Of Crows, Dirt and Dongs

Meanwhile Back at Camp.....
-- Or Roche Takes Matters Into Her Own Hands

I couldn’t just spend the whole time sitting in my tent, like some kind of prisoner or pariah. Although that’s probably exactly how some of the people here would view me given half a chance, but I couldn’t exactly leave either, what with my “little friend”. Animals aren’t really my specialty, but a familiar? Now that’s different. I grow fonder of little Fontanel each day, without even considering how useful he is.
The first night after Laucien and the rest of the party departed for the ruin, Fontanel brought me a little mouse – it was grossly disfigured and just wrong. My Lady confirmed my suspicions – the taint of corruption is seeping out and affecting even the local wildlife. I shudder to think what would happen if the full force of it was released upon the world. I burned the corpse for safety. She had also confirmed my suspicions about the “little friend” – Talisad’s doing. It seems that my dream of my… death and rescue, was definitely more than a dream, and at least one Lord of my Lady’s court has strayed from the path into the darkness of corruption. She has given me a list of ingredients for a potion to remove this spy (Ternav root, mindflayer tentacle, bottled faerie fire) so I will try procure them before Laucien returns. Perhaps I will be able to find some Mount Setwal vine creeper as well, which would help with my physical injuries… I think.
-———
This morning I had a good idea – I can see what Fontanel sees, but the link between us excludes the “little friend”. After he had located some merchants and healers for me, I went out into the camp, borrowing his sense of sight to try for some of those ingredients. I chose the Amerillian herbalist first, as he seemed the most likely to have what I needed, but I was wrong. All he had was a cowardly prejudice – he refused to help, hiding behind procedures (even though I didn’t want him to make me a potion at all) and wouldn’t even look at me. Being Laucien’s people, I expected better. I mean I don’t hold a grudge against humans for killing my family and treating me like a foul creature, so what right do they have to act this way? Small minds are pathetic.
I had much better luck with the druids, whom I visited next. Initially it didn’t seem like they would want to deal with me either – the man and woman played a hand game and the loser had to come speak with me. However, the man proved to be very civil… almost nice. He didn’t approve of my plan to use the Mount Setwall potion, but there’s just no time to go through normal rehabilitation. He gave me both the vine creeper and the Ternav root, and didn’t even want anything in return. Ended up having to send Fontanel back to him later for help with the recipe for the vine… I owe him a debt now, and I hope I will be able to repay it some time. He called me “little Reh” when we parted… I wonder what that means, but it didn’t seem like it was meant in a bad way at all.
-——————-
Oh for all the Shining Lords and Ladies! No wonder the druid did not recommend this course of action! It hurt so much, and ugh I am pretty sure I had an actual heart attack at one point… but I feel so much better now. The pain is gone, as is the hypersensitivity to the cold. Unfortunately my dexterity is still diminished, and I am not sure if there is any way to take this cursed clumsiness away again.
I tried to visit the druids again, to thank them in person, but they were busy with something. There was a great stag in the middle of their circle, but like the mouse that Fontanel had brought me the other night, it was altered and wrong. A little mouse could have been directly in the ruins to be affected… but a stag wouldn’t have been so close…. Unless of course that hadn’t been a stag at all, but one of the druids in beast form? Both options are highly concerning. Since I couldn’t talk to the druids, I sent Fontanel out to try find someone who would sell me some mindflayer tentacles. Only the high elves would help – should have just gone there straight away really. The damn things are ridiculously expensive, but at least I have them, and bottled faerie fire now. Funnily enough, the elves, with their reputation for disdain, treated me better than that Amerillian herbalist. Well… at least they would work with me, even if they didn’t think much of me. Means to an end, means to an end.
-—————————
I went back the next morning to try again, but they were gone… Only a young druid by the name of Adric remained, who is apparently the contact between these forces and the rest of the druids, an older man who was breaking down the remains of their grove, and another tiefling with red hair. While I was there two dragons erupted from the ruins, and winged away to the south. A skeletal one and an emerald one… I will break one of my own horns if the skeletal one doesn’t have something to do with the corruption. Didn’t have time to speak with the remaining druids because there were more dragons, this time landing in the camp itself!
I had to go look of course… I know my Lady wouldn’t approve, but her history is not mine. Oh and they were wonderful. Such power and presence, glittering silver and copper… So different to the fey, but amazing in their own way. They didn’t remain in their draconic forms for long, and transformed into human and halfling shapes. They had brought the whole party with them, with a new elvish addition. It seems that this strange high elf has been under the influence of the taint, but was pulled back from it. I had an inkling that he was related to the snooty wizard, Silevion, and he confirmed it by referring to him as “father” in his rush to be arrogant some more. Elves.
Laucien though… he has been changed down there. In a bad way…. I had expected, and hoped, so much better for him. I don’t believe that he cannot be saved, but as he is now, I would not trust him enough to travel again in his company.
Tomorrow will be interesting.

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Meeting Mr. Dosk

Dear Aly.

I have finally met up with the one, the only Laucien Dosk, Leader of the Rebels and his group of daring adventurers, although they do not seem as daring as I thought. But let me tell you how we met because I must say it was incredible and of course I was the hero!

After leaving Drax I set out to Durstrum, Lauciens newly conquered city. It was here that I found out two important things; One, Laucien was no longer in the city and he wouldn’t be returning for quite some time, if at all, and Two, there was an assassin looking for him too, although this assassin didn’t know that I had discovered this information. This assassin, lets call him…..Tony…yeah..that will do, well Tony had found out where laucien was headed and decided he would intercept Laucien and ambush him, and make the whole thing look like a rode side robbery attempt. Well I couldn’t just let this idiot go off and try to kill the man who I was so looking forward to meeting, so I decided I will follow him and just at the right moment swoop on in and save Laucien’s life! I mean after saving the mans life he is bound to invite me along.

So I follow Tony around for the next day, blending into the crowd, using those skills of thievery that I have spent my life perfecting, although, with a face like this, its not easy. The next day I followed Tony out of the city. Whilst we were still on the main road this was fairly easy to do with out getting noticed, but as the roads grew smaller and the crowd thinned out I must confess that staying hidden became quite hard, thank the heavens I am as amazing as I think I am, because this idiot didn’t have a clue I was even there. Just as the sun was setting, Tony settled himself into a tree, whose branches hung above the small road we were on, to wait for his prey. I managed to hide myself not far away in a smaller tree, but with a clear view of Tony and the road ahead.

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It was mid morning to mid day when I hear the familiar sound of foot steps coming toward us. Tony seemed very interested and from is higher vantage point I guess he was able to see it was Laucien before me, so whilst he was so focused on his target and with the sounds of the group approaching I managed to slip down from the tree and get my shot lined up and ready.

First came one of the largest women I have ever seen, she was barely dressed and had what appeared to be a wolves head as some kind of hat. Behind her was a strange looking creature with pale blue skin and horns curling around her face beside her walked a large mastiff with saddle bags and a bridal yet no rider. Behind the horned woman came a small girl with flowing pink hair and a distracted look on her face, she seemed to be focused more on the plants that grew beside the path then where her feet where taking her, and Following all of these strange women, was Laucien, he was completely unaware of what lay ahead of him and didn’t seem to be keeping a lookout for danger at all. Just as Laucien passed under the tree Tony lept down brandishing a short sword, caught completely off guard, Laucien was unable to draw his weapon in time. Luckily for him I was ready, and with a shot like something from one of your songs it flew straight and true and imbedded itself in Tony’s neck. I then proceeded to calmly walk past the group who were all too stunned to do anything and searched Tony, I had a terrible feeling that this man had been sent by the King and my suspicions were correct, inside his pockets I found the poison he had coated his blade with as well as the kings insignia. I showed both of these to Laucien as I introduced myself.
Dear sister I am sorry to say that the songs you sing of this deceiver are very misleading, he is in no way a demon and the only horns are on the woman who I mentioned earlier. I was incredibly disappointed to find out he was just another knight in shining armour trying to do the right thing, and as I found out over the next couple of weeks, he isn’t very good at doing the right thing.

We travelled through small farming towns and across fields with Val, the incredibly tall woman leading the way, which turned out to be the great pillar of black smoke on top of a huge mountain. Just as we get to the foot of the mountain we camp for the night and Val and I take first watch, an hour into the night a travelling salesman shows up and offers us payment if we watch over his cart and him for a few hours, one of the items he offers is some kind of magic sword, and who am I to say no to such a generous offer? Remind me to say no to these offers and that if it seems too good to be true, than it probably is. Not two seconds after picking up this sword did I discover that I was unable to put it down, not only that but it appeared to make all my hair grow at an alarming rate. I fell asleep only to wake up to find that my hair had continued to grow over night and I now looked like a waling hay stack. Laucien found this to be beyond incredible as he had started to see me as a rival rather than a friend and believed I was now no longer a threat to him. However I found my curse to be a blessing in disguise as we headed up the mountain the weather turned bad and it became incredibly cold and wet.
We came to a pass and found that the way was blocked by Kings men, Val and Ailish, the small and easily distracted one decide that they will head down and see what they are here for and if they could pass through. Although we couldn’t hear the conversation, we could tell it did not go well, and Val and Ailish were soon in the middle of a fight. During this battle I managed to get rid of this terrible sword by convincing one of the Kings men that I was a Mountain Spirit and that the blade would help him to defeat all his enemies. After the fight I stole the warm winter gear from one of the few guards who had died a relatively clean death, and then took the time to shave everywhere. I know that as my sister you don’t want to hear these things but you will be the one to write of my heroic deeds and I need you to know that I didn’t stay as some kind of yeti. Yeti’s are not sexy, not even a little bit, and what is the point of being a daring adventurer if I don’t get laid at the end of it all?

After dispatching the kings men, we continued up the mountain, it would have been incredible, if it wasn’t so bloody cold. At one point we came to a cliff overlooking a series of valley’s and other smaller mountains stretching off into the distance. Directly across from us on the side of the mountain was the skeleton of a Giant, Ailish said that she could see runes painted onto the cliffs beside it, perhaps someone was trying to resurrect it. From this height I could see other army encampments, one of which was under attack, although, from this distance I couldn’t see which side they were on as well as abandoned Barbarian villages. I can also see a huge birds nest which seemed to be unguarded, as well as a swirling vortex of magic.

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We continued the next day, Laucien scouting ahead, we came to a narrow ice bridge, high above the valley floor, and just as we reached it to follow Laucien, it collapsed. Our only options were to climb down the mountain cross through the valley and back up the other side, a journey that would add on days, or we could climb up the ice cliffs and find another bridge to cross, Val decided that this would be the best and quickest option, so up we went. Val tied Ailish onto her back and swiftly made her way up the sheer wall of ice, like some kind of spider, I swear to the Gods, this woman purely exists to make me look bad. Now you know me dear sister, you know that i am a pretty decent climber, I man how many windows have I had to climb out of when someones husband has come home early? Well you would think climbing up would be just as easy, I blame the ice. It vary rarely snows in Drax. Anyway, on the second attempt I made it up, without help but you could maybe edit that out for me, you know I climbed up first and helped get Val over the ledge…. I don’t know you can work that out. Once we were up it was just a matter of following the path around and crossing over a different bridge and caught up with Laucien who had managed to acquire a hoard of goodies as well as a handy dandy Bag of Holding and absolute crap tonne of gold, so I figured Id help a friend out and take some off his hands, remind me to shout you for dinner the next time I come to visit.

We continued on our way up the mountain coming to a clearing where there were obvious signs of a recent fight, yet no one living around, suddenly we were surrounded by up to 30 men. I couldn’t see any way out of this one sis, we were beyond out numbered, and we were no way ready for a fight. I looked around, looked at Laucien, stepped forward and said, ”Gentlemen, do you not recognise this man?”. Everyone stopped. From behind the wall of soldiers a older man with grey hair and a grey beard stepped forward, obviously this was the leader, I stepped back presenting Laucien, this man came right up to Laucien, his hand on his sword, the whole world seemed to stop, there wasn’t a sound, I am pretty sure I stopped breathing.
”Laucien?” He asked incredulously.

As it turns out Aly, this was Bennett, the guy were were meeting up with, and apparently Laucien was late, like three months late. Bennett lead us over the rise and before us was the camp he had set up, with some help from a High elf named Silevion, but I’ll get to him later. Directly below us to the East was a small grove of trees grown out of the rocks by the Druids camping there, to the west of them were a collection of animal hide huts and Orc’s could be seen moving through the area, North of the Orcs were a collection of coloured flags and strange tents these are the Kirroguen people who are led by the lovely Zariah, to the East of her forcers were the soldiers lead by Talin and Valaria from Durstrum, West of them were the Amerilion forces and to the North of them Was a Arcane tower, it seemed to deflect dirt away from itself. Laucien made his way through the camp stopping at each if the area’s to be either welcomed by new friends or to be introduced to new allies. By the time we had reached the Arcane tower we the sun was close to setting, inside we found the High Elf I mentioned before, Silevion, he used to travel with Laucien and has been incredibly busy getting this all set up. I don’t think I have seen someone upset and pompous with in the same sentence yet Silevion managed it easily, he effectively discussed everything that he had done in the three months since they had parted ways, whilst complaining that Laucien has taken too long and basically done nothing productive. Sis this Elf really is incredible, he managed to sneak through the underground passageways through the city and linked up some long forgotten portal system.

Any way Aly, tonight is our last night, in the morning we are heading into Ik’Hael, a long abandoned ruin, known to be haunted, to chase down an army of Kings men as well as the man they are calling “_The One_’, to save Silevion’s father and fulfil some kind of prophecy, so just another day really.
Give my love to Ronan and Katrina for me, tell them that Uncle Leon is defeating Monsters and overthrowing the king, and basically getting myself into trouble.
Stay safe dear Sister.

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The Long Awaited Update
-- or Elspeth is sulking because the prisoners are cramping her style

So after messing around in the room where those dark clerics were opening a portal for a while we finally managed to get into the vault. Laucien broke part of the apparatus (oops…) but we worked around that. Good haul from the vault although we still need to parcel it out amongst ourselves – time’s a little pressing right now to play quartermaster. A few things did get grabbed straight away though, because they could well be useful in the coming confrontation.
There’s a bit too much “holiness” around here for my comfort. Well, holiness that is indiscriminate – I got burned by that bloody fancy light of theirs, then the sword that Laucien got had to be taken from the vault by him since neither I nor Leon could touch it safely. At least I know I’m being betrayed by my blood rather than my actions. That’s good right? Speaking of, I think I heard Laucien referring to the blade as his “hot and sexy longsword” at some point… I… am not sure how to feel about it. If it ever actually comes up in conversation though, I know exactly what kind of joke to make about. Heh. Leon ended up with some ummm primal armour. Honestly, if he were any less handsome and charming he’d look utterly ridiculous. Maybe part of the armour’s defence is making your enemy laugh at you so you get a free hit in. I don’t, but I’m kind of glad I sold it to him. Plus, it means I now have plans for when we get out of here… heh.

Cea is still trying to work out how to get the main southern doors open, and I am inclined to leave her to it for now. Those protective magics are significantly above my pay grade, and accidental explosions aren’t fun to be involved in. Ahh yes… explosions. While we were looking at the library down the south western corridor we had to face some sort of animated spell book creature (I am sensing a distinct theme to this place), which we managed to destroy no thanks to Ailish who’d run off to do… I don’t know what she was doing actually. But then she comes back, and literally the first thing she reads is an exploding rune spell. That exploded. At us. Exploding runes are not toys – they hurt. A lot.
I grabbed a few books that look promising with regards to potion making – hopefully Sil can find information in them useful towards making an antidote for that mind control goo he told me about.

Checking out the hallway to the north, where the hapless kingsmen had fled, we found some arcane blade trap that looked awfully dangerous and annoying. It was relatively entertaining watching everyone debate whether to use all available spells to dispel the cutting beams, or if Leon would risk life and limb to step through them (the latter could have been an interesting display of skill and flexibility). But you know, time’s ticking, so it seemed that a bit of judicious use of Dimension Door to get me to the bloody lever was appropriate. The expression on Princess Icicle’s face was worth the use of my only high level spell.

Found the aforementioned kingsmen in the room at the end of the hallway. Most of them are down for the count, but a couple were still mobile so I just put them to sleep to get them out of the way. Leon provided a mercy to one of the heavily injured. This has put us into a bit of a quandary – although Laucien is trying to be a good man and doesn’t wish to harm any of them, most (especially their leader, Tabitha) aren’t cooperating. We don’t need an audience while we conduct our business but the only way I can think of getting them away without letting them go to be a menace later on is… grisly. Part of me is still repelled by the thought, but another part remembers what their counterparts had done at Kirrougen and the fury rises like bile in my throat. It would probably be better if I don’t touch any of them. We need Tabitha to talk though so we can get hold of whatever box was in the base of the elf statue they used for their barricade. I guess while the rest of the group deals with these soldiers, I will occupy myself with that riddle on the dragon statue.
“Your first kiss, your last wish, my slightest touch can bring you flush, or raise the flesh upon your skin.” What could it possible mean? And why is there a mural of a red dragon here?

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Lliira's Memorial for Basically Everyone

Words cannot express how sad I am to have lost so many great friends, however this sadness is lost in comparison to the joy I feel of having such amazing friends in the first place.

Adriel~ Although I barely knew you, you were kind, and brave and I know that Pallor shined so bright on you and that you now shine with him.

Clint~ You were so old and wise, and I regret not talking to you more and learning about your past and hearing about where you are from. I have your ring and I will carry it always. Thank you for saving me almost continuously since we met in the ocean. And for being your usual grumpy grandpa self. I will miss you terribly.

Henry~ Henry, I am so sorry, for holding the Unicorn incident over you, for getting angry at you all the time because of that, I shouldn’t have blamed you, I know it wasn’t your fault for being evil. I’m sorry that you melted into goop and that you didn’t go out fighting so heroic fight on a huge ship in the middle of the ocean, I’m sure that’s how you would have wanted it. I feel terrible for egging you on, that room just looked so harmless, it was just a bit slimy and you were so strong that I figured you would be fine, I had a joke lined up that I would pretend to trap you in there as punishment and now I will never see you again to make things right. I don’t have anything physical to remember you by but to be honest I don’t think I will really need it, we have had so many funny moments together and I will look back on them fondly.

Sanjo~ Where do I start with you? Your never ending supply of cloaks was beyond hilarious, and in every fight you were incredible with your awesome cold hatchet thing. However, you were so quiet, I feel like I barely know anything about you or the city you are from and if you were into anything other than your immense cloak collection, which I am sorry to say mostly melted away with you so I guess you were able to take them with you. I did grab your cool (hehe) ice Hatchet not only to remember you by but so that you will always be with me, protecting me and its super awesome. I’m sorry that you died because of me, however you will be remembered through your incredible braveness and self-sacrifice, trying to save your friend, that is an incredibly honourable way to go.

Roche~ After we managed to make it out of that terrible room I can’t believe I had to lose you so soon. You were so brave and calm and I hate that I had to leave you behind after losing everyone else. I hate myself for not turning back and I will never be able to forgive myself. You were so smart and level headed, and beautiful. I know your queen would have been so proud of all that you accomplished for her.

I know that Laucien isn’t here today but I know that he will have wanted to be, I know that he will carry your memories with him forever and would be so thankful to not only have had your help in all the we have accomplished but to have also have had you all as friends.

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The Unsent Letter in Adriel's Pack
Lliira's reading of Adriel's letter.

Upon opening the wax sealed envelope Lliira sees Adriel’s final letter to his sister Cassandra. The handwriting seems to get progressively worse. A few small drops of now blackened blood embellishes Adriel’s signature.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Cassie,

It’s been quite some time since we spoke last, I’m sorry. I wish I could write you more often but my duties as a cleric keep me busy. How are you? Are mother and father doing well?

I have not been here in Destrum for long, just over a day now, and the pace of the city is much faster than that of the farm and temple. Everything changes so quickly. Yesterday felt like one of the longest days of my life. I am really enjoying the change of scenery, I only wish that you could one day come to visit and see it for yourself.

I met a really interesting group of people in my short time here, I would like to introduce them to you some day. I’m not one to trust quickly but I must admit that, in the short time I’ve known them, I’ve become rather attached. I don’t think I could have made it through yesterday without their help and I thank Pelor for our fateful encounter.

There is Lliira, a Halfling, she is actually 50 but she looks adorable, like a porcelain doll, almost like your old doll Tilly. Lliira’s warm, friendly and keeps a wonderful garden. I feel you would get along really well and I’d wager she would love the farm.

There is Skarni, a half-Orc from a barbarian clan. His presence is unsettling but his axe is true. He’s quick to temper but I believe he is just. I fear for Skarni, he is not the smartest of creatures and I’m afraid this recklessness may be the cause of his demise. I pray that Pelor has mercy on him and, should anything happen, that Pelor accepts him into his Light.

Clint, well, I barely spoke with Clint. He appeared to be some sort of ranger whose face tells tales of many a struggle. Some of the others knew him, he seemed cold and untrusting towards me though. I don’t think you’d get along with him. He reeks of a strange herb but it’s not one I’m familiar with. You were always better with plants than I.

Sanjo, a man of very few words but stout of heart and skilled with a blade. He’s got a very odd obsession with cloaks though. Do you still have grandfather’s old cloak? Should you ever meet him make sure it remains hidden, although he has a nose for these kinds of things I’m sure he’ll find his way to it somehow.

Laucien, his charm and wit reminds me of your fiancé, Dante. How long is it now until your wedding? Laucien’s actually a paladin from our homeland there in Ameril. He is of noble birth and part of the Dotsk family. I had never met a man of nobility before and was always intimidated at the prospect of meeting one, especially considering my own lack of pedigree, but Laucien was surprisingly… normal. By the end of last night, I understood why this man was leading the group. I don’t know what it is about him but he is definitely a man I can trust with my life.

My superior at the temple, Blaise. She is a radiant example of Pelor. Her wisdom is great and I’m so grateful for her guidance. I would love to introduce everyone at the village to her. Perhaps one day I can convince her to come to the village and help me perform the harvest blessings on the farmlands.

I must return to my duties I have spent far too long writing this message and I hope that it finds you. Send mother and father my love.

Your loving brother,
Adriel~

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The One with the Unicorn Trampling
---- Or The Gang Takes on The Old Keep

The recount is hastily scrawled – in handwriting that is practically illegible to anyone that isn’t Henry – on the back of a love letter addressed to Tess. The spelling is appalling; It would make pretty white high elves cry. At the top of the page reads ‘I WASN’T DRUNK, THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED’

Today I was brutally attacked by a fucking unicorn. Yep. You heard me correctly. A living, breathing, (albeit magically summoned, but still legit), me-hating unicorn. I was not drunk, I was not high, nor had I been hit really hard in the head. Turns out Ruffles is pretty dangerous with that magic of hers.

As one of Laucien’s first acts as ruler of Destrum – I missed a lot in the few days I spent with… Melanie? Elena? Shit, I don’t know—that bard in the tavern – he took us down into the Old Keep under the city. Now I haven’t got much interest in what magic shit lurks beneath the depths, but from my experience, if there’s a place no one wants to go, chances are there’s good stuff there that no one’s claimed. So I was willing — what’s a few lizard creatures when there are 6 of us? The things went down easy, even in the dark, but of course the halfling, being a motherfucking sorcerer, set off some kind of weird space time universe magic shit while she was trying to destroy the beasts, and tore a portal open in the middle of the great hall. And hey look, out pops a unicorn.

I’ve seen some shit. But nothing like this. The girl flips, because of course she does. Anyone who wears that much pink would freak out if they saw a unicorn. I was quite happy to ignore its presence entirely and pretend the fabric of reality can’t be bent out of shape so easily, but then it charged.

All my knowledge of unicorns came running back to me as I took a horn to the gut and got dragged back into the hallway. It was the moment I hit the floor and it started trampling me that I realised I was royally fucked. If I could remember every man I’d killed and all the laws I’d broken, they would have flashed before my eyes, but it’s an extensive list and I had more pressing matters to attend to, like evening the scales and stabbing the unicorn wherever I could reach it. I could practically hear the betrayal in Ruffles’s eyes as I blacked out. Probably more bad karma for me, but fuck it.

I came to once the unicorn was gone. Ruffles looked disappointed but she saved me, so that’s got to count for something. Once I’d gotten my breath back, I found the rest of the party and got a good look at the hall. Cages, with people still alive in them, and a lot of dead bodies. There wasn’t much to salvage, but the dead guys had been dead down here for about a month.

Bit pissed I missed most of the action, but this group is actually competent, which is something. I’m not looking forward to the fall out when we get out of this place. Gotta find a suitable explanation for the unicorn attack that doesn’t compromise me too much. Dunno how well they’re going to take the news that I’m not as “good” as I might seem. BUT that’s a worry for another time.

Also Lord of the Cloaks got frozen and it was really hard not to laugh – don’t forget that.

Beneath the chunk of messy text at the bottom of the page it says ‘SIGNATURES OF WITNESSES’ with space for other members of the party to sign.

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The very long, no good, rotten night
From bloody bar brawls to gorey gambling games.

Lliira’s Adventure Log

Inside the strawberry scented pink pages Lliira’s normally neat and curly writing becomes increasingly messy

Waiting outside Captain Valaria’s rooms, its super boring, there aren’t any paintings out even windows! I try to skip around but even that gets boring so I just end up humming and booping against the wall. Elspeth tries to eavesdrop but the guard gets cranky and she sulks off.

After some time we hear a knock on the door and Valeria calls for Blaise and she soon comes past. as always she is so nice and tells me about a garden down stairs which I walk off to find. The garden is so pretty and I manage to get some Aloe and Thyme too! GS-017-Courtyard-Garden.jpg

Blaise walked past giggling and I ask how it went, she seemed to think it was going well. Our conversation turns to gardening and just as im about to ask where she got her pretty dress a messenger comes and tells her she has a visitor and she excuses herself. Im not left alone for long though as the others join me with Laucien who looks like he is going to puke. Although he doesn’t tell us how things went he does say that Valaria has given us a new mission, which is to bring in the leader of the Grey-Guards which Else is happy about.

A man pokes his head through the door and we call him over to ask what he wants and he asks us if we are adventurers as he needs a group to help him arrest Thumpkin, which is pretty handy as Im pretty sure they are connected.The man, named Adriel asks if our group has a name and I shout out “LLIIRA’S BAND OF BATTLING MEN” it doesn’t go down well.

We decide to talk tactics at the Temple and Else and Sanjo go find Skani and Henry. They come back but henry isn’t with them. Skani tells us that he had gone outside to fight some shady assassin guys and when he returned Henry had disappeared along with some singer and we decide to head back to the bar to scout it out and possibly track the possible assassins. However when we get there its in the middle of the lunch rush, we manage to get a table and fill in time by chatting and Else makes some money by playing on stage which is so AWESOME!
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At 6 on the dot, the door slams open and two men walk in wearing grey robes with a thin man following and looks around the room he announces himself as Thumpkin however I recognise he is a con man known Sible Hawksworth and starts addressing everyone but mostly directs his conversation to Else. Else smiles back at him, introductions are given and a conversation, it devolves into threats and as the man walks out he says “hope you all enjoy the entertainment” and as he does everyone in the bar stands up, suddenly Skani shouts and flips the table and as he does 2 arrows thud into the table.

In the midst of the battle the big bar dude steps out from the bar and smashes Sanjo with a tree. From under the table I cast Crown of Madness and he attacks his comrade hitting him across the room.
From nowhere a huge blue shadow wolf appears and attacks Else knocking her down, she casts Thunder-wave and knocks it back.
Two men attack me, one with a crossbow and one with an axe, the arrow misses however the axe hits me. A man with a spear also attacks me and shoves me back into the table driving his spear into my shoulder tearing my dress further. Sanjo burns the crossbow guy and I make the Bar man smash into the spear man, bonking him on the head and knocking him out too. Adriel runs over and heals my wounds. Then the bar man seeing that no-one was near him he attacks me, smashing the table above me however missing me, and managing to break free from my spell.

I look over to see Laucien battling a part snake, part monkey, part bird person, he manages to grapple it down and knock him out and the bird like creature becomes at this point we have managed to either kill or knock out the other attackers. My dress is torn and bloody and I know I won’t be able to salvage it. I can feel the adrenalin wearing off and I’m starting to shake.
Sanjo and Laucien begin to tie everyone up, I ask if Laucien or Adriel can heal the men that were knocked out from the tree trunk hits from the bar man, I couldn’t bare it if they died because of me. Laucien heals one who doesn’t look as bad and Adriel attempts to heal the other and although his heads knits back together however he doesn’t seem to recognise anything Lauc tells me that the damage was too much and asks Sanjo to put him down, Sanjo walks up and chops off his head. This is too much. This is my fault. I need to learn how to control my magic. I walk off to the side of the room, cast"Mending" on my tattered dress, although it doesn’t remove the blood which is a mix of mine and others, and start to cry.
Laucien and skani start to interrogate the captured men and skani snaps one’s’ finger to make him talk, I shiver at the sound of the snap.

After the questioning Skani pulls the corpses into a pile and Adriel covers them with a sheet and every one walks away from them. I get up and give them their last rights so that I can at least know that they will move on and find peace.

Sanjo asks if there is a way to stop the Doppelganger (silver grey man) from escaping and I cast “Phantasmal Force” to make him believe that he is in a mesh cage.

Laucien wakes him up and they begin a conversation.
The grey man, still claiming to be the con man Hawksworth switches from multiple times at one point becoming a young girl, just as he does I notice an old woman has come down the stairs slightly, staring at the scene, I call to Laucien and point out the woman, and she runs back up the stairs. the conversation continues. He brings up that Else has disappeared, and that she is a spy. He also reveals one of Laucien’s secrets about how he used to bully halflings.
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Laucien steps forward through the walls of the cage and Hawksworth steps backwards also through the bars however no harm seems to come to him.
They come to a conclusion and Laucien gives him 100GP to arrange a meeting with the true Thumpkin, Hawksworth turns into young man and runs out the door. Laucien then lets the other prisoners go and then he and Adriel start to get into a verbal disagreement about Laucien’s true identity and Skani starts rummaging around behind the bar and begins drinking the alcohol. Sanjo goes up stairs to investigate and soon returns.
Everyone is getting ready to leave and I ask if they are truly going to just leave this place without doing anything about the dead or informing Valaria. Laucien agrees and says that we should talk to Valaria and I decide to follow him. We head off in silence.
We get to valaria’s quarters. she gets super cranky about the fact that Lauc lets everyone go. He tells her about our night although seems to gloss over most of the details, he also tells her about the meeting that has been arranged.

We return to the bar and find that new people have arrived, they introduce themselves as Talin, Jerome and other men. we decide that Talin and his men will enter the warehouse with us and that Jerome will wait outside and raise the alarm if its needed.
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We wait until 11pm and then head of to the FARTHERS (aka farthest) DOCK, and see a warehouse with the lights still on, Laucien walks up and knocks. The door swings open, and we all enter. A man is playing an upbeat song, everyone is barely dressed, and we make our way through the crowd and come to a door with a portcullis with traps on the stairs that lead up to the next floor. We head up and enter as large room, there is another door at the other end that is covered in gold and has Amos (Thumpkin) written on it. As we reach the top of the stairs I look up and see another portcullis that is about to shut, I jump forward, ultimately shutting myself inside.

The guilder door opens, but the portcullis is still shut, and Amos steps out with a band of children. He brags about running the town and how he has killed his way up. He and Laucien decide to play a game of wit and the portcullis in front of Thumpkin opens and Laucien and Skani walk in. The rest of us are told that we must remain where we are. We hear that they decide to play a game of throwing knives at one of the children. and we hear the occasional yelp or whimper as that child is hit. They get to the last throw when they decide on the terms, Laucien says that if he wins he and Thumpkin will take a long walk alone outside, however if Thumpkin wins all of us out here becomes his slaves.
They take their final throws and Lauc wins as they are about to depart Thumpkin tells Skani to kill the child. Instead Skani attempts to hit Thumpkin and Thumpkin Shouts “FIRE” to the archers waiting in the gallery above us and the room erupts into fighting.
I notice that the room is filling with some kind of liquid which soon ignites and I manage to create a barrier of Ice around Talin and me with “Ray of Frost”. I create a path through the fire with my ice and Talin follows me into Thumpkins room.

I run to the window which has been smashed open and grab a Naked Lady paper weight of Thumpkins desk casting “Light” on it before throwing it down to where I could vaguely make out people. I see Sanjo slice into a huge wave monster with his axe, freezing it from the inside out, Skani is unconcious nearby and Laucien is nowhere to be seen.
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I look to my right and see Adriel coming out of a corridor I ask where it leads and it says it goes to the gaming room downstairs and I run down and out without looking back.

I emerge out into the rain and see Jerome and the guards are on their way, I shout at them that the fight is this way and run around the side of the building. I just hope that I can make it there on time.

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The One with the Bar Brawl
Adriel's Letter

Dear Ardo,

I find myself well, if not weary from my travels, and pray that you and the temple are too.

I made my way to the city of Destrum after the long and arduous journey from our hometown there in Ameril. The journey was perilous and fraught with tribulations, many of which due to ill favour and misunderstanding, I believe Pelor continues to test us.

As I was leaving for Draks I sought transport upon a ship. My naivety put me in the unfortunate position of dealing with some rather unsavoury fellows. I swung passage on a ship with a rather egregious bunch. As we were travelling, the ship was beset by the king’s soldiers who took the crew and myself hostage under the assumption that we were pirates. Me, a pirate! Thankfully, Pelor had smiled upon me this day and the soldiers recognised me as a cleric. It was hard to convince them I was unaffiliated with my travelling companions but I managed, somehow.

The ship I was on was towed to Destrum and I finally completed the journey across the great ocean that divides our two continents. Somewhere amidst the anarchy I noticed that the captain of the ship was no where to be found. He had managed to evade capture. I wonder if he really was a pirate? Maybe the captain was just another misplaced soul like myself.

Arriving at Destrum this morning I sought our Sister, Blaise Salenski. The city is much larger and greater than our humble town of Grenfeld but there is something foul grasping the landscape here. The air hangs thick with corruption and disease. The guards warned me upon entry to mind my step and not to trust anyone. This has made me quite on edge, to say the least. I pray for His continued strength to make it through.

Many of the citizens of Destrum seem downtrodden and miserable, the light extinguished from their eyes. These people are in desperate need of new hope; maybe that is the role I am destined to fulfil here.

Master Menos’ description of Blaise was not wrong, she indeed is quite beautiful, but I fear that this city has also taken its toll on her. Her voice was frazzled and filled with woe, I attribute this to her being stretched so thinly. I hope my aid and counsel will be of great boon to her, and the city. She has tasked me with bringing an Amas Thumpkin to justice; a dangerous man, apparently responsible for a great many crime in the city. She warned me that I should seek assistance in this task and that it would be difficult for me to go it alone.

As I was setting up my lodgings in the temple a strange group of people presented itself in the courtyard gardens, they spoke of business they had in the city. From what I gleaned at the time, their armaments looked like that of mercenaries. There was also what appeared to be a young girl who wore a dress that glittered and shone like a beacon of light, almost as if Pelor himself was presenting himself before my very eyes. My intuition to speak with them served me well, this fortuitous encounter must have been predestined.

The group contained four strange individuals to which I later found out there were two others. By the time of writing this, I have yet to meet their sixth but he was “sharing his tip” with a singer at the tavern. He must be a Bard, then.

The rest of the group comprised of:

  • A guarded looking human, Sanjo. He said very little to me but I could sense there have been dark times in this man’s past. His eyes, a cold blue, like a lone wolf separated from his pack.
  • A half-elf woman with a vibrantly coloured blue hair who goes by Elspeth. Despite being such a fair maiden, her words were cold and untrusting. I had always heard tales of bards being one of the friendliest of folk. Yet there is more than meets the eye with this one.
  • A Halfling named Lliira, her stature and size belie her age. I made the mistake of calling her a young girl and yet she has lived over two of my lifetimes. She certainly doesn’t act as I’d expect of someone twice my age, she has such a youthful and innocent energy. I dare say she’s more naive than I was in my youth.
  • A Half-Orc, name of Skarni, a man of few words. His presence and stature was overwhelming. His few words and grunts towards me made me uncomfortable. I sense an intense burning rage that I pray I don’t find myself on the end of.
  • Finally, a man who appeared to lead the group, a fellow Amerillian with unnaturally bright green hair who introduced himself as Kevin. Kevin was.. Interesting. I do not believe he is as he says. For someone to lie to a cleric I assume he has either done something terrible or he is in serious trouble. I felt it wise not to push the issue further as our relationship is fragile and I’m not in a position to decline help when it is offered so freely.

The halfling introduced the group as ’Lliira’s Band of Battling men’. An odd name, I grant you, but you always taught me not to judge a book by its cover.

The group were rather secretive about their task and altogether suspicious. They looked capable albeit strange. The guards words echoed in my head not to trust anyone in the city and so I felt it best to take heed and be cautious dealing with anyone other than Blaise. We eventually struck an accord and traded our tasks. They have promised me aid in my task so long as I assist them in theirs. Our tasks seem to intertwine in some way, although they’re withholding that information. They seem to be hiding a lot of things, but I cannot expect them to trust me if I do not yet trust them myself.

They had business at the main temple in Destrum to which, surprisingly, there was no major shrine to Pelor, the only chapel seemed to be in the keep. I’m concerned at this news, the situation is grave indeed if Pelor’s light is not reaching the citizenry.

We concluded business there promptly and continued to the courtyard where we discussed their task. Again, the group seemed to talk in riddles, not revealing anything of consequence other than that they had business at the tavern, that they knew something of Thumpkin and that their task is to bring a leader of a group called the “Grey Ghosts” to justice.

We later moved on to the Minstrel’s Flagon, a local tavern where the group had arranged to meet a local business man, to which I found out should have been Amas himself. Alas, it was not him but a shapeshifting monster that I can only describe as off-putting. The group demonstrated their mettle and battle prowess when chaos descended upon the tavern and our training in the Trials proved invaluable. I hope my assistance did not go unnoticed and that they trust me a little more now. We managed to capture some of the ambush party as well as the shapeshifter. I hope we can use him to find Amas and bring my task to a swift resolution.

I shall keep you updated on my quests.

Stay safe Brother,

Adriel

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The One With The Sexual Inuendo's
Laucien becomes a walking pot plant

Inside Lliira’s Strawberry Pink note book our adventures continue~

We make our way back to the Temple and just as we get to the gate I see a huge shadowy figure coming from an alleyway. I Tap on Laucien’s knee to get his attention..it takes longer than it should.. but he gets ready for a fight, the shadow emerges and we realise its Skani holding hands with two urchin children. We are all super confused as to how this whole thing works but its all very vague. but we basically establish its got something to do with Thumpkin.

Anyway we are all feeling super gross, so I lead everyone except Skani to the hot bath. Else and I help each other to remove all the worms and mud. from the other side of our bubble wall comes Henry’s voice “Oi shortstuff, wanna check out my blade?” I look at Else, because surely I didnt hear that right. She pokes her head through the bubbles and asks what the hell he is talking about and the entire bath basically devolves into dick jokes…..
Finally Henry explains himself, reminding me to inspect the dagger he had found in the warehouse. Laucien ends up looking at it however and he finds that its a “Dagger Of Beast Slaying”.
After our bath we crowd into on of the guest bedrooms to discuss our lives, our fights or our loves. We talk into the night but finally we head off to sleep, need to be ready for the next morning.

After breakfast, everyone except Lauc goes to the market place Lliira needs to buy more dye for Lauc’s beard. Henry and Skani head off to the bar where we are meeting Thumpkin later.

After buying the dye the rest of us head back to the Temple and Else and I convince Lauc to drink the green potion and suddenly all his hair becomes green grass, Else, in fits of laughter attempts to cut that grass however messes it all up horribly, I manage to salvage it and also add in small flowers so now he looks like a pretty garden! We make ur way up to the keep, Lauc is meeting with Valeria to discuss rewards and to be honest I think we are pushing our luck.
Our favorite guard is still on duty and I try to perk up his spirits, I dont think I really helped though. We get told that only Laucien can go in at first so we wait outside.

I think its all going to be ok though…maybe…

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The one in the Wormhouse
Elspeth gets friendly with worm people

Inside a small pink notebook with strawberry scented pages is Lliira’s small neat overly curly handwriting~

Lliira’s Adventure Log!

This is so exciting, We started off inside the Blue Dragon Inn, I’m glad that I have made these new friends, I have never had the courage to come in here but these guys don’t seem to mind at all! Else manages to never have to buy a drink, she has this way of smiling that make men buy them for her! We are sitting around the table when Sil huffs and says that he can’t waste time any longer. He tells us that he needs to find his parents and that he really doesn’t care about what happens to this town and that worms are disgusting. He gives Else his special coin and wishes us all luck, well at least I guess he did, he didn’t actually say it out loud but I know he definitely thought it.

We stay there for ages waiting for Skani to come back but he never shows. Instead another man sits down with a huge bucket of ale ( like massive, way bigger than my head!) he has a shaved head a this awesome green beard, personally I think pink would have looked better but green is still cooler than normal hair. He starts this huge story about following a man who seemed to have been lured into a warehouse by a woman and then killed by these worm people, He says that he roused the guards but they all died too. After all of this he has drunk almost the entire bucket and he seems to notice me (Finally) and introduces himself as Laucien!?! He looks nothing like I imagined Cea told me he was dreamy and that he had the prettiest eyes. Also he isn’t a demon bear which was also a little disappointing. He asks about what we have been up to and we fill him in ending with how we have lost our half orc. Laucien tells us that he heard a group of dock hands talking about of a half orc being carried off by a group of guards and that he is probably in jail…or the morgue!

Laucien suddenly spots a man at the bar listening to our conversation, and basically asks him to join us on this attack on the worm people, and this new guy (Henry I think his name is) is all for it…

Else gets up and sexy walks over to two men playing with knives she starts up a conversation however she seems to be getting angry all the guys are watching and as Else walks off one of the guys smacks her butt! Instatntly Laucien tells him to apologise, and amazingly this guy does and walks off, it was so cool.
Else and I go up to the bar to get a drink and she actually pays for herself. Else tries to talk to her about the recent problems but the dwarvish lady wont talk so I ask if she is ok because she looks so scared and sad, she passes me a not ( and call it my TAB, Im like some kind of secret spy now) and it say’s that they are watching! which is super creepy.

I tell everyone that it’s getting dark and we should head back to the temple for the night however they are SOOO thick and take ages to get the hint. We finally make it back to the temple and I tell them that they can’t just be so open about all their plans and things they act like they have never lived in a city where you always need to be careful.

Finally we regroup after going to get their stuff and setting up a meeting with THUMPKIN!! (hahaha) and we start to talk about the worms again, Lauc seems obsessed so we head off to investigate the warehouses at night in the dark….

We go to the first one where the lady’s body had been found and the place had to be burnt due to all the worms, I wonder if they need the docks for a specific reason, maybe the sewers or maybe it actually came in on one of the ships… We find that the roof collapsed due to a massive weight upstairs. Laucien points out claw marks and drag marks as well as meat hooks hanging from the ceiling, he tells us that they were in the other warehouse too.

I can tell that the fire wasn’t magical however I see Henry pick up a knife that i can sense magic in. I take a closer look and detect Enchantment and Transmutation, there are also runes inscribed but I can’t yet read them.

We go to the other warehouse that laucien was at and we find it chained up and locked. Who could do this??
We find out that the worm people are amazingly dexterous however they can’t speak, perhaps one of them locked it up..

Henry picks the lock and Sanjo walks in setting off a trap he manages to miss the meat hook mostly however gets sliced up a bit. We all look inside carefully and see that the floor is covered in dirt and grossness and we can see small worms wriggling through the dirt. The roof is sagging and gross water is dripping through the cracks in the wood, there are three bodies in the corner and we can just make out their chainmail and we assume that these are the guards that were left behind, the one guard that Laucien die has apparently been chopped up and turned into worm food…. Adventuring is kinda gross so far.
Sanjo listens carefully and tells us that the bodies are still breathing however he can see that they are bulging strangely.
We decide that we need to go and get Blaise so we leave Laucien and Henry to guard the WORMhouse! and head back up to the keep. just as we get there we hear a horn blow from downtown which doesn’t seem good.
We wake up Blaze and Captain Valeria and with a whole bunch of guards we head back to the wormhouse, we get there and find Laucien talking to another group of guards, they come up with a plan and Blaze, the Captain and all the guards go to the big front door and we all head in through the side door carefully.

Else casts “Thunderwave” to clear a space in the floor and we all step in, Henry staying just outside the door. The guards have managed to bust open the door and they all walk in fanning out so check it out. One of the guards stands on the stairs and we all hear a groaning and a loud crack as the floor above splits and a wave of filth and bodies rains down Including a huge gross tentacle monster (apparently its called a Otyugh) falls in right near the front door and everyone starts fighting……

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I don’t remember most of the battle, however I remember actually being helpful by freezing the wormpeople. We manage to kill everything without losing anyone from our group, however a lot of guards died.

We realise that the whole of the southern wall is on fire, I attempt to freeze it however it doesn’t stop the fire completely.

Else inspects the Otyough, found in sewer systems and filth, scavenger, possibly that the worm people kept it as a pet.

I attempt to get out however I slip on the wiry muddy-ness and get all dirty.
Outside a crowd has gathered the guards are attempting to hold them back, between the legs of the adults are orphans, possibly Thumpkins (THUMPKIN!!) watchers.

I ask the guards to get buckets to stop the fire from spreading, they look like I’m some kind of idiot and I wish I could kick them in the shins, Henry then steps in to back me up and Valaria also steps in to threaten the stupid idiots and they go off.

We have nothing else to do here so we all head back to the Temple to get some rest and clean up!

Overall, we had a pretty decent night. I think I might actually be ok at this adventurer life!

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