IC Attack the Darkness! The Geriatric Brigade

opaopajr

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(I haz the flu! :sleep:)

:grin::word: "Yeah, those humanoids cause so much trouble for us humans & demi-humans, right Nuggals! Durham probably had the right idea, being a god 'n all.":happy:
----
:ooh::word: "I'll take your advice, Fido. Where they smell strongest will likely be where they come back through again. Useful if we want to ambush in the future, but I think we need to sleep off our premature party tonight."
---
:hmmm::word: "OK, watches. Nuggals you work so well together, I'd like to leave you in pairs." :worried::word: "But we have three 4 hour shifts to cover. So that means one of you will be without a Nuggal-buddy."
:grin::word: "So how about we have that last Nuggal partner with Moonpie and I? Maybe Lulu will join us, if her hip feels up to it in the early morning."
:hmmm::word: "Rhyll placed a tripwire around there, to make an alarm noise. However he and the other men had a long day, either fighting or drinking, that I think they'll need their rest."
:smile::word: "Whichever of you two feel the most young and spry may want to take the middle shift. I trust you know yourselves best."

:ooh::word: "Should we do anything to mask our scents? Do Snakies smell so good? Could we even hide our scents?" :sad::word: "I guess there's little we can do if their sense of smell is like yours."
---
Makes as much potable water as I can for my pets. I know they're gonna be thirsty and groggy after so much beer. :cry: They are my power projection against a world with a power differential opposing me! ... and also I've grown attached to the lil' buggers.
/wistfully breaks wind :cry:
 

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(Been busy prepping,going and catching up from a guys gaming weekend.)
(I hope your feeling better and the flu has left you.)

FIdo has lead the whole party through creeks and watercourses in an attempt to disguise the scent.
Rhyll and Olaf go about setting up the tripwires and defenses as best they can.

The Nuggals like your watch suggestion. Before watches start Fido makes a point of coming over to you and mentioning the additional scents he has been picking up on the main trail they just left. He's smelling human, something canine, reptilian, rodents and possibly others. Fido feels confident the group is near a busy passage trail.

The night passes with the group unmolested. Rhyll wakes up early for his morning constitutional and joins you for the remainder of your watch. "Bossman. We dont want to stumble into a problem. If we go as a big group we're better set for a fight but if we send out a small scouting party we might be able to avoid one. I'm not betting on us surviving in any case so I'll go with you're call. " Rhyll says surprisingly nonchalantly. You get the impression he's looking forward to dying not in his bed from old age.
 

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:hmmm::word: "I understand, Rhyll. That's some helpful advice. I think we will follow it today."
:worried::word: "Yesterday we had a bit of an 'early celebration' and I didn't think half our team was ready to work separately with that much beer in their system. :smile: But maybe today they'll be better, if a little groggy."
:blah::word: "But I am down a scout and do not know who to put in her place. I know this may be painful to talk about, but do you have an idea who could fill her place?"
:thumbsup::word: "I am looking for someone who is quick thinking, experienced, sly, yet patient and understanding. Our Nuggal friends are going to need help communicating to us, so we cannot leave them up front scouting alone."
:grin::word: "Got a name in mind? I want you to stay back, if you don't mind, because you will help us 'hold our core against rear assaults'... or something like that. Pretty much without you we are a bunch of old men who talk big and sleep often. :beat: We will need direction."
 

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Rhyll thinks. "Most of these men are just old. Not old and useful just old . Maybe Olaf, Porlan, McAllister or Reid. Nah not Porlan. He talks too much. Olaf maybe. He's knows more about the area than anyone I know. Not sure how he knows it but he's always had an ear for things. McAllister is probably too hot headed. My guess is he'll either be lucky or dead after the first fight. If you're alive at our age you're either lucky or competent. My bets on lucky."

// If I get a chance to post before you do I'll assume you have Olaf and a nuggal or two scout ahead.
 

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:crossed::word: "... and I thought myself sober before. Thanks for your honest assessment, Rhyll."
:blah::word: "But no sense fighting with the army we wish we had. You gotta fight with what you have. You're right, we got to think realistically."
:sad::word: "In many ways we are the flesh armor for the Nuggals, and maybe you, to succeed. I have to think for that likely future..."

/OKs Olaf scouting with Nuggals

:grin::word: "Hey, if I give you & Fido a cloth with a written message, maybe you two can finish this if you find help or -- if the gods save us -- find our stolen loved ones."
:thumbsup::word: "I'll go get some charcoal (or charred stick) and water to make some emergency ink. It'll be our last will and testament of a sort. When I die you'll take care of Moonpie and Lulu for me, yeah? And take Finisher to get our revenge, please."

/goes to make ink and find an expendable t-shirt (use a panel for Fido and Rhyll each,).

:cry::word: "... Hmm, I am kind of at a loss what to say now that it's my funeral. :hmmm: Heh, well, I've always been a callous ass. Maybe this time it will come off as practical."

/writes the plight (and locale) of the town & the plight of our Nuggal friends. Lists the names of the last heroes (include Moonpie & Lulu,) those lost, the body found, their graves, and where the trail leads next. Also adds Finisher's story, the Snakies' evil plot for it, and our suspected fate of our loved ones. Ends with an explanation of our party's challenges and an appeal to help, or at least vengeance.
 

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Rhyll snakes his head and adds 'Gah. I've done it again! I'm a dour bastard by nature. Something about putting my grim face on makes it easier for me to focus on the challenges ahead without worrying. The will and note aren't a bad idea mind you. If I had someone other than my daughter to write to I might as well. We'll make it through we just need to be smart about it. If it helps you seem to be a good leader. I think you can get us through this mostly alive. Hells some of these guys could die during a long walk so don't take it personally if some don't make it.'
Olaf and the Nuggals get the message to scout ahead. They head out. Several hours later they make it back and Olaf relays the following information. 'We followed the scent trail through the swamp and jungle East. The trail ended in a set of ruins. We scouted around a bit and found some remains of streets, three small ruins and one larger one. Everything was pretty covered in jungle trees. The Nuggals smelled Snakies, humans and other scents we're unsure of.'
'
 

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/explains to Fido & Rhyll together my reasoning for a will and testament. Roughly 'You Rhyll may forget, and you Fido may have trouble being understood'. I will read aloud verbatim what I identically wrote for both of them, then entrust the cloth messages into their care.

:trigger::word: "Hmm... is this jungle warm all the time, even at night? I'd assume so. This could be a problem for us as most snakes and similar critters seem sleepy by the cold of night.

:errr::word: "I dunno if Snakies are the same way, but given the jungle warmth I think we may have less wiggleroom to be all sneaky as a big group..."

:worried::word: "Besides getting closer, I am sorta at a loss what to do. We gotta try to get there soon, as that sacrifice blood shows our people's likely fate. However I am willing to listen to any good ideas so we don't die or get captured ourselves." :quiet:
 

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Rhyll nods at your explanation and adds 'Tis true my memory isn't what it used to be and it was never that great to begin with. Maybe the drink plays a part in that. Always been willing to partake in a good time.' He chuckles to himself clearly remembering some fond times.

Rhyll, Fido and Olaf look at you puzzled. 'You daft old man? I mean it surely doesnt get as cold as the mountains. I don't know about you but I sure wasn't wearing shorts last night. ' Olaf chuckles
OOC - It was in the mid 70's F yesterday and mid 50'sF last night
Olaf adds 'It may be warm enough for us at night but I suspect the snakies ain't going out at night for a few more months. Any of em out I would suspect would be angry about being stuck on guard duty.'

Olaf begins drawing a map of the area near the ruins.
IMG_20180805_193601-01.png

'We came in from the north first and saw the first two smaller ruins and the northern section of the big ruin. We weren't too eager to go too far in so we backtracked around what we think is the swampy area. The plants in that area were different than the brush everywhere else.' He pauses drawing an arc where they went before adding 'Oh them chicken scratches near the buildings are supposed to be trees. Anyways we backtracked and came at it from the south a bit but somethin spooked Fido so we didn't get far in.'

Rhyll looks at the drawing and says 'We might be able to bring the larger group in behind a scouting group. Get em setup with spears or whatnot and get them ready ta make a spearwall. Maybe get em to muddy up their faces and do something to disguise their age and 'questionable' competance. You can win a fair number of fights by just convincing the other guy it aint gunna be easy in my experience.'

He looks at you and asks 'You wanna come at it from the north or south?'
 

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:irritated: I attack the lumbago.
:hurry: Thy foe avoids your attack deftly!
:angry: The lumbago attacks!
:beat: Thy foe deals a critical blow, leaving you staggering!

-----------

:trigger::word: "Hmm, what did you smell, or sense, at the south approach Fido? I trust your judgment for sensing things we cannot, for example like sounds & smells."
/listens to the response
:smile::word: "Good job on info, Olaf and Nuggals. We might win just yet."

:thumbsup::word: "I feel your mud covering idea, Rhyll, is good albeit messy. But yeah, if we can cover our white hair we might look less pathetic than we are..." :sad: "I mean that in a 'good idea to save our lives and intimidate Snakies' way. We probably are pathetic as a rescue party, but... yeah." :closed: "I'm making it worse, aren't I?"
/turns to Finisher, that I rest near the planning map.
:grin::word: "Hey, talking hammer! Hey, Finisher! Yeah, you -- you're older than us, by like a lot!" :shade: "Do any of these ruins bring back memories and stuff? What's in them back then?" :goof:
 
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I'll be home with my materials Friday. Hope to have something for you Saturday
 

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Olaf translates Fido's response. 'He says the swamp had a distinct fresh reptilian smell. The areas to the south had relatively recent human actively. The north had remnant scent of humans, reptilian and other beasts but nothing in the last couple days.'

Rhyll heard the beginning of your approval for muddying the folks up and headed out to pass the word.

Finisher responds telepathically 'Gah I've been trying to get a hold of you boy! Damn snakemen seem to have tied a great deal of my reserve power to that dam Hill and whatever they were doing there.
Ruins near the crevice? I recall hearing about an ancient civilization in that area. It was an advanced culture with a sprawling trade network but an internal revolt destabilized the civilization. Following barbarian invasions destroyed it. It never recovered. That's all I can recall.'
 

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:worried::word: "I wanna save as many young 'uns as we can. But I think the South holds probably some danger worth respecting, given how it upset you, Fido."

/desperately tries to catch up with Rhyll, as he tells others to mud themselves up.
:errr::word: "Um, I don't know much about fighting and tactics. But I do have experience dealing with the sick and dying. Swamps are great sources of unclean. Be sure that your mud is clean, or at least treated.
:grin::word: "In fact, let me collect some herbs, and maybe another boils a pot of water. There we'll cook it all up with some mud, cook it down, let it cool and then get dirty. Oh and rinse the pot out, naturally."

/brings Rhyll back to the 'war table'
:ooh::word: "So, as I was saying... the South might be too much, too soon. But I don't know the dangers of fighting with buildings behind us, if we took and secured the North before going South? Are stone ruins a good or bad asset to have behind us before raiding other ruins?"
 

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Rhyll smiles and says "I knew you were a good leader" clapping your shoulders. He listens to your counsel on the water and sets the men yo work boiling water and mud.

He comes back with you to further discuss the battleplan.
"Hmm my advice is come from the downwind direction. Snakies probably have better sniffers than we do." Rhyll offers.

Olaf says "The winds out of the south so exploring the Northern ruins might gives us an edge. We can see if there's any critters we missed before dealing with the rest of the creatures"
 

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:thumbsup::word: "Alright, let's do this."
/looks at Rhyll... and nervously tweeter farts
:errr::word: "Um, should we stretch or something for our joints before doing this? I mean, this might be the big push."

/settles stomach nerves a bit, after everyone muds up and readies for battle and exploration
:ooh::word: "Phew, OK, we can do this, maybe. You and Fido got your message shirts, in case many of us yappy old men die?"
:smile::word: "Olaf, ready to let you and Fido's scouts take point. McAllister & Reid, ready to save our future and our town's? Porlan, keep an eye on me that I am not pissing us all off."
:hmmm::word: "Moonpie, I need you to listen to the Nuggals on how to be very quiet, yet warn us of danger, too. Lulu, carry stuff and protect Gruffyn."
:blah::word: "Gruffyn, don't die on us today."
/stares at him, long silent passing of gas
:goof::word: "Finisher, I dunno what else you can do, but please help us succeed!"

:grin::word: "OK, with certain death facing us from either starvation or Snakie torture, onward to victory! We got no other good choices!" :angel:

/leans in to the war council
:happy::word: "Was that a good rallying cry? What do you think are our chances?"
 

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Rhyll chuckles at your stretching suggestion.
"Well it couldn't hurt I suppose."
He gets the men to stretch a bit before applying the mud disguise. The men seem to get a confidence boost from the preparation. Covered in mud the obvious effects of age are hidden allowing them to forget their age and relive their youth.
They rally around you as you give your orders growing more confident with each action culminating with the motivational speech.
Blank stares and silence greet you until Rhyll and Porlan cry out "Yeeah!" and "Death to the snakes!"
With that the other men cheer and follow you as you head out.
 

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I owe you a big apology. I'll finish it this today.
 

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The trip to the North end of the ruins is quiet and uneventful. The men lose some exuberance but maintain a serious demeanor. The Nuggals lead trying to stay downwind and undetected. You're impressed by the almost professional behavior of your group as the occasional pauses ellicitt no whispers or chatter. Everyone is well on alert.

The group enters the ruin complex from the North.
There is a pause while the Nuggals take the lead and verify no obvious scents are nearby. Finally Fido comes to you and indicates no one seems to be at the northern most ruins. Fido looks to you for what to do next.
 

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:thumbsup::word: /whispering "Great job everyone! And extra special thanks to you Nuggals. I don't know if we could have gotten this far without you. I trust your sense of smell that this place is currently empty."
:blah::word: "That said, we also need to look for clues, count any dead, and see what sort of fighting advantage we got in these North Ruins before we head into almost certain conflict in the South Ruins."
:errr::word: "It's a hard decision... I could be wasting valuable time from rescuing who still lives, to endangering us by walking into a North Ruin trap. But we have one shot at this... and I'll be the asshole responsible for being too cautious."

:worried::word: "Fido, who is your second, your lieutenant, among you Nuggals? I need a sensibly tempered fighter we can trust to keep calm, and continue the mission if necessary. I am going to ask Porlan to stay behind and watch the other old men, but I want to leave most of you Nuggals with them, too, just in case."
:crossed::word: "Can't believe I'm doing this, but I gotta go in the North Ruins sweep. I will need you Fido to be our scout and figure out any better-than-human senses clues, Rhyll to be our heavy fighter and figure any fight-y uses for the place, and I to hold Finisher and see if it can help give more info. I might be able to do some religious stuff, but this place sounds wicked old... We could easily be walking into ancient doom."
:blah::word: "Everyone else can hide in the North Ruin's vestibule, er... y'know, entrance hall?, to wait for our sweep to be done."

/to Porlan and Fido's second, while addressing the group
:hmmm::word: "Fido, Rhyll, and I are going to sweep the North Ruins quickly. We may die. I designate you Porlan and 'Fido's Second' to be in charge while we are away. The daylight raid, when the Snakies are weakest, must go on, even if we die! I cannot risk us all in total, and we cannot mourn our losses without trying to win."
:trigger::word: "I think give us maybe an hour before you two send a search party for us. And if that doesn't work, two hours to take advantage of daylight and attack the South Ruins."
:crossed::word: "God help us all that we don't find even greater danger than we are already in... Stay calm, good luck, and pray we can at least make these bastard Snakies hurt, if it's the last thing we do!" :gunslinger:
 

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:happy::word: "Fido, Rhyll... this has been the most intense adventure of my sheltered life. Thank you for letting me be a part of this rescue raid mission."
:ooh::word: "If we can find a defensible narrow hallway, that may be all we need out of this North Ruin. Take no unnecessary risks... We might even cut exploration short if traps, clues, or scents of foes prove to be too much for our small party of three." :hurry:
 

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You creep up to the wall of the ruins as quietly as possible. The wall is covered in vines and crumbling around the edges. You peak around the corner to see a tree growing through what was left of the wall. Looking in you see most of the walls have fallen down. Waiting patiently you see no movement, hear no sounds. Proceeding in you carefully look around. You find evidence of fire pits and discarded food. Near one of the pits you find a note in dwarven....
 

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:sad::word: "Careful now, men. Get into a covered area to avoid being spotted, or shot at, from the South Ruins."

/points out the food pits & food remains to others
:thumbsup::word: "Check it out, see how recent they have been here. And see if any food seems less Snakie-like, more Human or Nuggal-like. That might hint some of our people are still alive and how recently."
/walks with cautious purpose to the dwarvish note
:worried::word: "Who reads Dwarvish? Did I ever read Dwarvish? Finisher? Fido? Read Dwarvish?"
 

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(:grin: A Very Special Halloween-themed GM Pestering. :shade:)
:storm: :skeleton: I haunt you from PbP games past! :dice: "Where's my bones? Where's my lucky knuckle bones!" :skeleton: :storm:
 

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(:grin: A Very Special Halloween-themed GM Pestering. :shade:)
:storm: :skeleton: I haunt you from PbP games past! :dice: "Where's my bones? Where's my lucky knuckle bones!" :skeleton: :storm:
Sorry didn't see your post on Friday.
 

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The rest of the men begin filling in to the space staying low and silent. You sense a feeling of relief among the men. They maintain their poise and alertness.

Fido and Porlan examine the food pit. "Seems like it's fresh. Maybe a day old at most." Porlan says while he and Fido pick through it before adding "Too small to be human. Recent stuff looks like birds and rabbits. Some of the older bones look like they might be crocodile mixed with deer."

Finisher responds to your mental summons "Dwarven yes of course I can read it. Look at it again." You scan the tablet and to your surprise briefly go blind as Finisher literally takes over your ocular nerve. "It talks of a small outbuilding hidden in the bushes at the southern edge of the ruins with a stairwell entrance to something below. It's not clear what that is."

Lookouts peering south report back a ruins raised up from the ground almost due south and swamp to the west but brush obscures visibility of whatever else might be out there.
 

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:sweat::word: /Whew! "That's good news it is not likely our loved ones -- :trigger: unless we have very frail looking babies that I don't know about."

:dead::word: /Gaaack! :shock: "Well that was something I did not know Finisher could do... disorienting." :thumbsup: "Alright, apparently Finisher can read Dwarvish. Thanks for the help, buddy!" :ooh: "He says the writing speaks of 'a small outbuilding hidden in the bushes' located at the 'southern edge of the ruins'. Apparently it also have a 'stairwell entrance to something below' but was not clear exactly what that is."
:sweat::word: /Whew! "I got all that out before I forgot it. I am amazed." :grin: "Maybe fear of agonizing death helps with the memory, ya think?"

:hmmm::word: "OK, so we have some information to go on. One, we are close enough for them to be only a day away, and likely not yet sacrificed; we have some time but perhaps we should press our luck and see who we can save." :smile: "Two, we have knowledge of perhaps a secret entrance for, something?, in the Southern Ruins." :thumbsdown::crap: "I am going to rule out an underground outhouse because that would be a very strange thing to engrave upon a wall. :blah: But these are Dwarves after all, and I have no idea of their sense of humor." :wink: "I am going to guess a secret back entrance... :trigger: but wait, then I don't know why you'd also engrave that secret upon a wall?"

:errr::word: "So... ideas? Should we press our luck and make sure this place is cleaned out? Go back and bring more men to ensure a successful clearing out? Or should we make our way to the Southern Ruins -- and by front or secret entrance?" :happy: "I am open to ideas because you all are better at combat stuff than I." :music: "Let's go back to the main group and update them at least?"
 

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Rhyll ponders your questions before asking "How do you clear the swamp?"

Porlan looks at Rhyll. "Me I'd like to know my exit is clear before going in somewhere but Rhyll has a point. Even if we got things cleared out up here before we went down who knows if it would be clear when we came back up?"
 

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:trigger::word: "Usually, Rhyll, you clear swamps by draining it of its standing water. But that's usually a major project and requires a lower level area to have water drain away into..."
:shock:
:devil::word: "I have a really bad idea. Snakies need to breathe air, like us and Nuggles, don't they? Yet they prefer to live underground in dens to stay warm, right? And if the dwarves built really deep underground... Maybe we can give the Snakies something big to worry about while we rescue our people?" :wink:
:evil::word: "Talk me down, guys. Rhyll, Porlan, Fido, Moonpie... I think we found a way to weaponize their flooding of the land against them. But we would have to move quick to rescue our people once we start draining water into the dungeons. Too crazy?" :dice:
 

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Rhyll can barely contain a laugh before stating "By the Gods I like the way you think! I can think of no better way to end this threat or at least make their life harder than ours."

The others just look shocked.

"Well it has a certain poetic justice to it. How do you propose we do it?" asks Porlan.

The men poder the work it might take to manipulate the area to enable this and weigh it against the potential for death going into the lair without something else for the the Snakies to contend with and seem to be rapidly coming around to the general idea.
 

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(:angel::thought: At this point I don't know where to act beyond Jean-Luc Picard saying, "Make it so.")
 

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(Rubs liniment on joints before curling up in blankets. :sleep: Mmm, toasty!)
 

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Rhyll says "We still have something IN the swamp to deal with and we haven't finished exploring here."

Porlan adds "Right. If we're going to drain the swamp we'll need to be able to find somewhere to direct the water into and dig a trench. And we have to do that all without getting attacked by either swampies, things coming out of the ground or just plain mean wildlife."


Rhyll nods "Best finish checking this place out to know where the entrance to below is and be sure no one's coming up to surprise us. We can probably wait on whatever is in the swamp until we start draining it or it attacks us."
 

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:hmmm::word: "Well that settles it. We cover our backs by ensuring one thing is cleared at a time, starting with here. Alright, let's continue together -- though Moonpie and Lulu aren't gonna like the underground much." :closed:
:quiet::word: "And Gruffyn I doubt would be up to the task of guarding our entrance/exit with just my animal friends. No offense Gruffyn, you might be useful some day. So everyone comes along, even sleepy as you are."

:shock::thought: (They didn't even flinch at my crazy plans... :shade: My people! We will conquer vast lands and build statues in my honor yet!)

/we continue on deeper! :dice:
 

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(:cry: I shall flood out those snakies with my tears of neglect! :hehe:)
 

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If I didn't neglect you how would you know I care? I'll try to post this evening.
 

opaopajr

Legendary Member
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If I didn't neglect you how would you know I care? I'll try to post this evening.
:cry: It's been the longest evening ever...

(Enjoy Valentine's Day and get back to me when you can! And feel free to wrangle new victi, er, players! into this game. :shade: )
 
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