Wasteland Campaign

I Will Go Down With This Ship
And I Won’t Put My Hands Up

Timeline: 10/08/00-10/09/00

Ketyl’s POV

As I was wiping the blood from my mouth, I saw Korbin disappear only to be replaced with Dan.

We managed to restrain the one surviving assassin and interrogate him. He wouldn’t tell us anything until we promised to take him to some point in the future so he would be safe. Like we’re actually going to do that.

Anyway, we didn’t learn too much about Moldark, only that he has a regenerative ability stronger than other vampires, but the holy salt water should take care of that. His team, though, is nothing we can’t handle.

However, the distribution of Slurnbase seems to have stopped completely. Go us! Although that might bode ill for Korbin’s obsessions with those drug tubes.

Apparently, there seems to be bad blood between Count Flynn and Counts Mattis and Pence. We can use that.

Ethel seemed oddly fixated on Lord Flynn, who sent the mercs after us. She seemed to believe he’d have documents that even Priebus, head of Moldark’s staff, wouldn’t have. Seems like a big assumption, but fine. If it all goes tits up, I’m sure Lord Priebus will have the dagger on him anyway.

So we sent the assassin on his way, promising to meet up with him at the fortress near the woods. We found out that Flynn was on a ship a quarter mile offshore, so we rested until early morning to approach by a rowboat we acquired.

As we approached, we were obviously noticed. I was going to say that we were sent by Priebus as backup since one of the assassins wasn’t found, so he must have blabbed…but then Dan and Ethel started trying to sell them those nasty Sard-apples. We didn’t even have a barrel, how would we have Sard-apples?

So naturally, we had to kill them all. After a few blasts of ice, fire, arrows, and sunbeams, Dan managed to grab as many documents as he could and we sunk the ship by setting it completely ablaze. As we drifted away on a stolen lifeboat, Dan sent off a beacon of Count Pence’s symbol. Seems like a pretty obvious frame-job, but maybe it’ll work.

I think the next plan of action should be sneaking into Priebus’ place and retrieving the dagger that Korbin gave away. With all the commotion and accusation against Pence, he might be too busy to guard his belongings. And maybe, I can find something for myself while I’m there.

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Meeting the Emperor

Timeline: 10/05/00 PRESENT DAY- 10/08/00 PRESENT DAY

Ketyl’s POV

As we came out of the woods, only Korbin, myself, Kronk, Lyanna, and Ethel were around. The rest seemed to have disappeared to the moon. Feels like I’m the only one who doesn’t get a funky moon adventure.

Not that I had a long time to worry about it, as horns were blown and we were immediately escorted by guards to the little fortress. Apparently, we still had some distance to cover before reaching Sanctuary. We learned that the barbarian problem had mostly burnt out with the lack of Slurnbase. I guess we actually did a better job than I thought? However, they were replaced by never-ending waves of demons. We might have to take care of that somehow before we leave this time period.

We spent the next few days traveling toward Sanctuary and came across a group of travelers. I recognized the voices and tried to warn the party to stay back, but Korbin went over and greeted the members of our party. Or rather, the past version of us. Luckily, they seemed to be too busy to pay too much attention to the weirdly similar guy that talked to them.

But…we didn’t show up here last time until the 13th… a minor paradox? We might be on a tighter time clock than anticipated. And what about those demons? We didn’t come across them last time.

I decided that we needed to disguise ourselves and managed to adequately disguise most of us, though it’s hard to make a Minotaur look too different with the supplies I had. At least compared to making a human look like an elf or a dwarf. I had to settle with simply changing the color of his fur and adding a few scars.

Ethel intercepted a note and interrogated the messenger in a weirdly flirty manner. But we got a lot of info. Apparently, Moldark had showed up as powerful as last time, but with Louis’ head on a pike! And tons of wizards verified it was real for Shao Khan. Did we actually manage to kill him? As a result, Shao Khan was leaning towards naming Moldark as his heir. We decided to try the front door this time since the ceremony was a few days away still. So at least that hadn’t changed.

We managed to get in easily enough, and met with Count Priebus. He was hesitant about letting us meet with Shao Khan ahead of everyone else, when suddenly Korbin gave him the dagger that we needed to kill the Elder! I was livid that Korbin would do such a thing, but I struggled to contain myself. I’d simply have to retrieve it later. Priebus mysteriously let us through after holding the dagger. That’s ominous. Hopefully, that won’t bite us in the ass later. But it probably will.

We headed up the stairs and briefly bumped in Count Sessions and Ethel flipped out and got herself thrown in jail despite our protests. Sigh, it’s like herding cats with this party. Guess it’s a good thing Dan is usually the leader.

We finally got to meet Shao Khan and it was pretty impressive with dozens of guards lining the halls. I tried to keep the info given to just what happened at the meeting and what we learned there (in order to minimize the chance of paradoxes, obviously), but Korbin once again revealed that we’re time travelers. I guess that makes it easier to explain, but it’s going to screw us later, I know it. With all the testimony we gave, Shao Khan said there would be a trial for Moldark at midnight tomorrow. If he was found innocent, Moldark would be named heir to the throne and Shao Khan would step down willingly, even giving up his vampirism.

We decided to go to Count Priebus’ wine tasting. Well, except for Kronk, who fucked off somewhere. I had to retrieve that dagger since Korbin seems so nonchalant about preventing the end of the world. But, as I asked around, he didn’t seem to be here at all. Just as I started to get suspicious, we were immediately surrounded and shanked by some waiters. I didn’t have much time to think about these assassins our enemies had obviously sent before I went unconscious momentarily. Luckily, Korbin mopped them up. I’d be more grateful if we weren’t at this party because of his recklessness.

Political intrigue is hard, you guys.

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Facing Our Demons

Timeline: 0 AQB forward to 10/05/00 AQB

Ketyl’s POV

As we teleported into Silotown, we were quickly approached by Kreg, Dale, Grimsbone, and Gullycloak. We explained the situation to them and they were unsurprisingly suspicious of our story. I pointed out that time travel is hardly that different in scale from killing a god.

They agreed to help us with our plan. We even managed to get word to Gullycloak about the location of Morael’s phylactery. Perhaps he would be able to help us get inside the castle or even more. We spent a week getting all the supplies we needed, including the holy salt and the fire-hose dispenser. Certainly one of us could operate it.

Our plan set, we headed off to find Orin and explained our plan. He asked if we wanted to go to the time where he got the throne or where we unseated him. I pointed out that he was telling us too much information again.

As we stepped out of the time machine, we were confronted by demons that had apparently taken over the forests of the Northern Kingdom. They were menacing some of Shao Khan’s troops, but we took care of them. The demons seemed to know where we were going to show up. Do we have a mole? Why didn’t Shao Khan’s army of devils take care of the demons? They should still be around at this point in time.

We needed to move quickly and quietly for this plan to go off without a hitch.

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Rendesvous-ie with Louis

Timeline: 25 AQB back to several months before 0 AQB, Days 1-7

Ketyl’s POV

We travelled to meet Orin and went back in time. We arrived near the Northern Kingdom, and headed towards a lit town. They let us in once they recognized Korbin.

We had a week until the meeting, so we decided to sell off some of the treasure we had accrued and I even got a chance to play for an audience again. It’s honestly just not as fun playing for the same people who just roll their eyes every time you pick up your instrument.

After each doing our own thing for a few days, we met up and learned that Korbin had bought a ton of explosives as a plan to ambush Moldark before the meeting even began. While initially annoyed that Korbin hadn’t seemed to understand the concept of a recon mission, we decided to tweak his plan slightly. Knowing that the Lich relied on True Sight to see through illusion, we hid the explosives under a small layer of gold coins in several standard chests.

If anybody asked what was in the chests, we could honestly respond with gold, thus not triggering Louis’ astounding ability of insight into lies.

As we were led deep into the Underdark, we saw seemingly bottomless chasms of darkness while being pulled in some form of carriage by giant spiders.

Once we arrived, Lyc revealed herself to not be Ziggy and we told Louis that Ziggy had asked us to come in his place to see what the deal was. I got a good look at our enemies for the first time: Morael, the lich, was a skeleton covered in the finest of robes and accessories; Moldark, the vampire, surprisingly lithe compared to the horrendous slob I had seen in Shao Khan’s throne room; and Louis Arizona, the fallen angel, who truly put to shame all description of an angel’s beauty.

And above all of us, a truly colossal worm (practically the size of a town from the looks of it) suspended by several chains as Drow bled it to be used for Slurnbase and some other drug.

Louis wasn’t happy that we crashed his party, but went on with his spiel, revealing that pretty much everything that went wrong with the future started here. This worm was in fact a restrained demon lord that Louis had been draining for a long time and using it to fuel the barbarians fighting the Northern Empire and his own drug trade. And he had now found a way to make the drug even more powerful and planned to use it on the highest bidder as an attempt to gain allies and to kill Shao Khan. Further, this demon worm was also the source of all the zombie worms that Morael had collected. But we also learned that anybody who consumed this “Super-Slurn” and the worms were weak to consecrated salt.

During this talk, Korbin set up the gold explosives strategically around the room. Kronk volunteered to be the one to take the super-drug so that Moldark couldn’t have it and Louis agreed under the condition that Kronk sign a magical contract forcing him to kill Shao Khan.

We discussed the contract for a few minutes before returning to Louis with plans to worry about the “killing Shao Khan” part later. But Louis had already started hooking up Moldark to the machine, complaining that we took too long to decide.

So, Plan B (and really what I wanted in the first place), we managed to take the villains by complete surprise, exploding the cave around us and teleporting out simultaneously. Just before we disappeared, I saw Moldark transform to a cloud of mist, meaning my plan had worked.

As we appeared in Silotown, I was fairly certain that we had not killed the demon lord, Louis and certainly not Morael. But hopefully we had at least delayed their plans for a little while. If the explosion triggered a cave collapse, it would take a while to dig out that demon worm.

So my teleportation to Silotown had two major purposes: one, have an actual guaranteed place to escape an exploding cave; and two, we’d need allies who already have a vested interest in getting rid of Morael’s influence and preventing Moldark’s ascension to the throne. Plus we’d need a hell of a lot of consecrated salt water and who better to go to than the Church of Ashava?

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There’s a Starman stuck inside an Orb

Timeline: 25 AQB, Day 5

Ketyl’s POV

Unfortunately, as soon as I began explaining the situation to Boss Ash, he boomed that he actually was allies with the Elder. Whelp.

During the heated battle, I teleported to the next floor past the closed iron doors to see if I could free Ziggy, who was surely trapped somewhere. I saw a glittery form writhing in an orb surrounded by fire.

I spun a quick lie to some fire giants that were guarding him, but they saw through it and tried to push me out the door. I turned invisible and walked past them to the orb, where I saw a small slot. I aimed a crossbow bolt and shot so true that the bolt hit my target.

Unfortunately, it didn’t unlock the orb, but it richocheted and opened the door for my friends. As I saw them rush up, the guards immediately gave up, knowing that their boss was no more.

Korbin produced some strange key-like dagger… a keyblade, if you will. He took the dagger and freed Ziggy, with the unfortunate side-effect of being trapped instead. We intimidated one of the guards into taking Korbin’s place, while the other one fled.

We took the opportunity to talk to Ziggy and learned about the Elder’s one weakness, the keyblade that Korbin held. But it had a catch, it would slowly drive the user insane as it took on the traits of the outsiders that it killed.

We also learned several key details about Louis Arizona, that he was a powerful angel who fell from grace after consorting with the drow spider goddess, Lolth. We also learned that Moldark was undefeatable while he had his phylactery, and that he had a powerful magic item that allowed him to cast multiple spells at once!

We also learned about Morael’s lair was a horrific maze that phased in and out of existence on an 8-hour timer, filled to bursting with treasure, undead guardians, and lesser dracoliches.

Knowing all this, we planned to use Lyc’s changeling powers to impersonate Ziggy and keep it a recon-only mission. Discretion would be the better part of valor here. But would we pull it off without Louis or Morael suspecting? Or would we have to fight our way out as usual?

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Lava Looms

Timeline: 25 AQB, Day 4-5

Ketyl’s POV

We decided that Ziggy needed to be consulted if he had any info on defeating the Elder. We could go back in time to the meeting afterwards. And the phylactery certainly wasn’t going anywhere.

So we took a rest and went to Doomwake Cinders’ territory near a volcano. As we arrived, we were greeted by all manner of humanoid creatures who seemed to be living in indentured servitude. A young pig farmer claimed that a new boss had taken over the Doomwake Cinders, a fire giant known as Boss Ash. He also explained that life was a lot easier as a slave under Boss Ash than it had been under Boss Coal, the boss who had been around in our time.

So we continued on toward the mountain. On the way, I summoned the genie and laid out my contract, confident that even he couldn’t find a loophole to exploit. He chuckled and granted my wish, which sounded ominous. But I got my wish! The Ollamh Harp was more beautiful than any story could have described it. The craftsmanship was astonishing, even with the power of a wish.

I decided to wait to attune to it until I could get Dan to identify it. Have to make sure it isn’t somehow cursed.

I caught up with the rest of my party at the base of the volcano where they were talking to a fire giant and some salamanders. The giant was being dodgy about whether he knew of Ziggy, so I volunteered Korbin for a rock-throwing contest with the prize being info. Korbin won, of course, exploding a pig with the power of super steroid drugs.

The giant didn’t reveal much more, only briefly saying that Boss Ash had cloistered himself away and had banished all bards. But why? Does he hate the sound of music? That could be useful info. The giant brought us in for a tour. He babbled for a while about how great their smithing was, until I asked to meet with Boss Ash, bluffing that I had a message for him.

But, of course, Korbin had to ruin a perfectly good talk by opening his mouth and blowing my cover. Why, man? Who does that benefit? So now we have to fight through the entire volcano. I managed to charm these ones into dropping their best treasures and fleeing as far as possible. The others took care of the hellhounds while Kronk and I tried to get to the controls for the lift to the next floor. After some debate, we managed to get the gnomes to help us. Kronk smashed the lever so they couldn’t turn it off. Smart.

I flew past the second floor to get to the third floor. Maybe if I got to them before Korbin did, I could still resolve this peacefully. As fun as it would be to loot this place, it’s unwise to do so when everyone is on alert.

I managed to trick the giants that I was a representative of Orin’s from Silotown who had a message for Boss Ash himself. One that could only be told to him personally. Parts of the story are lies, but enough is true that it’s easily verifiable. I’m able to convince them to put away their weapons while Boss Ash comes to hear the message.

The rest of my party, sans Korbin, showed up and went along with my story. I passed them off as bodyguards, claiming that it would be bad if I got captured before delivering a message. Lyanna quietly warned me that it would become a brawl if Korbin showed up. Hopefully, he had stayed behind in a considerate attempt to give me time to smooth things over. Likely, he just wanted to fight a bunch of giants.

I nearly blew it for a moment when I ask if they want to hear a song, and the giants nearly shit themselves in anger. I managed to fix the problem by making unfunny fart sounds with my armpit. Can’t believe I nearly ruined my own attempt at diplomacy. How stupid of me.

A truly enormous giant with two large, untarnished shields flanked by regular fire giants began to come down the lift from an upper floor. Boss Ash had arrived. As soon as he got to me, my plan would begin in earnest.

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So Many Questions!

Timeline: 25 AQB, Day 3-4

Ketyl’s POV

An apparition arose from the dead body. He told us that he was not, in fact, Ziggy, but another man who claimed to be his right hand man. He called himself the Jacketless Man. He had actually sent us the letter, intending to meet us as Ziggy before revealing the truth if we were trustworthy. The letter was not a trap, but it must have been intercepted by these mercenaries.

Ziggy had disappeared shortly after an argument with a man known as Johnny Langua while in Rennin. Apparently, Ziggy had been obsessed with a specific book that he had borrowed from the Guardians and had intended to go fight Morael.

Perhaps this was an earlier iteration of the book we possessed now? If this Johnny Langua had obtained the book and returned it to the Guardians, that would still match up with our current timeline. We offered the Jacketless Man a chance to return to life, but he declined, preferring to move on. Once we collected the belongings of the fallen, we went to rest before heading to Rennin on the lightning train.

As I stepped off the train, my first thought was that not much had changed in 25 years. The smell was the same, some buildings had shifted but otherwise the same. The only thing that seemed odd was the rats. They’d always been rather friendly, following you around in groups, but they seemed unusually…organized. Studying their exposed brains and behavior, I quickly put together that they were a hive mind that became more intelligent in close proximity to each other. This explained why there were so many rats in one place compared to when I lived here. I put together that these must be spies for Johnny Langua, especially once a nearby bard told us not to mess with the rats. So I performed a song to let Johnny know we were here to meet with him. I’ll be the first to admit it wasn’t very good since I didn’t have much time to prepare. Regardless, it got us an opening act for Johnny’s concert that night.

Dan insisted on a rider as part of our performance. I’d never done a rider before because I wasn’t particularly well-known before I went to the north. My performances had always been covers for my criminal activities anyway, so it had never really occurred to me. So I simply asked for 30 inflatable fish in the green room. I didn’t really want that, but I didn’t have time to think of it. I was too busy coming up with a song for that night.

As the lights fell, we took to the stage. My nerves filled me with a restless energy, as I’d never performed on this stage and never for this many people. The potential for a good performance is more daunting than any dragon or slaad, I can tell you that. As I strummed out the melody, the crowd grew quiet. I began to sing, as explosions of light came from behind me. I couldn’t see what my party was doing, but the audience was loving it. As I finished my song, I felt my heart soar. The audience loved us. This would surely be one of my greatest performances.

We went to the green room afterwards to meet with Johnny Langua. Apparently he was a djinni, along with his fellow band members, who were genies of different planes. He claimed that he was very interested in meeting us and that he had a vested interest in eliminating Moldark and Morael, though he was very dodgy about the book or Ziggy’s whereabouts. Using a truth-ensuring spell, we traded information on our enemies’ weaknesses and whereabouts, including that Lyanna was doomed by prophecy to meet her end at the hands of a Rakshasa, the Elder. With this, there could be no doubt that we had caused the Elder to be able to travel through time somehow. Sounds like he is the puppeteer that is controlling Moldark and Morael from the shadows.

Further, we learned the location of Morael’s phylactery to the exact location. We also learned that Louis Arizona, the same drow we had stolen a drill-car from, had something to do with Moldark’s sudden burst in power. Going back in time to stop it from ever happening could cause a paradox, but perhaps we could convince Louis to reveal how to reverse the process.

Not sure if we could trust Johnny at his word, we asked him what his weakness was. He claimed that it was a whiskey flask that could trap him, hidden somewhere in Rennin. Interested, I looked around the room and my eyes felt drawn to a specific bottle. As I touched it, the frog-like marid cursed as he was sucked into it. Johnny laughed and said that the marid was now obligated to grant me one wish, though the marid would likely “be a cock about it.” I’d have to be very careful in how I word my wish to prevent any unintended consequences.

We retired to our rooms. In the morning, I learned that the efreet, Fiery Watts, had come to inform us of Ziggy’s whereabouts. His spies had supposedly placed Ziggy at the volcano in Doomwake Cinders’ territory. Fiery Watts mentioned that Johnny Langua would not be happy that he revealed this information, but Johnny had claimed under the zone of truth that his band-mates could not be trusted.

So what would we do now? Would we go find Ziggy even though we had our information? Would we go find Louis Arizona to learn how to weaken Moldark and then go take out Moldark? Or would we foolishly try to take on an ancient undead blue dragon? And what would I do with the power of a genie’s wish?

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Ziggy’s Not There?

Timeline: 25 AQB, Day 3

Ketyl’s POV

I woke up in the morning to learn that Korbin had commissioned some “Dan’s Time Dudes” patches. How the hell am I supposed to put that in a song? Not many things rhyme with “dudes” that would make sense. Moods? ‘Tudes? Nudes? Broods? How am I supposed to work with that?

Anyway, we set off to Lumbertown via the lightning train car. I’d heard of such a system even in our time, but it wasn’t nearly so expansive. We parked and waited until noon with no sign of Ziggy. As I was heading to town to search for him, I got a message from Dan that they’d found him on a hill. Cheera and I raced back over on Chamomile’s back to see Ziggy fall over dead with large claw marks on his chest. His body shifted to some bland nobody.

As soon as his body hit the ground, we were surrounded by some grotesque, insectoid creatures that I recognized as Yugoloths. After some quick back and forth between Korbin and their leader, I learned that someone had paid them to ambush and kill us. Somebody sent us that letter in Ziggy’s style in order to draw us into a trap. It had to be the Elder who set these mercenaries upon us. A Rakshasa would certainly have access to extraplanar creatures like these.

The battle began in earnest as I struggled to keep Chamomile flying. I tried to fight them off by polymorphing Cheera into a tyrannosaurus rex. Unfortunately, my poor steed eventually fell to their blows and she disappeared in a twinkle of light as I floated softly to the ground. One of them kept chasing me down as I fired off fireballs at some of the smaller minions until I managed to lead it back to Korbin. I figured his beefy physique could serve as a good shield while I recovered my composure.

By the time I led it back to Korbin, the others seemed to have wiped out the other side of the battlefield. I had taken quite a few blows, but I’d managed to distract them often enough that the wounds weren’t too deep.

As I glanced over where Chamomile had fallen, I felt a pang in my heart. Sure, she was just a spirit who could be summoned back at any time. But there’s something distressing about seeing a pegasus’ noble form being struck down, especially as I’d grown rather fond of her over the past few days.

Now to find out if this corpse really had been Ziggy. I seriously doubt it, he was an incredibly powerful bard, unlikely to be taken down without a fight. Although it would make for an interesting tale of a man: blessed with talent, but chose to take on another physical form to more suit his particular art form and aesthetic.

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Letter to Lyc #1

Hey Lyc!

I missed you while we were at Limber town, it was super cool! We had to go there to see Ziggy, you know, the best bard in existence who can tell us more information about Moldark? Anyway, he asked to see us in Lumber Town!

You and Auntie were summoned to the moon before we headed out so I didn’t get to say good-bye, but I hope you’re having fun up there!

Anyway, in Lumber Town, which is, by the way, COVERED in beautiful red woods, we meet some lumberjacks who tell us all about the town. They mostly care about cutting wood and being really great at that, which me and Korbin could definitely do, but I prefer a farm with animals to cutting trees for a living.

I made you a cool crown of leaves, I can’t wait for you to wear it so you and I can match!

After Ketyl and I searched around the town, we got a call from Dan on the Stone if Far Speech to meet them up on top of the hill just outside of town. And wouldn’t you know it, we got ambushed!

Ketyl turned me into a T-Rex which was SUPER AWESOME! You would have be proud. Auntie might have liked it, it’s hard to tell sometimes if she likes the cool things I do.

Anyway, it was a hard fight but we emerged victorious in the end (I even ate someone!) and there was a treasure chest too! I can’t wait for you come back so we can go visit Limber Town together, or maybe we can walk around the beautiful forest of redwoods? Whatever we decided to do, I’ll be happy just being by your side.

I think you’re the coolest,
Cheera

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Contacting Ziggy

Timeline: 25 AQB, Day 2

Ketyl’s POV

In the morning, I went to pick up my purchases. Then, I went to the brunch with Dale. I explained the situation to him and we learned that Ziggy is not someone you can just arrange a meeting with. He’s the kind of person that finds you if you pique his interest. Much as I expected, we’d have to appeal to his love of good stories.

Time travel, romance, a weird guy in a speedo, what’s not to love? So I went off to spread the word to the bards at Chez Kipp. They were a little skeptical at first, but I managed to convince them of the veracity of my words. Afterwards, I went to go pick up Ethel, knowing that she likely would drink herself stupid.

Then I went to go see Orlaaz. I tried to explain that these were his inventions from the future, but he seemed only interested in improving the inventions. Whatever, I guess.

I returned to the pub to receive a message from one of the deputies. Apparently, our efforts had made the rounds far faster than I had expected. Ziggy had sent us a note in his signature golden script that we were to meet him in Lumbertown by noon tomorrow. Ethel and I drank into the night and things get a little fuzzy at that point. I remember the guys getting back at some point and I gave Dan the notes?

I woke up in the morning with less of a hangover than I expected. Why do I keep doing this to myself? I managed to get some extra money to buy an endless money pouch. Not exactly what I needed, but it will do. I met up with the rest of the Time Splitters in the morning (that’s the official name, I don’t care what anybody says.)

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