p. It was all a lie. The metal man, named “Master” by Nierest, had us in a trap. I knew something was off!
After we had left the metal man’s (so not calling him “Master”) cave we made it to Glavis without anything interesting happening. After almost suffocating in a round metal room underground, I was happy for the reprieve. The city itself seemed odd to me. The King’s castle was 10 miles from the rest of the city. 10 miles! I don’t understand why a King would want to be so far away from his subjects. Maybe he’s a loner. A loner who’s a King, there’s an interesting mix.
He received us once we traveled the long, long road to get to the castle. He seemed pleased and rewarded us handsomely, a little too handsomely in my opinion. He gave us 50 shins each, for delivering a message. A generous loner who’s a King. Something was definitely not right. Things got even stranger when Shiro out of nowhere asked for a boat, and the King gave it too him without quesition. Not some little rowboat, mind you, a small ship with sails and provisions and everything. This emboldened Nierest to ask for a deed to one of the houses in Glavis. Any house he wanted, whether it was occupied or not. The King gave him that too! So we had an overly generous and seemingly carefree loner who’s a King who would give us anything we wanted for delivering a message from a country that no others really respect. Nope. Something was definitely wrong. I immediately wanted to leave the city.
Shiro, bless his heart, was so excited to get his boat. He wanted to check it out right away. It was fully equipped, even had a crew, and ready to go. Also sensing something was off, he immediately ordered the crew off his boat. Nierest and Tuck then went to look for a cypher shop while I followed Shiro to a bath house. Why, I’m still not sure. But he confided in me that he too believed something was wrong, that this was some sort of illusion. To prove it, he entered the bath house and returned with naked women swooning all over him. The metal man then came out of the bath house wall asking if we were pleased. I knew it! There’s no way there’d be a King that generous, not to mention the 10 mile distance from his home to the rest of his city. There’s just no way. I tried to get him to admit he trapped us all but he wouldn’t, saying it’s as real as we want it to be. Shiro threatened him with his sword.
Suddenly we were all together again in a field with this giant…turtle thing. Tuck seemed really excited, a new challenge for him. The rest of us, however, were not as enthusiastic. Nierest talked our captor into letting just Tuck battle the beast while we watched. Well, Shiro watched most of it. Nierest and I got into a small….discussion, about the pros and cons of exploring a fictional world that we are trapped in. It didn’t last long, for Tuck had defeated his opponent effortlessly. He wasn’t very happy about that. He wanted a real challenge, Shiro and I wanted out, and Nierest, well, he wanted to see what else this fantasy world had to offer.
Frustrated with his inability to please us, and with our insistance to leave, the metal man teleported us back to the center of the city. We really need to get out of here…
Ow, my head.
Shiro has the oddest bloodlust. He just started slaughtering all of the naked women around him. They had reappeared when the metal man put us back in the center of Glavis. No matter how many he killed, more and more kept appearing. I knew they weren’t real and all, but I couldn’t help being a little disturbed by it all.
Nierest, being a Nano, was able to see what was happening to us. He said synth was connected to our bodies in various places. He then tried to pierce through the fake reality with his mind, but the metal man (still won’t call him “Master”) must have done something to him because his attack was aimed at me. Luckily I was able to get out of the way, but I think I may have bumped my head when dodging his attack. I became fixated on a vacant ant hill next to a building for more time than I’d care to admit.
I finally tore my gaze away from it to see Nierest disappear right in front of all of us. He re-appeared a short time later, claiming we had to believe in the illusion. Tuck and I weren’t sure if this man was really Nierest, or some impostor trying to trick us. He pulled Tuck aside and said something that thoroughly convinced Tuck he was really Nierest. I’m getting increasingly curious what it was he said that made Tuck believe in him so quickly. Maybe it had something to do with their private discussions. Once we all eventually agreed to believe, Nierest disappeared again. Shortly after, Tuck disappeared.
Then came the pain. It was the most excruciating pain I had ever felt. Tuck had released me from my synth prison, though he could have been a little gentler. What am I saying? He’s a Glaive, he probably doesn’t do gentle that often. Though he was much nicer to Shiro when getting him out. Nierest was kind and gave me his first aid kit to help with the bleeding in my head.
As we were getting our bearings, the metal man emerged very angry with Nierest. He apparently had a trick of his own for our would-be captor. Tuck’s reaction time to his appearance was amazing. He pulled out his crossbow faster than anyone I’d seen. Unfortunately, his aim was not as amazing. He fired straight at Shiro, who was able to get out of the way in time. While this was happening, I quickly, yet carefully, applied the poison cypher I had to one of my crossbow bolts and shot the metal man. It made his head explode. Thank goodness I didn’t miss and hit someone else. That would have presented quite the problem.
With the metal man gone, I surprised myself and left the cave. Even though the metal was starting to rust/rot and I was sure he wasn’t coming back, I wanted out. NOW. Tuck came out with some sort of tube that produces this foul-smelling food. I hope he doesn’t have the need to use it often. The smell is nearly unbearable.
We made camp a safe distance away from the cave, finally able to really rest after the ordeal. My head still hurts as a write this. Oh, and I STILL DON’T HAVE A TENT!! Ugh.
We have made it to Glavis, the real Glavis. It actually looked remarkably like how the metal man showed us in the fantasy road. Turns out, all roads to the castle really are 10 miles long. I still don’t get it.
To help get us there faster, Tuck found a merchant that had these remarkable machines called Khaaarrs (I’m almost positive that’s not the correct spelling, but I digress) that could get us there faster than any Garthok. It was automated with Numenera and could go to the castle and back without the need for someone to control it directly. Remarkable.
While Tuck was attempting to negotiate a price to use the Khaaarr, Shiro (who seemed upset he really didn’t get a boat) thought it’d be a good idea to sneak into one to see how it worked. Just knowing something was going to go horribly wrong, Nierest and I wanted nothing to do with it and started walking to the castle. After a time, we heard a yell behind us. Shiro had broken something important and the town guards had been called. When we saw them arresting him, we ran back to try to stop them. We came up with a story, working off each other like we have many times before, but the guards still took Shiro away. Luckily, Nierest was able to talk down the agitated merchant.
Poor Shiro, the not-very-friendly townspeople had….well….urinated on him while he was incarcerated. We tried talking to the guards again, but since Shiro was unable to pay the ridiculous price for the damages he’d done to the Khaaarr, we were forced to leave him behind for the time being.
We eventually met with the King, the real King. For the life of me I can’t remember his name. Tuck was finally able to complete his mission. Somehow he was able to talk His Majesty into sharing a meal with us. We talked for a time and the King gave us a quest of his own. A good Knight was missing after being sent to a neighboring town nearby. Nierest almost got us into trouble by being a little too greedy when the King gave us 20 shins for supplies. Apparently this King is not as generous as his fantasy counterpart. Still a loner I believe. 10 miles…. Anyway, luckily he did have a sense of humor and thought we were jesting with him. I was able to charm him into talking to his guards about getting Shiro out of prison.
He let us stay in the castle for the night, giving us time to consider his request. My room is beautiful and the bed so comfortable. I very much look forward to sleep this night.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more frightened in my life.
Curiosity, and no longer having a pressing need to deliver the message, encouraged us to accept the quest from the King. We made it to the town of Graze, where the Knight was sent. It wasn’t very far, 2 days travel. I wondered why he didn’t send his own soldiers, given it was so close. It was a relatively small village, much like my home town back in Thaemor. It was eerily quiet, not at all like my home town.
We were surprised by some bandits, but before they could attack us, they fell down dead. They just…died…right in front of us. We didn’t even touch them. Did Nierest have that amount of power? I didn’t think so, though it’s not like we’ve said everything about ourselves to the other. I really had a bad feeling about all this. Seems to be a common theme this journey. Nierest, Tuck, and Shiro entered one of the houses while I kept watch outside. Everyone inside was dead, with no apparent cause.
I heard a girl crying in a different house and we rushed to her. The only one alive in a house full of death, she was not as innocent as she appeared. She must have been possessed by some sort of demon. Her eyes occasionally took on this red glow and her voice changed dramatically. She said she had killed everyone. While she spoke she changed from hysterics to evil satisfaction in the blink of an eye.
The lost Knight, Sir Edward, was also one of the girl’s victims. He was lifeless on the floor near Tuck. He had tried to pick up the body of the fallen man but the girl stopped him. She said we had to get some sort of device in a ruin. She was remarkably unhelpful in her description of this device. Whatever it was, I doubt it would have been good for us if she got it. The demon/girl tried to force our compliance, but we were having none of that. Nierest was able to get the signet ring from Sir Edward before we falsely agreed to get the “device” for the girl/demon. Instead, we got out of town as fast as we could and headed straight back to Glavis. I’ve seen some strange and scary things in my travels, but I’ve never felt the sense of fear and dread I got from that little girl. I doubt I’ll forget this feeling for a long time.
Great, so now we are fugitives and are likely the catalysts for a war between Thaemor and Ancuan.
The King did not like our explanation of events during his quest. He was quite cross about it. On top of that, he says the message we brought him contained a threat from our King. Fantastic….Guards were summoned and were ordered to take us to the dungeon. The King would not listen to our pleas. Tuck and I tried to run for it, but Tuck fell down and I wasn’t fast enough. Shiro managed to make it out but Nierest stayed with us. He is a true friend, even though we may disagree from time to time.
We were about to be guests of the castle dungeons but before we were shown what I’m sure were stellar accommodations, Tuck was able to surprise attack the guards. Nierest and I sprung into action thanks to the distraction. It took some time but we killed all the guards. Tuck was amazing, keeping them busy while Nierest and I picked off most of them. With the help of Nierest’s peeker cypher, and my sense of diretion, I led us back through the castle without further fighting. This reminds me of that one time when Nierest and I were in the tunnels beneath….well, that story’s in another journal.
Shiro had returned to get us with a Khaaarr! Yes a Khaaarr! The tinkering that got him imprisoned previously must have paid off. He managed to get us from the castle to outside of Glavis in one night. What a relief. Thank goodness for Shiro. We’ll have to get out of Ancuan if we’re to be safe. We made it all the way to the metal man’s cave. I refused to go back in there. Happily, I FINALLY HAVE A TENT!