Legend of Grrawl

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    • Grrawl encounters Bling, twice
      Another week passed and Grrawl made his way back to Thetford to bring raw ore to the city to refine and see his son. During his last trip from the smelter, Grrawl heard a blast of trumpeting fanfare from the Chillhag Gate. The crowd started to make way and Grrawl could see a gilded palanquin carried by 4 warriors enter the city with someone reclining on the plush couch atop it. There were also several servants at the side fanning the passenger with huge linen fans. Grrawl saw several people run off in any direction away from this troupe of people. He wondered what made this person so special. He asked someone standing nearby and he was told this was Bling, a Master of the Realm. Grrawl was also told this was a title given to Bling by the king and it was rumored Bling was also given powerful magic. Bling sat up on the couch as the palanquin entered the city center and began to wave at the crowd. There was some cheering, some booing, and some continued to flee the area for unknown reasons.

      The warriors set the palanquin down and Bling proceeded to levitate off the couch and float just a bit off the ground. Grrawl started to hear someone coming through the crowd from behind him. The person was whispering to anyone they got near that for just 20 fey-coin, they would give 50 million silver. Grrawl did not know what fey-coin was, but 50 million silver was a lot of money for someone to spend on anything. In an instant, Bling had moved from the palanquin to right behind Grrawl so that Bling was face to face with this person trying to buy fey-coin. The person looked up in horror as Bling conjured forth an enormous ban-hammer that had a head covered in hollow pointed spikes. From those spikes burst forth jets of searing flames. The crowd quickly backed up from Bling, the buyer of fey-coin started to run away, but it was too late. Like a lightning bolt crashing to the earth, Bling’s ban-hammer slammed down upon the person. The ground shook and Grrawl was knocked back a bit from the blast. While Grrawl's ears were still ringing from the strike, Bling put away the weapon, pointed at Grrawl, and shouted to the crowd “This man has free candy!” Bling proceeded to levitate back to the couch and the warriors picked up the palanquin again. At the same time, several dozen children mobbed Grrawl asking for candy while checking his pockets. Grrawl tried to explain that he had no candy. After a few frustrating moments, the children left. Grrawl found he was missing a good bit of silver and some of the metal bars he just made at the smelter. He looked towards Bling to hear a boisterous laugh coming from the couch as it departed the city center.

      Grrawl and his son Alec spent the next few days fishing and gathering together. On Grrawl’s last day in Thetford, he got up early to have some extra fishing time alone. Grrawl made his way deep into the swamp and found a good spot teaming with fish. He managed to fish there for a while in the quiet and caught quite a few fish and even managed to reel in a satchel of insight. Suddenly another fisherman materialized on the shore out of nowhere. This caused Grrawl to jump back, almost dropping his fishing rod in the water. Grrawl tried to engage the person in conversation, but they did not respond. Grrawl tapped their shoulder to get their attention, but there was no reaction. Grrawl stood and watched this stranger for a bit and noticed their movements were stilted and repetitive. He could see they were casting the same distance every time and just turning slightly to try to fish a different spot of water. They were not even setting their hook right if they did get a bite. Grrawl tapped on their shoulder again, but a bit harder this time, and heard the “tink-tink” sound of metal under the fishing garb. He listened closely and could hear a soft whirring of gears as the fisherman moved its arms to cast the line out. At that moment, he realized what he was looking at: an automaton. Grrawl learned about them in school but knew they were strictly forbidden to be exported to Albion.

      Grrawl considered destroying the machine but feared that if anyone saw him attacking it, they would mistake Grrawl for being a ganker and attack him. Instead, he decided to stay in the spot to outfish the automaton so that all it would catch would be logs and rocks. This went on for an hour or so till Grrawl heard a commotion from behind him. In the distance, he saw a fight had broken out. Three men were being chased by one man that was moving unnaturally fast. The pursuer would blink out of visibility and appear right next to or in front of the men that he was chasing. The pursuer would slash at them with his metal claws and soon the three men were profusely bleeding. When it looked like they were about to perish, there was a bright flash of light. Suddenly, there was Bling with the blazing ban-hammer at the ready. Bling brought the weapon down with one fluid motion and obliterated the pursuer in an explosion of silver and gear. There were items everywhere that this person had collected off the bodies of others they had ganked. The death of the pursuer was not like that of a typical death in Albion and Grrawl imagined that person was not waking up naked in a city or anywhere else.

      Bling began to clean the ban-hammer using the flames coming out from it to incinerate the blood and flesh left behind. Grrawl called out to Bling to come over and look at the automaton. Bling levitated over to the shore to be hovering just behind the machine. Bling cut open the back and began to investigate to learn who created it. After a few minutes, Bling levitated back a little from the automaton and summoned the ban-hammer. Grrawl saw this start to happen and also took a few steps back to be out of the blast radius. Bling proceeded to bring the flaming weapon crashing down on the machine, flattening it into a molten pile of alloys. Bling thanked Grrawl for the heads up and vanished from his presence in a cloud of purple smoke.
    • Grrawl takes on new roles
      Over the next few weeks, Grrawl spent time working his farm and exploring the dungeons around Caerleon. He started to make a decent living selling his goods and collecting treasures from the local Heretics. On one such adventure into a Hidden Mine, Grrawl had a unique experience. He was importing a load of herbs and meats to use in his recipes at the cooking stations of Caerleon. While in the mine, Grrawl encountered a very tall and plump man who had a fried chicken station. The station had a Heretic Pyromancer supplying the flame to cook the food. Grrawl saw the sign above the station that read, “Big Spencer’s Chicken Shack”. Grrawl began a casual conversation with Big Spencer, and Grrawl mentioned that he was transporting herbs and meats to make the best fried chicken in Caerleon. Big Spencer made a doubting face and asked Grrawl what herbs he used. Grrawl would not disclose his secret recipe to anyone and started to walk away. It was at this point that Big Spencer and the Heretic pyromancer attacked in an effort to steel Grrawl’s herbs. Fortunately, Grrawl was wearing his escape gear, turned himself invisible, and was able to get away, exiting the Mines unscathed and his secret recipe intact.

      Grrawl then continued his journey to Caerleon, singing his jingle "Grrawl's fried chicken. It's butt kicking, yeah yeah", and arrived with no further issues. He proceeded to gather some additional herbs, veggies, and meats to make an assortment of salads, sandwiches, stews, potions, and fried chicken. While riding through the city to the cooking station, Grrawl encountered Evas chatting with a hooded stranger. Grrawl approached and when he got closer, he could see the stranger was actually Bling. Grrawl took a cautious step back, uncertain of what mischief Bling was about to bring down on him. Bling motioned for Grrawl to be at ease and that both of them had heard of the help Grrawl was providing to other adventurers and wanted to offer him the chance to do more good in Albion.

      They proceeded to inform Grrawl that there was a small group of volunteers that help keep things civil in the cities. Their job was to help players who were confused or unaware of how to do things and to put a stop to conversations that typically lead to discord or all-out brawls in the cities. Grrawl said he would be glad to try to help. Bling then granted Grrawl a new spell, Mute, which can silence a person for a varying amount of time depending on the level of the spell. Bling also instructed Grrawl that the spell is to only be used in certain situations. Bling proceeded to ask Grrawl if he would also be interested in keeping the Great Library of Albion up to date and organized. Grrawl was excited by this offer since it might grant him access to information about the Avalonians and where they could have taken his wife. Grrawl accepted this offer as well and Bling teleported them both to the Library where Grrawl could see all the existing tomes of knowledge that were available to all. After the tour was completed and instructions were given to Grrawl, Bling said a quick goodbye and vanished in a cloud of purple smoke. Grrawl was left standing in this massive building and started to find places to reorganize or update information.
    • Grrawl reads The Legend of The Cabbage Man and is inspired
      Grrawl spent much of the next week pouring over the tomes in the Great Library learning as much as he could about the Avalonians and the Outlands. On one of those days he was researching different ways to travel to the Outlands and adventure with the least risk possible. Grrawl read the legend of a brave adventurer named Jimbenator and his ox named Steve who sold cabbages in the Outlands to random strangers. The story told of the many times Jimbenator would go with a load of fresh cabbages and try to sell some. On these journeys he would sell to travelers and other times run into ganking squads that would kill him and steal his cabbages. Jimbenator was not discouraged by this. He would return to his island to get a new ox and a new load of cabbages. At the end of the story Grrawl learned that Jimbenator had departed the mortal realm and was mourned by many. Inspired by Jim’s story, Grrawl decided to set out on his own “Cabbage Man Challenge”.

      Grrawl traveled to Alec’s island in Thetford to pick up a mule, some carrot soup, and a bag. He didn’t expect to live very long, so he didn’t bother with a weapon or armor. He also hoped that maybe being so defenseless, other people would not attack him but instead buy the carrot soup. Grrawl rode out to find an Avalonian portal to use to get to the Outlands. He figured it would be less risky than using the Realmgate. The first road he found was almost completely deserted. He saw one other adventurer, but they were in a hurry and didn’t stop for any hot, fresh soup. Grrawl continued to journey looking for a road that would exit to the Outlands. He saw a few other adventurers, but no one was interested in his carrot soup. The Avaloninas there were much more aggressive and tried on several occasions to kill Grrawl, but his trusty mule was able to get him out of harm's way. Grrawl was also keeping an eye out for any clues that would lead him to his wife or the Avalonian mage that took her, but he found no sign of either.

      After a while, Grrawl found a portal that would take him to the Outlands, and arrived in the territories near the Thetford realmgates. He started heading in the direction of Murdergulch Cross to go to the treasure site there to see if he could sell soup to any hungry treasure hunters. On his way, Grrawl saw some light coming out from under a rock and lifted it to find a pile of silver and some luxury items. He doubted he would make it back with them, but the silver more than paid for his mule. A little while later, he arrived at the empty treasure chest at Murdergulch Cross. He was disappointed and relieved to see that there was no one around. He became doubly relieved when the treasure chest suddenly slammed shut and started to glow. As fast as he could, Grrawl opened the chest and found a new t7 boltcaster along with several bags of silver and tomes of insight. He quickly mounted up and rode to the nearest Hidden Mine he could find so he could take a break from his adventure and eat in safety.

      After a short rest, Grrawl decided to see how far he could get in the Hidden Mine with just the boltcaster. He knew he would have to hit and run since he had no armor on to be able to survive the attacks of enemies ahead. With much skill and patience, he was able to make it to the first mini-boss, but had to skip it because it was too strong. Grrawl continued deeper into the mine and encountered the second mini-boss, a Heretic Pyromancer. It took Grrawl 3 tries, but he finally vanquished his foe. The chest that was guarded by the Pyromancer had both soldier and hunter chest pieces, and now he was able to withstand more than four hits from an enemy before having to run away. Grrawl pushed even further into the Mine and reached the final boss, The Biggest Roughneck, who did not stand a chance against the boltcaster and soldier armor. In the chest guarded by the Roughneck, Grrawl found mercenary boots that would now let him go invisible if needed. With this good fortune, Grrawl started to think he might be able to make it to Morgana’s Rest with all the treasure he found.

      Grrrawl felt it had been a long time since he entered the Mine, and decided to put almost all his gear in his bag to look harmless again. He kept the boots on to be able to turn invisible in case he needed to run, and made his way back to the treasure chest he already looted to look for people to buy his soup. A few minutes later, the chest slammed shut and started to glow again. He started to open it when someone else showed up, ready to fight. Grrawl tried to offer to sell him soup, but the stranger was clearly not interested in paying. Grrawl turned to run away fast and as he ran his back was struck by a glass vial full of poison. With the searing poison burning his skin, Grrawl was able to turn invisible and get away. Grrawl decided it was time to try to find friendlier people to offer to buy his soup. He made it to a hideout in Murdergulch Divide and tried to sell his soup to the few adventurers that were inside, but again no one wanted his fresh carrot soup. Grrawl was starting to think he was not a very good cook since no one wanted his soup. He departed the hideout to start to travel to Morgana’s rest when he found two hungry adventurers. He started to talk to them about his soup when a third traveler rode by. That traveler had other ideas, dismounted, and began to attack Grrawl. Grrawl tried to run, but his adversary was too strong and dispatched Grrawl with just a few hits of his weapon. While Grrawl lay out the ground getting looted, the murderer said his name: Thoreous. Grrawl would not sell soup to him if they should ever meet again.

      When Grrawl awoke back on his island, he immediately got dressed and returned to the LIbrary. He found the archive with the section about Jimbenator and added this limerick as a tribute :
      Jimbenator was a great playa,
      His mighty Glaive could quickly slaya.
      Cabbages for sale,
      Some gankers would fail.
      Papa Jim we sure do miss ya.
    • Granny Breeze12 and the Kids
      During Grrawl’s time away, Lyn and Alec did their best to keep things running smoothly for their father. Alec spent much of his time working with the Thetford faction to gain standing so his father would have access to plenty of Thetford crests and swamp salamanders. Lyn spent her time gathering in the steppes and forests. One day when she was out in the woods hunting bears she encountered a skilled, older woman also hunting bears. Lyn was amazed at her strength, endurance, and ability to dispatch the bears. Not only that, the woman would go from fighting a bear to chopping several of the huge Cedar trees in a matter of minutes. Lyn approached the woman, introduced herself, and started to ask her simple questions about how she could be so strong. The woman responded that her name was Breeze, and spent several hours talking with Lyn. She showed Lyn some of her techniques to defend against the stunning swipe attack of the bear. As the sun started to set on the day, Lyn invited Breeze to her island for an evening meal so they could continue their conversation. Breeze accepted and they talked for several more hours. Because Lyn’s mother was taken when Lyn was fifteen, she longed to have a mother figure in her life again.

      In the weeks that passed, Lyn and Breeze developed a kinship to the point where Breeze asked Lyn to start calling her Granny Breeze. Lyn was happy to do so and relished the bond they shared. They would frequently chat while gathering resources or get together for meals and share stories. Lyn sent a message to Alec to come to meet Granny Breeze and a few days later he arrived. Granny Breeze adopted him into her heart as well and told Alec that if he needed anything, to send a message and she would be there for him too. It felt good to Alec to feel like he had another parental figure looking out for him.

      Lyn also sent a message to Caerleon for Grrawl to come to meet Granny Breeze. It was a few more weeks before he returned to Caerleon to get the message. Once he received it, he immediately set out for Lymhurst with all kinds of food. When Grrawl arrived in Lymhurst the four of them had a big feast and spent several days fellowshipping and sharing stories. Grrawl thanked Breeze for looking after his kids and gifted her with one of the Swiftclaws he raised in Caerleon. A few months later, Grrawl learned it was Granny Breeze’s birthday, and he set out to meet her in the forest around Lymhurst where she was hard at work. Grrawl set out a birthday meal for the two of them to enjoy of stews, sandwiches, pies, and chocolates. After the meal, he lit up a bunch of fireworks to shoot into the evening sky. The explosions of red, green, and blue illuminated the area. Granny Breeze was touched by this gesture and they have remained friends to this day.
    • Grrawl almost gets killed while out gathering with Targetxx
      During his time in Caerleon, Grrawl took several new adventurers to the world of Albion under his wings. One such brave soul was TargetXX. This is the story of one of their adventures together. TargetXX liked to go hunting animals for hides, so he spent most of his time roaming the steppes. Early on he was afraid to enter into the areas near Caerleon in fear of getting ganked. Grrawl joined up with him and they did several dungeons together and never got attacked. TargetXX started to do more and more adventures on his own around Caerleon, especially hunting for hide. He frequently extended an offer to Grrawl for them to go hunting since it would be safer to work together and split the collected hides. Grrawl was typically busy, but one day he had time to ride out with TargetXX.

      They set out for Roastcorpse Steppe to find their quarry. Grrawl put on his gathering gear, got all his tools, and mounted a stag he raised from birth. Grrawl and TargetXX were carrying boltcasters to help kill the hide animals quickly so they could get to skinning as fast as possible. Typically one would be on look out while the other would harvest the hides. After an hour or so, both were carrying quite a bit of hide, and Grrawl would also stop to gather enchanted ore and fiber when he saw it. They passed a small lake, and Grrawl could see through the crystal blue waters that it was full of fish. Grrawl decided to relax and fish for a moment while TargetXX was collecting some hides. Out of nowhere Grrawl started to get attacked by a ganker. Though his heart was racing, Grrawl managed to stay calm. He was hit from behind with a Shadow Edge attack that froze him in place. Grrawl recognized the ghastly green glow of the Deathgivers as the blades plunged through his back and out his abdomen. Since Grrawl was wearing his skinner’s gear, he immediately cleansed himself of the spell holding him in place and started to run towards TargetXX. Even in his badly wounded state, he managed to yell at TargetXX to run. TargetXX took off towards Caerleon on foot since he was worried there was no time to get on his horse.

      While Grrawl was running behind TargetXX, the ganker was preparing for the fatal attack. Grrawl quickly turned invisible and doubled back towards the lake. The ganker began to chase after TargetXX since he lost sight of Grrawl. Once the invisibility wore off, Grrawl got on his stag to be ready to ride back to Caerleon, but first he wanted to make sure his friend was okay. Grrawl tried to use the spell “party chat” to check on him, but Grrawl got no reply. Grrawl figured this was good news and started to ride in the direction he saw TargetXX run off towards. Eventually he saw the ganker still running after TargetXX and the ganker even got close to catching up with him. Grrawl rode into view to try to distract the ganker or get him to follow Grrawl, but it didn’t work. Grrawl and TargetXX had agreed that if they ever were attacked, they would run to the city to meet up. Grrawl rode to Caerleon with his heart still pounding and waited to hear from TargetXX. After a few tense minutes, TargetXX sent a message to Grrawl that he was alive and managed to ditch the ganker by entering a dungeon. Grrawl was relieved to get this message. A little while later they met up on Grrawl’s island to split the hides and laugh about their narrow escape.
    • Grrawl meets Ghostt01 and helps him learn the ways of Albion
      In spite of his near-death experience, Grrawl continued to offer assistance to new adventurers. Every day different people came to the city centers to ask questions of the few more experienced citizens that would be there. Grrawl traveled a lot in those days, so it was common for him to be giving advice in Martlock one day and then going to Thetford to give advice there the next day. Grrawl enjoyed helping others and he found that he was able to learn new things too. In every city, there seemed to be someone who knew something insightful. Grrawl was always learning, whether it was from: Veralle or one of her many aliases; Worros and Ezriel in Bridgewatch; Slygon in Martlock; GrannyBreeze and Chelom in Lymhurst; or Meatcup, Datathief, and Evas in the outlands. There were others too, but Grrawl had forgotten their names.

      On one of his trips to visit his son Alec in Thetford, he met Ghostt01. Ghostt01 had just arrived in Albion and was full of questions. Grrawl did a walk and talk with Ghostt01 on this first day because he was busy doing chores and helping Alec with some errands. Ghostt01 appreciated Grrawl’s time and Grrawl introduced him to Alec in case he needed advice from someone in Thetford. Grrawl told Ghostt01 that he would be in Thetford for a few days, and was typically found in the city center answering questions.

      The next day Grrawl attended to his daily chores and then went to the city center to answer the questions of other adventures as normal. There waiting for him was Ghostt01. He was full of questions like: “What is the best way to earn a living?” “What weapons should I use?”, and many others. Grrawl and other helpful citizens answered all his questions. Ghostt01 took this information and headed off for adventures. A few days later he returned to find Grrawl still in town helping others. He told Grrawl of all his success and exploits. Ghostt01 asked Grrawl about what resources were profitable to gather. He also asked what was the deal with the faction recruiter that kept trying to get Ghostt01 to enlist. Grrawl explained that any resource can be profitable to gather, and that joining the city faction can be a great way to gain experience fighting and also earn a decent living. With that information, Ghostt01 enlisted in the Thetford faction and set out to earn his fortune.

      A few days later Grrawl parted from Alec’s company in Thetford to continue his trip around the continent gathering, refining, and crafting. He made sure to check for messages in each city to see if there was an update from Ghostt01, and would spend a few days in the city center helping as usual. Grrawl felt a fellowship with the other adventurers that would help out and enjoyed his time with them. It was amazing to Grrawl that so many didn’t know about the Great Library of Albion, or that every adventurer is imbued with their own fey librarian named Wiki. Many times Grrawl would tell a confused adventurer to just say “wiki chestnut logs”, and their fey-brarian would return with the information from the Library with where to find these common trees.

      Upon completing his trip, Grrawl returned to his home in Caerleon where he finally got word from Ghostt01. Apparently, he was quite busy rising to near the top of the ranks of the Thetford faction and had gotten comfortable in combat, even when the loss of his gear was at risk. He also told Grrawl that he was going to buy an island to establish himself in Caerleon so he could make potions. Grrawl was excited to have a neighbor that he helped mentor. Soon after Ghostt01 arrived in Caerleon, he invited Grrawl over and continued to ask for advice on what to set up on his island. Grrawl gave him suggestions and this allowed Ghostt01 to have a moderately successful herb garden and pasture setup for growing all he would need to make potions. Ghostt01 also built a kennel and raised some spectacular Direwolves to ride. Ghostt01 started to go out to the Sepulchers of Magic to hunt spirits for their arcane essence and to occasionally kill gankers in that area.

      For a while, Grrawl was hearing from Ghostt01 daily, and they would share stories about what transpired since they last spoke. Several times they went out to raid dungeons together. Slowly Ghostt01’s visits and then correspondence started to become infrequent. This was a common experience for Grrawl so he was not concerned. Then the messages stopped for weeks. Grrawl kept an eye out for this friend, but there was no sign of him. Finally, a message arrived with an update from Ghostt01. The message said that he had to suddenly leave Albion to return to his homeland and complete his schooling. When he first came to Albion, he hoped he would be able to do both. He soon learned the adventures were too time-consuming and he needed to make sure his education was his priority. Grrawl sent a message back to Ghostt01 that he supported him in his studies and would miss their conversations, but to keep in touch if possible. Ghostt01 replied for the last time telling Grrawl that he left all his possessions and his island in Grrawl’s name to take and enjoy. Tho Grrawl felt undeserving of those gifts, they were greatly appreciated and Grrawl knew that he would be crafting potions fortified with the memories of Ghostt01.
    • It's always sad when a friend, mentor or protege has to return to their homeland. I too have been in this situation in previous worlds I have explored, and it's always a wrench to leave or be left. But like Ghostt01 did, I always made sure to leave my wealth in the hands of someone who I trusted to do the most good. So it seems to me like you did deserve those gifts, for your kindness and help towards others. It's also great that you make potions in his memory and tell his story after all this time. All of us must go eventually...but even the small mark we leave on each world lives forever, in its own small way~
    • Grrawl’s Halloween Adventures
      As fall descended on Albion, Grrawl began to reminisce about his childhood growing up with the Keepers. They would make costumes out of the animal bones and hides, then go from family to family trying to scare each other. If he managed to get a good scare out of someone, they would give him some rock candy. Because of his small size, young Grrawl was able to find all kinds of unexpected places to hide. Grrawl's father loved hearing about how young Grrawl was able to give others a scare. They ate rock candy and had a hearty laugh at the frightened reactions of others. Grrawl even managed to scare his dad a time or two. With these pleasant memories in mind, Grrawl made his way to the nearest market to get a costume for the celebration. He found a good deal on a smiling pumpkin head, some skeleton feet, and a jack-o-donkey outfit for his trusty mule. Satisfied with this look, Grrawl collected some chocolate bars and set out to celebrate by giving away candy to other adventurers.

      Everywhere Grrawl rode, he tried to get adventurers to say “trick-or-treat”, but only a few were willing to play this game with him. Those who did got a free chocolate bar, which confirmed the rumor started by Bling: Grrawl is full of candy. He made his way to the Avalonian Roads to continue scouting for any Avalonian forces that might have information about his wife and where she was being held. He also tried to talk to other travelers, but most were too scared to stop due to his costume. Others would prepare to attack him. One instance of this happened when Grrawl approached an adventurer named FewJavier and give him some chocolate. Instead of accepting it and saying thank you, FewJavier took it and then pulled out a crossbow and tried to aim a well-placed shot through his jack-o-donkey. Grrawl saw what was about to happen and was able to spur his little mule hard enough to get them out of range. He continued to ride deep into the Avalonian road and found a nice turn-off to go hunting mist cougars. While hunting them, Grrawl found a few tree stumps filled with silver, so his adventure was more than paid for. He even managed to take a swiftclaw cub from one of the slain mist cougars. Grrawl did not expect to make it back home with all his loot but it turned out that there was no one else around to stop him. Once home, he put the swiftclaw cub in his kennel to nurture and raise as his own.

      Grrawl set out again, but this time it was to investigate the stirring of a new force in the land. All over there were new orange portals with jack-o-lanterns outside of them. Grrawl heard rumors about them from other adventurers who had gone in and lived to tell the tale. These portals opened to a hallowed ground realm that was ruled by a fearsome overlord named Bob. Grrawl entered one and after a long and exhausting fight through hundreds of undead mobs, he arrived at Bob’s chamber. In the back of the chamber, Grrawl could see the purplish glow of the treasure chest. Grrawl charged at Bob and was pelted with pumpkins. Wiping the orange goo from his eyes, Grrawl was able to see Bob’s axe striking down at his head just in time to sidestep it. Grrawl proceeded to try to stab Bob with his spear, and then in a flurry of strikes, punctured Bob like a pincushion. In response to this, Bob decided it was time to have a dance break. All around Bob and Grrawl, fireworks were set off into the air, and a haunting musical number was played while Bob forced Grrawl to dance against his will.

      Several seconds later, and just before the music ended, Bob picked up his axe and made another swing at Grrawl. Since Grrawl was still forced to dance due to Bob’s dance break spell, the axe struck him hard in the shoulder. Grrawl winced from the pain but was then able to resume fighting Bob. Grrawl charged through Bob with his spear out in front of him and managed to blow Bob off his feet. In retaliation, Bob cast another spell that froze Grrawl in place. Bob then summoned wave after wave of spectral skulls that slammed into Grrawl's body. Weakened from the onslaught, Grrawl knew he had to act fast. He summoned a frost shield to give him some protection and then hit Bob with everything he had left. Each spear thrust blasted through Bob’s body. From every hole a strange, orange liquid poured out with a sickly sweet smell and a hint of harvest spices. With one final reckless charge, Grrawl exploded through Bob’s chest, leaving pumpkiny bits of him strewn about the chamber. Grrawl walked over to some of the debris on the floor to take a closer look. He picked up a piece of pumpkin flesh that held some strange, steaming liquid that had once filled Bob’s body. Grrawl took a careful sniff. He could detect pumpkin spices, caramel, cream, and a hint of coffee. Grrawl stuck his finger in the liquid to put a drop on his tongue. Once he tasted it, Grrawl realized that Bob had been full of Pumpkin Spice Latte and proceeded to enjoy the rest of the hot beverage that was before him. Wiping the frothy, dairy foam from his beard, Grrawl then made his way to the chest to discover what treasures awaited him. Inside Grrawl found an assortment of items, plus the one thing he was searching for. The spell for the Horse Macabre that would make his trusty steeds near invisible. Grrawl departed the liar and returned home satisfied with both the tricks he encountered and the treats he received.
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    • Grrawl Adventures into Avalon w/ Ezriel14 to hunt a Stone Aspect
      Another day, another city. Grrawl's travels allowed him to see his kids while collecting various resources. After spending a relaxing couple of days with Lyn in Lymhurst, Grrawl set out for Bridgewatch. He took his time as he gathered stone in the forests of Lymhurst. He also hunted any uncommon, rare, or exceptional boars and bears he saw. Once he had a full pack of stone and hide, Grrawl focused his attention on traveling the steppes between Lymhurst and Bridgewatch. The barren lands were full of danger. If the Terror Birds or Sabertooth Tigers didn’t rip him to shreds, the wanna-be gankers would. Grrawl never understood the attraction that the steppes had to "try-hard" gankers that wear overpowered gear compared to their prey. He would sometimes ask them what they were thinking after knocking him down, but they would only reply with “good fight” or “jajaja”. On this trip, Grrawl arrived safely in Bridgewatch without any incident. He then went to the nearest stonecutter and made blocks from the stone he gathered. Afterward he headed towards the Universal Exports island in Bridgewatch to unload his cargo.

      It was on his way to the island when he bumped into Ezriel. They chatted for a bit and Ezriel told Grrawl that he was going to the Roads to hunt a Stone Aspect he saw just a few minutes prior. He asked Grrawl if he was a proficient healer, and Grrawl told Ezriel that he had decent healing powers but was not the greatest. Ezriel said he just needed help to fight the Aspect, so any healing should be enough. Grrawl proceeded to the Universal Exports island and unloaded everything. Before leaving, he cooked up a couple of crab omelettes for the trip. He then went to the market to buy the best healing gear he could use and a swiftclaw to ride. The gear he purchased was a holy staff, mistcaller, cleric hood, cleric robe, mercenary shoes, and Matlock cape. Fully equipped, he headed out into the steppes to find Ezriel and begin his next adventure.

      Grrawl and Ezriel met up in Steelhide Meadow at the portal designated by Ezriel. Before they entered the portal, Ezriel gave a couple of poison potions to Grrawl in case they were needed to help take down the Stone Aspect. They turned their mounts towards the portal and with a flash of green energy they were transported to the Roads of Avalon. Every time Grrawl went adventuring in the roads, he was awestruck by the fallen beauty of the place. Everywhere he looked, he could see the remains of a once-great civilization that was overgrown by nature. Statues fractured and decaying due to tree roots growing through them. Stone pathways falling apart and giving way to mud and dirt. Ezriel led the way as the two headed for another portal that would take them to another Road. From that Road they took another portal to reach the Road where their quarry lived.

      After exiting this last portal, Ezriel led them down a dark wooded path. They charged past a pair of ore elementals that tried to detonate large bombs made of titanium that could knock either of them from their mounts. Fortunately, their mounts were already at a full gallop and they made it safely out of the blast radius. The explosion behind them left their ears ringing for a few moments and shards of metal went zipping by their heads. They could feel the earth shaking from the footsteps of the lumbering ore elementals behind them, but the elementals were much slower than their mounts. A few seconds later and the elementals gave up the chase. Ezriel took them around a corner and up on a hill was their target. A large Basalt Aspect was slowly walking along the hill, groaning like an ox under a heavy load. Grrawl and Ezriel dismounted and ate their food before starting their attack.

      Readied for battle, Ezriel lept towards the Aspect with his dagger in hand, cutting quickly into the rocky body. Grrawl kept his distance and would send radiant energy crackling through the Aspet’s torso. Soon scratches in its body began to allow bits of stone to chip away. The chips gave way to cracks, but while Ezriel and Grrawl were starting to damage the beast, it was dishing out a heavy toll on Ezriel. Grrawl was using his healing spells as fast as he could to keep Ezriel in the fight. It is worth noting that Stone Aspects are not known for their intelligence, but they do have some strong survival instincts. This one started to realize that Grrawl was a threat too, even though he was no longer attacking the Aspect directly. The Aspect sent a wave of rock at Grrawl, who was not able to get out of the way in time. The blast of rocks sent Grrawl flying backwards to the ground. Grrawl quickly got up and had to stop healing Ezriel to tend to his own wounds. The Aspect started to charge towards Grrawl and hit him with another devastating attack. In the meantime, Ezriel consumed a healing potion and continued his attack on the Aspect from behind. The Aspect was starting to show signs of damage and larger chunks of stone were falling from it with each hit from Ezriel’s dagger.

      Just as the Aspect was about to crush Grrawl under his fist, Ezriel thrust his dagger through the crumbling body of the monstrous creature. It shattered to the ground all around them. Breathing heavy, Grrawl continued to cast his healing spells on them both in case anyone was lurking around the corner to attack the weary pair. Ezriel changed into his Quarier gear, grabbed his stone hammer, and went to work breaking down the Aspect’s body into pieces he could carry. This Aspect was quite large and it took Ezriel a while to gather all the bits of Basalt into his pack. Once all the stone was gathered, Ezriel handed Grrawl some silver as payment for his help bringing down the Aspect.

      Before they were able to get on their mounts to leave, they heard the sound of someone approaching. From around the corner came a lone adventurer on a horse, who saw Grrawl and Ezriel standing there. Realizing he was in the wrong place and outnumbered, the adventurer turned his horse around and spurred it away with haste. Grrawl and Ezriel shared a laugh and mounted up to return home. Aside from a few angry creatures, their ride out of the Roads was just as uneventful as their ride in. They made the jump from road to road till they reached the portal that returned them to Steelhide Meadow. After exiting the Roads, they shook hands and parted company for now. Grrawl looked forward to the next time they would adventure together. Ezriel’s vast experience in the Roads of Avalon could be valuable for Grrawl's search of his wife and the Avalonian Mage that took her.
    • Mayhem on the Farm
      Grrawl returned to Bridgewatch after his adventures with Ezriel to store his gear and pick up a load of Granite blocks to upgrade the houses on his island in Caerleon. Grrawl loaded a saddled boar with as many blocks as he could carry, put on his escape gear in case gankers were on the prowl, and departed for Caerleon the next day. Grrawl took the safer indirect route to Caerleon. Upon arrival he chartered a ship and took it to his island. Immediately after stepping off the boat, Grrawl was hit with an overpowering stench of sulfur, methane, and death that reminded him of the last time he went through a hellgate. Grrawl left his saddled boar on the boat not knowing what danger lay ahead.

      Grrawl heard a noise to his right, and there on the beach were three adult swiftclaws laying in the sand sunning themselves. The fourth one was standing on the shore then pounced into the water in an attempt to catch some fish. Grrawl walked down towards the swiftclaws and saw some of the cause for the stench he was smelling. There on the sand were bits of fish, rabbit, and goose feathers. The three swiftclaws on the beach noticed Grrawl approaching, rolled over to stand up, and walked to Grrawl to greet him. They proceeded to rub their faces against his sides and allowed him to pet them. The fourth one in the water came up with several herrings in its mouth. Grrawl put out his hand and the swiftclaw dropped a partly eaten fish into his hand. Grrawl took the fish and gave it to one of the other swiftclaws that was eyeing it intently.

      Grrawl left the beach to return to the dock. There he found a note nailed to the signpost that read, “Welcome Home - Bling”. Grrawl was not sure yet what all to make of the note, but he was certain he would find out shortly. Grrawl was also not sure why Bling was giving him this kind of attention. Worried about the livestock, he made his way to the back part of the island where his farms, pasture, and kennel were set up. To his shock he saw that all the pumpkins were eaten, and the pasture was empty. He saw some rustling in a bush and approached with caution. Grrawl leaned down to take a closer look when exploding from the leaves was one of the geese he had been raising. The unexpected attack caused Grrawl to fall backwards, nearly landing in a steaming orange pile of ox manure. The goose flew towards Grrawl, angrily honking at him. Once it got close it started to peck and bite at Grrawl’s arms and face. Grrawl got up and attempted to restrain the crazed bird, but it flew away from him. He tracked the flight of the bird and saw it come to rest on the back of a horse. The goose let out a honk and proceeded to ride the horse away from Grrawl towards the shoreline as if it were the ruler of the island.

      Grrawl checked himself for injury and only saw a few bite marks from the goose. He took a long look around and began to fully take in the chaos. From above him, Grrawl heard the sound of sheep bleating. He looked up and there were the three sheep he was nurturing in the tree branches high off the ground. Grrawl could not explain how they managed to get so far up the tree, but he was certain Bling helped. He was only gone for a few days and left his farm and animals before, but never had things gone so wrong. There were bloody feathers all over the ground from the other geese that had been in his pasture. Clearly, the swiftclaws were the cause of that destruction. He also saw more bloody clumps of rabbit fur and bits of fish that had also been consumed by the swiftclaws. There were animals still not accounted for. He had yet to locate the pigs and the Elder’s Ox that he had in the pasture. There was evidence that the ox was alive somewhere, large steaming piles of evidence. Clearly, the pumpkins Grrawl had been growing had a laxative effect on the beast.

      Grrawl headed to his house to get some tools to help clean things up. Grrawl opened the door and was face-to-tail with the backside of the ox, who was startled by the breeze created when the door opened. The ox released a thunderous blast of flatulence in Grrawl’s face that caused him to stagger backwards, coughing and gagging. With the door opened the ox turned around and pushed its way past Grrawl to exit the house. The two pigs that had also been missing trotted out the door. Inside the house was a complete disaster. All of the chests that contained gathered vegetables and herbs were smashed open. The long rug on the floor was a filthy mess and there were piles of orange ox excrement everywhere, floor, walls, ceiling. This clearly was caused by all the pumpkin and foxglove the ox had consumed that was stored in the chests. Grrawl opened an unbroken chest that contained weapons to find something to help clean up the mess. He looked long and hard at a Brimstone Staff he crafted thinking how several well-placed meteor strikes would clean things up nicely. Instead, Grrawl grabbed a frost staff with one hand and an unlit torch with the other. Grrawl used the Freezing Wind spell to turn the steaming orange piles into frozen masses that he could then slide out of his house using the handle of the torch. Grrawl would always try to make fun out of a bad experience and turn it into a game to see if he could get the frozen “stones” to slide to the same spot. Due to the offensive odor, Grrawl named the game “Shuffle Turd”.

      Once his house was cleaned up, Grrawl went to the other houses where his workers lived. Grrawl had yet to see or hear from them and started to grow concerned for them. Grrawl called out before entering the first house but there was no answer, so he opened the door and went inside. He found the table, beds, and decorations were there, but no workers. Grrawl went to the second house and also found it empty but this time there was a note on the table. Grrawl picked it up to read. It was a simple message, “Aww heyll no! We quit”. Grrawl wondered if it was the sight of Bling that caused them to leave, or the chaos Bling left behind.

      It took several days for Grrawl to get the rest of his island back in working order. He managed to fix the doors on the kennels, got some more gosling chicks in his pasture, and replanted all the crops that were eaten. Thanks to the large supply of manure provided by the ox, he expected an increased yield from the farms. He had to get creative to get the sheep out of the tree by using the combination of the Hover ability from a pair of Sandals of Purity and a Major Gigantify potion. His enlarged floating body was able to reach up and gently set them down on the ground. Grrawl also took the ox and swiftclaws to the saddler to make them into mounts. The Elder Transport Ox made repairing the damage to the island much easier since it was able to carry so many materials at once. Grrawl also hired some new workers to assist in supplying him with refined resources to rebuild the chests destroyed by the ox. Once things were back in order, Grrawl took a day to rest on his island. Shortly after sunset, there was a huge explosion followed by fireworks off in the distance and in the direction of Lymhurst. Grrawl was not aware of any holiday that would be celebrated and an uneasy feeling washed over him.
    • The Detonation of Granny Breeze and her island
      The next day a letter arrived from Lyn. She had been spending time with Granny Breeze and saw an elaborate setup on her Breeze12 island. Granny Breeze was raising lots of chickens, geese, and pigs. She was also growing several fields of potatoes. In one of the buildings were several stills that Granny Breeze was using to turn the potatoes into moonshine. Lyn also discovered that Granny Breeze had a stockpile of fireworks in another house right next to the building with the stills. Lyn warned Granny Breeze about the dangers of having such a large supply of explosive and flammable materials in close proximity, but Granny Breeze assured her that it was under control.

      The letter went on to explain the fireworks Grrawl had seen the previous night. Granny Breeze decided to celebrate the completion of her 100th barrel of moonshine. She also had invited Lyn to come to join the celebration. Granny Breeze took some of her fireworks to the far side of the island to be away from everything. She set off a few to test that they would work before Lyn arrived. Unfortunately, Granny Breeze didn’t notice that some of the sparks from the first couple of fireworks had created burning embers on the roof of her main house. Within a few minutes, the entire roof was ablaze. Lyn was on her way via ship to Granny Breeze’s island when the fire started. She could see the flames in the distance from the water. Lyn pleaded with the captain to head to the island as fast as possible so they could try to assist Granny Breeze in extinguishing the fire. The captain knew how dangerous that would be considering all the explosives and flammable substances Granny Breeze had been known to stockpile there and refused to go any closer.

      The flames grew brighter and higher as they spread across the island. The color changed to an intense blue once the fire reached the manure piles that Granny Breeze was using for her crops and to create the blasting powder for her fireworks. The light from the fire at night was blinding but Lyn was able to see the shadow of a figure running towards the dock. Lyn pleaded one more time with the captain to head to the island and rescue her friend. The captain relented and started to make sail for the dock but it was too late. A sudden massive explosion from the stills sent a blast wave out in all directions that buffeted the ship. The first explosion was followed by a second deafening series of blasts as all of the fireworks were ignited by the fire. Huge chunks of the island were thrown into the air as it cracked in half and sank into the sea. The captain headed towards the bits of burning wood to look for survivors where the island once was. They spent hours searching the debris but found no one. By then it was too dark to see anything and were unable to find anyone. The captain set sail and returned a devastated and grieving Lyn to her island.

      Grrawl continued to read the letter. Lyn said that the next morning she was exhausted from both grief and the time spent searching. She was awoken to the smell of breakfast being prepared in her house. Confused, she opened her eyes to be greeted by Granny Breeze. Lyn flew out of bed to embrace her friend and excitedly asked how she survived. Granny Breeze told her that she was knocked unconscious by the explosion and thrown into the air. She had landed on some parts of the wooden dock and that kept her afloat. When she woke, the ship was leaving but she was too weak to call out. She then used some wood debris as a paddle and slowly rowed her way to Lyn’s island since it was the closest one. Granny Breeze asked Lyn to let Alec and Grrawl know she was fine in case they got news about the explosion. She was sad her Breeze12 island had sunk into the sea but was grateful to still have them as her family.

      ** As the scribe for Grrawl’s Chronicle I need to inform you, dear reader, that I will be taking a brief break for the holiday. The story will resume after the new year packed with peril, humor, and familial adventures. I am grateful to each of you who take the time to read this Legend and hope your adventures in Albion are fruitful, fun, and memorable. **
    • The Lands Awaken
      During the winter, there was a strange stirring in the land of Albion. Grrawl could sense things were changing, evolving almost. At first, the differences were subtle. The leaves on the chestnut trees turned from vibrant orange to blueish-green. He noticed other things
      changed colors too. Then came the more obvious transformations. One day when out harvesting fibers, Grrawl encountered a green, glowing undead knight. It was bigger and more fearsome than he had ever seen. The knight attacked Grrawl with such intensity that Grrawl ran from the fight, barely escaping with his life. Grrawl returned to the city of Thetford to ask other gatherers if they too had noticed these changes. The city was abuzz with conversations about all that was new and different. Some even talked about how a weapon they had used was confiscated by the Royal Guard and replaced with a flaming dagger. Grrawl went to learn more about this new weapon and was informed that there were schematics for it and other weapons that were unlike any others in Albion.

      Grrawl was informed that in the homeland of the humans, the weapon masters were getting shipments of rare artifacts and had managed to manipulate them into these new weapons. One was crafted from the actual fang of the demons that rule the corrupted dungeons and hell gates, aptly named the Demon Fang. The others were called War Gloves and were inspired by the weapon the Demon Fang was exchanged for: the Blackhands. However, the war gloves were much more complex than the Blackhands ever were. Grrawl was given copies of each of the schematics for the war gloves by the local Warrior Forge master. Grrawl then set out to Fort Sterling with an ox laden with leather and metal bars to start to learn how to make these fantastic new weapons.

      Upon arrival in Fort Sterling, Grrawl immediately went to the market to purchase the artifacts required to make each type of glove so he could decide which one to focus his energy and money perfecting. Grrawl made his first set of each type and spent a little time testing them by fighting the local undead mobs that lurk around Fort Sterling. Grrawl quickly found that he liked the Ursine Maulers and the Battle Bracers best. The pure damage that the Ursine Maulers could unleash was impressive to him. The ability to fly into the air and move quickly with the Battle Bracers, gave him ideas of how to escape getting ganked. Grrawl was proud of his early efforts, but the quality was lacking. The first sets he made wore out quickly and he knew he must get to work to improve his efforts. He focused, studied, and refined the process hundreds of times.

      After a little over a month of work and several million silver, Grrawl finally perfected the craft of making war gloves. He could not use them yet at their full potential, but he could certainly make some of the finest weapons Albion had ever seen. Grrawl exited the Warrior Forge with a pair of Grandmaster's Fists of Avalon that were his best result so far. When he stepped into the light of day, a pair of figures silhouetted by the sun blocked his path. As his eyes adjusted to the light, he was greeted by the sight of his children. They let out a laugh at the disheveled look of him. Grrawl checked his reflection in a set of knight armor to see what was so funny. Grrawl’s hair and beard were dark-black from soot. He gave his head a quick shake and a ploom of ash went everywhere.

      Grrawl was surprised to see his children, but they informed him that it had been almost a month and neither had heard from him. They had grown worried that something happened, and came out looking for him. Fortunately, Alec and Lyn encountered several people who sold Grrawl the materials required for the gloves and eventually found the Warrior Forge that Grrawl had made his home while working on his trade. They spent days waiting for Grrawl to emerge from the forge, like a marmot exiting its burrow in spring. The kids were very impressed with their father’s work, and he presented them with several sets of gloves that were leftover from all his crafting. They returned to their island in Fort Sterling and spent the rest of the day catching up and eating together. They also spent some time dueling each other to get proficient in using the war gloves. After an afternoon of practice, Lyn and Alec were proud of their father's efforts and imagined armies going to battle with gloves Grrawl had made. Grrawl sat facing the sunset and could start to see the blue glow of a nearby portal to the Avalonian Roads. Grrawl was certain that the war gloves would be instrumental in his quest to find his wife.
    • New

      Grrawl and ThyBesten Hit the Road
      During Grrawl’s time of obsessive focus on mastering the craft of war gloves, he met many other gathers, refiners, and crafters. One such person was named ThyBesten. Thy provided Grrawl with the highest quality leather and metal bars. This helped Grrawl not spend so much time traveling from market to market to purchase the materials needed to create each pair of war gloves. They set up an arrangement to meet daily and Grrawl gifted Thy with a pair of Adept's Ursine Maulers that came out as a masterpiece.

      After one of their daily trading sessions, the two sat around and talked about their own adventures. Grrawl learned that Thy and not gone into the Roads of Avalon yet. Grrawl extended an invitation for them to go together one day. Grrawl also said that he would pay for Thy’s gear just in case they ran into some bandits that were either too strong or outnumbered them. That way Thy could be focused on having fun on the trip and not be worried about the loss of his gear. Thy thanked Grrawl for his generosity and they made a plan to head out the next morning after they made their daily trade of leather and metal bars. Thy also informed Grrawl that he had powerful healing abilities when wearing the right gear and should be able to help them go far in the Roads. That night, Grrawl mapped out where they should go and what equipment to take to try to ensure they would survive in the Roads.

      When they met up to trade the next day, Grrawl was wearing his Ursine Maulers and Druid Robe as part of his adventuring gear. Thy and Grrawl completed the exchange and Grrawl also provided Thy with food, invisibility potions, and an armored horse to help them escape any perils they might encounter. Grrawl stored the shipment of leather and metal bars at his home, and the two headed out into the wilderness. They quickly found a two-person portal in the wilds of Cair Fidair. Their hearts raced as they crossed the threshold of the portal, departing the crisp-cool winter of the mountains, and entered the balmy warmth of the Roads of Avalon. The snow on their boots melted almost immediately leaving a small puddle on the golden floor under the portal they just arrived through. Grrawl and Thy surveyed the immediate area, fully expecting to be ambushed by gankers. After a few seconds, none appeared and they both took a calming breath.

      The two wayward adventurers headed down the main path for a little bit before turning off into the wooded trails. Grrwal could see the faint glow of a treasure site off in the distance, so they headed in that direction. They pushed past ore elementals with their explosive metal shards detonating around them. They followed the twists and turns of the path till they arrived at a staircase leading up to the treasure site. They moved forward and were quickly attacked by strange silver and gold spherical drones that floated in the air. Some discharged focused beams of energy at the pair. Others were much larger and they had a variety of attacks that were difficult to defend against. Grrawl and Thy quickly realized these drones were of the highest quality and needed to be faced one at a time if possible. After several minutes of intense battle, Grrawl and Thy managed to clear the treasure site of all but the main guardian of the treasure. A towering Avalonian Sorcerer. Grrawl set the plan. Thy would try to get the Sorcerer’s attention and Grrawl would attack from behind. Thy would then do all he could to heal them both while Grrawl dished out the damage. While the plan was sound, their execution of it was not. Since Grrawl had never encountered this adversary before, he didn’t know that the Sorcerer would cast focused beams of energy in several directions at one time without warning. These beams quickly rendered both of them unconscious. Once they woke up, they retreated to try to find other adventures in an attempt to be victorious.

      Grrawl and Thy looked out through the woods and could see another treasure site nearby. They decided to ride to it and see if maybe it was not as heavily guarded. Upon arriving at the stairway of the second site, the pair were quickly attacked by more of these Avalonian machines of war. Grrawl tried to reposition behind the ones that were attacking them and accidentally drew the attention of more of the drones. Within seconds he was rendered unconscious again, while Thy retreated from the fight to try and regroup. Unfortunately for Thy, the overwhelming swarm of machines was focused on him, and he too was knocked out. Once the pair woke again, Thy implored Grrawl to remember the lesson from earlier: just attack one at a time. Grrawl nodded in humbled agreement and the two went on a rampage, quickly demolishing the drones one at a time.

      The guardian of this chest was not as tall as the Sorcerer at the previous treasure site but still towered over Grrawl and Thy. As they approached the guardian, he spun his quarterstaff and took a fighting position. Grrawl and Thy tried their attack plan again and this time it worked. The Avalonian Monk was no match for Grrawl’s ability to inflict damage and Thy’s healing powers. The monk fell to his knees after Grrawl delivered a final flurry of punches with his Ursine Maulers. Each strike caused part of the monk’s body to compress with the squishing sound of someone mashing a potato. With blood flowing from the monk’s mouth, Grrawl approached to interrogate him, while Thy walked up to the green-glowing treasure chest that had been guarded. Grrawl leaned down to the monk and promised him a quick death if he would tell Grrawl where his wife was being kept. The monk turned his face up to look Grrawl in the eyes before collapsing to the ground. Grrawl was despondent that he was not able to extract any information.

      Grrawl got up and walked over to join Thy at the chest to appraise the treasure they earned. The loot was nice, some gear, some silver bags. Grrawl asked Thy if he was willing to return to the Sorcerer and see if they could do better this time now that they had warmed up fighting the monk. Thy agreed and the two returned to the first treasure site to find a lone adventurer in full plate mail trying to fight the Sorcerer on his own. Grrawl at first thought this must be a mighty warrior, but his opinion changed quickly when the warrior saw them and started to flee. Grrawl yelled out to him that they were friendly and invited him to join them in the fight. Grrawl thought that as a team of three, they could make short work against one Sorcerer. The warrior agreed to join them and introduced himself as Debrees. At least that is what Grrawl thought he said. It became clear very quickly while trying to greet each other, that Debrees didn’t speak the same language as Grrawl and Thy..

      Grrawl tried to set up the plan of attack: Debrees would get the attention of the Sorcerer, Thy would try to heal him while not taking damage himself, and Grrawl would attack from behind. The problem was that Debrees didn’t understand, so he just stood there till Grrawl went in to start the fight. The Sorcerer saw the tactic Grrawl was trying to employ and released her focused beams of light, cutting all three down in one attack. Grrawl, Thy, and Debreese picked themselves up from the ground, regrouped, and tried again. This time they were able to dodge some of the light beam attacks, but after a few minutes both Thy and Debreese were down. Grrawl quickly became the target of the Sorcerer’s wrath, and he had to retreat and regroup. The party tried three more times to slay the Sorcerer, but each time she was too powerful, even tho they were getting closer to victory. Grrawl implored the team to try one last time, confident they could win the day. The battle raged with a greater intensity than the previous ones. Debrees was caught off guard by a light beam blast and was knocked down. Thy and Grrawl continued to dance around their enemy, Thy healing them both, and Grrawl punching till his arms started to hang limp by his sides. Suddenly the Sorcerer released its light beam attack again. Thy attempted to dodge it but he was clipped at the last second and was brought down. Grrawl could see the Sorcerer was getting weaker. That last beam attack was not as powerful as the earlier ones. He mustered his strength, released a final flurry of punches. Grrawl saw the Sorcerer was about to make a counter-attack, so he did a flying triple kick into her stomach and was able to knock her off balance. They were both breathing heavily, Grrawl was bent over with his hands on his knees trying to catch his breath. The Sorcerer raised her hands to cast one more beam of light attack in an effort to finish Grrawl off. This was the opening he was waiting for. Grrawl sprinted to the side of the Sorcerer and used the Dragon Leap technique to deliver a crushing kick to her ribs that sent the beam of light into the air. Grrawl followed it up with a punch that caved in her side where the ribs were shattered by the strike. She let out a howl of pain and fell to the ground.

      Grrawl knew he only had a few seconds before she expired and his partners awoke. Grrawl grabbed the Sorcerer's face to look at her. She was not the one that had taken his wife, but maybe she knew something. He asked where his wife was being kept. The Sorcerer looked at him with eyes full of malice and smiled a vengeful grin. She uttered these words with her dying breath: “She is lost to you.” This shook Grrawl to his core but made his resolve even stronger to find his wife. He stood up just as his partners were getting back on their feet. They approached the chest to divide the loot. This chest was filled with a bounty of gear and silver. There was so much that Thy was not able to walk under the weight of his share. Grrawl offered to carry some items till they exited the Roads, so Thy would not be encumbered while they rode to safety.

      The ride back to the portal they had entered through was uneventful. The portal was low on power tho, so they had to wait a couple of tense minutes before one of them could leave. Grrawl gave Thy a better bag and all the valuable gear they picked up so he could exit first while Grrawl and Debrees waited behind. Thy quickly exited the Road as soon as the portal had regained its charge. A few minutes later, Grrawl exited as well, saying goodbye to Debrees. Thy gave Grrawl his share of the loot back, and they set out for their homes in Fort Sterling. Both were pleased with the success of the trip and agreed that they should do it again. Thy was still not aware of Grrawl’s quest to find his wife or the words that were uttered by the Sorcerer concerning her. When Grrawl got to his house, he unloaded his equipment and collapsed into bed. Overcome by heartache and exhaustion he wept for his missing wife, then fell into a deep sleep.