The Shady Character Society

Day 5, Part II
And Sometimes the Gods are Thwarted

Day ??

I have returned from my meal, and now that my companions are deep in their own slumber, I write to you, my dear confidant, once again in the hopes that what you learn from my ramblings might somehow aid you in your own escape from this accursed place. As I sit here, watching out for my companions and gazing into the darkness, my eyes play tricks upon me, imagining horrors worse than the nightmare woman of the 9 of Swords dare dream. Was that shadow on the wall my first clue to the approach of an Ouchre Jelly? Or was it just the flames of our fire dancing as they feast upon the last of the tinder?

Or is it you, dear friend, come to aid us in our quest?

Following our long months of digging, a task that, once I had started I dared not admit to the folly of, we were all exhausted. Yes, we need not sleep nor eat in this pyramid, but we do tire, especially, I learned, after spending the better part of a year digging a hole. As a result, we did not immediately venture forward towards another challenge. That would have been folly. Instead, we rested for a week.

Dear reader, I would tell you how long that week passed, and explain to you how I hungered to be once again vanquishing evil where it stood, were it the case. However, I confess, that week seemed to vanish in an instant, and almost as fast as a snap of the fingers we were back on our feet, ready to fight. I prayed the Gods would not look down on us unduly for the waste of time we had spent, nor that the Arborians we had pledged our lives for had forsaken us and sent some other champion in our place. But all of that was behind us, and what mistakes were made cannot be dwelled upon. The Five of Cups tells us not to dwell upon the mistakes made in the past, lest we forget about what we still have, and what is yet to come, and I am not one to forget the wisdom of the oracle. Instead, we trudged on, hoping that our next meeting with men would not be so disastrous as the meeting we just lived through.

To be completely honest, however, I was not worried that we had somehow angered the weaver’s of fate. For as we sat and rested that week, I had been informed of our impending victory. I saw in front of me, in a spread, The World gazing back at me, with it’s promised of assured success lighting my way as well as any flame. It had been a long time since I had been promised so clear a victory in my future, and it excited my imagination to wonder which god might be smiling down upon us.

It was all just as well that we had luck on our side, however, because what the pyramid had planned for us promised only an untimely end for a group weaker than our own. Finding another room through which we had not traveled, we met with some more mercenaries, like the ones that we had previously dispatched so many times. These were no sturdier than their comrades, and though I wished we could have simply talked them out of fighting us, they charged ahead without regard. With a quick flash from our weapon, four more souls departed this world, and we kept ahead, knowing that up ahead lay a more dangerous trial.

And, in the next room, my intuitions had proven correct. Twenty five mercenaries, some human, some goblin, and one I suspect was a troll, were all waiting for us as we ascended the stairs. They grinned as they saw us approach, the troll licking his lips while the others unsheathed their bloodstained blades. They were ready to for a fight, and I knew that no words would sway their intentions. It was a fight they wanted, and a fight that we must deliver to them.

However, our way was not so strewn with obstacles that we had no way out. For, upon our entrance, a large, seven foot tall man entered, clapping his hands together and laughing with mirth. He was not like any man I had seen before, at least, not outwardly. His skin seemed to crackle with heat, and I thought I could see the outline of scales across his face and neck. As he opened his mouth to talk, wisps of fire escaped his lips, and sparks seemed to drift from his nostrils.

Kor alerted me to what I should have seen as obvious: This man was the mercenary king. Kor knew the face, assuredly from some previous immoral dealing he had done with the man (though I dare not to judge). It was the face of one Garish Vesht (My memory fails me on his surname, but I think it likely to be something like this), a famous bandit warlord, and must assuredly the leader of this group of knaves. Kor signaled to me in all sorts of signs that I confess I could not understand in the slightest, but his blades spoke to his tactics, and I followed suit.

Immediately, before Garish had a chance to act, two knives had flown towards his face. Though Garish deflected one of those blades with his own short sword, the second cut his arm, forcing a blazing scream from his mouth, and distracting his gaze from the rest of us. Immediately, I sprung into action. I would never say that a man with a sword twice his size, running towards you is a sight that is easy to ignore, but in Garish’s case, for whatever reason, his wounds had blinded him with regards to that very situation. As I charged forward, I gained speed, and at the appropriate moment, thrust my sword at the ground, pole vaulting with my blade up into the sky above him. With all the power invoked by the weight of my body falling from the sky, The Tower cleaved through the distracted man as it fell to the ground.

The force of my blade had slammed the man to the ground, and, with a renewed vigour, I was able to pull it out of the wound I made in the man’s side and swing again. This time, the blade cut straight through Garish’s neck, chopping him in two as though justice’s guillotine had finally taken its recompense for his sins. Without a head, his body erupted flame from somewhere deep in his belly, charring the rest of his mortal remains and leaving them unrecognisable on the ground. I looked down upon the sight, not relishing the destruction but content that I had been able to dispatch the man quickly and efficiently.

I imagine that the gods had not intended this encounter to have gone so far in our favour. I also imagine that in another life, we might have fought for our very lives against an onslaught of carefully trained mercenaries and the fiery breath of Garish Vesht. After the battle, Kor told me tales of Garish’s exploits, how he had himself killed the king of Moratia by summoning a dragon to distract his guard while he killed the king and tortured the man’s daughter. Or how Garish had defeated an entire adventuring party himself, by healing his own wounds faster than they could be dealt while he charred each of them to death, finally chasing down the last member and stomping on her face as he laughed. The man was truly a terror, and the stories left by his legacy were terrible to behold. I hope this story, the story of how Garish was slain in one fell swoop through the grace of Justice, is carried down in the ages as well, as a warning to all those as wicked as this man.

Sometimes, the best intentions of Gods are thwarted, and men who were meant for greatness, whether for good or ill, are slain in a moment. I only hope the same event does not strike me in my time of glory, and cut me down before I have gotten used to standing in the light.

The rest of the mercenary band had barely started to move towards us when they saw their leader destroying in front of their eyes. And, fortunately, this act of heroism on my part engendered an act of cowardice on theirs. Without more than a second thought, each one of the band immediately ran for the nearest exit, dropping any equipment they thought might encumber them unduly. I saw the troll, by far the largest of the band, trample a goblin on his way out, just to make sure he was as far as possible from me. I admit, it was a humbling experience to watch such a band cower in fear at my presence, but it was a welcome one, if it meant that less blood was shed.

However, we had barely time to gawk at the scene when the gods, in a desparate attempt to make us fear for our lives, presented us with more misfortune. As we stood in the room, looking around it for anything that might have been of use to us, one of the doors in the room made a loud clanging. We looked over, and Fenrir began to investigate. A second clanging erupted from behind the door, and third. The hinges on the door buckled, until finally, a monster burst forth into our vision. It was a seven foot werewolf, with bursting muscles and dripping teeth. As it turned towards us, it growled, baring fangs.

I noticed that it had the tatters of clothes hanging off of its arms, clothes that I recognised as the same as the bandits had worn. This werewolf was obviously one of their own, somehow poisoned with an unnatural blood thirst that they could not control, forced to endure its endless days behind a closed door. It was a troubled, tortured creature, and I felt no remorse ending its suffering.

And so we fought the wolf. It was not a glorious battle, but it was a competent one. All of our party did their job, and they did it well. The wolf was unable to move for much of the battle, due to the spells of our cleric and the immobilising bolts of Fenrir’s bow. It bit at us upon every strike, making me fear that I might also catch lycanthropy and succumb to the same hell as it had, but it’s bites still did not enough damage that our cleric could not erase the wounds. The battle seemed to go on forever, but each of us, protecting each other with our particular skills, eventually felled the large beast despite it’s own wounds healing nearly as fast as we dealt it damage. In it’s final moments, it took a bite out of my left arm just as I was thrusting towards the beast, forcing my sword to impale its body as it tried to bite me. I lifted its heft above my body, and pulled The Tower back towards the ground behind me, slamming the remains of the wolf onto the ground.

And so the battle was done. I was sure that we had cheated fate that day, but with the premonition of The World leading my way, I had known beforehand that our victory had been assured. Though the gods are powerful, and vengeful, and though we are mere, weak mortal, every once in a blue moon we are able to thwart their best laid plans, and defeat those that were meant to defeat us. And if that is not the definition of those that become heroes, than I do not know what is.

And so, I sit here, waiting in the darkness, hoping our cleric does not oversleep and leave me on watch all night. At the same time, I am cautiously worried for the future. The Moon will not leave my side, no matter what question I ask, and as a result I worry that we may never find our way out of this prison. What horrors lie in store for us next?

I pray, my dear friend, that you have not already met them.

Day 5, Part I
Sixth Months of Digging, and a battle here and there.

Day ??

Hello? If you are reading this, then I pray you have found it lying in some dirtied corner of a tavern, left behind on accident by a old man who’s had too much to drink. If you are not so lucky, however, you might have found yourself within a dark, unknowable pyramid. If you are very, very, unlucky, then you probably ventured into this terrible tomb without knowledge of what you might find, or even knowledge that clutching a small blackened triangle would cause such an unfortunate turn in your fate. I know the feeling you are probably experiencing right now, my friend, for I felt that same sensation upon my entrance into this hellish abyss.

However, I hope that, regardless of my fate, this chronicle of a previous journey might help you make your decisions more carefully than I and my assorted companions have ourselves made. I know not how quickly this place changes, nor do I even know how quickly time passes here. However, I hope the knowledge you gain by reading my remembrances somehow equips you for your coming trials.

I will not concern you with the beginning of our tale, for, if you have been following in our footsteps, hurried notes left by an old confidant of my own, a holy man named Pius, should have been as obvious to you as they were upon my own entrance. Suffice to say, he died a terrible death that I dare not repeat, owing to his confidences that a sly word and a clever tongue could guide him past all obstacles. I myself know that, though this philosophy is a noble one, one must be wary to fight evil where it lies, with the largest and strongest weapons available to you. I would recommend to you, my unknown friend, that you find yourself a strong blade. I, with my own fists, fought a Hill giant to his knees in order to earn my own trusted blade, The Tower, and I trained years to carry a weapon only meant for giant-kind. Though it may be too late for yourself to train in such a way, I would urge you to find the body of a headless giant, lying near an endless colluseum of parodied death, and take from him whatever weapons you find yourself able to carry. It may be your only hope.

Regardless, those notes left by Pius should be more than enough to keep yourself current on my own predicament. Following my own entrance into the Pyramid, I and two others fought to the death a mysterious female Sorceress who, my companion Kor told me, resembled old paintings of a man who he suspects was entombed in this Pyramid, a man by the name of Karavakos (If you’ll excuse my spelling, I know not how to spell the name, as I was not brought up with a keen mind for historical rulers). Why this sorceress was female and yet resembled the man imprisoned here is one of the continuing mysteries of this dungeon that I fear I will never answer. However, we defeated her, and soon rested in her room to heal our injuries. As we slept, however, a man, though somehow not of any race I had previously met, ran into our improvised quarters, with three other men in pursuit. I needed no explanation to know which side I fought for, as the situation was obvious. I charged in ahead and dispatched on of the pursuers with no more hesitation than The Fool charging off the cliff, as my colleagues dispatched the others. With knowledge that I should listen to the messages presented to me by the Six of Pentacles from the last time I consulted my oracle, I immediately took from the wicked men some garments and helped the pursued man to hide his indecency. Though I needed no more reason to trust him than the fact that he had been pursued my wicked men with swords, my companions were not so trusting as me, and they questioned the man to make sure the story he gave hinted not at a forked tongue. However, upon questioning the man, his explanations were found to be reliable, and we welcomed him with open arms into our band, handing him a bag of infinite arrows that we had just taken from the sorceress’s holdings. Though it was of no use to any of us (I personally find it shameful to shoot a man from such a distance that he cannot even see in your eyes the sadness he has engendered in his nemesis that comes from sending another to the depths of Hades), the arrows were invaluable to our new friend, who later proved his excellence with a long bow.

Our new friend was named Fenrir, the Uncouth, and like The Moon with whom he shares his namesake, he was lost in shadows without sign of the light. He had been held prisoner for a timeless eternity my the same group of mercenaries we had come face to face with many times, and I swore that such callous disregard for the liberty of another would not go unavenged. We continued unto the breach once more, stronger now that we had another to trust in.

As we traveled we eventually came to a door. Now, as I have always been taught, the only way to deal with an unknown that you are certain is evil is to simply burn it, and wipe away anything that might have threatened to waylay you. However, I resisted this urge, knowing in my heart of hearts that there could be others like our friend Fenrir in need of our help. While companions bickered about the proper way to knock a door down with only their strength, I marched up to the gateway and forcefully knocked, once, twice, thrice. My intuitions were proved correct when the voice of a young maiden responded to my knocking from the opposing side of the gate, begging us for our help.

Oh! But how naive I was! For it had proven itself to be a trap, and my original instincts to burn the room down in a cleansing fire had been correct! When we entered, we saw the maiden, praying at an altar to a dragon god. Little did we know that this altar had been sealing her unnatural powers, and, blinded by my own trusting nature, I listened to her every word and tried to dismantle the wardings around her. Not even the hideous demons she summoned behind our back, that she claimed were her jailers, gave me pause to consider her story. And so, though we should have known better, we started to take down those protections some more intelligent soul had constructed around her. Kor, with his knowledge of how to unlock locks of both physical and metaphysical construction, was able to deconstruct one ward upon the door, while my own brute strength caused the other one to become corrupted beyond all use. Fearing that entering the door would still stir her ersatz jailers, Fenrir took aim at magical candles that seemed to bind her, which unfortunately proved ineffective. Lost for any other options, our cleric tried to use his own powers to put the candles out. And therein did we seal our fate.

I do not know what she was. She was unnaturally beautiful, as mysterious as The Priestess and as comforting as The Empress. However, the lust that she projected upon us bound me in those same chains that hold the slaves of The Devil, and like those two, who find themselves bound but not wanting to effect their own escape, I found myself in her thrall. She appeared to me the most beautiful of angels, and though I knew in what was left in the rational part of my brain that she was far from this, I found my body, acting out of lust for her flesh, protecting her from all attacks that my cooler headed allies tried to fell her evil with. Finally, doing whatever I could to give myself excuse to leave her, I found a way to convince myself that constructing a wooden idol in her likeness, rather than staying by her side to protect her from all strikes, would in the end be the best way to assure her protection. Yes, I know how ludicrous this course of action sounds, but it was all I could do to convince myself of even something so mad that I was able to let my allies smite her, and reawaken to my senses. Once I had awoke, I found that I had been even more cunning than I had planned, for as it turned out my attempts to carve the decoy had been made not with my sword, but with my bare hands! In my daze, I had tricked myself into an even more labourious waste of my time, giving my allies the chance to do the work that they needed to do.

Rational once again, I pulled myself away from the carving, though I felt strangely proud of the enigmatic expression my fists had carved onto the bust of the harpy that I had been so obsessed with. However, for whatever reason, our tribulations in that room were no over. Though it seems mad and craven now, I had been shaken by my encounter with this woman, and dared not dash into another trap in this cursed place. And, though the wards were dismantled and the crisis over, I still did not dare trust the gateway that had led us into this trap in the first place. So, against the urgings of my more practical comrade, Kor, that I was absolutely mad, I convinced our other two members to help me in constructing a tunnel out of this room and into the next. I knew it had to be no more than five feet of solid stone, and though we had no digging implements (or even knowledge of how to construct a tunnel), the qualities of this place made sure we did not age, nor want for food or sleep. As a result, I felt confident in our course of action.

I often wondered what terrible fate had befell Kor, who, fed up with our insanity, had walked through that cursed gateway while we began our preparation to tunnel out another way. Though what felt like months and months while we made our slow progress, I imagined all sorts of horrors had ambushed him on the other side of the wall, leaving him a bedraggled corpse. In our times of rest, the three of us compared all sorts of stories we imagined about the mad adventures Kor must have been having outside that accursed doorway that none of us dared venture through. Once, I even got so close to the doorway so as to look down the hall. He was nowhere to be seen down those ten feet I could see, and I dared not get any closer to the door that had increasingly, and irrationally, become my nemesis.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, we struck the end of the wall, and saw into the next chamber. The first sight we saw was none other than our leader, Kor, sitting in front of our improvised passageway. As it turned out, he had not fought the hideous harpies of Halazar, nor had he conned the Lost Sphinx of Nephite out of it’s store of gold. He had not even found a lost artifact of the ancient Priests of Mooselor, and used it to divine the secrets of the multiverse, as I had personally guessed. Instead, he was sitting, reading a book. As he had apparently been doing for the entirety of our endless drilling. I would be lying to you if I were to say that I didn’t feel this was slightly anticlimactic, especially after the tales we had ourselves imagined of his exploits. However, sometimes the cards work in mysterious ways, and I can only hope his encyclopedic knowledge of that tome will come in handy in our future.

There is more to tell, dear reader, and for you, it will be just a turn of the page. But for me, I must pause, so I can do justice to the other, amazing feats that we experienced after this chapter. At the moment, Fenrir has just handed me a Werewolf steak, and I dare not get blood on this chronicle should it unduly frighten you. So, once I have finished its consumption, I will continue. That is my promise to you, my unknown, future ally.

Day 4
To Fire or not to Fire, Fuck if I know

After clearing the Library of Whispers the S.C.S. argued about setting fire to the library or not, and which direction they ought to proceed. It was decided to venture into the Pyramids internal forest, where they encountered the Arborials, after they had attempted to set fire to the hedges…. After being escorted to the leader of the Arborials, whom asked the S.C.S. to take on the Carnal Lord (see Factions within the Pyramid of Shadows) in return for information needed to escape the Pyramid. En route back to the pit we came across some blackscale brutes who were summarily defeated. Afterwards we rescued one of V.’s lifeforce shards and encountered the Mercenary band of Garrish Veh (again see Factions within the Pyramid of Shadows). After failed diplomacy the S.C.S. went to town and crushed the Merc outpost, only to hear footsteps coming down the hall…….

Day 3
The first victory in the Pyramid

After eons Eddie and Tobias arrived and teamed up with the now somewhat weary Kor. They proceeded to lay a smack down on the Thought eaters in the Library, and the mysterious tiefling mage that was in the suite behind the library. Upon securing the area after notably battle, the S.C.S. collected the first of three keys that ought to aid the adventurers in escaping the magical prison. See the Riddle of the Keys

Day 2
And the Adventure really begins

After arriving in The Pyramid of Shadows the S.C.S. immediately had to fight for their very survival against a duo of Carrion Crawlers and an Ettin with an obsession with heads. After that epic battle, in which little known allies gave their lives for good of the S.C.S. the party looted, finally rested. After meeting their new guide and "ally’ V., the party set off to find their way out of the Pyramid. Coming across a rat infested room with a ton of bones, and The Library of Whispers. In the Library the S.C.S. suffered severe causalities, leaving only Kor alive. He limped away from the Mindstrike, Voidblades, and Thoughtbows back to the main pit where for Millennia, or so it seemed, he watched the epic gladiatorial battles while waiting for new adventures to recruit into the S.C.S. and escape the deadly Pyramid of Shadows.

Day 1
Why did Jewitt have to touch the mini-pyramid

The recently created Shady Character Society were enroute to a distant town when they were ambushed by a crazed wizard who attacked the party. After being dispatched his last words were about great magical power in the Pyramid of Shadows that was for the taking. He also had a map. So the S.C.S. went to take a look and were ambushed again by bandits with a Rage Drake. With a dazzling performace by both Pius and Kor these bandits quickly fell, and the Warlock touched a miniature golden pyramid that sent the S.C.S. into The Pyramid of Shadows.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.