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OOC: Our shifter guy quit on us without giving any explanation, but we have replaced him with another girl. I’m no longer the token girl, but at least I’m still the token newb. I’m 50% short on tokens now. Oh well. She is a shifter and a tank-type, so our DM was like, “Ok, so you know that shifter you were adventuring with last time? Turns out it was a girl all along!” Our cleric, Frank quipped, “Darn shifters, can’t tell what gender they are until they go to the bathroom!” Our gnoll was absent (his band had an unexpected gig), and since it wouldn’t be out of character for the gnoll to wander off and leave us, that’s what he did. He’ll be back next week with a bag of mangoes. We left our brave adventurers at camp, resting before heading East to find a cave of black-scaled kobolds that we were going to massacre, desecrate their bodies to collect their paws (to trade with the red kobolds) and their heads (to add to Frank’s disturbing collection – “Hi! I’m Daisy!”).
As we headed East, we battled a couple more of the same mage-bred worgs we had seen earlier. Then a giant stick came out of the canopy and almost hit Frank in the head. We spotted monkey-like creatures in the trees above, but couldn’t tell exactly where they were or how many. Our shifter, Name, saw one and shot it in the shoulder.
Then Frank decided he wanted to try diplomacy. “Friends!!” (Everyone is Frank’s friend, except for the undead, but I’ll get to that later.) “Friends, we are just passing through this area to get to a cave of black kobolds that we must kill.” Turns out, the monkeys say it’s their cave and are okay with letting us through as long as we promise to kill the black kobolds and then promptly leave. Frank waxes poetic. The monkey tells him he talks too much. (Observant monkey.)
We move on, kill some more black kobolds. I chop off the paws (nobody else seems motivated to do it, and that’s why we’re here in the first place!!). Frank chops off the heads. “I have utmost respect for the living,” he says, “but the dead are tools for us to use.” (I’m not sure which deity approves of this attitude…)
We find a clearing at the end of which is the entrance to a black cave. Two skeletons are guarding the door, but I notice that they are that, just skeletons. Someone has propped bones by the door to look like skeletons. Nobody else has noticed this, so I walk over to Frank, tap him on the… well, he’s a half-giant, I guess I can’t reach his shoulder… arm?… I tap Frank and say, “Um, they’re just skeletons. They’re not alive.” Frank walks over to our tank and in the 20 foot walk forgets what I have said.
“Something about skeletons,” he tells Name. “Get me some red berries.”
She reaches into the nearest bush and pulls out a handful (talk about skills!) and Frank smears them all over the head of Daisy, the black kobold shish-kabob he has for a staff. Some worgs appear and we kill them and then a single black kobold appears at the door. “Diplomacy!” cries Frank. I swear to all that is unholy, if he hadn’t saved me from death, I would slit his throat while he slept. His usefulness is thus far only slightly outweighing my annoyance at him. He holds out the head of Daisy and somehow manages to convince the kobold that it’s one of the hated red clan. “But why did you kill our worgs?” the kobold asks. “Why did they attack us?” Frank retorts. The black kobold retreats into the cave to get his elder to come talk with us.
This is when Frank has a moment of genius. “Let’s drag the bodies into the woods, clean up the area, and when he comes back, they’ll think he’s crazy.” I am skeptical of this plan, but everyone whirs around me, dragging worg bodies into the woods, sweeping up the ground, covering all signs of us having been there. Then they run back into the woods at the edge of the clearing. Hakim grabs me and drags me there too. His dreadlocks slap against my face and smell nasty. I’m still in the middle of a WTF moment. Frank casts Fog and they sit and giggle. We wait.
Out of the cave comes our friend, plus three other kobolds, one of which has a big important-looking staff. They look around at the clearing. No dead worgs. “But there was a drow and a half-giant!” the kobold whines. “They were here and they killed the worgs and knocked down the skeleton!” Of course, a drow and a half-giant would normally never be seen together. Long ago, the giants enslaved my people and it is programmed in us from a young age to hate giants, even half-giants. As I mentioned earlier, I’m only with him because I owe him for saving my life. Once I feel the debt is paid, all bets are off on whether I’ll defend him when he goes on another diplomacy spree.
Our little kobold friend gets laughed at by his peers and has obviously annoyed his elder, who turns around and goes back into the cave. After ten minutes of berating the poor guy, his peers tell him to fix the skeleton and they leave as well. Crying, he starts reassembling the skeleton. Hakim pops out from the shadows with a rock, throws it, hits the other skeleton and hides. Our kobold friend seems to be doubting his own sanity. Finally, after much pondering about whether or not to use him for our own purposes or put him out of his misery, we choose the latter. He goes down without a fight (and who wouldn’t after such a humiliating encounter?).
We enter the cave and find more worgs and our first undead creature. Frank is angered by the undead. It’s not dead, and it’s not alive. It has now been established that Frank has respect for the living, no respect for the dead, and seething wrath for the undead. Our piercing and slashing weapons aren’t doing much to injure this creature. Frank is stomping around in circles screaming about how much he hates this abomination of a creature. I really wish he’d do something, but no, he’s ranting and raving and frothing at the mouth while the rest of us are doing the real work. Finally his rage gets the best of him and he puts the undead in a headlock and starts punching it in the face with his bare hands.
Once that room was cleared, we found a trapdoor, but it was late and Frank needed to rest up so he could pray for more spells (which will hopefully be used for more useful things than just putting a fog around us after we play practical jokes on unsuspecting kobolds).
I feel stronger now. These past few days in the jungle have made me more aware of my surroundings and able to react to them quicker. I feel a little more at ease when it comes to things attacking me. Not that they do often; I prefer to stay out of harm’s way whenever possible. Let the idiots take the hits. Tomorrow, we get to go down the trapdoor and see what awaits us! Hopefully when we wake up in the morning, Eko will be back with some mangoes. He’s a dumb dog, but at least he’s useful for something.