Here...We...Go

Bugga's Story 11

          Mister Sniffles: It is time.

/Bugga has just summoned her eidolon. It has been a chaotic afternoon: the eidolon was endlessly sickened by the effects of Pitticus’ legendary stink bombs, but otherwise the battle with Xanesha, the mysterious director of the dangers within Magnimar, has concluded. Mister Sniffles has only just been returned to activity before the party moves on to rescue the mayor from Justice Ironbriar. The eidolon addresses its goblin summoner in her native language./

          Bugga: Not now. Bugga busy! Bugga needs time.

          Mister Sniffles: That was not our agreement. You said that when your business was finished, you would join Us. We need you, Bugga. Please-

          Bugga: Not. Now. Bugga not goin’ until this all finished.

/Mister Sniffles shivers in form, rippling in anger at this affront./

          Mister Sniffles: We will not accept delays. We hold the Second Contract. We will wait only one day, and then you shall come to the bridge. Do not force Us to act.

          Bugga: Bugga knows. Shut up. You bein’ not nice. Bugga’s business isn’t finished so be quiet. We gotta save the mayor now!

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Aneira's Story 15

Sarenrae, shine your guiding light into me, and lead me in your path. Show me the ways of true selfless compassion and redemption, because I’m struggling with it right now. The darkness in Magnimar is sprawling, and it seems as there is no end to it. Bodies turn up, ranking governing officials partake in the cult. Even in the wake of defeating one of these evils, it seems to grip the ones I travel with.

How can I be compassionate and patient with him, when all he can think of is selfishness and pride? We are weary, and hurt, physically and emotionally scared, and yet he holds my missteps over me. Are his interests in finding the source of and destroying this evil, or do his motives include the magical trinkets and gold that are found along the way?

Bugga has become even more cryptic and guarded than usual, breaking the veil of youthful ignorance, with her shadow pet always near, sulking behind her.

I realized that, in the chaos of all of this, we accepted G’Vern as one of us, who came, seemingly out of no where, wielding great magical proficiency. This man has shown no intent to harm us nor can I detect any misdirection or devious intent, but the man is still a mystery to me.

The only pillar of strength to which we can rely seems to be the ever vigilant and silent Davros. And yet I worry. A man so guarded, we have no way of telling the toll all of this is taking on him too.

Show me the way to be closer to you. You are the Everlight and through you, we will shine. Through you, we will set the world aflame in your healing fire.

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Of Blackness, Madness, and Mayhem - Part 7
Inside of Vern's Head

I can’t believe you were seriously considering that! What the hell were you thinking!! I may be indestructible but jamming me into those gears to see what breaks first wouldn’t have been fun for anyone at all!! And doesn’t that kind of psychotic behavior kind of remind you of someone?!? HMM?!?

Oh come on, you’re in my head all the time, you hear everything, sometimes I just have to mess with you a bit… or maybe I was just curious. But you were in my head Spike, you KNOW I wouldn’t have done it!

Yeah well maybe next time, I just decide I want to run things and we put YOUR “sword” hahahaha, more like dagger, into the gigantic turning gears and see what breaks first!

We both know the answer to that one. Alright fine, I’ll try and keep my curiousity in check. But if you ever try to compare me to M… him… again, I will make your end as brilliant as you could imagine but make no mistake, it will be your end!

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Bugga's Story 10 - Part II

/The partial light of the morning reveals a chilly, quiet city trying to rouse itself. Residents on foot bustle by, hugging their cloaks and coats closely, but their determined pace makes it obvious that there is only so much victory achievable in battle against a merciless wind. Bugga finds herself shivering in her light robe and dogskin cape as she follows her eidolon toward the world-famous ruins of the Irespan, avoiding the growing morning light in the street and flitting between the shadows of the buildings./

/She also avoids the puddles crowding the lane, a move uncharacteristic for her. She is not outfitted for play in today’s chill: getting access to warmer clothing would have meant risking waking her companions. She instead suffers in (relative) silence as she scampers along the narrowing streets in pursuit of her shadowy benefactor./

/The journey doesn’t take much longer than an hour, and a quick deception and some sneaking bring the goblin and shadow creature past the stationed guards and onto the bridge itself. Mister Sniffles breaks the silence as the two approach the broken edge of what remains, its voice even more airy and insubstantial than normal in the wind./

          Mister Sniffles: Here. The energy is strongest here… and fortunately so, for there is no more bridge left to use. Take care near the edge.

          Bugga: Why is Bugga h-here?

          Mister Sniffles: We will be forthright: We need you to stay in this human city, and to return to this bridge, to this spot, when your friends want to leave. We do not know when they will leave, but We believe it will be soon. Their pursuits are not Ours, and We need your help.

          Bugga: With the king? And the monsterses?

          Mister Sniffles: Just so.

/The wind picks up again, and Bugga crouches slightly to escape its pull and chill. Doing so brings her closer to one of the cracks within the destroyed structure though, and for a moment, the summoner imagines seeing something looking back from the darkness. The goblin clutches her hands at her robe front in barely-restrained fear, backing up slightly./

          Bugga: Wh-why can’t Bugga bring the warband? They’re really strong! Bugga knows this, just like Mister Sniffles knows! Strong friendses!

          Mister Sniffles: They are not of the Shadow. They do not know of our ways or struggles, and several cannot even see within its embrace. The warpriest also would not approve, and they have other goals within the city and beyond. Trust Us, Bugga. We only need your help for a short time, and if everything works out, you shall return to help your friends again, stronger than ever. We will not distract you again after that.

… We…. actually did not anticipate how talented you are. We share a closer connection than We expected, and are pleased to have such a relationship. We think that you will be more helpful than originally thought, and that is only because of how hard you work at becoming strong. We have shifted plans to include you in a greater role.

… We are proud of you.

          Bugga:

          Mister Sniffles: What is it?

/Bugga touches the cord of leather wrapped bandolier-style around her torso, carefully running her fingers over the bound blades attached to the end./

          Bugga: … Soundin’ like Gorn. Soundin’ like… like things are gonna change. B-Bugga just started having humies like her, and it k-kinda nice. Bugga gonna get sad if humies go away…

          Mister Sniffles: … We will send some of Our servants to collect you, when the time comes. You must be quick then, as the humans are afraid of this structure, and any activation within it will alarm them.

It is the only such structure within a large distance to meet Our needs, though: its latent energy can be tapped to establish the rift. We must take the opportunity to bring you to Us while you are here, though We can wait until you have finished your tasks within the city; the situation has not yet advanced enough to require haste. There will be no time beyond this small window, though. Do you understand?

          Bugga: So… you’re sendin’ monsterseses? What about Bugga’s friends? Won’t they get mad?

          Mister Sniffles: If you fear a possible confrontation or are concerned that your friends may resist you leaving, We suggest that you simply sneak away when you receive the word. You are persuasive though, so We trust that you will be able to manage.

… However you accomplish it, come here, please. It will take much of the resources available to Us to achieve this connection, and the timing-

          Bugga: Bugga knows. Bugga will come. Bugga will help.

… Bugga’s cold!

/Mister Sniffles sounds amused, if such a thing is possible. It dissipates and coalesces further back on the bridge. The light in the sky is growing./

          Mister Sniffles: … Time for second breakfast. We said humans with food are easy to find, did We not?

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Bugga's Story 10 - Part I

/The adventuring band from Sandpoint is unpacking their hastily gathered gear in the upper floors of Aldern Foxglove’s Magnimar townhouse. Care is being taken to be silent, though Bugga is only just awake. No breakfast, a cold morning walk, and now her companions are preparing to bed down at a very early hour… The goblin summoner is being noisier than usual./

/Aneira is spreading out her sleeping gear once again, though seems to have more than the task on her mind. Bugga watches her intently, sitting nearby on an ottoman./

          Aneira: … So… uh, what was I saying? Right, Bugga… Stay out of trouble today. Things got…. well, things are difficult now. The situation is more complicated than you think-

          Bugga: That not nice! You not know what Bugga thinkin’! Also, you s’posed to tell Bugga about where you went! That not nice at all, to leave Bugga out just because Bugga went sleepies! Bugga likes having fun too, you know!

          Aneira: It wasn’t fun, Bugga. Believe me…

/The warpriest stops trying to distractedly fold her sash and wearily pinches the bridge of her nose, attempting to suppress the increasingly-intense headache she’d been fighting off for the last hour or so. An exhausted roll of her shoulders leads her to look up, and she spots her bloodied armor on a chair in the corner before her. The changeling’s expression becomes more serious, and she returns to her task./

          Aneira: … It’s going to be difficult to rest, even. You are lucky you were already asleep.

/Bugga seems to disagree with this assessment, starting up on her complaints again, and Aneira’s annoyance builds in spite of efforts to ignore the goblin. It peaks when Bugga starts to try to sing a new song she made up about ‘how bloody Warleader Pinchy’s claws can be’, and the warpriest drives the troublemaker from her presence with a snarl and a thrown pillow./

/A light knock at the door heralds Ge’vern’s presence even as Bugga runs out, and in spite of his own fatigue the elf is nimble enough to step over the short goblin (and avoid the projectile). He continues into the room to share a few words with Aneira before pursuing the summoner, who has picked up the pillow and now glares at the door. He kneels and gently puts a hand on her shoulder to look into her eyes, while she squirms and looks at the floor./

          Ge’vern: I’ve been told you’re disappointed in today’s turn. I am sorry, I know how much you like breakfast.

          Bugga: … Not fair. Not fair!

/Pitticus rounds the corner and heads for the washroom on the opposite wall, but when he spots the goblin he seems to be reminded of something. Turning fully, the professor takes on a rather mocking tone, taking advantage of Bugga’s obvious unhappiness./

          Pitticus: You missed out on the first field test of the stink bomb, goblin. You wouldn’t believe the stench; even worse than we’d believed… what a shame, after all of your interest! And tell me they weren’t the most ideal circumstances ever: a room filled with uh, humies, all standing around in a little knot and unaware of our presence. It’s like a dream come true for you! But then, you were having your little nap…

/Pitticus chuckles to himself as the goblin throws the pillow at him, dodging it and allowing it to strike the doorjamb behind his head. He is still laughing as he closes the bathroom door, and the summoner turns back to Ge’vern, thoroughly miserable now. The elf looks sympathetic./

          Ge’vern: I’m sorry, this just kind of twists the knife… but you’ll need to stay inside today. Inside, and quiet. It’s very important that nobody know where you, or Jane, or anything that reminds them of us is. I should think that if you are caught, bad things will be done to you… and then, to us. Please, again, don’t go doing anything foolish.

          Bugga: Y-yeah, Bugga know. This too much talkin’!

/Aneira is getting into her bedroll, obviously exhausted. Outside in the main room, Davros is rolling himself into his cloak on the couch, while Pitticus eventually emerges from the washroom and partakes of a soft (and dusty) chair. Ge’vern is already in another chair, his dull black rapier drawn from its loop and balanced across his knees, his breathing slow and even./

/Eventually, no sounds but deep breathing come from the upper floor, the sleeping adventurers finally granted the rest needed after their hectic evening. In the kitchen below, the goblin tries building her new song further, humming atonally and growing less interested in quiet as the minutes pass./

/It is only 6:30 in the morning, and snacking on an unsatisfying breakfast made up of her own rations has left the goblin peevish; she found nothing of value in her search through the pantry and never really cared for the tasteless, usually unpickled food of humans. The shadows grow long in the kitchen and a rasp fills the air, like wind slicing through tattered paper./

          Mister Sniffles: We think that today presents a unique opportunity for some teaching. This city groans with ancient secrets, and the pace of your friends has finally slowed to the point of an unsupervised exploration. We wonder about the state of the bridge… We wonder about showing you some things while they rest?

/The fat goblin makes a tipping motion with her hand, putting the rest of her cheese in her mouth with the other./

          Bugga: Bugga not in the mood. Warleader Pinchy say ‘no Bugga, Warleader Pinchy need sleepies! Warleader Pinchy not want take Bugga out to play last night or for breakfast today because Warleader Pinchy need sleepies! Warleader Pinchy have all the fun and Bugga dumb!’ Bugga not want do anythin’ but eat breakfast.

… Stupid breakfast. Not hot. No eggs! Stupid breakfast!!

          Mister Sniffles: Well, let us leave and take some food from humans outside. It is so very easy to find a stupid human stumbling along sleepily at this hour with something tasty in their mouth. They are always so vulnerable when they believe themselves protected by their cities. Come, let us leave.

/Bugga mumbles./

          Bugga: Bugga not allowed to leave this smelly house. Baddies outside. Bad humies. Bugga gonna get snatched if Bugga plays outside. Also, it cold outside. Not allowed. Warleader Pinchy say so.

/Mister Sniffles disperses and coalesces further back in the kitchen, by the door out to the back garden. A coughing laugh fills the air, sounding like the air stirring the ashes under a chimney./

          Mister Sniffles: Oh, what a shame. Seems your humies have everything figured out, then. Seems that your humies have decided how you should behave. Funny humies, to have tamed a goblin. They can sleep without worrying about her. Such nice humies! So smart!

          Bugga: … Bugga not tamed.

          Mister Sniffles: If you say so. We are going outside to enjoy the breeze.

/The shadow at the door reaches and fidgets at the handle, which twists. A gust of wind quickly seizes the door, and it springs open, making a loud slam against the wall of the house. Bugga grimaces, and looks upstairs. Nobody stirs, and she looks back to the door. Mister Sniffles cannot be seen, but its whisper is carried on the wind, right to the summoner./

          Mister Sniffles: The best thing about this time of the year… The sun is so weak.

Now… let us go have some fun.

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Bugga's Story 9

/It is a sunny fall morning in Magnimar, and upon a veranda at the Merchant’s Purse sits Aneira. The beautiful warpriest finds herself desperately trying to ignore Bugga, who climbed up onto the roof of the inn. The goblin grew bored and began begging Aneira to climb up and play with her, resorting to kicking pebbles down at the warpriest in frustration when rejected. Bugga now lies back on the edge of the building, swinging her feet in annoyance./

Bugga: Nobody’s fun, Mister Sniffles! What can Bugga do in this big dumb humie town if all of Bugga’s friends won’t play with her?!

/Mister Sniffles forms from nothingness, skittering in from corners and nooks to coalesce in the shade of a dormer behind the goblin. Its form is even more indistinct than it has been before, and yet it seems more… whole. Seems more defined./

Mister Sniffles: They are distractible since reaching this city, and are of no help to our tasks. The only one keeping to his purpose is the alchemist, maybe, though We doubt he would be willing to help anyways. Considers himself superior to you. Regardless, We fear that none of our tasks will be achievable in the short time afforded us. We will set the idea aside for now, though We can continue to teach you while We wait for the pieces to move into place. Always more to teach.

Bugga: Like the uh, contractions? The wordies where Bugga put her blood?

Mister Sniffles: Yes. … Tell Us, are your new abilities to your liking? The ability to be unseen? To walk out of sight?

/The chubby goblin nods vigorously./

Bugga: So funny to surprise the humies by suddenly showing up! Nobody sees Bugga coming anymore! And when Bugga was putting the pukie pills into the fat man’s food! HE! SPEWED! It was like the swamp bubbles! BLOOP!! Bugga loves that, too!

But… Bugga’s eyes hurt a bit. Sun-face is too bright! Why that do?

Mister Sniffles: An unfortunate side effect of becoming more like Us… though do you need to see the sun-face? It does you no favors which We can see.

We know this: by the light of the sun-face, the humans have power. They have no fear; they see all. You see in the darkness, and it is your safe place. Does the sun-face help you, or them?

Bugga: … Okay, Bugga understands. But Bugga has a special hat! Bugga can play without humies seeing her!

Mister Sniffles: … To a certain extent, yes. But, there is more power available to you… it requires something more from you as well, though.

If We could, We would show you the powers trapped within the foundations of this city. The darkness calls out from every crevice and crack, though it is not something your friends would want to help with, We think.

… Tell Us, Bugga: what would you think if you learned to travel to Our realm? What if We could teach you about the power available to you while showing you the world We live in?

Bugga: Bugga likes trips!

Mister Sniffles: What if the trip went to a scary place? Filled with monsters, and no humans, but a place where you could play with Us more or less in person?

You see, there is an old king here, and old king who is nearly dead, but We know of a young queen… a young queen who might be able to help Our kingdom…

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Bugga's Story 8

/Bugga has reported to Chief Sheriff Sergeant Hemlock, dragging a dripping bag in with her. Opening it reveals it stuffed with three human heads, in various states of decay. We join her story as she explains the end of the adventure within The Misgivings…/

… So Warleader Pinchy has a special friend! It’s the man who strangled his other lady friend with the scarf. Not a very nice man from Bugga’s perspective; too gobrin-y! Only gobrins be gobrins! BUT, the man had his other lady’s ghost there with him, and she didn’t like him being crazy about Warleader Pinchy. Why does Warleader Pinchy make the mens so crazy?? Bugga must learn this secret!

So the licky man got his neck cut by the ghosty lady, but he was okay? Then he attacked Warleader Pinchy. Bugga had a confusing shield on Warleader Pinchy though, so Warleader Pinchy didn’t die. But it sure was confusing!

Then the skinny pokey longears longshanks ran in and started eating the yucky on the wall! Ewww! Not even Bugga would eat that! He didn’t like it much, so he charged up his pokey and it exploded the bad licky man. KA-BOOM! Made the air taste funny. Onionized, said Dizzy Kaboom. Bugga doesn’t like onions.

Speaking of Dizzy Kaboom, all the dizzy drinks he was sipping must have made him have silly throws, because he pulls out a kaboom, winks at Bugga, and throws it at the licky man. It misses, of course. Bugga knows that dizzy drinks don’t mix with throwing. The wall burns, and the creepy faceman on the wall is more clear.

Mister Sniffles got scared, and Bugga had to send him home, and then so did Warchanter Snickersnack. He didn’t have a home like Mister Sniffles, so he just poked the bad man and got poked too… well, the bad man had a really sharp knife, and he did more sliceys than pokeys. Bugga can’t remember. Bugga’s knife, now!

The faceman came off the wall when Warleader Pinchy made some magic at it, and the faceman tried to run away, but went poof! Bugga had a head full of bags… wait, a bag full of heads. Worth lots of moneys, said the longears! Take the heads to Chief Sheriff Sergeant Hemlock! So Bugga did, but Bugga got tired on the way home. Mister Sniffles said he needed Bugga’s help and… oh, Bugga’s not supposed to talk about that…

Story all done! Where’s Bugga’s money??

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Of Blackness, Madness, and Mayhem - Part 6
Inside of Vern's Head

Ah man… just when you think you’ve found the head of the snake… turns out to be a red herring.

Ah well, as frustrated as I am that we couldn’t end the mastermind, at least their tyranny will no longer extend out to the people of Sandpoint.

Yeah for now… but you know they’ll try to plant another tentacle out here at some point. It’s scary how close they were to having a full blown lich out here! Based on the power I felt in that house can you imagine what would have happened if my master had achieved that? Thank goodness he didn’t get very far in his research.

Yes, doing my work for me before you ever met me, weren’t ya?

That was for no one but myself. I can’t believe how even though the ceremony failed, it was still enough to give Foxglove the ability to avoid death for so many years… though the kind of “life” he had was nothing I would wish on anyone…

Save, perhaps one?

No, no as much as he wouldn’t have flinched at inflicting that kind of pain on someone else I don’t think I could ever be that cruel.

Well you definitely didn’t take it easy on old Lord Hurtsawglove Man…. I could feel your rage against him as you pumped joule after joule of electricity into his body through me… and while I thought he was the head of the snake, oh how I relished it. With you holding me I feel we could free everyone from those who see themselves as above all others, especially those who would use magic to take from others and serve only themselves.

Woah now… don’t get too carried away there, your ego will threaten to break the scabbard you call home… and I thought you had just gotten used to it.

Well… I… have but…. well, don’t you think so?

I think we’re strong, but I’m not invincible. If a ghost can make me decide that the one thing I’m really missing in my life is a face full of fungus… well we’ve got a long way to go, and I’m not going to do anyone any good if I’m dead.

True… but that’s why I want you to stay with this group so badly. I think not only will they help keep you alive, you could use the meat shield-

Out Loud Now don’t you go turning me into one of the monsters you want to see destroyed!

I’m joking I’m joking… but you’ve spent so much time with just me that I wonder if you remember what it is like to actually have friends, particularly ones who seem to have fewer selfish desires than most… people are giving you looks, perhaps we should finish this back in the room.

Or on the road to Magnimar I guess… hopefully we find the head of this snake…

And here’s to me finding my way into their head :)

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Aneira's Story 14

These haunts, however terrifying, have given us a significant amount of insight into the events that have unfolded here over the years. By piecing the broken stories together, we’ve managed to unfold a story generations old, and it would seem it ends with Aldern Foxglove. We must steel our bodies and minds and press forward and end whats been happening here. With any luck, Sandpoint can have a reprieve from the recent strife and start to rebuild their lives.

Sarenrae, give us the strength and energy we need to forge ahead and cleanse this house of the haunting energies. Be with us as we face the unknown and finally bring peace to not only the spirits and energy in this area, but to Sandpoint as well.

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Of Blackness, Madness, and Mayhem - Part 5
Inside of Vern's Head

while moving to take Shaz’s head
Kill a bat
Find a rat
Shiny gold gold gold…

…, you’re a little messed up, you know that?

Oh come on, it’s 500 gold and I don’t know if you’ve peeked in my pocket recently but we aren’t exactly rich these days.

Rich, no, but we are getting by. Besides, I feel that if you stick with this group it could be much more rewarding than any bounty hunting you’ve done in the last year. Keep that in mind as you move forward.

Bah, every “friend” we’ve come across so far has cast us aside. It’ll happen with these ones too, mark my words. At some point they’ll turn on us and cast us out again… we’re not even IN with them yet! Have you seen where they’re staying as opposed to where we PAY to stay?

Best to leave that train of thought for another day though, dead fingers cannot wield me, and I rather enjoy our time together. And to be honest, I’m SOO looking to you introducing me to whatever tyrant is behind all of this.

True. Draws Rapier I as well. But for now, let’s see about collecting this reward…

Whup, look out… seems like you may get some trouble from the religious one…

Oh boy…

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