A Time of Troubles

Blackjack's journal

Day 30

Set out from Riverdale again. It is so desolated that it doesn’t feel like the same place I left all those years ago. A family found us, and we shared our food with them. Hopefully we can get them to Blackwell Keep. I’d love to be able to assure them that everything will be OK, but we’ve got to be realistic about these things. My money’s on the little one getting eaten by the scions of walking death first. Or rather, my money would be on the little one, if money was worth anything.

Haven’t played any blackjack in weeks. Would play with one of the Battle Skirts, but Bryanna’s got this super-aloof “I keep checking out your ass but I promise I’m only into men” thing going on, Naya probably thinks gambling is unnatural, and I am not entirely sure Dixie can count to twenty-one.

Great, it’s bedtime. I hope I get another crazy nightmare tonight! That was a joke, diary. You probably already knew that; you really understand me.

Day 32

Rolled up to Bally’s lake house this morning. He would live on the farthest island from the shore. Finally got to cast a spell! I rode a BEAR! Diary, it was as awesome as it sounds. It was really Naya in bear form, but let’s pretend I tamed it with my overwhelming good looks and charismatic manner. So I rode the bear across the lake, while it pulled Dixie on a raft we (they) cobbled together (I did no cobbling, though I checked out Bryanna’s ass while she lashed together sticks), and my MAGIC DISK floated over us with Bryanna on it. I also looked up her skirt. It was more ass than I’ve gotten in WEEKS. If I don’t find a lithe and willing Halfling lass soon, my pants will start firing off Magic Missiles.

So Bally’s got a goblin butler. He would do that. He’s a dick, I always thought so. I hate wizards. Mother fucker really dropped a B-O-M-B on us, Diary. I’m DEAD. Well not anymore, but I was dead, and now that piece of shit dragged me back to save the world he jacked up by trying to find the Maul of Praxolates. This is all his fault. I didn’t believe him when he tried to say it was our fault. After all, I didn’t ask to be reincarnated, nor did I ask to find the cursed weapon that some insanely evil demon prince used to smash babies with.

The other piece of news is, I can’t be further than a mile from Bryanna at any time. A MILE. How am I supposed to get my mack on? How, Diary? I don’t know either and I’m not sure why I asked you because you haven’t had any in longer than me. The dice did me a disservice by telling me to trust that wizard. He did tell us how to get into the capital city secretly, which is cool, but no where near cool enough to redeem him. Oh, and Bally’s been watching us. Of course. I hope he is watching me flipping him off right now, and I hope he watched when I had that REALLY bad case of diarrhea last week. I never should have drank that goat milk.

Day does it even matter anymore? I’m DEAD!

Diary, being a maybe-dead-maybe-not uncertainty lich has not been good for my game. We left that family with Bally. Yeah, they’re hostages, but now they’ll get fed. Besides, it gets the mom out of my hair. She was getting clingy, Diary. “Oh save me save me! Oh no, don’t touch my ass, my husband might see.”

We ended up in Blackwell Keep, where Bally has spies. Shocking, right? It’s that Gregory, I just know it. I can tell these things, Diary. I think it might be the magical powers granting me a heightened sense of the world. He invited us to stay in his house, which was nice. I really wanted to snoop but the damn guards followed me when I went to the bathroom. I had the shits again and I hope they got an earful. In the morning, they sent us off to the village of Murgle. I know what you’re thinking, me and small rural communities don’t do well, but I must manage to keep my mouth from getting me in trouble. They’re really devout and I don’t want to get put in a wicker man or anything.

Got the distinct impression Dixie was trying to pass along a message to Sir Otis, but it went over his head. Or maybe under it. Not sure what she was trying to do there, m’self. Will have to ask later, pending I live that long.

Day After That One, maybe day 35? Not sure.

Today I dug up a tuber, and was about half-way through eating it when Bryanna told me it would give me a stomach ache. Thanks, Forest Princess. The village of Murgle is BIZARRE. They burn stuff in effigy, with children dancing around it chanting. Yeah, exactly. The council elders told us the Mother is sick, and that one of her druids came back to the village. I guess it’s a Big Deal. Doesn’t seem like a big deal to me, what if she wanted some soap or to sleep on a mattress? We got to talk to her, and apparently Bryanna’s sister (She has a sister! I might get some!!) the head druid, went crazy (crazy = good lay? Will find out…) and killed the other druids. I like a challenge.

Sleepy time. Hoping for dreams of buxom lithe Halflings and not nightmares.

Day 36-ish.

How was I supposed to know the Mother is real?! Anyway she’s totally real, and I killed an oak tree to find that out. Let me tell you about it. We walked out to the super sacred woods and they’re all corrupted, exactly like The Scar, which I think is an ominous portent for our mission of saving the world. We got attacked by some wily sapling creatures, which ended up being children. How were we supposed to know that? Just because something is small and easy to kill doesn’t make it a child. We also fought a tree. Then a magical stag with a coat of pure white came and healed all of our wounds. Diary, I am not making this up. His name is Isembor and he’s a representative of The Mother, or so he says. This could all be a hallucination caused by a semi-poisonous mushroom, because magic stags and goddesses most certainly don’t exist.


Anyway, Dixie almost got smashed to shit by a pissed off oak tree, and Naya turned into a bear again, which is STILL AWESOME! Me and the bear killed the tree! Mostly me because of this sweet dagger I looted off that body that one time. I didn’t burn anything unintentionally, either! So after we (I) killed the tainted tree, Bryanna pegged her sister with a few arrows (who was way too crazy to be hot, so not a waste) and guess what she had? That’s right, another piece of the damn rod. This rod is bad news, Diary! Then The Mother rises out of the ashes of the tree, and she wasn’t even mad about me killing it, which is lucky. She gave me a totally AWESOME cloak which I’m so gonna wear every where I go. The other Battle Skirts got awesome equipment, each which eerily suits their needs. This may have been planned, Diary. Dixie got a hug, which is good and she probably needed it for her fragile sense of self-worth, but she could have used a ring of mage armor more.

Don’t look at me like that, Diary.

I guess next we’re going to Elthwynn. As I previously stated, I like a challenge, and I hope this next one involves lots of sneaking and shooting off lighting from my fingertips. It’s a rad trick.


Dixmont LaLaurie
A lot has happened.
I don’t get it.

We killed the cannibals. I got a straight pelvis shot to the brother with grey in his beard!

Blackwell keep (Writing becomes scribbly.)
(Eventually just scribbles.)

(A few stick figures are discernible.)

Sir Otis.

I wanted to stay at the Inn but I was out voted. (Small scribble of an orc frowning face)

If you stay in high end places you meet people in the higher end.

We get food for three days.

I met a fortune teller.

That b**ch Bryana thinks she’s so tough.

(Literally, just a pattern of lines.)

They have stables. I find peace there. Naya is great to hang out with. Cooper is treated more like an equal than a pet.

Praxozaltes. That name haunts me.
He is in the mouth of lunacy.
The prophet is accurate.
And we are but pebbles for the Demon of Neverdeath to tread on.
“The face of bones.
15 screaming mouths
Bring forth your true face
The Demon of Neverdeath will master our lords.
And kill our children.
…in feast.”

(More scribbles.)

(A few stick figures.)

Ha ha.

A magic maul. So delicious in my hands (Scratched out attempt at drawing a hammer).

We have the rod.

The krenshar are hunting (“me” is scratched out) us.

The Loose Fang Tribe are alive. They are awake.

(Stick figures.)

I am not to leave the rod.

Bryanna IS one tough b**ch. I like her.

(Nothing but scribbles and stick figures.)

I saw the face of the Faceless One. He sent an image.
He sent a patrol.

Bryanna, (“Priscilla” is scratched out) Blackjack, and Naya all stood by me.

Maybe because they (“had to” is scratched out and the sentence ends there)…

They don’t understand how useless it is to fight Praxozaltes. The King of Endless Laughter.
“His army is lead by krenshar.
They that worship, peel the skin from their face …
So, as to show their true neverdeath under this fragile life.
Come to the endless slaughter.
Come to the endless laughter.”(More stick figures.)

(This time two of the stick figures have “Naya” and “Blackjack” written under them.)

We are sent by Sir Otis to see the capital and Balenthor.
Maybe I have hope.

(A drawing of maul. It is drawn to look magical, with wings and glowing.)

(A couple of blank pages)

(Eventually, a two-page spread shows a drawing of stick figures.)

(It ties all the scribbles together. Many of the drawings were orcs pillaging villages. A small figure is always Dixie. And she’s crying. A large orc with sketches meant to be his exposed skull. Even in earlier stick figure drawings you can see a small Dixie crying and being attacked by wolf-like monsters.)

(In the bottom right-hand corner she has written a word very tiny…)


First Session - Bryanna's journal #1

I should have known better. Meeting that wizard on the road out of town was too much of a chance. Balenthor is his name. But who can really trust a wizard?
I remember the look on his face, meeting me as I was running those errands for my father. Like I am nothing but a hired messenger! I am an adult! I have hunted with some of the best warriors in the area! I have tracked those orcs when no one else could find them. And then taken them out. Twang….that was the last sound they heard.
In hindsight, Balenthor knew just what to say. “You are too good to be wasting your time and effort here” “I have an urgent need for someone of your skill”….all music to my ears.
And now look at me. Stuck in some horrible zombie ridden future with the other ‘Battleskirts’. I do like that name though!
How am I supposed to deal with Sir Otis? I killed him in the past….errr his future! How did he get back there to try and warn us? Maybe we can go with him? What would happen if I go back and see myself? Can I warn myself? Owwww, my head hurts thinking like this!
At least I like Dixie, Naya, and Blackjack. If you get stuck in some future zombie land – it’s good to have people who will watch your back. Sure we need to keep an eye on Dixie. And yes her mouth will definitely get us in trouble. But man can she swing that Maul!
Naya sure is handy to have with us. Being able to make fresh water, that is priceless. And of course Druids are so easy to understand. They ‘get’ nature! Oh to be able to cleanse the taint of zombies from this land! I feel like my destiny is driving me to this!
Blackjack is funny. I haven’t spent a lot of time around halflings. They are cute. And she is pretty good at being stealthy! I like sneaking up on things. We have that in common.
I wonder what those imps were doing in the tomb of General Olric? Who sent them to steal that other portion of the obsidian rod? And how did that start the zombie infestation?
What is wrong with people? That business at the Inn of the Green Oak, kinda freaks me out. I understand people are hungry – but really? They can’t find anything else to eat? Uggghhh, makes me want to hurl.
I need to get some sleep – need to figure out what we are going to do at Blackwell Keep….


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