February 13, 2010

Game Start Date
Game End Date
Game Master
Preston Wiley
Edward Lionheart
Erica Wiren (Chitter, Chitter)
Zarush (Necromancer, inventor of weapon cast)
Summer ()


Adventurers needed to investigate an oddity. Meet at Bill's Adventuring Academy in Pregada (Formerly Betty's Monsterous Muffins)

Plot Synopsis

The Tales of Edward LionHeart - v27: The Soul Thief

"Keep the change Love", I said as I stood from my favorite table
at Purpling Dolph. The comment was directed at Katie who is perhaps
the most charming waitress in the city. Without even glancing at the
coin I'd left she came back with "Tipping today Lionheart? Who'd you
rob?". She turned toward me with a smirk. I winked at her as a rose
magically appeared in my hand and I handed it to her. "Your the thief",
I responded, "and someday I'll want my heart back.". She batted at me
with the rose. I dodged and laughed as my hat rolled up my arm and onto
my head. "I left two tickets to my next show for you and Robert", I
said as I headed for the door with a completely light heart. Robert
(pronounced row-bear) was a lucky man.

As I walked (ok, jounced) down the street I pondered my next project.
I was between projects really, having just finished the stage adaptation
of The Earth Dragon's Boots. My cane tapped joyfully as tried to make
the impossible decision between taking a week off at Ocean Shore or
hawking up at the Crater. Hawking had the virtue of being a new experience,
but the masseuses at the Overlook are magical (literally). I'd pretty
much decided on the hawking (taking the scenic route to the Crater which
would let me overnight at the Overlook.. who says you can't have it all?)
when I glanced at the "Adventurer Wanted" postings.

I frowned briefly as this was not on my way to the theatre and my feet
had either just betrayed me or knew that I needed a real adventure.
Inhaling deeply I started glancing over the postings. Most were the
usual mundaneness (missing persons, guarding shipping, bodyguard
services, etc...). A bit of advise to would be hirers of adventurers:
make your postings a bit more exciting. Adventuers like (get this)
Adventure! Money is nice but really its about the excitement. I say this
from my own experience and from having worked with the best. "Group needed
to help solve a mystery" is not as enticing as "Best of the Best urgently
needed to solve an age-old and deadly mystery" (never hurts to toss a bone
to the Adventurer ego). There. Its said and I hope to see better postings.

"Meet at Bill's Adventuring Academy". The words jumped out at me. I'd
been meaning to check out Bill's for a while and I automatically started
moving toward his location before I glanced back to check out the rest
of the posting. Boring. Bill, see above. As you know I am a graduate
of Gil's Adventuring Academy. It wasn't really my idea to attend but it
was life changing and perhaps the best three years of my youth. Like a
lot of teenagers who grew up in Centralia city I was dabbling away my
life with the latest fad-drugs and Scrogg festivals.

My parents were both artists. My father was the brooding sculpter type
whos vision and the whip of his muse far exceeded his meager talents.
This led to a frustration that he was all to willing to share, violently,
with his family. Not that he was entirely unsuccessful, ocasionally,
and probably by luck, he would achieve something bordering on amazing
and for a while he'd ride the wave of popularity and shower us with
gifts and affection. These times never lasted. In a city known for
being able to procure the most uplifting medinals on the universe at
a moments notice, I have never understood his invariable choice for
those that made him moodier and more depressed. I believe that this
choice was, in the end, responsible for his shortened life at his own
hand. No artist is ever appreciated during their own life. Doubly so
for one who dies tragically. After his death money became entirely a
non-issue and my mother returned to her singing career which she still
enjoys. But by then I was on a different path.

So... back to Gil's. About a year before my father's death he was
having a seriously bad time of it. Even at 14 years of age I was rarely
home, preferring to stay out and party with my friends. This enraged
my father and worried my mother but both were kind of handsoff in the
parenting realm. Imagine my suprise when I popped in to get some food
one day and my parents were sitting there with two cadets from Gil's.
They announced that I was going to be attending Gil's starting
immediately and that the cadets were here to escort me. I was shocked
but even then a brilliant actor. I knew of Gil's reputation for taking
care of problem children and knew that once there there would be
little chance of escape. I smiled and said "Brilliant! I've always
wanted to see the inside of that place.". My father looked momentarily
annoyed but my mother saw right through it and told the cadets to be
extra vigilant on the way to Pregada. Damn.

In retrospect I think my mother just wanted me away from a situation
that was self destructing and navigated a course that would seem like
a punishment (to get the old man on board) but which would offer me
a chance. Regardless of her motives my life changed that day. I met
Gil as soon as we arrived. The man had more presense than most actors
I'd met and filled the room with quiet authority. Over the next three
years he became a father to me. To all of us recruits.

Bill's adventuring academy was a relative newcomer to the adventurer
training scene. On the island I think it is only the 2nd public training
facility that has lasted more than a month. He operates out of a former
muffin store in Pregada. You might think my love of Gil means that I was
out to get or to spy on Bill. Nothing further from the truth. There is
a universe of adventuring to be had. Multiple universes to be honest.
Too many young, untrained kids get the adventuring bug, sign up with the
first person who will hire them and get themselves killed. Even a two
month Adventuring Fast Track course would have prevented half of their
deaths. In my opininon, the more schools the better. Also I was hoping
for some intramural competition between schools which would be an
excellent source of entertainment and betting potential. I wanted to
check out Bill's to make sure they were providing adequate training
and to see what kind of man Bill is.

I entered Bill's. A largeish office which seemed to be kept in an
orderly fashion. There were a couple of mid-sized tables around the
room and a desk at the back. To the left was a wall of last minute
adventuring necessities. All apeared quality and appropriately
priced. A few plaques, official thank you letters and awards were
scattered along other walls. Nothing really austentatious. Gil
displays far more ("If you've got it, flaunt it Kid!"). I turned to
face Bill. I held out my hand and started to introduce myself. Bill
interrupted me, "Edward Lionheart. I know. Huge fan of your plays,
its an honor to meet you. Tell me your here for my job?". I smiled
back at him, unable to stop myself. "Indeed sir. I find myself
between adventures at the moment and my eye was drawn to your posting.
How can I help?". I decided that Bill was likeable and clearly had
good taste in plays. He directed me to a seat and said he'd explain
everything as soon as the others arrived.

There was still the faint odor of muffin to the room which I found
pleasant even as hidden as it was under the more powerfull smells of
leather, sword oil and shoe polish. I closed my eyes to try to pick
out the type of muffin. Suddenly the whole room came alive with the
best muffin I have ever smelled. I opened my eyes, unsuprised to see
Dena standing there holding out a muffin pie (which until then I'd
have been hard pressed to conceive). Others had also wandered in while
I was off. I recognized Angela, Summer and Erica. The kid with the
amazing body I had definately worked with before but couldn't remember
his name. Dena had a zombie with her that she was calling Zarush. I
had worked with Zarush and thought it a poor joke.

Bill exlained that our mission was to solve a mystery at one of the
colonies. I was a bit suprised at this since I had thought Bill
specialized in trade missions (guards, hutning down robbers, etc...).
This was new territory and I became more focused. People on this
colony had been falling asleep and not waking up. Some had been
asleep for a week. Gil had taught us the importance of proper
hydration. 2-3 days without water could kill a man. I wondered if
being asleep would let you live as long as a week or if their
friends and relatives were giving them water. And food? What about,
ewww. These people definately needed our help. I told Bill I was
in and the others followed my lead.

I sent a runner to my home with a message asking Gerard to give the
lad my 3-day bag and to have him deliver it to the Guild of Wizards
immediately. The boy and my bag were waiting when my group arrived
at the CGoW to head to the alpha site. I feel its worth mentioning
that the AlphaSite is growing up. Not only is it a 24x7 bizarre of
food and drink (Jearnian and every connected colony) but also shows
and entertainments from the colonies and duty-free tradegoods from
the colonies as well. On this day there was a full circuis going on.
Most colonies were too new to have developed their own feel but
they were first rate anyway. I'd have stayed a few days even with
the brimstone laden air if we hadn't been urgently needed elsewhere.

We arrived at the colony shortly after noon. I quickly questioned
the villagers (they had been dripping water into some of their
mouths, others not so lucky). We attempted various methods of
waking them. Several in the group had spells that should have had
an affect but didn't. Even my substantial skills with isopuncture
failed to yield a result. It was after this that Zarush and Erica
told us that the sleepers had neither spirit nor soul. Zarush, the
real Zarush and not Dena's zombie had become terrifying since I'd
last worked with him. It wasn't that he was unsightly but there was
something unsettling about him that caused even seasoned warriors
to run in terror. While it never affected me in that fashion, I
felt myself studying him hard whenever I looked at him.

The cause of their continued sleeping was now pretty obvious.
Erica chose this time to demonstrate an ability that none of us
knew she possessed. Even now she probably wouldn't have shown it
if lives hadn't been at stake. I watched as her form became
indistinct and settled over a small boy. The boy sat up and asked
"Where's the bathroom... oh yeah, Dena give me a meat pie". In
this fashion Erica made sure that each sleeper took a turn at
the washroom, ate a meat pie and had plenty to drink. Truly one
of the most humanitarian acts I've ever seen. I could tell how
she was becoming weaker and more drained each time but she continued
until the job was done.

I asked the villagers to make sure that anyone who intended to
sleep this night should all gather together and sleep under my
protection. They were a little resistant to sleeping in a large
group but relented because they had been awake so long. Some
decided to continue staying awake which of course was their
option but I asked them to stay away from those who chose to
sleep. I saw in the eyes of the villagers that some of them now
realized that they were bait. I nodded slightly to them to
acknowledget that that was the way of it and that it had to be
done this way.

The villagers settled down to sleep. I pretended to be asleep
with the rest while entering a hyper-aware meditative state.
My breathing became slow and steady but even with my eyes
closed I became aware of everything in the whole room. Erica,
Angela and the Zepherim priest Gian stayed in the room and,
like me, pretended to sleep. Dena and Zarush were out scouting
and the new kid sat at the edge of the village beating a simple
but repetitive rythm on his drum. Orcs.

Several hours later Dena slipped into the room and whispered
that she had timestopped something and that we should come.
My party quickly, and quietly, slipped out of the sleeping
room and followed Dena. Fearing that this was a distraction
I kept to my "sleep". My party was only gone 10 minutes and
I was later told that they chased a floating soul through
the woods but it got away.

As soon as they left the sleepers all of the sleepers stood
and started walking toward the door. Their breathing hadn't
changed and I knew they still slept. I closed the door and
gently turned them around, pointing them back toward their
sleeping area. In a few minutes they desisted and returned
to their sleeping area. Tres bizarre.

In the morning the villagers were grateful for a good night's
sleep. I told them about the spirit on the woods but left
out the sleep walking, keeping that bit of information as an
ace in case I needed an edge later. I told them we would need
one more night to finish this and that tonight we should do
the same as the previous night. They agreed and this time all
agreed to sleep. I thanked them for their confidence and went
off to take a nap myself.

That night we setup the same as the previous... this time,
however, we knew what we were up against and prepared spells
and weapons appropriately. The floating spirit put in its
appearance and was destroyed in seconds. Ideally we'd have
kept it for questioning but it happened so very quickly.
With the spirit destroyed our main mission was complete. We'd
stay another day to make sure there was only one spirit stealing
souls but otherwise, yeah, job well done... except for the
sleeping villagers.

It didn't take a genious to see that the spirit came from
and attempted to flee from the same direction both nights. I
urged the party to gear up and head in that direction. We moved
quickly into the night. After about an hour of walking I spotted
a very minute change in the texture of the leaves of a nearby
bush. I was turning to tell the party when Angela beat me to it.
"There's something camoflaged over there" she announced quietly.
Behind the camo was a cave entrance. I started to lead the party
in but Angela moved ahead of me.

For the next time it was like being back at academy. Angela
spotted and sprung sucessively more complex traps until she
reached a door she couldn't open. I sat down my bag intending
to muscle it open when Dena started singing a little melody about
how awesome she was. I prepped a snarky remark and was turning
to dliver it when she stepped up to the door and basically blew
it into millions of splinters. I swallowed my comment and instead
gave a little bow, "Ladies first... of course."

I watched Dena enter the next doorway and then immediately saw
her facing us tapping her foot. No turn. No seque. I had been
timestopped. Hate it when that happens. Past Dena I could see the
slight blue glow of another timestop. She told us that one was
coming downin 10 minutes and that there was a necromancer
contained within and that we'd probably only get one shot. The party
readied their weapons and spells. I sheathed my sword and took out
my needles. There is a reason that isopuncture is seldom taught
outside the Sanctuaries. Sometimes in order to help people you
have to keep them still or render them unable to move. I realized
also that when word of this got out I wasn't likely to be welcomed
at a sanctuary anytime soon. But this evil had to stop here. I still
my breathing and prepared myself.

Time started moving again and my party moved like the professionals
they were. It was blazingly fast and coordinated. The necromancer
never really stood a chance. Two of my party grappled him immediately
and i felt magic in the room flair. I moved faster than I have ever
moved. Three needles flew from my hand lodging themselves at a
very special isopuncture energy meridian and the man instantly froze,
unable to move or scream and barely able to breath... and then his
breathing stopped also as Gian's spells took affect.

At the necromancer's feet were dozens of small rocks that I knew
held souls. They were numbered and there was a logbook and using
the two I was able to instruct Dena which souls to put back into
which bodies. Thus the villagers were restored to their lives and
the threat of the Soul Thief was ended.

We returned back to Bill and reported mission success. We were
paid generously (training must be paying good). The soul thief
was given to the temple of T'or. Unsure why as justice here
seemed pretty obvious. But Gian and Bill were in agreement and
he was paying the bill (heh).

I decided to go straight to the Outlook for a few days rest...

Noteworthy Postgame Events