Syrgja Journal Entry X
Today I heard the crash of the ocean. I was swept into its endless waves and broke as I was expelled upon its shore. I saw a pearl, cloaked in shadow, fade from my grasp, my sight, my soul.
Syrgja Journal Entry IX
Today we return to the northwood, searching for these farmhouses that are potentially hiding more of these Ravens and their victims.
Mirielle returns to the Pendragon household with a new person in tow. A Half Elf that claims to have some proficiency in healing. After everything that has happened and the skin changing and underhanded cloak and dagger goings on I cant say I'm not suspicious. She is supposedly personally invested in some way to rooting out this evil. We shall see if Celia regrets choosing courage over comfort.
The good sheriff of Rylye is able to give us some information on locating a farmhouse to the north, we are to follow the forest until a plague of crystal mutation will make the forest very hard to navigate, which will mean we are close to the farmhouse.
Celia is proving herself very useful, helping us track the movement of a cart through the forest. Entering the crystal growth section of the forest was a quite a sight. Black crystal growing and jutting from the ground, the trees, like the rotten teeth of some beast born of the very earth, bursting forth and slowly closing its mouth around us.
Mireille's adventurous nature is often motivating. She is often the balm to ease the worry of taking that first step into the chasm of the unknown. Today however, her temerarious nature was almost her undoing. She cast a spell at a cluster of the black crystals, she instantly suffered some manner of requital, draining her of her vitality and casting a great shadow on her normally heartening demeanor.
We made the decision to retreat from this cursed maw and rest in a less dangerous portion of the forest.
The next morning we are back in pursuit of the cart thanks to Celias tracking skill. Eventually we happen upon the farmhouse we have been searching for and see that it is indeed guarded by some of these Ravens. As we stealthily approach, trying to surveil the house and see what manner of operation they have working here, a loud crashing sound, heralding the attack of a now GIANT sized ewan Pendragon, dashes all thought of subtlety or cunning.
Though I am disappointed we are charging mindlessly into battle, I can commiserate with the young tieldracen. He has seen his father gravely injured and his sister taken.
In a world like this, I think to myself as I charge screaming into the melee,
Family is everything.
Syrgja Journal Entry VIII
Stig and I are met on the way back to Ewans house by Ewan himself, hauling his fathers body, minus a hand and his sister was nowhere to be found according to Ewan.
I follow them back towards the temple of Zymmera, leaving his father to be healed. We follow back to the Pendragon estate.
We split up at this point and try to gather information.
I am sent to the Arcaneum branch to do some recon and see if the imposter Sindri shows up.
I do not see him.
back at the house we go over the information that we have learned.
I report I did not see anyone entering or leaving the Arcaneum
Stig reported that the Grey trading company has a huge warehouse in the city that he could not infiltrate. But could not find anything suspect happening, he went around town and found nothing shady happening at the various grey trading carts that he saw.
Muriel found that a mix of people never came home, she went to various homes where people who lived alone and found signs of struggle. 17 reports of invasion/assaults or people not returning home. Anyone with no star or blackbird bu there name on the list had families to speak of, strange considering them using Daias family as a ransom. All starred names had families and were the ones reported missing, they took place of various ages.
Ewan has found from his contact Roxie that his sister is in the dark but on the move, discovering she is being taken to a farmhouse in a wooded area. Erowyn provided the info that there about four or fivr farmhouses north of Sherborne, told a story about one of the houses being used by a gang for trafficing or for stolen goods.
We figure that they are smuggling people somehow using these farmhouses.
He also said that three of the people that attacked his house were guards and that a couple patrols have gone missing. This is very disturbing. We are in over our heads and I am determined to get help from a higher echelon of authority than an be found in Sherborne.
In Lilathris journal. years before the missing children, she mentions that she cleaned up a smuggling ring in the north woods, smuggling dangerous rare animals and illicit substances. 6 or 7 houses they investigated, her and Ethandor found a Large farmhouse deep in the northern woods, completely enveloped by the forest.
We visit the man we caught during the break in at Asais bookstore, who was imprisoned. the man had an ashen white visage with black tears dripping down his face. Someone got to him before we could. A step behind as usual. Some type of poison from a black lotus flower. As its ingested the subject always dies at midnight, very rare and expensive.
There is an obvious infiltration of the guards of this city and who knows who else.
I am drafting a letter to the Ayers University. In my past life on the sea I would often look to the horizon to catch the glint of the universities white towers shining in the sunrise, leading us in to Port Ayers. Always a welcomed and comforting sight. From the talk at the docks it is a place of great learning and many of the smartest people in Durlon are said to walk its halls. I'm hoping against hope I can convince the college to look its eyes towards Sherborne and the rot that is festering under the surface of this area, lest it overtake and choke us all.
The letter Surge pens to the University is recounted as follows:
To whom it may concern at Ayers University,
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing this as warning and a plea, so please take heed of the following account and do not delay in providing any aid possible. Various heinous actions recently undertaken in the area of Sherborne and the surrounding territory have come to coalesce into a knot of alarming and sinister conspiracy. These actions which I will account in detail as I understand presently, hint at much larger machinations, the scale of which I currently cannot know, but may possibly infiltrate to the upper echelons of the Durlonian society. *Herein Surge goes into great detail about his encounters with the Ravens, the kidnappings, the corruption of the Otemus Arcanium, the Aether crystals both red and black, and the connections to the investigations and disappearance of Lilathris and how he has befriended the Silver Guardian, her son.*
So, as is made plain by the recounting of my recent encounters and dealings, something disquieting is happening here. There are schemes and plots at work that I fear we have not wide enough vision to see the scope of. I humbly request you send any and all aid possible to the city at once, that you may possibly find what is behind this corrupting of the Aether, and help us lay bare the plans of whatever malevolent will sets itself against us.
Syrgja son of Gortar, Ward of Kendrick Hathwayes
Syrgja Journal Entry VII
After exploring around this seems to be some sort of harvesting or experimenting area. No survivors were left within. Daias family was found in a small containment area with their throats cut.
It took me awhile to enter the area with the bodies. I was afraid of what I might see laying there dead. Who I might see.
Bodies lie strewn haphazardly with the red crystal protruding out of their heads. I take a few pensive glances around the room. Nobody I recognize. They were also found with burn marks on their hands.
The elf girl recognizes a body from one of her contacts at the Otemus branch, though his corpse had obviously been there for a long time, she claims to have had contacts with him far more recently. Deception. Mistrust. Shapechanging.
Asai unsurprisingly tries to grab one of the crystals, probably to stuff as much in her pocket as her half decaying patch furred mittens could grab. Something strange happened as she touched it though. It seems as if the cats physical form finally matched the constant mewling about her old age. She hunched, her color left her fur, her eyes glazed over with a rheumy white haze.
We find a Journal among the bodies, its old and seems to be from around the time of Ewans mothers journal entries with some interesting connections between Subject 84 and Aerin Hearst.
From what we can gather, the orbs like we found in the Pendragon Hideaway draw the internal aether from these victims and causes these Red Crystals to grow. This in turn allows more orbs to be made, and by using the young the orbs are more pure. To what end these pure orbs are used for are is yet to be uncovered.
Using my axe I am able to carve off a shard of the Red Aether. My mind is scrambled as soon as my blade touched the crystal, but I am able to carve off a small shard.
I wrap the crystal up and tuck it away, hopefully it can help us figure out what is happening.
Leaving the lab, we seem to "lose" Asai. I cannot account for her whereabouts until were almost to the exit of the mine. Suspicious that she would slip away so close to a stronghold of the enemy. I doubt it is coincidence. I have a small discussion with Miriele about my misgivings on our recalcitrant cat friend. She doesnt share my suspicious sentiment, but she is still young. I pray to Kynthia that she can learn the of the realities of Durlon without it being a fatal lesson.
A small note, after striking the crystal the carved Orca tooth that I wear upon my neck has been thrumming with a very low vibration, and though my mind cleared and I have recovered from the damage of the crystal strike, something has changed within me. I feel an undeniable connection to my totem. I swear I can hear the call of the orca like a distant call in the recesses of my mind.
Returning to town we go to check to see if unSindri is at the Otemus branch. We check the living quarters, finding no Sindri but evidence of his being there. We find a list of 50 arcanists in the Sherborne, Dawndale, Glendine area. Chief among these names is Giselle, Ewans sister. Some name had stars marked next to them, with Daia having a bird symbol by hers.
Stig and I head to the temple of Zymmera to check on Daia.
She is still in a coma however with a little investigation, we notice a needle mark between her ring and middle fingers. We find that Sindri shapechanger had came to visit. I try to make very clear that Daia needs to be guarded at all cost, though I dont know if the guardsmen are capable of grasping the gravity of the situation.
Hearing a commotion, I head to the main worship hall and find a woman looking for her husband, Daniel who is an arcist that has gone missing...
Leaving the temple in the early morning light, the city is starting to wake, however there is an air of panic, something dark and chaotic is stirring today and shouts of names start ringing out. Something is terribly wrong. We break into a sprint towards the Pendragon Forge, not knowing what awaits us.
Syrgja Journal Entry VI
Rain, all the way to Gethara. I hope to find Cassandra, maybe get enough information to track down this shady entity operatinfg in the area. Murder of Ravens. Asai ran off, as she is want to do, careless to the help she may provide us.
In the distance we saw the village on fire, bodies lay on the ground, fire, smoke, rain, chaos. Making our way into town, we turn down a street and see a group of Kobolds with the children of the town taken hostage.
We sprang into action, trying to save as many of the children as we could, sad to say that two were slain. The people of the village were not very eager to help us after we had defeated the kobolds and taken one hostage, whom had a note directing us north. They seemed more upset at the loss than gracious for those that were saved.
I'm not very surprised, most people of this realm wear their sadness and grief as a badge of honor.
We were able to track a group of Kobold to a clearing, they having some children and the reason for our journey Cassarah with them. We had our prison in tow, but he was in to bad a shape to take with us. I left cuts in the trees to follow our trail if Asai decided to show up, I hope she gets eaten by a bear or falls into a ravine on her way to find us. I worry not for the trees, they are hearty and will cover their wounds in time.
The children are being loaded into wagons with The Grey Trading Company insignia emblazoned upon them. The next morning there is evidence of, consumption of some of the prisoner children.
My blood is hot now. Underneath the surface is an ever roiling, boiling river of scorching rage. I will kill the perpetrators of this hideous act or die trying.
Asai sees fit to lecture me on the wounding of the trees that she might find us.
I may kill her. Not only had she abandoned us with no word or council taken as to what she would be doing, but now she sees fit to lecture us. It is all I can do to contain my anger with her. I need to unleash this anger or my wrath will swallow me whole and I may hurt those that do not deserve it.
Following the carts, we make our way into the hills northeast of Sherborne eventually leading to the mine which can only be the same entered by Ewans mother so long ago.
We make our way down into the darkness, when Asai finally makes herself useful to someone other than herself and finds a hidden passageway which I am able to enter by using my awesome punching techinque. Eventually the rest of the group also is able to enter this small, dark hallway...unsure of what is laid ahead of us.
Syrgja Journal Entry V
Xenovu came to the tavern to let myself and Miriele know that they indeed had apprehended the red haired human. Daia.
Mirele was well into her cups at this point. Generally it seems when people get so deeply into the drink they are trying to squash something inside. I shall have to keep an eye on her, as it seems whatever you try to cover in the numbness of booze it will claw its way to the surface in a damaging way when drunk.
The following passage gives me no pleasure.
They have her bound in an abandoned house in town. The cat begins to interrogate her, I tried to assist, telepathically enhancing her speech. We needed answers and quickly.
The Murder of Ravens has her family captured at an undisclosed location. Blackmail. The group had dumped her sisters body on her doorstep. A murderous collection of people not afraid to die, and no qualms with wiping entire families out...this is getting darker as we get deeper. We need more.
We are able to get that she took a boy to a camp north of here and that she is probably having her every move being watched.
We venture north and prepare for a batttle. We hide within striking distance as Daia readies herself for her meeting. Soon a man in black appears in a shimmer and approaches Daia at the camp. He whispers into her ear and hands her something, and she screams NO at the top of her lungs. The man throws a dart, likely poisoned into her neck and she falls into convulsions.
Battle is formed. The man has some kind of magical protection as I landed a solid hit on him but he seemed to not be phased. Archers in the treeline let loose and land a shot in my shoulder grievously wounding me.
I yelled and scooped Daia into my arms, running back towards Miriele and Asai, hoping they could heal her in some fashion.
I was furious at Asai as I saw her rifling through Daia belongings. She stayed to far away to be of assistance in the fight and here she was stealing from a suffering young woman.
At this point, with her family almost senteced to certain death, and black veins emerging in her meck and face, I knelt down, reached out with my mind and asked Daia if she wished to be saved. She responded that indeed she did. We sprang into action.
Mirele and Asai were able to slow the effect of the poison in the young woman and Stig got her back to a place of healing in Sherborne at a temple of Zymmera.
Daia is in a coma, but stable. I tried to impress upon the temple guard the importance of keeping her well guarded as she may have more information that can help us, but I fear I could not make them understand the gravity of the situation.
We found the note that the man passed to her, Gethara Cassarah Sidney Human Female, black hair brown eyes dark skin. 7th of Uriel
We discussed out option and decide to head for Gethara.
Syrgja Journal Entry IV
We take the rode to Dawndale, following the river. As we came to the crossroads to head towards the western forest and Rylye there was good fishing to be had and Xenovu and I caught a mighty haul.
We arrived in town in the evening, seeing a missing persons poster for a gnome child named Elias. There were also the posters for the kids that went missing all those many years ago.
The tavern and the Inn are next door to eachother and the owners happened to be married as well. Milie runs the Steel Kettle Inn and her husband runs the tavern.
Xenovu was able to barter for our rooms with the fish we caught, I stayed in the background, lest my Nephilic blood cause a commontion to these simpler folk.
We had dinner and were informed by the sherrif that Elias was a gnome who had recently gone missing and was tapped by none other than Daia to go to the Academy he was around 14, black hair, green eyes and tan with a gnomish stature.
After interviewing the Martins, Muriele and Asai were able to ascertain that Daia would be in town the following day.
We set up posts all around town, and were able to see Daia heading into to town from the south, she stopped at the Martins, seemed genuinely surprised that Elias was not there, and made her way to the tavern.
We surrounded the place and I kept watch from the outside, from what I could tell, the attempts to get inside the womans head were not successful.
As Daia left the tavern, I was able to put a fear of uncertainty in her with my telepathic ability, such a simple, yet effective little tool in my aresenal.
My friends pursued her down the street and were able to subdue her in a non lethal fashion. We tie her up and take her the abandoned house that used to belong to a one of the families of the previously abducted children.
I am very interested to see what is brought to light in this investigation...
Syrgja Journal Entry III
I made my way to the only contact in the city whom I thought may have information on my hunch regarding the small map I caught glimpse of in Lilitharis' journal.
Approaching the entrance to Baron Kendrick Hathwayes estate I have flashes to the cries of his children, the heavy rain and chaos of the bandit raid that hit the caravan that night many years ago. I remember jumping into action, my mind hellbent on saving those kids. I recall drawing my axe, and screaming in rage at these opportunist fucks. My muscles tense as I grasp the rope to ring the visitor bell to the estate and I'm almost transported to that desperate struggle, the stench of mud and rain and sweat and blood. The shrieks of dying men and elves. The pain of wounds received. The pleasure of total Rage. The ecstasy of being lost in nothing but the absolute joy of revenge and collecting on the wages of sin. It was the last raid that particular band ever embarked upon.
I pull the rope so hard I absolutely destroy the whole apparatus .
The clang of the bell and the splintering of wood and severing of rope snap me back into reality.
Earl, the butler for Baron Hathwaye approaches and leads me into the estate.
Inside I am the Baron and I exchange pleasantries and warm welcomes. Though the Baron is not one I would say is sentimental in the least, he is always happy to help me for saving his family so long ago. I have also used discretion over the years as to how often I would use his assistance. A few times a year would I visit and only in circumstances of great need. I was also trusted in delivering..."messages" on behalf of the Sir Hathwaye. We have quite a mutually beneficial relationship.
To my surprise the Baron himself has quite a collection of maps of the area, and my suspicions are confirmed that the crudely drawn map did indeed show the road to Dawndale. The X to the north was more than likely one of the mines in the hills.
I tell the Baron to keep an extra watch around his children, as they have been disappearances.
Returning to the house the others have gathered some excellent information. The missing children are confirmed to be Aether sensitive children tapped to go to the Academy.
Xenovu heard tell of a man with a raven tattoo trying to buy a cartload of fish outside of a hamlet on the way to Dawndale named Rylye (of which two missing children were from), which would possibly serve many normal mouths or one horrendously large one.
We learned the name of the person responsible for Academy recruitment was a human woman named Daia Iamor.
At dinner a truly terrifying occurrence as Rixie, a friends with Ewan came to read the items from his mothers secret office in the way of the soothsayers.
She sees images of death, darkness, subterranean terror, fear, pain and of a being powerful enough to cause Lilathris to flee. upon reading the orb, she takes a psychic shock and passes out.
I waited up for Asai, who came bumbling in late with a giant cart she has purchased for the travel. She explained away her gruesome altar as a way of worship to the old gods. Though that hasnt totally cured my suspicions of her, I know faith has demanded some strange devotion over the millennia. Coming from a village that mainly worshipped Kynthia, I try to not to be prejudiced against non standard worship.
The next morning we arrive at Mirieles place to a true cacophony. Her and Xenovu were collaborating in what could be called music by the loosest definitions of the word. Her neighbors seemed very cross.
We followed a lead to a hostel in Oldtown, searching through Daias room, we found a false bottom in a chest with a uniform of the Raven bastards and some light green glueish substance that niether Miriele or Asai could identify.
So it stands to reason that Daia is in cohorts with this crew that are kidnapping aether sensitive children that are to go to the academy. I fear we are on the same path as Lilathris many years ago, and whatever we find in Rylye, my mind drifts northward...to the darkness of the mines...and whatever evil dwells therein.
After a fitful night sleep
Syrgja Journal Entry II
We entered Thorons house, his Dwarven body was on the floor in the kitchen and blood was everywhere. The space was completely wrecked.
Ewan was brave about the whole thing, very admirable in my eyes. One of the greatest measures of a person is how they react when the people they love are gone. The young Tieldracen is made of strong stuff.
Ewan went upstairs and I followed to help him search. The vandals had also wrecked the upstairs.
By virtue of my past pulling valuables from shipwrecks (for there are few more guileful than a sea fairing man trying to hide a precious bauble or treasure), I was able to find the latch behind the dresser, which activated a false wall with a hidden chest therein.
Ewan was able to open the chest with a key that Miriele had discovered well hidden on the Dwarfs body. I stood a distance away and let the man go through the contents. Privacy is important.
I noticed that Stig was very uncomfortable around the body...maybe the blood put him off? Odd for a prospective hero.
My whole view on Asai has changed in the span of few hours, her flippant treatment of the dead, her joy at collecting and consuming the food of a dead man...
Collecting all the evidence we could find, Ewan bade us be off to the house of his family.
As we walk I consider Ewan and his hero mother The Silver Maiden Lilathris. I would think whosoever could win the hand of such a renowned legend would be quite the man. From what Ewan has said though, he has devolved into a man of ill temper and is frequently sloppy with drink.
The Pendragon household was quite a nice place. The smith was well kept and the craftsmanship was good quality.
The beauty of the grounds belied a rot growing inside, like a shell holding the corpse of a long dead mollusk.
Ewans father Alvord, an elf, was deep into his cups. Asai and Alvord have some sort of contentious past, part of me wants the drunkard to smash her skull in. Stig took a swing at Alvord and was caught in the middle of his attack with ease. Alford moves eight the practiced grace of a fighter, and I hope the giant is more useful in battle than that.
Ewans Tieldracen sister Giselle was a gracious host despite her father.
We spend the night in the comfort of the Pendragon estate. In the morning Miriele makes breakfast for us all, I am very appreciative.
Over the next few hours, some very interesting information makes itself known.
My assumptions are correct, Alvord was once a formidable fighter and adventurer, yet he and Lilathris swore off adventuring when they got married after an encounter with a being named Selafor a possible Ravenger.
Giselle is informed of the fact that her Mother may still be alive. She is surprised.
After Ewan had a conversation with his father of which I was not privy, I asked him to show me around the Smithy.
Something inside me said that even though I am already well equipped with my great axe, I should purchase something from the the Pendragon Smith. Maybe some business would help this former warrior find his courage and get off the drink.
I purchased a Greatsword from Giselle, it is a fine weapon and I shall put it to great use in the future.
Ewan had heard of my dealings with the landlord. I tried to laugh it off though I may have offended his more noble sensibilities. I find the notion of rent itself of great....annoyance, sometimes I let my temper get the better of me.
Here we come to the first occurrence of what may only described as an extraordinary occurrence.
Giselle and Ewan use the key emblazoned with an “L” that summons a glowing doorway in the smith area. The doorway leads to a small office in the back wall.
Also found is a pitch black crytsal orb and a journal with the letter L emblazoned upon it. the orb is a mystery. Miriele wanted to hand it over to Asai for inspection, as she was still eating, I told her to maybe keep this from her.
A roughly drawn Map fell out of the journal, and the journal detailed the final months leading up to Lilathis' disappearance.
It seems Lilathis was investigating the disappearance of local young people, just as we may soon be doing.
All the disappearances Lilathis remarked upon seems to have the common thread of aether sensitivity.
Lilathis was able to examine a body and found it totally emaciated with red crystals growing from the head and signs of torture, and all the bones in his right hand broken.
Sheriff Volen Human about 60yrs old now*
The end of the journal was a hastily scribbled mess about red orbs and escaping to save her family...
Years of traveling and looking at various maps has tickled something in the back of my mind, like the wisp of a flame about to stoke a bonfire, that section of map...I will need an expert on such matters, and wonder if my freind and benefactor can help me find what I seek.
Syrgja Journal Entry I
After the events of today I have decided to keep a journal.
Today was the 4th day of the Lifebloom Festival in Sherborne
Today I decided I would go down and enjoy myself. Maybe find some food.
I found food.
Fish and cookies are a good combo.
I saw Asai and Merielle, Merielle gave me a turkey leg it was very good with my Cockerel Chip Cookie.
The fireworks display was very good. The colors remind me of the sunsets of my fishing village, Koa. I miss my family.
Suddenly, there was a fire in the direction of Asais book store, one of my favorite places, close to my home.
I followed Asai and Murielle towards the fire. Harlans Homely Books is burning. the smoke stung my eyes but gave me an excuse for the tears. I really liked this place.
The fish monger and cookie man were entering the bookstore, as well as another person I did not recognize.
We ran inside to see them battling some sort of intruders. These intruders had set the fire and it was spreading.
I was very angry and helped the fish monger destroy one of these arsonists.
These arsonists did not care if they survived. Also they were tattooed with a black Raven and a red scratch field behind.
I followed Merielle into the living space of Harlans, hoping to save anything important of my friend Asai, whom I have a good business relationship and friendship with. I do not know where Asai was at this time.
We saved some books and some skinny cats.
We found a room. I cant bring myself to relive what we saw. Who is Asai? What was she doing? Why does she not care for the books she lost.
Xenovo is a terrible interrogator.
We head to a house of a man Thoron, connected with a man named Ewan, who has helped us in the bookshop.
I have a lot of questions and no answers...like most of my life. Can I trust any of these people? What are we getting into?