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Member Since 30 Apr 2000
Offline Last Active Nov 12 2018 08:57 PM

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In Topic: Throne Of Cards 69

12 November 2018 - 08:57 PM

“Let’s see what else we have,” Sarevok said. “Get off the bed for a second.” Once Zaerini and Imoen had landed on the ground, the big man grabbed hold of the remaining bedlinen, mattress and all, and hurled the lot onto the floor. The bed was now fully visible, and its oddities even more obvious than before. It wasn’t just its size, or that it was round. It was that it didn’t really look much like a bed at all, more like a huge, round slab of rock. Maybe Yaga-Shura has a bad back?


Laska: Ugh. A slab of rock for a bed makes for awful sleep, lousy sex and it really makes you notice the crumbs of the cookies you eat in bed.


It’s not really a bed, is it?” She said, as she thought it over. “Or, I mean, maybe he uses it for a bed, but it’s definitely built to be something else as well.”



“Speaking of which,” Sarevok said, “was it really necessary to steal my own private and may I add completely personal diary as you were ransacking my stronghold back in Baldur’s Gate? That’s low, just so you know it.”


You see?! You see?! Your plot might have worked if you didn't have the need to keep a bloody diary. Ugh, why are villains so emo?


“Remind me never to do that again if I can help it,” Zaerini said once she was able to speak rather than hiss or growl. “I had to prepare all but the last motions of the spell, then hold onto that as I gave into Bhaal and then keep both the spell and the Slayer under control at the same time.” She shuddered. “I nearly lost it.”


Also, your reputation has now arbitrarily dropped 2 points!



Viconia hadn’t much liked this fire giant palace in the first place. It was entirely too warm, the zombies were disgracefully disorganized and the interior decorating left much to be desired, mostly combinations of dull grey rock and molten lava. Would it be too much to hope for that the stronghold belonging to the next deranged Bhaalspawn we go after is pleasantly dark? Maybe a few tasteful magical lights. With a more varied assortment of monsters.


In only BG games had real player housing. Viconia's do wonders with that.


Being separated from the party’s leader was also bothersome. It wasn’t that she didn’t think her own half of the group could get on just fine for a while, they were all reasonably competent in their own ways – if occasionally erratic. But she had promised Zaerini to aid her, and so she should be by the young one’s side above any other. Well. That particular young one. It’s not as if any of them are even remotely close to two hundred yet. She was of course aware that humans counted such things differently, but it still sometimes felt as if she were the lone adult trying to keep a gaggle of toddlers from wandering off and letting themselves get crushed, burned, eaten or electrocuted. This was one of those times.


TnT Viconia: Oh, you have no idea how easy you have it. Hmpf.



“Hmpf, I don’t know what you are so winded for,” Edwin huffed. “Some of us did the heavy lifting around here, you know. And would it be too much to ask for some healing once in a while?”


Sigh – Edwin, always respect your healer. It's a main lesson in mmo gaming.


“Well, yeah. The private moon belonging to a certain stuck up annoying old wizard, sure. That’s part of the reason why he’s so mad with us, even if it was a complete and total accident that time.”


That moon was tiny, actually. More like a small asteroid, really.



“No ripping hearts out of chained prisoners,” Rini firmly stated. “And that’s an order.”


Pffft, no fun allowed....




Viconia got to her feet, trying to get her bearings. The giant’s corpse was gone, completely obliterated, and she had a sneaking suspicion parts of it were now stuck in her hair..


I see your Viconia is now suffering indignities too. :P




The chest’s lid flew open, and an enormous beast exploded out of it. The creature was very large, certainly much larger than a rothe or the surfacer equivalent of oxen, and much more savage. It burst forth with its massive clawed paws first, followed by the large head and muscular body. Within the shaggy brown fur angry little eyes glared sleepily at the people daring to intrude upon its slumber, and it gave a furious roar.


Uh, I honestly wasn't expecting that.



That was as far as she got before the dead bear’s side started heaving, almost as if the animal was breathing again. Then it split suddenly open in a shower of blood and gore, and something small and furry darted out of it, swift as an arrow. As it dashed towards the open door, Viconia just had time to make out the long ears and fluffy tail of a fleetfooted hare.


Seriously, what the hell just happened?!


The hare, just like the bear, burst apart. This time, what came out of it was a bird, fiery red and gold, with a long and beautiful tail. It soared into the air, circled the room once, and flew towards the exit. That was as far as it got before a stream of arcane missiles struck it clean out of the air and it tumbled to the ground in a shower of feathers and accompanied by a smell reminiscent of roast chicken.


Matrouska animals? Well, at least Yaga-Shura is creative.



They all hurried to do just that, and the world dissolved as a dark tunnel formed around them, sweeping them away. As the darkness of the pocketplane opened before them, Viconia thought she could just make out a bright light and searing heat, as well as hear a loud and growing rumble. Then, Yaga-Shura’s fortress was blissfully left behind them for good, and they were all safe.




At last. Once I heal whatever needs to be healed, I am going to sleep for at least twelve hours. Then she looked down at the miserable state her skin, hair and armour was in. After I have a very, very long bath.


TnT Viconia: Welcome to my life. You do not have my sympathies. You will suffer like I have.

In Topic: Throne Of Cards 68

12 November 2018 - 08:24 PM

“Back in the kitchens. I brought up your potential as the new goddess of Murder.” Sarevok turned his head to look straight at her, his eyes burning into hers. “You didn’t deny such a possibility. So I ask you, little sister. Should we reach the end of the path, the power there for you to grasp, a willing tool to shape the world as you wish – will you seize it?”


Laska: Don't do it! Responsiblity is da poop!


Two reasons.” Rini paused, trying to arrange her thoughts. It was oddly easy to speak with her brother about this, she found. She hadn’t wanted to talk about it with her other friends. She wasn’t sure it was right to burden them with it for one thing, and also she worried that they’d tell her what she wanted to hear. Sarevok wouldn’t try to shelter her from the truth, and he’d walked the same path she was walking now, for a time. “For one thing, if I don’t claim the power, then who will? Yaga Shura? Some of these other, even worse Bhaalspawn out there? Suppose they break the world because I’m scared?” She swallowed hard. “But there’s another reason too, more personal. More important. If I don’t claim the power, how can I protect Eddie? He’s in danger, the pointy-hatted old bearded Chosen of Mystra is coming for him and will do something horrible to him. If I do become a goddess, I’d be able to keep him safe, wouldn’t I?”


You'd think gods can do whatever they want to do, but I guess that;s the irony of being a god in the Realm. So many rules, you might as well stay mortal. There's no real point as being a god in the Realms is literally a zero-sum game.



Light footfalls padded towards them at that point, and then there was Imoen, practically skidding around the corner with her pink hair dancing around her excited face. “Hey, you two!” She exclaimed. “You’ll never guess what I…why so serious?”


What?! Rini! Tell him I’m not a…that I couldn’t…” Imoen’s cheeks were getting as pink as her hair by this point. “Just tell him!”


Laska: the last unicorn I came across ran away screaming.


Hey you! Let me down!” The shout came from a stranger, a woman chained to the wall right next to the bed. She wasn’t a giant, but a human woman, somewhat worse for wear. She had short, blonde hair, now dirty and matted, and was wearing chainmail armor that tended more towards skimpy than practical. Certainly it left her entire midriff exposed. Large chains were affixed to heavy manacles around her wrists and ankles, as well as thick metal collar, and kept her mostly immobile. She growled in frustration and tried to yank herself forward, but immediately fell back again, crashing into the wall with a heavy ‘thump’.


It's Fay Wray! :)



I…I don’t know. He said it was ‘practice’. I don’t know what he wanted me for. He kept me here, but he never really did anything with me, said I was just a ‘placeholder’.” Varda blinked away angry tears. “I was lucky if he remembered to feed me. And then he up and disappeared, and this place went to the Nine Hells. Are you almost done?”


Oh, dear, it's the non-giant giantess thing! Implications unpleasant.


Not with my brother and sister, no I won’t!”


Laska: I'll take them! …. what? Why are looking at me like that?


So, this is clearly an Esoteric Elder Sign,” Edwin said, eyeing the door in front of him. He folded his hands in the wide sleeves of his robes and nodded to himself. “Yes, it is evident. The shape of the magical seal, in the form of a seven-pointed star, is quite typical.”


You next mythos card will be a gate burst!


Gah, I want to play Arkham again. We have Elder Gods left unkilled!



I found something,” Viconia said, holding up a paper. “It is a letter to Yaga-Shura, not signed.” She cleared her throat and read out loud. ‘It is time to make your move, the sooner the better. The greater bulk should fall easily into your hands, any that slip through your net will be picked up separately. Do not concern yourself with the others, we all have our parts to play for the great glory of Bhaal and they are where they should be, as must you be. Amkethran you know of already. Sendai and Abazigal consolidate their forces in their strongholds, and once all is ready the Five will sweep across the face of Toril, covering all the land in blood and fire. Enclosed you will find a list containing names of particular interest, those strong in the Blood. Learn it well. You’ve got to catch them all, if you wish to triumph.’


You know, a lot more evil plots would succeed if the lackeys won't let the letters just lie about.


At this, Minsc bounced to his feet. “Minsc and Boo will lead the charge, our sturdy hides and stalwart souls will keep our good companion safe! Just stay behind us, friends!” Before anybody had the time to protest, he landed a large foot square in the middle of the now unlocked door, kicking it so hard it flew wide open and nearly fell off its hinges. “MINSC AND BOO, GOOOO!”


Miinnnnsssccccc Jenkins!

In Topic: Throne Of Cards 67

11 November 2018 - 08:36 PM

Unleashing relentless hellfire and various forms of arcane destruction upon the charging zombie giants had provided a brief but entirely too temporary distraction, as far as Edwin was concerned. The moment he’d seen the flaming stairs come crashing down behind his lover he’d felt as if a claw of iron had dug itself deep into his heart, and he didn’t think that feeling would ease until he was reunited with her again. Now that the zombies had been dealt with he had plenty of time to worry. Yes, Insufferable said that she was alive and well, for now, but the point was that she was deprived of his own vast powers of devastation just when she might need them the most.


Well, it's not as if the zombie giants are smart enough to actually avoid the fire. Wait, they used to be fire-giants, right? Does fire still work on them?


“Aw. All right then. But you’d better be careful.” She shuddered. “They’re dead, and they’re stupid, but if they see you, or hear you, or even smell you…”


As usual, zombies are most dangerous in groups. Zombie giants too, I guess, though the size helps.


“The bad news is that the zombies are as tightly packed into that yard as a bunch of wizards in a yard sale of ancient artifacts. They are practically standing on top of each other, and we will have to squeeze right through the throng in order to reach our goal, which means that not even an illusion spell will be enough to conceal us from them. They may not be particularly bright or alert, but all it takes is for one of them to spot us and we could end up with our grey matter as the filling in a zombie sandwich. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to avoid that.”


Just lovely.


Laska: Ugh, I'd have a horrible time there. Zombies are da poop.


It was perhaps half an hour later, and Edwin was torn between wishing for death and wondering if perhaps it had already come for him. Certainly he smelled like it. His meticulously maintained robes, his equally well-groomed hair and beard, not to mention his skin, had been liberally smeared with…with THINGS. Things and stuff. His brain tried its best to avoid describing them in any further detail than that. The fact that his companions had suffered through the same fate did little to relieve the agony.


Oh, come on, Eddie. Your dignity has been stained many times before in this story. What's one more?


“No! Of course not! But you enjoy this sort of…undercover work. You’re good at it.” He left the rest unspoken, but he thought that his father picked up on it anyway. I’m not. Not like you are. Please don’t be disappointed in me.


Aye. That's far worse than being covered in rotting flesh and giblets, right?


“I will also add my personal touch,” Viconia said as she finished rubbing herself down with a glistening bit of previous giant. “There are too many of them for me to fully control them, but I will surround us with…a general sense of repulsion, if you will.”


viconia rubbing herself with gore... why is that so oddly alluring?


Boss? Insufferable sounded tense and skittish. Can monkeys become zombies too?


Zomkeys? Well, we've had a zom-bear.


Wrinkling his nose in disgust, Edwin moved to follow her. While it was always possible that the giants had a rose garden or candy shop waiting in the next room, he somehow suspected that things, as they usually did in places such as this, were about to get worse.


Laska: Just when you think you're passed the worst of it, right?

In Topic: Throne Of Cards 66

11 November 2018 - 08:20 PM

“She asked, were they hidden, were they safe. Yaga-Shura said, they were. He said, ‘Inside chest with no lock or key, inside the one soaring free. Inside the swift, inside the stout. Heart’s blood the key that will draw them all out.’”


Seven adventurers all looked at her expectantly, hoping for more. “That’s it?” Sarevok eventually asked. “Could it possibly get more ridiculously cryptic than that? How about some plain speech?”


I'm with Sarevok on this one. What if you need to get to the hearts in case of an emergency!


“The next nasty corpse we run into will be yours, big brother, unless you wipe that smirk off your face,” The half-elf snarled. “Now move it!”




“It’s hardly my fault if you have no stomach for explorative anatomy. I’m sure you’ll make a superb goddess of murder even with that little hint of squeamishness.”


Laska: He has a point, you know? Plenty of corpses in the adventuring life. Not that I'd want to, you know, dissect them or something.



“I can hardly blame the infants, now can I? You riled them up, you settle them down.” The priestess sniffed and tossed her white hair back across her shoulder, muttering something in Drow that Rini felt it was probably for the best she didn’t understand.


Looks like Viconia has this party under firm control!


“I could build one! I told you! And you know how it always goes. We meet somebody, they either turn out to be zombies or try to kill us anyway. Kill them first this time, I say. Then find a boat.”





They're fire-giants! It has to be a lava-boat!


The first giant spat on the ground. “That accursed thing? It’s what caused all the trouble.” He wiped a hand across his sweaty brow, and scratched at his beard. “I was in a coma, you know.”


He's fire-giant Rick Grimes? :D


“Well, we’ll have to try anyway. Thanks for the help. Hope you find a boat, or whatever else you need.”


That escalated quickly, to be honest.


“Aw, don’t worry, Rini,” Imoen said, cuffing her shoulder. There were some specks of soot on her face, but her grin was as irrepressible as ever. “We’ll be fine, you’ll see. It’ll be our little Bhaalspawn adventure! Just you, me, and Big Brother Grumpyface.”




“Wonderful,” Sarevok grumbled. “Well, perhaps I can instill a certain measure of competence in you both.”


Oh, she's doing better than you right now. :)


The two remaining siblings looked at each other for a moment. “Well, little sister,” Sarevok eventually said. “Are you prepared to be flashy?”


“Always. Ready to stomp on things?”


Sarevok smiled. “Zombie stomping sounds like an excellent plan.”


Oh dear, this is going to be interesting.

In Topic: Throne Of Cards 65

11 November 2018 - 08:07 PM

It’s always the same thing. You’re going on your merry way, trying to infiltrate a cultist hideout, searching out a magical artifact or poking about another dimension for disturbing hints about your divine ancestry, when suddenly a hideous monster appears. You’d almost think they were on some sort of timed rotation.


Laska: Don't I know it, sister. Sometimes I think they're just organized that way.


“Oh, lots big! Big as me, almost! Lots big fight, lots much loot!”


So it's basically just a rat.


“What kind of loot could a rat possibly have?” Edwin said with a small sneer. “An antique piece of cheese?”


Its tail, of course! Then again, if you kill ten rats, there's probably at least four who don't drop their own tails. :)


“Well,” Dekaras mused, peering around a rock towards the kitchen door. “I certainly could. So could Imoen, and if I may venture a guess, possibly one or two others. However, unless you wish to split the party, I’ll have to say absolutely not.”


I'm sure 'Koveras the Quiet' will make a stealthy approach....



A very sickly giant woman raised her head to stare at the adventurers with blank eyes. Her skin was pale, a far cry from its normal ruddy colour, and was hanging in heavy folds like the wax of a melting candle. Her hair was dirty and tangled and big clumps of it seemed to have been torn out, leaving her scalp bare and bleeding. There were dark shadows under her bloodshot eyes, hinting that she’d had very little sleep lately, if any. The smell was definitely coming from her.


Oh, is that the giantess Yaga-Shura had chained up in the game... the one Bioware used a human model for because they didn't have a female giant model? Very unpleasant implications there.


“There is a foul magic in those hearts,” The giant woman said, shuddering briefly. “At first…at first it seemed all was well. Yaga Shura was invincible, none could stand against him. He hid the hearts with powerful enchantments and illusions, to protect them, and left them behind as he went off with the greater part of the army. But something has gone wrong. The hearts are hidden, sealed away, but their magic…leaks. It pollutes everything. Pollutes us. Changes us. We didn’t understand, and now it’s too late. Yaga Shura cannot die. We can. But…”


Oh dear. The hearts are actually siphoning power from the other giants, right?





“Not while I’m healing, I can’t!” The priestess snapped, not taking her eyes off the battle. “Don’t interrupt me again or somebody might get killed.”


Sounds like Viconia, alright. :)


“Indeed, there are many interesting things that can be done with cutlery and condiments. Had it been a live giant I believe I would have favoured that bottle of hot sauce over there.”


“Well, let’s hope we won’t have to do it again any time soon.” She grinned. “For one thing, we’re both covered in flour and stinky butter. If there’s a next time, let’s at least try to make it a full cake.”


That was some, ahum, flowery proze!


I'll, uh, see myself out. :)

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