Azazel learns a valuable lesson…

…in not blurting out ‘hilarious’ courses of action too often.

Deciding against settling down in Kasen and opening up cap’n walgreen’s lobstah shack, we met with our mentors (well, some of us did; my mentor was apparently on a very extended walkabout) and learned a little bit about the seven pointed stars we had to burn into our flesh when we teleported into the local cellar. Something to do with runelords and some ancient pacts and such.
I’m sure we’ll discover more later, for now we were mostly filled with visions of dollar signs and anxious to find somewhere that we could buy and sell gear. So we took a quick day trip to lay the corpse of Mordus’ evil cult high priestess mom to rest, and returned the amulets to their original and very dead owners. No guarantee that *that* isn’t going to bite us in the ass later. Hopefully we’ll be too busy and too far away to deal with any razmiran cult fallout.
For now, we set out in the direction of a dwarven trading village, while keeping a keen eye or two out for a missing friend of our magic users’ mentor. After a solid chunk of time on the road, we came across a bear stuck in a trap, and our fighter just couldn’t stand to see it like that. I suggested we could kill it (a mercy thing?) but Avro insisted on running in and attempting to pull the trap’s chain out of a nearby tree. So he started getting swiped by the bear at about the same time as we heard dogs baying nearby. Azazel jumped in and also started to get mauled while failing to free the bear. Eventually I (Rock, resident monk and combat maneuver expert) grappled the bear. Just in time for the party to get attacked by a one-fingered ogre and a pack of five hunting dogs.
Mordus dropped the ogre into a pit of acid, Azazel and Avro helped him out with the dogs, and I grappled, pinned, and tied the bear before disabling the trap and freeing it. In happy news l, we managed to spot a sweet belt on the ogre before it was destroyed in the acid bath, and Mordus levitated it out of the soup. +2 belt of giant strength for the monk!
We tracked the ogre to a very disturbing farm, and this is where Azazel started to get into trouble. In the barn he investigated a still, which drew the attentions of some three ogres. We then found a deep dark hole covered in thick webs, and he leapt straight in. He managed to land on his feet, but not to avoid getting bitten by an enormous spider and poisoned (strength down!). We defeated the spider and moved on to the farmhouse, where we got a saw blade in the foot, then jumped onto a super creepy flesh couch and fell through onto some bone spikes. Poisoned, of course, with more strength-depleting poison. Azazel at this point got a little more careful about announcng ridiculous actions, though he still spent the rest of the encounter with a strength of 3.
All in all, I did pretty well. 8th level was pretty big for me, and that belt helped boost my attack enough that I can go back to uaing power attack on occasion. Getting a little frustrated with my stunning fist though; I swear everything we fight has a fortitude save of +8 to +14… Anyway. We killed a horrifying ogre mom, rescued the damsel, and even came away with a bit of treasure. Next time we do some shopping. I’m hoping I can track down some boots of speed (although I’ve already got some backup choices figured out).

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