn’t even replay when we greeted him. How rude! Knarg showed us around. The library contained 2048 different vaults. Each shelve was 80 x 5 x 10 meters, and each short side contained ends of 8 boxes, with 5 levers and a button. “A lot of combinations!”, Arthemis concluded. Although we all were excited of all the potential magical stuff found in these vaults, we felt a bit uneasy. “What if we pushed the wrong button”? Knarg was mostly concerned about the fact that there wasn’t an entrance to the room. We ignored him, and studied the levers instead.

5 levers with 2 positions gives 25 = 32 different combinations, exact the number of vaults on each row. We decided to try one combination, and Arthemis pushed the button. Suddenly a timer and a message appeared, and it turned out that we had exactly 5 minutes to solve a riddle. The first one took us by surprise, and we didn’t know the answer. We tried to push the button once more, but nothing happened. Conclusion; “If you fuck up and don’t answer correctly, you will not get a second chance.”

We chose a row which didn’t hold any interesting magic, and tried another combination. To our surprise, nothing happened. Nothing at all! “Strange”, Arthemis mumbled. We tried another, but nothing happened. A new combination was somehow correct, and a new timer and text appeared. But again we managed to screw things up by not knowing the correct answer. “Riddles, I hate riddles”, Arthemis uttered.
We tried one more, and the next riddle we actually managed to solve. One door opened; success!! This inspired us to continue, but the next riddle was hopelessly difficult. After that we had another failure, and then 3 strikes in a row. But still we hadn’t a solution how the levers worked. We tried some more, and when Arthemis finally managed one riddle, we understood how the combinations needed to enter each vault. Finally a success!!! But we still need to answer the riddles in order to enter the vaults, and here lies probably our biggest challenge. Maybe we can find some hints outside this room.

Knarg still whined about the missing entrance, and we went to help him. We started at the pedestal, and searched it one by one. Romana found some buttons under the tome, and we stood in a row to examine it further. We tried to remember coat-of-arms and symbols from outside, but none came to our minds. And we didn’t want to try some, in case we pushed the wrong ones. We discussed it for a while, and Arthemis used some magic to get hints from the past. The only thing he managed was to throw a “wall of fire” around the pedestal, and immediately the golems spread their wings and flew directly in his direction…

Mokferuso, Arazaka and Ottamata
The Hero Party

 

 

-Anthrax, reader of books

 

The library

The library

The biggest event during the whole session was the fact that Anthrax actually has begun understand the difficult relations nature is build upon, where the large woods play a major role. He suddenly understood the importance of having a healthy breathing mechanism, -also in a place as this. A big “Hurray” for Anthrax! We hope he also will understand the role animals have in nature.

Anyway; Arthemis found himself surrounded by an individual from the Tiny People. A curious little fellow, busy inspecting Arthemis’ backpack, -a gift from Arazaka after Arthemis’ backpack somehow, mysteriously started to burn, and turned it into a nest of some sort, was quickly named Nibbler.  Nibbler was doing his own stuff, making his home in the mentioned backpack, and we hardly noticed him. Arthemis had an experience; The poor fellow didn’t see, hear or feel a thing, but Nibbler actually took out a part of his brain and ate it.  Than he decided to take a nap. He slept a lot. Mokferuso and Arazaka Hara picked 8 different species from the different herbs found throughout the area, carefully placing them in different jars, and the night after we left the Tiny People and followed a yellow star, now found in a totally different place than yesterday evening. Anyway, Nibbler refused to leave us and stayed in the backpack, leaving his people behind.

The walking during night went fine, and so did the next day and night. The day after, Nibbler started to move around, and flew above Arthemis’ head. He drew something odd from his small brain and offered it to Arthemis, who without second thought picked it up an ate it. A quite spectacular view! After that Nibbler returned to his backpack and disappeared for a while. Arthemis got some abilities from Nibbler, they have possibly connected somehow.

We noticed a fortification of some sort on our right side, and decided to inspect it further. We arrived early that morning, and when the sun’s fingers stroke the stairs outside the building, it was reflected in gold. Gold ornaments. The building was actually a huge temple; circular, with a diameter of approximately 70 meters. A temple of good, but fungus, moss and plants covered it and the ground outside. The roof was held up by stone pillars, huge oil drums and mirrors in addition to ornaments decorated the room. 6 gold statues of the cat (jaguar?) people surrounded a lid with 4 locks. The roof was covered by an enormious (sic.) gold dragon was drawn made of gold (sic.).

In his inner eye, Arthemis saw back in time, and discovered that the 6 statues actually were 6 high level priests who said rites and was covered in gold. We guessed that the gold dragon in the roof was created in this way, as a protector of the temple. They gave 4 keys to different persons before dying. The four keys would probably fit into the 4 locks, but the problem was to locate the 4 keys. Romana refused to start looking for them (-a rude gesture when you think of how much we have sacrificed to get her safe and sound to the dragon lair and back; 6 months of exile, ). Arthemis decided to look for them himself. He and Nibbler disappeared and reappeared some minutes later with the keys. Nice work, Arthemis! Nibbler was slightly paler, thought.

We inserted the keys and turned them simultaneously. It opened. A 3 meter wide well came in sight, and water was observed beneath. We entered, found a door, opened it, went in, closed it and opened a second door. A fragile golden egg appeared, with inscriptions and ornaments. We carefully lifted it up and transported it upstairs for a closer inspection from Arazaka. The egg was an ancient development. The cat people made it for a champion among its people. The champion could break the egg, and he would experience some major improvements; feats, epic feats, wps, stat pluses etc. If the person dies, the egg will restore and again absorb the abilities. As always, we thought of the good of the group. Knarg have slightly had anything the past months, so he broke the egg, which turned into a very small egg, and got the benefits of it and in addition he got the ranger equipment. Go Knarg!

The next night a T-Rex attacked us. Without much effort, Arthemis cut it into small pieces and left it to rot. Mime got an eye, though.

A meadow nearly became someone’s bane, as we fell through it and landed on a large spider’s web. A 30 meter long spider appeared, and I guess everyone felt a bit pity for the poor monster which soon was going to be transformed into meat and bones. Rommel made a stunning roar and Arthemis made his swords do the talking. Seconds later, the team was on their way into it’s lair…

Mokferuso, Arazaka Hara and Ottamata