A desert druid returned from the ~ d e a a a a a d ~ hangin' out with his palsView Character Profile
SESSION 4: Welcome to Hell! It sucks.
Hello, Journal! To start our day today, we had three demons come into our humble abode to hang out! Unfortunately, two of them are pit demons that I summoned from hell a few weeks back. So, I immediately hid, because my Sins are coming back to Haunt me! It's a spoooooooooooooky day for your boy Marco. It sounds like the three demons want us to come back to a demon lord and explain why we have their decoding ink. NOOOOOOO. EVERYTHING IS COMING UP MARCO, EXCEPT THE OPPOSITE? Everything is coming up anti-Marco? Nega-Marco? Darkwing Marco? I dunno, y'all, I'm just nervous! After a delightful pie-themed sojourn in which Ulo got the demons fresh pie from Ride or Pie, the demons take us to their Demon Lord. We entered the Seven Hells and a few of my feathers lit on fire, because I was still a vulture, due to being far more comfortable as a vulture than as a human at this time. We get taken into a zone-of-truth'd room, but I'm still a vulture, so none of the demons are paying attention to me, which is great given that I was the one who cast the spell that messed up the forest and brought Hell to our world. It turns out that the demon we found in the woods (Disgen? Disney? Deez Gins?) was a good friend of Lord Tarvel, and Tarvel is very sad about his friend dying, so we gave them the notes on what we gleaned from the book, mainly that Edreth is trying to take over the Seven Hells and has a secret room with all of Edreth's plans. Tarvel asked us to go to a party and figure out where the secret room is, and maybe steal some of those dang plans. Also, Ulo and Latrans dressed me up in a leather vest and a studded collar. So, some more info on this party. The party celebrates Edreth's championship win at Grun fights. Weird! I don't like that he breeds animals to fight! That fuckin sucks, dude! The manor itself has an outdoors with a bunch of Grun. The journal says that two demons are actually helping Edreth; Thalsrick and Verk-k'on. The dead demon thought that neither had been in the Special Room. Thalsrick is the head Grun handler, so he'll be running exhibition fights people can watch from the manor. Verk-k'on is gonna be attending. I hate animal fighting of any kind, and hearing about the Grun breeding is absolutely gross as fuck to me. For this party, I decided to not be a vulture, so that I can actually wander the house and help find the room. Everything that I have learned about the Grun indicates that this species should not exist and was created by demons for nefarious, bullshit purposes. Fuck this. FUCK THIS! THIS SUCKS! AUGH!!!!!!! AUGHHHHHHHHHH. Man fuck this. Anyway. I turned into a surfer bro demon. I made a gambler get way more nervous! Latrans had some horrible punch and got stuck in a bad trip where he thought he was an Abyssal Chicken. I had to drag him out of the room into the storage room, wherein we found many hellish cleaning implements, including a mop covered in chains and a constantly on-fire dustpan. After fighting Latrans down again, I noticed an eyeball in a jar. After examining it for quite a while, I gave it a small kiss, like an absolute moron, but it turned out to give me Truesight. Which is good, but also could've -definitely- cursed me, so that's like cool and all. It also have charges that I can use to cast a bunch of other things. I don't even know all of them yet! But I realized I had this weird seethrough vision that let me see through things! So that was cool, and very overwhelming. I used that to figure out that the secret room was in the arena itself. So that's cool! We went downstairs to solve Zinyra's "contract with the fae" problem and found the Rodenza, which are a species of increasingly sentient rats that live in Rockport. Ulo and I decided to go talk to the Rodenza while Zinyra talked to the guy. They do -not- know they're getting eaten by the Grun, and they panic a ton, and Ulo and I spend a bit of time trying to figure out how to win it. We came up with the following plan: STEP 1: Put 9 rats into the pocket zoo. STEP 2: Turn a plant into a portal, connecting it to the plants we sent to Hell several weeks ago. STEP 3: Send the remaining rats through the portal to get them out of this awful pocket dimension. STEP 4: Get out with none the wiser to our dope strategic move It went great! ... Okay, it DID NOT go great. I was spotted immediately after I turned the plant into a portal, Ulo turned a demon into a giant rat, and Edreth came down to kill me! Ulo banished herself and Latrans back into the material realm, while I tried to jump into the portal-plant. Edreth grabbed me before I could escape, but I was able to turn into a snake (Hooray! I did one successful non-vulture wild shape!!!) and slither on through the portal. I went back to Tarvel, but wouldn't you know it, Ulo and Latrans weren't there! Where the heck are they??? Anyway, uh. That's that, folks! I have a jarred eye now! Cool!!! Love, Marco
SESSION 3D: Rich people scare me!
Why hello there, Journal! Fancy seeing you here! Since my last journaling session, I picked a new therapist! I picked Denry Birchcress. There were three core reasons for this. First, Denry is a centaur with chill vibes. Second, Vyzzyg recommended Denry! Third, "Birchcress" makes me think of watercress, which is my absolute favorite ancient green for salads! Love that stuff! That's how therapists are chosen, and my methodology is perfect and remarkably robust. Nobody has ever criticized it nor will anyone, ever. This is a fact. (Also, I got overwhelmed by the decision and didn't know how to pick the right person. Yet another classic and traditional outlook on therapy.) Anyway. Today, we did some intelligence gathering for Brynn! To start out, we let Ulo and 3Chainz go to a local nightclub. (3Chainz is Latrans, but it's 3Chainz now, Latrans is a name representing an incorrect life he no longer maintains.) Neither Zinyra or I went there, as we are way too old for this shit, unlike our several thousand year old counterparts, Ulo and 3Chainz. Once they came back, they said they hung really well with the cool people, especially Ulo. According to Ulo, she did such a good job that she left early to go talk to some dockworkers, which is incredible! I could never have done this. 3Chainz said that Asher is a self-proclaimed terrible artist who engages in romantic relationships with wealthy patrons to earn bucks. Apparently Nisalisse was a business owner in Sutton who owned a pie shop (NICE) and a tavern (fine) that became involved in local politics, and didn't do affairs and bribes and stuff. So I guess that means Nisalisse is probably kinda no-nonsense, and (maybe) honest in her aggressive jingoistic signs and shit? Not great! Don't love it! At the docks, Ulo has made a pie friend. Ulo talks about pie for the whole time; Gluri was a piemaker in Sutton. Nisalisse was a terrible boss! Tried to be "the cool boss", which is something that apparently never works and just makes you lame as shit. Who knew! Not me, I've never had gainful employment and NEVER WILL. Anyway. The next day 3Chainz and I went to the apocathary. We talked to Barty Graves. He's real chill! Seems like a real nice guy. After a short conversation about Politics, Barty told us that Nisalisse lived in some sort of Elven community with only Elves and no humans or dwarves or centaurs or anything else. Just a community of high Elves. When Nisalisse actually came to Sutton, people in town thought she was really hard to talk to. She was really big on the virtues of hard work (GROSS) and labor (BLAUGH) and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps [there is a stain on the page that looks like Marco vomited directly after writing this phrase]. Eugh. Ooof. Plugh. Anyway, uh. Yeah. The only other thing from Barty was a story about how Nisalisse was volunteering at a soup kitchen and twitched and retracted when a homeless person touched her, which is, like, not great? Like, dude, come on, we're all just people. Fuck off with that shit. Jeez. Aaaaaaaaanyway. Then Zinyra went to the jewelry store. She reported back. And like, gross, lotta rich bullshit, yikes! The rich people want Nisalisse elected really badly. She's planning to institute formal currency (FUCK THAT) and completely destroy the inherent smuggling economy to bolster the profits of rich enterprise. MAN, GEEZ, YIKES. Generally it seems like the rich people are looking at Nisalisse as a means to an end to get the town into their hands and cancel most of Brilles' reforms. So we talked to Brynn. Brynn was excited about our information gathering -- the fact that she doesn't like homeless people is big. The fact that she doesn't like theft is big. There are a lot of reasons to think Brilles has this in the bag. I'm still a little nervous though -- for one thing, rich people are rotten for stealing elections. Like, Leon! [There is a stick figure drawing of an old man in the margins going "aye whatup marco" in the margins] Leon is the only political person I know in any way, and I remember a long time back in Tabahel, he lost an election because some of the town bigwig merchants wanted to get him (and by extension, the homeless shelters he tried to establish) out of the town and stuffed the ballot box against him and for this slimy asshole. He ended up having to have Elysia and Holly come in and do a little investigation and find the paper trail to get him back on the town council and roll back their austerity measures. But, like -- this happens all the time! Maybe I'm being paranoid, IDK. My therapist says I need to stop looking at worst case scenarios and start giving myself some more slack, but like. UGH. UGHHH. Anyway. That's a-me, Marco! <3 Marco ----------------------------------------- [ ------ 16 downtime actions ------ ] 1. THERAPY #1: Felt super bad, bounced around to a whole bunch of things, didn't focus on anything. I did very badly! Real horrible times for me, Marco, your friend. 2. CRAFTING #1: I wanted to upgrade the classroom for the emancipated children and also myself. I had to craft a wooden button & a child's hat; I used our smithy so these things would be pretty dope IMO. I made the wooden button successfully! 3. CRAFTING #2: And I -also- made the child's hat successfully! Marco just keeps winning! 4. COMMERCE: This is how I got the ink. I was able to trade for the ink and upgrade our classroom to be, uhhhhhh, slightly less bad. 5. TRAINING: Practicing my arcana in an effort to understand my new chimera-based subclass. I didn't do it! But I felt like I got really close. [DC goes down for trying for Arcana again; now 16 instead of 18] 6. TRAINING: Tried again, failed. I definitely did worse this time. [DC down to 14] 7. TRAINING: Tried again, failed. Like, a lot. Geez. What the heck. Oooooooooooooooof. [DC down to 13, and Marco gets frustrated and gives up] 7a. outsource several research exercises to Vyzzyg & Elysia to try and solve my horrible wild shape problems. 8. GATHERING #1: Went for the head of an Earth Elemental to try and set up a dungeon in the house, because I feel like it is something we may need in the future. (Went with Zinyra, it worked! We had a successful hunt. We have built a dungeon. Oh god. I built a dungeon. What is my life now. Why have I done this.) 9. GATHERING #2: Went for the heart of an invisible stalker, to try and set up a glamour-dispelling fence. (Went with Zinyra again, it worked! We have a fence! No, not that kind of fence. Like, a gate. But a gate that goes all the way around. You know what I mean gosh.) 10. THERAPY #2: I talked about my survivor's guilt and the overwhelming feeling of sadness that I died before Tiamat came back and couldn't save Steve or stop Tiamat in any way. I wish I had Steve back. I wish I had Baz back. I could've done so much more than I did. Denry talked about how it is not my fault and I need to think about how I would talk to someone else who was there like Zinyra or Prince Smells and talk about why I am saying these things to myself rather than to others. 11. SOCIALIZING: Working with Gluri to see if we can make pie together and start to build a Friendship as piecrafts. Ulo comes along and we make some incredible pies. INCREDIBLE pies. Barty Graves apparently is great on baking drugs into pies, and gave us some advice on it. So we became friends with Barty and made a lot of pies! And Ulo knows how to make pies now. Amazing! This is what I wanted!!! 12. SOURCING INGREDIENT SUPPLIERS: Marco turns into a vulture and finds a ton of ingredient suppliers for Ulo's new co-op pie shop, "Ride or Pie"; there's an orchard in Phandolin and a ton of slightly spooky groves hidden deep in the woods that people keep ignoring. Turns out one of them is run by ghosts that grow peaches and blackberries! Amazing! 13. STEAL DAT KIDSAVER: WE STOLE THE HELL OUT OF GARRON CHAO'S KIDSAVER. I did some impeccable investigating, Ulo snuck the hell out of the garage and the guards, and Zinyra created the perfect getaway route to get it to our garage. I turned into an elephant and carried it on my back. We lived our life a quarter mile at a time. We put "Rockport Cable Company" on it to indicate that it is a rope dealer car now. We're so cool, you guys. 14. RESEARCH SUMMARY: I had a little collective jam session with Elysia and Vyzzyg to talk about what they researched into my horrible Wild Shape issues. Vyzzyg has found the baseline theory behind what happened to me and my Wild Shape. So now I need to just kind of Wild Shape more. [Once I get the normal shape down, I can do the modified ones.] 15. CRAFTING #1: Cooking; making a new bunch of jerky and snacks for distribution around the town. The jerky turned out really really good this time, and I can tell that it is going to be helpful in persuading people where my natural social anxiety is not. 16. CRAFTING #2: Cooking; this time, instead of just a bunch of jerky, I made a 4 course meal to try and get us, Brynn, and Brilles prepped and ready to go for the road ahead. Also, I just want everyone to feel a little better and be a bit happier, because I sense that people are sad. [Internally, Marco wants to use his cooking to try and both bolster the party's mood and make folks think he is a Valuable Member of the Team, because he still is kinda depressed from therapy.] Everyone had a great time! Everyone is rested and relaxed! Everyone is ready for the next stuff.
SESSION 3C: Unions, Unions Everywhere!
Hello, my lovely journal readers! Today, we are unionizing Farmers. Only farmers. Farmers only! We are going to talk to a Tabaxi and a Goblin! One of them is in a tavern, the other was hanging out at the town green. The tabaxi is named Eyes In The Forest, and is a fluffy white tabaxi man that was very nice to us. Alderleaf farm and lilo degray's farm are going to be the problem ones, because while the farmworkers want it, the farmers are trying to pressure them to oppose it; Eyes In The Forest also thinks that dude is shady af. And then Lilo hired some shady lady who is trying to strongarm people against the guild. On the other hand, Oliver Farlight isn't in the co-op yet, and doesn't seem to want to? Lame??? Dude is just sort of dumb maybe? Thinks he's really smart, but he's kind of an idiot? Heard some stuff, you know. Our boy advises us to talk Kaidink more about that because Kaidink works at Alderleaf. Eyes thinks that Lilo doesn't want to lose control, and has shady vibes from that guy. Lilo's farm is mostly wheat and other stuff like that, whereas there is some shit going down at Alderleaf -- turns out that farm is run by a dumb-as-bricks guy who just loves rutabagas; he has planted THREE HUNDRED ACRES of rutabagas. Dogg, I love Rutabagas. --- Then we went and ate lunch with Kaidink!! I gave her some of my homemade jerky to help make the conversation less bad. She is hoping that the guild initially accepts people outside of the co-op agreement so that it can help pressure Oliver. He planted 300 acres out-of-season and half of it has died. Nobody knows what he bartered for it!! And the half of the seeds that are growing are growing really weirdly and it is unclear what is going on with it. She gets there in the morning and the soil is weirdly wet; he's doing something weird at the end of the day. Oliver is an Earth Genasi that does not wear hats. He keeps saying he is communing with the Earth and he knows what to do. Ulo and Latrans get incredibly drunk, and we decide we're going to pop in overnight and see what the hell Oliver is doing. -- So then we decide to go see Linene, who Eyes in the Forest says is ~ p r o b a b l y ~ kind of a narc. We get there and she is demanding an armwrestling companion, so I immediately use "Hat Metal" to summon a metal hat to help out my friend. Turns out that -isn't- actually helpful. But like, whatever. Zinyra and Linene talk a really good game and then -immediately- eat shit, which would have been very funny if I was not extremely invested in my friend Zinyra's success! But it was OK, because Zinyra ended up winning, which meant Linene had to be honest with us! Apparently before this farm stuff she did a lot of odd jobs and shit, so that seems fine or whatever. But! I had some intuition that she was lying. And after a lot of chaos (including her lying to us and Ulo drunkenly turning her into a sheep and me reverting her), she admits she was part of the Red Band Brigands in Phandolin that we mostly disbanded. We decided to bring her on for our impending heist of Garron Chao in exchange for her being terrible at her job as an informant/muscle for Lilo. Lilo has a second set of books in his office. He's definitely evading his taxes! Hell yeah. We debate trying to steal his books and instead decide to talk to the mayor. -- We go to the mayor and tell the mayor about Lilo's books. She decides she wants to look into it, but isn't going to ask us to steal it ourselves. She also asks about Brillies and how she's handling the tough campaign against the crappy nationalist asshole. We answer that it's not great! It could be going better! Brillies is overwhelmed. She offers to help any way she can. We will remember this! Hope she doesn't lose, geez! :-( -- So, at night, we find Oliver, who is spreading weird purple liquid over his Rutabagas. Guess what! They come to life!!! WHAT???? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I DO NOT APPROVE OF THESE ACTIVITIES. Latrans uses a meteor spell against them, and GUESS WHAT, THE METEORS DO NOTHING! RUTABAGAS ARE RESISTANT TO METEORS! WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!! AAAAA! So, after a few rounds of combat, I use the ring of the grammarian to try and control one of the giant Rutabaga. It doesn't work, but I cause a small swarm of baby sharp-toothed Rutabagas to join our crew. Pretty cool! This also involved getting the rutabagas to attack their parents. Feeling pretty bad about that! But you know. Stuff happens. Sometimes people die! Like me! Sometimes. Anyway, I ended up casting a giant firestorm. We end up winning, but at what cost? (The cost is that we all got pretty beat up, and we ruin a whole crop of lovely rutabagas! Although I guess it's less that we ruined the crop and more that Oliver ruined the crop by being an absolute dipshit, I mean Jesus, what the fuck.) So, we go to track Oliver down, and Latrans has a pretty good idea to turn into a bloodhound to track down Oliver. I start transforming, and like, THINGS GET INCREDIBLY FUCKED UP. As I transform into a bloodhound I start feeling the skin slough off of the creature, and I start bleeding out of every area of my newly formed flesh. Wings start shooting out of the back of my bloodhound, and the internal organs start melding together. The nails and pads of my feet exsanguinate and the nose calcifies and stretches into a long, cracked beak. And guess what! It hurts! Usually wild shape is a pretty painless process, and as you learn how to do it better and better, the changes become second nature and almost comfortable. But even when you're learning and you do your first transformation, it never hurts as much as that did; it felt like every muscle and nerve in my body was screaming and burning. I changed back to human form almost instantly, to kind of... stop being in serious pain? I have absolutely no idea what got fucked up in my wildshape! Since I was resurrected, I've wild shaped all the fucking time. But, like, only into a vulture; I sleep in this little hovel on the roof of our house that I've decked out with all my favorite vulture stuff, like claw sharpeners and some of my favorite magic carrion fridges, and a smellbook with all my favorite smells. But I guess I haven't tried to turn into anything else yet? It could be that I'm just not able to turn into anything else anymore. I need to talk to Elysia. She's the one who taught me how to wild shape in the first place. She should know at least something about what the hell is going on here. I'm scared. Ever since I came back I've felt like everything's just off. Maybe I'm overreacting, but it just feels I'm so... different. What the hell's up with my head? I really have to talk with my therapist about this. Anyway. Life's scary, readers! Marco out. Love, Marco.