Black Flags

Session 27 - Rami

Well, we decided that the town was mostly doing fine, so time to start thinking about what happens next. Sweetheart said that there are still a lot of sick people, and he needed to stay behind. I’m sure Nini will keep him company.

The god brothers decided to join us for a discussion. Siegfried, charming as ever, seemed to be biting back snide comments. I’m concerned that he is going to have a stress stroke! We all have a discussion about the Book. Turns out it is the first out of 3. the second was in a military vault, and the 3rd is more obscure. Siegfried offers to get the second one, and we offer to come along. For some reason he doesn’t want us along. Well, Arakor was able to slip in a small piece of our boat so we could visit the place later. We decide to look for information on the 3rd book. Surhlock was our face man (except for when Arakor spruced up and helped). Turns out that more information is at Aqueduct 8. Fortunately, Nightmare decides to come along, and gives us the Noctus sailcloth from his ship.

I don’t much remember the next few days. Something about a fleet, and bluffing through. I’m told I was acting “psychotic” again. I have a few cuts into me in some kind 2 head pattern. I don’t know how they got there, but they won’t heal. I had Dork take a look, but he almost threw up and wouldn’t talk about it anymore. I really need to ask Sweetheart what he has learned.

Anyway, we get to Aquaduct 8, and it is swarming with Noctus people, and those damn barbarian who drink shit and hit hard. We can’t really be seen here or we’d be in deeper than we could get out of. So, Surhlock disguises himself really well, Dork turns into a crow and sits on Surhlock’s shoulders, and Arakor and I sneak around. Surhlock asks around, and turns out that the book location is known by some people from Plunderhaven who are in prison.

Getting into the prison was a tad more difficult than we expected. The sewers were theoretically an option, but extremely difficult to get into. They were grated and formed into the concrete. We may have been able to open it, but it would attract attention. Another spot allowed us to get down, but only one at a time, and this seemed like a bad idea. The wall to the part of the city with wealthy people and the prison was very well guarded and getting over the walls would be near impossible. So, last option was the sewer pipes to the bay. Those still needed several spells to maneuver through. On the way we ran into a bit of water going down with chain links as big as our boat. People were putting fish down the hole constantly. Surhlock and Arakor heard it say something about wanting to be freed. I thought that was a great idea, but the others said I couldn’t (I assume just for today).

We ended up getting out of an exit near the prison. We snuck in and deal with the magic and Arakor killing and re-animating the guard. We ended up finding the people we needed (one of them happening to be someone Arakor hates). I made sure to say that we need to let the people go, and it ended up bringing us more followers. Surprise, surprise, it is in Plunderhaven. And dude that Arakor hates knew that location. Back on the ship, I ask Nightmare about the creature, and he says it used to be a moving island, and is now chained to a leviathan. Or at least, that is what he heard it was.

We get there to find a Noctus fleet plundering. We find a way down, kill guards, get books (since everything else has been looted). Shenora kind of wakes up (turns out she needed time to herself for something), and then we sink the main Noctus ship, trapping them in Plunderhaven with no food or water. Also getting treasure down there for us to retrieve. The guys figure it may take a month for all of them to die.

We get back to meet with the god brothers, and now we have all the books.

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Session 26 - Arakor

Apparently, I drank too much at Aqueduct 8. I thought we were selling this new million dollar ship so bank some serious coin(and to hire some new crew since we lost/killed the rest of the old crew), then give Nightmare the ship voucher for 350k, since that’s what he was trying to get back. But it appears the team sold back the voucher and is going to give the million dollar ship to Nightmare. I thought the point of being pirates was to MAKE money? I mean, I think even with giving him the voucher back that he’d still be an ally for us. Too late now though. After briefly discussing going to find Plunderhaven, we decided that it’s probably best to go check on all of our outposts, especially since it’s been a few weeks since Aqua 8 got hit. First stop was the previously floating island. No longer floating, which we knew about. No longer inhabited we didn’t know about. After poking around at the carnage, I was able to determine it was dragons that destroyed the island. Damn them. But, silver lining, dead people does not equal no gold. We just need to get some people here to start mining it again!

Next stop was Obses. Once again, destroyed. Luckily, people survived this attack. Once again, by dragons. That big, black bastard must be doing this. Shenora took his eye out. We need to find him and take out the rest. This guy is seriously digging into our pockets and me and the swords aren’t happy about it. After doing some looking around, we’re about to find about 35 able bodied men to become our new crew. we sort of glazed over what happened to the last crew, but I’m sure word will eventually reach them as to what happens when you turn your back on the Mad Dogs since I did let that one guy live to tell the tale. And after having all of our gold and booty taken by the old crew, luckily we had enough now with our recent conquests to keep this crew happy enough for now until we plunder some more. Especially from Plunderhaven. For now, they will need to just protect the boat while we go to check out New Aurum. We did take a few days of rest and some quick training. Shenora showed some of them with magical aptitude some things as well as some fighting. I worked with some of the less savory fellows on tactics and sneakery and the advantages of flanking. It’s enough to get them started and better than a skeleton crew spell that can’t protect the ship at all.

Our 3rd stop was New Aurum. At least it looked better than the last time we left it. But, with no real economy for gold, we can’t do much with the gold we did acquire as part of our shares on the recent loot. Then, all of a sudden, that hag from the mithril mine was just….there. Out of thin air. Not sure how she knew to be here but I’ll take it. I’ve discovered a couple items I was hoping to find the next time we visited Plunderhaven. And since that wasn’t an option now, this seems like a good enough time. More specifically, some special boots to replace my current ones. Not ones to replace, per se, but to add in addition. It did cost a bit more but I was able to convince Chellan that it was a good investment. Better ability to kill things means a better possibility for more loot even if we have to spend on the front end. The other thing she happened to have was an amulet that did better against dragons. And since one of our new missions we’re going to undertake here soon is to kill that bastard Nidhogg. I’ll take one of those, thanks. More money spent, and this time I was barely able to convince Chellan it was a good spend. Sure, we can already bypass the hardness of dragon scales, but there were some additional benefits. he may live on, but I won’t necessarily so I’d like to protect my neck as best I can when dealing with a bloodthirsty dragon. And just as I was done, the hag pulled out a book. And for reasons I can’t explain, I was really drawn to it. As soon as I opened it up, I knew I had to have it. We checked. Nothing magical, but something was there. I forked over the money and Chellan didn’t even say a thing. I think he knew there was something about this book too.

While in New Aurum, the next order of business was to contact Nightmare somehow. The hag/witch/shop owner told us she knew of them. And that they were way out past the Red Line. Not someplace we could get to easily or quickly. And dangerous too. So, after putting our heads together, we remembered what happened last time we tried scrying on Nightmare. He pulled us into his boat. He was pissed last time but this time we have better news for him so maybe this time we can get him to come to us instead. It takes a day because Maverick had to study the spell. The next day, it’s go time. Maverick fires it up, looks into the pool of water so we can all see it and we’re all just mortified. oh, we saw Nightmare. All sorts of fucked up about just about dead. Same for Sigfried. I’m guessing they went after Noctis together and though that together they could take him out. Maybe they thought it was like the good old days when they could just bully him. Well, not any more it looks like. They stirred a hornet’s nest is what they did. And I’m guessing Noctis has done whatever he can to be this powerful to get revenge on them while destroying everything else. I mean, I can’t fault him for that. But I will fault him for destroying places under our protection. You don’t mess with an undine’s money. But that vision of Nightmare and Sigfried dead or almost dead was the last thing I remember. I passed out when Noctis turned to us through the scrying pool. It must not have just been me though because everyone looked like they’d just waken up. But I’m guessing it was enough distraction for Sigfried and his teleportation magic to get him and Nightmare out of there because they were with us now and Maverick was feverishly working to get them healed up. A few spells later and they were back to themselves. Well, mostly. Nightmare was still an asshole but Sigfried was also not listening to anything and they were blaming each other. What for? No idea. I’m guessing as to who’s bad idea it was to try and go up against Noctis at this point. They go separate ways. I decided to follow Nightmare because I want to get this business with him taken care of and get him off our back about it. he heads to the bar. I like his thinking. Probably where I’d go first too after getting my ass handed to me and barely making it out alive. He’s not much in a talking mood though so I break out the book and start reading some more. next thing I know, he’s looking over my should and trying to take the book from my hands. Uh…no. Get your own book. He’s persistent and Rami and Maverick had to convince me to give it to him. I relented and gave it to him before a brawl broke out. Apparently, he likes the book too. Nothing was distracting him form it. After some reading though, he closed the book, put it down and stomped outside. I threw a few coins on the table and followed out to see where he was going. He was making a beeline straight for Sigfried, who was sitting under a tree with Shenora and Surhlock. Contemplating I guess. Sigfried got up as Nightmare got up to him and took a shot to the face, which knocked him back into a building that crumbled the corner. Add another thing to the list to fix here. he said he’s found a way to beat Noctis and then just stomped off. Or, started to until Rami and I saw it in the distance. Flying straight towards us. And it was hauling tail. As it got closer, we could tell who it was. Nidhogg. Missing eye and all. But he looked….bigger. Different. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. But he seemed tougher than even the last time we fought him and took his eye. I’d say it’s the toughest fight I’ve ever fought, knowing that we’ll eventually come head to head with Noctis and hopefully NOT pass out like every other time so far. Even with Nightmare and Sigfried joining the fray, it was long and hard fought. We’d be attacking and just as we’re finding a groove, Sigfriend tell us to line up straight ahead. I’m sure he’s dealt with this more than us so that’s what we do. And just in time too as Nidhogg’s wings light with fire and he sweeps them down and sends flames from the port down and sets half the city on fire. Seriously man? We just got this built back up. And was that enough? Nope, once again, we had to split this time as Nidhogg’s tail came straight up and we all moved to avoid a devastating lighting strike sort of deal that ripped a 30 foot deep trench down the middle of the city that quickly started filling with water. Hindsight on this? Another way for merchants to sell wares and get deliveries! Anyway, not what I thought in that moment. What I thought was I didn’t want to die. And this thing was taking a beating. At one point, it seemed to just disappear and rematerialize somewhere else. Actually, it seemed to happen 3 times. Once we we gave it a good beating when it first showed, then again when he seemed to take on the appearance of something angelic holding a spear or something. But we kept whacking away. Throwing spells. At one point, I got close enough and got in a lucky strike against the “angelic” dragon and was able to knock the spear right from it’s hands. That didn’t seem to stop him though because something that seemed like huge meteors started falling from the sky. not fast, but someone determined that if they reached the ground, we’d all get wiped out. And we could see half of us were tethered to red cords and 3 to blue. And each meteor was colored. Red team took on the blue meteor and blue took on the red while Nightmare and Sigried kept Nidhogg busy. The red team took out the blue meteor quickly. It seemed like Dorric just punched the crap out of it until it was little pieces. Shenora, Surhlock and I took on the blue one. We took a bit longer to handle it. But just in time before it reached the ground. That’s when time seemed to stand still again and Nidhogg disappeared and reappeared. This time in a colossal dragon form. I mean, as big as a mansion. Talk about hitting the broad side of a barn. Once again though, we had to scramble to the front and behind him as his wings swept down again to destroy more of the city with fire. Only, this time, as it moved toward the city, it hit a magical barrier and just dissipated. And as I looked, there was Harold, floating in midair. He must have cast some sort of spell to protect the city. I’ll have to thank him later. Fixing this stuff costs money. With some final blows, we finally beat/slash Nidhogg to death. Of course, he’s destroyed half the city again. Shenora wants to rename the city again, not feeling that the first rename brought us much luck. Not sure how much lick has to do with it when we’re being hunted by supervillians who want us to suffer. But with the death of Nidhogg, she wants to rename the city Nidhogg’s Grave. Not exactly an inviting name if we want people to come to the city to trade, but we can try it out. Not sure the landlubber’s we were trying to attract fr trade will quite get the gist of the meaning of it, but hopefully the word will be a good word so we get some more money flowing into this place so we can start using money again. People keep talking about us like we’re the new law around here. I really disagree with that. we aren’t putting laws in place. We’re just protecting what’s ours. The only “law” I’m dealing out is justice if anyone screws with my money. We did make Nidhogg’s body into the new centerpiece of the city. He burned down our favorite bar so his body because the new one. Shenora and Harold and whoever else with magic were able to prop him up over the river and solidify his body into stone. The cool part is the entrance. it’s his mouth! Minus a few teeth. Sigfried wanted a canine. And so did I. It was heavy but I still got one. Just for decoration. And while everyone else was doing that, or fixing other stuff, I sat in here drinking and reading the book. Apparently it’s some sort of puzzle or prophecy or something that deals with our weapons. At least, that’s what was explained to me by Sigfried. I’m not really a “book” guy. But I tried. Apparently we’re going to need Barbados’s help. Hopefully Harold can talk him into it. Which might not be a difficult sell now, with Nidhogg out of the way and knowing what Noctis is doing. Now we just need to also get maps redone and redistributed so everyone knows the new city name again. Luckily, we’ve been through this before so we know how to get it done quick. And hopefully more traders from inland come so we can get some more exotic stuff in here. I like the sea, but everyone knows the sea. I’m sure some of these free captains and whatever pirates that weren’t killed on Plunderhaven have a taste for more exotic things. Plunderhaven! Hey, maybe we can check that out while Harold, Nightmare and Sigfried figure out what this puzzle is and get Barbados to help us. I mean, he is Harold’s brother after all….

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Session 26 - Rami

So, we get our ship back to port (I honestly can’t remember which one, we keep jumping around and it disorients me…), and then we go check on other islands. I’m gonna just have to check in with Shenora about which island we’re on, she’s best at that. Moving the ship around without a regular crew was becoming tedious. Yea, the magic crew does everything ok, but they just aren’t quite as fun. It turns out the others agreed, so off we go to recruit people. Shenora and Sweetheart work their magic on the people and we get full up, with enough gold to keep them happy. I welcomed each personally to the ship, and gave them each a raffle ticket. Ugh, I guess that means I should find a prize of some sort…. Then we sail them out, and it became obvious they were green as fuck. I had to catch 3 from falling from the Crow’s Nest. It’s such a soothing place to hang out, I don’t know why so many lose their stomach up there (at least they had the good sense to do it over the side, but I don’t think Surhlock was happy with it getting on Shatral…). Anyway, on one of the islands we finally find someone who wants gold for items! She was some kind of weird looking old woman (I’m told a hag). I think she needs to see a healer since I don’t think those warts and stuff are healthy. Next time we see her, I’ll ask Sweetheart to help out. But the main thing was getting more stuff. Arakor told us to get some kind of dragon amulet thing, and I saw the wisdom in that so took his advice. That turned out to be a super good idea. There was some kind of book that we saw that looked really odd and mysterious, so we bought it for Arakor (he’s become some kind of language scholar recently….). BTW, turns out Dork’s name is Dorric. That’s gonna be hard to remember, and he seems to like Dork well enough as it is. He keeps reminding me of lessons I’ve taught, but I don’t really remember the number order. I guess I should have written out the curriculum because now I’m just agreeing with whatever lesson number he says, and adding more on the fly. It might be embarrassing if I reuse one and he catches it… Oh well, I like him a lot, I think he is my best friend. He even helped me with a goal of mine. Since Arakor is some kind of shark thing, I figured being a Half Air Elemental would be nice. I wasn’t sure how I’d find one to bite me, so Dork turned into one and bit me. He really is a pal. Now I need to watch it to see how this works.

Dreams have become more of a problem, those weird dark clouds are getting closer, and I’m getting a headache.

Next thing is to decide what we are going to do. Shenora says we should scry on Nightmare again since that brought us to him again. We agreed, and Sweetheart prepared to do this the next day. We were all ready to do this, set it up on the Docks so Nightmare could see the nifty ship we got him. Everything was gonna be great, until it wasn’t. Thing was, we saw Nightmare, and the super considerate paladin guy in real bad shape with Noctus standing over them. Definitely an “Oh Shit” moment. After I wake up later (not sure how I ended up asleep with half the town nearby). Shenora was already up, but was too busy to explain because Paladin and Nightmare were there in really bad shape. I wake up Sweetheart and get him on healing them right away. Looks like we are gonna need both to deal with Noctus… Um, so, Nightmare was not in a good mood, and Arakor was feeling grumpy. So, I made sure to give Dork Lesson 3 “Don’t Do That” for how to deal with godlike beings. The god brothers got into some fight, and we split up to deal with them. Me, Arakor, Sweetheart, and Dork followed Nightmare, and the others stayed with Siegfried. I made sure the who tavern had shit ready for Nightmare, and Arakor sat down to read his book. Nightmare decided he wanted to read the book, so I had to get Arakor to give the thing up before someone died. Nightmare got resigned and up at the same time and left the tavern. We followed and he started saying weird stuff to Siegfried about what they needed to do. Seemed like it might be best to let Siegfried read the book, so I worked it out that he politely asked Arakor for the book, and that worked out. So, more obscure stuff from Siegfried, and he and his brother start agreeing on something (and I don’t get the impression they agree on much).

Wouldn’t you know it, just as we started to get along, some more shit goes down. Arakor and I spot Nidhog on the way. Dude looked unhappy. Shenora and Arakor made cute gestures at him for some reason, but Nidhog just smirked at him. He was coming down like a meteor so it didn’t seem like we’d get a lot of warning. I did my prep with a little time to spare, so I peppered him with some arrows. One Eye didn’t even shrug. Guip, glad the god brothers are nearby. I think this fight went on for a while. Nidhog changed shape and did weird shit that dragons just don’t normally do. Meteors, creating ravines, firebursts from a black dragon, and wielding a lance. If it weren’t for sweetheart, the god brothers might have been done for. I’m hoping that will count for something later! Dork, Arakor and I were on point for hitting him, but I think we were just annoyances until the end. Shenora was doing all kinds of stuff to distract and harm Nidhog. Surhlock came up with an ingenious way to keep chipping away and the dragon’s ability to hit hard, and eventually that took out Old One Eye. We strip the dragon of all that is useful (apparently we are going to have a new figurehead for the boat). The guys planned on fixing the town. I couldn’t do much with that, and my headache was getting a lot worse.

I dreamt of the clouds, and the smaller one rushed me. I was covered by hate, and my head got worse, and….

WTF, it has happened again. I wake up in a different bedroom that I expected. I check my stuff, and it, at least, is all still there. Someone has messed with my book though. Damn it, I’ll skin the next bastard I find that has touched my book!!! I make some notations about where I think I am and why. I remember something about mashed potatoes, social lessons, blackbird pies (gross), shopping, god brothers, and a dragon. Fuck, we killed Nidhog. I was gonna turn in the others to him so I could get in better with Noctus (well, all but Dork, he amuses me). I slipped out of my room, and stalked around (turns out my ring now lets me go invisible). All my plans have been set back. I’m going to have to work harder to turn things around. Time to get to work. I find a nice hiding spot and go hunting from there. I round up a few low lifes, and place them in the right pattern to start summoning this Demogorgon thing. All was going well until some idiot messenger came looking for me. I almost killed him on the spot, but told him to get me some food, drink, and supplies, and then to fuck off. I get some sleep, and that other is still close. It’s hard to hear what the Demogorgon wants. I am so close! I wake up and realize I have to start over. There is a piece of shit paladin around. I think he saw me, and was about to approach. He was glowing with painful light, and I had to retreat. Things don’t look the same.
Apparently, people are on alert for some kind of killer, and this makes things a bit harder to find my resources. Only, my headache is crazy, and I lose most of them. I can’t even see straight, and barely make it back to my ritual site. I just tie up the couple I still have, and fall down.

Asleep, I see the other again, he’s getting closer. No! He’s not supposed to be back! My head gets worse, I can’t see, and….

I wake up confused again. Instead of my room I’m in some small cave, and you don’t want to know the things I see. Looks like someone went crazy here and set up some ritual with, well, with things that should not be done. I’m considered a little trigger happy, but whoever did this is messed up. I see writing in blood on the walls that talks about opening gates, and summoning the aspect of slaughter. Wait, it’s in Abyssal. How can I read Abyssal? I don’t really know how I got here. I think I went for a walk to calm down. I think I might have been drugged and kidnapped. I’m gonna just play it cool, I don’t need whatever problem this is.

I go into town, and Shenora (taking a break from Harold for breakfast) tells me I am “psychopathic”. I don’t think that’s fair, but I’m not gonna argue with her since she looks mad, and her fiance is around somewhere. A lot of people in town seem scared of me. I can’t really figure out why. I see Siegfried, and was gonna ask him what is going on. Then he started to pull out one of his swords, and I knew I was in deep trouble. Then he narrows his eyes looking at me, looks confused, and wanders off murmuring about not having the time to fix this. Lucky for me, Nightmare was still in town, and people become more concerned with him than anything else. He got irritated and knocked down a couple of houses.

Anyway, I run into Dork fixing some building. I just start helping him, and I start to feel better. I go around with him making sure people are taken care of, and I pay for an all you can drink night at one of the taverns for people. They just look so shocked by all that has happened recently. The next day, I hang out with Dork again, he is making a lot of progress with his lessons, so I decide it is time for Lesson 50 “Dating”. He almost got that barmaid to sit in his lap until he turned into his ooze form to impress her. She apparently didn’t appreciate being hugged that way… Later that day, I run into Sweetheart, he looked exhausted. I gave him a kiss on the forehead, and told him it would be alright. He scowled, so I think he needs more than a little affection. Poor guy, I bet there is a lot of healing to be done.

I’m having the dark cloud dreams again. One of them seems like it is trying to bargain with me, and the other is stalking me. I really should talk to Sweetheart about this when he is feeling better. Speaking of that, I think I know what would work. He needs a dog! I have two big ones I could give, but I don’t think those are right. He needs one he can cuddle with. Most of the dogs in the town just won’t do. They are too loud, or not fluffy enough. Eventually I see a little girl playing with the cutest fluffiest little dog you have ever seen! She says that this was her neighbor’s dog, but they are dead now (I have to force down a tear). She wanted to keep the dog, but her parents said they can’t afford to keep it. Well, this is a hard one. Sweetheart needs a dog, and the girl needs something to brighten her life… Luckily I hear some quiet meowing a couple streets over. I tell the little girl that I’ll be back and go to investigate. Sure enough, it is a little orange kitten all alone. He is very friendly, and comes when called. I pick him up and look at him. He purrs contentedly, and falls asleep on my shoulder. I go around and get stuff for him to be comfortable and go back to the little girl. She is just beside herself with glee. I tell her that I think this little kitten might end up being friendly for her, and helpful with mice. I offer to talk to her parents for her. So, kitten, dog, and little girl in tow, I set off for her house. Her father is home, and is a bit surprised by all of us showing up in his kitchen. i put the kitten in his daughter’s lap, and talk to him. I suggest that the kitten could be useful, and would make his daughter happy. Just to sweeten the deal, I slip him 10 gold. He became really excited about the cat, and started to suggest names with his daughter. He looks like a good dad. As I scoop up the little dog and start to leave, I hear them settle on “Captain Buttertoes” as a name.

Sweetheart was off being busy, so I needed something else to do. Dork was busy, Arakor was busy, Shenora was busy (hehe). I casually decide Surhlock needs a visit. On the way, I remember that he needs my help, so I start talking about Peach Cheeks again. I think the town is really interested in him now. Several people talk about throwing him a party of some sort. Sounds like the kind of thing that would be fun if I wasn’t in a relationship. After this, it is time to chat with him. He’s been really lonely without Shatral. I go get some herbs for him (he’s always using crazy amounts of those for his magic). I find him at dinner, and he’s looking a bit distant. I give him his herbs and he offers a polite thank you. Still, I think he needs some cheering up before his party. We play some cards and dice, and I tell him jokes. He livens up and says he’s ready to eat, talks about a nice roast. Well, crap, he can’t eat that heavy before his party, It’ll slow him down. I start arguing with him about keeping his figure, and getting worse sleep. He looks annoyed, and it takes a lot of persuading before he gives in “to shut you up”. It’s nice to win every now and again. It’s about that time, so I tell him that some people had questions for him about some magic crap at this other tavern, and let him know it’s important. He looks at me like I’m crazy, so I decide I need to do more convincing. Just as I start to talk, he says “Ok, ok, just don’t say another word, I’ll go. I don’t want to know why this is important. I’m going!!!” Phew, that was almost ruined.

Stupid dream again. Just glad I don’t have a headache. I catch Sweetheart at breakfast, and after he finishes I ask to speak with him in private. We go to my room, and I surprise him with the dog. He gives me a quizzical smile, and asks what this was for. I just smile, and he takes the dog. Seems like the right thing to do since he played with her. He decided to name her “Nini”. I like the name. I left so he could enjoy his gift. Just felt like wandering the town. People were talking about Harold and Shenora, wondering what was going on. Well, I can’t have people saying the wrong things, so I make sure to let them know they are engaged. Everyone was really surprised and happy. They want to know when the ceremony is, and I just said “Summer”. I hoped that was far enough out for Shenora. I bet she’d like a fancy wedding, so I tell them she likes daisies and lilies. People nod knowingly (does that mean something?), and spread the word.

Another stupid dream. Spent most of the day with Dork. At lunch I talked to Arakor about Abyssal, and he said I have a Gaping Maw accent. Not sure what that means, but I’ll keep it in mind. He offered me a book on it he found, and I pretended to read it for a bit before going to find Dork again. I join Sweetheart for dinner, and he’s playing with Nini. We chat, and it seems like he is an old fashioned one. Sigh, I guess he regrets the bit and bridle, and wants to be dated first. I’m not really the marrying type, so I’m a little worried about this relationship. Well, might as well get something from this. I tell him about my dreams, and that I don’t know what they mean. He seems worried, but said he needs to check on something first.

See the clouds in the dream, and they both seem mad. Big one is angry I talked to Sweetheart. Little one is trying to attack. Little bit of a headache. I wake up and don’t feel great. People said I was moping. Hadn’t seen Surhlock in a couple of days since his party. He comes in the room, looks at me, and goes to the furthest table from me. Guess he’s embarrassed, I know the town had a lot of good things to say about him after the party, maybe it hurt his professional image. Come to think of it, I don’t think anyone in town calls him by name anymore, all of them are addressing him as Peach Cheeks. I decide to ask Dork to take a break from work and we practice throwing. His weight distribution as a little ball is odd, but I think I can get him 50 ft pretty accurately. I like the nice clunk/thud sound he makes when he hits something. I finally see Shenora again at dinner, and she has mellowed a lot! Reminds me to look for a present again.

Ugh, the big cloud now looks like a storm cloud. I wake up scared. I think it is going to do something to me. I hope Sweetheart can figure something out. Ok, focus, today is about Shenora. No one knows how to make blackbird pies here. I also saw that she just got a new rapier scabbard from Harold. What else can I get her…. I don’t think she wants a cat or dog. Maybe a mule? No, that’s not right. I started hunting around the island for something interesting. Fern? No. Shiny Rock? No. Pointy Hat? No. Seaweed Garden? No. This was just going badly until I found the greatest gift ever! There it was, small, cute, and spiky. A hedgehog! It was a bit skittish at first, but I used some animal tricks I learned from one of the new crew members. I got some stuff she’d eat and was ready to give her to Shenora. Only Shenora is off with Harold again. Like, not even around kind of way.

Where can I keep her hedgehog until she gets back? I know, I’ll put him in a little box on Arakor’s bed with a note on keeping him healthy for a few days (he is Arakor sized, so I think that is the best plan). Wait, did I sign that note or not?

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Session 26-Shenora

The thing that I liked about being a pirate was setting our own schedule, chasing the loot, plundering the assholes… but I’ll tell ya, this job has really changed in the last six days that equaled six months that turned our whole world on it’s ass end thanks to Noctus. I was always used to scooting under the radar, trading in even but shady deals and letting the laws of loot was to be looted. So when Arakor killed of our entire existing crew that lived though the mutiny, I wasn’t exactly pleased but I could fit the idea in the flexible bounds of my value system. Plus, there wasn’t much I could do about it and those bastards should have had more faith in us that we would be back. I mean shit, I was only four days we were gone, but even six months seems not too much to ask. We left them fat dumb and happy, and I expected at least a shrine or something for our generosity.

The thing is however, in order to live that life of a pirate, you are still reliant on someone else to draw the arbitrary lines of law, so we know where to dance around and under them. But in this new Noctus rule world, it appears people are looking to us to re-establish the rule of law. Us. Pirates… free captains… law. Well, we have a good plan for business and we do have a track record of bringing people together for a common purpose… plus we can kick ass when we need too. However, we are not to be the ass kickers of Noctus who has become a monstrosity all because he was bullied as a pip squeak by Nightmare and Sigfied, his brothers. So plunderhaven had to wait and we went to check on our properties and investments to get them up and running again. New Orion was alright for a second, but Angel Island was demolished two days before we arrived by a vengeance seeking Nidhog. Apparently he was still pissed about the eye, but I am still pissed about New Orion, that has been new two times already because of his ass, and now Angel Island too. I’m glad the wand of splendor can provide a fun time for building back relations, and Mavrick is excellent entertainment, but everyone is really starting to look at us for more now. More protection, more order… and it’s just not the free spirit yahoo ride the world was a week ago. I have had to take on more of a role as navigator and Shurlok has really stepped up as far as keeping the books. It appears however Mavrick has something going on with Remi, who is getting stranger and stranger as the days pass. I think we might have not disconnected his teather in time on Noctus’s floating ship and something happened to him, he seems a bit touched in the head and other places. Something seriously seems to be tormenting him so he seems to be tormenting others around him. He brings us little “gifts at times.” He’s like a cat and brings me dead birds from time to time. At first I ignored it but he keeps leaving them outside my room every now and again and it’s getting really weird. I try to be nice, but lost it the other day when I was barefoot and stepped out right onto a warm little bird carcus who’s beak stabbed me in the foot. Didn’t make me bleed or anything but hurt like hell. I saw Remi and just rolled my eyes and called him a psychopath. I’m not sure he didn’t know it wasn’t a compliment.

Anyway, we went to move some of our people we recruited for our new crew from Obese, and check on the Mythiral mines before deciding how to approach Nightmare and Noctus. I do believe that one way or another things cross your path that need to be brought to you, and that’s when we ran into the old hag Matilda again. She’s a bit “airy fairy” as we recall, but I always think those kind of hags have the best stories. She’s doing pretty well for herself, as one of the only traveling bands of merchants (her and three other dudes) who can actually trade items for gold. We had gold and buying from her would actually improve our circumstances as far as helping to jump start the entire economy again so we could spend our gold. She had this really expensive book however, and it wasn’t even magical. I had a feeling about this however, because those type of things don’t happen for no reason. Shurlok must have had the same notion, because it was with a nod, he bought the book and gave it to Arakor to read. We had no real reason why, but just felt it was a good way to get 50K in gold back into circulation and maybe it would entertain Arakor long enough that he wouldn’t get all pissy and kill off this new crew.

Oh, this new crew isn’t so bad, but you forget how much green sailors just don’t know. They don’t even know the right questions to ask, and they don’t have any preference on weapon choices and barely are aware of any magical talents they might have. Luckily, Harold was able to show me a few techniques in teaching and learning, and some of them I can utilize with my clothes on… so I can teach and mentor a few crew members in both light weapons and magic. It’s something to do on the high seas, builds a good sense of comradery and keeps everyone from thinking of those we left on land. I guess this is where I feel most like my old self even when the world is on the brink of falling into Noctus’s ego rift.
We returned to New Orion and decided it was now time to try to scry on Nightmare, knowing that he would detect us and most likely pull us to him. It just so happened that when we scryed, we were able to see Nightmare, passed out and in the middle of a battle. And in the background was Sigfried. As we were looking around, Noctus looked right into our scry eye and it happened again, where we all passed out. I woke up rather quickly only to find that Sigfried and Nightmare had in fact teleported to us though our spell, and Noctus actually dropped the spell when Mavrick passed out. So he wasn’t able to come though at that moment which was probably lucky for us all. I was the first to wake up and ready to be fully accommodating to Nightmare, but his was not his usual self. He stomped off to the tavern as a somewhat average looking individual, no longer shrouded… well… Nightmare. Sigfried was much more pleasant to talk too as he was last time. Man of little words, but clearly he was torn between knowing he took part in causing this sibling rivalry that is killing our world and going to be the reason he needs to now eliminate his brother. He talks about how he’s been overrun with evil and his brother is fallen, blah blah blah. Seriously they all needed therapy, but it’s too late for that now. After listening to Sigfried for a while, Nightmare comes back out, hands him our book we bought, throws him into a building we just had fixed last week… and tells him he has a deal. I have no idea, but now I know that we need to get the cliff notes version of that book from Arakor. And we know it’s about our sin weapons, so most likely we will be involved, or they are going to be asking us for our weapons. As that happened, we heard the familiar incoming cry of a pissed off one eyed dragon.

The battle was one of our more epic battles as Nidhogg has made some advancements since we last saw him. He had these spells that would try to hit us from the sky and we had to destroy them in distinct teams before they nuked us out into orbit. Thank goodness Sigfried and Nightmare were there, because will all those new tricks he had, we couldn’t have taken him without their help and guidance. They were good about letting us know his new fire wing tricks where the first flap would shoot out sideways, burning half our town…again… asshat… and the second would dig a black line trench down the center of our town… asshat. I mean, we were looking to upgrade the aquaduct system anyway but I’m not sure that’s where we would have chosen to put the new trench. Nidhog transformed a few times, too and depending on what was going on, I switched quickly from spitting spells and trying to get his other eye on the end of wrath. At one point I plunged Garvok into the chest of Nidhogg four times, and three of the times Garvok fired off within his chest. I have gotten pretty adept at dodging his fireballs but it was something to be holding that power in the chest of dragon and lighting him up like a roman candle… and it still didn’t seem to effect him much. He turned into a man, and Arakor did a nice job of disarming him of his lance thing he kept spinning around, which was helpful as we fought off those death orbs. Then he turned into a giant huge dragon of ridiculousness. It was then that I got hit by Nidhogg, and man, he hit the dickens out of me. Mavrick was able to come to my aide, but I did not fancy getting hit by him at all.

I have to say, Dorric is not a … ooze… of many words, but he is very efficient when it comes to creating some damage. I felt bad when I saw Shatral take a big hit from Nidhogg and knew we wouldn’t see her for a few days. Mavrick was singing as usual and sounded great and Arakor and I were able to slide together at times to provide some nice size striations along the dragon hide, but when with Dorric there I could also back up and throw some spells. Then he started with those fire wings again and we watched as half the town was now being destroyed. I turned around to watch the walls of fire now tumbling towards our favorite tavern and it took a turn up and formed along a fire wall of sorts. As it settled back down, Harold stood behind a wall of force and protected what was left of our little town. The next fire hit destroyed the wall, but it was all we needed to push forward and kill Nidhogg, his giant caucus falling into the cavern his tail slap caused earlier. He dug his own grave.
He came… it was the second time our team was in peril and he came. I’d ask him if he is watching us or how he knew where we were and he passes it off like, “well all this was hard to miss.” However, we didn’t see him at Aquaduct 8 or past the red line when those huge battles were going on. It makes me wonder if he is keeping track and watching me which is creepy in a makes me feel good way. I know when I acted a bit… jealous… as some of those moronic townspeople keep spreading around… he didn’t seem to mind. But he’s not really the type of guy to pay much attention to rumors and such, as he’s kinda used to just doing what he wants to do. And on occasion he wants to do me.

It wasn’t straight back to the mansion this time however, because it was one of our favorite ports, one of the main stables of our reconstruction of our monetary system that needed some attention first. He was sweet though, as side of the powerful wielding introverted magician that I wouldn’t have ever expected to see. I seemed to be the one most concerned with how we needed to immortalize the event of Nidhogg’s death and make his carcus a beacon of hope and prosperity for the free captains. I realized, that is more of Mavricks department however, and asked him to start on a new song of the tale of the tails ale. So for a few days Harold walked with me as we planned and architected a way to clean his bones and utilize his body in making a new, unique and celebratory tavern inn and trading post in the new aquaduct of the town known as Nidhoggs Grave. I mean really, all these cheery town names, New Orion and such have brought us no luck. We are pirates afterall, and it’s time we acknowledge the tales that make us great and get down right truthful and gritty with our establishments.

We were able to build up the land under Nidhoggs body, so that his cleaned skeleton now is back a few feet above sea level and there was still room for small boats to go around in the aqua ducts to each side, making it easier to get water to the business establishments the canals. We shaped some stone bridges every so often and even got a little decorative, where the druid came up with a few interesting ideas by putting crystalline infused courtyards around town with almost cute little wells. For being a brutal killer, he has a keen sense of style. Remi often can be seen with Dorric helping, but his taste seem to move rather quickly from plants, greenery and animal care… in particular he’s taken up some fascination with rodents I think… to more of a dark, gothic celebratory demonic feel. I usually only see such a stark difference in taste in one person when Harold and I are just playing around with role play stuff, but for Remi he seems to have picked his two genre’s and it’s sticking. He watches all of us a lot, and Harold mentioned something strange to me as we were working on the interior tail tavern one day.

“You know, I think Remi has taken up a pastime of talkin’ about us around town.” He said.
“Us, as in the Madd Dog crew?” I said at first. “He might still be trying to recruit for more crew, if Nightmare doesn’t want his boat…”

“Nooo…” he said with a chuckle mixed with a slight tinge of either annoyance or curiosity.
“Oh, what are you talking about then?” I said as I pulled away from the wall where I was planning the long counter and bar stools, and how far they should pull away for the kegs. “He’s been becoming weirder and weirder lately so I have no idea what he’s up too. He seems to be spending all kinds of time with Mavrick and Dorric, so who knows what kinky tricks they are up too.”

“I thought we had the corner of the market on Kinky” he said more than delighted with himself.

“Hmmm,” I said walking towards him biting my lip the way I knew would drive him just a little bit crazy. “I happen to enjoy your form of kinky fuckery just fine, but I’m not sure I would want to go near the dark ravines of what those three might come up with.”
“So you haven’t been telling tales outside of our…” He walked toward me and wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me into a hug.

“Of our what exactly?” I said, wondering what he might call it. When he didn’t answer and started to kiss my neck while letting his hands roam slowly up my sides, I wondered what he wasn’t saying but seemed to be asking. “I haven’t had time to spread much of anything my dear… you tend to keep my mouth… busy.” The next thing I heard was a guttural growl and a flood of endorphins rush to my hot spots and he lifted me from where I stood and pawed at my body.

“Wow,” I growled, “You are doing this manually eh? Not just going to displace my clothes right off my body?”

“I don’t want to go too far with the kinky fuckery and scare you off,” he said. “Besides, I like to unwrap the pretty package… but…”

“But you are having a hard time finding how to get it off?” I giggled and the double meaning and lifted the tie on the bottom of my corset that his agile fingers struggled to find. I handed his the string and he placed me upon a platform I didn’t realize was there previously. He pulled the string with one and slid his hand up my thigh with the other, watching my clothes unravel off my body. I snapped off an invisibility spell over us, and then cast a see invisibility spell so we could see each other. He grinned at my creativity in sexy spell working but left everything else to more vanilla and sensual endeavors.

An hour or so later, we managed to pull ourselves back together realizing that we weren’t exactly hidden by anything but some bones and stone and hoping the invisibility spells didn’t wear off before we were dressed again. We walked the town side by side and I can’t say as I didn’t notice that we garnished a lot of attention, but Harold seemed to be used to it and honestly I was no stranger to gaining attention either but I did seem more at home in the lime light than Harold. I remembered what Sigfried was saying about a wizard who was really into all the women and how he was very similar to Harold, and realized this is a man who can really multi-task. And while Harold might be taxing me in regards to my sexual attention, it’s quite plausible that he like the wizard in Sigfrieds tale has many other conquests in other ports. I offered him opportunities to do other things and was sure not to make him feel tied or beholden to me but he stayed the week, and each night we stayed together as a natural and foregone conclusion. Seeing as how the world might end any moment when Noctus gets at us, and especially how he sees what we did to his favorite pet, I’m just in it to enjoy the moments we have right here and now. So if I have to kill a hag here and there to get me and mine, and Harold doesn’t seem to be pitching a fit, that’s fine too.
Meanwhile we did spend the week between reading the book when Arakor wasn’t reading it, in bed together and understanding that we were going to have to do the quest that is laid out in it’s pages. It’s a puzzle and we have the weapons it refers to, in order to unlock an artifact that might be the only thing strong enough to defeat Noctus. I’m still a bit unsure of exactly what Harolds real tie to Noctus, Sigfried and Nightmare might be, he knows of them but doesn’t seem terribly interested in interacting with them over spending time with me. And I can’t say as I mind. But as the week winded down, we waked through the town realizing that all the crafters and repairs were creating a lovely little seaside garden town again and we shared the spirit of being crafters of a type and creating something together, after all the times we have had to go destroy something together… it was a nice contrast.
Nightmare and Sigfried stayed the week as well, mostly recovering from the battle and discussing this quest we would have to endeavor upon to find the missing lust weapon as well as unlock the artifact. Harold seemed to think when it was time, Barbados could be made to help with his weapon but didn’t say much about the details. Something a bit strange about all these brothers, but Harold has yet to really explain any of it to me since he keeps me pretty well occupied with other things.

Tonight we are going to all meet at a grand feast in the rib room of the grand opening of Nidhoggs Tavern and Inn Island. It turned out pretty glorious, as we leathered and petrified his original skin to use as the structure between the ribs for the walls, but still leaving the skeletal structures exposed for a wonderful effect to the large structure. We left the wings as well in the same skeletal shell design and managed to run some water wheels under them and they cascade down inviting small children to slide down and enjoy in the hotter days. We managed to ferment and fray some ligaments into soft rope that hang from the tips of the wings letting some of the older children swing and land giggling into the water. I don’t particularly like children but they do add something different to the dankness of a mundane day as long as they stay away from me. The entire place is a family friendly full of frivolity to entice trade and commerce while celebrating the debauchery we free captains love. Little something for everyone, a haven, perhaps much like Plunderhaven used to serve but open to all with a level head. Speaking of head, we were thinking of putting the skull onto the front of our ship, but the thing is just about half the size of our ship and throws off the sailing navigation with the extra weight. So we were able to prop up the neck and attack the skull in such a way, the grand entrance of the building is a staircase adorn in orange and reds, with black handrails that lead up to his open jaw. There is a staircase that leads back down to the rib room, but the other side is a similar shaped ramp that I and others as dexterous as I can standing-slide down quite easily in order to make a grand entrance. It’s quite fun. Anyway, tonight we feast at the grand opening and meet with everyone to put out plan in place about how we should deal with going after the missing weapons and the artifact. It most likely means we will be parting ways, and leaving our town to those we have only been able to minorly train to protect these great new buildings. It also means tonight will be my last night with Harold for a while, so we might have to come up with something memorable in case we die.

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Session 26 - Suhrlock

For the time being we set aside our previously aborted trip to find Plunderhaven. It still seems like some easy loot waiting to be found but for now the rest of the gang has other ideas – repaying our debt to Nightmare. First, we visit our islands only to discover that Caelum, home to the angelic archers and our gold mine has been laid to waste by dragons. Ugh. Someone will have to pay for that eventually. We head back to New Aurum where we run into the old hag who actually has some stuff to sell and is willing to buy our loot. A few more meta magic rods I did acquire. And, we pick up a really cool really old book for Arakor to Read.

The hag also tells us that Nightmare, Seigfred and Noctus are all past the red line. Apparently the old buddies have scores to settle against each other. Well, the last time we scried on Nightmare he pulled us to him. Maybe it will work again? Well it kind of did. Maverick looks through the window and sees Nightmare almost dead, Seigfred torn into pieces on the ground, and Noctus standing over them. Just his gaze knocks us out, again. When we come to Nightmare and Seigfred are there and in desperate need of healing. Do it all Maverick takes care of that problem too.

We tried to give them their ship but to no avail. Maybe we get to keep it after all? Sweet. But first we try to talk to the bickering bullies. A difficult lot they are. But they are also keenly interested in Arakor’s book. Apparently it means something to them. Too bad shark man ain’t as quick of a study as them. We’re going to have to find some downtime for him to finish.

Anyway it didn’t matter at the moment. Before anything else happened we were attacked by the dragon. He flies in and we get to work. And work. And work. Arakor, Rami, and Dorrick were pounding the crap out of him. Shatral tried to help but was dismissed home almost immediately. Shenora and I kept blasting away as much as we could. I used up my whole compliment of quickened rods and nearly all of my damaging spells. But the real saving grace is that the bickering bullies decided to be useful. They were getting pounded but better then than us.

I switched to summoning shadows, one after another as they kept falling. But they were getting hits in and weakening him all along. Still, he had massive attacks that we kept having to avoid. And then he transformed into a human with a lance. And back into a bigger dragon. It seemed to go on maybe for ever. Nothing I have seen could take that kind of punishment. And finally it fell, right before it seemed about ready to explode. Whew. Too bad half our city has been laid to waste (thanks Harold for protecting the rest). More work to do. Island keeping is a pain. Glad we still have those Lyres of Building.

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Session 25 - Dorric

Well, I finally found them – the weapons, I mean. And their current wielders.

They’re apparently some kind of pirate crew and are now the de facto world government, thanks to our captor Noctus having gone on a rampage while we were locked away. Oh, and the sorceress – Shenora – is shacked up with a local god. It’s been an interesting week to say the least. Once we made our way back to their home base, the shark man (Arakor, I believe?) took Rami and went to engage in some team building exercises. Not sure exactly what happened but the morale of the remaining crew seems to be much improved. Their summoner spent the week going over ledgers.

After things had been sorted out on the island, our crew came together to plan our next steps. It was decided we would make for Plunderhaven, but before we could embark…well, things got interesting. Another lost soul washed up on our shores and after a quick heal from Maverick she began to converse with Shenora.

I must admit, I was too busy going over my daily social interaction lessons from Rami to catch exactly what was said (he has graciously agreed to assist me in being more, well, socially gracious) but soon Shenora and this older woman came to blows! I panicked and transformed into an ooze. Surlock stepped in before things got too heated, and my fastball special combo with Rami ended up not being needed. After the situation calmed down, we had a new temporary crew mate in this spellcaster.

About halfway to our destination, we ran into another vessel of comparable size with ours. It was flying the flag of Noctus and was making a course to intercept us. The group decided we would get the jump on them and teleported over to start some mayhem.

The battle was hard fought. I switched to making concentrated single strikes against our foes as my other monk techniques seemed quite ineffective. Arakor laid waste to several of the enemy crew with his two artifacts despite being swarmed at one point. Rami’s bow practically sung. Surlock and Shenora did some truly terrifying things with their magic – I’m pretty sure one of the sailors we were fighting actually turned into a gibbering wreck. It was a little disconcerting. Regardless, we pulled through thanks to their combat prowess and Maverick’s bolstering songs and healing.

After the fight, we had a brief conversation with the ships previous captain. Before we could get too much out of him, he teleported away. Regardless, we sailed away with another ship and a hull full of loot which I will certainly use to upgrade my tattoos.

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Session 25 - Arakor

Apparently, our crew thought we were dead after being gone for 6 months. We heard there were mutinies. But the thing that really set me and Chellan and Urgot off was that the crew that was left after the various mutinies had spent all of the gold we had in our hold. And I lost it. None of them deserved to live. After how well we kept them happy. How much money we made them and after a few months to go haywire? Not happening. The next batch of crew will know what happens if they even think about it. it was a slaughter, and it was meant to be. But, you can’t get the stories to repeat if you don’t have someone to tell them. I made sure one got away to make sure tot ell the story of what happens to a crew that thinks we’ve died. There will always be one of us to come back.

Finally, a good night’s sleep in a good bed. I really needed that after the last few days. Although, I’m still hearing it from both Chellan and Urgot about that dragon hoard getting away. Chellan because he just wants it, and Urgot because of how much it was. I had to exert a little extra control over them both this morning. After I finally wake up enough to go downstairs for breakfast, there was someone new down there. I didn’t catch her name but I did hear something about her washing ashore after losing her entire crew to Noctis, who is apparently going on a killing spree it seems like after we ruined his ship and experiments. As we ate, Shenora came down in a more cheery mood which was almost opposite of Rami’s. He seemed very sour. I would have thought the murdering of the bad crew would have cheered him up. But Shenora’s mood quickly turned. She attempted to make some chit-chat with the newcomer, but the woman was very nasty to her. After finding out about the washing ashore, she had mentioned something about being with Harold. Now, she didn’t seem like a spring chicken so when she said she was with Harold, I could tell that Shenora was curious as to how and I’m guessing, based on age, asked if she was Harold’s mother. Well, immediately came an insult from her asking if Shenora was his bitch. That script flipped faster than Shenora onto her back when Harold is around. I heard the ringing of steel from scabbard, a look of fuck you in her eyes, and the casting of familiar spells like Haste. And before Maverick could step in, that sword slashed down with quickness and I thought she would have been dead, but apparently Maverick had healed her when she had gotten in earlier that morning(which I didn’t know at the time). Suhrlock kinda stepped in between them(which seemed odd since he’s the one that cast Haste I’m sure) and Maverick tried to speak up to get them to calm down but that just didn’t seem to work. I asked this new person(I never caught her name) if she’d ever heard of the Mad Dog Pirates who captained the Brown Star and that seemed to get through. She backed off immediately. I’m sure getting whacked by Wrath also had something to do with it. Eventually we come to a cease-fire. And since we’re short on crew, we invited her along. If she can cut the mustard, she’s on the crew. If not, I’m sure something else will kill her. After being gone for 6 months, we need to get operations back on track…Clearly. Our closest base of operations is the mithril mine. Although, secondarily, we really want to find Plunderhaven after hearing Noctus killed the turtle it sat on and it sank to the bottom of the ocean. But, first things first. We set sail from Rickety’s which is where our ship ended up at thanks to Harold and Rickety I’m assuming. Heading south to the cove and the mine. Not long after we head out though, both Rami and I spot a ship beginning to come around the coast of an island a ways off. We can’t really make out the flag yet though. But as it gets closer, we realize it’s Noctis’s flag. And while we’re debating on how to get to them before they see us, like flying, or what I thought would be more fun, teleporting to the top of the cliffs of the island they are near and jumping off and feather falling on top of them, Rami notices before the rest of us that they must have seen us because they are enveloped in a fog. What one might call and unnatural fog. So now we cant see them at all. But, that also means they can’t see us. But, based on their speed at the time, direction, their ship looking very similar in size to ours, I was able to pull up pretty close to them. Close enough for Shenora to do something to them that made them just ignore us completely. So, with them distracted, we all went invisible and decided to go after 1 big guy. Why just 1? Because I remember these bastards. They are ex-military navy guys that Noctis has clearly recruited. Probably upon pain of death if they didn’t join him. But that isn’t my problem. I know what these guys can do and will do. I remember from what they did to the sahaugin port where the mine is at. They’re tough bastards. And tough was right. In one fail swoop we all just let loose on one of the bigger guys. Just wailed on him. And there he stood. Staggering around, but still there and still able to fight back. Then his buddies came to their senses after we made our presence known and came on like gangbusters. I got hit by 4 guys and just got hammered. it hurt….A LOT! We finished off the first big guy and kept concentrating on them one at a time. Suhrlock summoned what appeared to be a tiger behind one that was fighting me and Shatral took up position on another one giving me 2 options to flank along with Shenora for a bit and then Dorric. And every time I hit them, I just couldn’t find the weak spots like I normally could. Once in a while I hit home pretty good, but more often than not it as like hitting a whale with a toothpick. And the hits just kept coming. Rami was raining down arrows while Mav was doing his singing thing and having to heal us from the massive blows these guys were dealing with just claws and bites. Luckily, my cloak saved me a few times from what could have been a devastating shot. I felt a fireball erupt from Shenora’s sword but was able to duck behind the guy she was attacking and avoid it. Then she stopped out and Dorric stepped in. After that, I heard what sounded like some hexes but they didn’t seem to be coming from just Suhrlock’s direction. I guess this new chick also has some witchy abilities. Thenbehind me I hear the crackle of a lightning bolt or something. I felt the edge of it more than saw it. But what I did happen to see right before my eyes was a spray of color come from Shenora’s hand at the 4 guys who were attacking me. 3 smaller guys and 1 big guy. The big guy just all of a sudden had his eyes roll into the back of his head and he just dropped over dead. And the one next to him stopped what he was doing and had some sort of wild look in his eye before batting himself about the head and shoulders or rambling about nothing. We finished off the others then finally finished off the crazy one.

We decided to do a quick check below decks just to make sure that someone wasn’t going to pop up and attack us while we decided what to do with this ship. we checked out the captains quarters and lo and behold there’s a dude in it! He looked like he didn’t have a care in the world that we were there. He looked entirely comfortable although somewhat perplexed when we asked him what he was doing on our newly acquired ship. Apparently, he is Noctis older brother. Not a dick like Noctis is though. Apparently, he’s a guy who got bored by the mundane and went plane-hopping and set this as his return location for a teleport or something if he needed to return somewhere. Apparently he used to be a fleet admiral for the navy, which more than pissed me off. Although, I’m no fool. I’m not going to fuck around with a guy who goes planes-hopping for fun and is the older brother of a demi-god like being. Who knows what this guy is capable of. But apparently, Noctis used to be the wimp of the group and Siegfried(that’s what he said his name was so we’ll go with it) and Nightmare used to torment him. Great, the older brother of a uber-powerful guy and friends with another totally uber-badass. Although, maybe if we talk to him we can get him to talk some sense into Nightmare about this whole ship thing…Not that we got a chance to ask him anything because like that he got bored and disappeared. Now we had to make a decision. Keep going to the mine or head back with this new ship to Rickety’s. We decide to make the day trip back so it’s moored and much safer. But, having this new ship now, we decide it might be better to go to Aqueduct 8 first and see if we can find a buyer for the ship since we now have zero funds and zero crew at this point. And we definitely need both. I agree with Chellan and Urgot on those points.

So, we prep and teleport to Aqueduct 8 and it looks like a disaster area. I mean, they are clearly recovering but there was definitely something that happened here. And after asking around, it appeared that Noctis had shown up and was tearing the place apart until Nightmare showed up and Noctis beat feet out of there. But, no Nightmare here. We still have to find him too and give him the voucher since the ship place is back up and running….no need to tell him about the other ship we captured….

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Session 25 - Rami

Ugh, the headache was much worse when I awoke the next day. I was so mad that I just had to kill something, it’s the best stress reliever that I know. Fortunately enough, Arakor was in that mood. The crew had mutinied, and Arakor decided to let them know that this shit would not do. So, we set up a nice slaughter. I convinced him that adding in some terror would make it more fun. Arrows came out of nowhere, slicing hairs, nicking ears, tearing pants, it was beautiful. And Arakor would be waiting at the end, in completely unexpected places. I have to give it to him, how he got through that latrine pipe without getting wet was incredible. He is quite the murder sprite…, I’m growing quite fond of him. I took many of the bodies, asking for no questions. I tried all kinds of fun things with them to make the new bow happy. I don’t have time to get into the details since the headache is getting worse.
The dream went further, with the voice of the Demogorgon coming closer, and starting to wrap around me. It felt warm and terrifying, and dangerous, oh so thrillingly dangerous. Then the other appeared, and he was coming closer. Damn him, why can’t he just die!? He just kept coming and getting bigger and bigger, and the headache worsened, and my head felt like…..

Damn, I had an odd dream again. Come to think of it, how did I get here? I remember having a headache on a night on the ship. Then, things get foggy. I think there was some kind of dungeon, and a dragon, and a new bow? I hate it when this happens. People tell me I get really creepy every now and then, but I never remember that. I think someone has been putting something in my food again. So, looking through my stuff I do find a fancy new bow. Feels kind of evil, covered in blood and stuff, and it has some kind of note attached to it in horrible handwriting “Try liver next time”. I’m not really sure what that means, and I don’t think I’m going to ask anyone. I guess I should keep it bloody? Well, we do end up killing people, so that shouldn’t be too hard. Nearby there was this odd leathered book. Seems like it is the skin from some kind of person, and I feel like it is familiar. I take a peek, and there are some crazy writings about a princess hunting a paladin with demons. Someone must have lost this. I guess I can keep it until I find the owner.

I get up, and find we are at Rickity’s. I decide I’m gonna play it cool, and just sit down for breakfast. This new ugly guy sits down and starts talking to me, I caught him saying his name was Dork. I’m not sure who disliked him enough to name him that, but he seems like a decent fellow, and was actually kind of fun. Dork mentioned how I promised to teach him social skills, so I said sure (hoping he wouldn’t notice my confusion). I guess I can’t let him down, so I started by explaining the concept of napkins. I think that me dabbing his face with my spit may have crossed a line though… Seeing as i didn’t really have anything else planned, I decided to continue our lessons throughout the day. I heard that I had a really bad temper yesterday, but luckily not against my friends, so I’ll just toss out some coins here or there so people will forget. Dork had some trouble with Lesson 1 “Hello”. He grabbed a barkeep by the beard saying “I need a drink sweetheart”, looking back at me and winking. I may have to be clearer about my instructions… The day kind of went like this. I’m not sure how I am going to let him know that I may need to charge for these lessons… I run into Maverick, and he was being sulky again, said something about not appreciating the bit and bridle I tried to use on him. I didn’t think that he and I had that kind of relationship, but I do get drunk every now and then. He thought it was disrespectful or something. I joked that he should be appreciative when I bring the bit and bridle. He started to say something else, but I broke the tension by patting him on the butt and saying “Later, Sweetheart”. He sounded happy about that as I left, but I decided to give him a few days before I go back to his bed (apparently he’s a kinky one, and I’m not always into that).

My dreams were normal, except that all of them had 2 black clouds in them. One was big and offered fun tricks and talents, and the other was small and hateful. Must mean something, I’ll ask sweetheart next time we roll around. Woke up the next day before Dork, so I went out for a stroll. I kept hearing something about Shenora and Harold. The word on the street was that she proposed to him. I kept asking around for details so I’d know what kind of engagement gift to get. The story went that they had some smouldering exchange on top of mashed potatoes, and Shenora threw a leg over his shoulder saying “let’s make this party go on forever”, and then offered a coral ring. They disappeared, and people say that the looks of both of there were fairly enraptured. So, I guess she needed a romantic gift. I wasn’t able to get a patterned rapier hilt, so I bought her a blackbird pie (those were my favorite as a child, so I’m sure the thought will count). This got me in a good mood, so I wanted to spread the joy. Shenora was happy, Maverick was happy, Dork was happy, and Arakor was happy (if bloody). So, Surhlock needed some joy sent his way. He had been moping about early senility, and I decided he needed some distraction. So, I spread rumors about him being hung like a centaur, and that people never find another lover satisfying after him. I then paid a number of prostitutes of different races and sexes to back that story up. They did get more creative than I specified, but I’m sure he’ll be happy to also be known as “Peach Cheeks”.

Same damn dream as the last night, very boring. Well we started seriously talking about our next move, when I see a boat in the distance coming our way. I didn’t point it out since it would take 5 minutes before anyone but Arakor could see it, and I’m told it is “Showing Off” to say what I see unless it is dangerous or valuable. Eventually someone falls out of it. She was plain looking, and unremarkable. So, I assumed she was dangerous because plain and unremarkable people don’t just wash up in boats near us. I politely ask who she is, and she gets huffy about it and says she’d curse me. Not much of a threat since I could have put arrows into her eyes before those fingers twitched, but I let it go since she was in a bad mood. So, Shenora, who is always more genteel than me, restarts communication. They both started on who was Harold’s girlfriend (guess plain girl hadn’t heard the rumors), when plain girl calls Shenora Harold’s bitch. I assume this was insulting since I’d heard Harold was the bitch behind closed doors. Well, that was it, Shenora got ready to go. All in one moment she was hasted and pulled her rapier out stabbing. I saw Dork turn into a small crystal ooze, and I pick him up (we’d talked about this moments before). Shenora killed here kind of (Maverick spoiled the fun. Guess he might need a quicker visit if he’s gonna start spoiling our fun. Sigh, I do not like relationships). I had really been hoping to throw Dork at someone…. Well, Dork and I plan to do this later. Anyway, plain girl recants, and I whisper to Dork “Lesson 2 – Introductions”. Long story short, she’s tagging along.

We try to figure out where to go, and I just defer to Shenora on this, she always has the more entertaining ideas. So, out we sail. I see a ship in the distance, and warn the other guys. I expected directions from the gang below after a good whistle, but they were debating things out still. Well, by then the other ship spotted us, and put up some kind of mist thing. Well, we had to fly over then (which was still cool since I like turning into an Eagle). We set up for the fight and started. Damn those things hit hard. I got duck punched by one of them and went down. I thought my life was supposed to flash before my eyes, but all I thought about was chicken nuggets. In the end we won and got a new boat. Except we didn’t check the captain’s quarters. There we found some stiff inside. I bowed and said hello, and he sweetly called me a Dog. How did he know that was my childhood nickname? That really was very sweet of him to take the time to figure out. Anyway, he is another of those god brothers, so he poofed away. So, we took our new ship back and started teleporting about.

You know, I never did get to give Shenora that blackbird pie…

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Session 25-Shenora

It could be said that perhaps “Playing it cool” is not one of my stronger suits. However, sometimes that can work in a girls favor apparently.
I explained how I landed in Rickety’s mashed potatoes already. Well, the detail of how that was the best memorized place was not lost on Harold. He teleported in moments after we did. He was broadly placed at the head of he table which allowed me to roll onto my side as I rested my head on my hand and gave him a wry smile. “Hello,” was all I said by he (and everyone else in the room it seemed) got my full meaning. Something pretty reassuring about making a high powered godlike wizard blush like a raspberry bush. As everyone was orienting themselves and catching Rickety up on the major events, it didn’t take long for Harold to take my hand and ask to find somewhere more private. I recognized the general design of a dimensional magic mansion, but was shocked to find that it was decorated more to my taste and style than what I had seen from him in the past. There were decorative throw pillows (which did come in handing for positioning later) and the bed was now taller with a set of steps to get up to it. Sheer drapes cascaded down form the large four posts at each corner and there were candles that reflected off framed pictures that threw reflections of tiny dancing lights all around the room. There was a bathroom with a side for me and for him and inside was a fuzzy robe in my favorite color, and a larger one for Harold to match. These were only a few of the detail I could traverse before he scooped me up and just hugged me. It was a bit strange, we hadn’t really had that type of intimacy before. This hug was much more than just pleasure of bodies coming together, but it was an overwhelming message that was hard for me to handle. Perhaps that’s why I instigated turning to more lustful and familiar actions in that moment, because that was the type of longing he and I know how to fulfill. Again and again. And again.
He did explain that he was sure we were dead, but there was something he was holding back in his voice. I wanted to know exactly what it was but I was too afraid to ask him. Things were starting to feel a bit back to normal and I was about to get dressed and search for some food when he grabbed me around my waist and tugged me back against his body under the blanket, which before now we had very little need to use. He said, “Let’s just eat here,” and began to nibble my ear. When I explained I was actually quite hungry, in walked a servant with a buffet worth of food. Oddly enough all his favorites, but an equal amount of mine as well. It occurred to me, he had been paying attention to the things I liked not just in bed but elsewhere too. For someone who lived on an island alone, had one best friend in Rickety and was uninterested in what anyone else was doing, he seemed to have abreach in his formal value system. This makes me smile. He’s tilting his hand, and I can see he has real love for his brothers, true respect for his friend Rickety and perhaps the Madd Dog Crew. It also appeared that there seemed to be a special little spot in there for sexual playthings like myself. True, I have no idea what he was up to in the six months I was away. It could certainly be that someone else gave him the idea for this place, but something tells me I don’t have to worry about that too much.
That was I didn’t have to until this hag washed ashore. When Harold and I emerged from the mansion after about a day or so, the high tide started washing ashore some interesting things. Much debris from the battles that were going on, and the hag did appear to be not much more than debris. I felt bad for her… at first. She was starved and almost dead with all her crew being killed off. We went ahead and docked her only for me to regret it. It wasn’t the Hag that made me regret it as much as it was what I had to explain to Harold. It was just the Madd Dog’s at the pier. We asked her from where she hailed and she stuttered and was having a hard time communicating. Suddenly she said “Harold.” I couldn’t help but all eyes now turned to me for my reaction. “I’m sorry, Harold?” I said. “Yes, Harold. I’m with Harold,” she started spouting with an indignant amount of confidence. I wasn’t trying to be rude, but she looked so old, and perhaps my emotions got the best of me.
“What do you mean, you are with Harold?”
“I mean, I’m with Harold,” she insisted.
“So, are you like… His Mom?” I asked, in all seriousness.
“Are you his bitch?” she said without skipping a beat.
That’s when it happened, I simply reached for Garvok. The crew saw it coming and it was with smiles on their faces they tossed me a few smiles and buff spells. She managed to get one off with a really nasty dirty look on her face, and it did make me a bit sick to my stomach but it was most likely the idea of her and Harold together that pulled my blade right into her neck. She was still so weak from the journey she died immediately, or she would have if Mavrick didn’t heal her immediately. Shurlok giggled a bit, as if he didn’t haste me for the fight, and acted like he was all good and was urging me to let her live. He put his body in between me and the hag pleading for me to stop with his words and daring me to do it again with his eyes. I was done though. I didn’t need to keep killing her only to have Mavrick try to play martyr or heal her every time I killed her. I looked over and Dork, I mean Dorric was all wound up into his glass shard blender form, and Rami was visibly disappointed he didn’t get to throw him at the hag. Arakor then pulled the “Do you know who we are?” card and told her. She then backed down and became very silent and wiser to stay away from me.
The embarrassing part was when I went to wipe her blood from Garvok, who was snickering by the way, who was also sneering and snickering at me but Harold. He must have come out when he heard his name and now it was my turn to blush.
“What?” I said trying to play it off as I broke eye contact with him to sheath Garvok a bit harder than usual.
“Feel better?” He was almost giddy. It was annoying.
“I don’t know what you are talking about. Oh… that back there?” I said acting obviously obtuse. “Did I accidently slice up a conquest before…”
Before I could finish the sentence, Harold had cast something on me for a moment and I then recognized it as a suggestion spell to be silent. Then he said, “Save that feisty for the bedroom, my dear.” With two blinks we were back in the room with the four poster bed, freshly made and now a scent of flowers in the air. I had on some wild outfit that had a lot of leather and silk but not a lot of it at that as it was skimpy as anything. In my hand was a long pole with a little loop on the end. I was a bit startled at first but curious so I gave a little smack of the loop onto my hand. I flinched a bit as it stung, and then I heard Harold say, “You think I have been a bad boy?” I turned and looked over my shoulder to see him hungerly starting me down. “What are you going to do about it?”
About a day later, Harold and I had lost the taste for the leather, swings, whips, clamps, electrodes, rings, restraints, ticklers, paddles, stirrups and other assorted toys that came out of the adventures of dungeon man. We also started to explore some other rooms in the mansion, other courtyards. After an excursion in the hot tub however, he wrapped me in a towel and carried me into room that had a comfy little sitting area and we had tea and little treats. It was there we put on our now favorite after sex robes, and I leaned back against his chest as we ate and drank tea. It seemed to be morning as the sun started sweeping in between the trees casting warm light and coloring everything very vibrant. He started telling me stories about his brothers, and not just what all he had to go though to bring Barbatos back to life, but how it was growing up. What they were like when they were learning magic. That’s when he told about how he grew up with Noctus and Nightmare and he wondered what could he have done to keep it from getting so out of control. It was more of just sharing his history with me however he was sharing his feelings in a way that made him vulnerable. I liked it when it was just the two of us alone in whatever dimension. Somehow it felt safe here in a way the outside world could never really offer. Later on, Harold was taunting me on my “little magic” but he actually ended up teaching me a few spells I’m not sure I would have known I had the innate magic for if he didn’t show me. I see why he created his own world away from everyone, but had to admit that life would hold no appeal if he weren’t there. I wonder if it was just his brothers he was running from, or perhaps there was a more complicated heartbreak in there. There always was in earth ending stories after all.
We stayed another day in the mansion. It was lovely meals at night, and sitting drinking fairy wine in front of the fire as he taught me this odd came you play with 52 flat pieces of paper. His favorite seemed to be if you lost a hand we had to take off pieces of clothes. I figured he should be sick of seeing me naked by now, but he assured me it would take a bit longer for him get sick of that. Well, that was my cue, as I don’t want him to get sick of it by any means, and I suggested it was time to return to the real world. After three more hours and a quick nap, we re-emerged at Rickity’s. The crew seemed nothing but amused and I assumed they were happy for the break as well.
It was time however to look at our vesting’s in a world without any order or economy. Our teleport stations seemed to be still functioning but we were now poor and without a crew. Madd Dog’s didn’t seem to mind if I gave the dragon eye from the portal that held the gateway to all the trapped creatures and giant dragon hoard, to see if he would work on stabilizing it so we could go back and retrieve. Harold was happy to do it as he loves these types of challenges, and didn’t mind doing us the favor. I heard about Plunderhaven, and learned a new spell in which I thought we could go down and see what state it was in, but Rickety said we should stay closer to the shore. Noctus’s men were trolling the waters hunting free captains. We decided to go to New Ordealns first since it was closest to us, and we could quickly teleport to our other keeps to get things in order.
As we pulled up anchor, I almost forgot about the hag who was looking much better and well rested. She seemed to be tolerated and Mavrick had let me know she was amenable to signing on as part of the crew since hers was lost in it’s entirety. As we pulled away, I looked back to Harold as he held the portal key in his hand, and he just winked before turning and heading away. I rounded the ship toward the forward mast and suddenly he was standing front of me. Just for a second. I was startled for a second but smiled as he smiled at me. He simply leaded down and gave me a sweet kiss and a soft squeeze on my shoulder. Then he was gone. I never even saw him look at the hag, who I now know is named Artxtra. And she seemed to know not to look at him either.
We were about a day out and we spotted a ship. We quickly discovered it was flying Noctus’s flag and we had seen those beefy creepies before. We tossed around three ideas, but decided to meet them on their ship because, hey… it was a pretty damm fine looking ship and truth be told we still owe one to Nightmare. It wasn’t easy, but we managed to seize their ship. Dorric proved his worth as a crystalline blender so I think I need to call him by his proper name now. Art Ax will remain to be seen. As far as I could tell she likes to cast and hex, but I’m not sure what she’s doing, but Shurlok seemed to think she was alright. When we went down to the captains quarters however, someone had popped back in… apparently years ago he was the fleet admiral and this ship was his dimensional anchor. He seemed to have no interest in the ship but did reveal himself to be Noctus big brother. He told us Noctus was always the little wimpy one in the heard and was picked on and teased relentlessly. He seemed to hold some empathy for his little brother but obviously had no idea how powerful he had become in that he was destroying the world. He left without much of a clue as to where he was going.
We went ahead and sailed the ships in tandem back to Rickety. ArtAx decided she might be better off staying behind at Rickety’s in case any of her crew came back. I felt bad for a second, until the thought crossed my mind that she might be staying back to make a play on Harold. Just when I thought that however, she leaned into Rickety and started talking about what great hands he had and something about reminding her of scorpion skin… I don’t know, it was a little disturbing to watch her flirt. Harold must have left back to his place however because he wasn’t anywhere to be found. We made quick work of our reunion and departure and set out again to see if we could collect more ships and start our own fleet. First however, we decided now that we have this other ship to teleport to Aquaduct 8 and see if we can settle up with Nightmare. Especially since now we knew more about this new big brother on the scene.
Overall, not the best poker face, as Harold taught me. I tilted my cards and may have to admit I like Harold a bit more than just a bed buddy. And as it turns out I might have a bit of a jealous streak, which was weird and unexpected. At least for now however, he tilted my world in my favor. And he let me whip him.

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Session 25 - Suhrlock

Amnesia. It is hard to describe and very disconcerting. I don’t remember anything from Noctus’ caverns after the first day. My compatriots tell the tales but yet nothing. No recollection at all. Is this the first sign of insanity. Or senility. Neither can be good. I almost hope it was a magic effect cast by Noctus. Regardless, I seem to have found my wits again. For now.

What I did learn is that during our time in the maze our crew rebelled. Then there was a mutiny. Half of them are dead. The other half followed shortly thereafter at the hand of Arakor. Crazy shark guy just went beserk. Joku put up a bit of a fight but to no avail. Maverick was talking about resurrecting our old friend. I wonder if he did without Arakor (or I) noticing?

We made our way back to Rickety’s where an empty desolate ship floated into port. It’s lone occupant, a powerful witch/magus was nearly dead. Maverick healed her which was almost a mistake. She started spouting off about her relationship with Harold. Oops. Shenora kind of didn’t take that well. Fortunately Maverick talked everyone down from the cliff. I held Shenora to stay her sword for a moment to let her chill for a bit. I think we gained a new ally.

We take a few days to set the administration of our islands in order and then head out.

We set sail hugging the coast to avoid Noctus’ detection. He has apparently wiped out all forms of government and has been laying waste to anything on the open seas.

Within a day we see a ship flying Noctus’ glad approaching. Thank goodness for Rami’s keen eyes seeing so far ahead. Oh. We wasted that advantage discussing all kinds of options. In the end we all find a way to fly and charge over. The ship is a former military vessel with its crew made up of a bunch of tough barbarian/alchemists. They didn’t go down easily barely being affected by physical attacks. They hit hard. Rami went down, close to death. I used up a lot of my spells. But eventually we prevailed.

We now have a nice new ship, hopefully enough to get Nightmare off our backs. So we went to Aquaduct 8 and caged in our chit. Then we took the nice loot from the battle and bartered it into much upgraded tattoos for everyone. Yippie.

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