EIDL - Escape From Cheliax

Voyage of the Weatherlight
And thankfully no seasickness!

I said my goodbyes to the interesting local… well… I suppose priestess is the right term. She was sharing some interesting information, but I had to go meet Captain Laquan Alfonso Gareth III and my friends.

Tychus bought me some lunch on the docks, fish and beer. Apparently my meaning of ‘grilled’ is far different than the local custom – that simply means ‘not battered’ before being fried. Oh well. The beer was good and reminds me of local brews from my time abroad.

The Weatherlight wasn’t a giant ship, crewed by Captain Laquan Alf-… the captain and 8 crew members. Jack & I looked curiously about – while it looked kind of similar to a pirate boat, there didn’t seem to be any armaments. Shouldn’t there be cannons at least? This turned out to be another lesson in the obvious I had to learn – in a world full of magic, sometimes the people are the artillery. I must remember to practice this newfound ability, and apply its lesson as a possible solution to future problems. Some of the sailors wore lightweight leather armor, with swords on their hips, a few wore simple clothes – their armament was less obvious. All of the crew seemed very loyal to Captain Laq-… the captain.

The boat seemed well used but well cared for, as best I could tell. It was simple: a deck below, the main desk and the captain’s quarters. Tychus and I stashed our gear in a corner below decks, Jack stayed above and made a new friend. When I returned above deck, I saw a very bored swabby (that’s the term, right guys?) slowly repairing arrows, one at a time, but doing so with his magical ability. Jack introduced him as Ravos, he wore black robes with a silver star over his heart. I watched what he was doing for a time, and found I could do the same thing – but if I muttered and wriggled my fingers, nothing happened. I simply had to say a brief prayer under my breath and the broken shafts fused to a perfect arrow. While good practice, I quickly understood his boredom, but also how it was a simple way to stay busy and make money.

I saw the Archive talking with a blue robed man I later learned was called Baral. At first, their body language looked rather standoffish, but after a time, they seemed to have a mutual respect. They spent more than a day in quite conversation, each reading a book and furiously copying notes.

A day of inactivity seemed more than Tychus could bear.

I apologize – I’m not quite done.

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The Daring Adventuresomenesslessness of Captain Laquan Alfonso Gareth III
Scientia est Potestas

Angels. Goblins. Elves. Demons. Vampires
“Der Reihe tanzen”
I am starting to feel like a normal human here would be the strangest person of all.

Now that we have arrived at Naclos ( The Enclave), we are getting to see what new things are old news to the residents of this plane.

We now pass by Aasimar, who could pass as Hollywood’s dream version of angels, while we follow Telis to the Hostel were we will be staying the night.

Now, as we start to see more elves, Reid gets the red carpet treatment as he goes the the Town Hall to see the aftermath of a clash against the darker forces we might be facing. The Enclave’s doctor, medic, or Healer maybe? has led the way in showing such deference to our team’s most modest member that I think that he may be starting to blush due to the pretty Alana Smorisette’s attentions. It is as though he is a rock-star surgeon and priest maybe. I am almost sure it has something to do with that innate piousness, ability to heal wounds, and that just Aura-like atmosphere that Kazi noted so suprisedly earlier. While Reid is out we are led to the local bar and our soon to be illustriously illustrative native guide.

The one and only Captain Laquan Alfonso Gareth (the 3rd).
Riverboat Captain, Adventurer, Information broker of shady repute (at best).
This feige Bösewicht if I ever saw one cuts a dashing figure (in the bar at least), and has agreed to take us to our next destination for the low price of some menial labor aboard the boat and of course, our stories.

We begin with a cautious imbibing of local alchololic beverages excepting our wondrous Tychus to whom Archive most graciously (and I suspect soon to be amusedly) has donated their portions in what may soon be an effort in helping Tychus show these good folk the hardiness of our people.

During a most interesting exchange of tales in which Tychus saves the day with a warrior’s humor, I am exploded by a lab partner, and the mates of our dearest of Captains tell the most dry and ambiguous of happenings that I am almost convinced of their untruthfulness, we do at least learn more of why we are each being treated so differently.
As an apparent half orc it is now apparent that without the presence of our modest do-gooder Dr. Clemens, Tychus Findlay is more likely to be hunted as an evil enemy than welcomed with shelter. The Archive meanwhile is yet again insultingly mistaken for a magical robot or golem, and the good Dr. seems recognized by all as though his now pointy ears command respect only to be elevated by his standing as a paladin or healing priest.
Only I am seemingly uninteresting here, as a small harmlessly eccentric human.

After a mostly uneventful night’s rest, we are preparing to fill what outfitting needs we can before the boat launch when Reid tell us of a disturbuing dream that he has just had. Maybe we should see if there is an oracle about these parts.
Then again, I cannot remember a single tale where the visitation of a seher causes anything but trouble for all involved.
Maybe we should just worry about getting ripped off by a money-changer instead?

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Tellis more...

Night falls and Kazi still has not returned for the party. The Archive suggests moving on without her, but is outvoted easily by the others. The group decides to give Kazi another day to return, but will attempt to leave the demon lands on their own if she does not.

Under Tychus’s direction, The Archive sets up lines of rope with various metal detritus tied into them. They swing in the lights breeze and clank together softly. In the river nearby, Reid finds a barge, and Jack says that it’s in pretty good shape. The group decides to use it to leave the area if Kazi should not return.

They return to the smithy, and The Archive offers to keep watch. It hasn’t cast any spells during the day, and so has no need to rest. The night passes uneventfully.

Jack spends the morning testing some new contraption of his, while Tychus watches from a safe distance. After a time, Tychus starts making a stew for dinner, and The Archive helps Jack set up some crystal growing kits that he can carry with him. Jack asks The Archive what they’ll do if being in this new land causes more physical changes like Tychus’s skin. Reid breaks in and says that they won’t have to do anything, since it’ll go back to normal when they get back to Earth. The Archive says nothing.

That night, while everyone is asleep, The Archive is listening to the clinky clanky clatter of the rope lines when they suddenly fall silent. It picks up a cold coal from the forge and waves a hand over it until it glows with a strong white light. It heads outside and throws the coal towards the rope lines. It lands at the feet of an elven man who freezes as though motionlessness makes him invisible.

The Archive is rude and hostile to the visitor, loud enough for Reid to wake up and save the situation before he left. The elf introduces himself as Tellis, sent by Kazi to guide the party to The Enclave.

Jack and The Archive go outside to fix the alarm lines, while Tychus and Reid talk to Tellis. Tellis says that once the party’s gotten to The Enclave, they can take a boat out of the demon lands. Tychus offers Tellis some stew and a bed for the night, which Tellis gratefully accepts.

They set out the next day and follow Tellis, and after an uneventful day, they reach The Enclave.

(Sorry, guys, turns out my notes are insufficient for much detail. I’ll do better next time.)

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Of Orcs and Demons

griffin_by_douzen-d66lf45.jpgNope.
Nah uh.
That is NOT a human femur that the large green (Hobgoblins I now know they are called) is chewing on.

We were careful this time! We scouted the area, we held off until we could get a better understanding of the situation, and we even attempted to reason our way out without a fight.
Sort of.

Okay, I suppose that in addition to all of the laws of science being sideways I should have expected the mere suggestions of civilization to be a little seltsam (weird) too.

We started by approaching the village cautiously, in part because we could not tell what was going on after what looked like a fresh raid.

The problem arose when we discovered that locally at least, raiding a village was part destruction, and part feast. As gruesome as it sounds it was even worse to realize it as I saw a hobgoblin polishing off what was clearly the remains of one of the late local villagers.

After a brief, tense exchange of insults and half hidden truths with the disgusting leader. His commander turned out to be a dwarf of all beings, and it became readily apparent that this was not going to end without someone getting stabbed. (In the back, the front, or most likely both).

Tychus Findlay was our vanguard, with The Archive acting as clean-up, while Reid Clemens used his old prayers and new magic to keep himself and Tychus Findlay in the fight.

Oh, did I mention Tychus Findlay? I meant The Incredible Hulk! The spell that The Archive used on our cigar chewing friend apparently not only made him giant sized, but turned him green!

I did my best to slow down a couple, but with limited ammunition, weakness from the earlier venom, and my inherent squishy physiology, I tried for most of the time to stay on the outskirts.

The battle went badly. We thought we were doing well until the dwarf changed into a demon, and then summoned another demon. Both of which left strangely terrible wounds with their long pole-arms. Reid Clemens seemed to be the only one actually hurting the first demon despite our raging green giant, and the reaper like efficacy of our living stone friend.

Funny that, the most combat flustered so far has been our self designated medic, but this time he was the one rocking the biggest bad guy hardest.

We were saved by the griffin Iron Wing Kazi, and his humanoid translator Michael. This world weary duo actually dropped from the sky, and with barely a hesitation at a light blasting statue, giant green man, and two red tentacle demons quickly helped heal our many grievous wounds and made short work of chasing off our would be killers.

We have made use of the now empty village, and after a silent prayer of my own for their souls we have gathered everything that we think might help us in the coming future.

We have learned too much during and after this fight to assimilate it all right now. We will rest and refit. Work of a manual labor tomorrow will give us time to absorb our ever changing circumstances.

Our temporary home is filled with demons and monsters who would most likely hunt us down and kill us.
There may be some help from the elves (eat your heart our Tolkien you British git).
Tychus Findlay appears to be at least part Orc.
Reid Clemens appears to be at least part Elf.
Our modern devices, down to even a seeming molecular level are breaking down. Except my rifle.
We are going to have to adapt our tactics and methods when we do get into armed conflict.
It is almost certain that we will consistently be in armed conflicts again soon.

I have a LOT of work to do.

The “Robot” is patched, but I should check it again in the morning.
Our gear must be better, and there are munitions to be made, but it at least appears that some of us are getting locally made arms and armor from the recent spoils of battle.

Iron Wing Kazi has cleared up a few things, and with some more knowledge for and from The Archive we may have a better plan for getting somewhere safe until i can re-create my dimensional key, or we come up with something better.

Oh, and the food not so good. I find myself wishing for fresh pretzels and a beer. Scheisse, even the King Burger sounds mouth watering right now.

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Jack Kilby's Infection
Dr. Reid Clemens' Journal

I just don’t know what it is about this place. I mean, the Archive can make miniature fireworks seemingly on command. I pray for inspiration, and suddenly people start feeling better, and their wounds healing. I wish I could have done that in my practice!

Enough about that though. We stirred up a … well I was going to say hornet’s nest. But that has too much truth to it. Anyway, the bite from these insects has proven a major problem. Jack’s injuries seem not sever, but his movements are sluggish, and he describe’s his arm as being asleep.

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Tychus had a brilliant idea of packing the arm in mud to try and leach the poison out of the wound. I should have spent more time paying attention to disaster medicine! The three of us arranged watches and Jack slept, albeit fitfully, around the small campfire. The following morning, we washed the mud off, but the tingly feeling had not dissipated, and his movements were … delayed. I wished for even the meager facilities of a front hospital.

We traveled on to the source of the smoke, and it seemed much larger than we initially thought. We arrived at a… hamlet? I’m not sure how to describe the most burnt down collection of building. A large brutish creature casually exited a building that was still standing, gnawing the last little bits off of a giant bone. Wait no, a femur! He spotted us, pointed our way and shouted something I couldn’t understand. What happened next is something for a different day.

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Pest Extermination
Why did it have to be bugs?

When we’d tromped to the top of the hill, everybody stopped to gawk at the bush ahead. Judgin by where the sun was sittin we were walking away from the west coast. (That’s IF this lizard shitting world has got anythin to do with how earth worked.) Lookin down south ya see that as far as we could gander was scrub, like a little bit of Africa followed us from home. Straight out to the east had us starin into thick dark woods. The stream we’d be walkin took a sharp turn north to run between the hills on the west and the forest to the east. It looked like the smoke we spotted would take us two days up the river before we came to the source.

Still with the goal of finding civilized people in mind, we to got walkin up river. We made sure to keep rubbernecking for trouble while a couple of us foraged for anything edible. We were able to scare up some apples and tubers that seemed safe enough to eat for a kind of lunch. As we continued on down the stream we came to a dead patch. All birdsong stopped and the woods gave off an eerie silence that made my skin crawl. Doc Reed and the Archive noticed it too and said it seemed to be related to a strange tree. At first we went to move along but in the course of talkin about it, I insisted that if somethin nasty was waiting behind us, we’d better deal with it before it decided it could sneak up on us at night. It seemed that no matter what kind of bush you found yourself in, there was always some predator that thought it could have a nice solder snack once you bed down for the night.
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We made our way back to the tree, which we soon realized was dead and also the only thing standing in a clearing under the canopy. Jack wanted to examine the tree, but I had a fishy feelin bout this one. I held him back and went to poke it myself. Doc Reed, the Archive and Jack all watched from a distance while I poked the tree round its base. There wasn’t much remarkable about the tree as l walked the way around it. Then this big damn centipede crawled outa some hole and tried to take a chunk outa my ass. It was green, black and about the size of my old Cocker Spaniel Sue.
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Right then, almost a dozen of the little bastards dropped out of the trees to get a piece of us. One of em jumped at Jack and another on the Archive while five scally things circled me. I thought I was gonna get a big piece of em with the shotgun I held, but as I pulled the trigger I heard somethin click kinda funny in the barrel. I could barely turn away before the thing blew up in my hands. The little buggers started towards me and I reached for my hammer with bloody hands. As I did so I saw that the others weren’t doin much better. One of em had bit Jack and they were frantically backing up to get clean shots at the things.

The Archive pulled some magic out of his hat and started spittin huge ruts of flame at the bugs. We started gettin the upper hand and we slowly struggled to hack em down. Doc Reed did whatever it is that heals us up but this time he didn’t seem to need his pip boy, nor did it make any of Jacks weird mist when he did. I started splattin bugs like I was pest control and had a damn devil of a time keepin them off of my new painted armor. Soon there were just a few left and I managed to wrestle one down before kicking it unconscious against a tree.

When all was said and done Jack and Reed got us all patched up. Except that Jack got bit and it was pretty clear the little buggers were venomous. We put a mud pack on the wound to prevent more centipede venom from circulating but there wasn’t much more we could do right then and there. I took the one I had conked out and killed it but kept the corps in case it was worth somethin to the locals.

We moved off a ways before settling down to camp for the night. We would still hopefully reach the our destination the next day so we set about our tasks. As we foraged and set up shelter the Archive wandered off for a bit. He returned while we were roasting tubers and apples at our fire and proceeded to put down a mess of coins and old equipment. He explained that those centipedes had been gankin travelers and hawlin them back into their tree to make a nest. The Archive had apparently busted up the nest and taken whatever was left of the dead folks belongings for our trouble. The gold and odd ends were divvied up between us which while I’m happy with, felt a bit odd.

We settled down for the night and Doc Reed set up for a rotation for watches between himself, the Archive and myself in hopes that a full night of sleep would be good for whatever venom was in Jacks system. That boy has me worried. But, ain’t nothin to do for now.
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A Strange New World
Strangers in a strange land

It was an unknown amount of time before anyone woke up. A lone sun in the sky greeted the travelers. And, they returned the greeting with a great cacophony of noise. Tychus cursed at Jack as though it would make the scientist take them home. As Jack explained that the resonance fork he had opened the rift with was broken, Tychus began slowly trailing off into sullen mutterings. Dr. Reed began to check the team for damages while Jack hypothesized on what might have gone wrong.(or right!) The Archive was one of the last to awaken. It explained that they were on another plane where magic was more prevalent and as such easier to access. This was accomplished by an arcane barrage of light and sound transforming the Archive into a one robot fireworks bonanza. After this gleeful display of magic, the Archive informed the group of what life was generally like on these planes and what their next step ought to be. GlassTuningFork_BrokenDetail-600x400.jpg
The tuning fork which Jack had used to bring them to this plane was broken and they would need more sophisticated tools to repair it. That meant a city, which meant finding civilization and surviving whatever wild they had been thrown into. There was no time to waste. Supplies were inventoried, weapons were distributed and inland they went. Trees and hills greeted them as they cleared the coast. But, atop the first hill they crested was a most peculiar statue in a clearing. The Archive and Jack curiously investigated while Tychus and Reed scanned the edge of the clearing. The statue seemed lifelike, locked in an eternally terrified pose. The Archive suggested it might have been created through petrification. Furthermore, whatever had done this might still be around. With that comforting thought, the squad set out into the unfamiliar forest.
Some small travel led them to an odd stream that was flowing inland. It seemed a convenient path to follow and they took off down the way. Little to no wildlife came across them and they eventually happened upon a petrified deer. Not at all reassured that their course was a safe one, they still pressed on. A short while later Tychus finally discovered some animal sign. Small rodent tracks, lead to a ferret den by the water. This find was soon forgotten as something found the team. A bellowing roar shattered the placid river scene and a massive many legged behemoth charged from the trees across the stream. 0GJXU1w.jpg
Naturally, everyone took off at a run. The basilisk, for the Archive had dubbed it as such, paced them on the other side of the river with a hungry stride. A few pot shots from various firearms landed with little effect on the beast. Although they were far ahead, the Archive was done running. It turned and drew two scrolls as though they were swords. It awaited the basilisks crossing of the river. The rest of the team turned to fire in earnest on the lizard in hopes of deterring it from snacking on their teammate. Dr. Reed had only a pistol and shotgun which he knew would be little use at their range. Tychus began to light off rounds with his Kalashnikov which to his mighty dismay, exploded. While Reed waited and Tychus mourned, Jack began to land telling shots with his custom pistol. His aim assisted goggles homed in and round after round landed true. Eventually the beast had had enough. It seemingly made up its mind that this food was to much trouble and turned to stalk less troublesome prey.
The team checked for gear and wounds. Tychus scooped up the remains of his rifle and took his shotgun back from the Doctor. Warily they moved on to pass over the next ridge line and see what else this land had to offer. From the top of the hill they sighted smoke. The size and amount suggested a village or camp. Civilization ho!

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Mission De-Brief & a Psychedelic Dream
I mean ... it is a dream ... right?
Sylvester.jpg

After our usual celebratory swing through a fast food joint, we took the elevator deep below the Tacoma dome again. Colin was pleased we came back in one piece, but seemed very concerned about the Archive. I could tell Tychus was still hurt, and I went looking for him to help patch him up. I couldn’t find him in his usual haunts at the canteen or in his quarters. I later found out he was manhandled by nurse Sylvester – can you imagine a guy like him getting bossed around by a nurse? I’m entirely sure he had something completely different in mind. I know he later went looking for an artist, as I saw him near his quarters with some decorations on the new, undamaged set.

Unable to locate the giant of a man, instead I decided to see if I could aid in … uh… repairing? the Archive. Definitely not a hospital room, I found Jack and the creature in a workshop working diligently to replace broken parts. Fascinated by the process, I did my best to help out, but it was really beyond me. I found my job was mostly to pass tools and parts to the two – what a role reversal! After a few hours, the Archive reported being fully functional, but I was seeing significantly more metal parts than I remembered.

Colin told us we had a late morning debriefing, leaving us with some unexpected free time. I spoke with Colin briefly about the ineffectiveness of my rifle at close range, and my interest in possibly getting some training time with a shotgun, or perhaps even a good old fashioned beat stick. He was dismissive about the topic, and told me he would have a trainer meet up with me after our debrief tomorrow. He was overly curious about the function of my wrist device. I told him about how useful it was, although my desire for a more localized rather than general area impact. I could tell he was surprised, “Its new tech, we’ve never gotten it to work in the field.” I could barely contain my irritation – what kind of para-military organization sends teams out with untested or broken gear. I decided to find Tychus to share a drink and air my concerns, maybe talk about close quarters combat. It seemed he had the same idea, and Jack was also ready to go. Even the Archive seemed less reluctant than normal.

Out on ground level, we hailed a cab, Tychus, in his way, asked for a seedy bar where we could perhaps find some trouble. Cabbie McSteven McGee played dumb for a bit, then finally drove us to a suitable establishment. I have to be completely honest when I say I don’t have good memories of the place, so the bartender’s pourings must have been adequate. I do, however, and rather fondly I might add, recall that the normally impervious Archive actually seemed intoxicated! I dismissed it as excessive fatigue, possibly due to the repair work. Hmmm, I would have expected all of us would be a fair bit more exhausted than we seem to be. What the heck are we doing out partying after such a tough mission? We should be in bed! We got a ride back to base, and crashed for the evening.

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I woke up starving, but we were planning a brunch debriefing with the keeper. I’ve never understood the West Coast’s fascination with brunch. I had a cup of coffee which did little to ease my sour stomach. The debrief went remarkably well, Colin was pleased we all came back in one piece, and really, seemed as if he expected us to be more injured than we were. I’m not sure the Archive could have possibly been more hurt. He chuckled at Jack’s reference to the rat as “Splinter”. He patiently allowed us to argue out our misconceptions on lycanthropy, paying too much attention to movies, I guess. Archive was very helpful in bringing clarity on this point. Colin calls the rat “Subject A” and assures us it is being hunted by another team.

Having a week until our next assignment, we dove right into training. A quick red-headed kid came in and showed Jack and I some trick in armed close range combat without firearms. Exhausting! Tychus observed and gave pointers here and there. I saw him spit on his thumb and rub an old coin. He later showed us a small handful of shiny coins with an engraved eagle. Having just sold something similar (a guy has to plan for retirement, you know), I knew a gold coin when I saw it. Archive vaguely recognized it, as an “Andoran Eagle, its Galorian”. Whatever that even means. The Archive kept mumbling over and playing with the random bag of junk we pulled out of the cave. Apparently some of the stuff is actually useful – none of it piqued my interest.

Jack and the Archive seemed pretty excited about the implication of otherworldly coins, Tychus was excited about getting actual pay. I asked Tychus for ‘my share’, which he grudgingly agreed to. EIDL has been good about providing what we can think of before we go out on a mission, but I’m concerned about funding needs that we realize while already on assignment.

Jack and the Archive head off to the lab to run some harmonic testing on one of the coins, curious I follow to see what the two brains are up to. Jack pokes and prods the coin, and suddenly, Tychus stomps into the room in full armor carrying a duffel bag full of goodies. “If y’all going to crack that open, and some chupathingies start coming through, I want to be ready!” We laugh him off, but he is deadly serious. Jack runs more experiments, and my short hairs stood up, I was getting nervous, and stopped paying attention to what Jack was doing.

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I pulled out a shotgun out of his bag, the big man was not impressed, “I’ll give it back! I just want to have it… in case you are right.” Jack strikes the coin with some sort of tuning fork, drowning out Tychus’ response to my theft. There is a deep hum, my ears popped. In the span of a split second, the coin started vibrating, then expanded to nearly the width of the room. It snapped small, and the air around it bent, then the coin blinked out of existence, and I felt myself being sucked into the bent air, then I blacked out.

I awoke on a small isthmus, with a single tree providing … no shade? I looked to the sky and found a cool yellow sun beating down, and there to the side, a warm purple sun. I blacked out again.

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Animal Control, Pt. 2
Where's the WereRat at?

GOBLINS!!!
Yes really, we found goblins!

Not unlike the classical tales told in Deutschland for millennia, these tiny, grotesque, yet ferocious creatures were revealed to be the cause of the missing pets we were originally alerted by.
After our initial forays into their ocean side cave, we had collected our fair share of injuries, committed several tactical “miscommunications”, and even managed to capture a living specimen. (However long it lasts slung across Tychus’ back like a (disgusting, foul smelling, semi-intelligent) vicious fox caught and caged by the hounds back home.) On second hand, that is too great an insult to the foxes back home.
The subsequent discussion of whether to head back and report, or finish exploring and clearing the caves was mostly solved by our band-aids of eldritch seeming aura, and the simple reminder that this was indeed still a test of our team.
We managed to clear the rest of the caverns without much incident until we at last came to a rather large underground grotto. There groaning and calling for help next to the pool near the center of the chamber was a small man. We saw the filthy rags and heard the strangely accented english as he claimed to be a goblin captive, but did not see through his mask until it was too late. Tychus took no chances with him, roughly assessing him and making him prone before Reid could get started with a real medical exam. I (Jack) and the Archive started checking the rest of the room in opposite directions when it all went to scheisse.
First, despite Tychus’ best efforts, and Reid being in the way, the small man caught a gruesome blow across Tychus’ face, and managed to jar Reid off balance. The Archive was set upon by 2 large dogs (goblin dogs I am now sure), as well as several more of the lightly armed goblins themselves rushing through a yet unseen passageway. I was also facing 3 of the swift killers, but was able to quickly dispatch them with the timely aid of my teammates.
Unlike in our previous encounters the Archive was the first to be severely wounded, (maybe damaged is a better word for a living construct) and was unfortunately temporarily crippled by the unrelenting goblin dogs. They and their keepers left their first target immobile across the room to target the 3 flesh and blood intruders. Reid and I (Jack) managed to finally down one, while the other met with such an unexpected backswing from Tychus’ hammer that it ended pinned to a rocky spike like a giant sized (nightmarish) specimen.
The final opponent was by far one of the most incredible yet. An evil shape changing Doppelg√§nger of that American tmntMasterSplinter.JPGcartoon warrior Master Splinter was cavorting around the room. If I had not seen something other than Archive taunt Tychus and live I might not have believed it. While Reid and I futilely attempted fire support, our recognized heavy could not seem to even connect solidly, while at the same time being cut to ribbons in return. By the time our medic had a moment to spare from seemingly continuously molding Tychus Findlay’ wounds back together, and his wits about him he was running to assist our fallen team member. Our opponent threw one last barb, and seeing himself greatly outnumbered, he ran.

We were unable to catch him as he slipped out a crevice to the beach outside, but we were able to finally make contact mysteryvan_grou1.jpgagain with Colin. As I (Jack) explained the situation, and was about to ask for further orders or eyes, I was almost instantly cut off! Our only priority now was to secure the Archive, and bring it back to base for repair (healing?)! We quickly stabilized the worst of our wounds (pride not among them this time), and gathered a few small things from cavern for further study as we made our way back to our van, and then home. The bag of horded items from the cave with its strange sword that seems to vibrate at a most discordant frequency, our captive, and even our friend stone faced friend will require much study (and healing, or is it repair?) and effort to sort out when we get back. On the way we must celebrate, and of course, stop for our cigar chewing friend to continue his diet of terribly unhealthy vices by stopping at a hamburger drive through. Although tasty, I do not thing that I will ever fully get used to the chopping of words that Americans seem to love so much. (Burgers are magistrates, and kings are, well, Kings, and they make such a ridiculous name together.)

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At least I will have much to write about in my next email to my feste freundin (girlfriend) in central america.

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Animal Control, Pt. 1

The EIDL strike team deployed into Point Defiance park to track the source of the anomaly and disappearing animals. The mk II Laurence rabbit was released and the team followed from a safe distance while Jack tracked his chip. It seemed that the rabbit was captured and taken into a nearby cave system. Last minute preparations and an order of combat was drawn up at the cave entrance while the The Archive and Dr. Reid briefed the team on what to expect from similar scenarios. A small humanoid form about the size of a child was spotted and The Archive confirmed that we were dealing with goblins. The team rigged up lights and entered the cave.

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The first few rooms revealed small passages that the goblins might use to flank and fetid racks of meat that the goblins were curing. The party kept its lunch down but only barely. A few corridors in a small ambush was sprung with howling goblins leaping from piles of debris. They were dressed in small costumes that may have been taken from children or looted from, god knows where, but poorly armed and easily dispatched. One scampered off into a side tunnel and short pursuit revealed traps that the goblins had laid to defend their cave. Dr. Reed theorized that that may account for other teams failing in the chase and the Archive took a careful search around to clear the area of any more caltrops with its mighty wooden feet. The mk III Laurence was deemed superfluous and released into the wild before the team cleared the tunnels they had fought through and moved on to explore.

The next room yielded a woodpile and supply room alongside a much more concerted ambush led by a well armored laughing goblin. The goblins stood back and made a pincushion of Tychus while he fought in the choke point. The Archive chaffed at this tactical faux pas, while Reed andJack took a rear guard. It was well warranted as a small force of now armed and armored goblins came around to flank. The flanking forces were slain quickly but still inflicted serious wounds. With that, the team turned its whole attention to the woodpile room and began to clear it in earnest. Many goblins fell to the Archives paper swords while covering fire poured into the gap. The leading goblin ceased his laughing and taunting when Jack Killby planted a round in its head and the last remaining goblin through down its arms.

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Tychus thought he recognized the language spoken by the pitiful creature as he bound it and stuffed it into the carry case meant for the rabbits. The team also noted that the leaders armor was made of scavenged materials but backed by older leathers that were cured much better than any craft the creatures had shown thus far. Medicines were applied to various wounds and the team stopped to discuss whether to move further in or pull out and call backup.

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