Session 6.2 Recap: The Heroes of Prophecy

“What – what the hell was that!?” I cried, staring toward the wall as it began to splinter inward toward us.

We had just returned to the cabin that was once a base camp for the dwarven miners along the Kazaron River, Osanna carrying the bones of a decades-deceased dwarf that we had found up in the Kodar Mountains not far from here. The bones belonged to one of a pair of brothers, the other’s spirit of which had appeared before the party last night, requesting that we find his sibling’s remains and return them to him so that the two might reconcile in the afterlife. This was the pair that Osanna had seen in her vision before we left Magnimar; the one she was carrying, was the one that had eaten his brother.

The spirits of both dwarves stood among us now, staring at each other as if they were locked in some silent contest of wills. However, no sooner had we returned to the cabin – finding both Samael, who had stayed behind to keep an eye on things while we retrieved the brother’s remains, and Naru, who had found our path and caught up to us while we were out in the blizzard, waiting for us – than something began smashing against the wall of the cabin.

Something very large. Continue reading

Happy Crystalhue

Merry Christmas!  To celebrate, here’s a little piece I wrote back in November for NaNoWriMo that takes place during Crystalhue, the Golarion winter holiday.  This obviously takes place a while ago in game-time, right after Glenn turned back into a human.

***

The Rusty Dragon Inn was busier than usual for a mid-week afternoon; this time of day usually saw only a few regulars at the bar, perhaps some merchants or the occasional sailor passing through who were stopping for a quick bite or one last evening in a bed before continuing on their travels. This afternoon, however, the tavern was over half-full, the bar itself nearly seated to capacity and many of the tables occupied as well.

Ameiko Kaijitsu already had to chase the group of would-be adventurers away from the large, round table next to the fireplace set in the center of the back wall of the restaurant. That table was specially reserved for a certain group of individuals who she admittedly had not seen much of recently. Regardless, they had done enough for Sandpoint, and for her personally, that she held her best table in the house on reserve for them at all hours of the day and night, whether they were actually in town or not. And she knew for a fact that at least two of them were, in fact, in town at the moment, so keeping their table open, especially with the tavern as busy as it was, was a priority for her, in case they should happen to come by later.

The amount of activity in the tavern – and around Sandpoint as a whole – was not particularly surprising, given the time of year. Freshly fallen snow glistened under the radiantly glowing sun, lighting the town in a sparkling glow, but the snow was not the only thing that shone under the light. Sandpoint was decorated with a myriad of multi-colored and many shaped crystals that hung from the rafters of homes and businesses, adorned the many carts and stalls of the vendor stalls in the town square, and bejeweled both men and women who wore them around their necks, off their belts, and in their hair. Today was the first day of Crystalhue, a winter festival dedicated to Shelyn, the goddess of love, music, and color, and there were few more festive times that came to Sandpoint. Not only were the residents and locals from the area out and about in town, shopping the merchants’ winter goods and trading crystals with each other – a sign of friendship and affection – merchants and Varisian traders from afar would come into town for the festivities to trade both their wares and stories from the last season, and to restock their own supplies for the coming winter.

It was a busy time of year for Ameiko, and all of the local businesses, although none of them complained. The coin was good for them, and it gave the Tian woman a chance to see some old faces she had not seen in a long time – some since the last Crystalhue festival a year ago. Some of the merchants and other travelers who came through town only got a chance to do so once a year, and Ameiko was always pleased to see them – granted they didn’t cause any trouble for her or anyone else in her establishment. Continue reading

What Ifs. Osanna’s Journal Part 27.

Osanna places her journal across her knees that night as she curls up in the corner and watches her companions take what rest that they may.  She opens the book to the next blank page, and takes a few moments to shut her eyes and clear her mind before she begins scrolling her thoughts onto it in the right-to-left script of her native Kellid tongue.

They say that hindsight always provides the greatest clarity.   I’ve been thinking quite a lot of the events of late, along with the conversations that Glenn and I have had….and of the choices I’ve made.  I’ve long since lamented, to a point, the choice that I made to take the Oath of Chastity when I swore my Paladin’s Oath to Sarenrae those years ago.  When I was a girl, a young man of the faith and I took a risky gamble to take the first few steps along the road to romance and perhaps even young love together.  We gambled…he lost.  Perhaps we both did, as I later learned from my demon mother than she had orchestrated the entire event.  How?  I know not, and I’ve also entertained the possibility that she lied to me altogether in an attempt to unsettle me. 

Regardless, I’ve made my choices and here I am.  Here we are.  I’ve been watching them all very closely these last few months, and I let my mind wander sometimes about the “what ifs” when we have down time in between being saviors or “heroes of prophecy.”  What if, I wonder, I was not bound by my oath and was able to have a lover as I saw fit?  Would he be one of these brave folk that bleed alongside me? 

Bill’s transformation from selfish, angry introvert into kind, thoughtful introvert has impressed me greatly.  I thought that his incident at the church was him lashing out at me in anger over the pain he felt at the loss of his brother, or perhaps at his frustration at the rigid code by which I choose to live my life.  As it turns out, he was angry at the thought of the loss of his father and projected his anger at me due to my sister’s involvement.  Since then, I’ve seen him display forgiveness both towards me and his father’s own ignorance and use Alaznist’s flower relic to break curses on several others.  There’s a good heart inside him, which I greatly admire, but I fear that his ultimately simple desires to read and overindulge will lead to a waste of his great talents.

Xander, while a man of good intentions, is not governed completely by his own free will.  I see in him a dangerous fragility.  Admiration and love for one’s parents is a quality that we should all strive for, but not to one’s detriment.  His fear of the loss of his mother has allowed his clearly evil and controlling father’s spirit to guide and dictate his path and betimes his actions.  He thinks that a new suit of armor with Desna’s designs will provide him with some clarity or absolve him of the horrible scars that Zutha left on his soul, but he doesn’t realize that even the mightiest armor can bend or break with the correct amount of pressure at the right weak point.  He’s far from being out of danger.  Until the day comes that he’s finally able to cast aside his fears and the need to feed off of his father’s power, I can only see him as a potential liability no matter how much he aides us in the fights to come.

Samael.  If one were to hear us talk, one would think that he would be an ideal suitor for me.  He’s rather tall, very strong, handsome, and has no lack of will or determination.  Apart from that, I’m saddened to finally have to admit to myself that he is truly lost.  I had hoped, for a time, that all of the good that we were doing and my subtle (perhaps not so subtle) influence would grant him a greater insight to the error of his past choices and that he would cast aside the need for the pentagram and its total domination of his mind and future choices.  Alas, I see now that all he craves his power and will pay any price to achieve it for whatever purpose happens to be convenient to him at the time.  I can now only pray that one day he will look at himself in the mirror and realize that he hates what he sees.  I will not hold my breath in the interim.

Glenn is my hopeless romantic and a true hero to a fault.  He’s told me that he loves me more than once now, and like the fool that I am, I reacted poorly to him…or at least more poorly than he had hoped for.   Perhaps if I were to find myself free of the Oath I could see him attempting to show me how to love a man, for there truly must be a difference between loving one and simply caring for one.  I think.  At any rate, he still loves another, and it troubles me that the source of his greatest strength is simultaneously the source of his greatest weakness.  I’ve spoken to him on more than one occasion about his foolhardy need to play the hero and it almost cost him his life when we fought against the decapus vampire.  I grow increasingly frustrated with him, as I don’t care to continue to repeat myself to him.  Does he not consider the pain that he could cause me…us…should he meet an untimely end?  I never told him how much it tore me apart when the Warren/Dullahan rended his insides with that ranseur.  The damned fool got in between it and I.  I never want him to die or be caused pain again on my behalf.  Ever. 

I’m laughing to myself as I ponder this next thought, but I suppose I could swear them all off and entertain Naru as a possibility.  Being a tiefling, she understands my predicament better than most anyone ever will.  She’s good-hearted, kind, and possesses strength with the propensity for violence when necessary just as I do.  I even like her dinosaur.  Of course, the constant disappearing/reappearing act would cause me to be resentful and lonely often enough, and the frequent insistence that she bathed would likely be off putting to her.  I pray that she never sees this, lest she take offense.  She’s a good friend.

Could it be that my own standards are too high, or that I expect too much of others?  I honestly don’t know. Give me giants…dragons…demons…beasts of otherworldly nature.  Love?  It frightens me.  Enough now.  I need to focus.  There’s no time for girlish whimsy.  Samael made a deal with that sack of wine devil that we would kill the old blue wyrm in order to attain both of their sihedron rings.  I suspect that the Gelugon will attempt treachery after the fight with the dragon so that he doesn’t have to share its hoard with us.  Just as well, as I plan to butcher him so that I don’t have to share its hoard with him.  Karzoug knows that we’re coming for him, and soon, we will have the means to bypass his ruinous magical pulses.  I’m going to put his head on a pike where the sun can shine upon it, and then this whole awful business will finally be at its end.  Peace.  Peace at last.