I was really excited to get back to Gorna again to visit, stay, and perform at D’s & my original Two Lutes for Love Tavern™. Please contact one of us for any franchising opportunities in your area! It had been a long trip over in the Gran March, with my many new Marcher ladies. I was looking forward with meeting with all my original Gyruff ladies who just couldn’t stand to be away from Mazer this long. Expect long lines and wait times baby! Our adventuring group was going to meet at Two Lutes Tavern and plan for a most important task here in Gorna, after some music, drinks, and fun of course. The City was practically being held hostage at night by a rash of attacks, disappearances, abductions, deaths, and pretty much any other bad thing that could go wrong like a mysterious thick fog, spiders & webs, and frick’in bats flying around all over. There has also been vampire-sack talk all around town lately including rumors and sightings of none other than my own Super-Buddy Prince Rhys. What the#&%*!!! Mazer found this really confusing because I had given clear instructions to everyone that Prince Rhys had to keep a low-pro and remain hidden until that evil well taint-effect wore off or a cure was found for him. Needless to say upon my return I find out that not only has my private love-shack apartment where my unintentional-undead effected buddy Prince was to stay happened to be all trashed with blood and dirt…Grrrrr…but my other friends paraded him around town, attacked a good High Priest of Elhona , AND Jagr married him! What…the…hell!? You guys (minus my super-buddy Prince) are teetering on the line for my famous “sack” addition to your name. Arragh! Well the only thing that saved you from that demeaning naming fate is that he apparently has been cured somehow of that evil vampire taint and is mostly his old self again. Well, other than the pudgy-Fey boy Cupid Arrow effect problem and that D’s & my old party buddy has been vanquished…by…by…marriage! OMG. I’m tempted to down a serving of my Stone Giant Magic Mushrooms to deal with this stress.
Kosef, Osiris, Dasut, G-Bean, D-Track, Jagr, Super Buddy Prince Rhys, and I finally got together and plotted all the known attacks, disappearances, abductions, and deaths on a map of Gorna to see if a pattern or concentration could be seen. Well we determined that a greater occurrence of this night-dread seemed to occur in the North Village of Gorna. We had a couple of specific areas located by Taverns where some unfortunate Gorna citizens were found dead just recently. Mazer’s no alchemist, book reader, umm deep-thinker, and well come to think of it I don’t write all that much either (other than these damn Journals) but that seemed like a good place to start our official hunt of the night hunter-sacks of Gorna! (Motivating musical interlude on the lute…)
Well our group is starting to look really impressive and important now the more helping of Gyruff we are involved with. Mazer has always looked impressive and important so I can deal with the fame a lot easier than the rest of the group. They are learning, slowly. After purchasing some holy water and wooden stakes because of the Vamp-Sack gossip we made our way across Gorna to the North Village and decided to stop at the Cold Tree Tavern where a body was discovered just a couple nights ago in the common yard space behind the tavern and question the owner, staff, and patrons if they noticed anything unusual. There was mainly a rough looking crowd-type in this tavern with the additional always drunk patron, a mysterious elderly gypsy woman with cards, and the Owner and Barkeep. We all split up to mingle and ask questions. Ole Mazer here made a direct B-line shot right to the attractive bar server who also happened to be the owner of the tavern. Of course before I could even say anything she immediately recognized me as Mazer Warmheart (my stage name) of the famous Two Lutes for Love. Yes, yes I am! “By Popular Demand” Baby. (Side look shot at the camera with a wink and sparkling smile. Bing!) Hey…it’s ME! She was more than happy to answer our questions especially after I agreed to perform a few of my songs for the place. She did take us off to an empty side area of the tavern to hear our questions. I guess she was also really concerned with too much “negative press” of missing abducted people and dead bodies turning up near her business. I guess I get that. While in conversation I noticed some others of our group Osiris, G-Bean, and D-Track, talking with some of those rough looking clientele types. That was not probably going to end well and you could feel the tension start to elevate. Mazer will have to go over there and smooth talk that down before it gets out of hand, right after this. As it turns out she was not very helpful and neither was the bartender for that matter. They were too worried about business and money to give us anything useful. On the way over to smooth-talk the ruffians and prevent the impending bar fight I looked the joint over with my magic detecting glasses. That old mysterious elderly gypsy woman with cards was radiating magical. She WAS magic for crying out loud! Never seen that before, huh. I sat down at her table to talk with Madam Eva a bit and right away she asked if I wanted my fortune told. Sure I guess mysterious old gypsy woman…let’s do it. She mixed the cards and put them into piles then flipped cards face up one by one. Luckily for Mazer these were those really cool-type of cards because they just had nice pictures on them instead of all those confusing numbers. Since I didn’t see any scary, deathly, decaying, or evil looking cards turned up I figured my fortune came out just fine. I knew it baby, I’m golden! She gave me a great review of a fortune. This old gypsy woman seemed pretty harmless and said she visits all the taverns in Gorna so I’ll have to look her up some other time. Let’s go smooth talk my other adventuring party buddies out of their conversation that will soon escalate into that bar fight. (Mazer-on-a-mission musical interlude on the lute…)
Mazer got over there just in time before any punch-volleys could be started. The table with these rough looking crowd-types were in mid-threatening mode on my adventuring buddies. Sometimes I find it useful to let people ramble on because you might be surprised what they will say. Well, the rough guys claimed that if Osiris, G-Bean, and D-Track didn’t watch out, they would end up like one of the recent victims found in the field out back. Said that guy (recent victim) couldn’t keep his mouth shut either about something regarding the fighting area and now he is no longer with us. Lived right across the street too, now there are two abandoned homes there. Well, I couldn’t resist and somewhat implied with these boisterous rough patrons that we were new to town and Osiris, G-Bean, and D-Track here actually just bought those homes across the street so he will know where to find them. Hee Hee! Got some angry disbelieved looks from my three adventuring buddies there but if nothing panned out today…at least we have some great live bait for tonight. Sorry guys, Mazer don’t like being the bait. The rough crowd acknowledged where they could find them and we parted ways peacefully, for now. We thought it a good idea to go and investigate the now abandoned homes across the street to look for clues. (Investigational musical interlude on the lute…)
The homes were in rough shape and abandoned like Osiris, G-Bean, and D-Track’s new thug-friends indicated. Some minor personal belongings were still inside the home which brought no additional clues. We searched the area outside the homes and our great tracking members found a bunch of more recent and concentrated footprints located at the side windows of the home where apparently the baddies entered. These windows were still unlatched and open. Hmmm… Our trackers were unable to determine direction any further out from the home due to the heavy foot traffic in the area so we were at a dead end. Unfortunately for us all we had to stop and think which is really not my strong suit or is very fun. Everyone was just kind of kicked back and silent so I guess ole Mazer has to do the thinking…again…for us…geez. Thinking is so hard. (Deep thoughts musical interlude on the lute…)
Umm, well, err…the only, only thing I had left to go on was the comment by the Tavern Thug of “he couldn’t keep his mouth shut either about something regarding the fighting area.” Let’s go on over to the damn Fighting Area! Honestly I was just grasping at straws plus I have never been there before. I’m a lover, not a fighter. Besides I prefer to burn down Evil Whomever-sacks with my MazerBeams™ at range. I heard that this fighting area place is quite well attended and busy at night with wagered battles and such. Since we were out in the daytime I expected it to be pretty much abandoned. We arrived and yup…nothing going on. A sole guard was walking around the arena and when he noticed us, came on over. He seemed to be a good fellow. He stated what we knew already, no one here, busy at night. I asked him if we could just look around for a bit and he hesitated…Mazer grabbed some coin and suggested he go get an early lunch or something. It must be really boring around here in the A.M. because he grabbed the coin and left. Okay, gang let’s have a look around.
The arena was kind-of sunk down into the ground (like an old quarry) and was totally empty. Great. We walked around a bit and then dropped down about 10’ from the seating to the arena floor. We observed four sets of closed doors, single doors on the short side and big double doors at the long ends of the arena. The “big-doubles” reminded Mazer about certain things that I would rather be doing right now, ahem, so we went for those doors. They were open and we decided to send in D-Track our rogue to scout it up before we all went in. I cast invisibility on him for extra-super stealth mode. After a while D-Track came back and said there was a group of 15-20 fighter like people in an area further away playing cards at a table and stuff and didn’t see anyone else. Well okay. He said it would be easy to avoid them and explore the under-arena area. Let’s do it! Leaving the door somewhat cracked provided good daylight and a reference point to return to we went in. There were a crap-ton of hallways, rooms, and doors all over the place. All of these appeared to be storage areas, cells, etc. for when the area held monsters and props and such for more grand arena performances back in the day. Now they were mostly empty. There were some bigger doors that were locked but for some reason D-Track couldn’t open them, or any other locked door for that matter. D-Track my man, better get more practice on opening locks my burglar friend as we wanted to remain quiet and not loudly force doors open. We skipped all the locked doors we couldn’t open, which were many and went into the very very back of the underground area outer ring of barred cells. We looked inside one of the cells and saw a 4’x7’ wooden box set on a raised platform. We all suddenly stopped and looked at each other with wide eyes and slowly drew our weapons as the hair on the back of our collective neck’s suddenly stood up on end. Gulp, Yikes, and Zoinks…a damn coffin!!? (We’re Screwed musical interlude on the lute…)
Well, we just had to know for sure. D-Track my man must have been suddenly crap-scared inspired because he opened this locked cell just fine. Of all the locks to be successful at, am I right? Our more beefy fighter types got out their stakes and cautiously approached the wooden box/coffin while the more magic using and Prince Rhys people types hung back a bit by the cell door. They opened up the box and by the look on their faces I knew for sure it was a frick’in coffin and a vampire-sack was at home sleeping. Holy $^#!!! All of us by the cell door nodded our heads and encouraged the fighters to stake it! Man, just STAKE IT! They got the silent motivational idea and drove & pounded a stake into the sleeping vampire-sack’s chest. Almost immediately we heard a very loud hissing like scream and thrashing from the recipient of the stake. Since this started to get pretty loud Prince Rhys went over to help pound another one. When I saw Prince Rhys look inside the coffin he suddenly froze and then backed slowly away saying “No…No…it can’t be…” Mazer here is pretty good Buds with Prince Rhys and I have never seen that type of expression on his face before so I immediately went up to look inside the coffin too while another stake was successfully being chest pounded. Okay…what…the…hell…??! I knew right away why the Prince reacted the way he did and have to admit the same thing happened to me. Inside the coffin was a now dead-dead and multi-staked vampire-sack but this vampire happened to be Ifan, a member of the assumed long dead Brat Pack that perished at the Keep of Storm Mountain by the rotting headless DEAD green scale-sack of a looser dragon. How hell did he get here and in vampire-sack form?!! Oh no…Oh $^#!!! There were four more members of the Brat Pack besides Prince Rhys, D, Multi-Staked-Ifan, and myself. Yup not good. We soon heard the creaking of wooden coffin lids around us coming from other cells and knew we were going to be in a battle for our lives. (We’re Really Screwed musical interlude on the lute…and broke a string…)
We formed up in the hall back to back with half the group facing one way and the other half the opposite direction. Suddenly arms reached out from the cells on either side of Multi-Staked-Ifan’s with a keys and opened the locks. Two more of the old Brat Pack were suddenly before us Dietrich and Dholas. Both now vampire-sacks too. I was facing Dholas and he actually said “Hi Mazer! How it going?” Locked an arrow and shot it right over my shoulder at someone else. He intentionally tried to NOT hit me. Oh crap…when Once Friend Baddie-Sacks are not trying to kill you, they have a plan. Mazer here did not want to be involved with that vampire plan at all. I would not make a very good undead-sack Mazer. Well after saying “Sorry” to my Once Friend Baddie-Sack Dholas, MazerBeams™ made an appearance and we all started to really unload because if we didn’t, either we end up as vamp-food or Undead Vamp-Sacks ourselves. These were Vampire-Spawn…which were still hard to kill because they regenerate so fast but we eventually took down Dietrich, Dholas, and Evie…oh Evie I’ll always remember the kiss followed by the punch. While the battle was going on Khaleed appeared then slipped away for a while and we heard the big double doors where we entered close and then being barred. We finished our battle and some of us took some pretty good damage so we didn’t want to hang around here any longer! We made a quick run for the door to outside and the safety of sunlight. Yup, it was barred shut and it took us numerous tries by groups of us to get it off. We eventually did and got outside just in time because we heard many others heading toward us. I looked briefly inside again on the way out and saw some of the Keep of Storm Mountain’s Griffon Guards fully plate-mailed up now Vamp-Sacks. Not sure if they were all here or not but the original Guard included Braichdyn Ser Koru ap Melwyn, Ban Cantdyn Ser Logan Highhelm, Athrodwrthdyn Ser Bardin Tongar, Dwrthdyn Dame Emolde Foebane, Ser Oliver the Green, Ser Cedwyn the Plain, and Ser Ankur. Note to all future vampire-sack hunting: ALWAYS do so in the daytime hours as it is much safer.
Well, this cart-wrecked day still wasn’t over because soon those 16-20 Day Helper Card Playing Fighter-Sacks started to run outside to attack us. We climbed up the wall to the arena seating area. I knew that Regent Eridan was looking for a Vamp-Sack hive or whatever and I told my Buddies to hold these guys off and I will go convince my great friend Regent Eridan we hit Vamp-jackpot! They agreed and I made out with all due haste to have an audience with the Regent at the castle. Good thing it was ole Mazer too because I had to like do the best smooth and schmooze talking ever combined with dropping my Baronet title just to get in and see Regent Eridan. I explained what had happened and all and he believed me. We returned to the fighting area with the most high powered group of Gyruff’s heroes EVER including the Regent, Alena, Harrison, myself, many high-level Clerics, and lots of troops. (Sound the Cavalry musical interlude on the lute…repaired the string…)
When I had departed for the castle it turned out that since our Group had superior elevated position and ranged weapons the 16-20 Day Helper Card Playing Fighter-Sacks decided to run back into the underground arena area and lock the doors. No movement was seen until I returned with the High-Powered Crew. Some time passed until we were all organized and ready to go in. They knocked the doors open and proceed to search the underground arena area. Evidence was found of a major Vamp-hive but everyone and coffins were gone. What the $^*#!! How?!!! Upon a more thorough and detailed search 3 to 4 secret escape tunnels were found. One actually led to the main Castle in Gorna…that’s not good. Regent Eridan and the Town Guard expressed their thanks for what we have done for the City. The Vamp-Sacks were on the run now and these tunnels would be followed and people tracked. Everyone was still concerned because there is apparently some kind a Super Leader Vampire-Sack that even the High-Powered Crew seemed reluctant to face. Even though we did some good helping for Gyruff again, Prince Rhys and I were left saddened and with more unanswered questions on how our thought dead Brat Pack Buddies ended up as vamp-sacks in Gorna? Well, we still have one Brat Pack Vamp-Sack left (Khaleed) and a bunch Griffon Vamp-Sacks left that we can still perhaps question for some answers before we have to stake pound them. I for one will be sleeping with garlic and holy water for a while, and many more ladies too because I’m still a bit freaked out about a potential undead visit. But Madam Eva did say my fortune was golden, right? What could go wrong? Later, Mazer