Sea of Madness

Ithyk: Musings of a Murderous Mind pt. 5

I fell. It hurt.

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The Tales and Caperings of Erondor Quinn - Chapter Three

I have decided that I should leave the rest of the group briefly to visit all the taverns and bars in the various areas of the city where the poor and lower class live and work. After suitably disguising myself, I will spend some time in each tavern talking with people and learning of the world I have suddenly been let loose upon. Then, right before leaving, I will take to the stage and perform a poem I have composed that glorifies our group, especially Ithyk. If the poor and lower class people of the city view us as folk heroes of a sort, then I am hoping that should we need to hide from whatever trouble we get ourselves into, then these people will help us.

Now, in order to avoid any entanglements that might ensue when I tell the tale of our dramatic escape. I am changing my disguise between each bar and then leaving immediately after performing. Let’s hope that this book has a fourth chapter.

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The Tales and Caperings of Erondor Quinn - Chapter Two

We traveled from our new-found sanctuary across the city in search of a halfling named Berino, whom we were to kidnap. We were interrupted in our endeavor by an attack from the undead! We handily dispatched them, and were quite confused as to why they would be in the city.

Free of that nasty distraction, we were able to again focus our attention on our goal. We were after this halfling because he is a slaver. Passing as slavers ourselves, Skyrp and I convinced one of the halfling’s goons to lead us to him. It’s always about who you know.

We then met with a bugbear who seemed to be high in Berino’s esteem. It took a good deal of well-spun lies and fake sincerity, but we were able to convince him to let us meet with his master.

It did not take me long to realize that Berino was completely mad. I was able to easily fake a rapport with him. You get quite good at that sort of thing when you spend your youth pretending to get along with drunk louts in bars just so you’ll get an extra silver for bringing them their drink. In the end we were able to get an advance from him for the delivery of a ship full of slaves that we claimed we had. He also spoke of other things that were quite disturbing.

He mentioned The Red Hand. From what little I know, a group dedicated to dragon worship. It seems Berino wants to become a dragon and The Red Hand promised him the opportunity should he fulfill whatever role they need him for. I wanted to stay and learn more of what he was trying to do, but Skyrp was quite uncomfortable. I must say, I think Skyrp was quite unnerved by the little halfling. It was a side of Skyrp I did not think existed. We left at Skyrp’s insistence.

We returned to Berino’s well guarded, and quite large, warehouse when night had fallen. After being ambushed by spirits in the water, we climbed to the roof where we took down the guards and entered the building. We were greeted by perhaps the most horrific sight we had seen, and that’s saying a lot from former pit gladiators. Berino’s white dragon was in a rage and was ready to chomp us to bits. We decided it was in our best interest to avoid that outcome, and so, the beast is dead.

Finally we located Berino, he was with members of The Red Hand of course. They had some traits and abilities from their dragon patrons that made them quite a nuisance. After a pitched battle we beat Berino into submission. We then delivered his bruised and battered form to Rowena.

Now as a slave I have endured what I would call torture, but I can tell you now. Rowena has endured horrific torture. That experience has given her a keen insight into torture and how it can be most effectively applied. Berino, the mad little fool of a halfling, was tortured in ways I dare not imagine. Maybe I should, but I feel no pity for a slaver. Not after what I have been through these past several years.

As we rest here in Rowena’s, I have been struck with an idea. I think I will have to take a brief respite from working with my comrades in order to learn more of the city, and perhaps give us an extra means to look for sanctuary should Rowena’s temple no longer be viable.

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Ithyk: Musings of a Murderous Mind pt 4
gnoll, fighter, journal, dnd,

We fight good. Good together. We can do anything. I don’t know why Bard didn’t come with us into sewers, but he came back telling us he wrote a song about me. I think it’s good. I made a song too.

Crack, Crack, Crack Split your skull, break your back. Crunch, Crunch, Crunch Now you’re dead, now you’re lunch.

It’s good. I think we have to fight a dragon now. I haven’t eaten dragon before.

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Vistin's Chronicle, Page Three

It turns out that adventuring beneath the city is far less alluring than adventuring above it.

Our quest to slay this dread necromancer took a turn for the unpleasant when we learned we would have to track him through the sewers. The actual sewers, gentle reader. The sewers beneath Ishar are rife with peril and excitement, it’s true, but they are also rife with other, far less pleasant things.

We followed the trail of other, less fortunate and less talented adventurers who had gone before. How long before, I could not say, but while I was crossing a rope bridge they had left, the rope snapped, so I would guess it has been some weeks at least. Luckily, two of our party are huge brutes, who use their brawn to our great advantage. One of them was able to snatch the rope as it broke, saving me from an extremely unpleasant plunge into the deeper pits of the sewer, a plunge that would have likely ended in my death (although, gentle reader, considering the location, it might not have been an entirely unwelcome death).

At the end of the trail, we confronted the necromancer who, in the fashion of evil men everywhere, refused to surrender. The battle was long and hard-fought, but in the end Ithyk tore his heart from his chest and feasted upon it. It was quite grisly, but I believe the two had some history together, so perhaps it was something of an old joke between them. Either way, we have succeeded in another quest, and I find myself, despite my better judgment, eager for another.

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Ithyk: Musings of a Murderous Mind pt 3

I have eaten his strength, my master’s strength. I am now my master. But, it is not good, I have taken his power, but he has still taken from me. He is a bastard. He eats and eats, but I keep him from eating. My hands still have his stains. I think about his ribs and how they burst like squeezed fruit. I hated it. He didn’t think I could do it. I did. I drank his blood and it sang to me. It told me It would keep me, hold me till it crushed me, but I think it will not. It lied, I’ve never met it that it would lie. I know that’s why my Master is a bastard.

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Vistin's Chronicle, Page Two

The slave taker is taken, his operations disrupted, his flesh rent, his spirit departed.

Following an ambush by some zombies which was too unexpected, gentle reader, and too quickly resolved to discuss any further at this time, the party engaged in some light espionage (having some experience in that area, I explained that some rather more surreptitious skulduggery would have have worked as well, and with less risk, but I digress). They did this (against my advice) to arrange a meeting with our target, during which certain Intelligence was Gathered regarding the lay and disposition of our late halfling friend’s lair.

Our pretense was that we were fellow slave-takers, preparing the way to market for our vile wares. I played the role of Niggardly Financeer with great aplomb, while Erandor and Skyrp were the managers hired to make sure my notional money was not wasted. Our meat, of course, played the meat.

They gained his confidence and explored some of his hideaway, learning nothing useful and wasting an entire day for little gain, since we simply attacked him outright that very evening. Still, if it pleases my companions or brings them any comforting illusion of agency to dress up a stab in the dark as the culmination of a Great Scheme then it is worth the small cost of a leisurely day about the city to me.

The attack itself was a series of escalating adventures: a struggle against dread spirits by the waterside, a rooftop battle, a face-off with a dragon, gentle reader, and actual dragon, and the final confrontation between our party and the slaver’s entourage. This sort of swashbuckling, with all the the attendant slinging of spells, shouting of challenges, ringing of blade upon blade, and so on, is quite outside my usual métier, gentle reader, but I must confess that I found it quite… invigorating. There is a certain romance to this sort of life. To have killed a dragon is no small accomplishment; it is a task worthy of a great boast!

In the course of all this, we learned some trifle about a cult devoted to becoming more dragon-like, or perhaps becoming actual dragons. I suspect that these cultists are fools, being played as pawns in some scheme. Dragons, as you, gentle reader, will doubtless be aware, are subtle, alien creatures, not easily understood or manipulated by other races.

We heard from an information-gatherer, a Drow that Rowena has dealings with, that there might actually be some legitimacy to this group. The Colosseum itself, it seems, is a great summoning circle or dark altar, built to power some fell rite. The Dark Elves normally strike me as dour, acerbic, inconstant nuisances, best watched carefully and rarely trusted, but this one has a certain spark to her.

Either way, of course, it is another influential body in a city already well over-provided with influential bodies, and so it is another potential market for an individual with my particular set of abilities, should I choose to strike out on my own again while still in Ishar.

Our favor to Rowena is fulfilled, but we have been presented with the matter of a necromancer who may be at large in the city. For myself, I care nothing for the fate of Ishar or its people, but the matter of the necromancer also seems to pique the interest of my present compaions, and the prospect of further adventure is, I confess, quite tempting.

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Ithyk: Musings of a Murderous Mind pt 2

The sun was red today, I’ve never seen it do that. It makes me wonder what else I’ve never seen. Like a dragon. They didn’t want to see the dragon. We saw it later and we killed it, though, so that was good. I’ve seen dragons and red suns now.

I saw Tzolek kill plenty, it makes me dizzy with laughing. He’s strong though I think we should see who’s stronger. Hayheyheheh.

I din’t kill the halfling though, his blood has secrets and wanted to come out, but I bash his skull. It spoke a little, but I didn’t let it talk too much.

Scar Lady made his blood talk over 3 days, so me and Tzolek fight, hahaymyeheheheh…

Bird makes me use new name, I think Scar.

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Mutterings of the Master, Part One

Deep below Ishar, deep in the darkness, Glut is pulled and prodded forward. The wounds he endured from the prison escape are still fresh. His handlers, a mob of Bugbears, treat him without respect. He was once a great Chief amongst the Bear Tribe of Orcs, but now he is thrown to the floor like a slave, forced to bow before the Master of the Coliseum. Seated on his throne, flanked by blankly staring creatures, the Master speaks and Glut listens.

“You allowed it. I can see it on your face. There are bruises where there should be cuts, cuts where there should be killing blows. Those five specimens were valuable, much more so than your Orcish hide. Why should I let you live?”

Glut remembers his glory. He remembers being the grandson of Mugluth the Mighty, who made peace with Elves and Humans. He remembers being the son of Klus the Brave, who slayed dragons. He remembers being Glut the Destroyer, who led his people when the Humans broke the Treaty. He remembers being amongst his people, he remembers his pride. He also remembers that he is no longer that orc.

He considers his children, who are held by the Master. Glut believes that if he were a better leader, they would be safe. He reaches for a reason why he should be allowed to live. He cannot find one. All he can find is the sweet voice of Patior that guided him to free the gladiators that promised to kill the Master. The voice promises Glut freedom.

“I grow impatient. I know thinking is not kin to the Orcish mindset, so I will make this clear: You will find the gladiators and you will bring them back alive. You will do this or I will kill your sons.” The Master laughs with his malevolent cackle.

“No,” responds Glut. “I won’t do this.”

“Then your children shall die.”

“They are dead all ready. I can read it on your face. They died long ago, didn’t they?” accuses Glut, “You needed me, but not them. I kept the Orcs in the Pits in line. I was the only one that could do it. That’s why you took me.” Glut rises to his feet, strides towards the Master. “I haven’t seen my sons in ten years! Even if their bodie live, you have likely made them slaves just like these,” bellows Glut, pointing at the mindless creatures that stand around the throne.

The Bugbears pummel Glut, kicking him in the side, stomping on his face, knocking him back down. He struggles in a bloody heap on the ground, pushing himself to stand again, spitting out a tooth. His eyes lock with the Master’s. Glut pulls together the last of his strength. He can hear the horns of battle blowing through his memory. He can hear the shouting of his people. Glut launches himself at the Master, murder filling his mind.

The rest is silence.

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Tzolek's Tzales, Part One

The day started off with a fight in the arena, which was not an exceptional fight. Unless you count the fact that the bird man fighting on my side convinced our opponent to kill himself, I’ve never seen that happen before and hopefully will not see it again. The pleasure of the killing blow should have been mine or Ithyk’s, damn the coward for stealing that from us! I place no anger at the bird man, he did what he thought was right, I can’t be upset with him for being so wrong.

Glut helped us escape, and for that I am eternally grateful. A shame that we had to reward his service by beating him to make our escape look unhelped. I tried to break free of my shackles using nothing but strength and was unable to do so until the bird man helped me. Then the guards came by and thought they were safe outside of our cell, it pleased me greatly to prove them wrong. My rage gave me strength and the door and my body crashing down upon one of them gave me pleasure. Ithyk ran down the other before he could call for help. We fought a group of orcs and regained our equipment before leaving the cells.

As we left we noticed there was a show going on and we had to pass through it before our escape would be complete. I tried to hide and be nimble as my training had taught me to weave through the crowd. Maybe I was too nervous, maybe it’s a skill too long unused, or maybe it’s hard for giant black Goliaths to go unnoticed in any crowd. Whatever the reason I was spotted and if not for my fellow slaves helping to draw attention away from me I may have ruined it for all of us. Once we escaped we went to stay at an Inn Glut had told us about.

We arrived to find a beautiful and scarred woman waiting for us. She said that Patior had saved us and she removed our brands. She also gave us food, shelter, and comforts that only a woman can provide. It all felt so good and at the same time hard to believe. In return for what she provided she ask that we bring a slaver alive to her. I seemed wary of it at first but given where we are, the way Ithyk and I look, and the silver tongues of the bird man and the half elf there seems to be little risk of trouble on our way back. Ithyk scoffed at the idea of the god helping us, and while I don’t believe in Patior I certainly don’t disbelieve either.

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