4DDS

Zebulun's account of the adventures of the 4DDS part 7
Blood and Bloody Ashes and Haversacks

After we recovered from the shock we headed up the tower. The Eladrin and I climbed up one ladder while the others climbed the ladder across the room. We heard voices through the door to our right.
After we grouped together we smashed the door of its hinges, preparing to kill whoever was inside. It turned out that they were hired men. They did not have a shred of loyalty to Thoran other than what was bought. We struck a bargain with them. They would signal a distress outside of the tower to lure guards away if we enlightened them on the way out of the tower. They seemed rather honest… but a dozen threats never hurt….just to be sure and all. Once the dark creeper guards left we headed further up the tower. There we met Thoran.
He was alone, but chanting some magic blasphemy or other. The cleric realized that he was trying to trap Saharel, or rather her unresponsive spirit. He turned and noticed us…oh bloody ashes. A dark creeper appeared, larger than the rest, oh blood and bloody ashes! I closed the gap, ineffectively… I barely nicked Thoran’s cloak. Iamaich was inaccurate as well. Bob believed that we would not be able to kill the dark creeper, because he was summoned from Thoran’s realm or some such nonsense.
Thoran swung his large sword around, knocking me down, possibly someone else as well but I was too stunned to notice. I decided close combat might not be the best Idea at the moment. I managed to get away for a time, and then flanked him while his attention was on Bob. Then I was able to get a knife into his back. Well Bob looked as if he was about to collapse from the battering, and the dark creeper was closing in. Iamaich cast some of his witchery onto Thoran and he collapsed into a heap. Thankfully Bob was correct and the dark creeper disappeared.
Now we had time to look around the room. Light! We were in an armory. I found a short sword that was hot to the touch. Iamaich found a haversack that was larger on the inside…mind bending gahhh! Bob and Iamaich split a bunch of magical items between themselves. The rest found some other weapons. Now we turned our attention to the magical cage that Saharel was captive in. After a lot of whispering we decided against finishing Thoran’s spell and trapping her…it’s never a good idea to have a magical spirit on your bad side….I wonder if Iamaich knows that from experience….. We freed her and the weak magical barrier whisked away. We each got to ask her one question.
Then the Warforged that we had met earlier came trampling in. They barely noticed us. Their leader asked what his purpose was…it would be terrible to be a machine made for the sole purpose of war. She sent him to where he would find his answer…good luck to them…as long as their answer doesn’t bring unforeseen consequences…there is too much that one can’t know…on the bright side, Iamaich now knows his fungus is happy….that was a joke he didn’t ask Saharel that…but he was thinking it. Oh dear…what buffoons they all can be. The worse I’m ever at is temporary insanity with a few dead bodies littering my path…oh…that is worse.

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Zebulun's account of the adventures of the 4DDS part 6

I took first watch. I don’t like being woken up in the middle of the night to take a later one. So I squatted at the mouth of the tunnel we came in through. I hoped it would be an uneventful watch. No such luck. No such luck at all. I turned to find a strangely pale man behind me. Needless to say there shouldn’t be any men in the camp, besides my companions, it being a wererat camp. He greeted me by name. His voice was strangely slow, a bit… I don’t know how to explain it. Now to my surprise as well he said I work for Thoran! The man I’m trying to kill? No another Thoran. How many people go by that name? I explained that I didn’t or at least had no memory of working for Thoran. He muttered something about me not remembering.. strange man. He said his time was short and was going to.. what was it…anyway it had something to do with my head. Then he vanished. For a moment I thought it was a dream, that I had fallen asleep on my watch, but then I felt a burning, not painful, more of glowing warmth behind my eye. I noticed a wererat coming to relive me of watch. I mumbled that everything was fine and went over to the embers that were left from the campfire. It’s a funny thing that we always want to excuse strange things as dreams and hallucinations. The next morning one of the wererats led us toward the tower to find Thoran. After an uneventful trek through a maze of tunnels and sewers we made it out of the base of the tower. The wererat scurried off back toward the camp. The tower was strangely built. It had a higher radius at the top than at the base. Not very structurally sound, I would say. As we traveled up, we found a room with a chest inside. A strange creature was knelt before the chest. Then dust swirled around him. It howled in pain then just as swiftly its skeleton clattered onto the floor. Then it disappeared. Now I knew I shouldn’t but my curiosity of what might be in the chest overcame my better judgment. It had a peculiar lock. I wedged Iamaich’s pieces of basilisk and a few iron plates into the intricate lock. With a little help from the Eladrin I managed to open the chest. There were a few jewels inside and…suddenly dust started swirling around me…it began turning a blood red color…now that could have meant just about anything, but in my panic I assumed it was going to devour my flesh just like the ghostly image I had seen before. It started clinging to my armor, glowing something of a fierce red ruby or of fire… I forgot to mention that Iamaich stayed outside of the room, odd, he’s usually the more reckless. Only I, the Eladrin, and Bob had come into the room, the Eladrin being very hesitant to do so. Now, just as I was about to promise the god Bahamut to pay back the merchant who I stole this armor from, everything stopped. I opened my eyes, hadn’t realized that I had shut them, and looked around. Everyone was alive and well including me! The last part’s the only one that matters- them being psychopathic killers and all. It could have been a mercy to the poor civilians if they had died…oh toss that thought in the ditch, they’re great companions if only a little violent… The dust had mostly stuck to my leather armor. Now red veins grew and the leather took on a moist blood color. The dark color you get when you soak a cloth in blood until it cannot sponge up any more… I’ve gotten used to seeing that color during my travels. Pleasantly so. hahahaha..

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Zebulun's account of the adventures of the 4DDS part 5
Explosions and Wererats

I jumped over the stream of greenish sewage. For a moment I thought I saw a hand come out of the water… ‘shudder’. Must be my imagination. I went scouting ahead of the group. Couldn’t see to far ahead with the tunnel branching off. I heard a splash and turned to see Bob trip right into the water…er sewage. I would have burst out laughing if it wasn’t for the consistency of the sludge. I ran further ahead to throw a rope for him. I stumbled near a bridge as a hand reached out to grab me. AHHG! More living skeletons! I hate those, as you should already know. I leaped off its skull, kicking it back down. I readied the rope and moved away from where the skeleton had attacked. I swung it around my head but let it slip…ever so slightly. I mean anyone could have made the mistake. It sailed into Maximus’s head….sorry Max. Well, with no help from me. Bob managed to get out of the water…There were some noises up ahead. Some scuffling of small claws. Then more footsteps. Ahead of us on another wooden bridge, there was a giant spider! Ggaaa! As if skeletons weren’t enough. There were cloaked figures that seemed to be prodding it to chase a fleeing wererat. We remained unknown to them… Looking at the frailty of the bridge they were on I quickly started throwing things together for another flash of flame. I poured a quart of the distilled liquor into a wine bottle. I followed that up with ten sling bullets and some of Iamaich’s fungi. Oh yes…ooohhh yesss…..this was going to be bloody…with very little of ours. There was a considerable gap filled with sewage between us and the dark creepers. Just to be absolutely sure that the ‘bomb’ got close enough, I leaped over the sickly green sewage and placed the bottle next to them. They, greatly surprised, didn’t realize what it was until… Fwoosh! Iamaich lit it with his arcane powers. I rolled over the edge just in time, but not into the sewage mind you. I held myself below the edge. They were knocked off into the sewage. The bridge groaned dangerously. Worms appeared around and inside of it, eating it away. The giant spider and the last dark creeper fell in and were swept away. Someone decided it would be a good time to dent my skull in. I woke up with them babbling about a giant monster. It was gone for now though. We found the wererat and he (I think it was a he) lead us to his camp, seeing that we saved his life and all. The ‘leader’, a head taller than any of the others, was very displeased with the rat for bringing us to the camp. After giving him a short tongue lashing he turned his attention to us. We asked if he could lead us to the tower, but he was skeptical of our ability to stay alive once there. Trying to impress him I swiftly produced my knives and started juggling… Apparently, right after a concussion is not the best time to try impressing anyone…

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Zebulun's account of the adventures of the 4DDS part 4
Living contraptions, Skumm, New..shady...companions, and a decapitated farmer

We climbed onto, with the help of rope, what appeared to be the remains of a tower or balustrade. It was still about five paces above the ground. Well, I climbed up. Iamaich and Bob had a little trouble. After they managed to get up, we managed to disable the Giant Crossbow thing. I guess it was old and malfunctioning. A trap door opened and were-rats and dark cloaked figures pored out. The Cloaked ones seemed to be trying to get a pillar or some such thing, near where Iamaich had met the Warforged. They took care of the metal contraptions, while we stayed hidden. My memory becomes foggy here. Probably because of the explosion. I remember some fire cast down the trapdoor. Then something about some pillar that was up near us. Lighting flashed around it and shards went flying. I believe it was the Tiefling’s fault, though he still denies it. After everything was gone we climbed down the trap door. There we found a strange man, Skumm. A very fitting name. The Tiefling wanted to inject him with wererat blood. Yes Iamaich has a collection of blood. He has a vial of not only wererat blood, but a vial of my own… probably Bob’s too. Well I got hit on the head by a backswing from the cleric’s staff. So I was a bit dazed when Iamaich tricked Skumm to dissolve his finger in some sort of giant bug’s urine. It’s not my fault! I could hardly utter a mumble of warning if I had even realized what was going on. We traveled through the tunnels and found ourselves in a room. We could smell sewage not far off. There was a coffin in the center of the room. The cleric said it was connected to the door by some magical means. We smashed the coffin open and out came a Goliath. Luckily he wasn’t hostile toward us. There was a flash of some magical sorts, and Skumm started clutching his head. He had earlier complained about some noise none of us could hear. Apparently we unlocked some blocked memory of his. He wasn’t named Skumm but rather …um…some odd name I can’t seem to recall. His appearance changed and there was a slight glowing around him. Thankfully the Goliath had a rather large sword which he put to good use. Skumm disappeared in a poof of magic. Thank the maker. The goliath’s name was Josif. He seemed like a rather reasonable fellow…much more so than the Iamaich or Bob. He still was too bloodthirsty for my preference in company. Luckily he decided to travel with us, at least until we were out of the tower, because as soon as we stepped through the door it locked behind us and we were trapped with four animated skeletons and the water level rising. What bloody terrible luck. Or rather what bloody annoying traps. I hate walking skeletons… We had hardly slain two of the skeletons before the water level rose above our heads. All of us other than the Josif passed out from the water. Sewage is awfully hard to swim in.. He managed to finish the skeletons and smash through another door. I slowly faded back into reality. I looked up and saw three companions tied up, not far into the sewer. One a Minotaur, another an Eladrin, the last was a greenish creature I hadn’t ever seen before. His name was Nubius Maximus. We squabbled a little bit then decided to free them. It just so happens that they were looking for the same book. The Fuaran. How convenient! Now, we had a huge walking carpet with horns following us along with a sinister Eladrin that claims to have been sleeping for 125 years of his life, and, pleasantly surprising, a rather nice bard despite his green skin. At least he won’t want to kill every traveler we come across…like a few others whose names have no need to be mentioned…“IAMAICH! Put his arm back! Bob heal it back on! What are you two doing!” Now as I am writing this they just cut off the arm of a farmer…

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Zebulun's account of the adventures of the 4DDS part 3
Ochre Jellies, magic darkness, and metal men

We made it to the ruins of Spellgard, I think it’s called. Me, being a pack rat, started digging around in the rubble. Before I had a chance to find anything, I caught a brown blur in the corner of my eye. The Tiefling said it was a gelatinous glob. Living slime! Ugg…. Worse, it decided that we were food. Gelatin doesn’t eat meat right? After some mildly successful attempts at hacking it apart I came up with the Idea of lighting it on fire. That was followed by the Idea of feeding it a wine bottle full of strong whiskey or some such. I crammed some rope into the mouth of the wine bottle and lit it. The gelatin glob didn’t hesitate to swallow it. We were rewarded with a splash of slime. ugg.. Yes the beggar came up with the bloody Idea that saved the day. Now burn you Leon, stop pointing your nose up in the air. Sorry about that… Now after hacking at what was left of the jelly it split into two little living gelatinous globs that were quickly splattered apart. Not even fifty paces later we ran into some strange folk. Bounty hunters perhaps? Iamaich pick pocketed a severed finger out of one of their pockets…..and unsurprisingly decided to keep it. They mentioned a group of monks were camped to the East, I think it was. They went on their way and we were one finger richer. The Tiefling decided to cast his magical fire on the ground to turn the sand to glass. He reasoned we could then smash through the glass to find if anything was buried. It unleashed a rather unpleasant darkness that grew and grew and grew and grew and… so I dashed off down one of the paths. I found the monks and nuns. Their monastery had burnt down. After being hit on the head and given a “gentle reprimand” by sister someone. Clarice? I purchased some 90% alcohol. Hey, another bomb could come in handy. Hm.. wonder what would happen if we put some of Iamaich’s fungus in it. So I stayed the night there. I was alarmed the next morning finding no one there. I journeyed back to where the Tiefling had triggered the darkness. I found him there and he spoke of these metal men called Warforged. Fortunately they weren’t any problem. They left during the night. Unfortunately we were now getting attacked by an Alabaster…or was it an Arbalaster…no, it was Alabaster…or was that the marble-like stone..then the Arbalaster was the giant crossbow thing? Any way we were attacked by other mechanicals, just not the Warforged. And one of those Ala Arla things that enjoyed shooting giant arrows at us. Yipee I feel so popular…. Even the metal things want a vial of my blood! Probably more than just a vial…

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Zebulun's account of the adventures of the 4DDS part 2
4DDS Zebulun

We found ourselves in an other tavern, drinking to our hearts’ content. This time there was an Assassin offering us an exuberant amount of money to find a magic book written in blood. The money put a smile on my face which was quickly wiped away by the thought of what the book might contain. Ugg… Of course we accepted….the money being involved. The Assassin conjured up a magic circle and teleported us to a Dwarven city. Being underground makes you feel as if you’re suffocating. One of the Dwarven guards told us to get off the circle unless we wanted someone else to get stuck inside of us…can that really happen? Another Dwarf in the room seed to be well off. I gave the suggestion of a bit of pickpocketing but then thought better of it. Iamiach, the Tiefling, and Layman, a Goliath, decided to go on with it. I sulked off into a corner. I tossed them a rope, for use in their escape, and scurried off down the stairs. Once down I was blocked off by more guards. Then my companions came down the steps followed by the Dwarf they had tried to rob. They hadn’t gotten anything from him, but he insisted that they stole his cloths…..why he stripped himself down to his small cloth I don’t know. I slipped into the shadows. I couldn’t do much to help Iamiach or Layman. They were swiftly arrested. I stood in the background during their trial. They pleaded innocent. I’ve never seen a judge so eager to shout out the word GUILTY!, which they were to some degree. They ended up working for that lunatic of a judge. He wanted them to find some dangerous villain or other. Some Dwarves dragged them off to where that villain had last been seen. I followed behind on a stolen horse. After a long dusty trip the Dwarves finally let them go to search for the man. Needless to say, once their eyes were off us we disappeared. By the time they realized, we were well on our way to find the Lady Saharel, who then would tell us where to find the book. The only problem with this plan is that Saharel is dead. Her spirit is sometimes seen among some ruins. Not that I have anything against dead people…but usually they have some serious mental issues, the most common one being lack of responsiveness…them being dead and all.

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Zebulun's account of the adventures of the 4DDS
4DDS Zebulun Zebulinn

It all started in a tavern. Me and my, untrustworthy to say the least, companions were trying to enjoy some ale when this drunkard came in swinging his half empty cup at us. I don’t remember what he was shouting but I sure remember what chaos ensued. Yes, I know. It’s surprising to hear a poor as dirt half elf using large words. Well Bob, that bloody Cleric, not a healer I would want working on me, decided to act rather rash. He killed the blithering fool and got us all clapped in irons…or rather behind irons, in a cell. The guard was asleep but that didn’t help at all. We got let out by this guy, mayor or something, wanted us to do a job for him in exchange for our release. There was a gnome with him. There may have been some coin involved too. If so I didn’t get much of it. They brought us to a cave and left us there to fix their problem, something to do with the fact that no-one who was going in to find out what the problem was was coming out. So we went through this cave, more of a mine, which is a cave, so never mind. We ran into these big insect things that look like giant cockroaches. Ugg.. I hate cockroaches. My memories of the bleak, dark cave dim over for a time. Then I clearly remember this pit filled with liquid fire ever so far down. After we crossed it we came across this strange glowing fungi. We collected some. The Tiefling decided to drop some of the glowing fungi down a chasm to see how far down it was. He was greeted by some glowing eyes and scurrying. Yes, blood and ashes, more of the insect critters. We managed to finally take them out after they had incapacitated their disturber. We came across some acid. There’s not much to note on that. Later on we ran into some enchanted skeletons…ugg..that kind of thing gives me shivers. We climbed a cliff and came across some unpleasant zombies, I believe you call them. The grotesque, rotting, living corpses. We came across a heavy locked door, and accidentally discovered how to open it. We each had to stand on certain floor tiles. This time he was in the center of a magic circle. He had assumed we would already be dead. After a anxiety ridden battle with some specter he summoned, we were finally rid of him. Now we were lost with the only one who knew the way out dead(the Gnome). Then to our luck, or misfortune, we came across, or rather, an half elf assassin came across us. He offered us an exuberant amount of money to find some ancient mystic book, written in blood. Yes I remember that part. Then he lead us out and then to and other tavern. This one didn’t have near as good ale. The wine was succulent though. Remember never drink and ride. Horses don’t like being led into trees.

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