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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/28/2017 in Posts

  1. OK mine at the time was RQII, I really didn't like RQ3 when it came out. In hindsight I think RQ3 was a better system,. Reasons for not liking RQ3 at that start were, Not being glorantha based - especially bloody awful games workshop version Bloody awful scenarios and supplements - Compared to Borderlands, Griffin Mountain, Pavis & Big Rubble & Trollpack, Cults of Terror and Cults of Prax No blade venom rules Spirit magic not always working No decent cult write ups Medievil west Reason I converted over time RQ3 Renaissance stuff was excellent The systems more subtle The system seems more logically consistent RQ2 mechanics started to date and seem clunky It gave a wider sense of Glorantha
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  3. Jon: P.S. I liked reading your five-part list of encounters too! Very nicely done. cheers again. Evilroddy.
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  4. Jon Hunter: An interesting group of NPC's which you have created as the companions to Yalaring of Trilus. Well done, sir. Your Balazaring Renaissance is progressing well. Congratulations on breathing new life into this classic setting. Cheers. Evilroddy.
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  5. Thank you, just picked up Reflux. Keep 'em coming brotha. (i needed a space RPG and MSpace is it)
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  6. Another week another post .. http://www.backtobalazar.com/compatriots-king-yalaring-monsterslayer/
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  7. Really like the art Andrey has produced for new RuneQuest. It’s really hitting that RQ2 ancient Bronze Age feel perfectly. Although I’ve noticed some of his art for the 13th age in Glorantha has elements of a more dark age Beowulf/vikIng feel which I hope doesn’t appear in the new RuneQuest ( despite its great quality), as it detracts from the strong thematic of the ancient RQ2 feel. For example the Stormbull fighting in front of the block with chain mail, and long stripey trousers feels much more Saxon/Viking. Having said that everything that’s been shown specifically for new RuneQuest by Andrey has hit the mark with the ancient Bronze Age RQ2 feel. Can’t wait to see the final product.
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  8. I think it ran pretty smoothly. It seemed clunky to me too, until I ran it with people who never played - meaning they had no expectations or paradigms already in their head, and they were fine with it. That said, I expect it's been SIGNIFICANTLY polished over the last year or so (recall that the Quickstart was basically thrown together from beta rules from Jan 2017 timeframe).
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  9. Just a reminder that today is the last day of our Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale! 20% off both M-SPACE and REFLUX.
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  10. The last in this series; http://www.backtobalazar.com/balazaring-encounters-happenings-part-5/
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  11. Part 4 http://www.backtobalazar.com/encounters-part-4/
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  12. Part 3 of this Series http://www.backtobalazar.com/balazaring-encounters-happenings-part-3/
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  13. Very Busy http://www.backtobalazar.com/balazaring-encounters-happenings-part-2/
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  14. Part two,Really important questions are asked and yet no one mentions swallows.We return to the surprisingly gory adventure as the bloody body of Roger Keely previously of the New Model Army staggers and finally flops to the floor.As the body hits the floor the crystal child who was shadowing him looks at it for a moment and then silently heads into the slime wall, slowly eaten away by it until nothing of him remains. This only adds to the sense of shocked horror that now pervades the room the silence lasted a few more heartbeats until complete pandemonium breaks out, everyone starts shouting at once and some crazy accusations also ring out, There followed several tense moments until things settled down and people recovered from their initial shock, Ralph explained his actions and the Doctor came up with a slightly less scary explanation for the dissolving child it was very technical but basically boiled down to the old reverse bread and fishes routine. The Party had a heart to heart discussion with Jan Southforth the last remaining N.M.A soldier who had jumped with them and eventually the consensus is that Rodger was a git and was asking for it and so we will never mention it again........understand?The Party had solved the mystery of where the Crystal children were coming from but after a lot of poking and prodding they were unable to stop them appearing. The Party finally decide that there is nothing further they can do or learn so head back into the corridors. After picking a westerly course and exploring a few more bare dusty corridors some of which have small slithers of crystal sticking out from the floors and walls these crystals provide an unsettling half light that causes strange shadows to flicker in and out of view but eventually the unnerved Party come across another strange chamber, this one is hexagon in shape and is dominated by a large stand upon which rests a strange musical instrument it looks like an eight sided triangle and from a crystal hook a small brass beater hangs. Three further corridors lead out from this chamber, one has a clear light coming from it, the other has a purple glow and the final corridor has a slightly sinister red glow emanating from it much like the glow that came from the birthing corridor. Giulio sneaks ahead and scouts out the other tunnels he quickly returns and tells the Party that the strange light seems to be coming from large crystals (7 feet high and roughly 4 feet wide) which grow out of the floor. the Doctor heads towards the clear crystal eager to see if it is the crystal they need to remove as he gets closer he is shocked to see what looks to be a man trapped within its depths and images of war behind him that he seems to interact with. The Doctor seems a little lost and unsure of himself but after a moments thought he pulls out his disc and sees if it reacts to the crystal, unfortunately it doesn't so he gives the crystal a spiteful kick but it fails to even rock the crystal he turns away from the ghostly figure and heads back to the chamber explaining to the others that it didn't seem to be the right crystal after all. Ralph meanwhile had been checking out the strange triangle and with a shrug he tries to hand it off to one of the crystal children, in fact he tries to hand it off to the child he had previously marked with a triangle but the child remains still and the triangle merely falls to the floor. Ralph sighs "I thought I had figured this out, never mind if you want a job done right you have to do it yourself" he then strikes the strange instrument with the beater, it now rings out clear and strong the note echoing weirdly within the confines of the chamber. Then the opposite wall lifts up suddenly revealing a sheet of clear crystal upon which a distorted ladies face forms."oh bludy heel noo whit?" asks the melancholy Scot as the strange lady begins to talk but apparently its via some form of magic as the voice is only heard within the Parties minds. "Sacrifice will be demanded Trans-Arcana penetration has started, state your case why the universe will benefit from your continued existence. I will consider your answers and delete the least worthy of you." Ralph shrugs wipes his hands down the side of his trousers and steps forward "Er wobbly lady my name is Ralph and I am willing to sacrifice my own life to make things better if needed, I have spoken to Zeal for the lord Harrison and through him I have made my peace with the Almighty" The face distorts even more for a moment and the voice replies "Your answer has been received, who will go next?"The Doctor walks past Ralph giving him a slightly awe struck look and then lays prostrate before the face and then he launches into a long winded speech about the various benefits that mankind has and that their journey to be worthy of the Almighty is a worthwhile one as we become better and better with each step creating more wondrous art and discovering the wonders of the world and each new artistic endeavour, each new scientific discovery brings us towards true understanding. The face again distorts "Answer has been received"Giulio takes a deep breath and puffing out his chest he loudly declares "Hey whatta youse mean? We no beg before a wobbly face, we are conquers, we are gods. Maybe small ones at the moment but gods nevertheless" The face seems to smile or was it a smirk then it repeats its mantra of answer received. "I need one more answer before judgement" with that Jan cries out " Hey feck you its an easy answer we are men of Norfolk and so we are the best there is" the face shudders and in a somewhat disturbingly sexy voice "Answers recorded sacrifice will be taken Trans-Arcana penetration will continue" and with that a beam of light blazes out from her eyes and sears Jan to ash. The face fades away and with a head splitting pop the voice also falls silent within the Parties heads. Cue screaming and panicking most of the Party quickly moves away from the pile of smoking ash and quickly heads off towards the west casting fearful glances behind them. A lot of "What the feck was that?" and "Can we nae gie th' heel it ay haur?" could also be heard coming from various Party members.The Doctor however remained in the chamber nowvweeping openly, he seemed to be trying to ring the strange hex angle triangle thing again and could be heard calling out "Please come back we can do better....how about best out of three?" but nothing reappears and Giulio has to call back to him to get him moving.The others had been stopped by one of the few doors that occasionally appeared seemingly at random within the palace by the time the Doctor finally bustles up behind them Giulio looking at the Doctor said "finally" and he pulls open the door. The room beyond was small and had more passages leading off from it the room itself had a fog or mist inside which hung low to the ground but weirdly didn't seem to flow out or even move when the door was opened. The Party turned to the crystal children and almost as one they grabbed the nearest and threw him in and watched to see what would happen. He staggered a little but seemed unaffected by the mist not even coughing he just turned and looked at the Party blankly. So looking like it was clear the others entered the mist. It just seemed to be just an odd mist so they quickly pick the south passage and continue onwards. Looking back Craigh sees that the room they had just left has disappeared leaving only a blank wall behind them "Weel that's buggered things up Ah reckon och weel forwards it is 'en." he then breaks out into a wee jog to catch up with the others.After travelling for awhile going up and down a variety of corridors the party come across another small room where a head sized twelve sided object seems to float five feet off the floor within a column of calming bluish light, the Doctor calls out "Hey its a calming blue light, I think its safe to rest here for a moment, you know so I can check on the bandages and reapply some more goose and horse ointment.So the Doctor gets his medical chest open but as the others enter the glow quickly changes to an angry pulsing red and the calm feeling is quickly replaced with a feeling of rage and anger.A figure then slowly forms in front of the Party, somehow forming itself out of the red pulsing light as it becomes more solid it looks to be similar to the mythical Greek Minotaur but instead of a bulls head it has the head of a mighty stag. It bellows and lashes out with its cloven hooves and with great swishes of its antlered head roaring out a challenging bellow. Most of the Party manages to avoid its blows but Ralph being a bit on the large side gets clipped by one cloven hoof and staggers back in pain. Giulio though reacts with commendable speed and quickly has his musket up and aimed he fires into the beast the shot striking it cleanly in its chest which unfortunately just seems to annoy it even more.Ralph still staggering a little swipes at the beast with his hatchets but fails to hit the madly swaying beast but fortunately does force it into the sights of the Doctors Donderbus which with a loud bang fires a cloud of shot and burnt gunpowder. The Beast roars and collapses with a final terrible squeal its now missing a very large and important part of its head. The Doctors looks at the smoking Donderbus then at the Beast and with a huge stupid smile plastered over his face starts to yell "Yeeeees I new I could do it, in your face devil monster" the others ignore his fist pumping as they are more interested in the object which goes back to a calming blue but soon hints of red appear again so the party hurry past it and into the corridors beyond.When at a safe distance they take a quick break to grab more food and water, reload their weapons and for the Doctor to try to reseal their numerous wounds...again. After the break the bruised and battered Party get up and decide to take the North passageway which soon twists away to the west, this passageway ends at a wall which has a silver button recessed into it. The Party look around to see if their are any signs of what the button may do and seeing nothing odd Giulio presses the button which apart from changing colour doesn't seem to do anything. Giulio looks around shrugs and pushes it again "Hey maybe itsa stuck" the button then changes to the colour of steel and again nothing seems to happen he shrugs again the rest of the Party though start to worriedly approach Giulio with their hands outstretched but Giulio hits the button again which unfortunately does do something this time as most of the metal on the Players suddenly turns to rust which falls away leaving a reddish trail behind them. The Party seeing this erupts in horror as most of their weapons are now useless and Ralph stops looks at Giulio with murderous intent and says "My feckin hatchets...... MY FECKIN HATCHETS!!!" but luckily for Giulio the crystal children decide that this is the perfect time to launch an attack.
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  15. Feeling busy at the moment http://www.backtobalazar.com/balazaring-encounters-happenings-part-1/
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  16. In the Pale Ladies kingdom the children of the crystal gather. Warning there is a lot of clone(ish) children meeting a variety of unpleasant endings in this write up. With a sizzle and a loud snap the barrier closes behind the CL.U.Bers cutting them off from the swamp, Zeal, Claymon Morrow and indeed England as they knew it. The CL.U.Bers were not entirely on their own though as two soldiers had been ordered to make the jump with them but the CL.U.Bers were not entirely sure if the soldiers were there to aid them or just to keep an eye on them. The Party could now see the palace of the Pale lady clearly now as it was now unimpeded by the distortion of the barrier and what a palace it was, a huge grey monolithic tower dripping with condensation and which leaned menacingly over the Party soon casting them into deep shadow. After adjusting their weapons and the rest of their equipment they moved towards the palaces single dark opening which lay ahead of them as they reached the empty opening they stopped and hearing nothing opened their packs and pulled out a variety of lanterns and candles there was an awkward moment when the flints struggled to spark but after some fiddling around a spark was brought forth and the lanterns were finally lit. So now with no excuse to further delay they entered the forbidding entrance and almost immediately were hit by the sudden jump in temperature the air became moist and damp the Parties clothing quickly becoming sodden. The walls were formed of large stone blocks which appeared unmarked by anything neither tool mark or decoration could be seen discerned and so they only added to the feeling of gloom that the Party were starting to feel pretty strongly. After a fairly short walk a faint purple glow could be seen coming from somewhere ahead and pulling out pistols and grabbing sword hilts the party edged forwards. They end up in a room which has three corridors leading off from it but the thing that grabs the attention of the Party is the huge and faintly glowing crystal which seems bizarrely embedded into the bottom of a small crater, bizarrely because the vaulted roof above is intact and showed no signs of damage or repair so how did the crystal get there? The Party nervously search the area before swinging back to the elephant in the room that was the crystal, could it be this easy a short walk and the crystal was there just sitting in the first room? of course it wasn't the crystal was on closer inspection more blueish in hue than purple and seemed to be solidly buried into the floor. The Doctor even got out his disc and tried to stick it onto the crystal but it wouldn't attach nor did it change so it seemed that the party wouldn't be that lucky after all. Ralph decided to attempt a more brute force approach to the problem and slammed his hatchets into the crystal but apart from a few sparks, nothing not even a sliver of crystal fell away. The Party somewhat disheartened looked back towards the entrance and though they could see a small square of grey daylight the barrier hid anything beyond so left with little choice they decide to head forwards taking the corridor leading northwards as the other two corridors gave off a hellish red glow and though nothing was said the Party as one decided to give them a wide berth for now. No tracks disturbed the damp filthy floor not even those of animals and still the Palace was as silent as a tomb the Parties strangely echoing footsteps the only sound to be heard. The short corridor led into another chamber which was somewhat similar to the first but this one had a crystal that was on a plinth and was more like a honeycomb as it had numerous holes bored through its surface, all different in shape, size and angle. Some of these holes had crystal rods inserted into them and it all together they gave off a most disturbing glow the colours swirling and ever changing. The Doctor approaches the plinth rubbing his head at the temples absently and reaches out for one of the crystal rods and carefully pulls it out....nothing seems to change the plinth still pulses with colours and everything else seems the same that is until Giulio opens his mouth to speak and instead of the heavily accented English everyone had grown to if not love then at least to tolerate he instead lets out a burbled mish mash of hell speak "Mitä olet tehnyt nyt olet Daft sod... roikkua, että ei kuulosta oikealta?" or Finnish as its otherwise known as. This was not the full extent of the horror as both Ralph and the Doctor also found themselves now unable to speak the holiest and most beautiful of languages and instead jabbered away in foreign there then followed several minutes of desperate action as numerous crystal rods were pulled out and shoved back into the plinth the Doctor was by now openly in tears as he realised that for several moments he had been speaking FRENCH crying out "Non, s'il vous plaît Dieu rien que cela" almost at the point of collapse the Doctor twisted a slender slightly grey rod back into the plinth and thankfully the next words heard was an earthy, homely and more importantly English profanity. Unfortunately Giulio was........well still Italian so he still spoke with a heavy accent so it wasn't a total win. And after the silence that followed the joyous celebrations of the return of English the sound of tiny feet slapping against soggy flooring could be heard coming from behind the Party from the direction of the first chamber Ralph swung his lantern across and in its flickering light a pale small figure of a naked child could be barely seen. Ralph took a few steps forward as the child seemed to be injured, its movements oddly stiff and ungainly but with those few steps more Ralph could make out more details and as he got closer he was horrified because as the child turned his head to stare up at him an explosion of purple lights shone back from its face as the crystals embedded within reflected the lantern light back at him. The strange child was deathly quiet and when it got around three feet away from Ralph it stopped suddenly and just stared at him never saying a word or muttering a sound. Quickly calling over the rest of the Party Ralph simply pointed at the child and quietly asked "What the feck is that?" the child could not be made to speak even after the Doctor performed a little Panto involving gently talking to the child and showing it various things from his pack and seeing if they got a reaction but the child just kept staring at Ralph and ignored the Bible, the various Parliamentarian tracts and even the emergency wheel of Cheshire cheese which was a little on the smelly side by this point. Ralph started to poke the child and with each poke murmured "Quit it" the child rocked back a little but remained silent and just stared at Ralph "Very odd it must be a feral child of some sort who has been changed by the Pale lady remember she had children farming flowers at that last place". The Doctor warming to the theme continued "And since he's feral it follows that he doesn't know how to communicate with normal folk" he also added that he had heard that in the Americas there were whole tribes of such people who had been lost in that countries vast wilderness and so over time had lost all semblance of Godly civilisation. Then just as they were giving up on the strange child and just ignore him the pitter patter of more feet could be heard and suddenly more children appeared each one bearing the crystal stigmata. Giulio looked around as five more of the silent children now stood in the room each one standing in front of one of the Party. "What the hell is going on, why won't they speak?" asked the now worried Giulio Ralph a thoughtful look crossing his face as he slowly started to walk away heading back towards the first chamber and after a brief pause the child who had attached himself to Ralph swiftly followed. The others were still trying to make sense of what they had found so far and arguing about the best course of action concerning the children and their quest and so failed to really notice Ralph slip away. Ralph walked back down the corridor and hearing the sound of naked feet behind him smiled and he headed behind the large crystal embedded in the floor, the child followed its crystals reflecting back the larger ones strange glow giving the child's features a demonic cast. Ralph quickly checked to see that the child was alone and that the large crystal blocked the view if the others enacted his plan with barely a pause, he smashed his hatchet into the child's chest cracking through meat and bone breaking ribs and splitting organs the child said nothing it barely reacted to the mortal blow but as Ralph twisted the hatchet out creating a huge bloody hole in the child's torso the child finally spoke and in dry dull tone it cried out "The Void, the void I can see the void" Ralph panicked and tried to stop the child's scary monotone before he got caught and had to answer some awkward questions but as he placed one meaty paw across the child's blood splattered face the child let out one last sigh and collapsed onto Ralph and then slowly slid down onto the floor leaving a trail of gore down Ralph's front "Bugger, there goes that plan" Wiping off the worst of the gore he heads back to the others who were just realising that he had disappeared they were horrified to see him walk out of the corridor covered in blood especially when they figured out what he had done. The mood wasn't helped by the other remaining children who just turned and stared silently at Ralph but displayed no emotion. In the awkward silence that followed the pitter-patter of bare feet could be heard again coming from the tunnel behind and soon another identical crystal child appeared, it walked up towards Ralph and again stopped in front of him and starred blankly up and into Ralph's increasingly annoyed looking face. "Feck that's it that's the last bleeding straw" Ralph pulled a length of twine off his belt with one hand whilst smacking the child hard across the face with the other causing it to stagger and fall. Ralph quickly hogged tied the child who bizarrely made no protest at this rough treatment not even a whimper, "Lets see you follow me around now you creepy little fart" he then stomped away heading towards one of the other tunnels. The others still looking slightly shocked watched him go and then as one turned to look at the bound child who with no expression on its face started to wiggle and twist and slowly oh so slowly start to crawl after Ralph who hearing something also looked back and seeing the child wiggling after him went absolutely berserk "No way you feckin git" and he pulled out one of his bloody hatchets and started to stride towards the crawling child. The Doctor leaps forward throwing out a protective arm "Run children, Uncle Ralph is very upset" but the crystal children just silently watched as Ralph shoved the Doctor aside and brought down his hatchet with blistering speed straight into crawlies head and stopping him dead, Giulio speaking quickly in Italian stepped up and managed to drag Ralph off before he entered full berserk mode. The Doctor quickly got over his shock at this turn of events and scuttled towards the dead child his crystal companion close behind "Well it can't be said I won't look a gift horse in the mouth" and he quickly set down his medical case and started to pull out blade and saw "Lets see what you are made of shall we" and with his crystal child looking on the Doctor got to work.The others stood away and even Ralph decided that this was too gruesome to watch and shaking off Giulio he stomped over to a corner to grab a hasty meal of hardtack and brackish water. Sighing Giulio gave a shrug and walked back to the crystal altar and began examining it from every angle the Italian engineer trying to figure out how it could possibly work he could occasionally be heard muttering something in Italian all the while watched by his crystal child. The Doctor was soon finished with Crawlie and went to work on the other corpse and when done with that one he thoughtfully washed the blood off his hands dried them and quickly jotted down his findings in his little black book and when everything was neatly back in his case he headed off to find the others. "Amazing truly amazing those children are unnatural of course, the fact that they are identical in appearance inside and out proves this. The strange crystal seems to infest much of their bodies growing out of their very bones and then piercing through their flesh why I even found signs of crystal growth within their hearts. I think these are some sort of Golem but why make them children I can not for the life of me fathom" The Doctors monologue was interrupted by Giulio who asked "That's all very well and good Doctor and on the plus side I suppose it means Ralph here won't be going to hell after all but does it tell us where we need to go? does it help us in any real way? The Doctor looked a bit crestfallen and replied that no it didn't but it was jolly interesting nonetheless . He then moved to one of the doors leading out from the chamber calling back to the Italian "If a direction is needed why not this one?" his crystal child suddenly darted ahead of him and stood in front of the door he then reaches past the silent child and tries to pull the door open "A little help here gentleman please this door appears slightly....." he doesn't finish as the door suddenly slams open throwing him to one side and sprawling onto the floor from out of the now open doorway a gust of foul smelling air escapes, smelling of death, corruption and human waste. The others head towards the doorway coughing and spluttering in the suddenly befouled air. Ralph who had headed over slightly earlier to help the Doctor open the doors and so was slightly in front was the first to see the figure stagger out of the now revealed corridor behind the doors. It was another child but this one was much more unnatural in its appearance. The crystals that covered this child were jagged and broken and they glowed with a sickly green light and more worryingly for the Doctor who was staring up at it from the floor the child's hands appeared to have changed into crystal spikes. "Ahhh bloody hell" went the Doctor "Die" shouted Ralph as he charged the child the others just sighed and readied their weapons. The child looked at the Doctor then turned and with amazing speed leaps at Ralph's charging bulk, its leap carried it over Ralph and his initial hatchet swing and in return those crystal spikes open up a red ruin on Ralph's back as they easily sliced through his Buff coat and into the pale wobbly flesh beneath. Giulio swings his clockwork arm up and fires off his saw blade which strikes the child solidly in the chest knocking it off Ralph's back in a welter of reddish sparkling blood. The child quickly rolls back onto its feet and leaps back into the fray the saw blade still embedded deeply amongst the crystal growths on its chest. Both Ralph and the Doctor struggle to engage the swiftly moving child and barely avoid its crystal spikes in return. The two soldiers their muskets already raised fire but oddly they manage to completely miss the child but barely miss Ralph. Hearing the shot whistle past his head Ralph turns and the soldiers wave back and smiling mouth sorry to him this causes a now worried Ralph to rethink some of his previous actions, especially the one where he snitched on those two soldiers in particular about their looting but before he can act another misshapen monstrosity staggers out this one covered in mucus like slime and shuffles over to join in the fight. The other crystal children again do nothing neither hindering nor helping they just continue silently watch the fight unfolding before them. The mucus covered child turns and looks at the approaching Italian who now holds a pistol in his hand mucus boy starts to snort and gurgle and with a hacking sound launches a mass of oily snot at Giulio luckily he sees it in time and with a horrified look upon his face desperately twists aside as the scarily hissing ball of mucus and bile flies past and lands with a splat behind him. The Doctor hears more movement from behind him but he is unable to see anything so he decides to aim his Donderbus at Mucus boy and fires, the Donderbus belches out a great gout of flame but the shot misses its intended target. The Doctor does buy time for Giulio to re-aim his pistol and drawing a bead on Mucus boy he fires but the child seems blessed as again the shot goes wide. Mucus swings away from the prone Doctor and swipes at Giulio whose desperate parry fails to deflect the terrible blow and so he takes several nasty cuts to his upper chest his armour absorbing some of the terrible force behind the blow. The other child re-launches his attack on the now hard pressed Ralph who barely manages to block several blows with the haft of his hatchet. Ralph then weirdly drops the hatchet which is blocking the child's attack causing the child to misjudge its next swing and with bulk defying precision Ralph twists and turns ending up inside the child's reach he grabs the child in a tight bear hug the crystals scrapping down his armour before he twisting to one side and launching the child with terrible force into the nearby wall, there is a loud crack and a wet splat noise as the child's head splits open upon the corner of the wall and the child falls to the floor unconscious if not indeed dead. Ralph wipes his hands with a satisfied grunt. The source of the sounds heard earlier by the Doctor is finally revealed as one last horror child staggers out of the foul smelling corridor and glares around him its eyes showing the madness within this child is covered with sharp bone like blades and his fingers terminate in long jagged claws as well. The Doctor sees the child girds his loins and jumping up pulls out his sword with a flourish and charges towards the child but apart from his impressive war cry its all a bit disappointing really as he somehow misses the child and instead charges past it. The slightly confused child swings out at the passing Doctor the blow catching him in the leg causing him to stagger and fall again onto the floor. Giulio meanwhile continues to hack away at Mucus boy having dropped his spent pistol now wields his mighty telescopic one handed Glaive,TM his powerful blows causing Mucus boy to give ground. Ralph moves to the still form of spiky and grabbing a handful of bloodied hair he violently slams the child's head into the stone floor several times until he is basically holding a ball of bloodied meat in his hands with one last kick into the child's stomach just to make sure Ralph lumbers off to save his cousin the Doctor. Ralph pulls out both hatchets and with the child's back to him he buries both of them deeply into the child but the child refuses to drop instead it spins around and lashes out at Ralph catching him a glancing blow with a bony backhand which causes several cuts to open up. Ralph is now bleeding quite heavily from the numerous small cuts and his breathing has also become increasingly laboured its not looking too good for these two. Giulio thrusts his Glaive forward with a sharp twist and the glaive bites deeply into the child's chest splintering past the ribcage. Mucus boy gurgles and tries to hawk up one last blob of snotty acid but instead he ends up in a coughing fit he then slides stickily off the glove and onto the floor and with a last popping noise dies as he bleeds out. Ralph and the Doctor are rescued by the two soldiers who after giving up on reloading their muskets charge into combat with their cheap but still sharp swords and with their help the last monster child is finally brought down. Everyone looks around checking if any more horrors are about to stagger out and seeing no further movement a collective breath is let out. "Gadzooks that was damned close" says the Doctor nodding his thanks to the soldiers and looking at Ralph bloodied form sighs "It looks like I'm going to have to use the all the big bandages and most of the ointment up on you cousin" Ralph shuffles a bit and gruffly replies "Well maybe next time I won't help you and maybe then you will learn to hit what you aim at" he pauses and in a lower tone asks if he could have the bandages with the little blue ducks on them as he tells the Doctor he likes them as they are fluffy and taste nice. Everyone agrees that a rest is needed before they go exploring any further so the Doctor gets busy with his bandages and sewing needles whilst the others clear away the bodies before collapsing onto the floor and grabbing some much needed food and water. After an hour or so a well bandaged Ralph staggers to his feet and with a shrewd look in his eyes heads towards his crystal kid and with a meaty finger jabs the child in the chest "I want to know where you came from me old mucker" again the child remains silent just watching him and the rest of the party "Right, have it your own way don't say I didn't warn you" and with that he slices open the child's throat and before the child has even hit the floor Ralph's moving back the way we came. The rest of the party swearing gather up their equipment and mutter that maybe Ralph is mad and who should get the job of putting him down. Ralph's voice echo's back from the darkness "Ah ha I thought so" there is a sound of meat meeting metal and a thud. The Party follows Ralph and the childish cries of "The void the void I can see the void " Ralph seems to be making his own trail by killing a child then moving forward a little until meeting its replacement killing that and repeating the whole cycle over again but always moving forwards hopefully getting a little closer to the source of the crystal children with each death. As crazy bloodthirsty plans went it wasn't half bad and after several crystal children had met their end by bumping into Uncle Ralph and his shiny hatchets the Party ends up going past the first chamber and down one of the initially ignored side corridors where they come across a weird sight. The corridor ends in a wall which seemed to be covered in a thick redly glowing slime of some sort and it was from behind this slime that the children seemed to be coming and when needed they slithered out when needed. This was demonstrated by Ralph as he filled the Party in with what he had found and then hacked a child down to join the one already on the floor. "See look into the slime you can already see another child forming" The Party looked deeply within the slime and in the hellish red glow a hideous sight could be seen in the slime depths. It started with an outline of a small figure which slowly filled up veins, bones, organs and finally the flesh. it seems the Doctor was right as crystals could be clearly seen growing along with the bones and organs. For the Doctor this was a wondrous experience seeing a human body forming in front of his very eyes he just wished it was a little slower and he had time to take some sketches. Craigh a look of horror on his dirty face suddenly backs away and cries out "Its ungodly! thes is th' devils wark only th' laird can create life thes is naethin' but an unholy abomination" this breaks the spell and the Party react with commendable puritan passion and pulling out swords, hatchets and pistols they attempt to destroy the slime. Unfortunately nothing seems to damage it enough to stop the process even fire has little effect. Ralph getting bored starts staring at the soldiers who naturally take offence at the look that Ralph is giving them and brusquely demand to know what he is thinking to which Ralph replies rather mysteriously "I don't think" which really seems to upset Rodger "Yeah its that lack of thinking that made you rat us out to Zeal I reckon, we lost over a months pay handing back those shields and what gewgaws. In fact I think I will take my payment now" and he draws his sword. The Doctor tries to persuade him that he's making a foolish mistake but Rodgers dander is up and he wont change his mind. He pushes the Doctor aside with a snarl points at Ralph and growls out "Hey big man you're claimed" before launching himself at the still unmoving Ralph. As Rodger charged towards Ralph he may have wondered if he may have made a mistake as Ralph just seemed to stand there as still and seemingly uncaring as a statue with one meaty paw resting on the head of his woodsman's axe. Only when it looked like Rodger was going to gut him did Ralph move and when he moved he moved fast, moving side on to Rodger and with one smooth action the axe was pulled out of his belt and swiftly back down again with terrible precision removing Rodgers head in one clean blow. As Rodgers body continued past for a few more steps as his head splattered onto the floor Ralph turned to the other soldier and asked very casual like if there was still a problem, the soldier very wisely and quietly said "Nope" Part two later and yay we made it to page four at last.
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  17. Another source of iron is salvage from the twisted wreckage of Zistorite war machines, buried in the sands or submerged in the shallow waters of the God Forgot archipelago. Although potentially lucrative, retrieving this metal is a very dangerous enterprise, for a variety of reasons (giant cranes, swarming were-crabs, one-armed bandits, let alone the traps and surprises the Zistorites left behind). It is rumored that this metal, predating the cataclysmic end of the so-called "Iron Wars", has special properties, making it different to Iron sourced in the Third Age.
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