Deep Ravenswood

It was a rather fine day as I walked through Deep Ravenswood, collecting Spider Silk. I was using my proven technique of setting the ground ablaze then running through a cluster of the beady-eyed vermin or hovering around a cluster of their yet to hatch pods.

It was all going rather splendidly, the cleansing power of fire curled their legs in a satisfying manner, while my Stone and Ice Fist, coupled with a dose of Thrust rendered them incapacitated. However, the tingling of the fire upon the ground, my ill treatment combined with the aroma of his smoldering kinsman must have raised the attention, then the ire of one of the larger spiders.

As I collected my rewards, I heard something coming over the rise. Expecting it to be a band of the Red Spiders I paid no heed. I’m quite capable of holding my own against even a hearty band of the furry devils.

I was correct in assuming it was a band of spiders. I was incorrect as to the nature of my adversary. As I saw a multitude of legs crest the incldine, I prepared and steadied myself. As the spiders came into full view, I felt my bowels turn to water.

A Large Red Spider on it’s own is not too mighty a combatant. Even two can be dispatched with several key strikes. However, the Ferocious Red Spider that seemed to be the leader of this trio was far more than I bargained for. He marched straight toward me while his confederates flanked my sides blocking my escape. In an instant, he put a bite on me that brought me to my knees.

His venom was shocking powerful and it was quite obvious I was in desperate trouble. The poison went straight to my head, preventing me from casting any defensive spells that might extricate me from my predicament. I fumbled with the sword and leveled some powerful retaliatory strikes, but it wouldn’t be enough.

Perhaps it was good fortune. Perhaps it my was blood curdling scream for help. But on the spot appeared Alley, who, seeing my stumbling amidst the trees and rocks and the trail of spiders following me, surmised my tactical error.

In an instant, she was in the fray, quelling the bloodlust of the Large Red Spiders and pushing back the Ferocious Red. As I lay on the ground, amidst delirium and panic, another figure appeared. In my fragile state, he came in the form of the Reaper. I was disappointed that my end should come this way, or come at all.

I was on the point of trying to strike a deal when there was a blinding flash of searing heat. This was immediately followed by the roar of fire and the powerful stench of burning spiders. The fire and brimstone was at hand!

But as I regained my senses, I saw this mysterious figure harnessing the power of Fire and Sun magic to surround and contain the Ferocious Red Spider. Alley was also delivering a savage series of blows that rendered the spider lifeless.

While I looked on, they dashed across the open field and set another Ferocious Red Spider as their target. Again, there were fierce attacks from Alley’s steel while the spider was consumed in fire and blisteringly scalded with Searing Ray.

I followed as best I could as they dispatched multiple spider dens and put to rest several Ferocious Red Spiders. I knew Deep Ravenswood was dangerous, but when did all these ridiculously large and powerful spiders make their home here?

With all the spiders burnt beyond recognition the mysterious figure stopped to check on my condition. Much to my relief, it wasn’t the Reaper at all, but rather it was Oba wearing a terribly fashionable mask.

"Well, good to see you aren’t dead," he said and bounded off down the path, a trail of fire in his wake.

"Good to still be alive," I replied as I collapsed on a rock.

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Take that you furry legged spawn of evil! You and your wicked envenomating ways are about to come to an end!

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Oh, hi Oba. I didn’t recognize you with the fashionable new mask you’re wearing. Nab that from an Obsidian Overlord did you?

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

As I sat by the fire in the Braemar tavern, I listened in to conversations regarding zombie on wolf violence that was taking place in Deep Ravenswood. What would make zombies lash out in such a fashion and why were they taking my hides? I’m a diplomatic sort, perhaps I could render some assistance. If not, I could at least get the hides before the zombies pinched them.

The woods had changed considerably since my last visit. Some damnable fool had built a fishing lodge on the hillside and made two grievous mistakes. First, he had rented it to sinister types without checking for proper credentials, thus the zombies. Second, there is no water in Deep Ravenswood, so clearly, this was a zombie den of evil.

The fishing lodge overlooked a fenced in area for pigs, which unto itself is wrong. Since zombies know nothing of animal husbandry it was obvious they were up to the nefarious deed of creating a zombie pig-man army. This is could not go unanswered.

My first objective was to free the victims of this alarming experimentation. I snuck to the pen just as a new wave of zombie on wolf violence broke out. I believe the wolves were in the midst of their own rescue mission and were caught trying to knock over the house of sticks and abscond with the pigs. Zombies streamed out in droves, surrounded the snarling wolves and clumsily swung at them. What they lack in coordination, they make up for in sheer numbers and senseless violence.

I tried to work quickly, but once the zombie horde dispatched the wolf, their attention turned to me. I had been caught opening the pen and waving the pigs to safety. Unfortunately, I don’t speak the language of pigs, so getting them to understand my commands and intentions proved quite difficult.

With the heat of battle imminent, I set my position, summoned my strength, conjured my shield of crystal and brought forth immolation and the cleansing ring of fire. The zombies swarmed at me and were engulfed in flame.

Through the heat haze, I could see Mud Buddy on the fringe, delivering debilitating blows to their kidneys. But then the battle took a terrible turn. The howl of the swine echoed in the night and I realized that since they hadn’t heeded my words and escaped out of the pen as I had instructed, they were now part of the flaming horror.

This proved disastrous as the delicious smell of pork and pork products hung heavy in the air and distracted me from my cause. I was lulled into a dream state as my mind drifted to a hearty breakfast. The zombies quickly took advantage of my guard being down.

I was driven back into the pen which caught more swine in the melee. Not only was there a zombie menace, but I was enveloped by even more of that divine aroma. I was powerless against it, as thoughts of the nearest chicken coop filled my head. My mind reeled with sauce combinations and ingredients I could obtain from Owl’s Head. In my delirium, I was soon on the ground, the zombie horde about to devour me.

However, the old adage proved true. Given enough time, zombies will ignite. Mud Buddy, undeterred by such succulent fragrances, had kept the zombies roasting over the open fire and to a powdery residue did they go. Order was restored and designs for the zombie pig-man army thwarted.

I had quelled the zombie menace, but I had also caused irrevocable harm to the pigs. Even so, life is full of silver linings. On the bright side, I had saved the pigs from a terrible fate, they could no longer be used in these terrible schemes. Even better, with the zombies gone, I could use their hut as a dining hall and I never travel without knife and fork.

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Well now, what do we have here? A quaint fishing cabin on the side of a hill with no creek in sight. I sense nefarious deeds are afoot.

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I am quite suspicious of these zombies and their attempts at animal husbandry. No good will come of this.

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No, piggy, no! I told you to run the other way to safety! Away from the flame! Away!
Oh Mud Buddy, this den of evil smells delicious

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

Like all my other well conceived and brilliantly executed plans, I saw no reason why Woody and I shouldn’t go to Deep Ravenswood and sneak up on some bears with the intent of stealing their hides. As I put it to him, what could possibly go wrong? Clearly I’m a well established warrior with plenty of skills and magic at my disposal, not to mention some rather tasteful yet protective armor and of course The Sword of Smiting and Devastation. Further, we would be a fighting as a duo, which needless to say, would give us the advantage in whatever course of melee we found ourselves.

Woody was eager to set the plan in motion, since like so many of his chest mimic brethren, he felt compelled to take a bite out of something. And, since I would rather it be some unsuspecting woodland creature rather than my own backside, this was deemed the best course of action. We hence readied the blades, loaded the repair kits, stocked up on a couple of key reagents and set about the task.

Our first forays against the bear populous went shockingly well. They were caught unaware just as I predicted, and as expected, it was two against one. Perhaps that teeters a little on the dishonest side, to tilt the odds in our favor thusly, but as I see it, they have those tremendous claws, those ghastly teeth and of course a sizable reach on the both of us. It seems only fair to cheat. But only a little. It wasn’t like we formed some sort of brute squad and oppressed them. That wouldn’t be very sportsman like to be sure. Indeed if we observe, Woody has no thumbs, so if we are going to go about the business of hair splitting and fair play, I am mitigating the advantage of the bears and leveling the playing field for all sides. That’s the proper way of looking at things.

Our pelt raiding was going quite well, but Woody, in his rather overzealous manner, bounded into the woods and disturbed a disagreeable congregation of bears. This invoked their ire and soon we were fleeing across the plains to save our meager lives. I was fleet of foot, but Woody, not having feet, was soon swept up and captured by the mob. Not being one to leave a chest behind I circled back to render aid.

The bear mob was indeed ferocious and proved to be worthy opponents, but when fire meets fur, it’s usually the fire that wins. Woody and I were quite battered and bruised but victorious. It was a close call and we would both have to fortify our resolve before we pressed on. It was a good time to dress the bears we had before us, but this was interrupted by another group of bears that did not take kindly to our activities. As my back was turned I was mauled savagely and took many injurious blows before I was able to stagger to my feet and ready my weapon. Woody, who was on lookout caught several of his own deadly blows. Before I could get close enough to render healing, he was crushed by one final, decisive, claw clad blow that rendered him lifeless. This left me to face the hazards alone. I was also emotionally scarred by seeing Woody beat down with the bear hand.

Regrettably, the odds were now against me, but I still had a secret weapon. I made my retreat with lightning speed. I was gaining ground but losing health. Those wicked bears were still able to bite and gnaw me in the nether regions even as I made my escape. Spying a rock directly ahead, I set my course for salvation. However, in my exuberance and desire to remain alive, I miscalculated the height of the rock and with a thunderous crash that echoed through the trees, I came to an immediate halt and found myself with a personal view of the dirt.

The last thing I recall was the sound and blurry vision of the bear bounding toward me, teeth bared, with nary a thought of mercy in his eyes. Then there was darkness.

I awoke some time later with Woody nowhere to be seen. I had been done some grievous harm and vowed my revenge. However, I will need to rethink my decision making paradigm. I clearly need to straighten out my sword before going on the offensive again. And Woody’s zest for running into the woods and biting anything and everything in his path will have to be curtailed. That sort of behavior is dangerous.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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