After a hiatus of about six months, the Spirit Special Squad will resume adventuring. I wrote this recap from my character’s perspective to get everybody back up to speed and hyped for next session. I figured I might as well share it with all of you. Enjoy!
More from Glurf:
Special Spirit Squad
Chapter 0 (Prologue)
It’s me, Glurf, your humble servant. How have you been? Am I allowed to ask that? I’m not sure. It’s a dumb question, anyway. Of course you’re well, being a goddess and all. You’re perfect, so there’s no way you’d be unwell. I only ask because it’s the nice thing to do, and I wouldn’t want to be rude.
I’ve tried really hard to do what you want, but since you never tell me directly, it’s been difficult. Not that I’m blaming you. As a goddess, you’re very busy. You cannot afford to waste any time explaining your foolish priests what they’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to figure that out for ourselves. But I’m only a dumb toad, not even a frog, unworthy to serve you. Since I cannot figure it out for myself, I can only ask you, even when I know that I’m not supposed to. I’m sorry to always be such a bother.
I have traveled to the Dry Lands as instructed by you through your medium, the Oracle. She was a very nice old lady with lovely wrinkles who gave me a big fat kiss goodbye. Everybody seemed to worry about me, which made me determined to succeed, even though I didn’t know at what. Still don’t know.
After I got lost for a while I joined the Special Spirit Squad, as an exorcist. That seemed like a priestly thing to do. I have always put my faith in your guidance, Heqet, so I figured that, if I was doing the wrong thing, you’d make it known somehow. But you didn’t. So I can only presume I did what you wanted, although I’m never sure.
We did a lot of good things. Most jobs didn’t involve any actual ghosts, but we always ended up helping people. For example: This one time an old human lady was afraid a poltergeist was haunting her cupboard, but when we had a look at the other side of the wall, it was only a nymph and her lover making a lot of noise. So we asked them to quiet down, and I performed a mock exorcism for the old lady to calm her nerves. I’m sorry for that, by the way; I know I’m not supposed to make light of your rites, but the lady was very nervous and I was afraid her heart might give out. I have offered sacrifices in penitence, so it should be fine, right? If not, please give me a sign. Any sign will do.
There were actual ghosts, too, and we ended up escorting them to their rightful afterlives. I don’t know anything about the funeral customs of these lands, so I hope I didn’t mess anything up and accidently send the wrong souls to your domain for you to sort out. I’d hate to give you extra work, busy as you are with god stuff.
I guess it’s important for the next part of the story that I tell you about the rest of the Squad, even though you know them already. Saying it out loud helps me think. I’m sorry for always being so redundant.
First up is Maurice. He’s a human and he uses a bow. I don’t like him very much. He’s often rude and only seems to care about himself. He’s obsessed with his own body. I also think he might be a coward. But I mustn’t think too badly of him, since he offered to help Nate with no clear benefit to himself. More on that later.
Next up is Dovar. Dovar is scary. He’s a big half-orc who wields an even bigger axe. He’s really strong and invaluable in a fight, and since we tend to get into a lot of fights I’m glad we’ve got him with us, but that doesn’t make him any less scary. He seems like a gruff guy, but I think he really has a heart of gold. I can tell he really cared about Ko, and still misses him greatly.
Ko…I don’t want to talk about Ko. It’s too soon. It still makes my heart hurt.
Lastly there’s Nate. From the moment I saw his eyes, I knew there was something special about him. Something divine. I saw it a sign that I did the right thing by joining the Special Spirit Squad, and when he said he was going to a wierd desert city to rescue his sister, I didn’t hesitate to join him, figuring that helping him was why I was send to the Dry Lands in the first place. Also, he’s nice. Not as nice as Ko was, but really good to me all the same. If only he can get his demons under control, he’d be a really good person. He drinks too much and is all-together much too violent. Hopefully he’ll mellow down now that he has is sister back But now I’m getting ahead of myself.
So Nathaniel asked us to go to this desert place, to rescue his sister from slavery. I was very uncomfortable there. It was hot, very dry and the sand stuck to my skin. I was thoroughly miserable, but I got through it by thinking of it as a trial.
Then, when we were staying in a town to rest, you send me a frog.
“Save them,” it croaked. “Save them from themselves.”
I was so happy, then. Finally, clear instructions; a straightforward mission! There were these kids messing around with explosives, so I immediately presumed that you wanted me to stop them from blowing things up, which I did. I was so happy when we succeeded, and then you made it rain in the desert – where it never rains – so I was sure that I had done what you asked, and that you were pleased. Stupid, stupid Glurf. I didn’t notice how Ko took some of the explosives. That would prove to be a lesson in humility.
We arrived at the city with all the bad people, ran by four “viziers” that were the worst of them. A lot of things happened, but I’ll stick to the things important to me, since this is a confession and all. No need to bother you with details you already know.
So basically we wanted to become closer to the viziers, because one of them was bound to know where Nate’s sister was. One of them was a really big and violent guy that owned the fighting pits, so Ko volunteered to become a gladiator, fighting his way up the ranks and so earning his favor. I thought this was a really stupid idea from the start – what if he got hurt – but I never said anything, because Ko seemed so excited about it. He adopted a whole different stage persona and everything. I didn’t want to always be the buzzkill, so I compromised. Even though it was technically cheating – which was OK, because everybody was doing it – I gave Ko a charm that would let me share his hurt. I just told him it was a good luck charm – which wasn’t really a lie, it was true, in a sense – because if I had told him what it was he would not have accepted it. He wouldn’t have wanted to put me in danger.
Ko had to fight against a really big and scary monster. I could tell he was having problems with it because I could feel every blow he took as if it were struck at me. In a moment of desperation, he took out the bomb and stuck it into the monster’s mouth. That was the last thing I remembered before I died.
Afterwards, I learned that Ko survived the blast, thanks to my protection, but lots of people died that day, and Ko was executed for his act of terrorism, even though I tried so hard to keep him safe. In the end it didn’t matter. You tried to warm me, safe them, you had your messenger say, safe them from themselves, but I couldn’t. I failed.
Yet, you brought me back to life. So I failed twice. Not only was I unable to save Ko, I was also unable to keep myself alive, even though I wasn’t supposed to die, as proven by you bringing me back. I was a complete and utter failure, but in your mercy you have given me another chance to serve you. I vowed to do better with this second life, even though I would end up messing up again.
I guess I should say something about Emma, too, the servant that you used to bring resurrect me. I thought she was really nice, at first. After all, she brought me back to life, and she seemed to have a close connection to you, being a water spirit and all. I was thankful to have an ally of water in a plane of dry earth and hot fire. But she proved to be unstable.
You see, my friends had struck a deal; Emma would bring me back to life in exchange for a date with Maurice. I don’t know what she sees in him. I think he’s self-absorbed and rude, but she seemed to fancy him. Rather unsurprisingly, Maurice completely botched the date, making her very upset. This would come back to haunt us in a big way.
Anyway, we finally found which vizier had Nate’s sister: It was the girl one. Did I mention one of them was a girl? O well, it doesn’t matter; you knew. We stormed the mansion and set her free, but in the confusion Emma was released onto the physical plane. At first I was glad, thinking we had ourselves another ally in this dry place, but she caused a lot of damage, and ultimately threatened Dovar and our new friend, Alred. So I confronted her.
That’s when I asked you to send her back home to the plane of water. She was confused, angry, and wasn’t herself. She needed some time to think and calm down. But you didn’t respond. However, my attempt to banish her send Emma into an even greater rage, and she said things she would never have said if she was in her right mind. She said that she was really good friends with you, and that, if she “commanded” you to banish me, you would do that for her. I was stunned. Nobody “commands” the Gods, least of all their servants. How could she, a water spirit, say something so terrible? You seemed to agree, and send her back to the elemental plane of water. If only she had stayed here.
After more trouble and a lot of fighting, we finally managed to rescue Nate’s sister and got her on board the ship. But instead of consoling her and taking her home, like any normal big brother would do, Nathaniel ran off with Dovar to go fight the bad guys. They said that they needed to avenge Ko, even though I knew that vengeance would be the last thing that Ko would have wanted. He would have wanted Nate to finish the mission he gave his life for, and certainly wouldn’t want anyone to endanger themselves for his sake, like I foolishly did.
So I did the only thing I could. I asked you what we should do, even though I know I’m not supposed to. I summoned the rest back to the ship and I called upon you to answer a simple question: Would Ko want us to avenge him? You said no, like I knew you would, because it was the truth. And amazingly, it worked. The fight drained out of Nate and Dovar. We resolved to go home. Well, their home. Not mine.
Exhausted, I collapsed. When I woke again, I heard the sounds of battle coming from above deck. I hauled myself up the stairs to find the whole gang fighting Emma. She was back, and less stable than ever. I tried desperately to reach her, to calm her, to send her back to the plane of water, to heal her, to…I don’t know. But I couldn’t. My party slew her. She was one of your children, and I let her die. I take full responsibility for it; whatever you want me to do in penitence, I will do it. I know you loved her. She didn’t deserve to die.
We are heading back to the Dry Lands now, away from the dryer desert, and I’m less sure than ever what you want me to do. There is so much suffering in that desert city. People are sick, oppressed, enslaved – it’s too much; I couldn’t do anything. Was I supposed to do more? We left our two satyr companions there, Midas and Orpheus – should we go back for them? Should I try to bring Emma back to life, as she brought me back?
What about Nathaniel? Is rescuing his sister what you wanted him to do, or is there more you need from him? I think he needs me, for he is suffering more than ever, so I would like to stay with him, if that’s okay with you. He has been so fixed on rescuing his sister for so long, and did so many bad things to get her back, that I don’t think he knows how to live with her back in his life.
What about Maurice? Does he need to be punished for what he did to Emma? For breaking her heart and her mind? He doesn’t show any inkling of regret. Do you need me to convince him of his sins? I don’t think he’ll listen to me. He is lost, like Nathaniel; like me. I’m in no position to guide anyone.
And what about Dovar? I do not think he really gave up on avenging Ko. The fire still burns strongly in him. How can I quench it? Am I even supposed to? I don’t know what he wants, now. I can’t help him if I don’t know what he wants.
And then there’s Alred. He’s a mystery, and I’m scared of him. He is reckless and dangerous, even more so than Dovar. When he got afflicted by a petrification curse, I asked you thrice to break it, but thrice you denied him. That must mean you think he’s bad, right? What am I to do with him? Should I watch him? Stop him? From doing what? I just don’t know.
Please, Heqet, I have traveled so far and have been through so much, but I do not feel like I accomplished anything. I beg you, please, send me a sign. I have tried figuring out what you need from me on my own, but I am only a dumb toad, not even a frog, and I keep messing up. Guide me. Send me a sign. Any sign.
Please. Please. Please.
More from Glurf:
Special Spirit Squad
Chapter 0 (Prologue)