A week ago off the coast of the Northron Kingdoms, pirates took your ship, The Agatha. You now find yourselves chained in the hold of their vessel, The Bloodstained Bitched, presumably waiting to be sold into slavery. You have no idea where you are bound for and have only been given water and moldy bread to eat. The cramped hold offers only four feet of space between decks, and you are shackled to ring bolts in the floor by your wrists and ankles. Perhaps to torment you, the keys to your chains hangs hang just out of reach on a peg beside the stairs leading to the upper deck. The crew, a mixed lot of humans, orcs, hobgoblins and bugbears, obeys the command of Red Olin, a lean vicious red bearded fellow clad in scarlet robes. You do not see much of him.

Suddenly one night, a terrible storm arises. The timbers groan and crack as towering waves buffet the ship. You can hear screams above as the raging sea washes pirates overboard. A thunderous crack resounds as the mainmast splinters. Then a horrible impact shakes you as the ship collides with something. Screams, the sound of splintering timber, salt water filling the hold submerging you. All goes black.

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Love
As they approached the fiendish frost giant’s keep, Mirilda could see that destruction had continued after their departure six months ago. The number of wall stand were few. They had one the battle but the war had continued long after they left.

Mirilda was nervous, which was odd, because Mirilda was rarely nervous. She had not seen him in six months. Was he still alive? Her heart sank at thought of him perishing at the hand of a frost giant. A tear came to her eye. But wait, he could still be alive. However, from the remains of the keep, she doubted many had survived.

What remained of the Pelor warriors approach the ship as it remained. Mirilda scanned the crowd. Where was he? She did not see Gaelon in the crowd. She continued scanning the faces. Then she saw him. His face was more worn and weary than she had seen him, but he was alive! Her heart raced as she approached him and she saw him smiling at her. Without a word they embraced. That is the point Mirilda knew she loved this man. And he loved her.
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Departure
One moment the ship was in flight through the dusky skies of the Abyss, the sails billowing and the rigging creaking in the steady wind, the broken expanses of the Iron Wastes sprawled beneath them. Then the air around them dissolved in a sudden tessellation of light and color, the sails deflated, and everything was dark. Boudica gazed up at what had been the sky, then down toward what had been the Iron Wastes, but there was nothing. Only an emptiness so full that it sent a chill through her body from the roots of her spine.

After several moments, Boudica saw something ahead. It was not a light, more the absence of darkness, but as the ship approached it, it grew brighter until it loomed before them and bathed the ship in murky, flickering glow. It was like nothing Boudica had ever seen: a circular concavity hanging in the bottomless darkness of this place, writhing and glimmering like a surface of water seen from below. Beyond that a twisting tunnel of light.

When they broke through the surface, everything seemed to dissolve and fragment. Boudica felt herself hanging in space, saw herself standing on the deck of the ship with the others behind and ahead of her. It was as if she was everywhere and nowhere at once. Then everything suddenly drew back together and they were streaking forward, the gunnels and sails blurring and dissolving in the streaming light. Boudica held up her hand, watched the light spill from her fingers.

Then, just as suddenly, the motion ceased, and the only light fell from above. From the terrestrial sun, hanging in the a cloudless blue sky above the Hrothgar Peninsula. Boudica recognized the shape of the land beneath her immediately. She was home. At last.

Boudica raised her eyes toward the sun, whispered a prayer to Pelor, and as she looked back down, and followed the north coast to the blue indentation of Sorrow Bay, she began to weep.
Session: Game Session 42 - Saturday, Jun 16 2018 from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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Iron Claw
No one was more excited to get the hell out of Hell than Blaze. But they had a stop to make first. Their newly acquired airship made its way to the Iron Wastes.

The cold was almost welcome after the excessive heat and humidity in the screaming jungle of the Gaping Maw. The Jarl’s Keep still stood, surrounded by the skeletons of wooly mammoths, their flesh long since picked clean by scavengers of the frozen waste. Broken siege towers lay scattered about like a child’s discarded toys. The banners of Pelor no were longer snapping in the wind, just the remnants torn and tattered. The once impressive garrison of three thousand Pelor soldiers had been reduced to a handful of fifty. It was easy to convince them to give up this horrid existence and join us. But is their future brighter with us? The Witch King’s vast army of undead awaits in Rathgar. They may have given up one war for another. Nevertheless, they will have the chance to do what the Brotherhood of Pelor love, kill the undead. The Shining Light considers all living beings to be sacred, and its members welcome all equally. Undead, however, are abominations in the sight of the Shining One--the antithesis of light, life and warmth, and incapable of redemption. Therefore, members of Pelor's church seek out and destroy these creatures of negative energy without hesitation.

Back in First Light Blaze had a battalion waiting for him to resume command, two detachments, “Sunburst”, led by Brother Adler and “The Talons”, commanded by Brother Sonne. And now he had a third, “Iron Claw.” The High Clerics of the Sun Father would be pleased.

Blaze watched Sergeant Gaylan reunite with Mirilda and smiled. But then an odd memory jumped to his forethought, what of Rashida the princess we rescued from the River Styx? He had left her at the Keep under the knight’s protection. Blaze scanned the crowd on the ship’s deck; where was she and does the evil sorcerer Baha-Al Din still pursue his lost bride?
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you saw a what, now?
Every time I think, well, that’s got to be the craziest thing I’ve ever seen, something else comes along to blow my mind. The Abyss is kind of annoying that way; just coming here to find my father I’ve been exposed to so much more than I’d ever dared or feared to imagine, but Hell still keeps surprising me Sometimes that is a bad thing, but curiously, it can also be a good thing. It’s true, I’ve felt more terror than I’ve ever felt in my life—even counting when the villagers started whispering amongst themselves and my mother would get morosely quiet—but I’ve also felt more wonder and joy and pure exhilaration than I’ve ever felt before.

I especially feel awe when watching my traveling companions. They are certainly mortal and fallible, as I have seen the gaps in their armor many times, but they are each extraordinary. I feel so fortunate to have found them so quickly—albeit after a stint of weeks spent wandering alone in a ghastly swamp—and also that I encountered them before I stumbled across anyone—or anything—else. I do have to admit that it seems that I have run into a lot more danger since being in their company, but it has been nothing we cannot handle. But this—

A monster has stumbled upon us, which in itself is somewhat unremarkable (seeing as we are in the Abyss), but it is... I find myself at a loss for words. It is easily three or four times Mirilda’s height and stands upright on large, muscular hind legs. Though it waves around stubby front limbs almost comically, its mouth is anything but; it has a long pointed head and opens a gaping jaw full of glistening teeth to bombard us with a roar that makes my bones feel like pudding.

The elders in my village spoke—though never to me—of massive dragons that roosted in mystical mountains far to the north and they would invade the villages to steal unruly children. I always assumed that these were stories concocted to keep the village children obedient, but this monster… I believe now that those dragons must exist, if not in the lands I called home but here, and that this must be one of those very creatures.

My arcane bolts seem so inconsequential against that leathery hide stretched over such a massive bulk, but I can only keep throwing them and hope they have some effect. At least the creature screams and contorts its long neck when they hit.

When Elaren is whisked upward by those grasping teeth, my heart nearly stops. He had been reluctant to hit the creature with any sort of offensive magic, being the kind-hearted druid that he is but he had obliged when Blaze had screamed at him to do just that; it seems his reticence may have influenced the spell, because it was totally ineffective and only served to enrage the creature. It immediately wheels on him and snatches him up in its jaws, and I almost expected the look of horror on his features to cause the water to freeze and fall out of the humid air around him. But Boudica steps in close to whisk him out of the creature’s jaws with dimension door, and he is soon out of harm’s way...

Then Boudica is swallowed, though she later tells us that this was a less harrowing experience than I imagined, it was still terrifying to watch my friend caught up in those snapping jaws, and then for her to suddenly disappear down the creature’s gullet was almost more than I could handle.

Now we have Boudica back, though, and we are continuing after Leon, stolen by the ape-demons. And I know that we will get him back, though I know that the road to doing so will be treacherous. I cannot help but marvel that “stolen by the ape-demons” is now the sort of phrase that is part of my everyday life. The crimson sliding down my thigh from my smoked glass shard reminds me that I am flesh and blood, but sometimes I wonder what is happening to me.
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You wanna live forever?
Who wants to live forever? Apparently, not Mirilda as she gave up her opportunity. Well, not exactly living forever, but the chance to possibly double her life span.

She had been carrying around that longevity potion and thought about it. Would she really want to outlive her friends? As a half-elf, Elaren would probably have outlived her even with the use of the longevity potion. However, he was living without the love of his life and it still weighed on him. So many of the Unchained have already fallen, but that was in battle during adventures. It was a risk they all have taken knowingly. Mirilda mourned their loss but knew that was part of the life they all chose.

However, watching her friends, her family, grow old and feeble while she had the ability to reverse time with her potion just seemed wrong. She is not sure if she could bear seeing Boudica with wrinkles etching her beautiful face, or Blaze not being strong enough to lift his sword, or any of the Unchained withered and weak with age while she could be young again.

Many would have treasured that potion, but Mirilda truly had no interest in it. Maybe ten or 20 years from now she may regret trading it away but protecting the Unchained now seemed more important. Plus, what good does a longevity potion do if you do not live long enough to use it.
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