Ok, remind me to never make Linea mad. She totally just…what? Oh, right, it’s been a while and I haven’t updated you. Sorry, I’ve been rather distracted thinking about that poem Flor helped me find, and all the Greystone stuff Nan keeps talking about. I suppose I should fill you in on what happened. Of course that means this will be a long entry, so you’d better be ready for a late night. Good thing we were already planning to rest here for a while.
We left Greystone and headed towards Lorindale. Linea and Florence stayed behind to try and figure out more of what’s going on in Greystone while the rest of us headed off to find the altar the evil stone of sickly doom belongs to. Alec continued to hang around with us, though I’m not really sure why. He must like BR’s company or something. It certainly can’t be Nan’s he enjoys.
Anyway, we got a good ways out without much happening. But then we were attacked, and you totally almost went up in smoke, just like your predecessor. No, not goblins this time. The Pretty Obnoxious Imbeciles attacked us after we set up camp. And, as usual, they decided to pick on me first (seriously, goblins, the stabbityclawtooth thingies, and now the POI, always attacking me before anyone else).
A couple archers attacked from one end, and they must have been really stealth as I didn’t notice them until an arrow hit me in the shoulder. I yelled out to wake everyone up, and almost every did. As they all got ready to fight the campfire exploded and caught the wagon on fire. It wasn’t until then that Alec woke up. I’ll have to remember that next time I need to wake him up for something (specifically, that I should use fire).
We managed to fight them off, but only barely. Torg was seriously hurt, our wagon was destroyed, and the box-o-evil was cracked. On the plus side, Alec got a new kidney (from the wizard. Not really sure why he did that though…). And it apparently could have gone a lot worse. Nan gave us a lecture about magic after the fight, explaining how the stream between the wizard and our campfire saved us from a much worse attack, as the water somehow cancelled out part of the fire attack. (Personally, I think he’s making this all up).
Anyway, after that we decided it may not be safe to enter Lorindale, as we didn’t know if the Path had much hold there, so we sent Alec in. Unfortunately he didn’t come back out. I felt like we should try and see what happened, but that crack in the box was looking mighty worrisome, even after Nan tried patching it up, so we decided to go deal with the artifact first, and come back for Alec later (Nan thinks he may have just deserted us, since he doesn’t seem to be willing to deal with much violence, as the goblin hat incident showed us).
Shortly after we started into the forest a couple falcons appeared above us in the sky. I recognized the first couple as Linea’s, but there were two that looked a bit different, and seemed to be not quite as sure of themselves in the sky. Turns out that’s because they weren’t birds, which we discovered as those two came down and morphed into people (Is it bad that crazy-weirdness like this is starting to seem normal to me?). One was Linea, and the other was some guard from Greystone that she somehow roped into following her (how the managed that I don’t know. He looked incredibly confused though. Enough so that it couldn’t possibly have just been from being turned into a bird for a while).
So new guy was Samson (Wha? No, he didn’t have long voluptuous hair. Why would you even ask that? And where did you learn voluptuous?! I certainly never taught you that word). He apparently is from Guilfort so he knew Linea a bit, and she apparently knew him enough to trust him to help (oh who am I kidding. She probably didn’t even consider that. Oh, random person! They’ll help me!). I can’t make fun of her too much though (well…), since she did talk to the box and managed to get it to heal the crack (yes, talked to the box. Remember, she made the box by talking a tree into turning itself into it originally. No, I don’t know if it talked back. I’ll ask her next time I see her. If I remember. And don’t want to be stared at weirdly. Quiet you.)
So after heading into the forest for a while I started noticing the signs of a nearby elvish encampment. And for once we didn’t have to worry about POI jerkheads being there, as they were among the more nomadish groups of elves. We decided to go and resupply there and see if any of them could help direct us to the altar we were looking for, though I didn’t think we should bring the death-in-a-box near the town or leave it unguarded. Eventually they decided to send me in alone (well, unless you count the shopping lists Linea and Lizzy gave me).
There was some commotion going on as I approached, and when I got close someone noticed me and came to ask what I was doing. He seemed wary of me, though I got the feeling it was because I was a stranger, not because I was strange (no comments on being blue!). Turns out someone had vanished the night before, supposedly taken by the “Red Lady” or “Bloody Mistress” or whatever other name they decided to use. I offered (on behalf of the group. I didn’t care if they would say no) to help them try and find that person via tracking or magic, and told them about my friends. They agreed to let us try and help, so I went back to get everyone else (as I left I noticed a guard lower his bow and duck behind a tree. I was tempted to wave to him, but decided to let him think he was being sneaky).
Turns out this superstition they had was an old one, about some lady who came to take the sick away. It sounded similar to the stories we heard about the altar, and figured it must be related. Nan detected a similar “feeling” magic in the area too, which made us certain. While we were doing this Samson took the shopping list from me and picked up the supplies (apparently Torg wanted a plate and silverware as he’s “civilized” now. And Linea wanted a cookie. Why am I not surprised).
They pointed us at where they believed the altar we were searching for was, so we went off that way. We found a valley with some big ziggurat-like structure in it (like a pyramid, lots of steps, maybe I’ll draw you a picture sometime). At the top was the altar, which was also apparently a sarcophagus. We managed to decipher the writings there and figured out what was going on.
Apparently back in the day (no, I don’t know which day) some magic lady elf saved her village from a big sickness by magically taking it all into herself, then going off to die. They started worshipping her for it, and entombed her in the altar. Apparently she got so much worship she turned into some kind of mini-goddess, and is now continuing her “work” by convincing sick people to bring themselves to the altar and kill themselves (sadly we discovered the missing elf here, dead on the altar, among a number of other recent corpses).
It was at this point Nan decided it was time to open his gift from the Lady at his school. In it he found instructions for a ritual that would undo the power of the alter for good (essentially unmaking the mini-goddess). But first we had to fix the altar, which involved using the poultice we made earlier to glue the piece back on. Nan spread the goop on the altar and Red cracked the box open and stuck it on. It sealed, and we could see the stone becoming whole again, but in that brief instance a couple of us got sick from the stone. Sam, Nan, and I all started seeing the red lady (and she looked strangely like Tulia, but…wrong).
Sam and I tried to distract her from Nan while he was busy with his magicing. Sam tried to attack her with his sword, but barely made a scratch. I was trying to figure out how I’d hurt her when I noticed some of the poultice leftover on the ground. I figured if it worked to bind her power in the altar it might work on her, so I dipped my arrow in it and fired. It worked. It obviously hurt her, but also seemed to stick her in place, AND let Linea and Red see her.
I managed to get another shot into her while Red helped Nan, and that seemed to hurt her even more. She was looking pretty bad, but not dead (or dispersed or whatever happens to a god when you hurt its manifestation enough) yet. Sam was having trouble, as I think the lady was getting into his mind, so he wasn’t able to help much. I went to line up another shot when I realized my other arrows were gone (she somehow magiced open my quiver’s strap without me noticing). I went to take out my sword when suddenly Linea comes out of nowhere and punches her in the face.
That’s right. Linea punched a god. In the face. I didn’t even know she punched things! I thought it was all “Hey tree, go eat that guy for me!” with her. But now. She punched the red lady, and it sent her all the way back into the stone. It was kind of impressive. Also scary. I need to not make her mad (or maybe she only punches deities? Then I’m safe I guess).
We managed to weaken the lady enough that Nan’s magic could finish. He said the last words of his ritual and we could all feel something big happen, though none of us seemed to describe it the same way. But along with the power of the lady disappearing it seems Nan’s strength left as well, as he collapsed immediately after finishing the spell.
So now we’re back at the elvish village tending to our wounds (mostly waiting for Nan to be coherent again) and reminiscing about that time we killed a mini-god (Linea keeps dropping the “mini” when she tells people she “face-punched a god to death”). I’m thinking of naming my bow the “God poker”, but Torg gives me a look every time I bring it up that suggests it will mysteriously burn if I ever actually call it that.
So yea, that’s been my last week or so (what have YOU been doing, other than sitting in my pack while I get attacked by everything?).