The Un-Made Crown

I hate writing journals, pt 3

So. More interesting times. I am not sure whether the group will manage to hold things together, but I’ll get to that. We saw the Priestess, and learned many interesting things. Like she knew that the faux-William and friend were false, so she gave them a different scroll. She said I could keep it, but that she doubted I could read it. Stlll, I’ll give it a go. You never know. I did manage to read some of that spellbook. There was more about us being part of some prophesy from ages ago. Which is kind of cool, if not a little bit disconcerting too. Not sure if I believe in that sort of thing, but makes for a good tale. Anyways. She gave us the scroll destined for us, and its in some fancy case that will only open when its needed to at some point down the road. Wonder how that works! I guess we will find out later. Or maybe I can sneak a look at it at some point.

I have to admit that the Bastion of Whispers was too much of a temptation for me, and after hearing about the listeners and the speaker, I decided to go have a little looksee. I made sure that anyone looking at me saw just a small human girl, and I was able to wander quite freely, as there were many children playing there. Many people I passed were talking about the rescued villagers and what to do with them, but sadly I did not hear much else of interest. After skipping about the corridors for a while, I stumbled upon a hidden doorway, and could not resist investigating. Passing by some guards, I came to a really secure door, extremely high class. I could hear whispering from behind it, so I put my ear to it and listened. I heard a female voice ask me to release her! I asked from what, and she indicated that she was being held by the priestesses! That sounded off to me, as the priestesses in the temple seemed nice, so I asked if she was a bad person. I kept up acting like a child. The voice on the other side insisted it was the priestesses that were bad, and she sounded sincere, but before I could express my reluctance to help, given that as a child there was not much I could do with the door, I heard someone coming. I tried to hide, but it turned out to be Connor. His skills are impressing me, as he was able to see me without much issue. He asked what I was about, and I gave him the short version. He got kind of panicky and suggested we leave without further ado. I think he thought I might release whatever was behind the door. As if. Something was off about that whole conversation, and one thing I know is how to listen to my own danger sense. So we left without saying anything, and the thing behind the door revealed itself by uttering in a language that sounded similar to what gnolls make, and then cursing us as it thrashed about in its chains. After we had gone a safe ways away, Connor filled me in on things and that that was likely the Speaker that I had found. Wow. Another great tale! I wonder how many even know that its there, deep under the temple, caged and pissed off? I bet the priestesses take great care to keep that detail hidden, and to keep the thing secured.

Once I rejoined the others, we went to visit with the hag-mother, Sarah. She wanted to strike a deal with us. She told us that we had majorly pissed off the Gnoll god and it was sending a champion after us, and that she was not exactly in its good books either and was likely also a target. Unless we kept her safe, she threatened to kill the boys, and would make us take her down in front of the other rescued folks if we attacked her, where her corpse would not reveal its true nature for long enough that it would seem we had struck down a helpless mother. We countered with her having to help us in the fight against the champion and forces being sent to ambush us. She agreed, but we had to take the boys with us, as insurance. And in the negotiation, she somehow managed to convince Rohe to give her one of her feathers. That seemed foolish, but I guess it was Rohe’s decision to make. Arnexus was vocal in his disagreement about it too. He seems to think the feather could be used against Rohe. I hope he is wrong.

We left town, and made for where the hag told us. It was a trail with rock walls along it. At a curve, we found a bluff a bit up the wall that had a plateau where we could attack from range. After initallly falling on my butt when I tried to climb up, I was then sufficiently motivated to succeed on my next try, and then I threw down a rope for others to climb. Not everyone came up, Connor preferring a tree, and Arn wanting to remain with his horse. Then we waited.

We did not have to wait long. A big creature and about a dozen gnolls came up the trail behind us. Slyph threw down some caltrops before they got to us, and when the creatures were in range, we attacked. Arn charged the large one, clearly some sort of magical beast, but barely made a dent. The rest of us let loose spells, bullets, and bolts. It was a tough fight, but we kept on that beast, figuring that it was the leader, and that if we downed it, the gnolls might break for it. We were wrong as it happened, but we still managed to prevail. I really loved when Arnexus dropped a rock on one of the gnoll buggers as it was climbing to get us. Knocked it right off the rocks it was clinging to, and it died as it landed.

The few remaining gnolls scattered, and we were left with the hag. Connor turned on her, despite most of the others trying to stop him, but he was not able to hit her, and she brushed off his attempts with laughter. None of us wanted to let her go, but having seen her fight along side us, well, none of us thought we could take her down either. She finally scampered away, and we were left to ourselves. Connor, Arnexus and Rohe started bickering again. Which is why I wonder if we will be able to hold it together in order to fulfill whatever we are supposed to do. I am not much of a diplomat, but it might be worth stepping in if things get heated down the road. But only if it gets bad, and I have a safe retreat available.

Journal of Arnexus 5

We were ushered and welcomed into the Bastion by the Reverend Mother herself quickly after we’d finished battle. We were given time to refresh and eat before meeting with the woman.

Apparently we are being written about by people known as The Listeners, who write the prophesies they hear. She then handed William the True Scroll. There was some talk of prophesy and the veracity of such things. She spoke of prophesy as nothing other than what one needs to hear at the time.

Then out came OUR scroll…The Needful Scroll apparently.

It was an ornate affair prepared in the past. We were told it would not open until we were meant to open it. It was written beyond the memory of the Church. The Mother said that only the Speaker might know when it was written. This Speaker is the source of the prophesies and he is the reason the Bastion exists.

She spoke of an Evil they were not prepared for centuries in the past, and that it was barely captured. The Evil has tried to escape many times over the years. That which speaks comes from neither life nor death, nor good nor evil. It sees in a matter not like us and speaks of things that the listeners record.

Sylph had issues with a lot of things that were said. I fear her unbending manner will snap in the wind that may come.

I asked about the Midnight Court, but recieved only that which I already knew. Rohveka asked of her mother and found that she was a good woman, but was consumed by the darkness of her blood. Her mother is apparently in the hands of the Demon Witch Queen, the Queen of the Witch; Valeria the Bloody. Rohveka’s mother serves the servant Succubi as a source of sustenance. A gruesome fate we will have to rectify.

I wonder what this means about Connor’s father. He chose to remain quiet, but later consulted the Reverend Mother. Apparently he is the “illegitimate” son of the passed King. Personally I believe he’d make a better king than his brothers, but that is not the human way. Perhaps I can persuade him to ascend rather than his brothers.

I asked of the evil. Apparently it was what was to the be Mother of the demigod son of Yeeognu. It’s capture will prevent the power from returning to the Gnoll god.

We asked about the Hag, and the Mother did not know much of this being as they stood outside the path of Man. We are on our own in deciding what to do with the Hag.

We then rested to recover from our recent ordeals and study up on what we had learned. I spent what time I had in the library researching magical theory. It seems between 1000 and 700 years ago, human magic changed. There was a period of two centuries, The Fading Age, where magic was unused entirely. Somehow it returned, changed and twisted. I will have to do more research on the matter, as well as procure copies of those books on true magic.

Sara the Hag, asked to speak with us at the front gates. She already realized that we knew what she was, which isn’t at all surprising. She told us that Yeognu was sending a shesuva, a champion, after us. With the champion the gnolls plan on attacking us. We made a deal with the hag and decided to move away from the Bastion and lure the attack away, while the hag was with us.

Rohveka traded a feather for what I have deduced was the recipe for the chicken cure. I have spoken to her about how foolish I felt this was. I am worried that we will have to kill the hag despite any promises made of her safety. If this somehow allows her access to the Seal of Ascalon this action could very well have put the entire world in jeopardy.

A vulture, a symbol of Yeeognu, has been following us. It seems the gnolls are on our trail. We decided to take the fight to them instead of racing for Helian. Let us hope that our prowess holds up in the fight to come. We set up our ambush within a small canyon, making use of high ground in order to keep us out of range of our opponents. We focused on the shesuva trying to demoralize the gnolls. Unfortunately their will held, so we had to fight against them. Eventually the gnolls gave up after enough losses.

Though I would have liked to put an end to the hag, she proved likely too powerful for us, and I did not wish to endanger our group. She was able to push Connor’s buttons and get him to attack her, though I felt empathy for his mindset.

Arn turned back to put a stop to the gnolls as we moved toward Helian. We tried to stop him, but his will was as adamant.

Letter to Ma - 1

Hey Ma,

I’m not sure how long its been since I left; it feels like a lifetime. I know you’re probably cursing Da right now for making me leave home, it wasn’t his fault though. It was my choice.

Admittedly not one of my best ones, and I assure you I’ve made some bad decisions since I left. But you know that, I’m sure.

I’m sure you have heard, I hope you haven’t, but I’m not in the army anymore. Something happened, and whatever you hear… its not true. I promise. I’m trying to make it right (you know I am), but I don’t know where to start. For now I’m just staying out of sight and doing what I can.

I recently signed on to a caravan as one of the guards, its been a good trip… pretty quiet.

My fellow gaurds and I came across a farming town (reminded me of home) that had been attacked by a Gnoll tribe (they are the dog people). We were able to track the tribe down through some canyons to a river. For some reason they were turning the farmers into chickens. No, I’m not kidding.

Anyway we were able to help them out, but it took us away from our main job so we had to make haste toward the Queens castle (i’ll explain later). Had a bit of a scuffle with a spy who was disguised as our boss (bloody magic); but he didn’t cause us too much trouble.

I don’t know what is going to happen next, but from what has happened so far it looks like I will be away awhile longer. There is some sort of prophecy or whatnot that says my fellow gaurds and I will save the world or somesuch. I’m not sure I hold to much too it, but they do and as much as they are the only friends I got… I do like them.

Oh so them.. my mates… we have couple of really good spellslingers, an Elf (Arnexus). Arnexus is a bit stiff, but definatly has the goal in mind. then there is this.. Teeflin Ro (she has wings and a tail!!!), she is really nice, but has some issues from her past so we’re going to see if we can help her out with that; oh I think she is related to me (you know anything about that?)

Then there is Sylph, she speaks to the Divines. Cute, but dumb always runnin’ into the fight. Not sure where she gets that from. Then there is Arn, hes a Knight of some kind; doesn’t say much though. Finally there is Genna, she’s good people but quiet too. They’ve kept me around so far, so I guess I’m doin’ pretty good here; we’ll see how things go.

I miss ya ma, miss ya alot. I’m sorry I left..

I’ll come and visit as soon as I can.

rest in peace Ma.

Conflicted Spirit, Part Quatre
Holy Wrath

I cannot lie. My head is spinning from the images I saw as well as the words the dying dragon spoke to us. None of it really makes much sense. Still, I feel that we have been led to this place at this particular time. Ninkali willed it, working through the dragon, did she not?

William was glad to see us emerge, he almost looked relieved. The boys could not wait to run and tell their story, though. While the queen’s man had tried to keep the villagers occupied and prepare them for the return of the hobgoblins and gnolls that escaped, the mother of the boys had commandeered the key to the cage and killed the shaman. All hope in questioning her and possibly getting some answers for their jaunt into slavery was smashed just like the head of the shaman. Arnexus took a closer look inside, wanting to know if any foul play was afoot. It seemed to be the norm these days. What he found was very disconcerting. There was a trace of conjuring.

More troubling was the news Connor gave us when his new sword began to glow brightly while inside. None of us know what it means. With the head of the shaman bashed in, we had difficulty but were finally able to see that the structure of the snout was far from that of a gnoll. When the mother was questions, she admitted that the gnoll had antagonized her into attacking. There was still a feeling of unease in my stomach.

As we continued to search the cage and let the mother be reunited with her sons, we began to notice how strangely the other gnoll prisoner was acting. Upon questioning, he revealed that the shaman had not been the same since she entered one of the cabins with the hobgoblins and emerged again alone. He then began talking some nonsense about her shedding her skin and getting inside the mother who had attacked his shaman. Was she possessed? Arnexus seemed to understand when I did not.

He tells us that he believes her to be a bog hag, a creature that is known for deception and killing. But the mother? Was the hag wanting to escape? We had no other alternative than to follow her and keep an eye on her. Nothing seemed amiss though. She knew people by name and was being a diligent mother to the boys. Even they thought she was acting okay, but the smallest pointed out a new accessory around her neck, a symbol of Ninkali. Their mother never wore such an emblem. I too could vouch for this as I helped her bring one of her sons into this world. Sara Carver was her name. Could this hag be a servent of Ninkali, using a means by which to reach out to me? If so, why attack Mrs. Carver? Was Mrs. Carver still in there? I wanted to speak to her alone that night, but Connor and the others seemed adamant that I stay safely away. I have to know, though. If she is a servant of Ninkali, maybe I can get some answers we all desperately need.

The following morning we agree to do nothing but keep an eye on her and help escort the villagers and chickens to the Bastion. Along the way, however, we came across a horrific sight. Scavenging wolves had surrounded some bodies. After we chased them off, we soon found out that these bodies belonged to the caravan. Searching the surrounding area, we finally come upon the wagon with the corpses of all of the caravan…expect for the man wishing to harm William. He had to be behind this attack and brought help! Their tracks lead to the Bastion!

With as much haste as we could, we pressed on to the Bastion, leaving the villagers in the safety of the town just below the Bastion gates. It is here that we find out the caravan arrived that night and now broke their fast with the Reverend Mother. Yet, it is not the would be assassin who arrived…it was the caravan master (whom I gave last rites to) as well as a man pretending to be William. We have to hurry!

Just as we arrive at the gates, the “Caravan” leader and “William” step outside with a scroll in hand. The very scroll meant for the Queen! They will not desecrate this holy scroll and tradition. As the thieving murderers antagonize me with their lust filled eyes and filthy tongues, I call upon Ninkali to strengthen my resolve and my mace. If it must come to a fight, I will defend the scroll and the prophesy. Before I can react to his refusal to hand the scroll over, Connor grabs me from behind, staying my hand! _What was he doing?!

A long bladed dagger is flung from "William"’s hand, his real name Emile, piercing my chest. I cry out in rage and pain as I struggle to free myself from Connor’s hold. The battle is on now. How it all happened is a blur to me now. Yet, we were able to knock Emile down. I had hoped to take him alive, but he had other plans in mind. Before I could stop him, Connor gave the killing blow, once more leaving us with unanswered questions. The last words on Emile’s lips were “Father”. Connor rips the cloak off the dead man revealing his true appearance. It was the spy he had seen a few days before.

The scroll is now safe, but what of the Reverend Mother?

I hate writing journals, pt 2

So, after getting out of the temple, turns out the captive shaman was not idle. Or even a gnoll. And may be some sort of hag that changes her appearance by donning others skins. Which is just really ewwww. Connor got a short sword from the dead skeleton guy, and when he poked the “dead” shaman who was not a gnoll, it glowed a strange purple that only he could see. But when it came time to see if the hag/shaman had donned a new skin, our guess being the mother who supposedly beat her to death, I suggested Connor take the sword near the mother and see if it glowed. Which it did. So. We watch mom and see what she does. Its a pretty convincing disguise though, as the boys are fooled, as are most of the other captives the woman interacts with. We got the hag info from the other captive, in exchange for letting it go. I don’t think everyone was on the page of letting the creature go, but since he did talk, a bargain is a bargain, so I was the one who set him free. Hopefully he does not go on to kill more people, but I keep my word.

Upon leading the former captives back to the road, we found the remains of our lead caravan, and most of its guards slain. The caravan master was left headless. The other wagons no where to be seen. Of course, the shady member of our convoy was no where to be seen among the dead, so no mystery on what happened. Connor was able to track the wagons, and they were taken on to the town we were headed to. And most interestingly, our companion William and the caravan master had entered the town and were having breakfast at the temple! Quite the feat when WIlliam was walking with us and the caravan master was without a head and very much dead. As we were about to enter the town, who should be exiting the gate but the very two interesting characters just mentioned. The one posing as William had a scroll on him. One that could not be left in such evil hands as whoever was masquerading as William.

Naturally, its our cleric who draws the attention and things turn nasty. Not wanting anything to happen to that scroll, or for the faux-William to somehow escape with it, I used all my skills to get in close and steal it from the brigand and get the hell out of there. The years of training paid off and I was able to grab it from him and tumble out of his range. The fight was otherwise pretty intense from what I saw, but while I could have added my bullets to the fray, I could not really get a clear shot from my hiding spot, and did not want to hit any of our party. Plus, I just wanted to keep the scroll safe. I am good at hiding, and getting into and out of places without detection, and even at running along rooftops and scooting up pipes and posts. I am pretty good with my sling staff but the big folk can do most of the up close fighting, while I will do what I can to assist from a safe location.

The faux-William was wearing some sort of cloak that enabled him to assume William’s form. Once we had him down, we found an assortment of interesting items on him. I can’t wait to get them all identified in town, and more importantly, have a bath.

Journal of Arnexus 4

While one would think returning to the world would prove a relief, we came back to something rather disturbing. The gnoll “priestess” had been slain, however, not all was as it seems. The skull was wrong, and not that of a gnoll. We questioned the other imprisoned gnoll and discovered that the mother of our two rescued children did indeed slay whatever wore the shaman’s skin, but another creature had shed the skin. The creature could only be a bog hag from my estimation.

The bog hag has almost certainly stolen the skin of the mother. Connor’s sword, which we cannot see glow, glows brightly to his eyes in her presence. Her intentions don’t seem sincere. At the moment we don’t really know what this glow means, but it very likely does support this in my estimation.

We decided to keep watch upon the “woman”. I feared we would not be able to take on this strange creature. We rested the evening keeping our eyes open.

The next morning we spoke with the villagers and decided to make our way to the Bastion. It solved the quandry of whether we split up while the villagers returned home.

While travelling back toward the road leading toward Bastion we came upon the remains of the caravan, all the members of our caravan slain. They took the remaining wagons and travelled toward the Bastion. William believes that they are after the Scroll. This Scroll is only meant to be read by the Queen and prophesies the events of the upcoming year.

When we approached the Bastion and started laying plans for how we would proceed the fake William and caravan master, who was in truth dead, walked out of the gate. As we accosted them, Sylph began to cast, which antagonized Aneal. At least that’s the name that was called out. A fight broke out and my spray of color spell knocked out the man we believed to be the drover. Aneal was likely the contact from our previous encounter in town. We started off trying to take Aneal alive but he proved to be too dangerous, and we ended up slaying him. Connor’s blade work is most impressive, as a note. We tied up the caravan spy.

Conflicted Spirit, Part Trios

Goddess protect us, I do not understand all of these things happening. It is as if whatever created this hole….this lair beyond…has been waiting for us for some time. I cannot tell if it is benevolent or malevolent. It is this uncertainty that I do not like. Why does it feel as if the Goddess is so far away? Still, so much has been revealed or placed in my mind that I fear not putting it down. Is this truly what is meant to happen? If so, why did it not come from the Oracle?

Genna and Connor, both brave souls, went through the hole and were able to open the massive door with our likeness. It still gives me chills remembering that door. When we went inside, looking for the two boys, crawling through a tunnel, following footsteps in the dust that ultimately led to another door…one made of electrum. On this door are our figures again engaged in battle with a Death Knight, one we do not know the name of. In the background is the image of a solar eclipse. Our likeness, however, does not quite look like us. We are different somehow…carrying strange weapons… Arnexus, the man responsible for gathering our party tells us that the solar eclipse will occur in six months. Is this a foreshadowing of what is to come? Why? Though Arn is anxious to open the door, Genna insists on checking it to prevent another accident like last time. With Connor’s help they determine it is indeed trapped and are able to disable it.

The day grew stranger as we still could not find the boys. In the room beyond torches flare to life on their own, startling me and the others. In the center of the room is a pool of water, magical water it seems. It reflects as if it were a mirror or liquid mercury. Yet, it cannot be dangerous, as there are signs that the boys played in the water. How did they get beyond the trapped door, though? Stranger still there are statues of us lining the sides of the room. I cannot resist but go toward my statue. How….this cannot be….before I can draw closer, Connor warns us that these statues too are trapped. This has to be a trap that we’ve walked into…there can be no other reason…

The pool behind me beckoned me to look inside its depths. Even the statues seemed to insist that we enter the waters. What sort of sorcery is this? Still, I cannot resist the urge….

as you look into the pool you see yourself, then you see images behind you in the pool’s surface… You see and hear the sound of battle, you see yourself, a vestial knight astride your unicorn mount swinging a mace that shimmers like a small star as you fight an army of undead, the darkness is total save for the light of your mace… you see a tall spire lighthouse like structure behind you…. and you snap out of it.

I cannot even begin to explain the emotions swirling in me at this moment. Was this truly what is to be or is it all some trickery? Is there some being playing with my mind just as it has toyed with Rohveka? My deepest desire…the one thing I want more than any else is to become a Vestial Knight. Goddess above, is it true? I cannot hold back the tears as I write this…it is…Goddess I wish it to be so.

Rohe, Arn and Arnexus too see a similar battle with the image of the lighthouse in the background. Rohveka and Arn kept going on about amulets before something began to happen to Rohe. She started sprouting strange wings with blood red fingers…and a strange design began to appear on her back. Arnexus was very excited about the design, some protective seal that no one has seen fully completed. The Seal of Askhalan? Genna thinks it is trouble and tries to hide the seal for Rohveka’s safety…though maybe the person behind this maze is benevolent afterall. Maybe the traps were not designed for us but for anyone else that found this place…Is he/her beckoning us to find this lighthouse? Before we could discuss it more, we heard the sounds of battle and electricity in the next room beyond. The boys!

We rush to their aid only to discover them playing with some bewitched sticks they had found inside. They claimed that the sticks had their names on them…sure enough they did. I cannot help but have a cold chill run down my spine. Whatever wants us here wanted the boys here too. Are we all being manipulated? There are far better ways to get us here than to kidnap innocent villiagers, turn them into chickens and then have two boys wander into a dangerous cavern. Subtlety is obviously not the way of the mind behind this place.

A part of me wanted us…no longed for us…to leave, yet there were more statues of us and reflection pools. The need to know more was driving at us all. We needed answers. The reflecting pools here did not reveal anything to us. It was as if they were just pools of water. There were statues of the others at the top of the room, but no sign of my statue. Steps were leading down, though….why was there no statue of myself? With Arn by my side, we made our way to the stairs…and that is when it began. Statues of ME came to life and attacked us! We tried and tried to bring them down, but our attacks only revealed some substance beneath that we could not crack. Whatever had created these constructs wanted to kill us! Then we remembered the pools and led one statue toward the waters. A massive blue, scaled hand reached out and pulled the statues in, destroying them and saving us all.

Genna claimed she saw the eye and thought it was a dragon! A dragon? Here? Yet, that was not where the strangeness came in. At the end of the stairs there was an unmarked and sealed sarcophagus that was rocking. Noises were coming from inside demanding to be let out. Uncertain of what we faced, I had my holy water at the ready and watched as the others helped remove the lid. Inside was an animated corpse…though he claimed to not be a corpse. As he rotted before our eyes he spoke riddles to us of things he could not remember. He could only tell us that “when we read the scroll we must act quickly”. He told us he came from a time before the Goddess and knew that we were coming. He had been waiting for us….and had gifts. He gave each of us an item…things we had seen in the pool as well as carved upon the door. My mind was swirling at this time, making it hard to concentrate. There were so many questions I had for him, but there was so little he remembered. He could only say that the traps here were laid by some woman who came from the same time as he did. He kept going on about the world not being right and that we had to fix it.

More pieces to an ever complex puzzle kept being revealed when he pointed to Connor and Rohveka, telling us that his father and her mother were involved…and that these two members of our party had the greatest chance at putting everything right…unless “She” got involved. Before he crumbled away he told us that we would learn more at the lighthouse. We can’t trust those who seem willing to tell us things, but there are people we know who are less likely to speak of certain things that can help us.

It is like reading the prophecies written down by those tending to the Oracle. It makes no sense. What do we do? Where do we go from here? How are we to find this lighthouse or anyone who can help us? Who is this woman he kept referring to? Why are Rohveka and Connor the keys? So many questions and so few answers. Goddess, I wish you would come to me and help me.

Faute de mieux le roi couche avec sa femme.

Journal of Arnexus 3

After seeing to the welfare of the villagers and William our group decided to travel into the door. Genna, with the aid of Connor, was able to open the door. It led to another electrum door. The door held a mural our party combatting a death knight. I must do more research on the matter of death knights.

The children obviously came this way. I find it curious and ominous that the door was trapped. This whole matter could be a trap of sorts, or a test of our abilities. Beyond the door is a room with two statues of each of us; intricate in detail. In the center is a pool of silvered water. Some of the statues appeared serene while some smirked. The air of the chamber is filled with fairy dust. The smirking statues held traps that pushed the triggerer into the water.

I was surrounded by the sounds of a battle that raged about me. I wore an amulet around my neck that provided power to my spells that were smiting undead about me. There was a tall spired lighthouse in the background.

Rohveka was gifted with a similar vision, but her vestigal wings sprouted red feathers, and upon her back was etched the Symbol of Ascalon! Such a sight to behold and one that I have endeavored to sear into my memory. Such a symbol could prove quite beneficial to my people! I shall have to ask Rohveka to allow me to study it in the future. This symbol should, hopefully, shield our tiefling companion from her planar enemies.

Sounds of battle, lightning and combat echoed from the next room and we rushed to investigate. As it turns out the two children found lightning swords with their names upon them and were playing at battle. Within the room were more statues, and a tapestry of our party. It is very curious how all of the statues and murals depict our group. As we ventured further into the room two of the statues of Slyph moved toward us and attacked while something within the sarcophagus stirred.

We fought against the statues and from within the pools a blue dragon reached out and smote the statues. After which, the being within the sarcophagus spoke asking to be released. The being did not remember his name, but was a tiny human skeleton claiming to be the dragon that aided us. He spoke of a female nemesis that suppressed the magic within the pools and worked against the being. He gifted us with items that we had seen within the visions the pools bestowed upon us.

He handed Rohveka an amulet with an eye, a holy mace to Slyph, a blue sling to Genna, an electrum sword to Connor, a shield to Arn and a blood glyph amulet to myself. He said we should use these items to fix the world. I mentioned the way humans use magic and he confirmed my worries in regard its wrongness. He mentioned that Connor’s father and Rohveka’s mother in particular were of importance. Together we have to fix the world. A tall order indeed.

The being and this woman come from this place and are ancient. This She has corrupted the world. He told us “When we read the scroll, react quickly because they will know.” There are others that know more and that a lot of work has been going on to get the world to what it is. Quite clearly they are working toward some goal.
Now we must aid the poor villagers in getting home.

To Do:
-Human magic
-Previous civilizations (who was this being that said he became a dragon)
-Where/what is this lighthouse
-Symbol of Ascalon

I hate writing journals
But Dragons!

I am not one for keeping a journal, but today I saw a wonder I never thought to see- a dragon! A big blue dragon! It even talked to us. Well it talked to me when I bowed to its big eye. I think it said it liked my sling staff. I was kind of stunned and amazed by the whole experience of encountering a dragon, to tell you the truth, so it could have said it wanted to eat me… But I think it said it liked my staff.

The group are pretty handy to have around, even if none of them seem to have any street sense at all between them. Everyone knows that you always check for traps on doors and other objects when in a strange place. Owners always protect their possessions. The only one that showed any sense was Connor. I am keeping my eye on him, as he may yet be of use to one of the guilds when we get back. If he gets back.

That reflecting pool was a strange deal. I did not look into it, as there was something about that super shiney surface that gave me the chills. But everyone else did look, and they all seem to have had visions of some sort, of their future. I am curious as to what I might have seen if I had looked, but then again, Rohe ended up with blood red feathered wings after looking, and I don’t think I need that. So I can live without knowing what my future may hold.

That was one curious tattoo on her back too. Some of the others said it was something kind of important and rare, so I figured that was something best covered up. I used some of my disguise tricks to trick they eye away from the true design. It should hold up for a while, but I will check it often and do touch ups as needed. Glad I brought that kit along.

The skeleton in the last room was not nearly as scary as one might expect a long dead talking skeleton would be. He seemed a decent sort, although hard to tell when someone is just bones. Still he gave each of us gifts. I got a nifty new sling for my staff. Pretty blue. I have a feeling its going to come in handy…

Conflicted Spirit, Part Deux
Chickens and Carvings

The sense of foreboding has returned with a vengeance as the day turns to evening and then night. All I can think about are what those gnolls are doing to those poor townsfolk. What purpose did these gnolls have in mind when they took them? Slaves? Offerings to their god? The more I think of it, the more the thought makes me shiver. I can imagine their fear and uncertainty.

Though I trust Connor’s tracking ability, I cannot help but feel as if we might arrive too late. The darkness hovers in this canyon and threatens to snuff out any life with its heaviness. I, for one, am thankful for my lantern. What little light it offers reminds me of the Goddess in her infinite wisdom and majesty. I know she is with us. Her hand has kept us safe thus far. I pray that she keeps the villagers safe as well.

We have found the villagers and managed to free them, but not without great costs. Though we were able to capture the white gnoll shaman, we came close to losing Arn. He charged valiantly into battle and nearly lost his head in doing so. Without the Goddess’s help, he surely would have died. She has a great purpose for him. There could be no other explanation. I hope he realizes this. Still, this fool-hearty plan never would have taken off without the help of Arnexus and Rohveka’s talents.

How Connor and Genna managed to keep their heads in the chaos I do not know. It was as if the gnolls and hobgoblins were blind to them. I at first feared we were all doomed as Connor could not get off a bolt to save his life. It jammed more than once on him. Genna had far less trouble. Even if he cannot fire a crossbow, he has proven himself in other ways.

Several of the gnolls ran away, not wanting to chance being caught. With it, they took what we needed most…a wand to return the poor souls to their rightful form. It seems the gnolls, slavers indeed, transformed their prisoners into chickens to make them easier to transport. We found the one wand that can transform them into chickens, but the sister to it is missing. While we fought outside, the others ransacked the shack and fled out the back. All we found were some healing potions and a strange potion that seems capable of returning the chickens back into human beings. If only there was more….we have 200 poor souls in chicken form. This one vial can maybe help four or five people. We have to get to the Bastion. Someone there can help us…

Stranger still is the boat they were found upon. It is of Helian make. Yet, the strangeness does not end there. Upon the slavers we found coin, Brythonian coin. The hobgoblins….and the coin…..surely Prince Arden did not have a hand in this…could he?

The day has been trying and healing Arn has taken a toll. There is no time to rest, though. One of the prisoners, a mother, has begged us to find her two boys. In the back of one of the cages is a hole that they crawled through. Connor and Genna took a look and found that the small, child-sized hole, had a carving behind it of six figures. They each had a likeness to us! What strange magic is afoot?

The children have no idea what they have gotten themselves into. From the hands of slavers to this? Whatever it is. We have to find them….yet we also have to help these poor souls who have been transformed. William has said he can stay behind and help protect them. Yet, there is a minotaur’s footprints just up the stream wandering the canyons. Granted the queen’s advisor is not incapable of protecting himself. He once was a great warrior. Yet, time can be your own worst enemy. His days by the queen’s side has made him somewhat soft.

A hand is guiding our group toward this hole. I just wish I knew to whom it belonged. Goddess watch over us all. I have no idea what we will do. Goddess, guide me in the right path and help me stay true. Keep my mind sharp to whatever trap may lay before us. Help us to remain ever vigilant. My life and love is yours alone. Do with me as you will yet keep my friends safe. _Fortiter in re, suaviter in modo _


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