Random Encounter, pt 1

So.  This sort of came out of left field.  Let me just say this.  I despise Pathfinder Society Organized Play — yes, there, I’m on record saying it — but I have a number of PFS characters who I still love dearly.  Kiroko is one of them (and Yomiko is PJ’s, written with his permission.)

This sucker got so long that I decided to split it into two parts.  The second part is done, I just didn’t want to post a wall o’ text all at once.  So part 2 will go up next week, I guess.  Or sooner, if people ask for it.

As a last side note, this takes place sometime during our three week downtime between Glenn’s transformation back into a human, and the start of module 5.  Probably after Crystalhue.  I keep thinking I should post a chronological timeline of all the posts on the blog, since a lot of them are out of order.

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“How did we get stuck with errand duty?” Yomiko Yukishiro whined as she followed her sister out of Balthazar’s Trade Goods, bearing a small crate that clinked with various equipment and supplies. “There are ancient ruins that haven’t been touched in over 10,000 years just waiting to be explored, and we’re running around Magnimar gathering spell components!”

“This is important, too, Yomiko,” Kiroko replied as she held the door to the shop open for her sister, shouldering a large haversack before pulling out a piece of parchment tucked into the golden-colored obi of her white kimono. “Heidmarch Manor wasn’t prepared for the influx of Pathfinders it’s been receiving over the last few weeks, and someone has to do the mundane jobs.”

“Yeah, but it doesn’t have to be us,” Yomiko muttered. “We should be out in the field. Isn’t there a research facility just outside the city that–”

“Soon, Yomiko!” Kiroko replied, half-amused and half-exasperated, as she paused to read over the parchment. “There will be plenty of time for dungeon delving. The ruins will still be there in a few days. Let’s see…it looks like our last stop is the Bazaar of Sails. We’re almost done.”

“Finally.” Continue reading

All The Warm Lives

Glenn moved through the streets of Sandpoint easily. It was a bright, crisp winter’s day, but despite the season, the sun hung radiantly in the sky, and the human wore the hood of his cloak down, walking freely among the citizens of the village he had come to know so well. Despite his relaxed behavior – a trait he would have never exhibited a year ago, even before the curse had taken him – the people he passed barely seemed to notice him. Faces that he recognized gave him little more than a casual glance, allowing him to slip between the crowds of people gathered in the village square and lining around the outdoor vendor stalls.

It was an odd feeling. How does one go about re-introducing oneself to people you already know? Glenn had never bothered to tell anyone besides his companions about the curse that had transformed him into a grippli. Even with the curse-breaking flower that Bill had acquired, and the knowledge of how to undo the magics that had altered him, up until the moment he felt like he was being torn apart – when the curse was finally broken and he was restored to his true form – Glenn had never truly believed that he would be able to restore his own humanity. Up until very recently, part of him had been convinced that it was his fate to live in his new form indefinitely, a punishment for all the sins he had committed, starting with the death of Sir Warren nearly a year ago. Ironically, it wasn’t until the memories of his excursion to Abaddon started to return to him that he began to realize that the only way to ultimately break the curse would begin by letting go of his own personal guilt. In their repeated attempts to break his mind and make him do – well, whatever their endgame was, Glenn still wasn’t sure on that – the Daemons had inadvertently strengthened his resolve.

It had been two weeks since he had regained his human form. Despite walking the familiar streets of Sandpoint, a place he longed to call home someday, he felt like a stranger in a strange land. Continue reading

Limitations. Osanna’s Journal Part 22.

Osanna sits with her back up against the large shrine to Sarenrae inside of Magnimar’s church prior the arrival of her companions to teleport them to the ominous Ring of Seven Stones in the far northern reaches of Varisia.  She takes a moment clear her head before producing her journal, pulling her knees into her chest, and laying the book upon them to write.

The last three weeks have been largely restful and joyous.  Life here in the Underbridge district has been going on quite unabated since Her church was erected, and I can see subtle shifts in the people that live here.  There’s more foot traffic.  More shopkeepers opening their doors and barking to the passersby in order to sell their wares.  The streets are looking cleaner.  People are beginning to tidy up and take more pride in the areas around their homes and businesses.  Children are playing in the streets.  Tempers are flaring less.  Smiles are more abundant.   I know that there are many factors playing in to these shifts, to include reduced Sczarni activity after taking the head off of that snake that was harassing Glenn, but I’m grateful for them all the same.

3 weeks ago the lot of us celebrated Glenn’s transformation and the end of a very dark chapter in our story.  It was the first time that I can say that we were all able to truly relax and enjoy each other’s company.  For years I’ve been concerned about what effects alcohol would have on my…personality…and I made the choice to take a risk.  It was the most fun that I’ve ever had.  We laughed, danced, joked, and pranked.  It was truly some of the worst dancing that I’ve ever seen, and as pretty as I’ve ever seen Samael.  I’m sure that I’ll catch hell for the braids, but it was worth it.  Everything was.

I spoke to Samael about, well, him.  It went as well as I expected it to.  It hit me some time ago that that mask that he wears has more than one purpose.  It is a symbol of his order and station, true, but it also serves to cover up the man that he truly is.  I’m on to him now.  Prior conversations we’ve had, his comments to me, and the way he genuinely cares for the orphans clearly indicates that there is a benevolent soul underneath all of that black armor and the pentagram, and I sense that there is at least some part of him that yearns to be the man that he wants to be versus the man that others have made him be.  He’s as stubborn as they get, but every goal worth achieving is worth working for.  I will continue to try to add sunshine and water to his heart to see if it will grow from the two-sizes-too-small that is has been since he was a boy. 

For twenty days I was happy and I knew joy.  Today, the twenty first day was horrid.  As I was sharing morning prayers with Her faithful, Bill destroyed the serene scene in a fit of selfish rage.  The large Billtroll pinned me to the ground, threatened me, and frightened every other living soul in the church before egressing.  He did this to me even after offering me a colored stone during Crystalhue as a peace offering!  Praise Sarenrae for granting me with a sense of serenity at that moment, for the people needed to know that there was no imminent danger and that all was well.  Sarenrae and Glenn may have been the only 2 forces in the world that would have been able to keep my anger in check after such an outrageous assault on my person and the sanctity of Her house.  Thank you Mother for your guidance and for my dear friend.

I almost lost it.  Almost.  I’ve lived with my anger all of my life and it has never come so close to the surface as it did this morning.  I saw the looks on their faces when they came to get me.  I know what they saw, for I’ve seen her in the mirror many times over the years.  There’s a part of me that’s glad that they did, for now they can fully appreciate the at times colossal efforts that I take to keep my demonic lineage from getting the better of me.  I was truly prepared to cut Bill to shreds a pair of hours ago, and the only thing that saved him from that fate was a son’s love for his father….and the fact that my sister is in league with Mr. Voon.  The situation is volatile at best.  My sister is not in full possession of her faculties and her mind has truly been twisted by my sick mother’s machinations.   As for Mr. Voon, there is no excuse for him whatsoever.  He’s a weak-minded fool that allowed himself to be manipulated in order to satisfy his own murderous desires.  He’s shown his true colors, as has his son.  They’re both, at best, two-faced and foolish.  I don’t know if anything can ever be right between the two of us after this.  I fear that I have finally reached the limits of my patience and mercy.

Ah.  And there they are, the backstabber included.  Off we go again into dangers of unknown magnitude without the fortitude offered by mutual trust.  I don’t know what will happen in that place.  We may all be changed when we make it back.  If we make it back.

For He’s A Froggy Good Fellow… (Xander’s Journal pt 20)

We did it.  Or well… Ko, er… Glenn and Bill did it at least.

We tracked down the guy chasing Glenn for getting his mentor killed.  Wow.  That was some piece of work.  We couldn’t even take a swing at him for fear that he’d dodge and we’d hit a friend instead.  Cheaty son of a pugwampi.

Bill finally figured out how to get that flower to work enough to get Zutha out of my head (and my sword).

**I still think that given time we would have been able to gain control.  Really? It took you over a weak just to form a coherent thought again.  What was it Osanna said, something about Pride and falling?  Luckily, we can fly.  Or Featherfall.  Heights aren’t a threat to us.  Sure, whatever you think.  For now, I think you should keep playing dead until you can behave.**

We got back down to Alaznist’s facility and killed the Dullahan, and what do you know, Glenn is human again.

Weird.  I don’t know what to make of him now.  I mean, so far, he’s just as easy to miss as a human as he was as a frog.  Still trying to figure out the princess and the pauper thing, I mean, him?  Really?  A noble heiress?

Now we have to try and figure out where this Runeforge place is, and how to get there (and back I presume).

Plus, there’s still the matter of that book still existing, and I know Osanna won’t just leave that be.

I also have to find some way to convince Bill to help Mother.  If he can break these, surely she can be cured as well.