Black Ghosts' Requiem

Beefenstein
Just when you thought it was safe to go out to pasture

Dear Sis,

So after ridding a bunch of Manticores from a cave for the local monks so we can gain access to these ruins that should have info we need, we were all pretty banged up, and Kev broke a lot of bones (only a couple were do to bad handling of the stretcher) so we took him back to the temple and the guys fixed him up. The process was pretty interesting they strapped him to a table with two big coils and then hoisted him into the sky where he was struck by lightning a bunch. It was kinda like that movie we went to see one time, Orcenstein. Incidentally somehow this fixes his bones and made it so he doesn’t have a shadow. Weird side effect there, yet if I shine a flashlight at him the light doesn’t go through him.

Anyway, we got to go into the tomb we had wanted access to and we got attacked by a bunch of giant spiders. I sometimes wonder what all these giant monsters in isolated places we run into are eating, well other than obviously, us. Anyway we smashed them up and are now resting while talking to some statues, which are in fact talking back. They’re saying something about how we must be proved worry, well I’ve gotta go as proving worthy usually means, beat the snot out of something until it’ll give us what we want. So its basically requesting a mugging on the statues’ part. Is it wrong to mug someone when they’re asking you to do it?

Sincerely,

Vash

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Yes, Doc, I do Unfortunately Remember What Happened

We’d been clearing out a cave complex to aid a monastery. Not too unusual for us, especially as we wanted some help from the death priests there. Manticore attacks had been a problem for them, so naturally they offered a trade. You know what’s really, really important with fighting manticores? Not fighting them indoors. Even after chucking a crate of explosives at them they kept coming at us. And the leader kept dropping chunks of the ceiling on us. So yeah, I dove on Bree to protect her. I mean, I’ve always tried to help my little brethren, and it’s not like I could have dodged the rock slide myself. At least she didn’t get crushed, so I can feel good about that. Not like anything else feels good right now. Then I was flying on pure adrenaline for a while. Took down that bastard too. Now, enough with the questions. Think you could get to fixing the broken bones?

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Sweet Dreams

I’m writing this down so I don’t forget it all. Not sure I’ll ever be able to talk to anyone outside the Fifth about it, though. Went to bed, and started dreaming of a ruined city, swarming with mist snakes. Quickly found Shintar, Lyrie, and Vash. Went out exploring the city, such as it was. Quickly swarmed by mist snakes, along with a couple things I’ll have nightmares about if I ever sleep again. I think I died for a moment there. Got chased by a snake the size of a train, and threw paint at it thinking it would somehow help. Somehow found our way to where the ghetto was, but it’d been replaced with another city. Got attacked by a bearskin rug in a creepy orphanage, while the tree burned the creepy orphans. Had some sort of psychotic break and came to with my gun screaming. Found a Beholder that’d been paid to keep us trapped in the dream. Put him down with another volley from the dream of a gun. My gun has better dreams than me, apparently. Don’t want to sleep again. Don’t want to remember. Running low on coffee and whiskey. Time to sleep and never dream again.

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An Expensive Adventure
At least I got half off the price.

Dear Sis,

I’m writing now to distract me from the pain. We ventured further into this castlely thing with all the monsters, fought some more turtle porcupine things and some gargoyles and goblins. We then found a room with some strange ruins and a puzzle to open up to get to the thing we think might be down there. This huge shadowy beast thing came out and nearly killed us all, and when we killed it, it fell on my leg crushing it. It was my jumping leg too, although really both legs are my jumping leg. I had to have it cut out. I’m not sure yet whether I’m going to get a mechanical leg or get my old leg reattached. I’m probably going to keep my old leg regardless. Maybe eventually I’ll lose enough body parts that I can attach mechanical parts to me and the other parts and we’ll have a robo brother. Well I guess that’s all for now, as I don’t think Kev appreciates my writing a letter while he’s carrying me over a perilous bridge.

Your one legged brother,

Vash

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Ow, The Pain

Dear Mom,

Sorry I haven’t written in so long. Things have been very busy, what with hunting for ancient artifacts and whatnot, but I can’t really do that right now. See, we’re onto something really big. Something about an ancient dragon. Yesterday we were on the trail of some very heavily armed archaeologists who also seem to be looking for it. After a fight we found a puzzle. Thankfully I thought of all your stories about how the shadows protect our people, so I figured it out. Unfortunately, “Figuring it out” lead to “Being attacked by a shadow creature” and “Bleeding profusely.” Even worse, it just turned out to be the most overly guarded map room ever. I wrote a song about it, but no one wanted to hear it. Probably because it was depressing and pointless. Hopefully we’ll be back in civilization soon, where there’s good food and better musicians. Guess I’ll just have to lie in bed recovering. I’m not rubbing this barbecue sauce on my wounds though, no matter how much they tell me it’ll help.

Kev

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Employed Unemployment

Dear Sis,

I have some fairly big news. I and my friends have been honorably discharged from the military. I guess we’re kinda a mercenary company now. Up to you whether or not to tell mom and dad. They’ll find out eventually. Anyway, we’re off to continue investigating some potentially strange stuff with regards to weird dragonny archeological things. We got a guide in the small town near the ruin we’re investigating to lead us there. Its covered in rose bushes and gargoyles, which as things seem want to do, came to life and attacked us. Also there was a weird turtle porcupine thing that I grappled into a big hole. I’m wondering if maybe I shouldn’t be writing letters while exploring deadly ruins, but hey its something to do while waiting for people to recover from smashing things. Well okay more being smashed was the problem.

Hope to hear back from you,

Your Brother,

Vash

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On the Difference between Dungeons and Dragons

After a surprisingly uneventful train ride and trek though snow, the Fifth made it to the Brass Crypt, which was being heavily guarded by orcs. Orcs proved vulnerable as most creatures are to cases of dynamite, and the Crypt was entered without too much difficulty. The orcs had already begun exploring the Crypt, and had already taken care of the various necromantic doors, thankfully. A sense of dread filled the Fifth as the Crypt became disturbingly organic seeming, however the only challenges the Fifth had to face were battles with the orcs themselves. This proved to be more than enough, with a mighty orc warrior severely wounding the Fifth before escaping onto the Jade Griffen. Thankfully, just before the airship left, Professor Badass jumped clear, and has been reunited with his grad student. In entirely too many senses. Unfortunatly, the orcs now have the lock with may be able to unlock the tomb of a dead dragon. Onward!

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The way to an Ettin's Heart
Wait do we really want to find that?

Dear Sis,

Sorry I haven’t written you lately, I’ve been a bit busy with various catastrophes. To give you an idea, this lady has written a book about some of the stuff the survivors of my regiment have been doing. Its called Black Ghost’s Requiem. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but if its anything like what actually happened it should be a pretty exciting read.
Post hair-raising stories in the book (buy a copy, I might be getting royalties) we had to go investigate the kidnapping of a grad student who we had met when her mentor was kidnapped when our transport ship was attacked. There should probably be some commas in that sentence somewhere and I imagine Mom would put on her disdainful face about my sentence structure. Anyway, an orc named Okk had apparently arranged for the kidnapping in order to acquire the professor’s notebook with regards to some ruins. Its kinda odd actually, as far as anybody has been able to determine the ruins don’t have any importance. Anyway, Shintar, the Orcish swordsman (Who is often failing to use his sword, some kinda weird honor thingy, only worthy opponents get stabbed.) of our little company bought a lot of strange food from street vendors in order to ascertain Okk’s location. I can’t believe people eat Iguana Tacoes or Fried Bat Fritters, although it was impressive that the ears are in the right place on each one. Anyway, we gave the two Ettin guards a lot of tacoes and snuck around while they chowed down. Eventually we got into a fight with Okk and some of his thugs. I apprehended him with my grapple launcher, and then he fell into a pit. I know he was probably at least a little new with this being dragged at high speed but I really thought he’d catch the ledge right there. Anyway with Okk vanquished (and also squished, vansquished?) we rescued the grad student.

Anything interesting going on with you, I hope to hear from you soon, although I may be gone for a while, as we’re trying to manage a trip to the ruins to stop whatever nefarious plot these people we don’t really know but hey they’ve been doing a lot of bad stuff so we’re assuming whatever’s going on there is bad news as well.

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Iguanas. Much better dinner than guano

Upon arrival in the city, the Fifth received a letter asking for help from the grad student who apparently thinks of us as heroes for also surviving the airship crash. She, of course, had been kidnapped, and the Fifth set out to find her. After a bit of investigation, she was tracked to a warehouse, which was guarded by two ettins, each of which had two personalities. After a bit of confusion, iguana tacos were obtained for the ettins, who happily sat and ate while the Fifth snuck into the mines beneath the warehouse, with a short pause to mess up the ettins’ game of Settlers. Upon reaching the giant ugly orc that kidnapped the grad student, violence not surprisingly ensued. Gravity proved to be a harsh mistress to the leader, and the grad student was rescued, and walked out past our new friends, the hungry ettins.

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The Four Violent Maniacs

The Fifth, such as it is, was sent off to protect a small a rice farming village. While the farmers hid (somewhere), the bridge into the village was barricaded and trapped. The first wave of goblins was relatively easily dispatched, and a following assault by lizardmen was turned back when they turned on the goblin who was “leading” them into battle. After some discussion, it was learned that the lizardfolk’s eggs and babies were being help captive by goblins, forcing the lizardfolk to help in the raids. The goblin occupation of the lizardfolk village was quickly put down (With Violence!), and the lizardfolk came with the Fifth on a raid to reclaim the hostages. Unfortunatly, the hostage takers included a vampiric ogre lich, riding his phylactery, a demonic bear. A last second wrench beating by Bree saved the Fifth from being totally destroyed by the vampogre, and our band of happy violent maniacs managed to end the day having saved two villages from the goblin raiders.

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