Reins of Darkness

Fa'Kseen's Ranting: Hijacked Part 1

The die of PUNishment!

New Rule The First: In such cases as any player (but mostly Jake) should make use of any pun, paronomasia, or the intentional use of homophonic, homographic, metonymic, or metaphorical language in a humorous context while at the gaming table (wherein “at the gaming table” is defined as being in proximity to any couch, seat, table, floor, or other horizontal surface on which a game book or character sheet has been set), the GM is given the right to immediate make one roll of a ten-sided polyhedral solid with the letters “F” “W” and “P” engraved on one face and the other nine faces being blank (hereafter referred to as the “FWP die” or “Fuck with party die”), with the consequences of that roll adjudicated as normal for any roll of the FWP die.

New Rule The Second: In such cases as the GM makes use of a pun (see rule 1) or leaves out a salient detail of the story being told, the GM shall make one roll of the FWP die, with the inverse of the normal effects of a roll of the FWP die (hereafter referred to as a “Fuck with GM” roll). Enforcement of this rule shall be at the discretion of the players, with any effects of the Fuck with GM roll being adjudicated by the GM in the favor of the player enacting the rule (subject to validation by the other players or a shame-faced admission by the GM). The results of an FWP result on a Fuck with GM roll are entirely up to the GM, and may include, but are not limited to: one free randomly generated magic item (hidden behind the salient detail that the GM left out), one free hero point (for the player heroically saving the party from the GM’s bad pun), or one ruling automatically being made in the player’s favor in cases of questionable or situational rules.

Quartermaster’s log, stardate…oh crap, I’m not supposed to mention that we have stardates here…

Well, it happened, I finally lost my composure in front of my companions. They ran off after we finished dealing with the devourer, or rather, I stopped by the forest for a quick snack of that delicious talking tree bark. Regardless, they left me behind and apparently headed back out through the dwarven cairn and off to deal with some nonsense involving blowing up a dam before I could tell Nash about my amazing discoveries or the mission I had for him.

I went searching and found them, once again, in a situation of unreasonable duress. I saw Nash, Raule, Ulfen, Shard, and Smash (so easily recognizable in his camerillaroo form) crouched behind a once-great metal wall. I say once because it was heavily dented in a way reminiscent of many other walls we have hidden behind in the past…that is, dented in a way that could only be caused by the substance that smash calls dynamite. On one of the wall were my friends, surrounded by a legion of orcs, and on the other were a half-dozen of the Dark Lord’s legates, soaked in crimson fluid from what appeared to be a rather recently exploded blood-mirror.

I had previously called the ship I had waiting to come pick us up, and given the situation, I was very glad to see them coming up the river. Since I was on the wrong side of the orc horde from both the boat and my friends I gave in to the Chi-Julud and charged…

I did not see how, but my friends were on the boat when I reached it, bloated and raving. Raule, having taken possession of a number of Arithon’s artifacts, claimed that Shard had gone mad (a sad side-effect of spark withdraw) and attacked Smash (not too surprising given the latter’s frightening camel-gorilla-kangaroo mien), and that he was forced to teleport the crew to the ship. Ulfen pointed out that he managed to behead one of the legates before they escaped, an admirable feat from the dwarf-gimp, perhaps I will belay that court martial I had in the works for him.

Once everyone was aboard I gave the order to back oars and take us out of the river, conveniently giving Ulfen and Smash the opportunity to rain a few more volleys down on the orcs as we passed again.

As we sailed downriver, I explained how the Council of the Stewards has assessed our situation and determined that, with our current inability to deploy our main forces, we had no means of beating back the forces of the Dark Lord beyond our current holdings. How the Chi-Julud remained our bane and were we to deploy any of our soldiers in numbers sufficient to make a difference in this war, the madness would take them and they’d be just as likely to slay each other as the enemy. I told them about how, in searching the journals of the Lord Mages of Ancient Gresilia, I had hoped to find some arcane cure to this madness that afflicts my people. Instead, I found that holding the pattern of even a few of their ancient magics in my mind burned me to the soul and made the rage that much greater. Vengeance, perhaps for these ancient men, for I am now certain that their “Conqueror” was one of our kind, and, much like the Sibbecai and Litorians, the orcs of this realm must be servitors of our creation. From the records in the Lord Mage’s library, I had found many similarities between the tales of their Conqueror and those of the first expeditions of the Hu-Charad across the great sea. I believed, I told them, from what I had pieced together, that I had found the location of Xa’Ascolais, the legendary “Lost Enclave”, the first of my people to set foot on this Dark Continent.

Did I mention how nice it is to be back on a ship again? This land just feels wrong, even without my turning into a giant, gibbering blob of flesh, barely able to maintain my corporeal state. Also, Master Shard kept asking the most impertinent questions, inquiring whether our desire to deploy our troops was a good thing and questioning the will of the Council. Most unbecoming one of the care-taken. I think I may have to dial back his ration of soup…

Anyways…from the accounts I have pieced together—I believe that the “Conqueror” first made landfall far to the north and east, past the great ice flows, in the lands that are now the home of the Orcs. The Council of the Stewards has given me use of one of our Great Ships, a hundred of our best soldiers, and an equal number of sailors to sail up the coast and seek Xa’Ascolais.

On our way out of the river and into the bay, we passed Xa-Charad and my companions were able to see first-hand our need to deploy in force against the orcs. That is, they saw the 50 legions laying siege to our fair city, and we narrowly avoided having our ship destroyed by artillery fire from one of their siege-crabs. My companions discussed how they might break the siege, but I insisted that our mission was more important. Ja-Haram, our helmsman, steered us far out to sea and then turned us towards the iceberg-choked northern waters.

image courtesy of On our sixth day out our ship was attacked by a kraken, which, contrary to popular belief, is not a squid, but a massive, four-armed, fish thing. Granted, it did send forth a giant tentacle first, but Smash cut it off before it could attack us—actually, Smash might have thus provoked it into attacking us, but that tentacle made for an deliciously meaty soup (though it sadly gave a few of the crew the runs). After Smash hacked off the tentacle, the thing grabbed our ship and attempted to rip it in half. Luckily my companions and the crew leaped to the occasion, cleaving off one hand and seriously damaging the other before…

Before Mr. Shard turned himself into a creature of shadow, flew into the Kraken’s stomach, and dropped several flasks of extremely potent acid made by Ulfen. Within moments the entire contents of the poor kraken’s bowels poured out through a gaping, smoking hole in its upper intestines. My friends grabbed several odd objects from the falling debris, including what appeared to be another piece of the Arm of Power which Arithon had been collecting, and a sword which Shard claimed was enchanted to enforce the balance of the cosmos (whatever that means).

We sailed for another three weeks, frightening off the occasional orc war canoe and nudging icebergs aside with our ram. Finally, on our 30th day out, we saw a great structure looming ahead, near to the shoreline, but rising out of the water—a mountain, or an island, but perfectly square. On closer inspection, we could see that it bobs slightly in the water, quite similar to Malphas’s Pyramid in the Quivering Forest. The massive structure, floating like a great barge, towered some two-hundred feet over the surface of the water and was easily three hundred feet on a side—-like a massive stone cube, its surface smooth and unbroken, but worn rugged by years of exposure to the icy northern winds and the salt-spray of the sea…

I fell to my knees, as did my crew, knowing that we had found Xa’Ascolais, the great mother ship in which our kind had first come to this land. After paying my obeisance, I explained to the caretaken that this was a royal ship of the Stewards, a “mother ship” bearing one of our queens, and that clearly this must be Xa’Ascolais. I gave them a map of the expected layout and dispatched them to investigate.

Ulfen, or perhaps Raule, I believe it was, suggested that one of our kind should go aboard first, to see if the thousand-year-old ship extended the protections of home to us as did our current craft. Ga-Karran volunteered, and was able to dungeon step onto the main deck, clear sign that Xa’Asolais still belonged to the Hu-Charad. Sadly, he immediately succumbed to the Chi-Julud, losing his grip on his form and devolving into a debased mass of flesh.

Ulfen, Raule, Smash, and Shard teleported to the deck behind Ga-Karran and body-checked him into the sea where we were able to drag him back onto our ship before he could cause any damage. I believe they then went below, for I have not seen them in close to an hour. And I forgot to pack a bag lunch for them…how foolish of me…Shard will need his meds…


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