Eternal Winter

Avandra’s Best Friends

I regrettably write this while once again in a mysterious new dimension which holds for us not the rivers of nymphs and wine I was promised in the Planar Playboy stories I read in my youth, but more peril, more ugly and dangerous creatures, and more crumbling infrastructure. Who knew that the Material Plane was such a paradise? These hasty notes will have to do for now until I can get back home and compose an epic poem inspired by epic amounts of hallucinogens.

To start my tale— and most importantly— I took Skai to bed. I don’t know if it was because my skills have atrophied while in other planes or because Skai was puzzling over an especially challenging potion formulation, but it was not a spectacular event. She did not seem all that interested in what was going on. A lesser man would blame her; a humbler man would blame himself; I blame the gnomish “King Sized” bed. Being made for a gnomish king, when occupied by two amply sized humans, it was a bit like two prawns trying to fit into a matchbox. It was all well and good when it was just me and a cloud of gnomish admirers hopping in and out, but adding a second large person required an amount of… er… logistics and spatial reasoning that was beyond me after a night of little rest and copious gnomish ale.

Moving on! Wreth rejoined us from the Pokeball, patting out flames and looking insulted. As always, he could not tell us what happened. I think I need to go in there myself to check it out.

We were delivered a letter, sealed with a sigil of Avandra. And to our surprise, it was actually FROM Avandra. As in the goddess. Nothing boosts the ego like literally getting a message from God, so we were a bit starstruck as we read it. In short, she congratulated us on our latest adventure and asked us to get cracking on the next part. She told us to stick close to Larth Parsy and help him. Undoubtedly her omniscience was occupied while we were “helping” Larth last time by running like hell and letting him fight Kore while we were nearly buried in a skeleton attack. But Avandra must know what she’s doing, right? She told us to seek out an artefact of hers that will help us, and use an enclosed gem to find it. She warned us that the Raven Queen and Asmodeus are not happy with us, and want the Rift Blade back, as well as the head of Maurus. The latter we did not have, and the former actually belonged to Asmodeus. As we had pieced together, Maurus used the blade (and an Astral Diamond) to make that pocket dimension he inhabited (to escape Asmodeus) and we destroyed (to make a fucking gnome happy).

Speaking of the fucking gnome, we talked again to Lord Gimblefoot. I said that by the way, if Vithia or any of the other fairies came back to live with the gnomes, he had to promise to treat them as full citizens. Now that they no longer needed to plug portals, no more keeping them captive or sniffing dust off their wings or anything else degrading or abusive. I perhaps unwisely decided to press the point by revealing that we had in fact found Vithia and lied to the king because we were protecting her. The king got into a tiny little snit and called his tiny little guards over to remove us from his tiny little kingdom, but we would have none of that, and eventually made him agree about the fairies. Later, Garret told us this was all a bad thing I did, blah blah blah alliance broken blah blah bad Orgoo blah blah undiplomatic. As you can tell, I paid close attention to every word.

On the way out of the kingdom, at our own leisurely pace, we came upon and solved a previous mystery. Last time we were in this spot in the gnomish streets, we had seen a love triangle drama play out among Nisha, Nuor, and Selene, ending with the last killing one of the first and trying to kill the other. Well, we saw it play out again, with the same names but different gnomes. This time we got a good grip on “Nuor” and detected he was possessed by a ghost. These have a way of inhabiting people to force them to play out some trauma over and over again. We managed to exorcise the ghost and defeat it. Big kudos to Talithe who conducted the exorcism like a pro {rolling a 20 on the Religion check.} It was amusing when the ghost tried to jump into Talithe to inhabit her, but thanks to her twin souls and inner demon, it bounced off like a sparrow hitting a window, and soon could haunt no more forever.

Before we left the Gnomish Enclave we met up with Skai, who depressingly did not melt into my arms with pleas for more Orgoo Magic. I made a portal for her (just like she had made for me, hey hey!) and she took the horses and some money to the Moon City mansion. So this is what divorce feels like. No seriously, she’ll be great at helping run the place, as long as she does not turn it into hay and/or burn it down.

We flew on hippogriffs. Yawn, no big deal, no, just us and some hippogriffs flying around. Being famous and powerful is so boring. We touched down soon near Tarkin Hall. It was populated by heaps of soldiers in red with a mountain logo, as well as Cados soldiers.

Larth Parsy was there. We gave him the letter. He did not seem too impressed but he endorsed our mission in general. He said that he’s noticed a wraith was following us around; did we know that? No we did not… then we realised with horror we knew who it was. Caroline. Read back to my stirring tale titled Dwarves Need Us To Fix Their Problems. Eeeks.

I was on my way to the pub when we discovered something strange: whoever was holding the gem Avandra gave us saw a tunnel through the falling snow. Being adventurers, of course we said fuck that and spent the night drinking. I kid! I wish. No, we followed the tunnel like good Avandra worshippers, and came to a fine temple of shiny marble, which we learned was Avandra’s “Disfida Halls”. In we went. Following the goddess’ advice “fortune favours the bold”, we boldly walked in, boldly walked up to the dais, and boldly fell into a pit trap. Ow.

What followed was not our finest moment and would have made even lab mice feel embarrassed. There was a doorway, a button, a ceiling of spikes that slid up and down, and a number of puzzled adventurers. We exhausted every possible combination we could think of to get out. Finally, with a gulp, we decided only one possibility was left. Fortune favours the bold. Letting the ceiling come all the way down seemed pretty fucking bold. Juuuust before it crushed us, the ceiling pushed the button.

And we were suddenly weightless. It seemed that the whole room now was falling and we had all been teleported along with the room. We were rudely interrupted by a corner of the room being smashed to rubble as it fell onto something even larger and heavier, and we realised we were falling into a huge city of stone towers. We did not like where this was heading (namely, downward at high speed), so next time the room smashed into a tower we took the opportunity to get the hell out of there and onto the tower. We looked around. My spidey religious sense told us we were in another goddess-damned alternate plane. What the hell, Avandra? It seemed to be a plane where she should have control. Which made me wonder why we were now being attacked by gargoyles.

A big fight followed and it was rather rough on us. We managed to scrape through, though. One fun incident: a gargoyle hit Marcus and he used his Mask of Slithering to redirect it to another gargoyle—and it was a critical hit, hee hee!

So here we are, on another plane, again bereft of wine, women, and song. If only we had ignored that stupid snow tunnel we’d be drinking with the soldiers.

Comments

Little did i know we would have an entire paragraph on excuses why orgoo couldnt rack up the constitution or dexterity to actually please skai.

Avandra’s Best Friends
 

Yes, Orgoo definitely wants his loyal fans to know every detail, and protect his stellar reputation. He has to carefully account for every loss on the big scoreboard…

Avandra’s Best Friends
 

Hah, it sure as hell didn’t cost an Astral diamond! It’s like, an at-will the blade has to shut any adjacent portal. I’m actually interested to see how else that could pan out.

Avandra’s Best Friends
 

I thought Maurus used the blade (and an Astral Diamond) to make that pocket dimension. Does shutting a portal make a new dimension? Or did he just use the blade to cut off access to that part of the Astral Sea? If Orgoo is wrong, of course it’s not my fault; he’s a stoner.

Avandra’s Best Friends
 

W-what? I’m not at all sure what you are going on about, but I know that the blade can basically (for all you know for now)
A)Create a portal to go to another known plane
B)Shut a portal
C)Create a mini-portal to tele in combat

Avandra’s Best Friends
 

Aha. Orgoo (again, not me of course) might have gotten things a wee bit confused. He thought at some point there was something you could do with an Astral Diamond to make a pocket dimension, and the Rift Blade had something to do with that. Where does the Astral Diamond come into the story?

Avandra’s Best Friends
 

Yeah, somewhere (I forget where, but probably Skai) you found out that when supplied with an Astral diamond the riftblade can create planes.

Avandra’s Best Friends
 

Ya, I think Skai revealed that. So didn’t Maurus make that plane that we found him in, by using the Rift Blade and an Astral Diamond? If not, what made that plane?

Avandra’s Best Friends
 

Yes, he did. I think the confusion lies in your senten-

…oh right. I thought you said Markus, not Maurus.

Avandra’s Best Friends
 

and whose fault is that, Dylan…
Its you in case you were wondering, making all your npc names so fucking similar.

Avandra’s Best Friends
 

It was like when in The Prince I had a Darrin and Dereth. It was so problematic I made Dereth convert to the Raven Queen and go all emo, calling himself Ruin.

Avandra’s Best Friends
MatthewFord

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