Forgotten Realms: Age of Worms

Grog Lines

I saw farmers saved from bandits today.

It sounds simple, but two bandits perished. One fell to a stab wound; the other was cleaved in two by a rescuer. I’ve exploded the head of an owl bear, felled aberrations, burnt mounds of insects, and dropped an undead monstrosity, but it’s a little different when the vanquished evil is a living, breathing, speaking person.

My brethren say the human in me corrupts me with these “weak” thoughts. The look in the bandits eyes make me wonder if it’s the orc in me that is taken aback by the violence of “civilized” races. I see now why the druid and ranger like escaping to the forest and adventures escape to dungeons; it is so much simpler there with when to hold back and when to attack. I can’t wait to get back to the ease of the dungeon! Unfortunately, we still have a bone to pick with a necromancer. Heh! I made a funny. I must share that with the others before I forget!

That’s weird. I said the joke and the others just looked at me funny. I said it again and the ranger laughed. At least he has a sense of humor. I don’t understand; in the tavern everyone would laugh at my jokes, especially my babe. I miss her. She would’ve laughed and patted my head…

What is wrong with these monstrosities??? I’m getting tired of poking things with little effect. My spear is doing more than the druid’s weapon, but that’s not saying much. Usually just one or two pokes are good enough, but I had to keep plunging my long spear into those ugly, smelly things again and again and again for like two minutes before they stopped coming. Sadly, that fierce female fighter had to assist me a few times. Together, the pair of us is pretty effective. I hate it when she downs and finishes them before me, but I guess it is okay for her to beat me during fights. I mean, she IS a fighter after all.

Wait, beat me? BEAT ME? That must be the human talking. I, Grog, refuse to be impotent! I will not just lie down and be beaten continually by this female! Once in a while is understandable, but I swear I will learn to hold my own in any engagement without the female lending a hand or the druid’s needing to use his little wand. I’ll diversify, use stronger force, strike hard, and show everyone what Grog has to offer!!!

Oh dear lord! This is what a necromancer is? This is what a necromancer does? Ugh! Thank goodness the ranger ralphed before I did. I don’t think the others noticed that I was getting sick. Wait, they want to rest in this place? How can they stand the smell? This place smells worse than the druid’s wolf. Heck, the smell is so rancid that it almost smells as bad as the druid!

They wanted me to check out the body. Maybe I’m not cut out for alchemy and research. Hitting things is just so much easier…

95671

Comments

Dear Diary. Shoot, I mean, Dear Macho Adventurers Journal.

Here I am, bartender extraordinaire trying to remember why I joined this party of crazed adventurers.

I was trying to make a name for myself, earn respect, and understand the world. What I have found is that the world is as chaotic and smelly as the back room of the tavern. I have taken so many dirtnaps that even my memories have fallen into chaos. These are the main moments I remember of the last few weeks:
-
“Fwoosh! Snap.”

Bloody Dwarf, another miss! How does that Ranger do it! I have hit absolutely nothing with this blasted bow, and I have run out of javelins. Enough is enough. I am just going to pull back this bow as hard as I can and fire a frickin powerful warning shot at that grimlock’s hiding place. Maybe it will cower and panik and be easy pickings. Let me just aim for that rock next to it.

“Fwoosh!” “SPLAT! SPLOOSH!” “AGGhhRhGGhhCkllkk…!”

What the gully dwarf! I just shot him through his eye and splattered his brains against the wall! … But, I was aiming for the rock! … I guess I can’t hit the broad side of a boulder with this thing. Note to self: do not actually aim arrows at enemies…


YEARGH! You think YOU are a barbarian!?! I AM THE ONLY BARBARIAN HERE! YEARGH!!!”

GRIMLOCK! KRENSHAW! Grog cares not. With my dying breath I send thee to …”

<splat> Grog plunges his spear into a Krenshaw. <sploosh> The Krenshaw explodes into a bloody mess. Another Krenshaw approaches, and Grog turns as his rage turns to fatigue. <fwoosh> Grog completely misses, hits the wall with his spear, and faints from his lack of energy and his massive blood loss. <roooaaaooorrr> A huge summoned black bear finished off Grog’s final opponent with utmost authority.

Minutes later as Grog is healed.

“Huh? Whoa. Holy blood, guts and body parts? Did I do all this?”

“Yeah, now come search this other cave already.”

“Can I at least stop my head from spinning? Oh, alright. Let’s see. Hey look! Rocks!”

“…”

“You actually want me to look ‘Under’ the rocks? But, I…” <attack>


Only a few enemies left and they’re on the run. HA! No dirt nap for me this battle!

<zzzaaaaapppppp> “Yeeaaarrrggghhhhh OW!” <thud>

“Wake up!”

“Ow. My head’s still shaking.”

“No, that’s the tunnel. I think they killed the leader.”

WHAT!?! But you told them to take him hostage. Maybe we can save him!” Grog opens the door and sees the splattered remains covering the floor in blood. “Uh, was that the boss?” Grog sees lab equipment. “Ooh! Bubbles!!!”

“He, uh, fried you so we had to take him out. Besides, he’s evil. Besides, he’s … you’re not even listening to me, are you?”

“Ooh, that’s a nice dark red fluid. It looks like wine! Oh, wait. Body parts. Ooh, there’s a nice yellow fluid filled bottle! I wonder what’s in the cauldron. Time to mix colors!”


Getting tired, but I think that demon has had it. It’s on his last breath, and I have plenty of time to drink one of my many cure potions. He can’t even reach me. I refuse to go down this battle. In fact, found it! And not a moment too— Oh look, Shadow just entered the fight! I don’t think the demon sees him yet. GO SHADOW! GO— wait is that a giant, magical fist?

<smack> <thud.> … <heal.>

Huh, what happ— Oh sonuva. Not again! And, ugh, too exhausted to be upset.
-
“Bark Skin? Shield of Faith? Protection from Evil? What are such things. It reminds me of Mage Armor. Why after all the battles are we using this now?”

“What the heck is that? Some dark god? Ah, I see. These buffs are a way for us to bring our late mage into this battle with us!”

<the>
“HA! Beware my ‘Mage Armor’ Demon. FOR AZERYTH!!!” <grog>
-
“Huh? You sure I should break the seal on the cauldron? Okay. Here goes! … Hey, wait; why are you leaving the room? Oh, leaving me room to operate. Okay!” <grog> Ugh. It only smells as bad as I do right now. Note to self: shower before going back to town. … Or maybe it will keep wild animals away!"

Grog Lines
 

“Wakey, wakey Grog!”
“Ugh, huh?”
“Time to search again.”
“But my head hurtz!”
“When doesn’t it hurt?”
“Oh, ok. Lead the way…”

As the party moves into the last room, the party looks around, and is ready to leave when Grog exclaims, “Hey is this anything?” The party marvels as Grog pulls evidence out of nowhere. Then, the party looks stupified as Grog says, “It’s got a chicken on it! I’ve seen it somewhere before. A bar maybe? … What? What???”

The party dismisses Grog and says, “You’re right. Your head hurts. Go ahead and take a walk…”

Grog droops his head and starts walking away. As he passes by the bodies, Grog’s smile returns. “Trophy time! Let’s get, um, no, that body was cleaved in two, that head was shattered, I can’t even tell what that creature is. Sigh. Well, maybe I can find something?”

Crestfallen, Grog turns the corner. Then, he sees the giant boar. “YES! A trophy!”

The party glances at Grog. Grog smiles as he carries the boars head under one arm, the faceless one over one shoulder, and has one of the avatar’s claws dangling from his neck.

Someone turns to H.S. “Can you do anything about that?”

H.S. says, “Sorry, ‘Miracle’ is still a bit beyond me.”

Grog Lines
 

As the druid and fighter prepared to leave, Grog spent some care in sorting the contents of the Bag of Holding. He couldn’t help noticing the stares he was receiving from many of the on-lookers. Maybe they just weren’t used to a half-orc concentrating silently at the task at hand. Maybe they weren’t used to a party trusting a barbarian rogue with all their goods. Maybe they weren’t used to people not just volunteering, but insisting that he be allowed to enter a mine in danger of collapse just to risk his life to save copperless workers. Grog didn’t pay them much mind. However, he couldn’t help but notice every now and then a glance and reaction of Mikkela.

He might be mistaken, but he noticed her reaction change continuously as he worked the Bag of Holding. He pulled out an ever-burning torch and tangleroot bag, and she still looked at him suspiciously. He pulled the leather necklace with rubies out carefully, and lovingly placed it in a small pouch for safe keeping and smiled as he thought how thrilled his love back in town would be when he handed her this gift. She looked at him curiously. His grin only grew as he finally pulled out his trusty pick-axe. It could’ve been his imagination, but she seemed to laugh at his sheepish grin but look worried at a half-orc ready to help. Although Grog could not read Mikkela, others did a much worse job at hiding their emotions.

The rhythmic work of the miners busily clearing rubble was notably interrupted when they saw the huge, hulking half-orc show up next to them, only to dig with fearsome determination and purpose. A little impressed, an older miner finally said, “You are not acting like hired help. What do you think you’re doing?”

“Helping.”

“I see. But, you are not being paid.”

“I don’t get paid to see the sun rise and set each day, but I would still like to wake each morning for as long as I can!”

“But we are not your people. We are not half-orcs.”

Grog scoffs. “Half-orcs are not my people. You are from town. You talk to me and laugh with me. You are my people. I—”

Mikkela walked by saying, “Shhh! Listen for survivors.”

Grog quickly turns silent and blushes a little. The miner sees Grog glance at Mikkela as she walks out of view. He asked quietly, “Are you blushing?”

“No.”

“Cat got your tongue? You’re not good around woman are you?”

“Grog is!”

“Really? Can you even talk to a woman?”

“Sure! Grog talks to Nyphistra all the time! Grog says, ‘Ok!’ ‘Sure!’ ‘If you say so!’ …”

The old miner laughed. Grog thought he heard some other laughter too. Apparently even whispers can carry in the mine between pickaxe strikes and shovel pulls.

Grog continued quietly, “And this girl in town, she—”

“HUSH!” The serious look on the old miner’s face told Grog something wasn’t right. “That sound. That wasn’t a pick axe.”

“What sound?” asked Grog. Grog felt a general foreboding, but nothing seemed amiss. The other miners even in their urgency were acting cautiously with the fear of another cave-in still present. Thus, one word of hush from this older, respected man made all take pause. Then, many of them (still not Grog) heard what upset the older experienced miner.

The miner spoke, “It almost sounded like lightning. Why would there be—”

Grog’s gaze went straight to the exit of the tunnel as his hand subconciously covered the area fried from earlier lightning bolt attacks he had endured from enenmy spellcasters. He dropped his beloved pick axe; picked up his more-beloved longspear; said, “Thank you and Thank Tymora;” and ran to the exit. On his way, out, H.S. was treating wounded. H.S. started at the sight of a half-orc sprinting up the path. He shouted, “What’s up?”

“Trouble.” The look on Grog’s face was all H.S. needed to get ready to go. As he checked to see if all of his gear was in place, Grog thanked Tymora again that the cleric spotted him, grabbed the cleric, and lifted him up screaming onto his shoulder. It had to be Tymora who had placed Grog next to the older miner and placed H.S. on Grog’s way out. Grog was happy he had praised her during and after the battle with the avatar demon, the Ebon Aspect. Unfortunately, as Grog’s mind wandered, there was no room to actually formulate a plan other than “Run towards the trouble.” Fortunately, he had picked up H.S. …

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING? PUT ME DOWN?”

“You good, but move too slow. Grog is faster.”

H.S. coughed at Grog’s stench. “Surely you don’t expect to carry me the entire—” One look at face of the Ranger who mysteriously appeared quickly and silently running next to them confirmed H.S.’s worst fear: the smelly, sweaty, idiot of a barbarian did indeed plan to run with him on his shoulder.

“Set me down Grog. There’s a better way! Will you just stop?” H.S. saw militia and horses nearby. “HORSES! Grog, let’s ask for horses!?!”

(Grog rolls a 3 diplomacy to gain horses.) “Horses? No time to eat right now. We’re in a hurry!”

“Eat!?! No, to ride, Grog!” Grog couldn’t help noticing the looks on the face of the militia with the horses. The same ones who looked suspiciously at him before now looked— well, Grog didn’t have a name for it. Maybe it was the look of exasperation on H.S.‘s face. Maybe it was the realization that if they didn’t do anything, a good cleric who cared for and healed their friends would have to endure being carried by the smelliest, stubbornest, blood-stained, crap-ridden, trophy-covered, horse-hungry idiot of a half-orc. Maybe it was the bumps the cleric was already receiving as the half-orc navigated into a few tunnel walls and ceilings. Maybe it was a word or glance from Mikkela who had been watching the entire ordeal. Maybe it was the words of reason H.S. was obviously saying that were falling on the half-orcs deaf ears as he struggled to just keep H.S. balanced. Whatever it was (H.S. diplomacy of 28), the militia refused to let the cleric leave on the shoulders of the half-orc and quickly handed over whatever horses they could muster.

On top of a strong, red-haired horse, Grog caught his breath as he heard someone say, “Please don’t let the half-orc eat them.” With an assuring nod from H.S. and the ranger, the team set off on their team’s path.
-
Grog had to admit, H.S. could maneuver a horse much easier than him. H.S. had already stopped and dismounted up ahead when Grog saw Nyphistra lying next to him on the road. Grog started to call to Nyphistra, but was interrupted by H.S. firing a heavy blast of fire into the woods and being hit by a green ray himself. Alarmed that H.S. was fighting rather than healing a fallen comrade but unable to see the enemy in the woods, Grog understood the urgency of the situation, reached for his best potion, jumped off his horse, and almost hurt Nyphistra’s jaw as he rammed the potion down her throat. Thankfully, Nyphistra was unconcious, and the potion recovered any damage Grog did to her mouth. Besides, Grog knew she was made of stern stuff and could take it: Nyphistra would forvige a little unintentional rough handling if it saved her life. Not to mention, she had helped Grog with a potion countless times in battles before, and she was always business-like and task-focused rather than gentle, which made her next few words— er, commands reassuring to Grog that she was ok.

“Two remaining. Get them!” was all Grog needed to hear from Nyphistra to enter the fray. He whipped around with a vengeance which quickly vanished as he still <spot:> saw nothing but trees and leaves. Thankfully, H.S. said, “One down.” Grog heard the ranger fighting with someone shouting demands in the distance, so Grog sped in that direction.

Grog exploded through the forest ready to destroy whoever had hurt his teammates. His rage grew and before him he heard his prey. He burst through the foliage ready to attack! He found his opponent disarmed, and Grog went to strike … when he noticed the weapon the fighter was picking up. “Hey! I have one of those!” went through Grog’s mind as he missed his opponent, and the fighter stood back fully armed with the guisarme. Grog barely noticed the druid until H.S. had placed a heal on him. Grog sparred with the fighter and hit him with the blunt end of his longspear as he studied the fighter’s use of the weapon.

“Grog! Stop playing! Attack!” shouted someone as the fighter took out the wolf and again knocked out a recently recovered yet screaming druid.

Grog sighed and nodded. He had enjoyed sparing with the new opponent, but his team was right. Grog gripped his longspear ready to attack and invigorated by the sight of Nyphistra erupting through the forest in full battle mode ready to cut down the enemy. Grog saw the enemy’s face turn to terror as an arrow struck the polearm and almost made him drop his weapon. Grog stood ready to strike! … and then the enemy surrendered.

Crestfallen, Grog’s head drooped as he knew he would be put to his age old task: search bodies. Oh well. At least his friends were safe. Then Grog could not contain a huge smile as realization set in: GROG DID NOT FALL IN BATTLE!!! In fact, Grog had done some healing!!! With a satisified grin, Grog set upon his work.

Grog Lines
 

Great read Dave, I enjoyed reading it.

Grog Lines
Ebonblade

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