The Bowels of Civil
It’s good to be back?
So I ran the rounds of visits since I’m back in town. No one was at the house, no one was home at any of the houses. I just about gave up on finding people when I saw Git through a bar window. This was one of those moments where I knew only bad news waited for me on the other side of the door, but I still went in. Ranissa is the one that told me, and I’m glad that it was her. She’s always had a way of making bad news not sound as bad as it should, but this stung in a way that I didn’t think possible.
Kydin is dead.
After thinking he would be okay he relapsed on whatever it was Lelarn had done to him and he’s gone. I can’t help but think that this is my fault again, and it’s starting to get harder to believe that I’m not the cause of this, but I’m not. I will not feel guilty for the actions of others that will do anything to stop us. They’re the bad ones, not me. I’m fighting people allied with demons, how could I be in the wrong?
To make things better Taela left. She left a note about going back to her roots or something like that. I really think the whole crystal use thing started to get to her and she needed to be done with them. She left me the tree feather token I had given her on our first day with the guild. At the time I didn’t think anything of it, but it looks like it meant a lot to her. It means a lot to me now.
Welcome the interns
So interns might be a little insulting, but it’s getting to the point where “Sootler Mountain” maybe true because Nemin and I may eventually the only two from the original cadre. I got a letter from some temple asking if we’d take on this girl Meela because she was so interested in our adventures and my recent discoveries involving the crystals and ancient technology. We took her on board because we had just lost Taela and Sabriel, who just kind of vanished into thin air. After picking her up we received another letter asking for a meeting in a park involving the Syndicate, so of course we went ready for an ambush.
The man Kal met with was named Nick Trader and he is one creepy dude. He offered us work with the Syndicate, which Kal considered. I never thought I’d want to shoot him, but dammit I came close listening to that conversation. When Nick saw through Kal’s pseudo ploy the ambush was sprung. We dealt with that while Nick just kind of walked away. During the battle we attracted quite the crowd that cheered for us like we were gladiators fighting in a pit. It just felt wrong. I want people telling my stories as I hunt down the evil in mountains and ruins and generally saving people… This felt light people celebrating the murder of probably not innocent men, but still. At least we got rid of the name “The Cold Warriors.”
Then came the new girl, who quite quickly stated that she’s 18, which totally isn’t weird at all. She said her mother is Naobi and she’s been kept pseudo prisoner for the past lots of years. I kinda skipped out of the details, I just wanted to jump at that succubus’ throat. We went to her home in the middle of the day in an attempt to break in, because breaking into houses in the middle of the day is definitely how you do this kind of stuff. We were doing decently well until Kal decided to read the gate, which exploded. Who puts an exploding rune on a gate that anyone in the public can read?
Regardless, we got inside and made it to Naobi’s study. We found a letter and a book in her study. After rescuing Kal from the dungeon which was a secret stairwell away we teleported out with that weird potion we found what seems like forever ago. The letter was interesting, mentioned Naobi having an affair with Donny, which wasn’t too surprising given she’s a succubus.
The book is scary. It has lists and lists of names, all written in the handwriting of the person named. I’ve never seen this and my name is in it, in my handwriting. My family is all there, Kyden has his name crossed out. Everyone from the original group is in there as well. Varina wasn’t in it until she started to flip through it and her name appeared at the end of the list. Meela wanted to look it over, but after names appearing on paper cut I think it’s best I hold onto it.
Nightmare Nick’s House of Horrors
To try and get at Donny we’ve decided to pick off some of his lieutenants to see if we can get information on where to find him. That lawyer guy suggested it and he seems to be more in the know about the Syndicate than we are, so why not? The bastards killed my brother.
We’ve been given two options, The Blood Baron and Nightmare Nick. Just looking at the names makes me realize we’ve picked some really great enemies. Nick is known for being creepy as hell and people trafficking. He picks up odd races off the streets, raises them, then sends them off to the Blood Baron as mercenaries. It’s disgusting, really.
We’ve been tearing through his “shared living quarters” where he’s been keeping the children he steals. We’ve been fighting through these weird creatures that explode into light or a high pitched noise when they die and it’s getting really really annoying to have to deal with the deaf and blind. This place is moderately large and surprisingly well guarded for a place that no one dare enter. Secret locks for various doors, trapped chests that hold some nice loot, and that creature. A massive tentacle beast hid behind some doors with a body altering poison. Seeing Kal and Varina start to melt is a scary sight I don’t want to have to repeat.
I would’ve said terrifying if I didn’t see the definition of terrifying immediately after it. I didn’t think I was afraid of death, and technically I guess I’m not… I am horrified at the thought of death, at least at the hands of that… thing. I was hit and it appeared out of nowhere, slowly stalking towards me. I drank the potion I had on me and it vanished, saying I “wasn’t ready anymore.” I think it’s this damned book. I don’t want to make anyone else carry it and we can’t have Meela reading it, but I never want to see that thing again.
The Boogeyman Himself
We made our way upstairs where we found the library. The way to defeat Nightmare Nick was in there, but we took a detour down another hall before approaching. We found a room with walls covered in runes and crystals. We didn’t dare take more than one of the pale yellow crystals because we had no idea what the runes said. A short time after the walls rumbled. I would have expected that from the outskirts of the building, but we were in a pretty solid area.
When we finally entered the library we were greeted by a duergar who was all upset about us tearing through their operation. You have to love that kind of recognition. We convinced him that we had taken care of the intruders and had retrieved the Death Tracker, as he called it. A fitting name for its function, but definitely not creepy enough. We convinced him to fetch Nightmare Nick for us while we rummaged through the library to find the way to defeat him. Turns out he’s a demon, no surprises there. We managed to find a tome with the ritual needed to send him back to wherever he came from. Sadly we weren’t able to put him in the portal and had to take him out the old fashioned way. You know, with bullets that draw power from by life force. That’s the old fashioned way, right?
I checked the book after the bastard disintegrated, today’s date had been added to his name, but there was no line through it. How does someone come back to life so fast?
We climbed up the last set of stairs because Meela needed to know what happened to Maddie, whoever the hell that is. We took out some guards in the land of foyers. A foyer leading to three rooms, a foyer off of one of those rooms, a foyer OFF OF THE FOYER. Whoever designs these damn buildings needs to learn something about not putting three doors between me and people that traffic children. It doesn’t end well for the doors. Or the building as a whole for that matter, but I think that only happens when angels get involved.
There was an angel on the roof. She ended up melting the building into the ground to purge it of the evil. A very noble cause or something. I didn’t really care, I was too busy trying to get over the pile of children bodies on the floor below and the reaper that’s following me around. Worst part is I can only say that we delayed the child trafficking ring.
Aren’t Parties Supposed to be Fun?
To continue our quest to destroy all that is horrible in Civil we went to a party. Well, it was the Blood Baron’s party and he’s one of the things we’re out to destroy, so it all works out. I bought a fancy suit, got to go with a pretty lady, all in all the start wasn’t exactly what I would call horrible. It was really the rest of the night that I could call horrible in terms of a party. The Blood Baron has one of the brain wash machines and he used it on everyone at the event, but none of the group was drinking so we managed to avoid its effects. We took the opportunity to duck into the basement to see what he was hiding there and found a familiar halfling. The chase was entirely on.
Go downstairs and find this complex crane system supporting a bunch of rooms that we needed to use to make a bridge to the central room. I think my biggest worry is why such a large section of Civil is built over literally nothing. There was a gigantic pit that went down as far as the eye could see and there are buildings on top of that. Who does that!? Probably the same guy that built 4 foyers in a row…
We managed to build the bridge with only a couple of minor issues. One of the rooms almost plummeted into that darkness that I mentioned. We found a really shiny golden crystal that Zidane and Elekka didn’t know about, so we’re taking that to Avant to see it’s deal is. And the other minor thing is some gargoyle type creature kinda stole my soul a bit. I think I’ll leave it at that. That seems like the best way to handle that occurring.
It also allows me to move onto Niobi and Lelaren. The succubus turned the snotty little halfling into some sort of demon. We took him down once Olivia decided to show up, but it just wasn’t satisfying. We didn’t take down Lelaren, we took down some bastardized version of him. I just couldn’t end him when I saw him sniveling on the floor after the transformation went away. I should have. It would have given Kyden some peace, right? Or maybe not doing it will. I can’t really say, but now we have some soulless halfling wandering around with us as a constant reminder that I didn’t pull the trigger. I’m not quite sure who I’m more disgusted by, him or me.