Diamond Cascade and the Quest for a Quiet Night In

Well so much for that. Money in my pocket I suppose. Can’t wait to get out of this hole and spend it now. Off to Neverrest, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. Or at least that was the plan…

Nightall 10: Bad Dogs and Bags of Gold

Roused from his well-earned slumber by his acute sense of danger, Diamond Cascade descended the stairs in his humble abode. In the dead of night, something stirred. Diamond Cascade drew steel. The sight of it glinting in the moonlight must have driven the fiend away, but not before it had time to commit foul murder on the gentle keeper of the Fat Cockerel. Diamond Cascade gave chase at once, heedless of the danger, not waiting for his faithful friends to rouse themselves. The beast was quick and lean and made to blend with the shadow, but Diamond Cascade would not let it escape him, for the monster was nothing less than a creature to make the blood run cold, yes no less than a HELLDOG escaped from the foul pits of the lower realms. Resolute, Diamond Cascade hunted it to its lair and met it in epic battle. Their fight raged for an hour but in the end Diamond Cascade plunged his sword into the beast’s black heart and sent it back to the nether regions from which it came. Bloodied but victorious, Diamond Cascade returned to his friends to find the wizard in whose service Diamond Cascade had just returned from adventure. Little was the reward for little was sought, nought but a blessing, a room for the night and a slap-up breakfast for Diamond Cascade and all his friends to celebrate the success of their great adventure!

Bloody wolf yowling in the middle of the night woke me up, that’s what it was. Too late for Fat Cockerel guy (you’d think I might have asked his name after staying in his inn for the best part of a twelvenight, but no, he was just “barkeep” to me). Throat ripped out, savaged, half eaten, although possibly smelling better than he did when he was alive. Eyes naturally go towards Wolfgirl’s evil beast, but, much as I’d love to be rid of it, I leap to its defence, thinking . . . Well partly I’m thinking that the wolf really isn’t big enough and hungry enough to attack a grown man and rip his throat out, and partly I’m thinking that there would be blood on the wolf’s muzzle, but mostly I’m thinking that I don’t want to sour my chances with Wolfgirl. Gods, but I need to get to a proper city with a proper brothel before much longer.

I don’t know what it was. Helldog sums it up well enough. Big black thing you could barely see in the darkness of the night. Lost count of how many arrows I shot at it and I don’t think I hit it once. Lunk and Thugger was about as useful as bricks. Maybe they could have done something a bit more if Lunk hadn’t been lumbering around in the dark in heavy plate armour. HELLO? You’re chasing after a giant dog, right. Dogs. Known for being quite nippy. A bit speedy. If it had waited for Lunk, there was a good chance the helldog would have died of old age. But hey, we had Wolfgirl and her wolf, who seemed to take offence to the helldog’s mere existence, and then we had Elfboy. Say what you like about Elfboy, but he can move, and he has a strange way in a fight. When we were fighting the slimeys, his technique appeared to be to jump onto their swords one by one. I think with the helldog, Elfboy was trying to climb down its throat to kill it from the inside. Quite persistent he was in this approach. After we put a few holes in it and then lost it when it ran away, we plugged all the tooth-holes in Elfboy. Once it got light, we set off after it again, and Elfboy tried the same thing. I have no idea why. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when he meets something that can actually swallow him. Maybe fighting your way out from the inside really works. Either way, I got a new name for him. From now on Elfboy shall be known as CHU-TOY, MASTER OF THE BREAK-YOUR-TEETH-ON-MY-SKIN STRIKE!!!

We’ll just gloss over the bit where Lunk wandered around in the dark trying to pretend he was a wounded sheep to lure the helldog to him (because let’s face it, there was more chance of that working than of him actually catching the beast). Baa baa clank. Daft bastard.

Most importantly, Evilous (really, that is his name, not just some daft name I gave him) left a big stack of cash for us. Gold. Loads of gold. More money than I’ve seen since… Well, for a very long time. Since I was I something that I haven’t been for a very long time. Too much gold, really. The sort of quantity of gold that gets me thinking all is not as it seems. But hey – it’s in my pocket now, so what do I care. I shall hie me to the nearest bar with some decent women and be rid of it pronto. No offence Wolfgirl.

Nightall 11: Hundred Yard Stone

After the rigours of his great adventure, Diamond Cascade travelled to Klengerford to winter in quiet contemplation and entertainment in the company of his loyal followers and his old friend Thannis the teller of tales under the roof of the delightful governess Lady Katrina.

Elfboy’s got himself a new name. Hundred Yard Stone. On account of his amazing ability to throw a stone a hundred yards. Provided, of course, that he picks it up and throws it like about six times. Yeah, Elfboy thinks he’s so amazingly clever. What a dick. Although speaking of clever, we seem to have picked up a gnome. Getting a gnome is like a chronic disease: mostly you learn to live with it, sometimes it really sucks, and nothing seems to get rid of it. Our gnome is called Ching Dow. She’s a she. I think. I really don’t think I want a categorical answer to that though. It’s a god-bothering sort of gnome. As if that could actually make it any worse.

Still, it could be worse. We’re heading for Neverrest so Lunk and I can spend all our money on booze and hookers, but we get kind of stuck in Klengerford. Klengerford is the sort of tedious little town where you really don’t want to get stuck for the winter on account of it being, well, tedious, small, poxy and no fun at all. And having no brothel. However on this occasion, I’ll live, and this is for two reasons. First reason is a bloke we met on the road called Thannis, who turns out to be a proper wandering adventurer rogue and tale-teller of the first order. Kind of what I want to be. Second reason is his bit of totty, governess Katrina. Naturally, as a friend of Thannis, I get to stay in her mansion. So do the rest of us. In a gesture of overwhelming generosity, they even put up the gnome. Katrina is seriously hot. Sorry, Wolfgirl, but you’re off the menu for as long as we’re here. OK, she’s also a bit spoken for but hey, maybe she likes threesomes. I can share, right? Thannis seems an open-minded kind of guy.

She also has a couple of maids. Shandria and Darlene. Less hot but definitely on the stove. Reckon I’ll start there and work my way up.

Thannis has a couple of other friends who are of absolutely no interest. Someone called “Cat” who slinks about in a robe and is never seen and a dwarf called Ironheart who thinks Elfboy’s stone-throwing joke is actually funny. So quite dim then.

Nightall 14: Diamond Cascade: Master of the Arcane

As Diamond Cascade contemplated the powers of the universe, a revelation came to him and lo, great arcane mysteries revealed themselves.

Yeah. You know how you watch someone do stuff for hours and hours and then you try and do it yourself and it doesn’t work and it’s really really annoying and completely sucks and then six months later it just sort of comes back and clicks and works? Well that. Only with magic and it’s taken three years. But seriously, if you’ve spent half your life wearing boots with holes, having notches in your sword and rips in your cloak, Mending is just the best spell ever.

No. Actually second best. Best spell ever is probably Dispel Gnome.

Nightall 16: The Spider Demon

Foul Murder! The good people of Klengerford arose from their beds to discover that an innocent visitor to their fine town had been murdered in his bed, and that the killer was no jealous lover or bitter rival, but a SUPERNATURAL BEAST FROM THE FAR PLANES! Naturally the good people of this fine town turned to their noble governess for help, and she in turn called upon the only force for many days ride that would have the strength of arm and stomach to face such nightmarish monstrosities; yes, upon Diamond Cascade and his fine companions. Ever willing to fight for the causes of right and justice, Diamond Cascade waved away all talk of reward and ran at once for his trusty sword and bow. Upon eyeing the victim’s body, DRAINED OF ALL VITAL FLUIDS and WRAPPED IN SPIDER-SILK, Diamond Cascade immediately recognised this as the worth of Lulth, QUEEN OF THE SPIDER DEMONS! Without pause for thought to his own safety, Diamond Cascade pursued the beast at once into the night, eager to put an end to its vile existence on this plane before it could strike again. The stench of its foul ichors revealed the beast it its lair. With fire and steel, Diamond Cascade faced the monstrosity and, in epic battle, struck it clean in two, never to trouble the good people of Klengerford again.

Well the bit about waving away any reward is right, unless you count the reward of getting into the pants of some of the fine array of skirt on offer at the moment. We have to put up with the town chief god-botherer (Tyr. Of course it has to be Tyr) getting in the way, Justicar Market. It’s the old story. Some out-of-town bloke comes into the inn with a bit of totty on his arm. She keeps her face hidden in her cloak and the only reason the innkeeper knows she’s a she and not some bum-boy is she’s got a half decent rack on her. Twenty-four hours later she’s gone and he’d dead, dry as a lemon in a desert and there’s spidery shit everywhere. Silk and stuff. The rest, well, it’s pretty obvious who did it, it don’t take a genius to work out that she’s obviously some sort of spider vampire demon thing. What’s less obvious is how in the nine hells the wolf managed to pick up its supernatural scent after we’ve spent half an hour tramping around in all directions without a clue what to do. And even less obvious than that, why we decide to go traipsing off after it into the deep dark woods with night closing in. Sometimes we are truly a bunch of dickheads.

Anyway, what we find, as the last glimmers of twilight piss off over the horizon and we’re left in the middle of god-knows where hardly able to see our hands in front of our faces, never mind the trees we’re about to walk into, is a young girl living in a log cabin in the middle of the woods. She’s not that keen on letting us in and frankly, with us and a spider-demon on the loose, you can’t really hold that against her. But it’s cold and dark and we’re starting to brick it about the spider thing having a whole pile of friends and so we pretty much kick the door in so we’ve got a place to sack down for the night and get looking for the demon thing in the morning.

I’d like to say we saw her for what she was straight away. Or even at some point. But the sad fact is that the only person who had much of a clue that she wasn’t right was the wolf. If wolfie hadn’t gone mental and she hadn’t just run away and then turned into a spider-monster, well then we’d probably all have sacked down on the floor and woken up all wrapped up in spider webs and drained of blood. Or rather, like that but without the waking up.

But she’s stupid or rattled and so we see what she is and all hell breaks loose. Mostly I think the fight was between the spider-demon and the wolf. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of us were all there, but stripped down to the bare essentials of landing blows in the right places, getting rid of, say accidentally stabbing your friends (Lunk), tripping over your own feet and falling over (Elfboy) and shooting arrows into pieces of furniture (me), the fight was between the spider demon and the wolf. Really. Like we might as well not have been there. In fact, since it was the wolf who tracked the thing from the town and the wolf who recognised what it was, we could largely have stayed at home in the warm in front of the fire and sent the wolf out to do the dirty work. Maybe with Lunk to do the bit where we violently forced our way into the home of a frightened and alone fifteen year-old girl.

Maybe right at the end, Elfboy accidentally hit it on a nerve cluster with his own head while he was busy tripping over again. She goes down, stunned. We’re thinking, maybe she really is a young girl possessed by a outer-plane demon thing on account of the strange lump on the spider-thing’s back. Maybe there’s something we can do. Maybe we can save her…?

Shifty cuts the lump off. It turns out that was its brain. Oh well.

Since it’s dark as shit after a night on Black Tar Stout outside, we sack down in the cabin anyway. There’s a nice vegetable stew on the go. Kind of weird thing for a spider-demon to be making, but hey, what do we know? Next morning we lug the remains back to Klengerford. Fuck knows why we did that but we did. To prove we’d put the demon down, maybe. Possibly money came into the matter. Like I said, all I’m thinking about is a few beers maybe and then a taste of sweet sweet honey from Shandria or Darlene. Both if I’m lucky.

But no. The gods of fortune haven’t yet pulled up their pants to and continue to piss on us. We hardly even get in through the door. Turns out Klengerford is some sort of nexus for bad shit and we’re the latest lug of snot trying to plug the hole. We’re off again before there’s even breakfast on the table. Much as I would like to stay behind and spend my time working my way in to the Governess’ bed, this clearly isn’t going to happen if I’m the only one who’s not off doing the ‘hero’ thing. Man, whatever happened to payment in advance?


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