The Un-Made Crown

Minotaur, Hobgoblins and Gnolls, Oh My
Rohveka's Musings Part 2

While it took us quite some time, we finally managed to track down the gnoll slavers. We had to pass through an ominous looking cannon to get there where I was sure they would at least have scouts to keep an eye out. Thankfully, gnolls are just as dumb as I’ve heard them to be. Connor did find the tracks of another beast, however, and Arnexus and I concluded them to be from nothing other than a minotaur. I’ve read they are rather nasty creatures and I couldn’t help but hope we didn’t run into him.

We moved onward and came upon the gnoll encampment and could see the prisoners caged in the back. We quickly, well, somewhat quickly came up with a plan to distract the gnolls and hobgoblins with dancing lights, making it appear the ship we could only assume was to transfer the potential slaves was on fire while Arn charged into the middle of the encampment. He decided he would go straight for a white female gnoll who appeared to not only be the leader but a shaman as well.

All in all, the battle was short and quick. I have never been able to throw my hexes like that and it felt quite liberating. I found a little bit of satisfaction when I stared my enemy down and watched the fight leave his eyes if only a little bit. I would have to say I felt rather useful all in all. I’m not quite sure what to say about Connor, however, as his crossbow seemed to keep jamming up on him. Someone might need to recommend he keep his weapons in better condition. Arn was also grievously wounded during the fight and if not for Slyph, would probably have perished. He can be rather reckless I’ve noticed. Perhaps my dimwitted judgement was not too soon after all.

Once the camp was cleared, I found an interesting wand on the unconscious shaman and soon found out from the captives that the wand could turn a person into a chicken. It was after this we discovered about 200 human-made-chickens on the boat. I can’t help but feel a chill run up my spine at the thought of being turned into a chicken though i will not deny the brilliancy of the plan to transport the captives. I did find another potion within one of the cabins and deduced it to be able to change the captives back into humans. Sadly, there is only enough for about five and so we will have to find a skilled alchemist who can perhaps replicate the potion… a few dozen times.

Connor informed us two or three children had tried to escape through a hole in a rather large rock. The children’s mother had apparently begged him to rescue them. We discovered the hole was part of a purplish metal door, a material I recognized as electrum, something no one works with anymore. It can only mean the door is very old. What caught my eyes the most though, as it did everyone’s was there were six panels upon the door, each with an similar image of each one of us. I have no idea what it can possibly mean.

We now have children to save, a potion to replicate, evidence of Brithan coinage and Azshure documentation to consider and too few of us to do it all. I am glad we have decided to rest before deciding on what to do next. A path chosen should never be made without a rested mind. Thatch agrees.

Journal of Arnexus 2

We have set off in search of the slaver gnolls. They have covered their tracks rather well, and even Connor seemed to have some difficulty picking up the trail. The rest of us were little help.

The trail led us through a canyon. I had feared we would be ambushed upon the path. Our scout detected prints that could only belong to a minotaur. Rohveka agreed with my assessment. Following a stream we came to the gnoll encampment; including hobgoblin reinforcements.

Together we enacted a plan in which Rohveka and I cast flame like lights upon the hobgoblin boat, which proved quite the distraction for the entire encapment. Arn charged into the gnolls and grievously harmed the gnoll shaman while I used a ghost sound spell to make it seem like a cavalry unit accompanied him. Our two scouts set upon the hobgoblins to much effect. Arn was harmed by a lucky spear strike, but thankfully Slyph’s spells saved him a gruesome fate. The attack was quick and decisive.

We rescued the prisoners and liberated the Helion made boat. There are two hundred chickens and the gnoll shaman wielded a wand that turns people into chickens. We found a potion that might be able to turn the people back into their normal forms but we will require an alchemist to recreate the potion.

Two children have wandered into a door with six reliefs of our party. The door is made of electrum, an ancient metal only worked on by ancient societies. It seems odd and ominous that the door should have our reliefs upon it.

The boat is of Helion make, and are paid with Brython coin. It will take time to sift through the documents for evidence, but it seems the boat is cleared through Port Ashur. We must decide what to do with the door and the poor prisoners.

Demonic Nightmares and New Adventures
Rohveka's Musings

When Shashta told me it was time to seek my path outside of our small home, I admit my heart dropped to my toes. In the eighteen years I have lived within the less than rich hovels of Heilian, I have made my place. I am known and for the most part accepted despite my heritage. There are those that I would say that even like and enjoy my company.

Sadly, I believe what she says is true. More and more often nightmares visit me in the night and while I would like to believe they are simply the product of an overactive imagination, the smell and taste of brimstone upon waking always lingers, a dark promise that everything is indeed not alright.

Perhaps the mysterious fates knew it was my time to set off on my own for it was within just a week when a new friend of mine, an elf wizard who had sought me out at one point simply out of curiosity by the name of Arnexus, approached me about joining him in escorting a man of the Queen’s to Jaegar Hills. Without much thought, I accepted as I felt there was no clearer sign. So with Thatch by my side, we packed, said a tearful good-bye to Shashta and set out to meet Arnexus and other individuals he had gathered for the journey.

If there is one thing I can say about Arnexus, it is he has the ability to meet a array of people. Of our party there were two roguish types by the name of Geena Tealeaf and Connor Trevelian, a halfling and human respectively. There was also a warrior who apparently has an interestingly close relationship with his horse named Arn Fellsoul and a woman cleric of Ninkali who calls herself Slyph Andersmith. I write this all down now because I’m horrible with names and wouldn’t be surprised if I forgot any of them. Oh, and the Queen’s man is William Croftsly.

Everyone appears to be friendly enough and I have yet to receive any outward mistrust from anyone though having my hair cover my horns for the most part helps, I’m sure.

Our journey was going, well, rather boring to be honest until I had one of the worst nightmares yet one night, if one can call it a nightmare. I was attacked within my dream but my attacker was myself. I’m not sure what to make of it. Most frightening of all, is there were bruises around my neck once I woke up, the ground around Thatch and myself was completely charred and my tent had flown some yards away. And brimstone, always the smell of brimstone weighed heavily around me. But worse than all of this was the death of one of the caravan horses by a demonic serpent/eel monstrosity from Dogan’s domain. Once it was released from the horses belly, it immediately rushed towards me screaming “KILL YOU!” Arn sliced the thing in half before it could reach me. I had thought Arn perhaps a little dimwitted at first but perhaps I’m too quick to judge.

After this fiasco, I do not know what my companions think of me right now. I don’t know what to think of me. Who is haunting or stalking me? Does Dogan want me dead and why? There are so many questions unanswered now. Thankfully, no one voted to leave me behind so I have continued on with our journey.

It was soon after this that Connor had made the discovery that someone is spying on William within the caravan who is not part of the crew. A disguised man, it would seem. Apparently he is employed by someone but Connor was not able to get a good look at the man. It is a shame Connor was not blessed with better eyesight. We chose to leave the matter alone for now as we don’t really know anything about well, anything. To watch it simply unfold, I suppose. I do like making observations.

Now that our journey was starting to be interesting, our caravan came across a small village that had been completely savaged with all able body men, women and children having disappeared. We believe they were taken by slavers and William insists we go rescue them. As the name has paid me to follow him and the idea of slaves don’t really sit well with me or many of my companions, we have agreed to do just that. It will be good to face a foe I can see.

Conficted Spirit
Days 1-2

Slyph Andersmith
I have tried hard to fit into society since leaving the Temple in Helian, but there is just so much to see…and do. I cannot help but feel like a traveler taking in the sights. And the Taverns? Oh, the the taverns are so full of life and music. I have heard so many tales of adventure and excitement that it makes me long to step out of the city. Maybe one day there will be songs sung of my deeds….though I doubt the Reverend Mother would condone such things. If she heard some of the songs sung….well, even she would blush at some of those tales. But I should not think of such things…

I learned how to play a few games of cards! I do not think I am very good though the nice young man….Alric….was that his name….assured me I was doing well. Though he seems sincere his eyes…and hand…have a way of wandering. I find his company pleasing, yet often have to stop his advances. I have found that many men find the idea of a priestess who has taken her vow to be a challenge. There are even wagers on how many can distract us from the path Ninkali. Why I do not know. It is a noble calling to serve the goddess faithfully. Not many can follow the path to become Sanctified.

I have met so many people who have been very helpful since leaving the Temple. It is good to know there are many kindred spirits here. Especially Arnexus, a charming elf wizard. I have heard of them but have never seen them up close and personal. I had believed they were persons to be feared. Arnexus, however, is nothing like what I expected. When he asked if I might be interested in joining his small band of travelers I did not hesitate to agree to go. And I am glad I did not forI was rejoined by a woman I have not seen in years! Genna Tealeaf! Oh such sweet memories of home! We were quite the pranksters back then. Time has changed us both. There were others in our little band of travelers.

I remember the Cavalier Fellsoul from the Temple. It is so good being around others of the faith. It warms my heart and helps me feel not so alone in having a kindred spirit near yet is also so bittersweet. I long to return to the Temple but know I cannot until my year has passed. Though he is a rough man, he is still a good man at heart. Talking to him of some of his deeds has helped him open up when he longs to shut down. He is obviously a skilled warrior and a great addition to the group. I feel safe with having him around.

Then there is Connor, a shifty, yet quiet man. I do not know much of him. Arnexus has faith in him. I trust his judgement.

Finally, there is a Tiefling named Rohveka, a strange name yet fitting for this woman. There are all sorts of stories and tales of young women and men falling prey to the demonic that filter through the Temple. Many young women come to the Temple to ask for Mother Ninkali’s blessing. I have even participated in blessings of ill-gotten children. While society may shun them, they are always embraced by the light of Ninkali. I can see the pain and suspicion in her eyes. She has faced many trials. My heart goes out to her and prays that the goddess will grant her peace and a gentle heart. Still, I must confess I am a little intimidated by her. It is wrong, I know. I should never be quick to judge another by their looks or heritage. It is a condition of the human spirit, though. I will face my aversion and seek to befriend her. Every journey and chance encounter is a chance to learn and grow.

Arnexus tells us we will be helping a nobleman, a very well known nobleman, Sir William Croftsley, on a secret yet important task. I find it odd that he is not seeking an escort from my sisters instead of strangers. Yet, he is one of the Queen’s most trusted advisers. It is my duty to see to his safety. Still, my spirit is uneasy with this journey.

This journey is ill fated I do believe. Goddess forgive me for thinking such a thing early in, yet already we are plagued with troubles. Sir Croftsley is in danger within the caravan, stalked by an unknown man who has hired one of the caravan men. No doubt the drunken leader does not do his background checks properly. I really wish Sir Croftsley had chosen to go to the Sanctified instead of meeting up with this band. At least the travelers Arnexus has assembled seem to be in the right mind in regards to his safety, whatever their reasonings. Yet, that is not the most troubling of events…

On the first night, Rohveka was attacked in her sleep. I have never been more scared in my life. The piercing scream…it was worse than a mother in labor. There is a darkness that haunts her, possibly from her own bloodline. Yet, things had grown more strange as she awakened. A strange eel burst from the belly of one of the horses and sought to attack her. Thank the goddess Arn was able to swiftly deal with the creature. Rohveka told us it was a creature from Dagon’s realm. No doubt the evil that brought her into this world seeks to claim her. I will not allow her to be taken, though. The goddess was gracious enough to grant me the wisdom to warn her of being tested. It is fate that has brought us together, I know it. I will help her all I can, yet this is a battle she must conquer alone.

Dagon’s minions and the stranger are not the only ones against us. As we drew closer to the Bastion, I had my first taste of death. Goddess forgive me, I have never seen such horrors before… I confess I had grown lax in my watch. It had been so long since I had seen the Bastion…not even Helian compares to her beauty. But the beauty was tarnished by the horrors of gnoll slavers, servants of Yeenoghu. I had to tend to the mother of a woman I had helped bind to a man earlier this year. Of her daughter and husband, there were no sign. All of the young men, women and children were gone….their homes burned to the ground as the weak and sick were left behind. What horrors waited for them at the hands of Yeenoghu’s shaman? I cannot even bear to think of it. Yet, my duty was first and foremost to Sir Croftsley, was it not? Yet those poor, innocent souls…I cannot do nothing. Some of my newfound friends seem willing to just leave them behind and wait until we reach another town to alert others to their demise, yet what if it is too late?

Sir Croftsley seemed to solidify our action by saying we should help them. Goddess bless his heart, yet he is not a young man any longer. I fear for his safety but know we will all do we can to keep him safe. I do not know what we face, but I know Ninkali is with us. I hope only hope we are not too late.

Journal of Arnexus

An agent of the human Queen, William Croftsly has approached me with a matter of discretion and one would assume, import. I had to put together a competent group for what would likely be at least a month away from the city toward the Jaegar Hills. While the task itself seems rather insulting for someone of my station, it is a chance to make contact with others within the human court and those in the know apparently realize that William is the Queen’s “go to man”. I also think there is more going on here than meets the eye, so the chance at some political intrigue is exciting. I am curious as to what manner of man this William is. One can tell a lot about a person by those that serve them. He will provide insight into the nature of the Queen.

I quickly sent quiet word to those I knew who might be interested and ended up with quite the intriguing grouping.

Arn a Cavalier who enjoys spending time in taverns was an obvious choice. He seems competent in combat, especially of the mounted sort. Though he could stand to loosen up a great deal, I think he may prove useful to have around. I may also find him rising within the ranks of his order, which would prove a useful contact later. He does seem to believe that mundane martial prowess is superior to other tools. If he is not stubborn, I am still not final on my judgement on this matter, he will come to see a tool is only as useful as the hand that wields it.

Rohveka, is a young tiefling woman that I have met a few times in the past. I sought her out upon hearing of her unusual heritage once when I was newly arrived in the human lands. She also practices patron magics, called witchcraft, which is of interest to my studies in the arcane. She seems to be haunted by her heritage. Our priestess seems to think she is being tested. Her midnight haunting caused her to attempt to strangle herself and somehow summoned an abyssal eel like creature that arrived within the stomach of one of the caravan horses. It burst out and attempted to get to Rohveka, but was skewered upon Arn’s blade. I shall have to keep an eye upon her.

Genna Tealeaf is a halfling woman that is very wise in matters of the streets. She also has quite a few contacts and is a provider of information. She seemed a very likely member to provide, one, other members, but also to serve in more discrete ways. From what I have witnessed so far, she is motivated by gold, but also seems to seek to aid people, which is a rare combination and worthy to keep about.

Through Genna came Connor, who has proven quite adept at scouting both within and out of urban environments. It was he that found the man who was trailing us, though we do not yet know this being’s identity, even when the man attempted to hide his trail. Yet another useful addition to the group. I don’t know much about his past, or how he came to know Genna, but there is time yet to figure such out. He also rooted out the spy within our caravan.

Finally we have a priestess? Slyph. She has access to divine powers, so I must assume she is a priestess. She does not seem to have gotten out into the world much in her life as of yet. Things, such as the drunkeness of our caravan master, bother her. I do not believe she understands the will or motivations of the common people. Yet, she does strive to help where she may and takes to her duties with loyalty and vigor. She was the first to the wounded people we found remaining after the gnoll slaver “attack”.

All in all, it is a well rounded group that should provide useful as contacts and allies in the future. We break off from the caravan to pursue the gnolls, who seem to be led by a shaman albino gnoll. Why they seek slaves instead of food amongst the humans remains to be seen and is of interest. I am happy that William seeks to help these people instead of doggedly going after his original mission. I just hope that his age do not hinder us in our mission. It would also not do to allow harm to come to him.

Who is this man that follows William? He has a magical cloak, quite a rare item, and is obviously working for some noble house or another. Could it be within the Queen’s lands or those of one of her son’s? He is not afraid to do violence and utter death threats, so he is one to be wary of, but more-so whichever house hired him.

Is the Midnight Court involved in this? So far I see no evidence, and other races have intrigue enough on their own for me to go chasing at non-existant shadows, but I will remain alert for signs.

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Or, Why I'm Never Letting Corsair ANYWHERE NEAR Rohveka Again

Well, this expedition is off to a fine start. I signed on for caravan guard duty with a merchant heading to the Bastion, sight unseen. The Master said this would help me gain experience and maybe bring in some coin for the Order, but I honestly think he has more in mind that simply raising funds.

The area we have been travelling through has seen some gnoll activity, but we found nothing during the first week of travel. This did little to lessen my wariness, especially in light of our caravan leader’s drunken entrance. Then we found signs that we have been followed by someone on horseback, but we saw no one else on the road.

We made camp that night, and that is when everything took a turn for the worse. Rohveka, the tiefling spellcaster, awoke screaming in the dead of night, and one of the horses shrieked and fell over dead. When we examined the carcass, a demonic serpent burst forth from its entrails. I slew it easily, but I must admit the incident unsettled me greatly. I must remember to tether Corsair farther from her tent in the future lest my faithful steed suffer a similar fate. It would seem we have gained the unwelcome attention of a demonic prince, which bodes poorly for this expedition.

We reached the first stop on our expedition soon thereafter, and we followed the caravan leader to his meetings. I am grateful we did, for we noticed a man wearing baker’s garb and riding boots striving to observe the meeting while avoiding attention. I gave chase along with Connor, who observed this man changing his disguise and revealing him as one of the drovers in our expedition. We alerted our employer, and resolved to watch the spy more carefully.

As we continued on our travels, we happened upon a village which appears to have been attacked by a band of gnoll slavers. We have decided to follow their trail and attempt a rescue in the morning. May the Goddess guard us this night.

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