The ouse seemed pretty much devoid of other tings ta kill. Th bush monster below seemed th only other enemy ta slay, an if the master of th bear was below, e was obviously mulch by now. As usual we all got inta an argiament wit me. Twasn't religion er any u that nonsense. Na, twas in fact treasure an the wantin by two of the stupider members of our party, me excluded, ta destroy a few tings. Most notably, giant ogres hooks whose magical properties screamed "Sell me fer quick, easy cash." Both Vala an Tirion wished ta destroy dem, tinking that some evil being would end up with them an murder people. Oi reasoned correctly tha the same could be said fer any of the other tings we sold fer cash. Oi also pointed out tha they ad no problem wit me sellin the magical skinsaw masks made from th skin of th victims dey came from! A bunch a turncoats. Me tinks Tirion was just tryin ta score a few extra points wit Vala so tha he could… well… score.
Our debate was cut short (keep yer halflin jokes te yerself!) because of some cute dogs barkin ouside at me friendly ol bear. Seems th dogs oi ad let live ad come back fer a rematch, and by the rumblin of footsteps, ad brought der other masters wit dem. Wit Tirion leadin th way, e was th first ta come upon the dogs. Mercifully e cut one in two wit one blow. Th dogs ad no interest in th warblade, they wanted bear meat. In a split second, me friend bear was down an bleedin. Vala did some mumbo-jumbo ta summon a new power of ers called "Don't attack please." Sure enough, th ogres didna attack us, they just sorta looked at us in a friendly manner. Tha gave Tirion th time ta whirling tornado their asses. By tha toime me legs ad caught up to th fight, fer a second, me arm didna want ta strike tanks ta the don't attack me aura of Vala's. Luckily oi fought off the urge an stabbed an ogre true is lung, bringin im down. Put me in range of th dogs who all charged me; an all sat down, their cute tails waggin as dey became four victims ta Vala's aura. Leavin th remainin ogres ta Tirion, oi moved ta the bear an ealed im wit me wand, while coaxin im ta play dead. Seein th dogs, oi couldna help but pet one. That's when it troied ta bite me hand off. Oi knew it tot oi was bein threatinin, an oi ad a choice ta either bring im down or defend th bear. Oi chose th latter, as oi opened up the dogs brain wit me rapier. Tha sent the remainin ones runnin away, and in doin so, out of the zone of magic tha stayed the rest of their bites. They all thus turned on Tirion who was just finishin off th last ogre. An after another whirling tornado, e fisnished the tree lungin dogs off as well. A quick healin from Vala brought th bear back up. Seemed the reinforcements ad come from the barn we ad overlook before.
After going in an up a flight a stairs, Tirion came across a cage holdin tree prisoners, one of which was likely th bears master. Below in th barns interior was a lot of webbin, meanin our big bad boss fer this little hideout was likely a big-ass spider. As oi moved up ta unlock th cage, Mr. Fangs climbed from is hole and bit me hard. Man did it ever hurt! Yet depite me rage, there was also a sense of compasion fer th colossal vermin. Oi jumped inta th webbin ta get a closer look, only ta find that th strands wer thicker than oi tot, and th logical portion of me brain said ta get outta there. It took another bite from the Mr. Fangs ta make me realize that me time on earth based was better served on whether oi could kill th beast, not befriend it. While Tirion decided is best coarse of action was ta talk ta th prisoners insteada doin is job and killin monsters, oi hit th spider wit me blade, before escapin from the strands and makin me way to the cage again. Vala was there ta heal me wounds an oi used er shoulder ta boost me up ta th cage door. This put me outa reach of Mr. Fangs and put th warblade where e shoulda been; between me at th spider. In no toime, oi ad th cage door opened, and everyone ealed up wit me wand. Tirion an Mr. Fangs exchanged a couple blows, with th two legged creature fairin worse. With everyone on their feet, all of us made it out the second story door, alive. In our flight we still exchanged flame strikes, fangs, and big sword chops, but we made it.
Seems all tree were survivors from th keep we were ta investigate, an all tree of them wanted ta join us. Oi was venomently against that coarse of action. Oi came all this way fer riches and ta save their arses. And yet ere they were ready ta trow der loives away in needless battle. Oi insisted that dey go ta Turtleback Ferry and stay der till we got everthin fixed at the keep. Coarse, me opinion mattered as much as cow turd while Tirion cheared em on. Oi did get a little support from Vala at least. Vale friend of the bear, Jaker, guy with a patch, an Kaven, rogue wit me dagger, all helped emselves to our hard-found equipment that dey claimed was ders and prepared fer the next battle. A battle which was decided ta be gainst th spider we ad just run from. A pair of doors on the lower level obviously led to it, but were completely barred. Luckily oi had me wand of knock ta blast it open.
Tirion was th first ta feel the wrath of th escaped spider. Luckily the warblade dodged aside the initial strike, an retaliated wit a strike that practically disemboiled th creature. Vale fired an arrow tha took out one of its eyes, while oi moved in ta strike it in a vital area. An all of a sudden, the idea of attackin suddenly left me. In tha instant, Vala remembered somethin. In the fight wit mama tumogre, it ad cast a spell that ad seemed ta do nothin to me. Now owever, Vala realized tha it was a powerful spell that cursed me ta retink all me violent actions. Th fact that th effects were only evident now was simply bad luck, or the contrary considerin ow much violence oi ad dished out before that moment.
The next few minutes were a miasma of fountainin blood and ocre. Wit so many bodies in th way, oi resorted ta usin th wand of magic missiles whenever oi could gather me wits da do somethin. A final decapitatin strike from Tirion brought th spider down, an bringin a sigh of relief to everyone. Unfortunately it seemed ta give our new recruits a star next to der names in this, what they seemed to see as their special education class. Only casualty was Vale, whom sadly was still breathin. What's more, Tirion, who was an entire special ed class on his own, used a precious potion a eal th warrior. After Vala ealed us all up the best she could, we were given some intel on the fort. Seems Vale and is band of merry, suicidal men were an attack party ta take back the fort from th ogres before we arroived. E and several others were taken back to the house as prisoners. Sadly, a run trough the house came upon the corpses of those other supposed survivors. Only good ting Vala could provide was a map of the fort, includin a couple secret ways in. Ta get revenge fer th fallen, we would kill the shamblin mound on the morrow.
As mornin dawned, Vala approached me wit a glowin hand. She said er touch would remove the curse upon me, ad sure enough me toughts of violence became much more clearer after er magic took affect. We descended down the stairs in the ouse, takin out a couple cute rats in our march ta meet the vine monster. Soon our exploration brought us to its whereabouts, and the weed-wacking began.
Knowin me blades would be of little use, oi stayed back an opened the volley wit a magic missile. Jaker meanwhile charged in wit, spear leadin th way. Tirion den moved up an Insightful Striked it, sendin pieces of plants scatterin round. E was sadly rewarded fer is insight by a bite from the shambler. Vale meanwhile was roped in by one of the shamblers vines. Again oi magic missiled it and again Tirion cut at it, but like the last toime, the things seemed ta be indestructable. And then the pain began even more as poor Vale was swallowed hole, is bones bein ground by the shambler's teath, while is flesh began bein melted by the shamblers digestive juices. We could ear th poor rangers screams of agony but couldna do nothin fer im. All we could do was continia ta cut and magic it but it just seemed not ta die. Tirion shrugged off its attemps at joinin Vale thanks ta a spell tha made im slippery in th arms of any who tried ta bring im down. Didna stop the bites an whips dough. Jaker too took some massive pain, but Vala was there ta eal is urts, wastin more of our magic supply.
After what seemed like an eternity, the shambling mound stopped moving. Tirrion cut the plants ide open ta free Vale, who despite is burns, was barely oldin on ta loife. A chest in th next room revealed couple more valuables in a chest, but nothin ta make this ole trip worth it. As oi began sifttin trough th loot, we noticed the plant begin movin again. Figurin is regenerative nature was kickin in, th fighter began acking at it wit blades. Yet still it kept gettin better. That's when me insight directed me and ta me magical third eye. As oi placed in in me forehead, oi remembered readin a tale bout a shamblin mounds treatinin a farm and ow th farmer beat it ta death wit a shovel. Oi told Vala ta use er stick ta beat th plant. After a funny look in me direction, she began smackin dose vines an sure enough dey eventually stopped movin fer good. Wit little spells and guts everwhere, we forced everone back ta Turtleback Ferry ta recupe.
Next day, Kaven was gone, along wit th dagger oi ad lent im. Other two yahoos were still in toine and still wantin ta go wit us ta th fort. Tirion ad found somethin interestin th that eve; well two things. First was that e ad not been unmaned given ow many toimes and places e ad been struck th day before. Second was tha e had found a poster wit tha god-fersaken seven pointed star tha kept appearin before us. It was th mark of a place called Paradise which was a pleasure boat near th town tha ad sunk a month er so ago. Somthin ta merit checkin out later on.
No convincin could convince Vale and Jaker ta turn back, specially wit Tirion encouragin them ta stay. Couple hours later, th stench of piss an blood indicated we were close. Our footsteps took us true a waterfall, inta a secret cave complex. We were assaulted numerous toimes by shocker lizards, but our force easily dealt withem. Soon th musty air took on a perfumey alure, makin fer a surprise more startlin than if we'd come across a portal ta the abyss. We came ta the entrance inta the keep, and from behind came a voice askin ta indentify ourselves, and whether we ad come ta save er. As we entered, our eyes fell upon the speaker; a serpent lady brushin er air, similar ta th one we ad slain not to long ago. Upon seein us, she dimension doored away.
Tirion saw a flight of stairs an started another of is insesant Tirion Runs. Vala though, taught tins true and cast a spell ta enable er ta find a hairbrush. Sure enough, th magic guided us up two flights of stairs ta a pair of doors no different den any oders. As Tirion bashed em open, our eyes drifted ta a prayer chamber dedicated ta Lamashu, Goddess of Disease, along wit er image of a tree eyed jackal painted on th wall. Witiin th confines was also an ogre wit a signal horn in hand, and th snake woman.
Jaker fired a couple arrows at th ogre which seemed ta send im in a rage. Droppin th orn, e charged at th nearest person e couple, which tankfully waasn't me. Is club descended on Tirion wit such force, oi figured we'd ave two half Tirions by th end of th clubs descend. Th warblade cried out in pain, but somehow managed ta stay on is feet. In retaliation, e charged at th lamia girl and gave er a nice cut. Oi meanwhile figured ta try ta end th battle quickly and used me mask of the medusa ta try ta petrify er. She easily resisted th effects and screamed out th question as to where oi ad gotten th mask. Figurin it was er sisters and not wantin a piss er off, oi trew it ta her as recompense fer killin er broodmate. Luckily Vale interposed imself between meself an th bitch, an suffered multiple rapier an dagger stabs from er for is stupidity. Tirion meanwhile was outta reach of Vala's ealin touch an dropped ta th ground after th ogre pounded im once, then a second time fer good measure. Our ealer tried ta use er aura of "Do Not Attack Me," but no one gave inta th magics curse. Needin ta do somethin ta save us all again, oi moved up ta th ogre and stabbed in a couple times. Seein such a uge creature, oi begun studyin is frame ta find better ways a bringin a giant down. Next toime oi faced such a foe, oied try ta put such skills ta use.
Wit only th ogre ta deal wit, oi figured, oi might ave a better chance. Tha was until lamia bitch cast a spell ta encorcel Vale's mind. He stepped asoid an she stepped in front a me. Tha distraction cost me a really painful club hit from th ogre. Vala still kept er butt outta range of any combat, meanin outta range of any ealin. She did wave er ands ta calm th barbarian ogre down. Oi jabbed im a couple more toimes, but still it stood, an oi knew then tha me end was at hand as e hit me again. Barely standin, oi saw death at th end of th lamia's rapier, an prepared ta meet whatever god would ave me. Strangely though, she simply reached out an touched me foot. Oi felt a we bit of me ability ta tink remember tings drain away, but udderwise, oi was unharmed. Me maneauverin skill ad finally brought me ta Vala's side and she was kind enough ta mend some of me urts. Jakar, who seemed ta be doing nothin, finally did somethin and finished off the near dead ogre wit a single arrow. Knowin she probably ad magical defenses up the wazoo, oi still pepered er wit all steal oi could bring down upon er, all of which ricotcheed off a thousand invisible shields. She copied th same swing on me, an sadly no shields could block dose deadly, piercin hits. Puttin all me skill inta one strike, oi flashed in rapier as hard as oi could stab, an was rewarded wit a frown of pain from er snearin mouth. Vala meanwhile took matters inta er own hands. Wit th ogre down, she was able ta get ta Tirion. Rather than eal im up though, she cast er dimension door spell and spirited e, me, and she out ta the room below where first we ad entered the complex.
Won't say whether she did th right ting er not, out of me own personal grudges. Oi will say tha me cuts hurt like a tousand needles, an th wallops th ogre had dealt me still rang in me bones. Oi was ready fer round two as soon as possible right away owever. Yet there was one ting tha put a we bit of esitation in me step. Lookin down at me foot, oi saw something strange. On me foot, where th lamia ad touched me was the sign of that stupid seven pointed