September 29 2009

  • Brendan
  • Erevan
  • Valandra
  • Morcadiss
  • Sir Geoff the Pantsless
  • N
  • Gwynn

Dear Diary:

I answered four questions today. One, religion is not for me. Two, bugbears need to shower more often. Three, being a dwarf is fun. And four, even Gwynn realizes that Brigga is a Bad Person.

While I was relaxing in the Brigga Hotel, Stumpy learned that Haman confiscated Gorse’s caravans to support his assault on the Watchtower. In protest, Gorse refused to enter Stonefast. This raises my assessment of Gorse’s intelligence considerably. I also heard that Gwynn administered the spore concoction to Travia, and that Travia had a very expected but violent reaction to them. This freaked Boltoc out. But the dwarven healer who was wise enough to anticipate Travia’s reaction accused Gwynn of poisoning her in front of Brigga. This prompted Briga to order Stumpy to thrown Gwynn in prison. When Stumpy loyally refused, Brigga threw him in prison too. Now three of us were in separate cells – damp pits with iron grates for ceilings. We had a short reunion, but Gwynn continued to refuse to talk to me about Ehlonna and religion. I guess this is how Very Important People tell the Unwashed that they’re Unworthy. Stumpy was exercising in his cell. Nothing is more spiriting that the sounds of sweaty dwarven calisthenics! One, Two, Urgrosh, Four. Smash the goblins through the floor! Five, Eight, Seven, Six. Slash the goblins through the neck! Nine, Ten, Thirty-two. Run the goblin through and through! Seventeen and Forty-nine. Split the goblin through the spine! Inspiring.

Shortly after Stumpy’s afternoon workout, goblin voices flooded the jail – they tell us that we’ll be released when the goblin army razes Stonefast. Unbeknownst to us, dad hatched a brilliant plan to procure some ale from a nearby pub to distract the guards. First step in the plan apparently called for dad to go to the pub, get drunk and, um, spend some QT with the shriveled dwarven bar-matron, who he later discovered is the mom of one of our jailers. I turned to Gwynn to lead us in inspirational prayer, but she ignored me again.

After dad returned with the keg, he distracted the guards long enough for Sneaky to slip into the large chamber containing our cells. Robe guy zapped himself inside too, and the two of them tried to find where we were locked up. About this time, the one guard realized what dad had done to his mom at the pub, and he bopped dad in the face with his shield, bloodying dad’s nose.

There were two other guards with crossbows inside the prison chamber, and one of them drew a bead on Robe guy, pegging him from across the room. Sneaky tried unsuccessfully to find the release mechanism for our cell doors. Outside the oaken prison door, dad smoothly forgave the guard for bashing him, and the two started drinking again, and singing a duet, but then dad slipped inside to help us. Then everyone sprang to action. Gwynn fired an awesome blast up at the guard above her cell while dad patched up Robe guy’s wounds. Sneaky gutted one of the guards, while Robe guy blasted him but good.

The guards didn’t go down without a fight. The crossbow guards dinged dad and Robe guy. In response, I slid one blasted guard on top of Stumpy’s cell. Stumpy climbed up his cell walls like a bearded barrel-spider and wrassled the guard to the ground above him, grabbing the guard’s warhammer through the grating. Gwynn blasted the guard near her again, and Sneaky drove her dagger deep between the ribs of the guard menacing her. Then Robe guy finished that guard off with a firey blast. Meanwhile, one of the guards freed all us prisoners, but promised the others captives their freedom if they help kill us.

About this time, the last drunk dwarf guard came in from the hallway, and bashed dad on the ground with his shield. Dad retaliated and smacked the drunken dwarf hard, while trying to convince the other prisoners to ally with us against their jailers. Stumpy and his prey fell back into his cell, and Stumpy unloaded a mountain of pain on the jailer.

The hobgoblin and bugbear prisoners decided that I was personally the cause for all the woes in their lives and decided to express their displeasure to me violently. Fortunately, the damp prison must have stiffened their joints, and I was able to avoid their blows. Sneaky unleashed yet another massive strike on a jailer while Robe guy charred him. I slid one of the bugbears into an open prison pit just as Gwynn decided to climb out of her cell.

Sneaky fatally slashed the last drunk dwarf just as one of the putrid bugbears grabbed me around the neck and started squeezing. A word of advice to bugbears everywhere: a manicure and breath mint would go a long way. Robe guy struck down all the hobgoblins with his arcane flurry, and dad pleaded with the bugbears to join our forces. Sneaky flung a dagger at the bugbear holding me on a short leash. In response, he whipped me around so the knife caught me in the thigh, then squeezed all but the last drop of life out of me with his crushing grasp. Stumpy rave-dived into the pit with the other bugbear, going dwarf-a-bunga. Then, finally, Gwynn noticed me and healed me after I wriggled out of the bugbear’s grasp. I was really grateful, but I think I was just an annoying distraction for her, and she blamed me for having broken one of her nails.

Sneaky stabbed the bugbear on me, but then tricked it into moving right next to me again. Robe guy set both of the bugbears on fire, and after I blast the one on me, we end their halitosis-spewing existence forever.

After the battle, we discovered the prison lead down to the dwarven paupers’ tombs. Just as Sneaky liberated some gold from the guardhouse, Robe guy realized that one of his orbs is missing. Something about a cracked orb of necrotic power. Naturally everyone looks at me. Great. Now I see that I’ll be the scapegoat for anything that goes amiss. Before we fled the scene of the jail break, we decided to find Boltoc and help restore the power balance back to him. In order to do this, I dressed up like a dwarf and we all went back to dad’s pub and learned that although the working class dwarves support Boltoc, the middle class support Haman and Brigga. Somehow, dad managed to drop trou. I would have followed suit, but I was afraid that would ruin my disguise, as well as embarrass the male dwarven community in general.

After I got the dwarven rabble to shut up and sit down, they decided that since I’m the most eloquent dwarf they’ve ever heard, I should run for alder-dwarf of their parish. At the end of the evening, we learned that Brigga holds the armory, and so our plans seem clear: we must talk with Boltoc secretly, contact his supporters, perhaps secret him and Travia away to a safe place, then mobilze the forces loyal to Boltoc to wrest control of the Armory from Brigga.

We also realize that Brigga has Robe guy’s broken toy which apparently turns her into a one-woman leader of an army of undead dwarves. Why does that make Gwynn so nervous?

September 29 2009

a study of mortality rates in imaginary populations WesTaylor