Wasteland Campaign

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 the kind of person that finds you. Much as I expected, we’d have to appeal to his love of good stories.

This is the best story that I can think of, 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 standard 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 for 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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Silotown in its Prime

Timeline: 25 AQB, Day 1-2

Ketyl’s POV

Before we had time to really catch our breath, we were confronted with the booming voice of another dragon, demanding that we release his slaves. Naturally, we refused. Hell, we already came this far. With a roar, a huge scarlet-colored dragon burst over the dunes with a smaller one in tow.

Dan managed to imprison the large one like before while we took care of the smaller one, presumably still a child in comparison. My voice rang out, encircling us with a protective wave of energy that shielded us from the flames of the dragon’s breath. Well, all except Lyc. The flame managed to pierce my spell and incinerate her, knocking her out. We managed to get her moving again, but there were soot marks all over her clothes and the ground around her. After the smaller one went down due to our teamwork, we prepared to take on the huge one.

Cheera and Korbin dropped in from above using their jetpacks, scoring valiant blows on the creature. I whispered the dying cries of its children to give them another chance to take him out. But before we could strike the final blow, the fiend dove onto Ethel, tearing her with its mighty claws before snapping her in twain with its strong jaws. We saw her the pieces of her body disappear, though her lifeblood remained spilled on the sand.

We slew the creature, but it was too late. Despite knowing that Ethel would likely return, it is still sobering to see a friend be torn asunder like that. I can only imagine Cheera’s feelings on the subject.

But there was no time to rest as another huge dragon trudged onto the overlooking dune! But lo, a burst of lightning surged through its body, cooking the creature from inside out. With his hand still crackling, a lone man in a cowboy hat stood triumphant on the ridge. Dale, the SIlotown Savior we wanted to meet, had arrived. We quickly caught him up on the status of the survivors as he produced some strange device from his pocket, claiming that it was about to open. A portal opened in front of us, and we managed to get all the survivors and even the dragon corpses through the portal to SIlotown.

As we came through the portal, we were confronted by an entirely new vision of Silotown much like the one we would see 25 years from now, but not quite as advanced…and also a lot more bustling! It seems that, at this point, Silotown was still a thriving metropolis. As we gathered together, we decided to split up with the dragon corpses, trying to sell them or get them fashioned into armor or whatever. Ethel appeared in a burst of moonlight and promptly announced that she was off to the tavern, and I grimaced to think of what she’d drink to get over her very recent dismemberment.

The others managed to slip my notice, leaving me with two of the corpses. So I decided to get what I could for them. I managed to convince the smith to create some dragon-scale armor for my trusty steed, Chamomile, and even to upgrade my own studded leather in exchange for the rest of the materials. I even managed to get some gold and an overnight job, since I expected our team would be easily distracted and want to leave immediately.

By the time I returned, there was some hubbub at our temporary lodgings for the evening. Apparently, Cheera had finally revealed her romantic feelings for Lyc, though I still doubt whether Lyc truly understands the cultural meaning of the word, “girlfriend.” Regardless, I’m happy for them, as it means I can finally regale them with all of the love songs I can manage. Korbin was saying something about taking Orlaaz’ inventions back to Orlaaz? I guess that could make it a grandfather time loop. I haven’t even used that megaphone yet anyway. Probably should, though.

We went to our rooms to rest for the night. Being in a city again made me feel uncomfortable. So much had happened in so little time. Within a month’s time (by my own timeline), I had gone from amusing a tavern with some bawdy songs to fighting dragons and travelling through time. I talked to mechanical men, went to a different dimension, got killed by vampires, went to the moon briefly. I shook my head and laid down, preparing for our meeting with Dale in the morning. We had business to discuss.

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Dragging the Dragons

Timeline: 25 AQB, Day 1

Ketyl’s POV

As we exited the time machine, we were immediately greeted by the sounds of battle. I’m starting to sense a pattern.

As we crested the hill, we saw a tower built into a mountain where two eldery dwarves were being swarmed by kobolds. As we mopped up the creatures, we spoke with the dwarves. They informed us that they were still rebelling against the red dragons and had contact with the Silotown Saviors, specifically the one known as Dale. He had sent a letter saying that he would protect them from the dragons, but hadn’t shown up yet. They were planning to flee soon, but we convinced them otherwise after I intimidated a captured kobold into revealing that this was the dragons’ plan. Korbin forbid me from getting any more info, as he’d grown oddly attached to the creature who would surely try to kill him, given the chance.

Since we needed a Savior’s help to find Ziggy, we had no choice but to help these dwarves survive until we could meet up with Dale and get his help.

During the night, more kobolds came, flanked by two large red dragons. Korbin had created a small rock wall to keep the kobolds away from the doors. I animated some coins to slowly bludgeon one of the dragons to death while Dan and Cheera disabled another one temporarily.

Kronk and Korbin managed to wipe out all the kobolds by themselves as the dwarves hid in Dan’s sanctum inside the tower. As we took down the last dragon, we knew that more would soon be on the way.

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Mucking Around with Morlocks

Timeline: 34 AQB, Day 6 back to 25 AQB

Ketyl’s POV

As Korbin disappeared to the moon, I had to sigh. With this, my plan suddenly fell apart. One of the few times I needed his vehicle prowess, he disappears.

Cheera quietly mentioned that she could pilot the car as well, but never mentioned it before so as not to step on Korbin’s pride. The hoarse, husky voice protesting let me know that Ethel had returned from the moon. Lyc had also returned, blue as ever thanks to the chaotic side-effects of her magic.

As we hid from the Drow, they met up with the Not-Beholder, who called itself Ocular Superiority 5, to discuss some sort of transaction for the drillcar. The plan had to go into action now before anything else could go wrong. I grabbed Cheera and told her to hang on as I teleported us into the drillcar.

As expected, the vehicle was swarming with Morlocks. I accelerated the growth of the plants around the drillcar to slow down any further intruders. As I saw Cheera get swarmed by the creatures, the job fell to me to get the car moving.

As I pointed out the different buttons to Cheera, I struggled to close the doors as I kept getting pulled at and scratched by the foul little bastards. I even fell asleep at some point, but Cheera woke me up. I felt the machinery rock around me as the creatures’ bodies were smashed against the wall from Cheera’s powerful shockwave.

Finally, I managed to get us underground and surfaced on the ridge. As I opened the door, the rest of the party opened fire on the Cyclops that had managed to squeeze itself in there. I also noticed that the not-Beholder had managed to follow us before being frozen in place, presumably by that Blue Sign in front of him.

We blasted away towards the castle and left the drillcar in El Chuch’s care. Godspeed, you magnificent little weirdo. As we met up with Orin, he surmised that we had gotten through the “El Chuch loop,” and asked us where we wanted to go next.

We originally considered going after Morael’s phylactery, but Dan’s research into the ritual described in the books obtained from the library revealed that Morael had managed to seal it into an undead ancient blue dragon that had faced off against Princess Rihann many years ago. We decided that fighting it was a little above our paygrade right now, so we decided to seek out Ziggy Stardust for more information and perhaps prevent his disappearance.

So we piled into the machine and set off for 25 AQB. To think that I would get to meet the most famous bard in living memory! If I’m lucky, he might even agree to a jam session!

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Getting Gabby with Giths

Timeline: 34 AQB, Days 7 back to 5

Ketyl’s POV

When I woke up, the dimensional space that Dan made had morphed to a much more luxurious room. I woke up in a finely crafted hammock in a room of deep forest green walls. Gold leaf lined the molding around the room and the door. Strange that he had such good taste and yet still chose to have that beaded curtain in his room.

The others woke up and came out of their rooms, we all had breakfast and began to head on our way down the path set before us. Soon, we entered a cave and began to hear voices. As we crept up to see what was going on, we saw many humanoid creatures trying to dig out the time machine. They looked just like that mottled yellow-skinned guy that tried to burn down the inn and kidnap Lyanna back when we were just starting out.

Now to form a distraction so we could sneak over to the… goddammit Korbin, we don’t have to introduce ourselves to EVERYONE. This guy is going to be the death of me. Two of the creatures, which I learned were called Githyanki, appeared in front of us in the same way Dan teleported to and fro. They got annoyed when I was dodgy about why we needed to get past and our relationship with the time machine. One of them got frustrated and began to attack.

As all of them began to surround us, I animated the rocks to distract the Gith around me. Cheera was getting smacked around pretty badly, but she managed to stay upright while taking a few down by herself. Korbin and Dan pulled off their Black Tentacles/Grapple combo to keep most of them out of our hair. A couple of large red pack lizards went after Dan and Lyanna, but Korbin smashed one against the wall… honestly I got a little distracted and didn’t see who killed the other one.

As we mopped up and looted their bodies, Orin appeared in the doorway of the time machine and pointed out the Guardian of the Gate. He waved his hand, revealing that the dullard was a Death Slaad! He waved his hand again and the filthy toad’s head exploded in a mist of viscera. Orin told us that we should be more careful of who we bring along to get to the time machine.

As we piled in, he told us that it’s likely that the reason he was knocked off course was because there were two time machines operating in the same time period. I informed him that the Elder was now aware of our time travel and Orin believed that the rakshasa may be involved. He told us that we had to go back and send El Chuch with the minecar to the Guardians of Lore’s castle to save our lives in the past.

As we walked out onto a ridge overlooking a valley, we saw a horde of Morlocks surrounding a bunch of Cyclopes that were near the drill-car. Cheera informed us that the creature floating above them was some kind of failed beholder. Dan and I came up with a plan to teleport Korbin and I into the drill-car so we could bring it back to the others and rocket away from the fight. Before we could do anything though, we saw a bunch of Drow coming up behind us.

What would happen now? Should Korbin and I wait until this potential conflict with the Drow was resolved? Or should we just go for it? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you what happened in the next chapter!

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Cheera’s companion-fiction 1
Lyc and Cheera

Cheera’s diary fiction 1: Me and Lyc

It was a warm night, the party was laying down for the night and watches were being decided on. Cheera, still having all of her spells from that day, decided to take a watch early on. The fire was put out, everyone took to their bed rolls and the night was still. Cheera was vigilant, walking the perimeter, watching the horizon for any approaching hordes or wandering traveler. Or anything strange really, and for Cheera, that’s a lot of things. Growing up in a rural village with Auntie and her parents didn’t lend for much excitement, except for the few times they got adventures walking through their quiet town and, usually, causing a ruckus.

But it’s because of these adventurers that Cheera realized she was missing out on so much in this world. She looks at her party companions; Dan the magic man, their leader, Korbin, her right hand fighting friend, Ketyl, the strange bard, Auntie Ethel, Princess Lianna, Kronk, and…

“Lyc, you should be sleeping,” said Cheera as she spotted the ginger girl setting on her bed roll.

“I can’t sleep,” came Lyc’s reply. Cheera sat down next to her, planting the shield in the ground and resheathing The Enchantress.

“Is it the nightmares again?”

“No. Maybe. I think I can feel beth friend calling to me from the past were we left him. I hope he’s happy with that boy we left him with,” Lyc said as she looked out past the starry sky.

“I bet beth friend is protecting his new family, just like he protected you while you guys were living in the woods,” Cheera looks at Lyc’s face, studying it, “Was it hard? Living in the woods for all those years? Away from people?”

Lyc looks down, then at Cheera’s knee, then back to the front of her where she draws spirals into the sand, “No it was fine. Sure, it was a little touch and go there for my sanity, but beth friend was always there for me when I needed him. Sort of. But this is nice, you guys are my friends now!”

Cheera smiles, “I’m glad you think of us as your friends, I honestly thought we were going to be just like the adventurers I knew back home. On some level we are, but were on a holy quest and we stop evil and were time traveling now?! It’s all so amazing,” Cheera leans towards Lyc’s spiral drawings and begins drawing crude stick figures of everyone lined up.

“This is going to sound weird, but did you look like this when you were by yourself?” Cheera asked.

“I mean, I looked like alot of things while I was trying to hide from the owlbears and the werewolves and the people that would stumble through the woods and-”

“No I mean, uh, did you ever, like, look like…yourself?”

Lyc looked up at Cheera’s apologetic face and cocks her head to the side, “I always look like me?”

“You do! You are you and I like how you look now! I mean-I like whatever shape you take, it’s an awesome power to have! I mean…do you have a you that’s what you look like before you could change into other things?” Cheera’s face was heating up at this point, this conversation was starting to turn in a direction she didn’t mean to take it. She felt she should change the subject now before her foot could end up further in her mouth.

“Oh! You mean this?” Said Lyc just as Cheera turned to ask a question but faltered, for now sitting next to her wasn’t the wild gingered haired girl of the woods but I milky white humanoid with pale hair and translucent eyes. Cheera, not meaning to, watched as her hand touched the strands of hair in awe as her eyes grew wide in revenant. She had never seen anyone so…so…

“Pretty…”Cheera whispered to herself, but just as the words left her she stopped and looked up at the heated face of Lyc and she also flushed and turned away just as Lyc turned back into her ginger haired self.

“Oh! I-um…I’m sorry That was weird right? I mean, not you! You look super cool!I meant me, I was weird? I’m sorry, I’ll um…I’ll go back to keeping watch somewhere else…If you want…me to go…”Cheera stammered out, her embarrassment palpable. She went to stand but she felt a hand on her shoulder stop her. The hand pulled away and it was Lyc’s turn to be at a loss for words.

“No! I mean…you don’t have to go, I’m not mad or anything. It was just,” Lyc looks back at her spirals in the sand, hiding half of her heated face, “I’ve never been called…pretty before…” Lyc looked up at Cheera and, not looking her in the eyes, said, “But it’s fine if you…call me pretty. I think you look really cool too.”

Cheera scratched her head as she sat back down with Lyc and, while still looking at her knees, asked, “Um…what about pretty? Do you…do you think I look…like that?”

They both sat in a quiet tension, both flushed and not looking at each other. The silence seemed to stretch for hours.

“I think you look cute,” answered Lyc finally.

“C-cute?! Me?” Cheera stammered as she turned to look at Lyc as Lyc turned to look at her too.

“Yeah,” Lyc said, quietly, almost a whisper, but Cheera heard her, “You look cute when you stab things with your sword.”

“Thanks,” Cheera smiled and then looked back out at the horizon. Lyc went back to her spiral drawings, but soon let out a loud yawn. Cheera chuckled quietly, “Go ahead and lie down, get some sleep, you need to be energized for the rest of the journey tomorrow.”

Lyc blearly nodded her head as Cheera tucked her into her sleeping roll. Just as Lyc was finally dozing off, she heard footsteps coming toward her. She opened one eye to watch as Cheera placed her sleeping roll next to hers and sit on it.

“Just incase you get anymore nightmares, I’ll be here for you,” Cheera whispered as she took her watch again, looking out into the night. Lyc didn’t give an acknowledgement, she simply went back to sleep.

When Dan woke from his meditation to relieve Cheera, she scooted her bed roll closer to Lyc and, without touching the sleeping girl, fell asleep.

When the rest of the party woke up the next morning, they were greeted with the sight of Lyc cuddled protectively in Cheera’s arms.

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Trials of Limbo

Timeline: 34 AQB, Day 6

Ketyl’s POV

As we stepped through the doorway, we saw a thin sheet of water covering stone floor as far as the eye could see. The Guardian told us that the clue was “Look inside.”

We tested the sheer scale of this room. I walked as far as I could without losing sight of my comrades, but no change in the scenery. Dan sat down and began to meditate. Korbin began to bottle the water from the ground once he learned that it seemed to heal his wounds. Dan’s little rat began to gesticulate wildly and pointed to something in the air. I used my jetpack to get up there, expecting a concealed pathway, but landed safely on the ground.

Finally, Dan opened his eyes and told us to go to sleep. Like, look inside our eyelids? I guess changing perspectives through sleep could work. So I laid down in the water and tried to sleep. When I opened my eyes, the water was gone and the asteroids and lit pathway had returned.

As we were about to open the door, the door disappeared to reveal a group of Slaads that ambushed us. Suddenly, a grey Slaad flew into the air and shot a fireball at us. Dan trapped most of them in Black Tentacles, while Korbin and Dan kept them from escaping. The rest of us concentrated on taking out the grey one. We spread out to avoid another fireball. I animated my ball bearings and pummeled the creature alongside Kronk’s summoned cat creatures and Dan.

We mopped them up and stepped through the door to find whirling pathways even more confusing than before. They seemed to go on endlessly and we explored for a little while. I saw that there were grooves on the tile, but assumed that they were a stylistic decision. Finally, I got frustrated and tried prying up the tile. Lyc skipped up to me from the other connecting pathway and I told her to try to pry one up. She flung that thing so far into the sky, I can only assume that she had one that was already loose.

Beneath the tile was a space that seemed to extend past what was possible into a meadow. We gathered the others and told them what we had found. Off in the void, Korbin was drifting away with his feet firmly planted on a tile. We managed to get his attention and we all hopped down the hole. As we landed on the meadow, the hole where we had come from closed seamlessly into the sky.

It seemed we had passed all the trials, but where were we now? Still in Limbo? On another plane? Where is the time machine? And what would we do now?

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Limbo Rock

Timeline: 34 AQB, Day 5-6

Ketyl’s POV

As we were resting in the room that Dan created, we began discussing the events that had just transpired. But soon, the spell would expire and we would be crushed by all the rubble.

Suddenly, a large drill-mounted vehicle burrowed up through the ground and the most bizarre little gnome popped out. With teeth filed to razor points and an unkempt beard, the creature was wearing naught but an obnoxiously high-collared coat and a star-spangled hat and thong. He told us that Dan, a different timeline Dan, had just met with him and told him to come rescue us. Fortuitous.

Presumably, we must have somehow escaped another way, perhaps with casualties. But with this, Dan had circumvented that. Perhaps paradoxes were harder to trigger than I feared. We didn’t have long to worry if this “El Chuch” was trustworthy as the room began to groan under the weight.

All he seemed interested in was coming along for the ride. I suppose that’s the least we could do in return. Apparently, he was able to direct us to our next location, we had to go back to the time machine because the time machine couldn’t be used by two versions of us at the same time without causing problems, which seems fair. Morael’s phylactery isn’t going anywhere.

Over night, the vehicle carried us to a cliff where a swirling vortex of energy awaited us. As Korbin and Dan rocketed through the portal, we began to hear a commotion. The rest of us managed our way, through rope bridge or jetpack, to get through the portal to the other side. What I saw was nothing short of astonishing. Korbin and Dan were fighting some kind of large frog humanoid creatures that I remembered as Slaads. That could only mean that we were in Limbo. I had thought we had merely teleported across the wastes, but to another dimension entirely?

The land was erratic and twisted, it seemed to not follow the laws of physics at all. Bits and large chunks of rock would float through the air as easily as a cloud on the wind. After defeating the creatures, we saw a man in the distance at what seemed to be a gate. Hopping from floating landmass to the next, we arrived with little difficulty. He introduced himself as the Guardian of the Gate and warned us that there would be three trials. The first one would “challenge our perspective” and no magic or technology would help us move through the area.

We passed through a door to see a gap in the pathway before us. On the other side lay yet another door with a stairway leading from below. But the gap was blocked by a vertical sheet of crackling energy. I threw a rock at it to test if it was an illusion, but the rock sizzled and rocketed back towards the ground in front of me. No go on that front. As we puzzled on how to get past, Dan walked off the edge of the cliff and seemed to go around the other side, eventually walking up the stairs on the other side. “Change your perspective,” huh? The rest of us followed and my stomach lurched as the ground suddenly flipped me to the correct orientation.

We came upon another Guardian, though he seemed a bit more dim. He let us through the gate, and asked if he could come with us. Eh, what the hell. Couldn’t be worse than the rakshasa. As we passed through the doorway, we saw what seemed to be a spiraling horizontal pathway. As we walked, the gravity shifted so that our feet were planted even when we would be upside down. As much as the concept of “upside down” means in a chaotic place like this.

Soon, we came upon another group of Slaads waiting in ambush. Dullards as they were, it wasn’t difficult to spot them. El Chuch created an illusion of a giant Slaad that began roaring and urinating all over the place. Crude, but effective as the Slaads began to run and cower. Except for one, who shot a fireball at the illusionary Slaad and croaked out what I assume were orders to attack to the others. As the battle raged, we managed to destroy all but the spellcaster, who we had knocked over a cliff and had all but incapacitated.

In front of us lay another gate, and two more trials would await us.

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Well, That Could Have Gone Better

Timeline: Same Day

Ketyl’s POV

The fight was going pretty well on my end, but then Kronk disappeared in a burst of moonlight. Uh oh. Despite my best efforts, I was beaten to a pulp and all went dark.

I woke in the middle of the restricted section with Lyanna kneeling over me. Enna was right next to me, with her hand on my collar. I don’t know how, but I guess she must have rescued me somehow. Inside my hand were two mysterious stones. I guess I must have grabbed them before I went unconscious.

I looked around and saw dozens of those creatures and apparently we were also enemies of that wizard guy now? It’s been like two minutes, what the hell happened? Apparently, he was betraying us and trying to find out how we travelled through time. We couldn’t remember where the compass was, so he was getting rather frustrated.

I guess this was bound to happen eventually. Once Dan created his rope trick, I scrambled up the rope. I would have attacked the guy, but he seemed to be immune to magic. I dispelled the domination effect on Cheera and she went to help Korbin restrain the guy so that he’d die in the explosion.

I did my best to keep them alive, but those two are just determined to fight to the death. The castle was shuddering around us, it could collapse at any second. Also Lyc turned blue for some reason.

The rakshasa told us he would see us soon and teleported away. The castle began to collapse, but Korbin and Cheera managed to make it into the extradimensional space without dying.

I honestly didn’t think that was going to work out.

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Oh, THAT’S Why We’re Fighting

Timeline: 34 AQB, Same Day

Ketyl’s POV

As we continued blowing up the control room and killing the guards (sorry, Fireballs aren’t exactly non-lethal), the lights went dim and the sounds of clanging spread through the air vents. As we mopped up the morons in our room, a portal opened up in front of me and we stepped through to help finish the ones harassing the rest of our party. Dan quickly hit some buttons on a console to lock all the doors in the facility to prevent any more Guardians from swarming our destination.

The old man, who apparently actually WAS a mage, told us that these devices were limiters to the Arcane Engine’s power. By damaging them so thoroughly, we had very little time to get the right book before the complex would explode from the latent arcane energy. Yeah, that sounds about right for our group.

As most of our party began to prepare to teleport to the library, a plan began to form in my mind. That treasure room I came across last night couldn’t be guarded by more than one platoon at worst. If I played my cards right, I could get a few artifacts before the whole place blew to hell! Intrigued by my plan, Kronk offered to join me in the heist. Got to love this guy.

The mage, surprisingly, offered to send us over there as a distraction while they got the book. Pretty helpful of the old guy. As we stepped through another portal and rounded the corner, we saw that a group of Guardians were busy fighting off those creatures Cheera described to us. I grabbed Kronk and used my own magic to jump through a dimensional rift into the vault. Using wizard and warlock magic is easy, you just have to say the right words. But my magic is harder to explain. How can you explain to someone that you just feel music inside of you and then things happen?

Unfortunately, there was a group of them protecting the treasures in the vault, which seemed to be in many alphabetized and locked boxes lining the walls. I quickly spun a lie about how we’d run in here thinking we could be safe from the creatures and maybe even the explosion. They seemed to buy it, but weren’t willing to leave the vault to go help their comrades. Guess they weren’t going to make it easy for me. Hey, I tried to do this the easy way. I looked to Kronk and nodded towards the guards, and he summoned more of his bears. Got to love someone who’s willing to jump headfirst into my plans for once. You and me, Kronk, we’re going to be best buds.

Hopefully, the others were having a little easier of a go than we were. After all, they had more than just the two of us. Surely, they could handle themselves, right?

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