All Lights Cast Shadows

An Enemy Without a Face
Frey's Entry (7/7)

We survived our encounter with the large river monster. The beast waged a terrible battle against us. Tiberius was nearly lost, and several of our number took grievous wounds. When the monster was defeated, it revealed its true form. It was in truth a spirit. The spirit claimed to keep watch over all rivers. It also forms pacts and promises with those who know the way to do so. The spirit explained that it had attacked us to fulfill a pact it had made. It was required to test us as we sailed down the river. We were judged worthy enough, although it also stated that it had taken pity on us due to our encounter with the strange man and his serpent.

The spirit implied that the whole situation had been manufactured by someone in order to kill us. At first I suspected our goblin employer, but upon further discussion it seemed more likely to be the party that kidnapped him, whoever they may be. Our group has already made several enemies. It is possible that some church, be it mine or Johnny’s, was behind this. We may also have enemies that we do not even know of yet, and that is what leaves me uneasy.

We left the spirit’s company as suddenly as we had entered it, toppling over a waterfall. I found myself awakened by the groans of my companions and sharp but familiar pain. In spite of the fall, we all were relatively unharmed. Exploring our surroundings, we discovered that we had reached a different part of the cave system. The path branched and our two parties went our separate ways for a time. We encountered several of the giant ants that Johnny had spoken of earlier. Tiberius bore the brunt of their attacks, but we were able to defeat them quickly enough. We quickly rejoined the women only to be attacked by another ant, although this one was able to fly.

I hope that we see the end of these caves soon. Although I can only assume that we will meet more dangers before we are out of them. Someone wishes to see us removed from this world. It is likely that they will not stop threatening us until we are dead or they are.

When Seconds Feel Like Hours
Frey's Entry (6/30)

The Black Sheep and I rejoined Tiberius and Vergil along with a few of the females’ number as well after we completed our trek through the caves. We were joined shortly after by the remaining members of both parties. Some of our companions had had as hard of a time in the caves as we had, so we decided to rest in the cave. At first I was uneasy about leaving only one of the women on watch, but the nobody else seemed to have any objections, so I said nothing. As it happened, my fears were unfounded, and we made it through the night.

Johnny reported that on his travels through the cave he had discovered a raft on a river. No one else reported seeing an exit to the cave, so that seemed to be the only way out. We followed Johnny back through the cave and found the raft he spoke of. We boarded and set off down the river.

What most of us believed was going to be an uneventful journey soon became an aquatic battle. Time seemed to slow down. Monsters rose from the river and attacked, dragging members of both parties into the water and assaulting the raft. The cat girl’s pet, a lion, was killed in the midst of battle. I managed to remain on the raft, fighting off enemies fool enough to get too close. A strange creature mounted on a giant water snake confronted us. He claimed we were trespassing and swore to kill us before we reached our destination, but the fight did not go in his favor. It looked like the battle’s end was at hand. That was when a huge monstrosity rose from the depths of the river from behind the raft. I was astonished by its great size, and I felt a twinge of fear in my gut.

I pray that Idestar delivers us from this creature, for we are weak from battle. I do not fear death, if it is my day to die, but I hope that this monster does not cut short the service I could do for my Lady.

Vergil's Lessons in Taking Care of Your Cube by Vergil
Episode 1 by Vergil

Vergil’s Lessons in Taking Care of Your Cube by Vergil
Episode 1: The Bare Necessities
by Vergil

So! You’ve got yourself a new companion, eh? A tiny little gelatinous cube, and now you’re wondering the right way to take care of it, so you’ve come to ol’ uncle Vergil for help. Well, you’ve come to the right place, for Vergil knows a thing or two about takin’ care of your cube.

Well, first thing’s first! Say hello to your new companion.


Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “Vergil! Why should I say hello to my cube?” Well, first of all, you’re going to have to say my name out loud if you wanna get my attention, not just think it. I’m not psychic. Second of all, you want to say hello to your cube because you’re going to be spending a lot of time together, and cubes have feelings too. Now, there are some who might say that cubes don’t have feelings because, technically, they’re mindless. To those some, I say, you retarded little pricks can go fu uh, let’s agree to disagree like the gentlemen that we are. I mean, we thought that humans didn’t have feelings because they’re mindless, and after having travelled with one, well, I’m still not so sure.

So. The theme of today’s lesson in cube-raising is basic needs. Remember that your cube has needs, just like you do. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Vergil! What do cubes eat? They’re cubes!” And again, I told you to say these questions out loud if you want answers. I’m getting tired of this, and I can’t just go and read your mind for you every time you have a predictable question. Anyway, luckily for you, what cubes eat is very simple! They eat just about anything organic.

So, go out there and find out what organic foods your cube likes to eat! Experiment! Try different things, and most of all, be creative! I’m sure you’ll figure out something.


Next up on the checklist, my friends, is hygiene. Now, you might be thinking, “Vergil! How do I clean my cube? Won’t it eat me?” Well, I’m not even going to answer that, because now you’re just being rude and inconsiderate.

After a good meal, make sure to take your cube for a walk! Or a slide. Or whatever. Just take it places. That way, the cube will have plenty of space to dispose of any non-digestible and inedible material that might have come with your choice of food.


After all, you don’t your new friend to get indigestion! Also, remember that cubes especially love strolls through their most natural of environments, hallways and corridors. Although they prefer the usual 10 × 10 corridors, cubes have a tendency to adapt to their environment, so don’t worry if your corridor isn’t quite as large as Vergil’s. Though, I wouldn’t go around bragging about it.

Anyway, that’s all you need to know to get yourself good and started on taking care of your new and very best friend. Next time, Vergil will give you some pro tips on some of the more complicated aspects of cube-raising, such as

Romance – “How do I tell when my cube is in love?”

Rebellion – “Why does my cube come home so late? Are his friends a bad influence on him?”

Size – “Aren’t cubes supposed to get big? So why is mine still so small?”

Dimensions – “Is my cube actually a cube? I think it may be a rectangle in disguise!”


Until next time, friends!

Johnny's Journal 6/27

When confronted by our former enemies, my companions and I made the decision not to fight them, and instead following them into the cave where their boss wanted to meet us. We went through to a portal powered by lines of magical energy flowing through the earth. We went through this portal into another chamber, where met the goblin who originally employed us. He didn’t know as much as I’d have liked to find out.

In the course of our conversation, something… strange happened. The elementals that lived in Void Space appeared, and disappeared with the goblin. I don’t know how they got here, where they went, or what happened to the goblin. This unsettles me. I do not like being unsettled.

After the unfortunate disappearance of our employer, the portals leading out of the chamber were blocked by vine creatures. We did what we could to destroy them and open an escape, but we ultimately failed. They emitted some sort of gas that caused both us and our fellow employees to disappear, one by one. Eventually, the same happened to me.

When I awoke, it was in a chamber in the same cave system that we started in. There were mushrooms, a river with a goblin-made raft on it, and a large hole in the ground. If I had blocked it off, things would have gone better for us. Us referring to myself and the Dragonborn girl working with our enemies turned allies, who was in much the same position as myself.

Out from the hole in the ground came a group of ants. They were not particularly pleasant to fight, but we made it. Aenid was not in the best of health after the encounter, but we both made it. After we killed several ants, the passageway closed off. I would not suppose we killed the hive, so there are likely more in the area. We won’t want to stay too long.

On the raft, there was a box. During the fight, I sensed that it had partially formed minds within it. When I opened it, I found 9 amulets of amber with ants encased in them. They seem to respond to heroic deeds. I suspect they will come in handy. Amulets in hand, we went to see if we could find the other members of our respective parties. We found the door leading to the portal room, but the ley lines no longer seemed to be powering it. We went down another corridor and found Aenid’s friend Ka’li, along with her pet lion. Mr. Snuggles, I believe his name was. Barkus was also there, a welcome addition to our group. When we encountered some sort of ley line device, it was he who figured out how to power it down. We had to give a portion of our life forces to do so, but the device was draining power from the ley line, so I believe it was beneficial overall.

After this, we made our way back to the door to the portal room. Barkus informed us that the door could be passed through with the expenditure of magical energy, which he and Aenid provided. Upon entering the room, we found the rest of our companions. Now perhaps we can make our way out of here…

Spelunkers Anonymous
Tiberius, 6/16

Their group followed (or perhaps, escorted) ours into the cave entrance they had so helpfully blasted clear. Inside was a rather large cavern, filled to the brim with yet more space-warping portals. Something of a veteran in these matters, we entered one of the vortices cautiously. On the other side we found ourselves face-to-face with our goblin-y employer. After a short question and answer session he managed to get carried off by those weird space-time elementals for earlier, and the exit portals erupted into enormous, malevolent thickets. Also we didn’t get paid. In any case with no other options I led the charge against one of our thorny captors, victory or death. Whatever their purpose was I would rather not be part of it, and everyone agreed. It was a vailiant effort, but slowly our group dwindled as some foul magic caused our members to literally disappear, one by one. We were so very close, but eventually even I fell.

I woke up in a dank, smelly cave, not helped by its other inhabitant. Again with little other choice Vergil and I teamed up, he came up with insults while I looked for a way out. These dark and twisty tunnels were not empty, and it was some time before we killed our way to evidence that another group had passed through here, not long ago. Besides a strange, luminescent pool (home to similarly strange creatures) our trip was relatively uneventful. I say relatively because of a rather horrific discovery we made in a side passage. In any case, when we emerged our group had grown to four. Inside had been two members of the other party doing absolutely nothing of interest. It was only a short journey from there that found us back in the cave’s main cavern, this time devoid of the reality warping much to my relief.

Vergil and Friends, Episode 9
Tales of Vergil (6/16)

So there we were, friends, faced with the villains of our not-so-distant-maybe-like-two-days-ago-or-something past. Their swords at the ready, they snarled at us, ready to strike at our throats, knowing we were weak from our previous encounters. Luckily for my comrades, Barkus and I were there to save the day. Between us, we had the height of five dwarves, and the strength of a hundred. We drew our weapons and commanded our foes to stand down or be buried in their neighbor’s yard in an inconspicuous location under that one tree that the children like to swing on, like the garbage that they were. The grimaces faded from their faces into fearful, sadder grimaces, and Barkus and I knew that the day was ours.

“Vergil, spare us,” They said. “Please, sheath your weapons less we lose our pitiful lives for naught!”

Being the kind and merciful bard that I am, I sheathed all of my weapons and let them guide us to their leader. They took us through a nearby cave filled with vortexes and portals and lions, oh my. Finally, we entered portal after portal and traveled through the nether realms once again to find ourselves face-to-face with some ugly midget who didn’t know much at all about what was going on. After I filled him in, he proceeded to be kidnapped by four elemental beings. Overall, it was a pretty boring encounter with not enough fighting and singing and dancing for my likes, but as an adventurer, you have to make sacrifices. Sometimes, those sacrifices are talking to short people. Take that note home with you, kids, but remember that sometimes these sacrifices are worth it, if you want to be a mighty adventurer like Vergil, here.

Also, throughout the entire conversation, I had this eerie feeling that someone was watching me. Do you ever get that? I mean, it’s natural to look at people who are looking at you, but sometimes you’re just looking around, then someone looks at you because you’re looking at them, or at least you were looking around them, because you’re just looking at things, and then since they looked at you, you look at them, and then you’re looking at each other, and you don’t know if they looked at you and then you looked at them, or if you were looking at them and they knew you were looking at them so they looked at you, or maybe they just think that and so now they think you’re some kind of creep or something, but in actuality what if they were looking at you just to look at you and then it’s all weird because no one likes being just looked at.

Yeah, I get that feeling too sometimes. Anyway, after the goblin got himself kidnapped, four monstrosities of thorns and weeds grew around the exit portals of the room. Quickly, we readied our swords and found ourselves in a strange alliance with our enemies. After all, the enemy of my enemy is a giant wall of thorns. Something like that, anyway. So we valiantly fought the monsters guarding our exits. However, as an eldritch mist filled the room, members of our party began to disappear. Sadly, Barkus was taken by the mist, and I found myself in a frenzied rage. We fought our best, but in the end, we failed… barely. We weakened the strange thorn creatures greatly. We could sense that had we gotten another blow before we were taken by the mist, we could have made a valiant escape. Thus, you can imagine my suspicion when I saw that one of my own party members, Frey, had stopped fighting while we held the advantage. It was a strange sight, but insightful; I knew that from that moment on, I could not trust him. And here is another lesson for you: You must always know who you can trust, and who you cannot.

Speaking of which, I woke up in a strange cave after the mist had teleported me. My friends were nowhere to be found. Tiberius was there, though. Yes, yes, I know. You’re wondering: why? Were the fates playing a cruel joke on me? Had karma caught up with your favorite handsome lizard? Well, despite his ugliness and stupidity, Tiberius proved to be a trustworthy ally. We fought foe after foe, slashing and slicing our way through the cave. Well, mostly I slashed and sliced. Tiberius got a couple of them, I guess. See, to establish rapporte with your amigos, sometimes you have to make sacrifices. Starting to see a common theme, here? If I had killed all of them, do you know how sad Tiberius would have been? And come on, I just really did not feel like dealing with crying at that moment.

So Tiberius and I killed our fair share of cave-dwelling ruffians, only to encounter a couple of our new but foul-spirited “friends” being very “friendly” in a cave together. After they composed themselves, we made our way onward through the cave, only to find ourselves back in the room that took us via portal to the ugly midget. You know, the one that got kidnapped. Anyway, things were a bit different this time; no portals. Of course, from there on, things did get interesting, but that’s another tale, for another time.

Pulled Apart
Frey's Entry (6/16 and 6/23)

Although it took some encouragement (especially in Vergil’s case), we were able to avoid hostilities with the group of women facing us. They took us inside a cave which contained a portal. We had no other place to go, so we went through. It took us to a separate cave where we met the goblin who had originally grouped us together. He asked us questions about what we had experienced recently, and we reported what had happened at the locus. He suggested to us that we consider retrieving the war machine that we saw escape while trying to retrieve the dragonkin’s sword. As our meeting was coming to a close, we were harshly interrupted.

The four beings we encountered in the Void Space appeared and then quickly disappeared, taking our goblin employer with them. We were not left alone. Huge thorn bushes covered the exits, trapping us. At first we attempted to defeat these bushes, but it became quickly apparent that such efforts were not going to come to fruition. The bushes began to release a mist and two of the women disappeared after touching it for a time. The mist soon enveloped me as well. My companions insisted on continuing to fight against the bushes, but I sensed that it would be in better faith to allow myself to be taken. It seemed unlikely that My Lady would allow harm to come to me in this situation, and it would be more prudent to save my energy for whatever waited on the other side of the mist.

When I was taken, the world went dark. I woke up in a plain stone room. There seemed to be no immediate danger, but there was a stench that filled the air. I made my way out of the room, and the smell grew stronger. My eyes began to water and my vision blurred. Finally I encountered the source. A large monster made out of refuse. It was hostile, and I was forced into combat with it. It was admittedly more powerful than myself. I was beginning to formulate a plan of escape when The Black Sheep appeared and joined the fight. Together we were able to defeat the monster. We decided to explore the cave together. We discovered an orb which Black Sheep described as having some sort of ability to warp reality. I allowed her to take it because she seemed to know more about it than I did. We continued on through the cave. We encountered a mushroom person and some cave monsters. Those too we defeated.

While we walked, we talked. The Black Sheep proved an interesting companion if nothing else. She is quite skilled with her weapons as well as with healing. It sometimes seemed as though she were barely mad at all, but there were always small reminders of the fact. She insisted that we attempt to have fun in spite of the situation we found ourselves in. I will say that spending time was her slightly less harrowing than spending time with the bard. She was also able to answer several of my questions regarding The Church and the gnome Crosan. We eventually arrived in a large cavern where we found several of our companions who had already arrived there.

Holes in Space and Time
Tiberius, 6/9

When our enemies were killed for a second time, they knew better than to come bother us again. A pity, as I found killing those dragonborn rather cathartic for reasons that should be abundantly clear. In any case, that left our party trapped in a small… room? space? plane? with no clear way out. There were various odd glowing bits to our cage, and it was assumed that the proper manipulation of such would free us. This turned out to not be the case. There was this dull blue field that acted like a nearly solid fog, only serving to slow one down. Some spiraling vortexes were scattered in the corners of this place, and it was discovered their function was to move whatever entered them to another place. This was initially believed to be our way out, except that one only exited at another vortex in the same room. In the center of the room was an angry red blotch that only served to do all manner of unpleasant things to those that entered it. There were only the fluorescent walls to our prison (which I discovered were not an exit) and a mirror. With all other possible exits eliminated this was our last chance. Touching it did nothing, and neither did magic, so I smashed it. That worked. It’s surprising how much can be accomplished by sufficient violence.

Our intrepid group found itself in a new place. Unfortunately still not the familiar landscape of our world, but by the glowing blue walls we were in a different part of the same plane. Behind us was a window, and in front of us were some very odd elemental incarnations. It soon became apparent that they had neither the desire nor the ability to help us, something about routing and magical shears. The path forward was obviously through the ever-shifting mirror, but still my companions insisted on talking to the creatures. In any case eventually even the elementals suggested we should leave through the window, and we listened.

We were back on our planet and even in the same area, but not all was as we remembered it. The swamp, already not a particularly pleasant land had been transformed into a hellish pit of fire, bone and blood. We found and were joined by an entity that called itself “Barkus”, which I quickly discovered was the new form of those three metal dogs that were for some inane reason infatuated with Vergil. We killed some not-dwarves and while the immediate area was clear there was a wall of bones blocking our path. At least, until I smashed a hole in it. Through the hole we continued, finding that one gnome and a line of his not-dwarves as backup. Actually most of this was an illusion, the dwarves were actually hell-beasts and the gnome was not there at all. In any case our enemies died and we continued, finally reaching the locus and our “allies”. They claimed this was not a good place for us, and we agreed. This time, they sent us to a place that was actually of this world.

Unfortunately, as my friends and Vergil discovered, it was not a place we wanted to be. We were surrounded by our antagonists, the same antagonists that had stolen my Sword. They wished for us to come meet their employer, whom they claimed was also ours. In any case we were exhausted from the fighting earlier, and as their employer had somehow known this was where our party would pop back into reality he was not a man to cross. We followed.

Lost on the Way
Johnny's Journal 6/9

Once we had cleared our immediate surroundings of hostiles, we began to try to find our way out of Void Space. It seemed that the mirror would be our way out, but we did not know how to utilize it. Eventually, Tiberius smashed it. Fortunately, that was a good idea. We were transported to another part of Void Space, and questioned by four creatures who claimed to be the embodiments of the four elements. The reason for these questions and their significance are as yet unknown to us.

The creatures seemed to know something of the area. They claimed to live there. They told us our “routing information” was scrambled, probably as a result of our unconventional entrance into Void Space. I imagine that whenever one goes through Void Space to another realm, the process lays some sort of path for them. This path was something that we lacked, which resulted in our particular route leading through some kind of hell.

We arrived in a pit of flame and bones, surrounded by walls of both. Skeletal colossi attacked dwarf(s). Those/that thing(s) had returned, to my dismay. For the second time, we were confronted by the gnome who created this/these abomination(s). We believed that we defeated him, but it seemed that he had somehow managed to inhabit a corpse, or perhaps animate it with pure psychic energy as he did with the dwarf(s). I hope one day to ensure that his mind is no longer a part of reality. But that is for another day.

When we escaped from this hell-pit with the help of our new comrade Barkus and our less new allies in the war for the locus, we found ourselves in a field. Waiting for us, at the exact location where we emerged from an unplanned journey through space and time, were the four women who ambushed us outside the temple where we found the Human’s Sword. (I feel it merits capitalization.) They said that their master wished to hold palaver with us, albeit using younger words. It would be impractical to fight them now, and I am curious to meet this elusive man, woman or whatever it is that can predict our movements through space and time with such accuracy. There is also the possibility that their employer is also our employer, in which case, we have our own obligations to go.

Barkus, Destroyer of Worlds
Tales of Vergil (6/9)

Where was I? Oh yes, we were stuck in a void of space and darkness. Well, we went through that quite easily. There were some monsters and what have you, but surely you don’t want to hear about that. Sure, I dispatched all of them quickly and with finesse, but I like to keep my stories humble, so I will not give you the details of my triumphs. No, I see it in your eyes; you yet still crave stories of my long lost companions, Tiberius, the dog, and Cornelius. Well, you’re in luck, for it was not long after my departure from space that I once again met my faithful metal hounds.

When we had gotten bored of space and decided to leave, we ended up back about where we had started; we were outside the old building with the locus that was so sought after by wickedest of groups and peoples. However, everything was quite different this time around. War surrounded us. Oh, also a wall of fire. A wall of fire also surrounded us. But mostly war. The Goggle Gnome’s army had assaulted, and the necromancers, devils, and what have you were all doing their part to make sure that his army met a quick death. Walls of bone and flesh divided the battlefield. Skeletal colossi towered over dwarf-clones foolish enough to go near them. Some hideous, gargantuan tentacle-thing wiped out dwarves by the dozen. Anyway, I must be boring you; it was all the average things of war. Let me get to the good part.

When we arrived, we were assaulted by nine, nay, twenty dwarves. Each raging with bloodlust, each with the beard of a hundred dwarves. If you count it, that’s around twenty-hundred beards. My companions began to cower behind me. “Save us, Vergil!” they would shout. I had no choice to oblige, even though I knew the odds were grim. Normally, I don’t like to fight more than fifteen dwarves at a time by myself, and I was feeling particularly down that day. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to the coming battle. However, I knew what I had to do, and so I did it. I evaded the strike of the first dwarf who swung at me. I quickly countered with a sweep to his leg and a slash at his axe-hand, severing it completely. Before the dwarf could breathe another breath, I mercifully slid my longsword through the dwarf’s neck, ending his cursed existence. Unfortunately, the second dwarf was already upon me, and the tides of battle were not in my favor.

All of the sudden, the dwarf stopped his assault. He looked downward to his stomach, only to see that it had gone on vacation about 30 feet away. A mechanical, furry monstrosity had blown the dwarf apart with but a blast from his cannon-like arm. The beast, who stood at least 5 or 12 feet tall, did naught but smile. He quickly turned and sent a chilling air towards a group of dwarves. The dwarves immediately froze, and, subsequently, shattered. The mysterious slayer of dwarves turned on the closest dwarf and opened his gaping maw, replenishing his strength on the tasty snack that was the dwarf’s head. The rest of the dwarves attempted to flee, but forgot that there were walls of fire. Well, they’re dead.

The gruesome, yet strangely handsome, beast turned to us, and once again opened its maw. However, this time… it opened its maw… for peace.

“Hail, comrades. Our previous, unexpected departure was sudden and surprising, but I am once again glad to be by your side. Especially Vergil. My name is Barkus.”

Barkus, you see, was the combination of the metallic hounds left behind during my companions’ and my space adventure. He was forged together to create the ultimate barking machine out of sheer necessity and love of Vergil, and definitely not as an unexpected side effect of the locus being channeled for power. He was happy to finally be with his dearest friend, Vergil, again, and he wagged his tail-thing appropriately.

We made our way towards the locus where are allies had been fending off more dwarves, but we encountered the goggles gnome. Luckily for the gnome, he was an apparition, summoned by the true gnome with the true goggles, and was not entirely real. Unfortunately for the apparition, he had crossed paths with Barkus. It took but a split second for the gnome’s fake body to be split from his fake head, as Barkus quickly and swiftly decapitated him mysteriously with his beautiful, cannon-like arm-things. With that threat out of the way, the battle seemed over, yet the locus was dangerous and unstable. We quickly made a magical retreat at the request of our allies, and found ourselves somehow teleported to one of seven fields of rye, where we encountered our most hated enemies; those ugly chicks to whom we earlier surrendered the evil sword of god-slaying voluntarily. Dying to know what happened, are you? Well, the hour is late, and I must be going. This encounter, friends, will be a tale for next time.


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.