Journal #38th: The Dark Spire [Text Role Play]
One of the first things that struck Celuriel - after they'd clambered out of the river and thoroughly examined the beach - was how cold the Boneyard was. She could see black sand - could feel it shifting under her feet like a living thing - and dark skies that stretched on endlessly above the shadowy waters of the Styx, but neither really struck her quite as much as the cold that seemed to claw at her veins in an altogether too familiar gesture. A shiver ran through her as she stepped closer to Aniks - who, here, felt like a beacon of warmth. "your lady lives in winter," she commented, peering around at the expanse of greyish-dark. Jutting tombstones teased the edge of the horizon, like great teeth poised to consume those who drew near. He would be safe among them - he was Her champion - but their sight sent a thrill of uncertainty down her spine. In the distance, Pharasma's Spire stood watch. They had to go there; she knew that much. Whether it would be as easy to exit as it had been to enter, she was unsure. This was no longer ground she knew well, and the symbol on her wrist tingled unpleasantly. "are we going to your appointment?"
Cold, it was the first thing he noticed climbing out of the river Styx. Aniks hated the cold, or atleast being cold. It brought up rough memories from his early life on the surfaces. While a part of his mind would have found the surroundings interesting, especially the black sand. The stream of thoughts were broken and crumbled into the back of his mind by the smaller elf brushing up against him. With his thought a bit more clear he realised just how cold he was. Which probably meant Celuriel was as cold. Aniks paused pulling her in close as a minute of silence. "I can fix wet clothes, the cold well..." His golden eyes fixed on the looming dark tower which stood out grey amd black landscape. Three times he'd been in that tower, and a fourth time would happen before the end of the night. "Do we have a choice?" Aniks said with a half smile, trying to put Celuriel at ease.
She stared at him blankly at the question, her brows furrowing into the makings of a frown. "not really." Without waiting for him to start trying to make them more comfortable with magic, she pulled away from him, taking the first steps towards the gravestones before spinning around and giving him an expectant look. She had been patient for centuries. This was not a time for more patience.
It seemed that the plane's denizens agreed. She barely flinched at the sound of wings behind her, but didn't dare look. She knew the precarious nature of her standing here well enough to avoid the confrontation, instead falling into a tense silence, her golden eyes fixed on Aniks's. If he didn't know her so well, she might have been able to hide the glint of nervousness lurking within her heart.
The new figure was skeletal - perhaps unsurprisingly - and as black as the sands beneath their feet. A skeletal bird's mask decorated where a face might have sat, had it been mortal, and ragged black wings of raven's feathers wrapped around it as a cloak. A scythe - glimmering the distinctive blue-green of adamantine in the faint light, and bearing a number of symbols unrecognisable by mortal eyes - rested loosely at its side, clutched in one bony hand. It didn't comment on the former vampire before it, instead focusing on the Champion. When it spoke, its voice was hollow - echoing across the river and cutting sharply into space. "Tʜᴇ Lᴀᴅʏ ʜᴀs ᴄᴀʟʟᴇᴅ Yᴏᴜ. Yᴏᴜ ᴡɪʟʟ Cᴏᴍᴇ."
At the appearance of this being clad in black feathers, Aniks face lost what gentle features he had. His golden eye narrowed almost erasing all trance of barkeep from his appearance. From his glare right down to his posture, it showed that he was a dark elf. With silent footsteps he walked next to Celuriel. Golden eyes only flicking back to her once notice the look she gave him. Aniks would have been a fool if he had forgotten his first experience in The Boneyard. Something he wasn't willing to relive again. Now being keenly aware of where Silver was strapped to his belt, the blade felt have against his side. Being that Celuriel knew Aniks as well, what he said was as much for her as it was for him. His lips barely moved as he whispered to Celu in elven "We'll be fine"
Then he spoke to what was he hoped was a psychopomp sent by the Pharasma. "Are you an escort for us? Or are you just a messenger to guide us on the correct path to Pharasma." Aniks made sure to stress the 'us' part while speaking to the Scythe wielder reaper. He had wanted to talk to Pharasma, as some of what the fallen gods said disturbed him. Some questions he knew he had would not get a clear answer from her, but still his question would be told to the Mother of souls herself. The most pressing being why bring Aniks here now, they were going after shards? So what was this all about?
Celu's expression didn't flicker as the creature behind her moved, its tattered wings disturbing the cool air. It stepped - or perhaps floated - forward, tilting the bony mask in a manner reminiscent of morbid curiosity.
"Mᴏʀᴛᴀʟ ǫᴜᴇsᴛɪᴏɴs ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴘᴏɪɴᴛʟᴇss ᴀɴsᴡᴇʀs. Yᴏᴜ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴄᴏᴍᴇ. Tʜᴇ Lᴀᴅʏ ʜᴏʟᴅs ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴀʀᴅs." The scythe's metal shone silver in the Boneyard's odd light as the psychopomp raised it, and Celuriel couldn't entirely hide her flinch as the blade carved down through the heavy air. Its path left a spiralling trail of deep-blue magic in its path, the edges flaring white.
The colours hung in the sky for a long moment, iridescent and shifting. The psychopomp observed it with the detached calmness that belonged to his kin, and touched them. The change was instant: from its bony fingers erupted a stream of darkness, eroding the blue into a spectrum of colours and shapes. Eroding it into an image - still or otherwise, it wasn't clear - of an ebony hallway carved of dark marble and lit with faint flickering light. The psychopomp stared expectantly at Aniks.
"Yᴏᴜ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴀɴsᴡᴇʀ ᴛᴏ ʜᴇʀ."
Aniks couldn't help but have a slight look of annoyance. "Sorry my mortality creates pointless questions" his voice was laced in sarcasms. The golden eyed drow gave Celuriel the same look she had given him early, and expectant look. Making it very clear, as Celu said before jumping into the murky water with him, not alone.
Celu nodded almost imperceptibly to him, slowly - and with no small amount of caution - stepping back to his side. She seemed reluctant to look at the psychopomp, her gaze instead fixed on Aniks.
The psychopomp waited.
The pair passed through the scythe made portal, stepping on the black marble floor. Needless to say his breath is held as they past by the psychopomp.
Thankfully, it did not follow. Small comforts. The new hallway was - to Celuriel - somehow icier than the exposed sandy banks of the Styx, evoking an involuntary gasp at the chill clawing at her skin. Strangely, Aniks did not feel the same level of coldness - to him, the new surroundings were a welcome break from the familiar chills of outside.
There were two directions to this hallway. To their left, a gridded portcullis of blackened steel stood its ground. The winch with which they could raise it sat unguarded on the wall beside it, the dim light of the moon outlining it in white. Untouched. Celu stared at it in contemplation. To the right, a set of smooth black doors decorated with a familiar blue-white spiral hung ever-so-slightly open.
Without so much as a word, Aniks casted Prestidigitation on Celu then on himself. The ebony elf then took a look at both paths, he felt like the portcullis was likely and exit. He half expected if that was true, he would be meet with more Psychopomps. That would give the same Go-See-Phrasama response. So he apporched the spiral door. Originally he hadn't noticed it being slightly open, but Aniks being Aniks after a second carefully openes the door.
Unlike the last time he'd been given the opportunity to wander the Spire, this doorway didn't lead Aniks (and his shivering partner) to the Eight Doorways. Thankfully. Instead, he found himself standing at the edge of a small courtyard garden filled with strange fruits, flowers, and animals that seemed to fit perfectly into the odd realm. A familiar smooth staircase wound its way around the edge of the courtyard, its lowest step resting next to a small pond. Celu found herself seizing Aniks's hand as her eyes landed on the only other humanoid inhabitant of this ethereal garden.
He was male, and he was human - in appearance, at least. His eyes were dark and sunken, and roses decorated his blackened hair. Whilst a rusted sword hung at his waist and a stain of bloody red dripped from his stomach, he paid no attention to either, instead focusing largely on his apparent task of picking fruits from the garden's trees. Once his basket was full, he turned to greet them with a gentle smile. "You'd be Her champion and... my apologies for the assumption, but would this soul be your consort? Welcome to a fragment of the Garden Anima, though I sense your stay is brief. Has She called you both?"
"She has" Aniks said before moving into the garden. " Excuse my ignorance thought I have plenty of questions, the most pressing I am unaware of how to reach her."
"This isn't your first visit?" asked the stranger with an amused smile. "No, no, I know it's not. Your group are noisy, and I know the Herald is looking forward to your return. Our Lady can be found up the stairs - though the chill surrounding your consort suggests that she might find it more comfortable to await your return here." He surveyed the two with an oddly penetrating look, his gaze lingering on the slight tint of blue that Celuriel had been trying to conceal with her dark hair. "I can't tell you if that's caused by her fey nature, the lingering claws of undeath, or simply the Lady wishing to speak with you alone first, but I can share that it'll only worsen if you reach the Spire's summit together."
"It's not..."Aniks mood slightly soured. The Herald looking forward to his arrival was concerning, mainly because of there first talk went terrible. Aniks still didn't regret what he had said to the Herald of Pharasma he felt like it was justifiable. With a clearly false smile "That's wonderful, I can only imagen what Pharasma's Herald wants" Then Aniks turned Celu he squeezed her hand slightly tighter "As much as I want you to be there with me..."
The man grinned light-heartedly at his response, very obviously recognising the disdain, but fell silent to allow the young couple their moment. After all, there were many flowers blooming in the garden and he was the one who could tend to them.
Celu glared up at Aniks. "you're not leaving me here for long." It wasn't a question - she didn't care if he had to defy a goddess, she wasn't letting him out of her sight for that long. Not after what he'd done last time.
"I won't..." Aniks said pulling her into a hug, this was clearly for him. It was probably a bit longer than it should have been. He was worried, Pharasma as of late was starting to unnerve him. At first she was just another god, but now he wasn't so sure. Aniks pulled away leaving her with a white leather jacket around her shoulders he had bought for the snowy countries. However he didn't feel cold. "Please stay warm" then went to the stairs, to find the Mother of Souls. He calmed himself trying to clear his thoughts and mostly his worries about what was going to happen when he saw Pharasma again.
"if you stay safe," Celu whispered in return, reluctantly letting Aniks leave and slipping on his jacket. A comforting hand landed on her shoulder as she watched him ascend the staircase.
"He'll be safe with my Lady. Now, yours is a life ended and renewed. Whilst they have their chat, why don't we talk for a while?" suggested the stranger, gently guiding Celuriel to a park bench as Aniks disappeared from ear- and eye-shot.
Meanwhile, the Champion in question found himself climbing a near-endless staircase. Occasionally, other figures - strange psychopomps with forms ranging from stunningly beautiful to aberrant and grotesque - would pass him, never saying a word. Unlike his first visit, nobody stopped his ascent. Eventually, after what felt like hours of climbing, he reached a set of white marble gates that seemed to glimmer in the starlight pouring in from pale arches around the tower he now found himself in. A familiar angel-like figure stood waiting, shooting him a wordless look of annoyance before pushing the gates open and striding in, clearly expecting him to follow.
Even to Aniks, the architecture was gorgeous, and this was the same Dark Elf who has only really consider the two women in his life to be gorgeous. It was more that the barkeep was trying to pay attention to things like that. It was an attempt to chill his nerves. He thought slightly on the psychopomps, if being Pharasma's Champion turn him into one. He would very much was to keep his body looking normal-ish. Especially after seeing some of the odder looking... he stop that line of thoughts, it wasn't going to help him now. His mind was silent till he was the Steward of Skien. Aniks returned the look of annoyances with his own. He thought he would have added a sarcastic bow, one that meant for nobles I am displeased that we have to speak again "A better welcoming than last time I suppose, I swear she would not be happy with me, unless I took out all the Undead in existence." he whispered to no-one impractical. Following in the same determined pace as when he departed from Celu.
"Even then," came the sharply hissed reply from the woman ahead of him, carrying back to his ears as he stepped onto the familiar dark marble floor of Pharasma's throne room. The foreboding presence of his Lady was immediately apparent, pressing at the corners of his vision with all the strength of true divine power. Ahead of him, the Steward stepped forward and sunk to her knees, her steely wings folding in deference. "Your Champion, my Lady."
She didn't need to say a word. Aniks felt the compulsion to step forward, to kneel before the woman he could now find the ability to look at. If the psychopomps he'd seen before had been beautiful, they paled in comparison to Pharasma. White hair and expressionless pale eyes paired themselves with silver skin and sleek robes trimmed in red, and as her gaze fell upon him, he could feel the full weight of the burden she'd laid upon them three years prior. Could feel the full weight of all that he held around his soul, for good and bad. She seemed to be waiting for him to speak; to kneel.
A small smile came from the drow, he had gotten her. It was surprisingly easier than he thought. The smile was short lived as he enter the final room. He took a second he they entered the throne, something was off. Everything looked normal so what was it. He stood next to the Armored Psychopomp and kneeled. As much as he hated that, Pharasma of all the beings in the world, desevered respect. Plus agrueing over whether he should kneel or not was not something he wanted to deal with. Then Aniks released what was off, he has seen Pharasma. He could look at her, the compusion to not look at her was gone. He still remained looking down at the black marble floor. Last time he stood not to far from this spot when he was in this throne room."Was there something you wished to bring to my attention?"
The temperature in the room palpably dropped. The Lady of Graves needed to say nothing to indicate her disapproval at his demeanour. "Steward, leave us." The words had barely left her mouth before the steel-clad angel had vanished - teleporting to some other part of Pharasma's domain, most likely. The room hung silent in anticipation of the Lady's speech and instead echoed with the click of heels against marble; a sound that stopped much closer to where Aniks knelt.
"Not many would dare bring a guest to the realm of death. Yet my champion thought it his right. Not many would actively seek return here, either, in the face of their procrastination." They both knew she didn't refer to anything recent. "Three years have passed whilst you dwelt in a shard's embrace. Three years of increasing danger. Though you grow stronger, you yet fail to impress." She let the words stand in the air, her disappointment illustrated in the pressure exerted through her sheer power.
"I would not have selected you had I not seen more worth in you. You shall learn, and when your learning is complete - and only then - you shall return to the Material Plane."
With that Aniks was back to normal. Well as normal as one could be infront of the Goddess of Death. In truth Aniks had thought this might be a reason for her calling, infact he was slightly hoping for something like that. It just happened a lot sooner than he had thought it would. However this learning was not what removed his nerves for this meeting. It was the comment about bringing guest, that had snapped him back to into a more familiar version of himself.
"-as long these people in the other room are Champion's I will do my hardest to keep them out of harms way." He repeated from their first conversation privately, where Pharasma spoke through Celuriel (He never did get a proper explaination as to how she did that.) Then for the first time Aniks choose to look at Pharasma. His golden eye beamed with determination. "My stance has not change champion or not. I brought her because I do not want Celuriel to be in the Material Plane to have her kidnapped by her sister while I am here studing here in The Boneyard. While she is here, she more safe from her sister. As safe as she can be that is, I would not have to worry about her as much. I never thought it was right or wrong, I just wish for her to be safe."
Aniks dropped his head back to the black marble floor. It was cool to the touch, however that might be just Pharasma's presence dropping the temperature. Aniks paused before speaking again. "This training, will it be similar to that a Psychopomps as well as more than general knowledge on how to be your champion?"
"It was not unexpected that you would bring your consort. You would be wise to assume other beings will not tolerate unexpected appearances so well." Pharasma's eyes shone white in the pale light of her throne room, emotionless and cold as Aniks made his plea. She was not one so easily impressed, nor one who would bother wasting time on pointless words. "Mrtyu, or another of the ushers, shall ensure her safety when you are otherwise occupied."
As Aniks knelt, he felt the whisper of wind against his skin as the Lady of Graves returned to her throne. "To train you as a psychopomp would be to relieve you of your status. Your soul is not yet ready for judgement. You will be trained as a Champion. My herald will assist in martial matters. The psychopomps will guide you through understanding the River. When you are ready, you shall learn judgement." She didn't need to explain how he'd learn that. It wasn't something you could write down. "I grant you this opportunity to ask questions of your goddess. When they are done, and whether answered or not, you will find guidance past the doors."
" Thank you" Aniks said he meant it as well. Then the idea of Her Herald teaching anything martial made Aniks loose the slight smile he had. Of Course thats why Steward of Skein was looking forward his return. He could almost feel the pain in his near future. He tossed that painful thought aways. Question Pharasma? He had already gotten the information about being trained. His soul, how to fix it was something he would like to know. If she knew about the fall? So many things." As much as I would wish to ask you plenty of questions , I will limit myself to three. Is there a way to fix my soul here in Boneyard?"
It was a long moment before Pharasma spoke, and her words were chosen with deliberate care when she finally did. "You will better understand the answer to that when you have come to know the River, and the way a soul is formed. Souls are capable of much change in their existence. To damage a soul, in mortal terms, would most often refer to the influence of negative energy - such as that used in undeath. This can be undone." Aniks felt a sudden chill as her gaze turned piercing - even without meeting the gaze, it felt like somebody was staring through him at all he hid, at all he held dear. The cold was icy, and yet unfamiliar.
"You, however, were led to a place where causality and reality fell thin. Your soul remains confused by the journey, recognising that it should both be present in this realm and that of mortals. It leaves whispering imprints upon the fabric of fate where you might walk. It is a complex form of damage. The Boneyard has methods of repairing it. They will not be used until your mortal path ends."
" Something to deal with at a later date then..." Aniks said more to himself then to the Goddess of Death.There was a slight pause before the second question"Cayden and Iomedae said something after their fall, you might have already know that this was going to happen? Is this true?"
This answer came noticeably quicker. There was no doubt that she hadn't guessed this question would come. "The pathways of fate are not unknown to my sight. Mortal decisions shape them, ever-changing. I knew of the chance. There were far worse outcomes avoided." After a brief pause to allow him to think on the ramifications of that, she continued. "Some pathways now lead you to question my decision of not sending out a warning. Fate wanders where it will. Interference is unnecessary and unwanted."
Remaining silent he thought on that. It was about the answer he thought he would receive. " I would be lying if that was not my first thought. However I choose not to think to long on that, you have reasons for what you do. Though you might have seen this question coming, why choose me? You have been interested in me for a while, from what I know of you your very... distant when it come to mortal affairs"
"That is not an answer you will be able to understand. You are mortal. Though you possess strong intellect, you know little. To explain the myriad of reasons to a mortal would take longer than they have - and they would, in the end, still fail to comprehend." She didn't say it unkindly. Nor did the question surprise her, from the continued evenness of her tone of voice. "But let it not be said that there was no attempt made. You walk through dangerous times. War lingers on all horizons. Entities beyond your ken seek to intervene, seeking perversion of what should be amongst countless other goals. I selected what would best serve my interests, regardless of your own comprehension. Do not waste too much time thinking of 'why'. You are Death's champion. Time is not yours to waste."
The dark elf was unsure how to feel about this. It was, again, the answer he knew he would get. The grand game of gods was often played with that. However it was not useless questions. Aniks thought it would be possible he could ask other questions before this training was over. Just not now. "Then I will keep this in mind on the trails ahead. Thank you for answering my questions, though I might have others they can wait for another time. If you have nothing else you wish to tell me, I have used my three question so I will now leave you to your work." Aniks stood and gave the Goddess of Death a bow, a respectful one. He stood there to see if he would be dismissed behind those doors. Where Pharasma said there would be guidance.
"...You shall not delay. May your training be well, Champion." A slight gesture towards the doors had them flung open to reveal the waiting form of her Steward, one hand already resting on the blade at her hip.
The door was shut and no click was heard. Yet Aniks knew that trying open the door was a useless effort. The steward was near. His hip felt a bit heavy as Silver sat in silence as he caught sight of the sword. Had she had it before? No he would have noticed. Though it was just as likely she went to pick the blade up. Aniks that might have been the case, this kind of training wasn't the pratice you'd get in the inner planes. "We are not even going to be close to acquaintances, by the end of this. However we could be civil about this..." he made a gesture with one hand to the room around them. "Well as civil as one could be when you know your lose terribly."
Any emotion behind the steward's gaze was impossible to discern, made that way likely intentionally by her shadowed helmet. "Your shortcomings are already well-known." It wasn't a kind response; more one that held an edge - and it was swiftly followed by a sharp blow via her wing, intended to knock Aniks to the floor (DC25 reflex save). "Your constitution is frail. Your strength is lacking. You hold emotions that swell to irrationality. I am led to believe that your power lies in magic and skill. You will prove so before we talk."
Behind her, a stairway swung into motion, its guardrails connecting to the dark floor on which they stood with a hollow ringing sound. Not waiting to see whether Aniks had taken her blow well, the Steward strode down them, fully expecting him to follow.
Aniks might have thought how the Steward wing's were way harder than he thought it would be. However as he was now staring at a marble floor. His thoughts leaned more on 'no I was right, we're going to hate each other.' He brought himself up from the cool black marble floor. He remained silent as talking was clearly the wrong thing to do. So he followed, keeping the personal thoughts to himself. As if he said anything , it would be labeled as an excuse and so far this was nothing.
Journal #37th: Not Alone
After my failed attempt to get the umbrite, which included a walk to check on my half-siblings, of course, I did not say anything to them, simply watched them. I know that I should probably feel something when I looked at them but in all honesty. I think I just stopped. Stopped caring about them.
Putting my mess of a family aside for a while, today was the day we would embark to the continent of Iskaldhal. A land that is blanketed in snow, so much snow, in fact, it reflected the light perfectly. Which made the ground shine like, well I wouldn't know. Being a drow, I was blind for most of our travels through the snowfields.
That morning had gone by without much of a problem, being told by Mery our paladin Ashlyn would not be traveling with us. Our three-year disappearance had left the sorceress missing her would-be fiancee, so she would not be joining us this time around. Neither would Saeyrn, the elven ranger from the Elven Kingdom of Galathin, she would be staying in Ironfalls.
With all that sorted out, The Lost Ones headed to Ilendras, a place we were quite familiar with as we had once saved it from a different shard of the void. We planned on using the Elf Gate found in that city to the one in Iskaldhal, Which I think connected to the Tower of Sathelis? It's been a while, I haven't seen the spelling nor have I had a reason to remember that place, being that Celuriel and I were in The Boneyard. Currently anyways. I'm getting off-topic.
Teleporting over to the gate we had shown up quite early, as traveling across the world brought with it some time zone issues. The Elf Gate was set up quite yet. The two guards that were stationed at the gate were normal. However, as we talked to them, one thing became apparent. A different group of adventurers had shown up and used. The group of adventurers should have been on the boat. Now instead of having fifteen days ahead of them. It was us that was several days behind. A race to the shard. I wonder if they had destroyed the shard and have moved on. Is it been a couple of months since then? I would be concerned if they hadn't been dealing with the harp by now.
Then as the Elf Gate activated, we crossed the portal into a new land. While I could go into a description of the Tower of Sathelis, however, we were told we could not stay there very long as they do not take kindly to guests. So we left without much of a word, but something was off about all of this exchange. The snow elves were just odd. Maybe it was just how they looked at me.
It was not the typical look an elf gives a drow. It was different.
As we left the tower, we followed the stone path until it trailed off into cobblestone, then dirt. The cold air almost burned my lungs, as the scent of what I could assume was pine trees filled my nose. While this was nice, I noticed very quickly my hands would cover my face blowing hot air to warm it up. Soon the mountains opened up into the somewhat frozen lake. Along the pathway, as our ragtag group found a…
Well, I cannot remember him that well an Aasimar? Or just a human. I cannot remember.
Regardless, this man holding a black cane. He was a regal man, trimmed beard with dark hair. This was Nialnir Mippin. This introduction was meet with goblin corpses lay at his feet. Being that our party was somewhat nice, we decided to give this man, a chronicler of events according to him, a lift to the next town over.
Upon our travels, my scimitar, a sentient blade named Silver, decided or noticed something about the man's cane. It is constantly trying to get me to be more social and make friends. Personally, I believe my weapon just wanted to make a pass at his cane. If that's even possible, I think I am going to keep Silver away from anything that can think and is vague weapon shape.
Needless to say, I hardly spoke to the man.
It became increasingly difficult to see, to the point where I had a new form of blindness, snow blindness. Celu had to lead me around for a bit while we were in town. Gain without much of a problem; we got caught up in stupid events as we had somehow decided to deal with a local kobold problem in their mines. As the kobolds had been kidnapping people and miners, when we could be doing anything else. Anyways, we spent the night at some tavernas we have done so many times before. Nothing special really, I woke up early in the morning too by some snow goggles. Again I was not called a drow or even a dark elf by the general store employee. Concerning but I'll figure out something, it's still weird.
It makes me uneasy.
Being that we are the 'heroes,' we attempted to deal with those kobolds. The mines were not too difficult to get to, and it was a clean sweep. The Kobolds were nothing is not annoying; we took care of them with ease. They kept screaming about bring down the moon, or their goddess maybe both. Unlocked the makeshift cages and dealing with these off traps was honestly the more dangerous part of this mining adventure.
Once things die down having dealt with the remaining kobolds, exploring revealed a path leading to a door. While I cannot recall was written across two stone doors in draconic close to a dark pool water and the figure with an even darker cloak. A description of this person will have to remain a cloaked figure, as that was all I could see. Speaking to them revealed little, but as the others tried to ask what was behind the door, it eventually turned its attention to myself.
"Don't you have an appointment to get too?" they said. Which then I felt a compulsion to leap into the cold dark water.
Now, before I continue, I have some concerns as to who this person was, they knew I would be leaving. While I haven't found any clues as to who this was. As far as I know, they are not some Psychopomp of Pharasma and seems to be an entity whole their own. It's worrying nevertheless that somebody on the mortal plane knew that. It's scary even to contemplate what that would be.
Then as if on cue, Pharasma spoke telling me I shouldn't resist. Before people could attempt to stop me from leaping into the water, I in a few words explained I would be taking a trip like Licia. As they noticed I was eyeing the water, they understood thankfully. I turned to Celu quickly explaining telling her I needed to go to The Boneyard.
She replied, "not alone."
Then the two of us plunged into the depths of that dark pool.
Journal #36th: Matron Nivinle Alas'thil [Text Role Play]
After the shopping trip to gather the colder weather clothing, Aniks had decided to put one of his plans in motion. While the materials of the blade did not have to start in his home, he had other uses for umbrite besides wanting to fashion a blade out shadow metal. Before starting he made sure people knew where he was going and that he be back, teleport was a useful spell afterall. Aniks wrote “@Nivinle I feel like it is at least important to inform you that I will once again be departing this country again tomorrow. I am teleporting into Vaermyrhel in an hour so I can purchase umbrite for personal use. I would also be lying if I was not curious to see what progress our home has made in those three years.”
Her response came surprisingly quickly for one who hadn't had much need for the book over the past three years. "@Aniks Arrive in my study. It is better for us to speak about this in person."
With the hour past of packing for Celuriel and himself for the winter countries. Aniks casts the spell of teleportation, when the dark elf appeared in what Aniks thought was the study she spoke about. A place both drow study in their early life. He did have a pang of nostalgia while appearing in the room, not much of one.
Nivinle Alas'thil, apparently now matron of their house, fixed her cool stare on him from her seat behind the desk. These three years hadn't changed her much. Her clothes were noticeably finer, but still as practical as ever, and Andirifkhu's tattoo remained on display behind a protective sleeve of translucent fabric. "Umbrite is a dangerous material. You've done your research, I hope."
"Right down to business then, I would expect nothing less" Her bother said with a raised eyebrow. He remained where he was in the study glancing at all the changes over the years as he spoke. None of the books looked familiar, the furniture had been replaced . The only thing that seemed to be the same was some of the ornamental weapons displaced on the shelves and long the walls. "Umbrite a rare metal and is something both you and I are familiar with. The Benefits with the metal work well with people who tend to hide shadows, and forging the metal is complex and..." He paused both thinking and looking at a particular familiar weapon, He thought it was his mother' blade. "if I recall correctly Duergar are the most common race to know how to deal with this metal."
His staring didn't go unnoticed. Nivinle raised a hand and called the weapon to her without a word, catching it with a casual sureness to her grip. "You recognise this still? It serves me well. As a memento. A reminder. A warning," she said calmly, driving the sword's point into the wooden surface. "Regardless, you are correct in the basics. The method of forging the dark metal originated from the deep dwarves. They aren't skilled enough to keep to secrecy. You've seen the Emperor's blade. Our kind forged that." She leant back in the chair, leaving the blade alone, crossing her arms. Andirifkhu's mark almost seemed to glow in the dim light. "Unworked umbrite ore is near impossible to find when intentionally looking. Even then, it appears only in the deepest echelons of the Underdark. Always shrouded in complete darkness. The miners suffer for finding it. Luck leaves them. Death comes sooner. Insanity is welcomed. If they had been more intelligent, our siblings would have introduced you to a vein." Instead - and it went unsaid - they sent him to House Umbra. "How much of this information is new?"
"I remember that blade almost decapitating the both of us when Mother thought is best to personally test our skills in combat and teamwork. She was never one to hold back, even when we were in our early fifties." Aniks finally walked forward near the desk. Their mother had once pressed that blade against his neck, while Nivinle had been pinned by her magic in their first attempt at working together. It wasn't a pleasant experience for either if he recalled "As for new information, I had not known that Drow were the ones who forged that blade. When I asked him about it, he said it was a gift from the Drow. As for the more unpleasant aspects, only rumors and hearsay. I had thought the metal's difficulty to find created those rumors, being that people often died while searching." He paused rolling his head back and forth as if tossing a thought inside in his head. "I'd rather deal with the vein of the dark metal, House Umbra was an experience."
"No, she wasn't. Even in her death throes, her bladework was inspiring." A smirk played at Nivinle's lips as she glanced at the sword once again before returning her attention to Aniks. "Good. An emperor recognising gifts from our people is useful. Anyway. The deaths surrounding it are partly from the difficulty. The rest are from its luck-destroying properties. Fades when worked, most of the time, and rarely affects the wielder. But unworked sounds like what you want." There was a slight questioning tone in her voice. She very clearly expected an answer from Aniks."And Umbra kept you alive. Umbrite would have killed you, though Vasestra hoped the former would as well. You'd prefer the grave over what you've been through?"
It was a very blunt question, and one devoid of emotion.
"In a manner of speaking, yes unrefined would work, but I lack knowledge on the forging of the metal. Umbrite is useful unrefined for certain people, but I wish to be in a more workable form. The dark metal would also help cover my missteps in stealth." Aniks said. He took note of the smirk, as it showed him that even in this oddly formal meeting, if you call this a meeting. She wasn't being as stoic as the last time, prehab's the past 3 years have been good for House Alas'thil. "At the time Yes, I personally found Eilistra's use of a toxic potions to bind me to her more than unpleasant. All because she loved that I was 'beautifully broken' in her eyes."
"Then you have a design in mind for it," Nivinle said with a raised eyebrow, paying close attention to Aniks's exact phrasing. "Unless you plan on learning how to work it from an ingot form. An experience that takes time. Time you should put towards preventing missteps in stealth. You're an Alas'thil." The words were sharp and condescending, but her tone remained as serious as ever - quite unlike their mother, who would have been forcing him to train under threat of whipping at this point for admitting his failures. House Alas'thil was proud, especially on matters of stealth and assassination. "...I meant now, not then. This Eilistra. Did you deal with her when you left?"
"I might be Alas'thil, but this arcane ability has forced me to change how I do things. A minor annoyance really. As for time spent, I need to learn to use them effectively so I am not helpless while in combat. That also includes my ability to use the magic outside a fight. Hence why I'm interested in learning how to forge Umbrite, I have never been one to start with the basic level of anything. With as much as my group travels I'll have plenty of time to learn both. " Aniks said coolly. It was true that House Alas'thil never started Aniks or Nivinle with the basics of anything. They were nobility and was expected to be better than the common Drow of the house. It was a harsh way to learn growing up, but so is the life of one of Drow nobility. The ebony elf had a grimly joking tone as he said "Death does not like it when I die, besides dying currently would be a problem for me." Then returning to a more normal tone he continued "I had told you this before while I was stuck in that child-like form, I had slipped a knife through her heart."
"Helpless?" It wasn't scorn in her voice. More.. interest. Intrigue. "Smithing umbrite cannot be done while moving, but other training can. Get yourself to the standards our House holds. You won't have forgotten them. When you have, we can arrange something with the forge." There wasn't any way Nivinle could let the books holding secret techniques go wandering across Iskaldhal. She'd have to acquire them first regardless, but that would be too reckless even for a matron to excuse. The elder elf shrugged off the reminder of memories lost. It had been three years. This happened. "Good, on both counts. You dying would be problematic. And in speaking of vengeance: will you visit our siblings today?"
"How else would I describe learning to be an Arcanist without formal or even informal training. As an assassin, I had more than 60 years of formally brutal training compared to 3 months of being an Arcanist. That training I still have not forgotten, it's just a little bit difficult to perform certain feats, that were once easier for me. The form is this there, but now I can use magic to counterbalance the skill I had lost. If I need to disappear, I know I can do just that." He said, then took her words into account and with a raise of his eyebrows. “If you wish to test me, I am a rather patient dark elf. Or is this to see how capable of an Arcanist I could be for House Alas’thil? We have never really been known as the house with an overabundance of arcane power within our walls. Unless that has changed as well.” He paused for a moment curious about why she would mention them. Then with a smirk similar to hers "You mentioned placing them less comfortable position, I would be lying if I was not curious."
"Both suggestions are accurate to an extent," Nivinle allowed, holding up a hand to ensure he didn't speak until she was done. "Arcane power is not our House's strength, but those who wield it do so well. Our mother has proven that. So have I. I do not wish for my wandering sibling to fumble his spells in battle and scar our reputation. When you wielded blades alone, I didn't need to care." Indirectly telling him that yes, he was still one of the better fighters in their House and she'd never had to worry about him because of that. "With this new power and lack of practice, even Vasestra might defeat you with her magic. So train. When you're done being helpless, I'll allow you to prove that skill in a test, as you guessed." She paused, a glitter of amusement in her eyes. "Perhaps even against those two. It might be encouraging. As for their circumstances. Rikzir has largely been involved with the defence of our builders. He is to assist in the creation of a number of traps and systems that require fine handwork and personnel testing. He is also responsible for maintaining sanitary standards, as this is on our grounds." She didn't bother mentioning their younger sibling's lack of magical power. The lack of healing spells or prestidigitation was his issue. "Vasestra is aiding House Arkenviir in penance for upsetting their work in the Umbra ruins. I believe your elf ruined her plans from escaping those duties." House Arkenviir was known for magical research and forbidden knowledge: whatever Vasestra was doing probably involved a lot of heavy lifting and being subject to magical experimentation. Nivinle didn't expand with detail.
The drow absentmindedly shrugged his shoulders "I had expected as much, obtaining Umbrite and working it was not something I thought I could do in less than a day. As well, I knew it was not something that coin alone could by. As for your test, you likely right. Alone Vasestra could have a chance to defeat me, as much as that annoys me to say. I refuse to stay like this for long.” A smirk played across his face for only a moment as he said: “If I were to be tested against our sibling, I’ll refrain from turning them to ash.” Aniks paused for only a moment at the later part of Nivinle statement two things had become clear to him. He pressed his hands together bring them to his face. Deeping breathing in then out loudly clearly showing displease with at something Nivinle had said. He closed his eye for only a second as he breathed out. Aniks made sure his quick smile was hidden by his hands. He was still so happy Celuriel had removed his brother’s more intimate body parts “I would prefer not to a uncle out of incest.” Clearly not hiding the disgust in his voice “Why could she have not just taken a male from a different house to get pregnant from. At least that would strengthen some tie to a different house. Do the house a favor, and not remind them to regenerate is a spell.” Just knowing Vasestra and Rikzir had tried was enough to make him disgusted. He set that disturbing revelation aside returning to a more formal tone “Speaking of Umbra, I do have some news for you about the Bloodwalker and the Human from three years ago. Nothing major mind you, just that Riven is far south in the Empire and heading south still and that Human, well she’s heading to another continent.”
"They're well aware that 'regenerate' exists," Nivinle commented with a raised eyebrow. "It would seem that even such a spell cannot completely combat damage. In any case, her success would not be one for long. House Alas'thil does not need the reputation they would bring through those acts." The topic ended there, as far as she was concerned. Aniks's news, however, was concerning. "I have heard whispers of the 'lord of blood' returning for the past year or so. If this human not only survived but is only now leaving as he heads south, I would assume that he trusts her enough to handle a task elsewhere. Does it interfere with your plans?"
"That we could both agree on." Bring that disturbing chapter to a close. Aniks had to keep the pride he felt in check for a moment when he found out what Celu had done, was more permanent than he thought was. "Not currently no" He paused for a moment considering what she said "Riven is going to be a problem but not now. He's been heading south for a while it seems, about two weeks ago I found this out. So they might not have chosen to leave at the same time. The human is taking a boat with another group of adventurers. I am working under the assumption that those two are a part of a small group, working to a comment goal. And in working to achieve that goal, they do not need to be near each other. I am still working on piecing all this together, I have little information to work on."
Nivinle listened to Aniks's explanation with an expression of intrigue. Finally, she gestured to the chair opposite the desk. "Sit. If this goal is what lead to the events of your previous visit, then I have reason to care. Tell me what you know about these adventurers, and about this goal that Drast and the girl seem to be working on."
Aniks sat across from his sister. Being that Silver was close at hand, he placed the blade in across his legs. Entering the Underdark without a weapon was asinine, he placed his interlocking fingers on top of the pommel. Then leaned forward giving this his full attention. “No, we were here to retrieve something Riven had stolen. The only house that might listen and provide information was our since I had at the time had bared Andirifkhu’s Mark. Not because of their goal, it matters for you however because he was establishing a sphere of influence in the Underdark. If I recall he was the one who was leading Drow in a revolution. Something that will become important in a second” Then shook his head “I cannot tell you what their goal is if I knew half of the problem would be solved. I can tell you of at least three but I do not have a name for one of them, though it is likely there is five of them. Since the throne room, we found Riven in under house Umbra had Five thrones. I hardly think a Matron of any house would allow more than her throne in her house. Riven was establishing a foothold in the Underdark. Revolution, Working with house Umbra, the growing influence he had. That is the important part to consider. Now while he performing that ritual, he let slip it was my fault that he came across this information. In truth, it was my fault, but that information let me know somebody within the walls of the Celestem Temple had told him about what I had researched. While I and The Emperor had requested that research to be gathered, it did not contain a ritual.” He held up three fingers.
"This person working with Riven was first, high enough rank to acquire information that should be kept absolutely secret. Second, the person is likely skilled enough with rituals to either understand how to perform a ritual they found while collecting our research or created the ritual from scratch. Which the latter suggest a higher comprehension of magical ability. Third, most likely excluded information from that research we had asked for.” He pulled down each finger as he made a point “This person has to have a high enough rank in this temple to have access to dangerous information, meaning they would have a considerable amount of power and information at hand at any given moment. That temple contains some dangerous knowledge. I do not have this person’s name. Now to the human. Sonja and her new group is concerning. I do not doubt for a second that one of my group's previous lover which had tried and failed to kill her, is traveling with Sonja by sheer coincidence. That, however, is currently besides the point” Aniks waved a hand while saying that as if the information was not important “Sonja had been apart of a different group, which that was starting to gain a bit of recognition in the empire. As they were invited to the Ball in Undria, similar to my group. When they helped us reclaim the fort, then ventured into the Underdark to save their friend who had been kidnapped while we attacked the fort. That does not matter. That human had survived the encounter and returned without a problem from the Underdark. As we meet her fifteen days ago. I caught her in a bit of a lie, she claimed Riven kept her as a pet while in the Underdark. Yet if I recall you claimed she skipped around house Umbra without a care in the world and like she owned the place. Something she would either do if she had Riven’s protection, or if she was working with Riven. The fact she made it out alive, implies the second. Since a pet would probably not have made her way out of the Underdark.
She also knows exactly what artifact we were after, which she would only know if she was speaking terms with Riven and person at the temple. As for the other two missing members, I have either meet them and do not have enough evidence to connect them to the prior three, or they have yet to show their hand.” He paused taking a break but clearly wasn’t done yet. “ But Riven had made me realize something, it doesn’t make sense. Why try and start a revolution within drow society, it’s a losing battle. So why, unless there is an ulterior motive to his actions. Influence over the realm or political power in certain vital circles, like the one in the Temple and Sonja who had likely failed in her attempt. Logic would likely dictate the others have or are attempting the same. If they had that, accomplishing want they truly wanted would be easy. Trusted Temple member, well-known adventurers, a revolutionary with connection, they could accomplish many things given the power they could amass. Easily too depending on what they are asking for. So it makes sense that this group wants something, what that something is I am unsure. That is what I am concerned about, they are slowly setting themselves in an important position, which makes them harder to get hands on.
Nivinle stayed quiet through his explanation, listening with curiosity lingering in her eyes. At some stage of his speech, she'd withdrawn a piece of paper to take notes - not in Undercommon, but in a twisting code that made no sense to Aniks's eyes. "You're not mentioning what these artifacts are." It was a question of sorts, with the finality of a statement. "That much would be useful. Anyway. Useful and intelligent of them to place themselves in high seats. Protection and lack of suspicion in most cases. Your group has a lot of trust. Another adventuring group, as the girl did, would get similar. The Temple has implicit trust aboveground, and House Umbra were strongest of us. Most importantly, they all have power." She let a shimmering purple light hang above her hand in indication of what she meant. "Which indicates they will not be found in merchants guilds. Looking into recent ascents would give leads. List any you know of." A piece of paper was placed before Aniks, a red quill at its side. It already dripped with blood-red ink. Nivinle shrugged, and began touching on a different topic. "Drast's motives aren't as simple as you think. Initially, he had three noble Houses on his side. V'drath, Visthala, Szithna. Something changed after his visit to Arkenviir. Something that spurred V'drath and Umbra into conflict, and Umbra to ally with him instead. Civil war would have been easy to spur had he stayed on V'drath's side. But he switched. And claiming civil war or revolution does not explain the vampires." She gave Aniks a long, evaluating look. "You said he heads south?"
Though his mind quicker raced through limited options, really limited, as he took the paper. One stood out but it was a loose thread at best, but he was at the fort. That would explain the comment he made about three parties being involved. The Bandits, Us and that group, and the mad scientist was the former master of the mages guild? No he was Aniks thought, those memories were still jumbled in head. "I was not fully aware of the civil war, only hearing mention of it in passing. At the surface it does not make sense, a lack of information is clearly the problem for that. As for vampires I could not tell you a connection between the war and the vampires. I believe I was once told they hold some power in the empire, being that their long lived creatures I would not be surprised. He could have gone to them for any number of reason, power,information, favor, vampirism. And yes, he was near the southern border of the Empire." Aniks wrote the Alchemist's name down, just his first followed by his former position. "The only one that fits the bill that I am aware of was a former master of the Mages Guild in Ilendras. Yet the connection is not a firm one, it's just as likely for Alchemist to apart of that group, or just as likely for him to be attempting pay back for my groups involvement in his removal from the Mages Guild. With the Alchemist that would cover what direct information on Arcane and Divine matters. Riven would be a connection to the Underdark and darker dealings. Sonja would be the trusted adventurer able to move from place to place without any problem. Other options could be nobility, military, religions, and possibly those remain two could even be outside this country." Then a pause as he leaned back letting his hands off of Silver. His face now taking on a more serious tone as he looked at his sister. "How much do you know about recent news, as in important world altering new?"
She looked almost amused at his comments regarding the vampiric involvement, though that dissipated as he continued to speak. "I will address three points before answering your question. The first being that the vampiric nobility underlying this land is tied heavily to the Empire's nobility, though not in any direct way. Vampires can't breed. However, south leads to another country. Gothadrun. If Drast has allies among the vampires of Gothadrun, his plans will advance quickly. They parade openly in the higher courts. It is part of why few challenge them." At the side of her paper, she drew a deliberate line through a rune she'd placed. "The second being that I have heard of this alchemist. He had many dealings in Yue'thintar. Finding him isn't impossible." A second line. "Finally: you have missed the most obvious candidate from your list." She didn't ask before summoning it to her and writing a name in looping script.
Emperor Aneirin of Aletheia
The paper was flung back by magic, settling down in front of Aniks in the barest wisp of wind. Nivinle didn't expand on her addition, instead following what she'd said and answering his question. "Nocticula has risen. Iomedae and Cayden have fallen. Norgorber too, to our lady's pleasure. These are what you refer to?"
Taking a second to look, the name made since but Aniks couldn't bring himself to write it. Cyne He'll circle back around to it. Something else took his attention away. Nocticula Risen? No that wasn't our doing, a side effect? Maybe. His face remained the same as he silently pondered this but spoke moments later "A single artifact did that, their fall was due to one mistake. I am being vague on purpose as these artifacts are something Pharasma herself had personally tasked us with getting rid of." He had hoped his mentioned of the Goddess of Death interest in removing them would stress how dangerous they were. "I am warning you now, as your brother and a champion. These artifacts should never have existed. Messing with them would be suicidal."
Interestingly, there wasn't a trace of greed or lust for power on the older drow's face. Instead - caution ruled. She raised an eyebrow. "Accidental godslaying artifacts. You insult me by thinking that I'm foolish enough to toy with artifacts that dangerous, brother. If this human girl seeks one, what calamity might Drast intend.." She looked sharply at him all of a sudden, eyes narrow. "How many of these exist? If one could slay a god, and Drast is splitting up his little group..." She'd allow him to make the connection there.
He shook his head "Insult? No it's because of the power of this artifact I am vague and given warnings. I warn you because Riven is likely in possession of one of them, a blade that reapers the soul from a body if I were to hazard a guess. Unless he's within the city I would advise staying far from him." Just talking about that blade reminded him of his personal attempt to claim it. And the side effects that came after, Again he thought that he might want to question Silver later. But placed those thoughts aside for a later date. "Pharasma said we needed to destroy six of them, two have been destroyed and I do not doubt that this group would want the others. We leave for a third tomorrow, which should leave us a 15 day head start on Sonja. Best to cut their attempt to claim them, instead of wrestling one from them."
"Noted. Disposables, then, if he does become a thorn in my side." She didn't need to explain that Aniks was dealing with Aniks-problems himself unless he asked specifically otherwise. He understood that already. House Alas'thil was clear on that. "Don't presume your plan will succeed. What are your plans for if she retrieves it first, or clashes with your group?" Honestly? Nivinle was testing his thinking processes at this point.
It was an unspoken agreement to not meddle in the others affairs. "We had picked an artifact with the best chance of success, while achieving other goals in the process that could possibly help aid us in this. If it comes down to it, my group is not afraid of fighting. I have only known the Paladin to shying away from one fight and rightly so in that instance. If they take that artifact then we'll track them down within reason. If it's temporarily lost to us, then we might find another to track down. Though..." his shoulders dropped and a long deep sigh escaped him "my group is ungodly stubborn and on more than one occasion slow when getting things done."
"Why does your group being slow affect you? You're capable alone. Especially once you have regained acceptable training," she rebuked. She didn't look particularly impressed. "Make them follow you instead of the other way around. They'll keep pace. Regardless, I also notice another failing. Are you aware of any of her powers? Or her allies? Those should be considered."
"There are benefits to traveling with a group. Especially after I found no information on dark elves in Iskaldhal. I might be able to sneak around unseen but if Drow were few in number I'll stand out like the moon at night. I know very well how surface folk treat our kind." Aniks paused thinking "She carried no weapon of notice, but I doubt she's not carrying something small at least. I had never seen her with a spell book or cleric symbol...." he paused again something twitched in the back of his head. Not a complete thought trying to come forth, but Aniks clearly had forgotten something. What was it? " She's possibly a Sorcerer or another kind of caster of some kind, she travels with a wizard skilled enough to teleport, I could get the information about that former lover of one my companies easily. If they follow, than leading them into a location were we hold all the cards and have more advantages would be easier."
Both his hands pressed against his face then dragged them down " I've warned them, I can only do some much before I choose to have them deal with the folly of their actions. I've done well in hiding, my names, titles, and blood on the surface. If it wasn't for a magic mirror they would never no my name. Given time I can expand my spell book to make that easier to deal that, few of them are too stubborn to listen my words so magic will have to work. As for hiding bodies, Ash is easy to hide , tricking them into drink a poison, a bit harder. Not impossible but tricky." Then musingly Aniks waived his right hand in the air, a slight laugh left him "If we do have to kill them, we could just leave that Half-Elf, Elf? The one that tried to kill one of my companions, alive. He did almost kill everybody in his former group. Would be a good scapegoat to leave that one alive. Being that he has done that once before."
Journal #35th: Emperor Aneirin of Aletheia
Pharasma’s domain, The Boneyard, a place where it takes weeks to find a blank journal. I had to use the last fifty pages to jot down all the notes I had decided to study life here in The Boneyard. It was not enough, but finding a blank journal was an excellent way to keep track of things here.
Before I begin recounting my training here, I should finish up what I was doing in the material plane. Flipping through the last couple of pages of my other journal, it seemed that I wrote about our return to Ironfalls, Azyel’s rune of unnatural lust, and seemed to stop there. So our trip to see the recently crowned emperor was not explained or my journey to my eldest sister to acquire umbrite.
It’s been what five months since a small group of us decided to travel to the city of Aletheia. Celu and I went of course, as did Kraia and Licia. As Licia was planes walking when we visited last, so I was responsible for the teleport. While I aimed for the courtyard, where we watched Cyne be dragged around meeting a potential wife. Overall that was amusing, so when we ended up in an unfamiliar jail cell. I was more than a bit surprised, and then we were met with a familiar face on the other jail cell. Sonja, the human adventurer who helped take our keep. Which was a bit of a problem, but that will become apparent later. I was less surprised that Pennyswaggle was there.
We talked for a moment, trying to convent the guard on duty to let us go. Pennyswaggle annoyed him into letting us go, a useful guy on occasion. Sonja asked if we could meet up for drinks, being nice we did not think anything of it and agreed. Leaving the jail, we walked to the palace inside without much of a problem.
Speaking to the new emperor was an ordeal, however. His personal assistant, a Gothadrun woman, named Veronika. She was sitting in what I assumed to be an entrance room, a study? Alysia Undria, his younger sister, had warned us about her. How annoying she could be. Ashlyn could have cleared this up in second being that she was a princess and all. However, Veronika was demanding out names and not allowing us to go and find Cyne, save for Sir Pennyswaggle, who she knew and let him pass. Kraia and Licia I told her I was nobility from House Alas’thil, that I had been knighted, as well as my full name. Leaving out my other more impressive title, she, of course, did not believe us. She also kept calling child, on account of her being a halfling. Amazingly enough, she claimed she did not have any knowledge of my house.
As if we were running out of options, who else rounded the corner but The High Priestess of the Celesthem, Aetha. She somehow was able to convince her with a couple of words to let us in. The Palace looked great, but still stupidly bright. We wondered the place until we found a room door that was darker than the rest. In case he was sleeping, we opened the door quietly to find a room that was just painted in darkness. In reality, it was just a rather dark room with grey paints and dark silken blankets. A quick glance at the bed showed the Emperor fast asleep. Alysia explained that with the Iomedae recent fall, her former champions sacrifice to bring up the shield that bound that twisted Tenaerul. Cyne took up that mantle being that we were out of the country when Ashlyn was meant to take that mantle, which caused some unintentional backlash. However, it seemed that they found a cure for that, but it’s if he wants to use it. That could explain why The High Priestess was there, to ease the pain of that burden he placed upon himself.
Now seeing that he was asleep, I wasn’t going to wake him. Instead, I took a second look into the room, which my eyes found a rather extensive and diverse bookshelf. I was even surprised to find volumes one through three of The History of the Aletheian Empire. I had only seen the second volume, while I thought about casually pick one up to read. Celuriel questioned how the history of a whole nation could be written in a book; the others had woken up Cyne.
To save a rather lengthy conversation, we spoke on things that must remain quiet. Licia had been talking with Cyne since he knew of some rather stupid things I had done. Azyel went to war with Cyne, which makes him a war hero. That is concerning, for no other reason other than it’s Azyel. Regardless of how or why that happened, we moved on from that topic. As is showed how much had changed since the three levels we’ve been gone. Apparently, people have been attempting to break in to meet Aletheia’s most eligible bachelor, which I made mention to.
“I could pass that on to you as well” Cyne replied showing, while sick, he still had enough of his sass to talk back.
“Like to see you try,” I replied.’
“You unmarried of a noble house, Knight of Alethia, shouldn’t be to hard,” He said matter of factly. Listing how easy it could be.
“Good luck. We’ll be out of the country.” I told him which was in the truth. Cyne could have this done, but the only reason why I poked him about that was that we would have been out of the country before anything happened. Besides, I think he needed the sass to get him going.
Celu was not happy with that exchange, and in all honestly, if Cyne had done it. I would have been slightly pissed.
That was beside the point.
Eventually, we came to the topic of Veronika, annoying, and according to the Emperor, a rather good sparring partner. Before leaving a rather ‘fun’ idea came to mind. I quickly told Cyne of her attitude to small people and how she probably needs to be a bit more educated. Which I hoped I helped with. We left Cyne’s room and walking pass Veronika desk, and we walked passed without saying a word.
I popped my head in as we walked out telling her.
“You should probably pay attention to who you let into the Emperor’s room. House Alas’thil is known for there assassin.”
With a look of horror, she ran to Cyne’s room. Cyne eventually messaged me that her reaction was priceless, then to my concern, blood appeared on the page. I hope he’s going to be okay. It’s rather hard to check in on people when you are in a whole other plane of existence.
On the way to meet with Sonja at some bar, Celu had gotten a hold of something. Well, three somethings. Held in her arms were Cyne’s copies of The History of the Aletheian Empire. I was proud of her for all the wrong reasons.
Should probably make sure she does not steal from shops.
Now when we meet with Sonja in some random bar, this created a problem for us. At first the small group, which was here for restocking there material. It was something along those lines, that was not the important part. That important part came up in her casual conversation, which was the most…
Vexing, It was rather vexing to use a word that fits. As in that current moment, we could do nothing about it.
Sonja had spoken about Riven Draft. In such a casual way which indicated familiarity with him. While she was annoyed with how she was treated in the Underdark, annoyed being the right word as her tone, and being held in the Underdark against your own will is not something you would be ‘annoyed’ at. While her friend was getting fleshed warped in another drow household, she was prancing around Castle Umbra. She had unknowingly confirmed my thoughts on a few things. As the information my older sister told me, contradicted this. Though the two of us went into this in more personal detailed which will recount later.
Though I highly doubt this was mere coincidence, A name Licia had not heard in a long time had left Sonja’s lips as we talked. Syrin her former lover and fiance. Things could probably have been worse, by the end of it in all honesty it probably will be.
Regardless as we choose to leave, Sonja made it abundantly clear that she knew where we were going by saying before we teleported away.
“We will see you at the Harp” The next shard we had decided to destroy. We teleported away with the clock ticking, a race to the shard in another country.
Luckily, we thought we had some time before they would even arrive at the Continent of Iskaldhal. Roughly a month according to information in Sonja had said, her traveling company would be taking a boat across the sea to Iskaldhal. The Lost One decided to use fifteen days and use the Elf Gate in Ilendras to the Tower of Sathelis.
We broke up different sections of information we need to find out about Iskaldhal. Celuriel and I took up the research on where we could arrive since we cannot stay in Sathelis, how to avoid dragons in the country, as this continent is riddled with them. Finally, how to avoid any of the Harps powers, and any myths surrounding the shard in general. Hopping around to a handful of libraries in Aletheia to gather this information. I say we did a rather good job in the time we had, as did the others. There a couple of nights spent just pouring over the books he had borrowed and the quick notes we had taken.
Towards the end of the fifteen days, I had caught Celuriel around a pile of dusty books. In the middle of the night, asking what she was still doing up. The elf simply replied “...I’m trying to help.”
I sighed, approaching the table where she sat, plucked to top of book from the pile and sat down beside her. Staying up with her till it became too hard for either of us to focus on what we read.
Luckily for us, we wrapped up most of the information that night and copied it over for the rest of The Lost One. So sleeping in was an option for once, that was nice. The last two days we spent shopping for any and all necessary items required for the icy continent of Iskaldhal. I am not one for shopping normally, but that was nice to just relax for once.
The last day I decided to start one of the few plans I have had which required me to return to Vaermyrhel to House Alas’thil.
Journal #34th: 3 Years well spent.
It’s pleasant to be back in Ironfalls after I time dealing with the Unbroken March. It's grown a lot from what we’ve seen. Our personal houses in the mountain behind our keep had been finished. About a couple of days after returning and getting informed of this in Celu and I had moved into ours. It was surprisingly pleasant to have a place where people would not walk into bright in early looking for food. While I built another shelf for Celu’s ever-growing collection of books. I could have sworn I saw one of her rare smiles as she looked at her books. She’s currently in bed reading through a book she recently stole from the Emperor. Volume one of The History of the Aletheian Empire. Now, I’m writing down this journal entry of the past four days I am sitting in our windowsill overlooking the nightlife of Ironfalls. The dark outline of buildings and the twinkling lights from the town below from our mountain home. Despite knowing Kazric was probably walking around invisible, causing all kinds of interesting events to happen, it still seemed peaceful.
Once again, our lives, as usual, have become far more complicated. I will not even attempt to explain or hid some of the events that took place. It's too dangerous for common knowledge that must be kept to a few people as possible. That knowledge must be kept to The Lost One and them alone. However, I am not just going to skip to that part of the tale. We first must meet talk about the purple theatre and the show that was put on.
We briefly went over what we'd do with the book once we had it. We planned to take the Unbroken March to the boneyard and ask Pharasma if they were ways to destroy them. If not, then ask for her to hold on to the Shard until we could find a way to destroy it. All in all, we had thought it was the correct course of action. Before we left, I reminded our companions that we would need to get Jinne’s Silver Orb back. UNsure as to why, but I hardly think The Commander would be willing to speak to a dark elf if it was not significant. As we escaped the timeless room, our crew was found our selves spread throughout a purple theatre. Large currents of purples and tan walls with a handful of balconies. I found myself near Celu and Cid. Accompanied by several floating books, oh what do you call them. I have never seen a theatre production. Floating Theatre Program, that what they were called. Construct ushers attempt to usher us into the darken leather chairs. We denied them and replied with blades and bullets.
With our companies and us taking out their ushers and book, a voice boomed over the room. Telling us that the first act, 'The Dancer.' We turned, expecting to see the curtain rise to reveal the next entertainment to keep us busy. Instead, four long spider legs slide from under the violet cloth as four sets of glowing eyes one set being blue another purple, green and white. A large unknowable shadow of a spider held those bright eyes. The color combination of our lost friend that had been ripped from the timeless room. Our onslaught began as The Lost One started to target the legs, bullets, blade, and magic found their place in those legs. Each was had special resistances similar to the four people that were kidnapped.
One of the legs, I cannot remember which color had swiped Celu, with her Icy Scythe in hand she tore through the leg that held her. She couldn't escape. Celu had called out for me and in fearing she could be pulled under alone with that spider. I leaped from the top of a chair, closing the distance in the air with a dimensional slide. Cutting through the air, I appeared in the air in front of Celu. It was a risk in doing this because I had almost missed.Wrapping my arms around her, she gripped me, and I cased the other teleport like a spell. Dimensional Door, the two of disappeared from the grip of the spider now hiding behind some of the farther back chairs.
Needless to say, I was somewhat scared I couldn't pull that off. I had never used dimensional slide in a vertical manner which teleporting into that spider's range was risky, but it paid off. At least now I know that I can teleport mid-air, which could be useful to know. Celu took the needed time to heal, as I flung spell over the cover the theatre chairs provide. Meanwhile, Cid was laughing like a mad man as a rain of fire and metal bombarded of creepy legs. In the background, I could hear our companions, but I had yet to see them. This room was rather large and in saying that, It was still impossible not to notice the utter destruction Artemis was creating. I swear the beaver is the most dangerous part of The Lost Ones.
With each of the legs' destroyed' the glowing eyes faded and they were slowly pulled back into the main body of this beast. Yet the shadow twisted and compacted into itself till all that was left was a large sphere. As the curtain finally rose, we caught a glimpse of the fleshly greyish purple sphere with another darker purple curtain behind that sphere. Ten eyestalks unwrapped themselves from its spherical body. A fanged smile appeared as it's a single silver orb of an eye opened, cutting off our magic.
Cutting off our magic was one thing, but those eye attached to that creature had spells. Dangerous ones, I was glad that thing had his anti-magic eye. Cid was not as lucky, the war god's champion had been caught in the monster's onslaught. A sickly green ray and hit the mad gunner. Crumbling him to dust.
I cannot recall what happened. Next, I teleported need the ashen pill that had been my comrade and threw up a wall of invisible force rushing over Cid Celu close behind. It wouldn't stop the Anti-magic eyes, but the creature couldn't stop them fire his own magic rays into them. The wall would stop the ray, We called out saying that Cid had been turned to ash.
Seconds later the Elven Cleric of Desna Canthe teleport next to us, with Zalni Pin's master the one who supplied the teleport. Cid was brought back within a second, still. Cid had dead, if Canthe hadn't been there, we might have to need a vase to clean the ashes. I am not sure Licia would be able to bring back some from a Distenagrate spell.
With another round of ray volleys, the five of us protected, Canthe Cid Celu Zalini and I were safe from that creature destructive ray abilities. That wall was useful but The others had far more luck, Pin was successful in casing the chains of light spell. Then our friends unleashed on the creature. They had been doing alright before however chains of light as never failed us yet. This time was no exception, however, one day it will, and I dread to think of the creature that we face where that spell doesn't kill. Ashlyn or Artemis one of those two had gotten the final blow. I hope this creature was fictitious since this whole theatre had created by the Shard. It wouldn't be hard to figure this might be some creature from a fantasy book on unknowable horrors or pulled from some bestiary of some kind.
The violet curtain closes on the first and leading into intermission. Intermission was combat filled. Strange ice cream women and a large bucket of popcorn that were extremely flammable Zalni and I had a swarm of popcorn around us, A icy scythe had flung itself across the right side of the theatre to destroy a large chunk of the popcorn. Celu had skillful throw her scythe, it was something she made look both beautiful and terrifying. The Gnome and I had blown up several different large popped kernels of corn and buckets will with the oiled snack. All around it was a good time.
The second act started soon after intermission, that second act required 'volunteers.' Canthe and Aster were voluntold to participate, they were teleported to the balcony unconscious. The purple curtain raised to show us the four kidnaped people. The Commander, Jinne, Saeryn, and Eirian all with the same voidling like eyes as those who were affected by The Spirit Blade. Honestly, I wasn't sure if that was a creation from the Shard or actually the people. Whatever the case was, we couldn't harm them. Ashlyn went to face Jinne with less than stellar results. I believe was the first time She had every fallen in battle, not dead mind you, but still, our Paladin can take a hit. Jinne I thought had been a caster, but I was wrong. At least I thought. The Commander teleported into the balcony above, summoning an angel.
While Zalni and Celu took care of the summoned creature. I decided to deal with the voluntold, finding my way to the balcony with Artemis, Kraia, and Licia. We removed Aster form the button while on the other side, Whisperbreath took her sweet ass time trying to remove canthe. Using the ghost touched dagger, I lifted the sleeping curse from Aster who woke up in a groggy state. Kraia took the unbridled wraith of physic caster falling unconscious to the mental attack. With Licia close in hand, I chose to return to the Angel which Zalni had wrapped in chains of light. As I teleported next to the angel, I plunged Silver through the chest of the winged creature.
Whisperbreath and all of her infinite wisdom thought now would be the best to remove Canthe. And they accuse me of overthinking situations. Lifting the final curtain-raising showing the Silver Orb.
As Celu and I ducked behind the chair before the silver orb was revealed, unsure as to what the last raising curtain would bring. The two of us were only a handful of the row before the stage. Our attention was quickly broken as our ears twitch reacting to a sound behind us, we turned quick our eyes now trained on the Elf in the balcony. The Elf hissed the incantations I fully expected to be hit by that spell. The Commanders reputation of the Elf who lead an army to purge the drow from the Galasthin Underdark. I had every reason to believe I would have been stuck with her spell. As the Arcane words finish leaving her lips. The Commander flung several crystals she had pulled from a bag. I branched myself but nothing.
Turning to Celuriel, her honey gold eye’s flared with the yellow of flame before becoming completely dull. Quickly racking my brain to try and think of what she had hit by. Feeblemind, she couldn’t speak when I asked her what was wrong. I turned to look at the fully raised curtain, showing the Silver Orb. Wrapped in a force cage, guarded by blades and concealed in global of darkness.
I bit my lip trying figure out what to do, I tossed a force sphere to protect her. Deciding dealing with the orb was the quickest way to keep her safe. As the force sphere went up, I hugged celu and teleported onto the stage. I made sure to keep her in my sights while I was on stage, if anything went wrong, I would have been there in seconds. I was lucky enough that The Commander did not attempt to follow up with any other spell.
The silver orb was under a well-constructed trap, but each of us took down one of the barriers. In the process, The Commander had targeted Whisperbreath teleporting near her then disintegrated Whisperbreath while taking down those barriers. She was brought back rather quickly but still, I hope this puts a bit fear in her. We had thought that once we grab the orb and it would be over. Yet it took a bit more, we had to use the sphere as a focus to deliver spells to the Shard's possessed. I flung spells at The Commander and the flirtatious idiot Eirian. Providing a more than satisfying fireball to his face. The Commander, after waking from the possession, took the orb and dealt with Eirian and Kraia woke up Saeryn.
Using the orb had a problem. The orb, when casting a spell, had made my veins flow silver, I can not imagine prolong use of this sphere being good.
Once that was done, the Shard was revealed to us. I had picked it up just a book now, and the real one according to Jinne. The Galasthin Elves with Saeryn and Zalni plane shift away tell us to meet with them once our job was done. As we agreed to that, they disappeared, and we teleported to the boneyard.
Now I have to say do to oaths and secrets that are best left unspoken. This journal will not hold them, nor will I will leave it out for the public. Perhaps once this is over, I will write all of this down in a book, my whole life story.
Nevertheless, I will continue to tell you the story of how gods fell because of our actions. Upon arriving at the boneyard, the Shard fell out of my hands and began to use its fate-altering magic to warp reality. Before it had completely disappeared into the floor in front of Pharsama's Spire, we were whisked away by the Herald of Pharasma to a plane adjacent demiplane.
The Steward of The Skein a woman as armored as Ashlyn with skulls decorating her shoulder and breastplate. Not real ones mind you, though I am not sure if that is entirely out of her wheelhouse. Her ivory white wings had some protection metal shielding across the top of her wings, her almost white armor was disturbing when you looked at her helmet. Her helmet shielded her face from view, it was as if her face was hidden in shadows, save for her angry glowing red eye. Glowing red eyes that burned with anger.
Demanding an explanation for what we had done and why would bring that Thing to Pharasma realm. The Shard lay on the ground in the blank room, motionless across the floor. It's terrible work stopped by the Herald. The Steward had blamed us, which in a way was our fault. Yet how were we meant to know that in bringing The Unbroken March to the boneyard it would change fate? We had little knowledge on this, The Shard had a radius but never did we think it could affect the gods. We had thought Pharasma would at least have some level of control to stop this Shard in case something terrible had happened. Not accepting our questions or our answers as to why we did this.
The Herald of Pharasma had told us Iomedae has fallen and we would be going to Heaven to see what we had done.
Though I would have loved to have detailed our treck through the upper planes of heaven, it was not the first thing on my mind. That and heaven is a bright place, annoyingly bright at that. I was squinting a good majority of the time through the first ring of heaven. Are they called rings? I’m am being told by Celuriel that they are Levels of Heaven, well that’s an odd name for that. Setting the bizarre naming conventions of the upper plane aside, we passed through the Threshold of Heaven, another odd name for the first level of this place. Everything in this first level was quite silent, eerily so in fact. However, where we wanted to reach was the Proelera were heaven armies and the realm of Iomedae.
Iomedae’s castle was destroyed, her Herald and angels were silently weeping for the lost. Then as we looked to the side alone, grieving was a woman with short black hair, clad in silver and gold armor.
Iomedae sat alone, looking at the crumbled remains of her home.
The Lost Ones approached the lonely women part of the group hadn’t come to the realization that this was the fallen inheritor. A loud silence fell over the party as we attempt to find words, but few left our mouths. In those few words, we tried to explain our actions, but she was indifferent, what happened happened. Yet two things came from that conversation. Pharasma most likely knew this would happen. That and Iomedae was not the only god who had fallen due to the shards fate-altering abilities. The ascended gods from the test of the Starstone. Cayden Cailean and Norgorber had fallen as well.
Cayden had chosen a couple of moments later after speaking to Iomedae to show his face. Decanter in hand, As much as I personally find the god interesting I have heard too many drunken stories in the bars I have worked at in the past. Cayden being the ever helpful god explained a bit more than I am willing to share in this book. The Assassin god being the quiet creepy god he is, just stood behind me the whole time. It was unnerving to know he just appeared behind me.
Now I need to stress this they have NOT completely fallen back to being mortals. No, they have been gods far too long to have their power completely removed. As we spoke of the ramifications of our actions and what to do about them. We left feeling a bit better than the Herald of Pharasma made us felt. I swear that Herald has a flair for the dramatic, she is not wrong to have scared us, but just the context of a god had fallen look at the mess you made. She could have given us more context, not scare us back to Pharasma’s Realm. Now I am not saying we had not got off scot-free, just it was a lot better then we had thought. Not good but better than the darker thoughts we might have had.
Before leaving the upper planes, I toss Cayden one of the three bottles of Elven Ale I still had. Hey, he might not be my god, but I can admit enjoying the stupid smile off my patrons when they tell Cayden’s stories. It’s gotten me through some rather annoying long shifts. Cayden had a standing offer to go and get a drink with him, which sounds nice but well we will see about that. We have a bit to do before I can personally think about drinking with the God of Alcohol.
One good thing came out of giving him that drink, I found a new bottle in my bag, Cayden’s gift for giving him that Ale. As much as I am curious about what kind of drink this is, I feel like it might be better if I save it for a special occasion.
That and make sure Whisperbreath doesn’t try and steal it from me.
We returned to the mortal plane, in the Kingdom of Galasthin Elf.The experience of leaving the plane of heaven left me blind and being flung through the air with several others. Our messaging books decided this was the moment to update us, with three years of messaging. However, not before our Oracles and Shaman had visions. Licia had healed my blindness, and in doing so, Celu soon after broke away from the vision she had.
She had seen her sister, though in the vision she was her sister. Her sister sat in the large throne but was not alone. A nobleman was seated across from her, they both sat within a luxurious room, but they apparently were not the most finely dressed. Another had entered the room dressed in scarlet and silver and brunette hair and according to the Celu was clearly the better dressed. Her vision ended there.
Each had visions of a different kind, most had little meaning save for Ashlyn who was the death of the Emperor, Well the former Emperor, since Cyne had both been crowned the new Emperor and took the place of Ashlyn in the ritual. We would probably need to return soon. We need to get caught up with three years of Aletheian problems and speak to Cyne.
My messages were from what I can only assume Nivinle, essential updates about two or three, he did inform me that our half-siblings were no longer in a comfortable position. Which did bring me some sense of happiness? I honestly just don’t care about those two anymore. The odd message I received was a drawing of an eye, a stylized version of one but still, it was drawn across the page. Why must things be cryptic can we just have somebody explain their intentions for once.
Short tangents aside, we quickly reclaimed our companion for a wizard tower, said our goodbyes to the Galasthin elves and Jinne reminded me to do my homework regarding the Mother of souls.
Now, for the next bit, I would like to remind readers that early in my adventure before my friends learned of who I was. Licia had chosen to cast a spell on me. A spell that I personal in this group have almost never had any luck with, save for one instant. Licia had thought it would be amusing to cast Unnatural Lust on me. It worked, and I never truly forgotten it.
Since now you have been reminded, Licia’s vision had been of her mother pulling a note and Wayfinder from a hidden box she had never seen before. Her mother is in the very same city we were in, Licia went to see her mother, and we joined her. Now, as family goes, she had the most NORMAL. Alenia Galewen was incredibly sweet to the point where Celu tried to decide if she wanted a normal life if she used Alenia as an Example, so we agreed on a middle ground of the strange and some level of normality. Licia introduced us and explained why she was there. Her mother asked if she was dating since her previous partner wasn’t with this group.
I took this time to tell her mother no she was not, though she had cast a rather interesting spell on me. Licia became rather shy at the mention of this one previous incident between us. Her mother grilled her till Licia finally caved and said the spells name quietly and very quickly, I had trouble keep my smile in check. Her mother disapproving of the use of the spell drew a frowning face on her daughter's forehead. After this, Ms. Galewen got past the introductions, she handed over the Wayfinder and a letter from her father. We departed soon after, with Licia supplies the teleport back to our home Ironfall.
Ashlyn soon departs becoming a blur of pink and gold as she raced to her family. The tree and the Elf soon disappeared to find what I amuse is a bed. Kraia left to find her family, Zalni and Whisperbreath truly started their training. I went with Celu to my bar.
Being that I was wearing nothing more the burnt rags due to my clumsiness in The Endless Archives. I wanted to shower, or just change into something that wasn’t half destroyed. As the two of us entered the bar, a drow bartender stood behind where I would generally be, it was Alvir. Apparently, he had started working as my replacement while we were gone. His double take was well earned, as I entered. Before stopping and giving a better explanation for our return. I rushed upstairs to my room, grabbed some regular clothes because I’ll be damned if I run the bar tonight. Coming down with comfortable clothes before speaking with Alvir and Pennyswaggle, who just appeared in the bar as he does, I thought for some reason that would be best to check the stock in the basement.
The basement was as I thought, similar but some of the things had been rearranged. Understandable given that 3 years had passed, Celuriel had wandered down into the basement with me. It seemed like in my absence, somebody had replenished my stocks. I would not put pass Alvir to have sent orders to neighboring cities for restocking, as I noted for some of the barrels and bottles were from other portions of Aletheia as I walked down a couple of rows this basement held.
What happened as I approached a suspiciously upside down and empty barrel was a rune, which I had not seen, had been placed just within arms reach of the barrel. So if I wanted to check, I would have had to step on it. When the rune went off, I was once again caught in the thrall of That stupid vexing enchantment. Now embarrassingly enough I was not upset at what happened, far from that. Having to quickly put down Celu once the rune faded, I could not help feel a bit of heat in my cheeks. My face must have been a shade of lilac, even in the dark. The Elf quickly disappeared up two flights of stairs to our room. In retrospect, even under the enchantment of Unnatural Lust, it was a bit much to have picked her up.
Better her than Licia, Lirian or Eirian.
I get hit by that spell more than I would like…
After a moment trying to organize my thoughts, since my mind had a hard time trying to not think of what just happened. I walked back up to get caught up with Pennyswaggle and Alvir. I was met with the scene of my bartender horrified and the rest of my patrons two steps from knocking boots with the closest person to them. Some of the people did not seem to mind once the spell was over, others shot glares at each other their eyes tell the others to never speak of this again. Alvir had made a quick note to who had done this. I know the perfect person to talk to for revenge. Pennyswaggle had mention something to me, and though we passed the information up rather quickly, I didn’t forget it. I had brought it to the attention of Cyne the next day when we meet him. Altogether it was a rather pleasant night. Where for once, I felt like a typical patron in a bar.
Once I had enough food and used up all of the Pennyswaggle tolerance I had built up, I retired for the night, where Celuriel was curled around a pillow. It was rather cute to have found her nuzzled into pillows. Since I had spent an hour or so talking in the bar below, so I assumed she was asleep. The two of us slept back to back.
I thought things would be a bit more awkward in the morning, but when she woke me up demanding for delicious breakfast as compensation for yesterday. I couldn’t help but smile a bit.
Journal #33rd: Family Matters
After a long and subsequently a terrible couple of days of emotions of both guilt and hope and everything in between, we finally reach our destination of Liangxin. A far eastern city which was impossibly large and seems to be strictly controlled by some sort of military force. Entering from the airship docks we were prompted with a series of questions and strangely vaccinations. Perhaps there is a sickness in the city? Who really can tell anymore. The person who had to deal with me had made a passing comment about my kind, which told me a significant amount dark elves had recently shown up within this city. However ‘recently’ could be any amount of time, I would guess within the last couple of year. Long enough to notice an influx of drow within the walls of Laingxin. This city was the last known location of this traveling group of elves adventurers.
Before our investigation into where these lost elves were, Celuriel left the group as she said she would. I would be lying if I was not worried but nevertheless, the party teased me for getting in a fight. I have some reasons to be worried, but I had already given her my book to contact us if something comes up, or if she needs to find us.
A second later we decided that it would be for the best for us to at least have a clear point, a base of operation, to work out a form while gathering information about this traveling group. This was a local inn and or tavern, I am rather sure it was an inn. The thought there was if we went to a well-established inn and asked around it was more likely for them to have information on the elves, or if they have even passed by. We paid for a couple of night in advance, asking for around. One of the Elves was at least familiar with, something about having been here or searching for a library. Of course, our first thought was visit the biggest library the city had to offer. Well, not the biggest as we later found out.
Finding the library was easier than I originally thought, finding the elf was the more difficult part. Asking the librarian behind the desk near the front door if they had seen any of the elves, the picture we showed them helped. The Librarian said the ones she had seen that day were the elves known as Canthe Pa’lustris and Aster Lau’turea. The six of us broke up into different floor looking for them. Some going from the fifth floor down some going in reverse from the ground floor up. Among the searching, we found them hidden in a room filled with books a large square table in the middle. Canthe was a high priestess of Desna and a reasonable elf the more silent of the two was the Half-Elf Aster. Only speaking when he found something of note to comment on. While waiting for the other to gather on the location, though everybody filed in with Licia and I struck up a conversation with Canthe. I made a bet of 5 gold pieces, on who had the stranger adventuring story that bet one that is still unsolved. Through some mental connection, the elf shared the information we vaguely told them trying to gather their group as well. The Commander had an issue that we would deal with later. The sibling to Cante, Eirian Pa’lustris who within a couple of seconds managed to annoy me more than most people I have ever interacted with. He had found Celu and brought her along, she was clearly not pleased ducking into a corner away from everybody.
Though I will never say it to their face, I was and now am incredibly grateful for this stupid series of events. Bring Celu kept her within the time dilation that we had to deal with. Another portion of time has been stolen from us, but at least she was not alone.
The traveling group from Kingdom of Elves were confused as to why they had a search party sent after them. According to them, they had sent messages back. However, Liangxin and the country that this city claimed to be a part of had all information warped and changed, especially when it came to any propaganda. Which lead to my telling them, it never made it out of the country. Explaining the quick thought, if what they said was true, then their letters home would most likely have been altered or never made it out of country. The thought leads to me thinking of a connection between this strange magic and The Unbroken March. The closest artifact in the description that could have the potential to do something like they described. I was correct, but I would not know that till later.
Though we found our elves, we had not found all of them. Thus a rescue mission was made for The Commander of the Galasthin forces, an elf which I had been warned about. According to Eirian, who had placed her in this difficult spot early in that day, to begin with, had said The Commander was underneath the city in a large archive. With some information gathering, we learned that this larger library had entrances all over Liangxin. With two fail attempts to find those entrances, one at the Cafe where Eirian pushed The Commander in, the first was in the library we found Canthe and Aster in. Our third and final attempt before we succussed was under one of the four large bridges, diving deep into the water underneath. Entering a labyrinth of water-themed puzzles, traps, and blue tinted walls. Testing both our minds and skills. With less than stellar results with some of the puzzle based for the mind, taking for too long and some being so simple it took less than a second to finish. When we found our way into the next set of the puzzles, the next room, the elven party lost contact with their leader.
It took far longer than we probably should have taken to get into the Endless Archives. The round balcony of Archives had shelves upon shelves of books of any and all kinda. I could spend a long time there, but the less time near a shard the better. While some of the party decided to stay and read, I decided to explore rather than read. Licia follow which I was thankful for. I have to admit, I have not been thinking before acting some of my actions have been rash. It was more of an attempt to keep my mind and body busy so I would not focus on other things. As all of us fully explored the archives, a few of us found constructs that disappeared as soon as we spotted them.
Licia and I after descended down several floors of this library found Commander Lyadri An’thimael, with a very warm reception I might add. By warm I meant once I made my presence known asking if she was the commander, I was greeted with a toasty fireball to the face.
A reasonable response for an elf whose mere name is synonymous with an event that took place in the Kingdom of Galasthin Elves simply known as “The Purge.”
I do not think it would be that hard to draw the lines knowing that I am a dark elf.
The Commander was also behind a wall of fire, protecting her and another from outside forces that had been attacking her for the past week. During this time of speaking with the elven military leader, the party finally started to make there way down to rejoin with the two of us. With a detailed explanation of the current situation and the past days worth of information since we took a rest within a large room in the water labyrinth before finding the archives. The Commander informed us that one, it was stupid for all of us to come down here, two that she had been fighting down here for about a week.
According to Eirian at most, The Commander should have been down here for at most a day in half with the number of rests we had taken. Not a week…
Which without hesitation I turned on the spot to find Celu, not everybody had followed us down. Just The Lost Ones.
Remember how I said I had been acting rash. While the ladder we had been using to climb down the archives had been closing behind us. I ran to those ladders pulling down the cord to have the ladder extend down for us to climb up. A rather large great ax implanted itself in my right shoulder. It was very unpleasant and bloody. After that, I took caution while going up the ladders. The only other trap of note was the flamethrower.
Finally reaching the floor, rather bloody and slightly burnt time had passed, my sense of worry melted away as she was okay. Normally she would have completely ignored me and staying far away from me, she had been ignoring me since my attempt at an apology on the airship. The first interaction since then was a slap to the face, but she did cast a healing spell on me remaining silent but near me. They had seen some danger and were more than willing to travel as a group down back to the others. Though under less normal circumstances, we finally gathered all the Galasthin Elves.
The Lost Ones now content on dealing with the Shards pressed on, with Lyadri and Jinne, the Samsaran that Lyadri had been fighting alongside in her week-long imprisonment in The Endless Archives. Going to the next floor I borrowed one of our magical communication journal to message Celu, I wrote to her to please be careful and that I would try and make it back as soon as possible. Time dilation is a tricky subject, I honestly had no clue when I wrote that how long before she would read it. We battled our way through corrupted constructs down one more floor and enter a very interesting room.
A dark room with two rings of crystals around a floating light blue book. This dark room had glyphs dimly glowing blue on the ground. The outermost layer of crystals was white and was large, perhaps a bit larger than a dwarf. The next layer of inner crystals was more concern, for me especially. The darker black crystals were that similar to the void, a clear sign that this book was a shard. Or as Jinne explained a false appearance of one, a copy, an illusion. How it was able to do this, I am not sure. Needless to say, nobody wanted to touch the crystals. While we had found the Unbroken March, the others had been pulled into their trials created by this Shard. I had a restless night of sleep, in that room when Licia told us about the other trials as she alone glimpsed some of the trials, one which caught my attention. One being Celu’s Sister, I might stop paying attention after that.
Something I believe should be said about Jinne, that something was in her short conversation explaining the reminded me of something, not to mention the Silver Orb on her staff. She was a follower of “The Way” those odd nomadic religious people searching for that one true magic. I had always wanted to ask more question, and I had gotten the chance after we broke the trials for Celu and Searyn’s. However, I feel like I should mention two key points one that she follows The Way of Runeblessed Dreams and their silver orb are connected to that religion as I thought. Second, she has been to this place before and knows about the artifact. Being that she was one of the Samsaran, a race created by Pharasma, bound to an almost endless cycle reincarnation. Jinne had kept returning to The Endless Archives, in several of her past lives. An interesting idea true reincarnation.
While coming up with a plan, Jinne determined that somebody using her orb could create passages where we could slip through to disrupt the trials that the others. However, somebody has to hold open the portals from the outside, which The Commander volunteered for. The Samsaran then explained that to save them, they could not fail nor could they pass their trails. If they failed, well she gestured to the crystals, people who failed force to protect the book. Their souls bound to those crystals or something similar. Knowing that we would have to get rid of at least the first set of crystals for the Elven Commander to use the orb. I had to use the power of the Mother of Souls, something I have been rather reluctant to use powers from her champion mark she gave me.
At first, channeling the power, I focused on passing on the souls bound in the crystal, which I hoped I would not have to physical touch the large crystals. This had an odd and every more concerning the outcome of my mind being more quiet than normal. The power having no outlet only affecting myself but my soul never left, so the question is what did it affect? Knowing my broken self, there are more things I have to questions. The second attempt got rid of the crystals force me to physically touch them, which had the attended effect. Allowing for the Commander to open the portal using the Silver Orb.
Without much thought, we as a group thought to rescue our Elves first. Leaping through the orb like portal to them we found ourselves outside a stone tower, entering this trial from a large tombstone. A tombstone labeled as Ulsaron Geltharieth, Celu’s father. The forest around us was familiar in an unpleasant way especially for me. Since I had seen this moment once before, as a vampire Celu once shown me this one moment, that moment of her turning into a vampire the moment of her death, that is what the shard based our surrounding on. The tower that Celuriel once called home.
At the far side of the tower Celu was up against a tombstone, and in front of her was a figure clad in dark armor standing near a grave. Which I knew what lay within it Without a seconds thought, I used my arcane powers to teleport in front of Celu, even without much thought I was not going to let her die, or even have to go through this again. Not alone anyway.
The others could and probably would have to deal with Saeryn and her problem. She was in the middle of hunting down another elf in front of the ominous tower with a horde of undead around her. Honestly, in that one moment the fact Saeryn was there was lost on me. Silver was already in my hand, I knew I was recently told to try and not to go leaping in front of a sword for her. However, I cannot stand by and watch if somebody I deeply care about is suffering. My original plan was to teleport her away, but with her being both confused and may be concerned as to why I was there, we didn’t.
Her sister, the would-be lich, in this false creation of Lurissiel Geltharieth was still an Elf. Took a long a calculated time before speak. Few things I learned in this interaction, she was not an Arcane lich like I had thought. Since the blonde elf was clad in armor, she had to be a Divine Lich most likely a cleric from some dark god. She was curious to why a dark elf had anything to do with her sister. Though I could not recall really any of the conversation since none of really helps when finding a way to defeat her. She, of course, knew I was going to interfere, so I place a protective sphere around Celu. The would-be lich began to cast a spell to summon some a creature, thought either Whisperbreath or Ashlyn broke her concentration. That interruption did not please the elf, which leads to a series of spells cast at the rat. Which by the end of those spells she just sat there looking smug. Never a good sign. I am not going to lie, Ludrissiel was scary. The hand that gripped Silver was trembling, in fear in knowing how powerful she is, or in angry knowing Celu’s Killer was in front of me. A mix of both, Celu was adamant that any attempt to fight back against Ludrissiel would be useless; it would lead to everybody’s death. I tried to explain that she couldn’t kill her sister nor could she die, she had to walk away. She did not listen; she thought it would be better if the two of us would have just waited there while they died.
This was not something I would stand for. I do not want her to give up even in the face of her sister…
Teleporting out of the sphere knowing this might end as expected, I knew there was a large number of evil creatures around, so I cast the spell Angelic Aspect. It would allow for some extra protection. My attempt to slice the elder sister failed, slipping right through the projection. I should have known better, but very soon after the invisible would-be lich cast a spell on me, the spell was delivered through a touch. She was toying with us, an even scarier though. To avoid her Scythe, I used my feathery wings to fly up, flinging a fireball down. Celu would be okay she was in the sphere, but her sister she had to be close by.
Celu now seeing that she could attack her sister, wanted to join in ask if she could be released. Though Ashlyn protested the idea, I dispelled the resilient sphere. This proved to be a smart idea. Celu with her recent change of life, had her abilities change have some grasp over time. I would trust Celu is time manipulation far more than Whisperbreath. That is neither here nor there. Wanting to clear some of the confusion, she displaced her sister in time! Asking for a better explanation as to what exactly was going on. I tried to stress that no matter what she could not kill her sister.
From my best interpretation of what happened as to why she now wanted to defeat her sister was to prove that she was not useless. She told me that all of us were so strong, but it was the way she said it that showed more of how she viewed herself compared to the people around her. We were strong, and she wasn’t, and by defeating her sister, she could close that gap, oh Celuriel. I explained that she didn’t have to get stronger, not alone anyway, she had us, she had me. She didn’t have to beat her sister today, that today she just had to walk away. After telling me she did not know how to leave, I took her hand and lead her to the portal leaving that horrible place behind.
Now at this point, the others had dealt with Saeryn’s problem, who was more than upset, having to deal with… whatever she had dealt with. Thank god for that time locked zone, before resting I thought it would be best to at least speak with Jinne. Which was a conversation on magic, religion, fate and she regrettably convinced me to at least want to ask to speak with Pharasma.
Our second attempt into the twins orb portal, we were warned of Eirain psychic abilities and how that will possibly affect the trails. The Commander was right about that warning. Entering into a broken octagonal stone room a stone altar with glowing green lines going down the altar, along the floors and into the walls. Canthe was on the other side of the altar, The Commander laying on that stone slab unconscious ‘illusion.’ The last figure was a hulking beast of a man that was known as The Tulaant Steppe. We’ll get back to this man, we had a terrible maze to deal with.
The effect Eirian psychic abilities on the octagonal room, one of the eights walls had been completely destroyed leaving a large empty void. The party, of course, decided it was better to explore the void, and not deal with Canthe currently, something I thought was rather stupid. The void of clouds and stars contained a icy maze.
Entering created unending amounts of annoyance for me, which only made me want to punch the elf’s smug face more. Carefully going through the maze, we were bombarded with magical enchantments that affected us both emotional and binding certain actions of ours. As leaping over some of the damaged portions of the maze, causing spells to attempts to change us. It was more than annoying while trying to kill an Imp which was a simply psychic creation of Eirian, and tracking down the psychic elf. Celu only was able to speak when asked a question, Ashlyn started stripping, Kraia and Pin wanted to kiss Ashlyn. Though Kraia might not have been affected by that same enchantment. We straight up lost Cid somewhere along the ways. My personal enchantment leads to general hate to everything around me, and gods forsaken compulsion to cuddle and kiss that fucking elf. As Eirian was the first I saw when placed under that enchantment. Another reason to hate them, though as Celu saw this the spells, all of them faded. Great timing. She understood when I told her it was the magical enchantment, but her holy ice scythe was something I feared she might use on Eirian. Punching him would be more satisfying. I told her that, this she didn’t believe.
Quickly chasing after Celu and I learned of Eirian trail, he wanted to end their mothers suffering. Breaking her soul which had been contained in a gem. However, Eirian viewed us as nothing more than an illusion which they became slightly hostile. I waved it off we could solve the problem without them. Quickly shouting this the others they had seen such a gem, another chance where I had to use Pharasma power. Passing Licia returning to the group who attempted to convince Eirian herself, I reached the gem attempting to do the same to the Soul gem, and I did to the Crystal. If it were not for the mothers of souls power the act would have gone horribly wrong. Celu noticing attempt failing, she bolstered my second attempt at pleading with the soul of the twin's mother to pass on. An new enchantment placed on her making her grief, I reach back with my other hand to make sure she wasn’t alone. Ashlyn too helped as well as Licia who had given up on convincing Eirian. It worked, but with a very dangerous lesson instilled in me, I need to learn how to master these powers.
As the gem disappeared so did the walls of the maze. Eirian thoughts cleared and soon listened to reason. They did not take much convincing once we mentioned their sister and that she needed their help. Now currently I’m still going to punch the twin just not yet.
Now to the entity known as The Tulaant Steppe.
Eirian gave us a quick summary, Canthe had constructed a deal in order to save the commander who had been placed in a catatonic state of sorts. The deal with this entity what's to give it a physical form. So easy we discussed quick plans in order to stop that event from happening. We would stop her from making the deal. However many disagreed with this idea and decided to instead wave their scythe and sling their spells around which I inevitably agreed because once a paladin decides to do something, there is no stopping her.
That plan had failed instantly.
Most things in life as we've come across could be dealt with in a conventional manner. However, this entity that stood before us The Tulaant Steppe was different. It broke the rules. Now it was easy to say that the entity was just a mere illusion, but it wasn't. For you see when you conjure something, that's something can not normal think on it’s own. This Entity had a scary level of omniscience which it used to for snarky comments. I cannot say that this creature was god or even a demigod. It was something different clearly. I have never once heard of a divine figure to want a physical body, or being able to communicate through a mere illusion. No it seemed to become that illusion, as if the mere act of invoking a mere copy brought forth a personification of The Tulaant Steppe.
The Tulaant Steppe as soon as we woke it from its time lock slumber was completely aware of the events around it in what was going on with the shard. It was stalling for time so the lifeforce could be drained from The Commander, we attempted to attack it. Having very little progress there. Instead, it offered us a challenge though still tried to stall for time in the process. We were given 30 seconds to impress this personification, and seeing that the Elven twins had been part of the original deal, they were exempt from this.
Since almost none of our attacks seem to be landing save for Cid and Artemis the rest of us had to devise some sort of plan that would appease this entity. Kraia performed a series of acrobatic feats channeling the power of her god to augment her wild shape into something much more. The world's best trapeze artist might have been jealous. With Whisperbreath, her attempt had been to reconstruct the mental barrier around this room sealing it off from the void outside. She channeled the constructive powers of her God to perform the act mixing her knowledge in a well. Interesting but needless to say it had adverse effects on her. Channeling so much of the power, she was unused to tapping into harm her mentally. I had several failed attempts at flinging spells at the towering figure which led me to that idea. Celu simply used her power and divided Whisperbreath into three significant timelines, child form, the present and a rather older form. Ashlyn had not attempted did anything with her Champion Powers simply preferring the act of swinging a blade at the opponent in front of her. Licia channeling the power of her Goddess did something ridiculous. She made a star, or least that's what I think happened. In order to give us a bit more time or to disrupt his plan in general, I leaned down touching the green lines represented the Commander's life force and attempted to channel the power the death goddess to reverse the flow of life back into the image of the elf.
This was a mistake.
Temporarily, or so I hope, created some sort of mental connection with The Commander allowing me to understand the name of this being in front of us who is giving us this challenge. Then a very angry elf told me to get out. As a ramification my left eye began hurting but the full extent of what happened I would not find out till after the trial. This action caused me to learn the name of this being which brought a creepy smile to his face. How to say the smile was disturbing in nature it was the fact that he was smiling at all that was disturbing to me.
Lastly bringing up the rear the Paladin had channeled the power of Sarenrae bolstering her powers landing several blows it's on The Tulaant Steppe. Never once drawing blood. Bringing the trial itself to a close, we soon after that left the illusion coming back to the room what that false shard in it. The commander was not pleased demanding an explanation as to what I had done. Not thinking that what I have done would affect her physically, mentally or something else entirely, explaining that I thought it was just a mirror illusion copy of her. But with psychic magic and the personification, things did not go as planned and I'm not even sure how the connection was truly made myself since that should have just been an illusion a hollow imitation. The fact that I wasn't in initially scorched by another fireball she might have accepted what I said. Then she referenced the side effect that my little incident has caused. Somebody gave me a small pocket mirror since my left eye had been hurting I brought it up to examine if anything that happened to it. My eyes were naturally gold; however, the left one the one that had been in pain started showing there was no longer entirely gold. Small bits silver had replaced portions of the golden color.
Though was concerned were minimal currently I would probably will have to ask about this later, since we had bigger things to deal with. Plus gathering up the courage to speak with the elf might be a tad bit more problematic than I would have hoped for. She was not one who was known for her friendliness towards dark elves.
Again with another time where we rested before the final two trials. The last two actually quite simple. Forcing the Gnome to abandon his test as an Arcanist, which The Gnome adamantly believed he would not do. We picked them up and ran out of the room trying to find Aster the one who was connected with the Fey. For the first time it was rather simple we had slashed and flung spells across killing the fey that he thought he was going to destroy along with the building and himself. Coming back out of the room a series of traps have triggered, as well as some poison gas that had filled the general area. Finally entering back into the testing grounds after rescuing Aster have been barred by constructs. The Gnome foolish ran ahead got themselves into more trouble than it was worth, so we quickly dispatched the constructs. Dealing with them each one by one destroying them with our magic and blades.
If only things had been that easy for the other four.
Leaving presented an issue. As we'd entered back into the room something was wrong, the people who were there The Commander, Jinne, Saeyrn, Eirian, all of them had vanished. The book no longer floating on the ground it's pages, and the cover looked like it had it been blackened by fire. So that probably was not the case. The ground which had unreadable symbols and glyphs before, changed, now reading to everyone ‘Auto-saving.’ Not entirely a good sign. Before we decided to take another rest and deal with the consequences outside, a single female voice entered my mind with a command. Which told me about the amount of danger that we could possibly be in. Well, I did have a conversation with Jinne, The Commander has spoken only once, interrupting us and warned about the dangers of a specific object if misused. Once again The Commander had spoken in my head about that object. About that orb.
“Get her orb back.”
… I swear this connection better not persist longer than it needs to.
The Lost's One's Save Christmas; what's Christmas again?
Dream or not, it’s difficult to be certain as to what happened.
Again I have found myself alone on the upper deck of the airship, with a letter and ring in hand, I feel different. I guess I needed somebody to snap me out of this melancholy mood. Never did I once believe that I would see this ring again, I thought I had left it behind with her. I still remember the hassle I had to go through to get the ring made, I think the most annoying part having to convince a wizard to enchant the diamond a teal green color, annoying but worth it in the end. A color she loved.
Without me knowing it, I really needed that letter. Still helping me even after I’m moving on and she’s long since dead. At least it provided
much need closer, for all three of them.
Funny, I’m really not sure what I’m gonna do with this for now. I know the answer is rather obvious what you would do with a ring like this but not yet. What I mean to say is I am not sure where to place it; I do not wish to put it in a bag of holding, and I do not believe I should or could wear it. I might just keep it in on a necklace and keep it under my shirt. Placing it in a ring box and keeping it in my pocket would be the easiest, but then it would be liable for theft. I’ll have to think on it further. The ring and the letter are from my late wife, a gift from our latest misadventure. Which started is the most peculiar way.
In one of those inky black rooms where dreams seem empty and devoid of imagination. I wasn’t alone. An elven child who looked at me with bright golden eyes. Silver locks of straight hair covered one of those eyes, her pale skin only made what color she had more prominent. Unlike normal elves, her ears were not as long nor were they as pointed, as was her face which was round. Features if I recall are common in younger elves. Even at a glance, it was obvious at whose child this was. At first what I thought would have been a pleasant dream, turned sour.
The child spoke and any illusion of this being a real dream pasted. A witch of ‘unknown’ origins has started messing with time. Disrupting some event called Christmas, this witch has taken some of the key figures from this event. The Silver Haired child asked if I could help. Which was unfair to ask, especially from this girl. I agreed knowing that this could only lead to bad things.
Ashlyn, Licia, Cid and I were the only ones to be awoken in a candy-coated nightmare. After a quick recap of Dream Children and The Witch, who we all believed to be Pin, we glanced at our surrounding. A thick forest surrounded us but was not the apparent problem that lay before us. A single brown house with pure white shingles, The glass was colorful and thin, but the room inside hidden from our view. The whole house looked warm and cozy a bit too perfect for a witch who stole Christmas to live in. It even seemed delicious, a fact Cid wanted to test. He addictively began chewing on anything he could touch. Even with a simple spell changing the taste of salt and metal. This newly added taste didn’t perturb him in the slightest, but we decided to press on into gingerbread house. Even if this Witch might be evil, you have to give them credit where credit is due, the construction of this place would kill a person's sweet tooth. Possibly all their teeth as well.
Ashlyn, like all times before spoke softly to the door to get it to open. By that I mean, she cut the door down with her adamantine scythe. The inside was just as sickly sweet as the inside, the soft round eyes of children were gazing. Those children offered us cookies and spoke about a mother. One they very much did not want to get on their bad side. Ignoring the children since I am sure Ashlyn would have dealt with that, the candy coating stopped at the stairs. A dungeon that to rival a drow torture chamber lay just beneath the ground floor. With a large hole that leads down, a place where the kids said there “Mother” had thrown other naughty children. Licia and I choose to go down and Cid attempt to force himself to stop eating.
What happened next was a strange combination of finding reindeer one with a nose so red you’d think it would be glowing. Turn out I could speak to those creatures, perhaps another side effect of this new arcane power. With riddling snowmen and other strange puzzles that had been placed, we started collecting present, A rather large turkey named Dreadwing, more captured kids, an icy moose thing and several other strange things. Oh, how could I forget the gingerbread dragon with all his gumdrop buttons. He held the remaining of our traveling companions, which was all women. I say this because Ashlyn who tried to be a diplomat so the dragon would not eat us, which negotiation broke down when the gingerbread dragon took interest ‘Special’ interest in Mery. After saying we’d free them, dragon and their broodling include when we took down the Witch who stole Christmas. Rounding off the strange cavern we found sleeping families. Ashlyn’s family, who were carefully placed in a slay, and mine Celu and Nivinle. We also meet with a white-haired boy named Jack Frost who was in the room with my familial connections. He was more of a prick than I originally thought. Thought that might have been a pang of jealous. Huh, jealousy that new, I’ve never really dealt that emotion before. I mean I know what jealousy is but never over another person. We gave him what was stolen from him, that Icy Moose and another thing which I forgot. Slugging the deer and the slay, with all over our sleeping friends my sister included, in over to the reef and ordainments over to the “old man’s” portal. Jack Frost mentioned that the Witch was.
The workshop was easily the stranger place this dreamscape gave us. Mostly the build which smelled of sugar cookies and pine. Not unpleasant to the nose but the first time you feel it enter your nose, it’s rather strong. The center of the workshop, if that was indeed what this place was meant to be since no tools or trinket that indicated a toy maker lived here. Besides the mounds of toys littered throughout the build. Trees sprinkled throughout, speaking of trees. Whisperbreath had disguised herself one while hiding in another room. I have to admit it fooled me, but once Licia revealed it was Whisperbreath I took full advantage. I swung at the false tree a handful of time make sure Silver really got to embed into the “trunk” I might have had some issues I had to work out. Perhaps it more I just do not like the old wizard all that much.
With all The Lost Ones discovered, the idea of Whisperbreath being the witch was all but gone. While they walked around in the other rooms, I explored separately till I was locked two doors into another place, magical locks that once I entered a room the door shut behind me. Was not my brightest decision but I have not been thinking that clearly lately. After breaking my lockpicks, which I almost never fail at before this arcane transformation. After a small time spent ponding what I could make a quick note to Ashlyn, a Scythe broke down my door. However, they found some sort of machine with guns attached to this two-wheeled machine.
The strange machine was far louder than anything Cid had up his sleeves it was quite concerning.
Once they started dealing with some moving statue that looked like the stone had been molded into an angel. I stupidly made the decision to look in rooms without anyone. Again. I should not leap into rooms without looking. First, I rounded the room to the far north of the building and ran into two figures. A mechanical rat and a large hairy man with goat legs. Before I realized who the rat was, and I did know with only a glance, Krampus grabbed me. Without a second's hesitation, I cast Dimension Door sending Krampus and I into the center room. While still being held I yelled to my companions that It was Whisperbreath!
Okay, this was where it complicated.
It was Whisperbreath but not our Whisperbreath. Her constant meddling in time had created this mechanical monstrosity, well that’s not entirely true. This Alternate Pin was from a time where Ashlyn had died and that Whisperbreath lost a moral compass to keep her on the straight and narrow. Not to mention had gained enough control over her ability to manipulate the ebb and flow of time. So much that this Pin went not back and forth and time, but across time. Into a timeline that was not her native one or at least that was how I understand it. While trying to explain that the Witch who stole Christmas, stole those children and everything else we saw, was a Whisperbreath. I was shoved into a Krampus’ magical sack. Now what I have failed to mention Pennyswaggle in a childlike form had started wandering around.
This is important.
This is what happens when I was shoved in this magical bag.
I turned into a child, while I kept my mind and skills; however, my body was in its 3rd decade? It was hard to tell. This was something I found out later, we quickly began to attempt to fight the mythical being but thought better of it. Pennyswaggle had that taken care of, he’s rather scary in combat even as a child. I am unsure if I have ever seen him in battle before. We had other things to worry about besides the goatman in the corner fighting children. As the mechanical ratfolk waltz in holding something similar to Cid’s firearms to the head of the ninja. One villain monologue later that a small verbal battle of morality between the two Whisperbreaths. Despite not genuinely believing our Pin at the words she spoke to her alternate version, I was like it far more than this metal rat. The Alter Pin tried to steal other domain from these Christmas Deities, are they deities? They probably are something akin to Eldest or Empyreal Lords.
The idea of Whisperbreath attempting to ascend to godhood is abhorrent, whatever time she is from. Spells, blades, and bullets flew as we tried to kill the timeline intruder. This Pin played a very different game, and her spells were vastly different and dangerous. During our battle a chime, a tiny silver bell was rung by Krampus summoning help for since pennyswaggle was handling it far better than we could. Before the death of the Alternate Pin, she cast a single spell Ashlyn, and Cid seemed to be fine. However, the first and final person myself was not. The spell killed me, let me stress this, this one spell ripped my soul from my body. Lucky Licia brought me back. Still, my abilities have changed so vastly that I am still unsure what I should be doing, I could take one or two hits before gaining this sword, but I need a better defense against spells. Perhaps making a spell would be better, my natural spell resistance will not help me here.
Krampus was killed by the time I was brought back, and another more jolly figure was present. At this time our slumbering companions started to stir, which more worrying I notice after a while the Celuriel and Ninivle were speaking to each other. I knew that she would not, could not be in danger since I tried to punch our Whisperbreath, but The Old Man cast some spell to quell my rage. Santa Claus, the white-bearded man, presented us with each a gift for our troubles. My present was a single spell scroll, A old ring, and a letter for my late wife. Needless to say, I was crying by the end of it. Ashlyn attempted to comfort me, which only made it worse. It was nice to know both of them died without any pain, that thought gave me comfort.
After calming down a bit, I chose to speak with my sister who had stopped speaking with Celuriel. It was a strange assortment of half-truths and questions that conversation.
Journal #32th: Black Marble floors and apologizes
I returned to the boneyard in a very straightforward way. However, being pulled into Pharasma black marble throne room so she could question why I was there was well unexpected. The Lady of the Graves was not happy with our progress in destroying the shards and the revival of the Spiritblade. The Goddess mentioned how she left me unmarked for far too long. Even though speaking with Pharasma sent ice through my veins and I felt like everything I said was wrong, I was horribly mistaken. That feeling came when trying to explain what I had done to Celuriel, and it felt so much worse.
It’s completely understandable that she was extremely angry with me, but anytime she looks at me as few and far between that has been lately. It hurts and the guilt, it’s hard to describe. Since she has been angry with me, my pointed ears never have been this low for this long.
Listen I messed up, I know that. I’m not some perfect person who knows ever correct action to take. I thought I had it planned out, which I had every intention of telling you. I was worried that if I died while we were fighting or something happen and the other couldn’t bring me back or contact me, you would think I chose to not come back. I had some many thoughts and concerns about this, I should have spoken to you about these concerns. Not going to you, of all people, first was a mistake I should have known better than to make. By sending you away, I become no better than another Drow by deceiving you. When I had taken notice of this, it made every feeling of guilt I had exponentially worse. With everything you have been through I should have known to be truthful to you, I’ve already told you that I will make every attempt to never hide something from you.
It’s challenging to try and make it up to you when I’m not even sure how to start. Humans give gifts and flowers to people they have wronged or made promises of anything they want. Pleading for forgiveness with ‘apologizes and I’m sorry’ is such a foreign concept to me. Those two things just end up getting Drow killed in the Underdark. Perhaps that is why I’m having such a terrible time dealing with this. On how to approach this, how to deal with all of this, the guilt and other feelings that come with all this. Often my people consider these feeling I have to be a sign of weakness. We do not attempt to say sorry, there is no forgiveness where I lived so give flowers and gifts just seems like a hollow attempt to dull a person’s angry at them to me. Through the gift might be tailored to the person to make them happy, With you it’s different. I am unsure how to approach you beside showing you that I am at least trying to be better.
I am not even sure why I am writing this.
I have never been one who was good with their speech. My nobility was not one of the honeyed words and waving at massive of crowds, but instead blood-soaked trail. I think by writing out my thoughts I could further explain what going on in this head of mine. Instead of having my mouth butcher any attempt at a sincere apology. Though I highly doubt that you’ll read this anytime soon with your lack of interest in my general existence currently.
I hurt you, nothing I can currently do can fix that. I only truly understood how bad I hurt you when you said ‘did you not consider that other people might need you to stay alive.’ The one statement made me understand to the full folly of my actions. It is rather difficult to describe the feeling in my chest, it’s both hollow and painful knowing I hurt you. It's not a feeling I wish to experience again. I am rather sure I know the reason to that as well. When I said you were important to me while we sat on the side of the small lake in Tenaerul, I think I was lying, though unknowingly. For me to feel like this, at your anger at me for my selfish and stupid decision, for my guilt when you pass by. Why I am having such a mental struggle with all of this. I can only image, no not image, I know that feeling. Needless to say, you're more than important to me. Though telling you that, tell you that I have fallen in love with you, using those words now might just confuse everything.
Maybe those words would make everything worse.
I don’t know.
That's not something you should just spring on a person. Before even considering tell you that, things would have to a state of normality between us.A thought occurred to me, which assures me. If myself from my sixth or seventh decade alive meet the current me, if I were to tell them I would have fallen in love, let alone with an Elf. I am rather sure they would no believe me. Thought I do not think my past self would believe anything I said.
You have to understand I do not want you to leave. Far from it in fact but I believe there some cause to explain why I so quickly agree with your condition if you were to leave. Why I didn’t even disagree or argue against it. Although I did want to protest, I thought better of it, since it would go against something I told myself I wanted to help you with. I’ve always gone along with what you wanted to some extent because it seems like you didn’t have any desires when we first meet. Not that I could tell anyway, despite you always being so close and quite in those early times together. I had made a mental note that I would attempt to help you with anything you wanted or desired if it did not harm you, or other people. So when you told me what you were going to do, how could I tell you no?
This journal entry is just mess of thoughts and apologies.
Celuriel, I am sorry.
((Depending on the Xmas session this journal will change. **Cough Cough The small dream girl with pale skin, gold eyes, and silver hair Cough Cough** You've know what you did Han.))
Journal #31th: Departure
Barkeeps 31th Entry: Departure
Being blind is more than an annoyance. It’s was a minor inconvenience but more than worth it if it meant Celu had a chance to live again. The two of us took the first watch so Celuriel could get the most sleep possible. Despite the trouble our group cause, she did not wake from her slumber. When the next hour signaled the next shift. An unseen fey force had enchanted us, forcing us to be in a strange dream-like state. More akin to Lucid dreaming, however, while the fey tried and distract us from there true objection. I was flinging fireballs and Magic missiles into the dark while blinded. Ashlyn told me where to sling the sphere of explosive magical energy.
There was a mixed result.
I might have charred a bit of Artemis.
Another strange, odd monster had to give me an image in my mind's eye. A twisted vision of cat’s eyes and a crooked evil smile. It was the only thing I could see, leaving my magical missiles as the best possible spell to deal with the smile. I was borderline useless in this fight, Lirien had also escaped during under cover of spells and combat. Any spell I could use would have been more helpful without the blindfold on.
While the others bickered about how to find lirien, I chose to sleep. Any entity wanting Lirien to ‘help’ them is will keep her alive. Safe, was a word I would not feel like using in Tenaerul. So my concern for her could be put aside for now. Besides I had a feeling we could find her or her trail. Tenaerul seems to work on the mechanics of if you wish to be here you will be. We merely needed to want to find her.
Waking up and deal with our Lirien problem, we learned and found out about some rather interesting issues in our near future. Lirien in her haste had left her traveling pack and other sleeping leaving a trail for Kraia to sniff out. Finding her would be far more accessible than the group initially thought while she remained in the domed Tenaerul. Pennyswaggle had returned to us…
Where do I even begin with this one? I should have guessed when he offered to make me his champion, How he was A FORMER champion of “The Traitor” an Eldest who we will get back to. How the Beauty herself said the rules of this and do not affect him like the others, us. So blind as to his nature that he was not even hiding it, we just never asked. If he was some sort of Divine being, which the idea of Pennyswaggle having divine anything is worrying. Concern for another day but that does raise a question for who he has been hanging around and who is friends are.
I am jumping ahead a bit.
The information about who has chosen to spend time with us is a bit concerning.
Before Pennyswagge had arrived, I was lead to the edge of the pond and the necklace that the Beauty requested, but declined. She told us to keep the relics we had found, but these are not museum pieces, nor are they to be sold. She said they are some sort of lifeblood of Tenaerul, a remnant of the worldrend. They are to wore. As soon as the blindfold as gone, I turned to look at Celuriel.
She has the most gorgeous golden eyes.
As touching as this moment probably should have been. We had some rather pressing concerns. The arrival of pennyswaggle, the slew of question we asked The Beauty, and the problem of finding our Half-Drow. Some of the questions we asked varied from person to person, The Shard of the Void have been referred to as Fragments of Xaahra. Something to look into in the future. When asking who The Beauty was she told us that we could find that information in the east, by meeting her daughter? I cannot remember that this well. We had completed both her quest, Myself by reenacting this Orpheus person journey from hell to bring back there loved one, and the others quest for higher power.
Ashlyn & Pin: The earrings
Celu: The Necklace
Aniks: The Ring
Licia: The Tiara
Lirien: The Bracer
Going on the hunt for Lirien after departing from the shapeshifter in the pond. A place where the voice, no The Traitor, wanted us to come to. The Tower. A tower which doors lay open and the wolf form of Kraia lead us directly inside. It was empty of everything, the throne that one can only assume held The Traitor lay vacant.
Another problem that we will inevitably have to be dealt with. Why is it always something with us, we can not do a single thing without getting wrapped up in some stupid plot of another machination. The shards I can understand, but everything else. We pressed on which lead us to the edge of the dome, where we meet the train which had received a new decoration, sparkly and all. Apart of some deal, Whisperbreath struck with Fey, they are coming with us outside the dome. Deciding not to deal with it, have Whisperbreath take some responsibility for her actions. Leaving Tenaerul, there were even more problems to add to an ever growing list.
We learned about these problems by Whisperbreath reverse scrying in time, to perceive the events that transpired. An interesting way to use her champion powers which have returned after leaving Tenaerul. A smart move on her part however constant dabbling in time might have unseen consequences.
Upon her time scrying, we were informed of a dead guard, who had been stabbed in the back. The retelling of Lirien escaped with Pennyswaggles dagger, and what we can assume is the traitor was hard for Whisperbreath. After her explanation, the guard who informed us about this murder turned our attention to the other problem. The sealed dome tear had grown even more extensive, then the final thing was the most concerning, where the damage had grown, a symbol of a destructive god. The front half outside and then the back half still contained inside the twisted land of Tenaerul. I stressed the importance of not letting this out into the public only letting the most important people know, for the symbol of this one god could potentially cause mass panics. Much to my annoyance, Ashlyn would not keep her mouth shut, telling anybody who asked. Cyne said he was going towards the Temple, which I could only mean that he was going to tell the High Priestess. Whisperbreath quickly had the train return to Ironfalls, with the Fey on board while we teleported away.
Quickly gathering any necessary supplies and alerting the proper people to the Lich and to start protection of the City. People said their goodbyes to their families At this moment I remember something important
I destroyed Whisperbreath’s, Elven Ale.
That drug is almost gone from our lives.
Appearing quickly in Ilendras with a teleport spell, we had the people running the Elf Gate quickly leaping through. Through another Elf Gate in the Elven Kingdom we got close to finding the Elven group in the gnomish city, we put miles between the looming Lich Threat. It was a relief to know Celu would be safe for a time. Truth is I’m writing this while she is sleeping, we booked a room in this strange pirate place. She refused to take off the hat before going to sleep. The two of us spent most of the day looking up prices to ferry us to a rather big city in Xin-Jiyu.
Journal #30: Fey Friends.
Fey are tricky, and my companions are rather stupid. Hells, the fey we encounter we’re just nice. I’m getting ahead of myself, I would rather not start this journal entry with a two paragraph long rant about the problems of deals and listening to people you can trust.
Once given the quest to traverse the Ivory Labyrinth of Baphomet to recover a single item, A ruby necklaces. This maze, how I at least interpreted is only a fraction of the true maze which lies on the Abyssal realm. Since while walking throughout the maze I could not believe that we had so easily entered the realm of demons. Tenaerul seems to have other planes leaking into this sealed dome. The labyrinth itself might have only been able to manifest a fraction of its full size. This is just a idea floating in my head, the laws of this corrupted land must be rather loose and flexible with all the dangerous beings waltzing around.
After my rather personal conversation with Celuriel, I chose to only relay the important information that could affect them. That being that if we followed this path to breathing life backing to the Vampire, we would have a Lich hunting us. Celuriel had been slightly hesitant to throw us into danger with her revival. Adamantly convinced that her older sister would effortlessly slaughter us. I have voiced my concerned to her, and to her, they will stay for now. Those thoughts are not meant for these pages, not yet anyway. The Lost Ones without a seconds hesitation agreed to help her. Then Ashlyn, the ever embodiment of sunshine and goodness she is. Gifted the vampire with a dagger, a wrist sheathe to keep it hidden. I believe there were a couple of other items, but I am not sure. She was rather quite if I recall, I think she was a bit taken aback at the willingness of people to help her with the issue of Ludrissiel.
It seems that within the domed walls of Tenaerul, if you are seeking a destination, then the path before you will lead you to that location. Like I said previously the rules of Tenaerul are very loose here. Reality clearly is not the same within the dome. Before we fell asleep we had a guest drop in from the sky, Cyne was now trapped within this cursed land with us. I believe a mix up was made when transporting something through our special books that allow for long distance communication. Taking Cyne with it and appearing next to casks of Ale. Which the party decided to drink, for an hour. It was rather vexing to watch. Through some complex series of events regarding the ale, unknown magics, and our party. Whisperbreath became a mother, claiming this black egg as her own.
I am concerned about this child's future.
Especially since Whisperbreath is the self-proclaimed mother.
Traveling to the Labyrinth was far quicker than I thought it would take. However, we were meet with a red-haired woman. Notably, she wore a three-pointed knot necklace, a simple design and a symbol for the Fey Eldest Magdh. She had a rather elegant green dress and seemed to be expecting us and seemly knew why we were here within a few questions. A never a good sign. With attention unknown, she gave us a way to get travel through the maze of the demon lord. A cyan string ball, magical in nature I have to question if a former myth from Aletheia’s past had something similar. Since my quest was currently the reason why we are seeking to explore this maze, I thought it was important to be the one to hold this magical cyan ball of string.
Entering into the maze simple and to simplify the description of its, everything is made of Ivory. Walls to the floor and the ceiling up above, in the white material. However on the wall of the first room after the door were shut behind us was an inscription.
A snake of a maze before you may lie.
Truth in these words is that which will guide.
To seek treasure within, a key must be found.
Sapphire to four, but heed not their call.
Emerald to eight, but ware of its theft.
Ruby to twelve, but break not its chains.
Witness the three and make them to one, and the final of four shall be found within ebony.
The first floor of the maze was the most trying. Not because of some battle or some complex puzzle that our group was utterly lost. It’s the fact we stopped twice to rest, though one of those rest were unavoidable. We were given three gems that matched the ones in the riddle. Emerald was given to Ashlyn, Sapphire to Celuriel and Kraia held the ruby. Each took a color jewel because of the lines in which we thought it was most likely be safe. A Theft would not be able to steal something from out fearless paladin, Artemis and Kraia, in general, are monsters. Celuriel had taken the Sapphire because of her abilities. Enter the first room we had locked the sapphire into a door and saw a room where the floor was a pool. A dark shadow swam through it and a single lady.
A sirens song mere seconds long.
I will not lie at my faults, I found the song entrancing. I almost followed its command to go to the water, if Celuriel hadn’t slammed me into a wall. She had obviously had figured out what had happened. I followed any instructions she had given, and the sirens tempting words left my mind. The Aboleth in the room was a whole other problem because of the effect on the water which some of us had to get into. See when an Aboleth is in water, it infects it with its slime that its body naturally creates. A person and or creature that breaths with a set of lungs that touch this infected water grows gills and is forced to stay in the water. A handful of infected had to stay in the water once the duo of aquatic monsters had been slain. The monsters dissipated into the maze. Once that happened, the sapphire began to glow, and we then began to see how this would play out. The Sapphire also has tiny words inscribed on them “Y T I.” At first, it made no sense, but we poked them and decided to find more rooms before pondering on this more. We spent a whole night sleeping and talking waiting for the infection for certain people to wear off.
While walking around the maze, we found a hall with several doors, two which contended gem slots and one with a message carved into the door with three gem slots. This three slot door had “Ntbkeeqz gl i xiihpc” written across from it. Great, I had thought Ciphers, at least I had been practicing.
Find the door for the Emerald was next and a gross mossy monster which had large, for lack of a better term, tentacles which caused some problems but not as much as the siren or the aboleth. It was concerning as to what this thief was going to do, although this creature’s minions concerned me since they did not seem to be thieves of any kind. The encounter was done faster than I clear to recount, and Ashlyn avoided being swallowed whole by the malicious moss. The Jewel glowing it’s gem’s color and revealed those letters to us “C A R.”
The room across from was the ruby room, this was interesting since there was an untold story here at one point about a trumpet archon Oriatar. This archon was bound in changes and requested a dual, a singular one which Ashlyn has begrudging volunteered for. Keeping a fair fight with our feathery friend over in the ruby room, I have noticed that lirien was about the cast a spell. Currently, my level of trust in the half-drow is at an all-time low, though I have already voiced my concerns in the entry before this one. Casting one of the few nature spells that could blind her, Dazzling lights which interrupted her. We eventual caved in and began to empower Ashlyn with our spell and tricks. The fight was quickly over, but Ashlyn had been terribly damaged. Nothing she could not recover from, but we’ve barely ever seen her like this. This was probably due to her strange logic of pulling her punches at this angel when he clearly was not. I swear I will never truly understand this paladin. Waiting for the angel to be brought back from the dead. We rested in the room and learned the angel's name, Oriatar. Once again the Ruby started glowing we were given the last code “O V.”
Deciphering the code using the three gems, ‘Ntbkeeqz gl i xiihpc’ turned out the be ‘Pactience is a virtue.’
After our rest, we placed the gems indoor and waited for about 30 minutes before trying the door. It opened.
24-2-13-22 19-26-23 14-22-13-7-18-12-13-22-23 8-12-14-22-7-19-18-13-20 26-25-12-6-7 7-19-22 5-12-18-24-22 19-26-5-18-13-20 26 24-19-26-14-11-18-12-13 26-13-23 8-22-13-23-18-13-20 18-7 7-12 21-18-13-23 6-8 8-15-18-20-19-7-15-2 24-12-13-24-22-9-13-18-13-20 8-18-13-24-22 7-19-18-8 5-12-18-24-22 18-8 5-22-9-2 14-6-24-19 8-22-13-23-18-13-20 14-18-3 14-22-8-8-26-20-22-8
The second floor was more maze-like, and we were divided into two main groups. Male and Female, by magic barriers. Exploring to the end of the maze I found an adventurer who did not make it, or at least his journal and body.
To those who come next,
This is where our journey ended.
Rulark and Shadara couldn't stand against the plant monstrosity some rooms ago, and we didn't have the remedies to fix Akutol, not after that door's trap. Glessa and Beornil are going to try going forward. Beornil's in better shape than I am, and this place isn't going to let me through alone.
If only we could go back. If only we'd listened to the whispered warnings. We thought we could handle it, and now I don't even have a name with which to sign this.
[The earlier pages seem to contain notes on Tenaerul's wildlife, though large sections have been stained black. The later pages are covered by increasingly illegible scribbles.]
Eventually, we meet up with the lady of the party, which is almost all of them. Cid, Cyne and I are really outnumbered. Another boring ivory room but this time with a statue and with around half sphere implanted into the ground on the other side of that singular statue. The Statue ‘spoke’ about only two who could bear life could pass. There was a basin that we had to slit our hand and drip blood into the bowl connecting. Now that leads to some problems, Ashlyn and I paired off and were relocated to a specific spot in the ivory room. Cid and Kraia next, followed by Cyne and Lirien leaving one pair. Whisperbreath and Celuriel, gods help her. Although I do not clearly remember Whisperbreath was screwing around with the basin and other things despite being told how to do things. Wizards.
SURPRISINGLY our group's obsession with adult product shops saves us from screwing up the mechanics of this room. Whisperbreath had an amulet what changes one's gender. She almost removed that amulet to see what would happen but thought better of it. The change physically speak was not much at all. Same old Whisperbreath same old problems. Each of the pair to placed into a spot facing our partner we poured blood into, and the Statue was no longer there revealing a door. Going through the door.
Magically I was alone with Ashlyn in an ivory room, with a half sphere. With some small amount of convincing, we touched the orb and were teleported. We found what we believed to be a central nexus a small part of the maze. A large room with a smaller room with a teleporting half sphere in each individual room. Exploring each part of the maze became a bit of systematic approach to this maze. I was rather appreciative of Ashlyn helping with the approach to going through the Ivory Maze. Ashlyn marked each teleport half sphere with a number matching number as I rolled the Cyan string behind us. I believe there were about 5 or 6 different half spheres before running into Whisperbreath and Celuriel. I was rather happy to be reunited with her and even more happy to find she had some level of control when it came to not harming Whisperbreath. Celu whisper to me that the rat had taken food from fey here, taking that information in I felt it wasn’t the correct time chastise the rat. Also in this is when we have introduced the color sphere to the mix. Ashlyn and I volunteered to touch and had a crimson red bracelet on our wrist. The red spheres inner darkness seem desperate and become dull. Linking Ashlyn and me together, we disappeared shortly after into a teleporting half sphere after heard what we thought was large steps echoing through the maze. Lacking in numbers we ran. Quickly finding Cid and Kraia and other colorful spheres. We were meet with the large figure that had been slacking us throughout the maze. A minotaur, a rather easy fight on our part, was depicted with brutal effectiveness. The minotaur then becomes apart of maze phasing into the ground, which we concluded that the minotaur was probably bound to the labyrinth and unable to die.
Traveling throughout the labyrinth we heard Cyne and Lirien, breaking through a wall that Whisperbreath had made early. Ashlyn and Cid destroyed the creature behind the wall. Following the half spheres, while running away from another minotaur, we reunited with the rest of the group and attempted to find the last colored sphere. Finding it, Cyne and Lirien become very difficult to deal with. Turns out while running from the minotaur, Cyne and Lirien had been replaced with the fey doppelganger. Not the fey that Whisperbreath dealt with since they made mention to this. They had knocked out the originals, so we did the same to them, but we took it a step further and killed them. Ashlyn decapitated the fey-Cyne, and I plunged my sword into fey-Liriens heart.
Stopping for a split second to rest, I had noticed my gender, as well as my race, has changed. A female elf, pale skin yet I found it strange that the color of my hair and eyes remained the same. This new form of mine appearing was rather attractive since our druid Kraia wanted to ‘talk’ after. Celuriel said, and I quote ‘I will cut you’ then brandished a dagger at Kraia.
I have never been so proud.
However, the Vampire decided to poke me in rather new places. This caused my rather pale face to flush red, the feeling just the same but the looks different. Asking if I prefer these, and why they were bigger than hers. Well, I would prefer my own body, but I had to deal with the new changes. I would rather not stay an elf, my pride would not allow it. She gave me a mirror so I could examine myself.
Soon after I felt a tug on the string. Not one that was rough, but gentle. On a hunch, I followed the string all the way to the person that was moving the string to grab my attention. Rounding a corner to a rather familiar aasimar, or it would be more accurate to say a former Half Elf.
Licia Galewin had returned.
Now she’s all bright and less elf, A full aasimar with a cloud of night and stars around her. The former Half-Elf trained in her goddess domain and seems to be the first of us to show the side effects of becoming a champion. Yet Licia all the same. Licia had healed the missing two Lirien and Cyne. We dragged them back to the green orb room and when they awoke from being knocked out from the doppelganger. They soon were bound together by a green bracelet.
We then place the four color bracelets together, and a large spark of magic flew to a half sphere. Following these sparks, we ended up walking through the maze to find a chamber with four postulates that we stood on. We felt reinvigorated, and the last teleporting half sphere was open to us. Entering the last door the room held a large set of double doors to our left and a smaller door in front of us. Ashlyn opens the door.
A large red pentagram was drawn onto the floor portraying the labyrinths true master took up the large ivory room. Statues littered the room. Gargoyles both large and small, abound angel in chains and being held back by other statues, a twisted combination of a Demon and an Angel was to our right. Oh and statues of ladies. A strange sight indeed. Two large platforms which look to hold about four to five people comfortably. We divided up into groups, by colored bands since that seemed like the smart thing to do. Cyne Celu Kraia and I in one group, Ashlyn, Whisperbreath, Lirien, and Cid comprised the other with Licia kinda in the middle.
As we thought when the eight of us stepped onto the plates, the statues gargoyles sprung to animated life. The Ladies states crumbled to reveal themselves as Succubus. Artemis was quickly released and knowing Artemis and Kraia made short work of anything that touched them. Which included a single succubus and two statues. The duo is an absolute monster in they own regard. Ashyln, Whisperbreath, Licia, and Cid had placed them new the demonic angel. They had to deal with there own set of Gargoyles but to a lesser extent. Their true enemy was the winged one. The Succubi made their move. Never did I think I would be happy that I currently was a female. The Succubus tried to entrance the males of our party. It failed, but Pin quickly took off the amulet to avoid that in the future.
While spells were being flung and whips shattering statues the bound angel was released and walked to the center of the pentagram. This was a mistake to let it glide peacefully to a crux of power for them. Destroy as many of the statues of we could before something truly terrible appeared. Five or six statues were left as well as a single succubus as the ivory room glowed red as the bound angel state disappeared.
In its place was an ivory demon. This demon seemed to be formed from the labyrinth itself. It’s body matched the color of the room around it. Covering its body with demonic red runes and symbols that emanated with a strange power. Without a mouth, it still creepily could display a mixture of emotions. Whether it was, it’s creepy glowing yellow eyes or the shifting ivory face. It was a towering figure, and that was not even including it’s curled horns.
Intimidating does not begin to describe this demon.
It began its assault on Licia who had attempted to heal the party only second before. They had quickly dealt with the statues but had not dealt with the demonic angel hybrid. The Ivory Demon must have thought it could hand it, and probably knew it would have a better chance somewhere else with Ashlyn around. Quickly getting bored with that group, having trouble hitting the paladin, it glowing demonic yellow eyes to us. Teleporting it changed its plan of attack to us.
While it began attacking the group I had started dealing with the leftover statues. I had turned at the wrong second. The Ivory Demon had brought Celuriel down. Something akin to wraith simmered under my skin. The split second of angry had surpassed any level of hatred I had toward anything in my life. I released a disintegrate spell at the demon which it blocks with ease. I screamed with frustration turning to a statue that had made it the center of the pentagram and was powered up glowing red. I flung another spell of disintegrate turning the empowered statue into ash. Venting my anger, I remembered Celuriel was extremely hard to kill. It only slightly lessened the feeling enough to focus on a goal. I was not having any luck with The Ivory Demon, so I had to turn my attention to other matter. While the others dealt it, I cleaned up the Statues, yet was overcome with a tremendous urge to go pick up Celuriel.
Walking back to the group, the yellow-eyed demon was gone, but I had come to my senses. As if an alien will was removed from my thought which urged me to go to her side. I would not put it past the demon to have placed me under a Dominate person spell. No Celuriel was fine, she was safer there she was, than if I had picked her up and made the both of us a target. With the Statue still cleaned up, that left the Succubus who was pouting over on the other side of the room, bored since we barely would give her the time of day. Whisperbreath took pity on the poor demon, creating physical images of five men with cat ears. Leave it to the ratfolk to do something in a time of serious combat. Ignoring the cat boys and the succubus having a bit of ‘fun’ a new wall appeared as we ready out weapons as the Paladin tore through the wall with her adamantine scythe. Delivering the final blows to the Winged demon and the yellowed eyed one. It was done, Artemis and Kraia death the decisive blow to the ivory demon.
The Pentagram glowed red, and then tentacles appearing from the pentagram dragged the Succubus back, she was rather happy about that, and then a voice spoke. “Go take your treasures, you have provided a small amount of entertainment. I will deal with you at a later date.”
I went to go collect Celuriel and carried her on my back as we went to the treasure room. The Treasure room was filled with many things, basins with water and stone heart like stuck. A statue with a weeping demon who was missing a heart. These statues had the necklace we sought, as well as braces and a crown. I placed Celuriel in a chair grabbed the necklace from the Statue and found a pink and purple egg. I place the egg in my lap as I sat next to the chair. Watching my companions go around seeking their treasure as I waited for her to wake up. While I waited, they placed the black stone heart into the statue which released a man. A normal human man, from before worldrend. Draconic, although still a different version than we speak, was the only real means of communication with this man displaced in time. His wrists were clear of any Champion mark, so the question still remains why was he stuck here? He knew of Arcane Magic and was a caster of said magic. We clearly do not have enough information or was a way to communicate clearly to make a current guess as to his imprisonment here in a demon lords maze.
Now let’s speak quickly about fey since now we have two people who have consumed food from the fey. Whisperbreath might be in a bit of tight spot soon with having to pay the Fey back for the food. I fear for that child that she might be raising, it that egg is something other than a chicken or small animal. God help that child if it’s a Pseudodragon or something similar. It might just be another creature we well have to take care of, but if the fey gets a hold of it who knows what the outcome may be. A table with tea and pie was placed within the treasure room with a note meant for Whisperbreath. Of course, once the Ratfolk tried to eat it, we protested not to eat it. Licia seems to have some level of senses which good to know. The Paladin exclaimed that the food was not even evil so it must be good to eat. Meaning she ate the fey food. I cannot wait to see this backfire straight into their face. I might start having to warn them less about events to come and just start keeping secrets to myself. Have them learn the hard way.
Finally choosing to leave, I placed the necklace around her neck and was blinded. Celuriel said it was taken care of, I trust her explicitly when she said that. She screamed which caused me to worry but appears it was all going according to the plan. The Necklaces had place Celuriel into a golden cocoon of sorts which Ashlyn and carefully slung over her shoulder. Coming back to life this way might be harmful. The Magical Cyan string teleportation quickly out of the maze. Yet there was more than that. We were empowered, similar in scope to champion powers but different. These powers seemed to come from ourselves, and not some god that gifted them to us. Once making it outside we were meet with the red-haired women I cannot recall exactly what was said, but Celuriel has been broken out of the Cocoon and was alive but marked.
Celuriel had joined the ranks of the Champions of the Divine under the Eldest Magdh.
A green three-pointed knot was now tattooed on her wrist, at least that is what I have been told. Being blind had some problems, though this is only temporary at the moment, I am not gonna screw up this chance up for Celuriel.
Cyne summoned some winged chariot to ferry us to the pond, but choose to rest before handing the necklaces to The Beauty.
Life before The Lost Ones: A rather perfect night.
Across a dimly lit bedroom, the soft pitter-patter of rainfall could be heard across their roof. In the dark, the ebony elf’s sleep had always been restless. Not since his time as a child, before he has a real sense of fear, has he had a restful night of sleep. This restlessness was instilled in him because of the years he spent in the Underdark. Sleep in the Underdark often lead to the dreams of assassination and being kidnapped and forced into servitude. Those years of worry clearly weighted heavily on the layers of dark elf ’s subconsciousness. Even on the surface now safe from the terrors of his kin, his guard will always be up. Since even people on the surface despised the drow as much as two rival drow houses hated each out while they struggled for power. This tension was noticeable to anyone who could see the drow sleep, even comfy sheet and bed would not ease this drow body into a more relaxed state. A fact that Claire took a clear note of the past couple of years living with her husband. Her husband, the thought alone was odd for her, married so young into her adventures and to a drow. Her eyes reminded closed, but she had been awake for half an hour at least.
Through her closed eyes a flash of light. Lightning crawled across the sky, it’s brief light illuminated the dark bedroom. The clap of thunder soon followed and shook the house. Out of reflex, the dark elf’s body lurched forward searching for a sign of danger. His veins felt like ice as his golden eyes scanned the room. His eyes lingered on his wife's twin short swords that were sheathed on the wall, then to daggers not far from them. Nothing was out of place the drow noted. His ears also perked up as to listen past the rain to see if he heard anything that was abnormal. The dark elf’s face smirked at his own stupidity, it was just a stormed he chastised himself. His body slowly went back to a position he felt he could get a comfortable amount of sleep in. Aniks attempted to relax, yet his body remained rigid across the bed. Even now under the covers, his bare chest felt cold. The bedroom only seemed to have a draft when there was a rather strong storm.
The wind howled as it blew quite violently against the couple’s windows. The ebony elf turned his head to look at his wife, how did he ever get this lucky he thought to himself. People within the Underdark do not care the same way humans do. His feelings for this human, ‘Love’ as it’s known in common, is always looked down upon by his kin. In fact, love of this nature is always hidden in fear that it would easily be taken advantage of. He let a small smile come to his rather tired face as he gazed at her. Despite all that she knew about him since she was the only human or person that he has spoken to openly about his past, she had accepted that. Her justification for that was simply ‘You cannot be like a typical drow, else I would already be dead’ she teased him about being a drow and all the ‘terrible’ things he could do. This would often lead to the drow blushing and finding something besides Claire to pay attention to.
See the drow initially didn’t think much of Claire. She was a simple adventurer with a group that had captured an evil drow on the surface. Aniks was that unlucky drow that had been in the wrong place at the right time on the surface during winter. Claire’s adventuring group wanted to leave the dark elf tied up to a tree, so he could freeze to death but the human protest. She protested so much that she created an ultimatum for them.
“We take the dark elf with us he’ll freeze in a couple of hours, or you leave without me!” Aniks always asked why she chose to spare some random drow she knew nothing about. It was the simple fact that Aniks never shown any violence toward the group. Leaving him to freeze Claire thought was worse than turning him in at the nearest town. Aniks always did admire that stubborn determination that humans seem to all poses, at least the humans that he knew.
Aniks was slightly jealous of the fact Claire could sleep so peacefully.
“Niks, it’s just a storm,” she said without opening her eyes. Aniks was slightly taken aback by her being awake but understood this wasn’t the first time he had woke her from her sleep.
“Shouldn’t you be sleeping?” Aniks said in a whisper that the rain could easily have drowned out if they hadn’t been so close.
There was silence between the two only to be broken by a clap thunder. Being a dark elf, sudden changes in light creates temporary blindness for Aniks. Another shot of ice ran through his veins, the total greyness of his sight always but him on edge. Their bed creaked as Claire moved closer to the blind drow, she could easily tell what was going on since he was blinking rapidly. Something brushed against his lips while unable to see. That graying blindness clearing from his eyes, he was meet with a pair of open, bright greenish blue eyes were about six inches from his face. There was a small laugh from the human. Claire often did small thing like that when she knew Aniks was temporarily blind. Aniks felt blood rush to his face and was glad the darkness hid that from Claire. She wasn’t gifted with the superior dark vision of the drow so she couldn’t get a truly clear depiction of Aniks blushing currently. Through his vision, her curly brown was all over the place and curled around her cheeks. Her eyes scanned as if she was trying to figure out what was wrong. She had a pretty good idea of what it was. Claire turned to face the window and had her back was facing him. She closed the remaining distance between the two of them.
“I could say the same to you, we only have so many nights left of peaceful rest,” she whispered, sounding like she was drifting off back into slumber. Then in more of a murmur, “I hope it’s…it’s a …. girl.”
Another brief moment of lightning and blindness followed up by a very close crack of loud thunder. His slender arms wrapped around his tired wife she slipped one of her hands into the drows, as she nuzzled herself as close to her dark elf as possible. After all, they were both rather cold in that drafty house of theirs. Each of them chose an appropriate position for them to sleep comfortably together. Through Claire's sleepy haze her voice attempted to mumble something. Aniks, of course, new a handful of languages, incoherent sleepy babbling was one he was not quite familiar with. Sorting through his knowledge of common, the closest language to nonsense tired mumbles, his interpretation of this babbling coming from his wife was a question. She had asked, “What do you hope they are?”
The couple had been married for less year and their time together as a whole was coming up on five years in total. The idea of a child was nothing more than a joke between the two, at least that was the case. Early on Claire would mention wanting a child with him, mainly to see his face grow warm and change color. This was almost always the easiest way to see a drastic change in his persona, this sudden change often showed that the surface had changed him for the better. No longer the stereotypical dark elf who’s every action was deliberately evil. Aniks only returned the teasing when under the influence of drinks or often when they’re alone. However, the two of them have had conversations seriously considering the possibility of having children.
Aniks had always voiced some concerns for any children he had with Claire, his ties to his house would still have some looming treat over them. Though Claire often disregarded this personal problem. Saying she’ll deal with her new extended relatives, often raising one of her twin swords making gestures of attacking dark elves she’s never meet. This put Aniks mind at eases, to his family he’s basically dead. As far as he was aware of the past fifty years, they have not searched for him. Which was suitable for this hypothetical family they spoke of. There was also the concern of how the child would be seen to the world at large. Though technically their children would be Half-Elves. It’s more accurate to use the term Half-Drow. Aniks only knew of a handful of Half Drow, and most were under the disturbing care of house umbra. They were oddities they are often never truly accepted by the surface and used for terrible means in the Underdark.
This changed recently at the news that Claire had been expecting. Both the soon to be parents were ecstatic. At least one list of male names have already been created, Claire had made at least double that in female names. Aniks stressed that he didn’t want their kid to have a name that would be used by a Drow. Both of them decided it would be for the best for their child to take her last name. The Drow in whisper careful not to wake his wife said: “ I would very much like a girl as well, though I would not mind a boy.”
The ebony elf’s eyes slowly closed as his mind drifted, it felt odd to him. Aniks body was no longer tense while trying to sleep. For the first time since he was a baby, he slept with a smile on his face. Within a minutes Aniks felt her breathing become slower. He still didn’t want to wake her, it’s not a pleasant experience when his wife did not get a restful night sleep. Especially as of late. In the back of his head, Aniks thought she was doing this as a way to get both of them some well-needed rest. Aniks pulled the cover up to their shoulders and placed his arm across Claire once again intangling his fingers with hers, in his thoughts he remarked how warm she was.
It was peaceful and perfect.
Journal #29: The 'safe' return of Eurydice
Our time in Tenaerul seems like it is going to be extended at the request of The Beauty, or appropriately we’re being kept here. I’m getting ahead of myself, this journal entry is going to be a bit shorter than the others, but there is something I do need to get across.
As I told you before my watch was rather uneventful, it was why I was able to write that last journal entry. Ashlyn took the next shift, after waking her I tried to get sleep, key word being tried. The Universe decided that we’d be ambushed on Ashlyn’s turn. Headless horsemen raced around the campsite attacking Lirian and Cid and some spectral floating skeleton. Which Ashlyn was dueling, reemphasizing how deadly she truly is, especially in this place, filled with evil outsiders. Her paladin skill have never been so useful before. Sleep came shortly after we dispatched the undead creatures, yet the longer we stay here, the more my concern grows for Lirien’s sanity. It is apparent that something is affecting her and she keeping a tight lip about it. I would be as well, but I haven’t spoken to the voices. So I cannot understand the full extent of how deep she’s gone down the metaphorical rabbit hole.
There is some cause for celebration, and I can’t say I am not overjoyed at the return of Celuriel from the Eighth Layer of Hell. While traversing Tenaerul, we found a lair of a singular giant spider which was mortal. After quickly trying to figure out if this Spider could have its soul taken, it became more difficult to keep it just on the edge of death. Lucky enough Create Soul Gem worked without much of problem. It’s disturbing to have used that spell, to steal somebody soul. I say it’s alarming because of how easy it was, there was just as easy as casting a simple arcane spell. Having it converted a soul of a dying creature, to hold a gem that you could easily pocket. Was it truly that easy to take a soul? Instantly after obtaining this stone,, we brought the Devil before us to conclude the deal and never speak with her again. The exchange was made, and Eurydice was returned to us. I’m thrilled she didn’t have to spend more time inside Hell. With the that, the Deal was concluded we never have to see her again unless we both agree to it.
Pin thought it was smart at the moment to ask if she could keep the magical watch that allowed for contact. Both Ashlyn and I firmly said no, Pin instantly reconsidered her previous statement and the Devil took the watch and disappeared.
With that accomplished, we have one more thing to deal with.
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The Beauty is somebody who I am going to place as a neutral entity for now. She told us this place we’re in is safe which I am inclined to believe her since I didn’t drown while taking a dip in the water. On top of the fact she only spoke to me about finding Eury and not be distracted. Clearly, The Beauty has their own goals but has just been telling us about ‘quests’ that we have while here. They have a name but not willing to share. My quest is half over, retrieving Eurydice was one bring her back to life by finding an amulet inside an ‘Irovy Maze’ then the other will have their quest. I have to hope we can get out of this in one piece, I’d rather not die in a place like this. It’s strange for once probably being the sanest of the group hopefully I can keep that sanity for as long as possible while here.
P.S. Apparently Eurydice sister has her heart according to The Beauty, which would enable us from being brought back to life. The Beauty can override this...
Journal #28: Why am I Orpheus?
Needless to say, I spent the day alone without the contact of everybody. They decided to go back into The Alethein Empire to capture Celuriel’s sister. Prolonging the quest The Lady of Graves sent us on. Granted capturing a Lich's soul which is not small feet and I can assume she has at least some information on us by now. I can only imagine taking away Celuriel from that Necromancer’s tower can just have put us on her scrying eye. Now that Celuriel is away from us I fear that Ludrissiel might know, which could only lead to a more complicated problem in the future. Hopefully, we can retrieve Celu before things get fair to out of hand. Traveling back through the Elven Gate, we brought back Talinde Ae’tharis, who Kraia has already tried to seduce. None of us really batted an eyelash at this. A different Elf that Cid was tapping in more ways than one, I regret writing that, but it’s very much true. I’ll never understand the elf’s fascination for trees.
With a rather shortstop back to Iron Falls, We go to the Temple to help look up any information on the Lich from the Keepers of Divinity. Which we found some document not many lead us to find a rough estimate that Celuriel is roughly 900. The Keepers of Divinity did not have any real information on the Geltharieth which is understandable given the circumstances that Celuriel grew up in, which is probably one of the few reasons that family survived for so long. Consulting the High Priestess of the Temple of Celesthem, she suggested going to Tenaerul. A place if I recall, and currently we’re currently in while I’m writing this, is a land full of corruption but more on that later. Tenaerul was a place that a Champion sacrificed themselves to create a barrier to seal the corruption of dark being, cultist and has I learned today. Outsiders. The deciding factor was Cyne using telling Ashlyn they’re Rovagug Cultists somewhere within this corrupted land. The High Priestess warned us, especially Lirian and Myself who were not Champions that the corrupting influences will have a more pronounced effect on us. Since we don’t have any protection from any deity. Though many of us can suffer the influences of this land. One of use, not sure exactly which one but they asked when we know when we’ve been influenced or change because of this land.
I sarcastically said that you’ll know when I stab you.
Strange to know that Cyne talks about us to her, since the High Priestess remarked that she understands why Cyne and I get along the sense of Humor is similar.
After constructing a contract with the Devil, one that Whisperbreath was happy with, and making a remark about not messing with Celuriel shooting a rather icy glare. At least for now I know she is safe, which puts my mind at ease so I can deal with whats around us now.
Tenaerul is hard to describe as a place, distortion and discord run rampant through the trees, land, and sky. There is no sun within these walls and a heavy almost Eldritch fog. Rather annoying really. The trees are twisted, and the bark is cracked and dimly glowing with purplish light. Everything here seems to be tainted and twisted from extended time form here. So far we’ve been alright, physically speaking anyways.
Mentally, our time is slowing running out.
While we first enter the unhallowed ground of Tenaerul. Our transportation, Pins old magical train, stopped and standing outside was an ethereally beautiful Celuriel Geltharieth, and not. The image of Celuriel shifted to somebody I used to know, a woman by the name of Claire Therwel. The Creature formed shifted between the two, rarely did the entity shows a complete version of one or the other. The contorted image of the two of them placed overlapping each other as if the image itself couldn’t settle on one to pick. It hurts to say, but It pulled at my heartstrings making my chest feel slightly hollow. Silver could probably feel my plus in my hand. Whatever strange machinations this being has plans it probably could have killed us on the spot, but I have a feeling it’s planning something. It told us that entering Tenaerul without payment or giving something up was not allowed. It “Took” from us.
- From Ashlyn, it took the “Sun.”
- From our Gunslinger “Strenght.”
- Kraia, her “Growth” was “taken,” though I don’t think she’ll be growing much more.
- Whisperbreath’s “Time” was removed.
This is rather problematic for us, this being was able to dampen or “take” away their champion powers. The concept of Taking is scary. For something to be able to TAKE champion power is scary. From what I’ve learned from the research into Champions, for something to be able to effect their Champion powers have to be above a Demonlord level of power, or at least on par with divine powers. So many questions but I’m concerned about what that could lead to. Everybody else seems to be speaking with voices, there's at least two that I know of. One is the Being that pulled at my heartstrings the voice is the same, it keeps telling me to not be distracted, that I can’t forget about my quest for Eurydice. The Second voice is the fairly neutral voice, neither male or female, who wants to have a conversation with me and is just annoying me. Both of them called Orpheus. I am not sure who that is. Some of my traveling companions have struck deals, and I’m slightly concerned for Lirian since the female voice, the False Celuriel, took something from Lirian and me.
Either one of us had “Protection” or “Hope” taken from us.
With the way Lirian has been speaking, I am worried that Lirian was hope. I know she’s made deals. How far is this rabbit hole going to go?
I need to sleep for tonight. I”m going to try and be the most sain one fore once which means I need to keep my wits about me. With my luck, I might just get out of here.
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Journal #27: Mistakes we're made, Surprisingly it wasn't my fault this time.
It’s rather difficult to talk about my experiences within the Kingdom of the Galansthin Elves. It’s been somewhat vexing just being here. I’ve slept through most of it, but I’ve had trouble remembering some events while there. My mind has been racing while awake, but it hurts. As usual, my companions found themselves getting involved in politics and heroic acts. The typical heroes they are, always butting their heads in situations they probably shouldn’t. This had very little to do with us. Going to stop some Renegade Elf who stole some rather ancient artifact unrelated to the Artifacts we currently are searching for.
Reality is a rather fickle thing when it comes to the Gods. The Elven Pantheon has a different set of gods than the ones we champion. A champion of this Elven Pantheon wanted to set his Goddess Seren free from a dark god Seren had captured and sealed inside herself. This is at least how the I believe the story goes. Like I said my recollection of these events should be put into question. It’s still slightly hazy, and my current mental state is somewhat red. I’ve been alone for a bit and unable to sleep. I must apologize for anybody trying to read this, the smearing of ink on the page is something I cannot help. Some of these words have been rewritten because due to the ink bleeding into the page and becoming illegible.
This Elf known asTalinde was eventually talked down from doing what he thought was right. The Elf had been time-displaced by using his artifact. Spending roughly about four months in this reality warped build, we also started to question how much of our time had been distorted. Which his personal Champion status was called into question just because he couldn’t really remember how long he had been one. Turns out it was a month. We eventually convinced Talinde to deal with his problem and Goddess a later date, going to his Elven House to suppress this Artifact that has bound itself to him.
This world just keeps getting stranger and stranger the longer we walk around in it.
Without getting into detail, Celu was dragged to Hell because of a deal that was incomplete. She was used as a bargaining chip so to speak. As far as I am aware I do not believe Devils can drag people into their domain without some connection to Hell. Which might cause far more problematic scenario in the future.
I’m tired of this, very tired.
I need help. I can’t save the people care about. Especially if I cannot understand how to correctly use this arcane magic.
I might have to ask a favor from somebody. I hope they listen.
Journal #26: Teaching Celu Undercommon
Just to slightly tease Celu so I can see her make that face I will only write the thing in Undercommon. In truth, I do know she doesn’t like when I use it because she doesn’t understand what is being said. So below is a list of common phrases, she should be able to pick the language up quite quickly since undercommon has its roots in elven. It even uses some of the letters.
((There is a list of letters written that correspond to Undercommon alphabet. Along with a list of key phrases that are written correctly and phonetic spelling of those words and sayings. Aniks has also given Celu the grammatical rules to undercommon but they're incredibly similar to Elven.))
My name is ….
The directions are North, South, East, West
Here are basic colors: Red Blue Yellow, Green, Orange, Violet, White, Black
Cat’s are my favorite pets
I am hungry
The rat is drinking again.
The paladin is too good, I have to walk away.
If the halfling gives you a magical ring don’t take it.
Trees often get struck by lightning.
Unnatural lust is a terrible spell.
Don’t mind the Fetchling in the cupboards.
If you see a colossal stack of books it probably a half-elf.
Sass and edge cannot be measured.
The half-orc likes all women and maybe a dwarf.
The android requires medication. It’s all he talks about.
Journal #25: The capital and asking for diplomatic immunity.
Discussing our next objective with the rest of the group, we set our minds to the Artifacts that Phrasma told us about. With that Bloodwalker knowing about these artifacts and how they are a danger to the world around them. We decided to wrap up any loose ends, within the country of Aletheia. Stop by the Kingdom of the Galasthin Elves the quickest way to the eastern continent of Xin-jiyo, to cure Mery’s Mother and leading us closer to where the two artifacts were last found or heard of. Using an Elven Gate, in Ildendras to transport to The kingdom of the Galasthin Elves, which might be a slight problem for Lirien and me.
Being dark elves make going into an elven country worrying. So we set off to the capital to get diplomatic immunity. Getting there was simple enough, though our tour guide known as Cyne was taken away. To look for potential women for him to marry, we all watched as he was taken away. Leaving us to unpack and get ready for to speak with the emperor the next day. A guard kindly took us to our rooms. A common room with several branching rooms that we could sleep in. Our room had a balcony overlooking a courtyard and Cyne sitting on throne having lady after lady approaches him and has short conversations to see how compatible are they with him. Or at least that’s what it seemed, I have never understood royal politic when it comes to marriage. We watched this with stupidly wide grins on our faces.
The guard that had escorted us gave us the option to join them. We jumped on that far too quickly. I went down but stayed away from all the other people. I did notice a lack of other tieflings in the group. Ashlyns had somebody toss out somebody for being rude and using language unbefitting of nobility. This was strange for me. I didn’t know what to do. I might have come from, but this was something on a whole different level. Everybody was so prim and proper, and there was notable lack of knives and blood. Eventually and I bailed on this little event and explored the city. I did take the time to start to try to teach her Undercommon. She doesn’t seem to like when I speak in Undercommon, which might be due to the face she doesn’t understand it. She makes faces when I use that language.
The next day was filled with a dragon egg. Ashlyn found a dragon egg inside her bag of holding before coming to the capital, and they got the most brilliant idea of accelerating time on the egg till it hatched. Pin has been messing around with her champion powers, one which includes time acceleration. Kraia and I keep getting weird vibes the dragon egg, like a strange sense of deja vu. This egg turned out to be a Lunar Dragon, Lirien and I seeing how things could only get worse. Went to go research more in the castle’s library. Which we found some information but not anything other than essential warnings and safety issues. I found a book, that was shocking had some resemblance to Ashlyn.
This dragon upon returning to the room has created a makeshift cave with pillows, blankets, curtains. Adorable. Somebody even thought it was a good idea to toss gold coins in front of the entrance which the lunar dragon quickly snatched them up. With much deliberation on what to do next, Ashlyn had some meetings and or dinner with one of Cyne’s potential wife. Most of us followed, I decided to go back since it was just Celu and the Lunar Dragon. I might have been a bit worried. This Lunar Dragon is energetic bouncing a red ball around, but Celu had claimed it down.
Ashlyn eventually gathers everybody, and we grabbed our fancy garb. Being escorted to the Emperor's chambers. Which he was alone in this throne room. Our step echoed which was unnerving. There were apparently two outcomes, one there are other people in here we just can’t see them, or two the Emperor is just such a badass that he could quickly take care of us. I would go with a little bit of column a bit of column b. This older man but still held an intimidating figure. His celestial features were in clear and prominent display. Colossal wings, the similar facial features to other Aasimar I have meet, armor well polished with gold and white trim, the precise way he held himself. I found a bit interesting in his royal regalia an Axe. Everything about this man read as Emperor of the Nation Asterion Aletheia. A close descent of Ashlyn of course of perhaps four or five generations I believe.
The Emperor greeted Ashlyn first. Formality aside of family meeting each Emperor Asterion told us if we would want this diplomatic immunity we would have to prove that we’re at least respectable. Fair enough really, why would the leader of giving diplomatic immunity if they wouldn’t repeat the country in a somewhat reasonable way. I’m not accounting for the idiotic things we have done, but we’ve done some good. Each of us had to prove in some way that we could show our loyalty. Each of us gave a speech on how we determined our worth. Mine roughed up to being, I am the only reason I would go to such a dangerous place for my race is to complete the task given to us by Pharasma. Passing through the Elven kingdom just so happens to be the quickest way to the most significant amount of suspected Artifacts. I told him how I gave up my championship which had different implications for different people, one would be I clearly not a power hungry drow. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. He questioned that, asking if I would give up power to stay the same. Yes, since power can corrupt anybody, and to not be me is a scary thought. Power is ultimately useless is it changes you in a way that harms people around you.
Then came a rather odd question, one that ultimately took me off my guard. I knew each of us would get a personal question that Emperor Asterion had thought of. The emperor asked about Celuriel, I believe the question was why do I take care of her. At first, I thought it was why do I care for her. No this is a question that meant why am I helping her, my am I continuing to feed her? The straightforward answer is because I can. The more complicated I told the emperor that when I came to the surface, I was given a chance at another life by somebody I eventually came to love. The person gave a drow who was horrible the second chance at living. At a new life to be somebody else. I guess because in a weird way when I had met Celuriel I saw a bit of my own situation in this Vampire. I decided to give her that second chance at another life, or at least give her a choice on if she wants to live. Since I don’t think she really got a choice in anything in her life.
Of course, I have entered my personal thoughts while writing this, I clearly expanded my thoughts a bit. Each of us passed the emperor's verbal test. Then clapped to releasing the magic in the throne room. Sitting in the balcony was the royal aletheian family Cyne included. The interesting person in that group was the High Priestess, why was she here? Probably close connections to the family or maybe we’re a bunch of Champions of gods, and she’s the leading forwards most authority in the Divine matter. I could see why she should be here, but it’s still kinda weird.
After this whole affair, the emperor told us that we would be having dinner. Each of us had our seats has been planned. I was sat next to his Royal Highness, and pain in my ass, Cyne. More surprisingly the High Priestess was to my left. Which is the reason I called Cyne a royal pain in my ass. Cyne, the wonderful guy that he is, outed me for being "Atheist." Which lead to a whole mess of conversations throughout the night while eating. A lot of explaining my reason for not worshipping a Deity, and why I told an angel I don't believe in gods. You know the simple things.
Journal #24: All magic comes at a cost.
For now, I have to get this Arcane Magic under control. Discharging silver lightning around the keep and absorbing magic has been dangerous. Not only to myself but the people around us. Especially since my friends decided that when I fell unconsciousness to use this newfound ability to cast a spell on me to test its full extent.
The Spellbook that I found in a Necromancer's Tower can only be read by the Dead or people who are undead. Otherwise, the pages are blank. I just was able to truly understand all the spells in this tome, till a Sword appeared. I have taken to calling it Silver for the time being, but I’ll think of something more elegant to name the blade. It will have to be a translation of Silver since They like Silver.
Just in case the person reading this didn’t catch that, I might be died, or a part of me might be at least.
Journal #23: The Grand Game
The question now is what does that cost. My soul is freed from the demons brand, and the only lasting effect is physical scars on my left forearm. I am working under the assumption that my eldest sister is the now current Champion of Andirifkhu.
It works out better that way Since she is a now the matron of house Alas’thil. Which my companions and I might have accelerated that process as well as help House Alas’thil to become a significant political power in the Underdark in the next coming months, I never lied while bargaining with both my Family and the Demon Lord. I would have never been a proper vessel for Andirifku’s will. Somebody like my eldest sister would comfortably fit the model she wants. If the Demon Lord hand kept me, we would have been at odds till one of us relented. In the end
This is what you call Multitasking.
Welcome to the Great Game of gods dear sister, it’s almost preordained that we’ll be meeting again. Fate tricky in that way isn’t it. All roads in this Grand Game are going to lead to the same destination. It’s the route we travel that make us different; I’m starting to understand that now. I cannot change that fixpoint, the reason for the Champions being claimed, from happening in the future. I can, however, pick that road that I will walk with my companions and their god. Eventually, I might not be able to stop myself from becoming a champion of some deity; I can at least enjoy this Freedom from this destiny a bit longer. I can dream of a second longer than I can have a peaceful life and that the world is not in danger of a cataclysmic event.
Journal #22: Castle Umbra and their Bloodwalker.
Nivinle retrieves all information on house umbra and this tiefling that the paperwork seemed to refer as the bloodwalker. Apparently, there is some nondrow skipping around like she owns the place. Nivinle final words on the matter were I had better not fail our it would bring doom to us all. How dramatic has she gotten? With a smile, I replied, “Well if the world going to end anyways, Might as well have a bit a fun along the way!”
I brought the information out to the rest of the group. Explained what just happened and my slight gap in memory because of Demon Lord Possession. Ashlyn gave me the “Evil” magical scan. Minus the arm I was normal. I expressed I wouldn’t have done something this idiotic if it weren’t for Cyne. I had to tell them that we can only trust my family about much as any other drow. Which isn’t saying much. The information was necessary, but as much as I would like to tell you about these people, it's mostly a liability. If this journal got into the wrong hands, then it’s possible that it could cause a problem. I want to keep my knowledge on this group to myself till I know more. Since there is some connection between some people, we've met and this Bloodwalker.
Now I could give you a quick rundown of my past experience House Umbra which favors Seduction and their patron Demon Lord Nocticula. I said could more on the events that took place while I was trapped in their walls, but my mind is drawing a blank with what happened in that house. House Umbra during a drow civil war taking place for the past couple of months was the clear winner. Its castle was the focal point in this city of Vaermyrhel. Which come to find out the bloodwalker had something to do with it the unrest in the cavern far below. Becoming a significant political influence and source of power in the Underdark. There had been talks about these incidents affecting other regions such as the Dwarfs in the Dhun. I even believe Kazric had made some mentions to something in the Underdark like this. Besides the point, we had the route that would lead us to where the Bloodwalker would be.
Going in through the side of the building it was incredibly easy to make our ways down into House Umbra. Easy compared to what is to come. Along the way, we brought out Ashlyn Since if we got caught, it’s all or nothing after that. The traps consisted of illusion and some rather hard fleshy chairs draped in some white cloth. I don’t mean the chairs and sofas felt like flesh, Pin noticed there were made of flesh. House Umbra was very much known for there flesh warping. A common practice in the Underdark mine you but these people are masters of it. The first encounter with other drow ended with me in a corset.
Our disguised female Drows were Lirien, Celu, and Pin. Celu doesn’t speak undercommon, Pin is a baby by Dark Elf standards and as we have seen with Lirien. She is too nice. Leaving them to have the brilliant idea of sticking me into a corset, applying enough makeup to make anyone look like anything they wanted to. Kraia gratefully gave me her whip to complete the look. Entirely no clue where Celu got a corset, though I did know her makeup skills were beyond amazing. A small trap leaving the area that Pin hastily took care of. I took care of the Female drow with her two male escorts. That’s not the right words. Minions are probably better, or toys. The lady asked what I was doing down here, I told her that I was lost and apparently on the wrong floor. I played on the fact I heard the lady organizing an orgy later today. She gave me directions to which room it was in and how to get there. As she left clearing the room, I called to her winking and told her I would see her there. It was one of the few times I could say I made a drow blush.
Finally making it to the basement, we were greeted with five thrones, and one was seated with Kazric with a gauntlet, as a drow. The Bloodwalker had constructed a ritual consisting of the primary elemental outsiders. Attending to use himself also as a surface to bring a horrible artifact into this world. I gave everybody super quick rundown of how bad this would get if the giant black orb of void and ritual would finish. One villain monologues later, and godly powers were released. After supercharged the evil ceremony which luckily for us the Bloodwalker and the princess survived, killing the elemental outsiders. After breaking his defense, Ashlyn dealt with Kazric who told us to kill him. Pin and Cyne secured the princess, and I did the stupid thing and decided to attempt to grab the artifact. Sticking my hand into the void wasn’t the smartest thing I’ll admit, but I thought if maybe I could divide the artifact in half if I could assert my will for what the artifact could be I would ruin his plans. I knew it worked when this tiefling face was pissed. In this void, I felt a blade being former. Taking my stupidity one step farther I plunged my head in to see a rough outline of a knife. A couple more second? Kazric now armless stuck his one arm into the void.
The Bloodwalker then finally getting fed up with our collective shit exclaimed "You absolute fools. You, who stand to gain the most from my triumph, you of the oppressed and corrupted shadow-elves, you would dare challenge me for this blade?" I promptly told him that I was doing fun and mostly to piss him off. I say he enjoyed that little conversation we had "...I think not. As a champion of the darkest, most vile magic and of those twisted mortals suffering under the unrelenting oppression of Truth... I, Son of the Abyss, accept thy invitation.” The void sphere started drawing the three of us in with Artemis saving me. Yet right before I heard a familiar voice, but the sound itself had no discernable qualities to it. It told me to join it or be with it again something along those lines. Gods this beaver has saved us on many occasions. Kazric and the Drama King disappeared along with the sphere.
The earthquakes begin once those two left, and the four elemental outsiders were brought back. Unlike normal undead, they clearly retained their skills, and something was lacking. Something about these voidlings was off, some there expressions and ability to somewhat maintain their sentience of there former life. Just made this seem like a twisted version of any resurrection spell. This camber began to tear itself apart, releasing Underdark aberrations into our battle. We were only able to take out two of them. The others were crushed under the rubble. They just needed these two really, two spellcasters can be a dangerous combo. The Undine and Ifrit, who I now recall being friends with Kraia, covered the room with large magic spells. I was knocked unconscious by a combination of Ice magic or Fire. I can’t recall since the last thing I felt before waking up aging was cold and warmth.
So let’s talk about this Bloodwalkers plan. I don’t quite understand. He apparently has friends, Pin’s friends, the girl in the Underdark. Who we never honestly find out who they are. He was the one who I can assume he gave Kazric that soul-sucking blade from way back when. The big question is why? It’s unlike he knew what that blade was precisely at the time. Otherwise, I do not think he would let something like that. On top of that, he shares some connection with vampires and possibly started some or help this drow civil war. A revolutionary? Something apparently isn’t adding up, but the question is what. Minus some sort of influence over the realm or political power in certain vital circles I don’t understand why. Wait I need to speak with Pin about something. See if there are any connections or similarities between these two.
I’d say the Underdark excursion was far more informative that we had hoped.
Lucky the others and I woke up wholly safe and listening to Cyne and Ashlyn argue about absolutely nothing. I recall the event being over the amount darkness in the area that we slept in. For some reason, Artemis was laying across the both of them. Gods have mercy on the poor souls that are crushed by that beaver’s bottom. Others had fallen unconscious, but if it weren’t for the combined efforts of Cyne and Kraia, we would have been in a lot worse shape. Most likely under the broken ruin of castle Umbra. Grasping the situation and finally being able to relax, cutting myself out of the corset I finally had a chance to calm my nerves. Thought in the back of my mind I thought about the deal. For the most part, she had been quiet, which was lovely but highly suspicious. We technically succeeded but I would need to return back to the Underdark. That currently didn’t matter we save the princess of the realm which I had a pleasant conversion with Alysia. Telling her that I was jealous of her family. Hopefully, joking as she said she could introduce me to a cousin and I told her I had been seeing somebody.
Going to find said, somebody, since she had disappeared into the building near us. Exploring Celu, I felt something. My recklessness has caused some adverse effects on my body. That blade hadn’t entirely left me yet, in my finger I could barely see an outline. I could feel it along with some weird magic along with it.
The ‘night’ slowly crept upon us. Each of use that needed sleep took our chance and beds. It was the morning that was more important. Our oracles had visions. Celu, Pin, Ashlyn, and Alysia shared some connect vision of their pasts, present, and their futures. After a brief discussion, we or more like I in my head need to see Cyne in a corset. Since that prick pulled the corset extremely tight after Celu had finished with the disguise. Apparently, in that shared vision, they saw Cyne in the said corset. Appeared back in Ironfalls after our discussion and I stressed that I did need to return soon.
Which with help from Cyne, Pin, Pennyswaggle, and Celu shortly returned to the Underdark after some problems with Arcane Magic. My interaction with the Void sphere changed me and left me somewhat unstable. Now being able to cast magic and a bound silver and gold blade. That magic seems to be tricky in nature, the spellbook seems to imply I’m a wizard, but how I’m I able to cast spells without it? Since I was apparently able to in my bar. It was somewhat risky going back down there without a real grasp on why I started shooting silver lightning out of my body. Yet after knocking out a good chunk of the spellcaster in sleep like curse, even this demon lord might not want to be connected to me. Or at least that’s the impression it left. Since she wasn’t the one who did it according to her, which I usually wouldn’t believe her but sleep spells on only spellcaster is not her natural M.O. On top of that, after she did explain that it wasn’t her, she told me to finish the deal.
Which makes me wonder...
Coming back to the Underdark it was in ruins, and it wasn’t too hard to find my sister. Dealing with some male drow from another house, and leaving Pennyswaggle with them. Gods those poor bastard probably thought they could mug him. There mistake letting me pick. They sent for my siblings and the three of them without the other males that left with Pennyswaggle. Nivinle was dressed in spiked battle armor, there must have been some significant conflict after the earthquakes. I had to go with my eldest sister, and everybody else had to stay with my younger siblings while I dealt with my other sister. Which again after a small conversation and her telling me that I could come back was over and live as a drow. I let that demon lord control my body and finish that deal. My last sight before waking up was my sister cruelly smiling down at me. Oh, and of course searing pain, unlike anything I could describe.
Waking up alone with Celu messing with my hair in Ironfalls having her explaining what happened after I disappeared with my sister.
P.S. I did tell Cyne that the information I had gathered on the artifacts was leaked somehow, so somebody at the temple was connected with the bloodwalker. Cyne told me he’d mention it to the High Priestess who could probably have a better time finding this leak.
Journal #21: Homecoming
Spending a month Ironfalls was actually quite relaxing. Regrettably, I did keep some information from my party, but that's just because of the problem that lies ahead of us. How does one actually break the news that by the end of this champion ordeal, that it's going to result in some cataclysm by merely being some vessel or herald of their God. They become more like their god, the idea of Ashlyn becoming some flaming angel with godlike powers is definitely a good thing. Right? I thought about breaking it to him quickly, but I couldn't think of anything like that. Both cyne and I explained information both for the artifacts and what it means to be a champion. The end of that night we received news that Cyne’s Sister had been kidnapped and was in the Underdark. After talking Cyne down from leaving right that second. We chose to go in the morning.
I was returning home.
Cyne was able to take us to the Underdark with some ease.
Needless to say that in returning to the Underdark we were met with a complication. Meeting one of Cyne’s informant, a rather interesting lady drow who gave a quick rundown of where people are and who might have his sister Alysia. House Umbral seemed to be our best option. In the middle of this small discussion we were interrupted causing us to hide by people outside, Cyne’s informant left with a more than thrilled Kazric. Shortly after screams could be heard from the courtyard, causing us to have to hide our evil hating paladin away so Ashlyn wouldn’t blow our cover. We donned our disguises and carefully left, leaving the house was a hard sight. The Snow Elf from the group in the adventuring party was in the process of being flesh warped.
That was a hard walk.
With little luck and ‘saving’ a mute elf that ran away from house Umbra. We learned that the princess was indeed was in house Umbra. You’ll understand why I wrote ‘saving’ later. With what little she did say we do know we hard working with a tiefling that isn’t Cyne. Running out of options to find Alysia Cyne reminded me that my house lives here. See barely any options left in the Underdark without going in completely blind.
I walked home to House Alas’thil.
It should be noted, I hate that I have to return here. I hate the notion of being here in general, the Underdark such a stupidly corrupted place where the social norm is right to be stabbed in the back.
Needless to say, I walked in and walked to what I thought was the library. Avoiding traps from my house, nothing significant happened my comrades happen to find an old family painting. Glancing at it once, I continued down the hall because I saw a pair of golden eyes grinning at his future self. We eventually ran into a billiards room, where somebody finally stopped us. Pin disguised as a small drow child climbed on the table and started to play pool. She was confronted by another adult female drow. Knowing better Cyne and I, being males kept entirely. I’ve never really thought about killing a friend before, but I’m not going to lie and say the thought wasn’t there in this current moment.
Lirien plucked Pin from the other females arms, and she began to question Lirien, which didn’t hold up. Lirien Apologizes to the female drow alerting her to our outsider presence. I stepped in baring my champion mark explaining what it meant, this dark elf said champions are nothing but fairy tales.
Disappearing into a wall, I told Lirien that “we need to work on your drow edicate.” I was notably pissed more at Pin than Lirien, Pin should have known better than to stand out that much. Lirien will probably always have a pass on most things since I have a notable soft spot for Half Drows. Their upbringing is complicated. Pin is an impulse driving wizard which makes life more interesting. Leaving this nicely furnished and one spellcasting ooze later we press on to find information on house Umbra.
Checking one of the doors I ran into a music room with a single female drow who already knew I was the one to claim to the champion of their patron. This red-eyed drow dressed in all white is my younger sister. Vastestra Alas’thil easily an adult by drow standards. It was strange that she hadn’t noticed who I was at the moment. Dear little sister wanted this to be a conversation between people of the house. Surprisingly I didn’t argue with that. Pin tried to walk in with me, but I probably closed the door.
The conversation was surprisingly different than what I had the image. I imaged less talking and more slitting her throat in revenge. All that rage just disappeared. In this moment where I could quickly have tried to exact some sort of attack. That I had thought about since Vastestra and Rikzyr (my younger brother) betrayed me and left me enslaved by house Umbra. 60 long years I had thought about it. I could have lived on the surface and never touched my family again, that would have been fine. Yet I was here sitting down across from her. I want to stress that at that moment, everything is so small. This revenge I wanted was so little, it’s not going to every matter. Playing into this revenge would perpetuate the cycle of evil within my people's culture. How could I ever care about something as petty killing my family because of what they did to me when Gods are leading us to some sort of cataclysm.
Eventually, Vastestra noted some familiarity with my face. Leading to a minute or two of silence after I dropped my formality after she asked for my name. That minute started with my statement of “You’re smart, figure it out.”
After the realization of her older brother sitting from her, she questioned how I escaped from House Umbra. Lots of lucky and bodies. I’m not proud, but at least it was the drow.
This is the moment where I started to explain what I need, information of House Umbra and who this Tiefling. Under normal circumstance, I would have no leverage being that I am a male and my younger siblings metaphorically stabbed me in the back. These are not ‘normal’ circumstances, I made a very risky gamble. I had Vastestra call out other siblings make this a happy family reunion. She agreed, and 20 minutes later I learned a fact about my younger siblings; they're a couple. Mentally I vomited.
First I had to prove I wasn’t going to betray them, easy. I showed them this drow hunting party, a game some person in the capital was putting on to hunt drow. Despite my hatred to my own race, senseless slaughter is not something to have a competition about. This expressed I was at least was trying not to cause trouble by being in the Underdark and walking into this house. All I wanted was information. Secondly to ensure a level of cooperation between us I offered a deal that would benefit far more than just me. I provided my status as Andirifku’s Champion, which she had words about. I explained that I was champion I would be useless, fighting against Andirifku’s will. Somebody who’s still faithful to her would be a fair better as her Champion. Of course, it’s not my power to give, but perhaps she could gift it to somebody else. My younger siblings were fairly talkative leaving Nivinle silent. They thought I saw lying to them, which was smart of them to believe that. Till I gave myself over to that demon lord for a second.
It was like being plunged into an eternally dark ocean. The sensation of drowning but with slight impressions of the breath. Seconds could have been hours, I am not sure how much time was spent in that mindscape. I at least believed that the place I was in, some sort of mind prison where my subconscious is. Waking up was a treat. My younger siblings in bloody and bruised, Nivinle my eldest sister was notably unharmed. My bet might have worked under the conditions that we succeed in our quest.
P.S. I am rather sure my family has killed my aunt, the former Matron of House Alas’thil. Which makes my mother the current Matron, she’s sick in bed. I’m rather sure that Nivinle and the others have something to do with that.
Journal #20: Regrets.
I am a champion of a demon lord now. Regrettable it is my former patron Andirifku, looks like she did get her wish after all. It’s getting late I’ll write more in the morning after I do my research. It’s been an incredibly long day for me.
I spent a week at the temple, I found the information I need to continue, but I fear writing it in here would lead to some somewhat complicated problems in the future. Cyne also found a bit of information on the champions.
Journal #19: Demons, Dungeons, and Dragons OH MY!
In an attempt to be far more prepared than usual we proceed to the Dhun with the second adventuring group. It's rather odd to interact with people that know my name that I do not speak with on a daily basis. They seem like a sensible lot though the name is somewhat odd since I never recalled giving it to them.
Aways the Dhun was a rather strange place for me to be in at the moment. Due to some dramatic drow struggles and political discourse in the Underdark, I believe it more of a housing problem. The Dhun is above all that. So I should have just been walking around. Ashlyn covered our reinforcements, and I believe Pin gathered some maps of the layout. Not sure exactly where or who got the maps.
Finding an Inn for the night to spend some time in the Dhun was easy, but along the way, some owners of a building tossed Azyel out. Picking up that Elf helped, the more, the merrier.
It turns out that a password is needed to enter the keep. Finding people to give it to use was easy, it leads me to a small village where we stole a book for a snot nose brat. If memory serves the password was beholders what that is I have no clue. Sneaking into the keep was child's play, Azyel broke the mission not even 15 minutes in. Gods only know how he escaped that temple, nor do I understand why he cannot focus for a dreaded second. Roughly about three days of spending time in the keep before Ashlyn and her forces arrived and processed the raid on the keep.
It was easy.
Rubin, the self-proclaimed Bandit King, was the most challenging portion of the raid. The Bandit King was somewhat skilled in combat through his Ego is apparently what he has trained the most. For one, when the first time we saw the false royalty he was sitting on top of a horse, who was standing on a rather large throne. Secondly, as we found out later, he brainwashed a handful of the people within the keep thinking that what every this king does is always just. For a Human, he possessed some remarkable abilities. Such as being able to walk through the ground and being able to detect Cid, know it was Cid, even though he was currently some sort of tree person. This Bandit King would have killed me, he’s a bit too strong for somebody like myself to deal with alone or get close Dispatching him took slightly longer than I would have liked, but the deed was done.
Cid took personal care that he was indeed dead. The now dead false king was riddled with bullet holes. Cid took his anger issues to a whole brand new level, the group kinda left them alone. He also started walking around with a new crown.
After Azyel tried to find me but as soon as he spoke, Ashlyn grabbed my collar and dragged me out into the fight with dragons. I was completely unaware of the dragons that have been outside the while we dethroned the king. Nothing particularly extraordinary happened well Ashlyn flew through the sky with her Scythe swinging and Dragons, so after getting bored with that, I just let myself down. The keep clean up was instead texting. We had to clear the basement which we had unexpected company before the raid.
I would like to go into more detail but upon further investigation into the matter may lead me to have to write things in more of a secretive manner.
Also, I should probably explain where the adventuring group went during this time. Slightly before our raid into the keep, we have met up with the group of adventurers that we knew from the ball. Which I believed I have mentioned. One of the members of their traveling band of misfits was kidnapped and received a letter saying that their comrade was there. I think it was the Snow Elf, who seemed nice but from what I recalled from the ball I never spoke to this group. Which when I heard my name made me slightly worried, given the current circumstance I didn’t press on the information. After gaining the passwords, we reconvened and snuck into a keep. I didn’t see them once we enter, in fact, the only time we saw them was when we found their companion. Which was under some strange circumstance that leads me to not honestly trust them anymore. In recovering their friend three of them fled into the Underdark, the other followed after the battle for the keep was over. Maybe I have that in reverse, was it they had already left, and we meet the half who told us that they were going.
Pins old friend showed remarkable interest in Androids.
~SideNote: APPARENTLY I HAVE FADED FROM REALITY, AND NOBODY TOLD ME! So I might have some slight memory problems I’m not too sure. Need to look into this.
Journal #18: Celu is reading romantic books.
So a great time to find out Celuriel has visions when dragons attack us. Calming her down wasn’t the easy either. The Encounter killed Cid.
He was brought back by Kraia as a Tree. Here’s hoping I don’t have to be brought back by her spell. I am sorry Kraia I am rather fond of the body I have at the moment.
I felt slightly useless here, Ashlyn is now keeping to herself in her cart because her friend died. Traveling has just been somewhat dangerous lately.
Maybe we have become too noisy lately…
Arkenvale is the town we stopped in. Personally, all I remember was buying clothing and being scared of Celu. The girl is quiet when she wants to be. We spoke a bit about getting her something to read while I’m sleeping since she’s primarily read almost every book I have and own.
I could find these books, but at the moment I am back at the temple with Cyne, I have some things I need to research. Ironically also to pray about. God my life has become a cluster of horrible ideas. Demons, gods, and building a town to live in so many things to write about.
Back to Celu and her books. I forget precisely I bought some nonfiction books to read Since most of my books are either about the history of countries or pure folklore about the creature. (I had even forgotten that I had a child's book, flipping through it I saw the story about a lost princess. Funny I remember once hearing that story for the first time from somebody I cared about deeply. I never thought I would find out that story was true.)
Buying her some of these books lead to some interesting interactions. One those interactions after the comment of “Why does this book have so many positions for bodies? Are they rituals?” lead me to toss one of the books she ‘borrowed’ from Kraia room back into her room. Of course, Cyne had snarky comments about the book once he caught the book.
Others lead to the question of mortality or issues like why a character watching over this character while the rest if there is nothing wrong with her.
((Why did she not kill the man who touched her when she did not want it?))
((Edward watches over Bella when she rests. Why? She doesn't have anything wrong))
It also leads to me waking up on a few occasions to her attempting to cuddle with me while I sleep. It’s cute that she is trying, a better question is where did she learn this? The books or from some people she watched?
Journal #17: Priestess with the Silver Orbs
Nothing to consider out of the ordinary cute elven women. She told us we should probably go to some demon infested place, though that was she was talking to people who were champions not some adventurers. We’re not invincible.
Her taste for decoration was odd even for a priestess, silver orbs hanging from the ceiling it was strange.
She claimed it was some magical focus.
Journal #16: Warning Ashlyn did not help her.
To be somewhat frank about the ritual was boring, ten or so hours watching some ridiculous cleric prance around the group.
I played babysitter for ten hours. I was sufficiently annoyed with this child, turns out this little shit Morty? Mordin? Morderd? Something like that, Is rather blunt when it comes to his ‘Dislike of the drow.’ Under normal circumstance, he’d be right, but well, I’ll get to that in a second. I had him take notes on the event for portions of the events so we would sit still and be quiet.
Nothing too fancy happened with this ritual, standard practices from what I could tell. With Ashlyn standing on a stone pedestal and other nonsense. Ugh, magic is so odd?
A fight broke out because of course, it had too. It’s us we find trouble whether we like to or not. Revolution's here, an evil demonic plant, daughters of an elven necromancer (well that one wasn’t so bad). Being dragged into the newly created veil of light, I was blinded like usual. The fight wasn’t horrible but after a minute of it ending we were still left with a giant mask of light around us... We were left with our Ashlyn and a younger looking Ashlyn.
This outcome wasn’t pretty.
It turns out this little aasimar copy is what is known as Star Child, a creature from outside our plane. It latched on to our paladin's memory and had been consuming them for the past unknown amount of year. Ashlyn could not bring herself to kill this child.
I warned her.
I warned her several times in fact. Without going into gruesome detail, the paladin of everlight, to drink herself under a dragon. I believe I left her with some mental scarring.
Honestly, sometimes I think they genuinely forget that as a drow I’ve done far worse than that on when was in the Underdark.
We lost Licia before the fight; she was pulled away by her god right before I was blinded. Replacing her was a half-drow girl named Lirian. She is somewhat shy and timid from what I can tell. She tried to sign in Drow Sign Language, asking who I am. I ignored her, giving my name to people is a horrible idea.
Pin ‘fucking’ Whisperbreath about a minute later called me by my name.
This is when we found out Morty is a TAD bit racist by asking “so which one of your parents was the person?”
I wanted to punch him in his stupid human face. Should have done it. I didn’t
It brought up some painful memories, besides that Ashlyn invited us to be apart of some talk with her some High Priestess.
Journal #15: The Half Elf Liese
Dreams… I haven’t dreamt for the past couple of months.
I was once told to rest well and that she would make the nightmare stay away, who knew that Celuriel was telling the truth about her to keep my dreams away during the night. Although dreams are pleasant, I was quite confused at this most recent, as well as a tad bit of concern for some reason. I am not entirely sure as to why though, although I do not remember much about this dream.
Recalling a bright silvery haze of sorts, I could not get a bearing on what or where this haze is coming from. The scene had shifted to an almost annoyingly white pendulum, that blistering white that is difficult to look at. It swung back and forth and sided to side.There was running; I was running through the pendulum as if they were giant swinging ax traps in dungeons. It felt like I was running through the water like in most dreams, after going beyond the pendulum there was a single long pathway. Reaching up endlessly. The memory of the dream felt like I had been traveling for hours as I awoke in the guest's room in the temple.
[The morning schedule was slipped into the book]
7 AM – 9 AM: Breakfast
9 AM – 10 AM: Morning prayers and services
10 AM – 12 PM: Free time
12 PM – 1 PM: Luncheon
1 PM – 3 PM: Free time
3PM – 5PM: Relaxation, meditation & clubs
5 PM – 7 PM: Dinner
7 PM – 9 PM: Library study
9 PM – 10 PM: Evening prayers and services
10 PM – 12 AM: Quiet time
1 AM: Curfew, except for religious exemption.
Please note that failure to adhere to the timetable without good excuse may result in discipline from your Church, restrictions from specific facilities, up to expulsion from the Temple depending on the severity of the breach. Library study may be taken as free time if necessary. Note that all activity in public spaces is monitored.
If you are visiting in search of faith, please spend the allotted religious time either sitting in on faiths you are curious about or spending quiet time in the library.
Religious, research, illness and miscellaneous exemptions can be applied for from the Abadaran Administrative Office, located on Floor 2 of the Right Wing, room 17.
With a handful of Days spent on this schedule, I had learned very little about anything. I did, however, meet the parasailor half-elf, Liese. To my knowledge, this is our first meeting. Liese if I recall correctly knew Pin from some previous excursion perhaps Ilendras? This half-elf seemed pleasant to be around but very quiet, as for when you acquired my name. It took all of about five minutes before Pin slipped up. They exchanged a few words about her brother, and Liese gave her a silver orb.
I swear if I were a strong enough practitioner of the arcane I would modify her memory. Honestly, nothing special happened before the Ritual for Ashlyn.
Journal #14: This Temple is Odd
This place is too sweet for my liking. To perfect. Don’t misunderstand this place is fantastic, for people who have devoted themselves to a deity but not really for somebody like me. I think till we get Ashlyns memories back I’ll be studying in the libraries. Maybe I’ll get these scars fixed.
I am slightly hesitant to try.
Apparently, my friend has a former companion that has been here for a handful of months, A half-elf that I have a vague memory of. He was sent here for a sleeping problem. I know scars won’t take that long but I much more worried about The Entity. During that scan I felt pressure in my mind I don’t know if it was The Entity, If it was it the first time in a handful of months, it did anything. The half-elf came here for the sleeping problem and has been here for months, what would they do for my question how long would that take?
Through some magical scan revealed that I have some rather odd issues though I can deal with almost all of them.
Hyper aggression: Only to my younger Siblings
Scars: Can be healed
Emotionally Open: I would rather not be like my kin.
Vampire Enchantment Remnants: Vampiric Lady’s Dominate Person Spell
Dark Entity: Still slightly unclear what the Entity what it wants. It’s connection to me is somewhere within my head. That would explain a headache while returning to that demon rock, or attempt to demonstrate that there was something mess with my free will.
Do I have free will?
Does any mortal have choices, Free Will, or are we instruments for higher beings to use… If that is the case, I want nothing to do with them. I wish to live in a world where I am free from outside influences, though I am not a so dumb as to think people will not in need of deities. Being on the surface, the people chose their gods to help them, Each of them essential for their reason. The surface people when they are feeling down or when they need something, they pray to their gods for help. There is no Scarface, no selling of your soul, just dedication and faith to a deity. I might have spent about six decades in the sun, but I still have not come any closer to understanding why?
On a side note, This place has a record of myself which could be somewhat troublesome for the next couple of years. Within those record hold my name, age, if I worship a deity, my birthplace, Why we are at this temple, my magical Items, and if I’m a spellcaster or have any natural spells. Magical detection of the truth can be somewhat bothersome when it comes to hiding. I don’t plan on doing anything about it unless I am giving an opportunity to dispose of the files.
P.S. Pin’s little assistance or apprentice can’t dress that well; I felt like a parental figure again telling him to fix his clothes.
(Scribbled in the margins: This place has a lot of knowledge that could be troubling if people who deal demons were to get it. By extension anybody who was to harm people, this knowledge would be dangerous in there hand.)
Journal #13: About Sir Pennswaggle
((A couple a days before going to the Temple, pennyswaggle is not in the cart while this conversation is happening.))
Aniks: So before we go any farther, I think I should share some information about something that might happen in the future. I um… that conversation I had with Cyne brought to the light news that I need to share with you. Since it will inevitably affect some of you, now I’ll start with the least complicated one and please do not repeat this to him. Our dear Sir Pennyswaggle has been chosen by like the rest of you all by a deity or fey which this one is not to be messed with. According to Cyne “The Count” was constantly to refer to as one of the Eldest of the First World. Now my knowledge of other worlds is limited and there gods roughly about the same. Though from what little information I have gathered “The Count” is known to be associated with exiles and traitors not to mention the act Betrayal. I am not sure where that leaves us in regards to Pennyswaggle but please so be careful with this information, The god might have chosen him, but I am not sure how much he was following or practices. I will say most of you are somewhat close to your gods and are, so that is slightly concerning if the same remains true for Pennyswaggle.
Now while that pertains to the group in general as long as he stays with us, this is more of problems that I have brought to you all or will eventually catch up to me. Some of you, Pin and Ashlyn, saw the vampire that dragged me away during the ball. By the way, thank you for dispelling that Dominate Person Pin as far as I am aware of the shot they chose to leave me alone for now. Now the reason behind the vampire going to some rather impressive lengths is because of Celuriel being a particular kind of monster. Why she took me was mere because Celuriel has following tightly to me as most of you have pointed out by now. This Vampire also knew our group, but I am not sure on how much which is somewhat troublesome. The Vampires have taken an interest in Celu because of what she can do and how rare these vampires are, she is also a wildcard to them. Celu is not like most Vampire because of how she was made and how she has not connected to the outside world or another vampire hence the wildcard status. They think that having her run around on the surface would be disastrous though I am not clear on how. Here in lies our problem. To some extent they gave me two alternatives that I understood. One has become a vampire and be subjected to their laws so they by extension would have Celuriel under their control as well. Not to say the lady vampire did not try to turn me. The second is more straightforward they would take her by force which could be the natural choice for them. I could have learned more, but you guys chose to intervene which was honestly slightly annoying, but at the time I was not sure what was going to happen if you had not shown up. They have been watching us from that creepy town a while ago when they first notice Celuriel. All I know for sure is these vampires are not going away and will be watching us and waiting.
Now before Pin tells me “I told you so” and gets smug about it. As of the ball House Alas’thil, my house has an extremely high chance of know I’m alive. My house is filled with spies, assassins, and is good at not getting caught doing. I am not entirely sure where that leaves me since I am not aware of what my house thinks of me. Luckily we have another of house Alas’thil on the train with us to tell us that. I honestly would not be surprised if they sent somebody to kill me and by extension meaning, you all will because up against my family affairs. This is one of the many reasons why I never said my name to make sure it never made it’s way back to my house. I tell you now because I don’t want you to know after they have shown up on our metaphorical doorstep. Drow are merciless especially to dark elves who betray them, are male or failed and theoretically, my younger siblings have painted my former self in the worst way. Not to mention I was enslaved and owned by another house after the betrayal. I expect that they will not show any of us any kindness. Now I will say after the Drow assassination attempt at the ball there will be significant problems in the Underdark. So my house will be pulled into that because of their specific brand of skills meaning it is possible that my family will be distracted for the time being. For how long I could not say, my house is not small, so I wouldn't know for sure how long before they try something, if anything at all.
Now Pin you can be smug.
Journal #12: Dancing with Vampire and Political Problems.
To begin the ball for me personally was a disaster. I do not believe that was a single good thing that comes out of it, besides the slightly short period that Cyne's cousin forced Celuriel and me to dance. Anything else was just a royal pain.
Somehow I managed to screw things on multiple fronts. The only good thing we managed to deal with as far as I am aware of is that we saved Cyne from being banished to another plane in a remote political execution. It was caused by some extreme nationalist believing that Cyne was not somebody who was fit to rule because he is mere, a tiefling. Which ended up involving one seriously annoyed angel by the end of it.
This time I was rather glad I did not speak with an Angel.
Returning to that extreme nationalist for just a moment, I find it quite bothersome that somebody from the surface could be blinded by racial biased. Is it such a bad thing for a Tiefling to rule? I understand it’s a bloodline of Aasimars that have ruled prior, but he is part linage and shouldn’t that be enough for those people. Do some people of this nation care so much about a bloodline that has been “Corrupted” according to the nationalist. He still has Aasimar blood in him is that not enough? Is race indeed something that defines a person, I know some tracks hold stereotypes? Can’t a person be defined by actions and the strength of their Character? This might be a case of one in a million in regards to the failed attempt on Cyne’s life, but still, I hold the surface to a higher standard than the Underdark, which is a good majority is filled with dangers and racism.
Now during the ball, Celuriel disappeared and was dancing with a slightly Pale Man. This Pale Man turned out to be a vampire as I approached them it I was placed under the spell. By another monster, as she leads me outside to speak with me in private. The Pale Lady was quite clear on figuring out why a vampire like Celu would be clinging to a drow such as myself. Thankfully before the Pale Lady had a real chance to sink her teeth into my neck, which she tried. I had regained a good portion of common sense to push away from her. Unlucky the spell was not broken but she “ALLOWED” me to speak more freely.
I am starting to get annoyed at being manipulated.
It was pretty clear that the gift the Vampire Lady tried to give me was just to get to Celu, but asking so many questions personally was apparently an attempt figure out more about myself.
OH, she didn’t know everything about the group since she had to ask questions! Under the dominate person enchantment, it would make it easier for her to get that information to some extent. The Vampire probably has the necessary information on everybody but not in full, proven since she had to ask if myself had any contact with my old drow household. So she might need to have a better grasp on the people around Celu.
The lady vampire that talks to me, she was probably essential but most likely not the head honcho.
Thought process to back that statement: Why would they send the head honcho to turn somebody to have them be ruled by their set of laws just so the other vampire in under their control? No, you send underlings to do that kind of job, but since this ball in higher up, nobility and adventurers, they have to be somebody of importance or even assistance to somebody essential to be sent in their place perhaps. That Female Vampire knew a tad bit too much our party they, some vampires, had been watching us since that creepy town, We didn’t spend much time there, but a train draws attention to yourself, so I can see why it’s not hard to notice us.
Our group is becoming a little too loud.
Probably going to need to be very careful when it comes to where I sleep now though I have a feeling that I won’t be able to do anything about it.
As the Lady Vampire was driven off by Pin and Ashlyn I was still under her spell; Dominate Person was not broken until two days later thanks to Pin. I can’t trust anything that happened during this night. After that meeting, I found Celu and stayed with her for the rest of the night, though we didn’t talk much. I do recall that she was clinging closer to me than average. I should speak to her she heard from her vampire. Or at least get her opinions …
The ball ended with that incident with the angel and extremist. Who was being helped by a, as he put it, a sneak shady dark elf?
Now my worries are slowly becoming possible.
Two days after that ball we started to pack up our gear and head out to the temple. Kazric while still being hungover told me for about an hour about conversations he had with the other drow. He went on about how I should have been there which I agreed with him about that. Oddly enough it was the first time he used my real name.
Pin eventually saved me from this just to sign some paperwork about this fort she wants us to help her raid. After that Cyne wished to speak with me in private. Which I agreed to during this conversation he confirmed some of the fears. I talked to him about the vampire and told him about what happened at the ball since Pin teleported him away before the angel had shown up. Somewhere in between the conversation Pin teleported in a while walking to Cyne office. To sum up what Cyne told me.
He confirmed my thoughts on the Vampires.
House Alas’thil has a high probability of knowing that I am alive.
Journal #11: Recovery from the world.
Waking up the morning after, Kazric found me on the sofa with an unopened bottle of wine. After talking to the girls for a moment, I decided to grab flowers and head to the hospital. With a voice in Ashlyn’s head, I thought it would be nice to give her something to cheer her up.
I was ending up at the hospital at the same time the others did, As I place the Flowers in a box on the other side of her room. Ashlyn hugged me which was weird because I can’t recall her being without her armor or embracing me ever. We eventually had to track Kazric down. Karia poked fun at me being embarrassed at the strip club and talking to the bartender who was topless, This could have been a place Kazric might go to, but we found him in a fight club. Celu was in her mind and poking her was apparently not the best option. She almost clawed my face, noted. It was a lovely time to relax for once and not fight something.
Journal #10: Mirror World
Another day, another shopping trip. Cid was already out and about before any of us. Today I just stood outside and watched the rest of the party buy board games, play knives and other things. Sometimes they’re really like children.
Somewhere along the way, we picked up some strange snake person thing, Farron of, well I am not wholly sure where.
Despite how simple the day started, it for lack of better way of saying this was probably one of the worst days I have ever experienced. Though I could think of a couple of days that would easily beat it. Magic and what, I can only assume it was a stupidly cursed mirror, I’ll get to that damned thing!
Honestly, we found a dead body; I must have been spacing out about something because I didn’t understand how or why. Kraia decided to resurrect the girl, during this Celu if I recall correctly shied away from the Divine magic. The action of bringing this girl back gathered quite a crowd. The human came back as an Elf.
It turns out this girl was dating a Whisperbreath, Tarragon Whisperbreath, a cousin of our ratfolk. Going with this little misadventure, we made our way to find Pin’s Aunt. She was the only one that the moment at the household. Tarragon had been missing for a week according to the aunt. She was lovely; Pin tried to introduce most of us, The Aunt for some reason called me Indigo. Rather odd since even for drow I have dark skin. Maybe she was looking at my scars since they are tinted light purple. While they were getting caught up, I felt that it would be wrong if I were to tell Pin Aunt about anything I genuinely think. The family is prominent, and I would never actively say slander in front of their blood.
But to me, I guess family doesn’t end at blood.
Auntie Whisperbreath then asked when Pin would finally settle down; she avoided that question somewhat. The Aunt pointed to Cid as somebody she could settle down with, I got a laugh out of that one, but hide it quite well. Then was reminded there are only two guys in our main group since Kazric is no longer with us.
The only reason why the Aunt did not point out myself was that to anybody else it looks like I’m very much taken. Celu was very much close by at almost all the time.
It’s not a bad thing, but I’m conflicted about it.
Tarragon’s warehouse was the next location to explore from a helpful hint from his mother. Which is the where I started to distrust this “Farron” he seemed too wild too impractical? For somebody who cast magic, they were very headstrong and did not think things through.
Let me explain.
Upon finding Tarragon’s workshop, we cased the building to see there were people within the storage facility. The people inside were not our Ratfolk’s family, a human couple of drow and maybe an Orc. I cannot recall the amount correctly, but I do remember that the Wizard and our Paladin were the only two knock on the door. We chose to hide around the corner and spread out just in case we had to start a fight. Farron tried to his “quiet approach,” which was casting an enlargement spell and attempting to break down the door. This is where a good portion of chose to stand back or stop him.
After the deal with that and the people inside, in a nonviolent way for once, we were leading the under a portion of the city. With the past of a couple of outings to the town of Undria, there are far more residents from the Underdark than usual in this portion of the city. Even more so than the Ball would bring in, which could never is a good sign.
What is stirring in the Underdark? What is the cause of such a strange surfacing?
Now what is to come next is complicated, we walked into something more significant than we planned for. After failing a password, and combat that happened with some less than notable skeletons with pistols. Tarragon had been talking with the wrong people, people wanting to overthrow the government.
[Scribbed note about stupid explosions]
Please do not misunderstand me, revolutionaries are good but only when it has cause for them. These people were being manipulated by people with power than “could” help them. Drow was also involved, it may only clear indication that these people wanted change and dark elves and people took advantage of their suffering and wishes. My people rarely do anything that would make them be seen in a good light. Most Drow who start to hate their life, either die to try to leave or live on the surface.
We found Kazric magically bound to one of the Drow Wizards. I asked him a question, and he only replied in DLS which was primarily meant We should be leaving or was it why are we here. Whether one was a problem. Pin and Ashlyn for the first time were not thinking clearly. Letting their emotions cloud their judgment, we’re in an openly hostile place, and they’re going around demanding things and yelling about arrested the revolutionary.
Farron decides to try and get things done his way again. Why did he choose to follow us the entire way here? Gods I’ll never know. He attempted to threaten one of the people in there. At this point I was done, It was I believe the first time in a long time I drew a blade to protect and was willing to attack. I pressed my knife against his neck and protested for everybody to calm down and think.
No such luck.
I can sum up my entire fight as BLACK TENTACLE BULLSHIT, and I hate magic sometimes. I don’t wish to go into that fight. Though I did something, using Bronze Griffin to find the invisible drow wizard better, his name is Apollo. Picked up a book on cults to see if there was any information on The Entity was there. I was not having the best time with luck.
Pin went around recruiting people for her monastery and sent them to our temporary homes. I spoke with the Drows, one was from Kazrics house, and other was from House Alas’thil. Both houses are never good news, Alas’thil's are spies, and the other is torture fanatics. Asking too many questions, I told Apollo to drag me away so with its mental break it did as such.
Celu decided at this point to walk over and ask if I was alright. Cute that she cares.
With slight teleportation to the castle to keep Ashlyn from walking to a strange door, she claimed that Midna was behind and Cyne as well. We heard no such voice. She calmed down, and we teleported back thanks to Pin’s quick thinking. The only reason I tagged along was that I tackled Ashlyn with I guess that means I paid her back from the time in the boneyard.
Finally entering the Door, I thought it best to begin first since the drow wizard escaped through this weird door. I was alone, the rest, and I could hear them, but I did not see them. I made a couple of snarky comments about our wizard when I knew they were in the room. We passed through a fake mirror and entered a white space together again.
We were forced to watch our most horrible memories to find Tarragon, what lengths we go to for family.
[Written in Abyssal Making sure my friend's memories are kept secret]
Pin: Telling the local police that her parents were making magical artifacts and other magic things.
Ashlyn: Being kidnapped by Lizard people.
Kraia: A burning forest with beavers running everywhere.
Cid: watching his village burn.
Kazric: Being reincarnated to a Half-Orc.
Celu: Being turned into a vampire (I believe)
Licia: Her lover was killing her group.
I do not want to dwell on this since it’s their memory and the only reason we know is that of that mirror. I would not get a chance to smash it once we left it. Some people were far better off than others, Licia, Kazric, and Celu did not take well to this.
A disembodied voice told us to leave we must solve her puzzle. A simple map appeared in front of us and what should have taken a fair amount of time lasted what seemed forever, since we did not know the voice definition of wealth. Pin eventually just pointed out a trade route, and we proceed with the next puzzle. Statues of many different types and poses and the voice wanted to find a statute that showed progress. Simple enough I found the one that was walking forward.
The third puzzle was a multi-armed woman with six orbs of differentiating colors. On the walls, we found clothes of the same colors. Like before we test a couple of ideas and before long we started placing the same colored clothes on the respective orbs.
During this point, Smitten was slightly annoying to the point I believe he leaped on of the purple orb. Pin should keep that cat under control.
With all of the cloths being correct orbs we found our way into a room where we had to tell a secret in whispers or something weird like that. All I can recall is every girl, but Ashlyn slapped me. After saying all that we were in that blank whiteness again.
This time we had to share right memories.
Kraia: Finding Artemis with her brother.
Ashlyn: Reading her family's letters to her
Celu: A memory of being rescued by us
Licia: When she was proposed to by her lover
Cid: Time spent with his old group.
I was more than annoyed after this; I didn’t feel like saying much to them. At that point, I didn’t care. Pin made a comment to me, and I flipped her off and walked away. I was done with that day. Celu and Kazric followed me to our temporary house.
Funny how the worst memory didn’t affect me as much as the good ones. The good ones were so so much worse.
Journal #9: We adopt or kidnap a child, still unclear on this one.
The little halfling has a habit of using her magical ring. For those of you who are uninformed about this magic ring, it allows the wearer to gain male appendages. I have accidentally walked in and seen a little bit more than I care to admit. Which is kind of weird, she might have put on the ring to start the day and decided to show me since this magical ring gave her a dark elf male appendage. I will have to note that the male attachment is based on the size of the race and it does not convert to halfling size.
Life was so much less attractive 5 months ago.
Well everybody was waking up Kraia and noticed that her Paladin friend Ashlyn was not there. Being that only a handful of us knew where she was the majority of the party decided to rush off to the castle. Kraia yelled for Artemis and took off faster than I remember she could her riding her beaver. Choosing just to walk because I could.
Now out newly appointed princess was not within the first tower the guards told us she was in. Personally, I would keep better track of a LONG LOST princess and know where she was. INSTEAD OF LOSING HER IN A ANOTHER TOWER. I’ll speak more on Ashlyn and her past on the pages near the back of this journal. Something like her past should be written down as a part of what I think about her.
After going to explore the shopping district and the rest of Undria, where I do believe some of my friends picked up more adult toys, we attempted to pick up Pin. The Ratfolk had processed to have locked herself in her room with her robot and yell, And I quote
“BOOOZ YEA, FUCK 2016”
“I JUST DOWNED A BUNCH OF CAHAMPANE, YYYEEE, AAAHHHH”
“PIN [one] SHOTS THE DRAGON BIRTHCES, WOOOO, FUCK YO.”
This only reinforces the face I want to get this poor girl Into some AA meeting, again I’ve written this down like four-time I believe but haven’t done anything. I am slightly concerned that her the amount of alcohol she consumes might shorten her life exponentially, especial after how drunk she sounded during the middle of the day.
Heading to the Nature District, this is one of those moments I do not recall all that clear solely due to the events that transpired after the fact. The nature district of Undria is placed close to the religious area. Which sadly I wish I had spent more time in this district because I do enjoy places like this. The beautiful nature of the surface has always appealed to my scents unlike the caverns and underground lakes of the Underdark. The smells are far better up here as well.
But I digress…
[Scribbed in the margins is a reminder to get ready for the ball!]
Now we come to a more exciting part of the day. Myself personally I am not a fan of religions, I have told an angel to his face that I don’t believe in the gods, not to say they don’t exist just that I do not pray to them.
He tried to “Cure” some problem that he thought I had. Also because he wished to know my name something that I do not give to anyone.
Regardless of that, My vampiric friend was understandably uncomfortable. The two of us sat together on a bench while the others went to their respective businesses at the temples to their gods. The small talk was sweet it wasn't anything too odd or notable compared to conversation prior. Each of our friends slowly trickled in some, faster than other. Not before noticing “them” again.
The religious group that Celu, Sir Pennyswaggle, and I had encountered before. I watched them for a good while noticing them going from person to person. Not in a building? Now for me in this district, people go to there respective gods to pray. Not the other way around, there might be people outside the temple talking about the deity but not just going from person to person. These people as far as I am aware did not have a place of worship. Now curiosity got the best of me, and I have to admit to that. They seemed odd, out of place for this district and I wanted to know why. I left Celu in the capable hands of the people who had come back from their temples. I do believe that Kraia was one of the only ones to follow.
Unluckily for me the priests, priestess? I'm not clear as to what the title would be. The person that I had spoken to with somebody that had recognized me prior. Brushing this topic off, I want to approach them as someone who not seen them previously. Exchanging the usual formalities of one group such as this, I have found that they are more like roaming Nomads preaching their “truth.” These truth Seekers talk about the one way, although that did not make sense in my mind. I'll try my best to sum up what their ideas and thoughts were.
Apparently, this “Truth” is one where the Arcane and the Divine are one of the same or derived from the one source. As if all deific and magical abilities come from it, when asking about their religion or organization, I specifically wanted to know how widespread this group it. The Lady had said that the people that follow the one way are everywhere. Which was a slight concerning, I continued to have a conversation while I was trying to figure out what that concerning feeling was. Talking about the two most distinctly different and powerful influences in the world. Those being the magically inclined and those who pray and use the power of their deities coming from the same source is a rather exciting and radical ideal.
I can’t see how that would work?
Should have asked more questions?
Although I do not find myself subscribing to this “theory” as that is what I'm going to call it. I am quite curious to know how truly widespread this ideal has hit this land. I should start snooping around or ask some people higher up in religious organizations. Since as far as I know we're even in the Underdark arcane and divine casters I have never believed them to derive from the same source.
I do not recall what they were wearing I do distinctly remember a silver orb around their necklace I am not sure what this is significant, it's their holy symbol perhaps.
If they even have a “Holy” symbol.
They gave me a card of some sort which radiated a soft white light with a small pulse as soon as I could determine that it was some form of magic. Just by the fact that it was glowing. I decided not to keep holding it and tuck it into my pocket.
I find myself wanting to know more about these people since their ideas are so different than the norm. But not because I believe in what they preach, there's something about them that doesn't...
I'm going to have to trust my gut on this. These are people that I feel have something hidden beneath the surface.
Our adventures eventually lead us in the slums. I'm like the city this place was filled with the races of many different kinds infect there was a surplus of tracks that I am not entirely familiar with. At this moment while walking through the slums are Paladin decided that she would start giving to the poor. At this moment I had to leave because Celu chose to go on an adventure by herself for once. You could say the I was a little more than interested since for the majority of the time she's been with us she is linked to my side for a while.
It's hard to explain to somebody who's been locked away in a tower without any social skills what right and wrong is. Celu remarked how easy it would be to take advantage of the people the slums who are very weak and defenseless. It's going to take a while for her to understand that something's is a little more complicated and more difficult explain like good and evil. Although I am concerned, I have a feeling that she means well in some strange sense. In the back of my mind, I will never admit this out loud, when the snake person showed up, and she knocked him down and just stated that he was annoying her I would have gotten the chuckle out of that.
I'm slightly more concerned that if I hadn't been there that she would have done something that it's a little more difficult to take back.
On the way back I found our traveling companions with smaller addition. Apparently, within the let's say 10 or so minutes of me being gone, Ashlyn had decided to adopt a little girl from the slums. She was one of the Shadow folk like Sir Pennyswaggle. Although I do admit the girl was charming, I am not entirely sure that it wasn't kidnapping. I mean I'm not sure what to think about this. I'm just scared if I leave them alone for more than light I don't know a month we're going to have all pack of people following us or something. The rest of the party told me of the events that led to the girl being adopted by us. Ashlyn had given her a bag of coins, and she was probably robbed in front of everybody. The Paladin did not take too kindly to that and chased him down within a matter of seconds. She's going to talk to the little girl who had no name and decided to adopt simple as that.
After adopting the girl or taking her with us. We decided to get clothes for the little girl. The little girl's face was a surprisingly exciting thing, and I almost want to say that she didn't believe this was happening, in fact, a part of me wonders if she thought this was just all a dream. I approached Ashlyn at this time because I recalled that Celu did not have clothes other than what she had and the clothes we let her borrow.
The reaction was priceless.
I have rarely seen a change in the vampire’s expression other than a slight smile or a rather blank face. I think for the first time I had seen her in shock perhaps even a little scared, having both the halfling and aasimar and dragged her off to get clothes. Ashlyn also pointed out that my guest that I would bring along to the ball would undoubtedly be Celu. Making a quick remark that Celu had never had this kind of experience she was quite freaked out at the moment. Ashlyn then promptly decided that if I didn’t want her help, then I might as well help Celu. Which I probably step back and decided to let her do her thing.
I have to say I got a good laugh out of this; it was fun to be around I guess.
Eventually, we made it to the castle where we had dinner. I'm not entirely sure how eating at the castle makes me feel, well it feels wrong for some reason. Maybe because I don't know it doesn't feel right for me, I'd instead be sitting in that house eating with the people who live there or next door because that's where the rest of my friends are.
Now I have to mention the little girl, Midna, scarf down the most food out of all of us. We tried to explain that we could take the food as leftovers, but she seemed a little in disbelief. I think this is just because of where she had grown up. Cyne eventually found himself at the dining table with us and found out that his great-great-great-great grandmother or whatever the technical term is, had adopted a child. Kraia said she was the one who let it happen and I just said I was gone for like 10 minutes. It's kind of weird seeing all of us around the table with a small child.
It's like a family.
Journal #8: Undria
It was rather nice to not show up to a city that was not in mortal peril or creepy as hell. That happens to be a problem with being an adventurer. Adventurer's always gone sticking their head in places where is it not needed. It's apart of the job when you're a 'hero.' In retrospect, Port Amarin seemed to alright yet I was not sure why we did not stay for longer. I would have liked to see the ocean again before we departed from that port city. Anyways we stopped outside the gates of Undria. Never before have I seen such a city of this caliber, I do believe this city has quite an intricate layout from what from I can tell there's a giant castle in the background as we approached. I could not help a childlike wonder when I glanced out the window to see the large city of Undria.
At this point, I‘m starting to think Pin naturally wants to start something. If her sass could be contained in a little bottle, no a flask, that's more appropriate for her. The size of her sass or ego would probably break the flask into dust where even the gods could not repair it. From the number of times, she is argued with someone or created some problems due to her speaking. I'm quite confused and concerned as to why her personality is so forthcoming and almost passive aggressive to point.
The guards stopped her and told her that the cart was not permissible within the city walls. Pin tried to find a workaround for this. As she does for most things. The little ratfolk tried her hardest to further get this cart into the city so she could have her mobile train and I assume all her creature comforts. Even bringing up the fact that all she has to do is whistle and the vehicle would come flying towards her, not flying but you know. While we know this is true, the guards probably could not stop her from doing this, the could also have destroyed the vehicle. Claiming it to be some hostilie attack on the city. Who knows. The guard takes note of that but Pin merely clapped her hands, and it went off to the whatever equated to stables for trains.
The guards seemed to be a tad bit suspicious like something was a bit off about them, not in the fact that they were guards, but that's probably because I think one of them might have been a robot. I'm not entirely sure, but they did ask for my name. Instead of dealing with fiving false names. I just told him to refer to me as the barkeep but since I did show them the name all of the invitation to the ball. I asked him not to say this name out loud since they were speaking my other companion's names as they read them off a list. The guards had done as I had asked and I was happy. It is not often when my nobility come in handy but I this time I was glad I was born with noble blood.
As I proceeded to notice our resident Cyne striding out of the cart with Kraia, the guards went on a rampage. Not literally but when he strolled out of the train turns out the rest of the country did not know he was gone. For those who knew he had disappeared, they had no clue where their Prince had gone. Now that thing is that I think technically we kidnapped the prince of the land. Or maybe we just liberated him from the mounds of paperwork he is always complaining about. Now Cyne as a person, have to say guys growing on me, still an annoying dick but I seem to enjoy his presence much more than a couple of months ago. Having that thought I find it quite funny that he just tagged along with us on a whim and nobody knew what he had done, only leaving a note and that was all. As I said, he's still a dick.
Cyne before disappearing into shadows decided to tell us that within the walls of this city our group had two houses built. Then pointed to Ashlyn and me, those two houses were built explicitly for us and we have keys now. Now the funny part about that is I was slightly concerned because I thought that my real name would have been in the house of some identification per se. Like a sign on the front yard of the house with my name in printed across. Then as we proceeded to find the houses the Prince of Darkness himself step into the shadows and disappeared. Leaving us to our own devices, Cyne was very good at dissolving almost into the dark as if it's his sole superpower.
The houses were placed next to each other Ashyln's house was blue and had gold trim it was bright, and it had many windows that the sunlight could probably reach every corner of the house. From what I can recall it had her full name on the door or was it the mailbox? It was one of the two. But this was beside the point. They had rooms for each other girls in our traveling company. Each of them had their names or some symbol regarding their deity across their door I did not take much of a look quickly through that house. I'll be honest.
My house, on the other hand, was far darker with black and purple being its central color scheme. A typical drow coloring, so they did not know as much as I thought. Makes since when they did not make mention to my more recent past. Both houses look the same in the structure just in different color schemes having very similar outer appearances the only main difference on the outside was the number of windows her house had compared to mine. Now as I decided things got a little strange in the lady new homes I decided to pop over into my house to avoid any shenanigans. The house was marked as 'the barkeeps' luckily, so that worrying part of my mind was set aside, for now, my real name getting out was far from the problem I thought it would be. While I was looking into the living room, there was a fully stocked bar. And I am not talking like fully stocked as an average tavern. I am telling you this thing was filled to the brim with 50 different kinds of alcohol just in the living room bar. For the life of me, these people know me a little too well, not everything but still it's a concerning about for somebody like me who had tried rather hard to keep people from knowing who I was. My first instinct was to hide this house from Pin; this is a slight problem. Being that the rat was an alcoholic I give it less than an hour before she finds this place. I swear after the ball we need to get her into some sort of AA meeting.
Though I will say the one thing that I have a problem with is this house was far too dark, and I'm not saying that color scheme. That was fine they just had thick curtains everywhere they had an underground cellar with more chairs and furniture with more alcohol surprisingly you know for a bartender I don't drink that much. As soon as I got there, I decided to open all the curtains to let in some sunlight ironically, walking around I failed to notice that my little vampire friend had disappeared within the house somewhere.
Feeling a little bored after the rather quick self-tour I had given myself of my temporary housing. I decided to go back to the Paladin's place. Whisperbreath must have had found the scent of alcohol in the air when I opened the door. I should have locked the house, but I knew there was somebody inside I think was Sir Pennyswaggle. Then walked in and I not my fault if she gets drunk. For the love of the Gods, she now knows, but I have a fully stocked bar, and I'm not doing anything with it.
We already decided to take this free time since we showed up early about three weeks I believe in exploring the city. Being that I did not want to be a giraffe walking around the city asked Celu if she wanted to accompany while exploring the city since I'm not sure what to do with her in the town at the moment. Then a snarky comment about something girlfriend related came from the attic, which I did not know I had at the moment. Finding a secret compartment in the ceiling opened up into this room and started glaring at Pennyswaggle who eventually accompany us which was not a bad thing I get to know him a little bit better. During this and he seems to be a reasonably attractive guy who I think I would like to get to know better though he still is quite creepy with a cupboard thing.
I find it ironic that the first place that we are to visit was the religious District in this is just from randomly walking around the city this place was filled with temples devoted to many different gods not here for more popular ones, but then something unusual happened. Interesting is perhaps the wrong word more like a strange scenario played out. The three end almost immediately a cloaked figure Kim's came up to us proclaiming if we were to know the truth or something along those lines they always have some weird fancy way of saying hey do you want to support a religion. As soon as I heard these words grabbed Celu’s hand and decided to disappear, running away, as I said to an angel roughly about a month ago the biggest fan of religions and deities.
We disappeared, and Pennyswaggle soon followed. We ended up in the affluent District. Exploring this market going from place to place an understanding that despite the fact we could buy a handful of things from here. We probably could have bought a lot. We did not feel like spending money here, and window shopping is more accurate to what this group was doing. We happened to pause in front of a dress shop, Pennyswaggle was joking about something regarding weddings, really threw me off. I tried to elbow him or at least something like that, and I cannot remember that well it was a day ago, which ended with me drinking a lot, my ability to recall of these events are far better than I could have ever hoped.
Pennyswaggle and I were hungry, so we decided to find someplace to eat and ended up in this small little Bakery. This, this is where I learned a bit about Pennyswaggle. It's kind of interesting to know that he had a group of traveling companions before this. Inside this bakery was a half-orc named Clancy and in the background of this Bakery was a very, very bright light, but I can only assume it was a magical light pouring into the main room. Now, this half-orc seems to specialize into baking. His name was Clancy and seem to know Pennyswaggle rather well. Going through the baked goods most of them looked delicious, and I decided to buy some, I wasn't paying attention to the conversation going on behind me, somebody else enters the store of confections. There was a small little argument or something along those lines I'm reasonably unclear how we got to the point where we had a Bake-Off between Clancy and this random citizen.
After it was done, we were each presented with two different loaves of bread. I believe it tasted all right, and I mean both were a little burnt and were not that different from each other. Though I have to admit and Gods only help me if this Clancy ever found this out, the bread that his opponent made with slightly better. Knowing that his opponent was cheating I gave my point to Clancy, my vampire friend did the same and so did Pennyswaggle at this point I was going to mention the fact that Clancy's opponent was cheating. Instead of this he took out a pistol and well ended his life, it was, things got dark quite quickly. The three of us proceeded to run out of the store as soon as possible and return to what we thought was the house but somehow ended up in the castle instead.
We were pretty confused by this.
Now, this is the only part I will write in common about my family. I asked the lady of Undria if my family or house was attending this ball and she said no. She asked if I were to use my real name at the ball and I said I would get back to her on that subject. The only reason why I'm concerned and then my family would appear it's because this ball is not just limited to the surface. If I saw a specific portion of my siblings, I may not be able to control my actions, and I should tell a friend about that so they could keep me under control. Although it's been six decades, I can't be entirely sure as to how I would react against my younger sister and brother. They're, for lack of a better word, interesting though they're not my only siblings they are the ones that would cause the most problems and I wish for them not to be there.
Finding out that they would not be attending nor would the house of my people. That made me more than delighted it's been the best news I've heard in many years. To the point where I decided to drink significantly.
Journal #7: Getting to know the vampire.
As the days dragged on, I have been more and more curious about Celuriel. She has just been there following me around or watching us. I am unsure of what she is doing while I’m asleep. I mean I haven’t seen her sleep once. Oddly enough even if she has been quiet and we’ve exchanged very few conversations since people have been coming and going from the bar. I found it was easier to talk to her this time, with a surprisingly more beautiful tone. It is almost cute to have her around; it's rather pleasant to know she’s around.
We had a rather strange conversation.
[Drowbie wrote down essential things to remember about Celu]
-Celu once called the tower home, till her sister, the Lich we meet before, took over.
-Her father was an Elven Necromancer who was banished out of the city; he was the one who constructed the tower, in doing so attracted too much attention, Celu said she was too young to remember as her mother hide them away. The Elven Necromancer did not win this fight, and the others were sealed away in the tower.
-Possibly till we showed up? Did we break the seal or have other tried to enter and failed or ended up dying? Too many questions left unanswered?
-Celu is a Seer; she told me that something is following behind me. Mists from another world. Can she see the Entity? Or at least some sort of strange bond or connection between it and myself.
-Apparently, I’m the nicest, I know it’s a long shot, but I was given a chance once before I thought I might return the favor once in awhile.
-She does not sleep, eat, and is always watching us. Since I haven’t woken up half dead, I know she is probably not feeding herself at night. She thinks by doing so we are more protected. She might be right since I’m not entirely sure on that Robot or Pin.
-She actively knows she is dead and will admit it.
-Doesn’t have anything to her name, we probably need to fix that at some point. Shopping with Ashlyn again that would be nice. I think it would be funny to have her shop with a Vampire.
-Asked about the hand holding, she like warmth, and to stop people from attacking us.
I am baffled by the warmth thing, I know she is undead, does she like being warm because she isn’t???
-We probably need to get her something to do while we sleep.
-She believes that me sharing my thoughts in a book is dangerous.
-She speaks Common, Elven, and Infernal. Mother spoke Elven, and the Sister liked Infernal which should explain a little bit.
-Her mother was focused on worshipping her goddess, religious zealotry perhaps? That is why her sister, Ludrussiel, turned her into a creature we fought. I believe it was the Daughter Of Urgathoa.
-Her sister is PRETTY FUCKED UP from what I have come to understand.
-Dreams??? She mentioned something about dreams probably a throwaway comment.
She seems to be alright, hope she stays around for a while.
Journal #6: Everybody loves the bar.
I am still concerned as to why people are always in my bar, why cannot we be in Ashlyn room while we speak to each other or somebodies other than mine. I enjoy my quiet moments as much as the others. No wait, I do not think they do, they seem to be social creatures that need to talk. Night time is the only time I have to my myself, and that's not even true since I now live with Celuriel. A hand full of days into these new living arrangements. I had noticed she had not changed clothes or had any clothes for that matter, it would be a bit of a problem if she continued to wear what we found her in. I had grabbed some of my non-bartending clothes and let her borrow them. A clean simple dark t-shirt and some pants, they might have been slightly big on her but it was better than nothing. We would get her proper clothes in the next town we visit till then she might be borrowing our clothes. I had removed myself from the train while she changed. Now ever since the creepy town, I have not tied her up again, if she has not tried to kill the only person living with her than I can at least give her a chance.
As we were crossing into The Dhun we were stopped by some guards, at least I think they were guards. More like some border patrol when passing between two regions of a map. They had us ask some personal questions. Pulling us aside to keep things private which was somewhat considerate of them. I gave them the false name, as I had with many others when I had to give names. They honestly believe that I was a Drow that was raised on the surface. They gave me a Silver badge to wear not too sure how to feel about that, but it is unimportant. Celu came back with a gold badge she had on her shirt. Kazric was somewhat loud with his answers; I’m concerned as to why he gets away with all of this. Came back with a gold badge that he had promptly tossed it aside. Everybody else got off scot-free without any flashy badges.
Cyne, of course, was a bit of dick to the guard that was questioning him. He gave ridiculous answers, and the guard just gave up shortly after that. Despite the dickishness of how he treated him, I got a slight chuckle out of it. During our questioning, I am pretty sure that they searched the carts. Everything seemed to work out; they didn’t find anything too “dangerous.”
Coming back to the cart, I forgot I locked Pennyswaggle, so I unlocked the kitchen drawers. With a stupid smile, he waved and was filled with a bunch of poisons in vials. Pin was the first word that left my mouth. She came to claim her bottles of poison. Pin and I had a conversation about how my bar has become very crowded while she walked in and out with her poisons.
Back to good old abyssal, I find myself writing in this when it comes to slightly embarrassing moments. Celu started feeling hungry again, this seems to happen about once a week. Which I am glad she does not get hungry on a daily basis or I might be having memory issue in the near future. I have not found any major gaps in my memory so I have to hazard a guess the memories she takes are not too terribly long. It was somewhat awkward as when she felt hungry this time, it was in front of everybody in the bar. She had pinned me, she was far stronger than I thought she would be. I felt slightly wrong when she kissed me, one because of the reasons I do not want to write about and because she was good at kissing? It is a bit hard not to have enjoyed it. I feel like that’s wrong in a way. I am confused by it slightly, but at least in time, I can get come to term with it.
Kazric, Ashlyn, and Pin had a religious and lawful school day with the Robot. Something about teaching it morals or some something; they did not ask me about it.
Now I have to tell you about the world's most unlucky god damn bandit. We tried to give them the Elven Ale to screw them over, but they attacked us. While our main group took care of the bandits outside one poor bastard was... well, he climbed into the bar with the Celu, Pennyswaggle, Cyne, and Vanbrute. He was the last one to try and do something. This bandit jumped in probably thinking there was going to be somebody to take a hostage or something. We heard a very short scream and then the windows turned red with blood.
“My Cart” Pin had yelled.
“My Bar” was what I exclaimed as the two of us ran into the bar.
Pin used magic to clean up most of the blood and what was left behind. Magic can only do so much, it may look clean, but I assure you that it does not that fresh look. It just looks clean, not to the standard I hold my bars to. I gave it that good amount of elbow grease to give it that special shine to the bar. I do recall grabbing the greatsword of one of the bandits and mounting it in my bar. It was rather good looking in my bar. Quickly rushing to my bar was our half-orc friend stormed asking for something about the interrogation. Apparently, some of the bandits survived? Within a second there was a bottle of Elven Ale in his hands. Should I regret this, probably, but the bandits did attack us first, so at least they would get to taste something nice before Kazric got to them. Wait I've only had it once? Have I? I know I tasted once near the group but... It does not matter.
We need to get rid of this Liquid Drug.
It’s just not right.
I’m going to try and not give it to anybody from now on.
Finally making through the mountains, we ended up in a bizarre town. I know the city was on a map I will have to get it that dark town's name from Pin or somebody else. I say 'dark' because there was a rather large amount of races that either from the Underdark or have connections to evil outsiders or plane in their bloodlines. It’s challenging to explain how bizarre this place was unless you were there or passing through. I believe Kraia, Cyne, and Ashlyn stayed in the cart. Ashlyn being the beaming light of 'goodness' she was, I do not think she would find this place comforting. Cyne and Kraia, well they could keep themselves busy. Though I do not claim to know what happened while we walked through the town, I think I can make a guess at how they spent their time.
Celu decided to follow me as we walked through the city. I thought this would be a good chance to let her stretch her legs and walk around for a bit. I was not sure how close she would have followed me. Her cold hand and take mine, and she kept rather close. At first, I was not sure why he had chosen to hold my hand, then I thought for a second. I was not sure if she was scared or something else. I could not tell what it was when I had looked at her. So, for the time being, I did not mind having her this close. It was still strange to have a cold hand holding my own. Like holding some cold object, that eventually warmed up. Normally people have heat when they touch, this was different. It was not a bad thing for her hands to like that, this was just strange and new to me.
I remember around that time Pin was told her Robo-friend about her keeping her money safe. To bad at that moment, she couldn’t find her money. I have not had to chance to steal a coin purse in a long time. It was not my proudest time on the surface, the first fifteen years or so were rather rough when I left the Underdark. Pin leaving her money out and about, I thought it would be 'fun' to teach her a listen about keeping her coin close. I was not going to keep the money of course, but it would teach her to pay attention, that and I wanted a bit of practice. To say I had a smug face was an understatement. Giving it to her back, she said to do it again and see what happen. It was a cute threat that was completely harmless but telling me that, only made it all the sweeter when I took it the second time. She was deaf and blind it seemed.
Coming to a bookshop, I had a split second thought. I bought a book on the great old one. Okay so let me explain, those great old ones are not to be messed with, but I had to explore every option to know what this "Entity" was. Luckily I have not had much interaction with this mysterious "Entity." Since I was still unsure of its true intention it would probably be better if I do not mess with it. I have not felt like something was making me do actions against my will, or have I done something already and I do not know it’s persuading me to take an Action that I thought was originally mine? Effecting my mind in a matter of speaking, I am not sure what the effects of this "Entity" have had on me. What are the limits when dealing with me, what can it do besides persuading me? I know that it can do this because of the demon rock. I am pretty sure I usually want nothing to do with demon lords giving my want to stay away from them. I left that life behind a long time ago; I’m only connecting dots here. Grasping at strands here, with this new book on the great old ones. I know something is messing with me, Pharasma told me that much. I have to explore all methods and options to try and find a lead on what this "Entity" is. This book I bought might have some key to connect the dots further or it just may be a book on the great old ones. With no connections. I might ask Ashlyn for a book on Gods next time I speak with her.
Pin bought her books, and I believe a spell tome or something. I was standing not too far, but far enough where I could not hear what she was saying. Then the ratfolk looked at me, and I knew from the darting glare she gave. Pin had just figured out I had snatched her purse again, and I just toss her bag of coins. I could barely hide my grin, having to turn to Celuriel to hide it. I could regret this in the future, Though at that moment I would say it’s worth it. Heading out Licia decided she wanted to the cemetery, Cyne had told us to come back before the sun had set. Telling her that it was best not to go off alone. She begrudgingly agreed, and we passed the center of town, where something loud and green caught our eyes.
Kazric bought torture equipment. Concerning yes, unexpected not really.
Coming back to the Cart Pin made a final round checking that everybody was there and I briefly talked to her about the Old Gods.
P.S. I believe there bard/bandit with us, and we let him go, wasn’t there for a portion of that.
Journal #5: Introduction of Celuriel
Let me get this out of the way before I continue writing; my life is slowly becoming more complicated since I began traveling with this group. Things used to be some much simpler before meeting these people back when I lived with my family in that small village...
[A line have been scratched out rather well]
Where to begin oh yes the Necromancer's tower, why Pin wanted to go here was beyond me. I cannot seem this being a good place to try and live. She was very persistent about finding a base.
While cleaning some of the glasses, something I find myself doing quite often nowadays. Since everybody seems to want to be in the bar just drunk and eat. I might have to start sneaking away to other carts, or in the cargo hold to not be in a Bar all day. I’m getting off topic; I recall from early that it began to the sound of galloping outside the cart. The cart was not the fastest form of transportation, but we were not a trail or a road that people would normally take. Which made the galloping we all heard all the more concerning.
As I went to check on what was outside a translucent carriage drawn by ghostly horses was rapidly gain on us. A Ghostly wail rippled out from he carriage leaving me a bit stunned. This might have been the first time I had seen a ghost of any kind? Ectoplasm aside we were getting closer to that necromancer tower alright. Kraia easily dispatched the ghost with her throwing discs. I’m not a fan of this place I am saying that now if we live in this town I hope the ghosts do not stay.
That event was what I would like to call our first mistake.
We made several today.
We started approaching the tower, A tall pillar of stone jutting out from the forest around it. That even at a glance I could tell it was old. It was better shaped than the other location we have visited in our travels. That building we had visited was nothing more than a broken down fort with large crystals covering portions of the fort. This tower, on the other hand, was built to last the test of time, as most towers of this nature are. While we stretched out legs and got ready to explore inside Kazric broke the door and also dropped his sword, which would be the second time today that had happened. He was having some problems with that today, bad luck probably. A large bell tolled, and I believe I was the only one who could hear after for a short time after the bell had rung.. The ground floor of the tower was with the undead; we quickly dispatched with them taking care of each one without a problem. Though Pin blinded me with her magic, yelling a quite annoying “pep” talk to kill the last Undead was irritating. Sometimes I think these people forget that I’m a drow.
Heading to the second floor, it was a small library with a piano. Ashlyn started yelling about evil things, destroying the books. I happen to sneak one away before she got to ruin everything. The books themselves should not be evil, the content inside could be written about evil subjects but that's just ink on a page. I can understand if it was blood used for the ink or that the book is radiating some evil aura. This, that thing I rescued from the paladins wraithful purging of 'evil' book, was just that. A book. I think this was the first time I was slightly upset with our Paladin. She means well but she can be rather thick headed. I mean I can understand why she should want to destroy them, but she could have held off a bit longer than running in the blade in hand raised to strike.
This was our second mistake.
Our newest companion was found on the third floor, more on her later since the vampire is somewhat… well, she’s in my room currently staring at me now as I write this. A bit unnerving since she has not said too much, she is just watching me as I write. Let me get back on track, despite walking up to the third floor, we had to take out two spirits. A third person in the room did not want to be hurt. I would have thought Ashlyn would have killed her but no. She told us there was some creature in the basement. I would say I’m proud that she resisted the urge to slaughter something that was evil, but I think I’m somewhat happy with the fact she accepted somebody surrender instead. Though I am not sure whether she, the vampire, surrendered or not.
Mistake three involves Ashlyn and Pin.
THEY TALKED ALL THE WAY TO THE BASEMENT. Not quietly the were bickering like old married couples shopping. We stopped at the bottom floor for like a minute and then we’re talking while every undead in that basement was watching us. HOW THE UNDEAD DIDN’T ATTACK US I will never know, a couple of us had to have them stop bickering.
I’m not going into detail the fight or about the mimic, I dealt with in the fight or the book since I want to keep that one safe, though I think I’m not going to open that one without proper cause. I have a feeling it was one of those whims that I picked up that book in the basement.
Coming back up to the ground floor where we had to enter the tower, the door was gone, and the windows as well. I started taking bets that we were not in the same place anymore. I do not plan on collecting since it was very much a loaded bet. With our odds, anytime magic is involved with our group nothing good ever happens. I feel like nothing ordinary ever happens.
Here is what I call my fourth mistake.
I am going to write this part in Abyssal because I need to get this out somewhere and I know only Cyne can read this. After making to the fourth floor, we are met with a horrible sight. A Nymph without eyes and brutally scarred, I have not seen a creature that broken in a long time, not since my time in the Underdark. The walls were scratched up and bloody. There was a broken bed not to far away, and the poor creature had just rags around her. She was huddled on one of the corners of the room with a blanket around her.
She said she wanted to die.
I was not even paying attention to what people were saying. I was at a loss for words Kazrik spoken something but the word, had little meaning when they reached me. I am pretty sure, Ashlyn entering the conversation was the point I tuned back into the conversation. The Paladin wanted to save her. My mind keeps coming back to end her suffering. Quickly driving a blade across her neck to separate the head from the body. If I were next to anybody else or alone, I would have done it. My mind was so filled with thoughts of the Underdark just from this broken girl and events that I had seen and had to clean up, that I asked questions in Undercommon my friends but quickly changed back once I had noticed. Needless to say, the paladin wanted to save her so I could do nothing to stop her.
I do not want to dwell that long on her, but she had one more appearance after our time in this tower.
Coming up too the fifth floor we found the vampire again playing with some dolls. She gave us the typical she’ll (The person upstairs) will kill us if we go up there. Before going up, I made a quick comment about being quiet and not talking. I did not want a repeat of the basement. Ashlyn climbed up into the dark room, then myself and the other follows, I have a slight chance to see the top of the tower. Before a searing light blazed into existence in the room blinding me again by I believe Licia or Pin who had cast that spell to see in the darkness that was this room. Still, I swear people forget I’m a Drow.
I have trouble with extreme changes in light so by the time I could see our fifth mistake it was too late to do anything.
While trying to rub the blindness out of my eyes, the rest of the party decided to talk to the Elf/Lich. Because of course, they did, I love them to death put gods sometimes they can be stupid. Giving the Lich a chance to escape with what they say was a scroll of teleportation. She even questioned us about the fact we were not indiscriminately trying to kill her choosing rather talk than to speak with actions. Pin started to mess with the pentagram and a book she nicked from the second-floor library. I chose to leave at this moment and follow the paladin to help the Nymph and search for some “Phylactery” I’m not sure I spelled that correctly. As far as I’m aware we did not find anything.
Ashlyn ran up to talk to Pin about something, I went back to where the majority of the group was, and they asked the vampire about how to leave and if there was a “Phylactery” here. The Vampire said there might have been away in the library to unlock the tower; there were several pointed glares to our holy friend. Who seemed to not even notice them at the time. Then vampire said she could open the tower back up, but only if nobody harmed her. We reluctantly agreed, a portion of the group stated they would not hurt her, but just in self-defense, we would harm defend ourselves. In the process of casting the spell, she fell unconscious. With some deliberation, we took it upon ourselves to take her with us as well as the Nymph. We could not just leave her here could we, alone in a tower of full of the undead.
As we leave the tower for the final time, we found ourselves in the seaside city of Port Amarin. I could honestly say I had no problems here. There was some tension about this place that the rest of the group seem to have. We’ve been relatively against going to water-based cities, so was there an event that took place before I showed up that caused this tension?
Before I get started with Celuriel this will be written in Abyssal, all I wanted to do was keep her safe. I was not about to just take her from the Necromancer tower to be handed over to the guards of this city. I was the only person that I recall that tried to keep her safe the other thought it would be best to just leave her there with the guards or somewhere else. Even Kazric took my side in this, which strangely enough I had to check the Paladins logic about leaving her in Port Amarin with the guards. With Kazrics. A Vampire would just be killed if the guards got their hands on her. Why would we took her from that tower only to be put to death by handing her over?
He has his moments.
After telling Ashlyn, it would be a bad idea the party as a whole seemed to take that as “HEY, barkeep you take care of her” She is now living with me, and we tied her up. This is mostly because we're not sure what she'll do. I almost feel bad for her though. Need to find out more about her before I can let her walk around more freely. Being a vampire she might just suck out all my blood while I'm asleep, have to have some level of trust before I can comfortable sleeping again.
We left the still unconscious vampire with Cyne, and myself, Ashlyn, Licia, Kraia, and Kazric chose to walk around the city. Taking the Nymph with us on a rather large horse the Paladin and I decide to find better clothes for her. Sad to say A very scarred Nymph on a horse, A Drow, and a preferably armored up Paladin tend to get rather strange looks. It must have been odd since I was carrying all the bag full of clothes. Pin’s Cart was driving around the city, and I saw it once while in a store. During this Licia, Kraia and Kazric disappeared to do what they wanted.
We took the Nymph to a temple dedicated to a nature-based god, after meeting up with Licia and Kraia. Since I’m not one to actively pray to gods, I had to place my trust that this was the correct course of action.
If she does not get better it is going to bother me for a while or at least till I forget, I am on the fence about not killing her.
Hopefully, Kraia’s Deity is willing to help that poor Nymph.
As we choose to leave the city Pin had her eye caught by more of those robots. Knowing our conversation with Cyne about the Island I am concerned to what her motives are to buying her new “Friend” I trust her about as well as Kazric, and that’s not a much as I would like. The feeling of distrust is equal between us. I will not tell her my name, and I feel like she is not revealing all of her thoughts.
So pancakes are not the right way to break the ice with the vampire that is now living in my bar. This morning everybody was in my cart, again when are they not, I wanted to feed our new companion. It did not feel right to feed people and have her tied up and watching us eat. The Vampire quietly said that she does not eats pancakes. I was afraid of that and knew I would probably have two new whole in my neck since she was slightly hungry. I trust my friends that if anything happens to me, they’ll have my back.
I guess I don’t know Vampires that well since instead of biting me she chose to kiss me, I thought she was joking about that last night. Vetela Vampires, the type of undead she was does not need blood to curb her hungry but instead feeds off memories? This was done through the simple act of kissing, which I guess is better than having my blood taken. I have 123 years worth of memory I could do without a few of them. Though this does bring a rather interesting problem for me. I... I am rather conflicted about this. It's not as if I want to kiss her, but I also would feel bad if I had chosen to starve her just because of how she feeds.
Forgive me I had forgotten to describe her.
Celuriel looks kind of like this, her skin's bloodless, pale like the moon and cold and her eyes are pitch black but if the light had hit him, they would show their true color, a dark crimson so dark in fact you could mistake them for being black. Hair's pretty long and wild; From what we saw in that tower I could guess she's never had much to take care of things like her hair. I had found a brush within my cart and after a while, what I had thought was wild hair turned out to be rather straight. She's on the shorter side maybe a head shorter than me and looks relatively young; I'd guess she wasn't an adult when turned into a vampire, but not a child as well. Not to mention that fact being a vampire and all, she could easily be hundreds of years older than me. Her face is more rounded and even her face seemed to lack color, probably due to the years of being a vampire but again given where she lived she's probably never had the chance to mess with makeup to add color to her lips or anything like that. I wonder how much of a childhood this girl had? She's continuously nervous and shy only really speaking when it had been the two of us or when spoken too. Even at that, her sentences had been short and to the point not revealing too much about herself or her personality. However, I have noted that lately she been looking at me and I caught her with a slight smile.
I do have to admit, she was quite cute.
She seems nice from what I can tell, and I think she needs a bit of time before she will be breaking out of her shell. Though I feel a tad bit strange after her feeding, maybe it's the side effect of having a vampire take memories from you? It’s been fading over the days, and it gave me a chance to write this down.
Journal #4: The Prince is not a Prick.
Be very careful around Kazric; I’m not sure he is all there at the moment. As far as I know, he has never wanted to push a friend off into danger actively. Then again I am not sure he was a friend, to begin with. He just seems to enjoy to the carnage he gets to produce when he fights with us.
Cyne, not such a bad guy. Also, he knows Abyssal which is good to know. I can practice from time to time to make sure I am not forgetting all the languages up in this head of mine. I should probably learn Celestial sooner or later.
Journal #3: Magic is kinda bullshit, stay away from Licia.
Where do I even start with this hellish cluster of a day, best to start at the beginning? Right now everybody has mostly knocked sprawled out across the middle of the train's bar which is where I live. Pin thought it would be a smart idea to buy 10 gallons of liquid drugs. That vexing substance called Elven Ale, sooner rather than later we get rid of all of the “Ale.” Or destroy those damn kegs. That shit knocked out Kazric, the only other heavy drinker besides our resident wizard. It could be handy given the right circumstances but I cannot see that going all to well. However, when Kazric awoke from his sleep his reaction to the "Ale" was somewhat different than mine when I took it two months ago? Was it two months, I cannot recall?
Kazric finally noticed that Vanbrute was not on board and got Pin to turn the Cart the hell around. Kazric now owns Pin one, which might be one of the scariest things I have ever heard. I would not want to be the one who owns Pin a favor. That was at the beginning of the day coming back to Ilendras while somehow in the process ended up picking up Cyne.
He was better than last time… that is to say; I did not want to punch him. We met some weird robot and Pin got pissed or annoyed, it’s hard to tell with her. Her ratlike face makes discerning emotions harder than say, humans. This robot told her of a small island of robots which she might want to overthrow since they were oppressed and had no freedom. Cyne was firmly against that idea. The Wizard worries me a little, and I think I need to cut her back on the alcohol. She might have a list of places she wants to over through, the idea of a drunken wizard revolutionary is not one I like to keep thinking about. I had a small conversation with Cyne in DLS. Which I am surprised he knows Drow Sign Languages. In fact, I think he's the first person I have ever known to be able to use that was not a drow. I honestly might have gotten off on the wrong foot with him. He wasn’t as bad. We’ll have to see.
After basically kidnapping Cyne almost everybody was in my bar, save for Cid and Ashlyn.
SO all of this shit is going to be in Abyssal so nobody can read this. Who knew Demonspeak could be so useful for something other than talking, I think I’m the only one in this cart who knows the language but I cannot be too sure. Cyne and Kazric might be up for debate since they deal with or are from the Underdark. But as long as Licia does not speak or know Abyssal I think it will be fine. In the middle of our travels to the second tower on our list of future homes. Licia, our half-elf shaman, started casting magic. Even with my perceptive eyes, I had noticed her nearly silent chanting in the middle of the group's loud chatter a bit too late. She had cast a spell and it had found it's mark, and I was extremely annoyed at this.
Then as the spell began to take hold for the life of me, I just wanted to kiss her. If I had to describe that damn feeling, it is like an impulse with every fiber of your being wanting to fulfill that impulse. Similar to how I have those weird whims like stealing the demon rock. But slightly different since I’m not stealing Demon rocks. Anyways I end up succumbing to that feeling and end up kissing her in front of almost everybody. Then Cyne kissed Kraia, and I’m pretty sure Kazric ended up kissing Vanbrute.
Oh she just woke up, anyways now Licia just being slightly weird and just looking at me while drunk, she was probably still under the effect of that damnable drink. Elven Ale is somewhat odd. The effects seem to differ from person to person. As well as depending on how much you consumes, the strength of the particular ale your drinking. I wonder what she saw. However, after everybody passed the hell out from that bullshit drink. Which after Licia woke up she stirred awake the lovebird. Not too long after Kraia and Cyne disappeared, I assume knock boat in Kraia's room. I have noticed that people who drink that Ale, it's very rare for people, not the pass out from it. Save for Pin it seems but that's the alcoholism for you. While the slept I had covered them with blankets made sure they were at least as comfy as they could be, even the shaman though I was still displeased with what she had done. I’ll still have to figure out how to get her back for that. Not now, it would be unfair while that drink is in her system. For now, I’ll play nice.
Journal #2: The Gods speak to us, sort of.
Everything went better and worse than expected. Oh, how few words can completely throw off people’s perspective of you.
The night after returning from The Boneyard, we all had very peculiar dreams regarding some the Deities that my companions follow. Myself include despite to follow any divine figure over the past fifty past years.
[Drowbie deception of the Dream, mainly so I don’t forget how it’s worded I copied and pasted it here from the game.]
“An amused chuckle from darkness - an unfamiliar female voice. "You know, I shouldn't be here. You left my House. You're a traitor. You still practice what I preach... an assassin, that's you. Have fun with what's coming!" She laughs. And then you're left in silence, a feeling of dread slowly growing in your gut - before your head explodes with pain, as does your wrist - an image of your knife [Andirifku’s Symbol Skull and knives] carved into it for merely a moment before a dark, ghostly hand covers it, and you nearly scream out: when the hand withdraws, your arm is left unharmed, but your head feels heavy, and you're no longer sleeping”.
At first, I had thought it was my younger or older sister, but something about the wording was off. My sisters never taught me anything about skills regarding my life in the Underdark and ‘My House’ could not be my mother; she was not a Matron when I had ‘left’ my home. Nor was I aware of any of my family having the ability to speak with me in my dreams. Turns out, Andirifku a name I have not heard in a long while might have been the one to speak with me. Since my companions had spoken with their patrons. [More sentences in Abyssal].
If compared to the other dreams than that is who would have spoken and might have marked me. Or tired at least, which would explain that blood on the blankets when I woke up. Part of me wants to believe "The Entity" is intervening again. Unlike my friends my forearm was somewhat unchanged, even KAZRIC was marked. My gut says our lives are going to get strange and more changeling on the road to come. OH yes but back to the dream. I believe that "The Entity "stopped a mark from showing up, the ghostly hand covered up where the tattoo would have been. Whether this is helpful or not is yet to be seen. For now, if that is the case, I am glad "The Entity" did so. The less connected to my past, the Underdark, to demons, the better.
Surprisingly the group took the demon stone thing far better than I thought they would. Scared Ashlyn half to death by putting the demon rock on her nightstand. She woke all of us up with her screaming about something evil. Nothing new mind you, but she does have some pipes on her. Loud enough to wake all of us while we slept in other rooms. At this point, I am surprised we do not sleep through it since we hear those words from her quite often. Sneaking into her room was easy since she sleeps like a brick. Telling them the truth was apparently the best option, I am pretty sure the Paladin is going to have words with me sooner or later. After that, we received a message from a redheaded elf to meet with some person named Cyne. At this moment, I learned the other members of this party do not have much of a problem when it comes to checking out random individuals. As half the party seemed to pay special attention to the elf's reared as the redhead walked out of the inn. Personally, I think this was the first of many mental facepalms. Then we went to see this Cyne person.
I swear to the gods that if you leave me in a room with this guy. I’m going to punch him in the face.
Cyne again asked for my name, which like for the past couple of decades have not really used or needed. Avoiding that topic, he casually mentioned he could just look at the letter addressed to me. That right there is a problem, I have told only two people on the surface my full name that I was given as a child. The thought of my real name quickly grabbed my attention. Opening the letter, they got everything right, yet they left out my life on the surface, save for the last couple of months. Kazric complained about the fact he could not bring a weapon of any kind. Then out pure stupidity, opened my mouth. Speaking without much thought to what I said I replied to Kazric's complaint that I could bring a blade or two. Cyne took note of that and ended up calling me 'my lord' or some other title. Damn did Pin Whisperbreath want to talk about that; their barkeep might be nobility. The fact that Cyne kept screwing with me on this, which made me want to punch this jackass even more. Luckily I told them to put a pin in it, jokes withstanding, and tried to cover my tracks by re bringing up that deities which had marked them.
Sadly they did not drop this subject and brought it up again; you would think that being chosen by gods would be a little more important than where your bartender came from…. but I digress. I showed Kazric my letter letting him know who I was, which was a mistake in hindsight. He wants to know more about my past, which took place at another time. It was just to spite Cyne since he wanted to see the letter or have me pass it around to the others. Why did he want to expose me, or want to know who I was? I know I did not help the situation but I have my reason for not wanting my name out and about. Then Cyne processed to disappear for some reason and Pin, and I figured out he went invisible. The man tries for a smooth exit and proves to me that he had a flair for the dramatic. During this time I’m sure he read the letter, I should have placed it in my pocket or in my bag. Talking about him being around and not indeed gone, the door flung itself open “mysteriously.” Then as we left, he whispered in my ear, my houses name. That promptly got my elbow shoved into what I can assume was his gut. I walked away, both satisfied and annoyed when I heard a disembodied voice laughing somewhere in an 'empty' house.
I swear I will punch this guy if he does not cut that out. I think he might be a dick.
Note to self Smittens was being very weird today and Kraia is good at tickling people.
Journal #1: Welcome back to the land of the living.
Well, it seems that I will be traveling with this group indefinitely, this is an excellent change pace for once.
I have not written down my thoughts for the longest time. Let’s see where to start with this, the talking plant? That seems like the right place to start. Well thanks to what I’ll refer to as ‘The Demonic Plant’ absorbing souls, it must have caught the attention of The Goddess Pharasma. Lady of Graves, and of Mysteries, Mother of Souls such a large range of titles. Not only that, apparently while dealing with this demonic plant we all died in some sense or at least that's my working theory, when Kazric our somewhat evil half-orc, shoved his soul-sucking sword into the husk of the creature creating some unintentional recoil. If The Lady of the Graves hadn’t step in and sent us to her domain, we would be somewhat reluctant to be sleeping in this tavern tonight.
Pharasma told us that now we need to find and destroy four of the six artifacts similar to Kazric’s Sword and the demonic talking plant. I could be mistaken on the number; honestly, that was not my first concern, but more on that later. The Goddess did mention the fact that we had already seen a third artifact, yet we might not have noticed what it truly was at the time. This might be something that I have not even been aware of or seen them. Being that I have been somewhat active with this group far more often recently than the past couple of encounters with them. The Goddess’ comment could have towards them, the group, instead of myself. At the moment, for me, nothing comes to mind that sucks souls away. Since that seems to be the common factor of these artifacts, at least I’m not aware of an artifact, item, or weapon, which can produce a such an effect that this group has encountered.
I should ask the others about this, and they might have a better understanding of what this third artifact might be.
What I am more concerned about is the voice I heard inside of Pharasma’s Tower. I had even asked The Goddess if it was her which was speaking with me. Pharasma’s answer, though it gave me very little clarity on my question, it did provide proof that something is watching me. The better questions to ask now is, how long has it been watching, why did it only speak with me when I wanted to open the door to another plane? Which the Paladin attempted to tackle me away from the door, then proclaimed it to be ‘Evil.’
She does this a lot.
Not the tackling part, the screaming about being evil one.
It was very unclear what this entity wants, and it does not seem to be that dangerous. This needs to be explored more, maybe after I get some sleep.
[This Sentence was in Abyssal]
If some of my strange events or urges are tied to this, Entity, it would explain why I kept or wanted that rock possessed by a Demon Lord. Hopefully, I can wake up tomorrow before dawn and sneak into Ashlyn’s room and give the stone back.
~Sidenote I should probably ask Kazric about that offhanded topic about an army and dwarfs. Something regarding vampires? Something unusual is going on, that much is for sure.